The First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Vol 5 - Issue 3 The first ten days of Dhul-HajjOfaira Ateeq Husain shares with us the suggestions of Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid.

Allah (swt) has preferred some times of the year over others in the sense that the rewards for good deeds done during these periods get multiplied many times. This encourages His servants to do more righteous deeds and worship Him more, in order to prepare themselves for death and the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet (sa) said: “Being laid-back is best in every matter except for good deeds.” (Abu Dawood & Al-Hakim)

Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah (swt) has preferred over all the other days of the year. These days, which include the Day of Arafah and Eid Al-Adha, bring Muslims an opportunity to correct their faults and make up for any shortcomings.

Ibn Abbas (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days” The people asked: “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” (Bukhari)

It is indeed a great mercy of Allah (swt) that the blessings of Hajj spill over also to those, who are not making the pilgrimage but are fasting on Dhul-Hijjah 9, the Day of Arafah. On this day, also known as the Waqfah (standing), the pilgrims stand on and around the Mount of Mercy to ask Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. When the sun sets on that day, all their past sins are forgiven. If those, who are not making Hajj, fast on that day, the sins of two years (the past and the coming one) are forgiven. (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (rta) relates that the Prophet (sa) said: “There are no days more loved by Allah (swt) for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year, and offering Salatul Tahajjud (late night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power (i.e., Lailatul Qadr).” (At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Al-Baihaqi)

In this season, the roads leading to goodness are numerous, so we must not miss out on any of them. Allah (swt) has given us many ways, in which to do good deeds and worship Him. Among the good deeds, which a Muslim should strive to do during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are:

1. Salah. A guided slave of Allah (swt) would supply himself with optional Salah during these ten days, because it is a path to goodness and something that Allah (swt) loves. Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Salah is the best thing that one can do, so perform as many as you possibly can.” (At-Tabarani) He (saw) also said, as narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta): “The son of Adam could not do anything more beneficial for himself than Salah, reconciliation (between Muslims) and being well mannered.” (Al-Bayhaqi and others)

2. Fasting. It is Sunnah to fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah. Hunaydah Ibn Khalid quoted some of the wives of the Prophet (sa) as saying: “The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, on the day of Ashurah, on three days of each month and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” (An-Nisa’i, 4/205)

3. Takbir. During the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, it is Sunnah to say Takbir, Tahmid, Tahlil, and Tasbih loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place, where it is permitted to remember Allah (swt) and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allah (swt). Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.

Allah (swt) says: “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the name of Allah on appointed days (i.e. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah), over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).” (Al-Hajj 22:28)

Abdullah Ibn Umar (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (La Ilaha Ill-Allah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (Al-Hamdu Lillah).” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shakir stated that it is Saheeh)

4. Performing Hajj and Umrah. One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah (swt). The one, whom Allah (swt) helps to offer Hajj to His House and to perform all the rituals properly, is included in the words of the Prophet (sa): “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”

5. Doing more good deeds in general. This is because good deeds are beloved by Allah (swt) and earn one a great reward. Whoever is not able to offer Hajj should occupy himself during this blessed time with acts of worship, reading the Quran, remembering Allah (swt), making supplications, giving in charity, showing dutifulness to parents, maintaining the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil and other good deeds and acts of worship.

6. Sacrifice. Offering a sacrificial animal is also among the most virtuous deeds that one can perform. The Prophet (sa) said: “He, who does not offer a sacrifice while being financially able to, let him not come close to our Masjid (i.e. pray with us).” The Sunnah also indicates that the one, who wants to offer a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (sa) said: “When the ten days (Dhu’l-Hijjah) have begun and one of you intends to offer a sacrifice, then let him not cut any of his hair or remove anything from his skin.” (Muslim)

In another narration, he (saw) said: “Let him not cut anything from his hair or nails until he sacrifices.” (Ad-Darimi)

7. Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah (swt) and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin. Take advantage of these virtuous deeds, beware of laziness and neglect and know that Allah (swt) has favoured certain days over others. Let us use these opportunities and increase our righteous deeds. May Allah (swt) forgive us our sins and shortcomings, Ameen.

Making Sense of the Danish Cartoon Issue

By Maimoona Tariq

The issue has sparked a lot of debate, bitter feelings, protests and even violence. An obscure newspaper in Denmark has spread worldwide contention and acrimony leading to repercussions on the international politics. There is a need to come up with a peaceful resolution acceptable to all.

For the entire Muslim community, Prophet Muhammad (sa) is a role model and epitomizes the essence of Islam. It is obligatory on a Muslim to protest against those, who malign his name.

Those Muslims, who have resorted to violence, have only increased anger, hatred and embitterment. This method of protest is not supported either by the Quran or the Sunnah.

Ironically, this Danish cartoon publication and the response it caused manifest intense feelings of racism. The cartoons simply portray the Western perception of Muslims, while violence by Muslims reciprocates with a similar sentiment. There is no effort on either side to avoid causing offense to the other.

Activities of a few members of a religion cannot be used to generalize that this religion is preaching disorder. Instead of imposing their uninformed opinion about Prophet Muhammad (sa), Danish newspapers should have done their homework on the actual teachings of the Prophet (sa). Many non-Muslims have studied his life and have given a positive feedback. In his book on 100 the most influential people in history, Michael Harte has ranked the Prophet (sa) as the first!

Freedom of speech should not be used as a license to offend others or spread bigotry. It should be a tool for voicing the truth and speaking up against injustice. Muslim media does not malign venerated figures of other religions; thus, it has the right to protest against the humiliation of the Prophet (sa).

Although Western newspapers are publishing cartoons on Christianity, this practice should not be so easily applied to other religions. Muslims do not have pictures of the Prophet (sa), as Christians have of Christ. Muslims do not make movies about apostles and do not use their names in satire. Their respect is compulsory. Danish newspaper has not only crossed the boundaries of another religion, but also done something prohibited in that religion. The newspaper cartoons, which continued over a total of twelve issues, were a source of a tremendous heart sore for the entire Muslim community.

In Christian society, censorship still prevails; yet, the freedom of speech is lauded, as if it is the only concept defining the Western pattern of communication. “Da Vinci Code” and “Passion of Christ” were banned on religious and social issues. The same Danish newspaper, which published cartoons about the Prophet (sa), refused to publish drawings of Christ, as these were thought to be offensive to the readers. Wasn’t this issue also worth the same consideration? Or is this simply a way to express the Western supremacy?

I believe that the people involved owe an apology to the entire Muslim community. This issue has increased the gap between Muslims and the rest of the world. It has also given to hostile people, who call themselves Muslims, a reason to proliferate their objectionable activities.

Voicing discontent about cartoons also falls under the ambit of freedom of speech. Actually, the emphasis should not so much be on the freedom of speech, as on justice, logic, rights and equality. It is important to distinguish between right and wrong, rather than rationalize a wrongdoing. Muslims condemn all the un-Islamic actions done in the name of Islam. We would appreciate a similar response from the Western side for dissolving the racial bigotry.

It is better to conduct seminars for stimulating a worldwide dialogue on the interpretation of Islam. Islam is different from other religions and has a unique approach to life and humanity. It must be understood, rather than ridiculed on the pretext of freedom of speech.

Knowledge in Islam

By Erum Asif

After the demise of the Prophet (sa), a teenager, who had acquired much knowledge from him, was determined to learn more from the Sahabahs, saying that “the Sahabahs are in a great number today.” If he heard of a Sahabah knowing a Hadeeth he didn’t know, he would dash to his home, at times having to wait outside in scorching heat. The Sahabah would insist that he could have come to this esteemed teenager himself. To this, the teenager would reply that rather he should be coming himself to seek knowledge. When those Sahabahs passed away, people, including the Caliph, would refer to this youth. He was Abdullah Ibn Abbas (rta), Mufassir of the Quran and narrator of Ahadeeth.

Moving forward in history, we find Imam Malik travelling on foot for days and nights for the sake of a single Hadeeth, Imam Shafai writing on bones, as he could not afford paper, and Ibn Asakir (compiler of the history of Damascus) mentioning 80 women among the teachers he learnt Ahadeeth from. We witness people’s love of the scholars. When Imam Bukhari was returning to Bukhara from his scholarly journeys, the inhabitants would set up tents for three miles outside the city to welcome him.

The early Muslims gave the top priority to seeking and spreading knowledge, especially that of Deen. They acted upon what they learnt. Thus, history reflects the respect, peace and power they enjoyed. Those who know and those who don’t are not equal in this world and the next. “… Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not?’….” (Az-Zumar 39:9)

Islam is a religion of knowledge and it does not befit a Muslim to be ignorant of his Deen, even though this is a wide-spread case nowadays. The Prophet (sa) clearly said: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (lbn Majah and others; reported by Anas)

Note four things here:

1. Which knowledge is the Hadeeth referring to? Physics, mathematics or computer science? The knowledge, which is obligatory and Fardh-ayn, is that of Deen. It is also referred to in another Hadeeth: “…the scholars are the heirs of the prophets and that the prophets did not leave behind Dinars and Dirhams; rather, their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has acquired a great share.” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood)

Does learning our Deen mean knowing every detail? Some knowledge of Deen is obligatory, and some is optional. The Prophet (sa) said: “Knowledge is (of) three (categories): Muhkam Ayah (precise verse), or Sunnah Qaimah (established Sunnah), or Fareedhah ‘Adilah (firm, obligatory duty). And whatever is besides this, is extra.” (Abu Dawood and Majah)

The minimum we must know is our faith: the teachings relating to worship (prayers, fasting, Zakah, Hajj), Akhlaq (manners) and transactions (e.g., everyday Halal and Haram; teachings regarding family-life; teachings concerning our roles as businessmen, rulers, employees, etc.). Learning in-depth religious sciences, such as Tafsir, Fiqh or Ahadeeth, is Fardh-Kifayah.

2. The most serious term in the Hadeeth is Fareedhah (obligation). Learning the Deen is an obligation – the first obligation, not something optional we can postpone because of degree pursuits, marriage or career-development.

3. Another key-word is Talab (seeking). Muslims have to seek the knowledge of Deen actively, instead of hoping for its arrival by chance.

4. The Prophet (sa) made NO exemptions. He said Kull (every) Muslim. Old or young, poor or rich, male or female, busy or idle, free or enslaved – everyone must learn the glorious Deen!

Seeking the knowledge of Dunya is Fardh-Kifayah and optional. If the guidelines provided by Islam are followed, seeking worldly knowledge can be an Ibadah; otherwise, a pointless or even damaging venture.

As an Ummah, have we got our ‘obligatory’ and ‘optional’, right? “Nay, you prefer the life of this world, although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.” (Al-Ala 87:16-17) Knowledge of Deen is badly neglected and considered done, upon completing the sessions of Quran recitation in childhood, while optional knowledge has been secularized and made obligatory, with children spending nearly 20 years, and parents incurring back-breaking expenses for the sake of ‘education’. Consequently, we have societies that are ‘Muslim’ but not Islamic. We have PhDs and professionals, who don’t know the Deen. Does the average businessman holding an MBA know and follow Islam’s teachings about trade? Do our economists understand Islam’s flawless economic system? Are our doctors, lawyers and journalists aware of the Islamic ethics relevant to them? Does this ignorance affect their work? Should they be considered educated, if they haven’t learnt the obligatory? Imagine a person not performing the five obligatory prayers, though working hard on much Nafl. If Muslims start treating obligatory knowledge as obligatory, the Ummah can recover drastically.

Allah (swt) Himself conveyed the knowledge of Deen through messengers, while He left other matters for us to discover. Why? Based on intellect, experience and experimentation, we can learn the laws of nature and the ways of growing food, treating diseases and constructing houses. But intellect and experience cannot tell us the purpose of life, who created us, what happens after death, the rights and responsibilities in various roles, the permissible and impermissible in food, money matters and gender relations. When we try to figure these out ourselves, we either reach devastatingly wrong conclusions or die without discovering the truth.

It is vital to seek and spread knowledge. We want to be the best. Who is the best? “The best of you is the one, who learns the Quran and teaches it.” (Agreed upon) Ponder over Surah At-Taubah (9:122): “And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).”

We are Muslims, because the Sahabahs and succeeding generations spread the Deen through words and deeds. Muslim rulers propagated Islamic knowledge. Caliph Umar (rta), a shining example, appointed Quran teachers everywhere in the Islamic state. Abu Darda (rta) was appointed in Damascus and was reported to have 1,600 students in his circle. Death terminates our deeds, but beneficial knowledge we leave behind keeps multiplying our rewards. (Muslim)

Regarding worldly knowledge, remember:

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who created (all that exists).” (Al-Alaq 96:1) Divine knowledge must guide worldly knowledge. It will help filter good ideas from the bad ones, and remembering the Lord (swt) will humble us as learners. Divorcing Deen from Dunya was the design of Kuffar. We imported it into our educational institutions, which then became the prime breeding-grounds for secularization of mindsets and societies. If Islamic teachings are mentioned only in Islamic Studies class, how can our children believe that Islam is relevant to real life? While secular economics cannot fix today’s economic crises, Divine economics can. Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz’s (rta) officials would go looking for deserving recipients of charity but find none! The opening verse of Surah Al-Alaq also suggests we seek any knowledge with the Niyyah of pleasing Allah (swt) and serving His Deen. In contemporary times, Harun Yahya and Dr. Zakir Naik have set good examples.

Secondly, Islam encourages us to seek beneficial knowledge and shun the non-beneficial. In today’s age of excessive information, this is an indispensable criterion. Allah (swt) has blessed us with curiosity – we should use it wisely. We should seek knowledge that benefits us, fellow humans and the planet. A Muslim cannot afford to waste time studying “Romeo and Juliet” or cramming useless data that exits his brain soon after exams are over.

With these two points in mind, we need to reclaim our proud tradition of learning. Righteous people must lead the various fields, instead of allowing evil or secular ‘experts’ to mislead humanity. The Ummah needs knowledgeable people also for reducing its dependence on non-Muslims. Here is some inspiration from our predecessors:

Aisha (rta) was an authority on medicine. Uthman (rta) and AbdurRahman Ibn Awf (rta) were brilliant businessmen.

Muslims have made invaluable contributions to manners, literature, science, medicine and mathematics. They were the first to establish hospitals and universities. Ibn Sina’s “Canon of Medicine” was used in European universities for centuries as the most respected medical bible. Muslims introduced the concept of zero in mathematics. Non-Muslims learnt Arabic to benefit from books written by Muslims.

Baghdad, Timbuktu and Samarqand were great learning centres. The scholars were more important than the rulers, the latter having to listen to the former. Rulers, traders and the public consulted scholars; they governed the city, acted as judges and ensured fair trade. The work of Muslim astronomers in Samarqand’s state-of-the-art observatories enabled people to pray towards the Qiblah and measure the size of the Earth. Modern scientific achievements were made possible by the work of early Muslims.

They were exemplary also because they acted upon their knowledge. Sayyid Qutb remarks: “Thus, instruction to be translated into action was the method of the first group of Muslims. The method of later generations was instruction for academic discussion and enjoyment. And without doubt this is one of the major factors, which made later generations different from the first unique generation of Islam.”

Jews and Christians read their books without practicing them. Islam advocates knowledge for the sake of action. Nobody will be able to move from before his Lord (swt), till he/she answers five questions, including “how much he acted upon the knowledge he obtained”. (At-Tirmidhi)

Let the study of the Quran and Seerah be a daily routine for your family. At least once a week, get together with fellow-Muslims to learn collectively. Check, whether you are acting upon your knowledge, and where you are falling short. Learning and practicing our Deen can secure for us not just this short life but the entire eternity!

The Dawn of Knowledge – Part 1

By Uzma Jawed

In this present era, Islam is viewed as anything but a source of inspiration and enlightenment. This is despite the fact that a crucial part of Islam is to seek and attain knowledge. The Quran repeatedly invites man to observe, ponder and use his intellect to understand his surroundings:

“Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And the heaven, how it is raised? And the mountains, how they are rooted (and fixed firm)? And the earth, how it is outspread?” (Al-Ghashiyah 88:17-20)

In addition, Prophet Muhammad (sa) placed importance on knowledge: “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave,” and “Verily, the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the Prophets.” (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi)

Islamic civilization under the Abbasid dynasty experienced a Golden Age, spanning mid-eighth century to the mid-thirteenth century. The Muslim Empire encompassed present-day Iran, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, North Africa, Spain, and parts of Turkey. The caliphate’s capital was in Baghdad, which drew people from all parts of the empire. Hence, the culture unified Arab, Persian, Egyptian and European traditions. This resulted in an era of astonishing intellectual and cultural achievements by Muslim scholars, scientists, craftsmen and traders.

The Quran and the Sunnah inspired Muslims to excel in various fields, such as mathematical sciences, medicine, geography, chemistry, philosophy, art and architecture.

In the initial stage of the Abbasid era, Muslim scholars collected the Greek scientific manuscripts and translated them into Arabic. The flexibility of the Arabic language and the richness of its terminology facilitated the translation process. All of this was carried out at the Bayt-Al-Hikmah (the house of wisdom) – a huge library and research center based in Baghdad. It became an invaluable source of information and a place, where the early scholars of Islam assembled, analyzed and extensively supplemented the Greek works.

Muslim Contributions to Mathematical Sciences and Medicine

Early Muslim scholars agreed with Aristotle that the basis of all science was mathematics. The Quran also contained several complex laws of inheritance, which could be solved through mathematical equations. So mathematics was initially focused on. Traditionally, mathematical sciences included mathematics itself, geometry, astronomy and physics.


One of the greatest Islamic mathematicians was Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi. He is the founder of modern algebra. In fact, the word ‘algebra’ is derived from his famous book “Hisab Al-Jabr waAl-Muqablah” (“The Calculation of Integration and Equation”). Until the sixteenth century, this became a standard text in most European universities. Al-Khwarizmi also developed the sine, cosine and trignometrical tables, which were later translated in the west. Moreover, he helped explain the Arabic numerals and the concept of zero – a number of fundamental significance to mathematics. Furthermore, he developed the decimal system, hence the numerical sequence of numbers.

Another great mathematician was Thabit Bin Qura, who developed algebra further. Abu Kamil, who also worked on algebra, was called ’the Egyptian calculator.’ Ghiyath Al-din al Kashani worked on theory of numbers and techniques of computations.


According to a North African historian, geometry was a greatly encouraged study, as it “enlightens the intelligence of the man, who cultivates it and gives him the habit of thinking exactly.” The three brothers Banu Musa, who lived in the ninth century, were probably the first outstanding Muslim geometers. Abul Wafa, also a very accomplished mathematician, wrote a book, which explained, how algebra could be used to solve geometrical problems.


Astronomy is highly valued in Islam, particularly for accurately predicting prayer times and the Islamic lunar calendar. Islamic astronomers studied eclipses, the rotation of the planets, the circumference of the Earth, the mean orbit of the Sun and the length of seasons. Abu Abdullah Al-Battani is considered to be one of the greatest Islamic astronomers. One of his discoveries was the precise estimate of the solar year, and it was very close to the modern estimates.

Muslims were also the first in establishing an astronomical observatory as a scientific institution. This was the Maragha observatory in modern-day Iran, established by Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi. Maragha contained a library of 400,000 books and as a school of astronomy. The observatory was used as a model for the later European observatories. Al-Tusi was a Persian astronomer, who was held in high esteem, especially for discovering and explaining the difference between trigonometry and astronomy. Muslims also invented numerous astronomical instruments, the most famous being the astrolabe.


One of the most eminent physicists was Abu Al-Fath Abd Al-Rahman Al-Kahzini. He studied mechanics and hydrostats, and wrote several books on physics and astronomy. Another esteemed physicist was Abu Al-Hassan al Haitham, who made significant contributions to optics and the scientific method.


Muslims have shown an avid interest in the field of medicine since the time of the Prophet (sa), who said that there existed a cure for every disease. A major medical achievement in Islam was the establishment of a hospital for lepers in Damascus. This was the first of its kind, and it was a huge accomplishment, since lepers in Europe were condemned and burnt by royal decree. Also, many advanced hospitals and clinics were built in the Muslim Empire during the ninth century, which included also pharmacies, libraries, lecture rooms for medical students and separate wards for men and women.

One of the greatest Muslim physicians was Ibn Sina (Avicenna). He was called the ‘prince of physicians’ in the West. He wrote 246 books on many subjects. His most famous book was titled “Al-Qanun fi Al-Tibb” (“The Canon of Medicine”), the chief medical guide throughout Europe until the seventeenth century. Dr. William Osler, the author of “The Evolution of Modern Science,” stated: “The Qanun has remained a medical Bible for a longer period than any other work.” Ibn Sina discovered many drugs and identified several diseases such as diabetes, mellitus, and meningitis. He also recognized the contagious nature of tuberculosis and made notable contributions to anatomy, gynecology, child health and the interaction between health and psychology.

Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya Al-Razi, known as Rhazes, was the most prolific Muslim doctor, whose accomplishments were probably second only to Ibn Sina. He wrote more than 200 books on such subjects as pharmacy and chemistry. His major contribution was a 20-volume encyclopedia, titled “Al-Hawi” (“the Continence”). He headed the first Royal Hospital at Ray, Iran, and discovered treatments for kidney and bladder stones. He was the first to use opium for anesthesia and the first to introduce alcohol for medical purposes. Moreover, he conducted research on small pox, measles, hereditary diseases and eye diseases.

Another exceptional Islamic physician was Hunayn Ibn Ishaq, who headed the famous school of translation in Baghdad and wrote the first systematic textbook on ophthalmology. Yuhannah Ibn Masawayh was another great physician, who authored books on fevers, headaches, nutrition and sterility in women. Abul Qasim Al-Zahrawi, a renowned surgeon, attracted patients and students from all over the Muslim Empire as well as Europe. Known as Albucasis in the West, he wrote a medical encyclopedia on surgical knowledge and illustrated 200 surgical instruments. This encyclopedia was used as a standard reference book in universities in Europe for about five centuries. He performed many delicate operations and was the first to use silk thread for stitching wounds.

It is usually a foregone conclusion that medicine was developed by Western minds. However, Harvard’s George Sentors says that modern science is entirely an Islamic development. A lot of European physicians, such as Johann Weger, were taught the medical studies of Ibn Sina and ar-Razi. In this way, Muslim scholars contributed to every scientific field and were widely used as sources in the early Western schools of learning. As Dr. Ahmed stated in a live dialogue on Islam Online: “The contributions of Muslims scientists in the pre-renaissance era accelerated the renaissance by at least 100 years in Europe.”

The accomplishments of all the above mentioned Muslim scholars were many. However, it was not only their contributions that made them so successful. It was their source of inspiration, the Quran and the Sunnah, combined with firm belief in their faith that laid the foundations for modern awakening.

For all the aspiring scholars out there, this quotation by Khawarizmi can be truly inspirational: “That fondness for science… that affability and condescension, which God shows to the learned, that promptitude, with which He protects and supports them in the elucidation of obscurities and in the removal of difficulties, has encouraged me to compose a short work on calculating by Al-Jabr [algebra] and Al-Muqabala, confining it to what is easiest and most useful in arithmetic.”

Contributions of the early Muslims were so vivid, abundant and diverse that this article has barely been able to give them the credit they so richly deserve. Contributions of Muslims to the fields of geography, chemistry, philosophy, art and architecture will be discussed in the successive article.

Selection of Duas

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Selection of DuasBy J. Samia Mair

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “The Jews were divided into seventy-one sects, one of which is in Paradise, and seventy are in the Fire. The Christians were divided into seventy-two sects, seventy-one of which are in the Fire, and one is in Paradise. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, my Ummah will be divided into seventy-three sects, one of which will be in Paradise, and seventy-two will be in the Fire.” It was said: “Messenger of Allah, who are they?” He said: “Al-Jamah.” (Awf Ibn Malik)

I usually keep quiet, when a brother tells me something incorrect about Islam. I have learned through experience that silence is often the best answer.

Because of my status as a convert and a woman, my words are less credible to some. But this day I could not keep quiet. I could not let his interpretation of the Holy Quran go unchallenged. I could not risk my silence implied that I agreed.

“Brother,” I said at one point in the conversation, “how can you be so sure that you are in the one sect that follows the straight path?”

Perhaps, I should not have been so surprised, when he told me that he was sure. But I was surprised. How can anyone be sure? Indeed, how can any of us be confident that our worship is sincere, correct and accepted? I suggest that if you have not worried about your status on the path, then this fact itself should make you worry.

Allah (swt) says: “And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Allah (swt) instructed the Prophet (sa) to tell us: “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’ Say (O Muhammad (sa)): ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad (sa)).’ But if they turn away, Allah does not like disbelievers.” (Al-Imran 3:31-32)

Scholars tell us that our goal is to become beloved by our Creator, so that we may spend eternity in His (swt) Divine Presence. To be loved by Allah (swt), we must obey Him. Obedience means following the Quran and the Sunnah. To know, what the Quran and the Sunnah require from us, we must turn to people of knowledge. This is exactly where the problem lays. Who are the people of knowledge?

At a recent lecture, Imam Zaid, scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute, referred to ‘Sheikh Google’ – a humorous but painfully accurate description of the current state of Islamic scholarship in the West. Let’s face it – the spiritual leadership in many Masjids is abysmal. Very few Imams are scholars and many lack any significant Islamic education. They freely issue Fatwahs, forgetting that it is best to remain silent, when one does not know the answer. I do not question the sincerity of these Imams, but clearly many are not qualified to teach and unwittingly lead other Muslims astray.

What is the average Muslim to do? I try to learn from a variety of sources, what different scholars say on a particular topic. Then I make an educated decision about my practice. This approach is not wholly satisfying. I find scholars, whose writings I trust, and my friends turn to others. Sometimes our scholars disagree on important issues, and so it seems extremely difficult to know, who is right. I believe the answer is to pray. Only Allah (swt) can lead us to the straight path, only with His (swt) mercy and compassion are we rightly guided.

The Fatihah is my favorite Dua, when asking for knowledge. The first time I read the translation, I knew I was going to convert. The seven verses said exactly what I had wanted from Allah, but could not find the words myself.

Other Duas that I say regularly are below. I have collected them from various books and lectures. I always start with a Dua asking for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. Allahu A’lam.

O Allah, You are my Lord; there is no God but You. You created me and I am Your servant. And Your covenant and promise I uphold to the best of my ability. And I seek refuge in You from the evil of whatever I have done. I acknowledge that all my blessings are from You. And to You I bring my sins, so forgive me, because no one can forgive sins but You. (Bukhari)

O Possessor of Majesty and Generosity, whoever You guide cannot be led astray; whoever You lead astray cannot be guided. Please, let me my family and the believing men and women be among those rightly guided. Increase our knowledge, cure the diseases in our hearts and make what is pleasurable to you pleasurable to us, and what is displeasurable to you displeasurable to us. Let us live in Islam and die in faith. Let our graves be spacious. Give us light, shade and water on the Day of Doom. Build us a home in the highest level of Paradise in the company of our Master Muhammad (sa) and in Thy Presence (swt). (An assorted Dua I put together myself.)

O Allah, save us from the torture of the grave, grant us wisdom and unite us with the righteous.

O Allah, I ask You for the good of this day, its openings, victories, lights, blessings and right-guidance.

O Allah, make my inward better than my outward and make my outward virtuous.

O Allah, place a light in my heart, my family’s heart, the believing men and women’s hearts, in our ears, our eyes, and our mouth; on our right, on our left, before us, behind us, above, below us. Give us light and make us light. (Muslim)

O Lord Allah, we ask You by the Light of Your Face and by Your right over Yourself to grant us a good ending at the time of death – for us, our loved ones and for all the Muslims, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. Lord, allow not our hearts to swerve after You have guided us; grant us Your Mercy, You are the Bestower. Lord, make us patient, and take us to You as Muslims surrendering with sound hearts.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the straight path and increase our knowledge, Ameen.

Hikmah (Wisdom)

Vol 5 - Issue 3 WisdomMichael de Montaigne once commented: “We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom.”

I find myself pondering upon this quotation often, especially when I am seeking to be wise about life and the challenges it throws my way. I also observe that in this day and age of extra-ordinary scholastic achievements and exposure to information and technology, wisdom is seldom found. It is not simply knowledge that produces wisdom. Knowledge is a collection of facts. Wisdom is how to apply knowledge. Further, it is a combination of other factors such as deep observation, far-sightedness, experiences, patience, endurance and a continuous quest for solutions that leads to insight and acumen.

The Arabic term for wisdom is Hikmah. In the Quran, it means the knowledge and the understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah and one’s ability to speak and act in the right way.

Allah (swt) states: “He grants Hikmah (wisdom) to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah (wisdom) is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” (Al-Baqarah 2:269)

Apparently, wisdom is something bestowed upon a person by Allah (swt). A person may be learned, but it does not mean he is wise. The Prophet (sa), though unlettered, was an epitome of wisdom.

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad (sa)), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:129)

This is further confirmed about the Prophet (sa) in Al-Baqarah 2:151 and in Al-Imran 3:164.

In the Prophet’s (sa) life, we find innumerable instances, when wisdom turned the tables. His silence, his speech, his anger and his restraint were all driven by wisdom that earned him unbelievable success in unfavorable circumstances.

Even prior to receiving his prophetic mission, he was requested to settle a dispute amongst the chiefs of Makkah. They were quarreling, as to who would be granted the honour of placing the black stone (Hajra Aswad) in the Kabah. The Messenger (sa) suggested a simple yet wise solution, which was acceptable to all and, thus, defused a volatile situation.

The Prophet (sa) also demonstrated wisdom in the most pressured times, such as at the time of Hudaibiyah, when the enemies drafted a pact that the companions were displeased with. However, amidst the mounting tension, they obeyed the Prophet’s (sa) decision to agree to the pact. Time proved, how that same pact worked in favour of Muslims, thus attesting to the Prophet’s (sa) wisdom and endurance.

What does it take to become wise? Is there a formula for it? And of all qualities in life, why should one seek wisdom? Does it pay to be wise? These are all pertinent questions.

Ibn Masud (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is no envy except in two instances: a person, whom Allah has endowed with wealth and he spends it righteously, and a person, whom Allah has given Hikmah, and he judges by it and teaches it to others.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The intention of this article is to highlight the importance of Hikmah in our lives. How can wisdom bring back the long departed peace? Our superficial and self-centered lives are fleeting by. If today we were to capture the true essence of our achievements, most of us would be saddened to learn that we are living no better than animals – mainly for our base desires. We have no time to reflect or even listen.

Whether it is a domestic dispute or a judiciary one on a macro level, how many people can you find, who would give a sound counsel and settle disputes by giving meaningful guidance? Very few.

“They belied (the Verses of Allah – this Quran) and followed their own lusts. And every matter will be settled (according to the kind of deeds: good deeds will take their doers to Paradise, and similarly evil deeds will take their doers to Hell). And indeed there has come to them news (in this Quran) wherein there is (enough warning) to check (them from evil), Perfect wisdom (this Quran) – but (the preaching of) warners benefit them not. So, (O Muhammad (sa)) withdraw from them.” (Al-Qamar 54:3-6)

Seeking Hikmah is imperative, if we want to pursue true success now and in the Hereafter.

 “Hiba” conducted a poll to understand the dynamics of wisdom. Following are the answers we received from some participants:

1. What is wisdom?

Wisdom is the ability to see things as they are; to give everything just the right due. A wise person is able to recognize reality. It also means to make the right decision most of the times.

2. Is this quality God given or can be acquired?

It is acquired. However, only Allah (swt) can give Hikmah to someone… so the answer is ‘yes’ to both options. He Alone is Al-Hakim. And He Alone chooses to bestow wisdom to His servants; to some He gives more than others. For e.g. Sulaiman (as), Ibrahim (as), Luqman, Abu Bakr (rta), Ali (rta)etc.

3. If it is God given, then who does God give Hikmah to?

The person, who is humble, who meditates, yearns for guidance, shuns the world’s temptations and the self’s base desires and learns from mistakes by rectifying his behaviour. Also someone who is composed and not emotional or quick to temper as in such a state it is impossible to think and act rationally. God gives Hikmah to those, who contemplate; basically, those who want it.

4. If it can be acquired, what should one do to become wise?

Gain knowledge, do not indulge in any kind of excess, help others, lead a life with a higher purpose and do not give in to desires of the self. Also, wisdom is a product of time – very few young people are wise, although there are exceptions. Mostly, wisdom comes with life’s experiences.

To become wise, one must also ‘live perceptively.’ Contemplate on Allah’s Ayat (signs) both in the Quran and in the universe. Einstein was wise, because he studied science in depth and detail. He may not have reached the TRUTH (Haq) or chose to ignore it, but he definitely acquired wisdom.

To gain Hikmah, one needs to practice Sabr (patience), talk less and observe more, learn to listen to others, bear a positive attitude, give rights to Allah (swt) and people and, lastly, make much Dua for oneself to make the right decisions in life.

The company of wise teachers and role models is also imperative. Most importantly, following the Sunnah and reflecting upon the Quran’s Tafseer helps gain deeper understanding of life.

5. Lastly, does Hikmah help people in their day to day lives?

YES, it works wonders! Wise people make very few mistakes, have healthy relationships with everyone and enjoy tremendous peace of mind.

Hikmah was one of the things the Prophet (sa) taught. And the Prophet (sa) cultivated a pragmatic sense in his companions at all levels of their lives.

Can you write an essay for me?

By Hafsa Ahsan

Anam Ali, a 19-year-old university student, had just started working on a very difficult assignment, when her 12-year-old neighbour arrived.

“We’ve been given a really important assignment. I have to write a whole paper on, whether tuitions are a surefire guarantee of good grades. It’s 2000 words, and I need to give it in the day after tomorrow. Can you write it for me?” she said and then looked expectantly at Anam.

Anam was speechless.

“Firstly, I have to do my own assignments. Secondly, why can’t you write it yourself?”

“I don’t have time. We have so much homework. And I am not very good at writing either,” insisted the neighbour. “Well, alright, I’ll ask one of my cousins to write it instead.”

This scenario is, unfortunately, more common than one would like to believe. There are quite a few students, usually in their school-going age, who think that it is perfectly normal to get someone else to do their school assignments or extra curricular work. In fact, the phrase ‘do your own work’ seems quite alien to them.

In cases like these, when school-going children hand out their assignments to anyone, who is willing to do it for them, it is very important to distinguish between two things – helping someone to do a task and doing the whole task for someone else. The former, of course, is the more desirable action. And it is precisely the action, which is rarely taken.

There are many different tasks, which students delegate to others, believing themselves to be incapable of doing them. Some of these tasks include:

  • making charts,
  • making diagrams for science/ computer subjects,
  • solving mathematics sums,
  • writing essays,
  • writing speeches.

Why Students Resort to Overhelping

Even though there are quite a few students, who ask to do their work for them simply because they are too lazy to do it themselves, there are also others, for whom the reasons go beyond laziness.

The main culprit here is a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. Many students just do not believe in themselves or their abilities. If they have a cousin, who is exceptionally good at artwork, they prefer to get their science diagrams drawn by him or her. If someone is good at mathematics, then it is always handy to get them to solve the problems and get the correct answers.

Another culprit is deeply rooted in our education system – the overemphasis on marks and grades. Thus, if the artistic cousin or a math genius neighbour can produce remarkable results, the student will end up with higher marks, higher grades and, of course, loads of positive comments from the teacher. The spirit of competitiveness combined with a lack of confidence in one’s abilities easily explain, why many students are unwilling to do their own work or put their own abilities to test. They simply do not believe they can get the required result, if they work on their own.

Yet one more culprit behind this phenomenon is again a factor characteristic of the education system in general – the emphasis on too much homework. There are many schools, where teachers give out so many homework assignments that it becomes really hard for a student to finish them on time. One can argue that this is a good way of learning time management skills. But, unfortunately, too much homework becomes a really good excuse to give out one’s work to others and get them to finish it quickly and efficiently.

Shortcomings of Overhelping

Although the end result of the work done by others may be better, there are two good reasons, why elder students, neighbours, cousins and parents should concentrate on helping their young wards without doing everything themselves or getting someone else to do it.

The first reason is to prevent a shortcut mindset. If a student knows that a cousin or a neighbour is going to write an essay for him or draw some diagrams in the science journal, it is quite likely that the student will not even try to do the same task himself. The student will be more willing just to delegate the task, irrespective of whether or not he actually has a lot of work to do.

The second reason is that such overhelping can stifle the inherent talent and abilities of the student. Maybe a student has wonderful creative writing skills. But he is consistently getting a cousin to write all his essays and papers. Meanwhile, the student also convinces himself that writing is not his forte. If the parents or siblings were helping out this young student instead of encouraging him to engage someone who would ‘write better’, it would help polish the student’s skills in that area.

Dealing with Overhelping

There are quite a few things parents can do to curb the phenomena of overhelping. A more active role of parents will go a long way in helping the students overcome the urge to get someone else to do their work.

Encourage your child to do his work by himself. Give your child the confidence that he is able to do the work by himself.

Instill in your child the value of doing his own work. Teach your child that asking someone else to do his work and then passing it off as his own is not ethical.

If the tasks are difficult, sit with your child, see what your child is doing wrong, point out the mistakes, suggest improvements and give positive feedback on successful work.

Instill time management skills in your child. If the homework pile is huge, work out how to manage it within the stipulated time and show your child how it is done.

Yes, this is a very long and tedious task, but parents have to step in and play their role, if they want their children to get out of the shortcut-taking mindset. However, if parents themselves feel it is better to get someone else to do their children’s work, then here is a friendly reminder for them: they are doing a grave disservice to their children. Such scenario is inhibiting their process of learning and unconsciously teaching them, how to dump their work on someone else. In the long-term, this mindset will have negative effects not just on their personal lives but also on their professional careers. The last thing this country needs is a bunch of people, who are incapable of doing their own work.

Women at Work – Part 2

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Women at Work 2

That women are allowed to work should now come as no surprise to readers of the first part of this article. However, once a woman chooses to work, the decision and its realization are no less than a hurdle race. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems and their solutions in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah.

Giving up career to get married?

A common job interview question for women is whether they are single. It appears, as if career and marriage cannot coexist. Should women give up their careers in order to get married?

For a Muslim woman, family should come before her personal career. That does not mean, however, that a career is unimportant; in fact, the order of priority is a guideline of how to deal with the diverse roles a Muslim woman can and should play in society. In Islamic history, we find married Muslim women taking an active part in politics, farming, business and even in the field of war. The fact that they did not put career before marriage is proven by the excellent generation of Muslims they raised.

For example, we find Asma Bint Abu Bakr (rta) working on a farm and transporting the produce herself. She mentions that when she got married to Zubair (rta), they did not have wealth. Therefore, the Prophet (sa) gave them some land about two miles away from their home. Her son Abdullah Ibn Zubair (rta) became well known for his devotion to the cause of Islam.

In the battlefield, we hear of Umm Ammara (rta), who participated in wars and even lost her hand in the Battle of Yamamah. In the Battle of Uhud, she struck down a man, who had hurt her son. We also find Umm Sulaym (rta) carrying a dagger and tending to the wounded in the Battle of Uhud. One of her sons, Anas Ibn Malik (rta), became a renowned companion of the Prophet (sa).

Following Islamic guidance to prevent harassment

One of the criteria that women should fulfill in order to work is to dress modestly in accordance with the injunctions of Islam. They should also select professions that do not involve a lot of interaction with the opposite gender. If, however, the job requires a lot of interaction, one must take care to act with caution, care and poise. Interaction should be work-related and seclusion must be avoided. The Prophet (sa) said that whenever a man is alone with a woman, the Devil makes a third. (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet’s (sa) wives were addressed by Allah (swt) and were told not to be soft in speech: “O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.” (Al-Ahzab 33:32)

If one follows the above guidelines, any chances of unwanted attention or harassment would decrease to a large extent.

Debate on travelling alone resolved

A lot of debate has ensued over whether women can travel alone. The European Council for Fatwah and Research states that travelling alone is primarily unlawful, as we know from a Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa): “A woman, who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, shall not travel for (a period of) a day and a night, unless accompanied by a Mahram of hers.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Council goes on to say that: “other scholars stipulate that her travel is permissible in the company of a trustworthy group of men or men and women… Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta) allowed the Prophet’s wives to travel for Hajj with a group of believers and sent with them Usman Ibn Affan (rta) and Abdul-Rahman Ibn Auf (rta).

“In the Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa) to Adiy Ibn Hatim, we read: ‘If you live long, you will see the woman travel from Hirah (a city in Iraq) to circumambulate the Kabah, fearing none but Allah.’ (Bukhari)

“This confirms that the cause (of the prohibition) is fear (of insecurity). If security is guaranteed and fear is no more present, a woman may travel, particularly nowadays, when travel has become easy, whether by air, train or coach. In all these means of transportation, company is available and security is realized for the Muslim woman.”

Despite the above permission, the woman should ask herself what makes her feel safer – travelling alone or with a group of women / a Mahram relative. If a woman is competent, organization will make concessions for her to comply with the Islamic condition on travelling accompanied with a female colleague and will not see this as a hindrance in her employment.

Sharing household expenses is not mandatory

In Islam, the financial responsibility of the household rests with the man. Allah (swt) states: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.” (An-Nisa 4:34)

On the other hand, such scholars as Dr. Rifat Fawzi (Professor of Shariah, Cairo University) and Sheikh Ahmed Kutty (Islamic Institute of Toronto) hold the view that women should contribute to the household expenses. In his Fatwah, Sheikh Kutty says: “If a wife gives her husband from her salary voluntarily, it is totally permissible for the husband to make use of it. But because of the fact that the wife’s working takes its toll on the husband, the wife should be fair enough to contribute something towards the maintenance of the house and the family.”

Nevertheless, a man cannot coerce his wife to work and share in the household expenses; neither can he forcibly take away her money. According to late Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bahyy (former dean of the Faculty of Theology at Al-Azhar University), “the wives’ right to the entire ownership of their Mahr (dower), which is given to them by their husbands, indicates their financial independence. It is not lawful for a man to take the Mahr, or a part of it, back from his wife except in two cases: if the wife remits it voluntarily, or if she gives it back to him in return for divorce from him (An-Nisa 4:4, Al-Baqarah 2:229).”

He further goes on to say: “As it is the case with Mahr, the wife has full ownership of her other sources of wealth, such as her salary. It is not lawful for the husband to take part or all of his wife’s salary, unless she gives it to him voluntarily.”

Women’s rights have not been imported

To conclude, I would like to quote Fatima Mernissi: “We, Muslim women, can walk into the modern world with pride, knowing that the quest for dignity, democracy and human rights, for full participation in the political and social affairs of our country, stems from no imported Western values, but is a true part of Muslim tradition.”

Towards a Bright Future

By Erum Asif

“I want a bright future for my child,” dreams the parent and spends time, money and effort. What ‘future’? This fleeting life, whereby we can be called back any time, never to return, or the eternal life-after-death?

A glimpse of that future from a Hadeeth: “When a human being is laid in his grave and he hears that footsteps of his companions leaving him, then two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: ‘What did you say about this man, Muhammad?’ He will say: ‘I testify that he is Allah’s slave and His Apostle.’ Then it will be said to him: ‘Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has given you instead a place in Paradise.’ The Prophet (sa) added: ‘The dead person will see his both places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels: ‘I do not know, but I used to say, what the people used to say!’ It will be said to him: ‘Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran).’ Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his two ears, and he will cry. That cry will be heard by whatever approaches him, except human beings and Jinns.” (Bukhari)

The hypocrite was guilty of ignorance and not learning the Quran (and the Sunnah) to cure his ignorance.

Muslim parents had the job to learn Deen and teach their offspring, but they neglected it.

Compare the time, effort and money Muslim parents are spending on their children’s schooling versus Deen. Even religious parents have accepted children’s studies, leaving little time for Deen. We take homework, exams, projects and tuitions seriously. But worry little, if our children miss prayers, our university-going child has neither studied the Quran nor recites it properly, or they barely know the Prophet (sa) and his companions.

Gaining beneficial worldly knowledge is good, but learning Deen is obligatory. Can ‘obligatory’ be compromised for the ‘optional’?

Prophet (sa) had said: “Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges… A man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them… So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” (Bukhari) We are responsible for teaching our children Islam. Firstly, by being role-models for them, and, second, by verbally teaching the Quran and the Sunnah.

Take motivation from the early Muslims. Umm Sulaym (rta) taught her young son Anas (rta) reading and writing, the Surahs and Ayaat she knew and offered his services to the Prophet (sa), so that he may learn from him. He became a devout Muslim and is a narrator of 2,286 Ahadeeth.

Imam Shafai’s mother was a widow. She moved from Palestine to Yemen to provide him a better environment. Before the age of 10, he had memorized the Quran and started learning Imam Maalik’s “Muwattah.” Although she needed him, she allowed him to travel for further knowledge. Abdullah Ibn Mubarak’s father gave him 50,000 Dirhams for trade. He used it for a better trade, travelling far to acquire a wealth of Ahadeeth from great scholars. Overjoyed, his father granted him 30,000 Dirhams more.

In recent times, Dr. Azra Batool (d. 2003) was an active Islamic worker in Okara (Punjab). She was running a hospital with her husband, caring for many in-laws, teaching Islamic classes, parenting NINE children and yet listening to their Hifz regularly. Once during board exams, her son declined reciting the Quran during Ramadan. The far-sighted mother said: “Son, no worry, if you get ten marks less or more in this exam. One should worry more about the exam before Allah (swt).”

If school leaves your family with insufficient time and energy for Deen, consider alternatives. Thousands of Muslim families in the West have chosen home-schooling. It saves children from un-Islamic influences, allows priority to Deen and offers better worldly education that can be tailored to the child’s interests, pace and learning style, while simultaneously allowing for individual attention.

By gifting our children Islamic knowledge, we leave behind unimaginable Sadqaah Jaariyah for ourselves, while beautifying their futures. Here are some ideas. Choose what suits your family:

  • Be a role-model. Learn Deen yourself. Recite and study the Quran daily. Study the Prophet’s (sa) Seerah, the Sahaba and pious predecessors. Attend classes. Listen to tapes. Late Khurram Murad (Daee, thinker, writer, director-general of Islamic Foundation) was educated at home till primary level. He dedicated his book “Way to the Quran” to his mother, saying: “At her knees I learnt to read the Quran, upon her insistence that I must learn Arabic, I was sent to the school Maulavi Saheb, who gave me the rudimentary knowledge, upon which I could build later; seeing her devotion to the Quran, reading it with understanding for hours and hours, kindled a spark in my heart, which has continued to illumine my way; and, finally, through her example and silent but solid support, I found my way to a life of struggle in the way of Allah.”
  • Have a daily family Halaqah. Everyone can take part. Choose a topic. Alternatively, do Islamic stories, Hadeeth, reading from a book, quiz or game. Share with them the lessons of Quran, at their level.
  • Children LOVE stories. Tell them the best stories ever: of Prophet (sa), other prophets, and Sahabahs.
  • Get them Islamic books. Read to them. It will develop a love of reading and of beneficial literature. Darussalam, Goodword, American Trust Publications, Amana Publications, and Islamic Foundation have nice books. Read to them from your books.
  • Make use of everyday moments and conversations by referring to the Quran and the Sunnah (without overdoing).
  • Take them to Islamic classes. If not available, start your own. Invite their cousins and friends. Do Duas, Salah, Islamic stories, artwork, games and food. Lots of neat ideas on the net!
  • It would be best, if father and mother work as a team. Mothers play the dominant role in teaching children (as they get more time), but it’s a joint duty. The Prophet (sa) said: “No father has given a greater gift to his children than good moral training.” (At-Tirmidhi)
  • Check their textbooks, and if you find something objectionable, take it up with the school authorities. They spend 6-7 hours there daily. Ensure their learning is wholesome.
  • Gradually cleanse their lives of ‘distractions’ (bad company, useless programmes, junk literature), so they may absorb the teachings of Islam.

Let’s give the future Muslims more than higher education. Let’s give them the ‘highest’ education!

Plans Busted

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Plans BustedThere have been times, when we wanted to indulge into something truly terrible. Whether it was watching an adult film behind closed doors, lying to our parents about something we should not have done or simply defying our well-defined boundaries as an impulsive and rebellious act.

This is followed by feelings of guilt, a sense of shame, anger, self justifications or even tears. An awkward feeling nags us and the fear of being exposed haunts us. If this describes you, say – Alhumdulillah!

Allah (swt) has granted everyone with Fitrah or in more popular terms – conscience. Oxford dictionary describes the word ‘conscience’ as a person’s sense of what is right and wrong, especially in his own actions or motives. Allah (swt) states: “… Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” (Ta-Ha 20:50).

The conscience implanted within us is our barometer for right and wrong. This barometer apprehends us before we are about to commit an evil act. At times it keeps nagging us, while committing an undesirable act. Our conscience denies us rest even after we have perpetrated evil. It continues to prick us, till either we ask Allah’s (swt) forgiveness or willingly shut all doors to guidance.

It is similar to a limb, which experiences an anguish of pain when pricked or burnt. Similarly, Allah (swt) has created us to recognize evil and repel it. This is a natural instinct. No amount of self-persuasion, media campaigns, peer pressure, etc., can lead us to believe that evil is good for us and Satan is a sincere friend. Those of us, who try to delude themselves, are only kidding themselves. Deep inside they know that once the delusion is over, they will be left with regrets.

The fuel that ignites a conscience to life includes many things, such as reciting and reflecting upon the Quran, reading about the life of the Prophet (sa) and his companions, spending time with friends of noble mannerisms, serving those in need and hastening to do good. In general, the more one stays close to an environment conducive to goodness, the easier it is for him to enjoin good and forbid evil, thus keeping his conscience alive.

Conversely, reading and viewing lewd material, spending time in the company of morally corrupt companions, staying away from Allah (swt) and His counsel and ignoring one’s conscience’s reprimands ultimately kills the sense of right and wrong. Allah forbid that one should reach the stage, when nothing bothers him. His future is jeopardized.

About such people, Allah (swt) states: “Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment. That is because they loved and preferred the life of this world over that of the Hereafter. And Allah guides not the people who disbelieve. They are those upon whose hearts, hearing (ears) and sight (eyes) Allah has set a seal. And they are the heedless! No doubt in the Hereafter they will be the losers.” (An-Nahl 16:106-109)

Having a throbbing conscience full of life has uncountable advantages. One may be about to indulge in something sinful, when suddenly he feels he is turned around and consequently saved from evil. Who does that for us? It is Allah (swt). Similarly, at times we avoid the voice of conscience and step into forbidden territory only to abort our actions midway, realizing the unpleasant outcome. Who puts those thought into our minds? It is Allah (swt) Who grants us the strength to fight against our whims and desires and steers us back to the right path.

Once, someone told me, how she went out on a date with her fiancé and wanted to find a private place for some romance, but wherever they went, their plans got busted. Finally, they drove back home and had to settle down for a chat in the girl’s drawing room under her parent’s vigilant eyes. Today, she thanks Allah (swt) for foiling her plans. It saved her self-respect and dignity.

Another person, who had given up watching movies, was once tempted to go to the theater to watch one of the most hyped block busters. She made plans, but suddenly something came up. By the time she remembered, the show was over. She instantly realized that Allah (swt) didn’t want her to give in to her vain desires. She didn’t go to the theater ever again.

Countless episodes happen to people every day: they wanted to listen to music – the power went out; they wanted to fight with a classmate – she didn’t turn up in college that day; they wanted to gossip on the cell – the balance finished; they wanted to go on a shopping spree – the car was not available. Yes, these are all different ways of Allah (swt) saving us from wasting our lives in frivolous activities. We just need to understand, why our plans got busted.

On the contrary, Allah (swt) also provides us with countless opportunities to do good. For example, the Adhan call, which we hear five times a day, reminds us of prayers, the poor people on the road relieve us of our responsibility of Zakah, a missing servant helps us share our mom’s work load without her asking us, a sick friend gives us the chance to get photocopied class work to his / her house, etc.

So the next time one of your plans get busted, just say: “Alhumdulillah! Allah (swt) loves me and He wants to guide me.”

“He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path).” (Al-Kahf 18:17)

Genders – equal yet distinct

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Genders-equal yet distinctBy Burhan and Laila Brence

In the era, when equality of genders is loudly praised and celebrated in the West, sometimes we tend to follow the flow without much thinking. Let’s step away for a moment to see, what Islam has to say on the matter of differences between men and women.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you (all) from a single Nafs (soul or person [Adam]), and from it (Nafs [Adam]) He created his wife (Hawwa [Eve]), and from them both He created many men and women…” (An-Nisa 4:1)

Indeed, Allah (swt) declares that He created all the mankind from a single Nafs (soul or person, prophet Adam as). The term Nafs has been translated by some commentators as ‘soul’, while others render it as ‘person’. Regardless of its meaning, the term clearly indicates that Allah (swt) created both man and woman from the same Nafs – both are not from different species but from one and the same. Right at this very point of creation, Allah (swt) establishes His own terms for defining equality between genders – as His creations, the man and the woman stand equal before Allah (swt).

Likewise, Allah (swt) states in the Quran that men and women are equal in whatever deeds they do. (An-Nahl 16:97, Al-Ahzab 33:35) There is no distinction between a male believer and a female believer, except in the degree of piety and righteousness (Al-Hujurat 49:13).

There are, however, differences between men and women in their nature and roles assigned to them by Allah (swt). It is important to understand these distinctions that Islam makes between genders.

According to Abu Hurairah (rta), the Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbour. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” (Bukhari)

This Hadeeth guides men regarding the fact that women are created from a rib. The parable implies that just as the rib has a natural crookedness in its form, so is the nature of a woman distinct and different from that of a man. Just as the rib would break, if one tried to straighten its crookedness, so should a woman be accepted, appreciated and honoured with her distinct nature; for if one tries to change or distort the nature a woman was created with, she too would break.

The Hadeeth does not specify that a woman was created from the rib of a man. According to commentators and scholars, this Hadeeth is a parable for guiding men to recognize, identify and appreciate the distinct differences in the nature of women.

Allah (swt) has also assigned different roles for men and women in this world. If the man is the breadwinner for the family, then the woman is the home-maker and the caretaker of family affairs. Although the tasks both carry out are not identical, they are equally important in front of Allah (swt).

Equality between men and women is desirable, just and fair, while sameness is not. If woman would be identical to man, she would have simply been a duplicate of him, which she is not. Islam acknowledges the equality of both genders, yet takes in due consideration also their distinct differences in nature and roles assigned by Allah (swt).

Knowledge – Ask for More

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Knowledge- Ask for moreBefore operating a new webcam, a smart thing to do would be to read through the instruction manual, understand all its features and, hence, utilize it to its maximum benefit. Experimenting as you use it is fun too, but you may inadvertently mess up something important (plus have a lot of lousy pictures). So to make the most of anything you really care for, it’s best to read and understand how to use it.

Well, what could be more important than getting the best out of your life? To be successful not just for a couple of months or years but for the whole eternity? Unfortunately, there is no quick fix solution for success; it entails striving hard to obtain knowledge (how can you be successful without knowing the steps to success?). Alas, most of us tend to ignore one very important instruction manual…

The instruction manual of life, sent to us by the One, Who created us, and explained by the one sent to instruct us… the Quran. This book has been explained by our teacher Muhammad (sa) in the form of his Sunnah and further clarified by the works of our dedicated scholars.

Acquiring knowledge of the Deen is not to be taken lightly. The Prophet (sa) said: “A learned person is as much above a worshipper, as I am above the least of you.” Furthermore: “Allah, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even the ants in their hills and the fish in the water call down blessings on those, who instruct people in beneficial knowledge.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Often, we procrastinate from beginning the journey of learning, because we tend to fall into the trap of thinking:

  1. I’ll do it tomorrow…
  2. I’ll begin during my summer break, after the exams, after I’m married, after the kids grow up, after…
  3. The knowledge of so-and-so is flawed, so I won’t study from him…

Hence, we are targeted by these whispers, which the Daee Muhammad Alshareef describes as the ‘weapons of Shaitan.’ As a remedy to overcome these thoughts, he prescribes keeping the following in mind:

  1. Know that there is paramount reward from Allah (swt) for those who seek knowledge sincerely for His sake and pass it on to others.
  2. Know that through the knowledge you pass on, you will receive reward even after you are dead; the reward lives on.
  3. Know that this knowledge is the inheritance from the prophets. Go and take your share.
  4. Know that you will bask in happiness, when the cloud of ignorance is raised from our heads.

So don’t delay – make the intention to delve into the depths of Islamic knowledge and go for it. Start by reading the translation of the Quran (consider it an email sent especially for you!), ponder over it and start applying it to your life. You don’t have to rush yourself, take out some time for this blessed companion every day and be consistent, no matter how difficult it may seem (remember that Shaitan will set his traps where ever he can).

Hence, be firm and keep this Dua of our Prophet (sa) on your lips at all times: “O Allah, I ask Thee for beneficial knowledge, acceptable action and good provision.” (At-Tirmidhi) May Allah (swt) make it easy for all of us, Ameen.

Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta)

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Sad bin Abi Waqqas rtaSad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta) was the cousin brother of the Prophet’s (sa) mother Aminah. On one occasion, the Prophet (sa) himself very proudly mentioned their kinship to everybody and called Sad (rta) the best uncle one can have. Sad (rta) was also among the ten notable companions, to whom the Prophet (sa) promised Paradise.

By birth, Sad (rta) belonged to a noble family of the Quraish. Despite his noble birth, he felt unfit in this society that uplifted the customs of idol worship and enjoyed filthy pleasures. While thinking about the forces behind the creation of this universe, Sad (rta) had realized that the gods worshipped by his people were false. Could these stone gods protect people, if they were unable to save even themselves? Sad (rta) was convinced that this universe must have a much greater Creator and Sustainer.

Once, Sad (rta) happened to listen to some people sitting by the Kabah – they were talking about Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, who had began spreading a new religion, dedicated to the worship of one Allah (swt). Upon learning that his close friend Abu Bakr (rta) had accepted this new religion, Sad (rta) asked Abu Bakr (rta) to take him to the house of Muhammad (sa). He wished to learn more about this new religion, which seemed to be so close to his own way of thinking.

When they entered Muhammad’s (saw) house, the Prophet (sa) was reciting the Quranic verses about the creation of this world. As Sad (rta) listened to the Prophet (sa), he became sure that this religion had come to save his people from their ignorant and evil ways. Without waiting any longer, he embraced Islam. At the time, Sad (rta) was seventeen years old.

At the time, Muslims faced much oppression in Makkah, and so Sad (rta) kept his conversion secret from his family. However, when the news reached his mother, she was determined to do anything it would take to bring her son back to the religion of their forefathers. She begged him, threatened him, but when nothing seemed to work, she announced a hunger strike. However, Sad (rta) refused to give in to her stubbornness and said that even if his mother would have hundred souls, which one by one would leave her body in front of his eyes, he would not leave Islam. Seeing her son’s firm determination, Sad’s mother stopped her hunger strike.

Sad (rta) was also among the fortunate companions, whom the Prophet (sa) mentioned in his supplications. The Prophet (sa) prayed to Allah (swt) that the entreaties of Sad (rta) would always be granted. Ever since then, Sad (rta) was blessed with the wonderful gift to pray to Allah (swt) and have his prayers answered.

Once, Sad (rta) happened to hear a man, who was abusing three of the Prophet’s companions. Sad (rta) immediately asked the man to stop, but he did not listen. Sad (rta) became very angry and said that if the man would not stop, he would put a curse on him. This did not make the man listen. Without saying anything more, Sad (rta) performed two supererogatory units of prayer and asked Allah (swt) to let this ill-mannered man become a lesson to the rest of the world. Just as he completed his supplication, a mad she-camel broke loose from her leash and ran into the crowd, as if she was looking for somebody. Suddenly, the she-camel caught in her jaws the head of the ill-mannered man and began shaking him so violently that his neck broke. The crowd was stunned by the bloody scene. Truly, through the prayer of Sad (rta), the ill-mannered man’s fate became a valuable lesson for the rest of the world.

After the death of the Prophet (sa), Sad (rta) joined hands with the first Caliph Abu Bakr (rta) in spreading the light of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The next Caliph, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta), continued Abu Bakr’s (rta) policies for protecting the safety of the Islamic State. He turned in the direction of the Persian Empire, which had once already refused to accept the message of Islam. Not wishing to wait for attack from the Persians, Umar (rta) took the initiative by sending Muslim forces to conquer the Persian Empire. He entrusted this mission to the lion-hearted youth Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta).

Meanwhile, Iran gathered a strong and well-equipped force, which arrived to Qadisiyah under the command of a very famous general – Rustam. The distinction of Rustam’s army was a large number of gigantic elephants.

Since Islam guides Muslims not to fight any nation before introducing them to the message of Allah (swt), Sad (rta) sent a delegation to the Persian King asking him either to accept Islam, to pay protection tax (Jizyah) to the Islamic State, or to get ready for a fierce fight.

The Muslim delegation of the most intelligent and experienced Mujahideen arrived to the Persian court and presented to the King the message of Islam in the most beautiful words. The King felt that each word was directly touching his heart. Yet, instead of embracing Islam, he asked his servant to bring a basket of soil, which he then angrily and disrespectfully began throwing at Muslims. The Mujahideen picked up the basket, brought it to Sad (rta) and reported that the Persian King himself had given to them his land. Now, after the King’s refusal, the only solution was war.

When both armies met, intense fighting broke out. Seeing the gigantic elephants, the horses of Mujahideen panicked. Realizing the situation, Sad (rta) sent young men from the tribe of Asad to attack the elephants. First, a rain of arrows threw the riders of the elephants down. Then, the courageous youth of Asad tribe cut off the trunks of some elephants. Seeing this, other elephants panicked and began crushing under their feet the soldiers of their own army.

The fighting continued the second and the third day. Finally, one of the Mujahideen successfully reached the Iranian general Rustam and cut off his head. When the Iranian warriors got the news about the death of Rustam, their courage vanished and they fled from the battlefield. Thus, the final victory in the war of Qadisiyah was in the hands of the brave Mujahideen.

However, it was the battle of Madyan that brought the Persian Empire under the complete control of Muslim forces. The problem for Muslims this time was the river Dajlah, which lay between both armies. The Iranians had established themselves on the bank of the river and destroyed all the bridges. Realizing that the Mujahideen would be under direct attack of the enemy even before they would reach the other bank, Sad (rta) came up with one of the most excellent plans in military history. He divided his army into two parts. One part began crossing the river right away and kept the enemy busy. The other part set out a bit later, and upon reaching the shore brought a deadly attack on the enemy army. This Sad’s (rta) strategy proved to be so successful that the battle was won on the very first day, and Madyan came under the control of Mujahideen. Later, Caliph Umar (rta) appointed Sad (rta) to be the governor of Iraq.

In the 54th year AH, at the age of eighty, Sad (rta) breathed his last. His son cried seeing his father’s last hours. Sad (rta) comforted his son by saying that Allah (swt) will not give him any punishments in the Hereafter – the Prophet (sa) himself had promised Sad (rta) a place in Paradise.

Adapted from “Commanders of the Muslim Army (Among the companions of the Prophet (sa))” by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar.

Dear Haadia

Muslims are killing each other in our country. I don’t know, who is right and who is wrong. Honestly, I have even stopped caring about it! I just want peace in our society. What can we do to help this situation? Or is it not in our hands anymore?

Answer: First and foremost, we must realize that a Muslim cannot be a Muslim till other Muslims are safe from his/her hands and tongue. Verbally, emotionally, mentally or physically hurting another Muslim is a despicable crime in the view of Islamic teachings. So there is no doubt that what you are observing is indeed evil. Your cause for concern is justified.

Becoming numb is a somewhat natural psychological reaction to the repeated crimes we witness around us. The danger of such reaction, however, is that it eventually leads to apathy instead of action, and before you know it, you lose your faith.

Allah (swt) says to all Muslims: “You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Maruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.” (Al-Imran 3:110)

So faith involves doing right by being an example to others to do right. As a Muslim, you do not live for yourself only – the problems of all Muslims are also your problems. So, if you are not actively enjoining good and forbidding evil, you are not functioning as a Muslim. Keep this in mind.

Furthermore, we cannot afford to stop caring about what is going on around us, because we will be answerable in front of Allah (swt), and we must strive towards spreading the message of peace. Allah (swt) will not ask you, why Muslims continued fighting among themselves during your lifetime, but He (swt) will ask, what you personally did for stopping it – what was your participation and contribution to end it? The following are some of the ways you can contribute:

Sensitize people towards the true nature and teachings of Islam as a method to spread peace at the grass root level.

Dua is a very practical way of handling problems around us, though we often tend to underestimate its power.

Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz said: “It used to be that Allah, the Most High, does not punish the common people for the sins of the elite; but when the evil is done openly, and they do not repudiate it, they all become deserving of His punishment.” We should be careful about being passive onlookers of evil just shrugging our shoulders: “Who cares? It is not our business.” Should Allah (swt) decide to punish the evildoers, we would be included in the punishment for not forbidding the evil they were committing.

The story of prophet Lut (as) in the Quran and the Sunnah tells us of a pious man among the people of Lut (as), who did not commit the crimes his people did, but was a passive onlooker. When he walked among the people of Lut (as) and saw their atrocities, the colour of his face did not change in disapproval. So when Allah (swt) ordered Jibreel (as) to destroy the city, he was destroyed together with the rest of the people of Lut (as).

Remember that the result will never be in your hands, but your response certainly is. Do what you can, and leave the rest to Allah (swt).

Dear Haadia

My wife does not cover her head in front of non-Mahrams. I would really appreciate it, if she does, because I don’t want her to face Allah (swt) in such a state, and I am also possessive about her. She doesn’t realize the intensity of the sin she is committing. Kindly explain in detail the best way for me to guide her.

Answer: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment… And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (An-Nur 24:31)

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Ahzab 33:59)

As the above verses specify, Hijab is a command from Allah (swt). Yet, another verse states: “There is no compulsion in Deen.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256). Hence, the decision to wear Hijab should be self-initiated, not imposed. It should be made with clarity in one’s mind that one wishes to please Allah (swt) by following His injunction. To understand and practice Hijab with such humility is indeed one of the greatest blessings of Allah (swt).

It is commendable that you are concerned for your wife. You as a husband are responsible for what is happening in your family and will be questioned about it. It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (sa) said: “Beware, every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable with regard to his flock. (…) A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). (…) Beware, every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust.” (Muslim)

However you should begin an earnest and open dialogue with her. Inform her of your apprehensions. Listen to her fears. Encourage her to explore the issue herself without prejudice. Offer her your full support in the process. Give her time.

Meanwhile, avoid constant reminding and nagging – these may unnecessarily irritate her and repel her from Hijab. If you succeed in cultivating a positive outlook, half your battle will be won, Insha’Allah.

Developing a more Islamic home culture is also important here. Instilling Islamic values in general in yourself and your family is vital in achieving Allah’s (swt) pleasure. Hijab should not be seen as an isolated command – rather, it is an integral part of the very fabric of a Momin’s life. Therefore, while you and your wife tread the path toward her acceptance of Hijab, both of you should simultaneously pledge to bring your everyday lives, the upbringing of your children and the general environment of your home closer to your Deen. Finding a social circle of like-minded individuals and families will not only positively influence your wife’s opinion of Hijab and Muhajjabas, but will also facilitate your submission to Allah (swt) as a family.

As for your possessiveness, you need to remember that the foremost purpose of Hijab is to submit oneself to Allah’s (swt) will, not to hide a woman’s beauty from other men. In this light, both of you must remember that Hijab has a meaning far deeper than its external covering. Hijab is more than the physical – it has so much to do with the internal humility, beauty and spirituality of a woman. In this sense, Hijab is not just a destination, but a journey in itself.

For more information, you may wish to read up more on Hijab. Two articles on the Internet, which may interest you, are:

“Hijab: Unveiling the Mystery” (

“Understanding Hijab” (