Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Status of Women in the Muslim Community (Ummah)

In the name of Allaah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
The Status of Woman in the Muslim Community (Ummah)
By Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz
The status of the Muslim woman in Islaam is a very noble and lofty o­ne, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah[1] of His Prophet , since adherence to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah distances every Muslim - male or female - from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allaah - the Most High, the Most Perfect - and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allaah's peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet said: "I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah."[2]

The great importance of Muslim woman's role - whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her - have been explained in the purified Sunnah.The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed o­n her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father. Allaah - the most High - says: "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination." [Soorah Luqmaan 31/14]

Allaah - the Most High - said: "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months." [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41/15]
A man came to Allaah's Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allaah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother". The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: then who? So he replied: "Then your father." So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment than the father.[3]
As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His - the Most High's saying: "And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect." [Soorah Ar-Rum 30/21]
Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer (d.774H) - rahimahullaah (Allaah have mercy upon him)- said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety - "since a man takes the hand of a woman either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…"[4]
And the unique stance that the Prophet's wife Khadeejah took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allaah's Messenger (upon whom be peace) when the angel Jibreel (Gabriel - peace be upon him)- first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: "Cover me! Cover me!" So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah - everything that had happened, and said: 'I fear that something may happen to me." So she said to him: "Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities."[5]

And do not forget about Aaishah and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) used to take knowledge of Hadeeths (prophetic narrations) from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learnt the various rulings pertaining to women's issues from her…And I have no doubt that my mother - may Allaah shower His mercy upon her - had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allaah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become - if Allaah wills - successful in his affairs and in any matter - whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allaah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.
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Footnotes: [1] The word 'Sunnah' means the 'legal way or ways, orders, acts of worship and statements of the Prophet , that have become models to be followed by the Muslims'.[2] This hadeeth is hasan (good): Related by Maalik in al-Muwattaa (2/899) and al-Haakim (1/93), from Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.1871).[3] Authentic: Related by al-Bukhari (no.59710) and Muslim (7/2), from Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him.[4] Tafseer Qur'aanul-Adheem (3/4439) of Ibn Katheer[5] Related by al-Bukhaari (1/22) and Muslim (1/139), from the lengthy narration of Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her).

Hijab: An Act of Obedience




Hijab: An Act of Obedience


By Dr. Muhammes Ismail

Translation and notes by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh

From the book: The Hijab...Why?



The hijab is an act of obedience to Allah, and to his messanger Muhammad (sallalahu alahe wa salam). He (subhan wa ta Allah) says: " It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messanger have decreed a matter that they should have an option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messanger, has indeed strayed in a plain error." (Quran 33:36)

Allah also says: " But no by your lord, they can have no faith, untill they make you ( Muhammed) a judge in all sisputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission" (Quran 4:65)

Indeed, Allah ordered that women must put o­n the hijab1 He (subhanna wa ta Allah) says: " And tell the believing women to lower their gazes ( from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts ( from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except what must (ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw veils over their Juyubihinna2." (Quran 24:31)

Allah considered the dazzling display of beauty an act of ignorance: " And stay in your house and do not display yourselves like that of the times of Jahiliyeeeyah (ignorance)." (Quran 33:33)

He, the most glorified, says: " And when you ask the prophet's wives for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen." (Quran 33:53)

The above ayah does not apply o­nly to the Prophet's wives but to all the believing women.

Carefully read the folllowing saying of Allah (subhanna wa ta Allah): " O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies(when outdoors). That is most convenient that they should be known and not molested." (Quran 33:59)
The Prophet (sallalahu alahe wa salam) said: The woman (i.e. any woman) is A'wrah," that is she must be covered.
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Footnotes:1This is not something cultural. It is Allahs order. Its conditions are not Arabian, Egyptian, Pakastanian, Black or White American, etc. Its conditions are specifies in the Quran and the Sunnah to provide protection and safeguarding of women. No o­ne knows about what is good for men and women more that their creator, Allah. His laws are wise as it is the case with all His actions.2Juyubihinna: The respected scholars from As-Salaf As-Saleh (righteous predecessors) differed whether the veil cover of the body must include the hands and face or not. Today, respected scholars say that the hands and face must be covered. Other respected scholars say it is preferable for women to cover their whole bodies.3No o­ne can ignore the molestation of women that exists in the so called " open" societies. The question is: Why is it happening? The answer begins to shape up when people think about the purpose behind creation. Allah created us for the single purpose of worshipping Him alone. He detalied all the ways to fulfill this purpose in the last Revelation to mankind, the Quran. In it we can find how women and men can safeguard their dignity, honor, and morality. The worship of Allah is manifested in the following of his orders. Allah orders that men and women must avoid all the roads that lead to anamalistic ways of living. The hijab is o­ne of Allah's commands. It is an honor and protection for women as well as a true freedom for her body from the hands and eyes of aggressors and molestors.

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