title: Rights of the Muslim Woman: The Daughter and the Wife,
content:
By Dr. Jamal Badawi 

As a Daughter

1- The Qur’an ended the cruel pre-Islamic practice of female infanticide(wa’d):

"Rights

Parents are duty-bound to support and show kindness and justice to their daughters.

When the female (infant) buried alive is questioned for what crime she was killed…. (At-Takwir 81:8-9)

2- The Qur’an went further to rebuke the unwelcoming attitude of some parents upon hearing the news of the birth of a baby girl, instead of a baby boy:

When news is brought to one of them of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame he hides himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on (sufferance and) contempt or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on! (An-Nahl 16:58-59)

3- Parents are duty-bound to support and show kindness and justice to their daughters. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Whosoever has a daughter and does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, Allah will enter him into paradise. (Ahmad)

Whosoever supports two daughters until they mature, he and I will come on the day of judgment as this (and he pointed with his two fingers held together). (Ahmad)

4- A crucial aspect in the upbringing of daughters that greatly influences their future is education. Education is not only a right but a responsibility for all males and females.

Prophet Muhammad said, “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim”. (Al-Bayhaqi and Ibn-Majah) The word “Muslim” here is inclusive of both males and females.

As a Wife

1- Marriage in Islam is based on mutual peace, love and compassion, and not the mere satisfying of human sexual desire.

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (Ar-Rum 30:21)

(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Marriage and Divorce

2- The female has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals.

Her consent is a prerequisite to the validity of the martial contract, according to the Prophets’ teaching. It follows that if an “arranged marriage” means the marrying of a female without her consent, then such a marriage may be annulled if the female so wishes:

Ibn `Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of Allah, and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice… (between accepting the marriage or invalidating it. (Ahmad)

Another version of the report states that the girl said: “Actually, I accept this marriage, but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right to force a husband on them.” (Ibn-Majah)

3- The husband is responsible for the maintenance, protection, and overall leadership (qiwamah) of the family, within the framework of consultation and kindness. The mutuality and complementarity of husband and wife does not mean “subservience” by either party to the other. Prophet Muhammad helped with household chores although the responsibilities he bore and the issues he faced in his community were immense.

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear.  No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. A heir shall be chargeable in the same way. If they both decide on weaning by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If you decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you offered on equitable terms. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what you do. (Al-Baqarah 2:233)

Prophet Muhammad instructed Muslims regarding women,

“I commend you to be kind to women.” (Al-Bukhari) He said also, “The best of you is the best to his family (wife).” (An-Nawawi in his book Riyad As-Saliheen)

The Qur’an urges husbands to be kind and considerate to their wives, even if a wife falls out of favor with her husband or disinclination for her arises within him. It also outlawed the pre-Islamic Arabian practice whereby the stepson of the deceased father was allowed to take possession of his father’s widow(s) (inherit them) as if they were part of the estate of the deceased:

O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the marital gift you have given them, except when they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary, live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike a thing through which Allah brings about a great deal of good. (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)

4- Should marital disputes arise, the Qur’an encourages couples to resolve them privately in a spirit of fairness and probity. Under no circumstances does the Qur’an encourage, allow, or condone family violence or physical abuse.

In extreme cases, and whenever greater harm, such as divorce, is a likely option, it allows for a husband to administer a gentle pat to his wife that causes no physical harm to the body nor leaves any sort of mark. It may serve, in some cases, to bring to the wife’s attention to the seriousness of her continued unreasonable behavior  (refraction), and may be resorted to only after exhausting other steps discussed in endnote.

If that mild measure is not likely to prevent a marriage from collapsing, as a last measure, it should not be resorted to. Indeed, the Qur’an outlines an enlightened step and a wise approach for the husband and wife to resolve persistent conflict in their martial life: In the event that disputes cannot be resolved equitably between husband and wife, the Qur’an prescribes mediation between the parties through family intervention on behalf of both spouses.

5- Divorce is a last resort, permissible but not encouraged, for the Qur’an esteems the preservation of faith and the individual’s right – male and female alike – to felicity. Forms of marriage dissolution include an enactment based upon mutual agreement, the husband’s initiative, the wife’s initiative (if part of her martial contract), the court’s decision on a wife’s initiative (for a legitimate reason) and the wife’s initiative without a “cause” provided that she returns her marital gift to her husband (khul` or divestiture).

6- Priority for the custody of young children (up to the age of about seven) is given to the mother. A child later may choose the mother or father as his or her custodian.

Custody questions are to be settled in a manner that balances the interests of both parents and the well-being of the child.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s “Gender Equity in Islam: Basic Principles”.

 


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title: How to Acquire Knowledge of God?,
content:
By: Abul A`la Mawdudi 

How does one acquire knowledge of and belief in God, His Attributes, His Law and the Day of Judgment?

"How

There are countless manifestations of God around us and in our own selves, which bear witness to the fact that there is One and only One Creator.

There are countless manifestations of God around us and in our own selves, which bear witness to the fact that there is One and only One Creator and Governor of this Universe and it is He Who controls and directs it.

These manifestations reflect the divine attributes of the Creator: His great wisdom, His all-embracing knowledge, His omnipotence, His mercy, His all-sustaining power – in short His attributes can be traced everywhere in His works. But man’s intellect and capacity for knowledge have erred in observing and understanding them.

Searching for Balanced Code of Life

Some men have argued that there are two gods, others have professed belief in a trinity, and still others have succumbed to polytheism. Some have worshiped nature and others divided the Creator into the gods of rain, air, fire, life, death and so on.

Similarly, men have put forward many erroneous notions about life after death; for instance, that man is reduced to dust after death and will not rise to life again; or that man is subject to a process of continuous regeneration in this world and is punished or rewarded in future cycles of life.

Even greater difficulty arises when we come to the question of a code of living. To formulate a complete and balanced code that conforms to God’s pleasure merely using human reason is an extremely difficult task.

Even if a man is equipped with the highest faculties of reason and intellect and possesses matchless wisdom and experience, the chances of his formulating the correct views on existence are slight.

And even if, after a lifetime of reflection, he does in fact succeed he will still lack the confidence that he has really discovered the truth and adopted the right path.

Need for Guidance

The fullest and fairest test of man’s wisdom, reason and knowledge might have been to have left him to his own resources without any external guidance. But this would have meant that only those with the determination and ability to find the path of truth would find salvation.

God, therefore, spared His human creatures such a hard test. Through His Grace and Benevolence He raised for mankind men from among themselves to whom He imparted the true knowledge of His attributes, revealed to them His Law and the Right Code of Living, gave them the knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life and of life after death and thus showed them the way by which man can achieve success and eternal bliss.

These chosen men are the Messengers of God – His Prophets. God has communicated knowledge and wisdom to them by means of revelation, and the book containing the Divine Communications is called the Book of God, or the Word of God.

The test of man’s wisdom and intellect therefore lies in this: does he recognize God’s Messengers after observing their pure and pious lives and carefully studying their noble and flawless teachings? A man of wisdom and common sense would accept instructions given by the Messengers of truth.

If he denies the Messengers of God and their teachings, his denial would signify that he was devoid of the capacity to discover truth and righteousness. He would fail his test. Such a man will never be able to discover the truth about God and His Law and life after death.

Faith in the Unknown

It is an everyday experience that when you do not know a thing, you look for somebody who does know. If you get ill and you cannot treat and cure yourself, you go to a doctor and follow his instructions without question. Why? Because he is properly qualified to give medical advice, possesses experience and has treated and cured a number of patients.

Similarly, in matters of law you accept whatever a legal expert says and act accordingly.

In educational matters you trust in your teacher. When you want to go to some place and do not know the way, you ask somebody who knows it, and follow the way he points out. In short, the course that you adopt in your day-to-day life about matters which you do not or cannot know is that you approach someone who does know about them, accept his advice and act accordingly. You make every effort to select the proper person.

But from then on you accept his advice unquestioningly. This kind of belief is called “belief in the unknown (Al-Ghayb)”.

The Prophets

Belief in Al-Ghayb signifies that you get knowledge of what was not known to you from one who knows. You do not know God and His real attributes. You are not aware that His angels are directing the machinery of the whole Universe according to His orders, and that they surround you on all sides. You have not the proper knowledge of the way of life through which you can seek the pleasure of your Creator. And you are in the dark about the life to come.

Such knowledge is given to you by the Prophets, who have had direct contact with the Divine Being. They are the persons whose sincerity, integrity, trustworthiness, godliness and absolute purity stand as irrevocable witnesses to the truth of their claim to knowledge.

And above all, the wisdom and force of their message makes you admit that they speak the truth and deserve to be believed and followed.

This conviction of yours is Belief in Al-Ghayb. Such a truth-discerning and truth acknowledging attitude is essential for obedience to God and for acting in accordance with His pleasure; for you have no other medium than God’s Messengers for the achievement of true knowledge, and without true knowledge you cannot proceed on the path of Islam.

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The article is an excerpt from the book “Towards Understanding Islam” by Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi.


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title: Patience: A Tower of Light for the Muslim,
content:

The Prophet said: “ Patience is a light.” (Muslim)

In the intricate paths of life when difficulties and hardships confront a man, and the darkness of adversities an suffering becomes long, it is patience only that acts like a light for a Muslim, that keeps him safe from wandering here and there, and saves him from the muddy mire of disappointment, desperation and frustration.

Patience is such a basic quality that a Muslim needs it to shape his life in this world and in the next. On this basis only he should attend to all his work. He should make it a torchlight for guiding his way, else he will be defeated in the field of life. He should prepare his self to tolerate the hardships and difficulties, and should not holler or raise hell. He should not sit waiting for the results, however late that may take. He should not run away from responsibilities, whatever they may be.

No doubts and misgivings, no hardship of trouble should prompt his intellect to indulge in violence. He should have plenty of self-confidence. He should not be frightened by the dark clouds appearing on the horizon of life, even if they may be appearing continually, nay, he should be fully sure that these clouds of adversities and hardships will disappear, and the clear and bright atmosphere of success and glory will appear again.

Therefore, the demand of wisdom and farsightedness is that its coming should be awaited with patience, peace and conviction.

The Almighty God has stressed this point sufficiently that no man can escape tests and trials, so that man may be alert and ready at the time when these hardship and difficulties descend on him, and he should not be frightened by these heavenly and earthly tribulations, and need not be disappointed and disheartened.

And verily We shall try you ill till We know those of you who still hard (in the cause of Allah) and the steadfast, and till We test your record. (Muhammad 47:31)

The poet has expressed the same idea in these words:

“We had anticipated the hardships of the night before their coming. So when they descended, there was no addition to our knowledge.”

Undoubtedly if accidents and debacles are faced with a clear sight and full preparations, it will prove advantageous for man and this will help in stabilizing and consolidating his position.

The Two Pillars of Patience

Patience relies on two important realities. The first reality is concerned with the nature of this worldly life. Its details are: Allah has not made this world a house of peace and satisfaction or of rewards and recompense, but He has made it a house of trials.

The time that a man spends in this world is really a time for unending experiences. He comes out of one trial in order to undergo another trial which is harder and different from the one through which he has already passed, that is man is tested once by one thing and again by its opposite, as iron is first heated in the fire and then it is put in the water. Similarly man is tested by favorable as well as opposing means.

When Allah blessed Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) with a grand and magnificent empire, he knew about these natural laws of the world. He had said:

This is of the bounty of my Lord, that He may try me whether I give thanks or I am ungrateful. Whoever gives thanks, he only gives thanks for (the good of) his Own soul,’ and whoever is ungrateful (is ungrateful only to his own soul’s hurt). For surely, my Lord is Absolute in independence, Bountiful. (An-Nahl 16:40)

The causes of trial through sadness and hardships are vague and unfixed. However, we can understand them properly by the example of the soldiers fighting in the battlefield. In the battlefield some groups are made to fight till they have to lose their valuable lives, so that the lives of other groups may be saved. The security of other sections is dependent on the remaining groups being made to fight in new battles.

This strategy is followed in the wider interest of the country and for- greater advantages, by the great leadership of the army In this fighting the life of a man has no importance, because the problem is much wider.

Same is the position of luck or fate. A certain man is put to different kinds of trials, till he falls down defeated, as there is no other way for him, except that he should greet the hardship that has arrived with patience and submission. Since this life is a testing ground, we should strive hard for success in it.

What is the trial or examination of life? It is not words that they can be written, or talks to which attention may be paid.

The questions of the examination are these hardships and difficulties which confront a man, and which open before him the path of fright, terror, and frustration. Examination is the name of the anti-reality defects which prompt a man to be jealous and nourisher of rancor against his sincere friend; examination is the name of the tyrannies for which a nation occupies the place of god and the other people offer their blood as sacrifice for retrieving their usurped rights.

The history of life on this earth from the first day tin today is very sorrowful. The right thing is that man should himself make his own way in this life, and he should be sure that the way to his destination is fun of thorns and filth.

The second reality is concerned with the nature and temperament of faith.

Faith is the name of the relationship between man and his Lord. As in the relationship of men, the true friendship and sincerity can only be judged when it is confronted with unfavorable and bitter conditions, when they have to deal with the hardships brought about by the vagaries of time, and when they are surrounded by various kinds of problems.

At such a time a man’s real worth and sincerity is known. Exactly similar is the case of faith. To find out the truth and sincerity about faith it is necessary that a Muslim be tried, he should be put in the crucible of fire to see whether he comes out glowing like the gold or whether he will be burnt away with the impurities.

Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction?

Verily, We tested those who were before you. Thus Allah knows those who are sincere, and knows those who feign. (Al-`Ankabut 29:2,3)

Undoubtedly, Allah’s knowledge covers all manifest and concealed matters, and from this examination there will be no addition to His knowledge, because He knows all the conditions from the beginning till the end.

The Divine knowledge cannot be made a basis for man’s reckoning. His reckoning will be on the basis of his own personal deeds. If some criminals deny their crimes, then on the Day of Judgment in what way proof can be brought against them except by putting them to trial in this world and man’s own parts of the body may give evidence against him?

About such people the Qur’an has to say this:

And on the Day We gather them together.. We shall say to those who ascribed partners (to Allah).. Where are (now) those partners of your make-believe ? Then they will have no contention except that they will say.. By Allah, our Lord, we never were idolaters. See how they lie against themselves, and (how) the thing which they devised has failed them. (Al-An`am 6:22-24)

How can the reckoning of such criminals be taken in the light of the Divine knowledge? Their justifiable retribution will be proper only when all their misdeeds are placed before them. Their efforts and striving to create corruption and mischief among others and all their misdeeds will be repeated before them.

On these two bases the foundation of patience has been kept. And for this reason religion demands it, but he who shuts his eyes from realities by force of his nature is dumbfounded when he has to face hardships and his hands and feet become inactive when he has to fight difficulties. His rashness dislikes waiting and patience and he is unable to tolerate it.

Therefore, when anything untoward happens, or he has to suffer some kind of failure, or when he meets with an accident, the earth with all its great vastness becomes narrow for him, and the conditions become exasperating for him.

He wants to come out of these conditions in the twinkling of an eye, but it is obvious that in this effort he will not ; be successful for it is against the temperament of the world and the religion, It is proper for a Muslim to learn to be patient and to wait and to wait for long.

Man is made of haste. I shall show’ you my signs, but ask Me not to hasten. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:31)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

 


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title: The Muslim and the Belief in Qadar,
content:
By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

Qadaa´ and Qadar are two Arabic words usually translated as ‘fate’, ‘destiny’, or ‘pre-ordainment’. Many of these English words lead to incorrect belief in this concept, so the original Arabic terms have been retained in order that one understand them in their true sense.

"The

This is to believe that whatever Allah wills comes to be, and whatever He does not will does not come to be.

To have iman (belief) in Qadaa´ and Qadar is to believe that Allah always knew everything before its came into being, and what will happen to them afterwards. He then brought them into existence, all in accordance to His Knowledge and Measure. Allah says:

Verily, We have created all things with Qadar. (Al-Qamr 54:49)

Everything which occurred in the past, is occurring in the present, and will occur in the future in this universe was known to Allah before it came to be. Then Allah brought it into being, all in accordance to His Will and Measure. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“A person is not a Muslim until he believes in Qadar, its good and its evil effects – until he knows that whatever happened to him would have never missed him, and what did not happen to him would never have occurred.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The belief in Qadar means to believe in four things:

1- To believe that Allah always knew everything the creation would do, and there was never a time in which He did not know.

2- To believe that Allah wrote all of this in the ‘Preserved Tablet’ (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfudh). The Prophet said:

“The first thing which Allah created was the Pen, and He said to it, ‘Write.’ It responded, ‘What should I write?’ He said, ‘Write everything that will occur until the Day of Resurrection.’” (Abu Dawud)

3- The belief in the Will of Allah which always comes to be, and his Absolute Ability and Power over all things. This is to believe that whatever Allah wills comes to be, and whatever He does not will does not come to be.

4- The belief that there is no creation in the earth or in the heavens except that Allah created it. There is no Creator, Lord or Sovereign other than Him.

This belief is not in opposition to the fact that one must do everything in his means to achieve things. For example, if someone wants children, he must fulfill those means which allow him to achieve this goal, such as marriage. But after fulfilling these means, he may be granted the results he hoped for –which are children – or he may not, all according to the Will of Allah.

The reason for this is that the means are not the true causes of things, but rather the true cause is the Will of Allah. These means that we strive to fulfill are also from the Qadar of Allah, and for this reason, the Prophet explained to the Companions when they asked him:

“‘O Messenger of Allah, do the verses and supplications we recite, the medicine we take to cure ourselves, and the various shields we use to ward harm change the Qadar of Allah?’ (He replied,) ‘They are from the Qadar of Allah.’” (At-ta`liqat Ar-Radiyah)

Fruits of Belief in Qadaa´ & Qadar

Through the belief in Qadaa´ and Qadar, one benefits in the following ways:

1- It strengthens his dependence upon Allah (in achieving results) after fulfilling its means.

2- One becomes pleased with whatever results, which in turn produces peace of heart and spiritual satisfaction. There is no room left for stress, worry, or sadness felt due to the outcomes of affairs. Allah says:

No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees, before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters. (Al-Hadid 54:22-23)

3- It eases the effects of calamities faced by humans. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and in each one there is good. Be keen to do what benefits you and seek help in Allah, and do not be neglectful in doing so. And if any mishap befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had only done such and such,’ but rather say, ‘This is the Qadar of Allah, and whatever He Wills He does,’ for indeed (the saying of) ‘if’ opens the door for Satan’s works.” (Muslim)

4- It increases one’s reward and wipes away sins. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“No Muslim is fatigued, is stricken with illness, feels stress, worry, sadness, or harm, not even a thorn which pricks him, except that Allah forgives sins through it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Belief in Qadar is not, as some mistakenly think, a call to put one trust in Allah without striving or fulfilling the means, for as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him ) himself replied to a person who asked him:

“‘Should I leave my camel untied and trust in Allah?’ He said, ‘Tie it and trust in Allah.’” (Ibn Hibban)

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”.


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title: Dealing with People’s Praise: Twenty First Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God,
content:
By Dr. Jasser Auda

“When people praise you for what they assume about you, blame yourself for what you really know about yourself. The most ignorant is the one who denies what he really knows about himself and believes what others assume about him.”

While journeying to God we will be put to many tests. One of those tests pertains to people’s praise for what they assume about you. This word of wisdom answers the following question: how does one deal with people’s praise?

"Dealing

People’s praise may change one’s rituals from being done to please God to being done to please people.

People’s praise is a serious issue. A man was mentioned before the Prophet and another man praised him greatly. The Prophet said,

“Woe on you! You have cut the neck of your friend.” The Prophet repeated this sentence many times and said, “If it is indispensable for anyone of you to praise someone, then he should say, ‘I think that he is so-and-so,” if he really thinks that he is such. God is the One Who will take his accounts (as He knows his reality) and no-one can sanctify anybody before God.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another tradition, the Prophet said: “When you see those who shower (undue) praise (upon others), throw dust upon their faces.” (Muslim)

Negative Impact

People’s praise may change one’s rituals from being done to please God to being done to please people, earn their praise or avoid their criticism. It also discourages one to do more good deeds if he feels that he is perfecting his actions or that he has done many good deeds which attracted people’s praise.

Another negative aspect of praise is that it makes one overlook his flaws and, instead, look at his merits.

In this word of wisdom, Sheikh Ibn `Ata’illah says: “When people praise you for what they assume about you, blame yourself for what you really know about yourself.” People praise you based on their assumption about you. But you know yourself better. You know that you are suffering from many flaws.

Notice that when the Sheikh talked about the beginnings he advised us to discover our flaws. The Sheikh said: “Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.”

One’s Flaws

If you are highly praised by people, you should discover your flaws and blame yourself for what you know about it. You should feel ashamed because people are praising you for things which are not in you. You should pray to God to forgive your sins and conceal your flaws.

This is reminds us of what Imam `Ali (may God be pleased with him) when he described the Companions (may God be pleased with them) in his famous sermon: Imam `Ali said: “If someone praises one of them, he says, “I know myself better than others (know me), and my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself. O God, don’t take me to task for what they say, and make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of.”

According to Imam `Ali’s description, when someone praised one of the Prophet’s Companions, he responded to him saying: “I know myself better than others (know me)”, i.e. I know myself and others think good of me. This is the same meaning given by Ibn `Atta’illah. Then the Companion adds: “And my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself”, i.e. God is more knowledgeable of my flaws, sins, and mistakes than myself. Finally, the Companion ends his response by praying to God: “Make me better than what they think of me.” They think good of me, so make me better than this. “O God, forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of.” God does not reveal things which we do not like and which we cannot tell people about.

Sometimes people’s praise takes away the reward promised by God for a certain good deed. Because this praise is actually the reward that one was seeking, as his intention was not to please God, but to please people. This is an utter hypocrisy.

The Sheikh says: “If the believer is praised, he should feel ashamed of God that people praise him for things which are not in him. The most ignorant is the one who denies what he really knows about himself and believes what others assume about him.”

Should I leave what I know for sure about myself and believe what people assume about it? This is a sign of ignorance and conceit.

Glad Tidings

In some other cases, people’s praise is glad tidings for the believer. Abu Dhar (may God be pleased him) reported: It was said to God’s Messenger (peace be upon him): What is your opinion about the person who has done good deeds and the people praise him? He said: “It is glad tidings for a believer (which he has received in this mortal world).” (Muslim)

Therefore, the servant should thank God for that, and should not be self-conceited. He also should not believe what people assume about him and forget his own flaws.

We pray to God to conceal our flaws, grant us humility, and give us glad tidings in this world and the next.

For them there is the glad tiding (of happiness) in the life of this world and in the life to come…  (Yunus 10:64)

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

 


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title: The Rights of the Muslim Wife towards Her Husband,
content:
By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

The rights of wives concerning their husbands are many and may be summarized as follows:

Dowry

A wife is entitled to receive a dowry from her husband which a marriage contract is void without it. The dowry is not to be forfeited but after the completion of a marriage contract she may forfeit her right as Allah says in the Qur’an:

And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart, but if they, of their own good will, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful). (An-Nisaa’ 4:4)

Financial Support

A husband is required to provide, within his means and limits, all essential and basic requirements of his wife , children and entire household. Allah (Exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:

Let the man of means spend according to his means and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief. (At-Talaq 65:7)

To encourage generosity towards the wives, Islam has named this financial support as charity which is rewarded greatly by Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas:

“No amount you spend on your family seeking reward from Allah but that He will reward you even if it is a bite of food you put in your wife’s mouth.” (Al-Bukhari)

A wife has a right to take a reasonably required amount from her husband’s property for herself and her children without her husband’s knowledge if he spends miserly on them according to  the hadith wherein Hind bint `Utbah said: “ O Messenger of Allah: verily Abu Sufyan is a miser and doesn’t give me enough for myself and my child except that I take from his wealth without his knowledge, so he (peace be upon him) said:

“Take what is reasonably enough for you and your son.” (Al-Bukhari)

Companionship & Intimate Relationship

One of the most important rights of a wife is to secure from her husband a satisfactory level of intimate relationship and a fair amount of time with him.

This right of the wife and family members must be fully maintained since a wife needs an affectionate husband to take care of her and fulfill her basic needs. As related by Jabir when the Prophet said to Jabir: “Did you marry O Jabir?” I said: Yes. He said: “Virgin or matron (i.e. woman previously marries)?” I said: a matron. He said: “Why didn’t you marry a virgin so that you could play with her and she could play with you or you make her laugh and she makes you laugh?” (Al-Bukhari)

Protection of All the Secrets of the Wife

A husband must not disclose any of his wife’s deficiencies or shortcomings, keeping all what he sees and hears from his wife as a secret that should not ever be disclosed.

The intimate relationship between a husband and wife in Islam is cherished and protected.

Marital relationships are sacred relationships according to Islam, as we read in the instructions of Allah’s Messenger:

One of the worst positions in the sight of Allah on the Day of Requital is that of a man who will have an intimate relationship with his wife, and then spread the secrets of his spouse to the public.” (Muslim)

Equality and Fairness

The husband who is married to more than one wife must provide equally to all of his wives, offering them the same or comparable housing conditions and clothing.

He is to spend equal time with each one of them. Any injustice in this regard is strictly prohibited as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“He who has two wives and does not treat them both equally will appear on the Day of Requital while he is half paralyzed.” (An-Nasa’i)

Fair and Kind Treatment

A husband must extend just treatment to his wife and household. A husband must demonstrate care, kindness and solve any problem within his means, while forbearing the deficiencies and shortcomings of his wife seeking the Pleasure of Allah in both worlds.

A husband should consult with his wife concerning their life and future needs and plans. He is required to secure and provide for his wife and household all means of peaceful environment at home and outside. The Messenger of Allah said:

Those believers who have the most complete faith who possess the best of character, and the best among you are those who are the best to their wives.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Protection and Preservation

By all the abilities available, a husband must not place or expose his wife or family members to any immoral situation or evil environment. This is based on the instructions of the verse of the Qur’an:

O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded. (At-Tahrim 66:6)

He must protect the private wealth and property of his wife and must not use any of her personal funds or possessions without her prior approval. He must not engage in any transaction concerning his wife’s finances, without her consent.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from the author’s Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions.


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title: The Continuous Battle between You and the Satan: How to Win It,
content:
By Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalidi

The Satan was and is still the most dangerous enemy of Mankind. Allah the Lord, the King and the Ilah (God) of Mankind warns every human being, male or female, young or old, against the danger and wickedness of the Satan.

Allah is so merciful to Mankind that He allotted a whole chapter of the Qur’an, and lots of verses as well as a number of dialogues with Iblis (Satan) to disclose its danger to believers so that they may beware its deception and misleading steps:

"The

Man is Allah’s Vicegerent on earth. He is given the free will to do whatever he wills whether it is good or evil.

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Mankind, The Sovereign of Mankind,

The God of Mankind, From the evil of the retreating whisperer,

Who whispers (evil) into the breasts of  Mankind, From among the jinn and Mankind. (An-Nas 114:1-5)

Dialogue between Allah and Iblis

This dialogue shows the extent of Man’s value and honour to Allah (Exalted be He) who is the Most Merciful to Man. It also reflects the nature of conflict between Iblis (the cursed) and Adam’s posterity and that the battle with the Satan is hard and continuous. Furthermore, this dialogue sheds light on the consequence of arrogance in the Hereafter.

Baz (2007) mentions that three models of Allah’s creatures are well portrayed in this dialogue: “the angel as a model of complete submission and extreme obedience to Allah, the Satan as a model of absolute disobedience as well as the doubled nature of Man.”

Allah created Adam, human beings’ father, from clay, then He imaged him as a human being; then He commanded the angels to prostrate for Adam because of his knowledge.

So, the angels, as elucidated by (Al-Qarny: 2007: 188), “prostrated to Adam in obedience to Allah and honour to Adam but not a prostration of worship . However, Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam as he bears arrogance in itself; consequently, it was dismissed out of the Mercy of Allah. Hence, the Satan threatened to take revenge from Adam and his posterity. That is why Allah warns believers against the Satan and commands them to take it an enemy:

Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents, that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. (Fatir 53:6)

Righteous Young Muslims should be aware, careful and alert lest the Satan seduce them as it hates chaste and good mannered YMs; therefore it does its best to wrong and mislead them so as to commit shameful acts.

O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden. (Al-A’raf 7:27)

However, Al-Saboni (2002:364) classifies human beings in regard to Satan into three categories:” The first category  is protected and secured by Allah; so the Satan cannot mislead nor seduce them, they are the Messengers and Prophets (peace be upon them).

The second category is that “the satans roam round ; they are the common believers; when they fall in a sin or disobedience , they repent and return to Allah; so Allah wipes away their sins.” And the third category is “in the hands of satans like a ball in the hands of boys. They are the disbelievers and boastful people”.

Allah Judges Iblis

Allah said to Iblis (the cursed) why it did not prostrate to Adam; though it is Allah who ordered it and Allah’s order is obligatory. Then Iblis (the dismissed and the cursed) said that it was better than Adam; as Allah created it from fire while He created Adam from clay. Actually this is a false analogy; because mud is the source of plants and fruits that provide Man with food and other benefits; while fire is a means of destruction and torture.

(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay”. (Al-A`raf 7:12)

So, Allah ordered Iblis (the cursed) to go down out of paradise humiliated; as he has no right to be arrogant in His honor’s surrounding and at the same time for he refused His obedience.

(Allah) said: “Get (Iblis) down from this (paradise): it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).” (Al-A`raf 7:13)

Then Iblis asked Allah to give it respite till the Resurrection Day.

He said: “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.” (Al-A`raf 7:14)

Allah suspended the Satan so as to make the tradition of trial take place and the conflict between good and right on one hand and between evil and falsehood on the other hand to occur.

(Allah) said: “Be you among those who have respite.” (Al-A`raf 7:15)

Iblis Threatens to Mislead Adam & His Posterity

Al-Jaza’iri (1997 Vol. II : 166) says “Since Allah misguided Iblis; it would sit for Adam and his posterity in Allah’s straight path, which is Islam, as it is the path that leads the person who follows it to the pleasure of Allah“.

He said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way”. (Al-A`raf 7:16)

Then Iblis swore that it  would sit for Adam’s posterity in their four directions , into their wishes, passions, anger, and to prevent the majority from being grateful to their Lord and to make them disbelievers and ungrateful to Allah.

Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies). (Al-A`raf 7:17)

So, Allah commanded Iblis to go out of the  Garden dismissed, humiliated and scorned and swore that who obeys Iblis (the cursed) and disobeys Allah would be deprived of His pleasure, burnt, and humiliated in His fire.

Allah drives Iblis and his followers away from the Garden.

Al-Sa’di (2001 Vol. I :411) says, “there is warning for all those who follow the Satan from Human Beings and Jinns that Allah will fill Hellfire from all the misled followers of the Satan” and this is considered a clear warning for all those who follow the Satan and leave the Most Merciful.

(Allah) said: “Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all.” (Al-A`raf 7:18)

GAllah’s Guidance

Unlike the angels whose job is only to obey their Lord, worship Him, and glorify Him, man is authorized to be Allah’s caliph (Vicegerent) on the earth. He is given the free will; so that he can do whatever he  wills whether it is good or evil. That is why the Satan threatens to mislead Adam and his Posterity so as to persuade them to disobey Allah and to be its followers.

That is why, Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful, sent His Messengers to Mankind and revealed His Books to guide them to the right path that leads to Paradise and to warn them against the steps of the Satan that lead to Hell.

Educational Lessons

– Iblis was and is still the envious enemy of Man; as Allah honored Adam and commanded the Angels and Iblis to prostrate to him.

– The Satan announced its enmity to Adam and his posterity and promised to mislead them with all means and ways.

– Muslims should take the Satan a clear enemy so that they may not be exposed to its deception and seduction which eventually lead to Hell Fire.

– The Satan’s weapon by which it misleads man is mere whispering and ornamentation.

– Disobedience of Allah leads to Allah’s wrath, hence to dismissing the disobedient creatures (Man or Jinn) from his Mercy and Gardens.

Educational Significance

The enmity of  Iblis (the cursed)  to Adam and his posterity, the danger of envy and arrogance on one’s psychological health,  the danger of Iblis and its posterity on Man, immunity from Satan can be through Allah’s remembrance and being grateful to Him, the falsehood of the Satan’s wrong analogy between fire and mud, Allah’s disobedience pleases the Satan, Allah’s disobedience causes punishment in this world and in the other world, and warning young Muslims against Satan’s whispering is a psychological therapy.

_________________________

Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Al khalidi is Researcher and translator, E L teacher and lecturer, an old member in the presentation to Islam committee.


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title: New Muslims and Halloween,
content:

First we would like to congratulate all those who have taken the decision to convert to Islam and accept it as their new lifestyle.

"Halloween"

Halloween is usually celebrated on the evening of October 31.

Following the shahadah (testimony of faith) many Muslims face many problems. But they should not panic. Islam is a simple religion. Islam does not ask its followers to apply all the rules at once. Islam adopts the process of gradual legislation. It is not expected from a new female convert to wear the hijab few hours after taking the shahadah. It is not expected form from a new Muslim to fast for 30 days immediately without any good preparation.

One of the problems faced by new Muslims is the issue of different celebrations held throughout the year. Halloween or Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve is one example. Halloween is usually celebrated on the evening of October 31. This celebration has its pagan origins. The celebration represents the devil worshipper’s New Year. People wear costumes, go tricking and treating and decorate their houses with witches, spider nets and wasting.

Every Muslim has to celebrate only the celebrations that were celebrated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers. There are two celebrations in Islam viz. `Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha. Rather than these two celebrations, a Muslim in not allowed to participate in.

New Muslims find it difficult to escape such situations. But they have to to handle these situation wisely as much as they can.

As for Halloween, they can tell their neighbours ahead of time that according to their belief they are not recommended to celebrate such an event. This will help in introducing you to your neighbours and will be a good opportunity to tell them something about Islam. Some Muslim scholars suggest that you go out with your family and have dinner with them so that no one will be at home at the time of celebration.

New Muslims have to be careful not to do anything that contradict the teachings of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet.


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title: Islam: The Religion of Unity,
content:
By: Faten Sabri

Unity & Oneness of God

And hold firmly to the rope of God all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of God upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. (Aal `Imran 3:103)

"Islam:

The Creator sent the same message to prophets of all nations.

Ever since Man appeared on earth – from the time of Adam[1]– the Creator chose the most righteous person in a particular society to be a Prophet during that period to guide mankind towards truth and the ultimate goal of reaching Him. God would send a Prophet whenever mankind slipped into moral disaster and aimless lives, and after an earlier Prophets’ message was corrupted and seriously adulterated.

The Creator sent the same message to Prophets of all nations. A simple straightforward message and one condition of salvation: Belief in One God and to direct to Him solely in worship.

Every Prophet was the way for his followers in his time to get the salvation, and that was by following his teachings; worshiping like the Prophet does, not worshiping the Prophet himself.

And this is the message of Islam which was started with Prophet Adam.

Say, (O believers), “We have believed in God (The Creator) and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims (in submission) to Him”. (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

Symbol of Unity

Muslims believe that the Ka`bah[2] was the first place of worship built by the first Prophet Adam. It was later rebuilt on the same foundations by Prophet Abraham and his son, When Prophet Abraham rebuilt the Ka`bah with the help of his son Ismail (Ishmael), he started to circumambulate around the Ka`bah in a counterclockwise motion.

The counterclockwise Circumambulation of the Ka`bah reminds us of the movement of planets around the sun, the electrons around the nucleus, and the circulation of the blood in the human body. Muslims believe that the universe is praising the Creator as well.

This shows the unity of the universe. When Muslims do the pilgrimage, they circumambulate like Prophet Abraham around the Ka`bah.

According to history, God the Almighty firstly ordered Prophet Muhammad and Muslims to pray toward Jerusalem.

This continued even after they emigrated to the city of Madinah.[3] The reason behind this was to identify true believers from those who were not sincere in their faith. To elaborate more, the Prophet turned his face towards Ka`bah while performing prayers, and Muslims had to do like him, this was a sign of their obedience. Those who did not follow him, their disobedience was a sign of their hypocrisy. The Qur’an itself mentions this fact clearly in the following verse:

We decreed your former qiblah (the direction of prayer) only in order that We might know the Prophet’s true adherents and those who were to disown him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those whom God guided. (Al-Baqarah 2:143)

Moreover, when Muslims from some part of the world pray to the Creator to the direction of Makah, they join their fellow Muslims praying elsewhere in the world in concentric human circles, they worship God towards the same spiritual center.

This means that Muslims pray to their Creator all the time. In other words, when some Muslims finish their 5 minutes prayer somewhere, another Muslims start their 5 minutes elsewhere.

The prayer timings depend on the sunrise and sunset and they concurrently occur with the movements of the pilgrims in Mecca, which is also consistent with the movement of the universe.

_________________________

Faten Sabri (1973) is a modern Jordanian Muslim thinker. She is well known for her frequent interaction with various cultures, religions and she speaks different languages. She studied comparative religions which made her able to discuss the controversial issues about Islam with the truth seekers and free thinkers. She wrote books about the message of Islam, the original concept of God and Jesus Christ in Islam and she has monthly articles in an international magazines. These books and articles were translated and distributed in more than 6 languages.

[1] (Adimanav, Aadim in Sanskrit) first man created by God.

[2] The Ka’ba is a building covered with black cover, it is placed in the city of Mecca (in Saudi Arabia).  It has a door but no windows. No one is buried in the Ka`bah. A Muslim praying inside the Ka`bah can pray in any direction. An original part of the outer walls of the Ka`bah is the black stone believed by Muslims to have come to the Earth with Adam. Muslims do not believe that this stone is divine or has any healing or other special powers.

[3] Madinah is a city in (Saudi Arabia). At the city’s center is the mosque of Prophet Muhammad, which is his burial place.  And is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca. Medina was Prophet Muhammad’s destination of his emigration from Mecca, and became the capital of the Muslim’s community, under Prophet Muhammad’s leadership.

 


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title: Popular Irish Singer, Sinead O’Connor, Has “Proudly” Converted to Islam,
content:
By Editorial Staff

Popular Irish singer-songwriter, Sinead O’Connor, has left Catholicism and converted to Islam. The 51-year-old Dublin singer, also known as Magda Davitt, revealed she had changed her name to Shuhada Davitt. Now she has new religion and new name:

"Sinead

I am proud to have become a Muslim. This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.

“This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim. I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada“, she revealed on Twitter.

“I grew up in the 80’s, and while I was never ‘into’ music, of course I knew all of the famous singers of that time frame, and when one is surrounded by people who are into music, one can’t help but know the songs and lyrics (that’s my legit excuse btw!!).”

Happy

After changing her name to “Shuhada” on her Twitter page, O’Connor also replaced her profile picture with a photo that reads “Wear a hijab just do it”.

The next day, she shared that she had been given her first hijab, writing that she wouldn’t be sharing a photo because it’s “intensely personal,” before humorously adding that there was a second reason she wouldn’t be posting a photo.

“My best friend, Elaine just gave me my 1st Hijab and she got chills all over her body when I put it on. Not gonna post a photo because is intensely personal. And I’m an ugly old hag. But I’m a very, very, very happy old hag.”

Over the next couple of days, the Irish singer went on to share a number of photos of herself wearing a head covering, simply writing that she was “happy.”

O’Connor also posted videos of her attempting the azan – the Islamic call to prayer.

She wrote that it was her first attempt at this and added, “I got some pronouncition [sic] wrong because emotions took me from my page… but there’ll be hundreds of others onstage to come.

“Sorry re all the mistakes in my Azan…. 1st attempt. When I’ve practiced it 30 times I’m Gonna make the world stop turning,” O’Connor tweeted.

Additionally, her Twitter bio now reads, “PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF YOU POST RACIST OR ANTI MUSLIM RHETORIC ON THIS PAGE YOU WILL BE BLOCKED.”

Natural Conclusion

The musician was ordained as a priest in 1999 in a dissident Roman Catholic group.

People magazine, which had also reported on O’Connor’s conversion, said she had previously spoken out against the abuses of the Catholic Church, even ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night Live appearance in 1992 because of the sexual abuses and cover-ups taking place under his watch.

O’Connor was born in Dublin in 1966 and rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. She has since produced ten solo albums.

Sinead O’Connor achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a new arrangement of Prince’s song Nothing Compares 2 U.

Now her embracing of Islam is, as she herself realizes, is a natural conclusion:

“This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant,” she wrote on Twitter.

May Allah bless our sister Shuhada and make her a role model for her people, and all of us!

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Source: Newspapers

 


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