20 Safar 1441

Lessons from the life of Ibrahim (alaihi ssalam)

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Nov 17th, 2014
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Ibraheem alaihissalam is one of the beloved messengers and prophets of Allah to our hearts. It is a well-known fact that among the most prophets of Allah that we mention in our lives is Ibraheem alaihissalam after our Prophet Muhammed salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Because in every single Salah we offer our salutations to our prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam as well praise Ibrahim and A’ale Ibrahim {as praised by Allah}and this in itself is enough to know the importance of Ibraheem alaihissalam in the lives of Muslims. Allah described Ibraheem alaihissalam as one of the strong willed Messengers. There are five Messengers: 1) Nuh alaihissalam 2) Ibraheem alaihissalam 3) Moosa alaihissalam 4) Isa alaihissalam and 5) Muhammed salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam.

Allah says, “Therefore, be patient O, Muhammed {salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam} as did the messengers of ‘strong-will’.” Allah is telling the prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam to take them as his example and as his role model. Ibraheem alaihissalam was indeed a role model; Allah described him in beautiful words in the Qur’an, “Verily Ibraheem was an Ummah, a nation in himself. In the Qur’an, the word ‘Ummah’ is described in different ways. In Surah Yousuf, the one who was saved’ from the prison, he said to the king, “Now I remember after a long period of time….” So here, ‘Ummah means ‘long period of time.’ Mushrikeen of Mecca said, “We found our forefathers on an Ummah.” Here it refers to a ‘religion, a cult, a belief.” And Ummah’ also means a ‘nation’ {‘combined.’}

Allah describes Ibraheem alaihissalam as an Ummah, which means that he is an Imaam that possesses all the characteristics of virtue and goodness. Allah says he was an Ummah and obedient to Allah. When Allah says ‘Obedient’ that does not mean that person has shortcomings and that he might every now and then make major or minor sins, no, when Allah says ‘Obedient’, that is it, which means that person is COMPLETELY ‘Obedient’!

Allah described Ibraheem alaihissalam as ‘Obedient’ and Haniffan, which means he is straight on the path, away from Shirk. That is why Allah emphasized that by saying, “And he was not one of those who were Al Mushrikeen” {one of those who worship Idols}

Ibraheem alaihissalam was thankful for his Allah’s grace. ‘Thankful’? Did Allah azza wa jal try and test Ibraheem alaihisssalam? Allah tested Ibraheem a lot! The more your Ei’man is, the more the trials and the testing! This causes a lot of us, who are weak in Eim’an to say, “Is this what we get if we believe? It is better we don’t believe then!” Aaoozbillah! I have heard people saying, “Sheikh, I have been praying to Allah and asking from Him and nothing has happened. I do not know if someone is listening or not! Give me assistance?”What kind of assistance, you do not have the essence of Ei’man! The more Eim’an you have, there will be more tribulations, Fitnah and the more testing. The more relaxed you are in your Eim’an, the more easy life is! Look at us, MashaAllah, we have a good life, we have three meals a day, we have roofs on our heads, we have air-conditioning and if it is 2 degrees high, we make a lot of fuss and say, “Wallahi, it is so hot in here, I am sweating to death!” Only because of 2 degrees?! This means that Allah is testing us and we are failing and failing and failing in our tests repeatedly. We fail our tests and have the guts to say, “We are comfortable here and look at the people in Kashmir and Pakistan. They just had floods that killed so many people because they are Ka’afirs, they do so much Biddah, they are Sufis, they are Barailvies, they are Deobandis whereas we are Muslims, that is why we have no problems and that is why Allah sent down floods on them!” We are so fooled and blinded’ by our own sins that we are unable to see our own faults. We have to be very careful.

Coming back to our topic, when Allah says He chose Ibraheem alaihissalam and guided him to the straight path, this means that Ibraheem alaihissalam was ‘Chosen’ and he was ‘Guided.’ ‘So how was he chosen?’ It is sufficient for us to know that he is in the highest levels of Jannah, it is sufficient for us to know that Allah chose him, as a ‘Kaleel’ {kaleel means the highest level of friendship} Ibraheem alaihissalam was ‘Qaleel Ullah’. Allah azza wa jal says, “Allah did take Ibraheem as kaleel,” which may interpret as an ‘Intimate friend’. Muslims make a common mistake by saying Ibrahim ‘Kaleel Ullah’ and Muhammed ‘Habeeb Ullah’ and this is a great disrespect to prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam because our prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is Kaleel Ullah and he is more closer to Allah than Ibraheem alaihissalam. The prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said to his companions in an authentic Hadith, when he was showing the importance of the greatness of Abu Bakr {May Allah be pleased with him} he said, “If I were to take a Kaleel, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my Kaleel but I am the Kaleel of Ar Rahman.” {So I cannot take someone else!”} This shows us the greatness of Abu Bakr and it shows us that anyone who slanders Abu Bakr {may Allah be pleased with him} or curses him or talks negatively about him, or about Umar or about Uthman or about Ayesha {may Allah be pleased with them all} is a Ka’afir and he has nothing to do with Islam. However, this is not our subject today.

Allah azza wa jal chose and guided Ibraheem. How did Allah guide him? He guided him by making him an obedient servant of Allah. Allah talks about the hypocrites in Chapter 9 A’ayah 46 of the Qur’an, which is very important. On the day of the ‘Battle of Tabuk’, {Tabuk is around 700 KMS from Madinah} it was very hot, in the month of summer and they were going on foot. Allah said about the hypocrites, if they sincerely wanted to go with you Muhammed, they would have taken their provision but it is Allah azza wa jal who abhorred and hated them going out. Therefore, He made them lag behind and Allah said about them ‘sit with those who did not go with Muhammed salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam to support in the battle! By this we understand, if you do not get up for Fajr tomorrow morning, which is Friday, this is not because you overslept’? No, it is because Allah did not want you to wake up. Someone might say, “I have not woken up for Fajr for the last 60 years of my life!” well, are you happy? ‘NO’. This is because Allah did not want you to wake up; Allah wants you to lag behind! “So what can I do sheikh?” ‘What can you do? Keep sleeping!’ “No, I do not want to go to hell!” ‘Now you know what to do, then strive and work hard so that Allah would help you to wake up!’

Allah says Ibraheem was the one who fulfilled his commitments. No loose ends, he did everything to perfection. Allah azza wa jal ‘tried’ and ‘tested’ him and every single time, Ibraheem alaihissalam passed with honors in his tests. Allah said in the Qur’an, “And remember when Ibrahim was ‘Tried’ by Allah with certain commands, he fulfilled!” Allah is testing us every single day, have we fulfilled our duties? ‘This’ is the question we need to ask ourselves. Usually when there is a lecture and the sheikh asks such a question, we look at other people and point out their mistakes, “This man steals, that one listens to music and that man’s wife doesn’t wear proper Hijab!” we tend to judge everyone except ourselves. It should be the other way round, we need to analyze ourselves, we should not be worried about everyone else, let them do whatever, the only one you need to save from hellfire is ‘ME’; this is what will matter on the Day of Judgement. Not that, that’ we do not want ‘good’ for others but we need to be worried about ourselves first! On the Day of Judgement all the Prophets of Allah will be saying, ‘Nafsi Nafsi’ {myself myself} when people would go to them to ask to intercede for them before Allah! Adam, Nuh, Ibraheem, Moosa, Isa alaihissalam will all say, “Nafsi Nafsi” We should be bothered about ourselves when the question is addressed to us, “What have you done, have you fulfilled the commands ordered to you by Allah?

Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said in a Sahih Hadith that Ibraheem alaihissalam was 80 years old when Allah ordered him to circumcise; he brought a knife and circumcised himself without a second thought. Can anyone one of us do’ that even with all the anesthesia and modern techniques, when ordered like that! ‘NO.’ but Ibraheem alaihissalam never hesitated even once when fulfilling Allah’s commands! Allah never ever blamed Ibraheem alaihissalam for being late in fulfilling His commands but He always praised Ibraheem.

Ibraheem alaihissalam did not start very late like other prophets of Allah, he started at a very early age which should be enough for us to take him as a role model. If we ask our youth today, “Who is your role model?” they will come up with all the movie stars, footballers and singers but you will never find a Muslim saying, “My role model is Salamah Ibn Aqwa.” He is one of the companions and a notable narrator of Hadith. Salamah Ibn Aqwa is known’ for being an excellent athlete and a very fast runner, and could even outrun horses. We need to teach our children these things and bring them up on our history; they do not know our history! Their role model should be Ibraheem alaihissalam. What did Ibrahim do? Even as a youngster, he had Tawheed in his heart; his father used to build idols for the people to worship but Ibraheem refused to worship those idols from a very early age because he knew that this was not true. He went and spoke to his father in a very gentle and honorable tone, “O my dear father I have knowledge from Allah that you do not have, O my father I am afraid that Allah might put you in hell because you are following Shaitan and Shaitan doesn’t intend well!” Ibraheem addressed his father very nicely and in beautiful words. This shows us how to give Daw’ah. You need to learn to give Daw’ah to everyone differently. The way you give Daw’ah to a person on the street should be totally’ differently than how you give Daw’ah, say, to your own father. Look at how Ibraheem alaihissalam addressed the people when they asked who broke the idols; he told them very firmly and harshly but wisely, about what happened to the idols and look how he addressed his own father, in a very respectful tone. He was addressing the same thing to all of them but his way of giving Daw’ah to his people was different from how he gave Daw’ah to his father.

During the time of Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam a Bedouin came to the Masjid and started urinating; this is a big sin, the companions wanted to beat him. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Leave him, until he finishes!” after he was done, the prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam called him and said, “O, my brother, these Masajid are for Salat, for purity, for Dikr Allah; these are not for impurity!” The man was convinced.

In another narration of Sahih Muslim a man ate with his left hand {a lot of Muslims do this nowadays} Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Eat with your right hand.” The man replied, with arrogance and pride, “I cannot!” Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam taught him again and again but when he didn’t listen, he finally said, “May you never able to eat with your right hand!” After that, the man became paralyzed’ and was never able to lift his right hand up to his mouth! Even though this man was a Muslim, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was harsh on him because this man was knowledgeable but was arrogant and didn’t listen.

In another incident when Abu Dharr Al Ghifari insulted Bilal {may Allah be pleased with them both} by saying, “You are the son of a black woman!” Bilal’s mother was black but Abu Dharr said that as a way of slandering Bilal and degrading him. Therefore, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said to him, “Abu Dharr some of the signs of ignorance {jahiliyah} are still there in you,” even though Abu Dharr Al Ghifari was one of the first 5 people to accept Islam and was a Muhajir. Therefore, this shows that it depends how you give Daw’ah, on many things, like the circumstances, the people whom you are addressing etc. You cannot go to Prince Charles and give Daw’ah by saying, “You infidel, you Kafir La’nat Allah!” this is not the way. You have to be diplomatic; you have to try to win his heart because by winning his heart you will be able to win hundreds and thousands of hearts. This is the exact way that Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam used. Many Muslims are narrow-minded, one-sided, “Khallas, I want to be like this, I am tough! Islam is a religion of being proud of and when I come across a Non-Muslim I show my tough side to him with anger in my eyes!” when you ask them, “Why are you behaving this way?” They will respond, “Islam is a Deen of Pride!” and when they come across a Non-Muslim in a market place or anywhere, they shove him with their shoulder like footballers do! Why so harsh’? This is not the ethics of Islam.

Ibraheem alaihissalam saw his people worship these idols so he broke them. Someone might say, “Aha, next time I go to my country, I will also go to the Hindu temples and break their idols and destroy their places of worship!” If someone asked them why they are doing this, they might say, “Sheikh said and Ibraheem alaihissalam also did the same!” No I didn’t ask you to break their idols and remember who was Ibrahim alaihissalam? He was the Messenger of Allah and he does whatever Allah asked him to do! Moreover, you have to measure the consequences before you act. If you have authority over your country and you see two statues of Buddha, huge like mountains, then you can destroy them because you are the ruler of that country and you have the power of doing it and if you do not do it then Allah will question you for that. However, if you went to visit France, UK or anywhere and start destroying their places, and tell this is what Ibraheem did! Please check your passport, you came here on a visit visa; you made an agreement that you would respect their country’s laws and its places and you signed on it and you are not fulfilling your covenant and your word as a Muslim should. You do not have any authority over this place and therefore no right to do that. You have to weigh; you have to understand and everything has to be done’ through knowledge. Ibraheem alaihissalam did what he did knowing that he would be punished’ for that; knowing that he would be thrown in fire and maybe he would be killed. However, he did not have fear. ‘Why?’ because Allah azza wa jal was with him! The idol worshipers wanted to punish Ibraheem so they built a huge fire. The fire was so intimidating and hot that they could not go near to throw him into it. Therefore, they invented the catapult to sling Ibraheem into the fire from a safe distance. Jibreel alaihissalam came to him and said, “Do you want any help?” {This is a weak Hadith but it is famous in Tafseer} Ibrahim alaihissalam said, “From you no; and as for Allah, He knows what I am going through!” and he said, “Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs!” {This is exactly what Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said at the end of the ‘Battle of Uhud’ when they told him that the Mushrikeen are coming to annihilate you once and for all. Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam also said, “Hasbun’ Allah wa nay’mal Wakeel” ‘Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs.’} This is putting our whole dependence and reliance on Allah the Almighty. This is one of the great Dua’as that a person’ can say in times of calamities.

Allah azza wa jal tested Ibraheem with so many things that the time won’t be sufficient to go through them all. The most famous among these is that Allah did not give him any children until he was very old {90/100.} Those who have kids know how beautiful it is to have children! We have evidence in the Qur’an that he frequently invoked Allah with supplications to have kids: ‘Rabbi habli minas saleheen’{ O Allah grant me righteous offspring} Ibraheem invoked Allah for so many years, he never gave up. After all these long years of not having offspring, Allah azza wa jal gives him the glad tiding of Ismael. Ismael is given to him through his concubine Hajar and when the child was just few days old; {Ibrahim was very happy that now after so many years, I have a son, he feels joyous} now Allah tests him. Allah says, “You are my Kaleel, you are my intimate friend and I have chosen you, I have guided you and now I see that your heart is not 100% for me!” Here comes the order; Allah orders him to take his wife and the newborn child to Mecca, all the way from Iraq or Sham {wherever he was} He took a horse with him; the journey itself was very tough. Hajar did not ask any questions {this is strange in today’s world; if you tell your wife, “Listen honey, I would like to do this or that!” She will act tougher than the CIA, FBI combined! She will interrogate you until Fajr! If you say, “Khallas, forget it.” she will keep on saying, “No, tell me what did you mean by that? What are you planning, where will you get the finance from; she will go on and on. However, on the contrary; this righteous wife did not ask a single question; she goes with him on this very difficult journey until they reach this valley of Mecca. A valley where there is no water, no plants, no human being nothing! Even today, with all the wealth invested in it, it is still rocks and sand; imagine how it could have been thousands of years ago! The blessing is from Allah, people from all over the world come, food and fruits from all over the world come to Mecca and above all, the beautiful water of Zam Zam, which has blessings with the leave of Allah. It is the water, which fills you with Ei’man.

Coming back to our story, so does Ibraheem stay there for a few hours talking with his wife? No, he reaches Mecca, leaves his wife and the infant there and walks away. Hajar finally asks, “Where are you leaving us, in this valley where there are no humans, no water and nothing to eat from?” she keeps asking him that question while he is walking away, not a single word said, he was not even looking at her; no hugs and kisses while departing! Does he not love her? ‘By Allah!’ he loves her but he loves Allah more. This is the difference between him and us. He loves Allah more than anything’ more than his child, more than his wife and more than himself! Allah orders him; he fulfills the commands of Allah azza wa jal! Hajar, who was living with Ibraheem, the Messenger of Allah, who has the Ei’man in her heart, says, “Did Allah order you to do this?” Ibrahim alaihissalam said, “Yes!” this is the single word he spoke, nothing else, no elaboration, which is reported’ in the Hadith. The believing woman’s response to this was, “Then go; Allah azza wa jal will not let us be unattended!” This is the kind of wife that enlightens’ you with such knowledge and fills your house with Ei’man. A good wife should be like this, she should be the one to say, “Fear Allah and do not earn from Haraam and do not bring anything from Haraam to us. We can tolerate hunger and thirst but we cannot tolerate hellfire.” There are some wives in our Ummah who say, “I do not care where you get the money, this summer I want to go see my parents and from there I want to go to London for a couple of weeks to do shopping for the Eid. It is your responsibility to provide, whether you deal with Riba or take bribe or steal or whatever it is not my problem!”

Ibrahim alaihissalam left, leaving his wife and infant in the deserted valley of Mecca. We know what this obedience and what this guidance resulted in, which Allah guided him and his wife with; when they found the well of Zam Zam and then all the Arabs came and they asked permission to stay; and they were the leaders of the Tribe of Jauham and Mecca is where it is today. Ibraheem used to visit his family every now and then. Allah azza wa jal describes this trial and test; Allah says, “And when he met with Ismael at the age of exertion, {the age when kids are old enough to do manual activities} Ibrahim said to his son, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you, I must slaughter you!” We know that the visions {dreams} of prophets are a Wa’hi {revelations from Allah} they are not like our dreams. {I do not want anyone of you to go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning and say to your wife, “O my wife, I saw in a dream that I must slaughter you!” she might have seen the same dream but with her slaughtering you!”} Ibraheem alaihissalam was a prophet and their dreams are visions, Wa’his, revelations from Allah. He told his son, Ismael, about the dream to prepare him. Ismael might have been 13 or 14 years old at that time, so the child who was raised in the house of a Messenger of Allah, Kaleel Ullah, said to his father, “O my father, do as you are commanded, you will find me, if Allah wills, from among the steadfast and the patient ones!” Our children would do this’? We struggle with our children to just memorize Ayat Al Kursi; they would say, “Uff I am tired, I want to watch cartoons, I want to go and play, you always talk about Qur’an, Qur’an, Qur’an and you do not have anything else to talk about!” SubhanAllah and this child is telling his father to do whatever was needed to be done!? If you compare apple to apple, Nuh alaihissalam invited his son to ‘live’ {to come on board the ship so that he would live and not die} but he rejected that and was drowned with the Kafirs while Ibrahim alaihissalam invited his son to ‘die’ and he accepted and became a Messenger of Allah! These parables and examples are not given by Allah to us to just read and say ‘MashaAllah’!’ No, these stories are mentioned’ so that we learn lessons from them and realize that if you are obedient to Allah and if you will be with Allah then Allah will be with you.

If you asked, Allah for something for too long and Allah did not answer your du’a; is it because Allah is poor? Aaoozbillah, Allah owns everything in the universe and the things that we do not even know. Did He not give you because He is stingy? Aaoozbillah, Allah is most Generous, He subhanau wa Ta’ala even gives the Kafir, what they are enjoying and having! So, why did He not give me? ‘Because this is the best thing for you;’ Believe, accept and then you will feel comfortable with what little you have. Once you are not content, Wallahi, even if you are a multimillionaire and even if you own TV stations and everything in the world, you will never be satisfied; you will go to bed and you will not find happiness sleeping. You are eating but you are not enjoying because Allah did not grant you contentment in your heart!

When Ibraheem and Ismael had both submitted to Allah’s will, Ibraheem alaihissalam put his son down on his forehead, Allah azza wa jal called Ibraheem, “O Ibraheem, you have fulfilled the vision and indeed we thus reward the doers of good; indeed this was a clear trial!” and Allah azza wa jal substituted Ismael with a ram. These are a few of the many tests that we know of; after so many years, no children, after he gets a child, he had to take him to Mecca and leave them there and when the son is about to reach the age of puberty, slaughter him. Test after test after test and he never complained; this shows that Ibraheem alaihissalam was obedient and he complied with all of Allah’s commands.

Compare this to ourselves, Allah ordered you to order your kids to start praying when they are 7 years and to spank them if they do not pray when they are 10 years old. If you ask someone, “How old is your child, does he go to Masjid with you to pray?” he would say, “No, sheikh, he is still young, he is just 25 years old, he needs to grow up a bit more!” ‘Really?’ when I was 25 years old, I had two children. Allah is commanding you and you are not fulfilling His commands. “Are you asking your wife to do proper Hijab?” Someone would say, “Sheikh, I asked her so many times but she does not listen.” “Who is the man in the house?” Well, she is!” Allah azza wa jal tells you to protect your family and yourselves from hellfire; the fuel of which is people and stones! Order your wife and your daughters and all women under your guardianship. Your daughter works in a mixed environment, she works with men and she sits more with them than she sits with you. How long does your daughter spend time with you at home; maybe half an hour to an hour and she sits in the company of Non-Mahram men for 8 hours a day’! What do you think the men there talk to her about? “Fear Allah; say SubhanAllah, Alhamdullilah?” I do not think so! Allah has ordered you to take care of them and teach them the true Islamic way of life. Did you fulfill your commands from Allah? If you are unable to do this then how would you be in the same Jannah, how do you expect Allah to be pleased with you?

There is a famous story in Sahih Al-Bukhari about Ismael, he grew up and he got married. In one incident, Ibraheem came to visit his son. He knocked on the door and he met his daughter-in-law but he did not disclose himself or introduce himself. He asked her how was she, how were things and she replied, “We are living in very hard times, we don’t have enough food or fruits, life is difficult, I don’t have anyone to help me, I don’t know what I am doing with this man (Ismael), and this marriage is not good…….” And so on. Ibraheem was listening the whole time and then he said, “When your husband comes back, tell him that his father greets him and tells him to change the doorstep.” When Ismael came back, he asked his wife, “Did anyone come here?” She said, “Yes, an old man came and he told you to change your doorstep.” Ismael said, “That was my father and he is telling me divorce you. Go home to your family, you are divorced.” Ibraheem came back a few years later and the same incident took place with a new wife. He asked her how was life and she said, “Ma sha Allah Alhamdulillah!” (Nothing changed except the contentment, the satisfaction over what Allah gave her). She said, “Alhamdulillah! We are alive and we are healthy, whatever we want, we get. Everything is fine!” so he said, “Give greetings and Salaam to your husband when he comes and tell him to keep his doorstep.” When Ismael came back, he told her that, that was his father and he is telling him to keep her. Compare these fathers-in-law with today’s fathers-in-law. The majority of you are from the sub-continent. I know that you have rights over your son but you do not have any single right over your daughter-in-law, to have your son marry someone of your own choosing. The mother usually chooses a good servant, not a good wife! I have seen this, Wallahi, a lot: personally, that is people coming to me and complaining; emails, I get tones of emails from women complaining of the injustice being ‘inflicted’ on them, “Sheikh, I live in a joint family.” (From Bangladesh or Pakistan or India, it is always the same old story). “My father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my husband and his two sisters live in the house and I serve them. They never cook, they never clean and they are like the queens of the house, the two sisters, and I am obliged to do this. Moreover, they do not say ‘Thank you’ but say things like, ‘Why didn’t you do my room?’ or ‘Why didn’t you iron the clothes?’ and they insult and abuse me. Is this Halal?” Wallahi, it is not Halal. Now the problem is many of the fathers-in-law know that this is wrong. Now again, who is the man of the house? ‘His wife: the mother-in-law!’ Many husbands; when I speak to them, they say, “Wallahi Sheikh, I know.” It is the right of this woman in Islam to have a separate house. This is a legitimate right. She is NOT obliged to work for and serve your father or your mother or your sisters or any of her in-laws. She is only obliged to serve you and your children. She has the right to have her own separate accommodation, even if it is just one room, a kitchen and a bathroom. This is her God-given right. However, if she is willingly doing this on her own then she will be rewarded’ at the Sight of Allah. Nevertheless, we have to fear Allah Azza wa Jal. Many brothers come to me and say, “I want to marry this woman or that woman but my father refuses.” ‘Why?’ “Because my mother refuses!” and when we ask the mother why, she says, “No, no. this one is not good, she is from a different tribe.” If he finds someone who is from the same tribe, from the same city the mother says, “No, not this one because she is not my sister’s daughter.” The excuses can never end. Finally when the son gets married, the mother controls that daughter-in-law as a servant and if you investigate, you will find out that her mother-in-law used to treat her the same way; and her mother-in-law’s mother-in-law used to treat her this same way! Do not you want to stop this vicious chain by saying, “NO, this is something that took place with me, I will not do the same to my daughter-in-law.” We need a responsible position, if you cannot have a separate accommodation for your son and his wife then the least is to give her respect and to welcome her and treat her like a human being. Never treat your daughter-in-law like a slave where she cannot speak, she cannot object; she cannot even lock her room’s door. Many sisters complain that things get missing from their own bedrooms only to find out that the jewelry has been taken and used by her sister-in-law’! The mother-in-law says, “Do not lock the door when you leave the home.” She is not even’ allowed to object to that! Some mother and father-in-law keep the gold with them, given to her by her own parents. Many sisters complain, “I have been given gifts from my father, my uncles and other relatives like half to one kg gold, do I have to give Zakah on it?” ‘Of course you have to give Zakah on it.’ “But, I do not have it in my position, my parents-in-law kept it with them and they refuse to give it to me even to wear!” ‘If this is the case then there is no Zakah on it because you do not have it in your possession.’ Where is the husband in all of this? He would say, “How can I say anything to my mother?” This is unfair; these things are sins, complete disobedience to Allah azza wa jal that needs to be rectified.

The quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths in this article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!

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