23 Safar 1441

PRODUCTIVE MUSLIMAH Part-1/2

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Aug 6th, 2014
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Today’s topic is ‘Productive Muslimah’ and it is a big topic that has a lot of negative stigma among the population when it comes to the role of women in society and in Islam. It goes without saying that women are half of the society and they take care and up bring the other half so their role is very important and essential in Islam and that is why when we listen to the disbelievers, to the Non-Muslims when they talk negatively about the role of women in society and how they are oppressed and they are undermined, whenever they want to do something, sometimes without knowing it we tend to believe and this is due to our ignorance of the Qur’an and Sunnah. And no one doubts this, no one can say, “I am quite well versed in the Qur’an and Sunnah and I have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.” Unfortunately this is not the case and any simple test would prove to you that we have a problem when it comes to the knowledge about our own belief, about our own religion!

A woman in Islam is: Either a mother, a wife, a daughter or a sister; with all due respect to the aunts {I hope they don’t get angry!!} but they are included of course! So what does Islam tell us about mothers? Allah Azza wa Jal tells us about the great role and great suffering of mothers in the Qur’an and we will recite this until the Day Of Judgment.

Also the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us to take care of our mothers. A companion came to the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and said, “O Prophet of Allah who amongst my parents is most worthy of my best companionship?” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Your mother.” The companion asked, “Then who?” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Your mother!” Again the companion said, “Then who?” For the third time the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Your mother and then your Father!”So 75% of being kind and respectful and obedient has to be devoted to your Mother! And so many times the sisters complain, “My mother-in-law does this and my mother-in-law does that and she is an evil woman, she is a witch, she does black magic and she envies, she gives me an evil eye, she puts poison in my food and if you meet the mother-in-law she’s a sweetheart!

So why is this? This is because this woman does not realize that in 20 years time she will be a mother-in-law herself and what goes around comes around, what goes up must come down! So we have to take care of our mothers in Islam and as men we have to take care of our wives as well. And the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us that the best of men are those who are best to their wives. We have to take care of our children, especially the daughters, nowhere you will find in the Sunnah that the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is asking us to take care of our sons but when it comes to daughters Subhan Allah!

The daughters are a Mercy that Allah has given to each and every one of us! Daughters are the love of the lives of the fathers and that is why they tend to spoil their daughters more than they spoil their sons.

In the Hadith of Ayesha {may Allah be pleased with her} which is narrated in Bukhari {which gives it the highest level of authenticity, whenever I go through this Hadith I wonder the best of Mankind is Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and when we see the condition of his lifestyle and compare it with the kings and the Tyrants and the rulers and the filthy wealthy multi millionaires, one wonders but this is not something to wonder about because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was given a choice between duniya, being a Prophet and a servant of Allah Azza wa Jal or being a Prophet and a king and he chose the first. Ayesha, the beloved wife of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam {if I had few wives like he did and I loved one of them, definitely I would give her the best that I have and the other old wives I would give just enough to sustain but not as much as I would give the favored one; not the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam}

The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was the most Just and Fair person to have ever walked the earth. So Ayesha {may Allah be pleased with her} said, “A poor woman with 2 daughters came to visit me and she wanted Sadaqa, I looked around and I found only one piece of date {Subhan Allah} so I gave it to her.” Ayesha favored that poor woman over herself! What kind of a house is this, where you don’t have FOOD?! If I open my drawer in the office I would find Sneakers, Bounty and Mars, all kinds of chocolates and goodies; a moon, following a moon, following another moon, meaning 2 months would pass without fire being lit in all of Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam’s houses {one might say they had microwaves, no} they did not cook for 2 consecutive months! Abu Ibn Zubair, the nephew of Ayesha asked her, “Mother, what did you feed on?” She said, “Nothing except water and dates!” No food for 2 consecutive months, in the houses of the best of Allah’s creation, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam!! So Ayesha {may Allah be pleased with her} gave this date to the woman who broke it into 2 halves and gave both the daughters a piece. So Ayesha was wondering about this mercy, the woman didn’t eat it herself but favored her children, so the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whoever is blessed and tested {it’s not just a blessing, it’s a test as well} with 2 girls and he’s kind to them, Allah Azza wa Jal would make them {daughters} his shield from Hellfire.” I have no sons but 13 daughters with the grace of Allah!

Daughters are a mercy from Allah, if you take care of them, if you bring them up as Allah loves, if you teach them the Qur’an, {8 of my daughters I think have memorized the Qur’an by heart; I have lost count! By the grace Allah, not because of me, I don’t know anything about them, it’s their mothers who take care of them and who Masha Allah make them who they are} And that is why we put a lot of emphasis and we stress on the role of a woman in the society.

Me as a husband, as a man, I don’t know anything about my daughters except 30 minutes or so that they sit with me, ask me questions, ask for consultations, if we eat together we talk, other than that we are men, this is not our job! {it IS our job but we are irresponsible when it comes to our families} that is why we put a great toll and responsibility among our wives, our mothers, our sisters and once a woman knows her responsibilities, she takes a burden which a hundred men cannot take. We can go on like this forever and what you will hear is nothing new. It is just a reminder; it is just an eye opener.

Sometimes we seem and tend to neglect what is right in front of us. Few years back, I had a very luxurious and an expensive office in a high-riser and I had one of the best views in Jeddah and I could see the corniche, the sea and the ships. It was a very beautiful office with many windows. And I used to enjoy whenever some guests come to the office for the first time just to look at their expressions and I used to smile. And after a few seconds they look at me and find me smiling and they ask, “Why are you smiling?” and then I say, “I am smiling because of this dunya (world). I see this scene every single day and it doesn’t move a thing in me anymore, it did the first couple of weeks though but now I am used to it. And because this is the first time you are seeing it, you see it as a favor and a blessing.

Because I see it every day I am not interested and thankful for this favor and blessing of Allah Azza wa Jal.” And everything we have in our hand is like this. Because it is in our grasp, we don’t see it and hence we are not thankful. In Arabic we say that the health is a crown on the head of the healthy one, that only the sick people can see. Now because we are healthy we don’t see that as a blessing, we take this for granted. But if you visit a hospital and you look into the eyes of the patients, they will see that crown and envy you for that. In order to be productive as a sister, as a women, as a girl, as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother, you have to know few ground rules. First of all a woman is a fitnah and no one doubts this.

The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “I have not left behind me a fitnah or a temptation worse on men than women.” So the worst temptation to men is women. And why is that? Because Allah Azza wa Jal had built it in us. Men are attracted to women like metal is attracted to magnet. This is human nature. So some of the sisters would say, “Ok likewise women are attracted to men like metal is to magnet!” And this is definitely wrong. And if you bring a hundred women and a hundred men, Of course separated, and then in the hundred men you put a beautiful woman in the middle what would happen to the heads of the men? 99% the heads would roll like a toy and their eyes are everywhere. But if you take the hundred women and put the most handsome man on earth in the middle, maybe five or ten of them would look and the rest will say, “He is too short.” This is human nature. So the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is warning us to be careful and that women and men must be separated. No matter how righteous you are, no matter how pious you are, no matter how God-fearing you are you cannot deny it.

This is human nature.

This is fuel and fire put together and you have ignition. That is why we understand why Allah Azza wa Jal made it mandatory upon women to wear the hijab but not the men, because women can look at men without any problem, but of course women are instructed to lower their gaze but the lowering of their gaze is lesser in degree than the lowering of the gaze of men. So whenever men see a woman, they have to look down or up. But women they have the permission to look, as long as there is no temptation on them. So a lot of the sisters say, “Sheikh, what’s the ruling on women watching television and seeing a lecture or looking at the sheikh or watching the news and programs etc.” This is ok. This is halal, as long as there is no temptation, as long as the sister is not staring at the man and enjoying how handsome he is.

And the evidence is that in Eid, when the Abysinians used to come and play with their spears as form of training for war in the masjid, the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam would open the door and sit down for Umm al Aisha Radi Allahu Anha to put her chin on his shoulder and watch them play. So it was like giving her time to enjoy seeing them fight and play. But if it was haram, he would have told her, “Aisha, you should not look, close the door.” He himself facilitated that to her and the funny thing is he used to ask her, “Have you had enough?”

And she used to say, “No Prophet of Allah (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam)”, because the rest of the wives of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam were looking and she wanted to show them. “Look, eat your heart out. Look what the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is doing for me.” Of course, it was the 2day when the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was supposed to be there in her house, otherwise he would have done the same with his other wives. So it is important for a sister to abide by the hijab because this is means of protection to her, to the society and the men at large.

Hijab is not something that prevents a woman from being productive, we hear it a lot and so often from non-practicing sister otherwise; this is true: It’s preventing her from being productive in her evil ways. So a belle dancer would say, “Hijab hinders my work.” This is true. It hinders everything in your life, because you are not committed to Islam. But a proper Muslimah is not hindered by her Islamic attire, because this is for her protection, unless she wants to be involved in something that is against Islam, against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In this case, yes, it would prevent her from doing that. And hijab is not only physical.

A lot of the sisters may wear the hijab, may wear the niqab and the clothes are lose and Masha Allah you can’t see anything from her. But you can hear her laughter miles away, you can hear the way she speaks, without any bashfulness, without any shyness with men, cracking jokes with non-mahram, laughing. Subhan Allah! This is against the mental hijab.

There is a physical hijab and there is a hijab that must be adhered to before you put the physical hijab, and that is leaving whatever is inappropriate for a sister to do with a non-mahram. So cracking jokes, laughing, talking softly, with non-mahram men are inappropriate for a sister to do. Allah tells the wives of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam not to soften their voices. And some of the sisters give me a call on the phone asking questions, “Assalamu alaikum ya sheikh (very very softly)” and I start melting, and my wife is saying, “Your talking to a woman!” and I say, “She is asking questions.” This is haram. What are you doing? One of the sisters called me on Ask Huda Live, and my wives were watching, and I learned through the hard way, later on. She said, “Assalamu alaikum sheikh, I love you for the sake of Allah.” I told her, on Live TV, “Sister, it is inappropriate to tell a man that you love him for the sake of Allah. What kind of love is this?” And she said, “No the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘If you love someone you should tell him.’” Yes, this is correct but it only applies with the same gender not the opposite gender.

The Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Your smile in the face of your brother is a sadaqah (a charity).” So now you go out in the market, and whenever you see a beautiful woman you give her a big smile, you get one charity. This is inappropriate. The majority of the scholars say you should not even return the Salam if the opposite gender say Salam. So if man comes and says, “Assalamu alaikum” to a sister, she should not reply, because this is a mean of fitnah and likewise if she goes into a shop and she sees a man and say, “Assalamu alaikum, how much is this?” No, this is not appropriate as Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed said. So there is a hijab that is physical, we have no problem with that, but what is most important is to have the hijab that is mental and something that you do not feel and touch and you know that it is there. So this is one of the ground rules to be productive and to abide by the hijab.

One of the most important things you need to know to become productive is the destructive role of the media. And no one in his sound mind would doubt the negative and destructive role of the media. One would say, “Shiekh we have Huda TV, we have Peace TV, and they are doing a wonderful and constructive role, they are producing excellent material.” And I would say, “Allah Azza wa Jal mentioned in Surat-ul-Baqarah, “They ask you, O Muhammad (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) about intoxicants and gambling.

Say, ‘There is a great deal of burden and some benefits, yet the burden overweighs the benefits.’” And that is it, khalas. You don’t have to ask whether it is halal or haram because Allah gave the equation of how to weigh it. If the disadvantages exceed the benefits then it is haram. And if the benefits exceed the disadvantages, then it becomes halal. And when you look at the media nowadays, the bulk of the media, is it beneficial or harmful? It is harmful, and no one doubts that. And the funny thing is, most of the harmful things are supported and sponsored by Saudi Riyals. And this is the biggest shame. We have the Two Holy Mosques, and we care for them, but the majority of the temptation of corruption comes from MBC Group, MBC2, MBC3, MBC4, Drama, Bollywood! And the funny thing is that they have it even in Persian. Yani, what do the Saudis want to do with Persia? Why do you translate your programs into Persian? The answer is, because the Americans pay for all of this. And that is why they are getting the movies free, so that they can brainwash and change the culture and so that you feel that English is the best thing in life, the American way of living, the American dream, is the best thing in life. But where is Islam? Islam is few rak’ahs at the end of the day, fasting, maybe a month, maybe half of it, depending on the environment and the weather and that is it, that is Islam! This is not Islam. This is American Islam but not the proper Islam. So we have the destructive role of the media, which every productive Muslimah must be aware of, so that they would not be fooled.

If I watch television, if I watch movies, if I watch the media in general, I will tell you for sure that the Muslimah who wears the hijab is always portrayed as a retard with special needs who cannot construct a full sentence, while the woman flashing her beauty, wearing her make-up, and mixing with the opposite gender and being a free girl, ah this is a sophisticated woman, this is the woman I’d like to be! And if you watch any of the advertisements on TV channels, how a woman eats Galaxy chocolate bar, what is this? What are doing? I ate so many bars trying to have this sensation and it wouldn’t come! So it shows you what they want of a woman; of a Muslim woman, and how they try to destroy the image.

The media makes up virtual fights. So now it is inside of every one of us, that men are fighting with women. And we have women rights, and we have women calling for equality, we have women wanting this or that. The end product of this fight is the production of another man, so it’s not man versus woman, now it is going to be man versus another man, because what they want is not a female, they don’t want a woman; they want another man to compete with the other men. And in my opinion it is wrong. But let me ask, do we have equality between the genders in Islam? Does Islam promote equality between man and woman?

There is no such thing as equality between man and woman in Islam. And never ever will you find this word in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. On the contrary, the Qur’an states that a woman is not like a man. When Mariyam’s mother pledged, “Whatever I have conceived I will devote it to Allah Azza wa Jal and Allah’s worshipping.” And when she gave birth to Mariyam, what did she say? “I have given birth to a female and a female is unlike a male.” So this is a fact that was written down in the Qur’an. So there is no equality, but, there is fairness and justice. When I see these people in the west, saying, “We want equality for the women! You Muslim oppress women! We disbelieving men don’t oppress women! We ask for equality!” I say, “Akhi, you want equality, go and conceive for 9 months and give birth to a child and then come back.” There is no equality. Men cannot do the things that women do, and likewise, women cannot do the things that men do, because Allah created us, men and women, differently, but assigned to each of us certain tasks and certain responsibilities. A woman’s place is in her house. This is the natural place. Now a lot of the sisters would get their horns coming up! “What are you saying?” and looking at each other and asking, “Is this a sheikh, talking about productive women? He wants us to sit in the home? What is this? Is he just coming from the tent or from the desert? Where is he living, in the stone ages? He wants a woman to sit in her house!?”

Well this is what Allah said in the Qur’an. Allah says, “Stay in your houses.” And this was addressed to whom, to the best ever female generation, to the wives of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, to the mothers of the believers. So the best thing that a woman can do is to stay home. And this is not an easy task. Most of us men would love to take this opportunity and this job. Every day when I wake up for work at 6:30, or I want to go to pray in the Masjid, I look at my wife and say, “I wish I was in your shoes.” Going to work, having to smile to your boss and to your sub-ordinates and to everyone you see, driving in the streets, of course here in Bahrain you drive, in Saudi women don’t drive. Alhamdulillah, imagine if Saudi women drove.

How would things be?

We get Saudi men coming here in Bahrain and they cause accidents because seeing they’re left and right while driving. Imagine what would happen in Saudi Arabia. So we tolerate the abuse, you here, at least have rules. Whoever is inside the roundabout has the right of way. In Saudi Arabia it is not like that. It depends on the size of your car. I drive a big truck, a GMC, so it is always my right regardless if I am in the roundabout or outside the roundabout. Whatever I am doing, it is always MY right and you have to stop!! I have a lot of pressure, I have a lot of things to do and my wife is sitting at home, relaxing.

But wallahi, she is not relaxed. She is doing as much as I am doing, with the children, and the cleaning, and the cooking, with bearing to be between 4 walls and the media is bombarding her with questions like, “What are you doing with your life? You’re almost this old. You have so many years on you, and you’re not enjoying life. Soon you are going to die, why don’t you go out, why don’t you live your life? Do it.” and they give you women on the media, empowering women, a woman that was in her house and then all of a sudden she read an article and she decided to travel to the far east and go to these countries, alone, and go on a road trip and hitch a hike, and this woman is a Saudi.

What is this? And she said, “I just heard a voice, and I had to answer it.” SubhanAllah! Was it the voice of reason, the voice of an Angel, or the voice of Satan himself, coming and congratulating you and giving you a certificate of graduation? So a woman in her house is far greater than any other woman. One would say, “Sheikh, I studied 5 years of engineering and now I work in a factory on an assembly line and I design things and I make instruments and equipment.” And I say, “Masha Allah. Thousand pieces of devices and equipment that you make would not even come close to a generation, this sister, in her house, is producing.”

When I see the type of human beings, she managed, with the grace Allah, to give to the society, productive, committed, practicing Islam properly, with the highest levels of ethics. Wallahi no matter what a thousand women do outside the house, it cannot be compared to what this woman is doing in her house. So no one knows who she is or what she had done. Yet history recalls and history knows what she had done!

In Qur’an, Islam tells us that a woman is not equal to a man. The wife of Al Aziz of Egypt, when she seduced Yusuf alaihi salatu wassalam and he ran away from her and she tore his shirt from behind and the door was opened, who did they see? The husband of the woman, how did Islam describe the husband? “They met her master.” So Islam considers a husband the master of a woman, which means that there is a difference, they’re not equal. Allah Azza wa Jal says, “Men have a level over the level of women.” This does not reduce their reward in paradise. Women and men, whatever they do of righteous deeds, they get the full reward.

Not only that, a woman by praying in her house, gets more reward than if she prayed in Makkah (a 100,000 times more reward) or in Madinah (a 1000 times more reward), because this is what Islam recommended her to do, to pray at home, not to pray in the Masjid. And if she does this, out of conviction, Allah would reward her more than that. Sisters call me and ask, “Sheikh if I pray Fajr in my home, and I remain where I’ve prayed until the sun rises and I pray 2 rak’ah (duha), would I get the reward of Umrah and Hajj, as in the hadith.” And I say, “No, the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Whoever prays Fajr in Jama’ah,’ {meaning in the Masjid} ‘he will get this reward of Umrah and Hajj, perfect, perfect, perfect!’ But if you have this desire to get this reward and you know you can go to the Masjid and pray Fajr and remain there and get the reward, yet you refuse to go to the Masjid because you want to get the reward of obeying the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and praying home, you will get the reward of the Umrah and the Hajj.” Why simply sitting at home and praying Fajr and then going to sleep.

You don’t have to sit till sunrise because you’ve done this out of conviction and out of following the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam’s instructions. Therefore a woman is like a man in terms of reward when it comes to forms of worship, but in this dunya, there has to be a difference. You have to have one captain of the ship. If you had two captains, this one would say, “Go east.” And the other would say, “Go west.” And then the ship would sink! That is why the family has to be run by one, and that is the father. And then the house has to be run by the husband, and that is why, you will never find in Islam, a woman being a ruler of a country or a judge of a court or an Imam of a Masjid except in America! In America, there is a Masjid, where an Imam is a female and the congregation is mixed, men and women, praying side by side, I saw this on a video on YouTube and it was so funny.

A woman leading a prayer, how would she make Ruku’u? And the men behind her, what would they do? Subhana Rabiyal Adheem, Subhana Rabiyal Adheem. And we have ‘excellent’ Islam coming from America, where they don’t abide by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. She is an Imam and she is leading the congregation and they have this recorded. And the funny thing is, she says, “Allhamdulillahi Rabiyal Aalameen: “Praise be to Allah; the Lord of the dominion.” She is giving instant translation, in the Salah! “Ar Rahmanir Raheem: The Most Merciful, the Most Beneficial. Maliki Yaum Ad Deen: The Sustainer of the Day of Judgment! What kind of Salah is this? 1) She is a woman 2) She is leading men 3) Doing instant translation. Is this Islam? No Wallahi, this is not Islam. We have to have this level and this is part of you being productive. You have to know that the man’s word is important in your life because Allah Azza wa Jal made it this way.

Either it’s your father’s word or your husband’s word you have to obey them. Nevertheless the role of women, is not just saying, “Yes sir, whatever you say sir,” she can be a great advisor to her husband or to her father. When Umm Salamah Radi Allahu Anha, the wise woman, the wife of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, when her ex-husband died, she said, “Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon. {We belong to Allah and unto Him we shall return}, because the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whoever is struck by a calamity and he says, ‘Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon. Allahumma Ajirni Fi Musibati Wakhlufli Khairon Minha.’ {O Allah, reward me in my calamity and substitute me with something better than that} Allah will give him something that is better.” Abu Salamah Radi Allahu Anhu was one of the first to migrate to Madinah and he was the brother of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam through suckling. And there third brother was Hamzah ibn Muttalib, the uncle of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam.

They are all brothers through suckling. When he died, Umm Salamah immediately said this invocation. And she thought to herself, “Who could be better than Abu Salamah? What am I doing?” But she believed and she followed. And after her Iddah was over, the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam sent to marry her. She refused. The Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam did not take no for an answer. He asked, “Why?” and she sent, “O Prophet of Allah (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) I am an old woman, and I have a lot of children, and I am jealous.” So the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam sent back to her, “As for the age, I am older than you. As for the children, they are in my custody. As for your jealousy, I will ask Allah Azza wa Jal to take it away from you.” And she married him.

We know that the wives of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam were two parties, the first party lead by Aisha Radi Allahu Anha, and the second party was lead by Zaynab bin Jahsh, who is the cousin of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and the previous wife of his adapted son, Zayd Ibn Harisah, before Allah Azza wa Jal abolished adaption in Islam. And whenever they had a fight, the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was smart, he would stay away from that. And this is a very good advice to anyone who is married with more than two, never get yourself involved between this fight, because one is equipped with high heels and the other one is with the roller stick! And you will end up having bruises on your head!! So whenever they had a fight, they would always call Umm Salamah, because Allah Azza wa Jal took away from her jealousy, so she was not blinded by it. She could see things clearly.

So she would say which is right and which is wrong between the wives of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Umm Salamah was the advisor of the Prophet Salla Allahu alahi wa sallam. In Suleh Hudaibiyah, when the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam signed a treaty with the pagans of Makkah, because they prevented him from going to Umrah, when the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam signed it, among the conditions and terms was that he should go back to Madinah, he should not do Umrah this year, but they came in Ihram. So this was a problem. When you assume Ihram, you cannot take it off, until you fulfill your ritual, your Hajj or your Umrah.

A lot of the brothers and sisters make Ihram; they go to Makkah, “Oh didn’t think it was that crowded. Oh ok, khalas I am not in Ihram anymore.” You cannot do that. You are in the state of Ihram until you finish your ritual. Or you are blocked by something that may not allow you to finish it, as in the case of the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. So what to do? Allah tells you to shave your head and slaughter your sheep. So the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam came and addressed the Muslims, “You have to shave your heads now and slaughter your sheep.” No one answered. He said it twice and then thrice and no one did what the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said. Not because they are disobedient, they are still hopeful and wishful that something would happen and they would enter into Makkah to fulfill their commitment and to do their Umrah. So the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam went into his tent angry, and he said, “Didn’t you see what your people are doing outside? I order them and they do not obey me.” What did this wise woman say? She said, “O Prophet of Allah (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam), go outside and call the barber to shave your head.

And look what they do.” So the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam took her advice and he did what she asked him to do, immediately once the companions saw the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam’s head being shaved, they started shaving one another until they almost killed each other with the razor blades, because they wanted to be hasty in following the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam’s example. So saying that a man has a level extra to a woman, this is not from me, it is from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and as a believer you have to have it inside of you. You have to submit, you have to be convinced; it has to be your belief and conviction that man has a level over you (women).

This doesn’t mean that you have become a slave; this doesn’t mean that you have become oppressed and you don’t have your say. No, you have your God given rights. But usually people would ask, “If all of these constraints are over a woman, how do you expect her to be productive?” Is this a logical question? Can a woman be productive under these circumstances? The answer is, yes. And I would say she can be very productive. A woman is either married or single. And by single I mean, not married, widowed, divorced, etc. So if a woman is single, how can she be productive? The sky is the limit. As long as she is abiding by the hijab, and following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, she has no problem, none whatsoever of being productive. First of all, she has to be productive to her parents, obedient and respectful to her mother and father. And once a parent is mentally and physically relaxed, he can produce or she can produce.

So when you have such a daughter in your house, you feel relaxed. In my house, when I am sitting on the couch, and I turn my head, immediately one of my daughters, the obedient one, would go and fetch me water because she knew that I was looking for a bottle of water or for something. And when she brings it to me, wallahi I have the whole world in my hand. What more can I ask for? Having such a beautiful girl, supplicating at night when she is doing night prayer Alhamdulilah, asking for forgiveness for her father. So she can be productive with her parents. She can be productive with her siblings. I know tens of examples of girls who started wearing the hijab and practicing and had a wonderful impact on her brothers and sisters, transforming the whole family.

I know a girl that transformed the whole family, her parents, her siblings, her uncles, her aunts over the duration of 12-15 years. But eventually everyone started practicing because of this beacon of light in the midst of the darkness. And this is from Allah! Now this girl is blessed. Allah Azza wa Jall tells us about Isa {peace be upon him} when he was a few hours of age. When people saw this baby with his mother Mariam people were shocked and started asking her questions, “Who is this, where did you get this baby from?! We know your parents are good, your mother is righteous; she is not a bad woman!!” Then she pointed at Isa and Allah made him speak in his infancy, “I am the servant of Allah and Allah made me blessed wherever I am!” So a single girl, a single woman can be productive by being blessed wherever she is. If she goes to a market, she’s blessed by the way she looks {with proper hijab} and everyone looks at her and wishes that his wife was like this, his daughter was like this or if a woman looks at her she would wish she was like that. If she goes to college then her classmates would learn from her, if she goes to family gatherings all what comes out of her mouth are pearls of guidance and people would learn from her, so she’s blessed wherever she is!

Now compare this with someone who doesn’t abide by the hijab, like a lot of the saudi women, I don’t know about Bahrain, I don’t go out a lot. Some Saudi women wear their scarves in such a fashion that their hair would be flashing from the front and back, what kind of hijab is this! You look at this sister’s face, she’s not wearing the niqab, her eyebrows are perfectly plucked and designed, looking like a super model with full eye makeup on, is this what is called ‘blessed wherever she is!’ Or cursed wherever she goes!!

Compare this with someone who says, “Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam says this and says that.” With someone who always talks about nonsense, “Did you see the last video clip of this singer, did you see what tiny, glamorous dress she was wearing!” So if you compare apple to apple, are you blessed?! If you are blessed then you would have an impact on all those who are around you and Allah Azza wa Jall loves you and that is why he blessed you, if you are not then know that Allah does not love you and that is why he did not make you among the guided ones. In verse 46, chapter 9, Surat At Taubah Allah is talking about the hypocrites and he says: Had Allah wanted them to go out with you O Muhammed {salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam} to Tabook for the expedition of Tabook in the 9th year of Hijra when it was really-really hot in summer. Had Allah wanted them to march with you, He would have made them march with you but because they lacked behind Allah Azza wa Jall did not make them go out and He said to them stay with those who lacked behind! So whenever you see Allah is facilitating things for you, Allah is making it easy for you to attend lectures, Allah is making it easy for you to fast Mondays and Thursdays, Allah Azza wa Jall is making it easy for you to pray night prayers, or to give Sadaqa or to participate in relief work for the people in Jordan and Turkey without doing any haram and if things are happening know that Allah loves you.

And if you feel and see that things that make Allah angry are happening to you and they are coming easy without you trying hard, you are watching Dvds of music, movies, mixing with the opposite gender and you are falling into haram relationships very easily then know it that Allah Azza wa Jall does not love you!

A woman who is single can be productive in means that I as a Da’ee cannot! So I cannot go to a market and see women flashing their beauty and say, “Sister this is Haram, you have to cover yourself.” This is not for me as a man and this is inappropriate and I may get a bad response. It is a woman who should do this. When someone from CNN or BBC comes and say that women in Islam are oppressed, I can make a whole lecture like this, tens of them but still I am a man claiming that we are not oppressing women but when it comes from you and you stand up for your rights in Islam and say that, “No, we are not oppressed, this Hijab that I am wearing is by my own choice!” And this is what I always tell my daughters. I tell them, “Are you wearing the hijab for me or because you are convinced?” Alhamdulillah I always get the response, “By Allah, even if they give us the wealth of this world, we will not take off the niqab or the hijab.” One or two bad apples would say, “Well, it depends.

If we travel, if we do this or that.” But Alhamdulillah the majority of them are committed by their own will. So you (women) should stand up defend Islam by being a female and saying what you believe. You can do as a single woman a lot in relief work, In Da’wah work. You can write, if you have the intellect and the power to write articles and participate in the media, by writing and by voicing your conviction over the people.

The sky is the limit, providing you are abiding by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. And not going one inch out of that. If you are married, then it is a completely different case. Your priority is your husband. And that is why the role of a woman who is married in being productive, as a priority, comes her husband, children and house. “Yes sheikh, but I can help in building a rocket for NASA. I can dig oil wells.” No, no. all of this does not mean anything in Islam. Allah tells you to stay in your home. And you will be rewarded in the highest levels in Jannah (In Shaa Allah), to the extent that if you look at the women of Jannah, you will find that 4 of them are the elite and the top of all females.

Who are they? Asiyah bint Imran, the wife of the Pharaoh, and Mariyam, and Khadijah, and her daughter Fatimah are the 4 elite women. Khadijah, we don’t have a lot to know about her. But what work did she do to Islam and to humanity, to take such a high position in Paradise: Nothing much, to our knowledge. Maybe she narrated two or three hadiths; When the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam came from Ghar Hira, he was frightened and she comforted him and believed in him. Ok, a lot of the women would have done this. She comforted the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, to the extent that she deserved the highest level in Paradise. Once the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was sitting with Khadijah and he said, “Khadijah, this is Jibre’el coming and he greets you with the greeting of Islam and he says to me ‘Give Khadijah the glad tidings of a castle or a palace in Jannah made of pearl that has no tiredness in it, nor she would hear any loud noise.’” Now scholars commented on this and they said, “Ok. To have a palace in Paradise is great, but maybe the description was where she would have hundreds of cars, thousands of maids, tons of gold and silver, this would be more appropriate.” The other scholars said, “No. The thing that she gave to the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, she is rewarded accordingly in Paradise.” Whenever the Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was in his home not a single child’s voice was heard and she tried her level best to keep the noise down.

Not only that, out of experience of phone calls and problem solving and marital affairs: women nag like crazy. When they speak, they don’t stop. And I know this for a fact. And sisters call me complaining, “My husband does this and that.” And Wallahi few days ago, I timed her speaking for 17 minutes. She is talking and talking and talking. And the good thing is I use a Bluetooth head set, so I can type, I can eat, I can go here and there, and speak with sign language with my kids. And she is going on and on and on and then she finally stopped. She said, “What should I do, sheikh?” I said, “I can’t comment. Because I have to hear what he says, this is the norm. Because you say every bad thing you know of him, and you conceal the bad things in you.” She said, “No, I don’t do anything and I am like exactly what you heard.” And I said, “Listen,” and I spoke for two and a half minutes, “if I call your husband, he might say, ‘Sheikh, she is nagging all the time, and she is always questioning me and interrogating me, ‘Why did you do this, why did you do that? Why do you do this to your mother? Why did you do that to so and so? Why don’t you bring me this? Why don’t you bring me that?’’

The quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths in this article are not the exact words but a rough translation of the original ones.

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