“If I were not a Muslim, I would have contracted AIDS”

How To Lower Our Gaze
A big curtain is not my intention, but a big iman and befitting Islamic manners is

“If I were not a Muslim, I would have contracted AIDS”, proclaimed my friend.

“The ayats in Sura Nur about lowering our gazes doesn’t affect me anymore,” expressed another youth, talking about the intense temptations felt by today’s young. Difficulty in lowering the gaze by both the young and old is readily perceived on the street, weddings, parties and even in the mosques.

What has gone wrong? How can Muslims, called by Allah, our Creator the model community, the custodians of Truth and the upholders of morality behave this way? Why are we adopting the attitudes and routes of the kuffar? How can we rectify ourselves? What follows is a series of practical, though graphic advises which can work for us and set us free from Satan’s stronghold, Insha`Allah.

Prophet Muhamad (saww), by way of warning and as a reminder said, “There is nothing left after I go more dangerous to men than the temptations of women”.

When Allah created humans with all our desires and urges, he also revealed to us sufficient and complete guidance to properly channel these desires, both in the midst of Dar-ul-Kufr or Dar-ul-Islam. All we need to do is seek it, contemplate on it and pursue it. “This day I have perfected your deen for you, completed my favors upon you and chosen Islam as your deen.” (Maida 4)

We should realize that the fact the great sahabas were human beings also. Biologically there were no different from us. They had desires and temptations but yet, they controlled themselves in the best of ways. We can do the same, Insha`Allah. To possess sensual passions is human, to control them is Muslim.

When confronted with an alluring situation like passing by a non-mahram on the street, office or school, Satan is constantly tempting us to glare at her/him with evil thoughts. Satan is probably excitingly saying, with a big smile, ‘yes, yes, yes,’ when we steer into the bait he is setting. During these situations, immediately and consciously realize that when we give a second or following glances, we are obeying Satan. “O you who believe, follow not the footsteps of the devil”. (24:21). By immediately averting our gazes and disobeying Satan, we are giving him a one-two punch in the face and leaving him frustrated and accursed.

Satan rebelled and was expelled by Allah, so let’s all rebel against Satan and expel him from our hearts. Satan intends to fight a war against Muslims, so let’s gather our forces behind the Qur`an and the Sunnah and defeat him. Remember that even if no human eye is watching us, the Ever-Watchful Allah is constantly monitoring the innermost regions of our hearts. Our eyes, limbs, tongue and private parts will be witnesses on the Judgment Day and not an atom’s worth of deed will remain unexamined.

Our minds are conditioned to associate thoughts of stealing clothes from a store to being in handcuffs and hauled into a police van. Likewise we should condition our minds to bring the verses of Surah Nur in front of our eyes during any tempting situations and imagine that Allah is speaking to us directly “Say to the believing, men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. O you believers! Turn you all together towards Allah that you may attain success” (24:30-31). If the Qur`an contained only these two ayats, it would be enough to convince me that it is the book of Allah.

With practice, these associations and the remembrance of Allah during tempting situations will prevent us from getting stuck by devilish arrows. Successfully controlling our gazes also deadens our avoidance of sinful situations. An Islamic idiom says, “Anything that leads to haram is haram in itself.” To do a pious deed is a reward; to avoid a sin is a reward too.

One of the biggest culprits in this class is movies. In the name of entertainment, to please our peers and children and an excuse to do something together as a family, we astonishingly allow un-Islamic pictures and dialogues in front of our eyes and ears. Can we ever imagine the Prophet or our Imams (aozubillah) renting the latest hit from Blockbuster Videos, or listening to music with alluring lyrics at high volume?

Likewise we watch news on TV and stare at the anchor women, adorned in heavy make-up, scanty clothing and seductive smile. Prophet Muhammad (saww), was once approached by a woman with a proposal for marriage. He took a single glance at her face and turned his face away. Jabir bin Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported: “I asked Allah’s messenger about the sudden glance on the face of a non-mahram. He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes.” Thus, we are not supposed to stare at faces of non-mahrams, be they are our fellow students, our elders, saleswomen or someone on TV.

Pious ladies of the prophet’s household were ordered to observe purdah (separation) in front of a blind sahabah. Asking the curious questions as to why cover/separate when the blind sahabah could not see them, the prophet (saww) wisely answered, “But you could see him.”

In our wedding ceremonies and parties and even in many Islamic fundraising dinners, there is heavy free-mixing between brothers and sisters. Often the chairs of males and females are arranged facing each other, knowing that about 90 percent of our sisters do no wear hijab. It is often noticeable to see males and females peeking glances at each other from the opposite ends of the hall. A big curtain is not my intention, but a big and befitting Islamic manners is.

It comes in a hadith that: “A woman who applies perfumes and goes to a gathering is like an adulteress”. Compare this with our sisters who clad themselves with expensive perfume, one kilogram of makeup, and then come to mixed gatherings. Will this not attract the attention of males? Let’s be real. We have lowered our moral guards so low that a humble word of truth often seems so awfully strange.

Let us contemplate the above humble advices and constantly make the supplication, “O Allah help us control our sensual desires until we get married, and even after we marry, let our desires be only towards our spouses.”

By Sabeel Ahmed

The Hijab is an act of Obedience

1. The Hijab is an act of Obedience

 

 

 

Wearing hijab is an act of obedience to Allah (swt). Obedience manifests as worship to Allah (swt) which is part of our Tawheed. Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His messenger have decreed a matter that they should have an option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed strayed in a plain error.

[Surah Al Ahzab 33:36]

 

 

2. The Hijab is Modesty

 

 

 

Allah (swt) made the adherence to the hijab a manifestation for chastity and modesty. Allah says:

 

O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they should be known and not molested. [Surah Al Ahzab 33:59]

 

In the above verse there Allah (swt) gives the hijab as a preventative action to safeguard their chastity.

 

Abu Dawud related that `Aiesha (ra) said:

 

“After this Ayah was revealed the women of the Ansar appeared like crows (because of the color and shape of the cloaks they wore).

 

 

 

3. The Hijab is Tahara (Purity)

 

 

 

Allah (swt) had shown us the hikmah (wisdom) behind the legislation of the hijab:

 

And when you ask them (the Prophet’s wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen; that is purer for your hearts and their hearts. [Surah Al Ahzab 33:53]

The hijab makes for greater purity for the hearts of believing men and women because it screens against the desire of the heart. Without the hijab, the heart may or may not desire. That is why the heart is more pure when the sight is blocked (by hijab) and thus the prevention of fitna (evil actions is very much manifested. The hijab cuts off the ill thoughts and the greed of the sick hearts:

 

Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery, etc) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. [Surah Al Ahzab 33:32]

 

 

4. The Hijab is a Shield

 

 

The prophet (saw) said:

 

“Allah, Most High, is Heaven, is Ha’yeii (Bashful), Sit’teer ‎‎(Shielder). He loves Haya’ (Bashfulness) and Sitr (Shielding; Covering).”

 

The Prophet ‎‎(saw) also said:

 

“Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her husband’s house (to show off for unlawful purposes), has broken Allah’s shield upon her. “

 

 

5. The Hijab is Taqwah (Piety)

 

 

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

 

O children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc) and as an adornment. But the raiment of righteousness, that is better. [Surah Al A’raf 7:26]

 

The widespread forms of dresses in the world today are mostly for showing off and hardly taken as a cover and shield of the woman’s body. To the believing women, however the purpose is to safeguard their body and cover their private parts as a manifestation of the order of Allah. It is an act of Taqwah (piety).

 

 

 

6. The Hijab is Iman (Belief or Faith)

 

 

 

Allah (swt) did not address His words about the hijab except to the believing women, ‘Al-Mu’minat’. In many cases in the Qur’an Allah refers to the “the believing women“.

 

Aiesha ‎‎(ra), the wife of the Prophet (saw), addressed some women from the tribe of Banu Tameem who came to visit her and had light clothes on them, they were improperly dressed:

 

If indeed you are believing women, then truly this is not the dress of the believing women, and if you are not believing women, then enjoy it.”

 

 

 

7. The Hijab is Haya’ (Bashfulness)

 

 

 

There are two authentic hadith which state, the Messenger (saw) said:

Each religion has a morality and the morality of Islam is haya‘” and “Bashfulness is from belief, and belief is in Al-Jannah ‎‎(paradise).”

 

The hijab fits the natural bashfulness which is a part of the nature of women.

 

 

 

8. The Hijab is Gheerah

 

 

 

Gheerah is a driving emotion that drives the straight man to safeguard women who are related to him from strangers. The hijab fits the natural feeling of Gheerah, which is intrinsic in the straight man who does not like people to look at his wife or daughters.

 

The Muslim man should have gheerah for all Muslim women in response to lust and desire, men look (with desire) at other women while they do not mind that other men do the same to their wives or daughters. The mixing of sexes and absence of hijab destroys the Gheera in men.

 

Islam considers Gheerah an integral part of faith. The dignity of the wife or daughter or any other Muslim woman must be highly respected and defended.

 

 

Courtesy :Islambase Publications

Family ties in Islam

In today’s modern life, values have turned upside down, family life, that was always the very heart of society is attacked just as much as many other handed-down traditions.Yet, neither socialism nor any other “isms” will ever be able to oust what has been implanted into human nature, the need of social ties and the warmness of ties of blood that Allah has ordered us to maintain.

In Muslim world family life with all its aspects concerning not only husband, wife and children, but all other relatives too, is so firmly established by tradition as well as by religious law that it could not be affected seriously.

It is the firm structure of Islamic family life based on the following four fundamentals that makes morals values so enduring and enables them to outlive Western practices. They are based on Qur’anic regulations and the traditions from the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), handed down from generation to generation.

1. Family life as a cradle of human society providing a secure, healthy and encouraging home for all its members.

2. Family life as guardian of the natural erotic desires of men and women, leading this powerful urge into wholesome channels.

3. Family life as the very breeding-place for human virtues like love, kindness, mercy.

4. Family life as the most secure refuge against inward and outward troubles.

An ever valid and never outgrowing aspect of Islamic family life is, however, that the strength of all the four pillars is made up by the system. And it must not be forgotten, that the benefits of family life are extended not only to blood relations but encompass also the world-wide family of Muslims, the Islamic brotherhood.

The exact meaning of the word rahim is “womb”. It is derived from the root raheem which means to have mercy on. Two of Allah’s names – Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem – are derived from the same root.

The word is used figuratively to refer to relatives.

Al-Qurtubi said:

“The family ties which must be maintained are general and specific. The general one is the relations of Islam. It is obligatory to maintain connections with them with friendly relations, advice, justice, fairness and fulfilling ones obligations to them in the obligatory and the commendable. The specific includes financially supporting family members, checking on their condition and overlooking their mistakes.”

Allah says:

“O people! Beware of your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and spread from those two many men and women and beware of Allah in whose name you ask one another and [beware of] the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watchful over you.” Qur’an (4:1)

Ties of blood were given importance in the jahiliya (life before Islam), but this didn’t really include women – the “causes” or “links” in family ties. Girls were murdered for fear of them being captured by opposing tribes and being a source of shame. Wives were treated as goods and “inherited” by male relatives without having any say in the matter. Women had no defined property rights. Inheritance customs of the jahiliya dictated that the male relatives – those most capable of fighting and defending the family – took everything even if the deceased left a wife and children. They would be left with nothing at all.

Islam came and changed all this and while confirming the blood ties respected in the jahiliya, Islam put much more focus on the women and gave them their rights of property, inheritance, etc., prevented their murder and named family ties after them by using the word for “womb”.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

“Allah has forbidden you irritating your mothers, burying your daughters, witholding and “Give me”. And He hates for you “It was said” and “He said”, too many questions and the wasting of wealth.”

Cutting family ties which should be maintained has serious consequences in this life and in the hereafter. It is one of the worst of the major sins.

Allah says:

“Those who join that which God has Commanded to be joined, and have awe for their Lord, and fear the constraint of the reckoning.” Qur’an (13:21)

So let’s obey Allah, let’s keep our blood ties. when you come to think of it, that’s what we need nowadays and forever, maintaining family ties is what implants inside us the sense of stability and spiritual peacefulness. Let’s stay close to our families and our relatives.

A Father’s Family Duties

The definition of the patriarchal family system has been the subject of various interpretations and comments in the laws of different countries. Basically the point should be discussed as to whether or not it is necessary that one should rule over the other in the bilateral partnership which is established between a husband and wife, whose goal is marital living and raising of children? And if it is necessary, then why should the husband be charged with it? Based upon individual liberty and the necessity of honoring the opinion of other persons, some believe that the family should be jointly run by both husband and wife. But other lawyers, while confirming the fact that the parties should solve their problems with mutual understanding, believe that man is more competent in the final decision owing to more social experience, and that emotional aspects interfere with his decision-making less than that of a woman. Therefore, in most countries, the husband’s rule over the family has been accepted in present civil codes. Of these, the civil codes of France, Switzerland and Italy could be mentioned which have explicitly accepted this matter. But what is meant by the patriarchal system, or as the Quran says, “Men are the maintainers of women?” (4:34). Can the husband run the family merely based upon his desires or is his power for managing the family limited to the good of the family members? Should he consider the good, comfort and prosperity of all the family members in every decision that he makes? There is no doubt that the patriarchial system is justified and acceptable only in the latter form. It can have no purpose other than this. The important point is that the husband’s rule over the family is not solely a right; rather it also has obligations entailed to it. One of the obligations that is created as a result of the patriarchal system, is the obligation to nourish. That is, the husband is obliged to provide the living necessaties of the wife and children. Why? The existence of this obligation is so that women may be able to proceed with managing the family’s internal affairs and raising the children with peace of mind. In this way, the anxiety over providing food and the basic necessities of life would not deprive them of peace of mind, which is among the ingredients of good management of the family life, the establishment of peace in the house and in the warm nucleus of the family? In this way, wives are able to give their husbands’ rest without any anxiety and with a firm heart and a peace of mind. The verdict of the obligatory nature of the man’s responsibility to pay for the expenses of the wife and children is coupled with an important guarantee. No disruption should occur in managing of the family, which might hinder women’s lives. A husband’s abuse of his wife by forcing his wife to work in order to gain the means of livelihood to pay the living costs should be prevented. In furtherance of this, Islamic jurisprudents, based upon valid documents, have proclaimed that should a husband who is capable of paying the family expenses, refrain from doing so, the wife has the right to refer to a religious arbitrator and to force the husband to pay. If the religious arbitrator does not succeed, he would order the husband to divorce his wife, for according to the rule of negation of hardship, which is one of the important rules of jurisprudence based upon reason and substantiated by Quranic verses and narrations, no verdict and the enforcing of no rights should result in difficulty and cause hardship, just as we know in the precepts governing the ritual prayers, one could perform the dry ablution instead of the minor ablution, should use of water prove to be harmful. In the legal issues and those concerning the relations between individuals, no verdict should cause loss and hardships. Since the continuation of marital life could put place the women in a difficult position in the case of non-payment of the expenses by the husband, the religious judge and the representative of Islamic society could force the husband to separate at the final point. At this point, it might be useful to state that due to the direct responsibility of man in managing the family, if he has other individuals who he must support like a mother and father and his income cannot provide the expenses of all of these people, then the wife’s expenses take precedence over other deserving relatives. With this, we observe how providing the wife’s peace of mind and living expenses is the most important obligation of the husband. In addition to supplying the material needs of the family, the husband’s running of the family must be towards creating the means of welfare and spiritual comfort of the wife and children, and not towards a dictatorial and brutal attitude. Basically a good attitude in the family has been taken to be a good criterion. It is quoted from the Holy Prophet (SAW), “The best among you is the one who has the best attitude towards his family.” Such a person, due to the responsibility, which he is charged with towards the members of his family, will expend all of his efforts for their welfare and comfort. Women, on the other hand, are encouraged to satisfy their husbands and to create an atmosphere of sincerity and serenity in the house through their good temper, mild and friendly attitude. During the time of the Holy Prophet, when one of the pure hearted and eloquent Muslim women complained about the mandate of Islam and asked why women were not allowed to participate in jihad and defense of Islam as an active soldier, the Prophet answered, “Your good behavior towards your husbands and well-management of the house is like jihad.” With this remark, the Prophet had wanted to implant the idea that men and women should pay their debt to society with each other’s help and according to the responsibilities that have been entrusted to each of them. One works in the battlefront and the other should work behind the lines. Each of them not only undertakes a part of the duties of life during war and jihad, but also during the period of peace which helps the correct management of the society through its performance and with each others help.

What is a woman? And when is she most loved by Allah? by Maulana Sadeq Hasan

Translated from an Urdu speech by Maulana Sadeq Hasan
Once the Prophet while sitting with his companions in the
Mosques poses a question to them : “What is a woman?” All of his
companions try to answer the question according to their ability.
Yet, each of the answer is being rejected as “No, that is not the
correct definition of a woman”.

The companion Salman al-Farsi who was watching all this decided to
quietly slip away from the back door of the Mosque where was the
house of the daughter of the Prophet . Salman asks Lady Fatemah
(SA) the same question that was asked by her father . Having
taken the reply from her (SA) he returns to the mosque. When he sits
on his seat again the Prophet asks him the question again and
he replies:

“Oh! Prophet of Allah I have just brought the answer from your
daughter Fatemah (SA) and she has said that ‘a woman is her hijab’ “
In other words, a second name for WOMAN is Hijab. The Prophet
was happy with this answer and said it to be the best one. Now he
asked his companions:

“Oh! My companions now tell me when a woman is the closest to Allah?”
Someone replied “When she is praying” another said “When she is
fasting” and yet others mentioned performing Hajj, giving alms and
zakat, being obedient to husband and parents. Everyone gives an
answer only to find it to be rejected. Once again Salman al-Farsi
slips out the back door to get the answer from the Chief of the Women
of Paradise (SA). On Salmans return he gives the answer that “My
master, I have once again asked your daughter for advice and she (SA)
has told me that; ‘A woman is closest to her Creator (Allah) when she
is in the inner most part of the house, that is, where the eyes of
the non-mahrams cannot reach her’”. Once again, the Prophet was
pleased with the answer given and said it to be the best one.

This is not to say that a woman should lock herself up inside the
house but it goes to show the importance of hijab and taking care to
keep oneself and ones beauty away from the eyes of those who are non-
mahrams.