The Status of Women before and after Islaam – Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan

islam-and-woman

The Status of the Woman before Islaam:

What is meant “before Islaam” here is the period known as Jaahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance), which the Arabs used to live in specifically and the people of the whole world in general. This was when the people did not have any Messengers amongst them and they were void of any guidance. And as is stated in the hadeeth, “Allaah looked at them – both Arabs and Non-Arabs – and hated them, except for some remnants from the People of the Book (who stayed upon the true message).” 

In most cases, the woman of this time period lived under critical conditions – especially those in the Arab societies, where they used to hate it when a girl was born. So amongst the Arabs were those who would bury their daughter while she was still alive until she died below the earth. And amongst them were those who let them live only to find a life of humiliation and degradation. Allaah says: “And when news of the birth of a female child was brought to any of them, his face would become dark and filled with grief. He hides himself from the people because of the evil that he has been informed of. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.” [Surah An-Nahl: 58-59]

And Allaah says: “And when the female child who was buried in the ground will be questioned – for what sin was she killed?” [Surah At-Takweer: 8-9]

The word maw’oodah refers to the baby girl that was buried alive and left to die inside the earth. And if she was spared from being buried alive and allowed to live, then indeed she found herself living a life of degradation. This is since she was not allowed to inherit any portion of her relative’s estate no matter how much money he had and regardless of if she was suffering from poverty and dire need. The reason for this is because they would make the inheritance specific for men in exclusion of women. In fact, she would be distributed as part of her deceased husband’s estate, just as his money would be distributed in inheritance!

And there would be found a score of women living under one man, since they would not put any limits to the number of wives they could marry. So they wouldn’t show any concern for what occurred to the women as a result of that, such as living under cramped conditions, inconveniences and injustice.

The Status of the Woman after Islaam: 

But when Islaam came, it uplifted these injustices from the woman and returned her honor and self-esteem in humanity back to her. Allaah says: “O mankind, indeed We created you from a male and a female.” [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 13]

So Allaah mentions that she is the partner of man in the origin of humanity and likewise, she is partners with man in terms of being rewarded or punished for actions performed. Allaah says:“Whoever does good deeds, – whether male or female – while he or she is a true believer, to him We will give a good life and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” [Surah An-Nahl: 97]

Allaah says: “So that Allaah may punish the male and female hypocrites and the male and female polytheists.” [Surah Al-Ahzaab: 73]

And Allaah made it forbidden to consider a woman as a possession to be inherited from her dead husband’s estate, as He says: “O you who believe, you are forbidden to inherit women against their will.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 19]

So Allaah gave her independence in her individuality, such that she became one who can inherit as opposed to an object of inheritance. And Allaah gave the woman a right in the inheritance of her relative’s wealth. Allaah says: “There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by their parents and close relatives, whether the property be small or large – a legal share.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 7]

And Allaah says: “Allaah commands you as regards your children’s inheritance: to the male a portion equal to that of two females. If there are only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 11]

And this goes as well for the other texts that state a woman can inherit whether she be a mother, a daughter, a sister or a wife.

In the area of marital affairs, Allaah limited a husband to marrying the maximum of four wives, on the condition that he treats all of his wives fairly and equally according to his ability. And He obligated to the husbands to live with them in kindness, as He says: “And live with them honorably.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 19]

And He made the dowry her right and He commanded that it be given to her in full except for that which she permits from her own good will. Allaah says: “And give to the women their dowry with a good heart. But if they, out of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it without any fear of harm.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 4]

And Allaah made her the caretaker, commanding good and forbidding evil in the household of her husband – and the leader over her children. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “A woman is the guardian of her husband’s household and she will be asked (on the Day of Judgement) concerning those under her care.” Also, Allaah made it obligatory for the husband to spend on her and to clothe her in a good manner.

What the Enemies of Islaam and their Offshoots want today from their stripping the Woman of her Honor and rights: 

Indeed the enemies of Islaam – rather the enemies of humanity – today, from the disbelievers, hypocrites and those who have a disease in their hearts are enraged about what the Muslim woman has achieved from honor, glory and chastity in Islaam. This is because the enemies of Islaam from the disbelievers, hypocrites and those who have a disease in their hearts – they want from the woman that she serve as a trap by which they can lure and catch those with weak Eemaan and those who have perverted natures, after having fulfilled their depraved desires from her. Allaah says: “But those who follow their lusts wish that you should deviate tremendously away.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 27]

And those who have a disease in their hearts among the Muslims want the woman to be a cheap commodity exhibiting herself to those people of lustful desires and devilish inclinations. They want her to serve as an open commodity before their eyes so that they may find entertainment in her beautiful appearance or perhaps they may make her do something far worse than that.

This is why they expend great efforts in trying to make the woman go out of her home so that she can participate with men in their jobs – working side by side with them. Or that she can serve and tend to men as a nurse in the hospital or a flight attendant on an airplane or a teacher or professor in mixed non-segregated schools Or that she be an actress in the theatres or a singer or a broadcaster on the various forms of media – exposing her face and enticing men by her voice and appearance.

And the immoral magazines have taken pictures of young girls that are looking provocative and naked as a means for promoting and marketing their magazines. And some businessmen and companies have taken these pictures also as a means for promoting their product, such that they place these pictures in their advertisements and exhibits.

These evil actions are meant to distract the woman from her real and true duty, which is in the home. And this forces the husbands to hire female servants to raise their children and take care of the affairs of their households, which results in much mischief and great evil.

However, we don’t restrict a woman from working outside of her home, so long as she abides by the following guidelines:

1. She must have a need for doing this work or the community she lives in requires her to do this job, such that there cannot be found any man that can do the job.

2. She should do this after fulfilling the job she has at home, which is her primary job.

3. This job must be in an environment of women only, such as her teaching women (only) or doctoring and nursing female patients. And her work must be separate from men.

4. Likewise, there is nothing that restricts her from learning the affairs of her Religion – in fact she is obligated to do this. And there is nothing preventing her from teaching about the aspects of her Religion, so long as there is a need for that and her teaching is held in an environment of (only) women. And there is no harm in her attending classes in a masjid and so on, while being consistent in that and segregated from men. This can be seen from the women in the beginning of Islaam (i.e. the Sahaabiyaat), in that they would work and study and attend the masaajid.

Source: Tanbeehaat ‘alaa Ahkaam takhtassu bil-Mu’minaat (pg. 6-11)

Taken From – Invitation To Islaam

She is the woman-I want to be!

By Umm ‘Aisha

She was a wealthy business woman, noblest in the area, strongest in her character but softest from her heart. She had experienced a lot of difficulties in her 40 years of life including the death of her noble father and facing widow-ship twice. She had grown old by now, but a gem like her would need protection. She was destined for the best of all men and was now the wife of Al-Ameen.

She knew that she was honored to be his wife, but it didn’t make her proud rather it added to her beauty. A real women- as she was, she handed over her business matters to her husband and felt satisfied with the role of a simple and devoted housewife.

Though she was elder in age, yet she assisted him so well that his heart was soon hers.

She would love serving him herself, fulfilling all his needs, ensuring his satisfaction, happiness and comfort. All this was not expected from a women of such high status, but she proved herself to be an ideal wife.

Time was flying smoothly when she would sense some disturbance. Khadija’s love, the center of her life, her beloved husband– didn’t seem peaceful, his eyes would search something that he didn’t know. He was still the best to his wife and family, but he had a spiritual thirst to be quenched. She would recognize all his questions but didn’t have any answer to them. She could also feel the same void in her heart, but his pain was more than hers. He had started loosing interest in worldly matters now and Khadija, once again had to handle the business. She could read her husband’s heart beats so well that she did not need to ask him any whys, whats and hows! All that concerned her, was Muhammad’s (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) life, his protection and peace of heart.

She would guard him outside Cave Hira when he would go there out of frustration, when he needed to be alone with his Lord. She would also look after the business, the children at home and all domestic matters while Muhammad (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) would watch the House of ALLAH from the mount wondering about the “Missing Element”. She dared not to utter a single sigh on the problems she was facing because of “The Change” her husband was going through.

She was standing beside him as a firm wall, when one night he came running towards her from Hira, trembling was his tone and all he would say was “Cover me up”. She didn’t question anything before comforting him, he had something strange to tell her. It would have shocked her that her Love was near death a while ago, but all she had to do was to support him. She showed full trust in ALLAH and relaxed him by saying that ALLAH would not leave him because he had a noble character.

Understanding the scenario as a matter related to heavens, she took him to her cousin who knew the earlier heavenly scriptures.

Everything was soon clear to the worried couple. But never did they imagine of facing extreme hardships out of their empathy for the people.The sun in the form of Islam had risen to conquer the darkness, and Muhammad was chosen as the Final Messenger of ALLAH, may Peace and Blessings of ALLAH be upon him.

His thirst was quenched and he was shown the right path now.


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And He found you lost and guided [you] [93:7]

But every blessing comes with trials, so did this honor. Khadija trusted the words of her husband, accepted his Message and became the first Muslimah. She had the insight of the importance of her husband’s mission and it kept her firm on her support for Muhammad (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) The couple had to go through a list of trials only because they were delivering the True Message. She had always been the best emotional counselor for him (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) but now the need of her counseling had increased. He would come home with a heavy heart after listening to the allegations of his own people, who once used to call him As-Saadiq and Al-Ameen, and Khadija would remove all the pains and sufferings.

Situation was getting worse each day but it only added strength to the Imaan of Muhammad (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) and his followers. Khadija spent all her wealth for the cause of Islam and proved her sincerity to her husband. Her Imaan was strong enough to bear the pain of divorce for two of her daughters and the torture from the whole city. She never complained to Muhammad (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam), neither did she expressed any discomfort, she was still serving her husband as before. Her service to Islam and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) of Islam won her the tidings of Jannah in this world and ALLAH sent her “Salaam” from the seventh heaven. She helped the Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) all her life and her belief was strengthened by time but the whirlpools of Shaiba-e- Abi Talib worsen her health, and she died at the end of the 3 years’ boycott.

Such was the character of the beloved wife of the last Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam), Khadija (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha).

May her soul rest in Peace. Aameen.

A Tale Of Beauty…

 

By Bint Salman

make up itemsAppearances Are Deceptive:

She elegantly walked with her low-cut gown and long bare legs on the red-carpet. The glitter on her visage shone brilliantly as she threw smiles at the audience waving her hand up in the air. The golden crown on her head was her dream that had come true. Amidst the glamour and celebration, she felt her heart slowly sinking in, the vacuum in her getting larger, and happiness culminating in a strong wave of anxiety. Is that all she got after a long wait? she got everything she ever desired then WHY?…why is life so hollow and incomplete?

Tears trickled down her cheeks, she was lost but she couldn’t figure out why!

Days later she committed suicide..

The term beauty is quite flexible; everyone seems to have his own way of defining it. The beauty pageants organized every year may arrive at their tough decision of identifying the most beautiful girl from across the globe and crowning her for her ravishing outward appearance. But this is just a trivial matter of something which is apparent; the looks. What lies beyond those looks? A hidden horrible adulteress, cabinet filled with anti-depressants, tentative cuts around the wrist due to suicidal attempts, a state of constant unrest  and apathy? For sure we don’t know. The fashion and beauty industry are muti million dollar industries, smartly exploiting women.Woman want to be in the rat race by either providing their services as  fashion/beauty icons or by proving as the potential customers of designers from Haute Couture.

The tale of beauty and glamour which is so well-known today is nothing but an epic delusion; it’s so hollow and superficial.Instead of being influenced by it, you should relish walking in your own beauty that shines from your faith and obedience to the Creator.

Am I Really Beautiful?!

You should not consider anyone as a standard of beauty such as a certain celebrity or super-model. Do not compare your looks to those around, in this way you just end up hurting yourself more by feeling more dissatisfied about the shape of your nose, skin complexion, hair color or whatever it is. There is a huge diversity in the creation of Allah; each one of us is different and unique. The comparison only leads to jealousy, envy, frustration and disappointment. You can make the most of your capabilities, talents and excel in something you have passion for instead of wasting time in such comparisons which grieve you.

Whoever told you that you are ugly is either ignorant or heedless of the fact that Al-Kha’aliq: The Creator and Al-Mussawir: The Fashioner has created all of us in the best of form. In His Creation is the epitome of perfection. Allah says:

‘Verily,we Created man in the best form’ (Surah At-Teen – Ayah 4). 

In surah Taghabun Allah says:

“He created the heavens and earth in truth and formed you and perfected your forms; and to Him is the [final] destination.” (Taghābun, 64:3)

Though He confers upon some certain blessings and keeps others from having those to test all. So we find some people indulging in disobedience of Allah through those blessings, thereby failing the test while others who are deprived of those blessings showing impatience and discontent also failing the test. The essential requirement of passing the test is profession of satisfaction and gratitude in heart and declaring: Alhumdulillah!

So, you have now a strong reason to be happy, bold and pleased with the way you naturally look even when you don’t have your make-up or lenses on.

Beauty Lies in the Eyes of Beholder:

Every person has his own way of grading looks, for some a heart-shaped face is more adorable, while others find a slightly long face with sharp features more exotic. In truth the eye is pleased with what the heart approves!

The fear of rejection and denial should not be fostered as it damages ones confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. There is a motivation factor for all those sisters who believe that they aren’t beautiful in the fact that ‘it is strength of conviction, good character, modesty and steadfastness which renders an everlasting and profound beauty. These were the qualities which adorned the most beautiful women who made history. Do we know any precise details of their shapes and curves? It’s only the details of their courage and the way they spent their lives in accordance to their conviction and relationship with Allah that adorned the pages of those books, and that every time we read about them we are taken by awe and get remarkably inspired arriving at a sensible conclusion that these were truly the most beautiful women that ever existed on the face of this planet.

Any woman who emulates these perfect role-models succeeds in becoming the most beloved in the sight of her Creator. After all, what more does a sincere believer desire than to be the best in the sight of the one she/he loves the most?. This thought itself is so empowering and brings multiple benefits:

-As a Muslimah fixes herself for her Creator and makes His pleasure and His love her ultimate goal in life she feels the deep void within her gradually filling up, completing her soul.

-As she finds her true purpose in life , the discovery opens doors of happiness and success in her life.She lives by the goal of spending her life in serviude to Allah, fills her heart with the love of her Master to a point that worldly attachments get minuscule and vague.

-She doesn’t crave for any na-mahram’s attention or compliments on her looks. She keeps herself from flaunting her beauty in front of those who try to take advantage of it by crowning herself with obedience of Allah through Hijaab. Her beauty keeps growing under the protection of this modest covering exactly the way a pearl is furnished with luster inside the covering of an oyster deep down in oceans and seas.

-She focuses more on beautifying her inner which doesn’t age, wrinkle or wither by time but will make her scales go down by it’s weight on the day of judgment.

Narrated by Abu Darda: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “There is nothing heavier upon the scale of a believer (on the Day of Judgment) than good character.”

Therefore, if you imitate actresses or super-models, you will never be able to achieve happiness and confidence, so discover yourself and  be yourself.

The man who truly fears Allah values a fore mentioned traits in a woman and finds her beautiful irrespective of whether she has an ideal figure, height and complexion or not. So don’t worry he will love you for the way you are ( but that doesn’t mean I don’t encourage women to groom themselves and make an effort to look good for their husband, ofcourse they should within the bounds of sharia)

”O Allah! as you have Created my External Beautiful, Beautify my Character (inner) as well.”

HIJAAB: A Door to REAL Liberation and Intellect.

By Bint Salman

Certain essential  requirements before going out (According to many females)

1) A nice low cut outfit, or at least a tight fitting one.

2) Lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara, illuminator cosmetics.

3) Hair styling

…4,5,6,7,8…….you name it !

Is it mandatory to have these before going out or have you imposed them as a necessity on yourself just to gain acceptance from society?

Well!  don’t you think life is something more than just dabbing glosses so that you could display your beauty in public, rather in more accurate terms your na-mahram which include the offenders who sit  eagerly in  wait to catch their prey whenever they get a chance to or those lustful eyes which scrutinize with lust each and every part of your body.

Can’t you separate the truth from falsehood? Have you tried to lift the veil of ignorance  from your eyes and see the truth behind all the mess these liberalists  have put you in?.

Under the slogan of liberation , these so called ‘advocates of freedom’ advertise enough to inspire the female masses in becoming a slave to their modernistic rather misleading ideologies  Resultantly every girl wants to blindly do everything that’s ‘ in vogue’ irrespective of whether her religion permits her or not.

It’s not prohibited to dress up nicely , wear make up or perfume but under the bounds of shariah, only in front of mahrams, but unfortunately many Muslim sisters don’t understand now a days.

Liberation or pseudo-liberation?

Those women who dress up immodestly in public, with their dresses revealing all the minute details of their bodies are considered modern, in this progressing world while those who wear the veil, who guard their modesty are looked as ‘extremists’, bunch of backward folks . Keeping aside all the materialistic standards of  liberation,lets open our minds to think.

Is it freedom that a girl is programmed into fulfilling all these self-imposed requirements before going out? Is it liberty as these seculars claim? Is it not disagreeable that a girl has to appear before men beautified, virtually  naked or in see through and skimpy outfits? each time before leaving for work she has to wear a knee length skirt and put on makeup even if it’s -7 degrees or she’s allergic to cosmetics.She has been put to oppression in such a fashion where she lives in deception of being under liberation. It’s the worst form of slavery when she voluntarily presents herself to be taken advantage of, to be played brutally at the hands of men as an object worst than animals.

On the contrary Islam liberates women,elevates their status, encourages them to guard their modesty by covering themselves before appearing in public. A Muslimah thinks open-mindedly and chooses to obey  her Creator, therefore Hijaab becomes a symbol of her conviction.It’s not me or any Muslim clergyman commanding Muslim sisters to wear hijaab but Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) commands the believing women in Surah Noor verse 31 and Ahzab verse 59:

” And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over their Juyub and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or their right hand possessions, or the Tabi`in among men who do not have desire, or children who are not aware of the nakedness of women. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (Noor:31)

In surah Ahzaab Allaah says:

” O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their Jalabib (outer garment larger than headscarf) over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Whom does this divine law benefit?

It’s usually an unbelievable situation when one knows a certain thing is of benefit to him/her yet doesn’t allow himself/herself to be benefited by it. Whom does wearing hijaab benefit? Does it benefit Allaah in any way? Certainly not!. It benefits none other then the one who wears  it.

Firstly it distinguishes the believing women from disbelieving counterparts and dignifies them which is really charming in and off itself. It gives them deep sense of self-respect and confidence in faith.

Secondly Hijaab protects the women from molesters,rapists, sexual offenders ,exactly the way a precious thing is hidden and protected from all hazards.The way pearls lie deep down in the ocean hidden in their oysters, and the diamonds in mines, likewise a  Muslimah is made precious like by enjoining this law upon her so that her dignity remains intact.

Define your real goal in life my dear sister in Islam:

 My dear  Muslim sisters,if you  claim to be  Muslim women then why do you find it hard to submit,when being a Muslim means one has submitted to the will of his/her Creator. Has not your Creator  commanded you to cover yourself up completely from head to toe, if not face and hands then at lest the rest of yourself in front all the namahram males? Is this command so difficult to obey?.

Do you know your real ambition in life should be to worship the Creator and not His Creations.This is the very purpose of your Creation as Allaah says in Surah Zarayaat:

”And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me” (51:56)

So don’t ignore the call of your inner nature (fitrah) which wants you to worship Allaah, to obey Him in all spheres of life.Don’t allow the deceivers to delude you into indulging in indecency and making it your only aim in life .You must abandon all the other trivial goals which lie in contradiction with the real goal of worshiping Allaah or all those distractions which take you away from chasing it.If you focus only and only on achieving it, then it will lead you to a life of happiness,bliss and tranquility.

Dear sister, don’t delay for death can overtake you anytime, would you like to die in disobedience?.Don’t be hesitant, don’t let shaitaan deceive you, for he is your open enemy and it pleases him when bashfulness leaves you because it is a branch of faith and according to an authentic hadith  Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Indeed haya (modesty) and Iman are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well.” (Baihaqi)

Don’t lose your emaan by your own hands.Don’t fear people and this society where immorals are taught more cleverly than morals and remember Allaah’s promise:

”And whoever follows My guidance,there shall be no fear on them,nor shall they grieve(2:38)