Monday, October 26, 2009

The role model of Muslim women, part 1

In the Nmae of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah hi wabarakatuh

I would like to share some note from the women's halaqah I attended recently. I think most of us have probably heard or read about this topic, but for me, no matter how many time I hear it, I learnt or realized different things.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah drew four lines on the ground and said,(Do you know what these lines represent) They said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, The best among the women of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint `Imran and Asiyah bint Muzahim, wife of Fir`awn.)

It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari that the Messenger of Allah said,
Many men have reached the level of perfection, but none among women have reached this level except Asiyah -- Fir`awn's wife, Maryam--the daughter of `Imran, and Khadijah--the daughter of Khuwaylid.

Let us look at how these women reach their level of perfection state (ihsan). In Surah Tahrim (66) verse 11 to 12, the story of Asiyah bint Muzahim and Maryam, Um Isa alaihisalam is related:

11) And Allah citeth an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh when she said: My Lord! Build for me a home with thee in the Garden, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from evil-doing folk;
12) And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient.

In tafsir Ibn Kathir for ayah 11

Qatadah said, "Fir`awn was the most tyrannical among the people of the earth and the most disbelieving. By Allah! His wife was not affected by her husband's disbelief, because she obeyed her Lord. Therefore, let it be known that Allah is the Just Judge Who will not punish anyone except for their own sins.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Sulayman said, "The wife of Fir`awn was tortured under the sun and when Fir`awn would finish the torture session, the angels would shade her with their wings. She was shown her house in Paradise.'' Ibn Jarir said that Al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah said, "Fir`awn's wife used to ask, `Who prevailed' When she was told, `Musa and Harun prevailed', she said, `I believe in the Lord of Musa and Harun.' Fir`awn sent his aides to her and said to them, `Find the biggest stone. If she insists on keeping her faith, throw the stone on her, otherwise she is my wife. When they came to her, she looked up to the sky and was able to see her house in Paradise. She persisted on the faith and her soul was then captured. The stone was thrown on her lifeless body.'' This is the meaning of her statement,

(My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir`awn and his work,) means, `deliver me from him, because I am innocent of his actions.

Now, try to imagine that: you are married to one of the richest king who is a kafir/tyrant, living in the life of luxury, big palaces, all jewelery, beautiful clothes and perfume, you can have anything you want and servants/slaves doing anything and everything for you, will you be able to stand up against your kafir/tyrant and give everything up for your believe to receive tortures and getting stone thrown on your body? Allah spared her from feeling the pain it seems because her soul was taken before the stone was thrown to her, Masya Allah.

Ibn Kathir explained this verse (And We breathed into it (private part) through Our Ruh,) meaning, through the angel Jibril. Allah sent the angel Jibril to Maryam, and he came to her in the shape of a man in every respect. Allah commanded him to blow into a gap of her garment and that breath went into her womb through her private part; this is how `Isa was conceived.

Now try to imagine the trials Maryam went through. You lived in the temple all your life, a man came (Gabriel in the form of a man) and breath the spirit of new baby into you and walla, you conceive a baby, who talks as a baby! What a "scandal"! And she has to endure trials upon trials, on account of being Allah's chosen.

How have we been tested? Have we passed them, or do we repeat the same trial?

Now let us look at the life of Fatimah and Khadijah. Before Khadijah married Muhammad (saw), she was a wealthy woman. She loved and supported her husband and was the first woman to believe in his message. She sacrificed everything for Allah's sake and died poor and hungry. Can we make the same sacrifice?

I imagine Fatimah as a quiet, obedient daughter. I read a hadith stating that her disposition is very similar to her father, Rasullullah (saw). The mahr for her marriage to Ali is a mail-chain, I think some kind of shield. She used to grind her own grain and draw water from the well. Can you imagine any of our present day princess or even minister's daughter living and working like Fatimah?

We dream and talk about wanting Jannah. Do you know that Jannah is expensive? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to get there? What have you sacrificed lately?
We want our daughters to be like Fatimah, are we raising them the same way the Prophet raised her?

In the beginning of the school year this year, President Obama deliver a special message to the school children in America. Aliyyah (5 years old)came home and told me about it. She mentioned that President Obama told the children to stop watching TV, to tell their parents to stop watching TV. He told them about how his mother used to wake him up at 4 o'clock to help him study and that he wants the children to work and study hard. It makes a big impression on her and I think she will remember it all her life. I shed a tear when I think about his mother's sacrifice and how Allah has rewarded her through her son. May Allah give him guidance for he has bring hope and help to the Muslim in America and around the world.

For those who are new to the blog, I live in Silver Spring Maryland, USA and Aliyyah is my daughter.