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Death Cannot Do Us Part

Posted by Admin on February 17, 2010

By an anonymous sister

Every year, on 14th February, the month I happened to come into this world, I sometimes receive Valentine’s day messages or mails from people wishing me love and good cheer. Apparently, they have not heard I have gone ‘extremist.’ I take it as an opportunity to inform them of my ‘extremist’ views that have no room for birthdays, New Year or Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I do it apprehensively, as I do not want to hurt the feelings of loved ones. Sometimes, I do it hesitatingly, knowing I was amongst the ones who found no harm in it a while back. It makes me reassess my feelings: why is it that I do not want to celebrate it any more; why do I feel that it is wrong, and what’s the big deal about it anyway?

I grew up in a house, which thought Birthdays and the like were wrong, but I was a typical teenager and believed in everything my friends did. At that time, I could not understand what the big deal was about people getting together to clap and watch someone cut their cake and open their gifts.

I, too, grew up reading magical fairytales that always had a handsome prince falling in love with a princess and carrying her off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I watched Snowwhite and Cinderella that all focused on ‘falling in love’ and ‘having a good life.’

And I, too, grew up believing this is what life is all about. This is why we are here –to find the perfect soul mate and live happily ever after. I was addicted to reading novels that told me an exciting, romantic life was the essence of our existence, that spoke of gorgeous women enticing dashing men before they zoomed away in their private yacht to an exotic island.

The songs I heard would tell me love was waiting for me, I would find it or die of heartbreak in the process – how beautiful it all seemed. It would take me some time to come back into the real world that seemed mundane in comparison. Then too, I would keep thinking about some scene stuck in my mind from a book or a movie, ‘the way he looked into her eyes’, ‘the way she swirled in a breath taking dress as she danced’. I wanted to be like that – to be beautiful and happy and madly in love. Every movie, every song, every cartoon and book led me to believe that ‘love is all around me’ and ‘to live without love is not to have lived at all.’

Valentine’s Day would see all our friends discussing clandestine stories, gifts or cards or flowers from a secret admirer, declarations of long hidden love. Those who had no one would hope and wait for the next year. We all felt the compulsion to fall in love atleast once – or face the prospect of  having experienced nothing exciting in life. Most of us succumbed to this compulsion.

Well, all this was until one day I woke up. I came out of the fake world around me and realized that reality was much more vivid and lasting than its celluloid version. The culture of romanticism that had captured our hearts and brains was a ploy to keep us away from reality. Ironically, that too happened through a book. But it wasn’t like any book I had read before. It spoke in a way that made shivers run down my spine, made me cry as if my heart would break; as if the words were coming not from a book but from deep within my soul. It was the Book of Allah, my Creator, and it was more powerful than all the fantasies that I had been fettered with. I broke free at last.

Today I don’t dislike Valentine’s day (or Basant or whatever) just because it is an unIslamic, innovated celebration – and a lewd one at that – but because it is part of the culture of lust that has betrayed us all. That created in our impressionable minds a false image, that drugged us with the sweetest drug of romanticism, and made us forget the real reason why we are here in this world.

Just like in the movies, a space hero would be assigned the mission to save the world and would go to a planet on a mission to destroy the enemies and retrieve a precious life-saving potion. But the enemies have a deadly weapon, they project an illusion on a screen. They show him a beautiful place with the woman of his dreams and he goes into a stupor completely forgetting his mission. The planet is full of temptations and illusions that are projected according to his most coveted desires. He loses all track of time, even the fact that the world will be blown up any second, and all that matters to him now will not exist anymore. Lost in an imaginary, transient world, he forgets his purpose and hence loses everything.

That’s exactly what our greatest enemy has done. He has duped our minds into thinking that the images we see on TV are real; the glamorous lifestyles of superstars are achievable; the Valentine’s Day hotspots on our PCs are desirable; the romance in tear jerker movies is the greatest and that we must have a huge amount of fun in this world, because that is what will make us happy. While the clock ticks, Shaytan takes away our life before we can do anything productive with it. He has made us forget why we are here in this world and what our mission is, like the space hero. And what could be worse than that, because that means we have already lost the battle, we have laid down our arms and chose to watch ‘the reality show’ while reality passed us by. That is why we are told of a future scenario in the Quran:

(The hypocrites) will call the believers: “Were we not with you?” The believers will reply: “Yes! But you led yourself into temptations, you looked forward for our destruction; you doubted (in Faith); and you were deceived by false desires, till the Command of Allah came to pass. And the chief deceiver (Satan) deceived you in respect of Allah.’ (Al-Hadid: 14)

I thank Allah that He gave me a husband who taught me the true meaning of love and caring for the sake of Allah. This kind of love transcends all boundaries of space and time, and is truly everlasting, as it continues even after death, into the next life. Yet, the TV tells me that caring, sacrificing men are boring and Hugh Grant-like playboys are what we really want – so I got rid of the TV set.

We did not live happily ever after, because we are still in this world of test and deception and our battle with Shaytan and our own selves continues. Sometimes we win, but at times, we lose this battle.  Yet, at the end of the day, I am glad I have my husband fighting by my side.

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O Bearer of The Qur’an: Do You Act Upon It?

Posted by Admin on May 18, 2009

Bismillah

Author: Sadaf Farooqi

I get amused to read the occasional newspaper article describing the chagrin felt by well-established members of society at how more and more educated Pakistani women are adopting the Islamic dress code, or hijab. Whether by spotting a university bus full of black-abaya-clad students, or attending a hotel conference dominated by a significant proportion of women in hijab, some people are definitely not too happy about witnessing this growing phenomenon of women willingly covering themselves up before men.

The reason behind this heartening or disconcerting – whichever way you see it – trend, is undoubtedly the upsurge of regular Quran classes among the country’s educated women’s circles. Gone are the days when the Quran was opened only on deaths of relatives, or to be recited without comprehension on other occasions for the sole purpose of gaining blessings. Now, commendable efforts are being made to understand its meanings and ponder on its deeper message.

quran-closeup-

Allah’s Messenger [صلى الله عليه و سلم] said: “The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari: 5027]

As a result, any random “aunty” you’d meet at a wedding, grocery store or tailor’s shop will tell you that she attends such-and-such Quran class. Most of these classes, usually comprising tajweed, translation, and tafsir, among other subjects, are held in people’s homes. 

Although studying the Quran is highly praiseworthy, the fact remains that the basic purpose behind gaining knowledge of it is to act upon it; to mould oneself according to its commands; to change ourselves to how Allah wants us to be. The Quran should, in short, have a visibly profound effect on a person’s character, conduct, demeanor, and overall dealings with people. This usually takes some time – perhaps by going through the Quran in-depth a few times – but nevertheless, the Quran should have its intended effect eventually; one that is openly visible.

It should be a cause for concern if a person has been teaching or studying the Quran for several years, for example, by attending duroos or classes, but finds it difficult to act upon it, or to submit to its commands at the level of ihsaan (superlative degree). Teaching the Book of Allah – whether conducting a tajweed class, translation review, or tafsir – is the best ‘professional occupation’ in the world, so to speak. It comes with the added responsibility of embodying epitomic Muslim behavior and upright Islamic character. Of course, no one other than Allah can grant a person this level of action.

The Companions of the Prophet [صلى الله عليه و سلم] would not learn a new ayah, until they had incorporated the ones they already had studied, completely into their actions. As for us, we might claim that we are full-time “workers of Allah”, or “da’ee’s” dedicated to serving the Quran, but how much have our actions and character changed according to it?

Ask yourself some key questions:

  • Why is it that my prayers are different before people, as compared to when I am alone?
  • Why do I need to be woken up by someone else for Fajr?
  • Would I confidently recite the Quran to a Qari/shaikh, or would it cause me shame, as I still make too many mistakes?
  • Why do I wear an abaya to my Quran class but not to a wedding, the market or a family outing?
  • Why do I cover my face from one man at the Quran class venue but leave it unveiled in public places when I am out with my family?
  • Do I still desire and buy clothes, jewelry and interior decorations with the same frequency and zeal as I did before studying the Quran?
  • When buying something, do I focus on the label or the thing itself?
  • Is there any activity in my life that is not in the Sunnah, or is a gross imitation of the cultures of non-believers?
  • Why do I still call up my friend/sister/mother/cousin to gossip when I’m bored?
  • Do I hang out with/befriend people on the basis of their level of taqwa, or their standard of living?
  • Do I at least try to pray tahajjud in any month besides Ramadan?
  • How do I react when someone points out my weaknesses?
  • What thoughts occupy my mind when I am alone?

Muslims involved in Quran education, Sunnah propagation and da’wah, have a greater responsibility to act upon what they are preaching, and to cleanse their hearts from diseases of the self (nafs) and desires of this world. So renew your intention today, and ask Allah to help you submit to every command of the Quran at the degree of ihsaan.

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Prophet Musa [علیہ السلام]: An Excellent Role Model

Posted by Admin on April 8, 2009

 Author: Sadaf Farooqi

If you study the Glorious Quran with in-depth reflection, you’ll be struck by how often Allah mentions Prophet Musa [علیہ السلام] in the Book, in one context or other. From his infancy to adulthood, to his family and communal life, Allah mentions him a total of 169 times in the Quran! I wondered what qualities this Prophet of Allah must have possessed that endeared him so much to Allah, that He chose him for Himself, had a private conversation with him, and granted him Prophet-hood?

 “And mention in the Book, Musa; Behold, he was a chosen one, and was an apostle, a Prophet” [19:51]

 

وَاصْطَنَعْتُكَ لِنَفْسِي

 

“And I have chosen you for Myself [O Musa].” [20:41]

There are, on close pondering, several qualities of Prophet Musa that shine out.

Wasting no time in turning to Allah:

Once a man from the slave-tribe of Bani Israel called out for help as a Coptic (Pharaoh’s tribesman) wrangled with him in the street. Musa [may Allah’s peace be upon him] rushed to defend him, accidentally killing the oppressive Coptic with an unintentionally hard blow to the chest. As soon as he saw what he’d done, he repented, sought forgiveness and vowed future good conduct:

“He said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.”

Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

“He said: “My Lord! For that with which You have favored me, I will never more be a helper for the ‘Mujrimun’ (criminals)!” [28: 16-17] 

Upon receiving the news of his eventual persecution by the Copts for this murder, he once again turned to Allah in earnest supplication, appealing for Divine deliverance and guidance, as he prepared to flee the town in secret. 

“So he escaped from there; fearful, vigilant. He said: “My Lord! Deliver me from the wrongdoing people!”

And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said: “Perhaps my Lord will guide me in the right road.”” [28: 21-22]

Hastening to obey Allah:

When Allah called Musa to a meeting on Mount Tŭr, he arrived earlier than the appointed time. The reason: to please Allah!

 

وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَى

 

“I hastened to You, O my Lord, so that You might be pleased.”  [20:84]

Hastening to help the weak and oppressed:

As mentioned above, Prophet Musa [علیہ السلام] fled to another town in order to escape Pharaoh’s men, after he accidentally killed a man from their tribe. Thus, a shining quality in his nature is his eagerness to help weak, oppressed people. This quality again comes forth when he enters a new town and spots two girls in a plight:

“And when he came unto the water of Midian, he found there a whole tribe of men, watering. And he found apart from them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What ails you?” The two said: “We cannot give (our flocks) to drink till the shepherds return from the water; and our father is a very old man.”” [28:23]

His compassionate nature again, after witnessing the girls’ plight, makes him help them, despite being on the run for his life:

“So he watered (their flock) for them.” [28:24]

Putting his trust solely in Allah:

Homeless, jobless, friendless and alone in a strange town, he helped two women chivalrously, but, unlike most unmarried young men today, he didn’t try to hang around, expecting any favors or friendships in return; rather, he turned to no one except his friend, Allah. He withdrew under a tree to sincerely call to His Lord for help.

Then he turned aside into the shade, and said: “My Lord! I am needy of whatever good You send down for me.” [28:24]

At such a sincere display of pure trust, his Lord responded to his prayer immediately:

“Then there came unto him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “My father bids you, that he may reward you with a payment for that you watered (the flock) for us.” Then, when he came unto him and told him the (whole) story, he said: “Fear not! You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.”” [28:25]

One of the two women said: “O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that you can hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” [28:26]

He said: “I would marry you to one of these two daughters of mine, on condition that you hire yourself to me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages….Allah willing, you will find me of the righteous.” [28:27]

In response to his earnest prayers, Allah granted him a recommendation for work, a “permanent” job, a considerate employer, lavish accommodation, a chaste wife, and compassionate in-laws – all within the same day!

Prophet Musa’s conduct is a far cry from the attitudes of most us Muslims today, who put their trust first in their contacts, references and networking tools to land jobs or marriage proposals. Only when all other tangible avenues are exhausted do we weak-hearted believers turn to Allah in prayer. We ask others for help, shelter, food or money before turning to Him, the Creator, Sustainer, and the Source of provision.

The best compensation:

However, the ultimate recompense for the inherent good in Prophet Musa was yet to come. After testing his sincerity and obedience at the highest of levels, Allah chose him for Himself:

“And when he reached it (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley in the blessed field, from the tree;

“O Moses! I, indeed I, am Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.” [28: 30]

What could possibly be better than to be summoned to a private counsel with Allah? To be ‘hired’ for the noblest mission?

Surely, in Prophet Musa, there is an excellent example for Muslims to emulate and abide by in daily life, so that we, too, can become those whom Allah chooses for Himself. 

(This article was first published in Saudi Gazette)

Posted in Allah, Islam, Prophets, Quran, Reflections, Religion | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fasting In Ramadan: A Practical Guide

Posted by Admin on August 10, 2008


Sadaf Farooqi

Ramadan is one of the most blessed months in the Islamic Calendar. It is a month of worship, which requires a Muslim to fast from dawn to dusk, consecutively for twenty-nine or thirty days. Every Muslim knows that fasting in Ramadan is obligatory. Some have been doing it all their life, more as a cultural byproduct of being born in a Muslim household than as an expression of religious commitment; others start at a later stage in life, perhaps after converting to Islam. What stands true for all, however, is the fear of this form of worship being “difficult to do.” Below is a practical guide to how Muslims can make fasting in Ramadan both easier and more spiritually rewarding:

  1. Make your intention Allah’s pleasure: Fasting is not dieting! It is very important for the eventual acceptance of any act of worship to do it solely for the pleasure of Allah. If you want to fast sincerely for Him, He will make fasting easy for you during the entire month. Cleanse yourself of any desire to show off your piety during this month.
  2. Stock up on groceries a week in advance:Fasting requires two major meals each day during Ramadan. Depending on your geographical location, cultural factors, and family food preferences, take a trip to the grocery store and buy all the lentils, dairy, oil, rice, meat, spices, and flour (gram and wheat) you’ll need for the month. The reason for shopping beforehand is that time and energy is not wasted in shopping for these necessities during Ramadan.
  3. Prepare your family:This can be done by sitting at the dining table and reading out relevant educational material (from Islamic books) about the virtues of Ramadan, and what every Muslim should or should not do whilst fasting. For example, lying, backbiting and wasting time in frivolous activities are not allowed while fasting. A class held like this will serve as a reminder for everyone. Acquire a printed timetable of dawn and sunset timings in your area for the entire month. Local mosques usually distribute these a few days before the first fast.
  4. Retire early at night throughout Ramadan:  

    In order to wake up for Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal before the Fajr prayer every day – the entire family should go to bed early during Ramadan. Television viewing and unnecessary outdoor entertainment should be minimized. The whole family should instead go straight to bed after returning from the daily night prayers (explained below) at the mosque. 
     
  5. Wake up 2 hours before Fajr (pre-dawn) prayer:For the mother in the house, this applies especially. The rest of the family should chip in, too. It’s recommended to wake up early to perform at least two units of night prayer before helping Mama set the table for Suhoor. The family should start eating at least 45 minutes before dawn, and should stop eating five minutes before dawn breaks. The last few minutes should be spent in rinsing the mouth and performing ablution in preparation for Fajr prayer.Some Muslims automatically start eating even more when the end of Suhoor approaches – thinking, “this is my last chance to get as much food into myself as I can, before having to starve till sunset”. The wise and moderate Muslims, however, know that fasting is not akin to starving the body. They maintain a moderation in eating Suhoor.Other Muslims skip Suhoor altogether, since it necessitates waking up in the wee hours of the morning. They prefer to eat till well after midnight and sleep late, opting to relinquish Suhoor. This course of action is also not recommended. The best option is to sleep early after `Isha prayer, and awaken 2 hours before dawn, to get in some units of the night prayer (Qiyaam Al-Layl) in addition to a nutritious Suhoor meal.
  6. Spend the time from morning to afternoon going about your normal daily routine:Some people assume that since they can not eat or drink till sunset, they should “sleep off” the fast and awaken only a few hours before the evening meal. They draw their curtains, pull their comforters over their heads, put on the air conditioner, and sleep till the evening. These people stay awake the whole night (the time for eating and drinking during Ramadan), with relatives and friends, eating and chatting non-stop. After the pre-dawn prayer – Fajr – they dive back into their beds. This is not the aim or spirit of Ramadan. Fasting does not curb energy for productive work, except in the last two hours of the fast. It is encouraged to work or study as usual till 2 or 3 hours before sunset. After the second prayer of the day – Dhuhr – the fasting Muslim should lie down and rest for a while for his or her afternoon siesta.
  7. Recite the Qur’an as much as you can, preferrably the whole of it once, over the course of Ramadan: 

    • Reciting the Arabic text with perfect Tajweed in the state of ablution.
    • Understanding its meanings by pondering on it’s translation and exegesis, or attending a daily study circle of the Qur’an (that is, a dars or Qur’an class).
    • Reciting the verses of the Qur’an in the night prayer, which can be prayed with the last prayer of the day – `Isha – or as the tahajjud prayer a few hours before dawn.

    Ramadan is the month in which Prophet Muhammad [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] started receiving Revelation of the Qur’an. It is the month in which each voluntary good deed reaps the reward of an obligatory one. Therefore, it is a month in which the Muslim should try to enrich his soul with the Qur’an, which can be done in three ways:

  8. Prepare the Iftar or evening meal to break the fast: This meal is the highest point of the day for every Muslim during Ramadan! Spirits are high and there is chirpy chatter throughout Muslim neighborhoods as people hustle and bustle about preparing their favorite foods for Iftar. This meal, unfortunately, is also the cause of most of the excess and extravagance that takes place during this month. Here is how:People spend the last few minutes before sunset – the time for earnest du’a or prayers – in laying the table and putting fresh food on their platters. The last few minutes are witness to the maximum hunger and thirst that a fasting Muslim experiences for the sake of His Creator; therefore, Allah is the most attentive and loving towards him or her at this time. Supplications made in earnest in these few minutes are accepted by Allah. Most Muslims forego this chance by chatting and talking at the table, while the women spend it in the kitchen, frying the last few fritters or pakoras.

    After eating Iftar, Muslims neglect praying the fourth prayer of the day – maghrib. It is permissible to delay it for a few minutes to break the fast, but one should rush to offer it as soon as one’s hunger and thirst are quenched. The best way to do that is to break the fast in the state of ablution by eating one, three or five dates with a glass of water, then rinsing the mouth, doing siwak, and offering maghrib prayers with a light stomach and a thankful, attentive heart. After prayers, one can return to the table to eat in moderation. This course of action prevents the hungry fasting person from overeating as soon as the fast breaks.In stark contrast, most families focus on piling their plates high with fried food beforehand and waiting to gorge on it as soon as the sun sets. They continue eating and chatting till half an hour or so, following the fried food items with a heavy dinner, tea and dessert. The result is a full belly and a heavy-headedness that takes away the concentration from their night prayers. I cringe to point out how disgusting belches break the soothing effect of the night prayer because people have overeaten at Iftar.Iftar parties: There is a trend among some Muslims to host huge Iftar parties intermittently during this month. Some people invite several families at a time, preparing lavish spreads for their guests. A lot of food is seen going to waste, as the guests forego praying maghrib and `Isha after breaking the fast, and enjoy themselves by eating and drinking amid live music and free mixing. This goes against the intended spirit of Ramadan. Whilst it is highly recommended to distribute food to break other people’s fast, including one’s neighbors, relatives and especially the poor and needy, one should strive to ensure that preparation and distribution of this food does not adversely affect one’s schedule of worship.

  9. Sadaqah, or regular spending in the way of Allah:Ramadan is the month in which one should give as much sadaqah or charity as one can. It is better to give smaller amounts of money, clothes or food regularly throughout Ramadan, than to give a very big amount just once or twice. Most Muslims choose to discharge their yearly obligatory charity – Zakaah – during Ramadan.
  10. Pray regular Qiyaam Al-Layl or the Night prayer:  A portion of the nights of Ramadan are to be spent in devoted, supererogatory salaah. This can be done in congregation after the `Isha prayer, by praying Taraweeh behind an imam, especially by those men and women who cannot recite the Qur’an very well. The better option, though, is to pray this prayer alone, a couple of hours before dawn (in the wee hours of the morning), by reciting as much of the Qur’an as one remembers by heart, in prayer; it is at this time that one can fully concentrate in prayer, and when Allah is the most attentive and forgiving towards His slaves. Muslims should, therefore, use this time at night to earnestly ask Allah for forgiveness for their sins.
  11. Conserve energy for the last ten days of Ramadan:It is observed that most Muslims start off the month of Ramadan with zealous worship, but lose steam after 2 weeks or so. They pressurize those giving a daily Qur’an lesson or the imam’s leading night prayers, to finish off the Qur’an before the last week of Ramadan. This is because in those last few days, they want to rest more, prepare for the coming `Eid festival/holiday, shop for clothes and shoes, and catch flights to spend `Eid with relatives in other places. Most people spend the last three nights of Ramadan fervently shopping for `Eid.
    The correct course of action, though, is to perform worship in moderation during the first 20 days of Ramadan, and to build up the fervour during the last 10 days. The first 2 weeks of fasting settle the body very well into fasting mode: by the 15th of the month, most Muslims are well-adjusted to a fast-by-day, pray-by-night routine. The last 10 days are intended for the Muslims to increase their focus on worship, recitation and night-prayers. Shopping for `Eid is best done before Ramadan. However, since consistent fasting does take its toll on the body by the time the last ten days of the month arrive, it is better to spend a portion of these last few days sleeping or resting.

Finally, once the Muslim has fasted throughout the month of Ramadan, he or she should pray that Allah accepts all their acts of worship performed therein. It is Allah’s blessing that every year, He brings Ramadan upon us and thereby, gives us a chance to refurbish our faith and renew our desire to perform good deeds. It’s no wonder, then, that Ramadan is termed as the “spring season” of the Islamic calendar!

This article was first published on the website howtodothings.com

Posted in Allah, Islam, Muslim Matters, Quran, Ramadan Fasting, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

How To Guard Your Husband’s Honor As Allah Has Commanded

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2008

By Sadaf Farooqi

Traditionally, occupations such as cooking, sewing, fashion designing and interior decorating were considered the exclusive terrain of women. Today, however, they have all witnessed incursions by men, to some extent. One domain, though, still remains predominantly women’s-only, and that is home-making. This is because it is woman’s innate nature to be the master of her home. As manager, guard and coordinator, she happily does the household chores and caters to her family’s needs, while the husband, more often than not the chief breadwinner, remains absent throughout the day at work.

Allah has acknowledged this aspect of the functional family unit, by instructing women to be “guards” of their husband’s property and honour in the latter’s absence:

Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to the husband), and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard…

[Qur’an – Surah Al-Nisaa: 34]

Guarding “what Allah would have them guard” implies that a Muslim wife should guard:

  • Her husband’s property (house, money, belongings, and anything which he leaves behind),
  • Her own modesty and chastity, and finally,
  • Her husband’s honour and reputation.

Guarding her husband’s honour would mean not mentioning him, his character, or his deeds to any third person in a derogatory or defaming manner – ever. Although the world generally frowns upon an untidy home in disarray, or a cheating wife flirting with other men, this aspect of a wife’s loyalty – her maintaining her husband’s honour behind his back – is something even many “good” wives fail to accomplish. Women generally speak well of their husbands to people they are not close to. It’s the close relatives and friends, however, who unwittingly cause slips.

  1. Be careful of unintentional slips in conversations with other women:

    “The plumber came, and I had to rush back home to supervise his work, as [my husband] is totally useless; on Saturdays, he lies in bed all day and does absolutely nothing…”
    “My husband snores so loudly, it could scare anyone who hears him in the middle of the night.”
    “He offers to cook, but his dishes turn out horrible, so I’d rather not eat what he makes…”
    “He never takes me shopping; he’s always involved in his work.”
    During the gush of such ‘girly’ conversations, their husbands’ potent faults are unintentionally revealed. The listeners/on-lookers chuckle knowingly, nodding their heads in compassionate comprehension. What they enjoy is the pleasure of knowing that this supposedly “happy” and perfect Muslim couple too, have the usual marital differences; that even seemingly “righteous” couples cannot always live in harmony. And last but not least, it gives them fodder for gossip.
    Even if there is no major argument between the couple, how often we see Muslim women casually commenting to each other about their husband’s shortcomings. Whether on the phone, or during a visit, it is common to hear them complaining about their husbands to their mother, sister, cousin, or best friend. Even if they discuss their husband lovingly, some hidden aspect of the comment, or merely the tone of voice, sometimes carries disdain or derision.

  2. Remember that mentioning your husband’s weaknesses might initiate gossip about you:

    The gossip-mongers in any social circle dwell on the “juicy” tidbits regarding other couples’ marital discord, for which they fish around in conversation and hearsay. We have all heard the stories about the in-law hovering outside the bedroom door while the husband and wife argued, or the “sincere” friend giving a frustrated wife her shoulder to cry on, only to discuss the account with her other friends later.

  3. Remember that protecting the husband’s honor is one of Allah’s commands for a Muslim wife:

    What Muslim women should be wise enough to understand is that, by revealing their husband’s faults to anyone else, they are disobeying Allah and thus putting themselves at risk of His wrath. They alone, are to lose out by this action.
    Even though Islam allows a woman to seek help for major problems in her marriage, it enjoins her to bear all trivial marital problems with patience and discretion.
    A woman does not get as much respect anywhere in the world as she does in her husband’s home: there, she’s the queen of her throne, elegant and ethereal. When she defames her husband in any way to a third person, she lowers herself from this high pedestal.
    She gives people a chance to mock her and discuss her with others, becoming the topic of coffee-table repartee.

  4. Beware of the concern of even your biological mothers and sisters – it can sometimes be the cause of your marital troubles:

    Narrated by Ibn Abbas, Prophet Muhammad [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said:
    The best woman (wife) is the one who, when you look at her she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are not in her presence, she safeguards herself and your belongings.”
    [Ibn Majah 1861]
    Muslim women should be careful about this matter even with their biological sisters and mothers. At the end of the day, no one wants a woman to come and live with them if she gets divorced or estranged from her husband. They, however, do enjoy listening to her incessantly complain of the problems in her husband’s home: how low the finances are, how untidy her husband is, how much he eats, or how he neglects her rights. They might throw bygone incidents in her face even months after she has moved on and forgotten them, so that she starts brimming with indignation all over again, at their mention.
    Muslim women should try not to fall prey to the instigations of such “well-wishing” people, who laugh when she mocks her husband, who relish her marital dissensions, who thrive on getting to know other women’s domestic troubles. They are devils in disguise, preying on the tranquility of others’ homes, seeking juicy coffee-party gossip. Muslim women should beware of disobeying Allah in this regard.

  5. Make only righteous, Allah-fearing woman your close confidantes and ‘shoulders to cry on’:

    Even if you have a fight with your husband and you feel you must mention it to someone to feel better, do it with someone who has high taqwa [consciousness of Allah], who will never divulge your story to anyone else. Even your own mother might mention it to her sister, who might tell her daughter, and in this way, the whole family might be discussing your household troubles and commenting about them, weeks or months after the whole thing has blown over.

Remember that in every command of Allah lies a potent hikmah, a hidden wisdom that is beneficial for you. He loves you seventy times more than your well-wishing mother. Run to Him – in salah [regular Islamic prayer], dua [praying to Him], dhikr [His remembrance by the tongue and heart], and istighfar [seeking His forgiveness for sins] – whenever you have a bone to pick with your husband. For the solution and the solace after the storm, trust in Allah. If you keep your duty to Him, He will never relinquish you – rather, He will fill your home with unbridled peace, harmony and tranquility.

This article was first published on the website howtodothings.com.

Posted in Acting upon the Quran, Allah, Islam, Muslim Matters, Prophet Muhammad (saw), Quran, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »