Alhamdulillah, a one-day The Straight Path Sister’s Only convention, titled “Path to Hereafter” was held at the TM Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur on the 15th November 2015. Packed with gems of wisdom shared by all the five speakers; Mufti Ismail Menk, Sister Norhafsah Hamid, JoAnne Pare Abdulllah, Sheikhah Wafaa Mohamad Hussain Yee, and Dr Harlina Siraj, Masha’Allah. My intention of attending the convention is not only to quench my thirst for ilm(knowledge) also, to seek for answers and Alhamdulillah I got them.
Before I attended this event, I was given, and under the impression that due to the nature of women, they are not supposed to be taken seriously and I wonder if that’s one type of oppression. Women are to bear all patience and endure, and the first speaker, Mufti Menk, Masha’Allah stated that, being sabr doesn’t mean we have to bear an oppressive marriage. He quickly reminded himself towards the main topics when he realizes he almost diverted into another topic-the fiqh of marriage.
Masha’Allah, women’s status are elevated in the Eyes of Allah Ta’ala that there’s even a surah in the Qur’an named after us, Surah An-Nisa, which is the fourth surah in the Qur’an and Surah Maryam, named after Maryam alaiha salam (19th surah in the Qur’an).
“Daughters are Special” opened the session for the event with themes aspects being discussed included; the blessing upon the news on the arrival of daughters into this world, their rights in life, inheritance and marriage, and their haya’. The one-hour session by Mufti Ismail Menk not only provided me with all the answers I was looking for, but also has given me a hope that I’ve lost.
According to the Mufti, the tests for each and every one are unique and the unlimited reward for bearing patience (sabr) in going through such tests is an immense ajr (rewards in the Hereafter). It’s in the human nature that we tend to concentrate on what we do not have rather than what we already have. This is the part when the Mufti shared examples of the blessings (ne’mat) granted by Allah Ta’ala (the eyes, air to breathe, limbs, hearing ability and so on). I tried to remind myself to have gratitude over the things that I have, regardless of how much I feel I’m going through.
The Mufti went on quoting from Surah Hujurat, ayat 50, “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.” Allah is the One, based on His ultimate wisdom, who grants whomever He wills sons and daughters; He grants sons only to whomever He wills, and grants daughters only to whomever He wills, and if He so wills, He makes whomever He wills infertile.
The Birth of the Daughters
The major sin is to be sad upon the birth of a child that we didn’t wish for. Or when we do have a child, and comes another, we’ve become sadden by the fact that the second child is of the same gender of the first. The common practice of the people during the pre-Islamic era was to hate receiving daughters, to the extent that they would bury them alive;“And when the infant girl buried alive will be asked,For what crime was she slain?”
“And when the news (of the birth) of a daughter is disclosed to any of them, his face turns dark and he gets pent up with anger. He seeks to hide himself from people due to the (presumed) bad news that is given to him. (He now gets down to thinking) whether he should keep her (alive) despite humiliation and disgrace or bury her (alive) in the earth.See! How wicked is the decision that they make!”-(Surah An-Nahl,Chapter 16:Verse 58-59)
Means to Enter Jannah
Daughters are born with the granted blessings that come along with her birth. “She brings her own sustenance, as the means to enter Jannah for whomever that takes care of her.”
The Mufti shared a hadith: A’ishah radi’Allahu anha, related: "A woman by the name of Jameelah came to me with her two daughters. She asked me for charity but found nothing with me except a date, which I gave her. She divided it between her two daughters and ate nothing herself; then, she got up and left. After this, Rasulullah sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam came, so I narrated this story to him; he sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “He who is involved (in the responsibility) of (nurturing) daughters and is generous to them, will have them as a fortification for himself against the Hellfire.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim)
The Mufti directed the audience attention to what exactly the above hadith narration means, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “He who is tested by (the guardianship) of daughters….” Why did he sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam use the word: “…tested…”? He said it because raising them is a responsibility and a test from Allah to see how His slave would act: Will he be kind to them? Will he raise them correctly? The Mufti went on by saying, “What does it mean to bears patience in raising daughters? Feeds them, takes care of them, be happy when you have daughters. Look after them, knowing they are with you temporarily, knowing they will go to someone else when the time comes. Endure in nurturing them, teach and guide them in Allah’s path”.
The nature of this responsibility was further clarified in other narrations, such as: “If he patiently feeds them and endows them with clothing …"(Ibn Majah)., and: “…Provides for them and marries them off…” (At-Tabaraani)., and: “…Properly raises them and fears Allaah in the manner in which he deals with them.” (At-Tirmithi).
A daughter is a great bounty and an honour granted by Allaah, Imaam Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Girls are a source of reward and sons are a blessing; rewards are in one's favour (on the Day of Judgement) whereas one will be held accountable for blessings.”
Thus, it is incorrect to believe that one has been humiliated by being granted a girl; rather it is an honour, a bounty and a gate towards Paradise.
Rights in Marriage
In marriage, the daughters have their rights to see their future spouse and should she be uncomfortable with her future spouse in the meeting, she has the final say of deciding whether to accept the proposal or otherwise.
In marriage, do not look at the women you’re married to as a wife alone, but look at her as someone’s daughter, whose family loves and respect her. Do not make her cry or being abusive towards her for Allah hears the cries of the wife. The Mufti jokes a little when he saw his wife cries, with such concerned on why she does, he asked her, and she responded that its only tears of joy, Masha’Allah.
As mention in Surah Mujadallah(58:1)-Hadith no.3490, Book of Divorce, Sunan An-Nasa’I, Vol.4) “Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”, Khawlah bint Tha’labah came to meet Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam and complained about her husband who showed disinterest in her, “O Allah’s Messenger! He spend my wealth, exhausted my youth and my womb bore abundantly for him. When I became old, unable to bear children, he pronounced zihar on me. O Allah! I complain to you.” The Mufti said, women should not take themselves for granted by not taking care of her own health and beauty. In fact, Islam does not forbid us to keep fit, however, we need to constantly remind ourselves that as a Muslimah, that no matter where we go or what we do, we need to remember in which state we wish or like to be, when we die (say our last kalimah).
Preservation of Haya’
Women are prohibited to parade her beauty and express her so-called liberation by being nude in public. She should not be judged by her beauty, her idyllic physical characteristics as expected by the public. Women too, are prohibited to be treated as commodities and she should only be judged by her dedication to Allah.
It’s a common scene these days where women showing off their bodily characteristics given by Allah, be judge by her physicals (the pagan way). In order to attain dignity, women must cover herself instead of pointing fingers to others to lower their gaze first. The Qur’an clearly stated what Allah Himself has ordered the believing women to cover themselves.
In Surah Al-Ahzab (33), verse 59, Allah Ta’ala gives the following command to Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wassalam:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ, قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَ بَنَاتِكَ وَ نِسآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ: يُدْنِيْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلاَبِيْبِهِنَّ...
“O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers that: they should let down upon themselves their jalabib.”
Media promoting nudity and consider it as liberation (enslavement of female). The Mufti then ask a question to the audience, “When we beautify ourselves, what’s our intention and who is it for?” No, it can’t be for yourself”. Seems like the audience chuckled in agreement after what the Mufti has said. “We’re being enslaved by our own desire- do not engage in tabarruj”
Rights in Inheritance
In terms of wasiyah or inheritance, it is often a misconception that Islam is being oppressive to the women, when in fact it’s not. According to the Mufti, women should be taken care of, as they’re not to worry about being maintained when it comes to the provision of basic necessities (home, food, clothing and so on). However, women are allowed to work, but, within what’s permitted by Allah (not missing salat, free mingling with non-mehram, preservation of haya). The men, brothers, uncles and relatives, Allah gives them inheritance in a bigger shares due to the responsibilities being held by the males; to take care of the women in family. “But what happen these days, the man are running away from their responsibilities and keeps the women unknown of her rights, due to her lack of knowledge in inheritance”, the Mufti added.
According to Surah An-Nisa, be kind to women and take care of them. Do not take the wealth of the orphan, do not cheat her over her rights on inheritance. And whomever fulfills the rights will be awarded Jannah and otherwise to Jahannum.
The Mufti concluded by saying that in the process of seeking a spouse, look for the similar level of Deen to avoid conflicts.
Coming up … personal notes from other sessions; I Have Found My Path, Have You?, In the Footsteps of Our Prophets, Proud to be a Muslimah and Gems of Belief in the Hereafter, In Sha Allah.
Daughters are Special. The Straight Path Convention-Path to Hereafter. 15th November 2015.
IslamWeb.net. http://library.islamweb.net/en/article/140381/. Accessed on the 19th November 2015.
Noor-e-Sunnat.com. http://blog.nooresunnat.com/the-blessings-of-daughters-from-quran-o-hadith#.Vk3XvvkrLIU. Accessed on the 19th November 2015.
Quran and Hadith- The Right Path. http://www.quranandhadith.com/husband-wife-relationship/#comment-46321 . Accessed on the 19th November 2015.
The Quran Foundation. http://www.thequranfoundation.org/blog/virtues-of-bringing-up-daughters/. Accessed on the 19th November 2015.
The Qur’an and Hijab. http://www.al-islam.org/hijab-muslim-womens-dress-islamic-or-cultural-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/quran-and-hijab. Accessed on the 19th November 2015.