Assalam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa barkatuhu
I believe that every man and woman is capable of doing great things. Of all the thousands of years that have passed, we know of so many men and women who are famous. Individuals who never gave up and contributed their lives for Islam. If you were to look at the lives of the Sahabas, you will find out how their imaan became strong and the tough trying times became easy for them. They actually lived through the time of huge fitnah that surrounded their communities. Men and women worshipped idols, dressed inappropriately, committed robbery, adultery, and oppressed many people. Nevertheless, what made them different was their faith in Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala and His Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).
I, as a Muslim woman in this time is happy to be one of the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I am happy and grateful to be a muslim. Also I feel honored, since all muslim women have been given so much honor by God Himself. Which no one can ever take away from her, and I say this in truth.
Allah Swt says in the Qur’an:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)” [Qur’an 49:13] Surah Al-Hujurat
In Islam, every man and women do their best to become righteous. They compete with one another to do good deeds. In this article, I would like to talk about how we as muslim women after we are married can contribute towards our community. Our duties and responsibilities do not end after we take care of our husband and children. We have a duty towards Allah Swt as well. There are few things we can do:
1. Encourage your husband to pray at the Masjid: I think it’s very important that we encourage our husband to pray in the Masjid everyday. If they work all day, at least they can pray Salatul Fajr and Isha prayer in congregation. If they go to Allah’s house everyday, they will build a relationship with Allah Swt. If their relationship with Allah Swt is good, then it will be with us. Prayer relaxes us and keeps our hearts content. Most importantly, it increases our imaan. I highly encourage every muslim to pray with Jama’ah (congregation). Once our hearts become attached to Allah’s house, we can be one of those who are shaded on the Day of Judgement. Also if we stay at home and send our husband to go pray, if they do so then we get rewarded as well.
2. Be Generous: When was the last time you gave Sadaqah at the masjid or to a person? Please ask yourself. I will tell you my personal experience. Once in my Masjid, the donation box had only 10 dollars in it after a month. Usually there are so many people who attend the Jumuah prayer but hardly anyone gives charity. Usually I see women walk in with designer purses and Abayas but only few would give in charity. When a person volunteered to collect charity at the masjid, some women said usually their husband would give charity. So basically, they depend on their husband to give charity but won’t do it themselves. This is very saddening. Women in the times of the Prophet (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to give charity all the time. They gave away everything they had.
Ibn `Abbas stated, that the Prophet (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) prayed two rak`ahs on the day of `Eid with no prayer before or after them (i.e., he prayed only two rak`ahs), then he came to the women, and Bilal was accompanying him; he commanded them to give in charity, and the women began to throw down their earrings.[Fath al-Bari, 10/331, Kitab al-libas, bab al-qurt li’l-nisa’]
3. Share food with others: When you cook something special at home, share that food with others as well. Send some to your neighbors, friends and relatives. Whoever is closest to you, send them some of the food. If your husband finds a traveller at the masjid, or if you know people who live alone without their families etc, help them out. Our Imam and his wife always are one step ahead when it comes to giving food to others. They are always the first ones to give food to the travellers, the needy, and they share food with everyone. They always remind me of a Hadith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam).
Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The best of you is the one who offers food freely and returns the greeting of salam.” (A hasan Hadith narrated by Ahmad,6/16)
4. Seek knowledge and share knowledge: When you get free time, read Qur’an, try to understand its meaning, watch new lectures. Do you best and try not to spend too much time watching dramas and tv shows, phone calls, chatting/facebooking etc… Your time is precious. Once you gain knowledge, then share it with others. When you are in the company of your husband, share a verse from the Quran or a Hadith with him. Read to your children. Also when you meet your friends in a gathering, do your best to remember Allah Swt.
Abu Huraira (RA) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said that Allah ,the Exalted and Glorious said, “I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Sahih Muslim).
5. Be politically active: When our lives revolve around our own difficulties and ease, we often tend to forget about others. Everyday there is a helpless cry, an unjust suffering, months of starvation of people, deaths and sadness covering the skies of this world like a black smoke. Do not fail to see them. Always check on the facts and look for the truth. Donate, sign petitions, help out, and in the end make dua for the oppressed people everywhere in the world. How can so many days go by and that you haven’t checked upon your brothers and sisters around the world? How can you blindly close your eyes and ears and not hear a single cry of theirs while you live your life so peacefully? There are so many people suffering which we don’t even know about or heard of but Allah Swt knows. So please make dua to Him for the ummah.
6. Educate children as the future leaders of this ummah: First it is your duty to seek knowledge and act upon it. Then teach your children about the differentiation between right and wrong. Always take more attention to their sources of information and develop them as thinkers. Discipline them in the best way, teach them the best of manners and guide them with kindness and wisdom.
Luqman (peace be upon him) said to his son:
“O my son! Aqim-is-Salat (perform As-Salat), enjoin (people) for Al-Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befall you. Verily! These are some of the important commandments ordered by Allah with no exemption. (Quran: 31:17)
Imaam Maalik bin Anas said:
“My mother would dress me up in the clothes of the scholars whilst I still was a young boy and she would tell me “Go to the Masjid and seek knowledge from Imaam ar-Rabee’ah, study his manners before you take from his knowledge”
6. Cleanliness: Always keep your house neat and clean. Do not get lazy towards your household duties. Cleanliness is half of our faith. It is very important to keep your home clean everyday. There are three meanings of cleanliness (Taharah):
1) mind and soul
2) body and clothes
3) home and surroundings
We should do our best to keep our mind and soul clean from hatred, lies, jealousy, bad thoughts and bad deeds. Wear our best clothes and thank Allah Swt for everything.
7. Respect the creation: Give respect to the people around you,the animals, and our environment. Consider recycling, start gardening, cleaning the parks etc and help your environment. Do not waste food or water. If you see birds as animals in the parks or at your porch, feed them, leave some water for them especially on a hot weather.
Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “A man was walking along the road when he felt very thirsty. He saw a well, so he went down into it, drank his fill, then came out. He saw a dog panting and biting the dust with thirst, and said, “This dog’s thirst is as severe as mine was.’ So he went back into the well, filled his shoes with water, held them in his mouth (while he climbed out), and gave the dog water. Allah thanked him and forgave him. They asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, will we be rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, “In every living creature there is reward.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
8. Maintain the ties of kinship: Do not get so busy in your life that you hardly call your parents or contact them. If you keep good ties with your parents and family then also help your husband keep the ties of kinship as well. There is reason why marriage is half our deen. As husband and wife, we help each other. A wife has an amazing role when it comes to giving advice to her husband. She makes sure he does good deeds that are pleasing to Allah Swt and not anger Him.
Allah Swt says in the Qur’an:
“Then, is it to be expected of you, if you were put in authority, that you will do mischief, in the land, and break your ties of kith and kin? Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.” (Quran 47:22-23)
Ibn Umar used to say:
“Whoever fears his Lord and upholds the ties of kinship, his life will be extended, his wealth will increase and his family will love him more.” (Bukhari: Adab Al Mufrad, 1/140)
9. Be a positive role model for others: There are so many ways of doing community service in our community. We can help out at the Sunday school in our masjid, teach Islamic studies or Quran to little kids, start a reading club, volunteer to clean the masjid or help Islamic schools, nursing homes, recycle etc.. We can do so much only if we are willing to do it. There is no such thing as we don’t have time. We can always find time to help others. We have to be someone who young girls can look upto. We have to start thinking positively and inspire others to do great things.
10. Keeping secrets: When your sisters or friends talk to you about something do not mention it to your husband. Do not disclose their. Personal information to your husband just so you want to talk about it. Also whatever you converse with your husband, do not mention it to your mom, friends, sisters of anyone. Some women like to share their daily routine with their mother about everything but they shouldn’t share about their husband’s personal things. Muslim women should refrain from disclosing any private moments with their husband.
Prophet (Sall Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Among the worst type of people in the sight of Allah on the Day of judgement is a man who enjoys his wife’s intimate company, and she enjoys his intimate company, then one of them goes and discloses the secret of the other.” (Muslim, 10/8)
Husband and wife are the garments of one another. They should keep their trust between each other and fear Allah Swt.
In some traditions it is said that Luqman (peace be upon him) said that he maintained his honourable and noble qualities by, “Lowering my gaze, watching my tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping my chastity, undertaking my promises, fulfilling my commitments, being hospitable to guests, respecting my neighbours, and discarding what does not concern me. All these made me the one you are looking at.” [Narrated Ibn Wahb in Chapter 16, Stories of the Quran by Ibn Kathir]
Over all, I think as a Muslim woman, our lives are not revolved only around our husband and children. Neither our lives should be just to spend the entire day in the kitchen, or just in beautifying ourselves, or watching dramas/ TV or shopping. Our lives should be about worshipping Allah Swt and being His slave. We have to find our way towards our ultimate goal which is Jannah Insha Allah. We cannot let our lives keep going without Dawah or working towards making a better society. We have to start with ourselves first, second our home, doing simple things and then making our way to make our society better.
May Allah Swt beautify our hearts with Imaan and let us die in a state in which He is pleased with us Ameen