Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hijaab Series: Hijaab and Peer Pressure/Work


We are still continuing the series on Hijaab and this time the topic we wish to tackle is of great importance. Many of us growing up in western countries like America and Canada all recognize the term "peer pressure" especially throughout high school when taking certain subjects.

Peer pressure is basically the influence of your surroundings, your peers. Peers can be friends, classmates, and those who you are around most of the time. What does peer pressure have to do with the hijaab?

Alooooot. Right now in almost every high school in America, where you do find Muslim students, there are always some sisters who do not wear hijaab at all. How is this so? We have all heard the stories through high school. "Oh so and so takes off her hijaab at school. I wonder if her parents know...shes too scared to wear the hijaab..." These are some similar words we would hear about those sisters who removed the hijaab at school. And then there is the other group of sisters who wear an improper form of hijaab. And these sisters you can tell they want to wear the hijaab and not completely remove it but at the same time they are affected by who they mostly hang out with so they do not pay good attention to their hijaab. And then alhamdulilah there are the sisters who do wear the proper hijaab (with or without niqaab but the conditions of the hijaab are met). May Allah reward these sisters for the struggles they go through and for not caring what others think of their way of dress. May Allah purify their intentions and keep them firm on the hijaab and may He also bless them with noble manners and strong Deen.

As for my sisters who remove their hijaab at schools and those who do not wear the proper hijaab then I also make duaa for you. I ask Allah to bless you and to have mercy on you and I ask Allah to make the hijaab easier for you and understanding this Deen in general.  I ask Allah to make your struggles and troubles with hijaab and other issues easy for you. Know my sister that you are not alone. Know that the shaytaan is our sworn enemy. Whether you are a practicing muslimah or not, the shaytaan will never leave in misguiding you until your last breath. Therefore, my sister look at your surroundings first and foremost. What is it that is preventing you from being firm on your Deen? Is it bad friends/companions? If so, please pick and choose your friends wisely my sister because the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "A person is upon the religion (way) of his close friend, so beware whom you befriend!"[ Recorded in Sunans Abi Dawud and Tirmidhi]

 and he also gave us the example of a good and bad friend. As for the good friend, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell."

So when you surround yourself with good friends, they will always benefit you one way or another but only good influence will come out of being with them. You will always gain something from a good friend and the good friend will gain from you as well.  And even if you two have to part paths for some reason, you will at least take a lot of good with you from this friend. In other words, both sides benefited from each other. 

As for the bad friend, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Being around non-practicing individuals will definitely have its take on you whether you realize right away or not. Just like the good friend benefits you in a good way, the bad friend will have nothing but bad influence on you. Even if this person is good and you seem happy to always be around her but lets say she does not pray or she is always using curse words, this will definitely leave some traces on you sister. That is why the prophet used this example for the bad friend. When you happen to be around someone who is using fire for his work, if you are near him, your clothes may accidentally catch fire and if this does not happen then you will definitely leave him smelling of burnt material. 

So be careful my sister. Even if you are someone who guards her prayers and does not curse but you are always with an individual who does not pray and is involved in a lot of munkar (bad deeds) you must do one of two things. Either you benefit this sister and remind her of Allah and call her to the right way without letting her influence you. You have to be the one always reminding her of Allah and either she will listen to you or will leave you. Both are of good for you. If she listens to you then alhamdulilah you get the reward of guiding her and you have also earned a good friend; on the other hand, if she does not listen to you and chooses to leave you then alhamdulilah you do not have to worry about bad company any more.The other thing is, if you know she will not listen to you no matter how much you advice her then you must leave this person for the sake of Allah.

Public Schools:

Public schools are the worst places to send our Muslim kids too. There is so many bad influences surrounding our Muslim teens and it really becomes hard for their to practice their Deen properly in such a filthy environment. There is not only kufr(disbelief) taught in these schools, but  the muslim teen is exposed to many negativities such as boyfriends/girlfriends nonsense, bad language, music, drugs, zina, students and teachers who are homosexuals and thus promote their perversions among the students to make them accept gays, lesbians, bisexuals and other backward things. 

The parents have a huge responsibility when leaving their sons and daughters in such environments. Parents can't  leave them in these schools and not except them to get influenced somehow. Its like the example of one who tied the hands of a person and threw him overboard in the ocean and then says to him "make sure you don't get your clothes wet ok?" Does this make any sense? Of course not.

My sister, apart from choosing good friends, make sure to also renew your emaan (faith) and connection with Allah. The Deen doesn't just become hard on you for no reason, there must be a sin that you are committing thats making the hijaab hard on you as well. The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wasallam) said, "Be mindful of Allah and He will be mindful of you." [Sunan Tirmidhi]  So it can be drawn from this hadeeth the opposite of its meaning. If you do not remember Allah and do not guard yourself, then He will not be there for you. You have to remember in Allah in times of ease so and He will remember you in times of difficulty when you truly need Him. Many people often turn toAllah and start practicing when a calamity strikes them and right after Allah ta'ala helps them , they go back to their old ways. This is not correct. We should remember Allah all the time, in moments of ease and in moments of difficulty. 

Analyze yourself my sister. When was the last time you prayed Fajr? When was the last time you prayed 5 times a day and ON time? When was the last time you said a good word to your parents and listened to them? When was the last time you read the Quran? When was the last time you attended a halaqa or lecture?

Know and realize sister that Allah is always watching you. He is the Ever-Watchful.  Allah (swt) says, "Verily, your Lord is Ever-Watchful." [Surah al Fajr:14] and He (azza wa jall) also says, "And Allah is the All-See-er of what you do." [Surah al Hujurat:  18] 

Whether you are at home, school, club, hookah lounge, at your friends place, the mall, the movies, the masjid, and everywhere! Remember to FEAR ALLAH WHEREVER YOU ARE.

If you follow this rule throughout your life, wallahi you will see the bliss in obeying Allah and you will rarely fall from the straight path. Yes, guidance is from Allah alone and He alone turns the hearts as He pleases. But the more good you do and the more you do it for the sake of Allah, the more Allah will keep you strong on the right path. Never lose hope in Allah my sister.

It is the same thing for the sister who works. Make sure to not be influenced by your co-workers whether they are non-Muslims or not so practicing Muslims. Make sure to maintain your Islaamic identity no matter what, do not change yourself to be accepted by others and to conform to the western ideals and so on. Your Islaam is your greatest blessing and your role as a Muslim woman who maintains the hijaab is your identity. A true friend will choose to be your friend and respect you for who you are. 

Tips for sisters dealing with bad influence at home, school, work:

- Surround yourself with good sisters

- Fix your obligations such as praying five times a day, and etc.

- Listen to lectures and attend halaqas at the masajid

- Read the Quran and its meaning

-Make lots of duaa and read the daily adhkaar (duaas, morning and evening duaas)

- Lessen your contact with people who are a negative influence in your life

-If they are family, advice them with wisdom and patience and do not let them influence you in a bad way but rather make sure you influence them :)

- Seek advice from good/religious family members and people you know of.

Allah knows best. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hijaab Series: Why Hijaab? Part 1

This will be a series of hijaab related topics for sisters. The topics will range from hijaab (its purpose, ruling, virtues, hijaab related issues, niqaab, its ruling, virtues, and niqaab related issues)

First and foremost my dear muslim sister, you should thank Allah (swt) for blessing you with the greatest blessing of all, Islaam. You are part of the ummah of the final and greatest of prophets, Muhammad ibn Abdillaah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam). This is the greatest honor, for one to be a Muslim and a member of the best of nations as Allah azza wa jall has stated in the Noble Revelation. You, my sister are a descendent of the greatest of women, Maryam, the mother of our noble messenger, Eesa (Jesus,alayhi salaam). You are a descendent of hers with this hijaab you carry with you. 
Hijaab is more than just a garment or covering your hair. Many sisters have a wrong perception of the hijaab. Hijaab is belief,manners and more than just mere clothing. When you wear this in public you are representing the believing women. Therefore, purifying your intentions is very important and necessary my dear sister.

So why should you wear hijab?

1. Because Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, your Creator and Maker, ordered you to

In both surahs where the order of Hijaab is mentioned, Allah swt addresses whom? Al Mu'minaat. This phrase means, "The Believing Women" or "The women of true faith" why did Allah not say, Al Muslimaat  (the Muslim women) ?  Yes, you may say, "well, believing women here also means Muslim women." However, we can also see that there is a deeper meaning. When the Muslim woman wears the hijaab in its correct form she is a woman of  faith because her belief in Allah is what is encouraging her to wear it.Which means that there is a connection between hijaab and emaan (faith). Hijaab increases the woman in Emaan because it is a divine order and realizing that you are obeying your Lord with it increases you in faith among other factors.

2. Because it is what the greatest of women wore.

Dear sister, know that you are a descendent of the best of women. Just like the companions were the best of men, the female companions were the best of women. They had the purest of hearts and never hesitated to obey Allah and His Messenger. A perfect example of this is when the ayah of hijaab came down, the mother of the believers, Aisha (radiya allahu anha) said:

“May Allaah have mercy on the first Muhaajir women. When Allaah revealed the words ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)’ they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them.”  [Saheeh al Bukhari]
And the mother of the believers, Umm Salamah (radiya allahu anha) narrated: “When the words ‘to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies’ [al-Ahzaab 33:59] were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of the covering.” [Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.] 
Look at the amazingly beautiful response of the women of faith. Both the Muhajiraat women (those who migrated to Al Madinah) and the Ansariyyat (the women of al Madinah) had a similar response.  May Allah allow us to be like these women and to follow in their footsteps. They did not argue and ask questions. This is because their understanding of Islaam was pure and their fitrah was clean. The kaafir society did not pressure them nor did they compromise their religion for this world.  In times like ours, the sister who takes on wearing the proper hijaab in a non-Islamic society is looked at as a stranger and "extremist" but remembering these noble women and how they immediately answered the call of Allah should encourage us even more. Hijaab is for all times, not just then. 

3. WHY are you wearing it? Because you are a believing woman.

Why do you wear the hijaab my sister? Is it because you are forced to, your mom and dad force you to, your family and relatives wear it so you wear it to conform, your friends wear it and you like to be part of their group and not be an outcast, your school requires you to wear it??? What are your intentions in wearing this hijaab? This is the first question you should ask yourself. 

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) says,

"Actions are based on intentions so each person will have what he intended..." [Agreed upon] 

 Are you wearing this hijaab out of sincerity and faith or you are wearing it to please others? Yes, our intentions count and we will be judged by our intentions. When you do something, always make sure you are doing it for the sake of Allah swt first and foremost. Of course this act has to be allowed (halal) to start with. 

Before you leave the house covered in makeup,wearing tight clothes, and smelling of perfume, ask yourself, "why am I wearing this? Who am I pleasing? Am I pleasing Allah dressed like this?

You are responding to the call of hijaab because you are a mu'minah, a woman of faith. You should not be covered to impress others but rather to please and gain Allah's pleasure and rewards. You love Allah and His Messenger and thus respond to their call! Our main aim should always be to please Our creator above anything else. People will never be pleased with you no matter what you do, here Allah rewards you even for thinking to do a good deed! Look at how merciful Allah is!

4. To help reduce the Fitnah.

We are in no doubt living in the ends of times. The Messenger of Allah has mentioned to us many signs of the Last Day, the Day of Judgment... the Hour. Some of these signs include; the increase of killing, zina, drinking of alcohol, increase in ribaa, increase in worldly competition, and some of the major signs which have been mentioned to us in the hadeeth include; the appearance of the Dajjal, Ya'juj and Ma'juj, the 3 Earth swallowings, and more.
One of these signs as is in the authentic hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim is, "And women who are dressed but naked..."  In this hadeeth the prophet (alayhi salatu wa salaam) talks about two types of people who will be in Hellfire he has not seen so far. The Messenger of Allah was show on different occasions the types of people of Hellfire. One of them as our Rasul(sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said are the women who did not wear the proper hijaab and appear dressed but appear as though naked. 

Subhan Allah my dear sister! Any person whom Allah has given a good sense of understanding will instantly understand these words. If you are in such a state of the women described in this hadeeth, then you should fear for yourself my sister. How can you not be when in the same hadeeth, the prophet (pbuh) says, "..these women will not get to smell the scent of paradise let alone enter it!" Allahu akbar!  Do you not fear for yourself my sister? 

What if you are counted among these women? Turn to Allah and change for His sake before it is too late my sister. You are here on this Earth and in this dunyaa to worship Allah alone. Wallahi this Deen is easy and simple and it only becomes difficult when you make it so for yourself.  

Hijaab has been reduced to...

Hijaab has been reduced to something more of a fashion nowadays. This is a great fitnah and we can see that this hadeeth taking place before our very eyes. We see women who are covered but their clothes are skintight and see-through. Ok. For the kaafir women this is understandable but for the Muslim woman??? How can a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day wear something skintight or see-through and then wear a scarf over her head and call that hijaab?? This makes no sense at all.

 Our societies have truly become corrupt especially when the people of knowledge and responsibility are not even addressing these issues. The parents let their daughters dress as they please and even some husbands let their wives dress in this manner. Where has our Islaam gone?The men do not lower their gaze and the women do not cover. What do you thus get? A corrupt society. The scholars of the past would say when the times become worse that is when the woman should even cover up more even if she is already covered up in the obligatory hijaab! We are in very bad times. Do not let the western society fool you my sister. The level of emaan has decreased in us and that is why the men are corrupt and the women too. Both have failed in disobeying Allah. You do your part my sister and wear the correct hijaab and wallahi it will make you feel so honorable and happy. Happy that you are reviving the sunnah and that your hijaab is a slap in the face to those lustful, diseased eyes!

To be continued...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Where is your shame my sister?

Abu Mas'ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, One of the things people have learnt from the words of the earliest prophecy is, "If you have no shame(hayaa), then do what you like." [Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud]

Yes, if you have no shame from Allah then do as you wish. If you have no shame for yourself and do not respect yourself, then yes, do as you wish. If you fail to realize who it is that you are disobeying then go ahead, do as you wish.

Hayaa is an element of faith. What exactly is alhayaa'? It is modesty, bashfulness, having shame, and overall to be shy. Hayaa is from the characteristics of the believer. The prophet (Sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said in the hadeeth narrated by Imam al Bukhari in his Sahih, "Emaan (faith, belief) consists of more than sixty branches and hayaa is a part of faith." 

In another narration,the prophet(sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) passed by two men and one of them was admonishing the other for being too shy so the Messenger of Allah said to him "Leave him for hayaa is a part of faith."[Sahih al Bukhari]

Nowadays, we live in a time where sins and promotion of sinning has increased and the concept of hayaa has decreased. Rarely do you find people who have some shame from committing wrong. Ironically, instead we have many who have no problem showing the whole their involvement in a sin and seem to have no hayaa in exposing themselves when Allah covered their sins.  What happened to us? Where did our fear of Allah go?

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) also taught us that another virtue of hayaa is that it brings nothing but good. This is contrary to what western society preaches. "If you are shy, you are a failure. You will not get anywhere. Being shy prevents you from expressing yourself." Do not fall for these false concepts my dear sister. Believe the Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) when he said, "Hayaa does not bring anything but good." [Al Bukhari]

and when he said, "Every religion has its characteristic and the characteristic of Islaam is AlHayaa(shyness, modesty)." [Sunan Abu Dawud]

Hayaa only increases the beauty of something or someone if it is used the right way. There is hayaa that is praiseworthy and hayaa that is wrong. We will first start with the greatest kind of hayaa that every individual should have.  And that is:

 Having Hayaa from Allah

One should first and foremost have shyness from Allah swt. This is by feeling ashamed to commit a sin and disobey Allah knowing that He (azza wa jall) is watching you. How is it that we can post pictures of ourselves without hijaab or  pics of us at someplace haraam and find some peace in our heart?? It makes no sense at all. Where did the fear of the Almighty go?

My dear sister, did you forget that there is a Lord who is Al-Samee' (All-Hearer), Al Baseer (All-See-er), Al Khabeer (Aware of all that is being done), Ar-Raqeeb (Ever-Watchful)? When, my sister, are you going to fear Allah, your Creator and Provider? When are you going to turn to Him?
Don't you realize death can strike you at any minute my dear sister? You don't know when you will meet Him. Do you wish to meet Him in this state you are in and if so, do you think He will be pleased with you?

Shyness(AlHayaa) left our hearts when the fear of Allah left us. Our fear of Allah decreased and so that opened up the doors to taking many sins lightly, as if there is no problem at all. Actually there is a BIG problem. Whether it be listening to music, smoking, drinking, zina, displaying our adornments (tabarruj), not praying and so on, the main cause for falling into these sins is partly due to lack of fear of Allah azza wa jall. Our hearts got harder and darker with sin when we failed to fear Allah and when we failed to realize who it is that we are disobeying.

When the sahabah were told to fear Allah, their hairs stood on end. They trembled at the weight of such words. Nowadays, a muslim tells his fellow muslim brother and sister to fear Allah and the reply is, "Stop judging me. You're not my judge. Allah is my judge...You don't know whats in my heart."

In the days when the Muslims had a state (khilaafah), the scholars would go to the rulers and admonish them , telling them to fear Allah and warning them of the punishment of Allah and reminding of their great responsibility. This would only increase the ruler in fear of Allah and being cautious to not fall into oppression. So when someone tells you to fear Allah my sister, KNOW that it is not an insult, it is an advice. And Islam is sincere advice (Naseeha) as our prophet(sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) taught us.

My sister, you should feel shy to disobey Allah and to sin. If you wish to sin then please go somewhere where you know Allah will not be able to see you. (impossible right?)

 Always think of who is that you are disobeying and now how big the sin is. You would feel shy and ashamed if your teacher caught you cheating during a test/exam. So how can we not feel ashamed when sinning especially when knowing that Allah (ta'ala) knows and sees everything?

The following hadeeth is a great reminder for us all, showing us the powerful connection between emaan (faith) and hayaa' and how when one goes, the other goes behind.

Abdullah ibn Umar narrated from the prophet (sws) that he said, "Indeed, alhayaa (modesty) and al-emaan (faith) are companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well (follows behind)." [Sunan al Bayhaqi]

Therefore, when you see that your hayaa is not as strong then realize this is a sign of weakness of faith. This is because emaan as Muslims believe, increases and decreases. It increases with obedience and good deeds and it decreases with disobedience. Therefore, the less hayaa one has, the weaker their faith is and the more hayaa one has the stronger their faith is. A person of strong faith will always have hayaa, meaning, he will avoid major sins and even the minor sins as much as he/she can.

to be cont'd...

Allah knows best.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beautiful Statements from Ibn Taymiyyah

Assalamu alaykum

Here are some amazing and beautiful words of wisdom from the great scholar of Islaam, Taqiyudeen Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah):

"Every punishment from Him is pure justice and every blessing from Him is pure grace." [Majmoo al Fataawa 10/85]

"Sins are like chains and locks preventing their perpetrator from roaming vast gardens of Tawheed and reaping the fruits of righteous actions." [Majmoo al Fataawa 14/49]

"Whoever desires everlasting bliss, let him adhere firmly to the threshold of servitude(uboodiyyah to Allah)" [Madaarij al Saalikeen 1/531]

"In this world there is a paradise, whoever does not enter it will not enter the paradise of the Hereafter." [AlWaabil as-Sayyib pg. 69]

"Worship is founded upon the Legal Law and following it, not upon one's base desires and innovations." [Majmoo al Fataawa 1/80]

"The Jihaad against the soul is the foundation for the jihaad against the disbelievers and hypocrites." [Ibn Qayyim recorded in AlRawdah pg. 478]

"A man will never fear something besides Allah unless it be due to a disease in his heart." [Al Bazzar pg. 74]

"Guidance is not attained except with knowledge and correct direction is not attained except with patience." [Majmoo al Fataawa 10/40]

"Sins cause harm and repentance removes the harm." [Majmoo al Fataawa 10/255]

"Bearing witness to Tawheed opens the door of good and repentance from sins closes the door of evil." [Majmoo al Fataawa 10/256]

"Trials and tribulations are like feeling the heat and cold, when one knows that they cannot be avoided, he will not feel anger at their onset, nor will he be distressed or disheartened." [Ibn Al Qayyim in Al Madaarij al Saalikeen 3/289]

"The objective of asceticism (zuhd) is to leave all that harms the servant's Hereafter and the objective of worship is to do all that will benefit his Hereafter." [Majmoo al Fataawa 14/458]

"In this world, man finds in the remembrance of Allah, praising Him and worshipping Him, a delight that is incomparable to anything else." [ Minhaaj as-Sunnah 5/389]

"What can my enemies do to me? I have in my breast both my heaven and my garden. If I travel they are with me, never leaving me. Imprisonment for me is a chance to be alone with my Lord. To be killed is martyrdom and to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey." [Ibn al Qayyim, AlWaabil pg. 69]

Source: Biography of Ibn Taymiyyah in his "Diseases of the Heart and their Cures" translated by DAAR US-SUNNAH Publications, Birmingham, UK