La Tahzan Wa La Khauf

Don't Be Sad My Friends

Fear of Death

By Shariffah Carlo

This week has been a difficult week for me. I have had to deal with the internal turmoils of knowing that Allah's promise is true and knowing how to apply this to my life.

On sunday night, the two year old son of a very close friend was killed in a freak accident. This has actually had me thinking a lot about life and death in general and my beliefs in specific. I believe Allah prepares us for our future roles and experieinces. I have always known that I wanted to raise a good Muslim son who would, inshallah, fight for the sake of Allah. I also know that inshallah, I want to be from those good women who are proud to have sons or husbands be shaheed. Yet, when all this occured, all I could think about was the fear of losing my son - who is not even born yet. It made me realize the immensity of the deeds these women have done in giving up their beloved children for the sake of Allah. These women raised, taught and played with their children. They knew the faces and the personalities. They loved these boys, but they were able to be not just patient with their son's death but actually happy for the news of shahadah. It made me wonder if I could one day be the same.

I think about women who spend a lifetime carefully preparing their sons to be good Muslim men, good Muslim soldiers, and I wonder if I will ever be able to finally let go.

Because of this, I decided to make today's class about death. We all know that we will die. We know this not only from experience, but also from the words of Allah and his Prophet, who taught us the actual significance of this knowledge,
Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. (3:185)

Allah warns us that we are supposed to care about the next life more so than this life which is but "goods and chattels". Unfortunately, we are so attached to this life and the accumulation of wealth (which includes our families and our children) that we forget the ultimate purpose. Allah warns,
Rivalry in worldly increase distracteth you; Until ye come to the graves. Nay, but ye will come to know! (102:1-3)

I think of the many times in countless hadiths that I read that people said to our beloved prophet, "My parents be sacrificed for you." They are not merely saying insignificant words. This is powerful stuff. My gut reaction is to fear saying such words, for fear they may come true. But these companions found it so easy, May Allah reward them, because of their strong faith in Allah and His Messenger.

Allah has shown us the way to true salvation and jannah. It is the way of the previous Prophets,
And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam." (2:132)

It is the way of the seal of the prophet's Muhammad (SAWS). It is the way detailed in the Quraan al Kareem,
...And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. (2:217)
Those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- on them is Allah's curse, and the curse of angels, and of all mankind; (2:161)

It is the complete acceptance of Allah, His deen and his Qadr. We are supposed to welcome death as a release from this prison. We are supposed to hope and pray for the shahadah or at the very least for al Jannah, so that when we see death, we are neither afraid nor saddened by it. We can miss those who preceed us, but we should not be disheartened by the death of someone close to us. If they are Muslims, we know that Jannah will eventually be theres and ours, and we shall meet again, inshallah.

The unbelievers of old feared death. Allah says,
Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers. (2:19)

And the Jews prayed to avoid it, wishing for life,
And you will most certainly find them the greediest of men for life (greedier) than even those who are polytheists; every one of them loves that he should be granted a life of a thousand years, and his being granted a long life will in no way remove him further off from the chastisement, and Allah sees what they do. (2:96)

I have personally seen the fear that the non-believers have of death. A group of students I used to have actually went to the dean to complain that I was scaring them by having asked them to write an essay on dying. They were so scared of the prospect they could not even contemplate it or write about it. may Allah guide them. We have been commanded by Allah and his prophet to reflect on death. It is by this reflection that we will realize the true meaning of life, to worship Allah so He will grant us Jannah.

The Muslim is supposed to realize that death is simply a passage from this life to the next, better life. We will be tested. We may suffer a bit, but we know that as long as we believe and live La ilaha il Allah, we will see al jannah and experieince it forever. This is the promise of Allah.

Narrated Mu'adh bin Jabal: The Prophet said, "O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allah's Right upon His slaves is?" I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they do so)." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 93, Number 470.

We can not fear death. We must be of those ready to welcome it fighting in Allah's cause. We must be of those who fight to gain Allah's pleasure and make His word supreme while not fearing that death may be a consequence of this fight.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Somebody asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is the best among the people?" Allah's Apostle replied "A believer who strives his utmost in Allah's Cause with his life and property..." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 45.

We must recognize that all of us are born and will die and that the importance and significance of this lies in our beliefs and in how we live and die.

How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return. (2:28)

We are not to speculate that our death could be any different that what Allah has ordained, nor can we assume that we will live a long life. We may die very old, we may die tomorrow. We must recognize that this is from the unseen and we must therefore prepare for death.

O you who believe! be not like those who disbelieve and say of their brethren when they travel in the earth or engage in fighting: Had they been with us, they would not have died and they would not have been slain; so Allah makes this to be an intense regret in their hearts; and Allah gives life and causes death and Allah sees what you do. (3:156)

Say: Allah gives you life, then He makes you die, then will He gather you to the day of resurrection wherein is no doubt, but most people do not know. (45:26)

...We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age,...(22:5) soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (31:34)

Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, "(as regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for an other forty days, and then a piece of flesh for an other forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body. Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 55, Number 549

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "Keys of the unseen knowledge are five which nobody knows but Allah . . . nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain." Sahih Bukhari:Volume 2, Book 17, Number 149:
We do not know when we will die nor do we know when our children or our parents or our friends will die. We must prepare ourselves and them for this occuring at anytime and be grateful for whatever Allah ordains. The prophet warned us,
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah's Apostle said, "When carried to his grave, a dead person is followed by three, two of which return (after his burial) and one remains with him: his relative, his property, and his deeds follow him; relatives and his property go back while his deeds remain with him." Sahih Bukhari:Volume 8, Book 76, Number 521.

Our deeds are all that will remain with us, so we must be sure that they, inshallah are good deeds. We must further remember the prophet's saying, "O Allah! There is no life worth living except the life of the Hereafter..." (Narrated by Anas in sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 422)

This entire experience has made me appreciate our purpose on this earth and the scaricity of time that we have. None of us knows when, where or how we will die, all we know is that we will die, and after that death we will be judged and questioned about this life. We must assure ourselves that we have done all that we can to make this life a success for ourselves, our family and for our muslim brothers and sisters.. As Allah says,
These are Allah's limits, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them; and this is the great success. (4:13)

He will put your deeds into a right state for you, and forgive you your faults; and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he indeed achieves a mighty success. (33:71)

May Allah give us the His Qadr with true hoping for the ultimate success: Jannah. Ameen.

Description of Death

The death of a believer, the death of a disbeliever and the life to come
"Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!" (Qur'an 4:78)

It is reported that al Bara bin Azib said: "We went out with the Prophet in order to participate in the funeral rites of a man from the Ansar (a group of people from among the Companions of the Prophet). We arrived at the grave, but the inner chamber had not been prepared yet; so Allah's Messenger sat down facing the direction of the Qiblah, and we sat around him so attentively it was if the birds were sitting on our heads.

He had a stick in his hand with which he sketched upon the ground. Then he began looking alternately to the heavens and to the earth, razing his gaze and then lowering it. Finally, he said two or three times: 'Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.' Then he said: 'O Allah, verily I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave.' He repeated it three times, then he elaborated:
'Verily, when the believing servant is leaving this world and entering the next, angels from the heavens descend to him-their faces white with brightness like the sun and carrying with them burial sheets and scents from Paradise. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see.

Then the Angel of Death comes to the person, sits at his head and say's: 'O good soul, come out to your Lord's forgiveness and pleasure.' Thereupon, the soul flows out of the body like water flowing from the mouth of a waterskin, and all of the angels between the sky and the earth supplicate for Allah's blessing upon him. The doors of the heaven are opened for him, and the keepers of these doors all plead with Allah that this soul might pass in front of them as it is being carried upward. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels take it from him and wrap it with fragrant winding sheets. This is what is meant by Allah's saying: "Our messengers seize his soul, and they do not fall short of their duty."

Then the Prophet said: 'There exudes from the soul a scent like the most beautiful fragrance of musk that one could find on the face of the earth. The angels ascend with the soul, never passing a host of angels without hearing them ask: 'Who is this wonderful soul?' They reply, 'So and so, the son of so and so,' addressing him with the best names he was known by during his earthly life. Upon reaching the first heaven, the angels request that it be opened for the soul - which is granted. The soul is then accompanied by the angels of each heaven until it reaches the one above it and finally arrives at the seventh heaven.

Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic says: 'Place the record of My servant in Illyyun." The person's record is then placed in Illiyyun, whereupon a command is heard: 'Return him to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth I will return them to it. And I will make them come out of it, yet another time. Then the soul is returned to the earth, back into its body. Verily the deceased hears the shuffling feet of his companions who attended his burial as they turn away and leave his grave. Thereupon, two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to ask him questions. They say, 'Who is your Lord?' He replies, 'Allah is my Lord.' They continue, 'What is your religion?' He answers, 'Islam is my religion.' They proceed with the questioning, saying, 'Who is this man that has been sent to you?' He responds, 'He is the Messenger of Allah.' Finally, they ask him about his deeds, to which he replies, 'I read Allah's Book and believed in it.' A voice is then heard in the heavens, saying, 'My servant has told the truth, so clothe him in the clothing of Paradise, spread for him the furnishings of Paradise, and open for him a window with a view of Paradise.' Thereupon, he is engulfed by a breeze of fresh air and fragrance, while the expanse of his grave is extended before him as far as the eye can see. There appears before him a man with a wonderful face and beautiful clothing, emitting a splendid fragrance. He says to the soul, 'Rejoice at the news which will gladden you. Rejoice at Allah's pleasure and His Paradise, who's joys and delights never end. This is the day which you were promised.' The deceased says to him, 'And who are you, for your face bears good tidings?' The figure answers, 'I am your good; by Allah, I've always known you to be quick in obedience to Allah and slow to His disobedience. So may Allah award you with a good reward.' Then a door to Paradise is opened, and a door to Hell, whereupon it is said to him regarding the Hellfire, 'This would have been your final abode had you disobeyed Allah, however, it has been exchanged for this other abode.' When the soul sees what is in Paradise, he cries, 'My Lord, hasten the arrival of the Hour so that I might be joined with my family and wealth.' Thereupon it is said to him, 'Rest in tranquillity.'

Allah's Messenger continued, 'When the disbelieving , sinful servant is about to leave this world and enter the next, angels, powerful and severe, descend to him from the heavens - their faces black and carrying with them coarse strips of cloth from Hell. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death arrives, and sitting at the head of the disbeliever, he says, 'O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord.' The soul inside the disbelievers body is overcome by terrible fear, where upon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves. Upon this, the soul is cursed by every angel between the heavens and the earth and by those inside the heavens. Then the doors of the heavens are closed to him, and every single guard at these doors begs Allah that this soul not be carried up in front of him.

The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels grasp it from him and wrap it up in coarse cloth. There emits from it the foulest odour that could be found on the face of the earth. They ascend with it, never passing a host of angels without being asked, 'Who is this ugly soul?' They reply, 'So and so, the son of so and so,' using the worst names by which he was known in this world. When they arrive at the lowest heaven, they request that it be opened for this soul, but the request is denied.' And the Prophet recited the verse: 'The gates of the heavens will not be opened for them, nor will they enter the Garden of Paradise until a camel goes through the eye of a needle.' After that he continued, 'Then Allah the Mighty and Majestic, says to the angels: 'Place his record in Sijjeen-in the lowest heaven. Return my servant to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth, I will return them to it. And will make them come out of it, yet another time.' Upon this command, the deceased soul is thrown down from the sky until it lands in its body.' The Prophet then recited the verse: 'And whoever ascribes partners with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from the sky, such that the birds snatch him up or the wind throws him to a remote place.'

Then he commented, 'Verily the deceased hears the sound of his companions footsteps as they turn away from his grave.' The Prophet resumed his explanation, 'Then the two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to question him, 'Who is your Lord?' He answers, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know.' They continue by asking him, 'What is your religion?' He answers, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know.' So they ask, 'Then what do you say about this man who was sent to you?' The disbeliever does not appear to understand who they are referring to, so it is said, 'Muhammed.' Again he states, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know. I only heard the people talking about him.' Then it is said, 'You did not know, and you did not read!' Thereupon a voice from the heavens is heard, 'He has lied! So spread out for him a place from the Fire and open for him a window to the Fire.' The searing hot winds of Hell engulf him while his grave closes in upon him, crushing him until his rib cage is broken by the force - causing the ribs of one side to intertwine with the ribs of the other. Then there appears to him a person with an ugly face and ugly clothing and exuding a foul odour, who says, 'Tidings of evil to you, for this is the day which you were promised!' The deceased says to him, 'And you, too; may Allah give you evil tidings! Who are you, for yours is a face which portends evil.' The person rejoins, 'I represent your wicked deeds.

By Allah, I have always known you to be slow in obedience to Allah and quick in disobedience to Him. May Allah reward you with evil!' Then one who is deaf, dumb and blind and is carrying an iron rod is sent to the deceased. If he were to strike a mountain with it, the mountain would disintegrate into rubble. He strikes the deceased with a blow which turns him into dust. Allah returns the deceased to his original form, whereupon he is struck a second time. This causes him to shriek with such violence that it is heard by all the creation except mankind and jinn. Then a door to the Fire is opened, and beddings of the Fire are spread for him, whereupon he cries, 'Lord, do not establish the Hour!' (i.e. Day of Resurrection Day of Gathering, Day of Judgement, Day of Decision, Day of Sorting Out, Day of Grief and Regrets).

The Trumpet will be blown, a single shout, a single cry, a near torment, pregnant she camels shall be neglected, suckling mothers will forget their babes, every pregnant will drop her load, the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking. Heaven will be split asunder and shall be rent asunder with clouds Heaven will be rolled up in His Right Hand, and all those in heaven and earth will swoon away. Heaven shall be opened, it will become as gates. The sky will be like boiling filthy oil. The stars shall fall and some stars will lose their light. The Sun will lose its light. Seas will become as blazing fire, and some seas will burst forth. The earthquake of the Hour - mountains will be shaken violently, the earth will be ground to powder, and earth will be changed into another earth and so will the heavens. The earth will be stretched forth as a levelled plain. The earth will throw out its burdens, graves will be turned upside down, and there will be a complete resurrection from the graves. Wild beasts shall be gathered together, raised up blind, and the souls will be joined together with their bodies. This is the True Day, and mankind will be like moths scattered about.

All of mankind will proceed in scattered groups, as in a drunken state. Relatives shall be made to see one another - a man shall flee from his relatives - and no friend will ask after a friend. There will be no friend or intercessor. Everyone will be paid their wages in full - written pages of deeds shall be laid open, and every person will know what he she has brought. Every person will be confronted with all the good and evil he has done. A person will know what he has sent foreword and left behind. The will be no fear of injustice - the balances of justice and the scales of deeds - whosoever does good or evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. All the secrets will be examined. Some records will be given in the right hand, and some records will be given in the left hand. Some records will be given behind the back. A hard day for the disbelievers - a heavy day.

They bear a heavy burden, and are not permitted to put forth any excuse. The wrong-doer will bite his hands. All wrong-doers will be assembled with their companions and idols. It will be a destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and despair. The female infants who were buried alive shall be questioned. The greatest terror - the caller will call to a terrible thing. (On the Day of Resurrection the life of this world will seem like) a stay no longer than ten days - a day or part of a day. No person shall have the power to do anything for another - they will have no power nor any helper.

There will be no fear for believers, and all believers will be in the shade, and amongst springs and fruits. Angels will be sent down with a grand descending. The Shin shall be laid bear and Paradise shall be brought near. Hellfire shall be brought near and Hellfire shall be stripped off, kindled to a fierce ablaze. The unbelievers will wish to return and become believers. Hell fire, blazing fire, flaming fire, crushing Fire, burning flame, raging and roaring - the terrible drawing in of its breath. The shadow of black smoke, a narrow place, a place of ambush. This is the worst place to rest - worst indeed is that destination - the torment will not be lightened. An evil final return. The fire of Allah, kindled and filled with men and jinns all together, will say: 'Are there any more?'. For those who took their religion for amusement and play, the promised place for them all. It spares not nor does it leave. Disbelievers will be driven to it in groups - criminals and transgressors known by their marks, they will be seized by their forelocks and their feet, seized and dragged into the midst of the blazing fire, bound together in fetters, chained together, wherein they will abide forever. Death will come from all angles, yet they will not die. Therein they will neither die or live. Every time they seek to get away, they will be driven back. They will find neither protector nor helper. They will be made to drink boiling festering water and boiling hot water - given from a boiling spring. It will melt away what is in their bellies. Boiling oil will boil what is in their bellies. Nothing cool shall they taste therein Water and provision will be forbidden to the disbelievers - only the food of poisonous thorny plant - from the tree of zaqqum. Food for the sinners. Nor shall they have any drink, except a taste of boiling fluid and puss, filth from the washing of wounds, in fierce hot wind and boiling water. Boiling water poured down over their heads, burning their skins. Their skins will be burnt off then replaced with fresh skins. Their faces will be turned and rolled from all sides in the Fire. They will wear garments of pitch, and fire will cover their faces. Garments of fire will be cut for them, and on them will be hooked rods of iron. Their abode will be the Fire - the torment of the Fire that they used to deny. This is that whereof they used to doubt. Destruction with deep regrets and sorrow. (They will say:) 'Had we but listened or used our common sense!' They will dispute with their leaders in the Fire. Nineteen angels will be its guardians and keepers.

And in Paradise . . . Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Everlasting gardens. Gardens of Eternity. Gardens of delight. Gardens with everlasting delights. Gardens and grapevines, fruits of two gardens, fruits of all kinds as desired in plenty. Fruits will be near at hand, fruit and meat, flesh of fowls, thornless lote trees and banana trees, a running spring - a spring called Salsabil, a spring called Kafur, a spring call Tasnim. A river in Paradise named Kauthar. Rivers of wine, milk and clear honey A cup mixed with Zanjabil water, trays of gold cups, vessels of silver and cups of crystal, green garments of fine and thick silk, adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls. Coaches lined with silk brocade, green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses set in rows. Thrones woven with gold and precious stones raised high. Rich carpets spread out, beautiful mansions, lofty rooms, one above another, abiding therein forever. An eternal home, facing one another on thrones. They will never taste death therein, nor will they be asked to leave it. All hatred, jealousy or sense of injury will be removed from their hearts. All grief will be removed and no sense of fatigue, toil or weariness will touch them. Neither will there be any hurt, abdominal pain, headache or intoxication. There will be no vain speaking nor sinful speech, neither harmful speech nor falsehood. They will be free from sin. There will be neither excessive heat nor bitter cold. There will be a known provision, in peace and security. The home of peace, with greetings therein, and whoever does righteous deeds will enter. Those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led in groups, and be made to inherit because of their deeds. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. My Paradise, the greatest bliss, the great success and the supreme success. For the believers are Gardens as an entertainment. The dwellers of Paradise will be busy in joyful things that Day. They will be amidst gardens and water springs, and will see the angels surrounding the Throne, near the Omnipotent King. They will have all that they desire. Houries - chaste females with wide and beautiful eyes, as if preserved eggs. Pure wives - wives in a pleasant shade - reclining on thrones. Young full-breasted maidens of equal age, immortal boy-servants to serve them as scattered pearls.

The Death of Death.

Abu Hurayra reported that Allah's Messenger said: "After the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the People of the Fire enter Hell, Death will be brought foreword in the form of a spotted ram. It will be on the wall which separates the people of Paradise from the people of the Fire. Then it will be said: 'O people of Paradise!' Thereupon they will raise their heads and stare apprehensively. Then it will be said: 'O people of the Fire!' Whereupon its inhabitants will raise their heads in hope of intercession. After this the people of Paradise and the inhabitants of the Fire will be addressed thus: 'Do you know what this is?' They will all reply: 'We know it; it is Death, which assigned to us.' Thereupon Death will be placed on its side and slaughtered on the wall. Finally it will be said: 'O people of Paradise, only eternity and no more death. O people of the Fire, only eternity and more death.'"

Death in Islam

Imam Malik Ibn Anas saw the Death Angel in his sleep, and the Imam asked him: " How much left for me to live?". The Angel pointed to his five fingers. Then the Imam asked him: " Does that mean 5 years, or 5 months, or 5 days ?". Before the Imam had a chance to get an answer back, he woke up.

The Imam went to someone who would interpret dreams. That man told him: " Imam Malik, when the Angel pointed to his five fingers he didn't mean 5 years or months or days, but the Angel meant that your question ' how much left for me to live' is among 5 matters that only Allah (SWT) knows about, and he recited the following verse from the Qur,an:

"" Verily, with ALLAH alone is the knowledge of the Hour. And HE sends down the rain, and HE knows what is in the wombs. And no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Surely, ALLAH is All-Knowing, All-Aware. "" 31:34

When Caliph Haroon Al-Rashid got very ill, illness that caused his death, he told his staff to go a head and dig his grave so he can see it before he dies. After the grave was prepared, he asked to be carried to the grave . Upon arrival, the Caliph Haroon looked down into the grave and then looked up toward the sky and said: " O' whom (Allah) his rule never ends, have mercy on whom (Haroon) his rule has ended.

One day the Prophet (pbuh) visited the Cemetery along with some of his followers, and he said to them: " I long for my beloved ones?". His followers said: " Aren't we your beloved ones O' messenger of Allah ". The Prophet (pbuh) said: " you are my companions ". Then they say: " who are your beloved ones?". The Prophet said: " People come after you believed in me without seeing me ". they asked: " How would you know them on Judgment day even though you haven't seen them O' messenger of Allah?". The Prophet said: " My followers are gathered ' Ghurr'an Muhajjalin ' ".

(( Gurr'an means light on the forehead, and Muhajjalin means light on the feet, and what brings about this light is the Ablution 'Wudu' ))

One day the Prophet (pbuh) went to a boy's funeral and he found his mother weeping and he asked: " why are you crying ". The mother said: " O' messenger of Allah, is my son in Heaven or Hell?". The prophet replied:" O' slave of Allah, He (Allah) knows his status better than I do ".

The Prophet said: " The Believer's Soul turns into a Bird in Paradise ". (( The above Hadith means, that upon the Believers death, his Soul becomes a bird in Paradise until the Resurrection day, when Allah (SWT) returns all souls to its original bodies ))

How to Make Your Wife Happy

1. Beautiful Reception

After returning from work, school, travel, or whatever has separated you:
* begin with a good greeting.
* Start with Assalamau 'Aliaykum and a smile. Salam is a sunnah and a du'aa for her as well.
* Shake her hand and leave bad news for later!

2. Sweet Speech and Enchanting Invitations

* Choose words that are positive and avoid negative ones.
* Give her your attention when you speak of she speaks.
* Speak with clarity and repeat words if necessary until she understands.
* Call her with the nice names that she likes, e.g. my sweet-heart, honey, saaliha, etc.

3. Friendliness and Recreation

* Spend time talking together.
* Spread to her goods news.
* Remember your good memories together.

4. Games and Distractions

* Joking around & having a sense of humor.
* Playing and competing with each other in sports or whatever.
* Taking her to watch permissible (halal) types of entertainment.
* Avoiding prohibited (haram) things in your choices of entertainment.

5. Assistance in the Household

* Doing what you as an individual can/like to do that helps out, especially if she is sick or tired.
* The most important thing is making it obvious that he appreciates her hard work.

6. Consultation (Shurah)

* Specifically in family matters.
* Giving her the feeling that her opinion is important to you.
* Studying her opinion carefully.
* Be willing to change an opinion for hers if it is better.
* Thanking her for helping him with her opinions.

7. Visiting Others

* Choosing well raised people to build relations with. There is a great reward in visiting relatives and pious people. (Not in wasting time while visiting!)
* Pay attention to ensure Islamic manners during visits.
* Not forcing her to visit whom she does not feel comfortable with.

8. Conduct During Travel

* Offer a warm farewell and good advice.
* Ask her to pray for him.
* Ask pious relatives and friends to take care of the family in your absence.
* Give her enough money for what she might need.
* Try to stay in touch with her whether by phone, e-mail, letters, etc..
* Return as soon as possible.
* Bring her a gift!
* Avoid returning at an unexpected time or at night.
* Take her with you if possible.

9. Financial Support

* The husband needs to be generous within his financial capabilities. He should not be a miser with his money (nor wasteful).
* He gets rewards for all what he spends on her sustenance even for a small piece of bread that he feeds her by his hand (hadeith).
* He is strongly encouraged to give to her before she asks him.
10. Smelling Good and Physical Beautification

* Following the Sunnah in removing hair from the groin and underarms.
* Always being clean and neat.
* Put on perfume for her.

11. Intercourse

* It is obligatory to do it habitually if you have no excuse (sickness, etc.)
* Start with "Bismillah" and the authentic du'a.
* Enter into her in the proper place only (not the anus).
* Begin with foreplay including words of love.
* Continue until you have satisfied her desire.
* Relax and joke around afterwards.
* Avoid intercourse during the monthly period because it haram
* Do what you can to avoid damaging her level of Hiyaa (shyness and modesty) such as taking your clothes together instead of asking her to do it first while he is looking on.
* Avoid positions during intercourse that may harm her such as putting pressure on her chest and blocking her breath, especially if you are heavy.
* Choose suitable times for intercourse and be considerate as sometimes she maybe sick or exhausted.

12. Guarding Privacy

* Avoid disclosing private information such as bedroom secrets, her personal problems and other private matters.

13. Aiding in the Obedience to Allah

* Wake her up in the last third of the night to pray "Qiam-ul-Layl" (extra prayer done at night with long sujood and ruku'ua).
* Teach her what you know of the Qur'an and its tafseer.
* Teach her "Dhikr" (ways to remember Allah by the example of the prophet) in the morning and evening.
* Encourage her to spend money for the sake of Allah such as in a charity sale.
* Take her to Hajj and Umrah when you can afford to do so.

14. Showing Respect for her Family and Friends

* Take her to visit her family and relatives, especially her parents.
* Invite them to visit her and welcome them.
* Give them presents on special occasions.
* Help them when needed with money, effort, etc..
* Keep good relations with her family after her death if she dies first.
Also in this case the husband is encouraged to follow the sunnah and keep giving what she used to give in her life to her friends and family.

15. (Islamic) Training & Admonition

This includes
* The basics of Islam
* Her duties and rights
* Reading and writing
* Encouraging her to attend lessons and halaqahs
* Islamic rules (ahkam) related to women
* Buying Islamic books and tapes for the home library

16. Admirable Jealousy

* Ensure she is wearing proper hijab before leaving house.
* Restrict free mixing with non-mahram men.
* Avoiding excess jealousy. Examples of this are:
1- Analyzing every word and sentence she says and overloading her speech by meanings that she did not mean.
2- Preventing her from going out of the house when the reasons are just.
3- Preventing her from answering the phone.
4- etc.

17. Patience and Mildness

* Problems are expected in every marriage so this is normal. What is wrong is excessive responses and magnifying problems until a marital breakdown.
* Anger should be shown when she exceeds the boundaries of Allah SWT, by delaying prayers, backbiting, watching prohibited scenes on TV, etc..
* Forgive the mistakes she does to you (See item 18).
* How can you best correct her mistakes?
1- First, implicit and explicit advice several times.
2- Then by turning your back to her in bed (displaying your feelings). Note that this does not include leaving the bedroom to another room, leaving the house to another place, or not talking with her.
3- The last solution is lightly hitting (when allowable) her. ( Editor's note: We do NOT agree with or endorse this particar suggestion. We are printing this article as it was written, however we believe that striking a woman is not an acceptable solution to problems. In fact, it contradicts all of the other advice offered in this article.) In this case, the hsuband should consider the following: - He should know that sunnah is to avoid beating as the Prophet PBUH never beat a woman or a servant. - He should do it only in extreme cases of disobedience, e.g. refusing intercourse without cause frequently, constantly not praying on time, leaving the house for long periods of time without permission nor refusing to tell him where she had been, etc.
- It should not be done except after having turned from her bed and discussing the matter with her as mentioned in Qur'an.
- He should not hit her hard injuring her, or hit her on her face or on sensitive parts of her body.
- He should avoid shaming her such as by hitting her with a shoe, etc.

18. Pardoning and Appropriate Censure

* Accounting her only for larger mistakes.
* Forgive mistakes done to him but account her for mistakes done in Allah's rights, e.g. delaying prayers, etc..
* Remember all the good she does whenever she makes a mistake.
* Remember that all humans err so try to find excuses for her such as maybe she is tired, sad, having her monthly cycle or that her commitment to Islam is growing.
* Avoid attacking her for the bad cooking of the food as the Prophet PBUH never blamed any of his wives for this. If he likes the food, he eats and if he doesn't then he does not eat and does not comment.
* Before declaring her to be in error, try other indirect approaches that are more subtle than direct accusations.
* Escape from using insults and words that may hurt her feelings.
* When it becomes necessary to discuss a problem wait until you have privacy from others.
* Waiting until the anger has subsided a bit can help to keep a control on your words.

Muslim Marriage - a Relationship Which Symbolizes Islam and Love

Muslim marriage as in other faiths is a sacred institution. It is a moral contract binding between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman. Muslim marriages are performed according to the laws of the Islamic Shariah. Islamic marriages are generally arranged marriages by the parents. The proposal for marriage is made by the girl's parents to the guy and once with the acceptance from both the sides the ceremony of engagement is made which is further followed by the marriage. The Islamic marriage is solemnized by a priest who takes the consent of both the bride and the groom for the marriage. The bride and the groom's consent is followed by signing of the marriage proposal by the bride, the groom and the witnesses. The Koran or the holy book is placed between them and they are made to see each other through a mirror. The Islamic marriage ceremony is celebrated with the distribution of dates and sweets and with a grand feast. In an Islamic marriage premarital intimacy is strictly not permitted. According to the religion of Islam a Muslim marriage is the foundation upon which an Islamic society is built.

Muslim marriage is characterized by offering of the dowry by a Muslim man to his spouse. The main purpose is to safeguard the economic status of the Muslim women in case of any unto do incidents. The dowry or the mahr can be paid before or after the marriage and with the failure of the payment of dowry the Muslim marriage becomes invalidated. The Muslim marriages insist on the husband supporting his spouse financially and therefore it is the duty of the husband to support and protect his wife. The Muslim marriage rules also insist that the husband should make sure that both his wife and children have access to the religious Islamic materials.

One major difference between Islam and other religion is the practice of polygamy, the Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four wives as long as he can support and protect them. Muslim women however are not allowed to marry more than one man. The religion of Islam does not permit homosexuality. It allows the marriage of a Muslim man to a Jewish or a Christian woman. Though the Islamic law permit's the marriage of Christian or a Jewish woman to a Muslim male it does not permit them to have the inheritance of their spouse unless it is conferred by the Muslim man on their Jewish or Christian spouses.

Islamic religion lays down strict marriage regulations as marriage and family are the building blocks of Islamic society. The moral contract between the husband and wife in Islam is bound by certain rules and regulations. Islam clearly defines the role of a husband in a family as well as that of a wife's duty. It is the healthy family life which would form the basis of healthy off springs. This further would lead to the growth of a strong Islamic society. The ultimate aim being the growth of the religion with staunch followers of Islam and Muslim marriage is a really a formatted institution.


Musical Instruments

Narrates Rabi‘, daughter of Mu‘wwadh: On the occasion of my transfer to my husband’s home after marriage, the Holy Prophet (sws) came to visit us and sat down on my bed just as you [the next narrator] are sitting before me now. Some slave girls were beating the Daff and singing in lamentation of their forefathers who had been killed during the battle of Badr. Then one of the girls sang: ‘Among us is the Prophet (sws) who knows even what will happen in coming days’. At this, the Holy Prophet (sws) said: ‘Do not say this, but go on singing.13 (Bukhari, No: 3779)

We learn from the narrative that:
• The Holy Prophet (sws) attended a marriage ceremony where some slave girls were singing.
• Singing was not stopped on his arrival.
• The singers used the Daff with their singing.
• The Holy Prophet (sws) heard them [this is evident from the fact that he stopped them from uttering certain words.]
• He however ordered them to continue with what they were singing before.

This effectively proves that the Holy Prophet (sws) did not impose any restriction on using the Daff, a common musical instrument used in that society. Keeping in view the information we received through the above mentioned narratives we can conclude that Arabs of the times of the Holy Prophet (sws) would use musical instrument to accompany their singing on joyous occasions. This has been done in the presence of the Holy Prophet (sws) to which he did not object. Some other narratives even tell us that the Holy Prophet (sws) even ordered the people to use musical instruments at the occasion of marriage.

The Holy Prophet (sws) said: ‘the only thing that distinguishes the allowable act (i.e. Nikah) from the forbidden one (fornication) is the beat of the tambourine and open declaration of the Nikah.14 (Ibn Majah, No: 1896)

The Daff no doubt is an old musical instrument to be played by hand, which remained in use from ancient times. In this regard, Dr. Jawwad ‘Ali writes:

The Daff is one of the most well known primitive musical instruments. It is used to express joy and high spirit. Women also play it. The Arabs would commonly use it on their most joyous occasions. When the Holy Prophet (sws) reached Madinah he was welcomed with the singing of songs and playing of the Daff. Usually, the Arabs would use it on joyful ceremonies like weddings, and would sing songs along with it.

The Bible also contains references to the Daff as a musical instrument at various occasions. One of the Urdu Bible dictionaries, Qamus Al-Kitab, defines the instrument thus:

It was a kind of narrow hoop musical instrument which was held in [one] hand and played [by striking it with the other.] It was used to create rhythm while singing and dancing. It would offer much cheerfulness in celebrations and processions.

Use of Music during Travels:

Narrates Salama Ibn Al-Akwa‘: ‘We set off for Khaybar in the company of the Holy Prophet (sws) at night. A man from the group said to ‘Amir: ‘O ‘Amir, would not you let us hear your poetry?’ ‘Amir who was a Hida poet got down and started reciting for the people [the following verses]: ‘O God, were not it for your guidance, we could not have been able to offer the Salah and pay the Zakah. So please forgive our sins that [we have committed] and the ones we may commit in future. We are ready to offer our lives for your cause. Grant us perseverance when faced [with the enemy] and pour down your mercy upon us. [We are the people] who refuse to surrender when the enemy challenges us to fight. And [we leave them] to cry for help against us’.

The Holy Prophet asked: ‘Who is that signer?’ They replied: ‘‘Amir bin Al-Akwa‘’. ‘God bless him’, prayed the Holy Prophet (sws)9. (Bukhari, No: 3960)

We learn from the narrative that:
• The Companions were along with the Holy Prophet (sws) on his way to Khaybar.
• Some of the Companions requested ‘Amir (rta) to sing from his Hida (i.e. song sung primarily to drive camels, which correspond to their walk). He complied with the request and began his recitation with such a loud voice that the Holy Prophet (sws) could hear him.
• The Holy Prophet (sws) inquired about the singer approvingly.
• Since he had recited good verses the Holy Prophet (sws) prayed for him.

Hida is a form of the desert poetry. The verses in this kind of poetry are rhymed corresponding to the pace of the footsteps of the camels. Ancient Arab camel drivers would sing this kind of poetry while travelling through the desert. Though the primary purpose of this singing was to encourage the camels to walk speedily yet the camel drivers themselves enjoyed it a lot. Many Hadith narratives refer to this practice of the time and evidently prove that the Holy Prophet (sws) and his Companions would enjoy this kind of poetry.
According to other narratives on the same subject, the Holy Prophet (sws) had appointed Anjashah, who had a very pleasing voice, to serve as a Hadi (i.e. camel driver) during his travels in the desert. During one of the travels, the camels started to pace very quickly affected by the sweetness of his sound. The Holy Prophet (sws) stopped him lovingly from singing Hida. He asked the singer not to force the beasts to walk at a faster pace so that female riders do not fall down. ‘Anas Ibn Malik reports:

The Holy Prophet had a Had, Anjashah. He had a very sweet sound. [During one of his journeys] the Holy Prophet (sws) said to him: ‘Slow down, Anjashah, lest you should break the delicate goblets. Qatadah explained that the Prophet (sws) was referring to delicate women. (Bukhari, No: 5857)

According to the scholars Hida’ definitely is a type of singing. Dr. Jawwad Ali writes:

Hida is of the oldest type of singing in Arabia that was specifically used during travels and is still used in contemporary Bedouin society. Besides, since the Hida songs suit sorrowful situation, this type of singing was used in mourning etc. as well. The Holy Prophet (sws) got a Hida singer appointed for him called Al-Barra’ Ibn Malik Ibn Nadar Al-Ansari who would drive camels for male riders. Another Had of his was Anjashah who had a very melodious tone. He was a black slave of the Holy Prophet (sws) who was employed to serve as a Had for the camels of the wives of the Holy Prophet (sws).

He further writes:

Al-Hida’ actually is the singing used among the desert dwellers … this kind of singing corresponds with the tones cherished by the desert dwellers and also with their simple and natural mourning songs that please the nomadic tastes of these Bedouins.

Ibn Khaldun writes in his book, Muqaddamah, that the basic purpose of Hida was not only to please the caravan members but also to urge the camels to proceed faster.

This feeling of joy is even found in speechless animals not to mention humans. Therefore we see that the camels respond to the Hida of the riders, and the horses are affected by the whistles and shrill sounds. We already know that animals receive effects of the songs if they are rhythmical, and correspond to the rules governing the art of music.

Use of Music on Joyous Occasions

Ibn ‘A’ishah narrates: When the Holy Prophet (sws) came to Madinah, the women and the children started singing: ‘The Moon has risen upon us from the hillocks of Wida‘. We owe gratitude [to God] as long as those who call God continue doing so. O Prophet (sws) you have brought a religion that is worthy to be followed’.

Narrates Anas Ibn Malik: [Having entered the city], the Holy Prophet (sws) passed through a certain part of the town. Suddenly some slave girls appeared singing on the Daff the following ditty: ‘We are the slave girls of Bani Najjar.7 How lucky! This day the Holy Prophet (sws) has come to be our neighbor’. At this the Holy Prophet (sws) remarked: ‘God knows that I love you people’8 (Ibn Majah, No: 1899)

These narratives deal with the Holy Prophet’s arrival in Madinah after his migration from Makkah. Their content can be summarized in the following points:

• The Holy Prophet’s arrival in Madinah was an extremely joyous occasion.
• People expressed their joy by singing joyous songs.
• Slave girls were also from among the singers.
• They had musical instruments to play with their songs.
• The Holy Prophet (sws) and the Companions (rta) heard these songs but they did not express their disapproval.
• The Holy Prophet (sws) expressed his love and kindness for singing women.

These and other similar narratives sufficiently prove that when the Holy Prophet (sws) reached Madinah after his migration from Makkah, he received a warm welcome. The city had a festive appearance. Every one was filled with joy on the Holy Prophet’s arrival. Women, slave girls, singing women and children expressed their joy by singing welcome songs and playing the Daff. The Holy Prophet (sws) appreciated this. Therefore, one cannot deny the fact that the Holy Prophet (sws) sanctioned celebrating joyous occasion by singing melodies using musical instruments.

Music on the ‘Id Festivals

Narrates ‘A’ishah (rta): The Messenger (sws) of God came to my residence while two female singers were singing the songs of Bu‘ath.1 The Holy Prophet (sws) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Meanwhile Abu Bakr (rta) entered and [seeing the singers] rebuked me thus: ‘Satanic musical instruments in the presence of the Holy Prophet (sws)?’ On hearing this God’s Messenger (sws) turned towards him and said: ‘Let them [sing and rejoice]’. When Abu Bakr was engaged in some other business, I signaled to the girls [to go out] and they left. It was on the ‘Id day.2 (Bukhari, No: 907)

We can conclude from this narrative the following points:
• The Mother of the believers, ‘A’ishah (rta), was listening to songs on ‘Id day.
• The songs were being sung in the residence of the Holy Prophet (sws).
• A professional singer was performing.3
• The song was not a hymn to God; rather a relic of a war fought before the advent of Islam.
• The mother of the believers did not stop listening to the song even after the Holy Prophet had arrived.
• The Holy Prophet (sws) did not forbid her from listening to the song.
• He did not stop the female singers either.
• He himself was not attracted to the performance but he must have heard the song as he could hear Abu Bakr’s comments.
• Abu Bakr (rta) condemned the practice at first sight and declared that these were satanic instruments.
• When he tried to stop the singers and censure the listeners, the Holy Prophet (sws) stopped him from doing so.

The report evidently proves that the Holy Prophet (sws) allowed singing music during religious festivals. This is evidenced by the fact that Holy Prophet’s (sws) wife enjoyed singing and music. Although Ab u Bakr (rta) tried to stop the function, the Holy Prophet (sws) did not interfere with it, and let the performers and the audience enjoy themselves. Therefore, in light of this evidence we can conclude that music can justifiably be considered allowable in Islam.

The following narrative also deals with the issue:

Umm-i-Salamah narrates: A slave girl belonging to Hassan Ibn Thabit (rta) came to us on ‘Id al Fitr. Her hair was unkempt and she carried a tambourine and was singing [some song]. Umm-i-Salamah rebuked her. But the Holy Prophet (sws) said to her: ‘Ummi-i-Salamah, let her [sing and rejoice]. Certainly every nation has an ‘Id and this day is our ‘Id’. (Mu‘jam Al-Kabir, No: 558)

Islam, Culture and Women

by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood

How can anyone justify Islam's treatment of women, when it imprisons Afghans under blue shuttlecock burqas and makes Pakistani girls marry strangers against their will?

How can you respect a religion that forces women into polygamous marriages, mutilates their genitals, forbids them to drive cars and subjects them to the humiliation of "instant" divorce? In fact, none of these practices are Islamic at all.

Anyone wishing to understand Islam must first separate the religion from the cultural norms and style of a society. Female genital mutilation is still practised in certain pockets of Africa and Egypt, but viewed as an inconceivable horror by the vast majority of Muslims. Forced marriages may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, but would be anathema to Muslim women from other backgrounds.

Indeed, Islam insists on the free consent of both bride and groom, so such marriages could even be deemed illegal under religious law.

A woman forbidden from driving a car in Riyadh will cheerfully take the wheel when abroad, confident that her country's bizarre law has nothing to do with Islam. Afghan women educated before the Taliban rule know that banning girls from school is forbidden in Islam, which encourages all Muslims to seek knowledge from cradle to grave, from every source possible.

The Koran is addressed to all Muslims, and for the most part it does not differentiate between male and female. Man and woman, it says, "were created of a single soul," and are moral equals in the sight of God. Women have the right to divorce, to inherit property, to conduct business and to have access to knowledge.

Since women are under all the same obligations and rules of conduct as the men, differences emerge most strongly when it comes to pregnancy, child-bearing and rearing, menstruation and, to a certain extent, clothing.

Some of the commands are alien to Western tradition. Requirements of ritual purity may seem to restrict a woman's access to religious life, but are viewed as concessions. During menstruation or postpartum bleeding, she may not pray the ritual salah or touch the Koran and she does not have to fast; nor does she need to fast while pregnant or nursing.

The veiling of Muslim women is a more complex issue. Certainly, the Koran requires them to behave and dress modestly - but these strictures apply equally to men. Only one verse refers to the veiling of women, stating that the Prophet's wives should be behind a hijab when his male guests converse with them.

Some modernists, however, claim that this does not apply to women in general, and that the language used does not carry the textual stipulation that makes a verse obligatory. In practice, most modern Muslim women appreciate attractive and graceful clothes, but avoid dressing provocatively.

What about polygamy, which the Koran endorses up to the limit of four wives per man? The Prophet, of course, lived at a time when continual warfare produced large numbers of widows, who were left with little or no provision for themselves and their children.

In these circumstances, polygamy was encouraged as an act of charity. Needless to say, the widows were not necessarily sexy young women, but usually mothers of up to six children, who came as part of the deal.

Polygamy is no longer common, for various good reasons. The Koran states that wives need to be treated fairly and equally - a difficult requirement even for a rich man. Moreover, if a husband wishes to take a second wife, he should not do so if the marriage will be to the detriment of the first.

Sexual intimacy outside marriage is forbidden in Islam, including sex before marriage, adultery or homosexual relationships. However, within marriage, sexual intimacy should be raised from the animal level to sadaqah (a form of worship) so that each considers the happiness and satisfaction of the other, rather than mere self-gratification.

Contrary to Christianity, Islam does not regard marriages as "made in heaven" or "till death do us part". They are contracts, with conditions. If either side breaks the conditions, divorce is not only allowed, but usually expected. Nevertheless, a hadith makes it clear that: "Of all the things God has allowed, divorce is the most disliked."

A Muslim has a genuine reason for divorce only if a spouse's behaviour goes against the sunnah of Islam - in other words, if he or she has become cruel, vindictive, abusive, unfaithful, neglectful, selfish, sexually abusive, tyrannical, perverted - and so on.

In good Islamic practice, before divorce can be contemplated, all possible efforts should be made to solve a couple's problems. After an intention to divorce is announced, there is a three-month period during which more attempts are made at reconciliation.

If, by the end of each month, the couple have resumed sexual intimacy, the divorce should not proceed. The three-month rule ensures that a woman cannot remarry until three menstrual cycles have passed - so, if she happens to be pregnant, the child will be supported and paternity will not be in dispute.

When Muslims die, strict laws govern the shares of property and money they may leave to others; daughters usually inherit less than sons, but this is because the men in a family are supposed to provide for the entire household.

Any money or property owned by women is theirs to keep, and they are not obliged to share it. Similarly, in marriage, a woman's salary is hers and cannot be appropriated by her husband unless she consents.

A good Muslim woman, for her part, should always be trustworthy and kind. She should strive to be cheerful and encouraging towards her husband and family, and keep their home free from anything harmful (haram covers all aspects of harm, including bad behaviour, abuse and forbidden foods).

Regardless of her skills or intelligence, she is expected to accept her man as the head of her household - she must, therefore, take care to marry a man she can respect, and whose wishes she can carry out with a clear conscience. However, when a man expects his wife to do anything contrary to the will of God - in other words, any nasty, selfish, dishonest or cruel action - she has the right to refuse him.

Her husband is not her master; a Muslim woman has only one Master, and that is God. If her husband does not represent God's will in the home, the marriage contract is broken.

What should one make of the verse in the Koran that allows a man to punish his wife physically? There are important provisos: he may do so only if her ill-will is wrecking the marriage - but then only after he has exhausted all attempts at verbal communication and tried sleeping in a separate bed.

However, the Prophet never hit a woman, child or old person, and was emphatic that those who did could hardly regard themselves as the best of Muslims. Moreover, he also stated that a man should never hit "one of God's handmaidens". Nor, it must be said, should wives beat their husbands or become inveterate nags.

Finally, there is the issue of giving witness. Although the Koran says nothing explicit, other Islamic sources suggest that a woman's testimony in court is worth only half of that of a man. This ruling, however, should be applied only in circumstances where a woman is uneducated and has led a very restricted life: a woman equally qualified to a man will carry the same weight as a witness.

So, does Islam oppress women?

While the spirit of Islam is clearly patriarchal, it regards men and women as moral equals. Moreover, although a man is technically the head of the household, Islam encourages matriarchy in the home.

Women may not be equal in the manner defined by Western feminists, but their core differences from men are acknowledged, and they have rights of their own that do not apply to men

What are women's rights in Islam?

Courtesy of Islamic.Org

In a truely Islamic society women have the following rights in Islam:
1. The right and duty to obtain education.
2. The right to have their own independent property.
3. The right to work to earn money if they need it or want it.
4. Equality of reward for equal deeds.
5. The right to express their opinion and be heard.
6. The right to provisions from the husband for all her needs and more.
7. The right to negotiate marriage terms of her choice.
8. The right to obtain divorce from her husband, even on the grounds that she simply can't stand him. (pls note that God deeply frowns upon divorce as a solution unless there is hardly any other alternative but it does not mean that men have more right to divorce their wives than women do.)
9. The right to keep all her own money (she is not responsible to maintain any relations).
10. The right to get sexual satisfaction from her husband.
11. custody of their children after divorce.
12. to refuse any marriage that does not please them
and more...
Here is an article taken from a speech which details some of these rights: Ideals and role models for women in Islam

The Quran and Hadith about Halal and Haram food

Translated verses of the Quran

“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship” (2:172).

“He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (2:173).

“O ye who believe! Fulfill your undertakings.The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordaineth that which pleaseth Him” (5:1)

“Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine-flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols.

And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (5:3)

“They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah's name upon it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account” (5:4)

“This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and liven with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter” (5:5).

“And eat not of that whereon Allah's name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! the devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth idolaters” (6:121).

From the Hadith

-On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the Faithful to do that which He commanded the Messengers, and the Almighty has said: “O ye Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right..” (Quran 23:51). And Allah the Almighty has said: “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you..” (2:172). Then he mentioned [the case of] a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the sky [saying]: O Lord! O Lord!-while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered!” (Muslim).

-On the authority of Abu Ya'la Shahddad ibn Aus, the Messenger of Allah said: “Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters” (Muslim).

-In an incident narrated by Rafi' bin Khadij, the Prophet told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds, “Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them...” (Bukhari).

-Narrated Abu Thalaba: Allah's Messenger forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs (Bukhari).

-Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet cursed the one who did Muthla to an animal (i.e. cut its limbs or some other part of its body while it is still alive (Bukhari).

Good Manners In Islam

2- Repel evil with Good:

Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran commands us to return the evil that is done to us by others to not only with good, but with best!

The following Noble Verses and comments were sent to me by a Muslim brother; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him:

Let us look at Noble Verse 13:22 "Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home."

Let us look at Noble Verse 23:96 "Repel evil with that which is best: We are Well-acquainted with the things they say."

Let us look at Noble Verse 41:34 "Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with that is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!."

Let us look at Noble Verse 28:54 "Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert evil with good, and that they spend (in charity) out of what We have given them."

Let us look at Noble Verse 42:40 "The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) Loveth not those who do wrong."

Whether people speak evil of you, in your presence or behind your back, or they do evil to you in either of those ways, all is known to Allah Almighty. It is not for you to punish. Your best course is not to do evil in your turn, but to do what will best repel the evil. Two evils do not make a good.

You do not return good for evil, for there is no equality or comparison between the two. You repel or destroy evil with something which is far better, just as an antidote is better than poison. You foil hatred with love. You repel ignorance with knowledge, folly and wickedness with the friendly message of Revelation. The man who was in bondage of sin, you not only liberate from sin, but make him your greatest friend and helper in the cause of Allah Almighty!. Such is the alchemy of the Word of Allah Almighty!. Your credit for returning evil with good and paying for charity is double. Also if you forgive and return the evil with good, then Allah Almighty will love you and reward you.

Good Manners In Islam

1- Good manners and good character:

Islam is a beautiful religion, full of wisdom and harmony. If this wonderful religion is followed properly then a typical Muslim would only be a great example to follow.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: "The Prophet never used bad language neither a 'Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say 'The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 759)"

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: "The Prophet never used bad language neither a "Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say "The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 759)"

Narrated Masruq: "Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned Allah's Apostle saying that he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. Abdullah bin 'Amr added, Allah's Apostle said, 'The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 56)"

Narrated Masruq: "We were sitting with 'Abdullah bin 'Amr who was narrating to us (Hadith): He said, "Allah's Apostle was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahhish, and he used to say, 'The best among you are the best in character (having good manners)."' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 61)"

Most of the following writings were mostly taken from the Noble Quran which was translated by Sheikh (Minister) Abdullah Yusuf Ali; may Allah Almighty rest his soul.

Funeral In Islam

Allah (S.W.T) says in the Quran:

Ar-Rahman 26
"All that is on earth will perish"


So glory to the living God who will never perish. Death will enter every house, because death is an inevitable fact. Thus each Muslim who believes in Allah and the last day has to prepare for the day of departure and to meet his end. For indeed this worldly life is nothing but a transit station leading to eternity, either to the everlasting pleasure of Allah, to eternal life in Paradise or to the scorching Hell fire. O Allah, we don't ask you to reverse the decree but to shower us with your gentleness in passing it. O Allah! If you keep us alive, keep us with faith, and if you cause us to die, make us die in Islam.

We deal with this topic, death, although it is both painful and fearful, but it is true and we have to believe in it as the truth; this is part of our deep faith in Allah the Almighty and so we have to be ready to leave on a day when eyesights will be dazzled due to terror, a day when neither wealth nor children will avail anyone, except those who go to Allah (S.W.T) with a sound heart.

Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. clarified to us that one of the rights of every Muslim, which is also a duty of all Muslims, is to follow funerals. Let us start from the moment when death approaches a person whose soul is about to leave his body. It is the duty of attending Muslims to encourage the dying one to say La ilaha illa Allah, as our beloved Messenger p.b.u.h. teaches us in the following tradition: On the authority of Abu Said al Khudry may Allah be pleased with him, who said: the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: teach your dying ones La ilaha illa Allah. Reported by Muslim.

"La ilaha illa Allah", Glory be to the Most High. This statement leads to Paradise as it is the slogan of Islam; upon it we live and upon it we die, and with it we meet Allah, Lord of the Worlds. This is why Muath ibn Jabal may Allah (S.W.T) be pleased with him said: The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: He whose last words are La ilaha illa Allah will enter Paradise.

Dear Muslims:

If you attend a dying Muslim who is one of your relatives or friends then say only what is good and appeal to Allah to support you in your misfortune and to compensate you with what is better, because angels confirm what you say with amen meaning Oh Allah please accept. All of us will return to Allah one day. So the dying ones are only our predecessors and we shall follow them.

The Prophet p.b.u.h guides us to receive the occasion of death with good faith and to say the best words. This is clear in the following tradition reported by Ummu Salamah R.A.A. who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h saying: Every slave (of Allah) who suffers from a misfortune and says we belong to Allah, and unto Him we shall return. Oh Allah! Reward me in my misfortune and compensate me with what is better than it, Allah will surely reward and protect him and will grant him better than it. So, when Abu Salamah died I said what the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h commanded me to say, and thus Allah compensated me with one better than him i.e. The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h.

As for him who loses a dear one and thanks Allah (S.W.T) and says, "We belong to Allah, and unto Him we will return" and seeks the reward of Allah (S.W.T) and asks Allah (S.W.T) to grant him patience and firmness then Allah (S.W.T) will grant him Paradise as a reward for his patience. Abu Musa R.A.A., confirms this. Reporting the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h who said: When the son or daughter of a slave of God dies Allah says to His angels: You have taken the life of my slave's child. They will say: yes. He will say: You have restored the fruit of his heart, they will say: Yes. He will ask: what did my slave say? They will say: He praised you and said, "Unto Allah we belong, and unto Him we will return". Then Allah (S.W.T) will say: Establish for my slave a house in Paradise and call it the house of praise. Reported by Al-Tirmithy.

As for performing the funeral prayer on the dead Muslim and escorting him to his grave, all this becomes a bound duty on other Muslims; for here is an abundant reward from Allah (S.W.T). This is clear from the tradition reported by Abu Hurairah RAA who quoted the Prophet p.b.u.h who said: whoever witnesses a funeral until the prayer is performed for it, he will have a carat worth of reward, and he who witnesses it until it is buried will have the equivalent of two carats. When he was asked about the carats the Prophet p.b.u.h said: like the two great mountains Agreed upon.

In another similar tradition, also reported by Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: whoever follows a funeral of a Muslim in good faith seeking God's reward and stays with it until it is prayed upon and is buried, will return with a reward of two carats, each carat is equal to the mount of Uhud, and he who prays upon it and returns before it is buried will return with one carat. Reported by Al Bukhari.

As for the method of the funeral prayer it is recommended to perform it by a large number of righteous worshippers who do not associate anything with Allah (S.W.T), so that they may intercede for their deceased brother or sister or son, thus Allah (S.W.T) would accept it from them and grant their intercession. This is confirmed by the following tradition of the Messenger of Allah who said: If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him. Reported by Sahih Muslim.

The funeral prayer has a number of conditions and pillars, which should be applied and never neglected or abandoned. For many among us do not know how to perform funeral prayer, which we shall briefly mention in the following:

1. Everyone performing it should have ablution like any other prayer.

2. It is a congregational prayer without any bowing or prostration.

Every one should say four times Allahu Akbar after the imam. After the first one he should recite the Opening chapter of the Quran. After the second "Takbir" he should recite the second half of Ibrahim's prayer (always said toward the end of each prayer).

After the third Takbir he should pray for the dead one as well as Muslims the following supplication or what is similar to it. This is reported from the Prophet p.b.u.h. quoted by Abu Abdirahman ibn 'Awf ibn Malek R.A.A. who said: The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. prayed on a funeral and I memorized from his supplication the following: O Allah. Forgive him and have mercy on him. Relieve him of all evils and pardon him, honor his status, and expand his entrance, wash him with water, ice, and hail, and purify him of sins as You purify a white garment of filth. Grant him an abode better than his abode, a family better than his family, a spouse better than his spouse, and let him enter Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the punishment of Hell. "Hearing this. I wished I had been that dead person", said the narrator. Reported by Muslim.

The worshipper then makes the forth Takbir and prays for all Muslims. One of the best supplications is the following: O Allah. Don't deprive us of his reward, don't exercise any trial on us after him, and forgive us and him. There are many traditions in this context but it is recommended to make a lengthy prayer for the dead one seeking God's forgiveness for him as well as for all dead and alive Muslims.


Istikharah is only prescribed for matters regarded as permissible by the Shari`ah and not for any issue that plainly opposes Allah's Laws. It is when you have two permissible options and you do not know which is better for you that you should resort to Allah the Almighty to seek His guidance.

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Performing Istikahrah means praying to Allah SWT to guide us to whatever He sees fit for us and make for us to be satisfied with the decision.

Istikharah prayer is a two-rak`ah non-obligatory Prayer by which one seeks Allah's guidance when he is confused or can't choose between permissible alternatives.

We ask Allah to facilitate the matter if it is good and turn it away if it is not. Thus, after praying Istikharah, we should decide on a course of action, and trust that if the matter does not work out, it is because it was not good for us.

Istikharah is only prescribed for matters regarded as permissible by the Shari`ah and not for any issue that plainly opposes Allah's Laws. It is when you have two permissible options and you do not know which is better for you that you should resort to Allah the Almighty to seek His guidance.

It also means seeking the best course of action. In Islam, it is used for approaching Allah through Prayer for guidance in a case when we cannot make up our mind on something.

When faced with important decisions in life, a believer is persuaded to use all of his Allah-given resources, as well as to consult people who are known for their knowledge, piety and sound opinion. After having done so, he can turn to Allah for guidance.

Humans are limited in knowledge, and Allah alone possesses perfect knowledge. Allah has told us that He alone possesses the keys to all that is good. He has also promised to help us if we turn to Him earnestly and sincerely.

There are many instances across the centuries when we see people resorted to doing things for confirmation in making important decisions. During Jahiliyyah, the Arabs practice divining with arrows or the stirring of birds. Even in modern times, we do see such practices are held but slightly of a different sort. Modern people seek prominent figure like astrologers, psychics, gurus or so called spiritual masters. Islam teaches that since Allah alone knows the unseen realities, and He alone is aware of what is good for us in an absolute sense, we must seek His help.

If we are faced with decisions in life and are unable to make up our mind, we must approach Allah through Prayer.

Istikharah is a Sunnah or a highly recommended act. After performing it, we should follow the decision that we strongly inclined to. If we feel no such inclination, then we should choose one of the options; we can rest assured that Allah will guide our steps. It has been reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "One who asks Allah for guidance in choosing the best course of action will never be a loser."

It is not at all necessary for a person to have visions or dreams following Istikharah. The interpretation of dreams is a special knowledge that some people have. In the Qur'an many dreams are mentioned. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) saw in his dream that he was sacrificing his son. Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) had dreams and Allah also gave him the knowledge of interpreting dreams. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also sometimes interpreted the dreams of his Companions.”

Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah bless his soul) said:

“After making Istikharah, a person must do what he or she is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he had desired to do before making the Istikharah. And if his or her feelings change, he or she should leave what he or she had intended to do, for otherwise he or she is not leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking help from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice means that one should completely abandon what one desired oneself.”

We may do whatever is best in our understanding or whatever convinces us. We may repeat the du`a' of Istikharah several times if we are still hesitant. It is not necessary to dream about anything and we do not have to wait for an answer in your dreams.

Perfect Happiness: Now and Forever

Perfect Happiness

According to Islam (Submission)
Absolutely, God's allies will have nothing to fear,
nor will they grieve.
They are those who believe and lead a righteous life.
For them happiness in this life, and in the Hereafter.
Such is God's inviolable law.
This is the true triumph [10:62-64]

Perfect Happiness: Now and Forever

One of the most elusive objectives of every human being is "Happiness." The Quran reveals the secret of attaining perfect happiness in this life and forever. We learn from the Quran that happiness is an exclusive quality of the soul. Thus, a body that attains all the material successes it longs for - money, power, fame, etc. - often belongs to an unhappy person. Happiness depends totally on the degree of growth and development attained by the soul, the real person. The Quran provides a detailed map towards perfect happiness for both body and soul, both in this world and in the eternal Hereafter.

In the numerous verses throughout this proven Testament, God personally guarantees the believers' happiness, now and forever (10:62-64)
Seek to Please God

As believers in God alone, our priority in this life should be to fulfill God's expectation of us. We should live a life that will please God. What pleases God is not our utterances, but our actual intentions or actions to carry out His commandments. When pleasing God becomes the most important aspect of one's life, God will make every thing wonderful for him or her:
God promises those among you who believe and lead righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone, without setting up any idols besides Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked" (24:55).

If you want to become a "king" or a "queen" on earth, then, you have to examine yourself sincerely at every opportunity. Anytime you have a problem in any aspect of your life -money, health, relationships, any problem-you must search for the lesson. As soon as you understand the lesson, everything will be all right. The problem will simply go away, and, more importantly, God will make it up to you. All bad effects of the past will be wiped out.

If you are sincere, God will perfect your relationship with Him, by putting you through tests, based on your weaknesses (3:14,8:28). For example, if you hold anything to be more important than God, He might take it away from you, in order to test you. Therefore, one must ask himself, "What is the most important thing in my life?" If your job is the most important thing, it may be taken away. If your children are the most important aspect of your life, they may be taken away.

God: Number one priority

The number one priority in everyone's life should be to please God. No one or nothing else should take priority before God. What is the number one priority in your life? Is it pleasing God, or your boss? Is it doing your five daily prayers to please God, or pleasing your friends who may not understand why you bow and prostrate? Is it going to the Friday prayer or taking care of your business? Is it to be with the believers in Quranic study or fulfilling your own desires by seeking recreation on Friday nights? What is it? You have to examine yourself carefully, and you must correct the situation immediately. If you put pleasing your friends ahead of pleasing God, God will embarrass you in front of those friends. However, if you put pleasing God ahead of pleasing your friends, God will shower you with dignity and respect in front of those friends. He will make them, force them, to respect you, and even love you. God controls the minds and hearts of all the people. God is the one who makes them love you, or hate you, or respect you.

Do you act differently with the believers than you normally act? Do you speak up and give your opinion to other believers because you honestly want to share your thoughts and understanding with them, or do you simply want them to be impressed by your knowledge? If the reason you speak out is to be respected by the believers, God will take away that respect. Whereas, if you speak out from an honest and sincere desire to express Quran and learn with those around you, God will shower you with admiration from the believers.

Once you make pleasing God the most important thing in your life, you will possess the most valuable thing one can ask for - God's support. But, if you make anything more important than pleasing God, you will be tested over and over. If you do not realize that fact after all the tests, you will lose both in this world and in the Hereafter.

Polygamy In Islam

Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one spouse. It can be divided into two types. One is polygyny where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted, whereas polyandry is completely prohibited.

Polygamy, once, was a way of life until the Quran was revealed 1400 years ago. By the time it was revealed, the Quran put down the first limitations against polygamy. Polygamy is permitted in the Quran but under strictly observed circumstances and any abuse if this divine permission incurs severe retribution. Allah S.W.T said in His Holy Book:
"If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then (marry) only one…" (An-Nisa’:3)

From this verse a number of facts are evident:1) That polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted, 2) That the permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of. Rather, it is associated with compassion towards widows and orphans, a matter that is confirmed by the atmosphere in which the verse was revealed. 3) That even in such a situation, the permission is far more restricted than the normal practice which existed among the Arabs and other peoples at that time when many married as many as ten or more wives. 4) That dealing justly with one’s wives is an obligation. This applies to housing, food, clothing, kind treatment…etc., for which the husband is fully responsible.

This verse, when combined with another verse in the same chapter, shows some discouragement of such plural marriages. The other verse plainly states: "You are never able to be fair and just between women even if it is your ardent desire…" (An-Nisa’:129)

The requirement of justice rules out the fantasy that man can "own as many as he pleases." It also rules out the concept of a "secondary wife", for all wives have exactly the same status and are entitled to identical rights and claims over their husband. It also implies, according to the Islamic Law, that should the husband fail to provide enough support for any of his wives, she can go to court and ask for a divorce.

Those above Quranic verses clearly shown the remainder made by Allah for those who had the intention of having more than one wife. These Quranic limitations against polygamy point out the possibility of abusing Allah’s law. Therefore, unless we are absolutely sure that Allah’s law will not be abused, we had better resist our lust and stay away from polygamy.

There are several conditions should be met before a Muslim male could marry other females. Those conditions are financial ability, physical and emotional ability, equal treatment of the wives, the approval from the prospective female to this kind of marriage, the wives are among those who are not prohibited for him to marry either it permanently or temporary and last the number of wives is limited to up to four in one time. A few basic criteria must be observed in contemplating polygamy:
1. It must alleviate pain and suffering and not cause any pain or suffering.
2. If you have a young family, it is almost certain that polygamy is an abuse.
3. Polygamy to substitute a younger wife is an abuse of God's law (4:19).
The western society at large had misunderstood the real meaning and purposes of polygamy in Islam. Polygamy in their eyes is only having a large number of glamorous young girls (harem) for the purpose to serve and please the man. It was a misunderstood conception.

Islam permitted polygamy due to its divine purposes. World female population is more than male population. The average life span of females is more than that of males. The obvious example of this occurs in times of war, when there are inevitably a large number of widows and orphans left without companionship, love, money and protection.

If it is still maintained under these circumstances that a man may marry only one wife, other females will be deprived from having a family that includes a husband, a companion for life, children and a father for the children. Thus, polygamy protects the interest of women and children in society. It also helps to prevent the spread of diseases like Herpes and AIDS that occur due to the extra-marital affairs.

The compromise therefore is for women under these circumstances to face that if given the alternative many of them would rather share a husband than have none at all. And there is no doubt that it is easier to share a husband when it is an established and publicly recognized practice than when it is carried on secretly along with attempts to deceive the first wife.

Therefore, polygyny in Islam is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than a wife. It cannot be said that if a Muslim has two, three or four wives is considered as a better Muslim than those who had only one. It is permissible but not an obligation.

Divorce In Islam

Moreover the procedure of divorce in Islam is such as to encourage reconciliation where possible. After divorce the woman should wait three monthly cycles during which her husband remains responsible for her welfare and maintenance. He is not permitted to drive her out of the house during this period. She has been advised not to leave the house of the divorcing husband, in order to enhance the chances of reconciliation, as well as to protect her right of sustenance during the three months waiting period. The main purpose of this waiting period is to clarify whether the divorced wife is or is not expecting a child. Its second use is as a cooling-off period during which the relatives and other members of the family or of the community may try to help towards a reconciliation and better understanding between the partners. The Qur'an says:
"And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware." (4:35).
If they are reconciled they may resume the marriage relations at any time within the waiting period, whereupon the divorce is automatically revoked. If further trouble arises and divorce is pronounced a second time, the same procedure is followed. Only if the matter reaches a third divorce does it become irrevocable. The wife is then to leave the house and is free after three monthly cycles to marry another man if she wishes. The first husband is not then permitted to remarry her unless she has in the meantime married another man and been divorced in usual legal manner.
This procedure is the normal one followed if the husband is the one seeking divorce or if the divorce is by mutual consent. If the wife seeks divorce against the wishes of the husband she may take her case to the court and obtain divorce.
An instance was reported at the time of the Prophet when a woman came to him saying that although her husband was a good man and she had no complaint against his treatment, she disliked him greatly and could not live with him. The Prophet directed that she should return to the husband a garden which he had given to her as her dowry, as the condition of her divorce. This procedure is sanctioned in the Qur'an where Allah says:
"And if you fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, then there is no sin for either of them, if the woman redeems herself with that" (2:229).
One may observe that modern developments in marriage law in England and other Western countries are tending towards the Islamic pattern, albeit unconsciously, in many ways, stressing guidance and counselling before divorce, privacy of divorce proceedings and speeding of the process of divorce once it has been established that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The law of Islam does not therefore compel unhappy couples to stay together, but its procedures help them to find a basis on which they can be reconciled with each other. If reconciliation is impossible the law does not impose any unnecessary delay or obstacle in the way of either partner's remarriage.
Right to Inheritance
Another right of the Muslim woman which is a part of Islamic law is the right to inherit property. The method of division of inheritance is clearly laid down in the Qur'an and the general rule is that man gets double. This may if taken in isolation from other legislation appear to be unfair; however, it must be remembered that in accordance with the verse of the Qur'an quoted earlier, men are charged with the maintenance of all the women and children in their family, and therefore their necessary obligations of expenditure are far higher than those of women. The half-share that a woman inherits may therefore be considered a generous one since it is for herself alone. Any such money or property which a woman owns or any business which she runs is entirely her own and her husband has no right to any of it.


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