La Tahzan Wa La Khauf

Don't Be Sad My Friends

Women Working from Home

Women Working from Home (A Profitable and Halal Solution for Women Who Need to Work)

In the Surah of al- Ahzab, Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom ordered Muslim women to stay in their homes, “Stay in your houses and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance”… [Al-Qur’an 31:33]

Negative Effects of Work Environment:

All women who have been exposed to the workplace at some point in their lives can fully grasp the myriad of reasons why working outside the home is an enormous problem, in particular for Muslim women. There are countless contrasts in the workplace to our Islamic value system; location is of no significance, the situation is identical in the United states or abroad.

There are valid reasons why laws were enacted for sexual harassment in the workplace in the United states, and that is because it happens, and often. Moreover, women should be aware that the laws can only do very little to discourage it, after that you are on your own. It is something that goes along with the territory. Daily situations arise in the workplace such as mixing with the opposite sex, office parties and shaking hands at every turn, and the list is literally endless.

And although it makes fiscal living easier with a two-salary income, mothers that work outside the home can have an extremely negative effect on the entire family in more ways than one would initially anticipate. Children suffer the most in such situations, many times ending up being raised by strangers at the local daycare. For most, the job begins in the morning two hours before children’s school and ends two hours after, as a result of long hours on the job, traffic and commuting. This lifestyle leaves working mothers in an exhausted and frustrated state evening after evening; attempting to squeeze love and attention between cooking and cleaning in only a couple of hours before bedtime. It is quite the impossible task.

The working mother comes home from a full day’s work, to another shift. It is no wonder that the United States, who maintain the largest percentage of women who work outside the home, lay claim to women, also have the highest stress levels and consume the most anti-depressant medication in the world.

Working From Home:

For single and married sisters who must work due to financial need this presents a perplexing dilemma on one hand the true economic need is there, on another the tremendous ‘fitnah’. These hardships have led some sisters in dire straights to turn to their local masajid for financial aid or in humiliation to the welfare system; in most cases whatever assistance they do receive is never enough to cover even the most modest living expenses. These options can only offer short-term assistance and are not a solution to a long-term need. One option that may work for most of us is working from home. This is the subject that I want to discuss here.

Most of us are aware of the industriousness of The Prophet’s wife, Khadijah. She was, MashaAllah, by all accounts an astute businesswoman. Although Khadijah was a wealthy woman, starting a home-based business today does not require a large investment. In fact, in most cases, a small home-based endeavor may only require minimal funds to start-up. In addition, most of us are also aware that Islam has blessed women and permitted them to conduct business for themselves. There is no question that it is halal, but how we choose to carry out that blessing is the key issue.

As Muslim women, we have certain obligations, such as our home and family, which should always be our utmost priority. We must never lose sight of the importance of those obligations; being good mothers and wives is much more crucial to our Akhirah ( life in the hereafter) than working at another job will ever be. Raising our children to be trustworthy, honest Muslims is a means for us to acquire our goal of Jannah Insha’Allah, and that is something that no monetary wealth can ever accomplish no matter how great. Knowing this, we have choices to make, and protecting ourselves by working from the security of home can make a world of difference to our family and more importantly, to enable us to safeguard our deen.

The notion of working at home is not something new. The “work-at-home” idea has been echoed for years from scam artists and homemakers alike, all trying to make a few extra dollars. However, with the advent of the Internet, a new door has opened. Freelancing has become commonplace today’s job market and an employees are now telecommuting more than ever before. Working from home can now be a reality instead of a dream for Muslim women.

Excellent Benefits:

The benefits and rewards of working from home are innumerable. You are your own boss, and are therefore free to manage your own time. For example, if your child needs attention or if you need to make salah, it is your prerogative when to take a break; you will be on your own time, not someone else’s. If your financial situation improves and there is not a need to work a great deal, the option to take a vacation is yours. You will have the ability to deal with your customers only via e-mail, eliminating face-to-face contact completely and using the telephone altogether. What’s more, you also get the added benefit of deciding when to reply to that e-mail, when you have the time. Checks come to you, rather than you going to them. In other worlds, the work can revolve around your life, rather than vice-versa.

One of the most beneficial aspects of working from home is that it can be done by one person, or as a family venture. The effect of working as a team can even bring the family closer together while simultaneously benefiting it financially. Everyone from the young to the old can participate in running a home-based business. It can also be one of the most effective hands-on learning opportunities for children. Running a home-based business incorporates various real-life skills that children can discover such as marketing, advertising, developing business concepts, math and teamwork.

Home business also provide a solid foundation to teach a child Islamic work ethics. For Muslim women, it is a win-win situation. You are able to be with your children, earn extra money from your home and set a schedule that works best for yourself and your family.

Working from home is also a great way to raise funds for your local Muslim community or Islamic school. Sisters can band together and develop an organized effort networking their talents. If you are someone that has computer or business skills, you can donate your time to teach other sisters that are in need of work so that they may benefit their own families, and in turn you will be rewarded, Insha’Allah.

Our homes are a protection for us , but our homes can also be profitable, not only Islamically but also economically. It is up to us to be resourceful thinkers and find what each of us can do from our home to help our families and ourselves, while preserving and protecting our deen.


Khadijah bint Khuwailid: The First Lady of Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

KHADIJAH (radiallahu ‘anhaa)

She was Khadijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn 'Abd al-'Uzza ibn Qusay ibn Kilab (from one of the notable clans of the Quraish). Her mother was Fatima bint Za'ida who was descended from another of the clans of the Quraish:The genealogists of the Arabs describe the Prophet as Muhammad ibn'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab. He was therefore one of her cousins, or more precisely, one of her nephews, through a mutual great-grandfather Qusay ibn Kilab.

Since the Prophet belonged to the younger generation and lived in a quarter of Makkah far removed from hers, she was unacquainted with this young man, who had only in the recent past started his career as a trader and commission agent. Khadijah was herself a lady of dignity and opulence.

From two of her husbands she had inherited much wealth and many commercial banking houses. She sometimes lent money to reliable Quraish merchants on a profit-sharing basis. Sometimes she invested the capital of her creditors in trade caravans. In fact, Khadijah had heard of the honesty, trustworthiness, high moral character and clean habits of Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She also realized something of his spiritual capacities, and, as we may unmistakably say, these attracted her.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) was popularly known as al-Amin (the Trust-worthy), and also by another fitting title al-Sadiq (the Truthful). She belonged to a respectable upper middle-class family of Makkah, and that in the past she had been married to two men. Khadijah was a lady of middle age, just forty. She had never taken the risk of entrusting her fleet of camels to someone that might disappear with it into the deserts of Syria and never be heard of any more.

To look after domestic affairs, she kept a slave-girl; and a slave called Maysara was also in her service. She was a true believer and steadfast. She was devout. She performed all the rituals of Islam. She observed the stipulated Salat with Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). She was always the first to learn the Qur'an and Commandments of Allah. She fasted as Muhammad did. She gave alms. She gave in the cause of Allah all the wealth she had. On no occasion did she think of retaining the slightest bit of wealth for herself. She had, in fact, sacrificed her ease and comfort for the sake of Allah and His Messenger.

Khadijah was a typical Makkan lady of the Quraish, fair and modest in her general demeanour and meticulously submissive and obedient to her husband. She was a devoted wife. She loved Muhammad. She had a great attachment to him. She admired his genuinely transcendental qualities. She revered him for his superb and sublime thoughts. She adored him for having been blessed with divine achievements. With full earnestness, she recognised the awe-inspire. atmosphere that hallowed his personality. She acted accordingly. She looked after him. She took care of him. She helped him. She cooperated with him. She made all types of sacrifices for him. Yet she was able to console and comfort him in distress in his early days of prophethood. KhadIjah, the First of the Believers When the Prophet came home after receiving the revelation and told her about the story, she calmed him, and then she took her overgarment and set forth to her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal. There she related to him all that her husband Muhammad had told her of what he had seen and heard. "Quddus, quddus (grand, grand!)-, exclaimed Waraqa, "O Khadijah, it is a very good news! Certainly by Him in Whose Hand is Waraqa's soul, if what you have related to me is true, O Khadijah, there has, after all, come unto him the Great Namus (Jibril or Gabriel) who came to Moses. And certainly he is the Prophet of this people. Congratulate him. Let him now be steadfast".

With this message, Khadijah hurried back home and told her husband what Waraqa had said. This calmed his fears somewhat. Khadijah was now a convinced believer. She was a true believer. She was a devoted believer. She was indeed the first believer.

Most of the biographers of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) dismiss the early period of the "Call" in a few pages. In fact, this period is intimately associated with the sagacity of Khadijah and her faith in Allah and His Messenger and also with the unremitting encouragement that she gave to Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). The history of the early Revelations is rich in information about the mutual relationship between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and his first wife, Khadijah. By simply putting together scraps of source material, as they occur in the various exegetical works (i.e., Tafsir literature) and the compilations of traditions, we can easily evolve an image of the personality of Khadijah. Khadijah falls ill and dies The period of boycott, during which the Hashmites (Bani Hashim) remained almost shut away from the outer world, was a period of great ordeal. The conditions to which they had been subjected told upon the general health of the women and children. Khadijah who had already been worn down by the hardships in Shi'b Abi Talib, to which she had never been used, fell ill. It was some time in December, 619 A.D. that she died after a brief illness of three days.


This was Khadijah, whom Muhammad always remembered with feelings of love and affection, even when he was later the Sole ruler of Arabia and had many beautiful wives around him at Medinah. Abu Hurairah reported that Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, "Allah's Messenger, here is Khadijah who has come bringing a vessel containing food. When she comes, give her a greeting from her Lord and from me, and give her the good news that in Paradise she will have a house of brilliant pearls". (Bukhari and Muslim).

The intensity of the Prophet’s love and regard for Khadijah is shown by the following incident. A'isha reported that once she hurt his feelings on this issue and he replied, "Allah has blessed me with her love."

On another occasion A'isha asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, and Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) replied in an honest burst of tenderness." She believed in me when nobody else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me and she helped me and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand." This incident is described by Carlyle in these words: "He never forget this good Khadijah. Long afterwards, A'isha, his young and favorite wife, a woman who indeed distinguished herself among the Muslims by all manner of qualities through her whole life; this young and brilliant A'isha was, one day, questioning him. Now am I not better than Khadijah? She was a widow; old, and had lost her looks; you love me better than you did her? 'No, by God!' answered Muhammad, she believed in me when none else would believe. In the whole world I had but one friend, and she was that. "2 He adds, "He seems to have lived in a most affectionate, peaceable, wholesome way with this wedded benefaction, loving her truly, and her alone. "2 There are many incidents in the books of hadith and tarikh which throw some light on the depth of the feeling of natural love and affection between Muhammad (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him) and Khadijah.

It is narrated by A'isha that the sister of Khadijah, Halah bint Khuwailid, asked for permission to see the Prophet. (Peace & Prayers Be Upon Him). He remembered the act of permission of Khadijah for he recognised her voice which resembled that of Khadijah. He was pleased and said that was Halah bint Khuwailid. A'isha said that, hearing that, she felt envious and remarked," Do you mean one of the women of the Quraish, whose legs were lean and who died long ago? Allah has given you a better companion instead." (Muslim). She also reported that when the Quraish of Makkah paid compensation to free their captives from the battle of Badr, the Prophet's daughter Zainab also made arrangements to free her husband, Abu Al-As. She sent some cash which also contained a necklace given to her by her mother Khadijah in her wedding gifts. Seeing this necklace of Khadijah, the prophet was deeply moved and asked his companions, "If you consider it proper, you may release her husband for her sake and also return her necklace. They all accepted this with pleasure and released Abu Al-A’as and also returned the necklace to Zainab.

The Muslim’s Duty Regarding Time

Islam encourages Muslims to care for time, to utilize it and not to waste it. Besides, it holds them responsible for their time. The Righteous Salaf were aware of that responsibility, so they acted accordingly. Describing their care for time, Hassan Al-Basry said, “I saw those people and how they were more careful about their time than about their Dirhams and Dinars [i.e. their money].” [1]
An important requirement for a Muslim’s life is to be careful about time, to invest it wisely and to benefit from it. In this regard, Ibn-ul-Qayyim says, “The highest, most worthy and most useful of reflection is what is intended for Allah and the Hereafter. There are various forms of reflection intended for Allah. One of them is reflecting on time duty and function and focusing entirely on it, for the knowledgeable one is the breed of his time. If he wastes it, all his interests are wasted, for all interests arise from time. If he wastes his time, he can never regain it.” [2] Also, Imam Shafi’i said, “Out of my company with Sufis, I benefited only two things, one of which is their saying: like a sword, time will cut you if you do not cut it. …”[3] In other words, if you do not spend time doing something useful, you are the loser by wasting it.
As expressed by Imam Hassan Al-Banna, “Time is life itself.” [4] This reflects Ibn-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah’s saying: “One’s time is in fact his age. It is the material of his eternal life either in everlasting joy or painful torture. It passes more quickly than clouds do. It is only the time one dedicates to Allah that constitutes one’s real life and age. The rest does not count; the life he leads in it is only animal life. Compared to a life of indulgence in appetitive activities, false aspirations and negligence of Allah’s remembrance - and at best in sleep and being idle – death is a much better alternative.” [5]
Time is considered a vehicle for work. According to Ibn-ul-Qayyim, “The year is like a tree; months are its branches; days are the branch sticks; hours are its leaves; and the breaths are its fruits. Therefore, if one’s breaths are in obedience [to Allah and His Messenger], the fruits of his tree are good. If they are in disobedience, his fruits are bitter. The harvest is on the Appointed Day, when one’s fruits are found out to be good or bitter.” [6]
Such is the Islamic view of time, and such were the Salaf’s ways with it. How do we compare with them now?! Obviously, there is a big gap between the way they cared for time and the way we are wasting it. The sad and painful thing about us now is that “our nation has been improvising ways of wasting time at the public and the private levels. As a result, the world is already proceeding to the future without us, as if we were the ‘orphans of history’. If such improvisation is not directed to investing and utilizing our time properly, the gap between us and the future will widen further, and we will remain importers and consumers of cultural products. Eventually, our survival will be entirely dependent on the producers of those products.” [7] Therefore, Muslims must unite their efforts to identify weaknesses for treatment, and must give time its due attention as demanded by Islam.
The following are some of the most important duties demanded of Muslims.
1- Ensure Benefiting from Time:
It is absolutely necessary for Muslims to be careful about time. The Muslim is required to utilize and invest his time in what benefits him in this world and the Hereafter. In this regard, he can follow the good example set by the Righteous Salaf. They were so careful that in less than a century they were able to make radical changes in the societies into which they introduced Islam.
The Righteous Salaf made sure that no time, however short it was, passed without doing something useful, such as acquiring useful knowledge, doing good deeds, helping other Muslims and serving or advising the Ummah (nation). Remarking Imam Hammad Ibn-Salama Al-Basry’s[8] meticulous care for time, Musa Ibn-Ismaeel[9] said, “It is unbelievable! I have never seen Hammad laugh at all. He was always busy explaining the Hadith, praying, reading or praising the Lord. This is how he spent his day. Abdurrahman Al-Mahdi[10] said: “If you were to tell Hammad, ‘You are going to die tomorrow’, there would be nothing he could add to what he is already doing.” [11]
Regretting the time he spent eating, Shumait Ibn-Ajlan[12] said, “By Allah, the time I hate most is that which I spend eating." How conscious of time! [13]
Once a wise man said, “If you spend one day on other than carrying out justice, performing obligatory worship, achieving some gain, praising the Lord, establishing something good or acquiring knowledge, you have been ungrateful to your day and have wronged yourself.” [14]
2- Utilize Leisure Time:
To be free from worry and distress is a great blessing, and to have a body free from diseases is a great blessing, too. However, they are the very blessings on which people are deceived. The Prophet r was reported to have said, “There are two blessings on which people are cheated: health and leisure time.” [15] This Hadith implies how people are unaware of the real value of health and leisure time; they are not properly invested in what is good for them in this world or the Hereafter. What a real loss!
Calling on Muslims to utilize their time, to benefit from it and not to waste it, the Prophet r said, “On the Day of Resurrection the feet of the son of Adam [man] will not move away till he is questioned about four matters: how he spent his lifetime, how he spent his youth; from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge.” [16]
He also said, “Grab five things before five others: your youth before your decrepitude, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death.” [17] This Hadith is a direct call on Muslims to invest their time as early as possible when conditions are favourable, i.e., youth, health, wealth and time before being handicapped by impediments, such as old age, sickness, poverty or preoccupation.
The Righteous Salaf were extremely careful about occupying their time with useful deeds, and they hated laziness and unemployment. Umar Ibn-Al-Khattab was reported to have said, “I do hate to see any of you unoccupied, doing nothing for this world or the Hereafter.” [18]
On the authority of Ibn-Mas’ud, the Prophet r said, “I do hate to see a man doing nothing for this world or the Hereafter.” [19]
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi says, “Leisure time will never remain unoccupied. It will be occupied with good or evil. If one does not occupy himself with truth, that self will make him occupied with falsehood. Successful is he who fills his time with what is good and righteous, and woe to him who fills it with evil and corruption.” [20]
3- Race for Good Deeds:
Allah calls on Muslims to utilize time by racing for good deeds. He says, “(133) And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord,….” [21] He also says, “(148) And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. …”[22]
This world is the place for work. It can be compared to a racetrack full of dust. On it are those running for their whims and earthly enjoyment, and those who run for the good of the afterlife, but without neglecting their share in this life. When the race is over and the dust settles down, the one who wronged himself (by neglecting the afterlife) will be extremely sorry. As expressed in Arabic by the poet Abul’atahiyah:
“If you haven’t sown, but a reaper you see, Remorse you feel for sowing missed.” [23]
The Righteous Salaf were fully aware of that fact. For example, Ali Ibn-Abi-Taalib said, “This world is departing, but the afterlife is arriving. Each of them has children. Be the children of the afterlife, not the children of this world. Today is only work, but no questioning, and tomorrow is questioning, but no work.” [24]
Muslims are warned against the worst two things that impede racing for good deeds, i.e. disability and laziness. These two cause delay and waste. The Prophet r warned against them and taught his wife Aisha to pray for protection from them as he used to; he prayed: “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from disability and laziness.” [25]
The Muslim must race for doing whatever is good for this world and the Hereafter. He must not be a burden on others for a living. “A poor person who does not have a job to do is compared to the owl living in a deserted place and benefiting nobody.” [26]
4- Learn from the Passage of Time:
No day passes without having so many lessons to be learnt by the Muslim who is keen on reflecting on the creation of the heavens and the earth and the difference of night and day. About those people Allah says, “(190) Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and (in) the difference of night and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding.” [27]
On the Day of Judgment, days are a witness of man’s deeds since they constitute the time within which such deeds are carried out. In one Hadith the Prophet r says, “No day starts without saying to man: ‘O son of Adam, I am a new creation, and in the future I will give witness on what you do within me. Do good and I will give (good) witness for you then. Beware, once I pass, you will never see me again.’ The night says the same thing.” [28]
In his description of days as records, Ibn-ul-Jawzi said, “Days are the records of your deeds, so decorate them with the best of deeds. Opportunities pass like clouds, and it is only the slow that waste them. If one rides a disabled means of transport, it will not take him far, as slowness coupled with laziness will end in loss.” [29]
Man’s life on earth is in fact passing days and hours. As expressed by Al-Hassan Al-Basry, “O son of Adam (O man), you are only days; when a day passes, a part of you does, too.” [30] The same idea was expressed by Ahmad Shawki in this verse:
“Man’s heartbeats are telling him: Life’s but minutes and seconds.” [31]
How ironic! Man feels so happy to see days and months pass as his salary, vacation or graduation certificate is approaching. Yet, he is unaware of the fact that those passing months are not only being deducted off his age, but also bringing him nearer to the Hereafter. This idea is well represented by Abul-Atahiyah’s verse:
“Happy are we to be days spending, Tho every day passing is our life ending.” [32]
Advising his son, Salih Ibn-Janah Allakhmi[33] said, “O my son, if a day and night passes without incurring loss regarding your faith, body or wealth, you must thank Allah a lot. Think of those who lost faith or property, those who had their privacy violated and those who were destroyed that very day, while you are safe and sound. In this regard, let me say these verses:
“Were I to be granted my wish, I’d ask only forgiveness and health.
How many a youth was one night in luxury, from it, the following night, he was taken.”
Let me also tell you:
“Like daylight, this world is, Borrowed its light is.
While your branch is growing, it is still soft and green.
If, one day, time throws it, yellow it turns.
So does night come, only to be by day erased.” [34]
5- Seek the Favourable Times:
There is no difference among people regarding their share of time. They all have equal shares, but they differ in how they manage, invest and benefit from them.
Allah has designed and distributed time among his servants, yet He bestowed advantages to certain parts of it. For example, concerning acts of worship, Allah has allocated certain seasons, such as Ramadan and the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, when rewards are multiplied. Similarly, there are certain hours when one’s prayers can be more favourably answered than at other times, such as the last third of the night, Friday afternoons, breakfast time after fasting and the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr), which is in Ramadan.
Hassan Al-Banna says, “Every day, you have a time in the morning, a time in the evening and a time before dawn when you can uplift your purified soul to the Heavens, and so gain the good of this world and the Hereafter. You have also seasons for showing obedience to the commands of your Lord, days for worship and nights for acts that bring you nearer to Him. All these times have been pointed out to you by Allah’s Glorious Book and His great Messenger. Therefore, make sure to be among those remembering Allah, not those forgetting Him, and among those working, not those doing nothing, and you must utilize your time, for time is like the sword, and get rid of delaying tactics because there is nothing as harmful as they are.” [35]
Concerning this world and man’s work for his livelihood, Allah has blessed early rising for work purposes by making such rising a means of success. The Prophet r prayed for Muslims saying, “O Lord, bless my nation’s early rising!” [36] Therefore, Muslims have to benefit from those appointed times as much as possible for this world and the Hereafter.
6- Planning and Organizing Time:
Muslims are required to plan their time and establish priorities. This is crucial for investing time properly. The Righteous Salaf were aware of this requirement. For example, when Abu-Bakr was approaching death, he summoned Umar Ibn-Al-Khattab and entrusted him with the Caliphate after his death. Among the words of advice he said to Umar were: “Allah has morning rights that He does not accept at night, and has night rights He does not accept in the morning. Voluntary acts of worship are not accepted unless the compulsory ones are done.” [37]
This piece of advice had implications for Umar as Abu-Bakr’s successor. It implied necessary awareness of planning and organizing time, identifying objectives, establishing priorities in terms of importance and implementing tasks within allocated time. Such was Abu-Bakr’s awareness of the significance of time planning and investment that at his deathbed he had to advise Umar on it. As expressed by Al-Qaradhaawi in other words, “The important thing is not to do anything any time, but to do the right thing at the right time.” [38]
7- Fulfillment of Time Commitments:
Islam urges Muslims to fulfill time commitments and promises. Commending believers for such a quality, Allah describes them by saying, “(8) … And who are shepherds of their pledge and their covenant ….”[39] Addressing Musa (Moses), Allah says, “(40) Then comest thou (hither) by (My) providence, O Moses ….”[40] This is explained as a reference to carrying out a task on time. In other words the verse means: Musa, you have come to us at the right time when We want to send you on a mission to Pharaoh. [41]
Warning against delaying the fulfillment of promises, the Prophet r said, “There are three qualities by which a hypocrite is recognized: if he speaks, he lies; if he promises, he goes back on his promise; and if he is entrusted with something, he betrays the trust.” [42] The Hadith indicates the seriousness of going back on promises, for it wastes people’s time, causes harm and creates mistrust.
8- Necessary Awareness of Time Wasters:
Islam has warned against wasting and not caring for time. It has set guidelines for preserving time. For instance, Muslims are called upon to ask for permission to enter places and see people. One must not enter someone else’s place without permission. In this respect, the Prophet r said, “You can ask permission three times, but if you are not given permission, you have to leave.” [43] Allah says, “(27) O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful. (28) And if ye find no one therein, still enter not until permission hath been given. And if it be said unto you: Go away again, then go away, for it is purer for you. Allah knoweth what ye do.” [44] In addition to teaching good manners, these commands are a means to saving Muslims’ time from being wasted by unplanned visits.
Of the worst wasters of time are procrastination and wishful thinking. In this respect, Al-Hassan Al-Basry said, “Never has one prolonged false hopes without bad consequences. As rightly expressed by Al-Qurtubi: ‘Prolonged wishful thinking develops laziness, slowness and negligence; it makes one pretend to be working, and makes him steep low and follow his whims.’” [45] Warning against procrastination, he also said, “O man, beware of procrastination. It is today, not tomorrow, that must be your concern. If you have a tomorrow, make it your concern as you must make today. If you do not have a tomorrow, you will not regret not having wasted today.” [46]
These are some of the Righteous Salaf’s statements in this regard:
“Day and night are working on you, so you had better use them for your work [instead].” [47]
“A sign of [Allah’s] wrath is to be wasting one’s time.” [48]
“If your today is like your yesterday, you must be a loser. If your today is more evil than your yesterday, you must be damned.” [49]
Also, Abdullah Ibn-Mas’ud said, “Nothing is as regrettable as a day that passes without having increased my [good] deeds though having reduced my age.” [50]
As Ali Ibn-Muhammad Al-Busti[51] said:
“Should a day pass, yet with my hands nothing did I,
Nor knowledge gained, of my life count not that day.” [52]
In a message to Yusuf Ibn-Asbaat[53], Muhammad Ibn-Samra Assa’ih[54] wrote: “O brother, beware of being controlled by procrastination, and do not let it occupy your heart, for it leads to boredom and loss, it destroys hopes, and it is a waste of life. O brother, therefore, take the initiative now, for you are a target for other initiatives; hurry up, for you are a target for speedy things to come; and be industrious, for living is a matter really serious.” [55]
Imam Ibn-Aqeel[56] said, “I am not allowed to waste an hour of my life. If my tongue is not engaged in some debate or study, and if my eyes are not engaged in reading, I work in bed till I have prepared something to write. I find that I am keener on learning in my eighties than when I was in my twenties.” [57]
The Qur’an warns those who waste their time and waste useful work opportunities; they are threatened with having to regret their inaction and to suffer its consequences on the Resurrection Day. On that Day, one of those people will typically say, “(24) … Ah, would that I had sent before me (some provision) for my life!” [58] They will be also asking in grief and regret, “(44) … Our Lord! Reprieve us for a little while. We will obey Thy call and will follow the messengers. …”[59] The answer will be, “Never!" The time for work, which must be done on earth, will have elapsed, and the Hereafter is only for judgment.
9- How Should a Muslim Spend His Time? [60]
For a Muslim to have his age blessed by Allah, he ought to follow an Islamic pattern of daily life. Such a pattern demands rising early and going to bed early.
A Muslim’s day begins at dawn, at least before sunrise. Metaphorically speaking, he begins his day before it is polluted by the disobedient who do not wake up till much later in the day. Thus, he is keen on having his day blessed in response to the Prophet’s prayers for early risers (“O Allah, bless my nation’s early rising.”) [61]
One of the worst things that have afflicted Muslims is that they have changed the pattern of their day; they stay up long during the night, and sleep into the day, and as a result miss the morning prayers. Some Righteous Salaf wondered how one should expect to be given of Allah’s bounty while he performs his morning prayers after the break of day.
In a Hadith reported by Abu-Hurayrah, the Prophet r said, “Satan ties three knots at the back of your head when you sleep, and he seals the place of each knot with 'You have a long night ahead, so sleep.' If you wake up and remember Allah, a knot is untied. If you wash for prayer, a knot is untied. If you pray, a knot is untied, and morning finds you lively and in good spirits, and if not, morning finds you in bad spirits and lazy.” [62] What a great difference between the two cases! In one case, a person is free from Satan’s fetters, active, good-spirited and ready for a good day’s work. In the other case, one is in Satan’s fetters, sleepy, lazy, slow and evil-spirited.
Ideally, the Muslim opens his day with an act of obedience to Allah: he performs the morning prayers, compulsory and voluntary, and supplicates as the Prophet r used to, as in: “We reached morning, and everything belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. O Allah, I ask you the good of today, its opening, victory, light, blessings and guidance, and I seek refuge in you from the evil it has and later evil.” [63] ‘O Allah! Whatever favour has come to me, has come from you alone who has no partner. To you all praise is due and all thanksgiving,’ [64]
Then, he reads as much of the Qur’an as he can in submission, reflection and understanding, for Allah says,[65]
After he eats breakfast in moderation, he sets out“(29) (This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect.” for his daily work, earning a living. He makes the effort to be doing some legal, useful work. However rich one might be, he could take a supervisory or control role, for – as the Arab proverb says - unsupervised money invites stealing.
To be involved in usury is forbidden by Islam, for usury inevitably generates money, but without having to work, sharing or taking risks. A usurer is guaranteed a percentage on the money he lends without having to bear any responsibilities. This type of dealing is anti-Islamic. Islam considers man’s responsibility on earth to be work and construction. As Allah says, “(61) … He brought you forth from the earth and hath made you husband it. …”[66]
As one takes, so must one give. In return for what he consumes, he must produce. It is, therefore, unacceptable to be doing nothing, while living on others’ earnings, even if it is claimed to be for worship’s sake; there is no monasticism in Islam.
Regarding unemployment, Ibn-Azzubair said, “The worst evil in the world is unemployment.”[67] In other words, “If man does not have a job which is legally allowed, which keeps him engaged from within and which supports him in discharging his religious duties, he will be empty from without, but his heart will not be so; it will be filled with Satan and his offspring, which will reproduce much faster than animals. If one does not have a profession of benefit to people, he will be drawing from their gains, and consequently be a burden on them. In addition to being of no use to them, he becomes a source of trouble and inflation. That is why Umar used to say if he saw a handsome man, ‘Does he have a job?’ If the answer was negative, the man fell from his eyes.” [68]
The Muslim regards his earthly work as an act of worship and a kind of Jihad (struggle), provided that: it is intended for Allah’s sake; it does not keep one away from Allah’s remembrance; it is responsibly and properly done. In fact, doing things properly is an Islamic requirement. According to Prophet Muhammad r, “Allah has demanded that everything be perfect.” [69] In another Hadith, “Allah – blessings and exaltation be to Him – loves any of you, if he is doing something, to do it properly.” [70]
The Muslim has a duty towards his society. He is required to help others and facilitate things for them so that he can qualify for Allah’s reward. On the authority of Abu-Musa, the Prophet r said, “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people asked, “O Allah's Prophet! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, "If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charity.” [71]
Thus, the Muslim has to pay a daily social tax or charity. In fact, it is considered compulsory on every joint in the body every day. As a result, a Muslim becomes a continuously flowing spring of good, benefit and peace for every one and every thing around him. In a Hadith narrated by Abu-Hurayrah, the Prophet r said, “Charity is obligatory every day on every joint of a human being. If one helps a person ride his animal or lift his luggage onto it, this is regarded as charity. A good word is charity, and every step one takes to pray in congregation is regarded as charity, and removing something harmful from the road is regarded as charity.” [72]
In the above Hadith, ‘joint’ refers to every part of the human body. It is a reminder of Allah’s blessings to man, whom He created in the best form. Therefore, he has to express gratitude to Allah for all His blessings by using those parts in His service, e.g., be useful to fellow humans and do as much good to them as possible.
When they call for the noon prayer, the Muslim does his best to pray in congregation. The sooner one offers prayers, the more pleasing to Allah, for He demands racing for good deeds. Allah’s Messenger r was so angry with those who missed the congregation that he wished he would set their houses on fire. This shows how important congregational prayer is. In fact, it gets a reward 27 times more than that of individual prayer.
Having performed the noon prayer, the Muslim has his lunch, which must be from the allowed types and good sources. Regarding eating, one should not eat too much, otherwise he gets indigestion, nor should he eat too little, otherwise he becomes deprived. As Allah commands us, “(31) O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals. (32) Say: Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for His bondmen, and the good things of His providing? …”[73]
In hot countries, particularly in summer, some people may need some rest in the middle of the day so that they can wake up for extra prayers at night as well as for early rising. This is mentioned in the Qur’an: “(58) … and when ye lay aside your raiment for the heat of noon,.”[74]
In the afternoon, as soon as they call for the Asr prayer, those resting get up and those working stop. This prayer is specially important as it is the middle prayer, and Muslims must not be distracted from it by buying, selling or entertainment. Positive response to prayer calls is typical of believers. In their description, Allah says, “(37) Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned; …”[75]
Muslims are encouraged not to delay the Asr prayer till the sun is about to set, for such delay indicates negligence of prayers, and is a sign typical of hypocrites. In a related Hadith, the Prophet r says, “This is the hypocrite’s prayer; he waits till the sun comes between Satan’s horns, thence he hurriedly performs four Rak’as in which there is hardly any mention of Allah.” [76]
At sunset, the Muslim goes for the Maghrib (sunset) prayer early on, for there is a short period between it and the following prayer, the Isha prayer. Having performed the Maghrib prayer, the Muslim does supplication as the Prophet r used to do. For example, he can say, “O Allah, this is your night coming, and your day going, and these are the voices of your callers; forgive my sins.” [77] There are other supplications to be said in the evening similar to the morning ones already mentioned; instead of saying ‘morning’, one says ‘evening’.
After the Muslim has his evening meal, which is done in moderation, he offers the Isha prayer and voluntary prayers. The Watr (the single Rak’ah of the voluntary prayers) can be delayed if one is accustomed to waking up during the night, but if not, one should do it before going to bed. Some Muslims may prefer to have their evening meal after the Isha prayer. However, for one reason or another, if the meal and the prayer coincide, the eating should be done first, otherwise one will be distracted during prayer. Before going to bed, the Muslim can also do some duties, such as visiting relatives and acquaintances and other social activities.
The Muslim should do some reading daily so as to increase his knowledge, for the Prophet r said, “(114) … and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [78] For his reading one should select content beneficial for this world and the Hereafter. As wisely expressed, “Show me what you are reading, and I will tell you what kind of person you are.”
The Muslim can entertain himself by day or night, but with the type of fun that is Islamically acceptable, provided that it does not encroach on other duties or rights, such as: acts of worship, sleep, rest, family duties, proper accomplishment of work, or other people’s rights.

[1] Ibn-Al-Mubarak, Abdullah: Azzuhd (Asceticism), op. cit., p.51.
ابن المبارك، عبد الله بن المبارك بن واضح المروزي أبو عبد الله، الزهد، مرجع سابق، ص51.
[2] Ibn-Al-Qayyim, Shamsuddeen: Adda’ wa Addawa’ (Disease and Cure), investigated by Ali H. Al-Halabi, 1999, pp.238-239.
ابن القيم، شمس الدين أبو عبد الله محمد بن قيّم الجوزية [691 - 751 هـ]، الداء والدواء، تحقيق علي بن حسن الحلبي، دار ابن الجوزي، الرياض، ط3، 1419هـ - 1999م، ص 238 - 239.
[3] Ibid., Vol.1, p. 239 المرجع نفسه ، ج1 ص 239
[4] Al-Mutawwi’, Jassim Mohamed: Time: Construction or Destruction, in Arabic, 1992, Vol. 1, p. 99.
المطوع، جاسم محمد، الوقت عمار أو دمار، دار الدعوة، الكويت، ط6، 1412هـ - 1992م، ج1 ص 99.
[5] Ibn-Al-Qayyim, Shamsuddeen: Adda’ wa Addawa’ (Disease and Cure), op. cit., p. 239.
ابن القيم، شمس الدين أبو عبد الله محمد بن قيّم الجوزية، الداء والدواء، مرجع سابق، ص 239.
[6] Ibn-Al-Qayyim, Shamsuddeen: Al-Fawaed (Benefits), investigated by B.M. Uyun, 1988, p. 292.
ابن القيم، شمس الدين أبو عبد الله محمد بن قيّم الجوزية [691-751 هـ]، الفوائد، تحقيق بشير محمد عيون، مكتبة المؤيد، الطائف، ط2، 1408هـ - 1988م، ص292.
[7] Al-Ahdab, Khuldun: Reflections on the Value of Time, in Arabic, 1993, pp. 9-10.
الأحدب، خلدون، سوانح وتأملات في قيمة الزمن، الدار الشامية، بيروت، 1414هـ - 1993م، ص9 - 10.
[8] Hammad Ibn-Salamah was a grammarian. See: Al-Qaisrani, Mohamed Ibn-Tahir, Reciters’ Reminder, in Arabic, investigated by Hamdi A. As-salafi, 1415, Vol. 1, pp. 202-203.
حمّاد بن سلمة بن دينار الحافظ شيخ الإسلام أبو سلامة الربعي النحوي المحدّث، [ت 167هـ]. انظر: (القيسراني، محمد بن طاهر، تذكرة الحفاظ، مرجع سابق، ج1 ص202 - 203).
[9] For more on Moosa Ibn-Ismaeel Al-Manqari, see: Al-Qaisrani, Mohamed Ibn-Tahir, Reciters’ Reminder, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 180.
موسى بن إسماعيل التبوذكي المنقري، مولاهم أبو سلمة البصري الإمام المحدّث [ت 223هـ].انظر:(القيسراني، محمد بن طاهر [448-507هـ]، تذكرة الحفاظ، تحقيق حمدي عبد المجيد السلفي، دار الصميعي، الرياض، 1415هـ، [1 - 4]، ج1 ص 180).
[10] Abdurrahman Ibn-Mahdi Ibn-Hassan Ibn-Abdurrahman, a critic and an able reciter; he was considered a good model for knowledge and work. See: Aththahabi, Shamsuddeen: Biographies of Noble Scholars, op. cit., Vol. 9, pp. 192-193.
عبد الرحمن بن مهدي بن حسّان بن عبد الرحمن الإمام الناقد المجوّد سيد الحفاظ أبو سعيد العنبري، ولد سنة 135هـ، وكان إماماً حجة قدوة في العلم والعمل. (الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، سير أعلام النبلاء، مرجع سابق، ج9 ص 192 - 193).
[11]-Mazzi, Abu-Hajjaj Yusuf: Tahtheeb Al-Kamal fi Asma’ Arrijal, in Arabic, investigated by B. A. Ma’ruf, 1992, Vol. 7, p. 265.
المزي، أبو الحجاج يوسف [654 - 742هـ]، تهذيب الكمال في أسماء الرجال، تحقيق بشار عواد معروف، مؤسسة الرسالة، بيروت، ط4، 1413هـ - 1992م، [1 - 30]، ج7 ص265.
[12] See: Al-Asbahani, Abu-Naeem: Hilyatul-Awliya’ wa Tabaqat Al-Asfiya’(The Pious Friends’ Ornaments and Classes of the Pure) in Arabic, investigated by Mustafa Abdul-Qadir Ata, 1418, Vol. 3, p. 149.
ذكره أبو نعيم في حلية الأولياء فقال: ومنهم الومق الولهان، والواعظ اليقظان، أبو همّام شميط بن عجـلان، وقيـل أبو عبيد الله. انظر: (الأصبهاني، أبو نعيم أحمد بن عبد الله [ت430هـ]، حلية الأولياء وطبقات الأصفياء، تحقيق مصطفى عبد القادر عطا، دار الكتب العلميّة، بيروت، ط1، 1418هـ، [1 - 12]، ج3 ص 149).
[13] Al-Asbahani, Abu-Naeem: Hilyatul-Awliya’ wa Tabaqat Al-Asfiya’(The Pious Friends’ Ornaments and Classes of the Pure) op. cit.,Hadith No. 3509, Vol. 3, p. 151.
الأصبهاني، أبو نعيم أحمد بن عبد الله، حلية الأولياء وطبقات الأصفياء، مرجع سابق، رقم الرواية (3509)، ج 3 ص 151.
[14] Al-Minawi, Abdurra’uf: Faidh Al-QadeerbSharh Al-Jami Assagheer op.cit., Vol. 6, P. 288.
المناوي، عبد الرؤوف [952 -1031 هـ]، فيض القدير شرح الجامع الصغير، المكتبة التجارية الكبرى، مصر، ط1، 1356هـ، [1- 6]، ج6 ص 288.
[15] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 81, Chapter 1, Hadith No. 6412, p. 1232.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (81)، باب (1)، رقم الحديث (6412)، ص 1232.
[16] Attabarani, Abul-Qasim: Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer (The Great Dictionary), Vol 20. page 61.
الطبراني، أبو القاسم سليمان بن أحمد، المعجم الكبير، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (111)، ج20 ص61.
Attermidhi, Abu-Eesa: Sunnan Attermidhi, op., cit., Book No. 38, Chapter 1, Vol. 4, p. 612, Hadith No.2417.
الترمذي، أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى بن سورة، الجامع الكبير، مرجع سابق، كتاب (38)، باب (1)، ج4 ص 612. وقال هذا حديث حسن صحيح.
[17] Al-Hakim, M. Abdullah: Al-Mustadrak, op. cit., Book No.44, Vol.4, p. 341.
الحاكم، محمد بن عبد الله النيسابوري، المستدرك على الصحيحين، مرجع سابق، كتاب (44)، رقم الحديث (7846)، ج4 ص 341، وقال: هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ولم يخرّجاه. ووافقه الذهبي.
[18] Azzamakhshari, Abul-Qasim: Al-Kashshf ’an Haqaeq Ghawamidh At-Tanzeel wa ’Uyun Al-Aqaweel fi Wujuh At-Ta’weel (The Fact-Finder of the Mysteries of the Qur’an and of the Main Sayings on Aspects of Explanation), in Arabic, investigated byMohamed A. Shaheen, 1995, Vol. 4, p. 761.
الزمخشري، أبو القاسم جار الله محمد بن عمر بن محمد [467 - 538]، الكشاف عن حقائق غوامض التنزيل وعيون الأقاويل في وجوه التأويل، تحقيق محمد عبد السلام شاهين، دار الكتب العلمية، بيروت، ط1، 1415هـ - 1995م، [1 - 4]، ج4 ص 761.
[19] Attabarani, Abul-Qasim: Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer (The Great Dictionary), op. cit. , Vol. 9. p. 102.
الطبراني، أبو القاسم سليمان بن أحمد، المعجم الكبير، مرجع سابق، رقم الرواية (8538)، ج9 ص 102. والهيثمي، علي بن أبي بكر [ت807هـ]، مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد، دار الكتب العلمية، بيروت، 1408هـ، [1 - 10]، ج 4 ص 63.
[20] Al-Qaradhaawi, Yusuf: Time in the Muslim’s Life, op. cit., p.15
القرضاوي، يوسف، الوقت في حياة المسلم، مرجع سابق، ص 15.
[21] Ala-Imran Sura, Verse 133 سورة آل عمران الآية [133]
[22] Al-Baqarah Sura, Verse 148 سورة البقرة الآية [148]
[23] Ibn-Khamees, Abdullah Mohamed: Questions and Answers on Poetry, Vol. 3, p. 62.
ابن خميس، عبد الله محمد، من القائل: أسئلة وأجوبة في الشعر، دن، الرياض، ط1 406هـ - 1986م، ج3 ص 62.
[24] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 81, Chapter 4, p. 1232.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (81)، باب (4)، ص 1232
[25] Ibid., Book 56, Chapter 25, Hadith No. 2823., p. 545.
المرجع نفسه، كتاب(56)، باب (25)، رقم الحديث (2823)، ص 545.
Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit, Vol. 4, Book 48, Chapter 15, p. 2079, Hadith No. 2706.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (48)، باب (15)، رقم الحديث (2706)، ج4 ص2079.
[26] Al-Minawi, Abdurra’uf: Faidh Al-QadeerbSharh Al-Jami Assagheer op.cit., Vol. 2, P. 291.
المناوي، عبد الرؤوف، فيض القدير شرح الجامع الصغير، مرجع سابق، ج 2 ص 2079.
[27] Ala-Imran Sura, Verse 190 سورة آل عمران الآية [190]
[28] Al-Asbahani, Abu-Naeem: Hilyatul-Awliya’ wa Tabaqat Al-Asfiya’(The Pious Friends’ Ornaments and Classes of the Pure) op. cit.,Hadith No. 2501, Vol. 2, p. 344.
الأصبهاني، أبو نعيم أحمد بن عبد الله، حلية الأولياء، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (2501)، ج2 ص344.
[29] Abdul-’Al, Sha’ban Jibreel: Time: More Precious than All Treasures on Earth, in Arabic, 1997, p. 25.
عبد العال، شعبان جبريل، الوقت أغلى من كنوز الأرض، دار ابن خزيمة، الرياض، 1418هـ - 1997م، ص 25.
[30] Aththahabi, Shamsuddeen: Biographies of Noble Scholars, op. cit., Vol. 4, p. 585.
الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، سير أعلام النبلاء، مرجع سابق، ج4 ص 585.
[31] Shawqi, Ahmad: Ash-Shawqiyyat, 1987, Vol. 3, p. 152.
شوقي، أحمد، الشوقيات، مكتبة التربية، بيروت، 1987م، ج3 ص 152.
[32] Ibn-Khamees, Abdullah Mohamed: Questions and Answers on Poetry, op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 190.
ابن خميس، عبد الله محمد، من القائل: أسئلة وأجوبة في الشعر، مرجع سابق، مج 2 ص 190.
[33] Salih Ibn-Janah Allakhmi was a poet, and was known for his wisdom; his sayings are beneficial. See: Ibn-Asakir, Abul-Qasim: The History of Damascus, investigated by Muhibbuddin Al-Amrawi, 1995, Vol. 23, p. 325.
هو صالح بن جناح اللخمي الشاعر أحد الحكماء، كان ممن أدرك الأتباع بلا شك وكلامه مستفاد في الحكمة. انظر: (ابن عساكر، أبو القاسم علي بن الحسن بن هبة الله، تاريخ دمشق، تحقيق محب الدين أبي سعيد عمر بن غرامة العمروي، دار الفكر، بيروت، 1415هـ-1995م، ج23 ص325.
[34] Ibid., Vol. 23, pp. 325-327 المرجع نفسه، ج23 ص 325- 327
[35] Abdul-’Al, Sha’ban Jibreel: Time: More Precious than All Treasures on Earth, in Arabic, op. cit., pp.31-32.
عبد العال، شعبان جبريل، الوقت أغلى من كنوز الأرض، مرجع سابق، ص 31 - 32.
[36] Abu-Dawud, Sulaiman: Sunan Abi-Dawud, Vol. 2, Book 9, Chapter 77, Hadith No. 2606, p. 41.
أبو داود، سليمان بن أشعث السجستاني، سنن أبي داود، مرجع سابق، كتاب (9)، باب (77)، رقم الحديث (2606)، ج2 ص 41.
Ibn-Bilban, Alladin: Sahih Ibn-Hibban as Arranged by Ibn-Bilban, op. cit., Vol. 11, p. 62, Hadith No. 4754.
ابن بلبان، الأمير علاء الدين علي بن بلبان الفارسي، صحيح ابن حبان بترتيب ابن بلبان، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (4754)، ج11 ص 62.
[37] Ibn-Al-Jawzi, Abdurrahman Ibn-Ali Ibn-Mohamed Abul-Faraj: Great Personality Traits of the Emir of the Faithful Umar Ibn-ul-Khattab, in Arabic, investigated by Zainab Ibraheem Al-Qaarut, pp. 56-57.
ابن الجوزي، عبد الرحمن بن علي بن محمد أبو الفرج [510 - 597 هـ]، مناقب أمير المؤمنين عمر بن الخطاب، تحقيق زينب إبراهيم القاروط، دار الكتب العلمية، بيروت، دت، ص 56 - 57.
[38] Al-Qaradhaawi, Yusuf: Time in the Muslim’s Life, op. cit., p.21.
القرضاوي، يوسف، الوقت في حياة المسلم، مرجع سابق، ص 21.
[39] Al-Mu’minun Sura, Verse 8 سورة المؤمنون الآية [8]
[40] Taha Sura, Verse 40 سورة طه الآية [40]
[41] Attabari, M. Ibn-Jareer: Attabari’s Abridged Explanation, abridged and investigated by M. A. Assaabuni and S. A. Ridha, op. cit, Vol. 2, p. 50.
الطبري، محمد بن جرير، مختصر تفسير الطبري، اختصار وتحقيق محمد علي الصابوني، و صالح أحمد رضا،مرجع سابق، ج2 ص50.
[42] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 2, Chapter 24, Hadith No. 33, p. 30.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (2)، باب (24)، رقم الحديث (33)، ص 30.
Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit, Vol. 1, Book 1, Chapter 25, p. 87, Hadith No. 59.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (38)، باب (7)، رقم الحديث (2153)، ج3 ص 1694.
[43] Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit, Vol. 3, Book 38, Chapter 7, p. 1694, Hadith No. 2153.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (38)، باب (7)، رقم الحديث (2153)، ج3 ص 1694.
[44] An-Nur Sura, Verses 27-28 سورة النور الآيات [27 - 28]
[45] Al-Qurtubi, M. Ibn-Ahmad: A Comprehensive Book of Qur’anic Rulings, op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 3.
القرطبي، محمد بن أحمد، الجامع لأحكام القرآن، مرجع سابق، ج10 ص3.
[46] Ibn-Al-Mubarak, Abdullah: Azzuhd (Asceticism), op. cit., p.51.
ابن المبارك، عبد الله بن المبارك بن واضح المروزي أبو عبد الله، الزهد، مرجع سابق، ص51.
[47] Al-Qurashi, Abdullah Ibn-Mohamed, The Best of Manners, 1990, Vol. 1, p. 29.
القرشي، عبد الله بن محمد، مكارم الأخلاق، تحقيق مجدي السيد إبراهيم، مكتبة القرآن، القاهرة، 1411هـ - 1990م، ج1 ص 29.
[48] Al-Qaradhaawi, Yusuf: Time in the Muslim’s Life, op. cit., p.13
القرضاوي، يوسف، الوقت في حياة المسلم، مرجع سابق، ص 13.
[49] Ibid, p.13 المرجع نفسه، ص 13
[50] Ibid, p.13 المرجع نفسه، ص 13
[51] Abul-Fat-h Ali Ibn-Al-Hussein Al-Busti (330-400) was a poet, a writer, an excellent speaker and an authority on Fiqh. He was born in Bust, a town in Afghanistan. He was a follower of the Shafi’i School of thought.
أبو الفتح علي بن محمد بن الحسين البستي الشاعر الناثر والأديب الأريب والمحدّث الفاضل والفقيه الشافعي، ولد في مدينة بُسْت من بلاد أفغانستان في حدود سنة 330هـ وتوفي في عام 400هـ.
انظر: (البستي، علي بن محمد بن الحسين، قصيدة عنوان الحكم، ضبط وتعليق عبد الفتاح أبو غدة، مكتب المطبوعات الإسلامية، حلب، ط1، 1404هـ - 1984م، ص 7 ).
[52] Abu-Abdul-Bar, Abu-Omar Al-Qurtubi: A Comprehensive Statement on knowledge and its Value, Vol. 1, p.61.
ابن عبد البر، أبو عمر يوسف بن عبد الله بن محمد بن عبد البر النمري القرطبي [368 - 463 هـ]، جامع بيان العلم وفضله، دار الكتب العلميّة، بيروت، دت، ج1 ص61.
[53] Yusuf Ibn-Asbaat Azzahid was known for his wise sayings and preaching. See: Shamsuddeen Aththahabi’s Biographies of Noble Scholars, op. cit., Vol. 9, p. 169.
يوسف بن أسباط الزاهد، من سادات المشايخ، له مواعظ وحِكم. انظر: (الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، سير أعلام النبلاء، مرجع سابق، ج9 ص169).
[54] Mohamed Ibn-Samra Assaeh was one of those selected by Ibn-Al-Jawzi for his book Sifat Assafwah (Traits of The Elite). See: Ibn-Al-Jawzi, Abdurrahman Ibn-Ali Ibn-Mohamed Abul-Faraj: Sifat Assafwah, investigated by Ibraheem Ramadan and Saeed Al-Lahham, 1989, Vol. 4., pp. 201-202.
محمد بن سمرة السائح من الأصفياء الذين ذكرهم ابن الجوزي في كتابه صفة الصفوة. انظر: (ابن الجوزي، عبد الرحمن بن علي بن محمد أبو الفرج [510 - 597 هـ]، صفة الصفوة، تحقيق إبراهيم رمضان وسعيد اللحّام، دار الكتب العلمية، بيروت، 1409هـ - 1989م، ج 4 ص201 - 202).
[55] Ibn-Al-Jawzi, Abdurrahman: Sifat Assafwah (Traits of the Elite), Arabic, op. cit., Vol.4, pp. 201-202.
ابن الجوزي، عبد الرحمن بن علي بن محمد أبو الفرج، صفة الصفوة، مرجع سابق، ج 4 ص 201 - 202.
[56] Ibn-Aqeel (431-513 H.) was a follower of the Hanbali School of thought. See: Shamsuddeen Aththahabi’s Biographies of Noble Scholars, op. cit., Vol. 19, p. 443.
ابن عقيل هو الإمام العلاّمة البحر شيخ الحنابلة أبو الوفاء علي بن عقيل بن محمد بن عقيل بن عبد الله البغدادي الظفري الحنبلي المتكلّم صاحب التصانيف، ولد سنة 431هـ وتوفي 513هـ. انظر: (الذهبي، شمس الدين محمد بن أحمد بن عثمان، سير أعلام النبلاء، مرجع سابق، ج19 ص443).
[57] Ibn-Hajar, A. A. Al-Asqalani: Lisan Al-Meezan (The Tongue Balance), in Arabic, investigated by Adel A. Abdul-Mawjud, 1996, Vol. 4, p. 284.
ابن حجر، أحمد بن علي بن حجر العسقلاني [773 - 852 هـ]، لسان الميزان، تحقيق عادل أحمد عبد الموجود وعلي محمد معوّض، دار الكتب العلميّة، بيروت، ط1، 1416هـ - 1996م، [1 - 7]، ج4 ص 284.
[58] Al-Fajr Sura, Verse 24 سورة الفجر الآية [24]
[59] Ibrahim Sura, Verse 44 سورة إبراهيم الآية [44]
[60] Al-Qaradhaawi, Yusuf: Time in the Muslim’s Life, op. cit., pp. 25 – 31.
انظر: القرضاوي، يوسف، الوقت في حياة المسلم، مرجع سابق، ص 25 – 31، بتصرّف.
[61] Abu-Dawud, Sulaiman: Sunan Abi-Dawud, op. cit., Vol. 2, Book 9, Chapter 77, Hadith No. 2606, p. 41.
أبو داود، سليمان بن الأشعث السجستاني، سنن أبي داود، مرجع سابق، كتاب (9)، باب (77) رقم الحديث (2606)، ج2 ص 41.
Ibn-Bilban, Alladin: Sahih Ibn-Hibban as Arranged by Ibn-Bilban, op. cit., Vol. 11, p. 62, Hadith No. 4754.
ابن بلبان، الأمير علاء الدين علي بن بلبان الفارسي، صحيح ابن حبان بترتيب ابن بلبان، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (4754)، ج11 ص62.
[62] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 19, Chapter 22, Hadith No. 1142, p. 225.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (19)، باب (12)، رقم الحديث (1142)، ص 225.
Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit, Vol. 1, Book 6, Chapter 28, p. 538, Hadith No. 776.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (6)، باب (28)، رقم الحديث (776)، ج1 ص 538.
[63] Abu-Dawud, Sulaiman: Sunan Abi-Dawud, op. cit., Vol. 2, Book 35, Chapter 110, Hadith No. 5084, p.743.
أبو داود، سليمان بن أشعث السجستاني، سنن أبي داود، مرجع سابق، كتاب (35)، باب (110)، رقم الحديث (5084)، ج2 ص 743.
[64] Ibid., Book 35, Chapter 110, Hadith No. 5073, Vol. 2, p. 739.
المرجع نفسه، كتاب (35)، باب (110)، رقم الحديث (5073)، ج2 ص 739.
Ibn-Bilban, Alladin: Sahih Ibn-Hibban as Arranged by Ibn-Bilban, op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 142, Hadith No. 861
ابن بلبان، الأمير علاء الدين علي بن بلبان الفارسي، صحيح ابن حبان بترتيب ابن بلبان، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (861)، ج31 ص142.
[65] Saad Sura, Verse 29 سورة ص الآية [29]
[66] Hud Sura, Verse 61 سورة هود الآية [61]
[67] Al-Minawi, Abdurra’uf: Faidh Al-Qadeer Sharh Al-Jami Assagheer, op.cit., Vol. 2, P. 290.
المناوي، عبد الرؤوف، فيض القدير شرح الجامع الصغير، مرجع سابق، ج 2 ص 290.
[68] Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 90 المرجع نفسه ، ج 2 ص 290
[69] Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit., Vol. 3, Book 34, Chapter 11, p. 548, Hadith No. 1955.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (34)، باب (11)، رقم الحديث (1955)، ج3 ص 1548.
[70] Al-Baihaqi, A. A. Ibn-Al-Hussein: Branches of Faith, op. cit., Vol.2 4, Chapter 35, Hadith No. 5312, p. 334.
البيهقي، أبو بكر أحمد بن الحسين، شعب الإيمان، مرجع سابق، باب (35)، رقم الحديث (5312)، ص 334. و الطبراني، أبو القاسم سليمان بن أحمد، المعجم الكبير، مرجع سابق، رقم الحديث (776)، ج24 ص 307.
Al-Musili, Abu-Ya’la : Musnad Abu-Y’ala Al-Musili, 1st. ed., Vol.7, investigated by H. Salim Assad, 1984, Hadith No. 4386, p. 349.
الموصلي، أبو يعلى أحمد بن علي بن المثنى التميمي (210 - 307هـ)، مسند أبي يعلى الموصلي، تحقيق حسين سليم أسد، دار المأمون للتراث، دمشق، ط1، 1404هـ - 1984م، [1 - 13]، رقم الحديث (4386)، ج7 ص 349.
[71] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 78, Chapter 33, Hadith No. 6022, p. 1166.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (78)، باب (33)، رقم الحديث (6022)، ص 1166.
Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit., Vol. 2, Book 12, Chapter 16, p. 699, Hadith No. 1008.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (12)، باب (16)، رقم الحديث (1008)، ج2 ص 699.
[72] Sahih Al-Bukhari, op. cit., Book 56, Chapter 128, Hadith No. 2989, p. 573.
البخاري، محمد بن إسماعيل، صحيح البخاري، مرجع سابق، كتاب (56)، باب (128)، رقم الحديث (2989)، ص 573.
Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, op. cit., Vol. 2, Book 12, Chapter 16, p. 699, Hadith No. 1009.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (12)، باب (16)، رقم الحديث (1009)، ج2 ص 699.
[73] Al-A’raf Sura, Verses 31-32 سورة الأعراف الآية [31 - 32]
[74] An-Nur Sura, Verse 58 سورة النور الآية [58]
[75] An-Nur Sura, Verse 37 سورة النور الآية [37]
[76] Al-Qushairi, Muslim: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Book 5, Chapter 34, p. 434, Hadith No. 622.
القشيري، مسلم بن الحجاج النيسابوري، صحيح مسلم، مرجع سابق، كتاب (5)، باب (34)، رقم الحديث (622)، ج1 ص 434.
[77] Abu-Dawud, Sulaiman: Sunan Abi-Dawud, Vol. 1, Book 39, Chapter 77, Hadith No. 530, p. 201.
أبو داود، سليمان بن أشعث السجستاني، سنن أبي داود، مرجع سابق، كتاب (2)، باب (39)، رقم الحديث (530)، ج1 ص 201.
Al-Hakim, M. Abdullah: Al-Mustadrak, op. cit., Book No.44, Vol. 4, p. 341.
الحاكم، محمد بن عبد الله النيسابوري، المستدرك على الصحيحين، مرجع سابق، كتاب (44)، رقم الحديث (7846)، ج4 ص 341، وقال: هذا حديث صحيح ولم يخرّجاه. ووافقه الذهبي.
[78] Taha Sura, Verse 114 سورة طه الآية [114]

Time: Definition and Concept

Management does not exist in a vacuum, but within a specific context. In performing its functions, it relies on certain elements, one of which is time, which “is considered both a hard and flexible concept simultaneously, for within one society, individuals use different terms to express time relationships.” [1] How one views time determines how he deals with it, and explains the patterns of behaviour some people have with regard to time.
Optimum utilization of time usually determines the difference between success and failure. Out of the daily twenty-four hours, only a limited number is utilized for work purposes. Therefore, the problem becomes one of what to do within that limited amount of time. Making use of every minute is important for the achievement of work economically and at the right time. Since time always passes at a fixed and constant speed, one has to care for the time allocated to him. The amount of time is not as important as how to manage the time available to us. Effective time management can result in better utilization of time and in more achievements.
“Those who care for their time are the ones who make great achievements in their personal and professional lives, and they do realize that time is not enough for doing all what they want to do. In contrast, those who do not care much for making achievements are the ones who consider time to be of little value.” [2]
The issue of time is a permanent human problem. Its conceptualization varies according to motives, needs and the nature of the required functions and activities. Also, the wider cultural context directly and indirectly determines the relationship between man and time.
In what follows, we will try to delineate the characteristics of time in order to clarify the concept of such a precious resource in man’s life.
Characteristics of Time:
It seems difficult to give an accurate definition of time. However, by reflecting on the progress of life and historical events, certain characteristics can be identified. “For Long, scientists have observed that time passes at a fixed and constant speed. Every second, every minute and every hour resemble all other seconds, minutes and hours. Time passes in a successive forward movement in accordance with a uniquely controlled system, which cannot be stopped, changed, increased or re-constructed.”[3] “Thus, the constant forward movement of time is neither fast nor slow, and it cannot be stopped, accumulated, cancelled, altered or replaced.” [4]
Characteristic of time is that it is an identifiable resource equally available to all. Even though people are not born with equal capabilities or equal opportunities, they all have the same twenty-four hours daily and the same fifty-two weeks yearly. Thus, regardless of being rich or poor, high or low ranking, all people are equal with respect to the amount of time available. Therefore, the problem of time is not one of amount, but of how to manage and utilize that amount. In other words, the question is: Is time well and usefully used in accomplishing required tasks, or is it wasted or spent on trivial matters?
Since time is such a unique resource that cannot be accumulated, and since “it passes quickly, does not return, and cannot be replaced, it is considered the most precious and valuable human possession. Its preciousness is attributed to its being a vehicle for all types of activity or production. In fact, it is the real ‘capital’ available to man individually and collectively”. [5] Accordingly, time is considered life’s foundation, on which civilization stands. It is true that time cannot be bought, sold, rented, borrowed, doubled, saved or manufactured. Nevertheless, it can be invested and valued. For instance, those who have the time to accomplish their work and the time to enjoy other activities as well must have learned the difference between quantity and quality. They must be investing every minute of their time. Therefore, “time management does not aim at changing, modifying or developing time, but at how to invest it so effectively that time spent uselessly or unproductively is reduced to a minimum, while attempting to raise productivity within the allocated period of time.” [6]

Sahabiyat Lady Khadijah

The first woman to follow the religion of Islam was Khadijah ul-Kubra’. Every Muslim knows who she was, and what a role-model she was and continues to be. We also know that she was according to the Prophet (saw), one of the four greatest women from among the whole earth. Khadijah was born in the year 555 C.E. (christian era). Her parents were Khuwailid and Fatimah bint Zaidah. By the time she reached the age of forty she had attained quite a reputation for herself. She was known as a wealthy, noble, fine-natured businesswoman. Khadijah heard about Mohammed’s (SAW) reputation for being an honest and upright young man. She sent him a proposal to ask him to handle some of her business affair. On the return from one trip to Syria, he reported a profit that doubled that which anyone else had done for her. Needless to say, that impressed her greatly! Khadijah’s satisfaction with her new employee was soon to turn into love. Despite their age difference of 15 years, she desired to marry him. She confided this desire to he friend, Nufaysah, who in turn approached Mohammed (SAW). This confused him. How could such a noble woman, who had turned down the marriage proposals of the noblest and wealthiest Quraysh men, desire to marry him?! Mohammed’s uncle Abu Talib and Khadijah’s uncle ‘Umar ibn Asad sat down to arrange the completion of the marriage. Little did any of them know just what the future had in store for this new couple!

Allah bestored upon them six children. They were given two boys, Qasim and ‘Abdullah, but neither survived infancy. They were also given four daughters, Zainab, Ruqaiyyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah. Mohammed would often go to Mount Hira for meditation. On returning one day, Khadijah could see he was quite shaken and upset. She inquired about this and he told her what had happened. She found out that day had been unlike any other in that, day, he had been given revelations from God! He had thought that he was possessed and was going mad. Khadijah tried to console her terrified husband by saying: “Rejoice, O son of my uncle, and be of good heart. Surely by Him in whose hand is my soul, I have hope that you will be the prophet of this people. You have never done any wrong to anyone. You are kind to others and you help the poor. So Allah will not let you down.” He then asked for a blanket and she quickly fulfilled his request. Shortly thereafter, he fell asleep. When Mohammed woke, Khadijah took him to her cousin, Waraqah bin Nawfal. He was Christian and quite knowledgeable of the scriptures of the Torah and Bible. He confirmed Mohammed’s Prophethood and said: “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Jibrail) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.”

Just a few months later, Jibrail came again and ordered him to start warning the people. Khadijah supported him in this by financially supporting the family and his teaching. She was also content to raise the children and handle the family affairs so that he could preach. During the next 10 years, she proved herself to be a loving wife. She supported him when nobody else would. She consoled him when rough times hit them. she comforted and encouraged him when the Quraish did all they could to stop him from preaching. She remained the only wife of Mohammed until her death at the age of 65. She died on Ramadaan 620 C.E. in the 10th year of Prophethood. Long after her death, Mohammed remembered and honored her often.
There is a lesson in Khadijah’s life: She accepted and started working for the religion of Islam after the first revelation. This not only made her the first Muslim but also a role-model for women today. She led the example of a good, loving wife. She also showed us how to forget the desires of this life and work only for the good of Islam. Khadijah truly was a Righteous Woman!!

Employment Concerns for Working Muslim Women

Before a Muslim woman seeks employment, she must carefully weigh all of her options and prepare herself for inevitable challenges.

Every day, many Muslim women cope with the challenge of working in a non-Muslim environment: a male employee offers his hand during introductions, other employees begin to discuss private aspects of their lives at lunch, an invitation is sent to all employees for a get-together at the local bar, someone makes a joke about hijab or salah. These are just a few of the many possible situations that a woman may face as she struggles to maintain not only her job, but her Muslim identity as well. In addition, she feels the stress of trying to balance the demands of her job with those of her home and children. What is the Islamic perspective in women and work? What guidelines should be followed if a woman works? What are some strategies that may be effective in helping her to maintain Islamic values and behavior?

Setting Priorities:

The most important role for a woman is motherhood. This special role that Allah has created for her, affords her honor and respect in Islam. Where does she fulfil this role? Naturally, in her home. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says: “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like those in the times of ignorance and offer prayers perfectly and give zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger.” [33:33] This does not mean that a woman is a prisoner in her home, but only that she should have a valid reason (such as for basic needs, education, etc) to go out, to avoid any fitnah (tribulation, trial) that may result from mixing between men and women.

A woman should not work in a non-Muslim environment unless there is some compelling reason for her to do so. Allah has not prohibited women from working, but He has provided numerous protections for women, that are primarily concerned with where, how, and with whom she associates. She should seriously consider the costs and benefits for herself, and the impact on her ability to fulfill her primary responsibilities, before taking on a job. There are many situations that may make it necessary for a woman to work, such as to assist with the financial needs of the family or to fulfill the needs of the society (doctors, midwives, teachers).

There are several obvious guidelines that should be followed if a woman does decide to work. First, she must obtain consent from her husband, who may offer a broader perspective on how her work may influence the family and its functioning. Secondly, a woman must ensure that her home and children are properly cared for. Her husband may be of assistance in this area, or outside help may be employed. Thirdly, care must be taken to choose employment that is appropriate and fits with her skills. Obviously, any work that deals with haram activities, services, or products would not be allowed but there is a world of possibilities available.

There is an immense and growing need for Muslim women in various medical fields, in education, in helping professions such as social work, counseling, psychology, psychiatry, and childcare. With the growth of technology and communications capabilities, there are unlimited opportunities for women to do some type of work or business from home (such as secretarial and typing; writing, editing, publishing; computer work, etc.) This would be an ideal situation that would eliminate many of the concerns that may arise for working women.

Maintaining an Islamic Foundation:

This common concern for women who work outside the home must be taken very seriously. Women need to be careful that the job they choose does not lead them to transgress the limits of Islam.

Fedwa is a successful computer programmer at a major University who understands the risks of working in a non-Muslim environment. She know that if she is not cautious, others may begin to negatively influence her. When she first began working, she would attend luncheons with other employees, but soon discovered that much of the time was spent on idle talk and conversation about haram activities (e.g. boyfriends, drinking). She decided that the best precaution for her would be to avoid these luncheons completely, so that a bond would not be established between herself and her co-workers. This type of influence could be so subtle, that a sister may not even be aware that she has fallen into the trap. Listening to inappropriate conversations on a regular basis may lead a sister to become desensitized and thereby forgetful about appropriate etiquette.

Another sister, Layla, echoed the same concerns. Layla is a Dental Claims Clerk at a major HMO who also decided to stop sitting with her co-workers during lunch. She and three other Muslim sisters at the same company have devised a creative way to preserve their identity while socializing at the same time. Each Friday, the sisters pray Dhuhr together in a conference room, followed by lunch. During lunch, they study about Islam in a private halaqa. Layala works with men, but does not find it difficult. Her approach is to keep her intention and interactions strictly business, while being considerate and respectful. People are likely to respect this in turn. Handshaking is often a concern, but an explanation of religious prohibitions often helps to ease the interaction. Invitations to parties where alcohol is served can be handled in a similar manner.

Layla also discussed her struggle with wearing hijab. When she first became Muslim, she considered not wearing hijab to job interviews for fear that potential employers would react negatively, preventing her from being considered. This rationale carries a strong message. After more consideration, she realized that Allah would be the only One who could assist her in finding a job. And, if she did not wear it, she would not receive Allah’s help. She wore the hijab and found a job. She felt that the hijab was a barrier in only one of her interviews. Since that time, Allah has strengthened her eman. Her advice to other Muslim sisters is to be open and honest about religious beliefs and practices, and to incorporate this into conversations.

This small opportunity to educate others about Islam breaks down stereotypes and prejudice that may be present. She also recommends offering some type of training for employees about Islamic beliefs and practices or putting up displays in companies when possible. Layla conducts a diversity training session with new employees and incorporates examples about Islam and her experiences in the presentation. Often this leads to further questions and she always-welcome co-workers to ask questions as they arise. She feels that people admire and respect a person more, if they have some aspect of spirituality in their lives.

Final Advice:

The most important advice for sisters to remember is that no matter where we are, or what we are doing, we should be persistent in fulfilling Allah’s commands, be ever mindful of Him, and rely solely upon His grace and assistance. If we are in a job where we feel that our values are being compromised, the best option may be to leave. Allah should always be our first priority, not money, personal satisfaction, or desire for prestige or power. If things seem too overwhelming or difficult, we should always turn to Allah and ask for his help and guidance.

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said: “Allah the Almighty says: ‘I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Bukhari).

Let us rely upon Allah in all of our matters, whether personal, social, or professional.

By: Dr. Aisha Hamdan

[From: Al-Jumuah – Vol. 12 , Iss: 11]<>
Saturday : 24/08/2002

Sex Education: An Islamic Perspective

By: Shahid Athar, M. D. IslamiCity* -

Islamic concept of sexuality
Islam recognizes the power of sexual need, but the

subject is discussed in the Quran and the saying of

Prophet Muhammad in a serious manner, in regard

to marital and family life. Parents should familiarize

themselves with this body of knowledge.
Saying of Prophet Muhammad

* "When one of you have sex with your wife, it is a

rewarded act of charity." The Companions were

surprised and said, "But we do it purely out of our

desire. How can it be counted as charity?" The

Prophet replied, "If you had done it with a forbidden

woman, it would have been counted as a sin, but if

you do it in legitimacy, it is counted as charity."
* "Let not one of you fall upon his wife like a beast

falls. It is more appropriate to send a message before

the act."

* "Do not divulge the secrets of your sex life with

your wife to another person nor describe her physical

feature to anyone."

Concept of adultery in Islam
God says in the Quran, "Do not go near to adultery.

Surely it is a shameful deed and evil, opening roads

(to other evils)" (Quran 17:32). "Say, 'Verily, my

Lord has prohibited the shameful deeds, be it open or

secret, sins and trespasses against the truth and

reason"' (Quran 7:33). "Women impure are for men

impure, and men impure are for women impure and

women of purity are for men of purity, and men of

purity are for women of purity" (Quran 24:26).

Prophet Muhammad , has said in many place that

adultery is one of the three major sins. However the

most interesting story is that of a young man who

went to the Prophet and asked for permission to

fornicate because he could not control himself. The

Prophet dealt with him with reasoning and asked him

if he would approve of someone else having illegal sex

with his mother, sister, daughter or wife. Each time

the man said 'no'. Then the Prophet replied that the

woman with whom you plan to have sex is also

somebody's mother, sister, daughter or wife. The man

understood and repented. The Prophet prayed for his


Adultery is a crime not against one person but against

the whole of society. It is a violation of marital

contract. 50% of all first time marriages in this

country result in divorce in two years and the main

reason for divorce is the adultery of one of the

partners. Adultery, which includes both pre-marital

and extra marital sex, is an epidemic in this society.

Nobody seems to listen to the Bible which says

frequently, "Thou shall not commit adultery." The

Quranic approach is, "Do not approach adultery."
What does it mean that not only is illegal sex

prohibited, but anything which leads to illegal sex is

also illegal? These things include dating, free mixing

of the sexes, provocative dress, nudity, obscenity and

pornography. The dress code both for men and

women is to protect them from temptation and desires

by on lookers who may lose self-control and fall into

sin. "Say to the believing men that they should lower

their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for

greater purity, and God is well acquainted with all

they do. And say to the believing woman that they

should lower their gaze, and guard their modesty"

(Quran 24:30-3 1).

Concept of marriage in Islam

Islam recognizes the strong sexual urge and desire for

reproduction. Thus Islam encourages marriage as a

legal sexual means and as a shield from immorality

(sex without commitment). In Islam the marriage of a

man and woman is not just a financial and legal living

arrangement, not even just for reproduction, but

providing a total commitment to each other, a

contract witnessed by God. Love and joy of

companionship is a part of the commitment. A

married couple assumes a new social status and

responsibility for himself, his wife and his children

and for the community. The Quran says, "Among His

signs is that He created consorts for you from among

yourself, so that you may find tranquility with them,

and (He) set love and compassion between you. Verily

in this are signs for people who reflect" (Quran


Saying of Prophet Muhammad
"Marriage is my tradition. He who rejects my

tradition is not of me" (Bukhari, Muslim).
"Marriage is half of religion. The other half is being

Godfearing" (Tabarani, Hakim).

In Islam there is no fixed rule as to the age of

marriage. It is becoming fashionable for young

Muslim men
not to marry until they have completed their

education, have a job, or reached age 26-30 or more.
Similarly young Muslim girls say they want to marry

after age 24. Why? When asked, they say, "I am not
ready for it." Not ready for what? Don't they have

normal sexual desire? If the answer is yes, then they
have only one of the two choices a) marry or b)

postpone sex (abstinence until they marry). The

says, "Let those who find not the where withal for

marriage, to keep them selves chaste till God find
them the means from His Grace" (Quran 24:33).
The Prophet said, "Those of you who own the means

should marry, otherwise should keep fasting for it
curbs desires" (Ibn Massoud). The Western reason for

delaying marriage is different than ours. When I
suggested this to one of my sexually active young

female patients, she bluntly said, "I don't want to
sleep with the same guy every night."

Role of Muslim parents and Muslim organizations
I am not proposing that all Muslim youth be married

at age 16. But I must say that youth should accept the

biological instinct and make decisions which will help

to develop a more satisfied life devoted to having a

career rather than spending time in chasing (or

dreaming about) the opposite sex. Parents should help

their sons and daughters in selection of their mate

using Islamic practice as a criteria and not race, color

or wealth. They should encourage them to know each

other in a supervised setting. The community

organization has several roles to play.

To provide a platform for boys and girls to see and

know each other without any intimacy. Offer

premarital educational courses to boys and girls over

18 separately to prepare them for the role of father

and husband and of mother and wife. The father has a

special role, mentioned by Prophet Muhammad ,

"One who is given by God, a child, he should give it a

beautiful name, should give him or her education, and

training and when he or she attains puberty, he

should see to it that he or she is married. If the father

does not arrange their marriage after puberty, and the

boy or girl is involved in sin, the responsibility of that

sin will lie with the father"

Marriage of Muslim girls in the USA
Marriage of Muslim girls in this country is becoming

a problem. I was not surprised to read the letter of a

Muslim father in a national magazine. He complained

that in spite of his doing his best in teaching Islam to

his children, his college-going daughter announced

that she is going to marry a non-Muslim boy whom

she met in college.
As a social scientist I am more interested in the

analysis of the events. To be more specific, why would

a Muslim girl prefer a non-Muslim boy over a

Muslim? The following reasons come to mind:

She is opposed to and scared of arranged marriages.

She should be told that not all arranged marriages are

bad ones and that 50% of all love marriages end up in

a divorce in this country. Arranged marriages can be

successful if approved by both the boy and girl. That

is, they need to be a party to the arrangement. I am

myself opposed to the blind arranged marriage.

Muslim boys are not available to her to make a

choice. While parents have no objection or cannot do

anything about non-Muslim boys with whom she

talks or socializes at school or college for forty hours a

week, she is not allowed to talk to a Muslim boy in

the mosque or in a social gathering. If she does, they

frown at her or even accuse her of having a loss

character. As a Muslim boy put it, "If I grow up

knowing only non-Muslim girls, why do my parents

expect me to marry a Muslim one?"

Some Muslim boys do not care for Muslim girls. On

the pretext of missionary work after marriage, they get

involved with non-Muslim girls because of their easy

availability. Muslim parents who also live with an

inferiority complex do not mind their son marrying an

American girl of European background but they

would object if he marries a Muslim girl of a different

school of Islamic thought (Shiah/Sunni) or different

tribe like Punjabi, Sunni, Pathan, Arab vs. non-Arab,

Afro-American vs. immigrant, or different class, Syed

vs. non-Syed. Both the parents and the body should

be reminded that the criteria for choosing a spouse

that was given by the Prophet Muhammad was not

wealth nor color but Islamic piety.

She may have been told that early marriage, that is,

age 18 or less, is taboo and that she should wait until

the age of 23 or 25. According to statistics, 80% of

American girls, while waiting to get settled in life and

married, engage freely in sex with multiple boyfriends.

However, this option is not available to Muslim girls.

Every year nearly one million teenage girls in this

country who think that they are not ready for

marriage, get pregnant. By the age of 24 when a

Muslim girl decides that she is ready for marriage, it

may be too large for her. If she reviews the

matrimonial ad section in Islamic magazines, she will

quickly notice that the boys of the age group of 25 to

30 are looking for girls from 18 to 20 year age group.

They may wrongfully assume that an older girl may

not be a virgin.

She may also carry a wrong notion not proven

scientifically that marrying healthy cousins may cause

congenital deformities in her offspring.

Thus, unless these issues are addressed, many Muslim

girls in the US may end up marrying a non-Muslim or

remain unmarried.

Curriculum for Islamic Sex Education
Islamic sex education should be taught at home

starting at an early age. Before giving education about

anatomy and physiology, the belief in the Creator

should be well established. As Dostoevsky put it,

"Without God, everything is possible," meaning that

the lack of belief or awareness of God gives an OK for


A father should teach his son and a mother should

teach her daughter. In the absence of a willing parent,

the next best choice should be a Muslim male teacher

(preferably a physician) for boys and a Muslim female

teacher (preferably a physician) for a girl at the

Islamic Sunday school.
The curriculum should be tailored according to age of

the child and classes be held separately. Only

pertinent answers to a question should be given. By

this I mean that if a five year old asks how he or she

got into mommie's stomach, there is no need to

describe the whole act of intercourse. Similarly it is

not necessary to tell a fourteen year old how to put on

condoms. This might be taught in premarital class just

before his or her marriage. A curriculum for sex ed

should Include:

a. Sexual growth and development
* Time table for puberty
* Physical changes during puberty
* Need for family life

b. Physiology of reproductive system
* For girls- the organ, menstruation, premenstrual

* For boys- the organ, the sex drive

c. Conception, development of fetus and birth

d. Sexually transmitted disease (VD/AIDS)

(emphasize the Islamic aspect)

e. Mental, emotional and social aspects of puberty

f. Social, moral and religious ethics

g. How to avoid peer pressure

Sex education after marriage
This essay is not intended to be a sex manual for

married couples, although I may write such someday.

I just wanted to remind the reader of a short verse in

the Quran and then elaborate. The verse is, "They are

your garments, and you are their garments" (Quran

Husbands and wives are described as garments for

each other. A garment is very close to our body, so

they should be close to each other. A garment protects

and shields our modesty, so they should do the same

to each other. Garments are put on anytime we like,

so should they be available to each other anytime. A

garment adds to our beauty, so they should praise and

beautify each other.
For husbands I should say that sex is an expression of

love and one without the other is incomplete. One of

your jobs is to educate your wife in matters of sex

especially in your likes and dislikes and do not

compare her to other women.
For wives I want to say that a man's sexual needs are

different than a women's. Instead of being a passive

recipient of sex, try to be an active partner. He is

exposed to many temptations outside the home. Be

available to please him and do not give him a reason

to make a choice between you and hellfire.

Source: Islam-USA
This from the first chapter of the book: Sex

Education: An Islamic Perspective
(Edited by Shahid Athar , M.D.)


Having a feeling and love in your heart for someone

of the opposite sex is different and beyond control,

while expression of the same through sex is entirely

different and should be under control.


About Dr. Shaihd Athar

Dr. Shaihd Athar was born at Patna, India. He did his

medical training in Karachi, (Pakistan), Chicago,

(Illinois), and at Indiana University where he is a

Clinical Associate Professor. He was President of

Islamic Society of Greater Indianapolis 1986 - 1987.

He is an alternate delegate to UN (NGO) for World

Muslim Congress, the president of Interfaith Alliance,

an active member of Council For National Interest,

Christian & Muslims For Peace, Amnesty

International, Physicians For Human Rights, lslamic

Medical Association, Solidarity Int. For Human

Rights, advisor to weekly TV Progrwn, "Faces of

Faith", WTHR Indianapolis. Indiana Council for

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relation Committee.

He was nominated for 1992 Jefferson Award and

received Diamond Award for outstanding

volunteerism from the "United To Serve America". He

is a U.S. Citizen and lives in Indianapolis with his

wife and four children.

He has written and published over 110 articles on

Islam, authored "Peace Through Submission" (PTS)

and edited "Islamic Perspective in Medicine". He is

currently working on "Invitation to Islam - Letters of

a Dayee". He has spoken to many Muslim

institutions, mosques, universities and churches all

over the USA. He is listed in the International

Directory of Specialists in Islamic Studies published

from Rabbat, Morocco, 1991, and North American

Muslim Resource Directory, 1994.

Update 2000
Other books are "Health Concerns for Believers" , "

Reflections of an American Muslim" and "Sex

Education -An Islamic Perspective " all published by

Kazi Publications in Chicago and available from and can be read at his webpage His collection of English poems

was just released by Watermark Press "Reflections in



12/5/2003 - Social - Article Ref: IC0312-2161
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By: IslamiCity
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