Sex before marriage?

The dignity of human beings and especially the dignity of women is something that is utterly valued and highly sanctified in Islam.

A woman’s womb in Arabic ‘rahm’ is extracted from the name of Allah Himself ‘ArRahman’ (The Most Merciful). This is a sign of elevation and closeness the woman has with The Creator Himself, The King of kings, the Giver of Life. Allah chose women to be the carriers of life into existence and this is an honorable position.

Wherever she is, the woman must be taken care of, protected and honored. If she is in her dad’s house, then raising her and spending on her is an act of worship for him that he’ll be rewarded for by Allah. If she is in her husband’s house, then spending on her and treating her kindly and gently are acts of worship for him that he’ll be rewarded for by Allah. This is all in the most authentic narrations of this religion.

When Islam came, it empowered women with rights and dignity, something that was abused in their time. And that’s not in pre-Islam time only … it seems to be in our time today as well!

One manifestation of this is the idea of girlfriends/boyfriends and having premarital relations.

Some think that this is liberating for women, and they blame Islam/Muslims for being uptight or oppressive.

But let’s think about this together.

Honestly and objectively, which is a more dignified scenario:

That a woman gives her body, emotions, time and care freely to someone who can enjoy all that and leave her whenever he wants without owing her anything or committing to her in anyway or giving her any rights…

Or

That a woman’s body, feelings and needs are sanctified and guarded by The Creator Himself; if someone wishes to enjoy her, then he has to testify before Allah and witnesses and provide a contract stating that he will be responsible for providing her with her financial needs, emotional needs, physical needs and legal rights. And if any harm or injustice is inflicted on her by him, then he will be held accountable for it before The Creator on The Day of Judgment…

Which scenario better dignifies and protects women?

Is the first scenario really liberating, or is it humiliating and degrading to the woman’s body, feelings, needs and rights?

Is the second scenario really old fashioned and oppressive, or is it dignifying and elevating?

If you contemplate this issue with open mind and heart, you’ll realize that Allah doesn’t want for the woman to be abused, sexualized or made easily available, cheap or accessible to men to use as they please. And Allah doesn’t want for the man to be a slave of his desires and commit injustices against himself or others on account of his lusts and physical urges.

That’s not real love and that’s not honorable or elevating type of relationships for human beings.

Allah says:

“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” (Qur’an 17: 70)

Allah specifically honored us above other creations.

But the first scenario for many people seem easier… Fulfilling physical needs is easy; any creature can do that — even those who are below us in rank and are not gifted with intellect or ability to purify and discipline their beings and desires.

It’s easy to submit to the basic physical needs. But what Allah and Islam are calling us for is to elevate above the physical and explore meanings that are much deeper, richer and more everlasting than that.

Marriage in Islam is more than fulfilment of physical urges. It is peace, mercy and tranquillity to the heart, mind and soul. It is meant to be a journey of intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical growth and elevation.

It is considered an act of worship! It follows the path that the Creator has revealed to His Messengers to teach humanity.

It is a completion of one’s faith.

Faith in marriage is a language and a deep bond between the couple. Those who are connected through their love for their Creator, their gratitude towards Him, their desire for His Closeness, their pursuit of His Knowledge….. All of this creates a major common ground brought into the relationship between the partners. It’s like they bring an eternal bond that connects them with their Eternal Creator, and they hope and pray to remain connected for eternity in the afterlife.

This is what’s meant to go on between believing partners. When we pray for partners, we ask for someone who could help us get closer to our Creator, help us learn more about Him, fall more in love with Him and be persistent on our journey towards Him.

The bond between spouses is beautifully described in the Qur’an by Allah who says about spouses:

“[…] They are your garment and you are their garment”, “ […] They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them” (Qur’an 2: 187). Meaning they’re so close to you, they cover you, they fulfill your every need and you fulfill them…

Even more significantly, marriage is described in the Qur’an as a sign of the Creator:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Qur’an 30: 21)

A sign leads to a destination. He said that this relationship is one of His signs. This is because when we experience mercy, we get reminded that Allah’s Name/Attribute is The Most Merciful, The Source of Mercy… any mercy we experience is a fraction of His Infinite Mercy. This helps us long for Him. When we experience deep affection (or wud in Arabic), we remember that His Name is Al Wadud, The Source of Ultimate Pure Affection. When we love our partners, we also fall deeply in love and gratitude to The One Who created them. A husband and wife smiling at each other is an act of worship that is rewarded by Him. There are so many experiences we go through and they are a reflection of His Presence, His Names and His Gifts…

But when we devoid man and woman’s relationship of those everlasting meanings and lower it to fulfillment of temporary physical needs and infatuations…are we really doing ourselves any justice?

There is a notion among some people that premarital relations are necessary so that the couples get to ‘know and test’ one another. But this is really a delusion and it is degrading and humiliating. There is no way one will know what will happen in the future, no matter how long they ‘test drive’ their partners. Only Allah The Knower of the future and the unseen know that. And if couples are united for His Sake and with His Guidance, then He will be The One who descends peace, mercy, love and tranquility upon them– at the end, He is The Owner of Peace, Love and Mercy.

The idea of “let me try her/him first and if I didn’t feel that he/she is perfect enough for me or I don’t feel like I want to continue in this relationship, then I’ll easily ditch him/her. No worries. No strings attached,” this – if anything- is selfishness and lack of responsibility.

We are not going to have ‘perfect’ partners. But we choose people based on values of true faith, righteousness, responsibility, good reputation and initial attraction… and then we commit and ask the Creator to bless and ease and aid both partners on their path and place between them His eternal bond, His mercy, affection and tranquility.

Al Hassan Al Basri, one of the most renowned theologians and scholars of Islam, said: “marry your daughter to one with sound religion (knowledge of Allah and the deen), so if he loved her, he’ll honor her and if he ever disliked her, he will not commit injustice against her.”

These are the basis upon which we choose partners.

Long term premarital relationships did not and will not prevent divorces or disagreements. This is a delusion.

Most importantly, married partners are meant to learn deep meanings of patience, humility, selflessness and commitment. Premarital relations are simply an easy way out. It’s no longer about “for sickness and for health, for better and for worse”, but rather “for my own benefit, my own satisfaction and if I don’t like it, I’m out.”

Who is really the winner in this situation?

Women? Not at all.
Men? Maybe at first, but if they remain on this path, they’ll end up being alone or die alone and miss an opportunity of learning what makes them true noble men who commit, not neglect or abandon.

Again, in Islam, relationships outside of marriage are not allowed given how unfair they are especially to the woman, even if she doesn’t recognize that. It is part of a woman’s honor and right to have a marriage contract. This is a testimony from the man in front Allah and witnesses that this man will be responsible for taking care of her emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual and financial needs. This is a commitment because the woman is highly precious and submitting herself, her emotions, time, thinking and physical being to someone who doesn’t owe her anything and can leave her at any point… THIS is not fair or befitting of women, and women are really meant to be much more honored than that.

How many sisters in humanity are left alone struggling to support children whose fathers have left off without committing to supporting them or covering their needs?

The deprivation of rights and deprivation of full attention and commitment is not fair or just to human beings. Those innocent children deserve to have a healthy household with committed parents who acknowledge them fully and commit to their upbringing and growth on all levels.

On the other hand- and if bringing up children is not the point of the relationship- then isn’t it injustice for the woman to make her body a dump for strange men’s physical urges? How is this dignifying or liberating to her?

What about children that result from the intimate bond between a man and a woman…. is it justice for them to be created/raised in secrecy, or get dumped and aborted eventually as though their existence is a mistake and glory was meant to the temporary physical lusts not the precious dignified human life?

Ask your heart if this is what’s really honorable and dignifying for human beings.

What happens with the blessing of Allah, The Light of the Heavens and The Earth, will surely have His light. What happens without the blessings of The Source of Light, will only be a means of darkness to the heart, mind and soul.. even if it was initially pleasurable, but it will never be truly and durably a fulfilling source of peace, mercy and Tranquility.

Never settle for darkness. Always seek The Light…

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Dua’a for our dear Parents

1. Tonight let’s make a special dua for parents. Some of us take our parents for granted, thinking they will always be here to love and comfort us but one day they won’t be here. So treasure your time with them. Look after them like they looked after you. We could have been neglected when we were small but we were all loved and blessed. So let’s make a dua that Allah blesses all parents, past and present with Jannah. May Allah grant us the patience to deal patiently with them in their old age as they dealt patiently with us when we were small and young. May Allah always bless them and reward them for loving and protecting us. No-one is perfect. But we owe our parents A GREAT DEAL. May Allah grant them Jannah. Ameen.

2. Let’s start this weekend with a special dua. A special prayer for our parents. Past and Present. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing may Allah keep all our parents so safe and away from harm. As children, we owe our parents so much. I don’t think I could do for my kids, what our parents did for us. I hope Allah grants them Jannah. Ameen

3. Asalaam Alaykum. Tonight let’s make a dua for our special amazing & wonderful parents. They raised us with such love & commitment. I hope we are showing them the same love and commitment today. When we were young they walked slowly so we could keep up, in their old age let’s not walk too fast so they can’t keep up. May Allah grant my parents and your parents, past and present the highest level of Jannah. Ameen

4. Asalaam Alaykum. So who shall we do a dua for today? How about fathers? Fathers aren’t perfect but neither are we. One thing is for sure our fathers have loved & protected us when we were young & helpless. They did more for us than we can possibly imagine. May Allah protect my wonderful father & may Allah protect your father too. Tonight HOTD remembers fathers. May Allah bless them all with Jannah. Ameen!!

5. Tonight let’s make a dua for our parents. Past or Present. May Allah grant us the patience to deal patiently with them in their old age as they dealt patiently with us when we were small and young. May Allah always bless them and reward them for loving and protecting us. No-one is perfect. But we owe our parents A GREAT DEAL. May Allah grant them Jannah. Ameen

6. Today let’s make a special dua for our mothers. For our gorgeous amazing loving mothers. Who do so much for us. Who have sacrificed so much for us. Who put up so much from us! Do we ever tell them how special they are? Maybe we should. Today HOTD is praying all mothers (and fathers) receive Allah’s blessing and that as children, we all appreciate them every… single…. day….Ameen!

7. Today let´s make a special dua for our parents. May Allah keep our parents away from harm. May Allah give us the patience to deal with them in their old age as they dealt with us in our young age. When we were small and couldn´t walk fast our parents slowed their walking down to suit us, are we slowing our walking now to suit them as they are old. May we never forget how much they have done for us. Ameen

8. Tonight let’s make a dua for someone really special. I mean, really REALLY special. Our wonderful Mother. Whether past or present, may Allah bless our amazing mothers with Jannah. May Allah give us the intelligence & Imaan to really look after them. Tonight Hadith of the Day pays tribute to all mothers and prays Allah grant them Jannah. Ameen!

9. We all love our parents. I make a dua this evening that all our parents, past and present enter Jannah safely. Ameen.

10. Today let’s make a special dua for our mothers, Past or Present. May Allah bless them with Jannah. May we never forget how much our mothers have done for us when we were small & helpless. Are we showing them the same support & love? Today I make a dua that Allah keeps all mothers safe. Ameen!

11. Tonight let’s make a special dua for our Mothers. Not only have they loved & protected us all our lives, but they’ve kept us safe. When was the last time we all sat our mothers down & said ‘I love and appreciate you’ Just imagine how happy that would make our mothers. So may Allah bless all our mothers, past and present with Jannah because no-one deserves it more than they do.

Ameen

Women in Islam: Aisha Bint Aby Bakr RA

Aisha Bint Aby Bakr RA

Umm-Al-Mu’minin (Mother of Believers)

Note: For ease of reading, we have not inserted “May Allah be pleased with her (RA)” each time Aisha’s RA name or the name of each Companion is mentioned, but please take it that the salutations apply to all of them, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Narrated Amr bin Al-As: I came to the Prophet SAW and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” He said, “Aisha.” I asked, “Among the men?” He said, “Her father.” I said, “Who then?” He said, “Then Umar bin Al-Khattab.” He then named other men [Bukhari].

Who is Aisha ibn Abu Bakr?

Out of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, two have received prominence above the others. The first was Khadija, and the second was Aisha. Aisha was the favourite daughter of one of the Prophet’s favourite companions, Abu Bakr, and was the most beloved wife of the Prophet SAW after Khadijah.

Sawdah, the Prophet’s SAW second wife, and Aisha entered the life of the Prophet’s SAW household after the death of Khadijah. If we recall, the Messenger of Allah SAW never had another wife for over two decades during the time he was married to Khadijah. He was deeply grieved by her death, and it is acknowledged that he still felt sorrow at her passing years later.

Those around the Prophet SAW understood the sadness that he faced, not just for the loss of his lifetime companion, but also for the other turbulent events that happened in what we now call the Year of Sadness. While many were concerned and offered their support in their own individual ways, Khawlah bint Hakeem was the one who took the initiative and broached the subject of marriage with the Prophet SAW. Khawlah was the wife of `Uthmaan ibn Math`oon, both of them being among the first persons to embrace Islam. It was Khawlah who originally suggested that Abu Bakr should offer his daughter Aisha for marriage to the Prophet SAW. For the sake of completeness, it is worth mentioning that it was also Khawlah who initiated the marriage of Sawdah to the Prophet SAW, however we shall not be covering this aspect in this article.

The suggestion to marry Aisha, while well received, proved to be diplomatically delicate for Abu Bakr, for the six year old Aisha was already engaged to a non Muslim, Jubayr ibn Mut’im. It would have been socially unacceptable for Abu Bakr to have broken the engagement. However, with the will of Allah, the engagement was repudiated by the potential groom’s family on account of their disbelief in Islam, enabling Aisha to be engaged to the Prophet SAW.

Allegations against the marriage

We pause at this juncture to deal with a sensitive topic, which is the age of Aisha during marriage. Of late, this has created unnecessary controversy. However, if we look at the historical accounts of the social structure of the time, Aisha was already engaged to another man prior to her marriage to the Prophet SAW, indicating that it was socially acceptable for marital alliances between families to be forged at an early age. Also women during that time reached maturity relatively quickly – psychologically, emotionally and physically – due to their upbringing and surroundings. In the case of Aisha, she attained intellectual, physical and emotional maturity exceptionally fast compared to her peers.

If we look at the various claims made against the Prophet SAW during his lifetime and after – he was called a madman, a liar, a magician, possessed by the devil – yet not one of these claims, even by his own worst enemies, touched upon his marriage to Aisha. Had the marriage been controversial, his enemies would have scandalized and sensationalized the event. Yet no claims of this sort were raised for hundreds and hundreds of years, whether by the pagan Arabs, the Romans, or any of the subsequent societies, until very recently.

If allegations were made against the Prophet SAW in respect of abuse or impropriety during the marriage, then one would expect all these claims to surface after his death, when Aisha was free to speak without fear of repercussion from the Prophet SAW. Yet, even after his death, there is not a single recorded account of any complaint or statement about their marriage, save that the Prophet SAW was the best of husbands and that the marriage was an extremely happy and harmonious one. In today’s society, very few, if any, women would describe their husbands in such unequivocal terms. Aisha was nineteen when the Prophet SAW passed away, and until her own death over forty five years later, she spoke of him lovingly. The aspersion cast upon the marriage by the modern media is totally unsubstantiated, as there is not a single recorded statement to support any of these those claims.

Life after Marriage

Although the engagement took place while Aisha was six or seven, they were only married around three years later, shortly after she migrated to Medina, by which time she had reached puberty. She moved into the household of the Prophet SAW. It was not luxurious by any means, the room was barely six feet wide, built beside the mosque out of clay and palm trees. The ceiling was so low that a person standing upright could touch the roof. The room was sparsely furnished with a mattress of palm leaves which lay on a mat. It was not a room of worldly wealth, but it was rich in spiritual treasures.

The Messenger of Allah SAW later told Aisha, “You have been shown to me in (my) dreams on three nights. An angel was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, `This is your wife.’ And when I uncovered it; behold, it was you. I then said: `If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.’” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Aisha said “I have been given nine (virtues) that were not given to any woman after Maryam bint Imran (the mother of Nabi Isa AS): Jibril AS descended with my picture in his sleep until Allah’s Messenger SAW was commanded to marry me; he had married me when I was a virgin and he never married any virgin besides me; his soul was taken while his head was on my lap and he was buried in my house. The angels had surrounded my house, I am the daughter of his Khalifah and his Siddiq; my excuse was revealed from the heaven. I was created pure. I have been promised forgiveness (of sins) and noble provision.”

Thus, this was a marriage between two exceptional people – the last of the Prophets who was nearing the end of his life, and a woman still at the beginning of hers. Aisha was a very intelligent and observant young girl with an extremely sharp memory. Due to her proximity with the Prophet Muhammad SAW, she was able to recount and educate the ummah on intimate details regarding marital relationships, personal grooming, medical prescriptions and behaviour within the household.

Aisha spent approximately nine or ten years of her life with the Prophet SAW. Her greatest asset was not her youth or beauty, but her piety, extraordinary generosity, ability to record the sayings and behaviour of the Prophet SAW, her accurate memory, and her intimate knowledge of the Qur’an. She absorbed knowledge like a sponge and this ability made her the educator and transmitter of the sacred knowledge to men and woman. A great deal of the knowledge that we still have today, about how our beloved Prophet SAW lived and behaved, was first remembered and then taught to others by Aisha.

Aisha became so wise that one of her contemporaries used to say that if the knowledge of Aisha was placed on one side of the scales and that of all other women on the other, Aisha’s side would outweigh the other. She used to sit with the other women and transmit the knowledge that she had received from the Prophet SAW long after he had died. As long as she lived, she was a source of knowledge and wisdom for both women and men. Abu Musa once said, “Whenever a report appeared doubtful to us, the Companions of the Prophet SAW, and we asked Aisha about it, we always learned something from her about it.”

As the prophetic guidance continued to be revealed through Prophet Muhammad SAW during the years of their marriage, Aisha’s way of life – along with that of all the Muslims – was gradually reshaped and refined. It was during this time that Islamic jurisprudence was established and when the rites of worship in Islam were finalised and clarified. In other words, it was during their marriage that the teachings of the religion of Islam were perfected.

Aisha was once asked to describe the Prophet SAW, and she replied that he was ‘the Qur’an walking’, meaning that his behaviour was the Qur’an translated into action. She did all that she could to do likewise. Thus she not only knew and embodied the Sunnah, but also she memorized the Qur’an by heart, understood it and lived it. Such knowledge was eventually compiled in various Islamic literature, providing an encyclopaedia for generations to come, supporting the Muslims and even the Caliphs of the later generations.

It was during the course of their marriage that, amongst others, the battles of Badr, and Uhud, and Al-Khandaq (the Ditch) were fought. These were the three major battles against the Quraish, that shifted the balance of power out of the hands of the disbelievers and into the hands of the Muslims. Although she was still very young, Aisha participated in them all, bringing water for the Muslims warriors, and helping to look after the wounded. She witnessed life, and she witnessed death – both in the way of Allah and in the way of the disbelievers – and she understood both. Indeed one of the meanings of her name, Aisha, is ‘life’.

Aisha’s knowledge was like a beacon that illuminated the hearts and minds of Muslims for generations to come. This is not surprising, for she is one of the four people who have transmitted more than two thousand hadiths, the others being Abu Huraira, Abdullah ibn Umar, and Anas ibn Malik RA. Al-Haakim said in his book, Al-Mustadrak. “One fourth of the rule of Sharee`ah was narrated on the authority of Aisha.” Umar Ibn Al Khattab, during his own Caliphate said that without Aisha, he would be lost and destroyed, in every small and big issue, he used to ask her for advice and consultation. How many Muslim men today seek consultation from a woman if she has more piety and knowledge than them? How many Muslim men today respect their wives, spouses, or daughters or anyone in society for their knowledge and calibre, regardless of their gender? How many Muslim women today are authorities on religious knowledge and texts?

The Fitnah

If there was a dark cloud in Aisha’s life, it was when the hypocrites conspired against her and made accusations regarding her honour and fidelity to the Prophet SAW. An accusation of adultery is a very serious charge, and this slander created a huge deal of strife and discord in the household. The details of her personal anguish and the events that transpired can be found in all reliable biographies of her life. Suffice to say, however, that Aisha remained steadfast in the belief that Allah would reveal the truth, and she was eventually acquitted, not though a trial of men, but by Allah Himself in the clearest terms, through the following revelation:

Surely those who fabricate the lie are a group from among you. Do not think it is bad thing for you; no it is good for you. Every man will receive what he has earned for this sin, and whoever had the greater part in it will have a great punishment. Why did the men and women believers, when they heard it, not think good in their selves and say: ‘This is clearly a lie?’ Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they did not produce witnesses, they are certainly liars in the sight of Allah. If it were not for the grace of Allah, and His mercy on you in this world and in the next world, an awful doom would have overtaken you for what you repeated. Since you received it with your tongues, and repeated what you did not know anything about with your mouths, you thought it was a trifle, but in the sight of Allah it is serious. Why, when you heard it, did you not say: ‘It is not for us to repeat this, Glory be to You (O Allah), this is a serious rumour.’ Allah warns you to never repeat anything like this again, if you are indeed believers and Allah makes the signs clear to you; and Allah is Knowing, Wise. Surely those who love to spread around slander about those who believe will have a painful punishment in this world and in the next world; and Allah knows and you do not know. (Qur’an 24:11-19).

The fact that Aisha’s honour and reputation had been protected by a revelation from Allah could not be ignored by anyone, and from then on everyone was more aware of her high station with Allah.

Her Generosity and Simple Lifestyle

Aisha endured poverty and hunger with the Prophet SAW. It is authentically related that months went by without the fire in the hearth being lit, i.e. without any food being cooked, during which time they simply survived on dates and water.

Once the Prophet SAW stayed away from his wives for a month because they had distressed him by asking of him that which he did not have. This was after the Khaybar expedition when an increase of riches whetted the appetite for presents. Returning from his self-imposed retreat, he went first to Aisha’s apartment. She was delighted to see him but he said he had received revelation which required him to put two options before her. He then recited the verses:

O Prophet, say to your wives: ‘If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come, and I will make you content, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the next world, then truly Allah has prepared an immense reward for those of you who do good.’ (Qur’an 33:28-29)

Her reply was: “Indeed I desire God and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter,” and her response was followed by all the other wives.

Once, when the Muslims were favoured with great wealth, she has given a gift of one hundred thousand Dirhams. She was fasting when she received the money, and distributed it to the poor and needy, even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after that, her maid servant said to her, “Couldn’t you have brought a dirham’s worth of meat with which to break your fast?” “If I had thought of it,” she replied, “I would have done so!”

She developed the nickname the Mother of Fragrance, for every time a beggar knocked on her door, she would touch the money with perfume before giving it to him. When asked why, she explained that the charity would reach Allah before it reached the beggar’s hands, and she wanted the charity to be given to Allah in a fragrant condition.

In another report, a needy person knocked on the door. She only had one grape, and gave it to him. When asked what the value of a single grape was as a charity, she quoted the following verses from the Qur’an:

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Qur’an 99:7 – 99:8)

She rationalised – how many atoms are there in a grape?

How many of us are of such a status, where our vigilance, thinking and even the smallest action is completely for the pleasing of Allah, and reflected by the Qur’an and teaching of the Prophet SAW.

The death of Muhammad SAW and after

While the Prophet SAW was fair in the treatment of his wives and loved all of them, Allah is the owner of the hearts, and the Prophet’s SAW heart was inclined towards loving Aisha the most.

There are many accounts which indicate that Aisha was the favourite wife of the Prophet SAW after Khadija. The Companions noticed this and reserved their presents to the Prophet SAW when it was his turn with her. Naturally this inspired some jealousy amongst the other wives, however, Aisha was gracious and never belittled them, nor did she view them as her rivals. The only wife that she was truly jealous of was Khadija, the Prophet SAW’s first wife, who had passed away before she was married to him.

Aisha said: “The Prophet’s SAW wives sent Fatimah, the Prophet’s SAW daughter to him. She asked permission to enter while he was lying down with me in my woollen blanket. He permitted her to enter and she said: `O’ Messenger of Allah, your wives sent me to you demanding for fairness concerning (your treatment of) the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhaafah (meaning Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr).’ And I was there (listening but) silent. The Messenger of Allah SAW told her, `O’ daughter, don’t you love whatever I love?’ She said: `Yes.’ He then said: `Then you should love this (lady).”‘

Hence, it was fitting that Allah chose for the Prophet SAW to breathe his last when in her house. Narrated Aisha: During his sickness, Allah’s Apostle SAW was asking repeatedly, “Where am I today? Where will I be tomorrow?” And I was waiting for the day of my turn (impatiently). Then, when my turn came, Allah took his soul away (in my lap) between my chest and arms and he was buried in my house. [Bukhari]

The room in which he died is the only room of his wives which is preserved up to today. Two years later, his Companion, Abu Bakr, Aisha’s father, was buried beside him. Later, as Umar Al Khattab was in his death throes, he appealed to Aisha to be buried next to Muhammad SAW. Aisha had actually reserved that space for herself, for she wished to be buried next to her husband. However, the love that the Prophet SAW bore for Umar caused her to honour Umar by sacrificing her beloved burial ground for him. Such was her generosity and nobility.

Her chaste nature was such that she used to say (before Umar was buried there): “It is only my husband and my father that are here.” But after Umar was buried there, she said: “I do not longer enter the room but with my garment fastened because I was shy (of being in the presence) of Umar.”

After the death of Prophet Muhammad SAW, Aisha was readily involved in continuing his messages. She was present through the reigns of at least the first four Caliphs. She continued commitment to the memory of her husband and her firm belief about being reunited with him in the Paradise.

In the month of Ramadhan in the year 58 A.H. Aisha had her fatal illness and she said in her will:

“Do not follow my bier with a fire nor lay a red velvet piece.”

She then surrendered her soul in the night of 17th of Ramadhan at the age of sixty six.

Aisha’s life after the death of the Prophet SAW is evidence against all the stereotypes of how Islam treats women, and accusations of how women in Islam have no status. We can read the detail of all the stories of Aisha and realise the wisdom of Allah and His Messenger, to have, for over forty years after the death of the Prophet SAW, the highest and most authentic level of knowledge from Aisha.

Look at the ultimate wisdom of Allah. Abu Bakr sacrificed his entire life in the path of Allah, and Allah granted him a beautiful gift which was to let his daughter be the most beloved wife of Rasulullah SAW after Khadija, and decorate his daughter Aisha with the charm, intelligence, integrity and memory, and make her the library of knowledge and source of wisdom for many generations to come. She carried the in depth legacy and knowledge of Rasulullah’s SAW memory. One cannot open Islamic books about the Qur’an, the biography of Muhammad SAW or jurisprudence, without finding Aisha’s name referenced in there. What a great honour for such a woman.

Aisha, Umm-Al-Mu’minin, even though she never had a single child, yet she is the Mother of Believers.

Source:

Ibn Kathir: Wives of the Prophet Muhammad SAW

Great Women of Islam – Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar

Women Around the Messenger – Muhammad Ali Qutub

Men and Women Around the Messenger – Sa’d Yusuf Abu Aziz

Great Women of Islam – Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar (translated by Jamilah Muhammad Qawi)

Losing a Loved one

Death should be a daily reminder for us all. We do not know if today will be our last day in this world. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) said, “Every soul shall taste death.” Everyone’s time of death is written and only Allah (swt) alone knows when we will take our last breath.

Losing a close family member through death brings feelings of emptiness that no words can convey. In Islam, the official mourning period is three days, but the memories of the deceased will last forever. Knowing that Allah (swt) has the power to relieve our grief and suffering brings relief during this difficult test of our faith. Death is a test for the believer, as the pain and suffering brings one closer to Allah (swt).

Often, we forget about the families the deceased left behind—the ones who continue to live with the pain long after the final condolence bouquet has been delivered. Experiencing the death of a family member is traumatic enough, but to endure inappropriate behavior from other Muslims only prolongs the distress and further isolates the bereaved.  Muslims are people of peace; this should be demonstrated through peaceful actions.

Here are five ways to help the families of the deceased and to earn the reward and pleasure of Allah (swt):

  1. Pray for the deceased and their family.When receiving news of death, recite: “To Allah (swt) we belong and to Him we shall return!” Pray for the deceased, asking Allah to grant them the highest level of Paradise. Pray that their grave is filled with noor (light) and the fragrance of Jannah (paradise), and to show them their place in Jannah. Pray they are resting peacefully in their graves, and that Allah eases the pain and suffering of the loved ones left behind.
  2. Visit the relatives of the deceased.Contrary to un-Islamic cultural and superstitious beliefs, speaking or associating with the relatives of the deceased or accepting momentos of the deceased will not unleash a death curse on you or your family. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ visited the families and friends of the deceased.
  3. Express kindness in your words. Refrain from making inappropriate comments such as: “Thankfully, s/he was not married,” or “Was it your fault?” or “How will you survive without your child/sibling/spouse/parent?” Remember, there will be many people who die single, or married, or with children; in youth and in old age; in sickness, in health, in accidents and even by murder. The kindest Muslims are those who ease the pain and suffering of others, as the reward for such actions comes from Allah. Blaming others for causing the death of a loved one will not bring the deceased back to life. Only Allah knows why it was his/her time of death; blaming others will only cause guilt and anxiety.
  4. Provide help and take action. Simple acts such as providing rides to visit the grave of the deceased, especially during the first year of death, or bringing food, or inviting them to your home, will be much appreciated as the family members often neglect themselves while grieving. Be among those Muslims who are caring and kind to others, especially during times of sadness. Often, the families of the deceased are embarrassed to ask for help, or just want to talk; offer your help.
  5. Be sensitive and humble. Now is the not the time to suggest a marriage partner, gossip, or talk about your own happiness. Even making remarks such as, “It is time for you to move on,” or “At least you are so thin despite your loss,” or “How much did you score from the inheritance?” is simply rude. It is also disrespectful to dress up as if you are celebrating a holiday while visiting the homes of the grieving families. One cannot imagine what the suffering individual is feeling, so just being there to show your support is better than saying something you will regret.

As with everything we do in this world, we should always strive to seek the reward of Allah (swt), so remember to always show kindness, especially towards those affected by the death, as it is a pain too deep for one to bear alone.

 

Culled from: http://www.virtualmosque.com

ANNIVERSARY GIFT – FROM HER TO ME -Part 5

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She woke up to find me preparing to go out for a press conference which was called impromptu by the military spokesperson because there was a new development in the fight against the deadly insurgents. I could see her immediately checking under the cover if all her cloths where still on. I don’t know if it was relief I saw or disappointment on her face but there was definitely something there. she was on her underwear because I had to remove her cloths for them to dry. The cloths were hanging on the chair close to the bed. I left to go to the parlor to give her room to dress. After some minutes she came to the parlor fully dressed although her top was not buttoned down.

“I really can’t remember what happened last night” she started, “I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself and disgrace you”. She said hiding her face behind the curtain.
“No my dear, I got you out of there in time before you could do any of that”
“am sorry if I caused you any embarrassment”
“forget it because you didn’t, but those idiots that spikes your drink will get a word or two from me”
“please don’t go get into trouble because of me”, she said while hiding her smile behind the curtain.
“there is food in the kitchen, I know you didn’t eat to bed last night and must be hungry”, I said picking my files and ready to go.
“haba mana, you should have woken me up to prepare it”, this time she said it frowning and folding her tinny hands in front of her small pointed breast. Ha! those perfectly shaped breast again. This time they were pointing straight at me and the nipples were all hard. Damn! I’ve to get this feeling away, it’s not healthy for me to be thinking of her in that manner. She must have noticed what was happening because before I tear my eyes from her body she was gradually covering herself with the towel hanging on the door.
“you were sleeping peacefully and didn’t want to disturb you and more over you have been the one cooking for me, so let’s change that for once.” I said gathering my folders and gadgets.
“Ok, ba matsala” she said coming into the room and she asked, “abin da lokaci za ku yi baya?”
I looked at her puzzled and said “you know I don’t understand Hausa, so what is it you were saying?
She laughed so loud and sweet that her pleasant-sounding voice filled the room.
“I was only enquiring what time you will be back”
“you should have just said that in English na” I said
“but I want you to improve on your Hausa before you leave here”
“I will”, I said and added “and to answer your previous question, I’ll be back later in the day”.
“ok I’ll clean the house and prepare soup down for you before you come back”
“do you have money to do that?”
“did I ask you for any money?” she said coming towards me and pushing me out toward the door. “you have to leave now so that I can start doing my housework”
“Okay am leaving” I said smiling

As I was about opening the door there was a sudden knock on the door. Jason Adekunle my colleague was at the door. He is a nosey fella and wouldn’t want him to see Hadiza in my house this early morning dressed this way but it was already too late for that because immediately after knocking, he opened the door. I notice the reaction on Jason’s face as he saw Hadiza hurriedly covering her upper body and running towards the room.
“My guy, my guy, you really know how to enjoy yourself”, he said with a mischievous smirk on his face.
“Na you sabi wetin u dey talk o!” I said pushing him out of the room and closing the down behind me.
Our drive to the Press conference was full of interrogation as you can imagine. Questions like; How is she? You don hit that thing? She get any better friend to hook me up with? Was she not the stoned girl from last night party?
How I wish we have the 5th amendment in our constitution so that I can take it but since that is lacking I decided to the remain silent all the same. I know my silence gives many meaning to the situation but as long as it’s not coming from my mouth am okay with that.

I was brought back to reality and my problems when my daughter came rushing into the living room full dressed for our daytrip. They were beautifully dressed in a matching outfit with ribbons attached to their hairs. Shade too came out looking beautiful as ever. Looking at her standing so lovely in front of me and knowing that I could not touch her, hug her or kiss her was killing me inside. Ijeoma too was coming with us, we are packed the necessary items we need for our small picnic. I drove my small crew to a recreation center close (Gamji park), we picked a spot that was closer to the flowing river kaduna.

Immediately Lola saw an Aboki with his horse for horse ride, she started shout Horse! Horse! Horse! We are burst out laughing. After settling down on our spot, Ijeoma took the kids for the horse ride and get some drinks while giving us some time to catch up or talk. It was awkward sitting there with the woman I pledge to love till death do us part, to love her in health and sickness, infact the lady I was planning to have a good time with just less than 24 hour ago. She started the conversation.
“Uche am very sorry” she said sobbing
“sorry for what? That you were caught or that you were cheating on me in my own bed?” I replied. She could feel the hurt in my voice.
“seriously am sorry for everything” she said
“what should I do with the sorry shade? Is it not too late?”
“no it’s not, we can work on it, try to get back to who we were before this incidence” she said moving closer to me.
“you called this an incident? I caught you having sex with my best friend”, I remarked
“yes I know, but it was a mistake” she said now crying
“how do you call having sex on our matrimonial bed with clothes scattered from living room to the bedroom a mistake?”
“That’s not fair” she said and immediately regretted saying that when she saw my face.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing, please forget I said anything” she said lowing her voice, because people have started to pay attention to us but I wasn’t in the mood to be stopped so I continued.
“but you know I can not do that, and I think it’s very necessary for you to explain your statement to me”

KNOW YOUR HERITAGE: A TRIBUTE TO ONYAMI ALHAJIYA MAIMUNA ATTA

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Hajiya Onyami Maimuna Ibrahim Atta (Inna lillahi wa inna Alaihim Rajuunna.)

Today, I, Rabi Idi Adamu (mni), fondly and with great respect, remember Onyami Alhajiya  (as she was fondly called by all of us. She died in August, 1983.

Onyami  Alhajiya was the undisputed Queen of our late father, Alhaji Ibrahim Atta. She was with him when our father went on pilgrimage and from there through Egypt to England to visit the king of England and the father of the present  Queen of England

Why do I and others hold her in high Esteem ? It’s because She was very humble despite the position she held, very loving and obedient to our father.

She loved all of us hence the reason why our elders treated with high respect. She exposed we the younger ones to so many opportunities.
She was a disciplined person and therefore brought all of us up in her care with good character traits.

She treated the subjects and loyalists of our late father, that continued to pay homage on very market day, with love and care and made sure that they were well fed before going back to their various  destinations

Who are ha direct Children?

Though, all Atta children are her own, but her two direct children are;

Hajia Rakiya Atta Scott who resides in Lagos. She is a retired diplomat and the first Northern  Nursing sister that helped established many nursing homes e.g Nursling homes in Kano, Adamawa etc. As a diplomat, she was the Charge de Affairs that helped opened the embassy of Greece.

Chief  (Mrs) Katsina Majekodunmi, wife of late Chief (Dr) M.A.Majekodunmi if blessed memory.

Her grand children include;

Ibrahim Kojo Claude Ennin, Delice Claude Ennin, Dr Dapo  Majekodunmi, Kofo  Majekodunmi n Folake.. All are happily married and going about their various careers

Those of us brought up by her are ;

Late  sis Asmau,
Late  sis Aishatu,
Late  Dr Ahmed,
Alh Idris Atta,
Bros. Sanusi,
Sis Halima  Moses,
Late Saadatu Salami, 
Late sis Rali,
Late sis Husaina Dili,
Haj Bilkisu Sule Kano ,
Sis Laraba Bada nasi in Lagos, 
Sis Madina Salahu,
Haj Lami Atta, Zainab Kaka Atta,
Rabi Idi Adamu, 
Maryam Jaguda Moneke,
Muni Atta in Lagos,
Rabi Oweyi Atta in Paris,
Onyoze,
Habiba Atta and
Oyiza kuso in Minna.
Late Haj. Zainabu Kaka Abdulmalik

Onyami Alhajiya, we are all grateful to you for your love and care. No day passes without the recitation of suratul Iqlass for you, for your good deeds. May Allah keep Onyami Alhajiya in the highest place in jinnatul Firdaus, Ameen.

Her type is rear and hard to come by. I end this with Suratul Iqlass for her gentle and beautiful soul.

Thank you all for your attention.

My next tribute will be to our dearest elder sister, Hajiya Inya Atta of blessed memory, stay tuned……