Saturday, May 8, 2010

Characteristics of the Best Women of Creation (part 1 of 3)

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh!

Insha Allah this finds you in the best of health and Iman.
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By: Shaykh Saleem al Hilaalee

Verily Allah created us to worship Him, and He created everything in pairs (male and female) in order that life may continue and that His worship may be established. Allah says,

“And Allah did create you (Aadam) from dust, then from Nutfah (male and female discharge semen drops i.e. Aadam's offspring), then He made you pairs (male and female).”2

Both the man and the woman have obligations and duties to fulfil, each o­ne's duties in harmony with the other's; the woman's duties complete and perfect those of the man, and the man's duties complete and perfect those of the woman. From those qualities which Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) have praised, and which are required in a believing woman in order for her to perform her duties correctly, the greatest of these is the quality of her possessing the Deen. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her deen. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.”3

As for the husband, he should also be a righteous man, as the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“When someone with whose deen and character you are satisfied asks your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so, there will be temptation o­n Earth and extensive corruption.”4

Indeed the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) was sent to perfect the people's character, and he (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) praised the woman who possesses these noble qualities and perfect character, saying that she is to a man the best possession in this world -

“The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.” 5

Allah has created the woman as a companion for the man, in order that they may live in this world performing their duties and observing Allah's commands correctly. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“I was sent to perfect good character,”6 and, “Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the o­ne whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.”7

In order to achieve success in this world and the Hereafter the woman must adopt this methodology of perfecting her character, beginning with those affairs concerning her home. The woman is an essential component in the building of the home in order that it may be established upon Taqwa (fear of Allah & piety). Allah says that those who believe say,

“Our Lord! Bestow o­n us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes...”8

Thus, the correction of the household is the first step towards the correction of the society. 

THE RIGHTEOUS WOMAN is the o­ne who knows her responsibilities, her rights and obligations, and performs those acts which are obligatory upon her. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“If a woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted in the month (of Ramadan), protected her private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, and obeyed her husband, it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise from whichever gate you like',”9

And he (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“Islam is based o­n (the following) five (principles): to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) is His Messenger, to offer the prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakaat, to perform Hajj, and to observe fast during the month of Ramadhaan.”10

This is the first thing which the woman must take care of in all circumstances; whether difficulty, ease, pleasure or dislike - i.e. to perform the five obligatory pillars of Islam. Allah says, recorded in a hadeeth qudsi, “And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him.”11 

THE RIGHTEOUS WOMAN should know the rights of her husband upon her and should obey him in all that is obedience to Allah. When Mu'aadh (radiy Allahu 'anhu) came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) and wanted to make sajdah (prostration) to him [as an act of respect], he (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) stopped him and said, “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I should order a woman to prostrate herself before her husband.”12 This is because of the great position of the husband with regards to his wife. He (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) also said,

“Whenever a man calls his wife to their bed but she refuses to come, letting him spend the night angry with her, she is cursed by the angels until she relents.”13

And he (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) also said,

“By the o­ne in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman has fulfilled her obligations to her Lord until she has fulfilled her obligations to her husband. Even if he were to ask her for herself when she is mounted in the saddle, she would not refuse his request.”14

These ahaadeeth emphasize the great responsibility of the woman to obey her husband in all that is in obedience to Allah, for surely obedience to the husband is part of obedience to Allah. Allah has ordered the woman to be obedient to her husband and the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) praised the woman who brings happiness and pleasure to her husband. He (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said,

“Marry the loving and fertile, for I will compete with the other prophets with the number of my followers.”15

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