Ideal Article

An Ancient Practice

book45Polygamy is a very ancient practice found in many human societies. The Bible did not condemn polygamy. To the contrary, the Old Testament and Rabbinic writings frequently attest to the legality of polygamy. King Solomon is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines. (Kings 11:3) Also, king David is said to have had many wives and concubines. (Samuel 5:13) The Old Testament does have some injunctions on how to distribute the property of a man among his sons from different wives. (Deut. 22:7) The only restriction on polygamy is a ban on taking a wife's sister as a rival wife. (Lev. 18:18) The Talmud advises a maximum of four wives. (Swidler, op. cit., pp. 144-148.)

European Jews continued to practice polygamy until the sixteenth century. Oriental Jews regularly practiced polygamy until they arrived in Israel where it is forbidden under civil law. However, under religious law which overrides civil law in such cases, it is permissible. (Hazleton, op. cit., pp 44-45.)

What about the New Testament? According to Father Eugene Hillman in his insightful book, Polygamy reconsidered,

"Nowhere in the New Testament is there any explicit commandment that marriage should be monogamous or any explicit commandment forbidding polygamy." (Eugene Hillman, Polygamy Reconsidered: African Plural Marriage and the Christian Churches (New York: Orbis Books, 1975) p. 140.)

Moreover, Jesus has not spoken against polygamy though it was practiced by the Jews of his society. Father Hillman stresses the fact that the Church in Rome banned polygamy in order to conform to the Greco-Roman culture (which prescribed only one legal wife while tolerating concubinage and prostitution). He cited St. Augustine,

"Now indeed in our time, and in keeping with Roman custom, it is no longer allowed to take another wife."(Eugene Hillman, Polygamy Reconsidered: African Plural Marriage and the Christian Churches (New York: Orbis Books, 1975) p. 17.)

African churches and African Christians often remind their European brothers that the Church's ban on polygamy is a cultural tradition and not an authentic Christian injunction.

Polygamy Limited in the Qur'aan

irfan-ul-quran_16The Qur'aan, too, allowed polygamy, but not without restrictions, "If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one."(Qur'aan, [4]:3)

The Qur'aan, contrary to the Bible, limited the maximum number of wives to four under the strict condition of treating the wives equally and justly. It should not be understood that the Qur'aan is exhorting the believers to practice polygamy, or that polygamy is considered as an ideal. In other words, the Qur'aan has "tolerated" or "allowed" polygamy, and no more, but why? Why is polygamy permissible? The answer is simple: there are places and times in which there are compelling social and moral reasons for polygamy.

As the above Quranic verse indicates, the issue of polygamy in Islam cannot be understood apart from community obligations towards orphans and widows. Islam as a universal religion suitable for all places and all times could not ignore these compelling obligations.

Women Outnumber

Ipretty-autumn-leavesn most human societies, females outnumber males. In the U.S. there are, at least, eight million more women than men. In a country like Guinea there are 122 females for every 100 males. In Tanzania, there are 95.1 males per 100 females. (Eugene Hillman, Polygamy Reconsidered: African Plural Marriage and the Christian Churches and New York: Orbis Books, 1975) p. 88-93.) What should a society do towards such unbalanced sex ratios? There are various solutions, some might suggest celibacy, others would prefer female infanticide (which still happens in some societies in the world today!). Others may think the only outlet is that the society should tolerate all manners of sexual permissiveness: prostitution, sex out of wedlock, homosexuality, etc. For other societies, like most African societies today, the most honorable outlet is to allow polygamous marriage as a culturally accepted and socially respected institution. The point that is often misunderstood in the West is that women in other cultures do not necessarily look at polygamy as a sign of women's degradation. For example, many young African brides, whether Christians or Muslims or otherwise, would prefer to marry a married man who has already proved himself to be a responsible husband. Many African wives urge their husbands to get a second wife so that they do not feel lonely. (Eugene Hillman, Polygamy Reconsidered: African Plural Marriage and the Christian Churches (New York: Orbis Books, 1975) p. 92-97.)

A survey of over six thousand women, ranging in age from 15 to 59, conducted in the second largest city in Nigeria showed that 60 percent of these women would be pleased if their husbands took another wife. Only 23 percent expressed anger at the idea of sharing with another wife. Seventy-six percent of the women in a survey conducted in Kenya viewed polygamy positively. In a survey undertaken in rural Kenya, 25 out of 27 women considered polygamy to be better than monogamy. These women felt polygamy can be a happy and beneficial experience if the co-wives cooperate with each other. (Philip L. Kilbride, Plural Marriage For Our Times and Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey, 1994) pp. 108-109.)

Polygamy in most African societies is such a respectable institution that some Protestant churches are becoming more tolerant of it. A bishop of the Anglican Church in Kenya declared that,

"Although monogamy may be ideal for the expression of love between husband and wife, the church should consider that in certain cultures polygyny is socially acceptable and that the belief that polygyny is contrary to Christianity is no longer tenable." (The Weekly Review, Aug. 1, 1987.)

After a careful study of African polygamy, Reverend David Gitari of the Anglican Church has concluded that polygamy, as ideally practiced, is more Christian than divorce and remarriage as far as the abandoned wives and children are concerned. (Kilbride, op. cit., p. 126.) I personally know of some highly educated African wives who, despite having lived in the West for many years, do not have any objections against polygamy. One of them, who lives in the U.S., solemnly exhorts her husband to get a second wife to help her in raising the kids.

The problem of the unbalanced sex ratios becomes truly problematic at times of war. Native American Indian tribes used to suffer highly unbalanced sex ratios after wartime losses. Women in these tribes, who in fact enjoyed a fairly high status, accepted polygamy as the best protection against indulgence in indecent activities. European settlers, without offering any other alternative, condemned this Indian polygamy as 'uncivilised'. (John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A history of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988) p. 87.)

It is interesting to note that in an international youth conference held in Munich in 1948 the problem of the highly unbalanced sex ratio in Germany was discussed. When it became clear that no solution could be agreed upon, some participants suggested polygamy. The initial reaction of the gathering was a mixture of shock and disgust. However, after a careful study of the proposal, the participants agreed that it was the only possible solution. Consequently, polygamy was included among the conference final recommendations. (Sabiq, op. cit., p. 191)

In 1987, a poll conducted by the student newspaper at the university of California at Berkeley asked the students whether they agreed that men should be allowed by law to have more than one wife in response to a perceived shortage of male marriage candidates in California. Almost all of the students polled approved of the idea. One female student even stated that a polyganous marriage would fulfil her emotional and physical needs while giving her greater freedom than a monogamous union. (Lang, op. cit., p. 172.) In fact, this same argument is also used by the few remaining fundamentalist Mormon women who still practice polygamy in the U.S. They believe that polygamy is an ideal way for a woman to have both a career and children since the wives help each other care for the children. (Kilbride, op. cit., pp. 72-73.)

Wars, Widows and Children

dawn17After the second world war, there were 7,300,000 more women than men in Germany (3.3 million of them were widows). There were 100 men aged 20 to 30 for every 167 women in that age group. (Ute Frevert, Women in German History: from Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation (New York: Berg Publishers, 1988) pp. 263-264.) Many of these women needed a man not only as a companion but also as a provider for the household in a time of unprecedented misery and hardship. The soldiers of the victorious Allied Armies exploited these women's vulnerability. Many young girls and widows had liaisons with members of the occupying forces. Many American and British soldiers paid for their pleasures in cigarettes, chocolate, and bread. Children were overjoyed at the gifts these strangers brought. A 10 year old boy on hearing of such gifts from other children wished from all his heart for an 'Englishman' for his mother so that she need not go hungry any longer. (Ute Frevert, Women in German History: from Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation (New York: Berg Publishers, 1988) pp. 257-258.) We have to ask our own conscience at this point: What is more dignifying to a woman? An accepted and respected second wife as in the native Indians' approach, or a virtual prostitute as in the 'civilised' Allies approach? In other words, what is more dignifying to a woman, the Quranic prescription or the theology based on the culture of the Roman Empire?

The world today possesses more weapons of mass destruction than ever before and the European churches might, sooner or later, be obliged to accept polygamy as the only way out. Father Hillman has thoughtfully recognized this fact,

"It is quite conceivable that these genocidal techniques (nuclear, biological, chemical..) could produce so drastic an imbalance among the sexes that plural marriage would become a necessary means of survival....Then contrary to previous custom and law, an overriding natural and moral inclination might arise in favour of polygamy. In such a situation, theologians and church leaders would quickly produce weighty reasons and biblical texts to justify a new conception of marriage." (Hillman, op. cit., p. 12.)

The Answer for many Social Ills

moondarknightTo the present day, polygamy continues to be a viable solution to some of the social ills of modern societies. The communal obligations that the Qur'aan mentions in association with the permission of polygamy are more visible at present in some Western societies than in Africa. For example, In the United States today, there is a severe gender crisis in the black community. One out of every twenty young black males may die before reaching the age of 21. For those between 20 and 35 years of age, homicide is the leading cause of death. (Nathan Hare and Julie Hare, ed., Crisis in Black Sexual Politics (San Francisco: Black Think Tank, 1989) p. 25.) Besides, many young black males are unemployed, in jail, or on dope. (Ibid., p. 26.) As a result, one in four black women, at age 40, has never married, as compared with one in ten white women. (Kilbride, op. cit., p. 94.) Moreover, many young black females become single mothers before the age of 20 and find themselves in need of providers. The end result of these tragic circumstances is that an increasing number of black women are engaged in what is called 'man-sharing'. (Ibid., p. 95.) That is, many of these hapless single black women are involved in affairs with married men. The wives are often unaware of the fact that other women are 'sharing' their husbands with them.

Some observers of the crisis of man-sharing in the African American community strongly recommend consensual polygamy as a temporary answer to the shortage of black males until more comprehensive reforms in the American society at large are undertaken. (Ibid.) By consensual polygamy they mean a polygamy that is sanctioned by the community and to which all the parties involved have agreed, as opposed to the usually secret man-sharing which is detrimental both to the wife and to the community in general. The problem of man-sharing in the African American community was the topic of a panel discussion held at Temple University in Philadelphia on January 27, 1993. (Ibid., pp. 95-99.) Some of the speakers recommended polygamy as one potential remedy for the crisis. They also suggested that polygamy should not be banned by law, particularly in a society that tolerates prostitution and mistresses. The comment of one woman from the audience that African Americans needed to learn from Africa where polygamy was responsibly practiced elicited enthusiastic applause.

Philip Kilbride, an American anthropologist of Roman Catholic heritage, in his provocative book, Plural marriage for our time, proposes polygamy as a solution to some of the ills of the American society at large. He argues that plural marriage may serve as a potential alternative for divorce in many cases in order to obviate the damaging impact of divorce on many children. He maintains that many divorces are caused by the rampant extramarital affairs in the American society. According to Kilbride, ending an extramarital affair in a polygamous marriage, rather than in a divorce, is better for the children,

"Children would be better served if family augmentation, rather than only separation and dissolution, were seen as options."

Moreover, he suggests that other groups will also benefit from plural marriage such as: elderly women who face a chronic shortage of men and the African Americans who are involved in man-sharing. (Ibid., p. 118.)

Muslim Women Have a Choice

It has to be added that polygamy in Islam is a matter of mutual consent. No one can force a woman to marry a married man. Besides, the wife has the right to stipulate that her husband must not marry any other woman as a second wife. (Sabiq, op. cit., pp. 187-188.)

The Bible, on the other hand, sometimes resorts to forcible polygamy. A childless widow must marry her husband's brother, even if he is already married,regardless of her consent.(See the "Plight of Widows" section: Genesis 38:8-10)

The rate of polygamous marriages in the Muslim world

It should be noted that in many Muslim societies today the practice of polygamy is rare since the gap between the numbers of both sexes is not huge. One can, safely, say that the rate of polygamous marriages in the Muslim world is much less than the rate of extramarital affairs in the West. In other words, men in the Muslim world today are far more strictly monogamous than men in the Western world.

Billy Graham, the eminent Christian evangelist has recognized this fact,

"Christianity cannot compromise on the question of polygamy. If present-day Christianity cannot do so, it is to its own detriment. Islam has permitted polygamy as a solution to social ills and has allowed a certain degree of latitude to human nature but only within the strictly defined framework of the law. Christian countries make a great show of monogamy, but actually they practice polygamy. No one is unaware of the part mistresses play in Western society. In this respect Islam is a fundamentally honest religion, and permits a Muslim to marry a second wife if he must, but strictly forbids all clandestine amatory associations in order to safeguard the moral probity of the community." (Abdul Rahman Doi, Woman in Shari'ah, (London: Ta-Ha Publishers, 1994) p. 76.)

It is of interest to note that many, non-Muslim as well as Muslim, countries in the world today have outlawed polygamy. Taking a second wife, even with the free consent of the first wife, is a violation of the law. On the other hand, cheating on the wife, without her knowledge or consent, is perfectly legitimate as far as the law is concerned! What is the legal wisdom behind such a contradiction? Is the law designed to reward deception and punish honesty? It is one of the unfathomable paradoxes of our modern 'civilised' world.


turqoiuseflowerglowingIt has been misunderstood for years that Islaam does not give equal rights to men and women, and that it considers women only as subjects of comfort for males. This opinion has been delivered time and time again by renowned women activists, although their basis of arguments are only alleged facts. Their main argument is against the permission given for polygamy in Islaam.

Islaam's approach to polygamy is most balanced and rational and is based on the moral, psychological and physiological demands of men and women. It should be remembered that taking more than one wife is only permissible, not ordained and binding by the Qur'aan - as some 'progressive' activist would like to believe.

The Qur'anic verse that allows polygamy should be read in the context it was revealed. The verse says, {And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two, three and four, but if you fear that you may not do justice to them, then (marry) only one.} (4: 3).

This verse was revealed after the battle of Uhud. In that battle, many Muslim men died and as such a great social problem for the protection of widows and orphans arose, necessitating institutionalized polygamy for a convenient solution of the problem.

Some of the eminent Western scholars who actually studied Islaam, quite blatantly criticized the Western and other writers for venting their opinion as facts. In her book 'The Life and Teachings of Muhammed', Dr. Annie Besant, the renowned English leader of Theosophical Movement, says,

"There is pretended monogamy in the West, but in reality, there is polygamy without responsibility; the mistress is cast off when the man is weary of her ... the first lover has no responsibility for her future, and she is a hundred times worst off then the sheltered wife in a polygamous home. When we see thousands of miserable women who crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in the Western mouth to reproach Islaam for polygamy. It is better for woman, happier for woman, more respectable for woman to live in polygamy, united to one man only, with a legitimate child in her arms and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced and then cast out into the streets perhaps with illegitimate child outside the rule of law, uncared, unsheltered, to become victim to any passer-by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood despised by all."

Annie Besant continues,

"You can find others stating that the religion of Islaam is evil because it sanctions a limited polygamy. But you do not hear the criticism that monogamy, with a blended mass of prostitution was a hypocrisy and more degrading than a limited polygamy.... it must be remembered that the law of Islaam in relation to women was until lately, when parts of it was imitated initiated in England, the most just law, as far as women are concerned, to be found in the world.

Dealing with property, ...rights of succession,... cases of divorce, it was far beyond the law of the West, in the respect which was paid to the rights of women. These things are forgotten while people are hypnotized by the words monogamy and polygamy and do not look at what lies behind it in the West - the frightful degradation of women..."


lightofdawnblueskyA study of polygamy in Russia suggests we have a lot to learn about how to beat the recession.

A study of polygamy in Russia might not seem an obvious place to look for insights into how the financial crisis might play out in suburban Kent or rural Yorkshire. But Caroline Humphrey, Sigrid Rausing professor of collaborative anthropology at Cambridge University, says central Asia and Russia have much to teach us.

“In the 1990s, Russia and central Asia experienced huge economic change: what a bank was, how your career was going, what you could expect from life, everything changed overnight,”

she explains.

“And of course it had a huge impact on people’s lives, from family life to politics, and polygamy is part of that whole scene. So far, we haven’t had such dramatic change in the west, but you never know.”

Humphrey specialises in the anthropology of communities on the edges of the former Soviet Union, and has spent much of her career studying the Buyrat people who live north of the Mongolian border in Siberia. Humphrey says that anthropologists slowly build a deep knowledge and understanding of a place and culture, but nevertheless, her discovery that there is a polygamy lobby was a surprise.

“Friends of mine in Siberia told me that their friends were lobbying parliament to legalise polygamy,”

she says.

“I always knew that there were men who like the idea of polygamy, but what I found fascinating was that women were also in support.”

So is the recession going to turn the good burghers of Tunbridge Wells into polygamists? It’s unlikely. But it remains the case that the reasons why men – and, even more interestingly, women – are advocating polygamy in Russia and Mongolia are as much about economics as they are about sex. The critical issue is demography. The Russian population is falling by 3% a year – and there are 9 million fewer men than women. Nationalists, such as the eccentric leader of the Liberal Democratic party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, claim that introducing polygamy will provide husbands for “10 million lonely women” and fill Mother Russia’s cradles.

Elsewhere, in the former Islamic regions of Russia, men argue that polygamous marriage is traditional and will encourage men to take greater responsibility – thereby alleviating poverty and improving “moral” education.

Improbably, for both groups, this is polygamy as a solution to contemporary social ills – and, according to Humphrey, is appearing outside Islamic regions. In rural areas the “man shortage”, exacerbated by war, alcoholism and mass economic migration, is even more serious. But when it comes to polygamy, rural women have a quite different agenda from their nationalist male counterparts.

“A lot of women live on what were collective farms, which are often deep in the forest and miles away from the nearest town,”

Humphrey says.

“You live very close to nature, and life can be very hard – your heating is entirely through log stoves, there’s no running water and inside sanitation is rare. If you are lucky enough to keep animals, you must care for and butcher them yourself. So if you are looking after children as well, life can be near impossible for a woman on her own.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Humphrey’s investigations have uncovered women who believe that, “half a good man is better than none at all”.

“There are still some men around – they might be running things, with a job as an official, for example, or they might be doing an ordinary labouring job, but either way, there aren’t very many of them,”

she says.

“Women say that the legalisation of polygamy would be a godsend: it would give them rights to a man’s financial and physical support, legitimacy for their children, and rights to state benefits.”

Legalising polygamy has been repeatedly proposed and discussed in the Russian Duma, or parliament – and always turned down. For the urbanites of Moscow and St Petersburg it is a step too far.

In Mongolia, too, the legalisation of polygamous marriage is anathema. Yet in Ulan Bator, the thrusting capital city, well-educated women are combining traditional and modern to create something that looks suspiciously like a form of polygamy.

Surprisingly, it starts with the dowry. Eschewing the traditional gifts (horses, cushions, clothes), successful Mongolian families are increasingly giving their daughters a good education in place of a dowry. In contrast, their brothers often have to leave school early to either manage the herds or run the family business.

“In Mongolian culture, the bride’s family are the senior family; and a bride should be clever. And they had 70 years of communism, so the idea that women should be well-educated is not new,”

Humphrey explains.

“Since Mongolia, in common with Russia, also has a problem with alcoholism, there is an imbalance between urban educated women and the number of men these educated women deem to be suitable husband-material.”

The solution is simple: they just don’t get married. Instead, they take what is known as a “secret lover” – usually a well-educated man who just happens to be married to someone else. Any children resulting from the union are brought up by their mother and the maternal family.

“It is completely accepted. These women are among the elite of Mongolian society – they might be a member of parliament or a director of a company and they are tremendously admired,”

Humphrey says.

“They would be horrified by the idea of polygamous marriage because they don’t want to risk their independence.”

So what does this mean for marital relations in Russia and central Asia? Humphrey says it’s unlikely that polygamous marriage will ever be legalised in Russia – but perhaps that doesn’t matter.

“An insufficiency of men, educated women who want to realise themselves, rural women who want to protect themselves, all these things are going to give rise to arrangements like polygyny,”

says Humphrey,

“whether it’s called that or not.”

Source: Published in the Guardian, Oct 09.


hijaabserenityA pregnant woman's urge to clean, organise and get their life in order is a primal instinct going back thousands of years, according to a new study.

Researchers found the obsessive behaviour - known as 'nesting' and characterised by unusual bursts of energy - is not irrational, but a result of a mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby.

Women also become more selective about the company they keep, preferring to just spend time with people they trust, reports the journal Evolution & Human Behaviour.

Having control over the environment is a key feature of preparing for childbirth, including decisions about where the birth will take place and who will be welcome.

Psychologist Doctor Marla Anderson, of McMaster University in Canada, said:

'Nesting is not a frivolous activity. 

'We have found it peaks in the third trimester as the birth draws near and is an important task that probably serves the same purpose in women as it does in other animals.

'It ties us to our ancestral past. Providing a safe environment helps to promote bonding and attachment between both the mother and infant.'

Females of the animal kingdom are all equipped with this same need. Just as you see birds making their nests, mothers to be do exactly the same.

Women also become more selective about the company they keep, preferring to just spend time with people they trust, reports the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour

They may become a homebody and want to retreat into the comfort of home and familiar company, like a brooding hen. 

The nesting urge can even be a sign of the onset of labour when it occurs close to 40 weeks of pregnancy.

Women have reported throwing away perfectly good sheets and towels because they felt the strong need to have 'brand new, clean' ones in their home.

They have also reported doing things like taking apart the knobs on kitchen cupboards, just so they could disinfect the screws attached. 

Women have discussed taking on cleaning their entire house, armed with a toothbrush. 

There seems to be no end to the lengths a nesting mother will go.

Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and organising everything by size to the point the silverware patterns match when stacked in the cutlery drawer, and sorting the baby's clothes over and over again, are other common activities.

Since little scientific research had been done previously on nesting behaviours, the scientists set out to explore the psychology behind the phenomenon.

They designed two separate studies, a large online one comparing pregnant and non pregnant women and another tracking participants throughout pregnancy and afterwards.

Non pregnant women, who acted as the control group, were compared at similar time intervals, using a questionnaire which was developed, in part, from interviews conducted with midwives.

'One of the apparent paradoxes of nesting is in the third trimester women tell us they are more tired while simultaneously showing an increase in activity,' said Professer Mel Rutherford.

'So the urge to nest is a very powerful motivating force.'

Allison Hutton Describes Her Nesting Experience:

I thought I would take a few minutes away from rearranging furniture, cleaning my ceiling fans, and scrubbing the walls, to share with you some of the "mystery" behind nesting.

The nesting instinct is common among most animals, which naturally feel an instinct to prepare the "nest" before birth of their young. For us humans, this usually entails vigorous cleaning, washing of baby clothing, rearranging of furniture, wallpapering, painting, and just about any other home improvement project that springs to mind.

I am now 32 weeks pregnant with my second baby, and I must say that the nesting instinct in much stronger this time around. With Hannah, we had just moved into a new house, and I was so busy unpacking that I didn't have time to "feather the nest." Basically, I readied the nursery and hoped for the best. This pregnancy has found me waking throughout the night, wondering what needs to be done, before our little man arrives. I decided we needed a new bed. A bigger bed. A king size bed. So, we went and bought one, with the knowledge that it would stay in the garage until this weekend, when my Dad arrives to help get it upstairs.

I knew that I couldn't move this gargantuan bed by myself, so I did the next best thing. I took apart the day bed in our computer room, moved it into the nursery, where I promptly rearranged all the furniture (to only move it all back to its' original position), and reassembled the brass demon. Not an easy job for a loner with a 19-month-old helper, but it is now a task that is "checked off" on my to-do list. Then, I thought maybe I should take the queen-sized mattresses off of their frame in our bedroom. Again, not an easy task. After all, I am fat, slow, and not maneuvering at my best. Mission accomplished. I also managed to take apart the headboard and frame, and move it to its new location in the computer room. By the time Saturday arrives, all that will need to be done is the actual moving of the king mattresses.

With my new career as a professional mover well on its way, I was disappointed at the nasty looks and lectures received from family and friends-especially my husband. Being scorned like a 2 year old was not my idea of praiseafter all, I saved people hours of work! Instead I was told to stay away from heavy objects, and to behave myself. Hmmm -I am not an invalid, I am pregnant. What these people fail to realize is that the urge to do these things is SO overwhelming. I didn't sit around the house in my jammies, eating bon-bons, wondering what it was that I could get into. I stayed awake at night, fighting off the urge to get up at 3am and begin rearranging. Believe me when I say, cleaning is NOT my favorite pastime. I could easily find other tasks, which are much less daunting, and far easier to accomplish. However, I have found that when I have the desperate need to "prepare" something, there are other alternatives besides cleaning.

For example, I cook. I like to cook anyway, but I have found that preparing "extra" and freezing it will be quite a help after the baby arrives. I have soups, lasagna, casseroles, and anything else that will fit, shoved into my freezer. This should prove to make life with a newborn, toddler and husband much easier in the early weeks.

Packing the bag for the hospital is another activity that is sure to take up some time, while accomplishing a very important task. I must admit that I have been putting this one off for 2 reasons. First, I have nothing to put in my bag. I am going to splurge on a new set of pajamas for my trip to the hospital, and I would like to pick up some aromatic toiletries as well. I highly recommend doing this, as the hospital soap will dry your skin so badly, you'll look like you have fish scales. Get a nice body wash, perhaps some lotions or gels, and pamper yourself as much as you can. I suggest making a trip to Bath and Body Works, and loading up on their little trial sized bottles of everything (the Plumeria scent is my favorite!). I am packing for this trip like I am going on a romantic getaway. You see, Hannah has my hands full, and I am so looking forward to two whole days and nights of being alone, rubbing lotion on feet that I haven't been able to reach for months, and watching reruns of Chips and Laverne and Shirley. After all, I am a simple girl.

You will find that the degree of nesting that is necessary will vary with each woman, and with each pregnancy. Just remember to take it easy, and listen to your body's cues. If you feel uncomfortable, take a break, put your feet up, and drink lots of water. Also remember that, when using cleansers, paint, or other items that have fumes, to keep your working area well ventilated, and take frequent breaks. Good luck!

Some Ahaadeeth to Ponder Over

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أُرَاهُ رَفَعَهُ قَالَ ‏ "‏ أَحْبِبْ حَبِيبَكَ هَوْنًا مَا عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ بَغِيضَكَ يَوْمًا مَا وَأَبْغِضْ بَغِيضَكَ هَوْنًا مَا عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ حَبِيبَكَ يَوْمًا مَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ بِهَذَا الإِسْنَادِ إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ عَنْ أَيُّوبَ بِإِسْنَادٍ غَيْرِ هَذَا رَوَاهُ الْحَسَنُ بْنُ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ وَهُوَ حَدِيثٌ ضَعِيفٌ أَيْضًا بِإِسْنَادٍ لَهُ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَالصَّحِيحُ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ مَوْقُوفٌ قَوْلُهُ ‏.‏
Muhammad bin Sirin narrated from Abu Hurairah - and I think he (narrated it from the Prophet P) who said:

"Love your beloved moderately, perhaps he becomes hated to you someday. And hate whom you hate moderately, perhaps he becomes your beloved someday."

[Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1997, Grade : Hasan (Darussalam)]

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ "‏ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ فَإِنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتَّى تَسْتَوْفِيَ رِزْقَهَا وَإِنْ أَبْطَأَ عَنْهَا فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ خُذُوا مَا حَلَّ وَدَعُوا مَا حَرُمَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Jabir bin 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

"O people, fear Allah and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allah and be moderate in seeking provision; take that which is permissible and leave that which is forbidden. "
[English reference : Vol. 3, Book 12, Hadith 2144 sunan ibn majah, Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)]
عَنْ أَبِي حُمَيْدٍ السَّاعِدِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ "‏ أَجْمِلُوا فِي طَلَبِ الدُّنْيَا فَإِنَّ كُلاًّ مُيَسَّرٌ لِمَا خُلِقَ لَهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Humaid As-Sa'idi that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Be moderate in seeking worldly things, for everyone will be facilitated for which he was created."

[English reference : Vol. 3, Book 12, Hadith 2142 - Sunan Ibn Majah, Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)]

حَدَّثَنَا النُّفَيْلِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، حَدَّثَنَا قَابُوسُ بْنُ أَبِي ظَبْيَانَ، أَنَّ أَبَاهُ، حَدَّثَهُ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِنَّ الْهَدْىَ الصَّالِحَ وَالسَّمْتَ الصَّالِحَ وَالاِقْتِصَادَ جُزْءٌ مِنْ خَمْسَةٍ وَعِشْرِينَ جُزْءًا مِنَ النُّبُوَّةِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Narrated Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Good way, dignified good bearing and moderation are the twenty-fifth part of Prophecy.
[Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4776, Grade : Hasan (Al-Albani)]

Muslim woman sea childHow does my body prepare for breastfeeding?

Your body has been preparing itself for breastfeeding right from the start of your pregnancy. Tingling nipples and tenderness in very early pregnancy, and your breasts getting bigger, are two signs of this. 

The blood supply to your breasts increases during pregnancy, and your milk ducts and milk-producing cells develop more with each pregnancy that you have. 

The size of your breasts before pregnancy, and how much they grow during pregnancy, doesn't determine how much milk you'll be able to produce for your baby. If you're small-breasted, you'll still be able to feed your baby all the milk he needs.

Do I need to toughen my nipples before I breastfeed?

No, there's no need to do anything, as hormonal changes that happen in your breasts during pregnancy are preparation enough. You don't need to use creams to soften your skin beforehand, or express colostrum, either. Don't rub or scrub your nipples, as this will only hurt and may make breastfeeding difficult. 

Your natural body odour plays a part in your baby bonding with you, and will help to get breastfeeding started. The areolas of your nipples release oil that naturally lubricates your nipples. This oil also smells of amniotic fluid, which is a familiar and attractive smell for your baby, especially just after he's born. 

Your baby will soon learn that your breasts smell of you, colostrum and milk. These act as a strong draw to cuddle up with you and feed. So avoid using scented soaps, perfumes and body lotions in the early days of breastfeeding, particularly on or around your breasts. 

What else can I do to help things along?

Another key preparation for breastfeeding is your partner being supportive about your decision to feed your baby in this way. You're more likely to start breastfeeding, and do it for longer, if your partner's on board and learns a little about it, too. 

Have plenty of skin-to-skin contact with your baby when she's born. Your midwife will encourage this. Skin-to-skin helps babies to get breastfeeding started and increases the length of time that mums breastfeed for. Laid-back breastfeeding (biological nurturing) positions help your baby's primitive reflexes to kick in, helping him to find the breast, latch on and feed.

Even if you have a caesarean birth, you can still hold your baby against your skin soon after the birth, with some help from your midwife. This may be in theatre, or in the recovery room immediately afterwards. Your baby may wriggle to your breast and feed, or she may smell, lick or nuzzle your breast, have a rest, and then try to feed later. 

All of this will help you and your baby to get breastfeeding off to a great start.

Practice makes perfect

"Breastfeeding may be the natural way to feed your baby but it is a skill which needs to be learned by both of you. Like most things, you can’t expect to get it right straightaway." 


"I wish I’d known that breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally. It took me six weeks to get it right. So don’t be put off if it doesn’t work at first! It can take a few weeks for you and your baby to learn, and it can hurt like hell sometimes. But persevere, because it’s one of best things you can do." 


"When it hurt, I knew we were not doing it right, so instead of grinning and bearing it I made sure I got help to improve Ellis’s latch. When my milk came in - and he was almost drowning in the stuff - I knew about using other positions to feed him more comfortably." 


"I wish I'd known that if it hurts it doesn't always mean the baby isn't latched on properly. Neither of my babies were having problems latching on but I had extremely painful letdown." 


Experiment with breastfeeding

“There are other ways of giving breastmilk successfully if the conventional way isn't working for you, so experiment. Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work. So far, despite being a guzzler, Alexander has had nothing but breastmilk fed to him in a bottle, and he is thriving." 


"I found nipple shields really helpful for those times when my nipples were sore and cracked. I could breastfeed fairly comfortably, and it gave my nipples a chance to heal." 


Get expert breastfeeding help

"Breastfeeding workshops run by the NCT, your local hospital and other breastfeeding organisations are the best way to find out all you need. What I learned gave me so much confidence in the early weeks after my baby was born. Have the number of a breastfeeding counsellor to hand, and join a support group or baby cafe if there is one near you." 


"I had terrible problems breastfeeding my daughter in the beginning. She was tiny and I couldn’t get her to latch on. I developed mastitis and a huge crack in my right nipple, but I was determined to keep trying." 


"I took advantage of breastfeeding helplines: NCT and La Leche were really supportive, and I had a breastfeeding counsellor visit me at home a few times. After 12 weeks of trying I had success! I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Get as much advice, help and encouragement as you can. You don’t have to do it alone." 


Supply and demand

"Most breastfed babies feed more than formula fed babies. This is because breastmilk is digested quickly and easily so their sleep patterns can be different. So don't expect to live to a timetable." 


"Your body produces milk based on how much your baby needs. The more your baby needs, the more they feed, producing more milk." 


"Feeds can last from five minutes to an hour or more, as every baby is different. My baby went from taking 40 minutes per feed at birth, to just 10 minutes now he is five-and-a-half months. They become more efficient at feeding as time goes on." 


Involve your partner in breastfeeding

"Discuss how you are planning to feed your baby with your partner and make sure he understands how important his emotional and practical support will be to you. From my breastfeeding workshop I knew that in the first few weeks it was likely my baby was going to feed an awful lot, especially in the evenings. My husband brought me snacks, magazines, my phone, whatever I needed!" 


"I express a bottle of milk in the evenings so my partner can feed our baby daughter when he gets home from work. He really enjoys these father-daughter bonding sessions. And it gives me a half an hour to enjoy a hot bath or get some jobs done." 


Breasts come in all shapes and sizes

"When my huge breasts deflated six weeks after he was born I knew it was my supply settling down, not my milk drying up. It’s around then that when many women resort to formula, thinking their milk has run out." 


"Most of us do not have the breasts and the nipples shown on illustrations. We may have big breasts, big nipples, small breasts, small nipples, flat nipples, inverted nipples, round breasts, long breasts, the list goes on. Experiment and try different positions to find what is comfortable for your shape." 


"I have flat nipples, and I didn’t know this until a few days after my baby was born when I was having trouble breastfeeding him. My midwife suggested that I try using nipple shields, and my baby latched on to it right away and fed ravenously. Just a week later I didn’t even need to use a nipple shield to get him latched on!" 


Winding really works

"If baby is fussing at the breast try winding gently for up to three minutes. First, I thought breastfeeding babies didn't need winding, and then I expected winding to work in about 10 seconds. Once I realised what the problem was, things were far smoother." 


Enjoy it!

Make the most of the sit-down time. You deserve it! ...Put your feet up and relax. I enjoyed 14 months of breastfeeding bliss! 


What should I eat when I'm breastfeeding?

You don't need to eat any special or different foods while you're breastfeeding. However, you should try to follow a healthy, balanced diet, which includes:

  • Starchy foods, such as bread and rice. Choose wholegrain varieties, for added fibre.
  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Some protein, such as lean meat, eggs and pulses. Have at least two portions of fish a week, including oily varieties, such as salmon.
  • Some low-fat dairy food, such as a yoghurt or a glass of milk

What shouldn't I eat when breastfeeding?

You can eat virtually anything you like while breastfeeding, in moderation.

However, traces of food and drink can sometimes get into breastmilk, and this may affect your baby. Some babies are affected by a protein in cow's milk, which causes symptoms such as:

  • bloating
  • itchy skin and a rash
  • swollen eyes, face or lips
  • wheeziness or coughing
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • vomiting or reflux
  • a poor appetite
  • eczema
  • changes to her poo
  • not growing well

If you think that dairy is affecting your baby, talk to your health visitor about removing it from your diet for a week or so, to see if it makes a difference. Though if your baby has been diagnosed with a cow's milk allergy, your dietitian will advise you about how to remove it from your diet completely. You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.

There isn't much evidence to suggest that certain foods you eat while you are breastfeeding cause your baby to have colic. Colic could be due a number of things, such as your baby not being latched on well, or gulping milk too enthusiastically and taking in too much air.

Some mums worry about eating peanuts while breastfeeding, but there's no real evidence that this makes your baby more likely to develop a peanut allergy. So as long as you're not allergic to peanuts, you can eat them as part of a balanced diet.

Do I need to drink more water when I'm breastfeeding?

You only need to drink enough to satisfy your thirst while you're breastfeeding. Drinking lots of water, or being thirsty, won't affect your milk supply. Your body is very good at regulating its reserves to keep your milk supply going.

However, bear in mind that during breastfeeding your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel thirsty. So keep a drink nearby when you're breastfeeding

If you're worried about whether you're getting enough to drink, check the colour of your wee. If it's pale-coloured, you're getting plenty to drink. If it's dark yellow, or smells strongly, or if you feel lethargic or faint, you may be dehydrated, in which case you should drink more water.

Do I need extra calories when I am breastfeeding?

You don't need to have extra calories as a new mum, because your body is so efficient at producing milk. Be guided by your appetite, and eat when you're hungry. Your body may have laid down fat stores during pregnancy, and breastfeeding can help to use up these fat stores.

The amount you need to eat depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and how much weight you gained during pregnancy, as well as how active you are.

Having said that, breastfeeding usually gives you a big appetite. So if you don't feel like eating, it could be a sign that you need extra emotional support. Women who have postnatal depression sometimes lose their appetite. If you're finding it a struggle to eat, talk to your doctor or health visitor.

Can I lose weight while I'm breastfeeding?

Yes. You may have put on a bit of weight while you were pregnant, so losing some of this weight while you're breastfeeding is fine. Losing about 500g (1lb) to 1kg (2lb) a week shouldn't affect the amount or the quality of milk you make.

However, if you have a newborn, you'll need plenty of energy. Trying to lose weight too soon after giving birth may delay your recovery and make you feel even more tired. So try to wait until you've had your postnatal check before you lose weight.

Eating healthily and doing some gentle exercise will help you to get in shape. This is better than very strict low-calorie diets when you are breastfeeding. You can increase how much you exercise six weeks to eight weeks after giving birth, if you feel up to it.

Can I drink tea and coffee if I'm breastfeeding?

Avoid having lots of caffeinated drinks when you're breastfeeding. We don't have a UK guideline for a safe amount of caffeine for breastfeeding mums. In the US, women who are breastfeeding are recommended to have no more than about 200mg of caffeine a day. That's about two mugs of tea, or two mugs of instant coffee, or one mug of filter coffee, a day.

More than this amount of caffeine is unlikely to harm your baby. However, if your baby seems very unsettled or restless, or finds it difficult to sleep, try cutting back on caffeine, or not having any at all. This may make a difference to your baby.

Do I need to take any supplements if I'm breastfeeding?

You should take a daily supplement for breastfeeding mums that contains 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D. Breastfed babies get vitamin D from breastmilk, so you need to have enough vitamin D in your diet. If you took a supplement containing vitamin D when you were pregnant, you can carry on taking it while you're breastfeeding.

If you took a vitamin D supplement throughout pregnancy, and continue to take it while you're breastfeeding, your baby will receive enough vitamin D in his first few months. However, if you didn't take a vitamin D supplement in pregnancy, and are breastfeeding, your baby may need to have daily vitamin D drops from when he's a month old.

Vitamin D is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. It's important because it helps bones and teeth to grow healthily. In the UK, it can be hard to make enough vitamin D all year round, especially if you don't spend much time outside, or have dark skin.

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for free healthy start vitamins, which contain vitamins A, C and D. Find out more at your doctor's surgery or health visitor's clinic.

Can I have herbal remedies if I'm breastfeeding?

You can drink most herbal teas when you are breastfeeding. Herbal teas bought from supermarkets, which use ingredients you might cook with, such as fennel, camomile and peppermint, are safe to drink in moderation.

Herbal medicines, however, are a different matter. You shouldn't take them while you are breastfeeding, because we don't know enough about how they affect breastmilk.

Breastfeeding Cover

breastfeeding cover"I really love this cover it has made it so easy for me to feed in public and even at home when we have visitors.

The design is really nice and subtle and it doesn't draw attention to you.

The cover has great coverage and is lightweight too so we don't get hot.

The boned neckline design is brilliant - it means I can see my son fully when I'm feeding him."

  • Beautifully made in UK from 100% cotton fabric - shaped for style
  • Very generous size - 69cm x 105cm - 27" x 41" - greater coverage than other leading brands
  • Rigid, boned - 42cm - 16" - neckline allows eye contact with baby
  • Secure, fixed length - 46cm - 18"- neck strap
  • Natural cotton storage bag 17cm x 35cm (bag design may vary)

Order from amazon (click here).

Muslim woman sea childWisdom/ Medical benefits of breastfeeding

The wisdom of Allaah in creating the nourishment of the child in his mother’s milk has been proven through scientific and medical research. Doctors encourage giving the mother’s milk, especially in the early months.

Allaah has enjoined breastfeeding in His Book, when He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling” [Al-Baqarah, 002:233]

So Allaah has stated the child’s right to be breastfed.

Fourteen hundred years after this verse was revealed, international organizations such as the World Health Organization have issued statement after statement calling on mothers to breastfeed their children, whereas Islam enjoined that fourteen centuries ago.

The benefits of breastfeeding for the child include the following:

1 – The mother’s milk is sterile, containing no germs.

2 – The mother’s milk cannot be imitated by any milk prepared from the milk of cows, goats or camels. It is composed in such a way as to meet the child’s needs day after day, from birth until weaning.

3 – The mother’s milk contains sufficient amounts of protein and sugar that suit the infant completely, whereas the proteins in cow’s, goat’s and buffalo’s milk are difficult for the child’s stomach to digest, because they are suited to the offspring of those animals.

4 – The development of children who are breastfed is faster and more complete than that of children who are bottle-fed.

5 – The psychological and emotional bond between the mother and her child.

6 – The mother’s milk contains various elements that are essential to the child’s nourishment, in the right amounts and formats needed by his body, and in a form that is suited to his ability to digest and absorb.  The nourishing content of the milk is not fixed; it changes day by day according to the child’s needs.

7 – The mother’s milk is kept at a suitable temperature that meets the child’s needs, and can be given to him at any time.

8 – Breastfeeding is a natural means of contraception for the mother, and is free of the complications that may accompany use of birth control pills, the coil (IUD) or injections. (From Tawdeeh al-Ahkaam, 5/107.)


If the infant needs to be breastfed then breast milk must be provided for him.

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/239): There is no difference of opinion among the fuqaha’ that it is obligatory to breastfeed an infant so long as he needs that and he is at the age for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a proven right of the infant, according to the rulings of sharee’ah, and must be provided for him by the one whose duty it is to do so. The fuqaha’ clearly stated that breastfeeding is the right of the child.

They explained the reason for that as being that breastfeeding for an infant is like maintenance for an adult.

What they said is true and is indicated by the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“But the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis” [Al-Baqarah, 002:233]

Allaah has enjoined upon the father to spend on the woman who nurses his child, because nutrition reaches the child via the nurse through the breast milk. So spending on the nurse is in fact spending on him.

It says in Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat:

“The one who is obliged to spend on the infant, whether male or female, is obliged to spend on the child’s nurse, because the child is nourished by the milk produced by the nurse, and that can only happen if she is nourished. So it is obligatory to spend on the nurse because this is in fact spending on the child.” (Al-Mufassal fi Ahkaam al-Mar’ah, 9/464.)

It is better if no one breastfeeds the child but his mother, because that is more beneficial, and that may be obligatory for her if the child will not accept the breast of anyone else.

Breastfeeding establishes Mahramiyyah

The scholars are unanimously agreed on the effects of breastfeeding in establishing the prohibition on marriage and on making the child the Mahram of the woman who breastfeeds him, and making it permissible to look at her and be alone with her, but it does not make it obligatory to spend on the person, or make him an heir or a guardian in cases of marriage.

The reason for this Mahram relationship is obvious, because when the infant is nourished by the milk of this woman, his flesh grows on that, so it is as if he is her own child.

Hence the scholars regarded it as Makrooh to appoint a Kaafir woman or an immoral woman as a wet-nurse, or a woman who was suffering from a contagious disease, because it may pass to the child.

They regarded it as Mustahabb to choose a wet-nurse who was of good character and morals, because breastfeeding changes the child’s nature.

Muslim woman sea childHow to breastfeed: pictures

Approved by the BabyCentre Medical Advisory Board

To breastfeed successfully, it doesn't really matter where or how you sit or lie back. What is important is that you are comfortable and can bring your baby to your breast easily. This will help you to get your latching-on technique right.

How do I start breastfeeding?

Sit or lie back so that your back is supported and you feel comfortable.

Raise your feet or your knees, if you need to.

If you are sitting up, you could use a pillow to take the weight of your baby at first, so your forearms aren't doing all the work.

If you're using a laid-back position, use cushions or pillows to support your back and shoulders. Once you're comfortable, place your baby's tummy down on your chest and abdomen, and bring your knees up, so that your baby has a surface to push on with his feet. Your body will support your baby and allow him to adjust his position, bob his head, and find your breast.

If you are lying on your side, place pillows under your head. Lay your baby alongside you, with his tummy towards yours. Again, you could bend your knees so your baby can feel them with his feet. 

6-baby-comesto-breast-finalHow do I latch my baby on to my breast?

Your baby needs to use his tongue to scoop in a big mouthful of breast. His bottom lip and tongue need to get to your breast first, and should touch your breast as far from the base of the nipple as possible. 

If you're sitting or lying down, bring your baby to your breast, so he is facing your nipple, and doesn't have to turn his head to reach it. His nose, rather than his mouth, should be in line with your nipple. This gives your baby room to tip his head back just before he latches on. He should be leading with his chin, and have an open gape to his mouth. With his head tipped back, his lips will then touch your nipple.

8-move-him-to-breast-final-Your baby will respond by dropping his lower jaw. 

Depending on your position, you may then be able to help him to move to your breast, so that his bottom lip is as far away from the base of your nipple as possible. In a laid-back position, your baby's natural reflexes may guide him on to your breast and help him to root for your nipple. 

How does latching on work?

latching-onScooping in a big mouthful of breast lets your baby draw your breast deeply into his mouth. 

Your nipple will then be right at the back of his mouth, where the hard roof of his mouth gives way to the soft area. 

With a mouthful like this, your baby will be able to use his tongue smoothly and rhythmically against the under-surface of your breast. This action removes milk from the ducts. 

Your baby's jaw will move up and down, following the action of his tongue, and he will swallow your milk as it flows to the back of his mouth. This should be painless for you, because your nipple will be so far back in his mouth that it won't be squashed or pinched by his tongue. 

Your baby's lower gum will never touch your breast, as his tongue will always be between them, and his top jaw does not move. 

What other tips will make breastfeeding easier?

Try supporting your baby in one of the following ways:

Put your palm behind your baby's shoulders and your index finger and thumb behind his ears.

Gently cradle your baby's head in your whole hand, so he can still move his head, and guide him with the heel of your hand.

Use your forearm, rather than your wrist, to support your baby's shoulders.

You can trigger your baby's reflex response by letting his mouth brush your nipple. Your baby will find your breast by touch, not by sight or smell, though these senses probably also play a part.

If you need to move your baby to help him to latch, start to adjust his position as you see his lower jaw start to drop. Don't wait until your baby's mouth is at its widest before you begin the movement. Once it is fully open, all it can do is start to close, and your baby will be unable to draw in the biggest mouthful.

As you move your baby, watch his lower lip, not his top one. Try not to worry about his top lip, and whether it will get over your nipple. Provided his bottom lip makes contact well away from the base of your nipple, his chin will indent your breast. 

When your baby's chin indents breast, your nipple will move downwards slightly, and be covered by his top lip. You will not see this happen, but you will know it is right by the way it feels and the way your baby behaves. 

If you find it difficult to keep your baby's hands out of your way, try wrapping him in a blanket, so that his arms are lying at his side. You will be able to get him closer to your breast. 

If you in a sitting up position and are supporting your breast with your hand to start with, keep your hand as far away from your nipple as you can, preferably back on your ribcage. Once your breast is supported, keep it still, and only move your baby. 

Good positions for breastfeeding

There's no one correct position for breastfeeding. Any of these styles may work well for you and your baby. 

In the early days of breastfeeding, while you're still learning, you may find it easier to use the same hand for both breasts. 

This means you will hold your baby across your lap to feed on one breast, and then to feed from the other breast, you'll hold your baby under your arm.

Side-lying hold:

side lying 2000x1100 4x3

Lying down with your bodies parallel. 



Cradle hold (same arm):

cradle 2000x1100 4x3Holding your baby across your lap, supporting her with the same arm as your breast. 




Cradle hold (opposite arm):

cross cradle 2000x1100 4x3Holding your baby across your lap, using the opposite arm to the breast she is feeding from to support her. 




Rugby ball hold:

cluthc football 2000x1100 4x3Holding your baby underarm. 

Twins hold:

twins 2000x1100 4x3Using a cushion under your babies as you gently support them with your hands on their upper backs. 

Koala hold:

koala 2000x1100 4x3Supporting your baby while she's straddled across your knees in an upright position. 

Laid-back breastfeeding (biological nurturing):

laidback 2000x1100 4x3Semi-reclined, with your baby lying across your stomach or shoulder. 

Laid-back breastfeeding after a caesarean:

laidback caesarean 2000x1100 4x3Semi-reclined, with your baby lying vertically on you, to protect your caesarean wound.

If you find a position that works for you and your baby, it's fine to stick with it. But as your baby gets older, and you become more practised, you will probably want to change positions.

Your position may also depend on where you are when you're breastfeeding.

sisterwalkingpath34The first apartment where my husband and I lived had six stories, and we lived on the sixth floor. I remember this clearly because in the months after my first son was born, I spent way too much time hanging out laundry and hoping that somehow, just somehow, I would accidentally fall off our sixth floor balcony and die.

Astaghfirullah – there wasn't anything really wrong with my life, and I had no reason to contemplate suicide even in such an indirect way. My husband was loving and supportive and adored our new son. I had very few responsibilities other than taking care of the baby, the house, and myself. I had enough food, enough money, and comfortable shelter over my head, but unfortunately, I also had postpartum depression.

Our well-meaning, traditional matriarchs might ask what all this postpartum depression nonsense is all about. After all when your baby is a newborn you're SUPPOSED to be miserable – they call that the baby blues. You're sleep-deprived, learning how to feed your baby for the first time, constantly worried about temperature, safety, illness, and of course, the routine running of the household. You can be expected to feel a little challenged – that's what new motherhood is all about – but suicidal?

There are differences between the baby blues and postpartum depression, and these differences are important. Both postpartum depression and the baby blues can leave you feeling out of sorts in a variety of ways, but the baby blues usually get better on their own within two weeks. Postpartum depression doesn't.

Postpartum depression can last for months, and it can take away your ability to eat, sleep properly, interact with family and friends, or even bond with your baby. This is all made worse by anxiety, feelings of guilt and inadequacy given the task at hand, as well as dangerous thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

In my case, PPD meant that I alternated between wishing I would die and then feeling terrified that something would happen to me, leaving my newborn son without a mother. I was chronically sleep deprived, but when my son finally went to sleep, I lay in bed wide-eyed, jittery, and unable to sleep or stay asleep for very long. I would hear him crying for me -even if he was dozing peacefully in his bouncer or out for a walk with his father- and the sound of his wailing haunted me.

Sometimes people tell you that there is no depression in Islam. I'm not sure why they say this, because Allāh would not tell us that our hearts would find rest in remembering Him if our hearts were not restless in the first place. Allāh would not give us a healing for our hearts if our hearts did not need healing -but from a cultural point of view, admitting to depression is taboo. So, I told no one but my husband, and all I told him was that I was struggling a bit.

Alḥamdulillāh as the weeks passed slowly into months my son grew, I slowly regained control, got over the insomnia, and stopped wishing I would die. I told no one else though, until a year later when a friend of mine called and said, straight to the point, "I'm taking a survey on postpartum depression. My mother in law says it doesn't exist, but I can't sleep, am mentally paralyzed and don't eat for 36 hours at a time. How about you?"

When the baby cried, I did too. And babies cry alot.

How about me? Well, I had PPD after my daughter was born as well, and this time it was so severe that I would have sudden panic attacks, complete with chest pain, overwhelming hopelessness, and the feeling that life would never, ever be normal again. When the baby cried, so did I.

I love my children -after Islam I consider my children to be the biggest blessings Allāh has bestowed on me- but the combination of fluctuating post-pregnancy hormones, sleep deprivation, and newborn stress does something to my brain that is not normal.

How did I get out of PPD? Alḥamdulillāh, I never needed medication, but I did need my husband's help and understanding. And of course, I needed healing for my heart- I needed Qur'an. When I felt like the walls were closing in on me and I could feel anxiety closing tightly around my throat- I would start reciting Qur'an, and I wouldn't stop until I felt better.

Sometimes, I recited Qur'an for a VERY long time, but I knew that was the only thing that would let me breathe more freely, remember Allāh's blessings upon me, and calm my heart in a way that reason cannot ever begin to explain. I began to memorize new surahs, and I began to fall in love with ayahs that spoke directly to my pain.

Two years after my daughter's birth, I had a miscarriage. Outwardly, I managed to keep things together, but I spent months crying alone and feeling guilty for wanting something that Allāh had not decreed for me. I found myself needing more than Qur'an to pick up the broken pieces of my well-being.

Alḥamdulillāh, my husband pushed me to start attending Islamic classes, and the light of new knowledge pushed the darkness away, even if the darkness had more to do with loss than a crisis of faith. Here I was struggling with my own depression as well as raising two young children- I was in pain that had nothing to do with 'Ilm, but the more 'Ilm I sought, the smaller my pain became. Eventually, it was replaced with joy and lightness in my heart that I have only ever felt when my īmān is on a high, and to this day, I know that if I start to feel darkness creeping in on me, I need to look for light. Whether I find it in the Qur'an or in 'Ilm, I need to find it and hold on to it until the darkness goes away.

That's my experience with postpartum depression, and every mother who struggles with it will probably have a different story to tell. The blessing of being a Muslim though, is that every one of us can benefit from the healing that Allāh has placed in the Qur'an.

"Verily in remembering Allāh do hearts find rest." The Holy Qur'an, surah 13 Ar-Ra'ad, āyah 38

If you are a new mother, you're probably over-worked, exhausted, and damp with baby body fluids of one kind or another at any given moment- but you should not feel hopeless, depressed, afraid or resentful of your baby, or worse -suicidal. You shouldn't be afraid of reaching out for help, whether to your husband or to a close friend. You would be surprised how many people have gone through postpartum depression, and the support that an experienced friend can offer you is priceless. Most importantly, you should not underestimate the power of du'ā' and Qur'an on a bruised and broken heart.

If you're a new father, please be aware that postpartum depression is real, and so is the social stigma and shame that might prevent your wife from telling you that she needs help. Please take a moment to learn more about it, because the healthier your wife is, the happier and healthier your entire family will be.

May Allāh strengthen us all and give us the patience to see our hardships through to the ease He has promised, and help us to remember Allāh's promise that no soul will be burdened than more than it can bear.

2102dummyChildren are a source of delight and an adornment in the world granted by Allâh to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts, joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom good is to be hoped for. Especially when they frequently supplicate,

"Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."

They are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future lies, they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the call to Islaam will, Allah willing, be carried. Indeed Islaam has elevated the status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment and up-bringing, relating to each stage that they will pass through in this world. From these are the manners of how to welcome them in their arrival into this life.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a living example, educating and cultivating the Muslims upon the practices of Islaam, teaching them how to worship their Lord in the best possible ways. Sadly, a number of Muslims have strayed from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for that which worthless. Let's not be of them, let's implement the manners which the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us with regards  to our new-borns.

Encouragement to have Children

The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Marry the loving and fertile, because through you I will compete with the nations for superiority in numbers." (Aboo Daawood)

And it is important that the parents bring up their children upon righteousness, so that the parents will benefit from them during their life, aswell as after their death. Allâh’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "A servant will have his rank raised and will say, 'O my Lord how has this come about for me?' He will say, 'Through your sons after their seeking forgiveness for you.'" (Ibn Maajah)

Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls; indeed, Islaam has encouraged the bringing up of girls and Allâh condemns those that become distressed at the news of the birth of a girl. The Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought to light the status of this gift from Allâh (the Almighty),

"Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood - he and I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) - and he interlaced his two fingers." (Saheeh Muslim)

This means that they will be together in Paradise. Can there be a greater honour given for having daughters?!

Giving the good news of the Birth

The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate for the baby. Allâh mentions this good news being conveyed to a number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyaa of his son Yahya, {Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a private room (saying), ‘Allâh gives you glad tidings of Yahya'}

Giving the Adhaan (Call to Prayer) in the ear of the newborn

The first practice to do is to make the adhaah in the ear of the baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of Allaah (the Mighty and Glorious), and the Shahaadah.

It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards as he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did so with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu Raafi' who said, "I saw the Prophet give the Adhâh for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn ibn Alî when his mother Fâtimah gave birth to him." (at-Tirmidhî)

It should be given with it's usual wording in a voice which is audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or alarms him/her.

Only the Adhân is to be given, not the Iqâamah, as there is no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the Adhaan only is also the reported practice of the Khalîfah (Caliph) 'Umar bin 'Abdul Azeez. This is closer to the Sunnah (the way of the Noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

As for which ear it should be given in, the sunnah has not specified. However the Messenger ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to love to do good actions starting from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the Adhaan in the right ear.

The Tahneek

dates'Tahneek' means to soften a date and then rub the new-born's palate with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it from left to right in the mouth of the baby. Ibn Hajr said,

"If one is unable to find a dry date, then a fresh date should be used, and if that isn't available then anything sweet." (Fath 9/588)

It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any hygienic way. The action of chewing, as reported in the Sunnah, was what the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did.

Tahneek is to be done by the father or mother of the child or anyone from the People of Knowledge whose supplication is hoped to be accepted, as was the practice of the Companions.

Imaam an-Nawawî says,

"Scholars unanimously agree regarding the desirableness of performing Tahneek upon the baby after it's birth." (Sharh Sahî h Muslim 4/122)

Aaishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reports,

"New-born children used to be brought to the Messenger of Allâh and he would supplicate blessings for them; (he would also) rub a chewed date upon their palate." (Saheeh Muslim)

Naming the child

Tpenpencilhe baby may be named on the day of it's birth or later on the seventh day or past the seventh day. This is what is clear from the study of all the evidences in the Sunnah.

It is the father or the mother who chooses the name of the baby. If they differ between themselves, then the father has the choice, he may name the baby himself or give his wife the right to choose. The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious) says, {Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just in the sight of Allâh}

It is also allowed for the parents that they allow others to name their child, as our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to name some of the children of his Companions.

The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and your fathers names, so make your names good." (Aboo Daawood)

It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allâh ('Abdullâh) or the servant of any of the names of Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious). Then it is recommended to name a child after a Prophet, due to the hadeeth, "Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets." (Aboo Daawood)

And the Hadeeth: "A son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather Ibraahîm." (Saheeh Muslim)

Then, after this, it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in the hope that it will become like him/her. The next recommended option is to name the child by any name which has good meaning.

It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denotes servitude to other than Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious), for example 'Abd an-Nabi (the slave of the Prophet), 'Abd ar-Rasool (the slave of the Messenger) etc, just as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.

The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as Fir'awn, Qaarûn, Abu Lahab etc. Likewise it is disliked to name the child with the names of the Surahs of the Qur'aan like 'Taa Haa' or 'Yaa Sîn' as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic Hadeeth which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The 'Aqîqah

mosesbasked5After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of welcome for the babu and as a way to give thanks to the One who gave you this great blessing, it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Every child is in pledge for it's 'Aqîqah which is sacrificed for it on its seventh day; it is named on it, and its head is shaved." (Aboo Daawûd)

If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of majority of the Companions and Scholars. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "For the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep." (Ibn Mâjah)

So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat, and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then there is a difference of opinion over it.

The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performed the 'Aqîqah for both of his grandsons. It is also obligatory to mention the name of Allâh over it while sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the 'Aqîqah then he should add, 'This 'Aqîqah is the 'Aqîqah of so and so,' mentioning the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the 'Aqîqah, as is reported in the hadîth related by al-Bayhaqî.

The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked, but it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater blessing, as mentioned by a group of scholars.

Shaving the baby's head

silvercoinsOn the seventh day after the birth, the baby's head should be shaved. When al-Hasan was born the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told his daughter, Faatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), “Shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the poor." (Musnad Imaam Ahmad)

The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as mentioned in the hadîth, "Shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the left." (Saheeh Muslim)

It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part, as this was prohibited by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as has been reported by Imaam al-Bukhârî in his Saheeh.

The strongest view seems to be that the baby girl's head should also be shaved, as it has been reported that Faatimah weighed the hair of her daughter, as has been mentioned in Imaam Maalik's Muwattaa', although the scholars differ over this, and Allâh knows best.

The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby's head after the shaving. This must be done with caution, as the baby may react to many of the perfumes used now-a-days. One should consult some acquainted with this.

After this, it is prescribed to give the value of the baby's weight of hair in silver in charity. It is recommended to give this charity on the seventh day, although it is not necessary to do so, as the charity may be delayed.


It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised; it is recommended that the circumcision take place on the seventh day.

It is obligatory to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.

Sleep Disturbances in Children

Sleep is a mercy from the Lord of the World. mosesbasked3Allaah (the Mighty and Glorious) says (interpretation of the meaning), {And We have made the night as a covering} (an-Naba’ [78]:10)

(i.e., as a covering for you. Hence the scholars agreed that sleeping at night is very important for physical health.)

A baby usually sleeps approximately 22 hours a day, but wakes up from time to time because s/he is hungry, sick or thirsty, or for some other need.

The hours of sleep are reduced until the child sleeps for 10 hours when he is six years old, and eight hours when he reaches his teens.

The child has to sleep for this number of hours so that he will grow up healthy and free from nervous tension.

Mistakes that are made with regards to this:

1. Delaying the child’s sleep causes nervous tension, especially when he has to be woken up for school and has not had enough sleep. This can lead to him not being able to focus in the classroon or even falling asleep in class.

2. Some families have a strict bedtime which is never changed for any reason whatsoever. The child has to sleep at eight, no matter what the circumstances. This is a mistake because if the child is having fun playing, then he is forced to go to sleep, this is a kind of abuse and a lack of respect for his personality. If the child goes to sleep tense, this will be reflected in his sleep, and he will have nightmares and will not be relaxed in his sleep.

3. Some fathers wake their child up to play with him or because they have bought a new toy for him, especially when the father has been at work all day and this is the only opportunity he has. This is a mistake, because you are interrupting your child’s sleep and it will be difficult for him to relax and go to back to sleep.

4. Some parents use scare tactics to make their children go to sleep. This is the worst mistake that parents can make.

5. Some mothers tell their children frightening stories which may scare them. This has negative effects on the child’s sleep, in the form of nightmares which disturb his sleep.

6. Some families encourage their children to drink liquids such as juice or water, etc., especially just before bedtime. This leads to the bedwetting, something most families complain of.

7. Closing the door on a child in a very dark room when he goes to sleep cultivates a fear of the dark in the child. It also makes him restless and unable to sleep well.

8. Some parents do not get the child used to sleeping alone from an early age. Some families allow the child to sleep with the parents or the mother until the age of six. This is a serious mistake, because it makes the child grow up dependent on others and restless. It is therefore advised that parents get their children used to sleeping alone from an early age and from the first year. In this way they will get used to sleeping alone and this will be healthy for the parent's relationship with each other.

Finally: we note that many of the problems which children are suffering from, such as bedwetting, fear of the dark, screaming in their sleep (“night terrors”), falling asleep in school, not being able to concentrate or not going to school at all… are all caused by disturbed sleep and restlessness. Therefore we advise parents to work on the above points.


The prohibited names are of two categories:

  • Those names which are forbidden in the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law).
  • Those names which are either disapproved of by the Sharee'ah, or due to basic manners and good taste.

Forbidden Names

clouds3(1) Names indicating servitude to other than Allah - the Most High such as: 'Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), 'Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) and 'Abdul-Muttalib. Such names, and those which resemble them in meaning are prohibited.

(2) Using the Names of Allah (ta'aala) which are particular to Him alone. Such as, al-Ahad (the One far removed from all deficiencies).

(3) Names which are particular to other religions, i.e.: Jews and the Christians, like: George, David, Michael, Joseph, Diana, Jaclyn etc. This is because we - the Muslims - have been forbidden to imitate them.

(4) From the names which should also be avoided are the names of tyrants and despots like: Fir'awn (Pharaoh), Qaaroon, Aboo Jahl and their like, also the names of the leaders of disbelief and atheism such as Marx, Lenin and so on.

Secondly, Names disapproved of in the Sharee'ah or disliked due to bad manners or bad taste

(1) Giving names which are meant to show servitude to Allah but using names not known to be from Allah's perfect names - like 'Abdul-Mawjood, 'Abdul-Maqsood and 'Abdus-Sattaar. This is because nothing can be affirmed as one of Allah's names without an authentic text.

(2) From these names are those which carry meanings of pessimism, or blameworthy characteristics which will be disliked or cause aversion or cause the possessor of the name to feel degraded, humiliated, and haunt his personality. For example, Harb (war), Himaar (donkey), and Kalb (dog).

(3) From good manners is to avoid naming children with names which are suggestive or offend one's shame. For example, Huyaam (one passionately in love), Nuhaad (A young woman with full and raised breasts), Sahaam (summer heat)!, Wisaal (sexual union), Ghaadah (delicate young woman), Faatin (temptress), Fitnah (temptation), Shaadiyah (female singer) and names with similar meanings.

(4) It is also disliked to give names which amount to a declaration of a person's being pious. Such as, Barrah (pious / piety) and the like. It was due to this that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah to Zaynab, as he used to hate that it be said, "He left/went out from 'Barrah' (piety)."

(5) From these names which are disliked  are the names of the Angels- particularly if they are used for females. For example, Malaak since it is to be feared that this involves imitation of the pagans who gave feminine names to the angels.

(6) It is also disliked to name with the names of the chapters (Soorahs) of the Qur'an such as: TaaHaa, Yaaseen and other names of soorahs. This was the opinion of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah); Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) also said,

"The saying of the common people that 'Yaaseen' and 'Taa-Haa' are from the names of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not correct.

There is no Saheeh (authentic) hadeeth regarding it nor any Hasan (authentic, but of a lesser nature) hadeeth, nor anything Mursal, nor any narration from any Companion.

Rather they are letters, like 'Alif Laam Meem', 'HaaMeem', 'Alif Laam Raa' and the like."



waterfall_scenery-1753The child should be given a name indicating servitude to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) by calling him 'Abd (slave of...) followed by one of Allah’s names, which are authentically confirmed. The most beloved of such names to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) are 'Abdullah (the Slave of Allah) and 'Abdur-Rahman (the Slave of the Most Merciful) as shown by the Hadith, "The most beloved of your names to Allah - the Mighty and Magnificent - are 'Abdullah and 'Abdur-Rahman" (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud)

Then these two Names are followed in excellence by similar usage of the rest of Allah’s names to indicate the person’s servitude to Him, such as ‘Abdur-Raheem (the Slave of the Bestower of Mercy) and ‘Abdul-Lateef (Slave of the One knowing the Most Hidden Matters and the One Most Gracious and Kind to His Slaves), and so on.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also put this into practice, he therefore called one of his sons ‘Abdullah. He also named the son of Abu Talhah: ‘Abdullah, and the son of another of his Companions: ‘Abdur-Rahman, and there are many more examples similar to this.

We find that a large number of the Companions gave these two names to themselves, aswell as to their children so much so that there were about three hundred of them who were named by this name. Ibnus-Salah mentions that they numbered about two hundred and twenty.

Naming the child after one of the Prophets or Messengers of Allah

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) said, "Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets." (Part of a Hadith reported by Ahmed & Abu Dawud)

He also said, "You may name with my name." (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

We find that following this principle the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also called his own son Ibraaheem, after the name of his forefather Ibraaheem ('alayhis-salam). He said, "A son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather Ibraaheem." (Muslim & Abu Dawud)

He likewise called the son of Abu Musa: ‘Ibrahim’, and he called a son of ‘Abdullah ibn Sallaam: ‘Yusuf’, after the Prophet ('alayhis-salam). (Reported by Ahmad)

The Banoo Israa'eel also practiced this, as the Prophet informed us and approved of by his statement,

"They used to name their children after the Prophets and the pious people who came before them." (Muslim)

Naming the Child after one of the Pious People

madinahWe must name our children after the Pious People, the Companions, the Martyrs and the Scholars, the men and women of them, hoping that the child will grow up to love and respect them and follow their way and adopt their manners in righteousness, knowledge and also in seeking martyrdom.

For this reason the noble Companion az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwaam chose the names of some of the martyrs from the Companions for his ten sons, hoping that they would become like them. He named one 'Abdullah after 'Abdullah ibn Jahsh the martyr of Uhud, and 'Urwah after 'Urwah ibn Mas'ood, and Hamzah after Hamzah ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib - the noblest of the martyrs, and Ja'far after Ja'far ibn Abee Talib - the martyr of Mutah, and Mus'ab after Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr - the martyr of Uhud.

Also, it is indeed praiseworthy and beneficial for the correct upbringing of daughters that they be called after the names of the pious women and those who participated in Jihaad from amongst the female Companions and those after them, hoping that they will follow them in piety, chastity and manners, such names are: Faatimah, Maryam, Asmaa', Sumayyah, Nusaybah, Khawlah and others from the pious and believing women.

Good Names Which Do Not Fall Into the Previous Three Categories

Names that are good in their meanings carry meanings of bravery, chastity and piety and are easily pronounced, harmonious, suitable and befitting for the person who carries the name, such as: Hamzah, Khalid, Anas, Usamah, Thamir, Haarith, & Hammam the last two being the most true of names as occurs in the Hadeeth. Some examples of good names for girls are: Saarah, Hassanah, Su’ad, 'Affaaf and other such names which are beautiful in both wording and meaning.

Muslims must choose names which arenfar from being that which has been forbidden in the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law).

One can also name the child after the child’s grandfather or grandmother, if it is a good name, as we saw from the following Hadeeth,

"So I named him after my forefather ‘Ibraaheem.’" (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud)

May Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, make our children the coolness of our eyes. Aameen.



Hush abye baby

Hush abye baby, so pure and so small

He created you, He created us all.


Hush abye baby, we've no need to fear

We're never alone, when Allah's so near

Hush abye baby, breathing so calm


He will protect us and keep us from harm.

Hush abye baby, so still and serene

You are a Muslim and Islaam's your deen.


Many parents mistakingly equate parenting with discipline.

Effective parenting begins from day one in a baby's life by establishing bonding.

mumlov1Congratulations!! You and your spouse have just given birth to a bouncy baby boy or girl. As you become acquainted with your little bundle you begin to ask yourself many questions,

  • "How will I cope with this new responsibility?";
  • "Will I be able to raise my child as a fully functioning, psychologically healthy person?";
  • "Will I be capable of protecting my child from the evil in this society?";
  • "What do I need to do to build a strong Muslim character in my child?"

Whether this is your first experience at parenthood or one in a line of blessings, the same questions surface each time a new being appears.

One can use the analogy of building blocks, with the first blocks placed at the time of birth. Many people believe that the task of parenting does not begin until a child can walk and talk and get into mischief, requiring some form of discipline from the parent. The term parenting is often equated with discipline. This understanding is inaccurate, however, because effective parenting begins at birth with a phenomenon known as bonding or attachment.

What is bonding?

Bonding is the formation of enduring emotional ties between an infant and a special person in his/her world (usually the mother). It is a process that takes place over time involving an affectionate, reciprocal relationship between these two people. The interaction usually occurs in this manner:

  1. The infant cries or expresses discomfort;
  2. The caretaker responds in an attentive and loving way, fulfilling the needs of the infant;
  3. The infant smiles and coos as a sign of contentment;
  4. The caretaker is gratified to know that she/he can please the infant and produce such a response.

This is a beautiful, harmonious interplay that is a part of Allah's universal plan. It plants the seeds of the social and community ties that are so important in Islaam.

Bonding is vitally important because it can affect the psychological and social development of a child. Scientific research has shown that children who were securely attached in infancy are more competent in certain social and cognitive skills: they are more curious, competent, cooperative, and self-directed than those who were insecurely attached. They are also more likely to be sought out as friends and chosen to be leaders. In school, they tend to interact with teachers in friendly and appropriate ways and are more likely to be independent, seeking help from teachers only when needed.

Children who were insecurely attached tend to experience more difficulty in these areas and these effects may carry over into later years. Poor attachment has been found to be one factor in an equation that explains problems in adolescence such as juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol use, and much more.

Fostering a strong bond with your child

How does a parent build a strong bond with her/his child and foster secure attachment?

mosesbasked51.Stay home with the baby. This is the ideal situation (although not always possible) for both the mother and the child. Allah has assigned women the role of nurturer and caretaker and has created them with characteristics that fit this role. Since bonding develops through many interactions between parent and child it only makes sense that they be together for this to occur. It is a disturbing situation when a woman goes back to work 6 weeks after the baby is born leaving him/her in daycare for 10 hours a day. She then comes home too frazzled and exhausted to have any interactions with the baby much less quality time. If it is absolutely necessary for a woman to work it is important to find a competent, caring person to take care of the child, preferably a Muslim. It is possible for a child to bond with more than one person.

2.Breastfeed. Allah has provided humans with a natural technique for development of a bond through the prescription of breastfeeding, "The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years." [2:233]; "And the bearing of him and the weaning of him is thirty months." [46:15]. This is another example of Allah's infinite wisdom that has only recently been proven by scientific knowledge. There are numerous health benefits from breastfeeding as well as emotional and social effects that will last a lifetime.

3.Respond to the infant's needs as quickly as possible. A significant part of the bonding process involves trust. When the needs of the baby are fulfilled, he/she develops trust in the caretaker and in the world. Crying and fussiness are forms of communication that signal that something is not quite right, and it is the responsibility of the caretaker to determine what should be done. Experienced parents are able to distinguish various cries and their associated needs. It is also possible to sense the early signs of needs and take care of them before the infant becomes upset. Caretakers who do this well, usually have babies who are very content, secure, and enjoyable.

4.Communicate with your infant. There are many ways to send messages of love and care to your infant. These include talking in a soft voice, "answering" sounds by cooing or imitating, singing, smiling, hugging, stroking, massaging, making eye contact and much more. Mothers and infants tend to develop their own special language that really is an expression of their love for each other. One of the most wonderful gifts from Allah is the beautiful, bright smile of an infant that says, "I am loved and cared for and I am returning that love." What amazing synchrony!

Following this advice does not guarantee that your child will develop according to your wishes and it will not alleviate your concerns, but it is an initial building block that will provide a strong foundation upon which to build. It is important to remember throughout the whole building process that our children are only a test for us and that we must always rely on Allah, the All-Mighty.


rednikabHead-to-toe relief for the growing pains of pregnancy.
Before you became pregnant, you probably thought that you had an understanding with your body: You were good to it, it was good to you. Now that you’re expecting, however, you find that all bets are off. Your little bundle of joy is calling the shots, and your body is straining to accommodate. Feet are swelling, ligaments are stretching, veins are bulging, and hormones are raging. Simply put, you need help. Fortunately, relief  is just just below.
Little Cures for Big Discomforts
As your skin stretches, it can become dry and itchy.

*Relief: Slather on moisturizer or cocoa butter after bathing, and avoid harsh soaps, which remove your skin’s natural oils.
Your growing uterus presses on your bladder.

*Relief: By four months, the uterus moves up, relieving the pressure. Meanwhile, keep drinking liquids and don’t wait to urinate — it can lead to a urinary tract infection.
You may retain some fluid — especially around your ankles and feet.

*Relief: Put your feet up, switch standing and sitting positions often, and don’t cross your legs. If your rings get tight, put them on a chain and wear them as a necklace.
Valves that propel blood start to soften, causing the blood to pool and form painful bulges.

*Relief: Avoid crossing your legs, standing in one position for too long, or wearing anything that cuts off circulation (like knee-high stockings). Support hose may also help soothe the aches.
Hormonal havoc and the energy it takes to create a baby sap your strength.

*Relief: Rest often and avoid sugar and caffeine.
Sluggish circulation causes painful knots.

*Relief: Gentle massage or stretching (with toes flexed, not pointed) can help relax the muscle. Try stretching your legs before bedtime.
Your ligaments stretch to support the growing weight of your womb, causing sharp pains from the top of your uterus down to your pubic bone.

*Relief: Get off your feet, and support your belly with a pillow when you’re lying on your side. Warm baths are soothing too.
These swollen rectal veins result from hard-to-pass bowel movements.

*Relief: Try ice packs, sitz baths, or witch hazel compresses, and ask your doctor about a stool softener or suppositories.
Your shifting center of gravity and the increased natural curvature of your spine strain your back.

*Relief: Stand up straight, and be careful lifting. While sitting, elevate your feet, and use a pillow for the small of your back.
A clear to yellowish secretion, known as leukorrhea, helps flush bacteria from your vagina.

*Relief: Wear a light panty shield in your underwear to help you feel fresher, but don’t douche or wear tampons.
Pregnancy hormones slow some bodily functions, resulting in constipation, indigestion, bloating, and gas.

*Relief: Eat a diet high in fiber (whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of liquids, and try to take a walk every day.
So-called morning sickness — nausea that ranges from mild queasiness to frequent vomiting — can last all day.

*Relief: Eat small, frequent meals high in protein and carbohydrates, and keep a few crackers by your bed to help settle your stomach before you get up in the morning.
Your uterus presses on your stomach, causing acids to back up.

*Relief: Even when you’re ravenous, eat slowly. Avoid greasy foods and stay upright after meals. Also, try eating yogurt or chewable calcium tablets.
As your breasts rev up for breastfeeding, they may be slightly swollen and feel sensitive or painful to the touch.

*Relief: Buy a comfortable and supportive bra (without underwire is best).
The sudden surge of hormones may cause migraines.

*Relief: Try hot and cold compresses, temple massage, and fresh air. Acetaminophen is considered safe for pregnant women, but talk to your doctor before taking any drugs.
High levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow to the mucous membranes, causing them to soften and swell. Your sinuses may feel extremely dry.

*Relief: Use a humidifier to loosen congestion, and lubricate the inside of your nose with a little petroleum jelly.
Early in pregnancy, levels of estrogen and progesterone soar — increasing blood flow and sensitivity in the breasts, vagina, labia, and clitoris — which may turn you into a sexual dynamo. On the other hand, when you’re dealing with nausea, fatigue, and moodiness, you may find sex as appealing as your annual exam. The key for you and your partner is to expect fluctuations in desire, so that when it wanes, you can stay intimate in other ways — by holding hands, snuggling, or giving each other massages.

By the way, there’s no reason to fear that you’ll harm the baby during intercourse. She’s well-protected in her amniotic bubble, and unless you’re at risk for miscarriage or preterm labor (in which case, you should seek your doctor’s advice), sex generally poses no danger whatsoever.
Consider yourself hormonally challenged: During pregnancy, estrogen can climb to 60 times its normal level. In general, higher levels of both progesterone and estrogen can make you feel good, but sometimes the huge fluctuations can also puncture the euphoria. In fact, a wide range of emotional states is perfectly normal — quiet and withdrawn, scared, anxious, elated and excited, easily angered or tearful, ambivalent, worried, and happy. But you can try to stay on an even keel with enough rest, exercise, and communication with your partner.

On the other hand, if your symptoms include prolonged weepiness, anxiety, sleeplessness, guilt, anger, pessimism, or detachment, talk to a professional about pregnancy-related depression. This potentially serious condition can last anywhere from weeks to months, and it can be treated safely with therapy and medicine. Women who experience severe depression during pregnancy are also at high risk of postpartum depression, so this is one condition you don’t want to wait out.

When Woes Are Serious

With everything your body’s going through during pregnancy, it can be tough to tell which changes are simply uncomfortable and which are dangerous. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor when in doubt. And be sure to talk to her if you experience any of the following symptoms:

A possible sign of anemia, or iron deficiency in the blood.
Any of these conditions can cause dehydration, which in turn can damage the baby’s developing organs.
A possible sign of a miscarriage or of placenta previa.
Symptoms that may indicate an ectopic pregnancy or pending miscarriage.
Possible signs of pregnancy-induced hypertension, and preeclampsia.
Treat Yourself

This is one time when everyone will let you enjoy a much-deserved break. Take advantage!
  • Light some candles and soak in the tub.
  • Get your hair washed at a salon.
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Get a pedicure even if you can’t see your feet anymore.


baby-scanMany diverse subjects are mentioned in the Qur'an in the course of inviting people to believe. Sometimes the heavens, sometimes animals, and sometimes plants are shown as evidence to man by God. In many of the verses, people are called upon to turn their attention to their own creation. They are often reminded how man came into the world, which stages he has passed through, and what his essence is,

"It is We Who have created you. Why, then, do you not accept the truth? Have you ever considered that (seed) which you emit? Is it you who create it? Or are We the Creator?" (The Qur'an, [56]:57-59)

The creation of man, and the miraculous aspect of this, is stressed in many other verses. Some items of information within these verses are so detailed that it is impossible for anyone living in the 7th century to have known them. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Man is not created from the entire semen, but only a very small portion of it (sperm).
  2. It is the male that determines the sex of the baby.
  3. The human embryo adheres to the mother's uterus like a leech.
  4. The embryo develops in three dark regions in the uterus.

People living when the Qur'an was revealed, to be sure, knew that the basic substance of birth was related to the semen of the male emitted during sexual intercourse. And the fact that the baby was born after a nine-month period was obviously an observable event not calling for any further investigation. However, the items of information just quoted were far above the level of learning of the people living at that time. These were verified by 20th century science.

Now, let us go over them one by one.

A Drop of Semen

During sexual intercourse, 250 million sperms are emitted from the male at a time. The sperms undertake an arduous journey in the mother's body until they make it to the ovum. Only a thousand out of 250 million sperms succeed in reaching the ovum. At the end of this five-minute race, the ovum, half the size of a grain of salt, will let only one of the sperms in. That is, the essence of man is not the whole semen, but only a small part of it. This is explained in the Qur'an:

"Does man reckon he will be left uncontrolled (without purpose)? Was he not once a drop of ejected semen?" (The Qur'an, [75]:36-37)

As we have seen, the Qur'an informs us that man is made not from the entire semen, but only a small part of it. That the particular emphasis in this statement announces a fact only discovered by modern science is evidence that the statement is divine in origin.

Only a few sperms make it to the ovum In the picture to the left, we see semen ejected into the uterus. Only very few sperms out of 250 million sperms emitted from the male can make it to the ovum. The sperm that will fertilise the egg is the only one out of a thousand sperms that have managed to survive. The fact that man is made not from the entire semen, but only a small part of it, is related in the Qur'an with the expression, "a drop of ejected semen".

The Mixture in the Semen

The fluid called semen, which contains the sperms, does not consist of sperms alone. On the contrary, it is made up of a mixture of different fluids. These fluids have different functions, such as containing the sugar necessary for providing energy for the sperms, neutralising the acids at the entrance of the uterus, and creating a slippery environment for the easy movement of the sperms.

Interestingly enough, when semen is mentioned in the Qur'an, this fact, which was discovered by modern science, is also referred to, and semen is defined as a mixed fluid:

"We created man from a mingled drop to test him, and We made him hearing and seeing." (The Qur'an, [76]:2)

In another verse, semen is again referred to as a mixture, and it is stressed that man is created from the "extract" of this mixture: "He who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay; then He made his progeny from an extract of discarded fluid." (The Qur'an, [32]:7-8)

The Arabic word "sulala", translated as "extract", means the essential or best part of something. By either implication, it means "part of a whole". This shows that the Qur'an is the word of a Will that knows the creation of man down to its slightest detail. This Will is God, the Creator of man.

The Sex of the Baby

Until fairly recently, it was thought that a baby's sex was determined by the mother's cells. Or at least, it was believed that the sex was determined by the male and female cells together. But we are given different information in the Qur'an, where it is stated that masculinity or femininity is created out of "a drop of sperm which has been ejected".

"He has created both sexes, male and female from a drop of semen which has been ejected." (The Qur'an, [53]:45-46)

The sex of the baby is determined by the sperm In the Qur'an, it is said that masculinity or femininity are created out of "a drop of semen which has been ejected". However, until fairly recently, it was believed that a baby's sex was determined by the mother's cells. Science only discovered this information given in the Qur'an in the 20th century. This and many other similar details about the creation of man were stated in the Qur'an centuries ago.

The developing disciplines of genetics and molecular biology have scientifically validated the accuracy of this information given by the Qur'an. It is now understood that sex is determined by the sperm cells from the male, and that the female has no role in this process.

Chromosomes Chromosomes
The Y chromosome carries characteristics of masculinity, while the X chromosome carries those of femininity. In the mother's egg, there is only the X chromosome, which determines female characteristics. In the semen from the father, there are sperms that includes either X or Y chromosomes. Therefore, the sex of the baby depends on whether the sperm fertilising the egg contains an X or Y chromosome. In other words, as stated in the verse, the factor determining the sex of the baby is the semen, which comes from the father. This knowledge, which could not have been known at the time when the Qur'an was revealed, is evidence to the fact that the Qur'an is the word of God.

Chromosomes are the main elements in determining sex. Two of the 46 chromosomes that determine the structure of a human being are identified as the sex chromosomes. These two chromosomes are called "XY" in males, and "XX" in females, because the shapes of the chromosomes resemble these letters. The Y chromosome carries the genes that code for masculinity, while the X chromosome carries the genes that code for femininity.

The formation of a new human being begins with the cross combination of one of these chromosomes, which exist in males and females in pairs. In females, both components of the sex cell, which divides into two during ovulation, carry X chromosomes. The sex cell of a male, on the other hand, produces two different kinds of sperm, one that contains X chromosomes and the other Y chromosomes. If an X chromosome from the female unites with a sperm that contains an X chromosome, then the baby is female. If it unites with the sperm that contains a Y chromosome, the baby is male.

In other words, a baby's sex is determined by which chromosome from the male unites with the female's ovum.

None of this was known until the discovery of genetics in the 20th century. Indeed, in many cultures, it was believed that a baby's sex was determined by the female's body. That was why women were blamed when they gave birth to girls.

Thirteen centuries before human genes were discovered, however, the Qur'an revealed information that denies this superstition, and referred to the origin of sex lying not with women, but with the semen coming from men.

The Clot Clinging to the Uterus

If we keep on examining the facts announced to us in the Qur'an about the formation of human beings, we again encounter some very important scientific miracles.

When the sperm of the male unites with the ovum of the female, the essence of the baby to be born is formed. This single cell, known as a "zygote" in biology, will instantly start to reproduce by dividing, and eventually become a "piece of flesh" called an embryo. This of course can only be seen by human beings with the aid of a microscope.

The embryo, however, does not spend its developmental period in a void. It clings to the uterus just like roots that are firmly fixed to the earth by their tendrils. Through this bond, the embryo can obtain the substances essential to its development from the mother's body.(16)

Here, at this point, a very significant miracle of the Qur'an is revealed. While referring to the embryo developing in the mother's womb, God uses the word "alaq" in the Qur'an:

"Recite: In the name of your Lord Who created man from alaq. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Generous." (The Qur'an, 96:1-3)

The zygote is called by the Qur'an, "alaq" In the first phase of its development, the baby in the mother's womb is in the form of a zygote, which clings to the uterus in order to take nourishment from the mother's blood. In the picture to the left is a zygote, which looks like a piece of flesh. This formation, which has been discovered by modern embryology, was miraculously stated in the Qur'an 14 centuries ago with the word "'alaq", which means "a thing that clings to some place" and is used to describe leeches that cling to a body to suck blood.

The meaning of the word "'alaq" in Arabic is "a thing that clings to some place". The word is literally used to describe leeches that cling to a body to suck blood.

Certainly, the use of such an appropriate word for the embryo developing in the mother's womb, proves once again that the Qur'an is a revelation from God, the Lord of all the Worlds.

The wrapping of muscles over the bones

Another important aspect of the information given in the verses of the Qur'an is the developmental stages of a human being in the mother's womb. It is stated in the verses that in the mother's womb, the bones develop first, and then the muscles form which wrap around them.

"(We) then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be God, the Best of Creators!" (The Qur'an, [23]:14)

Embryology is the branch of science that studies the development of the embryo in the mother's womb. Until very recently, embryologists assumed that the bones and muscles in an embryo developed at the same time. For this reason, for a long time, some people claimed that these verses conflicted with science. Yet, advanced microscopic research conducted by virtue of new technological developments has revealed that the revelation of the Qur'an is word for word correct.

These observations at the microscopic level showed that the development inside the mother's womb takes place in just the way it is described in the verses. First, the cartilage tissue of the embryo ossifies. Then muscular cells that are selected from amongst the tissue around the bones come together and wrap around the bones.

The bones of the baby are clothed with flesh during one particular stage
The bones of the baby completing its development in the mother's womb are clothed with flesh during one particular stage.

This event is described in a scientific publication titled Developing Human in the following words:

During the seventh week, the skeleton begins to spread throughout the body and the bones take their familiar shapes. At the end of the seventh week and during the eighth week the muscles take their positions around the bone forms.(17)

Many stages of a baby's development in the mother's womb are related in the Qur'an. "?(We then) formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh"
Many stages of a baby's development in the mother's womb are related in the Qur'an. As described in verse 14 of Sura Muminun, the cartilage of the embryo in the mother's womb ossifies first. Then these bones are covered with muscle cells. God describes this development with the verse: "(We then) formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh"

In short, man's developmental stages as described in the Qur'an are in perfect harmony with the findings of modern embryology.

Three Stages of the Baby in the Womb

In the Qur'an, it is related that man is created in a three-stage process in the mother's womb. "... He creates you stage by stage in your mothers' wombs in a threefold darkness. That is God, your Lord. Sovereignty is His. There is no god but Him. So what has made you deviate?" (The Qur'an, [39]:6)

As will be understood, it is pointed out in this verse that a human being is created in the mother's womb in three distinct stages. Indeed, modern biology has revealed that the baby's embryological development takes place in three distinct regions in the mother's womb. Today, in all the embryology textbooks studied in faculties of medicine, this subject is taken as an element of basic knowledge. For instance in Basic Human Embryology, a fundamental reference text in the field of embryology, this fact is stated as follows: "The life in the uterus has three stages: pre-embryonic; first two and a half weeks, embryonic; until the end of the eight week, and fetal; from the eight week to labor."(18)

These phases refer to the different developmental stages of a baby. In brief, the main characteristics of these developmental stages are as follows:

1. Pre-embryonic stage

In this first phase, the zygote grows by division, and when it becomes a cell cluster, it buries itself in the wall of the uterus. While they continue growing, the cells organise themselves in three layers.

2. Embryonic Stage

The second phase lasts for five and a half weeks, during which the baby is called an "embryo". In this stage, the basic organs and systems of the body start to appear from the cell layers.

3. Fetal stage

From this stage on, the embryo is called a "foetus". This phase begins at the eighth week of gestation and lasts until the moment of birth. The distinctive characteristic of this stage is that the foetus looks just like a human being, with its face, hands and feet. Although it is only 3 cm. long initially, all of its organs have become apparent. This phase lasts for about 30 weeks, and development continues until the week of delivery.

The baby's embryological development takes place in three distinct regions

In the verse 6 of Sura Zumar, it is pointed out that man is created in the mother's womb in three distinct stages. Indeed, modern embryology has revealed that the baby's embryological development takes place in three distinct regions in the mother's womb.

Information on the development in the mother's womb became available only after observations with modern devices. Yet, just like many other scientific facts, these pieces of information are imparted in the verses of the Qur'an in a miraculous way. The fact that such detailed and accurate information was given in the Qur'an at a time when people had scarce information on medical matters is clear evidence that the Qur'an is not the word of man, but the word of God.



16- Moore, Keith L., E. Marshall Johnson, T. V. N. Persaud, Gerald C. Goeringer, Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani, and Mustafa A. Ahmed, 1992, Human Development as Described in the Qur'an and Sunnah, Makkah, Commission on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, p. 36
17- Moore, Developing Human, 6. edition,1998.
18- Williams P., Basic Human Embryology, 3. edition, 1984, p. 64.


Once a woman has confirmed her pregnancy, she should express her gratitude before Allah (ta'aalaa) as this is indeed a great bounty of Allah (ta'aalaa). This is such a boon that many people beseech Allah (ta'aalaa) throughout their lives for pious children but Allah has destined otherwise. In fact one of the greatest Prophets of Allah ('azza wa jall), Ibraaheem ('alayhis-salaam) used to supplicate to Allah (the Mighty) most profoundly and frequently for children. Even Zakariyyaa ('alayhis-salaam) used to supplicate for children most passionately and fervently during the latter part of his life.

Hence, a Muslim woman is required to express her gratitude unto Allah (the Glorious) for this great bounty. Gratitude may be expressed in the following ways:

Recite the Following Supplications very Frequently

"Allahummâ Lakal Hamdû Wa Lakash-Shukru."
O Allah! All praises are due to You alone and I express my gratitude unto You alone (for granting me the honour of motherhood).

Extra Prayers

Allocate a fixed time for extra nawaafil. While in Sajdah (prostration), make Du‘aa abundantly. Recite the following Du’aa as well,

"Rabbi Hab Liy Min-Ladunka dhurriyatan-Tayyibah Innaka Samee'ud-Du’aa"
O my Lord! Bless me from your side with pure children. Verily You are all-hearing of the Du’aa.

Recite the following Du’aa as well:

Rabbi-j‘alniy Muqeema-Salaati wa min dburriyatiy Rabbanaa wa Taqabbal Du’aa
O my Lord! Render me as well as my progeny as establishers of Salâh and accept our supplications.

Express Gratitude from the Heart

purple_darkish_skySimilarly, express your gratitude from the heart in such a manner that you try to stay happy at all times. Try to forget all your past sorrows; build your dreams and keep your hopes and spirits high. Ponder over the bounties of Paradise.

On the impending happiness of the birth of your child, maintain a friendly and trouble-free relationship with all. If you do tend to hurt anyone, apologise immediately and try to forget about the dispute. The conditions of the mother during pregnancy, in fact even her spirit and perceptions during this state has a profound affect on the unborn child.

Hence, a Muslim woman should express gratitude at all times especially during the period of her pregnancy. This gratitude should in turn develop in her the love of Allah (the Mighty). She should ponder that since Allah (the Glorious) has blessed us with so many bounties, we should also devote ourselves to Him. To disobey such a majestic benefactor – by strutting about veil-less, watching television, films, listening to music, lying, gossiping, backbiting, wasting time etc – at any time and especially during pregnancy is not acceptable. How is it that Allah ('azza wa jall) showers His bounties upon us and we in turn disobey Him!?

The First Month of Pregnancy

leafwaterRemember that you are not a single entity now. Now a child is being nourished within your own body. With a bit of precaution on your part, this child may become healthy, intelligent, understanding, pious and religious. However, with your negligence and indifference, the child may turn out to be weak, sickly and incompetent.

Therefore, your life should not be the same as it was before you fell pregnant. Every moment should be passed with caution and concern over the well-being of yourself as well your child. Therefore, pay careful attention to the following points:

Be careful with your diet. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Avoid over-eating and abstain from food that can cause constipation.

Eat green, fresh vegetables, like salads, cucumbers etc in abundance. Make sure that they are clean and washed before use.

Also, a pregnant woman should drink lots of milk because Allah (the All-Mighty) has placed within it vitamins and proteins required by the human body.

If pure or raw milk is detrimental to you, consume it in other forms like Lassî (curds), sour-milk, custard, Khîr etc. This is beneficial to the mother as well as the child.

Ensure that you refrain from all types of medication during pregnancy especially pain-relievers. If you are really desperate, consult a reliable female (or if you can't find a female doctor then a male) doctor explaining your pregnancy and conditions to her. It shouldn't be such that you are prescribed medication that is injurious to pregnant women. Some medication clearly states on the label that it is not advisable for pregnant women. Therefore, if you are really desperate to use some medication, make sure you scrutinize the lable and make thorough investigation before use.

Avoid excessively hard work and picking up very heavy objects as this may lead to a miscarriage. If your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law compels you to pick up heavy objects or forces you to carry out some difficult task, then excuse yourself very politely and explain to them that this task is beyond you and that you will pay a labourer to carry out this task or ask someone else, like your husband, to do it.

However, if your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law fails to take pity on your condition, explain your helplessness to your husband and with his permission, go to your mother's house to rest. If you are a sister-in-law to another woman (your brother's wife), don’t be cruel to her. The moment she falls pregnant, try to make her comfortable and relaxed at all times. Your benevolence won’t be directed to your sister-in-law alone but you will be showing mercy to a sinless child, a priceless gem, a blossoming flower, the coolness of your brother’s eyes, a luminance of this worldly life and a source of perpetual reward for the hereafter.

The degree of happiness and comfort of your sister-in-law or daughter-in-law will, Allah Willing, determine the well-being, health, robustness and happiness of the new arrival.

Dear Sister, take these points into consideration and turn to your Lord to help you through this time and what comes after.


shining_flowerThe coming of a first new baby is a time of excitement and every Muslim mother-to-be eagerly awaits the arrival of this special gift. It is easy to find the latest advice and useful practical tips and information about what to expect of the early weeks of motherhood on a day to day basis from Western books, but because they are bereft of the guidance of Islaam, they contain little advice for Muslim Women when it comes coping spiritually with the coming of a baby.

Every baby is different and some first time mothers find things quite easy and smooth. But nearly all will have moments when they struggle to reorganize their lives and many have a very trying time if their baby suffers from colic or has trouble settling down or if the birth was complicated and long. There are many things Muslim women can do to make this time as smooth as possible and increase their Eemân (faith).

Welcome your child in the correct Islamic manner

There are many Sunnahs (Prophetic Guidances) relating to the newborn:

  • The Adhân being recited to the child soon after the birth so that it is the first thing the child hears.
  • Tahnîk: rubbing a small piece of softened date or something sweet on the palate of the newborn.
  • Shaving the hair of the newborn on the seventh day and giving the value of its weight in silver to charity.
  • Announce the good news of the birth to family and friends and you will see that everyone is happy when they hear of the birth of a new Muslim child!
  • The Aqîqah is a strong Sunnah and many scholars regard it as an obligation upon the parents and it is the slaughtering of two sheep or goats for a boy and one sheep or goat for a girl preferably on the seventh day.

The Prophet ( sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said, “The Aqîqah is a right (upon you). (Slaughter) for a boy two compatible sheep, and for a girl: one.” (Ahmad and others.)[1]

Although many people send money to poor Muslim countries for the 'Aqîqah, this important Sunnah should be revived in the societies we live in as well. By having the Aqîqah in your locality, by eating of the meat yourself and having your friends and family and other Muslims gather and take part in this joyous occasion or in distributing the meat to them there are many benefits: First of all this is the way the Prophet (sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) practiced it. The sense of identity of the Muslim community as well as Muslim children will increase, people will know that there is a new addition to the Ummah and will pray for your child Inshaa' Allâh and you will be able to enjoy this occasion and perhaps meet family and friends who you may not be able to see so often now that you are a busy mother.

  • A good name is one of the rights of the child. Good names are those which are known to be pleasing to Allâh and approved by His Messenger or acceptable to the scholars of Islam.

Recommended names are those that show servitude to Allâh: 'Abdullah (Servant of Allah), Abdur-Rahmân (Servant of the Merciful) etc. The names of the Prophets and Sahâbah and the pious people before us will also have a good affect on the childs psyche. She will want to be like Mariam (‘alaihas-Salâm) and he will want to be like ‘Umar (Radhi Allâhu ‘anhu) if you give them those names Inshaa' Allâh. And the child will have a role model in their name and love to hear the story of a person in the past with their name. Make sure the name has a good meaning, don’t just name it because it sounds good. There have been some people especially from amongst the non-Arabs who have named their children names that sound good but have a bad or improper meaning for a Muslim. That name will have an affect on the character of that child and will follow that child for life. One name that we came across amongst some children was a Muslim girl called: Ilâha! Meaning ‘goddess’! We seek refuge in Allâh from such names.

  • Circumcision: If you have a son, get him circumcised on the seventh day or as soon as you can so as not to cause the child discomfort.

It’s good to get a personal recommendation when looking for a doctor and the procedure is a very easy one and local anesthetic is usually used. Usually healing takes a week or two.

Du’a and other acts of worship

petalsA common statement made by some sisters who are mothers is, “I don’t get any time to do ‘Ibâdah”. This is a misconception amongst us because we don’t realize that even the every day tasks that we do as Muslims become acts of worship if they are accompanied with a good intention. So, perhaps you are spending most of your time caring for your baby and even after the post-partum bleeding period you may not be able to pray as many superogaratory prayers or teach Qur’ân or do other praiseworthy acts that you used to do. But remember, the job that you are doing is one which Allâh has ordained for you, and a very important and rewardable one if you do it mindfully and for the sake of Allâh. You are bringing up the future worshippers of Allâh, the future scholars or Mujâhidîn (those who struggle for the deen), teachers or leaders: the future Ummah (Muslim Nation)!

Although you will not be performing Salâh as you are in your Post natal bleeding period, this is a time you need to call on Allâh regularly and using His names and attributes, call on Him sincerely, ask Him to make easy anything you may be finding difficult. Make du'a (supplication) for your child, as the du’a of the mother for her child is answered as occurs in the hadîth,

“There are three supplications that are answered – there being no doubt about it: the supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parent for his child.”[2]

Some du’as you can make for your child are as follows:

The du’a that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to make for al-Hasan and al-Husayn which was also the du’a that the Prophet Ibrahîm ('alaihis salâm) used to make for Ismaîl and Ishâq was:

“U’îdhukumâ bi kalimât illâhi-ttâmah, min kulli shaytânin wa hâmmah wa min kulli ‘ainin lâmma.”[3]

(I seek refuge for you with Allâh’s complete words from every Devil and harmful creature and from every envious eye)

And the du’a of Mariam’s mother ('alaihas Salâm), when she said to Allâh,

“Innî u’îdhu hâ bika wa dhurrîyyatuhâ minashaitânir-rajîm”

(I seek Your protection for her and her progeny from Shaitan, the outcast.) (Surah Aal-‘Imraan [3]:36)

Suratul Fâtihah, Ayatul Kursî and the last three Surah’s of the Qur’ân can also be recited for seeking protection.

You may be awake in the night feeding your child for long stretches, so take this opportunity to make du’a and make adhkâr (the remembrance of Allah) while feeding. Du’a and Dhikr are in and of themselves ‘Ibâdah. Allâh has given us many ways of worshipping him for all different situations. You could revise the Surahs you have memorized[4] or just listen to Qur’ân recitation and contemplate on the meaning. Getting your baby used to having the Qur’ân recited to him will Inshaa' Allâh be beneficial and have an effect on him. Or get some cassettes with talks on them to listen to as this can have a very positive effect on you especially if the talks are inspirational like the Stories of the Prophets or Sahabah.


bibsdiffcolorsWith your baby’s arrival, the first part of his Rizq or provision arrived too and that is breast milk! Allâh (subhânahu wa ta’âla) ordained breastfeeding for humans and many animals and people have been breastfeeding from the beginning of their existence.

Allâh’s Messengers too were breast-fed. Allâh (the All-Mighty) inspired Musa’s mother to put her baby Musa in a basket in the river to save him from Pharaoh’s killing decree, Pharaoh’s family found him and wanted to keep him and looked everywhere for a wet-nurse to breastfeed him and Allâh caused Musa to refuse to be breast-fed by any woman except his own mother.

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallâhu‘alaihi wa sallam) in his childhood, suckled from his mother Aaminah, Thuwaybah – a slave girl of his uncle Abu Lahab, Umm Ayman and Halimah as-Sa’diyyah.[5]

The Prophet’s (sallallâhu‘alaihi wa sallam) children too were breastfed. His son Ibrahîm had a wet-nurse as occurs in a hadîth and when his son passed away he was only 1 year and 10 months old so there were two months of suckling left for him. The Prophet(sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) said, as narrated by Al-Bara (bin Azib), The Prophet, after the death of his son Ibrahîm, said, "There is a wet-nurse for him (i.e. Ibrahîm) in Paradise."[6]

It is only in modern times that the wide use of artificial forms of baby-feeding, cow’s and goat’s milk formulas, have been used and that women have left their homes in pursuit of careers which make them leave the superior role that Allâh has given them. Many of their careers and past-times have pulled them away from the home to serve others and leave their own families.

Allâh (subhanahu wa ta’âla) tells us the recommended time of suckling a child in the Qur’ân, "And the mothers are to suckle their infants for two years, for those who wish to complete the suckling." (Surah Baqarah 2:233)

“We have enjoined upon the human being to treat his parents kindly. His mother bore him with weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years.” (Surah Luqman 31:14)

Look at the importance of breastfeeding! Our Creator even mentions it in the Qur’ân a number of times!

Breastfeeding is widely acknowledged now as being the best food for babies. It provides everything your baby needs: it is clean and sterilized, the right temperature, it’s fresh, it’s easily digested, contains antibodies and anti-allergens and is designed by Allâh perfectly for your baby’s needs. As a result, breast fed babies have better immune systems, and less infections. But that is not all. Scientists agree that babies gain many psychological and emotional benefits through breastfeeding too. Some scholars say that the good characteristics of the mother are transferred to the child through breastfeeding. The child feels ultimate comfort and security through being so close to his mother and their special bond is strengthened, so much so that in Islâm if a non-related woman breastfeeds a child she becomes a foster mother to him and her children are foster sisters and brothers to him who he cannot marry! As the Prophet (sallallâhu‘alaihi wa sallam) said as is related in a number of Ahadîth, ”Indeed, Allâh has prohibited (marriage) among suckling relatives, as He has prohibited it among birth (or blood) relatives.”[7]

What more proof do we need of the bond that is created through breast-feeding? It is permissible with the parent’s joint agreement to have a child breastfed by another woman and that wet-nurse is entitled to a wage. It was the custom at the time of the Prophet (sallallâhu‘alaihi wa sallam) to be breastfed by other women, which strengthened relationships and made more mahram men for women etc. This also took the strain off one woman if she was finding it difficult.

In Islâm, unless there is a legitimate excuse, the mother is required to breastfeed her baby. It is an obligation upon both parents – the mother provides the milk and the father provides the material support for the mother even if they are divorced.[8] If a parent thinks there is a need to wean the baby before the end of two years it is permissible after consultation and joint agreement.

mosesbasked3In the West, although breastfeeding is regarded as the best way to feed a child, still, some health professionals do not hesitate to advise women to give their babies formula milk top-ups or to part-breast-feed, part-bottle-feed, even without a serious reason. Unfortunately many Muslim Women take this up too. Of course if there is a serious reason then this is unavoidable (although reviving the tradition of other women feeding our children would be very useful in this case). But all too often our sisters are talked into bottle-feeding for convenience reasons or because a baby’s weight is not picking up as quickly as the chart says it should. However many women have found that even if it seems difficult at first, if they persevere, breastfeeding becomes easier. Yes you may have some discomfort early on and it is physically demanding at times because as the mother, you alone must wake up often and feed you baby whereas with bottle-feeding someone else can do it for you. But we must ask ourselves: Why has Allâh given the mother such an honoured and lofty status in Islam? Why does she have so many rights upon her children, even more than the father in many cases? Is it not because of the sacrifices she made? The pain she endured? The nights she stayed awake?

Your new baby has just come from a very secure environment where all his needs were being met and he was so close to you and now he is suddenly in this very sensuous world where he may be feeling hunger, thirst, seperation, pain for the first time. He needs you and that closeness, nourishment and security that suckling gives him.

As Sheikh Suhaib Hasan so aptly puts,

“…the child should be suckled for the first two years of his life, instead of being given powdered milk which has been stored in tins for months. Few adults would abandon fresh fruit and vegetables for stale, tinned foods, yet they are quite happy to feed nothing but tinned milk and foods to their infants. Secondly, just as the mother’s blood in the womb passes nutrients and her emotions through to the blood of her child, so her milk also passes her characteristics and emotions to her child while she is suckling him, causing him to feel immense comfort and confidence.”[9]

The scholars of the past too knew the importance of breast milk and the following is just a snippet of Imaam Ibn ul Qayyim’s (may Allah have mercy on him) advice regarding breastfeeding,

“Babies should only be fed the (mother’s) milk until their teeth appear. Their stomach and digestive system (in the early months) are incapable of handling (solid) food. When the babies teeth come out, its stomach becomes strong and ready for food. Indeed, Allâh delays the growth of teeth until the baby needs the food. This is from His wisdom and kindness, and out of mercy toward the mother and her breast’s nipples, so that the baby would not bite them with its teeth.

The babies should be given solid food in a gradual manner, starting with soft foods, such as wet bread, (animal) milk, yoghurt, meat broth… The parents should not be too disturbed by the baby’s crying and screaming, especially when it is hungry for milk. That crying benefits the baby tremendously, training its limbs, widening its intestines, broadening its chest…

The complete breast-feeding term is two years. This is a right for the baby – if it needs it and cannot do without it…”[10]

Patience & Gratitude

purty_flower_400Whenever there are difficult patches in our lives we should remember Allâh’s saying, the meaning of which is,

“Indeed after every hardship is ease, Indeed after every hardship is ease.” (Surah ash-Sharh (94), âyah 6)

No pain afflicts a Muslim except that some of his sins are forgiven due to it. If things happened in labour, which you didn’t like, discuss with your husband how you could avoid those things in the future. But try not to over analyse things. Simply think of solutions and seek advice and seek Allâh’s aid and move on. Deal with any major problems you can highlight to the hospital or nursing staff, but move on. We should remember to count the blessings in our situation and we will find that even though this testing time seems difficult to us - there will always be people who are being tested more than us and our situation is still much better than that of many.

If your labour was particularly difficult, think about Mariam (‘alayhas-salâm) and how she was all alone through childbirth, no hospital and facilities, no husband, no books telling her what to expect, no family support -and on top of that the fear of being falsely accused by her people and given a bad reputation. Allâh tells us in the Qur’ân, the meaning of which is:

“So she conceived him (‘Isa) and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said, “Oh! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” But (a voice) cried to her from beneath her saying, “Grieve not! For your Lord has provided a water stream under you. And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad. And if you see any human being, say, ‘Verily I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allâh) so I shall not speak to any human being this day.’” Then she brought him (the baby Isa) to her people, carrying him. They said, “Oh Mariam! Indeed you have brought a mighty strange thing!” (Surah Maryam: âyât 22-27)

She had no one but Allâh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to help her and of course, He was enough for her. Reflect on this: if labour pains are so difficult to bear, then how is it that we sin and do not fear Allâh’s punishment which is more bitter and longer lasting? Should we not now think twice before we sin?

There are probably women in our own families who had much less than we do, less information, facilities and support all round. So we must be thankful. You will see that Inshaa' Allâh, within weeks or months you will be physically healed and will become a lot more organized. Allâh has made us able to adapt to changes over time, so we must trust in Him and ask Him to help us overcome any weaknesses we think we may have.

Slow down & Prioritise

penpencilYou may feel that there are many things to do and balance in the early days…but if you prioritise and really think about what is important and what can wait, you will achieve a lot more Inshaa' Allâh. You may have to totally concentrate on your baby and his/her needs and devote your time completely to feeding and other needs. Allâh has made doing this easier for us Alhamdulillah by lifting the obligation of praying at this time so that we can devote our time to our baby’s needs.

So for a short time, leave the less important things and concentrate on the job at hand and soon, you will be able to balance more things Inshaa' Allâh. Sleep when your baby sleeps and leave the things such as cleaning till you are on your feet a bit more, or ask friends and family to help. When things settle down more, you can write down the most important things that need to be done and try and do them throughout the day.

Seek help and advice and do your research

Find out about Islamic rulings regarding any issues you face. There is no shortage of information in our times Alhamdulillâh. And it is very advisable for sisters to be informed about childbirth, pain relief options and their implications etc. It is also useful to read up about breastfeeding and what to expect of your baby in the first weeks and months of life. If you get the things you think you’ll need before the birth of your baby then Inshaa' Allâh, this will save you and your husband a lot of running around afterwards. You may need to be shown how to breast-feed correctly. So seek help from the women in your family and your Muslim sisters or even the midwife. Sometimes this is the only way to learn how to do it properly and avoid pain and problems later.

Getting advice from our mothers and friends who are mothers is very important because they usually have tips and advice that books cannot teach us. Many sisters like to stay with their mothers in the early weeks. This way they can get as much help and advice as possible and the whole family can spend quality time with the baby! In the past and in many cultures today, extended families live together which can make things easier.

Being around good people will have a good impact on your mood and eemân (faith). The Internet has many medical websites or websites with parent and baby information, which you could look up instantly if you need advice or information quickly about any issues that come up.

Be mindful of your husband’s rights

alpenglowBooks by non-Muslims and magazines are always giving women excuses to behave badly! Hormones are blamed for everything unreasonable a woman does. Hormones and other pressures do have an affect and the good husband will realize this and also be understanding. But Islaam teaches us Sabr – patience and perseverance in the face of adversity and trying situations. So even at this time when you should put your needs and the needs of your baby first, your husband’s rights should not be neglected.

The coming of your child is a happy time for him too and one of changes and Inshaa' Allâh your husband will be helping you as much as he can and this will be a time for your family unit to grow even closer Inshaa' Allâh. Perhaps he can take time off work at this stage. Seek his help and explain to him how you feel so that he can help you as much as possible and make du’a (supplication) for him.

Things that seem obvious to you may not be to him so explain, so that he can empathize. Enjoy your time with your new family and Inshaa' Allâh, you will see that very soon, as things settle down, you will get more organized and your day will have more structure Inshaa' Allâh and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without the precious little one in your lives. It’s obvious but you must discuss and consult with him any decisions that need to be made. Remember to be thankful to your husband for all the help and support he will have given you through childbirth and before that. Unthankfulness is one of the bad traits that often surface in women at times of pressure, so look at this as your test.

Your good behaviour towards your husband will not go unrewarded Inshaa' Allâh. Remember the hadîth, in which Asmâ' bint Yazîd ibn as Sakan (radhiallâhu anha) came to the Prophet (sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) and said, (this is a weak hadeeth)

“Oh Messenger of Allâh, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you. I have come to you on behalf of the women. We have believed in you. We do not go out and we remain in your homes. We are your source of physical pleasure. We carry your children. A man goes out to pray jumu’ah and jamâ’ah and follows the janazah. And if you go out fo Hajj, or ‘Umrah, or Jihâd, we look after your wealth. We wash your clothing. We raise your children. Shall we not share in the reward?”

The Prophet (sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) turned to his companions and said, “Have you ever heard anything a woman has said better than what she has said?”

Then he said to her, “Understand oh woman, and inform the other women. Indeed a woman’s perfection of her relationship with her husband, her seeking his pleasure, and doing that which he approves of is equivalent to all of that.” Asmâ left exclaiming “La ilâha illa Allâh!”[11]

Enjoy your baby

pushchairpurpleEnjoying the company of your child is also a blessing from Allâh. Look at the story of Musa’s mother in the Qur’ân and see how the separation of mother and child is such a test. It is one of the most moving stories mentioned in the Qur’ân. Her son is born in the year when Pharaoh has decreed the killing of every newborn son of Bani Isra’îl. She knows that soon Pharaoh’s men will come and kill her child. Allâh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, the meaning of which is,

“So we sent this inspiration to the mother of Musa: ‘Suckle your child, but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you and shall make him one of our Messengers.'”

Then the household of Pharaoh picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a cause of grief. For indeed, Pharaoh, Haman and all their men were sinners. And the wife of Pharaoh said: 'A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not (what they were doing)!

And the heart of the mother of Musa became empty. She was very near to disclosing his case, had we not strengthened her heart, so that she might remain a firm believer. And she said to Musa’s sister: “Follow him.” So she watched him from a far place secretly, while they perceived not.

And We had already forbidden other foster suckling mothers for him, until she (Musa’s sister) said: “Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and will look after him in a good manner?”

Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allâh is true: but most of them know not.” (Surah Al-Qasas, âyât 7-13)

Look how much Allâh cared for this great mother, He knew her pain and her feelings and He returned her child to her in the most unexpected way, so we must realize that Allâh is All-Hearing All-Merciful, He knows the plight of the caller when he calls and remember how Allâh has helped mothers throughout the ages and how He mentions many mothers in the Qur’ân: Mariam and her mother, Musa’s mother, Ishâq’s mother Sara, the mother of Yahya (‘alayihimus salâm).

So enjoy your new baby’s company because these days will pass- never to return. At the different stages of our lives: the beginning of parenthood and at every stage, we will find lessons to reflect upon, signs from Allâh that make us thankful and in awe of Him. From the development of your baby throughout the nine months and in seeing him grow and flower every single day there are signs for you and we can see how helpless we too were and how Alhamdulillah Allâh gave us parents and allowed us to grow. There are so many lessons and benefits for us if only we look and think.

Remember that Allâh the Almighty is more merciful to us than the mother is to her child, and He is Arhamu-rRâhimîm (The Most Merciful of those who have mercy), so draw near to Him and make Him the One upon whom you place your trust.



1. Verified to be authentic by al-Albâni (Sahih ul-Jami no. 4133, and ‘Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 1166)
2. Reported by Ibn Majah (No.1270) and others and its isnâd is ‘hasan’ as occurs in sahihul jâmi’ (No.3033)
3. Recorded by Ahmad, verified by al-Albâni as being aunthentic (as-Sahih no.1048)
4. Scholars have stated that it is permissible for the Menstruating woman to recite of the Qur’an and even to hold books with Qur’ânic âyat in them or books which have tafsir in them but not the Mushaf. (Book containing only the Qur’an as the majority of its contents.) This is so that they may not forget the Surahs which they have memorised. See Islamic Fatâwa Regarding Women (Pgs 86- 89 Sheikh Bin Bâz’s fatâwa)
5. Recorded by Ibn Hibban, Abu Dawud and others from ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far. Verified to be hasan by adh-Dhahabiand others.
6. Al-Bukhâri, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 477:
7. Recorded by al-Bukhâri, Muslim and others.
8. See the book “Our Precious Sprouts” (Aflâdhu Akbâdina) by Muhammad al-Jibaly. Pg 153-161 for a dicussion on Breastfeeding and issues related to it.
9. Raising children in Islâm, Suhaib Hasan, Al-Qur’ân Society
10. Tuhfatul Mawdud 140-145 (See Muhammad al-Jibaly’s book “Our Precious Sprouts” (Aflâdhu Akbâdina) pg 161)
11. Adh-Dhahabi related this in Siyar A'lâm An-Nubalâ

"baby-scanVerily the creation of everyone of you is brought together in the mother's womb as a drop of semen for forty days, then it becomes a clot for the same period, then it becomes a blob of flesh for the same period. Then the angel will be sent unto it to blow into it a spirit (rooh), and the angel is ordered (to carry out) four instructions: to write down his livelihood, the span of his life, his deeds, and either he is wretched or fortunate..." And so goes the first part of one of the most well-known hadeeth recorded by Imaam al-Bukhari and Imaam Muslim on the subject of Qadr (predestination).

The significance of this Hadeeth is that science has recently verified this process of embryo/fetus development. 

That is, six weeks, roughly 40 days after fertilisation, the embryo is developed from zygote - sperm and ovary - to an embryo. Then in another 6 weeks, roughly another 40 days, it develops into a fetus (a clot); after which for about the same period, again roughly another 40 days, it develops into the recognisable human form (a blob of flesh).

Science has also verified that the fetus can think. Before 120 days the fetus does not think,

"The brain of the fetus appears to be electrically silent during the first six weeks of life. After this time, slowly activities of low intensity occurs. So although the brain is at least 'moving', it is not 'thinking' in any real sense." (The Thinking Fetus)

But after 120 days, when the spirit (rooh) enters the fetus, brain activities take place,

"The fetus becomes conscious sometime during the second trimester...There is ultrasound evidence that about 23 weeks (161 days) the fetus dreams. Dreaming is certainly an indication of the presence of the mental capabilities required for thought..." (The Thinking Foetus)

There are numerous other things which the fetus can do in this period. Such as expressing emotions (happiness, fear, disgust etc.) through it's facial expressions. It can show anxiety through the sucking of the thumb, assert itself and protest through kicking, and it develops memory.

One other important development during this stage is the ability to distinguish and recognise sounds. Experiments have been carried out that proved this:

When words were repeated by the mother to her fetus, after it is born, the baby will prefer,

  • a story that has been read twice a day to it, when it was a fetus, to a new one.
  • a newborn will recognize and copy its mother's words.
  • when a theme music to a program was played, a newborn whose mother watched the show during pregnancy, will calm down.

image002What is significant about this is that babies can be taught some Surahs (chapters) from the Qur'aan while they were in their mother's womb.

Imagine if you were to read the Qur'aan everyday to your fetus, by the time it is born, inshaa' Allah, it will prefer the Qur'aan over other books and sounds. It will recognise the Qur'aan and try to copy it, and it will use the recitation of the Qur'aan to find solace. Is that not what we all want for ourselves, let alone for your child? Imagine your reward when you have bestowed, with Allah's Grace, this tremendous gift on your child. Your reward will be two-fold: one for you reciting the Qur'aan, the other for you and your child for having taught him the Qur'aan.

Even if you cannot read the whole Quran, whatever you can read, inshaa' Allah, will benefit the both of you. A few surahs twice a day will engender, Allah Willing, a love of the Quran in your child.

So the next time that you are pregnant, or if you are pregnant now, inshaa' Allah, instead of watching T.V. or listening to music, reach for the Qur'aan and start reciting.


'The Thinking Foetus', Better Parenting, Vol 1, No 1, pg, 22.


watersgreeneryHadith Al-Bukhari - Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser."

Many of my young friends who are now getting ready to commit matrimony are asking me for advice about selecting a spouse. My advice is common to both men and women. So here goes with the 6 – critical requirements:

1. Islam: As Rasoolullah [p] said in the hadith above a woman is married for four things but her religion is the most important. The same applies to the men. So the first thing to look for is whether your prospective spouse is observant of at least the basics of Islam. These would be the following:

Religion: Salah, fasting, charity (ask about this), Qur'an (can they at least read it fluently? It is a shame that grown up men and women ready to get married can't even read the Qur'an fluently and correctly with Tajweed.)

Character: Courage, patience, a sense of honor (gheerah), confidence, presence, manliness (in men), shyness (in women), modesty (in both), composure, a sense of peace and harmony, comfort with silence, not talking incessantly, dignity.

Appearance: Hijaab for the women and beards for the men. You don't want to marry an effeminate man who looks like a woman. It is confusing. Style (there's nothing endearing about looking like something the cat threw up). Most men end up looking like their fathers and most women like their mothers. So take a good look at the father and mother and decide; because that is who you are going to be looking at every morning.

Caveat: If he/she does not care about what Allaah (s) said, they are not going to care about what you say. Also in a tight spot, if they have Taqwah, it is that which will come to their aid and help to resolve the situation. If it is not there to begin with then there's a major problem. Finally in a conflict, it is the Qur'an and Hadith that is your final refuge. If they don't consider that to be important, then you will be up the creek without a paddle. Their beauty will wear out in a few months (you will stop noticing it) and their wealth is not yours anyway. This person will be the one who will assist you in bringing up your children and these children will be the source of your Jannah or your Jahannam. So if you have someone who is not committed to her/his Deen then you are sunk, no matter how cute they look. So run away, fast. This is critical. Stop reading this right now because if this is not there, the rest of it doesn't matter.

2. Forget falling in love: Falling is never a good thing. Love as we know it (from our romantic notions) is simply another word for physical attraction. It lasts usually for 2 weeks. Since you want your marriage to last a bit longer than that, it is a good idea to focus on respect which will grow into love. Not falling into but growing into. What does that mean? It means that 25 years after you have been married every time you look at your spouse you fall in love all over again. Growing in love means evolving a common language of looks, signals and words that only you two can understand. It is almost magical to see it work. I wish it for all those who read this. That is heaven on earth. So it is respect, honor and dignity that result in love. This love is where your spouse will stand up for you and defend you, never laugh at you in public, be considerate of your faults and hide them and be focused on the many good things that you bring to the marriage. This love means that she/he will not complain about the difficulties that may happen along the way but will work with you to overcome them and stand in the night and cry before Allaah (s) and ask for His intervention. This is the person who will never leave your side as long as you live and will pray for your forgiveness when you are gone. In my experience this is the only person who you can rely on to do it, for all others will forget after a while.

3. Manners: If their religion is good, then watch how they treat their servants, parents, other siblings. Watch how they speak to the waiters in the restaurants, drivers and other service people. Do they show kindness and concern for others? Do they have compassion? Do they show respect for others? Table manners are very important as well. Do they say 'Thank you or Jazakallah' and 'Sorry'? Do they smile often or do they look like you will have to take them to the dentist to see their teeth. Do they laugh? What kind of jokes do they make?

Caveat: I know what you are thinking; if their religion is good then their Akhlaaq must automatically be good. But you know as well as I do that today, this can't be taken for granted. Manners are critical because the day after your honeymoon you are going to be at the receiving end of them. So you'd better make sure you like what you are about to receive. Kindness, concern, compassion and a sense of humor are worth their weight in gold. They are what will make your marriage and your home a heaven on earth.

4. Conversation: What do they talk about? Airheads are of all types, genders and without blond hair and will drive you insane; unless of course you are one of them. Listen to them more than you talk because you are doing the assessment. Look for a breath of knowledge, depth of perception, structured thinking and overall understanding of situations. Ask what they read; authors, books and topics. See if they are more critical than forgiving; do they look for faults more than look for excuses for those faults; do they talk more about problems or about solutions? Do they talk more about material stuff or about the Aakhirah? When they talk about religion are they more critical of others or more focused on their own conduct, shortcomings and need for change? Do they sound like they are dogmatic and bigoted and overly sold on this or that sectarian group and critical of all others? In other words are they focused more towards commonalities with others or differences; are they more towards dividing or bringing people together?

Caveat: Conversation is the lifeblood of a marriage. Without it you have nothing. Most couples stop talking to one another less than six months into the marriage. Make sure you are not one of them and for that you need someone you can talk to, share interests with, respect, are interested in and who you can learn something from. Without conversation your marriage won't go too far.

5. Common Life Goal: Look for commonalities in interests, life goal and passions (especially if you are passionate about something). You are going to live together for the next 20-30 years and so you'd better be focused in generally the same direction. Otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time alone or end up fighting.

Caveat: You need support in your life goal; whether it is to change the world or to bring up children (it is the same thing, believe me). You need someone who will share your pain and joy, give you ideas and listen to you with interest. You need someone who doesn't run your life goal down as being unimportant. You need someone who has a life goal that inspires you to invest your time, energy, emotion and thought in. Serious long term pursuits are the secret of happy marriages. Not kitty parties, boys nights out and the bowling alley.

6. The Family: Look at the whole family; their 'Aqeedah, religious practice, culture, habits, lifestyle, norms, and customs. Can you live with them? Some 'Aqeedah issues are completely incompatible, e.g. families that are into grave worship and dargahs. Other issues may not be totally incompatible but still difficult to live with, e.g. issues to do with covering, seriousness about Salaah and so on.

Caveat: I know you did not marry the whole family but believe me, especially in our Middle East, Subcontinent cultures the family is very much a part of the equation. So if you don't want to spend the rest of your life fighting to keep your wife or husband on the right track, then you'd better make sure the family is on the same track as you are. The same goes for their lifestyle, manners, food habits, things they give importance to and so on. It is not necessary to have a replica of your own home, but the degree to which there is a difference to that degree you will have to adjust and change. Remember that all change is painful and so the less you have, the happier you will be.

If you marry into a joint family and have to live with your husband's (or in rare cases) with the wife's family then the degree of adjustment will be far more. I am not saying that you should not marry into a joint family but if you do, please do it with your eyes wide open and a big heart, a thick skin, lots of patience and willingness to change yourself and adjust with people. Otherwise you are headed for sublime torture which will kill your marriage sooner or later. Living in a joint family can be very trying in the here & now, but can be very rewarding when you grow old. So keep your eye on the future and accept the present as the price for not being lonely in your old age and dying alone in an old age home. If you still don't think you can take it, then don't marry into a joint family.

Joint families mean a lot of support especially in the upbringing of children as well as in a whole gamut of situations. But it also means that others will have an opinion about you and will 'interfere' with your life. Whether you see that 'interference' as concern or as being 'nosey' is up to you. Both have consequences. Leaving the family to live on your own may not be an option at all or may be possible only with major heartburn on all sides leaving bruised egos, emotions and relationships. Not something that you will enjoy and so something much to be avoided if possible.

Final Words of Caution:

A word of caution for those intrepid souls who believe they can change others. Allaah (s) kept Hidaayah (guidance) in His Hand. Maybe you can change people and if so all power to you. But more likely you are like 99.9% of the world which only believes that it can change people. Anyone who looks at someone before they marry them and says, 'I will change him/her and then they'll be just fine'; is taking their life into their hands, quite literally. If the person you want to marry needs changing, let someone else do it. You leave them alone and go find someone who you can admire and look up to and want to be like.

Marrying someone by looking at a profile on the internet is like playing Russian roulette: One of the chambers will have a bullet in it. It is a gamble which I would seriously advise you not to take with your life. I have seen too many ruined. If you don't know enough about your spouse don't marry them. Islam permits you to make enquiries and to meet the spouse before marriage along with your Mahram to ensure that you find out enough about them. All that I have mentioned above can be ascertained in one or two meetings if you know what you are looking for and keep your eyes open. Make sure you do that.

Finally let's not forget; look at all that I have mentioned above and ask yourself, 'How much do I fit into this myself? How many of the criteria do I meet? Am I likely to be a good spouse for the person I marry?' Take marriage seriously because happy marriages are made by serious people. Take it seriously because after all it is your life that we are talking about.

A sister asked Sheikh Yawar Baig a question regarding marriage; This was his response.


I want to get married to this man in my university who says that the best thing for him is to get married to get out of the temptations that surround him. He is still a student on scholarship and has no income or career. What is your advice?


shininggrassجزاك اللهُ خيراً for your question. My advice is that you learn to eat grass. If you marry someone without an income, that is what you will need to be able to do at some point. Sorry to be rude – but as George Bernard Shaw said:

'You must never be afraid to offend people because that is the only time that they listen.'

So I hope you are offended and can wake up from the hormone induced dream that you are in before it turns into a nightmare.

For a man to be suitable to marry, you must look for three things:

1. How is his Deen?

-Is he on the Shari'ah and Sunnah?

-Is he particular to avoid the doubtful things? 

-How are his manners? Not to you – but to all around him.

-Is he argumentative and combative about everything? Is he an auto-refuter?

-Is he kind and considerate to those weaker than him? Does he thank the waiter and the doorman?

-Is there a smile on his face or a frown? Does he have a sense of humor?

-Is he smart? Does he read more than comics? Can you have a serious, sensible conversation with him?

-Is his brain bigger than his biceps? (If he proposed to you without an income, I seriously doubt that it is).

-Is his language that of inclusion or exclusion – looking down on others who he considers as not so good Muslims as himself?

-Does he praise more or criticize more? Is he forgiving of others or eager to expose their faults?

-How particular is he about avoiding Haraam (Sorry to point out, but if he was having conversations with you without a Mahram, he and you were already indulging in Haraam)?

2. Can he support himself?

-How? Not dreams and smooth talk – but actual nuts and bolts. Here and now?

-Has he completed his education? How much longer will that take?

-Will his family support this marriage of yours until he can get a job (lousy situation to be in but better than eating grass)?

-What is his profession and how soon can he get a job?

-What kind of income does he have today and what can he look forward to?

-Is that enough to support you and your family?

-Believe me, today you may think that you can live on love and sunshine but I doubt that you can pay your rent with sunshine. Neither will sunshine buy you bread – that's why I said that you may like to start eating grass because that is free and maybe you can even hire your services out as a walking lawn mower and make some money as well.

3. How compatible are you with each other and each other's families?

-That means that you wake up and ask some basic questions like what do they eat?

-Where do they come from? Country and culture. Not race. I have seen marriages between Africans and African Americans break up in six months because Africans and African Americans are two different cultures, even though racially they are the same. Race doesn't matter. Culture does. Difference is not bad. Incompatibility is. And many a time, difference translates as incompatibility.

-What is the relationship and expectation from the parents in law?

-How do they live? Are they from a multi-marriage culture where your husband-to-be who can't resist temptations today will once again not be able to resist temptations and will take unto himself another wife; and perhaps another. So how will you take to that?

-What kind of financial background do your husband's family come from? Is there too much of a disparity?

My mother used to say,

'To patch a tear in a muslin garment you don't use gold brocade.'

Finally of all the dumb reasons to marry is to 'stay out of temptation'. I know I have just put myself in line for the Fatwah of all my 'strong' brothers who will strike me down with this and that Hadith. But before I go down, let me say to you, my dear sister, in plain words; What he is saying in effect is that he needs a legal means for sex.

So what happens when the hormones are not boiling any longer? He's not marrying you for yourself. He is marrying you for himself. That is the worst reason to get married to anyone for. Believe me and wake up. Or keep sleeping and find out for yourself when the dream turns into a nightmare. After all nightmares are also dreams.

I will tell you what happens in 9 cases out of 10. When things get too tough and you demand time, attention and money, he will walk away and you will be left holding the baby – quite literally. Then what are you going to do?

So wake up and answer this questionnaire and if he comes out on top, by all means marry him. If not suggest to him to take cold showers – maybe he should put his bed in the shower – and you focus on your education. You came to the university to study. Not to look at boys. He came to study. Not to look at girls. Concentrate on your education. Get distinction. And go home. And then see what Allah has in store for you in terms of your Rizq – a husband you can look up to and be proud of. A husband who will be proud of you and treat you like a princess – not only during your honeymoon but for all your life.

I wish you all the best in this world and the next.

flower-tulip-water-drop2"I'm afraid of getting married," she told me. She, like the countless other women who had approached me, confessed what she thought was unique to her. "I'm constantly told by older married women that I should enjoy my life being single because marriage is a burden. I've never seen an example of a happy marriage. My married friends call me to complain about their husbands and ask me for advice. How am I supposed to know what to tell them?! I try to provide support, but all those conversations do is make me feel even more insecure about committing to someone in a marital relationship. I truly want to get married, but I'm honestly afraid of being unhappy."

"Is it possible..." she trailed, her voice cracking, "Do happy marriages... you know, the ones in the movies where they can't wait to be with each other, where they're madly in love with each they exist? Is hot, passionate, love even real?"

The amalgamation of her questions were the same which young women have consistently approached me with; their innate desires to get married often overshadowed by the fear of an unavoidable matrimony of suffering. Having little to no examples of passionate marriages in real life and being inundated with romantic love stories such as "The Notebook," these young women have continuously posed the same questions, "Is it possible to be happy in a marriage? Is that physical, emotional passion, real?"

The answer? Yes! Yes, it is possible. Yes! It is real. While it may be problematic to compare a real-life relationship to the fake ones portrayed in a few hours of a movie, your marriage still can make celebrity characters jealous of your fiery, playful, emotionally intriguing, physically flaming relationship.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Noha Alshugairi, provides wisdom based on research describing the ingredients required for such a relationship. She shares,

"Psychologist Robert Sternberg describes 7 forms of love depending on how much passion, intimacy, and commitment the relationship contains. He describes the one that has all 3 factors as consummate love. This is the love that will withstand the test of time and will bring a couple the Sakinah (tranquil) marriage Allah describes in Surat ar-Rum."

So, if it does exist, how can a single person seeking such love attain it in their future martial life? The beginning of the answer lies in helping ensure one marries the right spouse.

The following are 10 considerations one could make through this process:

Know yourself.

Knowing your priorities, your general life perspective, your own expectations in marriage, will help inform what you should be looking for in a potential spouse. Ask yourself: why do I want to get married? What are my needs in a relationship? What do I expect out of marriage?

Also, understand that marriage is not the solution to your own deficiencies, nor will it be the solution to all your life problems. Work to develop your own self without expecting marriage to somehow mystically change your life. Marriage can be a great source of support and encouragement for self-improvement, but if we are not personally working on ourselves now, how can we expect that it will be easier with the additional baggage of another individual who is also imperfect?

Prioritize your criterion.

Create a list of core and extra qualities you need in a spouse. Also, understand what you absolutely cannot accept. As advised by Noha Alshugairi,

"Really focus on core criteria that will make or break a marriage. If you are not sure about the difference between core and extra criteria, talk to people who are married or to professionals."

Know that some criteria are much more important for the success of a marriage than others and be reasonable when considering a potential. If the individual you are considering has everything you want except for the absolute most important item on your core list, then this person likely is not the one for you. Recognize that your list may change as you evolve as an individual. Keep a written copy so that you can consult your list over time and take note of those changes.

"Engage your mind before your heart."

A phrase coined by Noha Alshugairi, this step aims to help one focus on finding the right person for a lifetime. In the thrill of considering a spouse, many people become blind to discernable signals that would have otherwise been obvious. Emotions have their place; but do not allow your emotions to control your decision. Use your mind to consider whether this person is logically the right choice for the rest of your life, while consulting your heart to make sure it is comfortable with your decisions. Making sure everything checks out is much more difficult to do when one is blinded by emotion; don't get caught up in the excitement, only to crash once you get married and realize the person you live with is not the one you should be with.

Understand that taqwa (God consciousness) is not enough, and compatibility is a requirement.

Let's consider this idea: if a God-conscious person takes a class in college, yet they do not do any of the coursework or they do not do well on their exams, will they miraculously get a good grade in the class simply because they pray five times a day? Unlikely. Then how much more true is this in a marriage!

Taqwa alone is not enough; the prospect needs to be compatible as well. The marriage of Zayd and Zaynab, both incredible companions of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be up on him) who surpassed us all in their piety and good character, is an example of two great people who divorced simply due to their incompatibility. Thus deliberate: are we both considering expectations in similar ways? Religiously, are we aligned in our perspectives and goals? Is this person really good for my growth as an individual? For my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and security? Will they be a parent? Do we share similar interests and perspectives? Will they be good for my family?

Recognize the importance of pre-marital counseling and ask questions - Consider the roles of your parents, and own your decision.

Parents play different roles often based on their background and this can impede a marriage or help it succeed. Consider your parents' roles in your courtship process and also openly discuss their roles in the life of you and your future spouse. Will you live together? Will you be expected to choose between the preferences of your parents or in-laws versus the preferences of your spouse? Where do you and your future spouse's priorities lie in relationship to parents? Answers to these questions may help you decide whether a prospect is worth considering.

Remember: You are the one living with this decision for the rest of your life. Make sure it is you who is completely certain of this being the right choice; pressure from parents or any others can lead to a life of misery. Own your decision for your own self, regardless of how difficult it may be to deal with the way others react.

Speak to someone who is trained, experienced, and who knows how to help you identify important issues and develop strategies to help you both ensure you're marrying the right person for you and that you'll, God willing, continue to feel that thrill with years after.

Ask questions which will help you understand the Potential's perspective on life and marriage. 

Prepare for your lifetime; not just a one time event.

Oftentimes, both parties focus completely on preparing for the wedding, pouring money and time into a few hours of the start of their lives together, without investing on preparing for their lifetime together. Pre-martial counseling, speaking with married couples, reading books and researching what makes marriages thrive are avenues few new couples have engaged.

Observe the Potential and keep things on the down low.

Observe them, consider their reactions when they're frustrated or embarrassed; it is likely that their unconscious reactions will be the habits they've instilled. If there is something you do not like, never expect that it will be something that they will change. They may initially, if they like you enough to want you to marry them. However, be very cautious as this type of change can be fleeting, and when reality kicks in after the marriage, it would have been a red flag you should have taken seriously.

If you're considering someone for marriage, do not share it with the world. Don't post it on Facebook and tell random people in casual conversations. Keep your affairs private, with the exception of those who matter through this process. Protect yourself and the person you're considering from simply being something to talk about. This is serious business; appreciate and respect one another's privacy.

Discuss expectations.

With the instability of the economy and the ever-changing roles of men and women's educational and career pursuits, the once "obvious" division of responsibilities requires clarifications. What responsibilities are specific to the husband, to the wife, and to both as a team? Who will work, or will both? How do you consider raising kids? For how many years will one/both support the other in their educational or career pursuits? Who is responsible for what types of housework? A clear discussion of these issues may help ease tensions that can arise when there were unstated expectations one or both parties had entering the relationship.

Pray Istikhaara (prayer seeking guidance).

Consult Allaah about your decision. You may not see any obvious signs of why this is or is not the right person, but you may feel it in your heart. Beyond the jittery feelings of excitement or nervousness, your heart may speak to you about its level of trust and comfort in this matter.

Finally, love and passion is only one aspect of marriage.

And it is not necessarily an obligatory component for a happy marriage. Many couples do not have a "passionate" relationship and they are more than happy and successful in their marriages.

Additionally, it is possible, that even when a person carefully engages in the entire process of choosing a spouse, with wisdom, depth and research, they may not find themselves happy in their marriage or they may eventually divorce.

Choosing the right person and putting in researched effort aids significantly in preparing to maintain a zesty, romantic, compassionate relationship, if that is what both are looking for, but it is only one step amongst many steps in the right direction.

Thus, discuss your own ideal vision for marriage honestly with the Potential and figure out what steps it will take to help you both get there.

The vigor may be powerful in the beginning of a happy marriage, but it has the potential to become an even stronger, indescribable force of awesomeness with the blessing of Allaah and work from both spouses.

Passionate and sustainable love in marriage can be real for many. But it takes work, growth and sacrifice from the very beginning and through end.

broMarriage is never an easy thing. We think of it as this amazing romantic bliss that we will somehow attain one day.

Sisters dream of marrying that amazing brother who has the character of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him), the Eemaan of Aboo Bakr, the courage of Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with them), the wealth of 'Abdur-Rahmaan bin 'Awf not to mention the SWAG of 2PAC Shakur (OK maybe not the last one) but the fact still remains, everyone wants to marry that one truly amazing person and it is not much different for guys.

We wish to bump into a Hoor al-'Een that has lost her way from Jannah (we aren't too fussy about HOW she got lost...) I mean why wouldn't that ever happen? It won't happen, because you are daydreaming bro that's why.


...And any other social network for that matter.

Since we spend most of our time online these days, it is very easy to try to fulfil all our needs online, even the need of finding a soul mate. Now don't get me wrong, there are marriages that actually do work out, and I am not by any means hating on brothers and sisters who made it work (whatever floats your boats akhis and ukthis, just keep it halaal), but let's face it, the Internet is a very weird place.

Everyone always tries to seem holier than they really are, even a Kaafir could pretend to be Muslim scholar for all you know. In the good old days people married other people who they actually knew, and life was much more smooth, in very broad terms.

But today you marry someone who comes across as religious online only to find out on your wedding night he isn't really that strict on Salaah, oh and did I mention he has tons of friends who just happen to be... girls? And not to mention he smokes ('Sorry forgot to tell you that too, my bad.') the point is, be very careful concerning ANY online proposals.

If the person is serious and a good guy, drop them your Wali's number and don't communicate with them anymore, then you'll know if the person is really a gentleman or not.


This will open up the door for networking later on, because one of the main problems today is that a lot of people ask, 'OK, but how do I meet good potential spouses?' and they often say, 'I don't know anyone!' but in reality everyone knows SOMEBODY.

Be it that friend who you only seem to meet at the Masjid for big events, or your cousin who you don't spend much time with, there is always someone you can befriend. But keep in mind that these individuals should be good practising people themselves because then they can help introduce you to other practising people who in turn might have brothers and sisters who are looking for marriage.


In the same way that you won't find a amazing Niqabi wife at the club, dancing late into the night. You, yourself need to be looking in the right places, and this sort of brings us back to the previous point.

Attend lectures, study circles or maybe even volunteer to help at the Masjid etc, all these activities will open up the door for you to meet the right people and once you get to know them you can raise the issue of marriage discreetly.

Remember most people who are married will tell you they got to know their spouse either through family and friends, or they might have actually met whilst doing the same activities, so try to be more active and don't just sit at home feeling sorry for yourself.


Sometimes your knight in shining armour is just a miskeen dude in tin foil.

Chances are, you're not going to bump into Shaikh Sudais's son, let alone the Shaikh himself, and even if you did, I highly doubt any of them would ask you for marriage (more like 'SECURITY!') So try to keep your hopes realistic, yes we all want to marry a Haafidh, we all want a sister who knows all about pleasing a husband but never had a boyfriend before. We all want a brother who is super pious with super long beard (the longer the beard the bigger the Taqwa we think, although don't know for sure) who also owns a house and has a car, plus he should be really knowledgeable too, like Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah) knowledgeable.

But we often forget, that when you marry someone, they still have their whole life ahead of them. Most of the wives of the major scholars married these amazing men whilst they still were 'nobodies' to the community and similarly you teach your wife (with gentleness) how to be romantic and it is all a journey. If you think that you will marry that one complete person who has everything, you will never marry and that's the harsh truth.

You might just end up on facebook surfing from one profile to the other.


Most people don't like doing this, for whatever reason. Most girls are just simply too shy to bring marriages up with their parents, in case the parents look at them as a victim of teenage hormones. Others are afraid that if they involve the parents they will feel pressured into marrying someone they don't want to marry only to please their parents.

Now what I am suggesting is a middle path. Bring the topic up to your parents, or if you're too shy, speak to your brother or someone else who can raise the issue with your parents. And then ask your parents to look around for you, remember they can only suggest but the final decision still lies with you. And most of us really don't make use of this option, which is very sad.

Our parents may be the only human beings alive on the face of this earth who would do anything and everything for us, so why not consult them?


As Muslims we should always aim to get married since it is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).

But sometimes, some people rush into marriage. They think just because they are physically ready (have urges etc) that they should get married, forgetting that even the Prophet (peace be upon him) actually mentioned that those who have the MEANS to get married should do so. Now having the means is not just having a mature body, or even loads of cash. Rather it also about being mentally stable and able to cope with the hardships of marriage.

Don't worry though, in marriage all you need is love to make things work (like they always say right?) so no need to over think things, love conquers all! Except that's a total lie, marriage needs so much more, and even though love is a key element in marriage it is not always what keeps a marriage going.

Remember marriage is not all sunshine and fun, sometimes you will argue, sometimes you wont love each other as much, what will happen then? Will you ask for a divorce just because the marriage isn't fun anymore?

What if there are children involved, then what? The point is, prepare yourself for marriage mentally. Read up on the rights of the Husband and the rights of the Wife, don't just marry because you're 20 and feel you have to. This husband will be either your Jannah or Hell, do you really know what that means?

Similarly this wife and future children will be your responsibility as a husband, Allaah will ask you about them, so be prepared.


'Ofcourse I would, I am pure awesomeness, I am the very defin...' if that is your answer then I can tell you right now that you don't really have the right mentality for marriage. We often get blinded by the search for the ultimate partner that we neglect to look at ourselves.

We cry and say why won't anyone marry me? But do nothing to change ourselves. How do you treat people when you get upset? What do you do if you hold a grudge? Do not turn a blind eye to all these important issues, rather tackle them one by one. No one is perfect but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying.

If you truly and sincerely work on your own flaws, and really do become more caring and loving then you will notice how people will look at you differently. People will start to think of you as 'wifey' material because you are good with kids, because you care for others, because you forgive people and don't hold grudges don't gossip etc, the list is long but if you take one step at a time you will be married before you know it.

#1 DU'AA

Dua is the weapon of the believer, why not use it?

Because like everything in life, Allaah is the true reason behind things. Even though some people often roll their eyes and think, 'Yeah right the old, make dua brother/sister' but if you truly have faith in Allaah and know that He answers the prayers of those in need, you will never get tired of making du'aa to Him.

Take the story of Moosa ('alyhis-salaam) as an example; in Soorah Qasas we are told about how he left Fir'awn and was literally fleeing for his life, his one concern was saving his own skin. But what happened? He made du'aa to Allaah, and Allaah not only saved him but blessed him with a wonderful wife. So in short, if you make du'aa and don't give up Allaah will help you, and that is a promise!


treeblueI was going to call this post: "Marrying Outside your Culture", but I was not sure whether I had or not. For people my age (and younger – ahem) marriage seems to be the biggest personal issue to contend with. Add this to the very cosmopolitan places many of my fellow blogging sisters live in and marrying outside of your, or your parents’, culture seems to be a growing trend.

I met my husband on a trip to Pakistan (I was originally introduced to his tall, handsome, but mean cousin and had said no). The story of how we met and how I came to my decision is definitely one I will treasure forever and after a two-year engagement during which I completed my degree, we had a joyful, raucous, chaotic Pakistani wedding.

I think it is testament to my husbands mature thinking, deep-down goodness and patience maashaa’Allah, that eight years later we are still together when the marriages of more couples we know have broken down than survived. My husband’s first job was in a warehouse where almost the entire staff was Asian and the biggest chunk Pakistani men who had married British-Pakistani women. My husband was struck by the way the majority of these men were complaining about how they thought their lives would be better after these marriages but were in fact nightmares. They had to kowtow to their in-laws and they felt their wives were unable to respect them and they to understand their wives. One described himself as like a dog in his in-laws house. Others complained they were not allowed to send money home (not even £20 to a sister for her wedding in one case).

I can sympathise with these men to an extent, but I can also see things from the other point of view. How many young girls growing up with the Hollywood/Bollywood ideal of a man or growing up in a big cosmopolitan city is then stuck with some poorly educated small-town cousin who struggles to find work in the local take-away (so much for visions of the be-suited, Lexus-driving lawyer or accountant). How do their parents ever expect such marriages to work, are they really so blind?

Even when both parties do make the effort and as in our case the affection is genuine, you have to get over the cultural losses within such a marriage. Anyone in a mixed-marriage might recognise what I mean. My husband cannot see the point of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Dr Who (which I love all of). He would miss a thousand childhood references that inform my life as a person who has grown up in London. In contrast, although my parents tried to give me a strong grounding in Pakistani/Punjabi language and culture, I miss a lot of cultural references that hold meaning for him. In Pakistan the most romantic night of the year is Chaand Raat, the night before Eid-ul-Fitr. Our first Eid together, I painted my hands with henna and promptly fell asleep, whilst hubby sat up and sulked that I hadn’t made any effort at all.

I think that for a long time this was the thing that I found hardest. Although we shared language and faith, our culture had been very different and our culture shapes who we are and often what we aspire to. Probably our saving grace was Islaam. Regardless of our culture, it guided us in so many ways and that meant that we aspired to the same things and had similar values.

The other thing that helped is that no matter how different your culture, marriage has its own language, its own history and a home has its own culture. After a few years this language is the one that takes precedence between you (if you are not sure about what kind of language this is, think about the times you know what the other is thinking, or when they say one thing, but you know what they really mean – “What would you like for Eid?” “Oh…nothing…”).

For us the most important thing was sincerity. So many people only marry abroad because they cannot find anyone here, or they want someone they can control easily. So many people are keen to marry an English girl or an American/Aussie/Canadian girl for the opportunity to go abroad and earn enough to send bucket-loads of cash home without any thought for the person they are using. Parents need to be aware of this and check their intentions as do their children. I married my husband because it didn’t take long to see that he was such a good person and could not do enough for others (even at his own risk).

He married me because he said he never saw me not smiling and he didn’t want a whinging misery for a wife (too late now mate!!)


greencarfIn order to get married we may get tempted to do things, which will displease Allah (swt). In order to find the right person we may date or go to mixed weddings and not wear hijaab to attract a potential suitor or choose not to wear hijaab on the wedding day. We may date our fiancée before the wedding or we may waste money on things which aren’t needed like the ice swan, the water feature, the expensive orchids and the circus acrobat. We may have music or a DJ with a dance floor. We may have ceremonies, which are not in our religion but are borrowed from others. We may order a banquet fit for a king for catering, but we waste most of the food. But if we really understood how much every detail of happiness is in Allah's (swt) control, we would choose Allah (swt) over our own desires and Allah (swt) over the desires of His creation.

“…and to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him (O Muhammad SAW) and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do." (s11v123)

We need to understand that every relationship, including that which is created through marriage, is only from Allah (swt).

“And it is He Who has created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage. And your Lord is Ever All-Powerful to do what He wills.” (S25v54)

So who our in-laws will be and therefore how they will treat us is in the hands of Allah (swt).

Understand that your husband has been created only by Allah (swt) as a Libaas (a body cover or clothing).

“It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts). They are Lîbaas for you and you are the same for them.” (S2v187)

Why did Allah (swt) use the word "libaas" to describe this relationship between a husband and a wife? If we think about it, libaas or clothing has so many functions, which can be extrapolated also to the relationship between a husband and a wife.


Clothing like this relationship:

  • Covers our modesty
  • Beautifies us
  • Complements us
  • Protects us from the environment
  • Gives us comfort
  • Gives us honour/humility
  • Gives us confidence
  • Hides our faults
  • Fits us perfectly

Similarly, not only will Allah (swt) provide us with a husband but also someone who fits us perfectly.

We need to understand that only Allah (swt) will place affection and mercy between us and our husbands. Why does Allah (swt) mention affection (muwaddat) and why not “old fashioned love” (muhabbat)?  Because muwaddat is love which is expressed. Someone may love someone else but may not show that person that they do by constantly hurting their feelings or by offending them. Muwaddat is the love that when expressed enables the person to be concerned for your welfare, to worry about you, to look after you when you need it.

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (S30v21)

So if we understand the above then we will place our trust in Allah (swt) in every way.

We place our trust in Allah (swt) that He will provide us with in-laws who we get along with and who love and respect us and it is not our ability to speak their language, to compromise our values for them, nor our family’s support that will achieve this.

We place our trust in Allah (swt) that He will provide us with a husband who is created perfectly for us and who pleases us in every way and it is not our ability to look dazzling without hijaab in a crowded room to catch men’s attention, or dating many men that will achieve this.

We place our trust in Allah (swt) that He will place affection and mercy between our husband and us and it is not our youth or our beauty, education or sense of humour or our similar interests or similarity in background that will achieve this.

If Allah (swt) is the only one who can put so much love and mercy between us and our husband and provide us with a perfect husband and provide us with perfect in-laws, then we need to only ask Allah (swt) for happiness in our future lives.

“And to Allâh belongs the Ghaib (unseen) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him (O Muhammad SAW) and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do." (s11v123)

insalahhijabInstead we will call and rely upon others for our happiness. Instead we rely upon ourselves for our happiness. We rely upon our families, our beauty, our youth, our education, our family’s social standing in the community, our job...we even start to rely upon our husbands to make it work and make us happy etc.

“O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily! Those on whom you call besides Allâh, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought. They have not estimated Allâh His Rightful Estimate; Verily, Allâh is All-Strong, All-Mighty.” (S22v73-74)

Not only will we call and rely upon others, we will disobey Allah (subhaana wa tala) to please others. To please our families, our future husband and future in-laws we will talk to our fiancée alone, have a mixed wedding, have music and dancing at the event, not wear Hijaab in front of non-mahrum men, waste money in lavish extras etc. We get so carried away ourselves in making our wedding the ultimate example to follow and envy by our guests that we displease Him - Ar-Rahmaan who gave us this day to celebrate in the first place.

"Some people set up equals with Allah, loving them as they should love Allah.  But those with faith have greater love for Allah." (S2v165)

Instead we should fear Allah (swt) who gave us this day, this person, this new family. If we displease Him, just as He gave something so wanted by us He will take it away from us or place in it unhappiness for us.

“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allâh, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.” (s4v79)

If we do not fear Allah (swt) and with humbleness turn to Allah (swt) and ask His forgiveness and if we do not obey Allah then the fate of those before us will be our fate:

“…But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fair seeming to them that which they used to do. So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows. So the roots of the people who did wrong were cut off. And all the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).” (S6v43-5)

The frightening thing about the above verse of the Quran is that Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) gave these people everything that they desired and it was then that Allah (swt) punished them by taking it away from them. This is worse than never having something and it being kept away from you because you don’t know what you are missing out on. We need to be careful that we don’t forget Allah in our happiness and contentment. And it will not matter if we picked and chose from our religion some aspects that we obeyed Allah (swt) on and disobeyed Allah (swt) on other aspects:

“Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allâh is not unaware of what you do. Those are they who have bought the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter. Their torment shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.” (S2v85-6)

We need to obey Allah (swt) in all aspects of our religion…on all that Allah (swt) asked us to do in the Qur'aan and in the commands of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Instead we should fear Allah (swt) so that if anything, Allah (swt) will provide us with the best.

“And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).  And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.” (s65v2-3)

Having fear of Allah is what will give you blessings from Allah. Blessings with respect to love and mercy between your husband and you, righteous and pious children, a high status with respect to the people in your community and on the Day of Judgement in front of Allah (swt).

“And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (fear of Allah), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn.” (s7v96)

Having fear of Allah is what will give you blessings from Allah - Allah will almost rip the heavens and the earth apart to give you these - from every direction. It was taqwa which gave Mohammad (peace be upon him) the ability to return to Makkah when he and his followers had initially been driven out of Makkah for preaching and practising Islaam. It was taqwa which led Muslims to being pioneers in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, physics, architecture etc. It was taqwa which led to Yusuf (alayhisaalaam) becoming the financial minister of Egypt.

And it will be taqwa which will lead you to have happiness with your husband, your in laws, your children, your community, Allah Willing.


white flowers wallpaper wide-wideThe most common questions I get from young people are, "Do Muslims date?" and, "If they don't date, how do they decide whose the right person for them to marry?"

"Dating" as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims - where a young man and woman (or boy/girl) are in a one-on-one intimate relationship, spending time together alone, "getting to know each other" in a very deep way before deciding whether that's the person they want to marry. Rather, in Islaam pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex are forbidden.

The choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime. It should not be taken lightly, nor left to chance or hormones. It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life - with prayer, careful investigation, and family involvement.

The following steps should be adopted:

  • Make du'a (supplication) to Allah; ask Him to help you find the right person.
  • The family should enquire, discuss, and suggest candidates. They should consult with each other, so as to narrow down potential prospects. Usually the father or mother should approach the other family to suggest a meeting.
  • Couple should meet in chaperoned, group environment. 'Umar related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Not one of you should meet a woman alone unless she is accompanied by a relative (mahram)." (Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also reportedly said, "Whenever a man is alone with a woman, Satan (Shaytan) is the third among them." (Tirmidhi).
  • When young people are getting to know each other, being alone together is a temptation toward wrongdoing. At all times, Muslims should follow the commands of the Qur'an (24:30-31) to, {lower their gaze and guard their modesty....} Islaam recognizes that we are human and are given to human weakness, that is why this rule provides safety-measures for our own sake.
  • Family should investigate candidate further - speaking with friends, family, Islamic leaders, co-workers, etc., to learn more about his or her character before making the final decision.
  • An agreement should be made to either pursue marriage or part ways. Islaam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and women - they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don't want to be in.

This type of focused courtship helps ensure the strength of the marriage, by drawing upon family elders' wisdom and guidance in this important life decision. Family involvement in the choice of a marriage partner helps assure that the choice is based not on romantic notions, but rather on a careful, objective evaluation of the compatibility of the couple.

That is why these marriages often prove successful.


scenerynew5If we were to take a look at the various communities around the world, we would come to see that there has been a major change in the social circumstances of people which has affected the lives of individuals, aswell as families, and has had a very negative impact on them. Matters which used to be easy and facilitated have now became very difficult and complicated, and this in turn has brought about a new and dangerous phenomena, which one fears will in the long run cause a major commotion in the Muslim nation and adversely affect the stability of our lives individually and collectively. This is the phenomenon of life-long bachelorhood, aswell as spinsterhood.

It is unfortunate that many young men and women are reaching the age of thirty without getting married, and some of them have perhaps never even entertained the thought of doing so. This corruption only started when obstacles were put in front of those who wanted to get married.

Being exposed to fitnah (trials and temptations) only adds to this fear and danger. Immorality, prostitution, travelling abroad to corrupt places and illegal sexual relations have become widespread due to the complications entailed in marriage. Spinsterhood has many evil consequences for this nation from many aspects, be they emotional, economic, social, moral and/or behavioural. Especially in these times when the way to corruption has become far more easy accessible then ever before.

We must remind ourselves of the dire need to adhere to the principles and basic tenets of our deen (religion). Surveys conducted show that in one lightly populated Muslim country alone there are one and a half million single women who are waiting for the man of their dreams, and the number continues to increase. Indeed, this is a distressing matter and we need a proper practical solution.

The Importance of Marriage

Young men and women must get married as soon as possible, and they should not deprive themselves from this desired happiness and success due to the false excuse of building their futures first. Allaah, the Glorious, says (what means), {And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allaah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allaah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.} [Quran; 24:32]

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

"If there was only ten days left in my life, and I knew that I would die after that, and I could get married (in the period of those ten days), then I would still do so, so that I would not expose my self to corruption."

Imaam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

"Remaining single is not from Islaam, and anyone who introduces the idea of remaining single is introducing something other than Islaam."

Rejecting suitable men and delaying women from marriage jeopardises and endangers men, woman and indeed the community as a whole. Suitable men are those whose practice of Islaam is sound, whose manners are good and who are kind, honest and from a good family. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Marry the one who has (i.e., practices) religion.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Studies Vs. Marriage

If we try to search for the reasons behind this phenomenon, we will discover most of them are due to traditions and customs, in addition to the ideological attack which our nation has been subject to by the disbelievers.

Young Muslim men and women are given hopes and dreams which, in reality, are illusions from Satan. Some of our youth give the excuse that they desire to complete their studies and that marriage would prevent them from doing so. The question is, when was marriage ever an obstacle? Experience has proved that a successful marriage helps in freeing the mind and relaxing the soul.

We must be very clear when we ask what good is a university degree, especially for a woman, if it means that she is to remain unmarried until old age, and may even miss the bliss of marriage altogether? What good is it if she will never enjoy having a husband or children to decorate her life and remain as a source of benefit for her after her death? Many women have delayed marriage and therefore missed out, their beauty faded away and they then wished that they could tear up their degree in exchange for hearing a child call them mother. But then it is too late, as we sadly hear all too often from those who went through this same experience.

This problem, and many others like it, are due to unclear understanding, weak faith, lack of practice and misconceptions regarding the objectives of Islam. Unjustified fears about the future, over-reliance on positions at work, being materialistic in life weakens ones reliance on Allaah and the acceptance of His decree.

Parents Realise!

Another of the main reasons for the spread of this phenomenon is because some parents oppressively prevent their daughters from marrying suitable young men, despite the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If a man whose religion and manners you approve of comes to you (proposing to your daughter), then give her in marriage to him, otherwise, there will be turmoil on the earth and great corruption.” [At-Tirmidhi & Ibn Maajah]

Some fathers breached the trust of Allaah over them by preventing their daughters from marriage. It may be that a young man comes to the father asking for his daughter's hand in marriage and the father delays or prohibit this union for no valid reason by citing baseless excuses. It may also be solely due to their criteria of acceptance being trivial, while totally disregarding the young man's religiosity, manners and honesty.

High Dowry Rates

moneyAnother reason for the spread of this evil phenomenon is the exorbitant dowries that some fathers request, so much so that marriage becomes impossible for some people. In some countries dowries reach ridiculous and unimaginable levels, which results in a mountain of debt for the poor individual. The greed which some people suffer from is truly saddening; they ask for amounts which the one proposing could never afford, even if he were to save for half of his life. Such people's greed and lust for this life has resulted in making honourable women look like pieces of merchandise, which are sold. All this has resulted in a huge increase in the number of unmarried women.

This is in fact both oppression and betrayal! Are these fathers unaware of the widespread painful, shameful and dishonoring real life stories within even the Muslim community? These stories should act as a warning for all parents to stop their heedlessness and protect their honour and dignity before it is too late. Look for suitable husbands for your daughters, just as ‘Umar offered his daughter in marriage to Abu Bakr and then ‘Uthmaan. Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib gave his daughter in marriage to one of his students, indeed this was the practice of our righteous predecessors. Making marriage difficult results in destroying homes, killing chastity, ruining morality and spreading evil.

The dowry in Islaam is a means and not an objective; inflating it has terrible effects on both the individual, aswell as the community. It either prevents marriages from taking place or results in women getting married to unfit or unsuitable partners, which results in great regret and sorrow.

This greed which some people suffer from is completely the opposite of how our righteous predecessors used to be. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

"Do not inflate dowries, because if it was good for ones livelihood, or righteous to do so, then the Prophet, may the peace and blessiings of Alah be upon him, would have done so."

In fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a woman in marriage to a Companion of his, and the dowry was what he had memorised from the Qur'aan! SubhaanAllah!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to yet another Companion of his, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ‘Awf, regarding the amount of dowry to give, “Give her a ring made from iron” and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ‘Awf  gave a golden coin as his dowry. How simple marriages were within the Sahaabah!

Excessive Expenditure on Weddings

The tradition of excessive expenditure on weddings, which some especially impose on the groom, only adds to the problem. Sadly, such expenditure is only done in order to boast and show-off to others.

Scholars, wealthy people and those who hold a respected position in their respective communities must address this issue and set an example for the Muslim nation. The Islamic media should also educate the people, highlight the solutions and offer them to the people.

In Conclusion

The cure for spinsterhood lies in strengthening the foundation of faith in the Muslim nation and educating the believers regarding the correct Islamic beliefs, morals and principles.

We should facilitate marriages, reduce dowries and marry our daughters to suitable young men based on the correct Islamic criteria for choosing a spouse. We should guide people to suitable young men and the wealthy should support those who wish to get married.

The Sisters who genuinely are unable to find a suitable spouse should persevere, remain steadfast and chaste and be content with the decree of Allaah, because what Allah decrees is better than what a believer may strive for.

Finally, to comprehensively address the solution for the problem of spinsterhood, the Muslim community must give deep attention to the issue of polygamy according to Islamic guidelines. This is because there are many women who are single, divorced or widowed. Having said this, those men who partake in polygamy must be just, merciful and wise when dealing with their wives, especially the first one, because we are always hearing complaints from sisters about their husbands being unjust to them. We must remember that the Prophet  said, “He who has two wives and favors one over another (i.e., by being unjust to one of them by not fulfilling his duties towards her) will be on the Day of Resurrection with one side of his face cut and hanging (as a form of punishment).” [Ahmad]


mirrorOne of the first things that most people think about when preparing for or thinking about marriage, are the characteristics or qualities of the person they would like to marry. Some people think about how they want their potential husband or wife to look - perhaps they think about such things as hair and skin color. Some men may look for a wife who is an excellent cook, and some women may look for a husband who is very religious. Many Muslims nowadays look for a wife or husband that is conversant in the Arabic language, or someone that is at least a student of Arabic.

Nonetheless, most people, Muslims included, seem to go to great lengths to make elaborate lists, either on paper or in their minds, about all the things they want or expect from their potential husband or wife. And while this is good and perhaps a very necessary part of the marriage search, few people ever sit down with the same purposefulness and care in order to enumerate their own qualities and characteristics or just think about whether they, themselves, are the kind of people that someone else with just as high expectations or ideals would want to marry.

Think outside of yourself for a moment: If you were someone else, would you marry you? I don’t mean you, as you would like to see yourself weeks, months or even years from now. Nor do I mean you as you imagine yourself after you have had a chance to change a few of your bad habits, improve your character, fix yourself up, or you after you begin to practice your religion more seriously. I mean you, as you are TODAY.

I believe that if some people were to be completely honest with themselves, they would have to admit that they, themselves, do not possess the kind of qualities or characteristics they would want in a husband or wife.

Perhaps we all know of someone like this – possibly a relative, a best friend or maybe this person is YOU. For two people who are experienced at it, marriage, at best, can be difficult. It requires patience, diplomacy, perseverance, flexibility, wisdom, and endurance, just to name a few things.

Does this mean that if someone does not possess ALL of these qualities they should not get married? No, I don’t mean to say this. However, there are people that I have come across that are in a desperate race to get married; while at the same time they possess characteristics of selfishness, stubbornness, inflexibility, insensitivity, and ingratitude. They are overly critical of other people while at the same time they have difficulty accepting criticism of themselves. They also have poor communication skills. On top of all of that, they may be in denial and won’t face up to the fact that they have a *few* personality defects to iron out before getting married. Do any of these characteristics describe you or someone you know that is looking for a wife or a husband? Has anyone ever told YOU that you possess any of these characteristics?

Marriage is so serious an affair that I would dare say that if someone looking to get married possesses some or all of these qualities, they may be headed for big trouble. Or, should I say anyone that marries a person like this might be in very, very big trouble? The question then becomes: Does a person who possesses these kinds of shortcomings have to wait years before getting married? I would say the answer is no. Someone like this doesn’t have to wait years to get married.

Allah, The Sublime, says in the Quran that He will never change the condition of a people until they first change what is inside of them. This verse offers hope - hope of a new tomorrow. Isn’t that what most people want? They want to know that whatever difficulties they are facing today, a change is on the horizon for tomorrow. However, it does not only offer hope. It offers hope based on a condition. That condition is that we have to take the first step to recognize that we have a problem and then do something about it. Can a man who is a drunk ever become sober unless he recognizes that he has a problem? Can a woman that is insensitive, inflexible, stubborn, ungrateful, rigid, and selfish ever be a good wife?

Someone who is in denial about their faults will never be able to change their negative pattern of behaviour until they first recognize and ADMIT that they have a problem. Once you can admit that you have a problem, the next step is to begin working diligently and consistently on your problem or negative characteristics.

The key words here are working diligently AND consistently. As any doctor will tell you, a patient has to be diligent and consistent about taking their medicine in order to see good results. Couple this prescription that Allah gives us in the Qur'aan with prayer and strong faith, Allah willing, you can overcome any problem.

If after taking a good long, honest look at yourself in the mirror you cannot honestly say that you would make a good husband or wife in your present condition, then before you pick up the pen to enumerate a list of all the fine qualities you are looking for in a wife or husband, instead, why not list some of the qualities that you need to work on, and then embark on  a program to change these bad qualities so that someday soon, when Allah does bless you with a good wife or husband, you will be worthy of such a person?

After all, isn’t the divorce rate high enough already?


amazingsceneAs humans, we are truly powerless, especially when it comes to the unseen future. So why shouldn't we turn to Allaah and seek His perfect help whenever we require it? Allaah responds to the call of His servant when he asks Him for guidance. After all, we are seeking to do something in order to please Him.

Istikhaarah means to ask Allah to guide you to the path best for you between two Islamically permissible options. In matters that are waajib (obligatory), haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked) there is no need to pray Istikhaarah. Salaat-ul-Istikharah should only be used for matters that are mubaah (allowed) or in matters that are mustahabb (liked or encouraged), in which there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.

Many wrong notions exist concerning Istikhaarah. Many Muslims will pray, read the supplication of Istikhaarah, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them their future husband, what her favourite colour is, and some other weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this Salaat.

The results of an Istikhaarah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you. You then follow the results of the Istikhaarah, if you don't then it tantamounts to rejecting Allah's guidance once you've asked for it. Also, you should firstly clear your mind, not have your mind already decided, and then afterwards follow the results willingly.

How Is Salaatul-Istikhaarah Performed?

It is a Sunnah that, if one needs to choose between permissible alternatives, one should pray two non-obligatory Raka'aat (Units of Prayer), even if they are of the Sunnah prayers or a prayer for entering the Masjid and recite therein whatever one wishes of the Qur'an after reciting Surah al-Faatihah. Then one should praise Allah and sends Salutations to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and recite the following supplication mentioned in the Hadeeth (Prophetic Narration).

The description of Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah was narrated by Jaabir ibn 'Abd-Allah as-Salami (may Allah be pleased with him) who said,

"The Messenger of Allah used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them surahs from the Qur'an.

He said, 'If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak'ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:


'O Allah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty.

You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me.

And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it."

The Prophet added that then the person should mention his need. [Saheeh al-Bukhaari]

Therefore, Salat-ul-Istikhaarah is just two raka'aat of a non-obligatory prayer, prayed at anytime during the day, with a specific supplication at the end. While reciting the du'a, you should be thinking about the situation you want to be advised about with pure intentions and from the bottom of your heart. Then remember that Allaah says that whenever he guides a heart aright it can never be misguided. Afterwards, you should 'have a good feeling' about one of your options. Whatever option you feel is best right after you say the du'aa should be your decision. If you're still in doubt, you can repeat.

Imaam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote,

"...after performing the Istikhaarah, a person must do what he is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he had desired to do before making the Istikhaarah. If his feelings change, he should leave what he had intended to do, otherwise he is not completely leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking aid from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice, means that one should completely leave what he himself had desired or determined."

Some people mistakenly wait for a dream to give a clear sign as to what decision to make, but this is not true, and often times it never really happens. In fact, dreams may lead you away from what Allah wants you to do, as Shaytaan might try to deceive you in your dreams.

Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah is for everybody. It's a way for all of us to implore Allah for divine guidance and mercy. It is yet another invaluable resource from Allah to keep us on the straight and narrow Siraat-ul-Mustaqeem. The Prophet (peace be upon him) guidance regarding the Istikhaarah is for all Muslims, not just the scholars. Despite this gift, too many of us take the advice of our friends and parents, or accept the norms of our society and act without ever wondering what Allah wants us to do. We must stop looking towards the creation for guidance, we must begin to consult Allah, the Creator.

I cannot provide a better conclusion than advising that you must put your trust in Allah. You must have trust in His concern for us, and His ability to help us. Allah says,

{Put your trust in Allâh, certainly, Allâh loves those who put their trust (in Him).} [Surah Al-Imran, Ayah 159]


keep goingWe find that in the Qur'aan Allah, the Glorious, says,

{And He it is Who has created man from water; then He has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship. And thy Lord is ever Powerful.} [Qur'aan 25:54]

{One of His signs is this: that He has created mates for you from yourselves that you might find tranquility in them, and He has put between you love and compassion. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.} [Qur'aan 30:21]

Allah, the Most High, also mentions how marriage was also practised by many of the Prophets who came before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),

{And surely We sent Messengers before thee and appointed for them wives and children.} [Qur'aan 33:38]

And in praising the habits of good believers, it reads,

{And those who say, "Our Lord, grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes . . ."} [Qur'aan 25:74]


1. Procreation

This is the paramount advantage of marriage; namely, to contribute through legitimate means to the continuity and preservation of the human race. The sexual urge serves the function of bringing the mates together for the fulfilment of this basic objective.

The procreational objective has four aspects:

  1. To fulfil the will of God;
  2. To seek the pride of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the day of Judgement;
  3. To benefit from the prayer of the child;
  4. To profit from its intercession on behalf of its parents.

Almighty Allah, has provided the male with intricate fertilizing organs and the female with a receptive fertile womb. To let them be idle is to ignore the divine wisdom written on these God-given instruments. Imagine a farmer who, although he is given a piece of fertile land, seeds and farming tools, just lets the land go to waste, the seeds rot and tools rust. This farmer not only is a fool, but is to be condemned for his wasteful and harmful indifference.

The prayer of a righteous child is beneficial for the deceased parent. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,

"When the son of Adam dies, nothing would be of any more benefit to him except three things: a continuous charity, some useful knowledge he has left behind and a child who may pray for him."

Should the child die early and the parents accept its loss as the Will of Allah, without despair, it would be like a ticket to Paradise for them. The Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him, is related to have said,

"A child [who dies before reaching puberty] leads the parents to Paradise."

"A child will be brought [on the Day of Judgement] and told, "Get into Paradise." But he will stand reluctantly and angrily at its gate and say, "I am not going to enter Paradise without my parents." It will then be said, "Let his parents enter Paradise with him.""

2. Fulfilment of the Natural Urge

The sexual urge is perhaps the most powerful human inclination. It seems not to be an end in itself, but a means to bring mates together for the purpose of fertilization. Yet its fulfilment is the most enjoyable and absorbing of human experiences. Failure to fulfil this urge is likely to lead either to deviation or to maladjustment. Deviation is dishonourable and is strictly forbidden in Islam. Therefore, the Prophet, peace be upon him, calls upon youth, saying,

"leafwaterO you young people! Whoever of you can afford to get married, let him do so. Those who cannot afford it, let them practice fasting, as it may be a protection to them [against sin]."

It is believed that the intense pleasure of the climax of the sexual act, though short-lived, has the value of reminding the believers of the more durable and more perfect enjoyment that awaits them in Paradise. The experience should enhance their zeal to comply with divine teachings.

The practice of marriage is the way to remove evil and protect against shameful failure. To try to suppress the sexual urge by other means, such as fasting, can also succeed in preventing the eyes from looking at forbidden scenes and keeping the sexual organs away from committing heinous abominations. But a wife is food for the man and a measure for purifying his heat. Therefore the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, commanded that whenever a man sees a woman and feels attracted to her, he should go and release his urge with his own wife in order to remove the evil thoughts from his mind.

3. A Healthy Relaxation

In marriage there is comfort to the soul, there is beauty to look at, there is company, and there is play, joking and relaxation, all of which relieve the heart from its burdens and make the mind better able to concentrate during prayers and worship. To be always serious and deprive the soul of its joy is boring to the heart and could blind it. Relaxing through the company of the spouse is healthy; and that is why the Qur'an describes the spouse as a source of mutual comfort. It is said that it is wise to divide one's time over three types of activities: worshiping the Lord, self-examination and entertainment of the heart. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to say, "Two worldly things are beloved to me -  women and perfume. But the light of my eye is in prayers."

4. A Comfortable Home

fantasy-fantasy-chris-beatrice-scenery-art-status1-download-wallpapersMarriage, moreover, provides co-operation in the household and greatly relieves one from worries. Spouses cooperate in the management of the house, in its upkeep, in cooking and washing, and so forth. And thus there will be more time for worship and seeking knowledge, and a climate conducive to concentration. It is therefore said that a righteous wife is not a worldly asset only; she is a sure way to success on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,

"If God loves a man, He give him a righteous wife. If he looks at her, she pleases him; when he is with her, she is marvellous company; and when he is away, she observes conscientiously his rights, protecting his property and preserving her honour."

5. Social Importance

Finally, by adding responsibilities upon the individual, marriage enhances his status in society and gives him an opportunity for training in bearing the hardships of life. Living with a spouse, a person of different inclinations and background, trains one in accommodating oneself to new experiences; each party helps the other in the exercise of the virtues of patience and forbearance. The responsibility of rearing children and the need to earn for their living are added meritorious aspect arising from marriage. Listen to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said, "A man will be rewarded for what he spends on his wife, even for putting a morsel of food into her mouth. "


There is no rose without thorns, and marriage is no exception. There is no relationship that modifies the mode of life of the individual or curtails the individual's freedom of action so suddenly or so profoundly as does marriage. Whether husband or wife, each has to take into account the reaction of the other party to whatever he or she may do.

Burdens and Risks

Upon marrying, the husband immediately carries the burden of the responsibility of his wife's welfare; and each birth brings forth more burdens. Sickness and other crises which may occur to his wife or to any of his children will be his own problems, and many of the things he would be able to enjoy by himself may fall outside his reach because of his domestic burden. And thus marriage brings him both hardships and deprivations.

The wife also, in addition to her husband's demands, becomes exposed to the burden of pregnancy, the pangs of birth, child care and the heavy task of nursing her husband and children when they are sick. She has to do the shopping, prepare the daily meals, and wash and clean. She has also to pay regard to her husband's wishes and attitude. And so marriage for her is hard work and a curtailment of her freedom.

Another disadvantage is the risk that marriage may prove to be a failure. If it is completely broken, then that is disastrous; and if it is maintained in spite of continuous troubles, life becomes hell. It is also likely in such a case of mutual tension that the parties behave unjustly to each other; and this will pile up sins for which they will deserve punishment on the Day of Judgement.

Moreover, the husband, in his search to satisfy the insatiable desires of an overambitious wife, or the needs of his children, may resort to corrupt or dishonest means, which would bring ruin to himself in this world and severe punishment in the life to come. The Qur'aan remarks in this respect, {O you who believe, surely of your wives and your children there are enemies to you. So therefore beware of them.} [Qur'aan 64:14]

Even if things proceed smoothly and comfortably in the household, the company of the wife and her attractions may excessively occupy the time and thought of her husband; and she may become too often engaged in amorous activities with him.

Refutation of Disadvantages

photos-of-Visions-of-Heaven-picturesThese seeming disadvantages may appear to outweigh the disadvantages, however, the burdened spouse is well compensated by the relief from the solitude and boredom of bachelorhood through the company of the other party and the children they both rear. Hardships they may suffer are worthy sacrifices in the interest of society. If everyone should run away from the responsibilities of marriage, mankind would degenerate, decline and ultimately disappear.

Engagement of the mind in the affairs of the household is not alien to the domain of divine worship. After all, the mind needs diversion and cannot easily be occupied in one type of work all the time.

The possibility of resorting to corrupt means to provide for domestic financial needs only arises with unscrupulous persons, married or otherwise; and marriage or need alone does not lead to corruption with conscientious, honest people. Married couples, however, should use their wisdom and manage their affairs within their means. They should not stretch their expenses beyond the income which they legitimately earn.

The possibility of failure in marriage is not a good cause for delay or reluctance. After all, there is a risk in every course of action in life, be it business, study, a journey or any other venture. If uncertainty of success were to debar us from venturing the risk, life would surely become paralysed. It is only in courage and challenge that individuals and nations can aspire to glory. Moreover, if due care is exercised in picking one's spouse, the possibility of failure becomes rather remote, Allah willing.


sisterandhusbandOne of the ways in which Islaam has honoured woman is by giving her the right to choose her husband. Her parents have no right to force her to marry someone she dislikes. The Muslim woman knows this right, but she does not reject the advice and guidance of her parents when a potential suitor comes along, because they have her best interests at heart, and they have more experience of life and people.

There are many texts that support the woman in this sensitive issue, for example the report quoted by Imaam al-Bukhaari from al-Khansa’ bint Khidam, “My father married me to his  nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allah. He said to me, ‘Accept what your father has arranged.’ I said, ‘I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.’ He said, ‘Then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.’ I said,

‘I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them).’” (Fath al-Bari, 9/194)

At first, the Prophet (peace be upon him) told al-Khansa’ to obey her father, and this is as it should be, because the concern of fathers for their daughter's well being is well known. But when he realized that her father wanted to force her into a marriage she did not want, he gave her the freedom to choose, and saved her from the oppression of a father who wanted to force her into an unwanted marriage.

Islaam does not want to impose an unbearable burden on women by forcing her to marry a man she may dislike, because it wants marriages to be successful, based on compatibility between the partners; there should be common ground between them in terms of physical looks, attitudes, habits, inclinations and aspirations. If something goes wrong, and the woman feels that she cannot love her husband sincerely, and fears that she may commit the sin of disobeying and opposing this husband whom she does not love, then she may ask for a divorce. This is confirmed by the report in which the wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, Jameelah the sister of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy, came to the Prophet and said,

“O Messenger of Allah, I have nothing against Thabit ibn Qays as regards his religion or his behavior, but I hate to commit any act of disbelief when I am a Muslim."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Will you give his garden back to him?” as her dowry had been a garden. She said, “Yes.” So the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent word to him, “Take back your garden, and give her one pronouncement of divorce.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/395, Kitab al-talaq, bab al-khul'.)

According to a report given by Al-Bukhaari from Ibn ‘Abbas, she said,

“I do not blame Thabit for anything with regard to his religion or his behavior, but I do not like him.”

flowerIslaam has protected woman’s pride and humanity, and has respected her wishes with regard to the choice of a husband with whom she will spend the rest of her life. It is not acceptable for anyone, no matter who he is, to force a woman into a marriage with a man she does not like.

There is no clearer indication of this than the story of Bareerah, an Ethiopian slave-girl who b elonged to ‘Utbah ibn Abu Lahab, who forced her to marry another slave whose name was Mugheeth. She would never have accepted him as a husband if she had been in control of her own affairs. ‘A’aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) took pity on her, so she purchased her and then set her free. When this young woman felt that she was free and in control of her own affairs, and that she could take a decision about her marriage, she asked her husband for a divorce.

Her husband used to follow her, weeping, whilst she rejected him. Al-Bukhaari quotes Ibn ‘Abbas describing this freed woman who insisted on the annulment of her marriage to someone she did not love. Our loving Prophet (peace be upon) commented on this moving sight, and sought to intervene. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Barirah’s husband was a slave, who was known as Mugheeth. I can almost see him (i.e. even now i can remember him vividly), running after her and crying, with tears running down onto his beard. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to ‘Abbas, ‘O ‘Abbas, do you not find it strange, how much Mugeeth loves Bareerah, and how much Bareerah hates Mugheeth?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said (to Bareerah), ‘Why do you not go back to him?’ She said,

‘O Messenger of Allah, are you commanding me to do so?’

He said, ‘I am merely trying to intervene on his behalf.’ She said, ‘I have no need of him.’” (Fath al-Bari, 9/408, Kitab al-talaq, bab shafa'at al-Nabi (r) fi zawj Barirah.)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was deeply moved by this display of human emotion: deep and overwhelming love on the part of the husband, and equally powerful hatred on the part of the wife. He could not help but remind the wife, and ask her why she did not go back to him, as he was her husband and the father of her child. This believing woman asked him, whether he was ordering her to do so: was this a command, a binding obligation? The Prophet (peace be upon him), this great law-giver and educator, replied that he was merely trying to intercede and bring about reconciliation if possible; he was not trying to force anybody to do something they did not wish to. Let those stubborn, hard-hearted fathers who oppress their own daughters listen to the teaching of the Prophet!

Wise and Correct Standards For Choosing a Husband

The Muslim woman who understands the teachings of her religion has wise and correct standards when it comes to choosing a husband. She does not concern herself just with good looks, high status, a luxurious lifestyle or any of the other things that usually attract women. She looks into his level of religious  commitment and his attitude and behavior, because these are the pillars of a successful marriage, and the best features of a husband. Islamic teaching indicates the importance of these qualities in a potential husband, as Islaam obliges a woman to accept the proposal of anyone who has these qualities, lest fitnah (trial and temptation) and corruption become widespread in society. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If there comes to you one with whose religion and attitude you are satisfied, then give your daughter to him in marriage, for if you do not do so, fitnah and mischief will become widespread on earth.” (Hasan hadith narrated by Tirmidhi, 2/274, Abwab al-nikah, 3; and by Ibn Majah, 1/633, Kitab al-nikah, bab al-akfa'.)

Just as the true Muslim young man will not be attracted to the pretty girls who have grown up in a bad environment, so the Muslim young woman who is guided by her religion will not be attracted to stupid “play-boy” types, no matter how handsome they may be. Rather she will be attracted to the serious, educated, believing man who is clean-living and pure of heart, whose behavior is good and whos understanding of religion is sound. No one is a suitable partner for the good, believing woman except a good, believing man; and no one is a suitable partner for the wayward, immoral woman but a wayward, immoral man, as Allah (the Glorious) has said, {Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure, and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity} (Qur’aan 24:26)

pinkwhiteThis does not mean that the Muslim woman should completely ignore the matter of physique and appearance, and put up with unattractiveness or ugliness. It is her right - as stated above – to marry a man for whom her heart may be filled with love, and who is pleasing to her both in his appearance and in his conduct. Appearance should not be neglected at the expense of inner nature, or vice versa. A woman should choose a man who is attractive to her, one who will gain her admiration and respect. The true Muslim woman is never dazzled by outward appearances, and she never lets it distract her from seeing the essence of a potential spouse.

The Muslim woman knows that the man has the right of qawwaamah over her, as the Qur’aan says, {Men are the protectors and maintainers [qawwaamun] of women, because Allah has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means.} (Qur’aan 4:34)

Hence she wants to marry a man of qawwaamah over. For this she will feel proud and be happy to marry him and never regret it. She wants a man who will take her hand in his and set out to fulfill their life’s mission of establishing a Muslim family and raising a new generation of intelligent and caring children, in an atmosphere of love and harmony, which will not be impeded by conflicting attitudes or religious differences.

Believing men and believing women are supposed to walk side-by-side on the journey of life, which is a serious matter for the believer, so that they may fulfill the great mission with which Allah (the Glorious) has entrusted mankind, men and women alike, as the Qur’aan says, {For Muslim men and women - for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are constant and patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast [and deny themselves], for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise - for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.} (Qur’aan 33:35)

In order to achieve this great goal of strengthening the marriage bond and establishing a stable family life, it is essential to choose the right partner in the first place.

The Amazing Example of Umm Sulaym bint Milhaan

Among the great Muslim women of Islaaam, one who is known for her strength of character, lofty aspirations and far-sightedness in her choice of a husband is Umm Sulaym bint Milhaan.

She was one of the first Ansaari women to embrace Islaam. She was married to Maalik ibn Nadhar, and bore him a son, Anas. When she embraced Islam, her husband Malik was angry with her, and left her, but she persisted in her Islam. Shortly afterwards, she heard the news of his death, and she was still in the flower of her youth. She bore it all with the hope of reward, for the sake of Allah (the Mighty), and devoted herself to taking care of her ten-year-old son Anas. She took him to the Prophet, so that he could serve him and learn from him.

One of the best young men of Madinah, one of the best looking richest and strongest, came to seek her hand in marriage. This was Abu Talhah - before he became Muslim. Many of the young women of Yathrib liked him because of his wealth, strength and youthful good looks, and he thought that Umm Sulaym would joyfully rush to accept his offer. But to his astonishment, she told him,

“O Aboo Talhah, do you not know that your god whom you worship is just a tree that grew in the ground and was carved into shape by the slave of Banoo (the tribe of) so-and so."

He said, “Of course.”

She said,

“Do you not feel ashamed to prostrate yourself to a piece of wood that grew in the ground and was carved by the slave of Banoo (the tribe of) so-and-so?”

Abu Talhah was stubborn, and hinted to her of an expensive dowry and luxurious lifestyle, but she persisted in her point of view, and told him frankly,

“O Aboo Talhah, a man like you could not be turned away, but you are a disbelieving man, and I am a Muslim woman. It is not permitted for me to marry you, but if you were to embrace Islam, that would be my dowry (mahr), and I would ask you for nothing more.” (Reported by al-Nisa'i with a sahih isnad, 6/114, Kitab al-nikah, bab al-tazwij 'ala'l-Islam.)

He returned the following day to try to tempt her with a larger dowry and more generous gift, but she stood firm, and her persistence and maturity only enhanced her beauty in his eyes. She said to him,

“O Aboo Talhah, do you not know that your god whom you worship was carved by the carpenter slave of so-and-so? If you were to set it alight, it would burn.”

Her words came as a shock to Abu Talhah, and he asked himself, "Does the Lord burn?" Then he uttered the testimony of faith, “Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah.” And hence became a Muslim.

Then Umm Sulaym said to her son Anas, with joy flooding her entire being,

“O Anas, marry me to Aboo Talhah.”

So Anas brought witnesses and the marriage was solemnized.

Aboo Talhah was so happy that he was determined to put all his wealth at Umm Sulaym’s disposal, but hers was the attitude of the selfless, proud, sincere believing woman. She told him,

“O Aboo Talhah, I married you for the sake of Allah (the Glorious), and I will not take any other dowry.”

She knew that when Abu Talhah embraced Islam, she did not only win herself a worthy husband, but she also earned a reward from Allah (subhaanahu wa ‘ta’aalaa) that was better than owning red camels (the most highly-prized kind) in this world, as she had heard the Prophet say, "If Allah (the Glorious) were to guide one person to Islaam through you, it is better for you than owning red camels.” (Fath al-Bari, 7/476, Kitab al-maghazi, bab ghazwat Khaybar.)

Such great Muslim women are examples worthy of emulation, from whom Muslim women may learn purity of faith, strength of character, soundness of belief and the wisdom in choosing a husband.


pinkwithskyHere we stand, apart, not touching, not looking.

Tomorrow is our nikaah (marriage).

But today, it is as if we are standing at the edge of the sea, the tide coming in to meet us.

We are almost ready to plunge into the rolling surf and swim out to the world of tomorrow, with its far-off horizon.

Families, words of praise and recommendation, questions and shy glances are behind us now.

You have seen what pleases you.

And I have seen what pleases me.

But I have not seen your heart.

And you have not seen mine.

leafwaterAnd so now, before our fates are inextricably entwined, I will bare my heart to you.

Without reservations, I will show you the core of my being.

I am like a sapling, a tender sapling, whose roots reach eagerly to drink life's goodness.

Take care when you hold the tender sapling between your fingers.

I was created by Allah, a delicate seed, born of my mother and father's love.

My mother nurtured me in her womb

where an angel blew a soul into my tiny form.

My mother's body cradled me and I breathed of her air.

She nourished me from herself and spoke love to me in the darkness.
seed_sprout I was born into the love of my parents and I began to grow.

Seed became seedling under their care and attention.

They showered me with praise, and my self-esteem sprouted.

They guided me with kindness and my character blossomed.

They weeded the world around me so that I could grow strong and pure.

And now that my first buds are about to open, they have entrusted me to you.

How will you tend me?

Will you coax my buds to unfurl with words of love and kind attention?

petalsOr will you pluck them before they're ready, crushing their new petals and delicate stems?

When I bring forth delicate blossoms of talent and inspiration,

Will you smile at their dreaming petals and share in the blush of hope?

Or will you watch as blossoms wither under your disapproving gaze,

Your criticism, your scorn, and your self-righteous censure?

Will you guide my wilder branches, gently, coaxing them to grow straight and true?

Or will you simply break off the ones that displease you, trampling them carelessly underfoot?

And when, inshaa' Allah, when I come to bear your children, will you continue to water me?

Or will you pluck those precious fruits, one by one, and turn away from the empty branches?

And when my trunk grows wide and thick with age, will you marvel at my strength?

Or will you recoil from touching my rough, brown bark?

tree1When the years have become mere memories, will you admire how tall we have grown?

Or will your restless, selfish heart long to reach out for another sapling?

When I am as weak as the waving branches of a weeping willow – will you protect me?

When I am as strong as the trunk of the mighty Redwood tree – will you support me?

When I am as wise as the age rings of the old, old oak tree – will you respect me?

When I am as foolish as the fickle blossoms of early Spring – will you be patient with me?

When I am as fragile as the flowers of a jasmine tree – will you keep me safe?

When I am as bold as the roots that break through concrete – will you believe in me?

How will you tend me?

For now I have shown you my heart, its dreams, its hopes and fears.

Look carefully as we stand at the edge of the water.

Are you willing to bare your soul and show your heart to me?

So that I feel safe as the two of us swim on out to sea.

Remember that I am like a sapling, a creation of Allah.

Take care when you hold me between your fingers.


purpleflowerwaterAlthough the following advice is for brothers, it paints a beautiful picture of what a wife should truly be like...

By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend.

She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you.

When you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be hers; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.

The best description that I personally have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses to each other is the Qur'aan's verse which says, "They are your garments and you are their garments." (Surah Al Baqarah 2:187)

Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garments! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover, and support in the journey of our lives on this earth as garments would do in the Alaskan journey.

The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: the amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquillity that fills the hearts of the spouses is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that it is an act of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa), "And Allah has made for you Mates (and Companions) of your own nature ..." (Surah Al Nahl 16:72)

greenwhiteOnly our Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) in His Infinite Power, Boundless Mercy, and Great Wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing and blessed feelings in the hearts of the spouses. In fact Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) is reminding those who search for His signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide humans to His existence as He says in the Qur'an, "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect." (Surah Al Rum 30:21)

But Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) knows that the human heart is not a static entity, it is sometimes weak and at times dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides. For the tree of marital love to remain alive and keep growing, the soil has to be sustained, maintained, watered and nurtured.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) will always result in having more peace at home.

Remember that the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) gave glad tidings for those couples who wake up at night to pray together. The Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) even urged the spouse who rises up first to wake the other spouse up even by throwing cold water on his/her face.

Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honor their spouses until death do them part. I do believe that this vow is good or even great, but not enough!  Love should never end and we do believe there is life after death where those who did righteousness in this world will be joined by their spouses (Surah Al Zukhruf 43:70) and offsprings.


pearl'Abdul-Malik (radiyallaahu 'anhaa) said, "When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jaahiliyyah (time of ignorance) was marrying his daughter, Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi and as she was made ready to be taken to the groom, her mother, Umaamah came into her room to advise her and said,

‘"O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you possess these qualities. But it (the following advice) will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

O my daughter, if a woman were able to do wthout a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you. Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you:

* The first and second of them are: Be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah (the Glorious and Mighty).

* The third and fourth of them are: Make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

* The fifth and sixth of them are: Prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

* The seventh and eight of them are: Take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

* The ninth and tenth of them are: Never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal and his mistrust of you in turn, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

* Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy.


moon-scenery-night-skyMu’aadh Ibn Jabal (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) on knowledge:

“Knowledge is a comforting friend in times of loneliness, it is the best companion during travels, and it is the inner friend who speaks to you in your privacy.

Knowledge is the discerning proof of what is right and what is wrong, and it is the positive force that will help you surmount the trials of comfort, as well as those of hardships.

Knowledge is your most powerful sword against your enemy, and finally, it is your most dignifying raiment in the company of your close companions. Through knowledge, Allaah, blessed be His Name, raises some people in rank, and He makes them leaders in righteousness and models in morality. The vestige of their faith is avidly sought, their deeds are emulated perceptively, and people will seek and sanction their opinions solicitously and unequivocally. The heavenly angels seek their company and anoint them with their wings, every fresh or withered life they pass by implore Almighty Allaah to forgive them their sins, even the fish in the oceans, the beasts of the lands and every bird of prey and migratory bird pray and solicit the mercy of Almighty Allaah on their behalf.

This is because knowledge revives the dead hearts and drives them out of darkness into light, and because knowledge is the light of the inner eyes that cures one’s blindness and restores his inner sight.”

Source: Narrated by Abu Nu’aym [r] in Al-Hilyah.

learnlead-300x199I know of a number of people who led a generation of practicing young men and women in the 90s, without having studied Shari'ah formally anywhere or with anyone properly. Due to this they failed to appreciate the nuances in the Islamic Law, and polarized the community with their rigid stance on views that were subject to scholarly difference at best, or utterly absurd at worse. They burnt many bridges, broke up families, turned relatives and best of friends against each other, for a decade or more.

Once they saw a new generation of preachers with some background in academia introducing a more nuanced approach, which challenged their dichotomy and threatened their leadership, they lost grip of the core values that had defined their purpose for a significant portion of their lives. This triggered a radical transformation in them, and as they were going through this transformation, a number of loyal well-wishers tried to engage with them politely, but to no avail. Their response – if there was one – was cold, and often contained sentiments like,

'You were still young when I was teaching this book or that... You used to be my student... You are merely a product of my efforts... I, me, mine...'

It was clear. For them it was a leadership and ego crisis. They were, and had been leaders, for more than a decade, and could not get themselves to accept that others have left them far behind. Their insecurity prevented them from opening any channel of communication with the 'new young shaykhs', except in a capacity of, 'you still have much to learn from me, son'. Finally, they reversed polarity and sharply drifted towards liberalism – literally the other end of the extremism spectrum. At least two of them have now come out of the closest and declared their new found faith, secularism, taking their faithful flock with them.

And the cycle continues. Often I see people who have absolutely no formal education in Islam, reading a few books here and there, and perhaps learning some Arabic, becoming leaders of a small group of people, by merely sharing with them the little they have picked up. Once they get a taste of public appreciation and praise 'JazakAllahu Khayran brother! MashaAllah you have a lot of knowledge!' they find it a serious blow to their ego if someone, out of good will, humbly suggests, 'dear brother, you should formally study the topic before writing anything on it.'

Had they studied and learned before dishing out their half-baked ideas to the public, only to be blown into smithereens by someone who knows slightly better, they would not have subjected themselves to such humiliation, and ruin the lives of so many of their followers who had blindly put their trust in them.

And hence, Umar b. al-Khattab's advice:

Learn before you become leaders...

sistersletschillWe find many speakers rising amongst the ranks of the people discussing issues of the religion that they may or may not be ready for, to the extent that the value of a person is not held in what he says, but how he says it. Basically, his knowledge is not the point of benefit or value, but the way he speaks. This goes against the pure Islamic teachings, as Allah mentions the people who have the most awareness of him are the scholars [of the religion], and that they are the ones who we are commanded to turn to in times of trials and tribulations and our questions, and they are the ones who are praised in the Quran and in many ahadith of the Prophetic Sunnah (salalahu alaihi wa sallam). The reality is that knowledge is acquired, while speaking is a gift, and the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) described it as a type of magic, and unfortunately we have seen its effect, to the point they've fallen into another warning from him (salalahu alaiihi wa salam) about taking the ignorant as their leaders, be it in their masjid, concerning their religious affairs, giving fatwa, or other than that.

The question then arises: who are the people of knowledge and how do I connect myself to them?

As for who they are, then there are books written about the characteristics of the scholar and his etiquettes, but these books help us recognize a scholar, not proclaim scholarship for an individual. In essence, the scholars are recognized by scholars. The same way a person, when he is ill, asks his friends for a good doctor, they will direct him to who they feel is most knowledgeable concerning medicine. When this individual reaches that recommended doctor, he will in turn direct him to a specialist. Why? Because a professional in a field knows his peers, so how much more a person who has dealt with other teachers and educators in Islam?

Is there a set curriculum an individual has to go to, in order to ascertain scholarship? Not necessarily, but scholarship is usually attained in two ways, after tawfeeq from Allah:

1. Academically, by going through a curriculum focused in different Islamic sciences, focusing on a particular science, be it Fiqh, Hadeeth, Aqeedah or other than that.

2. Apprenticeship, in which an individual accompanies a scholar for a long period of time taking most of the sciences from that particular scholar.

In our time, the first is what is most prevalent, and a combination of the two also take place (which is the best), but in times before the establishment of universities and learning institutions most scholars became such via the second way.

This is not so strange, as in previous generations, and even in some parts of the world today, including certain fields in the West, apprenticeship has and still takes place. Before universities, if a man wanted to become a blacksmith, he would go to a blacksmith and be his apprentice and learn the trade from him, similar to medicine, masons, carpenters, and other than them. So why is it so backwards if it's done concerning Islamic sciences?

Similarly, just as a scholar is known by other scholars, these scholars also know the students of knowledge, who in turn know other students of knowledge. So if an individual claiming to be a student comes up to your community, there is no harm in asking for his credentials and his recommendations either from his teachers and/or peers, just as you would in any other science, actually this is even important than that because this is about your religion!!

Concerning connecting yourself with these individuals, be they scholars or students, then it is upon the Muslim to keep righteous company, as the Messenger of Allah (salalalhu alaihi wa salam) said a person is on the religion of his close friend, so what better friend to make except from the scholars and their students?! As for how it's done, then we have to realize they are humans just as we are, so you will find some easier to approach than others, but Allah has given them the tawfeeq of learning and preserving His religion, so it is upon us, no matter how friendly we are, to respect and honor them and to keep boundaries concerning them, similar to our relationships with our parents, granted the boundaries are different but still there. So it not upon us to venerate them to the point of perfection, or pure innocence, but at the same time we do not bring them down to our levels, as Ahlus Sunnah, we keep our affairs on the middle path.

And Allah knows best.


المكتبة الشاملة

Description and Features

1) A library containing an initial amount of 5300 books on the various Islaamic sciences [only Arabic] organized into appropriate categories and identity cards for many of the books and authors.

2) Highly advanced searching capabilities, including choosing single or multiple books to search in, ignoring or including the various forms of the letter Hamza, searching for book titles, searching within the books, searching in the comments section of the books, searching for the authors, and searching for multiple words either by “and” or using “or” criteria.

3) Ability to edit books, bookmark favorite locations, open multiple books at the same time, remove or keep the Tashkeel (Arabic punctuation marks) from texts (when available), and to associate books of Sharh (commentaries) with their respective Matn (text – when available).

4) Ability to change background image of the application, and changing the font and color of various levels of text and background in the software (e.g. main text, comments, titles, footnotes, etc.).

5) Ability to export the books to HTML files, (.doc) files (requires Microsoft Word on the device), and (.bok) files (requires the empty version of the library) with various export options.

6) Ability to update the library and download new books from within the software.

Main Screen of the Library:



Download the Library

Download the library from this link:

Alternative links: Archive | IslamWay | darcoran | almktba | More…


1) The file that you download is a zip file. Open the file.

Downloaded library zip file:


2) Run the (.exe) file within the zip archive.

Run the executable file:


3) A dialog box should appear. Click “Browse” to choose the location where you want to extract the files of the library then click “Install” to begin extraction.

Note: Choose a drive where there are at least 4 to 6 Gigabytes of free space.

Extract the library files:


4) Wait for the files to be extracted to your desired location.

Wait for the extraction of the files to finish:


5) After the extraction is done, go to the destination folder that you chose in Step 3) above and you should see a folder named “Library“. Open that folder and run the “Setup.exe” file in it.

Run the "Setup.exe" file:


6) A dialog box should come up. Click the button “إستعراض” to choose a location to install the setup and shortcut files of the library to. This installation requires only about 20 MB of space. Then click “موافق” to begin installation.

Choose a location to install the setup files to:


7) Wait for the installation to finish.

Wait for installation to finish:


8) After the installation finishes, the library should run.

Main Screen of the Library:


Adding More Books

There are four ways by which you can add new books:

A] Adding New Books from within the Library:

1) After you upgrade to the latest edition, as shown in the above steps, open the library. Click on the menu item “ترقية حية” then click the submenu item “ترقية البرنامج والكتب الآن“.


2) A dialog box should come up. If there is internet connection, it should search for new program upgrade and new books. If there are any new books, it should show them as checkbox items. Choose the items that you want and click “تحميل تلقائي” to begin downloading them from within the library.

Choose and begin downloading new books:


3) After you begin downloading the book(s) you chose, wait until the download finishes.

Wait while the book download finishes:


4) After the download is finished, restart the library and the new books should be added to the library.

B] Downloading New Books from

1) Visit the website

The website:


2) Choose a category of books. Then choose the book you want to download. You can also search by book title or author name. The books are in (.bok) format that is recognized by the library. However, what you download is compressed in a zip archive. So, after you download, extract the content of the zip archive to get the (.bok) file.

The downloaded book after it is extracted:


3) Now go open the library itself. Click the menu item “شاشات” then click the submenu item “استيراد ملفات“.


4) A new window should appear. Browse to the location where you extracted the new book in (.bok) format. Click on the book (or books) you want to import, and drag it over to the bottom list. Then click the lightning icon at the bottom-right side of the screen whose comment reads

"استيراد الكتب إلى البرنامج".

Import the new book(s) to the library:


5) After that, a confirmation message should come up telling you that the import was successful.

C] Downloading Books from

1) Visit the page

Visit the IslamPort website.


2) Choose a category. Then download a book. You can also search by book title or author name. Extract the content of the zip file. Then follow the same steps as discussed for the website above.

D] Downloading Books from

1) The website hosts a massive collection of books, encyclopedias, and programs, as well as other services, for free. Visit the page

Visit the website.


2) Browse through the different categories and download the book(s) you want. If it is book designed for the Shaamila library, follow the same steps as those described for above to import them to the library.

sisterstudying99Everyone wants to be ascribed to knowledge, even the most ignorant of people would wish for others to talk of him as a person of knowledge.

This is why in today's world people love titles such as Haafidh, Taalib al-'Ilm, Shaikh etc. But wanting knowledge is not itself a bad thing, rather it is one of the most noble things a person could aim for in life.

However sometimes certain hurdles might appear, obstacles if you like, that often come in the way of most people. Here I will try my best to mention some of the main problems most people face whilst seeking knowledge in order to help us all avoid them.

#6 Shyness

Shyness will prevent you from greatness.

Have you ever attended a class? Only to find the teacher talking and explaining whilst using a particular word, be it in Arabic or your own native tongue (it might even be in Klingon for all you know), and you think to yourself, 'I wonder what that means?'

But of course instead of raising your hand and cutting the teacher off, you just sit there smile and nod your head whilst remaining ignorant. I mean everyone else in the class seems to understand the teacher, you can't embarrass yourself and make everyone think your dumb or something right?

Little do you know though that it is highly likely that half of the class you are sitting with are all sitting there with the same goofy looking smile not understanding the teacher. So now you really only have one of two options, either you remain ignorant and let this shyness get in the way, or you man-up (woman-up if you're a sister of course) and ask.

What is the worst that could happen? Most teachers are good people, and won't make you feel silly (even though it is fun to tease students, no lie), and in truth, you only came to benefit and not show the people in the class how goofy you look when smiling all clueless.

Also, think of the Sahaabah, how they asked very embarrassing questions at times (even female Sahaabiyaat) in order to benefit, even Jibreel asked the Prophet 'What is Islaam'! So please never feel shy when it comes to learning about your religion, whether it be how you pray, how you make Wudhoo' etc. People wont turn around and say, 'What! You're twenty-two and you are asking me now!' I promise you it is all in your head.

#5 Arrogance

The sin of Iblees himself.

This is the opposite of the previous point, in this case the person seems to think of themselves as a scholar, anything you tell them they wave off as, 'Oh yeah I knew that already' and this is a very bad trait.

This will lead the person to stop going to local classes because he/she feels like that stuff is below them, granted they might attend when or if a big scholar comes and visits the city but other than that they tend to look down upon weekly classes held at the Masjid.

They might even think of it as 'cute' that brothers and sisters are studying '40 hadiths by Imaam an-Nawawee' or 'Al-Osool ath-Thalaatha' and when invited to such a class they will quickly blurt out, 'Yeah no, I studied those books a gazillion years ago, memorized them and plus I was buddies with Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) too...'

This type of attitude towards knowledge will never benefit the individual, rather it will only stop them and prevent them. What is the harm in studying one book twice? If anything you'll only increase your own knowledge, and if not even that, you will gain the tremendous reward of sitting in a gathering where Allaah is remembered.

So do not belittle any knowledge dear brothers and sisters.

#4 Qeel wa Qaal - Busying yourself with hearsay

I ain't trigger happy, I am just loading the gun.

This is a BIG problem amongst students of knowledge, especially those who are new to seeking knowledge.

Instead of busying themselves with memorising books and sitting with knowledgeable people, they fish around for the latest dirt as if Islaam was something from Hollywood where you get the latest gossip in tabloids.

And if you were to ask these very same individuals to recite Surah Al-Faatihah they might stutter, or if you ask them about Tahaarah they will tell you: 'Akhee (my brother) ask a Shaikh, I'm no Shaikh' yet when it comes to labelling individuals he/she is Shaikh-ul-Islaam himself!

However with all due respect, this is not to be confused with those sincere individuals who report on the behalf of the real scholars, warning people against innovators. These blessed people call mankind back to the scholars and the pure form of Islaam, the way the Companions and those after them understood it.

What I am mentioning here are those people who lack knowldege and are trigger happy when it comes to issuing a Fatwah concerning whether or not a person is a upon the right Manhaj or not (without any evidence from any scholar). This leads us to our next point.

#3 Not prioritising

You mean I shouldn't start with this book?

By this I mean, a student might be eager to seek knowledge and rightfully so, but he does not have a schedule, he starts by listening to Kitaab At-Tawheed one day and then gets bored, only to move on and study Buloogh al-Maraam the next day.

And if you were to stop him and ask, 'Brother what about the Qur'aan?' He will tell you 'I'm doing it bro, I am doing it!' And this is one of the main problems with people, they seem to always go for the big books, as if they want to prove to people 'look at me, I study Saheeh Muslim, oh you're still memorising juzz 'amma sis? Poor you!'

But the truth of the matter is, the one who starts from the bottom and works their way up towards the top, that person is the one who will benefit the most. Focus on yourself, you're seeking that knowledge for your own benefit first and foremost.

Let the people laugh if they see you walking around with a book teaching you the Arabic alphabet, don't pay attention to them if they happen to be carrying Tafsir Ibn Kathir. It was never about the people in the first place, so why bother? Which leads us to our next point.

#2 Riyaa' - Showing off

This is not only a problem for those who seek knowledge but a problem for anything you want to do in life.

Allaah does not accept Riyaa' in any form it might take, and those who fall into Riyaa' will have their good deeds nullified. And since today being a student of knowledge has become the new fashion, this has become more dangerous than ever.

So with all this it becomes crucial that you seek knowledge for the sake of Allaah and Him alone. The punishment of not doing that is very severe, and the Ahaadeeth actually tell us that such individuals will be burnt in the hell fire before the Mushrikeen (those who commit Shirk)!

The scholars warn us again and again, and say that whoever tries to show off with his/her knowledge, Allaah will not only punish them in the hereafter, but even in this world they will be prevented from seeking true beneficial knowledge. So you will see these type of people, always trying to show off in the gatherings, they love to appear as students of knowledge but it is all for show.

Do not be from amongst these people dear brothers and sisters.

#1 Giving up

This is because as human beings we are very impatient, we want everything right now. We think if we attend one class for a month or two, we become students of knowledge if not scholars.

We want to become Ahmad Ibn Hanbal over night, Imaam al-Bukhaaree in a week and so on. And when this doesn't work out we look at ourselves and get disappointed. Yet the true scholars sought knowledge for 60 years if not more! How can you attain what they did within a year or two?

Not to mention that seeking knowledge is an ever lasting quest, it is not like becoming an engineer or a doctor, you dont 'graduate' and say now I am a Shaikh rather you keep seeking knowledge until the day you die.

So do not overwhelm yourselves, take it one step at a time, it is a very long road ahead, and it is not as glamorous as you might think it is. Many nights will be spent reading and memorising and fighting with ones own intentions.

You will quickly notice that if your intentions weren't correct, like if you're seeking knowledge to make you the most popular sister around the block, you will soon quit because your intentions were never for the sake of Allaah to begin with.


muslimahindesertIn our times seeking knowledge seems to have become something only for men, women’s chores involve cooking food and producing children.

This has led to the frustration of many teenage girls, specially in the west. They might have great ambitions in seeking knowledge and teaching it to others, and it is mainly for these sisters I decided to post this.

First of all people have to realise that seeking knowledge is not a glamorous thing to do, I realise that in our time it has sometimes come across as something popular to do, reading about different stories maybe on this blog or other places you think, 'wow I want that too!' But truth be told, the nitty-gritty bits or behind the scene stuff is very hard to say the least.

Seeking knowledge full-time, is not something for everyone, can you really manage sitting for a few hours just repeating and memorizing or reading arabic grammar books over and over again? Some of you might think, 'yes of course I love Islaam!' But when it comes to studying Islaam a lot of people seem to be able to talk the talk without any action.

Ask yourself dear Sister, how much Qur’aan have you actually memorised? You might be in your late teens or early twenties, do you actually take time out and look for study circles? Be it in your local Masjid or the neighbouring Masjids.

Many people tell themselves, if only I had a chance to study abroad I would have sat in the Masjid twenty-four hours a day and studied and studied. But truth be told, if you aren’t a good student in Toronto [as an example] chances are you wont change much in Madeenah.

I do not mean to demoralise my sisters by saying this, all I wish to do is to make them realise that they have to be serious, and if you show Allaah your sincerity in this then He will surely aid you.

Having said that, the main issue that stands between sisters and seeking knowledge is that they do not have any Mahram to travel with and seek knowledge.

Or that they might have a Mahram but that person would never want to travel with them to some dry humid country just for her to read some books,'you can study Islaam here' they will most likely tell you.

And to be quite frank there is no real way of getting around this, since it is a law put down by Allaah Himself, and if you start your quest for knowledge by going against a command of Allah then there will most likely not be any blessings at all in that search.

My best suggestions to young sisters, is to try to get married to a brother who share their views and is equally serious about seeking knowledge, or marry a brother who is already seeking knowledge.

The other option is for you to try to convince your brother or maybe even uncle or any other mahram to help you.

The next problem usually is, ok but where do I go and study? Here is a very rough list for places to go and seek knowledge Inshaa'Allah:

Saudi Arabia:

This is without doubt the best place in our time to seek knowledge. It is good in that it will teach you the right 'Aqeedah and Manhaj and plus it has universities that give away scholarships to students.

The University of Madeenah is opening up a branch for sisters soon and this will be for the wives of students providing them with an opportunity to study.

The University of Makkah, Ummul-Qurra already has a branch for women, which enables both husband and wife to study side by side.

Then there is the new University called Nourah bint ‘Abdirahmaan, this university is for women and they accept international students as well.

One of the main conditions is that the female has a Mahram residing in Riyadh.


I would not advice sisters to travel there at the moment, since there is a big security risk with battles being fought against Shi’as, etc.

Also life generally is rougher there. The government usually give foreigners abit of a tough time, and ask questions etc, but if you are originally Yemeni or Somali, this is a good place since you will be able to blend in with the population easily.

Places to study are many, there is the famous Dammaj which was founded by Shaykh Muqbil (rahimahullaah). There is also places in Macbar where you can learn the basics of Islaam and memorise Qur’aan etc.

But again the situation is not stable in Yemen at the moment.


This country is mainly good for two things, when it comes to the Arabic language and memorizing Qur’aan. The Egyptians are very good in both these fields.

It is also good in that it provides flexibility for people to come and study. The people in Egypt are very friendly and welcoming, and a person usually picks up the language quickly.

The main places for studying are in Cairo, Al-Ibaanah is a good institute which will teach you Arabic and Islamic subjects.

There is Al-Fajr institute which has grown very big recently which teaches a similar syllabus. In Cairo you will find many different institutes and it is up to you to pick which one suites you the best, all of these institutes cost money.

There is a place up in the north, Qortoba Institute I have heard good things about it but I am not sure if they provide services for females. You can read more about them here


This wouldn’t be very ideal for non-Pakistanis or non-Indians, since the circumstance in Pakistan has changed dramatically within the past few years.

However if you happen to be Pakistani or Indian it might be something worth looking into.


This is really not a place for westerners to go, let alone women. Life is very tough there and students are required to be very tough and serious.

To make your way there you will have to have contacts and know which Shaykhs to study underneath and which ones to avoid.

These are few of the places that comes to mind, may Allah guide to that which pleases Him.


niqab788Shyness or modesty is a branch of faith

It should be noted that shyness or modesty (Haya’) is an Islamic characteristic which is strongly encouraged, and is a branch of faith as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Modesty (Haya’) is a branch of faith.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth which was narrated by the six from Abu Hurayrah (RA). The opening words of the Hadeeth are: “Faith has seventy-odd branches.)

But shyness should not prevent a Muslim woman from asking about things that will help her to understand her religion properly, and fulfil her obligatory duties which cannot be waived and which, if she does not do them, she will be sinning thereby.

For example, she may ask about erotic dreams, and how to purify herself and perform Ghusl in the case of Janaabah (impurity following sexual activity). Although asking these questions may cause some embarrassment, not asking them may lead to some shortcoming in the way she does her duties. It is stated in Usool Al-Fiqh that whatever is essential to the performance of an obligatory duty is also obligatory, so asking about the rulings on duties is obligatory, because those duties are obligatory, and because they cannot be fulfilled without knowing their rulings and conditions.

How the women of the Ansaar asked about religious matters that concerned them


The Mother of the Believers ‘Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) praised the women of the Ansaar because they used to ask about their religious duties and did not let shyness stop them from doing that.

She said:

"What good women the womenfolk of the Ansaar were! They did not let shyness prevent them from seeking to Understand their religion.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth. It was narrated by Muslim (1/261), Abu Dawood (316), Ibn Maajah (642), via Ibraaheem ibn Al-Muhaajir, from Safiyyah bint Shaybah, from ‘A’ishah. A similar report is also narrated by Al-Bukhaari)

These words of’ 'Aishah are supported by the words of the Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: Umm Sulaym came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and said: "Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth. Does a woman have to do Ghusl if she has an erotic dream?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Yes, if she sees water.” (A Saheeh Hadeeth. lt was narrated by Al-Bukhaari (6/6), Muslim, (1/251), Al-Tirmidhi (122), Al-Nasaa’i (1/114) and Ibn Maajah (600) via ‘Urwah ihn Al-Zubayr from Zaynab bint Abi Salarriah, from Umm Salamah)

The mistake of those who say, “There is no shyness (Hayaa’) in Islaam.”

Once this is understood, you will clearly see that those who say, “There is no shyness {Haya’) in Islaam” are mistaken, for shyness and modesty are part of Islaam, and Haya’ is one of the branches of faith. However, there should be no shyness in asking questions and seeking to understand Islaam.

But the Muslim woman should pay attention to an important note which is: if she wants to ask about these matters such as intercourse, purification, erotic dreams and so on, she should put the question in writing and not speak it out loud, and she should not give any specific names which may be a cause of Fitnah (temptation) and provocation of desires, especially in this day and age.

She should fear Allaah and ask only what she needs to know in her own situation, and she should not ask too many unnecessary questions or indulge in arguments.


muslimah-at-sunset2Women are accountable just as men are, and they are obliged to seek the knowledge that they need in order to fulfil their duties in matters of worship such as purification, prayer, fasting, Zakaah if they have wealth, Hajj if they are able to do it, and other matters which they need to know and of which they cannot afford to be ignorant.

Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, male or female. The amount of knowledge which each individual must learn varies according to each individual’s Shar’i obligations.

Ibn Al-Jawzi (rahimahullaah) said:

”A woman is an accountable individual just as a man is. She is obliged to seek knowledge of her duties so that she may perform them properly.”

Conditions of a women going out to seek knowledge

It is permissible for a woman to go out to seek what she needs of Islamic knowledge, so long as she meets the following conditions:

(i) That she has a specific and individual need for that Knowledge.

For example, if she cannot perform her Islamic duties properly because she is unaware of the rulings concerning them.’ Aishah (ra) said; 'Faatimah bint Hubaysh came to the Prophet (saw) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I am a woman who suffers from non-menstrual bleeding (Istihaadah) and I never become pure. Should I stop praying?” He said:

“No, rather that is blood from a vein and it is not menstruation. When the usual time of your period comes, stop praying, and when that time is over, then wash the blood from yourself and pray.”

With regard to a woman going out to seek knowledge for which she does not have a specific and individual need, such as seeking general Islamic knowledge – including study of Hadeeth sciences, deeper knowledge of Aqeedah, Tafseer and Arabic language – this is not obligatory for them, and the ruling on that depends upon a weighing up of the pros and cons. If it serves a greater interest and there is no fear of Fitnah in their going out, then it is permissible for them to do so. But if it will lead to problems, such as if their going out is a cause of Fitnah, or if a woman’s husband has not given her permission to go out then it is obligatory for them to stay at home, because Allaah says:

‘And stay in your homes.” (Qur’aan 33:33)

And the Prophet (saws) said:

“Do not prevent your womenfolk from going to the mosque, although their houses are better for them.” (Saheeh Hadith)

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said:

“The woman is ‘Awrah, and if she goes out of her house the Shaytaan gets his hopes up (that he will be able to tempt her and tempt others through her), then she says, ‘Nobody saw me but he liked me.’ The closest that a woman can be to Allaah is in the innermost part of her house.”

(ii) That there be no one among her Mahrams who can sufficiently answer her questions about things that she does not know.

Such as her brother, husband or father.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

"If she has a father, brother, husband or other Mahram who can teach her about her obligatory duties and how to perform them, that should be sufficient for her."

(iii) That there should be no fear of Fitnah if she goes out i.e Fitnah (temptation) to herself or to others.

(iv) That she should be careful in looking for someone from whom she can learn or whom she can ask.

First of all she should look for knowledgeable women; if she cannot find anyone then she may ask knowledgeable elderly men, and she should give precedence to older men over younger men.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

"If she can find a woman who knows that, she should learn from her; if not, she may learn from shaykhs and elderly men without being alone with them, and stay only as long as she needs to. If a question about her religion occurs to her, she should ask it and not be shy, for Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth.

(v) She should observe proper Islamic Hijab when going out.

She should not go out wearing adornments, wearing perfume or scented with incense.

Similarly she should not speak in a coquettish or flirtatious manner when speaking to a Shaykh or the one whom she is asking a question. She should restrict it to questions and answers and not get involved in a lengthy discussion. When she gets the answer that she wanted, she should go back home and pray for forgiveness for a sin that she may have committed unwillingly.

We have quoted the evidence for that in full in our book "Al-Adaab Al-Shar'iyyah Fi Talab Al-‘Ilm Lil-Nisa’"   (Islamic Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge for Women) and there is no need to repeat it here. This is simply a reminder.

The religious knowledge that women need

Individual obligations (Furoodh ‘Ayn)

With regard to what women need to know of religious knowledge, as stated above it is everything that she needs to know in her situation.

That includes matters of purification that are obligatory for her, such as doing Ghusl following menstruation and janaabah (impurity following sexual activity); Wudhoo’ and Tayammum, and what invalidates them; and other matters of which she cannot afford to remain ignorant.

She also needs to know about prayer, how to pray, the times of prayer, the regular Sunnah prayers, rulings concerning prayer when travelling and not travelling, and so on.

And she needs to know the rulings on fasting; obligatory and Sunnah fasts; when not to fast; how to make up missed fasts; how to expiate for a broken fast; and other related rulings.

Similarly she needs to know about Zakaah if she has wealth; she needs to know the conditions of giving Zakaah; how to pay it; the kinds of wealth on which Zakaah is due; and to whom Zakaah is to be given.

And she needs to know about Hajj if she is able to do it.

She needs to know her duties towards her husband; the rights that he has over her; the obligation of obeying him; the fact that she cannot disobey him unless he tells her to do something sinful; the fact that she should not leave his house without his permission; and that she should not fast when he is present without his permission.

Similarly she should also learn the duties that she has towards her children, such as a sound upbringing and education.

Communal obligations (Furoodh Kifaayah)

With regard to communal obligations (Furoodh Kifaayah), such as learning various aspects of Fiqh that she does not need to know, or studying matters of ‘Aqeedah in depth, or studying Usool Al-fiqh, Tafseer, Hadeeth and the rulings on narrators, and other branches of Islamic knowledge that she does not need in her situation, it is not obligatory for her to learn them, but if she does so she will be rewarded for that, subject to the condition that this does not lead to her neglecting one of her duties, such as not taking care of her husband or going out without his permission, or that her going out to seek this knowledge does not lead to Fitnah or some evil that will outweigh the good she is seeking.

A large number of Muslim scholars were women, such as the Mother of the Believers’ Aishah bint Al-Siddeeq (RA) and all of the wives of the Prophet (SAW) and ‘Amrah bint’ Abd Al-Rahmaan who narrated Hadeeth from’ Aishah.

Another example is Mu’aadhah Al-‘Adawiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on her) - read about her here.

Female scholars of later generations

Among later generations, there was Faatimah Al-Jawzdaaniyyah, who had the best knowledge of Isnaads and the best memory of any scholar of her era.

And there was ‘Ajeebah Al-Baaqdariyyah, who was the only one in the world in her time to narrate certain reports. This is something that many male scholars of Hadeeth did not achieve. (See the biographies of both women in Siyar A’laam Al-Nubala’, 19/104 and 23/232.)


Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-'Ijlee said,

“Abdul Waleed (Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik) was a reliable and sound narrator of hadeeth in Basrah.He narrated from seventy women, and students used to travel to him after (the death of) Aboo Daawood At-Tayaaleesee.”

Who Was He?


Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik was born in 133H and was a great Scholar of Islaam.

Those he narrated from include great Islamic figures, such as,

  • Imaam Maalik,
  • Imam Layth,
  • amongst others.

Those who narrate from him include,

  • Imaam Bukhaaree,
  • Aboo Daawood,
  • Ishaaq Ibn Raahawaih,
  • Adh-Dhuhlee,
  • Aboo Haatim,
  • amongst others.

Statement of Scholars About Him

Imaam Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“Abdul Waleed (Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik) is precise.”

And also said about him,

“Hishaam Ibn ‘Abdul Maalik is the Shaykh of Islaam today. Today I do not give precedence to any of the narrators of hadeeth over him.”

Aboo Zur’ah said about him,

“He converyed half of Islaam, and he was an Imaam in his time, having great standing with the people.”

He died in 227H, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Dear Sisters, it not a small matter that such a great Scholar narrated from seventy different women. We should consider what a high standing and rank these women enjoyed within the realm of knowledge and in comparison, where do we stand today in this regard? How few are the Muslim women today who even know of the legacy of the Muslim women of the past!

Source: Siyaar 'Aa'laamun-Nubulaa, Vol. 10, Pp. 341-347.


book87Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says in the Noble Qur'aan: {Allaah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (Oolul-'llm) (also bear witness to this; (He is always) maintaining His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He. the All-Mighty. the All-Wise.} (Soorah Aal-'Imraan (3):18)

This verse shows the superiority of knowledge ('ilm) and its people; the following points can be inferred from this verse:

1. Allaah chose the people of knowledge (Oolul 'ilm) to bear witness to His Oneness (Tawheed) over and above the rest of His creation.

2. Allaah honoured the people of knowledge by mentioning their testimony along with His testimony.

3. He raised high the status of the scholars by associating their testimony with the testimony of the angels.

4. This verse bears witness to the superiority of those who possess knowledge. Allaah does not make any of His creation bear witness except the upright amongst them.

There is a well-known narration from the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), who said: "The upright in every generation will carry this knowledge, rejecting the distortions of the extremists, the false claims of the liars, and the (false) interpretations of the ignorant." (hasan)

5. Allaah, the One free from all defects. Himself bears witness to His Oneness, and He is the greatest of witnesses. Then He chose from His creation the angels and the scholars - this is sufficient to show their excellence.

6. Allaah made the scholars bear witness with the greatest and the most excellent testimony and that is, {None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah.} Allaah, the One free of all defects and the Most High, does not bear witness except to matters of great importance and only the greatest from Allaah's creation bear witness to this.

7. Allaah made the testimony of the people of knowledge a proof against the rejecters. Thus they are its proofs and its signs, indicating His Oneness (Tawheed).

8. Allaah, the Most High, used a single verb (shahida) to refer to His testimony and the testimony of the angels and the scholars. He did not use an additional verb for their testimony; thus he connected their testimony to His. This shows the strong link between their testimony and Allaah's testimony, as if He himself bore witness to His Oneness upon their tongues and made them utter this testimony.

9. Allaah, the One free from all defects, made the scholars fulfil His right (that none has the right to be worshipped but Him) through this testimony and if they fulfill it then they have fulfilled and established this right of Allaah upon them. Then it is obligatory upon mankind to accept this testimony which is the means to reach happiness in this life and in their final return (to Allaah). Whosoever takes this guidance from the scholars and accepts this truth because of their testimony, then for the scholars there is a reward equal to them. And none knows the value of this reward but Allaah.


niqaab1The gates of knowledge are open to the Muslim woman, and she may enter whichever of them she chooses, so long as this does not go against her feminine nature, but develops her mind and enhances her emotional growth and maturity. We find that history is full of prominent examples of remarkable women who sought knowledge and became highly proficient.

Foremost among them is the Mother of the Believers 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was the primary source of Hadeeth and knowledge of the Sunnah, and was the first Faqeehah (Female Jurist) in Islam.

Imaam az-Zuhri said,

"If the knowledge of 'Aa'ishah were to be gathered up and compared to the knowledge of all the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH) and all other women, 'A'ishah's knowledge would be greater."[1]

How often did the greatest of the Sahaabah refer to her, to hear the final word on matters of the fundamentals of Islam and precise meanings of the Qur'an.

Her knowledge and deep understanding were not restricted only to matters of religion; she was equally distinguished in poetry, literature, history and medicine, aswell as other branches of knowledge that were known at that time. The Faqeeh (Jurist) of the Muslims, `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, was quoted by his son Hisham as saying,

"I have never seen anybody more knowledgeable in fiqh or medicine or poetry than 'Aa'ishah."[2]

Imaam Muslim reports that she heard her nephew al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (RAA) make a grammatical mistake, when he and his (paternal) cousin were talking in front of her, and she told him off. Imam Muslim commented on this incident by writing, "Ibn `Atiq said, `Al-Qasim and I were talking in front of 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), and al-Qasim was one who made frequent mistakes in grammar, as his mother was not an Arab. `Aa'ishah said to him,

"Why do you not speak like this son of my brother? I know where the problem comes from: he was brought up by his mother, and you were brought up by your mother . . ."[3]

Among the reports in which the books of literature speak of the vast knowledge of 'Aa'ishah is that which describes how 'Aa'ishah bint Talhah was present in the circle of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik, where the shaykhs of Banu Umayyah were also present. They did not mention any point of Arab history, wars, stars and poetry but she contributed to the discussion. Hishaam said to her, "As for the first (i.e., knowledge of history etc.), I find nothing strange (in your knowing about it), but where did you get your knowledge about the stars?" She said,

"I learnt it from my (maternal) aunt `A'ishah."[4]

'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had a curious mind and was always eager to learn. Whenever she heard about something she did not know, she would ask about it until she understood it. Her closeness to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) meant that she was like a vessel full of knowledge.

Imaam Bukhaari reports from Abu Mulaykah that if 'A'ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever heard anything of which she did not know, she would keep going over it until she understood it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever is brought to account will be punished." `A'ishah said, "I said, `But does Allah (the Most High) not say {Soon his account will be taken by an easy reckoning} (Qur'an 84:8)" He said, "That refers to al-`ard (when everyone is brought before Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement); but whoever is examined in detail is doomed."[5] In addition to her great knowledge, `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was also very eloquent in her speech. When she spoke, she captured the attention of her audience and moved them deeply. This is what made al-Ahnaf ibn Qays say,

"I heard the speeches of Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali and the Khulafaa' (Caliphs) who came after them, but I never heard anyone's speech more eloquent and beautiful than that of 'Aa'ishah's."

Musa ibn Talhah said:

"I never saw anyone more eloquent and pure in speech than 'Aa'ishah."[6]

Also, another woman who achieved a high level of knowledge was the daughter of Sa'eed ibn al-Musayyab, the scholar of his age, who refused to marry his daughter to the Caliph of his time, 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, and instead married her to one of his righteous students, 'Abdullah ibn Wada`ah. Just married, 'Abdullah went to his wife, and found her to be one of the most beautiful of women, one of the most knowledgeable regardiing the Qur'aan, the Sunnah and the rights and duties of marriage. In the morning, 'Abdullah got up and was preparing to go out. His wife asked him, "Where are you going?" He said, "To the circle of your father Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab, so that I may learn." She said,

"Sit down; I will teach you what Sa`id knows."

For one month, 'Abdullah did not attend Sa'eed's circle beacuse the knowledge of this beautiful young girl, which she had learnt from her father was sufficient for him.

Another of these prominent female scholars was Faatimah, the daughter of the author of Tuhfat al-Fuqaha', 'Ala' ad-Din as-Samarqandi (d. 539 AH). She was a Faqeehah (Female Jurist of Islaam) and scholar in her own right. She had learned Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) from her father and had memorized his book al-Tuhfah. Her father married her to his student 'Ala' al-Din al-Kasani, who was highly distinguished in the fields of al-Usool (Islamic Principles) and al-Furoo' (Its Branches). He wrote a commentary on Tuhfat al-Fuqahaa' entitled Bada'i' al-Sana'i', and showed it to his Shaykh, who was delighted with it and accepted it as a mahr (dowry) for his daughter, although he had refused offers of marriage for her from some of the kings of Byzantium.. The Fuqahaa' (Jurists of Islaam) of his time said,

"He commentated on his Tuhfah and married his daughter."

Before her marriage, Faatimah used to issue Fatwah (Juristic Rulings) along with her father, and the Fatwah would be written in her handwriting and that of her father's. After she married the author of al-Bada'i', the Fatwah would appear in her handwriting and that of her father and husband's. Her husband would make mistakes, and she would correct them.[7]

flower'Aa'ishah, the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH), the daughter of Sa'eed ibn al-Musayyab, Fatimah as-Samarqandi and other famous women scholars were not something unique or rare among Muslim women. There were innumerable learned women, who studied every branch of knowledge and became prominent in many fields. Ibn Sa'd devoted a chapter in his book, at-Tabaqaat, in which he included reports of narrations transmitted by women, in which he mentioned more than seven hundred women who reported Hadeeth from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and/or from the trustworthy narrators from among the Sahaabah. In turn, many prominent Scholars and Imaams narrated from these women of knowledge.

Al-Haafidh ibn 'Asaakir (d. 571 AH), one of the most reliable narrators of hadith, who was so trustworthy that he was known as Haafidh al-Ummah, counted eighty-odd women among his Shaykhs and teachers.[8] If we bear in mind that this Scholar never left the eastern part of the Islamic world, never visited Egypt, North Africa or Andalusia - which were even more crowded with women of knowledge - we will see that the number of learned women he never met was far greater than those from whom he did receive knowledge.

One of the phrases used by scholars in the books of hadith is:

"Ash-Shaykhah al-Musnidah as-Saalihah, so-and-so, the daughter of so-and-so told me . . ."

Among the names mentioned by Imaam all-Bukhaari are, Sitt al-Wuzara' Wazirah bint Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn As'ad ibn al-Munajji al-Tunukhiyyah and Karimah bint Ahmad al-Marwaziyyah. They are also mentioned by Ibn Hijr al-'Asqalaani in his introduction to Fath al-Bari.[9]

The position of these great women is enhanced by the fact that they were sincere and truthful, far above any hint of suspicion or doubt - a status that many men could not reach. This was noted by Imam al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabi in Mizaan al-I'tidaal, where he states that he found four thousand men about whose reports he had doubts, then follows his observation with the comment,

"I have never known of any woman who was accused (of being untrustworthy) or whose hadeeth was rejected."[10]

The modern Muslim woman, looking at the magnificent heritage of women in Islamic history, is filled with the desire for knowledge, as these prominent women only became famous and renowned throughout history by virtue of their knowledge.

Our minds can only be developed, and our characters can only grow in wisdom, maturity and insight, through the acquisition of useful, beneficial and correct knowledge, just as they did.


1 al-Isti'ab, 4/1883; al-Isabah, 8/140.
2 Tarikh al-Tabari: Hawadith 58; al-Samt al-Thamin, 82; al-Isti'ab, 4/1885.
3 Sahih Muslim, 5/47, Kitab al-masajid, bab karahah al-salat bi hadrat al-ta'am.
4 Al-Aghani, 10/57.
5 Fath al-Bari, 1/196, Kitab al-'ilm, bab man sami'a shay'an fa raji' hatta ya'rifuhu.
6 Reported by Tirmidhi, 5/364, in Kitab al-munaqib, bab min fadl 'A'ishah; he said that it is hasan sahih gharib.
7 Tuhfat al-Fuqaha', 1/12.
8 Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyyah, 4/273.


bookinkIslam gives importance to the acquisition of knowledge

Islâm stands as the most rational and precise religion that Allâh [az] has given to the whole mankind.  It gives importance to the acquisition of knowledge.  In fact, the first revelation that Allâh [az] has revealed to His Messenger [saws] for the guidance of mankind pertains to reading.  Allâh, the Most High, commands: {Read! In the name of your Rabb (Only God and Sustainer) Cherisher, Who created — created man, out of a leech-like clot: Read! And your Rabb is Most Bountiful. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen, taught man that which he knew not.} (Qur’ân 96:1-4)

When we follow the divine commandment to read,  we learn in the Qur’ân  that  aside from reading Allâh  commands us:  to know (e.g., 2:194, 196, 203, 223, 235, 14:52) to learn (e.g., 6: 151,  9:122, 12:2,  22:46 also 54,  40:58 and 68:37), to understand (e.g., 2:44,  6:32,  7:169,  10:16,  11:51,  12:109,  21:10,  40:67,  43:3,  47:24, 57:17), to ponder (4: 82 and 23:68) or contemplate (38:29), and even to ask questions (i.e., 10:94 and  43:45)

The Prophet Muhammad [saws], Allâh's Messenger to the whole mankind (34:28), also enjoins us to acquire knowledge.  He  even stresses that it is our obligation to search for knowledge.  We read the following authentic Ahâdîth: Anas Ibn Malik [ra] reported that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Seeking of knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim....” (Ibn Majah 1/224 and Tirmidhi  218)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh 's Messenger [saws] said, “Learn the obligatory acts and the Qur’ân and teach them to the people, for I am a mortal.” (Tirmidhi  244)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said to me, “Acquire the knowledge and impart it to the people.  Acquire the knowledge of Fara'id (laws of inheritance) and teach it to the people.  Learn the Qur’ân and teach it to the people; for I am a person who has to depart this world.  And the knowledge will be taken away and turmoil will appear to such an extent that two people will not agree in regard to a case of inheritance distribution and find none who would decide between them.” (Tirmidhi  279, Darimi and Daraqutni)

In line with the divine injunctions to acquire knowledge of Islâm, Allâh's Messenger [saws] inspires us to do our best to seek knowledge.  We should, therefore, spend time, efforts, money and other resources to seek knowledge of Islâm.   We should take guidance and inspiration from the following prophetic teachings:

Anas ibn Malik [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said: “One who goes out to search for knowledge is (devoted) to the cause of Allâh till he returns.” (Tirmidhi  220)

'Abdullah ibn Abbas [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Acquiring knowledge in company for an hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.” (Tirmidhi  256)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, "Learn and recite the Qur’ân, for to one who learns, recites and uses it in prayer at night, it is like a bag filled with musk whose fragrance is diffused everywhere.  And he who learns it and goes to sleep having it within him, is like a bag with musk tied up in it." (Tirmidhi  2143 Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)

Religious knowledge is the most important knowledge to be learned

Islâm as a complete religion, does not limit the acquisition of knowledge into the field of religion. It also encourages us to seek other knowledge, which are beneficial to us. However, it stresses that knowledge of the Qur’ân and authentic Ahâdîth and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two constitute the essential knowledge:

‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amrreported that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Knowledge consists of three things: the decisive verses (Qur’ân), authentic Ahâdîth and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two. What is beside them is superfluous.” (Ibn Mâjah 1/54)

‘Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Al-Asn narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “Knowledge has three categories; anything else is extra; a precise verse, or an established Sunnah (practice), or a firm obligatory duty.” (Abu Daawood 2879)

Mu’adh ibn Jabal [ra] narrated that some companions of Mu'adh ibn Jabal [ra] said, When Allâh's Messenger [saws] intended to send Mu'adh ibn Jabal [ra] to Yemen, he asked: “How will you judge when the occasion of deciding a case arises?” He replied, “I shall judge in accordance with Allâh's  Book.” He was asked: “(What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in Allâh's Book?” He replied, “(I shall act) in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh.” He [saws] asked, “(What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in the Sunnah of Allâh's Messenger and in Allâh's Book?" He replied, "I shall do my best to form an opinion and I shall spare no effort.” Allâh's Messenger [saws] then patted him on the breast and said: “Praise be to Allâh  Who has helped Allâh's Messenger [saws] to find something which pleases Allâh's Messenger.” (Abû Dâwûd, 3585)

Moreover, it is for our benefit that we learn Islâm as it is the knowledge that leads us to truth against ignorance.  Islâm teaches us to learn wisdom:

{Say: `Come, I will rehearse what Allâh has (really) prohibited you from: join not anything with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want, We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to indecent deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allâh has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.  Thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.} (6:151)

{A.L.R.[1][4] These are the Verses of the Perspicuous Book. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ân in order that you may learn wisdom.} (12:1-2)

{Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear?  Truly it is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts which are in their breasts.} (22:46)

The Prophet [saws] inspired those who acquire knowledge of Islam

Mankind must seek knowledge of Islâm because Allâh the Almighty has obliged us to obey His Messenger [saws].  Prophet Muhammad [saws] as Allâh’s Messenger to all mankind also serves as the teacher and educator of all mankind.  This is a fact which the Prophet [saws] himself has made clear to us as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abdullah ibn Amir [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] happened to pass by two groups (of Muslims) in the mosque and he said: "Both of them are good, but one is superior to the other. One group is supplicating Allâh and praying Him. If He so wills He will confer upon them and if He so wills He will withhold. So far as those who are acquiring the understanding of religion and its knowledge and are busy in teaching the ignorant, they are superior. Verily I have been sent as a teacher.” He then sat down amongst them. (Tirmidhi  257 and Darimi)

The world’s Great Teacher and Educator inspires those who acquire knowledge of Islâm and those who are knowledgeable.  He [saws] says in the following Ahâdîth: Abu Musa [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said,

“The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allâh has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allâh benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allâh's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allâh has revealed through me (the Prophets and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allâh's guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.).” (Bukhari 1/79)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance will be the best in Islâm provided they comprehend the religious knowledge.” (Bukhari 4/572 and Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “... He who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allâh will make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in one of the houses of Allâh (mosques), recite the Book of Allâh and learn and teach the Qur’ân (among themselves). There will descend upon them tranquillity, mercy will cover them, the angels will surround them and Allâh will mention them in the presence of those near Him. He who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (long) descent does not make him go ahead.” (Muslim 6518)

Abu Umama [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said: “A learned person is as much above a worshipper as I am above the least of you. He added: Allâh, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even the ants in their hills and the fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct people in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi: 1392)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “Verily what a believer continues to receive (in the form of reward) for his action and his virtues after his death is the knowledge which he acquired and then disseminate;  the pious son that he left behind him, or a copy of the Qur’ân which he left as a legacy, or the mosques that he had built, or the inn that he had built for the wayfarers, or the canal that he caused to flow, or a sadaqah which he gave out of his property in the state when he was healthy and alive. (These are the acts of goodness the reward of which) reaches him even after his death.” (Tirmidhi  254 and Ibn Majah)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “There are two avaricious people who are never contented: the man of learning and the man of the world, but the two are not equal. The man of knowledge increases in submission to Allâh, and as for the man of the world, he becomes headstrong and defiant.” Abdullah then recited: {Nay man is surely rebellious when he sees himself free from want.} (46:6). Concerning the other he recited the verse: {Surely those of His servants who are possessed of knowledge, fear Allâh.} (35:28).” (Tirmidhi 261 and Darimi)

Abu Darda [ra] narrated that Kathir ibn Qays said: "I was sitting with Abu Darda' in the mosque of Damascus.  A man came to him and said: “Abu Darda, I have come to you from the town of the Allâh’s Messenger [saws] for a tradition that I have heard you relate from the Allâh’s Messenger [saws]. I have come for no other purpose.” He said: “I heard Allâh's Messenger [saws] say: ‘If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allâh will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion..’” (Abu Daud 3634)

Anas ibn Malik [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “Do you know who is most generous?” They said: “Allâh and His Messenger know best.” Whereupon he [saws] said: “Allâh is the Most Generous, then I am most generous to mankind, and the most generous people after me would be those who will acquire knowledge and then disseminate it…” (Tirmidhi  259)

Hasan Al-Basri [rah] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islâm with the help of it, there will be one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi  249 and Darimi)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that he heard Allâh's Messenger [saws] as saying: “He who comes to this mosque of mine and he comes only to learn or teach a khayr (good, i.e. the Qur’ân and the Sunnah),  his status is like that of one who strives in the cause of Allâh. He who comes for any other motive, his status is like that of a person who covets the property of another.” (Tirmidhi  742, Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi)

Allâh [az] commends those who are endowed with knowledge and promises them everlasting rewards

Allâh [az] not only commands the whole mankind to seek knowledge but also commends those who are knowledgeable.  He encourages the learned by promising them rewards. The following ayât state: {He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding.} (2: 269)

{...Allâh will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and have been granted Knowledge.  And Allâh is well-acquainted with all you do.} (58:11)

Allâh [az] has honored and extolled the people who possess knowledge of Islâm.  He I has raised their status high by including them among with those who bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh [az].  He the Almighty says: {Allâh bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (also bear witness to this); (He is always) maintaining His Creation in justice.  None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty the All-Wise.} (3:18)

In another verse, Allâh [az] tells us that: {Only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh...} (35:28).

In return for their being god-fearing, Allâh is pleased with them.  They receive Allâh's [az] admonition. Allâh [az] the Exalted tells us in His Book: {On the other hand for those who fear their Rabb are gardens with rivers flowing beneath therein are they to dwell (for ever) a gift from the presence of Allâh and that which is in the presence of Allâh is the best (bliss) for the righteous.} (3:198)

{O you who believe!  If you fear Allâh, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong) remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you and forgive you: for Allâh is the Rabb of grace unbounded.} (8:29)

{As for those who fear their Rabb Unseen, for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward.} (67:12)

{Are then one who does know that, that which has been Revealed unto you from your Rabb is the Truth, like the one who is blind?  It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition;  those who fulfill the Covenant of Allâh and fail not in their plighted word; those who join together those things, which Allâh has commanded to be joined, hold their Rabb in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning; those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Creator; establish regular prayers, spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) Home.  Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation) “Peace unto you for  that  you persevered in patience!  Now how excellent is the final Home!} (13:19-24)

When we acquire knowledge of Islâm we learn not only the divine purpose why Allâh [az] has created us but also understand the meaning of this temporary world, and how we should prepare our lives to enjoy the everlasting life in the hereafter.  We know that only when we peacefully and completely submit to Allâh, believe and fear in Him, follow His commands, do righteous deeds for the sole purpose of pleasing Him alone, and subsequently refrain from committing sins do we attain salvation.  When we acquire knowledge we are assured of Allâh's [az] everlasting reward. We gain Allâh's [az] protection from the terrible punishments in the hell-fire that await those who do not believe because they are devoid of wisdom.  For our benefit we should strive to acquire knowledge because Allâh  makes it very clear that those who know are not equal with those who do not know.  He [az] tells us: {Is one who worships devoutly uring the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his God — like one who does not)?   Say: 'Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?”  It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition.'} (39:9)

Islâm teaches us how to sincerely pray to Allâh to bestow us beneficial knowledge

Knowing the importance of acquiring Islâmic knowledge, it becomes imperative, therefore, for mankind to seek knowledge of Islâm.  We must think of our everlasting life by knowing the Truth and adhering to it for our guidance and supreme success.  We must sincerely pray to Allâh  to bestow us knowledge of Islâm.  We should bear in mind that Allâh, the All-Knowing, All-Wise (4:26), the exalted in power, full of Wisdom (31:27), is the One Who grants wisdom to whom He pleases: {He (Allâh) grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will receive admonition but men of understanding.} (2:269)

We must pray to Allâh the All Knowing, All Wise to bestow upon us knowledge of Islâm.  Both the Qur’ân and the Sunnah guide us to seek Allâh’s guidance through prayers or supplication.  Let us include in our prayers the following supplications:

{O my Rabb! Increase me in knowledge.} (20:114)

{O my Rabb!  Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss.} (26:83-84)

Umm Salamah [rah] narrated that the Prophet [saws] used to say after the dawn prayer, “O Allâh, I ask You for beneficial knowledge, acceptable action, and good provision.” (Tirmidhi  2487,  Ahmad and  Ibn Majah)

‘Aishah [rah] narrated that when Allâh’s Messenger [saws] would awake at night, he said: “There is no god but You, glory be to You, O Allâh, I ask Your pardon for my sin and I ask You for Your mercy. O Allâh!  Advance me in knowledge: do not cause my heart to deviate (from guidance) after You have guided me, and grant me mercy from  Yourself; verily  You are the Grantor.” (Abu Daud 5043)

We must  pray to Allâh [az] for knowledge of Islâm and other knowledge that would benefit us not only in this temporary world, but most important is in the eternal world to come. When we pray to Allâh [az] for other knowledge outside of Islâm, we should pray that such knowledge is beneficial for us. The knowledge that we seek outside Islâmic knowledge must strengthen our understanding and application of Islâm.  It should make us better Muslims and not to be out of Islâm.   We must, therefore, refrain from knowledge that does not benefit us.  We should take admonition from the following Ahâdîth:

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “It is part of the excellence of a person’s Islâm that he should discard that which is of no benefit to him either in this world or the Hereafter.” (Tirmidhi  67)

Abu Darda [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “The worst of men in the eyes of Allâh on the Day of Resurrection will be the scholar who does not derive benefit from his knowledge.” (Tirmidhi  268)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure out of which nothing is spent in the cause of Allâh.” (Tirmidhi  280)

As much as possible, we must seek Allâh’s protection from the knowledge that will just destroy our faith.  We must include in our prayers and supplications to Allâh the Almighty that He will protect us from such knowledge that does more harm than good to us and to others.  This is a guidance that we must follow from the Prophet [saws] as narrated in the following Ahâdîth:

Sa’id ibn Arkam [ra] narrated: “I am not going to say anything but only that which Allâh's Messenger [saws] used to supplicate: ‘O Allâh, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, from sloth, from cowardice, from miserliness, decrepitude and from torment of the grave. O Allâh, grant to my soul the sense of righteousness and purify it, for You are the Best Purifier thereof.  You are the Protecting friend thereof, and Guardian thereof. O Allâh, I seek refuge in  You from the knowledge which does not benefit, from the heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allâh), from the soul that does not feel contented and the supplication that is not responded.’” (Muslim, 6568)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Messeger of Allâh [saws] used to say: “O Allâh, I seek refuge in  You from four things: Knowledge which does not profit, a heart which is not submissive, a soul which has an insatiable appetite, and a supplication which is not heard.” (Abu Dawud 1543)

Islâm encourages us not only to learn Islâm but also to teach it to others

Islâm as a rational religion enjoins mankind not only to acquire authentic knowledge of Islâm but also encourages us to teach Islâm to others.  We should be inspired to teach what we know of Islâm with the following Ayâh and authentic Ahâdîth:

{But teach (the Message): for teaching benefits the Believers.} (Qur’ân 51:55)

‘Abdullâh ibn Mas‘ûd [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “Do not wish to be like anybody except in two cases: The case of a man whom Allâh has given wealth and he spends it in the right way;  and that of a man whom Allâh has given religious wisdom (i.e., Qur’ân and Sunnah); and he gives his verdicts according to it and teaches it to others i.e., religious knowledge of Qur’ân and Sunnah.” (Bukhâri 9/419)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz [rah] wrote to Abu Bakr bin Hazm, "Look for the knowledge of Hâdîth and get it written, as I am afraid that religious knowledge will vanish and the religious learned men will pass away (die). Do not accept anything save the Ahâdîth of the Prophet . Circulate knowledge and teach the ignorant, for knowledge does not vanish except when it is kept secretly (to oneself).” (Bukhari 1/98)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said to me, “Acquire the knowledge and impart it to the people.  Acquire the knowledge of Fara'id (laws of inheritance) and teach it to the people.  Learn the Qur’ân and teach it to the people; for I am a person who has to depart this world.  And the knowledge will be taken away and turmoil will appear to such an extent that two people will not agree in regard to a case of inheritance distribution and find none who would decide between them.” (Tirmidhi  279, Darimi and Daraqutni)

Abu Umamah [ra] narrated that the Prophet [saws] said, “A learned person is as much above a worshipper as I am above the least of you. Allâh, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even the ants in their hills and the fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct people in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi  1392)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “May Allâh be well pleased with the servant who heard our words, remembered them, retained them well and then passed them on to others. How many scholars are there who are the scholars of religion without having an understanding of it, and how many scholars of religion are there who convey knowledge to those who are well versed compared with them. There are three things on account of which no rancor enters a Muslim heart: the sincerity of purpose for Allâh’s sake, seeking goodness for the Muslims and adhering to their main body (jama'ah), for their prayers encompass them all round.” (Tirmidhi  228)

Al Hasan Al Basri [rah] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said, “The superiority of a scholar, who observes the prescribed prayer and then sits down to teach people goodness, over the worshipper, who observes fast during the day and worships during the night, is like my superiority over the lowest in rank amongst you.” (Tirmidhi  250)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws] said: “Learn the obligatory acts and the Qur’ân and teach them to the people, for I am a mortal.” (Tirmidhi  244)

We must further know that Islâm warns the learned among us from concealing our knowledge.

The Prophet [saws] admonishes us as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, "He who is asked about knowledge and conceals it will be bridled on the Day of Judgment with a bridle of fire." (Abu Dawud  3650, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja)

In line with our obligation to teach what we know of Islâm, the Prophet [saws] encourages us to teach and be good teachers:

Abdullah ibn Amir [ra] narrated that Allâh’s Messenger [saws  happened to pass by two groups (of Muslims) in the mosque and he said: "Both of them are good, but one is superior to the other. One group is supplicating Allâh and praying Him. If He so wills He will confer upon them and if He so wills He will withhold. So far as those who are acquiring the understanding of religion and its knowledge and are busy in teaching the ignorant, they are superior. Verily I have been sent as a teacher.” He then sat down amongst them. (Tirmidhi  257 and Darimi)

Abu Humamah Al- Bahili [ra] narrated that mention was made to Allâh's Messenger [saws] of two persons: the one being a devout, and the other being a scholar. Thereupon Allâh's Messenger [saws] said: “The superiority of the scholar over the devout is like my superiority over one who is of the lowest rank amongst you." Then Allâh's Messenger said: “Verily (for the scholars) Allâh and His angels, the dwellers of the Heavens and of the Earth, even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depth of water) invoke blessings on one who teaches people goodness.” (Tirmidhi 213)

For our benefit, we must acquire knowledge of Islâm and teach it to others.   We must always remember that Islâm is the right religion but most men do not know it.  It is therefore mandatory that we share our knowledge to others in order to guide them to righteousness.  We have to teach Islâm to others, especially the non-Muslims, to the best of our capacity.  We must remember that when we guide others to Islâm, we expect rewards from Allâh the Almighty.  The Prophet [saws] says:

Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “…One who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer.” (Muslim  4/4665)

Abu Hurairah [ra] narrated that Allâh's Messenger [saws] said, “He who called people to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect.” (Muslim  4/6470)


[1] Allah is an Arabic term, which connotes the One and Only True God.  Even among Christian Arabs, they always use the word Allah when they mean God.  Allah is not only the God of the Muslims.  Allah is the true God of the whole mankind (114:3).  He is the universal God of all.  The term Allah has no plural word unlike the word God.  It signifies absolute Oneness of God.  Hence, it is a must to use the word Allah instead of God.

[3] Traditions or practices of Prophet Messenger , which include his Ahâdîth  (Teachings and Sayings).

[4] A.L.R. is one of the “abbreviated letters" prefixed in some verses of the Qur’ân. Only  Allâh knows its meaning (3:7).


raisinsIt is human nature to be forgetful, as the Arab poet said:

“He is only called man (insaan) because of his forgetfulness (nasiyaan),

and it is only called the heart (al-qalb) because it changes so rapidly (yataqallib).”

In the past they said that the first one to forget (awwal naasin) was the first man (awwal al-naas), meaning Adam, peace be upon him. Forgetfulness is something that varies from person to person according to each individual’s nature; some may be more forgetful than others. Some of the things that may help to combat forgetfulness are the following

1. Keeping away from sin, because the bad effects of sin result in a bad memory and the inability to retain knowledge. The darkness of sin cannot co-exist with the light of knowledge. The following words were attributed to al-Shaafi‘ee, may Allah have mercy on him:

“I complained to [my shaykh] Wakee’ about my bad memory, and he taught me that I should keep away from sin. He said that knowledge of Allah is light, and the light of Allah is not given to the sinner.”

Al-Khateeb reported in al-Jaami‘ (2/387) that Yahya ibn Yahya said: “A man asked Maalik ibn Anas, ‘O Abu ‘Abd-Allah! Is there anything that will improve my memory?’ He said,

‘If anything will improve it, it is giving up sin.’”

When a person commits a sin, it overwhelms him and this leads to anxiety and sorrow which keeps him busy thinking about what he has done. This dulls his senses and distracts him from many beneficial things, including seeking knowledge.

2. Frequently remembering Allah, may He be glorified, by reciting dhikr, tasbeeh (saying ‘Subhan Allah’), tahmeed (‘Al-hamdu Lillaah’), tahleel (‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah’) and takbeer (‘Allahu akbar’), etc. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): {…And remember your Lord when you forget…} [Qur’an al-Kahf 18:24]

3. Not eating too much, because eating too much makes one sleep too much and become lazy, and it dulls the senses, besides exposing one to the risk of physical diseases. Most of the diseases which we see result from food and drink.

4. Some of the scholars have mentioned certain foods which increase the memory, such as drinking honey and eating raisins and chewing certain kinds of gum resin.

Imaam al-Zuhree said:

“You should eat honey because it is good for the memory.”

He also said:

“Whoever wants to memorize hadeeth should eat raisins.” (From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb, 2/394)

Ibraaheem ibn [sth. omitted] said,

“You should chew resin gum, because it gives energy to the heart and gets rid of forgetfulness.” (From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb, 2/397)

As they mentioned, too much acidic food is one of the causes of laziness and weak memory.

5. Another thing that can help the memory and reduce forgetfulness is cupping (hijaamah) of the head, as is well known from experience.

(For more information please refer to Al-Tibb al-Nabawi by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim).


jannah21This should be our goal in life, "I want to go to Jannah ( Paradise )." It should be written in bold letters on our foreheads so that it serves a constant reminder for us. The Prophet (saw) has left with us a very small key to Jannah, which we muslims today have become oblivious of. Just like you need a key to open your car's door, or house door, or office door; similarly you need a key to open Jannah to you. What is this key?

The Prophet (saw) said,"Whoever goes down a path/road searching for knowledge, Allah will make it easy for him the road to Paradise." [Saheeh Muslim, Vol.3 Hadith No. 99]

Travelling on the path to knowledge refers both to walking or driving along an actual road/pathway, such as going to Conferences, etc..or going to your local Masaajids whenever there is either an international scholar/speaker or a local scholar/speaker speaking. Searching also entails, a metaphysical road, such as studying and memorising Quran and Hadeeth. Not merely memorising like a parrot, but understanding it first and then memorising it.

The above hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) means that Allah makes learning the useful knowledge that is sought after easier for the seeker, clearing the way for him, and smoothing his journey to Paradise. This is why some of our pious predecessors used to say,

"Is there anyone seeking knowledge, so that we can assist him in finding it?"

So brothers and sisters, be LOVERS of Knowledge, be seekers of Knowledge. "Yes, where is my Quran, where is the Hadeeth..." Getting up every morning with a purpose: to seek Jannah by seeking Knowledge! Knowledge is also the shortest path to Allah. Whoever travels the road of knowledge reaches Allah and Paradise by the shortest route. Knowledge also clears the way out of darkness, ignorance, doubt and scepticism. It is why Allah called His Book, Quran, "Light." 

Knowledge is the ROAD to Paradise, and Islam is the vehicle that takes you to this destination of Paradise. Just like you get in a car to go from one destination to another, but how? By finding out the directions to get there, either by seeing a map or asking someone. Similarly, our Quran and Hadeeth are our maps, and our scholars are the people who give the directions from this map to get to our ultimate destination, Paradise.

Ask yourself, "Is Paradise easy?" Have you ever seen, how easy it is for our Hafidhul-Quran brothers and sisters, who memorize the whole Quran by heart? Have you ever seen how easy it is for some of us to study Quran and hadeeth for hours and hours, whilst others cannot even open the Quran or Hadeeth at least once a year or month? Why?

Narrated Ali ibn Taalib(raa), While the Prophet (saw) was in a funeral procession he picked up something and started scraping the ground with it, and said, "There is none among you but has his place written for him either in Hell-Fire or Paradise." They said,"O Messenger of Allah! Shall we not depend upon what has been written for us and give up deeds?" He (saw) said, "Carry on doing (good) deeds, for everybody will find easy to do such deeds as will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created. So he, who is destined to be among the happy (in the Hereafter) will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people, whle he who is destined to be among the miserable ones, will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people." Then the Prophet (saw) recited the following verses:

{As for him who gives and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him,
And believes in Husna (the best).
We will make smooth for him the path of Ease (goodness, ie. Paradise )
But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient,
And gives the lie to Husna.
We will make smooth for him the path for Evil (ie. Hell-fire).}
[Surah Al-Layl(92), Verses 5-10]

[Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Vol.6, Hadith No.474]

Numerous examples of this above hadeeth and verses of Allah are prevalent in our societies today, yet we don't learn any lessons from them. For example, how easy it is for some to fast the fast of Dawud, meaning fasting every other day, or doing voluntary fasts of Shawwal, Muharram, Rajab, etc. Whereas for some it is even hard to fast in Ramadhan, Why? ever notice how easy it is for some to get up in the middle of the night and talk to their Lord in private in Salat-ul-Tahajjud, while for others it is hard to even make the Obligatory (Fardh) prayers? Why?

How easy it is for some to remain single and yet guard their chastity and protect themselves from fornication, while others are married and yet still indulge in adultery. Why? How easily some memorise ayaats (verses) of Quran and Hadeeth, while others memorise the latest songs in the market and memorise the latest cuss words used on streets. Why?

You see brothers and sisters, for some of us it is very EASY to practice Islam, as Allah wants to practice, while for others it is very HARD to practice. The answer for this are the verses of Surah Al-Layl, because for those whom it is easy to practice Islam, Allah is making it EASY the road to Paradise, whilst for those whom it is hard to practice, Allah is making it EASY for them the road to Hell-Fire. So why is it easy for some to practice Islam? It is because they are lovers and seekers of Knowledge and not only that, but also act upon that knowledge, and thus Allah is making it easy for them their destination of Paradise.

Knowledge is the key and that is why our Prophet (saw) used to supplicate in every prayer,"Allahumma Innee Auzubikaa Min Illmin Laa Yanf'aau [O Allah! I seek refuge in you from Knowledge that does not benefit]."

It doesn't benefit you brothers and sisters... For hours and hours you are sitting in front of that T.V. and its not benefitting you as its not leading you to Paradise. For hours and hours you waste time on bed-time novels or on magazines and newspapers in a month and yet it doesn't lead you to Paradise. All that time you could have been studying Qur'aan and Hadeeth or reading Islamic books instead of bed-time story novels and yet making easier for yourself the road to Paradise, and achieving it Inshaa' Allah.

Not only does it not benefit you, but moreso it harms you. Hours and hours of those T.V. programs are not teaching you Quran and Sunnah, rather teaching you how to date, or how to hook someone from the opposite sex, or teaching you violence or foul language. Thus instilling evil and wicked ideas and things into your mind and heart, just for the pleasure of this temporary world, and making you further away from your destination of Paradise.

In conclusion, I say this brothers and sisters. We need to get our "cars" (Islam) fixed and focused on the right direction to our destination of Paradise. We need to pick up the "maps" (Quran & Hadeeth) and ask knowledgeable people (scholars/imams) for directions (road/path) towards Paradise.


miscarriageHer name was mentioned with respect and admiration all over the Arabian Peninsula. She had memorised over 2,000 hadith and was an expert in Islamic law, ibaadat (rituals), the Quran and the ways of the Prophet (saw). Her knowledge was sought by those years younger and decades older than her, thus she enriched a generation with her advice and guidance. Known for her eloquence, as well as her wisdom, she inspired thousands of men in battle through her poetry and pearls of wisdom. Her name was A’isha bint Abu Bakr (ra), the first female scholar of Islam at age 18.

He was appointed commander of the Muslim army by none other than the Messenger of Allah (saw). His position as Amir of an army of Jihad was above some of the most senior sahabah; the likes of Abu Bakr as-Saddique (ra) and Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra). He earned this position by displaying strength of mind; in military tactics, body; in physical fighting and most importantly, unbreakable faith in his Creator. His name was Usamah ibn Zaid (ra) and this was his reality at a mere 17 years old.

His average day commences with him going to high school. Unfortunately his bad grades are due to lack of concentration because he is too busy ‘checking out’ the girl sitting next to him. After school he usually goes to town and ‘chills’ for a couple of hours with his mates. Of course he isn’t a total drop out and so spends half an hour on his homework in the evening. After that strenuous thirty minutes he relaxes himself by watching TV and if motivation for pushing the limits knocks on the door, he actually reads a book. He is teenage by-product of Western culture.

Western Societies view of the youth

Although many people do not realise it, there is a considerable degree of ageism in the society we live in today. This ageism affects the old and young – but many overlook the youth when talking about ageism. In the West youngsters, especially those under 16 are seen as not intellectually mature enough to be able to handle certain responsibilities, for example having the vote, getting married or running a business. Since the laws originate from man’s mind, they tend to change over time and vary from place to place. Some states in America allow people to vote at 16, whilst others require it to be 18. Similarly, in the UK the debate continues as to whether people at 16 are able to handle to responsibility of a vote. Obviously, there will always be disagreement when the laws are man-made as they have no founded basis to them, unlike the laws that Almighty Allah has laid down in his infinite wisdom.

Socially often when over 18’s are speaking they would not usually respect or take into consideration the opinion of those under 16. Imagine a group of 30 year olds discussing serious matters like world politics or a situation in the family and a 12 year old contributing to the discussion and being taken seriously. The assumption is that youngsters are unable to contribute productively to serious discussions and are just kids. Although in many cases in the West it may be true that many of the youth are spoilt brats who cannot handle serious issues, let alone responsibilities. However, this is due to the environment they are brought up in and is not necessarily linked with their age.

If we look at history and at different parts of the world, we can see that teenagers do indeed have to potential to make important decisions; be intellectually mature; responsible and to have area specific skills which outshine many adults thus contributing positively to society. In certain parts of Africa and Asia young boys and girls provide for their entire families by working and even look after their siblings and parents.

If we look at Western societies even people in their twenties sometimes act as spoilt school children who run away from responsibility. Some would rather be playing Counter-Strike on their computer, watching The Simpsons or listening to 50 Cent rather than facing up to the responsibilities of life.

The reason for this is simple – the attitude of society about the youth has given them the excuse to be teenagers and just ‘chill’ – the youth of today know this to mean - do as little as you can possibly can without dying from laziness. This may sound ludicrous and far fetched but this lazy-crazy culture is extremely popular amongst the youth today. In class rooms you can hear youths boast about how little they did on the weekend and how many hours they spent in town with their friends, not accomplishing anything except the delusion that they are doing something productive with their time.

Because society gives the youth this mentality that they are too young to comprehend this, or too young to handle the stress of that, they are giving youth the excuse not to think, not to fulfil their full potential. Unfortunately this is also the reality for many amongst the Muslim community.

What does Islam say?

What is Islam’s view of maturity and what the youth can accomplish? Islam views the people as adult once they have reached physical maturity i.e. puberty. There are no set ages for this as different people reach puberty at different ages - the average age for girls being 12 years old and for boys being 14 years. Of course Islam takes into consideration that young people have less experience than those who are aged and so Islamically one must respect their elders.

'Amr b. Shu'ayb (ra) narrated from his father whose grandfather narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “He is not one of us who shows no mercy to our younger ones and does not acknowledge the honour due to our elders.” [Reported by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad.]

However this does not mean that youngsters who have reached the Islamic age of maturity should be treated as children. As soon as someone reaches physical maturity in Islam they become accountable to Allah (swt) for every single action that they perform.

‘Ali Ibnu Abi Talib narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Accountability is lifted off three persons: The dormant until he awakes, the boy (adolescent) until he reaches maturity and the deranged until he regains his mind.” [Abu Dawud]

In Islam someone who has reached the age of maturity is legally an adult and is therefore given all the rights of one such as they allowed to get married (of course in accordance with the shariah rules), can set up a business, can vote in the elections of the Khalifah and Majlis al Ummah (consultative council) under an Islamic state (which is not existent today).

Socially the opinions of young Muslims should be respected and given weight; not ignored as is the case often today. Young Muslims should be active da’wah carriers who even give to da’wah to those older than themselves. As in Islam the best amongst people are those who are better in their piety not their age, colour or sex. Allah (swt) says: {The most honoured in the sight of Allah are those who have the most Taqwa (piety).} [TMQ 49:13]

Youth in the past

In the past young Muslims were given important responsibilities and positions in the past under the Islamic state. Nowadays when you think about the head of a delegation sent to a ruler today the image that comes to mind is of a fifty-something with grey hair. However look at the example of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (ra) who was only 20 years old when he headed the delegation of Muslims to the King of Abysinnia in order to present their views. Some Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia with the permission of the Prophet (saw) to avoid the oppression of Quraysh.  When the Quraysh saw that they could not stop the Muslims exodus to Abyssinia, they sent a delegation to the Negus to request their extradition back to Makkah.  Before agreeing to their extradition the Negus asked what the Muslims had to say for themselves.  It was Ja'far ibn abi Talib, who spoke on behalf of the Muslims. Just reflect upon a portion of what Ja'far said to the Negus, consider the maturity in his words and the profound understanding he displayed:

"O King!  We have been a people of ignorance worshipping idols, eating the flesh of dead animals, committing abominations, neglecting our relatives and doing evil to our neighbours.  The strong, among us would oppress the weak.  We were in this state when Allah sent us a Messenger from among us whose descent and sincerity, trustworthiness and honesty were known to us.  He summoned us to worship the One True God and to reject the stones and idols we and our fathers had been worshipping in addition to Allah.  He ordered us to be truthful of speech, to fulfill all the duties that were entrusted to us, to care for our relatives, to be kind to our neighbours, to refrain from unlawful food and consumption of blood. He forbade us to engage in lewdness and lying, the devouring of the money of the orphan and the defamation of married women.  He commanded us to worship the One God and to assign no partners unto Him, to pray, to pay the purifying tax and to fast. We deem him truthful and we believed him, and we accepted the message he brought from Allah".

Another example is the brother of Sa'd Abi-Waqqas (ra), Umayr. One day this young teen wept heartedly. Not because he didn’t have the latest Nintendo or mobile phone but because wanted to be allowed to accompany the Muslim army at Badr. He wept longing for the honour of upholding the banner of Islam. His wish was granted and he fought and died not on a computer game screen but in battle as a Martyr (Shaheed) at the age of only sixteen.

Even friendship and scholarship in Islam are not restricted to age, often young companions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) were close friends with elder companions like Abu Bakr and Hamza. Imam Shafi (rh) was a scholar at the age of 14 and used to give fatawa (legal verdicts) to young and old alike.

Applying this today

By Islam, the most noble of youth were brought from the trifling life of ignorance (Jahiliya) to the prosperous life of Islam; from the corrupt pride of tribalism to the dignity of Universal Islam. They commanded the armies, ruled the provinces and states, and became judges and scholars. But even more important than all of that, they became the obedient slaves of Allah, who satisfied Him and so they deserved His satisfaction.

The reason that we had such youth in Islamic history was due to the implementation of the Islamic ahkam (rules). Due to this they were treated as adults from the age of puberty; they had a sense of responsibility and accountability to Allah (swt) for all their actions. Such youth are not restricted to the past, today many of the da’wah carriers in the Muslim world such as in Uzbekistan are youngsters, some as young as 12 years old have been imprisoned due to their carrying the Islamic call. In occupied Islamic lands such as Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan we have also witnessed young Muslims defending their lands, property and honour with bravery and courage.

All Muslims, young and old have the obligation of carrying the call of Allah and for that they need to first acquire the knowledge and be responsible in their outlook in life. Living in non-Muslim lands, the youth will undoubtedly face prejudices such as “young, free and irresponsible” but as Muslims we need to look beyond this phrase because we know that we have responsibilities on our shoulders which aren’t necessarily age-bound. Sometimes this is a challenge that they have to face – a test to prove that they aren’t aimless in life but rather they can be the future leaders of our community. The youth need to stand up against the misguided stereotypes and bow down only to their Lord and wake up to their responsibilities to the Ummah.

How can we do this one may ask? In today’s reality how can we even begin to emulate the generation of sahabah and once again raise the banner of Islam to the lofty heights that it deserves to be at? The banner now lies dusty and enshrouded in the weary battlefields or just as much, in a heap at the bottom of our cupboards. Only a few hands protect this banner today, whilst the rest shy away from responsibility and retreat into the catacombs of our own pleasures and desires. To gain the strength to carry the amanah of dawah placed upon us, the stories of our predecessors should be remembered to give us courage and hope even when the banner of islam is buried over so much dust, we can barely make out the shahadah written on it. But inspiration alone isn’t sufficient to carry this trust as we must see how the sahabah were qualified to carry the dawah, how did they shield themselves? With knowledge. Knowledge of our religion allows us to become spokesmen, rather than mere shadows of the religion. If we lack this knowledge, ambition is hindered due to lack of sight and guidance. The sahabahs studied Islam comprehensively to be able to be a living example of its rules and etiquettes and to spread the Haqq by word and by deed.

Is this generation of youth the generation that will lift the Banner of Allah into the fluttering wind of the future of Islam? Will we learn from the mistakes of our recent past and look to the examples of the rightly guided? Time will be a testimony as to whether we are worthy enough to bring back Islam as a pillar of light because if we do not, it goes without saying that Allah will replace us with a better generation that will.



O Muslim Women of legacy
O Women of knowledge, honour and dignity
The books on the shelves lay
Pleading to their Lord out of disarray
The term ‘liberation’ lies in decay
For you the shelves cry out each day
The world awaits your way
To pick up the heritage lost, forgotten and withered away… 

They define Islaam’s Scholars as Misogynist
Yet they have not enjoyed our history nor lived within its midst
So come with me and explore the lists
Hearts throbbing, their presence is truly to be missed…
When will you come forth to brighten the gloom?
Amidst the so-called ‘progressive’ doom,
Where are you O Women who carried knowledge within your hearts?
And did not play with it like darts…
Come again! Rise again! And once again rule the hearts.

O Women of Knowledge
O beautiful lakes from which only good flowed
Your examples are alive and within the dark glow
Causing Muslims to love your way
And search for your example today
Many sought knowledge within your presence, zealous
Within Masjids that truly needed to be spacious…

For you many stood from around the globe in a line
To gain knowledge which you did refine and define
Sahih Al Bukhari, Muslim and others full of light
Are waiting for the female scholars once again to come and hold them tight
Where is the knowledge that made men come
Even if they possessed knowledge of great Height?
Sincerely seeking knowledge for Allah alone,
To whom belongs all might,
- Humbly, meekly and standing in front of their Muslim Sister out of sight…

The Niqaab was your shield
And did not cause you to yield
You spread the Words of the deen
So they flocked from all corners so keen

Your voices you did not decorate and manipulate
Today, scarcely to be found
Are characters so sound
And such sincere knowledge spreading wide and far,
Without tape recorders, internet or even the microphone!
For the pursuit of knowledge you did not travel alone
But with your mahrams or within the paradise of your homes

We ask Allah to forgive us
Since we are truly witnessing times which are tough
The enemies of Islaam are becoming even more rough
Making excuses to target Muslim Women and to have a laugh
Because we have forgotten our legacies
We have fallen into jeopardy
Becoming targets for this kind of monopoly

Let’s seek knowledge and defend our stance
Using knowledge as our lance
So as they watch and dance
The legacies of our female scholars we bring back,
Imitate… and enhance.




Download Link

  • Al Hijaab (Arabic)

Ahmad Bukhatir


  • Allah Knows

Zain Bikha and Dawud Whansbury


  • Hijab 2 (Arabic)

Ahmad Bukhatir


  • Hijaab (Arabic)



  • Laa Ilaaha illa Allah

Asif Choudary


  • His Name is Muhammad

Zain Bikhar


  • Illa Allah

Asif Choudary


  • Mount Hira

Zain Bikhar


  • Revealed to Muhammad

Asif Choudary


  • The Veil

Dawud Whansbury


  • Zawjati (My Wife)

Ahmad Bukhatir


  • Eemaan (Faith)

Talib Al Habeeb


  • Knowledge is Light

Talib Al Habeeb






Download Link

  • Khadijah Bint Kuwayilid

Zaid al-Dakkan

Part 1 / Part 2

  • Aysha Bint Abi Bakr

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Sawdah Bint Zam'a

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Safiyah Bint Huyay

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Salamah Al Makhzumiyah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Habibah Bint Abi Sufyan

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Maariyah Bint Sham'un

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Hafsa Bint Omar

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Zainab Bint Khuzaimah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Zainab Bint Jahsh

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Maymoonah Bint Al Harith

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Juwairiyah Al Mustaliqiyah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Asma Bint Abi Bakr

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Haanee'

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Asma Bint Umays

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Umarah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Hind Bint Utbah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Atiyah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Sinan Alaslamiyah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Ayman

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Atikah Bint Zaid Bin Alkhatab

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Shuraik

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Haram Bint Malhan

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Haleemah Al Sadiyah

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Safiyah Bint Abdulmuttalib

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Ayyoob Al Ansari

Zaid al-Dakkan


  • Umm Saleem Bint Malhan

Zaid al-Dakkan







A husband disciplining his wife according to Islamic ettiquette, governing himself by specific and strict refined regulations of Islamic Law, is only for a wives who are recalcitrant and have evil and unjustified conduct towards their husbands. This disciplinary action must be done by one who fears Allah and wishes to keep marital matters private; in no way does Islaam sanction domestic violence. Sisters should also fear Allah and maturely deal with and change any recalcitrance and refractoriness on their part.

There is a huge difference between this disciplinary measure and abuse perpetrated by unrefined, ignorant  and hot-headed individuals. Abuse must stop and the appropriate measures to prevent it must be taken. It is noteworthy to mention that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never beat any of his wives. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “From among the believers are those who have the kindest disposition and are the kindest to their families- such are those who show the most perfect faith. The best among them are those who are kindest to their wives.”  [Bukhaari and Muslim]


“It is only those who have knowledge among Allah's servants who fear Him.” [Qu'aan, Sûrah Fâtir, verse 28]

recipebook3Dear Sisters, the main dish is the main event of any meal, so you’ve got to make it good. And no matter what your tastes run to, or how experienced you are as a chef you’ll find something in these recipes that will tempt your taste-buds.

From dishes like a simple butter chicken or a ten minute curry to more elaborate ones like vegetable lasagne and spaghetti carbonarra. We’ve got all sorts covered:

Middle Eastern falafel, Chinese lemon chicken and Japanese sushi are all there, so no matter what you’re after, you will find something to enjoy here.

Students are requested to attend classes regularly, and to be punctual to the best of their ability. This link contains some some beneficial articles on seeking knowledge and the ettiquettes pertaining to it. Please bring the print-outs as advised, extra paper, a folder, pen/pencil and all necessary stationary and/or additional requirements. You may also want to invest in a small folding table to bring to the classes, especially those of you who find it hard to take notes whilst sitting on the floor.

The books we will be covering during this course are quite popular and can be purchased from any good Islamic bookstore. Alternatively, you can order it via a reputable Islamic website.

The Noble Life of the Prophet

noblelifeThe following is description of the book's contents by the publishers:

In this book, the events of the Prophet's life, from the day he (p) was born and even before that day for background information-until the day he (p) died, have been recorded.

Beyond enumerating the events of the Prophet's life, lessons and morals from those events have been drawn to point out the significance of an event and the wisdom behind the Prophet's actions or deeds, the Islamic ruling that is derived from a particular incident, and the impact that a given event should have on our character or choice of deeds is indicated.



Ibn al-Jazaree says in his poem about acquiring Tajweed:

And there is no obstacle between it (learning Tajweed) and leaving it,
Except that a person must exercise his mouth with it!

Qira'at refers to the various manners of reciting the Qur'an. There are 10 authentic Qira'at. For a qira'at to be authentic there are very detailed rules. Whereas the Qur'an was revealed in seven ahruf, as is proved in many mutawaatir ahadith. This was because different tribes pronounced and spelled words differently.

This section contains recommended audio/ video recordings for Qur'aan recitation in addition to Tajweed lessons.


Shamaail Al Tirmidhi is a classical book containing narrations pertaining to the noble character and virtues of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and infact is an indispensable collection of Hadeeth related to the Prophet’s (sallallahu a'lyhi wa sallam) blessed Seerah (biography).

It was compiled by the eminent Muhaddith, Imam al-Tirmidhi less than 3 centuries after the passing away of the Prophet Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa salam).

Many scholars of Islam have indulged in uncountable attempts throughout history to collect hadiths on various religious issues. The most famous collection of 40 hadiths of all time is the one collected by Imam Abu Zakariyyah Muhyuddeen Yahya ibn Sharaf An-Nawawi who died in AH 676. The collection is known as Al-Arba`ain An-Nawawiah or An-Nawawi's 40 Hadiths.

These selected forty hadiths comprise the main essential and fundamental concepts of Islam which, in turn, construct the minimum level of required revealed knowledge for every single Muslim.Various principles are contained in these hadiths, such as belief, Muslim ethics and fiqh. The collection of Forty Hadith by Imam Nawawi has been known, accepted and appreciated by Muslim scholars for the last seven centuries.

Umdatul-Ahkaam by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.600 A.H.) is a famous text that contains hadith pertaining to juristic rulings (ahkaam) from Bukhari & Muslim. Like Bulugh al Maram Ibn Hajar, the author leaves out the chains of narration and suffices with the name of the Sahabi.

There are very few hadeeths in this book which are only reported by Imaam Bukhaaree or only by Imaam Muslim. Therefore, all the hadeeths of “Umdatul-Ahkaam” are authentic hadeeths. It is divided into books and chapters of fiqh.


It is reported that ‘Umar ibn Yazeed wrote to Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) and said:

‘Learn the Sunnah and learn Arabic; learn the Qur’aan in Arabic for it is Arabic.’ [Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/207]

madinahbooksThe Arabic Course for English-Speaking Students is a comprehensive and popular course for the teaching of the Qur'anic and Traditional Arabic, originally devised and taught at the renowned Madinah Islamic University, catering for the non-Arabic speaking students from all over the world. Over the years, this course has enabled students to become competent in their use of the Arabic language and to participate and benefit from scholarly pursuits such as Qur'anic Exegeses, Hadith, Fiqh, Sirah, History, and Classical and Modern Arabic Literature. It is concise (consisting of only three books, reasonably short) but extensive in their coverage. It combines modern Arabic vocabulary with Islamic terminology used in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It Helps acquire an understanding of hundreds of Qur'anic verses, aHadith, Arabic parables and poetry.

The Arabic Course for English-Speaking Students is a comprehensive and popular course for the teaching of the Qur'anic and Traditional Arabic, originally devised and taught at the renowned Madinah Islamic University, catering for the non-Arabic speaking students from all over the world. Over the years, this course has enabled students to become competent in their use of the Arabic language and to participate and benefit from scholarly pursuits such as Qur'anic Exegeses, Hadith, Fiqh, Sirah, History, and Classical and Modern Arabic Literature. It is concise (consisting of only three books, reasonably short) but extensive in their coverage. It combines modern Arabic vocabulary with Islamic terminology used in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It Helps acquire an understanding of hundreds of Qur'anic verses, aHadith, Arabic parables and poetry.


The Arabic Course for English-Speaking Students is a comprehensive and popular course for the teaching of the Qur'anic and Traditional Arabic, originally devised and taught at the renowned Madinah Islamic University, catering for the non-Arabic speaking students from all over the world. Over the years, this course has enabled students to become competent in their use of the Arabic language and to participate and benefit from scholarly pursuits such as Qur'anic Exegeses, Hadith, Fiqh, Sirah, History, and Classical and Modern Arabic Literature. It is concise (consisting of only three books, reasonably short) but extensive in their coverage. It combines modern Arabic vocabulary with Islamic terminology used in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It Helps acquire an understanding of hundreds of Qur'anic verses, aHadith, Arabic parables and poetry.

madinahbooksThe Arabic Course for English-Speaking Students is a comprehensive and popular course for the teaching of the Qur'anic and Traditional Arabic, originally devised and taught at the renowned Madinah Islamic University, catering for the non-Arabic speaking students from all over the world. Over the years, this course has enabled students to become competent in their use of the Arabic language and to participate and benefit from scholarly pursuits such as Qur'anic Exegeses, Hadith, Fiqh, Sirah, History, and Classical and Modern Arabic Literature. It is concise (consisting of only three books, reasonably short) but extensive in their coverage. It combines modern Arabic vocabulary with Islamic terminology used in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It Helps acquire an understanding of hundreds of Qur'anic verses, aHadith, Arabic parables and poetry.

Al Aajaroomiyyah, is the quintessence of Arabic grammar, its status is largely unchallenged as an excellent introduction to this first field of learning, which every scholar must master before delving into other Arabic literature. Hence, we find much attention has been paid to it amongst Arab scholars over a considerable period of time. Up untill now, this text is taught across the world in traditional institutions and is recognised as a key stepping stone to studying detailed grammar.

This course is not designed for complete beginners, but for students who have already studied the basics and are ready to tackle grammer in intensive way. It is hoped by the end of the course that the student will be able to understand the basics of grammar and thus be able to deal with more advanced texts in grammar and literature.

The Laamiyyah is a famous primer classical text on sarf by the famous Jamaal ad-Deen Ibn Maalik (rahimahullah).


ProphetsmasjidIn the Arabic language the word seerah comes from 'saara yaseeru'. Linguistically it means to travel or to be on a journey.

When we’re talking about someone’s seerah we’re talking about that person’s journey through life. You are talking about the person’s birth, the events surrounding it, his life and his death, and you are also studying the manners and characteristics of that person.

{Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islaam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.} (Surah Aal ‘Imraan [3] :104)

The Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 

"Allaah, His angels, and the inhabitants of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and even the fish, send blessings (pray for good) upon the one who teaches the people good." (At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh)

The Muslim woman has been bestowed with many rights by Allaah Almighty, and it is of great importance in Da'wah that she - the Muslim woman - familiarises herself with the rights that Islaam has blessed her with. Not only will she, herself, then appreciate Islaam more, but in the eyes of those people who think she is 'oppressed' and without rights, she will be able to effectively prove their views wrong. So much so that many of their women, when realising the rights Islaam has given the Muslim woman, will feel envious of her dignified position in Islaam.


"If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four. But if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one." (Qur'aan, [4]:3)

The books we will be covering for this course are popular and can be purchased from any good Islamic bookstore. Alternatively, you can order it via a reputable Islamic website.

noblelifeThe Noble Life of the Prophet

The following is description of the book's contents by the publishers:

In this book, the events of the Prophet's life, from the day he (p) was born and even before that day for background information-until the day he (p) died have been recorded.

Beyond enumerating the events of the Prophet's life, lessons and morals from those events have been drawn to point out the significance of an event and the wisdom behind the Prophet's actions or deeds, the Islamic ruling that is derived from a particular incident, and the impact that a given event should have on our character or choice of deeds is indicated.