Good Character


bashfulnessThe Incident...

Hot, hungry, thirsty, and fearing for his safety, the Prophet of Allāh Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) arrives to the city of Madyan. Chased by the Pharonic police of the time, following the innocent killing of a member of the elite Coptic community, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) has fled from Egypt enveloped in a state of fear. Gone are the days of luxury and comfort in the palace of the Pharaoh.

Now Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) finds himself away from home, desperate and dishevelled, surrounded by unfamiliarity, hoping and praying for guidance and protection from his Lord.

Having settled briefly, still suffering from fatigue and overwhelming thirst, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) comes across a water-well used by local shepherds to water their flock.

On closer inspection, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) finds a group of men watering their flocks from the well, but perhaps more surprisingly, he also notices two women keeping themselves to one side, waiting for these shepherds to finish so they can provide for their own flocks.

Good Will, Even After Strained Circumstance

It is during this instance that Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām), seizing on an opportunity to perform a noble deed as befits his Prophetic status, ignores his weariness and exhaustion and offers to help these two women water their flocks.

After these women explain to Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) that they cannot water their flock until the shepherds take away their sheep from the water, and that their father is a very old man who cannot help them, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) removes the huge boulder covering the mouth of well and comes to the aid of these two young women.

On completion of this charitable deed, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) then retreats to the shade, protecting his drained body from the sapping heat, and in a private moment with his Lord, says “My Lord, I am in need of whatever good you bestow on me.”[1]

After some time, Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) looks up to notice one of these two women walking towards him.

A Special Kind of Walk...

In describing this walk, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) tells us of the bashful demeanour of this noble woman, walking towards Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) with shyness worthy of such high praise that Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) mentions it specifically in his glorious book.

Befitting her modest nature and conduct, this woman then says to Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered our flocks for us.” Notably, the invitation was not aimed directly at Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) from her, lest he have some suspicious thoughts about her.

Rather she said: “My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep,” i.e., to give you some payment for that, as if to emphasise her humble nature.

The story goes on, and eventually Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) ends up marrying one of these two women before embarking on his challenges with the Pharaoh and the children of Israel.

So, Why mention this story?

The story of Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) covers many pages of the Book of Allāh, with details of his story explained more in depth than that of many other stories of the Prophets of Allāh.

From his earliest days as a baby placed in a basket to contend with the forceful currents of the river Nile, to his time with the Children of Israel and all the challenges he faced both with and from them, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) provides us with vivid descriptions of Mūsa’s (ʿalayhi al-Salām) life story.

This particular passage of the story, narrated in Sūrat al-Qasas, is one of many such examples. But are these details of any relevance? Do they add anything to our overall understanding of Mūsa’s (ʿalayhi al-Salām) story?

In order to answer this question, we must appreciate the status the book that is relating this story.

A book whose verses are protected and explained in detail, from the all-Wise, Well-acquainted Lord of the heavens and the earth.

A book that, if it were to be revealed on a mountain, “you would have surely seen it humbling itself and splitting asunder by the fear of Allāh.” A book in which there is ‘no doubt’, and to which “falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.”[2]

A book revealed by the One, and only Lord of the Universe, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā), who created, legislated and ordained everlasting pleasure for conformity and sincere obedience and painful punishment for defiance and disobedience.

Having appreciated the importance of every single word of the Qur’ān, one can now perhaps reflect more appropriately on the portion of the verse describing the walk of the woman towards Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām),

“Then one of the two women came to him walking bashfully. She said: My father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us…”[3]

An observant reader may ask whether the story would be any different if we did not know about all this detail. Does it really make any difference whether this woman walked normally or shyly?

After all, the rest of the story is related to Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and this description does not have much impact on the how the rest of the story unfolds.

An honest student and disciple of the Qur’ān however would accept that every word used by Allāh in His book has been perfectly positioned, with each verse filled with linguistic eloquence matched by no other book ever read by man.

Why Did Allaah [s] Mention The Way She Walked?

The sense of shyness and humility we get from this woman is something for the Muslim to reflect on.

In an era where such shyness or introversion is seen in some quarters as a possible manifestation of anxiety, lack of self-confidence, or even a social disorder, taking a moment to reflect on why Allāh chose to mention this noteworthy trait of these women is of great benefit.

A simple “Google” search reveals the characteristic of shyness being associated with apprehension, awkwardness, low self-esteem and so on; characteristics that any individual of integrity would want to avoid.

But as Muslims, do we see shyness in the same way? If Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) chose this word to describe this woman as she walked towards Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām), did He mean it in a complimentary or blameworthy manner? Is it bad to be shy?!

A saying of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) sheds light on the matter, where we are told that “shyness does not bring anything except Good.“ Elsewhere we are told even more emphatically that “shyness is a branch of faith!”

Furthermore, we hear that the exalted character of the beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was described to be “more shy than a virgin in seclusion.”[4]

In an age where arrogance, immodesty, brashness and sometimes outright disrespect can be often looked upon fondly by some, the sincere Muslim remains firm in the knowledge of what characteristics please his creator.

The young Muslim boy who emulates his favourite footballer’s ‘cocky’ traits, or the young Muslim girl who sees the ‘prettiest’ women on TV as those who wear very little and show far too much, or even the highly qualified Muslim academic who holds an esteemed position, or the affluent and successful Muslim businessman who is blessed with great riches and wealth, must remember that modesty and humility is an honour for the true slave of Allāh.

Never should a Muslim feel that being humble will hamper their progress in this pretentious world. Rather our focus is on our hereafter, attributing importance to that which will lead us to gardens of bliss and delight.

Social vices such as outlandish dress sense, vulgar language and sexual openness and obscenity unbecoming of human beings, all combine to make that ‘shy’ trait even more difficult to hold on to. Very rarely does the media present to us a humble role-model for us to look up to and learn from. Shyness is slowly becoming that ‘black sheep’ characteristic.

Amongst all of these tribulations, the Muslim holds firm to his faith, and the characteristics it brings with it. The Muslim is humble yet firm, concise yet polite, modest yet confident, and shy yet totally and utterly content. As related to us by the best of all creation, Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), “if you do not have any shame, do as you wish!”[5]

Look At Your Heart

So the next time we have the inclination to be boastful, to reveal more of our bodies than what Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has given permission us to, or to be condescending and crass in our behaviour towards others, just remember how Allāh praised that lady’s walk and look to your heart and think, “do I want to be of those that Allāh praises on the Day of Judgement too?”

Why look to your heart? Because as related by Ibn al Qayyim (raḥimahu Allāhu) “the strength of one’s modesty and shyness relies on the strength of one’s heart.”

May Allāh grant us the blessing of embodying these beautiful traits and save us from that which incurs his wrath upon us. Āmīn.

sisteronlaptopShaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Naasir al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: What is the ruling on a female Daa‘iyah appearing on TV in full Shar‘i Hijaab for the purpose of Da‘wah and Fatwas?  He replied: 

Praise be to Allah. To proceed: 

The basic principle is that the woman is Fitnah for men. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I am not leaving behind me any Fitnah more harmful to men than women.” (Agreed upon). Hence those who follow their whims and desires are very keen to introduce women into all media programming, both audio and video. Based on that, it is not permissible for a woman to appear on TV, even if she is wearing hijaab, in the name of Da‘wah and giving Fatwas, because innumerable men will listen to her even if she only appears on the channel on the basis of teaching women.

Moreover, there is no need for her to undertake da‘wah and issue fatwas via TV channels. The basic principle is that that is to be done by men, and men are more suited to that. Throughout Islamic history men have been the ones to teach, call people to Islaam and issue Fatwas in the Masaajid and so on. They are the Khateebs and Imaams. It is not permissible for women to do any of these things unless it is among other women. 

Moreover it is well known that women’s participation in video and audio media results in things that are contrary to Sharee‘ah, such as their going out unnecessarily, mixing with men, making images of them even if they do wear Hijaab. This results in negative consequences that Islaam came to prevent, as Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [Al-Ahzaab 33:32-33].

A woman may be making a display of herself in her clothing even if she wears hijab. 

Based on the above I say: It is not permissible for a woman to appear on satellite TV channels as a Daa‘iyah, Mufti or teacher. Rather, she should restrict her Da‘wah activities to her fellow women at home or in a school or in the women’s prayer space in the Masjid. 

On this occasion we advise our sisters who are in charge of Islamic channels to fear Allaah and not to be deceived by the words of those who have wrong views and do not see anything wrong with women appearing on Islamic channels and even promote that and support it with specious arguments. It is sufficient to note that this is in accordance with the whims and desires of modernists, who do not care about anything but falsehood or that which leads to falsehood. Hence they like the Islamic channels on which women appear and they regard them as keeping pace with modern times, and they do not like the channels on which no women appear and they regard them as backward and describe the people in charge of them as being extremists. These people are like those of whom Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“...but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path” [An-Nisaa’, [4]:27]. 

We ask Allah to guide us to the straight path and to keep us away from the path of those who earned His Anger and of those who went astray.

End quote from Shabakat Noor al-Islam.

daughtersDear Little One,

As I write this, I'm sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I'm sitting here, I'm beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

  • Affordably gorgeous,
  • Infallible,
  • Flawless finish,
  • Brilliant strength,
  • Liquid power,
  • Go nude,
  • Age-defying,
  • Instant age rewind,
  • Choose your dream,
  • Nearly naked, and
  • Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter, you start to realize she's just as strong as everyone else in the house -- a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won't see her that way. They'll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they'll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father's words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father's words aren't different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn't exist. It's an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace -- for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age-defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you -- the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: "Where are you the most beautiful?" Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,



Like the last letter I wrote to my daughter, I wrote this first for her and the day I'll eventually read it to her. But I also wrote it for every woman who needs to hear the words of a father. Women, no one else can define your beauty for you. But they'll try.

My daughter is 4 years old now. If her awakening to the makeup aisle comes at the typical age, I figure we have about five years to radically alter the arc of history and the subjugation-by-image of the female gender. We've got a lot of work to do. And it begins in the heart of each and every woman.

Source: Huffington Post.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery." (Al-Bukhaari)

*Please click here if you can't see the above video.

“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him)” [17:32 – interpretation of the meaning]

Regarding the Mi'raaj (ascension), in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

"... then we proceeded and came to something like a tannoor (a kind of oven)." [The narrator] said: "I think he said, 'in which there were clamouring voices.'" He [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] said: "We looked into it and there we saw naked men and women. Flames were coming to them from the bottom of it, and when the flames reached them, they made an uproar. I said to them [i.e., the two angels who were accompanying him], 'Who are these?' They said, 'Proceed, proceed!'... I said to them, 'I have seen strange things this night. What is this that I have seen?' They said, 'We will tell you.... The naked men and women in the structure that resembled a tannoor oven are the adulterers and adulteresses.'" (Narrated by al-Bukhaari).


يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا

{O wives of the Prophet, you are not like any other women, if you observe Taqwah (righteousness). So, do not be too soft in your speech, lest someone having disease in his heart should develop fancies (about you); and do speak with appropriate words.} [33:32]

Question Posed:

...I have a question which is very important as no one is talking about it. Where I live the people will be inviting (...) to give a lecture which is ok but she will be lecturing men and women. I am a female revert to Islam and knowing something about men I am not comfortable for my husband to look at another young woman lecturing or mixing with other female attendees. Am I wrong to feel this way everyone else is ok with it and I am confused so please help me. I am so confused with many things I see happening now not being the same as the Quran and hadiths that I read.


As salam mu alaikum wa rahmat Ullah wa barakataHu

sisteronbeachI have decided to divide my answer to this question in at least two posts in order to make it easier upon the reader to contemplate the contents of it. As always, I also welcome discussion from those noble students that participate on this forum.

I ask Allah to increase you in your desire to remain on the 'straight path' and make your journey on this path easy and clear for you. What probably causes you to ask this question is a trait that has all, but become lost in secular societies, but remains strong amongst Muslims, known commonly as gheerah (chaste-jealousy).

In order for me to answer this question and address the specifics of it, I would need to know more information about the nature of these lectures and how they are to be conducted as well as other information that will come in the context of my answer. As this information is not available to me now, my answer will provide general guidelines about the topic.

First of all, I would like to provide you with a non exhaustive list of the vices that occur when such lectures are conducted to a mixed gender audience.

The female lecturer speaks softly, tells jokes and even laughs during her lectures.

Where is she from these verses of the Quran in Surah al-Ahzab which do not require much explanation as they are quite clear?

إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ

"If you fear Allah then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should be moved to desire [you], but speak with appropriate speech. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance." (33:32-33)

The female lecturer does not adhere to the principles of Islamic Hijaab by either not wearing a Hijab or by wearing a Hijab that adorns her and causes a person to stare, worst still she wears make-up.

For an example of this, one simply needs to look at the Islamic satellite channels or al-Jazeera news channel where the women cover their heads with vibrant fashionable scarfs and wear make up as if they are going to their marriage ceremony, not to just read the stories of the day to viewers.

The gathering causes for the free-mixing of genders.

It goes without saying, that if a Muslim female lecturer is talking on an Islamic subject the likelihood of women attending the lecture is very high and if men are also invited there is a huge potential risk that free-mixing will occur. More often than not, and based on my extensive experience of traveling to conferences, good preparations ensuring the segregation of sexes to a reasonable degree are not made. This leads us to find that men and women are sitting beside each other, large groups of men and women are entering and exiting through the same doors sometimes in such a hurry to obtain a good seat etcetera that they even make physical contact.

Further to that, and in the interest of covering the expenses of bringing this lecturer, no dress code is advertised on the promotional materials or even enforced at the event. This results in a many brothers and sisters -that suffer from a lack of hayaa' - attending and wearing make-up, jewelry and clothing that is not permissible for them to be wearing other than in front people of the same gender and nothing is said about it, but rather it has been said that, "You should have a Hijab in your heart".

The female lecturer wears clothing that shows the contours of the body or while she gives the lecture bends into positions that are not synonymous with the concept of hayaa' in Islam.

Again while attending a Muslim training conference in New York, none of the attendees found it in the least deplorable that the female Muslim lecturer was clearly displaying her cleavage and when I objected to this, I was looked upon as if I was strange or an extremist (Subhaan Allah).

The female lecturer commits actions or talks on subjects that would be contrary to the norms of hayaa' (modesty) required of all Muslims leading to temptation.

An example of this occurred with me during a conference that I was invited to for Muslim youth when a well-known American-Egyptian woman started to talk about condoms in front of hundreds of Muslim attendees which I was absolutely disgusted by and will never forget in my life.

The young female lecturer traverses distances that exceed those permitted for a believing woman to travel when there is no urgent need for her to do so.

It has been narrated in numerous authentic Ahaadith that it is not permissible for a woman to travel far distances alone

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) said: "It is unlawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day that she travels the distance of one day and one night without a Mahram accompanying her." (Al-Bukhaari)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (salahu alayhi wasalam) said: "A woman must not travel for three days except with a Mahram." (Agreed Upon)

Now, none of the Fuqahaa' deem as urgent traveling to give lectures, but rather that it is mainly for those actions that are related to the preservation of life such as for some medical treatment, escaping from a war zone... then it goes without saying that it remains unlawful for a woman to travel even if she is to give Islamic lectures.

The nature of a lecture requires that eye contact be maintained with the audience

As a public speaker that has received training from numerous organizations, I am fully aware of the role that eye contact has in engaging the audience and delivering a successful lecture. When one delivers a lecture to a mixed-gender audience it becomes very challenging not only for the speaker to not keep eye contact with the audience, but also for the audience not to look at the speaker. If one were to say, 'you don't have to look at the speaker if you don't want to', that would be rather nonsensical because it is well known in communication that a varying percentage of what is being communicated is not only in the audio that one hears, but also in the gesticulation of the speaker which in public speaking carries a more emphasized role. Furthermore, if organizers insisted that men should not look at the speaker then wouldn't it be rational for them not to be put into this scenario in the first place? We should also be aware that looking at the opposite gender whether we have a reason for it or not has its affect on the human heart and this is why Allah mentions it first when commanding us to guard our private parts.

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

{Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment...} (24:30-31)

The effect it contains can very easily be translated into bad thoughts because the human self is weak, add to that the effects of today's society where sexuality is accentuated and licentiousness is rampant and you have a recipe for disaster.

Our Beloved (salahu alayhi wsalam) said very clearly in a Hadith that occurs in the Sahihayn (Bukhari and Muslim):

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَتَبَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ حَظَّهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا ، أَدْرَكَ ذَلِكَ لَا مَحَالَةَ ، فَزِنَا الْعَيْنَيْنِ النَّظَرُ ، وَزِنَا اللِّسَانِ النُّطْقُ وَالنَّفْسُ تَمَنَّى وَتَشْتَهِي ، وَالْفَرْجُ يُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ أَوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ

"Allah has written upon the son of Adam is portion from Zinaa' (fornication) from which there is no escape. The Zinaa' of the eyes is to look, the Zinaa' of the tongue is to speak, the self wishes and desires and the private parts either actualize it or deny it."

Allah the creator of both men and women is fully aware of what is in the hearts and even if one 'pious' Muslim were to say that I do not feel any danger of temptation, what about the rest of the audience, it cannot be guaranteed that they will not feel anything. Furthermore, what about the non-yet Muslims males who may be watching this lecture on the net; how many times have we come across immoral comments about our Muslim sisters online?

My advice to honourable sisters who genuinely want to help the deen, not gain facebook fans

As our deen is Nasiha, I feel that my answer on this topic would be incomplete if I do not offer some at this juncture. I would like to offer all Sisters the advice that they should contemplate their actions and search for and weigh the positives and negative elements of what they are doing in lecturing men. Looking at Muslim population statistics, the number of women in the Ummah is more than that of men and therefore the need for sisters is great. I recommend that sisters should specialize in issues that their fellow sisters would feel more comfortable discussing with them as there is a genuine need for this in the Ummah and leave the lecturing of men to the same gender. This would be a far more effective use of human resources in the Ummah.

My advice to the organizers of these events who seek to please Allah alone

Organizers of events that seek to get people to practice their Deen ultimately pleasing Allah in the process must ask themselves one golden question:

Who is it that gives guidance to these people so that they are able to make the life changing decisions after listening to the lectures?

Should the answer be Allah, then does it not follow that Allah is the One that puts Barakah into our efforts and in order for him to do that, we need to act in complete and unquestionable accordance to the guidelines that He has set out for us.

My advice to brothers that are intending to attend a lecture conducted by a female lecturer

Ask yourselves what is the goal of your attending this lecture? Is it to gain proximity to Allah and increase your Imaan or is it for some other reason? While your are attending this lecture, is your heart undividedly attached to what is being said in a similar way to if you were attending a lecture conducted by a male lecturer or are you being distracted?

وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَاعًا فَاسْأَلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَاء حِجَابٍ ذَلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ

{And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts.} (33:53)

It would be sheer sophistry to deny that women have an innate allure to any sane heterosexual man and that just because a woman is talking about love in Islam as opposed to love in general or any other subject for that matter, that those present would not be tempted by her soft speech, humour or even the idealistic notion that she is trying to convey setting their imaginations off in all directions.

In ending, I would like to say that if one studies the books of Usool and the Maqaasid (Purposes) behind the prohibitions of actions they realize that there are many actions that have been deemed Haraam even though they may contain some apparent benefit in them. The scholars have said that this is because people vary in their level of susceptibility to these things and so the prohibition encompasses everyone. I feel that this sort of activity for which I cannot find any pressing need in the Ummah to justify its dispensation, nor am I convinced will contain more good than bad, is not to be condoned and depending on the frequency of the factors above is either severely disliked or completely prohibited.

Finally, those of you whom have studied with me, know that I am always encouraging female scholarship in Islam by giving examples of great female scholars of the past in the hope that I can motivate my Sisters to be more perceptive in their pursuit of the Sacred Sciences, so let not any person say that I am stepping on women's rights or anything of the sort.

And Allah Knows Best.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) passed by an Ansari man who was counseling his brother on modesty (he was advising him not to be too much shy or modest).

The Prophet said: "Leave him (and do not advise him like this); for modesty is part of faith." (Bukhari and Muslim).

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, also said, "Modesty results in good alone and nothing else." (Bukhari and Muslim).


This incident happened to a young man in his 20's. Not long ago...

A Mu'adh-dhin of the Masjid and a Haafidh of the Qur'aan. He was known for his good manners and character, and was from Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

Allâh, the Exalted said, "Say to the believing men that they should lower their sight and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allâh is well acquainted with all that they do." [an-Nûr (24):30]


sunbehindflowerMen's relationships with their female friends may be fuelled by an undercurrent of sexual attraction regardless of whether they are single but the feeling is not mutual, a new study suggests.

Women are more likely to consider their friendships with men as platonic and only hope that they develop into more if their own relationship is in trouble, researchers found.

Their findings echo the plot of 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, in which Harry, played by Billy Crystal, tells Meg Ryan's character Sally:

"Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way."

Scientists said the results of the study, reported in the Daily Mail, showed "potential negative consequences" for people in long-term relationships.

Changing social patterns in the spheres of work, higher education and leisure activities have seen friendships between men and women reach unprecedented levels, they said.

But a deeper-lying mating instinct, developed over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, could make them more complicated than they might seem.

In the study, 88 pairs of young male and female friends were asked to rate their attraction to each other on a secret questionnaire.

Men - whether they were attached or single - were more likely to harbour an attraction to their female friends and want to go out with them than the other way around.

The men also assumed that the women were more sexually interested in them than they actually were - and the women tended not to realise this.

Researchers found that single and attached women had the same level of attraction to their male friends - but attached women only wanted something more if their own relationship was on the rocks. Women were also less attracted to attached men, the study found.

Participants of the study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, said benefits gained from friendships with members of the opposite sex included getting good advice and boosting their confidence.

The authors of the research, from the University of Wisconsin, said films and television programmes had helped instill the idea that normal friends could become "friends with benefits" - that is, who have sex with each other.

Source: The Telegraph


NightSkyA letter on pornography and business ethics written by two prominent public intellectuals—one a Christian, one a Muslim—sent to hotel industry executives last week.

We write to ask you to stop offering pornographic movies in your company’s hotels. We make no proposal here to limit your legal freedom, nor do we threaten protests, boycotts, or anything of the sort. We simply ask you to do what is right as a matter of conscience.

We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.

Pornography is degrading, dehumanizing, and corrupting. It undermines self-respect and respect for others. It reduces persons—creatures bearing profound, inherent, and equal dignity—to the status of objects. It robs a central aspect of our humanity—our sexuality—of its dignity and beauty. It ensnares some in addiction. It deprives others of their sense of self-worth. It teaches our young people to settle for the cheap satisfactions of lust, rather than to do the hard, yet ultimately liberating and fulfilling, work of love.

We recognize that we are asking you to abandon a profitable aspect of your business, but we hope that you will muster the conviction and strength of will to make that sacrifice and to explain it to your stockholders. We urge you to do away with pornography in your hotels because it is morally wrong to seek to profit from the suffering, degradation, or corruption of others. Some might say that you are simply honoring the free choices of your customers. However, you are doing much more than that. You are placing temptation in their path—temptation for the sake of profit. That is unjust. Moreover, the fact that something is chosen freely does not make it right; nor does it ensure that the choice will not be damaging to those who make it or to the larger community where degrading practices and materials flourish.

We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies, as nothing but a bundle of raw animal appetites whose sex organs are displayed to the voyeurs of the world and whose body is used in loveless and utterly depersonalized sex acts. Surely we should regard that young woman as we would regard a sister, daughter, or mother. She is a precious member of the human family. You may say that she freely chooses to compromise her dignity in this way, and in some cases that would be true, but that gives you no right to avail yourself of her self-degradation for the sake of financial gain. Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister? Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your own beloved daughter?

Furthermore, we trust that you need no reminding of the fact that something’s being legal does not make it right. For example, denying black men and women and their families access to hotel rooms—and tables in restaurants, as well as other amenities and opportunities—was, for countless shameful years, perfectly legal. In some circumstances, it even made financial sense for hotel owners and operators in racist cultures to engage in segregationist practices even when not compelled by law to do so. However, this was deeply morally wrong. Shame on those who denied their brothers and sisters of color the equal treatment to which they were morally entitled. Shame on you if you hide behind legality to peddle immorality in the pursuit of money.

Our purpose is not to condemn you and your company but to call you to your highest and best self. We have no desire to hurt your business. On the contrary, we want you and your business to succeed financially—for your sake; for the sake of your stockholders, employees, and contract partners; and for the sake of the communities that your hotels serve. We believe that the properly regulated market economy serves the good of all by providing products and services at reasonable prices and by generating prosperity and social mobility. But the market itself cannot provide the moral values that make it a truly humane and just institution. We—owners, managers, employees, customers—must bring those values to the market. There are some things—inhuman things, unjust things, de-humanizing things—that should not be sold. There must be some things that, for the sake of human dignity and the common good, we must refuse to sell—even it if means forgoing profit.


sistersmaghribtimeIt is reported in a saheeh hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen yet. People with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait. They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”

The scholars interpret “clothed yet naked” as referring to women who wear:

  • tight clothes or
  • light clothing that does not cover what is beneath it, or
  • short clothes.

Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) mentioned that what women wore inside their houses at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) covered everything from the heel of the foot up to the palm of the hand. All of this was covered when they were inside the house, and when they went out to the market, it was known that the women of the Sahaabah used to wear loose garments which would drag along the ground. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed them to let it trail up to a cubit, but no more than that.

With regards to the doubts that some women have, concerning the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Let no woman look at the ‘awrah of another woman and let no man look at the ‘awrah of another man; the ‘awrah of a woman in front of another woman is from the navel to the knee”,

which they interpret as indicating that women may wear short clothes – the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not say that it is sufficient for women’s clothing to cover the area from the navel to the knee, so this cannot be used as evidence. What he did say was that no woman should look at the ‘awrah of another woman, so he forbade them to look, because the ‘awrah of the woman who is wearing loose clothing may sometimes be exposed when answering the call of nature or for some other reason, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade women to look at one another’s ‘awrahs.

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that no man should look at the ‘awrah of another man, does this means that the Sahaabah wore izaars (waist wrappers) or trousers only between the navel and the knee? Does anyone think that women can go to meet other women wearing nothing but clothes that cover her from the navel to the knee? No one would say such a thing. That only happens among the disbelieving and immoral women. The confusion that some women feel has no basis; what some women understand from this hadeeth is not correct. The meaning of the hadeeth is clear. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not say that women's clothing should cover only the area between the navel and the knee. Women have to fear Allaah and feel that sense of modesty which is part of the nature of women and which is part of faith, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Modesty is a branch of faith.” And it is said in the proverbial sense, “more shy than the virgin in her seclusion.” It was not even known among the women of the jaahiliyyah (time of ignorance) to cover only the area from the navel to the knee, such a thing was not known among either women or men; do these women want the Muslim women to be even worse in appearance than the women of the jaahiliyyah?

In conclusion: the clothing is one thing and looking at the ‘awrah is another thing. With regard to clothing and what a woman wears in front of other women, it is prescribed for her to cover everything from the palm of the hand to the heel of the foot, but if a woman needs to pull up her dress in order to do some work etc., she may pull it up to her knees, and if she needs to roll up her sleeves to the upper arms she may do that too, if she only does it as much as is necessary. But if this is the way she usually dresses, then that is not allowed. The hadeeth does not indicate this under any circumstances at all, hence it addresses the one who is looking, not the one who is looked at. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not referring to how women should dress; all he was referring to was the ‘awrah. He did not say that women’s dress may cover only the area between the navel and the knee, as these women mistakenly think.

With regard to mahrams other than the husband, they may see as much as another woman may see, i.e., it is permissible for a woman to uncover in front of a mahram what she uncovers in front of other women, so she may uncover her head, neck, feet, hands, forearms, calves, etc, but she should not wear short and revealing clothes.

Source: From the Fatwas of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen for al-Daw’ah magazine, issue # 1765, page 55.


The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas issued a statement on this matter, which reads as follows:

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.

sistershelpThe believing women at the beginning of Islam were extremely pure, chaste, and modest, which was the blessing of belief in Allaah and His Messenger and following the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Women at that time used to wear concealing garments, and it is not known that they used to uncover themselves when they met one another or when they met their mahrams (other than the husband). The women of this ummah followed this mode of behaviour – praise be to Allaah – generation after generation until recently, when corruption and impropriety entered the way women dress and behave for many reasons, which we do not have room to discuss here.

Because of the large number of questions that have been sent to the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas about women looking at women, and what women should wear, the Committee is telling all Muslim women that women are obliged to have an attitude of modesty, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described as being part of faith and one of the branches of faith. One aspect of the modesty which is enjoined by Islaam and by custom is that women should cover themselves, be modest and adopt an attitude and conduct that will keep her far away from falling into fitnah (temptation) and doubtful situations.

The Qur’aan clearly indicates that a woman should not show to other women anything other than that which she shows to her mahrams (other than her husband), that which she customarily uncovers in her own home and when doing housework, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“…and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam)…” [al-Noor 24:31]

If this is the text of the Qur’aan and this is what is indicated by the Sunnah, then this is what the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah used to do, and the women of the ummah who followed them in truth until the present day. What was usually uncovered in front of the people mentioned in this verse is what women usually uncover when they are at home and when doing housework, which is difficult to avoid, such as uncovering the head, hands, neck and feet.

With regard to going to extremes in uncovering, there is no evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah that this is permissible. This is also the way that leads to a woman tempting or being tempted by other women, which happens among them. It also sets a bad example to other women, as well as being an imitation of kaafir women, prostitutes and immoral women in the way they dress. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood) In Saheeh Muslim (2077) it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw him wearing two garments dyed with safflower, and he said, “These are from the clothing of the kuffaar – do not wear them.”

It is also narrated in Saheeh Muslim (2128) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: people with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, misguided and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”

The meaning of the phrase “clothed yet naked” is that the woman is wearing clothes that do not cover her, so she is clothed, but in fact she is naked, such as when she wears a thin dress that shows the colour of her skin, or a dress that shows the outline of her body, or a short dress that does not cover part of her limbs.

So what Muslim women have to do is to adhere to the guidance followed by the Mothers of the Believers (the Prophet’s wives) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and the women of this ummah who followed them in truth, and strive to cover themselves and be modest. This is farthest removed from the causes of fitnah and will protect them from the things that lead to provocation of desires and falling into immorality.

Muslim women must also beware of falling into that which Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden of imitating kaafir women and prostitutes, in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and in the hope of attaining the reward of Allaah, and for fear of His punishment.

Every Muslim must also fear Allaah with regard to the women who are under his care, and not let them wear things that Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden, such as provocative clothes, or clothes that are revealing or tempting. He should remember that he is a shepherd and will be responsible for his flock on the Day of Resurrection.

We ask Allaah to set the Muslims’ affairs straight, and to guide us all to the straight path, for He is All-Hearing, Ever-Near and Ever Responsive.

May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

Source: Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 17/290.


Shyness or modesty is a branch of faith

53652-golf-course-sunset-wallpaper 531x331It 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 (SAW) 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 (RA) 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)

jilbaab1555These words of’ Aishah are supported by the words of the Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah (RA) who said: Umm Sulaym came to the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) 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 (SAW) 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 (Haya’) in Islaam.”

Once this is understood, you will clearly see that those who say, “There is no shyness {Haya’) in Islam” 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 questions or indulge in arguments.


tree.h1The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “… If you do not have shyness, then do as you please.” [al-Bukhari]

Abu Hatim:

"It only befits the wise one to have haya’ (shyness) because it is the foundation of intellect and the seed of goodness, and abandoning it is the foundation of ignorance and the seed of evil. Haya’ signifies intelligence just like the lack of it signifies ignorance."

Abu al-Ahwas narrates from ‘Abdillah that he said:

“The most painful (worst) trait in a believer is al-fahsh (shamelessness, obscenity etc).”

Abu Hatim: Al-Haya’ (shyness) is a name which gathers the meaning of ‘keeping away from disliked characteristics/mannerisms’. And haya’ is of two types:

• Haya’ which the servant has of Allah jalla wa ‘ala, concerning matters which He has cautioned against.

• Haya’ of the creation in not delving into matters which they dislike of speech and deeds.

Both types of haya’ are praiseworthy but one of them is fardh (compulsory) whilst the other is fadhl (virtuous). Adhering to haya’ by keeping away from what Allah has prohibited is fardh and adhering to haya’ by keeping away from what the people dislike is fadhl.

Muhammad ibn Khalaf al-Taymi said, ‘A man from Khuza’ah recited to me (the poem):

If you do not fear the outcome of nights

And you are not shy, then do as you please

By Allah, there is no good in life

And no good in the world if haya’ is absent

A person lives in goodness so long as he is bashful

For the ‘oud fragrance remains so long as its bark remains

Al-Zuhri narrates that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radhiallahu ‘anhu) said in his khutbah one day:

“O People! Be shy of Allah, for I swear by Allah, since I gave my pledge to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), I have not gone out to the bathroom except with my head lowered out of shyness to Allah.”

The poet said it best when he said:

Perhaps there’s some evil act

And nothing prevents me from it except my haya’

So it becomes a cure against it

But if there is no haya’, then there is no cure

Zayd ibn Thabit (radhiallahu `anhu):

“Whoever does not have haya’ (shyness) from the people, cannot have haya’ (shyness) from Allah.”

Abu Hatim:

"If a person’s haya’ is strengthened, his honour becomes fortified, his bad deeds become buried and his goodness becomes widespread. But when a person’s haya’ goes away, his very happiness goes away. And if his happiness leaves him, he becomes belittled in front of the people and is detested. And whoever is detested, is harmed (by people), and whoever is harmed becomes afflicted by sadness, and whoever is saddened, loses his mind and intellect, and whoever is afflicted in his mind and intellect, then most of what he says goes against him and is not for him. There is no therapy for the one without haya’ and there is no haya’ for the one who does not have wafa’ (fulfilment of word), and there is no wafa’ for the one who does not enjoin brotherhood (and keep friends). Whoever has little (or no) haya’, then he ends up doing whatever he wants and saying whatever he likes."


candle78In today's world, a lot of young people are afflicted by a serious illness that is even more deadly than any virus or bacteria. It is an illness that affects the heart and will cause its death, if not treated.

This illness is none other than love before marriage, and it is with great sadness that a lot of youth fail to realize that in reality there is no such thing as "true" love before marriage, yes, there might be crushes, infatuations and the likes, but true love? No.

Some people might argue and say, how can you make such a bold statement? To that I reply, love is what creates happiness not sorrow, love is what gives you a peace of mind not worry and anguish but most importantly, love is that which brings you closer to Allaah the Most High, not that which will push you further away from Him and acquire His wrath.

Yet there are a few brothers and sisters, who truly love Allaah, only to find their hearts crippled by this disease, they have apparently fallen in "love" with the opposite gender (before marriage) and can't seem to stop thinking about them, they lose their appetite, their sleep and become neglectful of life as a whole.

These individuals sometimes regret falling in love and want a way out, they want a cure for this illness, but is there really a cure?

Listen to what Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim has to say:

"And the cure for this deadly illness (i.e. love before marriage) is for the person that is afflicted to realize that this love is only due to his/her own delusions and ignorance.

So upon such a person is to first and foremost strengthen their Tawheed and reliance upon Allaah, and secondly to increase in worship and busy themselves with it, so much so that they do not have any spare time letting their minds wander and think about their beloved.

And they should call upon Allaah to protect them and save them from this evil, just as Prophet Yusuf called upon Allaah and he was saved. And they should do as he did, be as he was, in terms of ikhlaas (sincerity) and remembering Allaah in abundance.

This is because if the heart is filled with ikhlaas for the sake of Allaah, there will be no space left for any unlawful love to be present, rather this only happens to a heart that is empty and has no ikhlaas whatsoever.

And let such people remind themselves that whatever Allaah has decreed for them is only in their own best interests, and when Allaah commands something it is never to cause harm or misery to His slaves.

And let them also remind themselves that their unlawful love does not benefit them, neither in this world or the hereafter! As for this world then they will be so preoccupied with their love that it will cripple them and will cause them to live in a fantasy world. And as for the hereafter then it will cause them to be preoccupied with the love of the creation instead of love for the Creator!

These people need to be reminded, that the one who is emerged in something will never see its ill effects, neither will the person who has never experienced such things. The only people who will be able to relate to them are those who have experienced the same thing but have been saved. Such people can look back and realize how evil it is." [ad-Daa' wa ad-Dawaa p. 300]


stopzinaSexual-intercourse between a man and a woman not married to one another is regarded as a great sin in Islaam. There are many verses of the Qur'an and Prophetic statements with regard to this issue and we relate just a few below. Each indicates the seriousness of adultery and makes it crystal clear that there is no room for it being an acceptable behavior in Islaam. Allah says in the Qur'an: "Do not come near to adultery. Verily, it is a faahisha (a great and shameful sin) and an evil way (that leads someone to Hell unless Allah forgives him." (Al-Israa' 17:32)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There is no sin after Shirk (associating partners to Allah) greater in the sight of Allah than a drop of semen which a man places in the womb which is not lawful for him." (Al-Bukhari, Kitabul-Hudood) He also said: "The adultery of the legs is walking (with bad intention towards a woman who is not lawful for a man) and the adultery of the hands is touching and patting (such a woman) and the adultery of the eyes is the passionate glance." (Al-Bukhari).

An incident during the life of our dear Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]

Abu Umamah narrated: A certain young man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of Allah permit me to commit adultery." The Companions were annoyed at this arrogant attitude of his and with no attempt at concealment of their feelings in this behalf, berated him, and demonstrated open disgust for his insolent request.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the young man to come closer and he did so. Then he asked him to take a seat and he obeyed.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then started to ask him: "Would you like such (i.e. adultery) for your mother?" He (the man) replied, "No, by Allah. May Allah sacrifice me for you."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Other people do not like it either for their mothers. Would you then like it for your daughter (i.e. adultery)?" He replied, "No by Allah. May my life be sacrificed for you."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Others too do not like it for their daughters. Would you like if for your sister?"

He replied, "No by Allah. May my life be sacrificed for you." The Prophet said, "Other people do not like it for their sisters. Would you like it for your paternal aunt?"

He replied, "No by Allah. May my life be sacrificed for you." The Prophet said, "Other people dislike it for their paternal aunts. Would you like it for your maternal aunt?"

He replied, "No by Allah. May my life be sacrificed for you."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Others too do not like it for their maternal aunts."

He (the narrator) then said, "He (the Prophet, peace be upon him) then put his hand on the man's chest and said, "Oh Allah forgive his sin, cleanse his heart, and make chaste his private parts."

Thereafter the young man never even looked at anything (prohibited by Allah) [and nothing was more hateful to him than Adultery]. (Ahmad).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, "Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third." (Al-Tirmidhi 3118)

"When a slave (of Allah) commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer at the time of committing it." (Saheeh Bukhaari)

We pray that Allah Ta'ala protects us all from this horrendous sin. Aameen.


stillnessofnight88What follows are some of the results of a study on mixing undertaken by some Muslim social science researchers.

When we put the following question: 'What is the Islamic ruling on mixing as far as you know?' The results were as follows:

  • 76% of respondents said “It is not permitted.”
  • 12% said, “It is permitted” – but moral, religious, etc. restrictions apply…
  • 12% said, “I don’t know.”

Question: 'If you had the choice between working in a mixed workplace and working in another where there was no mixing, which would you choose?'

The responses to this question were as follows:

  • 76% would choose the workplace where there was no mixing.
  • 9% preferred the mixed workplace.
  • 15% would accept any workplace which suited their specialties, regardless of whether it was mixed or not.

Very embarrassing

Question: 'Have any embarrassing situations ever happened to you because of mixing?'

Among the embarrassing moments mentioned by respondents in this study were the following:

Short True Stories (1)

  • I was at work one day, and I went into one department where one of my female colleagues who wears hijaab had taken off her hijaab in front of her female colleagues. My entrance took her by surprise and I was very embarrassed as a result.
  • I had to do an experiment in the lab at university, but I was absent on the day of the experiment. I had to go to the lab on the following day, and I found myself the only male among a group of female students, in addition to a female teacher and a female lab technician. I was very embarrassed and felt very awkward with all those female eyes glaring at me.
  • I was trying to take a feminine towel out of one of the drawers when I was surprised by a male colleague standing behind me, who wanted to take something from his own private drawer. He noticed that I was embarrassed and he left the room quickly to avoid my embarrassment.
  • It so happened that one of the girls at the university bumped into me when turning a corner in a crowded corridor. She was walking quickly, going to one of the lectures. As a result of this collision, she lost her balance, and I caught her in my arms, as if I was embracing her. You can imagine how embarrassed I and this girl felt in front of a group of careless young people.
  • One of my female colleagues fell on the stairs in the university and her clothes fell open in an extremely embarrassing fashion. She landed upside down and could not help herself; the young men standing nearby had no option but to cover her and help her to get up.
  • I work in a company and I went in to give some papers to my boss. When I was going out, my boss called me back. I turned around and saw him with his face turned away. I was waiting for him to ask me for a file or for more papers, and I was surprised by his hesitancy. I turned away to the left side of his office, pretending to be busy with something, and he spoke to me at the same time. I thought that this boss would say anything except what he actually said, which was to point out that my garment was stained with menstrual blood. Can the earth open up and swallow a human being at the moment of making sincere supplication? For I prayed that the earth would open up and swallow me.

A True Story (2)

Umm Muhammad, a mature woman over the age of 40, tells her story.

I lived a life of modest means with my husband. There was never any closeness and harmony, and my husband did not have the kind of strong personality that a woman would hope for, but his good nature made me overlook the fact that I was the one who was responsible for most of the decision making in the family.

My husband often used to mention the name of his friend and business partner, and he would talk about him in my presence, and I often used to meet with him in his office which was originally part of our apartment. This went on for many years, until circumstances led to us exchanging visits with this person and his family. These family visits were repeated and because of his close friendship with my husband, we did not notice how the number of visits increased and how many hours a single visit would last. He often used to come on his own to sit with us, me and my husband, for long visits. My husband’s trust in him knew no bounds, and as days passed I got to know this person very well, and saw how wonderful and decent he was. I began to feel a strong attraction towards this man, and at the same time I began to sense that the feeling was mutual.

Things took a strange turn after that, when I realized that this man was the kind of person I had always dreamed about. Why had he come along now, after all these years? The more this man’s status increased in my eyes, the more my husband’s status diminished. It was as if I had needed to see the beauty of his character in order to discover how ugly my husband’s character was.

The matter between this person and myself did not go beyond these persistent thoughts which were occupying my mind night and day. Neither he nor I ever voiced what we felt in our hearts… until today. Yet despite that my life is over and my husband is little more than a weak man with no self-esteem. I hate him and I do not know how all this hatred towards him started to boil over. I wonder how I put up with him all these years, bearing all these burdens by myself, facing life’s problems on my own.

Things got so bad that I asked him for a divorce, and he divorced me at my request. After that he became a broken man. Even worse than that is that after my marriage was wrecked and my children and husband were devastated, problems arose in this man's family. His wife, with her feminine intuition, realized what had been going on in his heart of hearts, and his life became hell. She was overwhelmed with jealousy to the extent that one night she left her house at 2 a.m. and came to attack my house, screaming, weeping and hurling accusations. His marriage was also about to collapse.

I admit that the lovely gatherings which we used to enjoy gave us the opportunity to get to know one another at a time that was not appropriate at this stage in our lives.

His marriage has been wrecked and so has mine. I have lost everything, and now I know that my circumstances and his will not permit us to take any positive step towards coming together. Now I am more miserable than I have ever been, and I am looking for illusionary happiness and lost hopes.

A True Story (3)

Umm Ahmad tells us:

My husband had a group of married friends, and because of our close friendship with them, we used to get together with them once a week in one of our houses, to enjoy an evening of chat.

Deep down in my heart I was never really comfortable with the atmosphere in which we would have dinner, sweets, snacks and drinks of juice accompanied by waves of laughter because of the jokes and chit-chats that often went beyond the bounds of good manners.

In the name of friendship, the barriers were lifted and every now and then one would hear suppressed laughter between a woman and the husband of another woman. The jokes were too much, dealing – with no sense of shyness –with sensitive topics such as sex and women’s private matters. This was usual and was even accepted and regarded as desirable.

Although I indulged in these things along with them, my conscience made me feel guilty. Then the day came when it became quite clear just how ugly and filthy this atmosphere was.

The telephone rang, and I heard the voice of one of the friends in this group. I said hello to him and apologized that my husband was not home. He replied that he knew that, and that he was calling to speak to me! After he suggested starting a relationship with me, I got very angry and spoke harshly to him and cursed him. All he could do was laugh and say, “Don’t try and show these good manners to me; go and check on your husband’s good manners and see what he is doing…” I was devastated by what he said, but I pulled myself together and said to myself, this person is only trying to cause the break up of your marriage. But he succeeded in planting the seeds of doubt concerning my husband.

Shortly after that, the major disaster struck. I discovered that my husband was cheating on me with another woman. It was the matter of life or death as far as I was concerned. I found my husband out and I confronted him, saying: “You are not the only one who can have a relationship. I have received a similar proposition.” And I told him all about his friend. He was stunned and absolutely shocked. (I said:) “If you want me to respond in kind to your relationship with that woman, then this is for that, tit-for-tat.” This was a huge slap in the face for him. He knew that I did not intend to do that in reality, but he realized the great disaster that had befallen our lives and the immoral atmosphere in which we were living. I suffered a great deal until my husband finally left that loose woman with whom he was having a relationship, as he admitted to me. Yes, he left her and came back to his family and children, but how can I ever feel the same towards him as I used to? Who will restore respect for him in my heart? This huge wound in my heart is still bleeding out of regret and rage at that filthy atmosphere; it still bears testimony to the fact that what they call innocent get-togethers are in reality anything but innocent. My heart still begs for mercy from the Lord of Glory.

A True Story (4)

‘Abd al-Fattaah says:

I work as the head of department in one of the big companies. For a long time I admired one of my female colleagues, not for her beauty, but for her serious attitude towards her work, her intelligence and her excellent achievements – in addition to the fact that she was a decent and modest person who focused only on her work. This admiration turned into attachment, and I am a married man who fears Allaah and never misses any obligatory prayer. I expressed my feelings to her and she rebuffed me. She is married and has children as well. She sees no reason why I should have any kind of relationship with her, whether it be friendship, as work colleagues or based on admiration… etc. Evil thoughts come to me sometimes, and deep down I wish that her husband would divorce her so that I could get her.

I started to put pressure on her at work and put her down in front of my bosses. Perhaps this was a form of revenge on my part, but she accepted it with good manners and did not complain or comment. She works and works; her performance speaks of her quality, and she knows this well. The more she resisted me, the stronger my infatuation grew.

I am not a person who is easily tempted by women, because I fear Allaah and I do not overstep the mark with them and go beyond what is required by my work. But this woman attracted me. What is the solution?… I do not know.

A True Story (5)

N.A.A., a nineteen-year-old girl, tells us:

At that time I was a little girl. My innocent eyes watched those evening get-togethers when family friends would meet in the house. What I remember is that I could only see one man, who was my father. I watched him as he moved about the room, how his glances would devour the women present, looking at their thighs and chests, admiring this one’s eyes, that one’s hair, the other’s hips. My poor mother had no choice but to take care of these get-togethers. She was a very simple lady.

Among the women present there was one woman who would deliberately try to attract my father’s attention, sometimes by coming close to him, and sometimes by making enticing movements. I would watch this with concern, whilst my mother was busy in the kitchen for the sake of her guests.

These gatherings stopped suddenly and I tried, young as I was, to understand and make sense of what had happened, but I could not.

What I remember was that my mother collapsed completely at that time, and she could not stand to hear my father’s name mentioned in the house. I used to hear mysterious words whispered by the adults around me: “Betrayal… bedroom… she saw them with her own eyes… despicable woman… in a very shameful position…” etc. These were the key words which only the adults could understand.

I grew up and came to understand, and I bore a grudge against all men. All of them were treacherous. My mother was a broken woman and accused every woman who came to us of being a man-snatcher who wanted to make my father fall into her trap. My father hasn’t changed. He is still practising his favourite hobby of chasing women, but now he does it outside the home. Now I am nineteen years old and I know lots of young men. I feel great pleasure in taking revenge on them, because every one of them is an exact copy of my father. I tempt them and entice them, without letting them get anywhere near me. They follow me in gatherings and in the marketplaces because of my movements and deliberate gestures. Sometimes my phone never stops ringing and I feel proud of what I do to avenge the sex of Hawwa’ and my mother. But sometimes I feel so miserable and such a failure that it almost chokes me. My life is shadowed by a huge dark cloud, and its name is my father.

A True Story (6)

S.N.A. tells of her experience:

I never imagined that my work circumstances would force me to be in contact with the opposite sex (men), but this in fact is what happened…

In the beginning, I used to cover and screen myself from men by wearing niqaab (face-veil), but some of the sisters advised me that this dress was attracting more attention to my presence, and it would be better for me to take off the niqaab, especially since my eyes were somewhat attractive. So I removed the cover from my face, thinking that this was better. But by continuing to mix with my colleagues, I discovered that I was the odd one out because of my antisocial attitude and my insistence on not joining in the conversation and chatting with others. Everyone was wary of this “lone-wolf” woman (as they saw me), and this is what was stated clearly by one person who affirmed that he would not want to deal with such a snooty and stand-offish character. But I knew that I was the opposite, in fact, and I decided that I would not oppress myself and put myself in a difficult position with my colleagues. So I started to join in their chats and exchanges of anecdotes, and they all discovered that I could speak eloquently and persuasively, and that I could influence others. I could also speak in a manner that was determined yet at the same time was attractive to some of my colleagues. It was not long before I noticed some changes in the expression of my direct supervisor; with some embarrassment, he was enjoying the way I spoke and moved, and he would deliberately bring up topics in the conversation where I would see that hateful look in his eyes. I do not deny the fact that I started to entertain some thoughts about this man. I found it astonishing that a man could fall so easily into the trap of a woman who was religiously committed, so how must it be in the case of women who adorn themselves and invite men to commit immoral actions? In fact, I did not think of him in any way which went beyond the bounds of sharee’ah, but he did occupy a space in my thoughts for quite some time. But soon my self-respect made me reject the idea of being a source of enjoyment for this man in any way, shape or form, even if it was only psychological in nature, and I stopped getting involved in any kind of work that would force me to sit alone with him. In the end, I reached the following conclusions:

1- Attraction between the sexes can occur in any circumstances, no matter how much men and women may deny that. The attraction may start within the bounds of sharee’ah and end up going beyond those bounds.

Even if a person protects himself (by marriage), he is not safe from the snares of the Shaytaan.

3- Even though a person may be able to guarantee himself and he works with the opposite sex within reasonable limits, he cannot guarantee the feelings of the other party.

Finally, there is nothing good in mixing and it does not bear fruit as they claim. On the contrary, it corrupts sound thinking.

What now?

We may ask, what comes next, after this discussion on the matter of mixing?

It’s about time for us to recognize that no matter how we try to beautify the issue of mixing and take the matter lightly, its consequences are bound to catch up with us, and the harm it causes will have disastrous results for our families. Sound common sense refuses to accept that mixing is a healthy atmosphere for human relations. This is the sound common sense which made most of the people included in this survey (76%) prefer working in a non-mixed environment. The same percentage (76%) said that mixing is not permitted according to the sharee’ah. What makes us sit up and take notice is not this honourable percentage – which indicates the purity of our Islamic society and the cleanness of its members’ hearts – but the small number who said that mixing is permitted; they number 12%. This group, with no exceptions, said that mixing is permitted but within the limits set by religion, custom (‘urf), traditions, good manners, conscience, modesty, covering and other worthy values which, in their opinion, keep mixing within proper limits.

We ask them: Is the mixing which we see nowadays in our universities, market-places, work-places and family and social gatherings, taking place within the limits referred to above? Or are these places filled with transgressions in terms of clothing, speech, interactions and behaviour? We see wanton displays of adornment (tabarruj), not proper covering; we see fitnah (temptations) and dubious relationships, with no good manners and no conscience and no covering. We can conclude that the kind of mixing that is happening nowadays is unacceptable even to those who approve of mixing in a clean atmosphere.

It’s about time for us to recognize that mixing provides a fertile breeding-ground for social poisons to invade and take over our society without anyone ever realizing that it is mixing which is the cause. Mixing is the prime element in this silent fitnah, in the shade of which betrayals erupt, homes are wrecked and hearts are broken.

We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and to reform our society. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Related Article:


turqoiuseflowerglowingThe meeting together, mixing, and intermingling of men and women in one place, the crowding of them together, and the revealing and exposure of women to men are prohibited by the Law of Islam (Shari'ah). These acts are prohibited because they are among the causes for fitnah (temptation or trial which implies evil consequences), the arousing of desires, and the committing of indecency and wrongdoing.

Among the many proofs of prohibition of the meeting and mixing of men and women in the Qur’aan and Sunnah are:

Verse No. 53 of Surat al-Ahzab, or the Confederates (Interpretation of the meaning); "...for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs..."

In explaining this Verse, Ibn Kathir (May Allaah have mercy on him) said:

"Meaning, as I forbade you to enter their rooms, I forbid you to look at them at all. If one wants to take something from a woman, one should do so without looking at her. If one wants to ask a woman for something, the same has to be done from behind a screen."

The Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) enforced separation of men and women even at Allaah’s most revered and preferred place, the mosque. This was accomplished via the separation of the women’s rows from the men’s; men were asked to stay in the mosque after completion of the obligatory prayer so that women will have enough time to leave the mosque; and, a special door was assigned to women. Evidence of the foregoing are:

Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said that after Allah’s Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) said "as-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah’ twice announcing the end of prayer, women would stand up and leave. He would stay for a while before leaving. Ibn Shihab said that he thought that the staying of the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) was in order for the women to be able to leave before the men who wanted to depart. (Narrated by al-Bukhari under No. 793).

Abu Dawood under No. 876 narrates the same hadith in Kitab al-Salaat under the title "Insiraaf an-Nisaa’ Qabl al-Rijaal min al-Salaah" (Departure of Women before Men after the Prayer). Ibn ‘Umar said that Allah’s Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: "We should leave this door (of the mosque) for women." Naafi’ said:

"Ibn ‘Umar never again entered through that door until he died."

(Narrated by Abu Dawood under No. 484 in "Kitab as-Salah" under the Chapter entitled: "at-Tashdid fi Thalik".)

Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: ""The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first." (Narrated by Muslim under No. 664)

This is the greatest evidence that the Law of Islam (Shari'ah) forbids meeting and mixing of men and women. The further the men are from the women’s rows, the better, and vice versa.


If these procedures and precautions were prescribed and adhered to in a Masjid, which is a pure place of worship where people are as far away as they ever are from the arousal of desire and temptation, then no doubt the same procedures need to be followed even more rigorously at other places.

Abu Usayd al-Ansari narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) say to the women on his way out of the mosque when he saw men and women mixing together on their way home: ‘Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle the road.’ Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it. (Narrated by Abu Dawood in "Kitab al-Adab min Sunanihi, Chapter: Mashyu an-Nisa Ma’ ar-Rijal fi at-Tariq.")

We know that the intermingling, mixing and crowding together of men and women is part of today’s unavoidable yet regrettable affliction in most places, such as markets, hospitals, colleges, etc., but:

  • We will not willfully choose or accept mixing and crowding, particularly in religious classes and council meetings in Islamic Centers.
  • We take precautions to avoid meeting and mixing of men and women as much as possible while at the same time achieving desired goals and objectives. This result can be achieved by designating separate places assigned for men and women, using different doors for each, utilizing modern means of communication such as microphones, video recorders etc., and expediting efforts to have enough female teachers to teach women, etc.
  • We show fear of Allaah as much as we can by not looking at members of the opposite sex and by applying self-restraint.


houseonfireNote: This is not meant to be a generalization about Muslim women, if it applies to you then take benefit, if it does not then use it to assist others who it might apply to, but do not take offence as that is not my intention. I debated with myself for many months on whether to write about this topic or not. It is a controversial issue and many people might misunderstand the article. Nonetheless, recent developments in the lives of some Shuyookh that I know personally made me realize the importance of writing about this topic.

When I first began studying Islam and getting involved in Islamic work, one of the major motivators for me was that this field would keep me away from the fitnah of the opposite gender. For every young man and woman, one of the greatest trials we face is dealing with members of the opposite gender without falling into sin. Originally, and it was naive of me, I thought Islamic work would put me in a position in which I would not have to deal with these situations. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

There is a trend among contemporary, practicing Muslims which I find rather disturbing, this trend is what I call a “Shaykhy Crush”. I have noticed at many Islamic events, from classes to conferences, practicing Muslim women who follow the Deen in dress and Ibadah, developing crushes and falling in love with the speakers and teachers. This has led to many dangerous scenarios.

The following are a few real life examples I have encountered:

1) At an Islamic course, some sisters were discussing how handsome the Shaykh is. When an elderly sister told them not to talk about him like that as he is married, they responded,

“So what? We can still marry him,” and continued their discussion.

2) At an Islamic conference, many sisters were not discussing the content of the lectures but how beautiful the Imam sounded with his gorgeous French accent, or how “handsome and sweet” the another Shaykh’s smile was.

"It melts my heart” were words I heard.

3) Recently, a Shaykh took a second wife, this triggered a discussion online between sisters who admitted they were “going gaga” over him and wished they were his second wife.

4) A sister recently told a Shaykh that she is no longer satisfied with her husband as she is only attracted to students of knowledge now. A married sister told her teacher that she is unsatisfied with her husband and had a dream that she was married to him.

5) A Shaykh deleted his Facebook account because married women on Facebook were claiming to have fallen in love with him.

These are just few of many such incidents that I have encountered in this field. As to what is the cause of this, Allah knows best. Perhaps some of our sisters can shed some light on this for us in the comments section. It could be that studying Islam has been glamorized and students of knowledge are treated like celebrities or it could be that some Shuyookh unintentionally do things that attract women. Many times these feelings may be natural as Muslim women may see an ideal man in a married teacher of knowledge but acting upon this feelings is unwise. Furthermore, social engineering promoted by sites like Facebook makes behavior, like comments, that would never be acceptable face to face, seem normal. We have to remember that there is still a human behind that ‘wall’, with a family. I do not know the exact causes but this is definitely a growing problem in Western countries.

The problems that arise from this situation are multiple; here are some of the major issues:

1) Corruption of a student of knowledge’s intentions. We, students, are human and love women just as much as the next man (I’m going to get in trouble for saying that), so when we are trying to teach Islam and keep ourselves and our thoughts chaste, the female fans don’t make it easy for us. I noticed many students of knowledge starting to dress smarter and act differently when they realize they have the attention of the single sisters and there is a major chance that this can affect their intention of teaching for the sake of Allah.

2) Too many single sisters want to marry a Shaykh, and some begin to consider polygamy. The problem here is that the Shaykh might not be interested in such a relationship, and in an extreme case or two, a Shaykh rejecting such a notion has led to jealousy and harassment of the Shaykh and his wife.

3) Married sisters begin to develop crushes on their teachers and start to compare their husbands to the teacher, which leads to dissatisfaction in their marriage and eventually marital conflicts.

4) Sometimes the Shaykh and his wife have a happy marital life until a sister (or two) ask him if he wants a second wife, without considering his current wife’s feelings. This can cause problems between the Shaykh and his wife, as well as jealousy and could lead to the breakdown of a once-happy marriage.

5) There is always the potential danger of Zina, even with students of knowledge especially if the attraction is mutual.

These are just some of the negative consequences of this trend. I would like to conclude with some advice for both the sisters and the Shaykhs.

Advice to sisters who are seeking knowledge:

1) Lower your gaze: Remember that he is your teacher, a man of Islamic knowledge and a married man too. So look at him with respect, not desire.

2) Purify your intentions: When attending a lecture, make a sincere intention to learn and benefit from the teacher for the sake of Allah, and do not attend just because Shaykh Yusuf is teaching and you love the sound of his voice. I do not want to discourage any sister from seeking knowledge, just gently reminding them of Shaytan’s plot.

3) Walk in her shoes: Think about his wife and her feelings and do not say or do anything that could cause a problem in their marriage.

4) Choose a husband realistically:Not every woman can marry a Shaykh, so focus on finding a good Muslim man who will care for you and do not compare him to the Shuyookh. Find a good guy and thank Allah for allowing you to marry him and appreciate his efforts to please you.

5) Modesty is key: Remember that talking about how handsome the Shaykh is against haya and not befitting students of knowledge to discuss their teacher in such a manner with each other.

Advice to young Shuyookh in dealing with this Fitnah:

1) Lower Your Gaze: Do not look at the sisters in the audience too much. Focus your gaze on the men in your audience. If there is a sister who attracts you or you know is attracted to you, do not look at her at all (without being rude or disrespectful).

2) Purify Your Intention: Always remember that you are teaching for the sake of Allah and not to attract a female fan club so behave appropriately and modestly.

3) Avoid any unnecessary interaction with women. Do not keep single sisters on your instant messenger contact list, or talk to them for hours on the phone, and if they catch you in the hallway to ask a question, keep it brief, polite and to the point.

4) Think about your wife: Anytime you are attracted to a student of yours, think about your wife and everything she does for you. Think about her sacrifices and this will fill you with guilt for even feeling such attraction to another woman.

5) Dress up better for your wife than others: It should not be such that whenever you go out to teach a class, you are dressed in your best thowb with your best Itr, while at home you do not bother looking (or smelling good) for your wife. Remember the example of Ibn Abbas and deal with your wife accordingly.

6) Get married: If you are serious about polygamy, do it the right way so that people do not gossip or spread rumors about you and you avoid breaking any sister’s heart.

I hope these tips help us all to remain firm on the straight path. Remember the devils spend more time trying to mislead those who are walking the righteous path and so we need to be careful of these pitfalls of Shaytaan in which he tries to use our good deeds (teaching, studying) to lead us to commit sins.

Anything good I have said is from Allah, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of fitnah.


niqab788Allâh, the Exalted said, “Say to the believing men that they should lower their sight and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allâh is well acquainted with all that they do.” [an-Nûr (24):30]

So Allâh made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the sight and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowering one’s sight from (seeing) the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.

THE FIRST: Experiencing The Delight And Sweetness Of Faith

This delight and sweetness is far greater and more desirable that which might have been attained from the object that one lowered his sight from for the sake of Allâh. Indeed, “Whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allâh then Allâh, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it.”[1]

The soul is a temptress and loves to look at beautiful forms and the eye is the guide of the heart. The heart commissions its guide to go and look to see what is there and when the eye informs it of a beautiful image it shudders out of love and desire for it. Frequently such inter-relations tire and wear down both the heart and the eye as is said:

When you sent your eye as a guide

For your heart one day, the object of sight fatigued you

For you saw one over whom you had no power

Neither a portion or in totality, instead you had to be patient.

Therefore when the sight is prevented from looking and investigating the heart finds relief from having to go through the arduous task of (vainly) seeking and desiring.

Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabâbah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharâmah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (‘ishq) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this is a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allâh i.e. he worshipped Allâh.

Hence the heart begins to worship that which is not correct for it to worship and the reason behind all of this was an illegal glance. The heart is now bound in chains whereas before it used to be the master, it is now imprisoned whereas before it was free. It has been oppressed by the eye and it complains to it upon which the eye replies: I am your guide and messenger and it was you who sent me in the first place!

All that has been mentioned applies to the heart that has relinquished the love of Allâh and being sincere to Him for indeed the heart must have an object of love that it devotes itself to. Therefore when the heart does not love Allâh Alone and does not take Him as its God then it must worship something else.

Allâh said concerning Yûsuf as-Siddîq (AS), “Thus (did We order) so that We might turn away from him all evil and indecent actions for he was one of Our sincere servants.” [Yûsuf (12):24]

It was because the wife of al-‘Azîz was a polytheist that (the passionate love) entered her heart despite her being married. It was because Yûsuf (AS) was sincere to Allâh that he was saved from it despite his being a young man, unmarried and a servant.

THE SECOND: The Illumination Of The Heart, Clear Perception And Penetrating Insight

Ibn Shujâ' Al-Kirmânî said,

“Whosoever builds his outward form upon following the Sunnah, his internal form upon perpetual contemplation and awareness of Allâh, he restrains his soul from following desires, he lowers his gaze from the forbidden things and he always eats the lawful things then his perception and insight shall never be wrong.”

Allâh mentioned the people of Lût and what they were afflicted with and then He went on to say, “Indeed in this are signs for the Mutawassimîn.” [al-Hijr (15):75]

The Mutwassimîn are those who have clear perception and penetrating insight, those who are secure from looking at the unlawful and performing indecent acts.

Allâh said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the sight, “Allâh is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” [an-Nûr (24):35]

The reason behind this is that the reward is of the same type as the action. So whosoever lowers his sight from the unlawful for the sake of Allâh, the Mighty and Magnificent, He will replace it with something better than it of the same type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling upon the unlawful, Allâh blesses the light of his sight and heart thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had he not lowered his sight.

This is a matter that the person can physically sense in himself for the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleaned of the rust then it will reflect the realities (haqâ‘iq) as they actually are. However if it remains rusty then it will not reflect properly and therefore its knowledge and speech will arise from conjecture and doubt. (Related article: The Station of Firaasah)

THE THIRD: The Heart Becoming Strong, Firm And Courageous

Allâh will give it the might of aid for its strength just as He gave it the might of clear proofs for its light. Hence the heart shall combine both of these factors and as a result, Shaytân shall flee from it. Someone said,

“Whosoever opposes his base desires, the Shaytân shall flee in terror from his shade.”[2]

This is why the one who follows his base desires shall find in himself the ignominy of the soul, its being weak, feeble and contemptible. Indeed Allâh places nobility for the one who obeys Him and disgrace for the one who disobeys Him,

“So do not lose heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith.” [Äli Imrân (3):139]

“If any do seek for nobility and power then to Allâh belongs all nobility and power.” [Fâtir (35):10]

Meaning that whosoever seeks after disobedience and sin then Allâh, the Might and Magnificent, will humiliate the one who disobeys Him.

Some of the salaf said,

“The people seek nobility and power at the door of the Kings and they will not find it except through the obedience of Allâh.”

This is because the one who obeys Allâh has taken Allâh as his friend and protector and Allâh will never humiliate the one who takes his Lord as friend and patron. In the Du‘â Qunût their occurs,

“The one who You take as a friend is not humiliated and the one who You take as an enemy is not ennobled.”[3]



[1] Reported by Ahmad [5/363], al-Marwazî in ‘Zawâ`id az-Zuhd’ [no. 412], an-Nasâ`î in ‘al-Kubrâ’ as mentioned in ‘Tuhfah al-Ashrâf’ [11/199] from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allâh said, “indeed you will not leave anything for the sake of Allâh except that Allâh will replace it with something better than it.” The isnâd is sahîh.
[2] This is not established as a hadîth of the Prophet .
[3] Reported by Abû Dâwûd [Eng. Trans. 1/374 no. 1420], an-Nasâ`î [3/248], at-Tirmidhî [no. 464], ibn Mâjah [no. 1178], ad-Dârimî [1/311], Ahmad [1/199], ibn Khuzaymah [2/151] from al Hasan from Alî (RA). The hadîth is sahîh. The isnâd has been criticised by many, however none of the criticisms hold. Refer to: ‘Nasb ar-Râyah’ [2/125] and ‘Talkhîs al-Habîr’ [1/247]

polynesian-sun-setFiraasah is a sense of visual acumen, perception and insight. Allah says, "Surely! In this are the signs for the mutawassimeen." [15:75]

And with the regard to the meaning of mutawassimeen, here is what some of the great interpreters of the Qur'an said about it: Mujahid said it is "those who have visual acuity". Ibn Abbas said that it means "those who watch closely". Qatadah said that it means "those who learn the lessons". And Muqatel said that it means "those who reflect". There is no contradiction or apparent incompatibility amongst these interpretations. For example, one who sees the ruins and houses of those who belied Allah's Messengers would receive insight, admonition and reflection.

Alllah, subhanahu wa ta`ala, says the following with the regards to the hypocrites, "Had He willed, We could have shown them to you and you would have known them by their marks, but surely you will know them by the lahn of the speech!" [47:30]

The first thing mentioned is the firaasah of the eye and watching and the second thing noted is the firaasah of the ear and hearing. The lahn of their speech is namely two varieties. One is proper and the other is wrong.

The proper lahn may mean eloquence as stated in the hadeeth: "And perhaps some of you are more eloquent in their claim than others." (Bukhari and Muslim) Or it may mean an indirect reference or indication. The wrong lahn is the speech that has grammatical mistakes. By using it, people tend to change the meaning to something incorrect or to a hidden meaning which may not have been intended.

The meaning of the verse is that Allah has confirmed to His Prophet, sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, that he would know them from the lahn of their speech. It is more likely that one may know more about the speaker and what is within his mind from his speech and the tone of his voice than from his physical appearance. The words and the tone of voice can tell much more, than the appearance, about the intention of the speaker. Firaasah can be either visual or auditory. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, is reported to have said, "Beware of the firaasah of the believer, for he sees with the light of Allah," then he recited the verse, "Surely! In this are the signs for the mutawassimeen." [15:75] (Tirmidhi) The firaasah of the believer is always truthful.

niqab788The firaasah is a light which Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala, deposits in the heart of His servant. By this light, His servant distinguishes between truth and falsehood and between right and wrong.

The reality of firasah is a sharp thought that enters the heart and dominates its opinion. It overwhelms the heart just as the lion does to its pray, fareesah. Note the similarity between firaasah and fareesah in Arabic. However, in their linguistic forms, fareesah is an object whereas firasah is similar in form to wilaayah (authority and power), imaarah (authority and command) and siyaasah (administration and leadership).

The strength of firaasah is dependent on the strength of faith. A person with stronger faith has sharper firaasah. Amr bin Nujaid said that Shah al-Kermani had sharp firaasah and was never wrong. He also used to say that whoever lowers his gaze away from prohibitions, restrains himself from vain desires, constructs his interior according to muraaqabah (knowledge that Allah is watching over us), his exterior according to the Sunnah, and accustoms himself to eat only halaal, his firaasah will never be wrong.

Ibn Masoud said,

"There are three people with the sharpest firaasah. The Egyptian who bought Yusuf and then said to his wife, 'Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit for us or we shall adopt him as a son.' [12:21]. The other was the daughter of Shuaib, who said to her father with regards to Musa, 'Hire him!' [28:26] And Abu Bakr, for he appointed Omar as his successor."

Another narration includes the wife of Pharaoh who said about Musa, "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.' [28:9]

Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq is considered to be the one with the greatest firasah in the ummah and Umar was the second. The incidents that prove Umar's firasah are numerous, familiar and well-known. He never said with regards to anything, "I think this is so," but it was what he thought. The fact that the Quran approved of his opinions in many incidents is sufficient evidence of his sharp firaasah. One of which was his opinion regarding the redemption of the captives from the Battle of Badr.

Once a man named Sawad Bin Qarib passed by and Umar dind't know him. Umar said,

"This is either a soothsayer or he was so in the days of jahiliyyah."

Upon sitting before Umar, Sawad said, "O commander of the faithful! You never received any of your guests the way you did me." Umar said,

"What we used to do in the days of jahiliyyah is worse than this. But tell me about what I have asked you."

Sawad said, "You were true, O commander of the faithful! I was a soothsayer in the days of jahiliyyah, then he told him the story."

The sahabah, in general, had the most accurate and sharpest firaasah. The true firaasah is obtained from life and from the light Allah grants to whom He wishes from amongst His true servants. The heart receives life and light and then its firaasah will almost never be wrong. Allah says, "Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out?" [6:122]

The verse describes the person as "dead" because of the disbelief in his heart and the life of jahiliyyah or ignorance he was leading, but then Allah gave him life through emaan or faith of knowledge. Upon his acceptance of these gifts, the Qur'an and faith become the light by which he sees his way out of the darkness (of disbelief and ignorance) and onto the straight path.

Firaasah is linked to three human organs: the eye, ear and heart. His eye examines the look and the signs, his ear examines the speech, the over expressions, oblique inferences and hints, content, logic and tone of voice. And his heart analyzes both what is seen and hear to perceive hidden thoughts of others. His analysis and examination of the interior compared to the exterior is like one who examines currency to see if it is counterfeit after examining the outside. It is also similar to Ahlul-Hadeeth (scholars who specialize in the knowledge of the hadeeth), who will read a hadeeth that has a sound isnaad (chain of narrators) but upon examination of the matn (text of the hadeeth), it is found that it is a fabricated hadeeth.

There are two factors in firaasah. One is the quality of one's mind, the sharpness of the heart and the intelligence. The second is the appearance of the signs and indications on others. When both factors are present than one's firaasah may not be wrong. Iyaas bin Mu`awiyah had great firaasah and he was well-known because of it, as was Imaam Shaafi'ee who was also reported to have written about it.


PerfumeEvery committed Muslim woman should avoid anything that might trigger temptation. In public, there is no need for the Muslim woman to wear perfumes whether light or strong ones in order to remove the smell of sweat as such smell can be removed by bathing or washing the places in which sweat is usually found.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a woman wears a perfume and then passes by people who smelled her perfume, she is then considered an adulteress. And every eye is liable to commit adultery.” (This hadith was reported by An-Nasa’i, Ibn Khuzaymah, and Ibn Hibban in their compilations of authentic hadiths. It was also reported by Al-Hakim who regarded it as authentic.)

The same hadith was reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi with the following wording: “Every eye is liable to commit adultery; and the woman who wears perfume and then passes by a gathering is such and such.” (i.e., she is an adulteress).(At-Tirmidhi regarded the same hadith as an authentic hadith. We learn from reported traditions that the best perfume for women is that whose color is apparent and scent is hidden.)

From the above hadiths, describing such a woman as an adulteress means that she is like an adulteress because she wears perfume with the intention of tempting men, which is undoubtedly an abominable behavior. Temptation and seduction are not accomplished unless the used perfume is strong. However, if the perfume is light, so its smell does not spread, and if it is not used with the intention of seduction but rather for removing the smell of sweat, for example, the woman in such case is not like an adulteress because she is not intending seduction.

Nevertheless, I believe that it is disliked at least, for even if the smell of the perfume is light, there is still a risk that men will smell it due to the congestion in streets, markets, and means of transport. Thus, it is more appropriate for the righteous woman to avoid anything that might trigger temptation.

Furthermore, the smell of sweat can be removed by bathing or washing the places in which sweat is usually found [and by wearing deodorant]. It does not need wearing any perfume, because wearing light perfumes might lead to wearing strong ones.

Such prohibition is applicable only in the presence of non-mahram men, whether inside or outside a woman’s house. However, in the presence of mahram men, her husband, or other women, there is no restriction on wearing perfume, due to the absence of temptation in the presence of mahram men, or to please the husband or to avoid being criticized by other women.


Imaam, Aboo Daawood (d.275) collected in his Sunan (#4174) that Aboo Hurayrah encountered a woman who was wearing perfume, and the tail of her garment was dusty. He said,

“O servant of al-Jabbaar! Have you come from the Masjid?”

She said, “Yes.” He said, “And you have perfumed yourself for that purpose (i.e. praying in the masjid)?”

She said, “Yes.” He then said, “I heard my beloved Abul-Qaasim (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) saying:

“The prayer of a woman who wears perfume to go to the masjid is not accepted until she returns and takes a bath, like the bath of janaabah (after sexual intercourse, i.e. a full bath).”

Understanding the Hadeeth:

amazingscene[1] The hadeeth was also collected by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others, with a weak chain because of ‘Aasim ibn ‘Ubaydillaah. However, it is strengthened by another chain found in Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah (1682). The latter chain is also weak, however they strengthen each other and thus the hadeeth is considered authentic, classified as: hasan lighayrihi. Ibn Khuzaymah considered the hadeeth to be authentic. Al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (1031).

[2] The statement, “like the bath of janaabah” specifies that the intention is not to just remove the perfume from the place it was applied, but rather a full bath must be taken.

[3] Some people may misunderstand the hadeeth to be specific to women who go the masjid for prayer, however this is clearly not the case. The mention of the Masjid is not restrictive in this hadeeth, and the ruling applies to women going out anywhere. Since the Masjid is a place where the men have been encouraged to dress well for and wear perfume, then it is not disliked for the smell of the perfume to be in the masjid. So the problem with women wearing perfume to the masjid is the distraction they would create and the potential fitnah that would ensue. This is the ‘illah (reason) for the prohibition. Thus, if this is the ruling for being around the best people, the people who pray in the Masjids, the people whom Allaah has praised in His Book as being those who truly believe in Him and that they are men who are not distracted by trade, then how much more does the prohibition apply to the most evil places, the gathering sites of the wicked (fujjaar), the most despised places on earth to Allaah…!! So it is as if he was using the Masjid as an example of the best case scenario, where one would never imagine someone acting upon his desires and chasing after a woman… so then if it is not allowed to wear perfume in such a place, then what about the places where illicit behavior is very common!

This general application of the hadeeth seems to be what Aboo Daawood understood when he gathered the hadeeth in his Sunan and entitled the chapter: “The Chapter of What has Been Reported About Women Wearing Perfume Outside”

[4] A similar hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (#444) forbids women from attending ‘Eshaa’ Prayer in the masjid if they have been affected by bakhoor (burned fragrances, like incense). It is also to be understood in light of point #3.

[5] The hadeeth shows that the Companions used to enjoin the good and forbid the evil with women who were not in their family.

[6] The hadeeth also shows the practical implementation of tathab-but (being certain before acting), since Aboo Hurayrah asked the woman, “And you have perfumed yourself…?” Notice that he did not assume that the scent was hers without asking.

And Allaah knows best.


Iphonef one of the speakers is a woman then she must be cautious of being soft-spoken. Indeed Allah, the Glorified, prohibited the wives of His Prophet, peace be upon him, the Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with them, from being spoken to in a seductive manner by the one who is moved with desire. In the time of the prophet, aswell as the lifetime of the Companions, Allah be pleased with them, women were forbidden from being soft spoken, Allah (the Most High) says: {Do not be soft spoken unless the one in whose hear is a disease should be moved with desire but speak in an honorable manner.} (Soorat-ul-Ahzaab: 32)

So what about women besides them? Indeed their prohibition of being soft-spoken is from the most befitting. Therefore fear Allah O believing women! Do not be soft spoken; speak in a good and honorable manner. In other words, with no softness in tone nor with unnecessary prolonged speech. The Muslim woman must not address the men she is not married to freely, as she would address her husband.

The woman must be cautious in engaging in lengthy discussions with men that she is not married to, even if they are her relatives - those relatives that she is not allowed to be alone with according to the Divine Legislation.

She must also be cautious in raising her voice louder than normal and talking for a prolonged period of time and must cautious of showing beautification, gentleness, softness, elegance, and flirtatiousness in a gentle tone and soft spoken manner to a non-mahram.

Just as it is impermissible for her then it is also impermissible for the man to listen to her voice indulgently, even if she was reading the Qur'aan. If the woman perceives that then it is impermissible for her to continue speaking with him due to the trial that it leads to.

And here mention is set aside for the man, the protector of the home, to arrange his affairs based on guarding and upholding virtue and to protect those that are sacred. The woman of the home should not be the first one responsible for answering the phone while the male relatives are present. She should not respond in the presence of their absence under any circumstances, rather, the man of the home should direct her according to the circumstances and necessities he sees fit.

Then it is obligatory for her to hear and obey in honor those in charge of her, protecting what is appropriate of being protected and leaving off any issues of difficulty.

Source: Aadaab-ul-Haatif (The Islamic Manners of Using the Telephone), Pages 15 - 16.

pinkgreenWhat is Hayaa’? Hayaa’ itself is derived from the word hayaat which means life. This term covers a large number of concepts. In English, it may be translated as modesty, shyness, self-respect, bashfulness, shame, honour, etc. The original meaning of Hayaa’ in accordance with a believer's nature, refers to a bad and painful feeling accompanied by embarrassment, caused by one's fear of being exposed or censured for some unworthy or indecent conduct.

Islamically Hayaa’ is an attribute which pushes the believers to avoid anything distasteful or abominable. It keeps them from being neglectful in giving everyone what is due upon them, and if for any reason they are not able to keep up with their commitment then they will feel extremely bad and ashamed about this. The reason being that they will have displeased Allah by breaking a commitment.

Hayaa’ plays a vital role in the lives of Muslims because it is a very important part of our eeman (faith/belief). If we do not have any form of Hayaa’ in us then it is most likely that our eeman is very weak. For as it states in the following hadeeth (Prophetic Narration), narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu `anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Hayaa’ (this term "Hayaa’" covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together; amongst them are self-respect, modesty, bashfulness, scruple, etc.) is a part of faith." (Bukhari)

We also learn from the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) the importance of having Hayaa’ and how it is not something to be ashamed about, rather one should be ashamed if one does not have it.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiallahu `anhu): The Prophet passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding Hayaa’ and was saying, "You are very shy, and I am afraid that might harm you." On that, Allah's Apostle said, "Leave him, for Hayaa’ is (a part) of Faith." (Bukhari)

Now the above hadeeth is also a form of proof that "shyness" is not just something related to women but also an attribute that believing men should have, for it is an indication of their fear of Allah and an indication of the value of their deen (faith and religion).

Now we shall discuss the different types of Hayaa’. How many types of Hayaa’ are there?

Hayaa’ is of two kinds: good and bad.

The good Hayaa’ is to be ashamed to commit a crime or do a thing which Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) have forbidden, and bad Hayaa’ is to be ashamed to do a thing, which Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) have ordered us to do.

Firstly, from the good dimensions of Hayaa’ is that a believer feels shy of doing ANYTHING displeasing to Allah (a'zza wa jall), with the belief that he will have to answer to all of his deeds. If one develops a sense such as this, it will help the believer to obey all of Allah's commands and to stay away from the sins. Once the believer realizes that Allah (a'zza wa jall) is watching all that we do and say, and that we will be questioned regarding our actions, the believer would then not neglect any order from Allah or His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). So the stronger this sense of Hayaa’ becomes, the more it motivates one to make sure that Allah (a'zza wa jall) doesn't see from one any wrong. The way to develop this Hayaa’ is that one must keep learning and absorbing Islamic knowledge.

Another type of haya’ is that which has more of a social aspect concerning others besides Allah (swt). Normally these things often occur due to one’s relationship with one’s family. For instance a child not wanting to do something displeasing to his mother, or a wife not wanting to do something displeasing to her husband or even a student who is careful about saying something incorrect in front of his teacher.

Last but not least is the type of Hayaa’ in which the believers become shy of themselves. This is when they have reached the peak of their eeman (faith). What this means is that if they do, or say, or see, anything wrong or even commit the tiniest sin, they start to feel extremely bad and embarrassed or they feel extreme guilt in their heart. This builds a high degree of self-consciousness and that is what strengthens the believer’s commitment to Allah (a'zza wa jall).

After discussing the various types of "beneficial" hayaa’, it is time to discuss the type of Hayaa’ which is not only against the teachings of our Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) but is also solid proof of the weakness of one's eeman (faith). This negative aspect revolves around a person's shamefulness or shyness of doing something that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'ala) has ordered us to do through the Qur’aan or our Prophet's (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) Sunnah (Prophetic guidance). This constitutes one being embarrassed and shameful in doing a lawful act or something that is ordered upon us from Allah (a'zza wa jall). This is totally forbidden because then one is giving the people of this world more significance and respect than the One who Created this whole universe and all that it contains. One such example of bad hayaa’ is that which is rampant amongst our sisters in this western society, something which I will now focus on in detail.

One of the most important aspects of hayaa’, for women, is that of guarding their chastity and their modesty. To do this they must follow the order of Allah (a'zza wa jall) which tells them to keep hidden their beauty and adornments from all men unlawful to them in marriage. There are many women in our society who claim that they have believed in Islaam and have hayaa’ but consider the commandments pertaining to veiling as backward. Even though the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) has said, "Indeed hayaa’ (modesty) and eemaan (faith) are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well." (Baihaqi)

There are many verses in the Qur’aan and Prophetic Narrations explaining some of the reasons behind the injunction of hijaab. The Islamic Shar’iah (Islamic sources of law) has therefore also clarified that which relates to the commandment of hijaab and which, with the slightest carelessness, may result in vulgarity and immodesty, in order to close the doors to indecency and lewdness, which in turn provides strength to one’s hayaa’.

Modesty (hayaa’) and maintaining one's honour are of primary importance in preserving the moral fibre of any society. This is why modesty has been called the ornament of a woman, which protects her from many sins and which prevents ill-intentioned men from daring to have evil thoughts about her. This hayaa’ has been made a part of her nature to safeguard her from being abused by immoral men.

Narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik, the Prophet (saw) said: "When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when hayaa’ is a part of anything it becomes beautiful." (Tirmidhi)

So it is only obvious that Hijaab plays an extremely important role with regards to hayaa’. For, Hijaab prevents lewdness and in fact helps one grow in eeman (faith). So both things work together in a partnership. In the time of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), as soon as the verses pertaining to hijaab were revealed, all the believing men ran home to their wives and daughters and close female relatives in order to tell them to cover themselves. The ones who had veils used them and the ones who did not have veils made some straight away! For instance the following hadith tells us:

Narrated by Aisha (radhiallahu `anha),

"May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse "That they should draw their veils over their bosoms" was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them. And when the verse "That they should cast their outer garments over themselves" was revealed, the women of Ansaar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments." (Abu Dawood)

This indicates that all these women wanted to guard their modesty which is why they carried out the orders of Allah. Yet, another verse talks about the level of modesty in Aisha (radhiallahu `anha). Narrated Aisha (radhiallahu `anha):

"I used to enter my house where Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was and take off my (outer) garment, saying that only my husband and my father were there; but when U’mar was buried along with them, I swear by Allah that I did not enter it without having my clothes wrapped round me (i.e. the hijaab, jilbaab and niqaab) owing to modesty regarding U’mar."(at-Tirmidhi and Ahmed)

In truth, hayaa’ is a special characteristic of a Mu'min (believer). People who are ignorant of the teachings of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) do not concern themselves with hayaa’, bashfulness and shyness. Hayaa’ and eeman are interdependent; therefore either they both exist together or they both perish. Thus, the Prophet (saw) has said in one hadith, "When there is no hayaa’ left, then do as you please."

Today vulgarity and all its ingredients have become commonplace even among Muslims in the zeal of imitating the non-believers. It is these people who have been struggling to bring Muslim women out of Hijaab into immodesty and indecency.

Such people are in a dilemma. On the one hand, they desire to freely look at the half-clad bodies of the wives and daughters of other Muslims on the streets; and on the other hand, they do not have the courage to deny the teachings of the Holy Qur’aan and the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). Neither can they say they have given up Islam, nor can they bear to see Muslim women wear Hijaab and showing hayaa’. Actually, the fact is, indulging in indecency for so long has killed the sense of modesty (hayaa’) within them, which Islam had commanded them to preserve.

What these men and women do not understand is that if the women do not observe Hijaab and do not develop Hayaa’ inside of them, they will be entertaining those who have taken the path of shaytaan. Such as in the following hadith: Malik b Uhaimir reported that he heard the Prophet (saw) saying that, "Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'ala) will not accept any good deeds or worship of an immodest and vulgar person." We asked, "Who is an immodest and vulgar person?" He replied, "A man whose wife entertains non-mahram men."

Now the word "entertains" implies that she is showing off her beauty instead of keeping herself covered up. If the Muslim brothers of today's society knew the benefits of hayaa’ and hijaab they would definitely not tolerate the opposite. At the time of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) the husbands could not even imagine their wives leaving the houses unveiled, let alone go out and beautify themselves for other men! The following hadeeth illustrates this fact clearly:

Narrated by Al-Mughira: Sa'd bin 'Ubada said, "I will not hesitate killing my wife with a sword if I see her with another man." This news reached Allah's Apostle who then said, "You people are astonished at Sa'd's gheerah (self-respect, honour). By Allah, I have more gheerah than he, and Allah has more gheerah than I, and because of Allah's gheerah, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret. And there is none who likes that the people should repent to Him and beg His pardon (more) than Allah, and for this reason He sent the Warners and the Givers of Good News. And there is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does, and for this reason, Allah promised to grant Paradise (to the doers of good)." (Sahih Bukhari)

Sometimes the situation becomes such that people will have done wrong and perpetrated sins for such a long period of time that they are no longer able to differentiate between right and wrong. Therefore, a person's exceeding indulgence in indecency results in the loss of wisdom and the ability to distinguish good deeds from bad deeds. As the Prophet (saw) said:"I have a sense of Honour (a part of hayaa’). Only a person with a darkened heart is deprived of Honour."

There are many merits of Hayaa’, the following are just a few:

Firstly, Allah loves Hayaa’. We know this by the following hadith: "Surely Allah (is One who) has Hayaa’ and is the Protector. He loves Hayaa’ and people who cover each other’s faults." (Bukhari)

Secondly, Hayaa’ itself is a Greatness of Islam, as our Noble Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) indicated: "Every way of life has an innate character. The character of Islam is Hayaa’." Or "Every deen (religion) has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty (Hayaa’)." (Abu Dawood)

Thirdly, Hayaa’ only brings good and nothing else. Our Prophet (saw) said: "Hayaa’ does not bring anything except good." (Bukhari)

Fourthly, Hayaa’ is a very clear indication of our eeman (faith). As the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) mentioned to an Ansari Companion who was condemning his brother about being too shy: "Leave him, for Hayaa’ is (a part) of Faith." (Bukhari)

Fifthly, and last but not least, Hayaa’ leads us to PARADISE. As the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) infomed us: "Hayaa’ comes from eeman (faith); eeman leads to Paradise. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire." (Bukhari)

As mentioned earlier, the actual term Hayaa’ is derived from Hayaat, which means life. It is only obvious that when someone has Hayaa’ in them, they will LIVE a life of Islam. On the other hand if they do not have Hayaa’ they are living a life that is Dead "Islamically" but alive in the scientific definition of this world.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Hayaa’ and trustworthiness will be the first to go from this world, therefore keep asking Allah for them." (Baihaqi)

In conclusion, Hayaa’ is important for both men and women. Men are to control themselves by getting married as young as possible or if they cannot afford that then they should fast. Women are told to conceal themselves so that the men will not be overtaken by the whispers of shaytaan and will not disrespect or take advantage of them. There are many verses in the Qur’aan that have clearly explained how we have to behave and Allah is Al-Aleem, the All-Knowing, therefore He knew that we would face these problems living in this society, and that there is no excuse to try and change the Islamic teachings and only practice what we feel is right. Allah (a'zza wa jall) has told men how to guide their modesty and has told women how to guide their modesty. If they refuse to follow the commandment of their Lord, then they will cause harm to themselves and the society around them, may Allah have mercy on them and may He guide them to the straight path.

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty…" (Surah Nur, 30-31)




[1] Glossary of Islamic terms
[2] Safi Khan, Selections from Sahih-ul-Bukhari
[3] Kashif ul-Astar un-Zuwaid-ul-Barrar, pg.187
[4] Ihyaa Uloom-ud-Deen (selected texts)
[5] Firdous Al-Dailmi


scenery5867There are many interactive forums on the Internet, including chat sites and online communities. We need to address the critical question of how Muslim men and women should conduct themselves when they come into contact with one another while participating in these forums.

The following guidelines should be observed by Muslim men and women when interacting with one another on the Internet:

1. Never display photographs under any circumstances.

To start with, photographs are simply not necessary. The written word is more than sufficient. We must also appreciate how photographs can become a great opportunity for Satan to tempt people and make their foul deeds seem fair to them.

Some people might consider such caution misplaced. However, those who understand how people are seduced and tempted and who have experience in dealing with these problems, know that nothing is far-fetched. Moreover, some people who have a sickness in their hearts manage to deceive themselves and others that something which is completely wrong is instead something that is good and that is motivated by the sincerest and noblest intentions.

2. Use typing and avoid audible means of communication.

If, for some reason, using audible media becomes necessary, then we must adhere to Allah's command, {Be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire; but speak a speech that is just.} (Sûrah al-Ahzâb: 32)

This verse was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If this was the case for them, we can appreciate how much more it must apply to us. Moreover, that was during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) while we are living in the age of promiscuity.

3. Maintain a serious tone and focus in conversation.

We must not get involved in talking at length about things that are unnecessary and unjustified. In truth, many people get a thrill out of merely speaking with the opposite sex, regardless of what the subject might be. Some men just like to hear a pretty voice. Likewise, since women are indeed the full sisters of men, they also find pleasure in speaking with men.

Our tone should be serious. We should avoid all that is superfluous and frivolous.

4. Remain vigilant at all times.

Those who we meet on the Internet are, for the most part, apparitions. Men come online posturing as women and women often misrepresent themselves as men. Then, there are so many things we do not know about the other person. What is his ideology? What is his background? What country is he from? What is his line of work? What are his real intentions? All of these things are unknown.

I wish to call the attention of our honoured sisters to the dangers that experience has shown us to be ever present in these situations. Many young women are quick to believe what others tell them and are very susceptible to sweet words. Such people are easy victims for the predator who lays out his trap. One moment, he is a sincere advisor, another the victim crying out for someone to save him, then he is the lonely man looking for someone with whom to share the rest of his life, the next moment he is the sick man looking for a cure…

5. Muslim women who work with the Internet should keep in close contact with one another.

They need to develop strong channels of communication so they can lend a degree of support to each other in this important and possibly dangerous field of endeavour. They need to cooperate closely and share their experiences and expertise. A person standing alone is weak, but standing with others she is strong.

Allah says, {By time! Surely the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.} [Sûrah al-Asr]

Abû Mulaykah al-Dârimî narrates:

“It was the practice among the Prophet's Companions, that if two of them met, they would not depart from one another without one of them reading Sûrah al-`Asr to the other. Then one of them would greet the other with peace.” [Al-Mu`jam al-Awsat (5120) and Shu`ab al-Îmân (9057)]

I also advise our Muslim sisters to focus most of their attention and their efforts on calling other women to Islam and enjoining them to righteousness. They should use this valuable medium to assist and serve their sisters and to reform them. This should be done indirectly, subtly, and with wisdom. Too direct an approach, when giving advice, often causes the other party to become angry, confrontational, and obstinate. This is because the person giving advice comes off as seeming high-handed and arrogant, while the one being advised feels shamed and belittled. Therefore, be gentle in your choice of words, good-natured, attentive, and forbearing. This makes the receiving party more conductive to receiving your advice and less likely to spurn it.


flowerWe live in societies in which most men and women have lost their sense of modesty, women are obsessed with their appearances and wear clothes to be seen by others and to attract the attention of other men even if they are married! They have lost their sense of shame.

Marriage is often looked upon as old-fashioned and short term affairs and frivolous relationships are the norm, everyone waiting to attract a better partner and feeling totally justified to dump one partner for another at the drop of a hat. Feminism too has reached its peak and men and women are told to suppress their natural emotions. Men are not even embarrassed when their wives are dressed up and attract the attention of other men, they don't mind if another man sees, chats, laughs and even dances with their womenfolk and if they do mind, they are told not to be so possessive!

In Islam we have a concept of Gheerah. Gheerah is an Arabic word which means protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters and other-womenfolk and doesn't like other men to look at them. It is a natural inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and women. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had the most Gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known for their Gheerah. All Muslim men should have a collective sense of protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur'an: {The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…} (Surah An-Nisaa, Ayah 34). Men who do not care about how their women behave and appear in front of other men and don't enforce hijaab upon their wives or women-folk are called Dayyooth. Being a Dayyooth is a major sin and a detailed description of this evil characteristic can be found in adh-Dhahabee's book of Major Sins (Kitaab ul-Kabaa'ir).

A story of Gheerah

To further understand the quality of Gheerah, we can look at an incident that Asmaa' (radhiallahu `anha) the daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (radhiallahu `anhu) and sister of Aisha (radhiallahu `anha), relates about herself. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and he married his daughter Asmaa' to the great companion Az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam (radhiallahu `anhu) who was a very poor man but a man of great piety and one of the companions who were promised Paradise. Asmaa' relates,

"When az-Zubayr married me, he had neither land nor wealth nor slave…"

Thus Asmaa' had to work very hard kneading dough, going far off to get water.

"And I used to carry on my head," she continues, "the date stones from the land of az-Zubair which Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One day, as I was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubair and his Gheerah. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) understood my shyness and left. I came to az-Zubair and said,

"The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it, but I felt shy and I remembered your Gheerah." So Asmaa' declined the offer made by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).

Upon this az-Zubair said,

"By Allah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden on me than you riding with him." (Related in Saheeh Bukhari)

Look at the sense of dignity and modesty of Asmaa'! See how she felt shy in front of men? See how careful she was about her husband's feelings? She knew that her husband had a lot of Gheerah so she didn't want to upset him by accepting the Prophet's (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) help even though the Prophet was the purest of men and even though it meant bringing hardship on herself! And look at az-Zubair (radhiallahu `anhu), even though he had a lot of Gheerah, he didn't want to inconvenience his wife. What a beautiful relationship they had!

Nurturing our sense of Gheerah

Sometimes Muslim women don't understand if their menfolk want them to cover their faces or if they ask them to change something about the way they dress or speak in public, thinking that the men are being over-protective. But my dear sisters! If your husband asks you not to wear a certain colour of khimaar (headscarf) because it brings out the beauty of your eyes, or if he wants you to cover your face - by Allah, be thankful! Be proud of the fact that your husband has a sense of Gheerah for you and that he values you and cares for your hereafter. He knows what men can be like more than you do and so never try and suppress his Gheerah in these types of matters. And his concern for you should incite your own sense of honour! Why should any man be able to see your beauty and think indecent thoughts about you? We must nurture our own and our menfolk's sense of Gheerah by behaving and dressing modestly ourselves and paying attention to their valid opinions. We expect certain behaviour from them and they expect it of us. And besides, if our husband asks us to do something that it not Haraam (impermissible), we must do it.

Subhaan Allah! Look at the difference between how Islam values and protects women and how cheaply women are treated outside of Islam! As Muslims we have to be careful that our Hayaa' (sense of modesty and shame) and Gheerah doesn't wear out in a society in which people have lost their Hayaa' and Gheerah.


diomandLying on the bed Maryam replayed the scenes that had just gone by, watching her life like a film, and constantly shifting between rewind and play. There was no stop button and such with life, one cannot pause it. She ran her hands through the chestnut brown hair gently framing her troubled face, pondering over the plot of her life. One moment wondering about yesterday, the next worrying over tomorrow, and constantly reminiscing over what could have been – what should have been.

She is the beautiful trapped starlet in this cyclic movie, constantly shifting from one scene to another. Within that space of back and forth motion she found a small comfort in her analysis and critique – how the situation arose, how she could have prevented it.   Unfortunately, that comfort ends for us all when we realise that the script only caters for what happened. It is within these futile reflections that a shadow lingers, hovers over our conscience, tempting us, taunting us over the wisps of a reality which we hope to create.

She turned onto her side, the newly laundered sheets wrinkled but stayed stubbornly flat. Even the bed covers are expressing their disapproval, she thought wryly, as if they had witnessed the scene take place earlier. She had arrived home at 9pm and mum was washing dishes at the kitchen-sink – usually the dishes were done by now. Something was wrong – mum only delayed the house being absolutely spotless when she was worried. Comfort in cleaning – a concept she had never understood and never wished to understand. She walked in the house, knowing full well that she said she had told them she would be back at 8pm.

“Assalamualaikum” she said meekly, “sorry I’m late. Sarah and I just got caught up with the assignment” Already lying and already feeling the guilt rushing through her veins. Yet, it is better to lie pre-emptively and hope to get away with it than wait for the questions to start.

“Wa alaikumassalam” she sternly replied. Her ranting voice began.

“Maryam you said that you would be back at 7.30 – we have been worried sick! You don’t even text or phone us, and you took the bus back home at this hour. Do you know what types of people are out there on a Saturday night?”

She was 17 years old for goodness sake; she knew the Highway Code and all the moral ones that went with it. Yes it was late, but Adil had dropped her home. That answer wasn’t an option though.

“I said sorry ok? It won’t happen again”. Why didn’t she just drop it?

And then the bombshell dropped. Her eyes pierced their way towards her daughter’s – Maryam tried to divert her gaze but failed. She froze, her eyes locked onto her mothers. Her mother had that uncanny ability to understand the complexities of her daughter’s life without ever discussing it with her. She knew. Her mum’s eyes bore into her, sliced away the illusions and entered her heart. She wanted to shrink away, but held the gaze steadily in defiance. Suddenly she noticed the glint of tears in the corners of her mum’s eyes – a misty reservoir of disappointment lay behind that steely gaze.

”Remember what grandma used to say –

‘Allah has given us a world full of treasures. The most precious and rare jewels are those which cannot be seen, nor touched, but they are felt in the heart. Protect these at all costs, or you will become a pauper, even if you wear the clothes of a Queen’ ”.

“Yes mum”, she mumbled, finally breaking the gaze in shame. She walked swiftly towards her room, hoping to not meet her dad and get a double I’m-so-disappointed lecture. Entering the room she closed the door quietly and sunk into her bed. Her heart felt heavy. Something inside her had cracked at the words of her late beloved grandma. She had heard that phrase repeated to her so often, it was her grandma’s most famous motif.

Yet, until that moment she had never understood it, she had never taken heed to the wisdom that belied it. Moral sayings are often paradoxical and sometimes it’s just better not to ask questions lest it turns out to be something really simple and you embarrass yourself by not understanding the first time. Her grandma had only passed away last year, she pictured her face – she could trace every line and wrinkle with her finger. She imagined her caring voice and the way she smiled – some people say that over time you forget, well this wasn’t the case here. She remembered it all.

“The most precious and rare jewels are those which cannot be seen, nor touched, but they are felt in the heart”.

The moral concepts which her grandma’s stories passed finally fit together with this saying, as beautifully as clouds mould around each other creating an abstract jigsaw-puzzle in the sky. The sensation of upholding your honour isn’t tangible; it is not something that can be battered in the market place at a set price. Every individual’s heart prices it according to their value yet the true value of a person is known to no-one except themselves… and Allah. Upholding this honour, whether it is through telling the truth or guarding ones modesty awakens something within your heart. She had felt it but a few times and thought of fasting during Ramadhan where she had sacrificed food and drink for a more spiritual sustenance. A person who constantly sacrifices the material for the ethereal has an aura of awe-inspiration. Her grandma had that; you could see her living only for the sake of Allah, almost floating with such devotion.

What would she say to her if she saw her now? Images of her evening with Adil flashed before her mind – the soft caress of his hand against her face, his warm breath tickling her skin, his lips melting across hers. She felt her heart flutter restlessly at the memory, yearning to return to a few hours ago, yearning to escape these feelings of guilt. The wings of her fluttering heart were dipped in poison, the colourful feathers concealing a much darker exterior. She wanted his comfort yet she repelled his touch, she wanted his touch, yet she repelled his comfort. This paradoxical struggle between her desires – both worldly and spiritual – had as of yet, no conclusion.

She didn’t understand how things had come so far – six months ago they were just colleagues. She was struggling with understanding algebraic fractions and he helped to explain them in the college library. It was legit enough. But then, all of a sudden it wasn’t. Even after she had understood the mathematical concepts, the pretext was often maths - a pretext that was silently, yet mutually decided. Even though her heart felt unsettled meeting him with the textbooks, whose pages hardly turned during their meetings, she waved away the guilt. Slowly formality faded into friendship and the library was exchanged for coffee shops. She began to notice the dimple in his right cheek, the way his eyes smiled before his mouth did, the way she could feel his gaze on her when she had her back turned. At this point she found it hard to suppress the guilt, to stifle the feelings of shame. She could no longer read the Qur’an without feeling deceitful, so the book which she had been brought up upon blended into all the others on her bookshelf. She glanced at the mini-library in her room and could not even recognise its cover.

“Protect these at all costs, or you will become a pauper, even if you wear the clothes of a Queen”.

Her grandma’s voice echoed in her head like a mantra from the grave. Her fate as a pauper had been sealed this evening with her first kiss. For a moment, or maybe two, she was wearing the clothes of a Queen, experiencing sensations of which she had only ever imagined before. Yet sweet poison has a bitter aftertaste. She gasped aloud, realising the true implications of what she had done. Her heart fell into her stomach, a heart void of peace and contentment.

“The most precious and rare jewels are those which cannot be seen, nor touched, but they are felt in the heart”.

Her heart was empty of the secret treasures only known to some – no, empty was too passive, her heart was plundered of these gems, by no one else but herself.

Tears of shame clouded her vision and for once she let the salty rivers meander down her cheeks. She stumbled off her bed and walked towards the bathroom. Turning on the tap she whispered “bismillah (in the name of Allah)” and performed wudhoo’ (ablution). The cold water gave her a surprising satisfaction like when you take a cool shower on a hot summers day. Back in her room her eyes scanned the top shelf in her bookcase – a blue book, no, green – blue-green – snap. Arabic letters curved around its spine as if ascending a stairway to salvation. She sat down on her bed and opened the Holy Quran, containing the original Arabic as well as an English translation.

{Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that will make for greater purity for them...Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty..}[i]

It was as if God had directed her to open that particular page. Lowering the gaze is the first step to prevent further attraction, the first step to safeguard the jewels which Allah has given us.

Memories of a lecture on hayaa’ (modesty) which she had once attended flooded back. Hayaa’ was explained to be one of the branches of faith – it was modesty, bashfulness, shame all rolled into one. A noble attitude which motivated a person to keep away from sin - most definitely one of the jewels grandma had meant. The speaker had taken a jug of water and poured a small amount of concentrated black coffee into it whilst narrating a hadeeth (Prophetic Narration). Muhammad (sallallahu a'lyhi wa sallam) said, "Indeed hayaa’ (modesty) and eemaan (faith) are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well."[ii]

The purity of the water became corrupted – it turned an anemic light brown. Like Lipton ice tea. She realised that as her modesty had slowly began to disappear, so had the eemaan (faith) from her heart. Ever since she could remember she had prayed salaat (the five obligatory prayers), yet the rigid discipline of five daily prayers had become easier to forget, easier to ignore.

More coffee was added to the jug and stirred. Muhammad (sallallahu a'lyhi wa sallam) said “When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when hayaa’ is a part of anything it becomes beautiful”.[iii] The water became murkier – she felt it reflected her soul. Her grandma had worn the plainest clothes yet attained the status of a Queen in her eyes. Why was it that when she met sisters who had this aura of hayaa’ around them, it penetrated into her and in turn she became shy around them? Those veiled women have a beauty incomparable to the conventional beauties of the day. They protect their treasures at all costs. The speaker poured the last deadly shot of coffee into the water, if you could still call it that. No drop in the jug was left untouched. A mass of dark brown liquid sin. He explained that the word haya is derived from the word “al-hayah” which means life, as if the person who has no haya is like a dead person.

But Allah gives life to the earth after it has died, and he can soften our hearts after they have hardened. The speaker placed the jug in the sink under an open tap and allowed the jug to overflow. Slowly the translucent colour of purity re-appeared, as if the coffee was a figment of our imagination. Whatever our past mistakes, repentance, sincerity and action can change our future. The water was in the depths of darkness but regained its beauty. Maryam smiled in the knowledge that it wasn’t too late to change and looked down once again at a book whose wisdom she had nearly let slip out of her hands.



[i] Qur’aan 24:30-31
[ii] Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) [Baihaqi]
[iii] Narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik (ra) [Tirmidhi]


floweryellowwhitepinkIn Islamic discourse a great deal of emphasis is placed on the issue of hijaab for women with much debate about the extent and nature of that covering. This is obviously an important issue for Muslim women, but an equally significant is that of modesty.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed by an Ansari man who was counselling his brother on modesty (He was advising him not to be too much shy and modest). The Prophet said: "Leave him (and do not advise him like this); for modesty is part of faith." (Bukhari and Muslim).

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) also said, "Modesty results in good alone and nothing else." (Bukhari and Muslim).

Modesty is a term that is used often but one that is not clearly understood. One way to conceptualize it would be to think in terms of moving from an outer layer to the inner workings of a system.

The covering, or hijaab is the surface layer of modesty that everyone sees and that is very obvious to all. However, a woman could wear hijaab and modesty may not go any deeper than that; it could be an artificial form of modesty or one done to satisfy another person.

Going deeper, the next layer may consist of what is commonly known as self-consciousness or shyness. At this level the woman not only wears hijaab, but also acts in a way that is reserved and respectful.

An important behaviour in this category is lowering of the gaze.

"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty." [24:3 1]

Emphasis is often placed on men lowering their eyes, but this is also a requirement for women.

Eyes should be turned away from everything that is forbidden. This includes not looking at any non-mahram man, at the 'awrah (private parts) of another woman, or with bad intentions at another person.

In one hadeeth qudsi (a narration in which the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) says that ‘Allah (a'zza wa jall) says’), the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) reported that Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says,

"Looking at a non-mahram (men relatives to whom women cannot get married) is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan. Whoever will stop it because of fearing me, I will bless him with such eemaan (faith), the sweetness of which he will feel in his heart" (Tabarani).

Another characteristic at this level is humility in speech. As with everything in Islam, a woman's speech should be in moderation. It should be neither too loud nor too soft (so as to be alluring). Idle, senseless, excessive conversation should be avoided since it has no benefit and distracts from more important responsibilities.

When a woman engages in conversation she should keep it decent and respectable and void of such harmful vices as backbiting, mockery, suspicion, and gossip. She should be humble and not boast about her abilities and achievements.

{Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their salah, and who shun vain conversation, and who are payers of zakaat.} [23:1-4].

Being placed between two pillars of Islam demonstrates the very significance of this pronouncement. A woman should also attempt to avoid contact and conversation with non-mahram men. When this is necessary, such as for educational purposes or in the work environment, the discussion should be limited to pertinent matters and the woman should speak in a straight-forward and virtuous manner.

As with the hijaab, these rules of etiquette may be observed for various reasons. The woman may act modestly because of cultural norms, her own innate disposition, or to impress or satisfy other people. This may have no connection whatsoever to the innermost level of modesty as any non-believer may follow the same code of conduct.. The centre of this innermost level is the heart, alongside eemaan (faith).

A true believing woman does not engage-in these behaviours for other people; rather, she does it for the sake of Allah. She does not do so out of shyness from other people; she does it out of shyness from Allah.

She is humble in the presence of Allah because she knows that everything she has, her wealth, her status, her abilities, are only from Him. This understanding highlights the interconnection between modesty and eemaan (faith).

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "Indeed, modesty and eemaan (faith) are companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well." (Baihaqi).

And when this happens, the moral fiber of society is jeopardized.


NightSkyA girl emailed an Islamic website the following story of regret, embarrassment and pain:

Assalam Aleikom wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I hope you can be of use to me in this problem: I'm a 17 year old Arab girl living in an Arab country and still in high school.

Unfortunately, I learnt about the internet, I misused it and spent my days chatting with guys and watching prohibited websites

(I did such things behind my parents back and no one knew about them) even though I used to be religious and hated girls who chatted with guys.

This is how I got to know a 21 years old guy-through the "Messenger" living in the same country but of different nationality and we went on chatting till we exchanged true and untainted love "just for the sake of Allah".

He used to educate me about teachings of religion and lead me to righteousness and guidance. He allowed me to see him through a camera, we sometimes prayed together.

Later he started to show me parts of his body which in return caused me to become an addict to the secret habit. Such situation went on for a month in which we learned a lot from each other. We maintained voice chatting and when I trusted him I allowed him to see me, my hair and most of my body parts through the computer camera. My love for him grew more and I thought only of him and nothing else to the extent that I couldn't concentrate in my studies, consequently causing my level of educational pursuit to decline.

He then told me about where he lived and so did I. I called him on his mobile a while after that and checked the validity of the information he gave me. He said he wanted to marry me, I agreed to his proposal for marriage, although I'm supposed to marry my cousin, yet I'm now so afraid of my parents' disapproval especially after he started to threaten me saying,

"If you leave me I'll disgrace you and spread your pictures"!

He also said,

"I'll call you using the numbers you dialled to reach me and tell your folks all about you."

When I discussed this matter with him he said that it was just threats yet I feel that he is not just threatening me and that he's really going to do something. Now I'm thinking seriously of leaving him and returning to the path of Allah.

My parents are Muslims and religious and if they knew that I'm in love with a guy and actually in contact with him they're going to kill me (by "kill" I mean beating and humiliating) to avoid the scandal and bad reputation.

I don't know what to do! I'm so scared;

I want guidance;

I want to be happy and safe;

I'm sick of thinking and feeling scared.

Please help me. Because of this problem I quit praying; I quit worshiping in general because I'm bored and desperate with my life; my sisters' reputation and futures-as well as mine- will be destroyed if I don't die, and I want to, today before tomorrow.

I want to leave him but I fear the scandal. He will call back so how can I stop him? Will Allah forgive me if I return to his path? What are the conditions of repentance and how should I repent?

I fear that I may go back to what I used to do? Where's the way out?

How can I get rid of my addict to the secret habit? And now that I suffer from sexual frigidity, how can I treat it without my parents knowing about it?

I seek your reply so bad; don't throw my mail away.

Please help me as soon as you can; there's no one else to help me; please help me, please.

The sister's message is over; a message that is truly rich with lessons, is anyone out there willing to learn?


1. Tabarruj is disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

nailpolishThe one who disobeys Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) can only harm himself and can not in any way harm Allaah. The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “All of my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” It was asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, who would refuse?” He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

“He who obeys me enters Paradise and he who disobeys me has refused.” (Reported by al-Bukhaaree)

It is reported that Mu'awiyyah (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) gave a sermon in Greater Syria and in it he mentioned that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) prohibited seven things and he named Tabarruj as one of them.

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa allam) used to dislike ten kinds of behavior and he (‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood) mentioned that from amongst them is displaying and beautification which is done in an improper place.

Jalaal-ud-Deen as-Suyuti (d.911H) (rahimahullaah) said that,

“Tabarruj, by displaying beautification, is showing off to strangers...”

This is the explanation of the meaning of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood’s statement “improper place”, therefore this doesn't apply if the beautification is done for the husband.

2. Tabarruj is a grave destructive sin

Umayymah, the daughter of Ruqayyah visited the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to acknowledge the message of Islam and to acknowledge that he (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was and is the Messenger of Allaah. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said to her,

“I give my acknowledgment that you must not set partners to worship besides Allaah, that you do not steal, commit fornication or adultery, that you do not kill your child, that you do not commit any falsehood before your hands and between your legs, that you do not wail and that you do not make tabarruj like that of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era).” (Reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Shaykh Ahmad Shakir graded the chain of the hadeeth as “good” and stated that Imaam ibn Kathir mentioned this hadeeth in his tafsir [exegesis] saying that the chain of this narration is “good”)

It’s clear that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) associated Tabarruj (display of beauty) to be from amongst the grave destructive sins.

3. Tabarruj brings the curse and expulsion from the Mercy of Allaah

The Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

“There shall be (in the later) part of my nation women who are dressed but are in fact naked. On their heads are humps like those of camels. Curse them for they are surely cursed.” (Reported by at-Tabaaranee, Shaykh al-Albaanee graded this hadeeth “Saheeh”)

4. Tabarruj is an attribute of the people of hell

The Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Of the people of Hell there are two types whom I have never seen: The one possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they flog people with them. The second one the women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced to wrong paths and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise and they would not perceive its odour, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance.” (Reported by Muslim)

5. Tabarruj is darkness on the Day of Resurrection

It is narrated that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

“The parable of a woman who moves with a slow sweeping motion trailing her beautified clothes performing not for her husband is like darkness of the Day of Judgement, she has or comes with no light.” (Reported by at-Tirmidhee in his Sunan, Shaykh al-Albaanee graded the hadeeth “weak”)

Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi (d.543H) (rahimahullaah) said that although this hadeeth [narration] is weak,

“…its meaning is correct because the enjoyment of disobedience is in fact torture and suffering. The meaning is that this type of woman will come on the Day of Resurrection black (engulfed) in darkness, as though she physically originated from darkness. In contrast, what happens to be difficult and painful in performance of obedient acts is a true enjoyment because of the reward awaiting those who are obedient to Allaah and His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).”

The odor of the mouth of a fasting person may not be a pleasant in this world, to Allaah however it is better than the odor of musk because the Muslim has obeyed Allaah and performed what is due upon him from fasting. Similarly the woman wearing her Hijab may be looked upon as “reactionist”, “old fashioned” or “a walking tent”, however she will, Allah Willing, be the winner on the Day of Resurrection and those who mock her put themselves onto a dangerous road and may be subjected to the wrath of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).

6. Tabarruj is hypocrisy

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,“The best of your women is the affectionate, the fertile (in productivity), the propitious (favorable), the consultative if they fear Allaah. The most evil of your women are the Mutabarrijat (those who do at-Tabarruj [display their beauty]), the Mutakhayelat (who strut/swagger), and they are the hypocrites. Those who enter Al-Jannah (the Paradise) are like the Cough Crow [i.e. rare].” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan)

The cough crow has a red beak and red legs and is rare. Therefore, the expression in the Prophetic Narration, “cough cow” indicates that the women who will enter Paradise will be few

7. Tabarruj is disgraceful

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,“Any woman who takes of her clothes in other than her husband’s home has broken the shield between her and Allaah.” (Reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal & al-Haakim who said it is “Saheeh” according to the conditions of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim and adh-Dhahabee agreed)

Imaam Abu Zakariya an-Nawawee (d.676H) (rahimahullaah) commenting on this hadeeth said,

“The saying of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), ‘Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her husband’s home’, means showing off her beauty to strangers by taking off her shield of clothes; she has broken the shield between her and Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).”

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) stated, {O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment and the raiment of righteousness, that is better…} (Al-A’raf 7:26)

So if a woman does not fear Allaah and uncovers her private parts then she is breaking the shield between her and Allaah, the Most High. This is because she uncovered and dishonored herself and committed a grievance against her own husband, so in turn Allaah will uncover her shield, she will truly be in a scandal.

8. Tabarruj is an unchaste sin

The women is ‘Awrah, a source of attraction and therefore, her body is not to be shown by wearing clothes that show off her body, its shape and features; doing such is disgraceful. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) orders us to stay away from disgraceful sins, {And when they commit a Faahishah (evil deed, going round the Ka’bah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: ‘We found our fathers doing it, and Allaah has commanded us of it.’ Say: ‘Nay, Allaah never commands of Faahishah. Do you say of Allaah what you know not?” (Al-A’raf [7]:28)

Rather, it is Satan who orders such Faahishah, such disgraceful sins. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, {Shaytaan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahshaa (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.); whereas Allaah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.} (Al-Baqarah [2]:268)

The Mutabarrijat, those who do at-Tabarruj (display their beauty) create a sinful virus which spreads disgraceful sins amongst the Muslim society. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, {Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allaah knows and you know not.} (An-Nur [24]:19)

Tabarruj is the leading course for the spread of Zina (illegal sexual relations).

9. Tabarruj is a Satanic way

The story of Adam and his wife demonstrates how the enemy of Allaah (i.e. Satan) was so keen to incite them to show their private parts in order to spread evil and disgraceful sins. It also shows that Tabarruj of women is the primary goal of Shaytaan, which he ardently seeks to achieve. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, {O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better.} (Al-A’raf [7]:26)

It is very clear that Satan is the one who established the call for Tabarruj; he is the leader of the leaders who call for the so-called "liberation" of women. Satan is the leading guide for all those who obey him and follow him in disobedience to Allaah, the Almighty, especially those Mutabarrijat (those who do at-Tabarruj [display their beauty]) who harm the Muslims and misuse their youth. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “I have not left after me any chance of turmoil more harmful to men than the harm done to them because of women.” (Reported by al-Bukhaaree)

Adam (‘alayhis-sallam) forgot, made a mistake, repented and asked for forgiveness from Allaah and Allaah accepted his repentance. The struggle between Adam’s offspring and Satan continues, the Devil still whispers, so as to drive us (men and women) into disobeying Allaah and committing sins. There is no safeguard except in returning to Allaah in good faith and repentance, remembering Allaah and asking Him for His help in order to overcome our evil lusts and desires.

10. Tabarruj is the way of the Jews

The Jews have an important role in the destruction of nations through Fitnah, the seduction and temptation of women. The spread of Tabarruj is an effective weapon of their wide spread establishments. In fact, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,“Watch out for this worldly life (safeguard yourself from its temptation) guard yourself from the allurement of women. Verily, the first trial for the people of Israel was caused by women.” (Reported by Muslim)

Their (the Jews) books also testify to this fact. In the third chapter of Isaiah it is quoted that,

“Moreover, the LORD said, ‘Because the daughters of Zion are proud and walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, and go along with mincing steps, and tinkle the bangles on their feet. Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, and the LORD will make their foreheads bare.” (Isaiah, Chapter 3, V.16-17)


“In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, finger rings, nose rings, festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils.” (Isaiah, Chapter 3, V.18-23)

Although the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) warned against mimicking the non-believers and their ways, many Muslims don’t abide by this warning. This is a prophecy of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) who said, “You will tread the same path as was trodden by those before you, inch by inch and step by step, so that if they enter the hole of the lizard you will follow them into it also.” His companions asked him: “Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “Who else?” (Reported by Muslim)

The similarity of those women who disobey Allaah and His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to the Jews is very evident because their response to Allaah’s command was and is similar to that of the Jews, “We have heard and disobeyed.” (Al-Baqarah [2]:93)

This is unlike the response of the believing woman who would respond (to the commands of Allaah) saying, “We hear and we obey.” (Al-Baqarah [2]:85)

This is because the believing women remember the saying of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination.” (An-Nisa [4]:115)

11. Tabarruj is filthy Jaahiliyyah (ignorance)

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.” (Al-Ahzab [33]:33)

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) described the times of ignorance as filthy and wicked and ordered us to reject them. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) described the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as, “…he allows them lawful at-Tayyibaat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful al-Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.).” (Al-A’raf [7]:157)

The call to bring about Tabarruj is in reality a call to bring back the times of Jaahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era of ignorance). Both of which are wicked ways which the Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) declared unlawful. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Verily, ever matter of Jaahiliyyah [time of ignorance] is under my hate.” (Reported by Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee, Ahmad and other)

Tabarruj and all forms of Jaahiliyyah such as false pride and haughtiness, ill thoughts about Allaah, call for falsehood, setting up rivals with Allaah, ruling by the laws of other than Islaam, usury, etc., are all inclusive.

12. Tabarruj is an animal act

To be similar in our behavior to animals is truly a degradation and decline to a level lower than the level of being humans. Being human is a blessing which Allaah has bestowed upon us. Allaah, the Almighty, has given us a natural inclination towards covering, preservation and safeguarding modesty. To consider the acts of display and uncovering as an act of beauty represents a corruption of the Fitrah (natural disposition/ inclination) and is a sad sign of our decadence and decline.

The stability of a person's respect is linked to his or her covering of the body.

13. Tabarruj is a door to wide-spread evil

Anyone who carefully examines the Islamic texts, the Qur’aan, the authentic Sunnah and the lessons from history will become convinced of the evils and harms of Tabarruj, both in religious and worldly matters. Some of its underlying consequences are:

a) The rivalry and competition among the women in showing off their beauty to non-Mahram men. This is seduction, which leads to the spoiling of basic morality; it leaves women as merchandised articles for anyone to look at.

b) The corruption of the morality of men, especially the youth and those in adolescence; it pushes them to commit various kinds of sin. We have seen teenage kids in the streets of Europe, North America and other parts of the world roaming around smoking, at times half naked, on drugs and looking to engage in sexual relationships. Why, what happened? Many try to hide from the hard facts. The drive for lust and the materialistic life became the objective of the new generation, the Pepsi, MTV generation. The result, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases!

c) The destruction of family ties, by the of a lack of trust between family members and the great threat of divorce due to it.

d) The commercial abuse of women in media, advertisement, entertainment and many other areas.

e) Doing harm to women by making them vulnerable to harm by the wicked, irreligious and sinful.

f) The spread of diseases. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Sin did not spread in any particular nation until they openly conducted (their sins) and as a result plague and other illnesses that were not present amongst their predecessors because present amongst them.”

g) The facilitation of the grave sin of Zinaa' (adultery) and the fornication which is done by the eye. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “(The) adultery of the eye is the lustful look.” (Reported by Muslim)

h) Tabarruj makes it difficult to lower the gaze.

i) It justifiably brings down the Punishment of Allaah and His Punishment is more severe than an atomic bomb. Allaah, the Almighty, says, “And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allaah and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.” (Al-Isra [17]:16)

The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“When people see wrong or evil and they don’t change it then it is eminent that the Punishment of Allaah will fall upon them.” (Reported by Aboo Daawood and others)


niqab788The eyes are like an ocean, every moment carrying various tides of feelings and sentiments; such discreet and inaudible expressions that it is impossible for the limbs to translate each flicker into words and actions. In fact, the eyes are a treasure chest for the secrets hidden within the being of a woman. It is these very eyes that have been a means of attraction, allurement and temptation for centuries. But few indeed are those who have possessed eyes holding the beauty of modesty as do the eyes of the Muslim Woman.

As many fall into the abyss of unrestrained glances, the Muslim Woman’s eyes hold the unique trait of piety, since she derives strength upon strength from knowing that her Lord watches her from above the heavens. Her connection with her Lord helps her greatly in shielding off the attacks of the accursed whisperer, for when he approaches her she easily rushes towards her Lord's refuge and seeks help in His Power and Might - be that anytime and anywhere.

Her love for her Creator gushes through her being, since He is the One who safeguarded and trained her against the evil that the eyes can incur, as she recited the Words of her Creator “…And tell the believing women to lower their gaze…”[1] Fully trying to entrench these words into her being, her eyes comply and she takes care in only beautifying her eyes within the serenity of her home and the protectiveness of her veil. An old lady was once asked,

‘What matter have you learnt to be the most important for a woman in her life?” She replied,

“Never to allow a non-mahram’s[2] eyes to meet with hers.”

A Muslim Woman should take this advice and be far above complacency in this matter; for an ajnabi (stranger) to look towards her adorned eyes is an affront to her modesty, the same modesty that the Prophet (peace be upon him) described when he said: "Modesty results in good only and nothing else"[3] and “…modesty is a branch of faith.”[4] Indeed, treachery to her faith is not the Muslimah’s way therefore she preserves her eyes solely for her spouse, after which her lowered and adorned modest gaze looks up towards and is revealed for her beloved, the one whom Allah calls her garment:

“…they are your Libaas and you are their Libaas...”[5]

Seeking Paradise, she begins a journey to expend all her efforts to be able to dive into his eyes – right into his heart. Whilst other women may beautify themselves when leaving the house, she beautifies herself within the realm of her home - her Jannah in this temporal world. Once Bakrah bint ‘Uqbah came to the scholars of the scholars, the leader of the righteous women: ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), and asked her about henna. ‘A’ishah said, “It comes from a good tree and pure water.” She asked her about removing body hair, and she said,

“If you have a husband, and you could remove your eyes and replace them with something better, then do it.”[6]

Althokohl.h1ugh using ‘extra volume mascara’ or ‘eye lash curlers’ may do the job to some extent, the righteous Muslimah - who loves to absorb the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) into her heart, just as a sponge absorbs water - follows a cheaper and easier supplement or alternative. It is a specific type of kohl[7] referred to as ithmid made from black stone. Our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“The best of your kohl is ithmid, for it makes the vision clear and makes the hair grow.”[8]

Therefore the ithmid kohl is not only beautifying for the eyes but a great asset and a powerful means by which to strengthen the vision as explained by the truthful, Muhammad (peace be upon him). In fact there was a woman by the name of Zarqa’ al-Yamaamah who could see as far as the distance of three days, when she was killed they found that all the veins in her eyes bore traces of the kohl ithmid[9]. And as for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words “…and makes the hair grow” the scholars explain that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was referring to the hair growth of the eyelashes[10].

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said,

'Kohl protects the health of the eyes and gives strength and clarity of vision, and cleanses the eye of bad substances. In addition to that some types of kohl also serve as an adornment and if it is applied before going to bed this is even better. And ithmid is more efficacious than other types of kohl.'[11]

May Allah bestow upon the Muslim Women of today modesty unparalleled in the annals of history and make them the most beautiful in the eyes of their respective husbands.

May Sisters worldwide be blessed with obedience to the commands of Allah and His Beloved Messenger and may Allah’s choicest peace and blessings be upon the leader of the Arabs and the Ajmaa’[12], Ameen.


1. Qur’aan, Surah An-Nur 24:30.
2. “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” [al-Noor 24:31]
3. Bukhari and Muslim
4. Bukhari and Muslim
5. Qur’aan, Suratul Baqarah 2: 187.
6. Ibn al-Jawzi, Ahkam al-Nisa', 343. Note: this does not include the removal of hair from the eyebrows, since the Prophet [saws] has cursed both the one who plucks and gets her hair plucked. It has been said that this is a weak narration.
7. Kohl is also referred to as surma, kajal, antimony and collyrium. The first two terms are used in Asian countries to refer to antimony.
8. Sunan al-Nasaa’i (5113) and Sunan Abi Dawood (3837)
9. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, vol. 17; Chapter on medical treatment and visiting the sick
10. Shamâ´il al-Muhammadiyyah (Description of Muhammad) by Imâm Abû ‘Isâ at-Tirmidhî 1/50
11. Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/281
12. The plural of Ajami which means non-Arab.


They ask: why do you segregate

The veil you obligate

Separate seating you allocate

Suppressed, denied, imprisoned and over you they dominate

Your rights they want to abate

In society we will make you achieve and accelerate

Segregation is oppressive and thus we must abrogate


Sit with us and wine and dine

You'll come to see that life is so fine


I reply and sigh

You don't know history and thus you ask me why

Although you call it 'sexual apartheid' to defy and deny

With your preconceived ideas, segregation in Islaam you belie

For me it is an honour, a privilege, a dignity which I apply

You have misunderstood the reasons and wisdoms

Come; sit with me awhile, so you may not remain so hostile


We, by segregating, are hidden from the filthy eyes

History bears witness that in the hearts of many men the devils fly

Women are abused and raped, over dark memories they cry

Yet so many continue to mix with men so as to wine and dine

Making sure they look fine


It’s about reality, so look at it sedately:

Segregation is not always a vice

Islaam shows its side - so nice

Dirty, evil men want to cling to you like lice

You know, so many of them are dirty, just like rats and mice


Our men keep us like petals

Keeping us away from the fierce wind that blows

Because within man’s blood satan flows

We are the diamonds, pearls and jewels

Not shown to just anyone as many men are such fools

So many look at women as merely sexual tools


I segregate and protect myself,

As women are more valuable than any wealth

Making sure to protect the beauty God has bestowed

Thanking him with obedience and words aloud

Thus I am not oppressed and the one undressed

How many women are raped - suffering from distress?

Their answer is Islaam, the path from which many, sadly, digress


Many women have been cheated on and used

But it’s strange, towards me you look bemused

Come join our caravan

And feel cherished and protected

You'll come to see that we are not outdated


Following the injunctions of the Lord, most High

The Creator of all that exists and everything you can list

This message should not be missed

The Paradise we want, to live within its midst

The Creator knows us best

Although for Muslim women, you see it as a test

Wake up and realise lest

On the Day of Reckoning you are from those people who didn’t win the test


I end with these words

Maybe angering the herds

That this is liberation

Freeing oneself from the shackles of oppression

Look at it from the light of truth and not detestation...


beautifulpurpleThe Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“Some people open the doors to good and close the doors to evil, and some people open the doors to evil and close the doors to good, so glad tidings to those in whose hands Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) places the keys to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) places the keys to evil.”[1]

In al-Munāwi’s commentary of this narration he quoted al-Ḥakīm saying,

“Goodness lies in Allāh’s (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) pleasure and evil lies in angering Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā), so if Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) is pleased with a servant, the sign of His (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) pleasure lies in making His servant a key to goodness. Therefore, if he is seen, goodness is remembered, if he is present goodness accompanies him and if he speaks, he speaks goodness. Such a person has clear and apparent signs of goodness surrounding him because he constantly moves from goodness to goodness; whether that is in action, word or thoughts…”[2]

If one looks into history, one invariably finds people who initiated either good or evil acts. The first person to revive the practice of tarāwīḥ after the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was ‘Umar bin al-Khaṭṭāb (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu). The first person to gather the Qur’ān together as one unified book was ‘Uthmān (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu). The first people to collect a collection of sound traditions were Imām Mālik and al-Bukhāri (raḥimahuma Allāh). The first person to write an entire, comprehensive treatise in Uṣūl al-Fiqh was Imām al-Shāfi’ī (raḥimahullāh). And even in matters pertaining to akhlāq; the first person to entertain a guest was Ibrāhīm (‘alayhi al-Salām). The list goes on.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we find that a number of people initiated evil acts as well. The son of Ādam (‘alayhi al-Salām) was the first person to commit murder, about whom the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“The first son of Ādam (‘alayhi al-Salām) takes a share of the guilt of everyone who murders another wrongfully because he was the initiator of committing murder.”[3]

Likewise, the idolaters from the people of Nūḥ (‘alayhi al-Salām) were the first people that introduced polytheism into the world. The people of Lūṭ (‘alayhi al-Salām) were the first people who introduced sexual deviancy into the world as well;

“And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?”[4]

Taking the above into consideration, it is vitally important that we develop a conscious attitude towards initiating and reviving good deeds as well a conscious attitude that is weary of evil deeds that may be imitated by others. We should at the very least be of those that have the courage to tell others to do good. We should be able to say to others, for example: Brother, try and memorise such and such a sūrah; pass on this information or knowledge to others; attend this lesson; listen to this lecture; read this book; give such and such a person the following advice; write an article; correct a particular mistake; accompany such and such a person; spend on this noble cause; help so and so; give a sermon; enjoin the good and forbid the evil; feed that poor person; follow a funeral procession; build a mosque; stand up for Muslims that are being defamed in the media and raise awareness about injustices; and so on. The opportunities to earn good deeds are simply too many to mention.

Being a key to goodness implies that one should try to precede others in doing good deeds and encouraging others to do so. However, it is important to note that there are a number of impediments that prevent many people from taking such an approach. Below we will mention some of these obstacles.

“I fear that I will not be sincere.”

This is quite a common concern that many people have and is in fact indicative of a healthy heart since a sick heart is not concerned with sincerity. A person will never know whether they are truly sincere or not until they are informed about their actions on the Day of Judgment, therefore a person should not wait until he feels as though he is 100% sincere in his actions before he embarks upon doing the action. Instead, he should strive to purify his intentions as much as he can and then embark upon the action, whilst asking Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) to make him sincere. If we decided not to do an action due to fear of lack of sincerity, then no good deeds would be done, especially by the God-fearing, since they are more conscious about their intentions!

2.“Why should I encourage others when I am a sinner?”

Again, the fear of hypocrisy is a positive quality to have but should not discourage a person from doing a good deed. If a person does a good deed and at the same time does other bad deeds they will be held accountable for the bad deed itself and not because they did a good deed in conjunction with it. We are all sinners, and if sins were an excuse not to do good deeds, we would never do good deeds!

3. “There are people who are more suitable to do such a deed.”

Whilst in principle there may indeed be people who are more qualified or more skilled to do a particular good deed, it should not necessarily prevent a person from doing good deeds. Imām Aḥmad described the person who gave up his position in the front row of prayer to a more righteous individual to be a fool (aḥmaq). People become highly skilled due to their years of experience. Such people were at one stage not very experienced and would have had more senior people above them, yet that would not stop them from engaging in those good deeds

4. False humility.

Sometimes, laziness or a general lack of eagerness can be camouflaged with the gown of humility. Humility should not be a barrier to do good deeds nor should it be equated with inactivity. A person can be humble yet be the most active of mankind.

To conclude, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“He who inaugurated a good practice in Islām which was followed after him (by people) would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who inaugurated some evil practice in Islām which had been followed subsequently (by others), would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without theirs being diminished in any respect.”[5]

May Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) grant us all sincerity, makes us keys for goodness and make us amongst those who race with one another towards goodness and Paradise. Āmīn.

And Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) knows best.


[1] Ibn Mājah (237).

[2] Fayḍ al Qadīr (2/669)

[3] Agreed upon.

[4] Al Qur’ān, 7:80

[5] Muslim, 1017.

homeskyThere was a builder who worked for a company building homes. When he got older, he wanted to retire. He went to the manager of the company and informed him of his intention to retire. The manager said he could retire, but under condition that he build one final home for the company. 

The man accepted the condition and began building the home as quickly as he could so he could fulfill the condition and finally retire. However, the home was built shabbily; the doors were poorly hung and the walls were flimsy. He then rushed to the manager and handed him the keys to the newly built home. 

The manager then informed him that this home was a gift to him from the company he had served for so many years. Needless to say, the man was shocked; he thought to himself, why didn't I built that home well, why didn't I make that the best home I ever built?

Similarly dear brothers and sisters, our worship, our prayers and our voluntary good deeds are for Allah. He asks us to do them, but on the Day of Judgement they will be ours, they will be ours to benefit from. Therefore, let us perfect our woship, because we will soon find out and realize that all these acts of worship (salah, fasting, qiyam, etc...) are for us.

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

{O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter - that is the home of [permanent] settlement.}

(Surah Ghaafir - Verse 39)

stonesseaAn ancient wisdom: "Do good, then throw it into the sea."

This is one of my favourite quotes because of the depth of meaning. Don't keep a tab on all the good deeds that you do, that's a job which angels are assigned to. So when you do a righteous act, do it with sincerity then forget about it and move on to the next good deed. When you help someone, do it well and then forget it; don't remind them of your favour and don't hold on to its memory either because Shaytan has ways of trying to pollute even those deeds which we've done in the past and what victory he seeks by ruining not just our present good deeds but past ones too!

So rush to do the khayr and then throw it's memory to the back of your mind; your sea of thoughts, and don't dwell on them. For Allah always remembers and the sea always throws back it's pearls and contents.

sisterthinkingI don't care what nobody says, the old-school speakers were the best and the most humble! Many speakers today do things that are punch-in-the-face worthy. I have graciously compiled the official top ten reasons to get punched in the face if you are a Muslim speaker:

(Please note that if you are a speaker and disagree with ANY of the points on this list, that will qualify you for a free and immediate punch to the mouth)! To avoid the 1001 complaints from those who are not familiar with the speakers circuit, I have provided explanations under each point.

The top ten reasons to get Punched in the Face if you're a Muslim speaker are:

Humility is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slave. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And by the Mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you" [Aal 'Imraan 3:159]

"And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character" [al-Qalam 68:4]

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) being a true slave of Allaah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allaah and compassion towards the slaves of Allaah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

*Please click here if you can't see the above video.


perilsofprideWHAT is SO wrong about feeling self-important?

The Qur'an clearly mentions that being arrogant will surely lead one to Hellfire.

Allah says: "Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant." (Qur'an 40:76)

"I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. That is because they have denied Our signs and they were heedless of them." (Qur'an 7:146)

Allah reminds the believers that they should remain humble because arrogance leads to ETERNAL destruction!

Who is Arrogant?

The word 'arrogant' is defined as: 'Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.' (Oxford English Dictionary).

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines it as:

'Exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner.'

'Showing an offensive attitude of superiority; proceeding from or characterized by arrogance.'

These definitions show that being arrogant is simply a negative personality trait. We are all creations of Allah and whatever good we possess is from Him alone. If one possesses something superior -- whether it is health, wealth, or education – he/she should remain humble and NEVER disgrace someone who doesn't enjoy his/her qualities. Instead, they should thank Almighty Allah for His blessings.

The "arrogant one"

Allah created the heavens and the earth, the angels and the Jinns, and then created Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). He created the angels from light, the Jinns from smoke/fire and Adam from clay. He asked the angels to prostrate to him and they obeyed Allah's command and prostrated. He then asked Iblis (Satan) to prostrate and he refused because he considered himself superior to Adam.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam); You created me from fire, and him You created from clay." (Qur'an 7:12)

Allah dislikes those who consider themselves superior over others, as He says in the Qur'an:

"(O Iblis) get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced." (Qur'an 7:13)

Allah said to Iblis:

"Get out from this (Paradise) disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all." (Qur'an 7:18)

We can easily understand from the above verses that an arrogant person is amongst the cohorts of Satan.

Narrated 'Abd-Allaah ibn Mas'ood (may Allah be pleased with him):

Allah's Apostle, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "No one who has an atom's-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise." A man said, "O Messenger of Allaah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?" He said: "Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people." (Sahih Muslim: 91)

Superiority Complex

The term "superiority complex" was coined by an Austrian medical doctor and psychotherapist, Alfred Adler, who was also the founding father of the school of individual psychology. He described the concept as a 'psychological defense mechanism' in which a person's feelings of superiority counter or conceal his or her feelings of inferiority.

Some people often make arrogant comments that are very hurtful and sinful as well. Such comments and attitudes are unacceptable by Allah, as He says in the Qur'an:

"And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height." (Qur'an 17:37)

The "Braggart"

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary states the definition of braggart as: 'A loud arrogant boaster.'

Let us look at some examples:

Case 1: A person has only two pairs of shoes for formal wear. He/she has been wearing them for a few years and one day he/she sees his/her friend buy a new pair of shoes. A feeling of inferiority arises within him/her and he immediately comments in a pompous tone, "I have seen better shoes than these, they are cheap quality ...where/why did you get them? I only buy Italian leather shoes!" Not only did he/she hurt the feelings of the other person but by doing so, projected an image of preeminence, i.e., he/she possess more knowledge/experience about shopping for shoes.

A beautiful reminder of Allah's words from the Qur'an:

"And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses" (Qur'an 31: 18-19)

Case 2: A friend of mine has recently been promoted to a top managerial position at a multinational firm. Coming from a background of modest means, she would often see her friends buy expensive clothing, footwear, furniture or jewellery etc. in the past and feel inferior to them. To make herself feel better, she would make statements such as: "I would never buy such a piece of furniture, it's hideous!" or "That dress is so common and worn by every other woman, I'd never buy that". By making such arrogant comments, she was somehow able to comfort herself and assuage her feelings of inferiority.

Narrated 'Abd-Allaah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him):

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever lets his garment drag along the ground out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection." Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Sometimes my garment slips down on one side, unless I pay attention to it." The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "You are not doing that out of pride." (Sahih Bukhaari, 3465)

What is humility?

Having a sense of humility simply means NOT to think/act/speak arrogantly with others. One should never consider themselves as better or superior to others due to their citizenship, education, health, wealth, social status etc.

A beautiful verse from the holy Qur'an states:

"Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds and humbled themselves to their Lord - those are the companions of Paradise; they will abide eternally therein." (Qur'an 11:23)

Subhaan Allah! It is very clear from the above verse, that Allah rewards his "humble" believers with Jannah (Paradise). What better abode for a believer?

Allah even ordered Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to remain humble. Allah says in Qur'an:

"And warn, [O Muhammad], your closest kindred.And lower your wing (i.e., be humble and show kindness) to those who follow you of the believers." (Qur'an 26:214-215)

Haritha b. Wahb al-KhuzaIi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: "Should I not inform you about the inmates of Paradise?" And (informing about them) said: "Every meek person who is considered to be humble and if they were to adjure in the name of Allah, Allah would certainly fulfil it. Should I not inform you about the inmates of Hellfire? They are all proud, mean and haughty." (Sahih Muslim: Book 40, Number 6835)

Disregarding someone's efforts and not appreciating others, endlessly arguing to have the final word, neglecting the truth/facts and not accepting one's own fault and apologizing are all signs of arrogance.

Some people even misunderstand humility to be a sign of weakness, which it is NOT!

Advantages of being humble vs. disadvantages of being arrogant

In the long run, people will always remember, admire and respect a person who is modest and humble. People tend to listen to someone who doesn't overshadow or dominate them. (Trust me! No one, I repeat, NO ONE likes an arrogant person.) People who redirect their focus to others instead of having all the focus and attention to themselves at all times, are usually well liked. Being humble also provides incentives for one to improve and reflect upon their mind, character and attitude. When one thinks and behaves with humility, he/she will be capable of managing their personal and professional lives with a positive attitude.

Allah says in Qur'an:

"That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous."(Qur'an 28:83)

alikhlaas lillaahWhat are the signs that a person is seeking to build an 'image' instead of developing true faith by way of righteous deeds?

In his book, Riyaa: The Hidden Shirk, Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi writes:

"Linguistically Riyaa comes from the root "ra'aa" which means to see; to behold; to view. The derived word 'Riyaa' means "eye-service; hypocrisy; dissimulation; dissemblance."

From a Sharee'ah point of view, it means: "To perform acts which are pleasing to Allaah, with the intention of pleasing other than Allaah."

The primary cause of Riyaa' is a weakness in faith (Eemaan). When a person does not have strong faith in Allaah, he will prefer the admiration of people over the pleasure of Allaah."

There are three symptoms that are indicative of Riyaa', and it is essential that a believer avoid all of them.

1) The love of praise:

A Hadeeth mentions the first three people being thrown into hellfire—the scholar (who taught for fame), the martyr (who fought for fame), and the person who gave his money in charity (so people would say he is generous). All three of these people desired the pleasure of people over the pleasure of Allah. The person who desires the praise of people must feel some pride in himself, for he feels himself worthy of being praised. There is a danger, therefore, of him becoming arrogant and boastful.

The Messenger of Allah ( peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ النَّاسِ يُقْضَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ اسْتُشْهِدَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ قَاتَلْتُ فِيكَ حَتَّى اسْتُشْهِدْتُ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ قَاتَلْتَ لأَنْ يُقَالَ جَرِيءٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ

sword"The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He shall be brought (before the Judgment Seat). Allaah will make him recount His blessings (i. e. the blessings which He had bestowed upon him) and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his life). (Then) will Allaah say: 'What did you do (to requite these blessings)?' He will say: 'I fought for Thee until I died as a martyr.' Allaah will say: 'You have told a lie. You fought that you might be called a "brave warrior". And you were called so.' (Then) orders will be passed against him and he will be dragged with his face downward and cast into Hell.

 وَرَجُلٌ تَعَلَّمَ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمَهُ وَقَرَأَ الْقُرْآنَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ تَعَلَّمْتُ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمْتُهُ وَقَرَأْتُ فِيكَ الْقُرْآنَ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ تَعَلَّمْتَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُقَالَ عَالِمٌ ‏.‏ وَقَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ قَارِئٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ ‏.‏

Quranhifdh55Then will be brought forward a man who acquired knowledge and imparted it (to others) and recited the Qur'aan. He will be brought And Allaah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Then Allaah will ask: 'What did you do (to requite these blessings)?' He will say: 'I acquired knowledge and disseminated it and recited the Qur'aan seeking Thy pleasure.' Allah will say: 'You have told a lie. You acquired knowledge so that you might be called "a scholar," and you recited the Qur'aan so that it might be said: "He is a Qari" and such has been said.' Then orders will be passed against him and he shall be dragged with his face downward and cast into the Fire.

 وَرَجُلٌ وَسَّعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَعْطَاهُ مِنْ أَصْنَافِ الْمَالِ كُلِّهِ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا

عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ أَنْفَقْتُ فِيهَا لَكَ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ فَعَلْتَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ جَوَادٌ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ ثُمَّ أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

moneyThen will be brought a man whom Allah had made abundantly rich and had granted every kind of wealth. He will be brought and Allaah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them and (admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Allaah will (then) ask: 'What have you done (to requite these blessings)?' He will say: 'I spent money in every cause in which Thou wished that it should be spent.' Allaah will say: 'You are lying. You did (so) that it might be said about (You): "He is a generous fellow" and so it was said.' Then will Allah pass orders and he will be dragged with his face downward and thrown into Hell." (Saheeh Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ طَلَبَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُمَارِيَ بِهِ السُّفَهَاءَ أَوْ لِيُبَاهِيَ بِهِ الْعُلَمَاءَ أَوْ لِيَصْرِفَ وُجُوهَ النَّاسِ إِلَيْهِ فَهُوَ فِي النَّارِ

"Whoever seeks knowledge in order to argue with the foolish, or to show off before the scholars, or to attract people's attention, will be in Hell." (Sunan Ibn Maajah, Da'if [Weak].)

2) Fear of criticism:

No one likes to be criticised.

The dislike of criticism regarding religious practices may be divided into two categories:

a. The first category is that of a person who neglects a commandment of Allaah in order to avoid the criticism of his peers. However, the true believers are described in the Qur'aan as follows:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

"...They do not fear the criticism of those who criticise. And this is the blessing of Allah; He gives it to whomsoever He wishes. Verily, Allaah is Self-Sufficient, all Knowing. " [Al-Maa'idah : 54]

b. The second category is that of a person who obeys certain commandments of Islaam, not for the sake of Allaah, but because he fears people will look down upon him and criticise him if he does not do it. For example, a man may make his formal prayers in the Masjid because he does not want people to criticise him for praying at home, or to think that he is not praying at all.

3) Greed for people's possessions

If a person covets what other people possess—whether it is rank, money or power, then he will wish them to envy him similarly. For example, if he is jealous of a certain person's position in society, he will try by every possible means to attain the same position. Such desires lead people to spend their lives putting on a show for other people so that they will admire their rank, money, or power.

How does one go about seeking sincerity?

Imaam Ibn-al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) says:

"If your soul informs you to quest for Ikhlaas, turn first towards your yearning [of showing off] and slaughter it with a knife [in a state] of desperation. Then turn [in a state of] asceticism upon (i.e. against) praise and commendation... If your quest in slaughtering the yearning [of showing off], and [the acquisition of] asceticism [against] praise and commendation is successful, your [journey] shall be facilitated in your [quest] for Ikhlaas."

Tameem ad-Daaree (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said thrice (to lay stress): "The Deen is Naseehah (sincerity and sincere advice)." We said: "To whom?" He said: "To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people." [ Saheeh Muslim]

PATH TO HEAVENImaam an-Nawawee (may Allaah have mercy on him) has a lengthy commentary on this Hadeeth in Sharh Saheeh Muslim, in which he says:

"Sincerity to Allaah means:

  • Having faith in Him...
  • Avoiding disobedience to Him;
  • To love for His sake and to hate for His sake;
  • To keep good relations with those that obey Him and to have enmity with those that disobey Him...
  • To recognise His favours and to give thanks to Him for them;
  • To have sincerity in all affairs...
  • To show kindness to all the people, all those whom you are able to, in this call...
  • ..Sincerity to the general Muslims ... is to guide them to what is beneficial for them, both in the Hereafter and this life. To keep harm away from them;
  • To teach them that which they are ignorant of regarding the Deen...
  • To help them by words and actions;
  • To hide their faults and to fulfil their needs and wants;
  • ... To bring that which is of benefit to them;
  • Enjoin them with good and forbid them from evil, with gentleness, sincerity and compassion for them.
  • Having respect for their elderly and mercy for their young.
  • ...Not acting deceitfully towards them.
  • To love the good things for them, which he would love for himself. To hate the bad things for them, which he would hate for himself.
  • To protect their wealth and reputation,
  • and encourage and advise them to take on the character of all that we have mentioned, form all the types of sincerity..."

If you skipped the last three paragraphs, I urge you to scroll up and read them slowly and carefully – they contain the prescription to our problems as an Ummah.

As Muslims, our main concern is not to score points over each other—it is to help each other gain Allaah's pleasure.

As Muslims, our job in this world is to establish the Truth—how can we presume to do that when we fail to be honest in our innermost motives?

As Muslims, our supplication is, as was the prayer of the righteous predecessors:

اللهم اجعل باطننا خيراً من ظاهرنا، واجعل ظاهرناً خيراً

Allaahummaa ij'al baatinanaa khayran min dhaahirina; wa-ija'al dhaahiranaa khayran

"O Allaah! Make the hidden aspects of our personality better than our outer persona; and make our appearance good".

How can we assume vicegerency over the Earth when we fail to be sincere slaves to our Lord; when we are concerned with outward appearances more than the state of our soul?


niqab788Shaykh Sayyid al-‘Affani:

“Whoever seeks Allah and desires nobility and great honour, let him not sell his soul for a lowly price when in front of him lies Paradise and eternity. Indeed, we have only been created to live with our Creator in a Home the garden of which Allah the Most High has cultivated with His Hands.”

‘Aamir ibn ‘Abd:

“I have not looked towards anything except that I saw Allah the Most High was closer to it than myself.”


“Know that He `azza wa jall, draws close to the hearts of His slaves according to how close they draw to Him, so look to what is drawing close to your heart.”


“Knowing the greatness of Allah, the King of Kings, will make it easier for a person to gain sincerity. Likewise it’s made easier knowing that the hearts and forelocks of the slaves of Allah lie in His Hands, and that He runs their affairs; He commands and prohibits, honours and disgraces. He turns the hearts of the creation, so the heart of him whom you wish to show off to in is the Hands of Him Whom you are disobeying… It is incredible that you should know Him and yet not be sincere to Him, incredible that you should hear His call and yet delay in responding. Indeed, everything has a replacement, but Allah cannot be replaced.”

One of the salaf said,

“Fight your soul and prevent it from the causes of Riya’ (showing off), and try to imagine the people around you as being like cattle or children so that you do not differ in your ‘Ibadah (worship) when they are present or absent, when they see you or not, and be content with the fact that Allah sees you.”

Abu al-Darda’ (radhiallahu `anhu) said,

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the humbleness of the hypocrites.” It was said, “And what is the humbleness of the hypocrites?” He said, “That you should see the body being humble, but the heart refuses to be humble.”

Dhul-Nun: “When the wise one feels comfort in solitude, then he has attained sincerity, and at that point, his wisdom will move him to the truth and correctness in matters.”

Do not rely upon the creation to grant you your wishes

Indeed that’s only a shortcoming on part of your religion

A slave has no power to grant you, not even an atom’s weight

Except with the Permission of He who made you from clay

So do not walk with the mighty in order to boast with them

Rather be modest and virtuous and exalt the sanctity of this Deen

Seek provision from Allah; from the treasures that are with Him

For indeed your provision only lies between Kaf and Nun*

* i.e. between the letters Kaf and Nun – in Arabic this spells out ‘Be,’ or ‘to become’ which is a reference to the verse: “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be! (kun)” and it is.” [Ya-Sin: 82].

Source: ‘Ta’tir al-Anfas min Hadith al-Ikhlas’ by Shaykh Sayyid Husayn al-’Affani


2womendiscussing“Say: Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!” [Al-Kahf: 103-104]

This is a thought-provoking verse that should get us to really reflect and contemplate. To get the best out of the Qur’an, one should read it as if it were a personal letter from their Lord. Ponder over every verse and see the various ways that it can apply to you. Does it offer guidance that you can follow? Does it contain a warning that you can pay heed to? Does it offer a new way of thinking that can expand your horizon? Any way we can apply a verse to our own selves, let’s apply it. That is when the Qur’an will create a dramatic change within us.

Subhan’Allah, one of the worst things that can happen to a person is for them to come on the Day of Judgement with deeds upon deeds, only to then realise that those deeds have mounted to nothing. Or that the reward has been diminished greatly. This can happen due to us failing in sincerity or intention…

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “People will be resurrected upon their intentions.” 1

Sincerity is an act of the heart and one of its most important… Acts of the heart are generally more crucial than outward acts of the limbs (prayer, fasting, Hajj etc) because the heart needs to submit to Allah before the body can submit.

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said,

“Whoever contemplates over the Shari’ah, its source and ways, will come to know how the acts of the limbs are tied to the acts of the heart and that they do not benefit without them. He will also come to know that the acts of the heart are more obligatory upon the slave than the acts of the limbs. Is the believer distinguished from the hypocrite except by virtue of what is in the heart of each of them when it comes to deeds? Worship of the heart is greater than the worship of the limbs and it is more abundant and lasting, hence it’s mandatory at all times.” 2

Interestingly, the Salaf used to teach intentions and sincerity just like they taught other acts of worship.

Sufyan al-Thawri (rahimahullaah) said,

“They used to learn about intentions just like they used to learn about deeds.” 3

We also ought to teach how to have a good intention, how to rid oneself of Riyaa’ (showing off), how to be sincere and how to recognise the corrupting factors which lead to bankruptcy on the Day of Accounting.

Tustari (rahimahullaah):

“Intention is sincerity. Just as the outer reality (of a person) is made steadfast by good deeds, the inner reality is made steadfast by intentions. Whoever does not know his intention, does not know his Deen (religion). And whoever neglects his intention will fall into a state of confusion.”

Yahya ibn Abi Kathir (rahimahullaah):

“Learn about intentions because they travel further than deeds.” 4

Yusuf ibn Asbat said to Bashar (rahimahumullaah),

“Learn how to differentiate between a good deed and a bad deed. Indeed, it took me 22 years to learn the difference.” 5

Sulayman al-Dariani (rahimahullaah):

“Glad tidings to the one who proves sincere in one step which he takes desiring only Allah, the Most High.”

Abu Talib al-Makki (rahimahullaah):

“A righteous intention is one’s first good deed; it is the first gift of Allah (to His slave) and it is the first point of reward. A slave will only get the reward of a deed according to what Allah has gifted him with of intentions, and perhaps a single deed will gather numerous intentions according to the slave’s capacity and his knowledge, so for every intention he receives a reward and each is multiplied tenfold because they (intentions) are deeds which have been gathered within a deed.” 6

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah):

“Ikhlaas (sincerity) is that which no Angel knows of such that he can write it down, and no enemy is aware of such that he can corrupt it, and the individual is not amazed at it such that he renders it invalid.” 7

Al-Susi (rahimahullaah):

“Sincerity means to lose sight of your sincerity, for indeed the one who bears witness to his sincerity, then his sincerity is in need of sincerity!”

May Allah grant us sincerity and protect us from everything that will corrupt us, ameen.


1] Reported by Ahmad, declared Sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’
2] Bada’i al-Fawa’id, by Ibn al-Qayyim
3] Qut al-Qulub, by Abu Talib al-Makki
4] Hilyat al-Awliya’, by Abu Nu’aym
5] See above source
6] Qut al-Qulub, by Abu Talib al-Makki
7] al-Fawa’id by Ibn al-Qayyim

satanhinders‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubaarak (rahimahullah): ‘I was in Makkah when the people were afflicted with a drought. So they all came out to Masjid al-Haram for Istisqaa’ (prayer for rain) but they were not granted rain, and to my side was a black slave.

He said,

‘O Allaah! O Allaah! They have surely called You but You did not respond. I swear to You and take an oath by You that You will indeed provide water for us.’

‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubaarak (rahimahullah) said, ‘By Allah, it was only a short moment before we were granted rain.‘

He continued saying, ‘The black slave departed and I followed him until he entered a house in Hanatin. I put a mark on it and in the morning, I took some money and went to the house.

A man came to the door and I said to him, ‘I want to see the owner of this house.’

He said, ‘It’s me.’

I said, ‘There is a slave of yours whom I wish to purchase.’

He said, ‘I have fourteen servants, I’ll bring them out to you.’

‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubaarak (rahimahullah) said, ‘But he was not amongst them.’ So I said to him (the man), ‘Anyone left?’

He said, ‘A sick boy.’ He brought him out and it was him.

I said, ‘Sell him to me.’

He said, ‘He is yours, O Abu Abdur-Rahman.’

So I gave him fourteen dinaars and I took the servant. When we had gone along the way, he said ‘O master, what could you want with me when I am ill?’

I said to him, ‘It’s because of what I saw yesterday evening (during the Istisqaa’).’

The boy leaned against the wall and said,

‘O Allaah! Do not cause me to become famous but take me back to You!’

‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubaarak (rahimahullah): ‘He fell down dead and the people of Makkah began to surround him…’

Source: Sifat al-Safwah by Ibn al-Jawzi.


flower-under-night-sky… As I pulled out one of the books, my eyes fell on a chapter which I had bookmarked a couple of years ago. Unlike most normal people who bookmark chapters which they’re currently reading or are about to read, I guess I’m from the elite-but-lunatic few who only bookmark chapters which they’ve already read and passed by… (there’s a logic somewhere there, I promise!).

It was a chapter on ‘Keeping one’s deeds a secret’. Ah, it took me down memory lane… Years ago, in fact a decade ago, I remember being in the company of sisters who were (and still are) very dear to my heart; sisters who had taken me in when I was young, carefree and zealously passionate about everything which spelt ‘Islam’. We had gathered together for a halaqah at the beginning of Ramadan. The older sisters amongst us had prepared something for us youngsters, and it wasn’t food…

“Right, so here’s a chart we’ve put together so we can gain the maximum benefit from this month,” she started.

“You can personalise it as much as you like, but as you can see it’s a daily tick-chart which lists all the good deeds we should try and do on a daily basis…” She went on to explain how to use the chart while I rushed ahead and looked at all the good deeds they prepared for us to do, ‘Hmm, pretty impressive,’ I thought. It was like a mini-Hisn al-Muslim except more practical and more focused.

“… And if you look right to the bottom, you’ll see a special addition and I’ll leave you girls to ponder on that.” My eyes zapped straight to the bottom of the page…

After the list of good deeds such as Salah, Sadaqah, Dhikr, keeping ties, good character etc, there came one sentence which embodied a specific yet non-specific deed:

‘A secret deed between you and Allah.’

A shiver ran down my spine. Wow, did that sentence throw me off or what. It was amazing, not because I was unaware of such a concept as ikhlaas (sincerity), but because no-one had ever put it quite as bluntly or as straight forward as this. ‘I gotta do a secret deed?’ I thought to myself. Hmm, I was excited. (Or perhaps my wild dreams of being an acrobatic top-secret agent, working underground and virtually invisible to the world, kinda ran away with me at that point…!).

Still, there was something about it which appealed to me.

Many years later, I find that it still amazes me.

In an authentic narration, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever among you can afford to have good deeds stored in secret, let him do it.” [Sahih al-Jami’]

Doing righteous good deeds in your own private moment and space without interference is actually a Sunnah. Worship performed in this way often boosts one’s love, sincerity and proficiency of that act of worship. Although each serves its purpose, doing good deeds on your own and away from the eyes of onlookers is starkly different and on a completely different level to when you do these deeds as part of a jama’ah (group). It tastes different, it often is different and you know, the outcome is also different.

Abu Umamah (radhiallahu `anhu) recognised this and urged it when he saw a man praying in the masjid, crying profusely and making du’a in prostration. He went to him afterwards and said,

“You… if only you did this in your own home.”

Muhammad ibn Wasi’ said,

“I have seen men, and amongst them would be a man whose head would be next to his wife’s head on the same pillow, and his tears would soak all that’s underneath his cheek yet his own wife wouldn’t even know it. I have seen men lining up in a row (for prayer), and amongst them a man would stand, his tears flowing down his cheeks, yet the person next to him wouldn’t even know it.”

Al-Hasan al-Basri also said,

“A man would be sitting in a gathering and a drop of tear comes to his eyes, he tries to keep it back until when he fears that it will overpower him, he gets up and leaves.”

Meaning that they didn’t wish to come off as being any more pious or any more soft-hearted then those around them. And if something did affect them or draw them closer to Allah `azza wa jall, they kept it between Him and them. An act of worship is between you and the One you worship, so it has little to do with others and hence there’s no reason for others to know about it or be caused to be know all about it.

One of the Salaf once said,

“Don’t do deeds so that you can be mentioned, rather hide your deeds just as you hide your sins.”

One of the special things about doing good deeds secretly is that the outcome is often great. Just as the Salaf used to say,

“The one who humbles himself for Allah, will be raised by Allah,”

they also recognised that doing good deeds away from the eyes of others often brought greatness.

Ibn al-Mubarak once mentioned Imam Malik (who was his contemporary) saying,

“I haven’t seen anyone become raised in rank like Malik has been. He doesn’t have much in the way of prayer or fasting, but I only see this to be due to some secret deed which he does.”

Once he was asked about Ibrahim ibn Adham and his credibility in relaying hadith and he said,

“Indeed, he has witnessed narrations from people, and he has great virtue within himself. He is someone who has secret righteous deeds, and I have never seen him even utter tasbih (words of remembrance) or do anything of good deeds openly.”

… And we all know of Ibrahim ibn Adham.

The examples are numerous amongst that sincere generation. But what can we do to increase our portion of a’mal al-sirr?

Some tips:

- Contemplate over the meaning of Ikhlaas. What does it really mean to you?

- We need to reach the state where people’s praise and criticism is one and the same to us. The stage where praise doesn’t do anything to raise us, and rebuttal does nothing to lower us.

- Have a high opinion of your Lord. He should be your greatest concern.

- Have a high opinion of yourself. You’re more valuable than being the chit-chat of others.

- Start now. And a good way to begin is to pray, or recite Qur’an in a corner far away from people at least once a day. Special ‘me’ time perhaps, except this is completely purposeful. It would also be just as good to give away something in secret charity, and this is actually the Qur’anic example…

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you…” [al-Baqarah: 271]


treeblueSome thoughtful quotes I came across whilst reading Shaykh al-’Affani’s book on Ikhlas (sincerity). The humbleness of the Salaf is truly admirable, this is just an insight into how they used to see themselves… 

Khalaf ibn Tamim: ‘I heard Sufyan al-Thawri saying in Makkah when the people had gathered around him,

“Lost is the Ummah when the like of me is taken as an example!”‘

And whenever he was asked a question, he would say “I am not fit to answer it.” They said, “Then who shall we ask?” He said,

“Ask the scholars and ask Allah for tawfiq (guidance).”

- this was despite him being of the major scholars in his time.

Dawud al-Ta’i: “Sins have left us, but we’re shy of much of the people’s gathering.” He also said,

“The worshippers have surpassed me and I have been cut off and left behind, O’ what ruins!”

Al-Sirri al-Saqti: “I wouldn’t like to die in a land in which I am well-known.” It was said to him, “Why is that, Abu al-Hasan?” He said,

“I fear that my grave will not accept me and I would in turn be exposed and humiliated.”

Al-Hasan al-Basri:

“I have accompanied people who when compared to them I was like a criminal thief!” (i.e. due to their virtue)

Some righteous people were once mentioned in the presence of Mukhallad ibn Husayn and he began to recite the poem…

“Do not mention them along with us and thus mix the two
Indeed the healthy one when he walks is not like the crippled.”

Qatada: ‘Isa ibn Maryam said,

“Ask me, for truly my heart is soft and I see myself to be small and humbled.”

Al-A’raj (one of Madinah’s scholars who studied under Abu Hurayrah) said:

“Examine your soul and see what evil it is upon because tomorrow every single person will be gathered with his like, so whoever falls into many sins will be gathered along with the people of those sins.”

He (rahimahullah) used to rebuke himself often and lower it, saying:

“A caller shall call on the Day of Judgement, ‘O people of such-and-such sin, rise up!’ And you will rise up with them O A’raj. Then he will call, ‘O people of such-and-such sin, rise up!’ And you shall rise up them also. Then he will call, ‘O people of such-and-such sin, rise up!’ And again you shall rise up with them as well. O A’raj, I see you rising up with every sinful group…”

Ibrahim al-Nakha’i:

“I have spoken but if I could find a way, I would never have spoken. Indeed, the era in which I become the scholar of Kufa is an evil era.”

Muhammad ibn Aslam al-Tusi:

“I have travelled in the land far and wide and by the One besides Whom there is no other God, I have not seen a soul praying towards the Qiblah that was worse in my sight than my own soul.”

Ibrahim al-Taymi:

“I have never put my deeds side by side with my speech except that I feared becoming a liar.”

Ja’far ibn Barqan: “News reached me of the virtue and righteousness of Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd, so I wrote to him saying, “O brother, write to me and tell me of your state and what you are upon (of goodness).” So he wrote back to him saying,

“Your letter has reached me asking me to inform you of my state. Let me tell you that I approached my soul and told it to love for the people what it loves for itself, and to hate for the people what it hates for itself, but I found it to be far from that. I then came to it again and told it to abandon mentioning people except that which was good, but I have found that fasting in the mid-day heat of an extremely hot day in the land of Basra to be easier than abandoning the mention of people. This, O dear brother, is my state. Wasalam.”


photos-of-Visions-of-Heaven-picturesWhen we start to practice Islaam, it can become easy to tell people what is right and wrong but to lose empathy for the struggles they may go through in making that decision. We may give up on them in frustration prematurely, not giving that individual a chance wrongly assuming their sins to be too great to be forgiven and wrongly assuming our good deeds to be too great to be held to account.

Yunus bin Matta (as) was a Prophet who also called his people to worship Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'la) alone and abandon their sinful ways. Despite a long period of time, only a few people believed; finally in despair Yunus supplicated to his Lord to send His punishment upon his people.  He was commanded by Allah to preach to his people for a further short period of time. When three days remained he proclaimed amongst his people that punishment would afflict them and fled:

“And (remember) Dhun-Nûn (Yunus), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him.” (Surah 21v87)

His people gathered together and agreed amongst themselves that Yunus was a person not known to lie and when they realised that he had fled and he must be telling the truth they repented, so Allah (swt) forgave them and showed them mercy.

“Was there any town that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its Faith saved it (from the punishment)? (The answer is none,) - except the people of Yûnus (Jonah); when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.”(Surah 10, v98)

In the meantime, Yunus awaited news of what had happened to his people, and finally a traveller passed by him informing him that his people had become believers and the punishment had averted them. Fearing disgrace and being called a liar he determined not to return, and embarked upon a heavily laden ship. On its journey, the ship encountered a storm.  To lighten their load the travellers decided to throw passengers off the ship and drew lots. The name of Yunus (as) came up. As they were reluctant to throw him off the ship and anger Allah as they deemed him to be pious they drew lots three times. Each time his name came up.

“When he ran to the laden ship, He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers,”(Surah 37, v140-141)

Upon being thrown into the sea, Allah (swt) commanded for him to be swallowed up by a huge whale.

“Then a (big) fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame.” (Surah 37, v142)

In the belly of the whale he realised his mistake. He realised he disobeyed Allah (swt) by abandoning his people and fleeing before being granted permission by his Lord and he realised that this was the actual cause of his trial.

“…But he cried through the darkness (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allâh)], Sub’hanaka [Glorified (and Exalted) are You above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Inni kuntu minaz Zalimun [Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers]." (Surah 21, v87)

At-Tabari reports on the authority of Ibn Wahb that this dua appeared beneath the throne of Allah and the angels said that they heard a very weak voice coming from a strange land. Allah said, “Do you not know who that is? He is our servant, Yunus.” The angels said, “Your servant Yunus, from whom there has ascended to You an accepted prayer and an accepted deed?”  Allah replied, “Yes” and commanded the whale to throw him out on the open shore.

“But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick, And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.” (Surah 37, v147-148)

Once he regained his health, Yunus (as) returned to his people and informed them that Allah (swt) had forgiven them, and his people welcomed him with open arms.

“And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.  And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while.” (Surah 37, v147-148)

So Sisters and Brothers why am I telling you this story?  Because in this story Allah (swt) has sent for those who believe a lesson:

“So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And that is how We rescue the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allâh, abstain from evil and work righteousness).” (Surah 21, v87-88)

For me one of those lessons that I just realised is that no matter how practicing we are, we have no right to assume the sins that others commit will mean that they will not firstly repent and secondly that their repentance will not be accepted by Allah subhaanahu wa ta'la.  It is perhaps this sin that will make this slave so remorseful that they repent to Allah (az) with such a sincere repentance that they achieve Jannatul Firdaus. And perhaps it is the same act of giving up on informing the people of the difference between right and wrong that may render us to be punished.

Look at the Prophet Yunus (as). Allah (swt) punished him even though his duas and deeds were almost always accepted. And look at the people of Yunus (as). When they realised their mistake and they repented then Allah (swt) accepted their repentance.

If we are those who enjoin the good and forbid the evil, be that by giving talks, or writing articles, or just simply being a positive role model to our communities and trying to forbid the evil and enjoin the good, then we have been blessed with an honoured position by Allah (swt):

"You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah." (s3, v110)

And if we neglect this obligation upon us then this will render us to become vulnerable to the punishment of Allah (swt):

The Prophet (saws) said: "I swear by Him in whose Hands is my soul, you will of a surety command what is good, and forbid what is evil, or else it is very possible that Allah will send upon you His punishment, so you will make dua to Him, and you will not be responded to".(Tirmidhi)

But with this opportunity and honour to enjoin the good and forbid the evil we must not assume that the person we are advising is beyond hope, that they will never change, that they are a lost cause. Nor should we become frustrate and give up on trying on advise them. One day Allah (swt) may guide them to accept their faults and to repent and to be the best Muslims. If we look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), his beloved companion Umar (ra) was someone into alcohol, with a fierce temper who killed his own daughter. After he repented and accepted Islaam, he became one of the ten companions promised paradise by the Prophet (saws), being second only to Abu bakr (ra).

It may be in fact when we wish the punishment upon others for their sins, Allah (swt) will bring upon us punishment for our sins. But if we forgive others for their sins particularly when those sins lead to us being harmed then inshaa' Allah Allah (swt) will forgive us.

"...and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? ..."(s24, v22)

So I give this advice firstly to myself: I realise now not to give up hope on those who we may see committing sins and wish for their punishment. Perhaps through Allah's (swt) Mercy and guidance they will one day be in a position better than me with Allah (swt) and I may be punished for my sins as with the example of Yunus (as) and his people. Instead I realise we should make dua for them that Allah (swt) forgives them and guides them and protects them from being punished for their sins so that Allah (swt) has Mercy upon us and forgives us for our sins.

The Prophet (saw) said:“The merciful ones will be given mercy by the All-Merciful.  Be merciful to those who are on this earth, and the One in heaven will have mercy on you.”(Bukhari)

And perhaps if we ask Allah (swt) to forgive us in an effort to rescue us from our individual calamities, perhaps we ought to first make dua that Allah (swt) forgives and guides others and has mercy upon them.


busOne fine day, a bus driver went to the bus station, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops – a few people got on, a few got off and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on, six foot eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.

Did I mention that the driver was five foot three, thin, and basically meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John, but he wasn’t happy about it. The next day the same thing happened – Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he could stand it no longer and so he signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.

By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself.

So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” The driver stood up, glared back at the passenger and screamed, “And why not???!!!”

With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “Because Big John has a bus pass.”


The moral of this incident/story is quite self evident. However, it is a lesson that many of us seem to overlook and disregard in the many activities and chores of our life.

We learn from this incident that a person should not be hasty in making assumptions and judging a situation or an individual from what seems to be the apparent.

It is essential that a Muslim assumes the best of his fellow being and gives him the benefit of the doubt. If possible, one should allow the fellow being to explain himself as to clear any doubts one may have.

Our Nabi [saws] has stated that being hasty is from Shaytaan whilst steady composure is from Allah [ta].

In the same manner ‘Ulamaa have stated that if there is a single reason for doubt in a matter relating to a person then that doubt should have an effect on the decision that is made.

In conclusion, one should take all factors into consideration and avoid hastiness in judging an individual. Instead, one should try to make the matter clear as to avoid placing false accusations on anyone.


thurs.1It is narrated from Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wassallam said:

“The gates of Paradise are opened on Mondays and Thursdays, and every slave (of Allaah) who does not associate any partners with Allaah is forgiven, except a man between whom and his brother there is some grudge. It is said, ‘Wait for these two until they reconcile, wait for these two until they reconcile, wait for these two until they reconcile.’” [Muslim, Maalik, Abu Dawood] 

It’s Thursday!  Got a Grudge?

Do Not Hold it…



photos-of-Cloud-Break-Columbus-Indiana-picturesHumbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet [sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam] said,

"Al-Kibr (pride, haughtiness) is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people." [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. As it was said,

"Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty."

We don't say to an ordinary person, "Humble yourself." But it is said to him,

"Know the value of yourself, and do not place it in the wrong place!"

It was narrated by al-Khattabi in al-Uzlah that Imaam Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak came to Khuraassaan [in Persia] and went to a person who was known for his zuhd and wara' (asceticism and cautiousness in piety), so when he entered where the man was, he (the man) did not turn around nor give him any consideration at all. When 'Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak left, some of the people who were inside with the man said to him,

"Don't you know who that was?!" He said, "No," He was told, "This is the 'Ameer (leader) of the believers...this is... this is... this is... `Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak." So the man was astonished and came out to Ibn al-Mubaarak in a hurry apologizing and absolving himself from what happened, saying, "O Abu 'Abd al-Rahmaan! Forgive me and advise me!"

Ibn al-Mubaarak said,

"Yes... whenever you come out of your house and see someone, assume that he is better than you!"

He knew that the man was conceited. When Ibn al-Mubaarak inquired as to what the man's profession was, he found out that he was a weaver!!1 Therefore, this educated Imaam noticed that this mutazahhid (devoted pious person) possessed a kind of arrogance, conceitedness and feeling of superiority over others.

This disease sometimes envelops pious people; this is why he offered advice that was easy for him. Many times we find this characteristic in some of the pious people, as well as some of the du ‘aat (the caller to Islaam). But when it reaches the small students who misbehave with their shaykhs, scholars and teachers this really hurts inside! There is no objection if you differ in opinion or judgement with a scholar or a daai'y (caller to Islaam) as long as you are qualified to do so The problem occurs when this difference of opinion becomes a destructive element to the scholar's dignity, diminishes his value, disregards and disrespects him. This may be accepted from the common people, or from the people of innovation and misguidance, but it is not allowed in any circumstance for Ahl-As Sunnah (the people who follow the Prophetic Guidance) and from the students of `Ilm al-Shariyyah (knowledge of Islamic Law).

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah a mentioned that a man said,

"By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so,"

and that Allah Ta`ala said, "Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deed." [Muslim]. Therefore, do not act in arrogance towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not act superior towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also posses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently give da’wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah (ta`ala) through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted, {Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah and consciousness of Him).} (Surat al-Maida: 27)

This is why some of the Salaf said,

"If I knew that Allah accepted one tasbeeh (extolling Allah) from me, I would have wished to die right now!"

Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have. As for he who Allah (ta`ala) has protected, if he finds one who will advise him and show him his defects, he'll overcome his nafs (evil inclinations of the soul), accept from him, thank and make du`aa (supplication) for him. The Prophet, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

"Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and despising the people." [Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud].

The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness. Here he is, The 'Amir of the Believers `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, raising the flag and lifting the motto,

"May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects."



1. See comments of adh-Dhahabi in aI-Mizaan concerning Waasil bin Ata'a].


Alighthouse-orchilla-2 group of ladies walk into a mosque. They are all beautiful physical examples of Muslim women. They are fully covered, some even in face veils with gloves, Jilbaabs (outer-garments) and Khymars (headscarfs). They are the perfect picture of Islam.

They make beautiful salaat, and even more beautiful recitation. As they are about to leave, one of them looks to a sister who is praying in the masjid and thinks, "So and so should not call herself Muslim, for she does not even wear hijab, except when she comes to masjid."

This woman has harmed herself. Islam is certainly the physical - outward appearance. It is a very valid and significant part of t he deen, but it is also the heart and the behaviour and the soul. This woman may not have backbitten the woman who was not a muhajjibah, because she did not actually say anything, but she has done something much more dangerous, much worse. Arrogance and pride have affected her. She has allowed the practices that she does, for Allah's sake, to make her feel she is superior or even safe. No one has a guarantee. We do our best to please Allah, but we all have to rely on Allah's Mercy. Also, we can not judge who is going to be saved from the fire. We do not know what Allah will do, so to look down on one who does not practice as we do is arrogance, and we must avoid it.

The Apostle of Allah (saws) observed, “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.” A person (amongst his hearers) said: ‘Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine.’ He (the Prophet) remarked, “Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.” [Sahih Muslim: Book 1, Number 0164.]

Some of our beloved Prophet's companions used to fear so much that they were not doing enough that they would sometimes faint from fear of Allah, while they were spending the nights praying and the days fasting and devoting their lives to Allah. Who are we to think we have a guarantee?

In the previous Prophetic Narration, the Messenger of Allah is clearly warning us that we have no right to look down on one another. No matter what. Even if the person is a sinner, we have no right. Look to the example of the adulterous man being punished. The man had confessed and been stoned to death.

"...Then the Prophet (saws)) heard one of his companions saying to another: ‘Look at this man whose fault was concealed by Allah but who would not leave the matter alone, so that he was stoned like a dog.’ He said nothing to them but walked on for a time till he came to the corpse of an ass with its legs in the air. He asked: ‘Where are so and so?’ They said: ‘Here we are, Apostle of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)!’ He said: ‘Go down and eat some of this ass's corpse.’ They replied: ‘Apostle of Allah! Who can eat any of this?’ He said: ‘The dishonour you have just shown to your brother is more serious than eating some of it. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, he is now among the rivers of Paradise and plunging into them.’ [Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 38, Number 4414. ]

Look to this example. The man had committed a major sin. He had confessed to the sin. Yet, his repentance for that sin was sincere. We must not judge others because they sin, for that is for Allah Only. Under a Islamic Government, we can give out the punishments that Allah has mandated, and then leave it to Allah to forgive them or not. We can not decide. We are not privy to what is in the heart. We can talk to the one who is not doing something Islam mandates, like hijaab or beard or avoiding music or whatever, but we can not even try to believe that we are better than they are. For we do not know their circumstances or what is in their hearts or even their fates. That is for Allah.

Look to the example of the prostitute. If we had seen her in the street, what would we have thought of her? Yet she was granted Paradise for a small deed she did.

Allah's Apostle said, "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that." [Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 54, Number 538.]

We can not be happy with her sins, but we must teach her and not abuse her, nor should we be certain that we are so much better than her. Furthermore, we should take the time to teach those who we see committing sins, if we can. The person may simply be ignorant of the correct Islamic practices. We should try to teach them and maybe gain something ourselves from this effort. It may be that this person has something to offer you in the way of goodness.

Some Muslims look down on others because of factors like race and national origin or because they are poor or even because they are rich. I have seen some Arab women looking down on the convert Americans because, perhaps, they were not virgins before accepting Islam. Yet, many of these same women are stronger in their faith after accepting Islam than the women who look down upon them. I have seen some Pakistani's look down to a Muslim because he is black. Yet this black man is more Allah-fearing than those looking down on him. I have seen American Muslims looking to the rich Arabs and Pakistani's and reviling them because they do not SEE them giving money to those in need, yet none of us knows what is secretly done by them. We have to stop being so self-righteous. We, as Muslims, are consistently seeking ways to alienate each other, when we should be seeking to help one another Allah says, {... help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).} (5:2)

When we are harsh with one another, when we look down on one another, we may be pushing the weaker of us to commit more sin. Think about it. Would you accept advice from one that looks down on you or insults you? Of course not. We must respect and like someone to take advice from him or her. No matter how bad the actions of the Muslim seem to us, we must never think we are so much better that we have the right to insult or even look down upon anyone. Look to the example of our merciful Prophet: Narrated Anas bin Malik,

“A Bedouin came and passed urine in one corner of the mosque. The people shouted at him but the Prophet stopped them till he finished urinating. The Prophet ordered them to spill a bucket of water over that place and they did so.” [Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 4, Number 221.]

The Muslims shouted at him, they were abusive, but the Prophet in his great mercy and wisdom, knew that this is not the way to teach. My old teacher, Ghassan Al Baraqawi, once told me,

"Teach, do not preach, for the people like explanation, not confrontation."

These are wise words. We need to think about what we think and say so that we can actually help each other, not tear each other down. There is none amongst us who can claim to be perfect. There is none amongst us who can guarantee that he/she will enter Jannah with no trial or punishment. We must not try to usurp the role of Allah by passing judgement on one another.

Pride is dangerous. Look at the example of Rasool Allah. We have to avoid feeling proud, even of our Islaam.

Allah's Apostle said, "Allah will not look on the Day of Judgment at him who drags his robe (behind him) out of pride." Abu Bakr said "One side of my robe slacks down unless I get very cautious about it." Allah's Apostle said, "But you do not do that with a pride." [Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 57, Number 17.] Pride and arrogance are the tools of Shaytan. When he was told to prostrate to Adam, and he refused, it became his own doing. Allah says,

{And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.} (2:34)

Also, if you see this in you, beware of trying to justify yourself. Look to the example of Shaytan and his justifications when Allah questioned him about his refusal to prostrate, He (Allah) said,

{What hindered you so that you did not prostrate when I commanded you? He said: ‘I am better than he: You have created me of fire, while him You create of dust.’ He said: ‘Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of those degraded.’} (7:12/13)

We can not allow ourselves to fall into this horrible trap from Shaytan. We can not allow ourselves to think we are better, for the sin of pride is great. Allah says,

{And when it is said to him, guard against (the punishment of) Allah; pride carries him off to sin, therefore hell is sufficient for him; and certainly it is an evil resting place.} (2:206)

So, brothers and sisters: Next time you see someone who is doing wrong, either in appearance or action, think twice before you think you are better.

Go to the person, if you can, with friendship and gentleness. Advise. Do not assume the worst. Give him or her seventy excuses for the sin, and try to help him/her to understand the evil involved. Do not expect a change - Just advise. Leave any changes to Allah. The person may get angry or try to dispute with you. Do not fall into this trick of Shaytan. Just leave him/her with the evidences from Allah's book and the authentic sunnah (Prophetic Guidance), and let it be. It is for them to accept or reject, and your job will be done. But do not leave them thinking yourself superior.

Also, next time you see someone from another culture or background, do not judge them based on your preconceived notions about that group. See the individual... Talk to him/her. It may be that they will have some advice that will benefit you. It may be that while you may dress more Islamicly, they have better Islamic manners than you do. Do not assume that because you look more like a Muslim that you are the better Muslim. Fear Allah, brothers and sisters. Fear Allah, and give each Muslim his due. In truth, the most evil and wretched amongst us is better than the best of the non-Muslims, and it is our job to advise each other to bring each other up from the darkness and filth of sin to the light and cleanliness of obeying Allah.

Yaa Allah, make us love one another.

Yaa Allah, make us help one another.

Yaa Allah, prevent us from hurting one another.

Yaa Allah, make us truly brothers and sisters.

Make us one body... one heart.



shiningsunThe story of Uwais Al-Qarni was mentioned in Sahih Muslim as well as in other books. Now even though he was from the Tabi’een and did not see the Messenger [salah Allahu Alaihi wa salam], the Messenger [salah Allahu Alaihi wa salam] had advised ‘Umar ibn Al-Khatab [radiya Allahu ‘Anhu] that if he meets [Uwais] then he, ‘Umar, should ask Uwais to ask Allah to forgive him and to make supplication for him.

Thus ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with him], during his Caliphate, used to ask all the delegates coming from Yemen: ‘Is Uwais among you?’, until finally during one of the years he met him. He found him a man not among the nobles of his people; nobody cares much for him, even those accompanying him, sidelined. So ‘Umar told him about the advice Prophet Muhammad gave him and asked Uwais to ask Allah the Exalted to forgive him. When ‘Umar discovered that Uwais was headed to Al-Kuffa he offered to write a letter to his assistant over there, so that he treats him with hospitality. However, Uwais refused and requested that ‘Umar doesn’t do that. He explained his request that he would love to live as an unknown among the people.

Now, I do not claim that I met that noble Tabi’ee himself; rather I met a man from his school. A man following in the same footsteps of Uwais, and here is what happened...

During one of the Fridays of Ramadan, I left my house to give the Friday Khutbah in one of the Masjids of Al-Jam’iyah Al-Shar’eyah in Cairo. While riding my car my clear white thawb (dress worn by men in Arab countries) was stained with a black spot. That really upset me. I asked myself, ‘How could I stand in front of the people giving the Khutbah when this spot had stained my elegant dress?’ I left the car and headed towards the Masjid. During my walk I passed by a store that had a big mirror at its entrance. I stood in front of it fixing my clothes and making sure my head covering was placed properly. I then continued to the Masjid.

I reached the Masjid, but the issue of the stain was still bothering me. The entrance of the Masjid had a few beggars standing there. They usually stand there during this blessed month, each of them with a story that he uses to gain the sympathy of the people who come to pray. I didn’t give them much attention and entered the Masjid. I climbed the Minbar quickly, hoping that no one would get a chance to see the black spot that stained my dress in the car.

I delivered the Khutbah, and then we prayed. After prayers, I leaned my back at a pillar that was next to the Qiblah, and I stretched my legs to relax.

Now Egyptians usually go and shake the hands of the Imaam after the prayers making supplications for him. I started shaking their hands while being seated in the same manner, and replied to their supplications by nodding my head up and down. I was really exhausted at this time because of the hot weather and the fasting.

At that point, I noticed a blind man crossing the lines with extreme difficulty, asking for the Shaykh (referring to me). Nobody was paying attention to his request, rather some of them were waving their hands in an annoyed manner as the blind man was unintentionally coming in contact with them while crossing the lines. The caretaker of the Masjid took his hand and brought him to me. I looked at him, and saw that his clothe were worn-out. He had the appearance of a person that if he greets others they would not reply back to him, and if he speaks no one would care about what he said. My first impression was that he was one of the beggars I saw at the entrance of the Masjid.

The man reached where I was seated; he greeted me and I replied to his greeting while still being seated in the same manner I described earlier, relaxed and with my legs stretched.

I waited for him to start by telling me how miserable his life is, like beggars usually do, but he didn’t.

Rather he started by praising the topic of my Khutbah!! I though to myself, ‘A new method of begging! Yo start by showing that you understood what was mentioned in the Khutbah so that my heart would soften?!’.

Then he said:

“Although, I have some remarks about your Khutbah, so I hope you do not mind listening to them.”

I said in amazement, while still sitting in the same manner, “Remarks on my Khutbah!! and you are the one that will point them out?!”

He replied,


I said, “Regarding what aspects of the Khutbah?”

He said,

“In the Language, Hadith, and Tafseer”.

After that I honestly, stared at his face in astonishment, and said, “And to what extend is your knowledge in these sciences?”

He introduced himself to me, he was a graduate of Dar Al-‘Uloom and specialized in Islamic Sharee’ah. He had completed several papers/studies on Tafseer, and he studied along side several known scholars.

I looked at the people around me in the Masjid and they nodded their heads, affirming what the man was saying.

At that point I sat straight, and crossed my legs, and said to the man, “And what are these remarks you had, my dear respected sir?”

He said,

“As for the language, you have used some words of the ‘Amiyah (slang) and that ruins the nobility and sublimity of the Khutbah” (he then continued speaking to me about the importance of the Khateeb using the proper language, with words that increased my love to our beautiful language).

As for the Hadith, you quoted some traditions and mentioned the sources of some, but didn’t do that for the rest. Also how can you quote a tradition and refer it to Aboo Dawud, while it is in Bukhaari don’t you know that this is something that relegates the status of the speaker?! (He then continued speaking to me about the methods and manners of the scholars of hadith, which increased my love for the Science of Hadith).

As for the Tafseer, you mentioned some statements of those who interpret the Quran by their opinion, so beware when speaking about the Book of Allah and do not be like a night-time woodcutter (lumberjack).” (He then he continued speaking to me about the different methodologies used by the people of Tafseer, which increased my love to the science of Tafseer).

By that time, people had dispersed from around us.

As he was about to stand, I stood quickly and took his hand. I then rushed and got him his shoes, and assisted him in putting it on. He kept asking me not to. I took him by his hand so as to take him to his home, but he swore to me not to.

At that point, I saw that we were behind a wall where no one can see us, so I took out a sum of money from my pocket, and I politely requested that he accepts it from me. Here, he got mad and raised his voice a little scolding me roughly. I apologized to him, and he accepted my apology, and said:

“You might have felt sorry for me, when you saw the way I am dressed.”

I said: “Yes, and I hope you can forgive me for not thinking highly of you the first time I saw you.” so he forgave me.

I told him, “Please, comfort me, how do you live and with whom?”

He said,

“I will answer you briefly. I have a small income, but Allah has blessed it with His Grace, and it suffices me from the disgrace of asking others.”

I asked, “With whom do you live?”

He replied,

“By myself, as my children and wife have already beaten me to the Hereafter.”

He then said,

“I want nothing from this Dunyaa (world), and my relationship with it is not that good. All I need is a dress to cover my body and a meal that would silence my hunger, and apart from that I do not need anything.”

So I fell on his hand to kiss it, and I shook his hand and walked away for a few steps. Then I looked back at where he was heading. I saw that the people were giving him no notice as he held his stick, which he used to feel the road in front of him.

As for me, I walked thinking about myself, and how upset I was when my clean white dress got stained. As I walked, cars would slow down so that I can cross the street, and people passing would come by to shake my hands and ask me for supplications.

They were all deceived by my looks and appearance.

I remembered the statement of Prophet Muhammad [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam], when he was between his companions and a man passed by who had the appearance of a wealthy man. So he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] asked,

“What do you say about that [man]?”

They said: “O Prophet of Allah, he is the kind of person that when he speaks we would listen, and if he asks for our daughter’s hand in marriage we won’t oppose, and if he intercedes for someone we would accept his intercession.” Then a man who appeared poor and needy passed by, so he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] asked,

“And what do you say about that man?”

They said: “He is the sort of person, that if he speaks we won’t listen to what he has to say, and if he requests our daughter’s hand in marriage we would oppose his request, and if he intercedes for someone we would not accept his intercession.” Then he [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] said: “That [poor] man is better (worth more) than all the earth filled with that other man.”

- Aw Kamaa Qaal Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam".


salahduaThe situation of the Ummah today necessitates that we remind ourselves of some important and beneficial reminders that will help us in our situation and relieve us from the resultant grief and concerns that we suffer from. We may also suffer from personal problems that also require a similar remedy. From amongst the legislated ways to repel the negative effects of trials and tribulations is ṣalāh itself.

The Prophets and the righteous understood the huge status of ṣalāh among other acts of worship and so they used to resort to it and what it contains in terms of Qur’ān, dhikr and du’ā when tribulations and tests would befall them. It is authentically reported that Ṣuhaib (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said,

“When the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to pray he would whisper something we could not hear…and they (i.e. the Prophets) would flee to prayer when they were alarmed or dismayed by something.”[1]

Imām Aḥmad also reported in his Musnad with a good chain of narration that ‘Ali (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said on the day of the Battle of Badr,

“I looked at ourselves and saw that everyone was asleep except for the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), who was underneath a tree praying and weeping until the morning.”[2]

‘Abdullāh b. Mas’ūd (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) also narrated that the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) would beseech Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) when praying when the two armies clashed during the Battle of Badr,

“The Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) stood praying and I never saw anyone implore anyone like I saw the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) implore his Lord. He (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) would say, “O Allāh! I beseech you to fulfil your promise!” and then he mentioned the established and well known supplication.[3]

Imām al-Bukhāri (raḥimahullāh) also reported on the authority of Umm Salamah (radiy Allāhu ‘anha) that, “the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) woke up one night and said, “Glory be to Allāh! What great afflictions have been sent down tonight! What great treasures have been opened up tonight as well! Awaken the women sleeping in these dwellings for perhaps a person who is clothed in this life will be naked in the afterlife.”[4] Ibn Ḥajar (raḥimahullāh) commented upon this narration by saying, “In this narration we learn the recommendation of hastening to prayer when one fears imminent evil just as Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) said, “and seek help through ṣabr and prayer.” (2:45) and when the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) became distressed by anything he would hasten to prayer and he would command the one who saw something in their dreams that they disliked, to also pray.”[5]

Moreover, it is reported that ‘Abdullāh b. al-Naḍr (raḥimahullāh) said, “My father mentioned to me that Darkness prevailed in the time of Anas b. Mālik (raḥimahullāh), I came to Anas (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) and said (to him), “Abū Hamzah! Did anything like this happen to you in the time of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)? He replied, “I seek refuge in Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā). If the wind blew violently, we would run quickly towards the mosque for fear of the coming of the Day of Judgment.”[6]

It was also reported that while Ibn ‘Abbās (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) was travelling, news of the death of his brother reached him. He then said, “Indeed we belong to Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) and unto Him we shall return” and then took to the side of the road and prayed two units of prayer and then walked over to his riding animal saying, “And seek help in ṣabr and prayer.”[7] It is due to this narration and other similar narrations that Imām al-Ājurri (raḥimahullāh) and other scholars said that it is recommended for someone who has been afflicted with a tribulation to pray two units of prayer.[8]

Therefore, ṣalāh, du’ā and the recitation of the Qur’ān are from the greatest means to remain steadfast during testing times and tribulations. This is because turning to these acts of worship endues a sense of awe and closeness to Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) and helps one attain the special care and protection from Him (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā). It is unfortunate though that you will find many people that are heedless of this sunnah and in fact, for many people, prayer is probably the last thing on their minds when they suffer from such tribulations since they feel as though they are not in the “right frame of mind” to pray! If only they would try earnestly to turn to Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) they would find something else!

Whether you feel the brunt of the trials and tribulations of the ummah or suffer from your own personal trials, turn to prayer, for you will find a hidden enclave that will shelter you from the difficulties and harms of life. Let us also not forget the powerful tradition of the Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam),

“Worshiping during the period of widespread turmoil is like emigration towards me.”[9]

And Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) knows best.

Source: Based on an article written by Sheikh Nāṣir al-‘Umar: al-Isti’ānah bi al-Ṣalāh ‘alal-Aḥdāth.


[1] Reported by Aḥmad in al-Musnad (4/333)

[2] Ibid (1/125)

[3] Al-Sunan al-Kubrā (6/155)

[4] Al-Bukhāri (115)

[5] Fatḥ al-Bāri (1/211)

[6] Abū Dāwūd (1196)

[7] Shu’ab al-Imān by al-Bayhaqi (7/114)

[8] Cf. Al-Furū’ by Ibn Mufliḥ (2/285)

[9] Muslim (2948)