Sunday, December 11, 2016

"How would you feel if it was your daughter?"

"Brothers, how would you feel if someone abused your mother/ sister/ wife/ daughter?"
You don't get it. Dearest shuyookh, your intentions are sweet, but you don't get it.
Men DO abuse their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. They watch their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters be abused.
And they let it happen.
Maybe they don't always approve of it. Maybe they feel bad. Maybe they genuinely think it's terrible.
But they let it happen.
"She's married now, we can't interfere."
"She needs to be more patient, all men get angry sometimes."
"She just needs to stop being stubborn and get used to it."
"Divorce is the most hated thing in the sight of Allah."
"Men will handle their own business, we can't get involved."
And so another generation of sons, brothers, husbands and fathers grow up watching their womenfolk being lashed at with both words and fists. It's normal, after all.
Some will break the cycle, recalling the horror they witnessed; these men, the true qawwam, will block the blows rained down upon their mothers and protect their daughters and show their wives only the greatest respect.
But many will not, because gheerah is no longer about protecting one's womenfolk from harm, but about protecting male ego and so-called honour built upon insecurity.
"Brothers, how would you feel if someone abused your mother/ sister/ wife/ daughter?"
Not enough to make it stop.

Sunday, December 04, 2016


How do you know if there is barakah in your life? So often, it seems to be an almost indescribable quality, a concept that's difficult to recognise due to it being so unquantifiable.
And yet, you will know when you have it.
When the food in your fridge comes together in a wholesome meal that satisfies the family; when your paycheque stretches more than you ever imagined it could; when being with your loved ones fills you with contentment; when you experience joy in the simplest of things; when your fears and worries no longer overwhelm you so much; when difficult times are bearable because you know that they're a means of bringing you closer to Allah; when you don't feel the gnawing urge to make more, spend more, accumulate more; when good things happen unexpectedly and you're eager to share the benefits with others; when you find yourself indifferent to shallow societal standards and are happy with living your life your own way... all of these are signs of barakah in your life.
Outward wealth or meeting arbitrary standards set by others are no marker of how blessed you are. How you feel about what you already have, however, most certainly is.
Verily, Allah is the source of all blessing and He is the Most Generous to His slaves.


I once wrote about how one can tell if there is barakah in their life - how one feels a sense of contentment, of richness and fullness in their lives even when things are, outwardly, difficult.
How, then, does one tell if we *don't* have barakah in our lives?
If barakah is blessing and spiritual fulfillment, then its opposite is its loss.
To be starved of barakah is to find oneself reluctant to pray even the briefest of voluntary rak'aat, to glance at one's mus'haf and think absently, "I'll read it later," only for the glossy emerald green cover and gilded script become dull beneath a thin veneer of dust.
To be starved of barakah is to feel restless and anxious, to feel a gnawing ache for more, to accumulate more, to demand more; to outwardly have all the trappings of success and privilege handed to you on a silver platter, yet there is no true joy or beauty in one's heart.
To be starved of barakah is to have one's bank account filled with wealth earned from haraam; to have debts both material and spiritual strangling one's sense of peace; to eat an extravagant meal that fails to abate the appetite; to constantly crave the next fix, the next big hit, unable to quell the yearning desire for something inexplicably just beyond our reach.
It is terrible and heartrending, a malady unrecognized by doctors or self-help books - but not without cure. Ash-Shaafi, the Healer is also al-Qareeb, the Ever-Close; He is Al-Mujeeb, the Ever Responsive to our calls - and He has promised us that there is always, always, a way out of the abyss.
{He who draws close to Me a hand's span, I will draw close to him an arm's length. And whoever draws near Me an arm's length, I will draw near him a fathom's length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me.} (Hadith Qudsi)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Sh Muhammad Akram Nadwi on Female Leadership

This won't be too detailed, but a really interesting tidbit from Sh Akram:
With regards to the hadith of Abu Bakra about how a nation will never succeed if they are led by a woman, it has been taken greatly out of context and misunderstood.
The full story is that RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) sent a letter of da'wah to the Kisrah, who tore up the letter. In response, RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) made du'a that his empire be torn up just as he tore up the letter. Shortly after, Kisrah died, and his daughter was elected the ruler. When RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) heard the news, he made the remark that is so well known today - "Never will a people be successful who give their leadership to a woman."
However, what is not taken into consideration is that he was remarking *very specifically* about the nation of Kisrah - that *they* (a people who had made a woman their leader) would never be successful, not because their leader was a woman, but because RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) had made du'a for their entire empire to be destroyed.
Specifying "a people... who give their leadership to a woman" was merely referring to the people of Kisrah, whom (it appears) were unique at the time for having a female leader. Yet it must be understood that the hadith of Abu Bakra is not a blanket statement to be used at preventing women from having *any* positions of authority.
As a side note - Abu Bakra was the sole Sahabi to use this hadith as an evidence against recognizing or acknowledging A'ishah's leadership in the Battle of the Camel. If, truly, the hadith was meant as a general statement against women being leaders at all, then surely the many, many other Sahabah who were still alive at that time would have used it as an evidence against A'ishah and used it to warn her that she was not allowed to assume leadership of men. Instead, numerous Companions of RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) accompanied her, and even those who opposed her politically during that time did not ever use this statement against her.

One point that Sh Akram made in his explanation of the hadith on female leadership was that sometimes RasulAllah used a general phrase while referring to a specific individual.
There was another incident wherein this can also be found:
Abu Hurairah (radhiAllahu 'anhu) narrated a hadith which said, "The child of zina is the worst of the three."
When A'ishah (radhiAllahu 'anha) heard about this, she said, "May Allah forgive Abu Hurairah! He did not hear correctly and thus he is not teaching correctly. The hadith was not said like this. Rather, there was once a man from the hypocrites of Medinah who used to verbally abuse RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) a great deal. This eventually upset him, and he asked his Companions, 'Who amongst you is willing to protect me from this man?' They told him, 'This man, in addition to his already ugly character, is also a child of zina.' Thereupon RasulAllah commented, 'The child of zina (i.e. this man) is the worst of the three (i.e. even worse than his parents, who committed the sin of zina).'"
Thus we can see that out of a certain type of eloquence (and tact), a general phrase was used by RasulAllah that was known and understood by all his Companions in attendance to refer to a specific individual.

And Allah knows best.