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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

The Australian Woman – A Model of the Oppressed Woman

By : Tazin Abdullah

This is a satire written to mimic articles, reports and stories generally written about Muslim women by women from Western non-Muslim backgrounds. It is, to some extent, an attempt to convey to the viewers how it feels to be `other’ and to be judged superficially in accordance with only one’s own perceptions. I hope you take it for what it is – a satire.

I do not clearly remember the first time I was here. My earliest memories of Australia start when I was around six or seven, probably my first trip after I was born in the city of Sydney. My parents were not particularly happy with the idea of me growing up there. So, they took me out to Iran at the first opportunity.

As I grew up, my impressions of Sydney were formed from stories I heard from my parents, shows I watched on television and of course, what I saw on my trips. From my first trip at the age of seven, I vaguely remember the people I met and the places I visited. I remember more from my second trip, though, which was at the age of fourteen. I recall my parents warning me over and over again about how women were treated in a society so fundamentally Western.

While I was there, I learnt that individuality was something Australians only dreamt about. I soon discovered I had to conform to the dress code everyone else followed. I had to have my hair highlighted and defreeze. I had to spend between fifteen and twenty minutes every morning brushing it and putting on clips and hair ties. I had to make it into a ponytail one day, a braid the next and a bun when I went to dinner parties. I was coerced to wear short skirts and tight tops, with a push-up bra to give me cleavage. My legs had to show, smooth and unscarred, and everyone had to be able to make out my waist.

They told me I had to `fit in’. Part of the ritual of fitting in meant that I had to paint my face with what they called make-up everyday. I discovered that Australian females liked to attract as much attention as they could to themselves, by hiding behind their make-up. They made their kohl in liquids and pencils, instead of pots like we do, and sold them in stores under a range of different names and prices. They all seemed the same to me, though. Anyhow, I bought what they told me to buy and used what they told me to use, from lipsticks to abdominizers, changing my body from head to toe to please their male gods!! Such things ensured that everyone wanted to `hang out’ with me (a term denoting something to the effect of spending time and/or social acceptance).

In the five years between then and now, I had convinced myself that Australia would have joined other countries on the road to progress. But my return to Sydney both shocks and saddens me. While many parts of the world have seen development, Australia has dragged behind, especially with regards to the status of women. It seems as if it has only succeeded in digging itself deeper into a bottomless pit of regression. At this rate, I fear that Australia is a second America in the making.

Upon arrival, I have come across some typical Sydney women. I can see that they are dictated by the strict dress code imposed on them by the social system. They are not allowed to wear loose clothing, headscarves until they are old or ailing, and it is preferred that they show as much of their bodies as possible. Women who break this rule face harsh penalties. Sarah, a victim of such injustices, told me the specifics. As punishment for wearing non-revealing clothing, she is deemed unattractive and given unequal treatment by her employers. She says she is not considered `normal’.

A day in the life of a normal woman here requires her appearance to be the focal point. Her sexuality must be available for everyone to consume. She cannot choose to whom she will disclose her intimate parts or exercise her sexuality. She does not have much choice in what she wants to do with her body. Since the fundamentalist regime insists that it must be available for display in a certain manner, she must follow these rules.

The rules are scripted on the Australian Holy scriptures, two of which are Dolly and Cosmopolitan. Also known as magazines, these contain the teachings of hard-liner editors and reporters/writers who design the way in which society must view women and the way women must dress and act. Since the advent of these magazines, there have been mass conversions in the country to the faith they preach. Authority and control have been transferred onto them and they play a vital role in the life of women. They have institutionalized radical guidelines such as the 36:24:36 measurement of a woman’s body. Furthermore, they propagate intolerance and hate to be internalized in all women – hate for their own bodies, natural intelligence, privacy and inherent dignity. These women are brainwashed into believing that their Creator is to blame for their deficiencies in not automatically meeting these standards.

In accordance with these oppressive impositions, the country’s commerce has developed. Industry is devoted to the development of products to assist women in looking as artificial as possible. The market is filled with products for the face and every different part of it plus the hair, the hands, the legs, the nails…the list goes on. I suppose one must concede to the fact that Australia’s delayed development causes it to priorities looks over the fact that millions of people in the world go hungry.

It is interesting to look at some of the advertisements for the beauty products. I will warn you, though, that coming from an emancipated society, these will be very disturbing. For instance, an advertisement for hair color uses the motto “L’Oreal – because I’m worth it”. A model in an ad for a shampoo claims that using the shampoo gives her more confidence. These poor women must shampoo, condition and color their hair in order to legitimize themselves. They need the perfect curl, the right bounce and the shiniest color. Their value to society is directly linked to their hair!!

Other significant practices are the prevalent marriage customs. A woman is required to perform the ceremonial `going out’, which can span any period of time from a day to ten years. This starts as early as primary school and as she grows up, she goes out with various men. Until she finds the one she wishes to marry, she does not commit to any one man. All the men she goes out with are allowed to touch her and sleep with her.

All this time, her status and acceptance in society is determined by how many of these men she has accommodated in her life. The greater the quota of men, the more sufficient she is considered. Particularly in high school, young girls have little to contribute to their own identities. Their identities derive from who they go out with and how many boys they go out with. Though this kind of mental torture is less obvious in later years of their life, my conversations with many women in university and work indicate that they still suffer. Some feel they must get married in order to make a place for themselves.

Marriage, though, is subject to a bizarre rule. A woman cannot legally marry until she is eighteen years old without parental consent. It is socially expected, however, for girls under eighteen to lose their virginity. When I was listening to one of the popular radio stations, 2DayFM, I was informed that the average age that Australians lost their virginity at is between thirteen and fifteen. As a consequence of this, many girls under eighteen become pregnant. Society accepts these girls as mothers before eighteen but does not allow them to have husbands, who could also take responsibility as fathers to the children born. While women must bear the responsibility of parenthood, men can get away with it. This is one of the many contradictions that exist in Australia today!!

Inequalities also exist for women who do get married. Marriage requires the woman to play multiple roles. She must be wife, mother and often a breadwinner of the family. She shoulders the responsibility of taking care of her husband and children at home while also earning money not only for herself, but also for the family. Whatever she earns is not solely her property. Unlike Islamic societies, her husband and her family have a claim to her income and she even pays for groceries!!

Often, she is not given the choice of whether she wants to stay at home or work. The society she lives in enshrines materiality and money, money and more money. It is vital to their lifestyles. As a result, she must go out and work and make her family richer. On top of that, her position in society is judged on her ability to work outside the home. She must suffer the greatest burden in society. She really does not have the right to choose. Can you imagine a life where your identity is judged by everything you have and not everything you are?

Even more surprising is the widespread cultural practice of women changing their surnames to that of their husbands’ once they are married. Amanda, a law student, who opposes this practice, tells me that, in previous times, this act symbolized the transfer of all of a woman’s rights and property to her husband from her father. Though the custom of a woman becoming her husband’s property has ceased to exist, women still change their names to that of their husbands’.

Seeing all this, I am aware that Australian women are denied the rights that are basic to many Muslim women. What concerns me, though, is whether or not they are aware of that fact.

I remember from my second trip to Australia that I felt I had a Western noose tied around my neck. I felt I had no space to breathe or to let myself free. The air around me cloaked my beauty, my spirit and my soul. But I was lucky. I could leave.

Most of the Australian women I spoke to do not have that alternative. They do not even know of their plight. They are pushed into a corner where they cannot see outside the boundaries of such a fundamentally Western society. Women immune to Western correctness – mostly the educated Muslims – have begun programs to educate others around them. They are asserting themselves by breaking out of the confinement, wearing loose clothing and denying just anyone access to their sexuality. I see their efforts as a glimmer of hope. It is crucial that before women can improve their lot, they are taught the rights they have that society has taken away from them.

Nevertheless, there is still hope. I call upon all the Muslim women in the world to come to the rescue of Australian women. I urge that all of us stand up against Western oppression in different parts of the world. It is our responsibility to bring progress into these societies and it is up to us to save them.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Women Rights in Islam – Modernizing or Outdated?

Taken from a Lecture by Dr Zakir Naik

According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘Women’s Rights are the rights, that promote a position of social and legal equality, of women to men’

According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘they are the rights, claimed for the women, equal to those of men, as regards to suffrage that right to vote, as regards to property, etc’.

‘Modernising’, according to the Oxford dictionary means, ‘to make modern, to adapt to modern needs or habits’.

And according to the Webster’s dictionary it means… ‘To make modern, or to give a new character or appearance – e.g., to modernise ones ideas’.

In short, modernising is a process of updating or opting for the betterment of the present status itself – It is not the present modern status itself.

Can we modernise ourselves, to master our problems, and to realize a new way of life, for the whole human race?

I am not concerned about the modern ideas, the conclusions and the categorical statements made by scientists and inexperienced armchair experts, as how a life should be lived by a woman.

I am going to base my conclusions and considerations on truth, which can be proved by experience.

Experience and unbiased factual holistic analysis, are the sure test, between the gold of truth, and the glitter of theory.

We have to check our thinking against reality, otherwise many a times, our mental process will go astray – Indeed the great brains of one time, believed that the world was flat.

Women Rights in the West

If we agree with the ‘Women’s rights in Islam’, as portrayed by the Western media, you have no option, but to agree that the ‘Women’s rights in Islam’ are outdated.

The Western talk of women’s liberation, is actually a disguised form of exploitation of her body, deprivation of her honour and degradation of her soul.

The Western society which speaks of upgrading the status of women in Islam, have actually reduced her status to concubines, to mistresses, to society butterflies, which are mere tools in the hands of sex marketers and pleasure seekers, which are disguised behind the colorful screen of art and culture.

Women Rights in Islam

Islam’s radical revolutionary support, gave women their due right and status in the days of ignorance… 1,400 years ago.

Islam’s objective was and continues to be, to modernise our thinking, our living, our seeing, our hearing, our feeling and striving for the women’s upliftment and emancipation in the society.

Before I dwell further with the topic, I would like you to make note of a few points.

  • Approximately one fifth of the world’s population, consists of Muslims. There are different Muslim societies – Some may be close to Islam, some may be far away from Islam.
  • The ‘Women’s rights in Islam’ should judged according to the authentic sources, and not what individual Muslims do, or what the Muslim society does.
  • The authentic sources of Islam, are the Qur’an, which is the word of God, and the authentic Sunnah, and the traditions of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).
  • Qur’an will never contradict itself, nor will the authentic Hadith contradict itself… neither will these two authentic sources, contradict each other.
  • Sometimes the scholars differ, and many a times, these differences can be removed by analyzing the Qur’an as a whole, and not just by quoting one particular Verse. Because if one particular verse of the Qur’an is ambiguous many a times the answer is given somewhere else in the Qur’an – Some people quote one source and neglect all the other sources.
  • It is the duty of every Muslim, male or female, to seek the pleasure of God, and to act as His trustee on this world, and not to try and gain fame or satisfy one’s own ego.

Islam believes in equality of men and women – ‘Equality’ does not mean ‘identicality’.

In Islam, the role of a man and woman is complimentary, it is not conflicting. It is that of a partnership, it is not contradictory, so as to strive for supremacy.

Where ‘Women’s rights in Islam’ is concerned, I have divided it into 6 broad categories.

Six Categories of Women Rights in Islam

The first are ‘the Spiritual rights’, second are ‘the Economical rights’, third are ‘the Social rights’, fourth are ‘the Educational rights’, fifth are ‘the Legal rights’, and last are ‘the Political rights’.

Sex is Not the Criteria to Enter Paradise:

The greatest misconception that the West has about Islam, is that they think… ‘Paradise in Islam, is only meant for the male – it is not meant for the female’.

This misconception can be removed by quoting from Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, Verse No 124, which says, ‘If any of you do deeds of righteousness, whether it be male or a female and has faith, they shall surely enter Paradise and not the least injustice shall be done to them’

A similar thing is repeated in Surah Nahl, Ch.16, Verse No.97 which says…

‘If any of you perform good deeds, be it a man or a woman and is a believer, We shall give you good life and We should reward you for all your good works’.

Just because in Islam, sex is not the criteria to enter Paradise, will you call such rights in Islam as modernising or outdated?

A. Spiritual Rights of Women in Islam

Another misconception is that, which the Western media has, that, ‘The woman has no soul’.

In fact, it was in the seventeenth century, when the Council of wise men, when they gathered at Rome, and they unanimously agreed that the woman had no soul.

In Islam, man and woman have the same spiritual nature. It is mentioned in Quran, Ch.4, Verse No.1, which says that, ‘O humankind reverence your Guardian Lord, who has created you from a single person and created like nature his mate’.

A similar thing is mentioned in Surah Nahl, Ch.16, Verse No.72, which says that, ‘We have made for you companions and mates of your own nature’.

In Surah Al-Shura, Ch.42, Verse No.11, it says, ‘He is the one who has created the heavens and the earth and has made for you pairs from among yourselves’.

Just because the spiritual nature of a man and woman is the same in Islam, will you call such rights in Islam, as modernizing or outdated?

The Qur’an clearly mentions that, ‘God has breathed somewhat of His spirit into the human beings’.

If you read Surah Hijr, Ch.15, Verse No.29, it says, ‘When I have fashioned you in due proportion and have breathed into you something of my spirit, fall you down in obeisance’.

A similar thing is repeated in the Qur’an, in Surah Sajdah, Ch. 32, Verse No.9, which says, ‘Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit…’.

Here, when God refers to as ‘Something of My Spirit, is breathed into the human beings’ – it does not mean, a sort of incarnation or a pantheistic form.

It means that Allah has given to every human being something of His spiritual Nature, and the Knowledge of God Almighty, and coming closer towards Him.

Here it refers to both Adam and Eve (may peace be upon them) – Both were breathed something of God’s Spirit.

Again we read in the Qur’an, that Allah has appointed the human being as His vicegerent, as His trustee, as is mentioned in Surah Isra, Ch.17, Verse No.70, which says, ‘We have honoured the children of Adam and bestowed on them special favours’.

Note, here all the children of Adam have been honoured, male as well as female.

There are some Religious scriptures, for example the Bible, which puts the blame on Eve for the downfall of humanity.

In fact if you read the Qur’an in Surah Araf, Ch.7, Verse No.19 to 27, Adam and Eve (may peace be upon them both) are addressed, more than a dozen of times.

Both disobeyed God, both asked for forgiveness, both repented, and both were forgiven.

In the Bible, if you read Genesis, Ch. 3, only Eve is held responsible (May peace be upon her) for the downfall of humanity.

And according to the doctrine of ‘Original Sin’, because of Eve (may peace be upon her) the whole of humanity is born in sin.

Does Pregnancy Uplift the Women or Degrade?

If you read the Bible in Genesis, Ch. 3, Verse No.16, it says that,

‘To the woman He (God) said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”‘

That means, pregnancy and child birth has been said in the Bible to degrade the women and the labour pain is a sort of punishment.

In fact if you read the Qur’an, pregnancy and child birth have uplifted the women.

If you read Surah Nisa, Ch.4, Verse No.1, it says, ‘Respect the womb that bore you’.

Its mentioned in Surah Luqman, Ch.31, Verse No.14, it says, ‘We have enjoined on the human being to be kind to the parents, in travail upon travail did their mother bore them and in years twain was their weaning’.

A similar thing is mentioned in Surah Ahqaf, Ch.46, Verse No.15, it again repeats, which says, ‘We have enjoined on the human beings to be kind to his parents’.

To be kind to the parents – in pain did their mother bore them, and in pain did she give them birth – Pregnancy in the Qur’an has uplifted the women not degraded her.

Just because pregnancy has uplifted the women in Islam will you call such rights in Islam as modernizing or outdated?

Criteria in the Sight of God to Judge Male and Female:

The only criteria for judgment in the sight of Allah is ‘Taqwa’, ‘God consciousness’ or ‘righteousness’.

It is mentioned in Surah Hujurat, Ch.49, Verse No.13 ‘O humankind, We have created you from a single pair of male and female and have divided you into nations and tribes, so that you shall recognize each other not that you despise each other and the most honored in the sight of God, is the one who is the most righteous’.

Sex, colour, caste, wealth has got no criteria in Islam – The only criteria in the sight of God is ‘righteousness’, neither is sex the criteria for God to reward or to punish a person.

If you read Surah Imran Ch.3 Verse No.195 it says ‘I will never suffer the loss of any of you, be it male or female, you are companions unto each other’.

Equal Moral Duties for Men and Women:

I had started my talk by quoting a verse from the Qur’an from Surah Al Ahzab, Ch.33, Verse No.35, which says,

‘For Muslim men and Muslim women,
for believing men and women,
for devout men and women,
for true men and women,
for men and women who are patient and constant,
for men and women who give in charity,
for men and women who fast and deny themselves,
for men and women who guard their chastity,
for men and women who engage much in God’s praise,
God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.’

This verse indicates that the spiritual duties, the moral duties, for the men and women in Islam are the same – Both have to believe, both have to pray, both have to fast, both have to give in charity, etc, etc.

But the women has been given certain concession in Islam.

If she is undergoing her menstrual period or pregnancy, she does not have to fast – She can keep those fasts later on, when she is more healthy.

During the menstrual period and during the postnatal period, she needs not pray also – she has been given the concession, and neither does she have to compensate it later on.

Just because the moral duties of the men and women are equal in Islam will you call such rights in Islam as modernizing or outdated?

B. Economical Rights to the Women

Islam gave economical rights to the women 1,300 years before the West.An adult Muslim woman can own, she can dispose or disown any of her property without consulting any one, irrespective whether she is married or she is single.

In 1870, it was the first time in England, that the West recognized the rights of the married woman, where she was allowed to own or dispose any of her property without consultation.

I do agree that the women were given their economical rights 1300 years ago – these are ancient rights – but the question is – ‘are they modernizing or outdated?’

Women on Job:

A women in Islam, if she wishes to work she can work – There is no text in the Qur’an or the authentic Hadith which prevents or makes it prohibited for a woman to do any work, as long as it is not unlawful, as long as it is within the preview of the Islamic Shariah, as long as she maintains her Islamic dress code.

But natural, she cannot take up jobs, which exhibit her beauty and body – Like for example, modeling and film acting, and such kind of jobs.

Many of the professions and jobs which are prohibited for the woman are also prohibited for the man, for example serving alcohol, working in gambling dens, doing any unethical or dishonest business. All these jobs are prohibited for both men and women.

A true Islamic society requires women to take up profession such as doctors.

We do require female Gynecologists, we do require female nurses, we do require female teachers.

But, a woman in Islam has got no financial obligations – The financial obligation is laid on the shoulders of the man in the family – Therefore she need not work for her livelihood.

But in genuine cases, where there are financial crisis in which both the ends do not meet, she has the option of working.

Here too, no one can force her to work – She works out of her own, absolute free will.

Financial Security for Women:

A woman in Islam has been given more financial security, as compared to the man.

As I told you earlier, the financial obligation is not put on her shoulder – It is put on the shoulder of the man in the family. It is the duty of the father or the brother, before she is married and the duty of the husband or the son, after she is married to look after her lodging, boarding, clothing and financial aspects of her.

Compulsory Marital Gift for a Woman:

When she gets married, she is on the receiving end.

She receives a gift – she receives a dower or a marital gift, which is called as ‘Meher’.

And it is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Nisa, Ch.4 Verse No.4 which says, ‘Give to the woman in dower, a marital gift’.

For a marriage to solemnize in Islam, ‘Meher’ is compulsory.

But unfortunately in our Muslim society here, we just keep a nominal ‘Meher’ to satisfy the Qur’an, say 151 Rupees, or some people give 786 Rupees and they spend lakhs and lakhs of Rupees on the reception, on the decoration, on the flowers, on the lunch parties, on the dinner parties.

In Islam, there is no lower-limit, nor is there an upper limit for ‘Meher’ – But when a person can spend lakhs of Rupees on the reception, surely the ‘Meher ’ should be much more.

There are various cultures which have crept into the Muslim societies, specially in the Indo-Pak area.

They give a small amount of ‘Meher’ and they expect the wife to give a fridge, to give a T.V set, they expect the wife to give an apartment, to give a car, etc., and a large sum of dowry, depending upon the status of the husband.

If he is a graduate, they may expect 1 lakh – If he is an engineer they may expect 3 lakhs – If he is a doctor they may expect 5 lakhs.

Demanding dowry from the wife, directly or indirectly is prohibited in Islam.

If the parents of the girl give the girl something out of their own free will, it is accepted – But demanding or forcing directly or indirectly, it is prohibited in Islam.

No Financial Liabilities:

If a Woman works, which she does not have to – whatever earning she gets, it is absolutely her property.

She need not spend on the household – if she wants to spend it is her free will.

Irrespective how rich the wife is, it is the duty of the husband to give lodging, boarding, clothing and look after the financial aspects of the wife.

In case of divorce or if a wife gets widowed, she is given financial support for the period of ‘Iddah’ – and if she has children, she is also given child support.

Right to Inherit:

Islam gave the right to the women to inherit, centuries ago.

If you read the Qur’an – in several verses, in Surah Nisa, in Surah Baqarah and in Surah Maidah, it is mentioned that a woman, irrespective she is a wife or she is a mother, or a sister, or a daughter, she has a right to inherit. And it has been fixed by God Almighty in the Qur’an.

C. Social Rights of Women in Islam

Broadly it can be categorized into four sub-headings. Social rights given to a daughter, to a wife, to a mother and to a sister.

Social Rights to a Daughter:

Islam prohibits, female infanticide. The killing of female children is forbidden in Islam. It is mentioned in Surah Taqveem, Ch. 81, Verse No. 8 and 9,

‘when the female child is buried alive and when she questions you, for what crime was she killed’. Not only female infanticide has been prohibited, all sorts of infanticides has been prohibited in Islam, whether it be a male child or a female child. It is mention in the Qur’an in Surah A’nam Ch.6, Verse No.151 that, ‘Kill not your children for want of sustenance for it is God that will provide sustenance for you and for children’. A similar thing is mentioned in Surah Isra, Ch.17 Verse No.31 which says… ‘Kill not your children for want of sustenance, for it is God that will provide sustenance to you and your children, for killing of children is a major sin’.

In the pre-Islamic Arabia, whenever a female child was born mostly she was buried alive. Alhamdullillah, after the spread of Islam this evil practice has been discontinued. But unfortunately it still continues in India – According to a BBC report, in the programe assignment the title of which was ‘Let Her Die’, there was a British reporter by the name of Emily Beckenen, who came all the way from Britain to India to give us the statistics of the female infanticide. In that programe, it gives the statistics, that every day more than 3,000 fetuses are being aborted on being identified that they are females. If you multiply this figure by the number of days, that is multiplied by 365, you get a figure of more than one million female fetuses are being aborted every year in our country. And there are big hoarding and posters in states like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, which says spend 500 Rupees and save 5 lakh Rupees.

What does it mean? – That spend Rupees 500 on medical examination like Aminocententus or Ultra Sonography, and identify the gender of child. If it is a female you can abort it and you’ll save 5 lakh Rupees – How? The couple of lakhs you spend on upbringing her and the remaining lakhs of Rupees you spend on giving dowry to the man who will marry her (a custom in India). According to the report of the Government Hospital of Tamil Nadu – ‘out of every 10 female children that are born, four are put to death’ – No wonder the female population in India is less than the male population. Female infanticide was continuing in India since centuries – If you analyze the statistics of the 1901 census, for every 1000 males there were 972 females. According to the 1981 statistics and census, it tells you for every 1000 males you have 934 females. And the latest statistics of 1991 tells you that for every 1000 males you have 927 females. You can analyze that the female ratio is dropping every year – And since science and medicine has advanced, it has helped in this evil practice. Just because Islam tells you that you should not kill any children whether it be male or female will you call these rights in Islam as modernizing or outdated?

Qur’an not only prohibits female infanticide, it rebukes at the thought of you rejoicing at the birth of a male child and getting saddened at the birth of a female child. In Islam, a daughter should be brought up correctly. In Islam, there should be no partiality in upbringing of the daughter or the son. According to a Hadith, ‘In the presence of the Prophet Muhammad, once a man kissed his son and placed him on his lap but did not do the same to his daughter. The Prophet immediately objected and said that you are unjust – You should have even kissed your daughter and placed her on the other lap’.

Social Rights to Wife:

All the previous civilizations, they have considered the women to be an ‘instrument of the devil’.

The Qur’an refers to the women as ‘Mohsana’, that is a ‘fortress against the devil’.

And if a woman, who’s good, marries a man, she prevents him from going on the wrong path.

There’s a Hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) he said that, ‘there is no monasticism in Islam’ .

And again according to Sahih Bukhari, Volume No. 7, Ch. No. 3 Hadith No 4 it says that ‘the Prophet Muhammad ordained the young men, all those who have the means to marry, they should marry – For it will help them to guard their gaze and guard their modesty.

The Qur’an say’s that, ‘We have put love into the hearts of the husband and wife’.

If you read Surah Rum, Ch. 30, Verse No. 21 it says that, ‘And amongst our signs We have created for you mates or companions, so that you may dwell in them in tranquillity and we have put love and mercy between your hearts’.

According to Surah Nisa, Ch.4, Verse No.21, marriage is considered as a strong agreement, a strong contract.

According to Surah Nisa, Ch.4, Verse No.19, it says, ‘You are prohibited to inherit women against their will’ – Means, to marry the permission of both the parties are required.

It is compulsory that the man and women both should agree to marry. No one – not even the father can force their daughter to marry against her wishes.

There’s a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 69, which says ‘that a lady she was forced by her father to marry against her wishes’ – And she went to the Prophet and the Prophet invalidated the marriage’.

Another Hadith in Ibn-e-Humbal, Hadith No. 2469, it says ‘that a daughter was forced by her father to get married – And when the daughter approached the Prophet, the Prophet said you can either continue, or if you wish you can invalidate the marriage.

That means, the consent of both the male and the female is required.

In Islam, a women is considered as a homemaker – She is not considered as a housewife, because she is not married to the house.

Many people use terminology, without understanding what it means – ‘Housewife’ means ‘you are the wife of the house’.

So I believe, from now onwards the sisters would prefer calling themselves ‘homemakers’, than ‘house wives’, if they are occupied more in the home.

In Islam, a woman, she is not married to a master that she should be treated like a slave – She is married to it is equal.

And there is a Hadith which says in Ibn-Hambal – Hadith No 736, 7396. It says that, ‘the most perfect of the believers are those that are best in character and behavior, and those that are best to their family and their wives’.

Islam gives equal rights to the man and woman. Qur’an clearly mentions that men and women, husband and wife have equal rights in all aspects, except leadership in the family.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah Ch.2, Verse No.228. It says that, ‘…the women have been given rights similar against them (men) on equitable terms but the men have a degree higher…’.

Most of the Muslims have misunderstood this verse, when it says ‘a men have a degree higher’ – As I said we should analyze the Qur’an as a whole. And its mentioned in Surah Nisa, Ch. 4, Verse No.34 which says, ‘The men are the protectors and maintainers of the women, for God has given one of them more strength than the other and they give them their means’.

People say the word ‘Kawwam’ means, ‘one degree higher in superiority’ – But actually the word ‘Kawwam’ comes from the root word ‘Ikamah’. ‘Ikamah’ means for example ‘when you give the Ikamah before prayers – You stand up’.

So ‘Ikamah’ means to standup – so the word ‘Kawwam’ means one degree higher in responsibility, not one degree higher in superiority.

Even if you read the commentary of ‘Ibne-Kathir’ – He says that the word ‘Kawwam’ means one degree higher in responsibility, not one degree higher in superiority.

And this responsibility, should be carried out by mutual consent of both husband and wife.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah, Ch.2, Verse No.187, which says, Which means… ‘Your wives are your garments, and you are their garments’.

What’s the objective of garments – It is used to conceal and to beautify.

The husband and wife, should conceal each others faults, and they should beautify each other – Its a relationship of hands and gloves.

The Qur’an mentions that, ‘even if you do not like your wife, you should treat her kindly’.

It is mentioned in Surah Nisa, Ch.4, Verse No.19, that, ‘…consort with them (your wives) in kindness, for if you hate them it may happen that you hate a thing wherein God has placed much good.

Even if you dislike your wife you have to treat her kindly and with equity

Just because the rights of a wife are equal to those of the husband in Islam, will you call such rights in Islam as modernizing or outdated?

Social Rights to a Mother:

The only thing above respect to Mother, is the worship of God – It is mentioned in: Ch.17, Verse No.28-29, It says that…

‘God has ordained for you, that you worship none but Him, and to be kind to your parents. And if any one or both of them reach old age do not say a word of contempt or repel them but address them with honour, and speak to them with kindness, and lower your wing of humility and pray to God – ‘My Lord! bless them as they have cherished me in childhood’. Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, Verse No. 1 says, ‘Respect the womb that bore you’. Surah A’nam, Ch.6, Verse No.151, says that, ‘You have to be kind to your parents’. Surah Luqman Ch.31, Verse No.14, says that, ‘We have enjoined on the human beings to be kind to his parents. In travail upon travail, did their mother bore them and in years twain was their weaning’. A similar thing is repeated again in Surah Ahqaf, Ch.46, Verse No.15, that… ‘We have enjoined on the human beings to be kind to his parents. In pain did their mother bore them and in pain did she give them birth’.

Another Hadith related in Sahih Bukhari in Volume 8, Ch. No. 2 Hadith No. 2, as well as in Sahih-Muslim – It says that a man asked the Prophet Muhammad…

‘Who requires the maximum love and respect and my companionship in this world? The Prophet replied – ‘your mother’ ‘Who is next’? – ‘your mother’ ‘Who is next?’ – ‘your mother’ The man asked for the fourth time, – ‘Who is next’ The Prophet replied ‘your father’. So 75% of the love and respect goes to the mother and 25% of the love and respect goes to the father. Three fourth of the better part of the love and respect goes to the mother – One fourth of the remaining part of the love and respect goes to the father.

Social Rights to a Sister:

According to Surah Tawbah, Ch. 9, Verse No.71, it says that, ‘The men and the women they are friends of each other’.

Prophet Muhammed (may peace be upon him) he said, ‘The women are the ‘Shakat’ -‘Shakat’ means sister’.

D. Educational Rights to a Woman

The first 5 verses which were revealed in the Qur’an were from Surah Alaq, or Surah Iqra, Verse No. 1 to 5 which says:

‘Read, recite or proclaim in the name of your Lord, Who has created the human beings from a congealed clot of blood (a leech like substance).

Read, your Lord is most bountiful.

Who has taught the use of the pen.

Who has taught the human beings that which he knew-not’.

The first guidance given in the Qur’an to the humankind was not to pray, was not to fast, was not to give charity – It was read – Islam pays utmost importance to education.

Education is Compulsory in Islam:

According to Quran:

  • God will exalt those of you who believe and those who are given knowledge to high degrees. (58:11)
  • And say, O my Lord! increase me in knowledge. (20:114)
  • And whoever is is given knowledge is given indeed abundant wealth. (2:269)
  • According to a saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) “It is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, to acquire knowledge (Al-Bayhaqi).
  • Imagine, 1400 years ago, when the women were ill treated and were only used as property, Islam asked the women to be educated. Because Islam tells that every woman should be educated, – Will you call such women’s right’s in Islam as modernizing or outdated?

E. Legal Rights to a Woman

According to the Islamic law, men and women are equal – The Islamic Law protects the life and property of a man and woman both. If a man murders a woman he too will receive the capital punishment of ‘Kisaas’. According to the Islamic law of ‘Kisaas’, men and women – irrespective the injury be of the eye, of the nose, of the ear, of the body – both receive equal punishment. And if the guardian of the murderer, even it be a woman – If she says, that forgive the murderer and she accepts ‘Dia’, that is compensation – her opinion cannot be rejected – they have to accept it. And if there’s difference of opinion between the relatives of the person whose murdered – And some say that the murderer should be killed and some say that he should be forgiven and ‘Dia’ should be accepted – people should prevent the relatives from killing that murderer. And irrespective whether the witness or the opinion is given by a man or woman, it has same weight. According to Surah Maida, Ch.5, Verse No.30 – It says… ‘As to the thief, whether he be man or a woman, cut off his or her hand as a punishment for his crime, an example from God’. Means, if a person robs, irrespective whether he is a man or a woman his or her hands should be chopped – The punishment is the same. According to Surah Nur, Ch.24, Verse No.2, it says ‘If any commits fornication, be it a man or a woman, flog them with 100 stripes’. The punishment for fornication in Islam irrespective whether it is a man or a woman, it is the same – Flogging with 100 stripes. The punishment for men and women, is the same in Islam. In Islam a woman is allowed to give witness Imagine, Islam gave right to a woman to be a witness, 14 centuries ago. Even now in as late as 1980, the Jewish Rabai, they were considering that whether the women should be given a right to act as a witness or not – And Islam gave that right 1400 years ago. Accord ing to Surah Nur, Ch.24, Verse No.4, it is said ‘If any of you put a charge against the chastity of a woman, produce 4 witnesses, and if they falter, flog them with 80 stripes’. In Islam for a small crime, you require 2 witness – for a big crime you require 4 witnesses. Accusing a woman falsely is a big crime in Islam, therefore you require 4 witnesses. Now a days you see in the modern society, you find men abusing women and calling them all sorts of name. They call them prostitutes etc, and nothing is done. In an Islamic state, if a man calls her a ‘prostitute’ in public or anywhere else, and if she takes that man to court – And if that man cannot produce 4 witnesses or even if he produces 4 witnesses and any one of them falter, all of them will receive 80 lashes each, and in future all their evidence will be rejected. Islam gives utmost importance to the chastity of the woman. When a lady marries, she normally adopts the name of her husband. In Islam she has the option of either keeping her husband’s name, either adopting the name of the husband, or maintaining her maiden name. And maintaining the maiden name is recommended in Islam – And we find in several Muslim societies that women, even after they get married they maintain their maiden name, because according to the Islamic law men and women are equal.Will you call such rights in Islam modernizing or outdated?

F. Political Rights of a Woman

According to Surah Tawba, Ch.9, Verse No.71, ‘The men and the women they are friends (supporters) of each other’. Supporters not only Socially – even Politically – Politically, men and women should support each other. Women can even take part in law making. And according to the famous Hadith in which Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he was discussing with the Sahabas, and considering putting an upper limit on the ‘Meher ’, since young men were discouraged from getting married – a lady from the back seat she objected and said When the Qur’an says in Surah Nisa Ch.4, Verse No.20 that… ‘you can even give a heap of treasure, a heap of gold in ‘Meher’, when Qur’an puts no limit on ‘Meher’, who is Umar to put a limit (may Allah be pleased with him). And immediately Hazrat Umar (peace be upon him) said… ‘Umar is wrong and the lady is right’. Imagine, she was a common lady – If it would have been a famous lady, the name of the lady would be mentioned in the Hadith. Since the Hadith does not mention the name of the lady, we can understand that the lady was a common lady. Means, even a common lady can object to the ‘Khalifa’, the head of the state. And in technical terms it would be called that – ‘she is objecting to the breach of the constitution’,- because Qur’an is the constitution of the Muslims – That means a woman can even take part in law making.

Women have even taken part in the battle fields There is a full chapter in the Sahih Bukhari mentioning women in the battle field – Women gave water – they give first aid to the soldiers. Because the Qur’an says ‘Man is the protector of the ‘Woman’. Under normal circumstances, the women should not go to the battle field. It is the duty of the man. Only when required, under necessity are women allowed – and they should go to the battle field if they want. Otherwise you’ll have the same position as you are having in the USA.

Women in USA are Not Safe In USA women were allowed to join the battle since 1901 but they were not allowed to take active part – They only played the part of a nurse. Later on after the ‘Feminist Movement’ had started in 1973, the ‘Feminist movement’ demand ed – ‘Why aren’t women allowed to take active part in the battle field?’ So the American government allowed women to take active part in the battle field. And according to a report of the Defense Department of America, which was released on the 23rd of April, 1993 it said that, ‘90 people were sexually assaulted in a convention, out of which 83 were women and 117 officers were charged with in disciplinary action’. Imagine in one convention only, 83 women sexually assaulted. What was the crime of those 117 officers?

They made the women run and they snatched at their clothes. They made them parade absolutely nude without even covering the genital parts. They were made to have sex in public. Is this what you call ‘Women’s rights’? If you think that this is what is ‘Women’s right’, then you can keep your rights to yourselves. We do not want our sisters, our daughters our mothers to be sexually assaulted. And there was a uproar in the parliament and the President, Bill Clinton – he himself had to apologize publicly and he said, ‘Necessary action will be taken’. And you know when politicians say ‘necessary action will be taken, what happens. So Islam allows women to take part in the battle field only when required. But there also they should maintain their Islamic dress and the Islamic ethics, and their modesty.

USA Has One of the Highest Rates of Rape

United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world. It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any country in the world. According to a FBI report, in the year 1990, every day on an average 1756 cases of rape were committed in U.S.A alone. Later another report said that on an average everyday 1900 cases of rapes are committed in USA. The year was not mentioned. May be it was 1992 or 1993. May be the Americans got ‘bolder’ in the following years.

Islamic Law Let’s Women Breathe Easily

Consider a scenario where the Islamic law is implemented in America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic dress as mentioned in Quran. After this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease? If Islamic law is implemented in any part of the world, women will breathe easier.


Before I conclude, I’d like to give an example. As I said in the beginning of my talk, Islam believes in equality between men and women – Equality does not mean identicality.

Suppose in a classroom 2 students, student ‘A’ and ‘B’, during an examination both come out first – Both secure 80% marks – 80 out of 100. When you analyze the question paper, the question paper has 10 differ ent questions, each carrying 10 marks. In question 1 student ‘A’ got 9 out of 10, and student ‘B’ got 7 out of 10 – So in question 1 student ‘A’ was higher than student ‘B’. In question 2, student ‘A’ got 7 out of 10 and student ‘B’ got 9 out of 10 – Student ‘B’ was higher than student ‘A’ in question number 2. In question 3 both of them got 8 out of 10, both were equal. So when we add up the marks of all the ten questions, both student ‘A’ and ‘B’ got 80 out of 100. So in short, student ‘A’ and student ‘B’ are over all equal. In some questions ‘A’ is higher than ‘B’, in some questions ‘B’ is higher than ‘A’, in others both are equal. In the same fashion, taking the example that since God has given man more strength – Suppose a thief enters the house will you tell, ‘I believe in women’s rights – I believe in women’s rights’ – will you tell your mother, your sister and your daughter, to go and fight the thief?’ No, but natural you’ll fight him – If required they may interfere – Under normal circumstances since God has given you more physical strength, you have to go and tackle the thief. So here, in physical strength, man is one degree higher than the woman Let us take another example where it comes to respecting the parents – The children are supposed to respect the mother 3 times more than the father (as mentioned earlier). Here the women have one degree higher than the men – Over all both equal So Islam believes in equality, not identically – Men and women are over all equal in Islam. This was in brief, the highlights, of ‘the Women’s Rights in Islam’. After this what the Muslim society did is different – Many of the Muslim societies did not give the women their rights and they deviated away from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The Western society is largely responsible for this – because of the Western societies, many Muslim societies have become over protective, over precautions and have gone to one extreme and deviated away from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

On the other extreme, some of the Muslim societies turned to the Western culture, and followed their culture. I want to tell the Western society that if you analyze the women’s rights in Islam according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah – you will realize it is modernizing and not outdated.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

15-tips for brothers talking about “Women in Islam”.

Whether it’s Muslim scholars, brothers at the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), or the average Jameel on the street, Muslim men also have to deal with the stereotypes and misperceptions about women in Islam.

Sadly, a number of brothers make the problem worse without realizing it, instead of clarifying the issue. This is rarely, if ever, done intentionally. However, what’s clear is that some guidelines are necessary for brothers when talking about the issue of women in Islam.

Here are some suggested tips:

1. Let the sisters speak

No matter how well-spoken, eloquent or intelligent a brother is, the bottom line is this: he is not a Muslim woman.

That means no matter how much you, as a Muslim man tell a non-Muslim woman how wonderful hijab is, it will be harder for her to accept this because you have never worn Hijab and you are not a woman.

Whenever possible, have sisters answer questions pertaining to Islam and women.

2. Be careful of mixing up the ideal with the reality

One non-Muslim writer once remarked how when talking to Muslims about Islam compared to the West, Muslims take the ideal of Islam and compare it to the reality of the West.

The fact of the matter is there are very ugly realities when it comes to the treatment of women in many parts of the world, including the Muslim world. Muslims must recognize the reality of domestic violence in the community, even though Islamic ideals would never condone such ugly behavior.

3. Don’t sacrifice speaking out against injustice in the name of protecting Islam’s “image”

“Tackle the issue and the image will take care of itself,” advises Sr. Kathy Bullock, a convert to Islam based in California. Don’t fall into the tendency to ignore pressing issues for the sake of protecting Islam’s reputation.

In other words, if someone brings up the issue of honor killing in Jordan, acknowledge the reality but make it clear that this is a sin and a crime in Islam and as a Muslim you condemn it. This in itself is enough. Trying to justify or make excuses for it or covering it up is not going to score image points for Islam.

4. Don’t respond to unspoken accusations

A number of times, Muslims automatically start an apologetic tirade defending the status of women in Islam before a person has even said a word. Let the other person initiate questions, and answer calmly and confidently. You may be responding to an accusation that was never even in the person’s mind in the first place.

5. Ask WHY

Do this before launching an apologetic tirade against any accusation. For instance, a man in Spain once approached a scholar, saying he felt Islam was a man’s religion. Before rebutting him, the scholar asked him why he thought this way. The man replied that whenever he looked at mosques, he saw only men.

By knowing why, you can develop your answer accordingly, and tackle the issue head-on in an honest and direct way.

6. Agree with people as much as possible

Start off agreeing with a person. It will completely turn the tables on the discussion, as many people begin discussions on women in Islam assuming Muslims are completely against the notion of women’s rights.

7. If you don’t know something SAY SO

If a person tells you they’re from X country you’ve never heard of and Muslim women are treated in a horrible fashion what can you say about it?

I have never heard of that, and I don’t know are simple enough. Don’t start apologizing, or denying that it happens. Tell the truth.

8. Don’t be condescending

In Islam, looking down on a fellow human being is a sin, whether the person is a male or a female. Don’t think you know all there is to know about women in Islam, and don’t speak in this manner either. Allah does not love arrogance, and only Allah has full knowledge of all things.

9. Don’t interrupt

This is a problem in a number of cultures, men interrupting women and other men when they speak. Not only is this rude behavior, it takes away from your message. People are less likely to listen to you if you come across as a rude boorish individual. Don’t do this to others, especially sisters.

10. Don’t assume all Muslim sisters are the same

Just because your mom, who was born and brought up in a Muslim country, and has never had a problem with hijab does not mean that other Muslim sisters have the same experience.

Muslim sisters are as different as brothers, as are their experiences with issues like hijab.

11. Become more attuned to the “new Muslim woman”

Muslim sisters today are not the same as those of yesterday. Many Muslims sisters know more, and they prefer more interactive lectures as opposed to the passive style normally used. If you’re giving a talk, be ready to have interjections from Muslim sisters. Welcome these, don’t shun them.

12. Choose your words very carefully

If you’re doing a presentation on women’s issues in Islam or responding to a basic question, make sure to choose your words extremely carefully. Know the exact dictionary meaning, as well as the meaning in everyday usage. Words are extremely powerful, and they leave an imprint on the hearts and minds of people. You want that imprint to be positive, so be careful.

13. Actions speak louder than words

You can speak beautifully about women in Islam on behalf of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), but if throughout the year, sisters have been denied access to the prayer room, or the right to participate in decision-making in the MSA, then think of how silly your talk is.Make sure your personal and organizational behavior falls in line with your words.

14. Don’t stereotype all Western women

“Table dancers” or “cheerleaders” is how one Muslim sister described the way Muslims tend to stereotype all Western women. Let’s not forget: we hate it when Muslim women are stereotyped as oppressed, so we should not be doing the same to others.

And lest we forget, a growing number of Western women are becoming our Muslim sisters, and very practicing ones at that.

15. Seek women’s perspective on issues

You know mom, who loves you so much and makes your dinner? She’s a woman. Your sister in school? She’s a woman. If you’re blessed to be surrounded by practicing Muslim sisters in your home, take advantage of this by seeking their views on issues like hijab, domestic violence, community participation, and media stereotypes. There’s nothing like hearing the truth presented from those who truly live it.

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Questions to ask a prospective husband

When choosing a partner, there are numerous issues which may lead to friction and conflict. Following the principle that prevention is better than cure, it seems wise to air these issues before a match is finalized. Some of the issues may appear trivial or mundane, but the stuff of everyday life is also the stuff of arguments! Other issues are more serious, and may be indicative of the potential for a stormy and abusive marriage. Each marriage will have its ups and downs, but settling some of these matters may avoid the emergence of major, insoluble problems and consequent heartbreak.

These are all questions that may be asked directly or else “researched” by observation, asking his relatives, members of the community, etc. The prospective bride may ask some of these questions when the couple meet, but many women may feel too shy to ask outright. Family or friends can also help with the research – in many Muslim countries, relatives of prospective partners often visit to check the person out!

Asking/answering such questions is not gheebah or backbiting, and people should not hesitate to tell the truth when it concerns a possible marriage; the intent is to establish whether these two people are compatible. Avoiding a poor match will save all concerned from much heartache. At the same time, whether the marriage proceeds or not, any information thus gathered should be kept confidential – any “faults” uncovered should not be generally broadcast in the community!

These suggested questions are derived from two sources: an article entititled “Spousal Abuse and its Prevention” by Br. Abdul Rehman in Islamic Sisters International, and the feedback I received during a workshop I led on “Choosing a Marriage Partner” at the ISSRA Conference on Health and Social Issues, Toronto, May 25, 1996.

The Big Issues:

(1) What makes him angry and how does he deal with his anger?

Does he blame everybody but himself?

Does he stop talking to the person involved?

Does he bear grudges (“I’ll get him back one day!”)

Has he ever physically or mentally abused anyone with whom he was angry?

Does he get angry when those who may be wiser disagree or suggest an alternative point of view?

Does he ever forgive those with whom he was angry?

(2) How does he behave during a crisis?

Does he blame everyone except himself?

Does he become hostile towards an uninvolved member of an ethnic group which is known to abuse followers of Islam?

What steps does he take to face and deal with pressure?

Does he remain optimistic that things will get better, and that after every difficulty comes ease?

(3) How does he feel about women’s rights in a Muslim home?

Did he ever observe abuse from his father towards his mother?

Did he ever act to prevent abuse at home? How?

Did he believe that his father was always right?

Does he believe that all women deserve abuse?

How does he make decisions? Does he rely on his own wisdom? Does he consult with close friends?

Will he be willing to consult with his spouse on any decision?

Does he stick firmly to his decisions?

(4) How does he deal with money matters?

Does he save his money for the future?

Does he give money to charities?

When he decides to buy something, will he consult his spouse in making the decision?

How does he describe his own spending and attitude towards money?

(5) What does he expect from his wife and children?

How would he react if his expectations are not met?

What is his vision of family life?

Would he pitch in and co-operate in family chores and the upbringing of children?

Would he be willing to change to accommodate your views?

(6) What are his family like?

Are his family religious, or will you be the only one in hijab?

Does their approach to Islam differ from yours – will you be the only “fundamentalists” in a family whose Islam is more “traditional”?

If this is a mixed match, are his folks open to outsiders, or will you face clannishness and exclusion?

(7) What is his medical background?

(Many Imams in the US are now refusing to conduct Nikah until they see proof that the couple have undergone blood tests and been given a clean bill of health)

Has he ever had an AIDS test, and what was the result?

Is there any history of major illness in his family?

(8) What are his views on education of women and children?

Will he allow you to continue and/or return to education?

What are his views on education and schooling of children? If you have strong views on Islamic schools, home schooling, etc., find out if his views coincide with yours.

Will he take part in the children’s upbringing and education? Will he teach them Qur’an?

(9) Where does he want to live?

Does he want to settle in the country where you now live?

Does he want to return to his homeland? Does he want to move to a new country altogether?

Will the family have to move frequently because of his profession?

Will he take your feelings into account when deciding where to live?

Does he aspire to a large and luxurious home, or will he settle for less? Does he want to live in the heart of the city, in the suburbs, or in an isolated rural setting?

Day-to-day matters

Some of these are individual preferences – what may deeply concern some may not even be an issue to others, but if you have some strong feelings on a matter, it is better to get it out into the open before you make a commitment:

(1) Food:

Do you agree on the “halal meat” issue – some people will only eat halal-slaughtered meat, whilst others will eat any “meat of the Jews and Christians” as long as it’s not pork.

Does he insist on only eating the food of his own ethnic group, or are his tastes more eclectic?

Will he insist on having every meal cooked from scratch, or will you be able to have convenience food or take-away on busy days?

Does he have some strong preferences for meat, or will you “go vegetarian” some days?

(2) Smoking:

Does he smoke? Do any of his family or friends smoke? Will he let people smoke in your non-smoking home?

(3) Going Out:

How does he feel about women going outside the home? studying outside? working outside?

Will he want to “check out” your friends and only let you visit those of whom he approves?

How does he feel about women driving?

(4) Pets:

Are either of you very keen to keep pets at home?

Do either of you have any allergies, dislikes, or phobias when it comes to animals?

Taken from Bent Rib: A Journey through women’s issues in Islam by Huda al-Khattab

100 Premarital Questions

1. What is your concept of marriage?
2. Have you been married before?
3. Are you married now?
4. What are you expectations of marriage?
5. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
6. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near
7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
8. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
9. What is the role of religion in your life now?
10. Are you a spiritual person?
11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
13. What is your relationship between yourself and the Muslims community in your area?
14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
15. What can you offer your zawj (spouse), spiritually?
16. What is the role of the husband?
17. What is the role of the wife?
18. Do you want to practice polygamy?
19. What is your relationship with your family?
20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour,what should be done?
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
26. How did you get to know them?
27. Why are they your friends?
28. What do you like most about them?
29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?
32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?
35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
38. Do you travel?
39. How do you spend your vacations?
40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
41. Do you read?
42. What do you read?
43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favor for you?
47. Do you like to write your feelings?
48. If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want (s)he to apologize to you?
50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
53. Do your friends use foul language?
54. Does your family use foul language?
55. How do you express anger?
56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
57. What do you do when you are angry?
58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise,how should the conflict get resolved?
60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?
67. What is you definition of wealth?
68. How do you spend money?
69. How do you save money?
70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
72. Do you use credit cards?
73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?
77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
81. Do you want to have children? If not, how come?
82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
84. Do you believe in abortion?
85. Do you have children now?
86. What is your relationship with your children now?
87. What is your relationship with their other parent?
88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?
90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?
91. How were you raised?
92. How were you disciplined?
93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
94. Do you believe in public school for your children?
95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Tips on How to Treat Our Mothers

I have seen many peoples treating there mother not well,have lots of conflicts with mother…so,Here is a list of tips on how to treat your mothers..These include the tips which can be done by son and daughter..

Allah says in Quran :

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination. [Noble Quran 31:14]

They carried us in their wombs for nine months, then endured the pain of labor, and then nurtured us and did everything for us when we were helpless babies and children; they bear the teenage years with patience and advice.

I hope this compilation of ways on how to treat our mothers will put a smile on the faces of your mothers, and let them know we have not forgotten what they go through. A smile with a warm embrace.

  • Saying thanks often.
  • An offer to wash up the dishes.
  • A cup of tea without her asking.
  • Recite her favorite Surah,
  • Tidy round after she goes to bed, so that when she wakes up the house is tidy.
  • Buy her little ornaments for round the house so when she sees them she remembers you.
  • Rub her feet (after all, that’s where Paradise is).
  • Phone your mum just to tell her you love her.
  • Buy her surprise gifts.
  • Go to her when she calls you.
  • Write a poem for her.
  • If you’re on the phone, and your mother is asking something tell the person to wait.
  • Cook for her.
  • Let her teach you to cook even if you know, she will enjoy the fact that you’re coming to her to ask.
  • Bring your wife to her to learn how to cook, she will enjoy teaching her your favorite recipes, and both of you praise her cooking.
  • Clean the house without your mum having to ask.
  • Tell her how happy you are that she is a part of your life and your own families.
  • Always take your mothers side in front of your wife and mother over differing opinions; you can appease your wife later on out of sight.
  • Give her money to treat herself.
  • Make breakfast for her.
  • Go to get the shopping for her.
  • If your mother likes to get the shopping, in then be patient with her as she goes up and down the aisles.
  • Do your own washing and ironing.
  • Spread the salaam when you leave and return from the home.
  • Comb her hair.
  • Massage her shoulders.
  • Do well in school
  • Pray all your prayers on time
  • Help with your younger siblings so she can put her feet up.
  • Teach your younger siblings to also help around the house, a mother needs time for her Ibadah too; her Ibadah should not have to fit around housework all the time.
  • Look good and smell nice and be polite so that you’re a good example of her upbringing.
  • Don’t always have your mum waking you up for prayer; try to wake her up instead.
  • Help her with new technology, this stimulates her brain and keeps her mentally fit.
  • Take an interest in her hobbies. If its sewing making sure she has all the things she needs. Ooo and ahhh, at her creations.
  • Listen to lectures together; watch programs together this is what makes the bond stronger between you.
  • Take the bins out and remember to bring them in, once they are emptied, this chore is something Muslim mums don’t like as they have to cover them selves all up to take it out.
  • If affordable, try to buy her the best and freshest food at the supermarket
  • Take her out for drives in the car, especially if you live in the city take her to the countryside, go with the whole family and take a picnic.
  • When you drive make sure you remember that there is a fragile vessel beside you, who would like to see what’s out of the window rather than a blur because you’re speeding. No white knuckle rides please.
  • Ask your mother about her youth, most mothers love recalling their past
  • Be good to her relatives and her friends
  • Name some of your children after her side of the family, as a lot of the time it’s the dad who chooses her children’s names.
  • Have a good relationship with your brothers and sisters; there is nothing more worrying to a mother than seeing her children at odds with one another.
  • Never raise your voice or speak in a harsh tone to your mother.
  • Tell her regularly what’s going on in your life, don’t let her hear your news from others.
  • Seek her opinion in all major decisions, she has been there and done that.
  • Always thank and praise her for the good job she has done over the years.
  • Kiss her when you go and come from the house.
  • Make Du’a for her
  • Always ask her to make Du’a for you and your family, this brings her closer to your family.
  • Ring your mother if you’re going to be late getting home.
  • Try not to stay out too late, as she will not sleep till you’re safely inside.
  • Be patient when she is not feeling well, bring her all she needs, and go with her to the doctors so she has support.
  • Remind your mother to be a good Muslimah , and tell her heart softening stories and about paradise and hell.
  • Read to her Islamic books
  • What ever you learned in a gathering or class, share it with her.
  • Remind her to read Surah al-Kahf on Fridays
  • Take her to the mosque if she wishes to go.
  • Make sure she has contact with other good sisters who will increase her Iman.
  • Take her to her friends yourself or arrange transport.
  • Invite her to your house at the weekend.
  • Take cooked food to her, to give her a rest.
  • Encourage her to do the Sunnah fasts, and then break fast with each other.
  • Know what makes your mother smile and do it often.
  • Be an active and a productive member of society. Mothers are happy when they see this.
  • Buy your mum flowers, the smell and prettiness of flowers do wonders.
  • Lead your mother and family in the Salah.
  • Get married and choose a spouse who your mother approves of.
  • Choose a wife who is soft hearted and will treat your mother well.
  • Don’t put off jobs that need done around the house.
  • Remind her always of the traps of the Shaytan, remind her to do her daily Adkhars.
  • Choose your own friends wisely.
  • Pay for her to do Hajj and Umrah and go with her.
  • Don’t remind her of how much you spent on her.
  • Look after her health, reminding her of the benefits of a good diet and some exercise.
  • Always ask your mums advice about your own household, this makes her happy and lets her know you value her opinion.
  • If there is any problem with your wife and mother, then never carry tales saying what the other said as most of that is done in anger.
  • Read Ruqya Ayat over water and give her it to drink.
  • Buy her beauty products, and perfumes.
  • Be there when there is any lifting to be done.
  • Let her listen and correct your mistakes, when you’re memorizing Quran.
  • Always intervene in any disputes between your parents calmly.
  • Give her some money from your salary every month, so she can save for something she wants to buy, or to give in charity.
  • Lay your head in each others lap, you might be 12 or 40 but in your mothers eyes you’re still her child.
  • Give charity on her behalf regularly.
  • Give charity on behalf of her deceased relatives.
  • Buy her gold, women like it and it’s an investment.
  • Listen to her complaints with understanding, and give her solutions that she can imply to make her life better.
  • Walk at her pace with her on the inside protected from the road.
  • If she wants to share what’s in her glass with you, drink from the same side she drank from.
  • Just like children who need quality time, give this to your mother also.
  • Serve her first with the food.
  • When you give her a drink, wait till she has finished then take away her glass.
  • Use affectionate terms for her and other motherly terms of affection.
  • When you see her doing something wrong, even in that disobedience treat her gently and with the upmost respect.
  • Always open the door for her.
  • Try to always speak in her mother tongue, and if your not then translate word for word, so she does not feel left out.
  • Remind her of the rights Islam has bestowed on the mother, and tell her good stories of how others treat their mothers.
  • Never cut your mother off when she is speaking, and be patient when she cuts you off.
  • Sit at her feet and listen to what she is saying.
  • Make her a large part of your grandchildren’s lives; always bring them over to visit.
  • Teach your own children to respect their grandparents as well.
  • If you are in a class and you are unsure as to why mum is calling then leave the class to answer the call.’
  • When you’re angry with each other, don’t leave the house, and don’t refuse her food, or any attempts your mother makes to make amends, try to be the first one to defuse the situation.
  • Always knock on her bedroom door before entering
  • Don’t enter into debates that you know will irritate each other, especially in the morning and at night.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Backbiting & Slander – an Islamic perspective

Backbiting and slander is so widespread that it has become the topic of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting are oblivious of the fact that they are only harming themselves. This is because of the fact that on the Day of Resurrection both the wrongdoer and the wronged will stand before Allah, Who is the Just Judge, Allah will then give this wronged person from the good deeds of the person who wronged him in accordance with his wrong by backbiting.

Some situations allow us to inform others of what someone has done. It is allowed for us to inform the authorities when someone does injustice to us or others. It is allowed for us to inform someone who can help a perpetrator from committing further vice. It is also permissible for us to tell whoever seeks our advice on a person for business dealings or marriage. In this case it is not allowed for us to hide what we know about the person so that the enquirer will not be deceived. All these types of speaking about others are lawful.

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? “It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah, this is a most serious slander” (Quran 24:16)

A commentary on one of the most destructive of major sins

Islam is a religion of peace, love and compassion. Lies, suspicion, back biting, slander and gossip are totally alien to Islam. In fact they are considered amongst the most destructive of major sins. This is so because these sins sow enmity and discord among the Muslim Ummah and lead to its destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household, and between neighbors, friends and relatives.

Islam demands that our relationship with mankind should be one of sincerity and responsibility. It should be one where we have respect for the honor, reputation and privacy of others. Islam teaches us that we are not only held accountable for our own attitudes and actions but also for anything else over which we have control or influence over, in our society or the world around us.

Verses: Let’s see what the Quran states about backbiting and slander –

This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (2:2)

Allah has forbidden the believers from backbiting

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

When we reflect deeply over this assimilation it should be enough to keep us away from backbiting!

Do not treat the issue of Backbiting & Slander with indifference because it is a great sin

Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah (24: 15)

Many of us back bite and gossip without thinking. We think it is minor matter, however Allah reminds us to be careful and even though we think we are doing something little it is in fact very big in the sight of Allah!

Allah teaches us to speak out against Slander and try to put a stop to it

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? “It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah, this is a most serious slander” (24:16)

Many people are so busy spreading the slander they hear that they do not even stop to think if it is true or not.

Shaitan (Satan) wants us to use our tongue to create conflict and hatred

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53)

Are we falling into Shaitan’s (Satan’s) trap? We can all analyze ourselves.

Hadiths: Let’s see what Prophet Muhammad said about Backbiting in the hadiths.

Allah states in the Quran –

You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern of conduct. (33:21)

The definition of Backbiting & Slander

Prophet Muhammad said :”Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?” The Messenger of Allah said, “If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)

We should guard our tongue from sins and use our limbs in acts of obedience

Prophet Muhammad said : “Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The definition of the best muslim

“I asked the Messenger of Allah : Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah replied, “He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands.” (Muslim)

Deriding people in their presence by making negative facial expressions or by hand gestures while they are unaware is also a form of backbiting.

We need to beware of the slipping of our tongues

“When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’” (At-Tirmidhee)

Islam teaches us that if people are being ridiculed or backbited in our presence, we should defend their honor. If we neglect this, we shall deprive ourselves of ever needed help and mercy from Allah – If a man’s Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him and does so, Allah will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, Allah will destroy him in this world and the next. (Baghawi). What will we do the next time we are tempted to backbite or hear slander in our presence? Right now the choice is ours!

I ask Allah the Most High, the All Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May Allah grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.



slave of Allah

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