Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hijab Day Join the Revolution

Dear sister,
I know you have heard it all before. You have gotten the questions, the looks and the small chitchat from young and old as you walk by about your lack of observation of Hijab. I know. You probably have gotten the bitter side of advice throughout the years; you probably are fed up with the reminders about Hijab.

This is not just another one, sister. This is a sincere letter from a sister you do not know but who wishes goodness for you in your life and the Hereafter. A sister who wishes for her own self what she wishes for others. Do I desire Jannah (Paradise)? Do I desire Allah’s Pleasure? Do I desire to sit amongst the blessed company of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his family and his companions (peace be upon them) in an everlasting life of joy?

The Hereafter in which Allah promised those who believe and perform righteous actions, many times in the Qur’an, “on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (46:13). I earnestly do wish for this everlasting reward, and I desire the same for you too, my dearest sister. You know as I know that our belief in Allah and His perfect Deen (religion) is followed by action. In the same verse I quoted above Allah says, “Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is (only) Allah,’ and thereafter istaqamu, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (46:13). Istaqamu here meaning those who stood firm and straight on the Islamic faith of Monotheism by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and by performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained. Our belief is not complete without action. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will bring forth our records and we will see our belief, words and actions. Will they match up? Or we will fall short in this?

Dear sister, I know you have said to yourself and to others, that they are not watchers over you; that they will not be judged along with you on the Day of Judgment. This is indeed true, my beloved sister, but the fact remains that you will be judged. And on that Day, you do not want to fall short or look back at your life and regret that you did not take the steps needed in order to fulfill your obligations, or to come closer to the Pleasure of Allah.

Today, my sister I have a challenge for you: A challenge in which I ask you to do, not for anyone’s sake but Allah’s. Do not do it for your family or your friends; do not do it for me. Do it for yourself and for your Rabb (Lord).
  Insha`Allah, on February 1
st, 2013, we are holding a worldwide event: World Hijab Day. On this day insha`Allah hundreds, we pray thousands of sisters will observe Hijab. Just for one day, we are asking sisters to wear the Hijab and experience it. There will be a worldwide support group. Millions of Muslims behind you and supporting you! At the end of the day, it is upon you and only you to follow through.

I am not asking you for anything more or anything less than to take one small step which in your heart you know will only bring you closer to my Rabb and your Rabb. One step closer to Jannah insha’Allah….

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our garments are....

SubhanAllah, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) compares the relationship between a husband and wife as clothing. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says that both the husband and wife are “libaas”, garments, for each other. This shows the equality that Allah places between spouses and how each partner has a role in the relationship.
Remember again that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) puts parables in the Qur’an so that we may ponder, so let’s ponder on how a spouse compares to clothes:
  1. Clothes are close to you, behind your clothes is your bare skin. A spouse is close to you in that manner, emotionally and physically.
  2. Clothes protect your skin from the outside. A husband is the maintainer of his wife and the wife protects her husband’s home and property.
  3. Clothes beautify you. A husband and wife compliment eachother, in this life and the next.
  4. Clothes are comfortable. When one is around their spouse, they feel at ease and their hearts are at rest. One can relax around their spouse and find comfort in them and their words when they are in difficulty.
  5. Clothes hide and screen you. A husband and wife should not discuss each other’s faults to the outside or complain to others about their spouse.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From Productive Muslim: "Because Khadijah Asked...."

“Because Khadijah Asked…” An Alternative Path To Meeting Mr. Right

Beacuse Khadijah Asked...An Alternative Path to Finding Mr.Right - Productive MuslimKhadijah. Just saying her name instantly inspires me to want to be a stronger Muslimah, to sacrifice more, to discover her hidden strength and beauty she gave to her husband.
Khadijah. Who was this amazing, strong, beautiful, brilliant, pious and noble woman? I don’t mean who was she in the Seerah text, but who was she? What was it like to be her friend, what events shaped her life? What would it have been like to sit down with her over a meal and talk? What kind of advice could she tell me about marriage, Mr. Right, and living until your last breath is gone, all for the sake of Allah?
It is because of her that our Deen begins with a legacy that starts, after Rasullah, with a woman. After the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) (glorified and exalted be He), it is because of her sacrifices that we are Muslims today. She gave everything she had, all that she owned, from her hands, heart, and soul for Islam.
But to appreciate this beautiful opportunity she had, we have to go back to a very significant moment in time. That moment is when she asked her maid servant to inquire about the young man who was working for her to see if he was available for marriage and would consider her. A man who had a beautiful character and was honest, hardworking, trustworthy and produced amazing results for her business.
Khadijah asked.
Khadijah, may Allah’s Mercy be upon her, asked about Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for marriage.
She initiated the communication.
She sent someone on her behalf to find out if he was available for marriage.
And it was because she asked, that she got that blessed answer.
And with that answer, was the beginning of one of the greatest stories of love for all times, and also one of the greatest examples of a true Muhsina and Mu’mina.
A woman older than him, previously married with children, was inquiring about a younger bachelor, from one of the best tribes in town. The honor of his acceptance wasn’t just hers alone. It was his too. He was going to marry one of the most beautiful hearts in all of Mecca. A woman whose heart would sacrifice everything she had to support him and Islam.
Khadijah asked.
Today, you’re probably wondering when and how you will get married. You go to school, maybe then graduate school, and after this begin a career. As time passes, the pressure begins to set in to get married. But out there in the world, you see many single and available brothers that you could consider as a Mr. Right potential.
What I want you to realize, is that many Mr. Right potentials, have no idea you’re available for marriage, ready to settle down, have time for a husband, or willing to accept him for where he is right now in his career and education. After all, few brothers in their early 20s will have enough income saved up for a luxury wedding, vacation, apartment and car all at once. But I meet sisters who tell me that this isn’t the main issue, that they can wait while he builds his career and financial situation.
How is he ever going to know that you don’t mind letting him build things up over time? After all, he is living under the impression of the same cultural status that you are.
I recently surveyed the brothers on our Practimate list and told them I was teaching you to be proactive, similar to Khadijah, in finding a husband, by sending a third party to inquire on their behalf, whether a mahram or a trusted friend. I asked them if they thought this was weird, desperate or something they would consider offensive.
Their responses broke the common myth!
One brother said,
“It will be more helpful if the word is “out there” in an appropriate manner. I feel like the present times are a bit in transition where old systems are failing (the waiting game) and new systems are coming into play, and we are held up between the two. For my parents’ time the waiting thing worked as it had the right setting from every perspective…”
Another brother said,
“A girl needs to put all the “games” aside and just be real with people. If that means that she tells her family about the brother…so they can talk with him, so be it. In fact, if a sister’s family or someone she knows came to me telling me that a sister is interested in me, I would at the very least check it out; I would take the opportunity seriously. Khadijah sent someone to speak with the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) about marriage…she took the initiative, this also shows that a women is strong and willing to take charge when needed. The sister has to be a REAL, genuine person, down to earth (for it to work.)”
In general, the idea of you sending someone, respectably speaking, to inquire with tactfulness, and in a good manner – not a “I have a friend who likes you” mentality, but again, with maturity and modesty, is something a mature man, ready for marriage, will appreciate. Only 1% of the brothers who responded didn’t agree with my recommendation. And it’s not that he disagreed, just felt that men should be more pro-active themselves, if they really want to be married.
So why not pursue Mr. Right like Khadijah?
Sadly, we have ignored this example (and others) from Islam of women sending a “messenger” to inquire on their behalf about marriage. That they were proactively involved in the marriage process. Sisters accuse others of being desperate when they let others know they are looking to get married. Families believe that a daughter must be sought after and it is shameful for a daughter and her family to approach a man for marriage.
And so, many beautiful, smart, educated and talented women are waiting and waiting for Mr. Right to knock on their father’s door. And in the silence of a new beautiful day, when no one is looking you may feel sad and despair. Of course, you know all things are in the hands of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)(glorified and exalted be He). Of course you know that there is reward in sabr, but you are like everyone else on the planet. A desire to marry, and one day to begin a new family. So rather than judgment and a discussion on the ideal bubble we all “should” be living in:
It’s time to re-examine our value system, and not forbid or look down upon something approved of and practiced by the best man on the face of the earth, and our Mother for all believers, one of the best women in human history.
The re-examination process, begins with you.
If you are ready to consider an alternative option for seeking out Mr. Right, then first, I want to mention that there are rules to this pro-active approach.
Here are some guidelines to follow if you are considering being the pro-active person in initiating marriage dialogue.

1) Never initiate something without having a wali or mahram having complete knowledge of what is going on.

This protects you and the potential Mr. Right from ending up in a situation not pleasing to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)(glorified and exalted be He). You want to go through this process in a halal and dignified manner.

2) Send someone you trust to ask on your behalf, without initially revealing your identity.

This way, you know if the brother is even available before revealing your personal information. One brother mentioned in the survey responses, that it’s great to give a brother a heads up that someone is interested, because if he is talking to another sister already, then he can let the messenger know, and if it doesn’t work out, he can come back and also let her know.
If he is interested, then have your “go between” share who you are, and ask the brother how you and your wali can contact him – but communication should always go back to your wali or mahram.

3) Pray istikharah.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) (glorified and exalted be He) to guide us daily every time we say “Ihdina Siratul-Mustaqeem” in Salah, but we are also blessed to have a special du’a just for making decisions.
The reality is that many brothers out there desperately want to get married, but feel there are so many hurdles to overcome to get there.
The first hurdle, is fearing rejection. Women tend to think men always have their act all put together, but they have their own batch of insecurities and fears. It may make things easier for a man to consider you when he already knows you are interested. And if he isn’t, he will be more confident in pursuing the right person for him in the future.
And what about you? Doesn’t this put you on the line to face rejection. Of course it does, but you have two choices. Do nothing, wait and handle the challenges of just waiting, which is fine if this is the path you want to take. Or do something, be pro-active, possibly meet your Mr. Right and handle the challenges of asking.
In every other area of ‘ibahadah, we don’t sit down and wait for it to come. For Hajj we save, for money we work, for knowledge we seek it out. Marriage doesn’t have to be an exception.
Because Khadijah asked, you could too.
About the Author:
Marriage coach Megan Wyatt invites all Muslim wives from the West to develop skills to create a loving, emotionally deep, spiritual and passionate marriage; to rekindle marriage as an act of worship, a path to being nearer to Our Creator and a gateway to being a wife in Jannah. You can follow her at “Wives of Jannah” on Facebook.