Connect with us

#Society

Fiqh of Love: O You Who Are About to Marry, Any Last Words? Any First Words?

Avatar

Published

on

It was my pleasure to write this article at the request of Shaykh Waleed Basyouni for distribution to students in his upcoming course, Fiqh of Love, which will be taught in mid-May in Toronto, ON (sold out online, but there may be availability onsite).  In addition to reviewing the article before publication, he graciously suggested that it be shared here with all of you, too.  May Allah increase in ‘ilm and hiqmah Shaykh Waleed and others of His slaves who contributed, and may He overlook the faults of this piece and its author, and may He be pleased with all of us who seek His Pleasure in our marriages and married lives.

Bismillah walhamdolillah.

Allah Created. And among His unique qualities is that He Creates without precedent.

Before Allah Decreed it, there had never been a “pair” of anything.  What He made could never have been imagined by any of His Creations, and what He Created was something wonderful, walhamdolillah.

He has described the husband and wife as garments for each other.  Think about that — if you are unmarried something about you is fundamentally incomplete.

Allah has decreed that man and woman each has free choice.  So how will you choose to complete the pair?

When you ‘shop’ for your spouse, what will you look for, who will you ask, and what questions or discussions will follow?  Length?  Width?  Color?  Perhaps.

The sunnah in Islam is to find out the information that will cause you to know whether to propose to someone or accept that person’s proposal.  And when you have what you need to know, then you should proceed with the proposal or else stop.

This differentiates Islamic practice from other courtship rules in as much as other rules would permit courting as entertainment, ie, dating.

If you want to take your spouse on a date, bismillah.  If you want to go on a date with someone to whom you are not married, beware the evil into which shaytan would lead you.

The same discretion should enter your questions and conversations before marriage.  It is perfectly reasonable to have conversations whose only purpose is to establish that you two can have an easygoing and light conversation.

Yet too many open-ended conversations might lead to affections developing, and at that point many commentators have pointed out that people’s brains switch off: at that point they see only good in the other person.  One writer even said that the person in love is as unreasonable as a drunk person.

Indeed Allah does not hold us accountable for our feelings: just as the pen is lifted for the intoxicated person — but the person who is intoxicated now may find tremendous punishment for his actions while he was sober: when he had the aql to avoid drink.  And in the same way, Allah may hold us to account for indiscretions committed before we fell (intoxicated) in love — blameworthy actions that led us to a state of love, actions committed when we still had the aql to avoid them.

At the same time, how the other person makes you feel is important.  Indeed when the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam found out from Jaabir that Jaabir had selected a woman to marry, the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam did not first ask Jaabir if she were a pious woman.  He asked if Jaabir had seen her, looked upon her.  And he advised doing so until Jaabir saw what would cause him to marry.  Implying that it would have been possible he might not see it, and thus might not marry.  And Allah’s Decree was that he saw, and they did marry, alhamdolillah.

So we know looking is allowed and that implies that other investigation is, too, because when you observe a person you do not see them posed or on a runway, naudhobillah, like clothes in the store.  You see them in life, and you observe their interactions so inquiries into those are like what you would see, permissible at least as to what could be seen.

With so many warnings in mind, you may imagine that the only conversations and questions should be about deen: “How many verses have you memorized and of how many of them have you studied the tafseer?”  “What are your favorite adhkaar — in salaat — before the basmallah?”  “Do you read Muslim more often, or Bukhari?”

Those questions are… odd.  Let’s face it — if you are starting out with conversations like those…  Who are you marrying?  Your shaykh?  Shaykh Waleed is already married, folks. :)

So which questions then should come first?  Indeed, Imam Ahmed, RahimAllah, advised that questions about deen should be the very last ones a person asks.  Why?  For a beautiful reason: good deen beautifies a person and it is better to reject a physically beautiful woman for her ugly deen, than to reject a woman whose deen is beautiful to you for any other reason.

This principle is so strong that it may help explain why the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam re-married the daughter of Omar, Umm al Mumineen Hafsa, radi Allaho anhumaa.  Jibreel alayhis salam conversed with the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam about her taqwa and ibadat after their initial divorce, and it was some time after that conversation that they remarried, alhamdolillah.

Interestingly, from the sunnah, there is also the case of Umm Salamah, also Umm al Mumineen, walhamdolillah.  She was widowed and had children from her marriage.  And after her iddah the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam came to her to propose marriage.  And clearly no one had more beautiful deen than him, sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

And yet, knowing that, she was prepared to reject him — not for his qualities, subhanAllah, but for her own issues that needed reconciliation.  Her children — that they should have a father who loves them.   Her age — that she avoid a situation whereby her husband find her at all lacking.  And her jealousy of other women — including the other wives of the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

And mashaAllah, this case shows us one of the keys to a successful courtship — indeed a successful courtship by the way, is one that ends in a marriage that pleases Allah.  The nikah is just one moment, the exchange of a few words.  And what follows the nikah is much more than just one night.

Keep that in mind: the success was more likely to come in marriage because the qualities the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam showed in his responses to her were qualities of a successful husband.  Her children he promised would be just like his own to him.  As for age he compared theirs as reassurance to her.  And he prayed to Allah for an easing of her jealousy, walhamdolillah.

Three beautiful qualities (at least) are easy to see in the responses: accommodation, empathy, dua/taqwa/tawakkol.  Okay i squeezed three qualities in there for the last example, but alhamdolillah alaa kulli haal, it is difficult to pick only a few traits from his example.

We know that Umm Salamah was a perceptive and intelligent woman — witness her advice to the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam at Hudaybiyyah.  Thus she must have seen in his answers what she needed to know to accept his proposal, alhamdolillah.  And indeed it was a successful marriage.

Before embarking on advice about specific questions or conversations you could have when looking for your wife or husband, reflect again on the example of Umm Salamah’s proposal and what followed: how could she have asked such good questions?  She was aware of her own needs.  And she knew the difference between her needs, and her wishes.

A Messenger of Allah for a husband?  A wish.  Her questions reflect that she knew, too, her needs.  And you should, too, before you propose or respond to a proposal, wAllaho’Alim.

Otherwise, if you merely read to each other from a list of questions or conversation-topics — at best you are throwing darts in the dark wondering if you will hit something that yells out in surprise.  And at worst you are ignoring the concerns that should be addressed.

Specific topics and questions to consider — an outline to build on:

Air and Water

–What are the roles of a husband?
–What are the roles of a wife?

This is a separate category because no other topic was so identified in research by Muslims and non-Muslims as a cause of divorce.  Huh?  Divorce?  Yes, couples that have completely different ideas about these roles, and lacked the ability to concede or compromise — they often end their marriages.

“Air and Water” are essential for life, but we hardly ever have to talk about them.  You might have additional topics that are “air and water” for you, but these two are different: they will affect everything else.  If you are honest with each other now about your expectations, and if you can both breathe easily (accommodate each other), then later on, bi’idhnillah, you will only talk about these roles when you need to clear the air or get through murky waters.  You can start the conversation in the abstract, what is the role of “a” husband and “a” wife, but you’re talking about each other.

Bread and Butter

–Finances including expectations of income and spending, who will work, what kind of work/income you would seek or refuse.
–Kids including how many and when, and how to raise them.
–Parents (ie., your kids’ grandparents, bi’idhnillah), other family, friends, socializing.
–Living arrangements including with or without parents and city/neighborhood and expectations of how big and how much.

Unlike “air and water” you can have as many bread and butter topics as you want.  All of these things are important, and they may become the subject of arguments in a marriage if you do not discuss your expectations before marriage.  But one thing that makes this category different from the others is that all the items are material or external in some fashion.  Numbers, sizes, other people, stuff: how much of it do you want, by when, where, and does it even matter to you — assuming the other person has the same answers as you would be a mistake.

Veiled Gems

If you pay close attention to the discussions you and your potential spouse have during bread and butter topics, you will not only address each other’s expectations, bi ‘idhnillah, but also learn a lot about each other’s character.

For the same reason have conversations about goals and accomplishments, past and future — find out how each of you defines an accomplishment.  See how much your goals, expectations, and priorities match with each other.

Have conversations about people in need — to find out whether the person cares about others or is more self-interested.  Also to find out whether the person really listens to you, or is just waiting for his/her turn to speak.  Finally, remember that marriage will have challenges, too, and these conversations will help you figure out whether you are talking to someone that you can rely on if times are tough.  Or naudhobillah, someone who would run at the first sign of trouble.

Note: see “poison pills.” When it comes to any conversation, but especially for a veiled gem, you are not digging for faults, but searching for genuine understanding.  Allah is ar Rahman nir Raheem — you can be forgiving and merciful to each other without being judgmental, while thinking seriously about your compatibility.

Poison Pills

Anything at all about which you yourself do not care while you speak.  Even a noble subject, if you talk about it when you do not care what you or the other person are saying could become ghafla.  There is also the disastrous possibility that the other person will see you do not care about the conversation and believe you do not care about them — (perhaps) mistaking your attitude.

Immodest conversations in general.  Imagine the two of you were sitting in a room with the woman’s father, and the man’s mother.  if you think the topic would cause the mother to look away or the father to pull out a sword, then you’re probably thinking of a topic that should not be discussed.  Maybe the problem is only that immodest words are being used to discuss a topic that is permissible for you — so exercise good judgment.

What Happened to Deen?


Fasabrun jameelun.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) praised the quality of deen in a future spouse above wealth, beauty, family, and nobility.

Yet, you should realize that finding a religious person is not enough.  You should have other things in common before marriage.  Do look for a religious spouse, and choose one who is more compatible with you.

And a word of wisdom from past TDCs spoken by multiple shuyukh and advocates: when you search for a religious spouse, ask yourself if she would be happy with your religiosity, too!  As Shaykh Yaser puts it, “Would you marry you?” — in this context would you be satisfied with a spouse who was only as religious as you?

Specific sources used in developing this handout: Fiqh of Love and Practimate.com (with Shaykh Yaser Birjas), 10 Conversations You Must Have Before Marriage by Dr. Guy Grenier, 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy, Article posted in the Al Maghrib forums by Rabbi Mordecai Rottman, MA, “Four things to look for in a spouse.”

Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Acquisti

    May 11, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Assalamu Alykum, The article is great, especially liked this part “ask yourself if she would be happy with your religiosity, too! “

  2. Avatar

    emirzad

    May 11, 2009 at 8:03 AM

    would you marry you? lol…. never.

    great article jazak Alllahu kheiran.

    salam alaikum

  3. Avatar

    Hajera

    May 11, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Mashaallah .Great article.Jazakumallahu khairaa brother.

    During a tafseer class my teacher explained the verse of libas very nicely.She said that libas [garment] always hides the faults of our skin, protects the skin from heat, cold etc, beautifies us, very intimate to us.That`s how a couple should be.

    assalamualykum.

    • Avatar

      MM Associates

      May 14, 2009 at 2:47 AM

      Wa eeyakum wa alaykumus salam to everyone. (reply by abu abdAllah)

      Allah’s examples are the best in their beauty and appropriateness. Jazak Allah khayr: I wanted to recount what I remembered from similar tafseer of the ayat, but could not nail down where I had heard it.

  4. Avatar

    Hassan

    May 11, 2009 at 9:37 AM

    From the title it suggests the marriage is a suicide mission..

    • Avatar

      MM Associates

      May 14, 2009 at 2:48 AM

      Bismillah. (reply by abu abdAllah)
      LOL. I remember when my parents first asked me to talk to a woman they wanted me to consider marrying. Gallows humor seemed appropriate for the title.

    • Avatar

      zubair

      October 15, 2009 at 5:00 AM

      beautiful Article .. Alhamdullila ..

      I am nervous just .. thinking about it .. :(

  5. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    May 11, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    That was, ma sha Allah, a refreshingly novel article! Wouldn’t expect anything less from you Tariq. :)

    And now that you’ve written the article … ;)

    • Avatar

      MM Associates

      May 14, 2009 at 2:50 AM

      Bismillah. (reply by abu abdAllah)

      Am working on it, Shaykh Yasir. :)

  6. Avatar

    SaqibSaab

    May 11, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    And now that you’ve written the article … ;)

    Hehe, my thoughts exactly. Glad to see this will be included at FoL in Toronto, JAK Tariq.

  7. Avatar

    TenaciousRei

    May 11, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    Very nice article!

  8. Avatar

    MR

    May 11, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    JazakAllah khair.

    Side note: you should follow the professional college level way of citing sources. :-D

    • Avatar

      MM Associates

      May 14, 2009 at 2:51 AM

      Wa eeyakum. (reply by abu abdAllah)
      There were a few places in the article where citations would have been particularly appropriate — these were specific ideas that I got from specific sources. All of the article was a synthesis of ideas I saw in most if not all of the sources, so I just punted when it came to blue-booking the article. InshaAllah, several years from now, MM may be absorbed by the Fiqh and Society Review of the Jamia AlMaghrib, Houston, Texas. Then eager fiqh and aqeedah students will be able bi ‘idhnillah to extract more rigorous citations from authors. Till then, though, keep up the reminders. ;)

  9. Avatar

    Nahyan

    May 11, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    jazakallahukhair for that excellent article bro.

  10. Avatar

    Umm Fulaanah

    May 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    maasha-Allaah… i loved the article from the very start…. and i agree with Hassan… when i saw the a tittle, i had suicide in my mind…!
    Insha-allaah we’ll expect more articles of these kinds….

  11. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    May 11, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Interesting article mashAllah

  12. Avatar

    Algebra

    May 11, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    A question…….
    why are they having so many speakers and what is the set up. How is it going to be different from the others.
    anyone from here going?
    P.S. Nice Post mashAllah.
    salam

  13. Avatar

    Rasheedah

    May 11, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Asalam alaykum

    Mashallah nice post… very informative and very different from the ‘usual’ marriage articles. Definately something i’ll be keeping for future reference.

    one of the most difficult topics to discuss with a prospective spouse (in my opinion) is finances… it’s such a delicate area. It’s no wonder its one of three main reasons for divorce in muslims in the west.

  14. Avatar

    marry halal

    May 11, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    Well written, but why does it all have to be SO difficult?
    May Allah make it easy on all the unmarried couples feeling around in the dark (especially me).

    • Avatar

      MM Associates

      May 14, 2009 at 2:19 AM

      Bismillah was salamu alaykum. (reply by abu abdAllah)

      I actually found from my research that Islam makes every aspect of finding someone and getting married easy. Trust me, every difficulty you find has its source with people.

      If I may rephrase your question, “Why do people make things SO difficult?” For the same reasons that man needs Guidance to worship Allah properly.

      We could re-write the question again, “Why do people make things SO difficult (for people seeking to marry) even after receiving Guidance from Allah in the Qur’an and Sunnah?” For the same reason that mankind and the jinn will deserve to be Judged by Allah — to varying degrees: we forget and are easily distracted, we prefer our own whim and reason to Guidance, and we simply disobey Allah.

      May Allah Forgive me, you, and all the Muslims, and have Mercy on us, and may He Guide each of us and everyone we care for to that understanding of Him which brings us to submit to Him fully and without reservation.

      • Avatar

        ameera

        May 22, 2009 at 1:44 AM

        Beautiful article and this was a beautiful reply!

    • Avatar

      Sirnucy ibn Bakr bn Salih

      October 20, 2014 at 2:58 AM

      It’s such an enlighten and fascinating piece. May Allah make it easy for us for nothing is easy except that which Allah makes easy. Marriage is really kinda tough. Jazakhallah!

  15. Avatar

    Fatima

    May 12, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    Asalamu Alaykum,

    MashaAllah this was a great aritcle. I’m glad I came across this article, because I’m thinking about getting married soon, and i’m currently talking to someone. But I have one main concern, I’m older than him five years even though mashaAllah he is I think mature for his age. Should I be worried?

  16. Avatar

    Algebra

    May 13, 2009 at 12:43 AM

    @Fatima
    Aslamu=alai8kum:
    AGE is a matter of perspective. IF it doesn’t bother you and you are compatible with each other than it really doens’t matter.
    Many of my relatives are married to men that are younger than them and they are MashAllah very happy and have been married for many many years.
    Its all a mind set :)
    THERE is NO MAGIC FORMULA!!!!!!
    salam

    • Avatar

      Fatima

      May 13, 2009 at 12:17 PM

      Walaykum Salam, sister Algebra

      Thanks for replying, may Allah make the marriage process easy for myself and all other Muslims out there.

      Salamz

  17. Avatar

    Imtiaz

    May 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    Make lots of dua …. tell everyone you know to make dua for you..

    go out do dawah and ask those ppl once they embrace this deen – to also make dua for you.

    lessons learned from a recently married.

  18. Avatar

    mystrugglewithin

    July 4, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    Although I am too late to follow up, but I must thank you for this nicest set of advices, jazkallah khair, and may Allah SWT bless you for your efforts, inshAllah. Asalamalaikum.

  19. Avatar

    abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    August 29, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    For some people, love comes one day in February. For Muslims in Houston, love comes this Fall. http://tr.im/hosna

  20. Avatar

    zubair

    October 15, 2009 at 5:07 AM

    Bismilla-

    Please All duva for me – I am in the same situation like loads of brothers and sisters who are on the verge to take Next Step ..

    ALLAH hafiz.

  21. Avatar

    Umm Saara

    April 14, 2010 at 5:59 AM

    Assalamoalaikum,
    beautiful article mash’Allah.

    One thing that i want to emphasise on is DUA, DUA and more DUA. Allah, the most High, knows what is in your hearts and hears your duas and will accept them. when? we don’t know. Allah, Glory be to Him, is the best of planners. He alone knows whats best for you and when. Put your trust in Allah and know that as long as you continue to be a good muslim – one who is gaining knowledge and trying to correct yourself at all times, KNOW that your prayers will be answered.
    I got past the age of 28 and was constantly bombarded with my AGE…getting past it and all that. It got to the point that a relative suggested an asylum seeker – he needed stay and i needed to get married. Subhan’Allah. My father soon put a stop to that! Allhamdullilah. dua in sujood is one of the best times – open up your heart. say what you want. I refused alot of people based on religion and as i got older, i gained more knowledge mash’Allah, i became more practising, Allhamdullilah and for someone who was at one time in my life ‘disgusted’ with beards…got to the point that i had to marry someone who had a beard. Allhamdullilah. why? because i knew the ‘beauty’ of it, i knew the reasons behind it and above all i wanted someone who was aspiring to be like our beloved prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).
    So whatever your situation, think about yourself – as it states in the article mash’Allah – WOULD YOU MARRY YOU? strive to make yourself a better muslim. if you are getting hassle from others – because perhaps they think you are being too fussy, choosy etc… then SEEK REFUGE FROM SHAYTAN do not fall in the trap of feeling depressed and know that Allah, the most gracious the most powerful is on your side
    May Allah ease the path to marriage and bless all of our marriages. ameen.
    May Allah swt reward the sheikhs and their families for their time, effort and knowledge that they share with us. ameen.
    wasalaam.

  22. Avatar

    A Muslim in search for an answer!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Just recently my mom introduced me to a few prospective girls that she wanted me to consider for marriage.

    I did istikhara and my thoughts kept going on one of these and I conveyed my decision to my parents. Then they asked a shaikh to do the istikhara. He said that his answer to the istikhara was a no.

    I can’t understand why after doing istikhara my heart would tend to go towards a specific person and this shaikh says that he does istikhara and its a no. So much so, that my parents say that since the shaikh says no they will not consider the girl even……

    Can you guide me on what to do in this situation??????

    • Avatar

      Rifai

      May 24, 2010 at 4:22 PM

      You may want to consult with a proper scholar of Islam rather than some possibly unqualified “Shaikh”. The reason I say this is because I was told by a knowledgeable person that you cant do Istikhara for someone else…can someone please correct me if I am mistaken here?

      Also, what are the qualifications of this Shaikh? Is he a scholar? Has he studied abroad or in the country under qualified shuyookh? Or is he a so called peer/murshad/sajjada etc. – its best to stay away from the likes of these…

      In any case, the parents have to be respected and one should not strain relations with them.

    • Amad

      Amad

      May 25, 2010 at 12:32 AM

      I am no sheikh, but I can tell you that istikhara is personal, and the sheikh is not in a position to do the istikhara for you as nothing like this is proven from the Sunnah. You should find some literature online for istikhara and share with your parents, showing them that we do not go to the sheikh to ask him to check out “signs” for us.

    • Avatar

      Umm Saara

      May 25, 2010 at 6:58 AM

      Assalamoalaikum
      All praise and thanks is to Allah, peace and blessings be upon our beloved final prophet.

      I agree with the posts about ‘checking out the shaikh, as well as the post of doing the istikhara yourself.

      Please read the following:
      The correct view is that when Allaah makes something easy for you – after having decreed it and accepted your du’aa’ – this is a sign that it is good to go ahead and do it. The existence of obstacles and difficulties is an indication that Allaah is pushing His slave away from doing it. This meaning will be very clear when one ponders the meaning of the hadeeth of Jaabir concerning al-istikhaarah, where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
      “… O Allaah, if You know this affair – [and here he should mention it] – is good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.”
      There is a difference between making feeling happy the only sign and making it one of several signs. There is no set time period for salaat al-istikhaarah; it is permissible to repeat it more than once, but there is no limit to how many times. The person may offer the du’aa’ before or after saying the salaam. And Allaah knows best.

      Ref: Islam Q&A
      Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

      ——————————————————————————————————————————————
      I pray Allah makes things easy for you and your family. our families always mean well and think that they are doing the right thing. we have to respect that to a point – but if it is going against the qur’an and sunnah then we have to gently guide them to what is right. Allah make this easy for us. ameen

      Things will be difficult – this is your test. I know certainly when i was intended to marry someone – i did my istikhara regularly. i felt okay about the situation but i put my whole heart in that dua – which made me cry at times – as it is amazing mash’Allah. i went through 3 whole months of hanging on to this proposal – and one day i just made the decision to put a stop to it all – what a weight lifted off of my shoulders! Alhamdullilah. the best decision of my life.

      wasalaam

      • Avatar

        A Muslim in search for an answer!!!

        May 26, 2010 at 2:44 AM

        Jazakallah for your answer!!

  23. Avatar

    Firdous

    July 14, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Salaam wa laykum!

    my name is firdous and im 15 years old. all my life i always new islam treated muslim women fairly and justly but i reasently discoverde some hadith which stated the following:

    I were to order anyone to prostrate to other than Allah, I would have ordered the woman to prostrate to her husband. even if he were to request her for herself (i.e. to have intercourse with her) whilst she was sitting upon a camel’s saddle, she should not refuse him.”
    (Sahih, reported by Ibn Maajah and Ahmad from Abdullah ibn Awfaa)

    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,
    By Him in whose Hand is my soul, if from his foot the crown of his head there was a wound pouring forth with pus, and she (his wife) came and licked that,
    then she would (still) not have fulfilled his right.” (Good, reported by Ahmad and others)

    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,

    “If the woman knew the right of the husband, she would not sit when his morning and evening meals were presented until he finished.” (Reported by al-Bazzar and others)

    reading this i felt like i am nothing! i felt as though im not really free and i have no right or place ..its just REALLY CONFUSING AND IM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS THAT WAY! SOME ONE PLS HELP ME UNDERSTAND THESE HADITH AND MY STATUS AS A WOMAN. for example in another hadith it says somthing like women are broken or bent and if men try and straited them they will break! WHAT DOUES THIS MEAN ABOUT ME..THAT IM BENT THAT IM BROKEN.SOME ONE PPPPPLLLLEAAASSSSEEE HELP ME MAKE SENCE OF ALL THIS WITH A REALLY REALLY GOOD ANSWER

    JEZAKALLAH

    SALAAAM

    please email me a responce

    • Avatar

      Sayf

      August 5, 2010 at 6:53 PM

      Walaikum salaam,

      You have to understand the big picture whilst looking at the details. In Islam we are told of numerous stories where people are given some sort of authority, i.e. Pharoah, ‘Ad and Thamud, certain leaders of Quraish, Banu Israel at the time of Isa (alayhi salam) etc, and these are the people who did not fulfill the responsibilities they had in relation to their power, resulting in them suffering horrible and unimaginable punishment in this life and the Hereafter.

      To put it simply, authority = responsibility = accountability = more things to worry about on the Day of Judgement (which is the last thing you want on that day). The Sahabah understood this, and they feared taking positions of authority.

      Coming back to the husband and the wife:


      …And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise. (2:228)

      Ideally, when a man realizes he has been given a degree of authority in the relationship, it would send a shiver down his spine. All of the stories of the past and fear of standing before Allah on the Day of Judgement would come to him – and he would have a degree of authority,responsibility, and fear that women do not have to worry about at the same level.

      There are a ton of things in the family that a man could potentially receive sin for which a woman would not. Essentially what’s being asked of the woman is to love, help and support her husband as her wife so that he could fulfill this sacred trust of epic magnitude, and so that he could do a good job of loving, helping and supporting her as her husband.

      From the last sermon of the Prophet (sual Allahu alayhi wasalam):

      O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission.

      • Avatar

        Firdous

        August 5, 2010 at 7:02 PM

        Right right…. i totally get you:) besides its a wisdom frm Allah and we shouldnt always question it..makes alot more sence bro

        jezakkallah!

        slaam

        • Avatar

          Sayf

          August 5, 2010 at 7:27 PM

          It’s super important to ask critical questions to get a clear picture of things – just stay away from the CAPS button lol

  24. Avatar

    noor4

    August 5, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    salamu alaikum my dearest sister Firdaus. I am a male. I nearly cried when i read your article.may Allah grant us understanding & guard us agaist shaitan.
    Let us cast our minds back to where Rasul(SAW) says ‘the best of you are those who are best to their wives.’By bearing in mind all that you have mention above with respect to the relation between you & your husband, it will be the key to letting you have all the love, respect, protection etc from him.
    How many times do we hear people say to a couple that the kady haq bewitched the man? Thats just it. I hope ive helpedyou al

    • Avatar

      Firdous

      August 5, 2010 at 5:25 PM

      Jezzakllah bro, i’m not actually married i just came across the hadith and didnt know what to make of it… i can imagine non- muslims grilling us with these types of hadiths if we dont know how to respond and i want to be able to explain it to others in a way that they can understand it as well as my self….

      to be honest im kinda feel scared to get married in the future, im just wondering how much of a responsiblilty as a wife i would be carrying….and making sure my husband isnt angry or i get curesd by the angels….i dunno….. thank you anyway for replying i’ve been waiting for someone to help me out with this for a while and all the shiekhs and scholers seem to be dodging these kind of questions……

      to be honest, by Allah i woun’t lie to you…, i still don’t really get it ..but thank you very much bro…

      pls forward my Q to anyone else u no that can help me make sense of these…i’m quite desperate

      salaam walaykum!

      jezzakallah!!!!!

  25. Avatar

    Firdous

    August 5, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    :)

  26. Avatar

    Tahira

    November 29, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    I take offence to this statement:

    “He has described the husband and wife as garments for each other. Think about that — if you are unmarried something about you is fundamentally incomplete.”

    I never had the chance to get married. I am 40 years old and I never received any proposals, nor did my parents try to help because they didn’t know how. So I lived my life. I wasn’t allowed to “date”, and, I had no one to help me find a muslim spouse. So that’s that.

    Am I fundamentally incomplete? I would like to think that I am not fundamentally incomplete, that Allah has made me complete. If I am unmarried, it is because God decided that a husband was not to be; so God has made me incomplete?

    As idealistic as this article is, the reality is that in North America, muslim women have a very difficult time getting married, and as my parents always tell me, many of us women do not get married and are not destined to. The men, apparently, have no problem.

    • Avatar

      Tariq Nisar Ahmed

      April 11, 2011 at 3:39 AM

      I apologize twice, sister. Once because I did not see your comment until just now, and second because my words caused you some bad feeling.

      Reflecting on what I wrote I feel I should put my words in perspective. I stand behind what I wrote in as much as marriage is as Allah and His Messenger sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam described it, and I believe the conclusion I reached was reasonable.

      However, I should have made it more clear that pleasing Allah by a good marriage is only one means of pleasing Him, and that Allah may be well pleased with people who delayed marriage or who never married. And we can all think of examples of such people, alhamdolillah.

      And the measure that most matters in this dunya is how close we will have come on the day of our death by our deeds and actions to pleasing Allah. So I apologize sincerely for the defects of my article. And I pray for your success in pleasing Allah in this dunya and akhirah, and likewise for myself and the Muslims.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Society

Ya Qawmi: Strengthen Civic Roots In Society To Be A Force For Good

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari

Published

on

For believers the traditions and teachings of the Prophets (blessings on them), particularly Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), are paramount. Each Prophet of God belonged to a community which is termed as their Qawm in the Qur’an. Prophet Lut (Lot) was born in Iraq, but settled in Trans-Jordan and then became part of the people, Qawm of Lut, in his new-found home. All the Prophets addressed those around them as ‘Ya Qawmi’ (O, my people) while inviting them to the religion of submission, Islam. Those who accepted the Prophets’ message became part of their Ummah. So, individuals from any ethnicity or community could become part of the Ummah – such as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad.

Believers thus have dual obligations: a) towards their own Qawm (country), and b) towards their Ummah (religious companions). As God’s grateful servants, Muslims should strive to give their best to both their Qawm and Ummah with their ability, time and skillset. It is imperative for practising and active Muslims to carry out Islah (improvement of character, etc) of people in their Ummah and be a witness of Islam to non-Muslims in their Qawm and beyond. This in effect is their service to humanity and to please their Creator. With this basic understanding of the concept, every Muslim should prioritise his or her activities and try their utmost to serve human beings with honesty, integrity and competence. Finding excuses or adopting escapism can bring harm in this world and a penalty in the Hereafter.

Like many other parts of the world, Britain is going through a phase lacking in ethical and competent leadership. People are confused, frustrated and worried; some are angry. Nativist (White) nationalism in many western countries, with a dislike or even hatred of minority immigrant people (particularly Muslims and Jews), is on the rise. This is exacerbated through lowering religious literacy, widespread mistrust and an increase in hateful rhetoric being spread on social media. As people’s patience and tolerance levels continue to erode, this can bring unknown adverse consequences.

The positive side is that civil society groups with a sense of justice are still robust in most developed countries. While there seem to be many Muslims who love to remain in the comfort zone of their bubbles, a growing number of Muslims, particularly the youth, are also effectively contributing towards the common good of all.

As social divisions are widening, a battle for common sense and sanity continues. The choice of Muslims (particularly those that are socially active), as to whether they would proactively engage in grass-roots civic works or social justice issues along with others, has never been more acute. Genuine steps should be taken to understand the dynamics of mainstream society and improve their social engagement skills.

From history, we learn that during better times, Muslims proactively endeavoured to be a force for good wherever they went. Their urge for interaction with their neighbours and exemplary personal characters sowed the seeds of bridge building between people of all backgrounds. No material barrier could divert their urge for service to their Qawm and their Ummah. This must be replicated and amplified.

Although Muslims are some way away from these ideals, focusing on two key areas can and should strengthen their activities in the towns and cities they have chosen as their home. This is vital to promote a tolerant society and establish civic roots. Indifference and frustration are not a solution.

Muslim individuals and families

  1. Muslims must develop a reading and thinking habit in order to prioritise their tasks in life, including the focus of their activism. They should, according to their ability and available opportunities, endeavour to contribute to the Qawm and Ummah. This should start in their neighbourhoods and workplaces. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on one’s obligations to their neighbour; one that stands out – Gabriel kept advising me to be good to my neighbour so much that I thought he would ask that he (neighbour) should inherit me) – Sahih Al-Bukhari.
  2. They must invest in their new generation and build a future leadership based on ethics and professionalism to confidently interact and engage with the mainstream society, whilst holding firm to Islamic roots and core practices.
  3. Their Islah and dawah should be professionalised, effective and amplified; their outreach should be beyond their tribal/ethnic/sectarian boundaries.
  4. They should jettison any doubts, avoid escapism and focus where and how they can contribute. If they think they can best serve the Ummah’s cause abroad, they should do this by all means. But if they focus on contributing to Britain:
    • They must develop their mindset and learn how to work with the mainstream society to normalise the Muslim presence in an often hostile environment.
    • They should work with indigenous/European Muslims or those who have already gained valuable experience here.
    • They should be better equipped with knowledge and skills, especially in political and media literacy, to address the mainstream media where needed.

Muslim bodies and institutions

  • Muslim bodies and institutions such as mosques have unique responsibilities to bring communities together, provide a positive environment for young Muslims to flourish and help the community to link, liaise and interact with the wider society.
  • By trying to replicate the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah, they should try to make mosques real hubs of social and spiritual life and not just beautiful buildings. They should invest more in young people, particularly those with professional backgrounds. They should not forget what happened to many places where the Muslim presence was thought to be deep-rooted such as Spain.
  • It is appreciated that the first generation Muslims had to establish organisations with people of their own ethnic/geographical backgrounds. While there may still be a need for this for some sections of the community, in a post-7/7 Britain Muslim institutions must open up for others qualitatively and their workers should be able to work with all. History tells that living in your own comfort zone will lead to isolation.
  • Muslim bodies, in their current situation, must have a practical 5-10 year plan, This will bring new blood and change organisational dynamics. Younger, talented, dedicated and confident leadership with deep-rooted Islamic ideals is now desperately needed.
  • Muslim bodies must also have a 5-10 year plan to encourage young Muslims within their spheres to choose careers that can take the community to the next level. Our community needs nationally recognised leaders from practising Muslims in areas such as university academia, policy making, politics, print and electronic journalism, etc.

Continue Reading

#Current Affairs

Seyran Ates, A Sixty-Eighter In Islamic Camouflage

Avatar

Published

on

By

seyran ates

By Dr Mohammad Usman Rana

In their orientalist enthusiasm to reform Islam, in the sense of reconciling Islam with the always changing ideas and goals of liberal values, Western European liberals and neo-atheists are searching high and low for persons who may serve as Muslim alibies for their project. For many years Ayaan Hirsi Ali was given this role but now the relay baton has been handed over to the German-Turkish activist Seyran Ates.

Does not believe in religion

Ates is of current interest in Norway because her book by the Norwegian title Islam trenger en seksuell revolusjon (Islam needs a sexual revolution, originally published in German in 2011)* was just released in Norwegian translation. Ates is well-known primarily because Western media have hailed her as a freedom fighter among Muslims since she opened a so-called liberal mosque in Berlin in 2017 and titled herself a female imam.

Obviously, Ates is part and parcel of an essential debate about the future of Muslims in Europe as it is a fact that a lot of traditional mosques in Western Europe have a big job to do in order to become more relevant to young Muslims, that is, more inclusive and adapted to a European context. Not least the issue of women’s rights is rightfully important to many people in the Muslim world, whether they are liberals or conservatives. In the midst of all the praise, Ates receives in Western media one essential question is however forgotten: What Islamic credibility does Ates have? In line with postmodern nihilism where concepts, ideas, and identities are emptied of meaning and content, the fact is ignored that Ates in her book points out that she believes in God but not in religions. She has no Islamic theological education and explains that she has recently started taking courses in Islamic studies and Arabic in order to be more credible among Muslims.

This is not only the case with Ates. It is a general weakness of so-called progressive and liberal Islam (reformers) that the movement lacks a foundation of religious and theological structure; it is rather founded on personalities with a political mission.

More journalists than worshippers

In her book about Islam needing a sexual revolution, Ates applauds European Christians’ dissociation from the church after 1968. Paradoxically, she later opened a mosque for Muslims. Further, she praises secularly thinking individuals as the most honourable people.

This is why the question should be raised whether the mosque, the imam title, and other religious references are just an Islamic camouflage for what can be understood as a political secularisation, assimilation and liberalisation project by Ates and her supporters. Due to the missing religious credibility and seriousness of this commitment, it should come as no surprise that it has little appeal to European and German Muslims.

When the New York Times visited the mosque, its journalists reported that there were more journalists than worshippers present. She has, on the other hand, a strong appeal among extreme right-wing anti-Muslim thinkers and movements in Europe. It is noteworthy that Ates received a solidarity claim from the extreme anti-Islam German AfD party, and has been praised by the infamous anti-Muslim blog of “Human Rights Service” in Norway.

The positive development aspect is missing

Why should German and European Muslims listen to an activist who attacks the fundamental principles of Islam and in her book paints a stereotypical image of the world’s Muslims?

There is no denying that Ates addresses a number of important challenges for Muslim women. Still, her arguments become oversimplified when she confuses female-hostile habits in the East with Islam and completely forgets the positive development today’s Muslim women in Europe experience where they, as opposed to their mothers’ generation, receive a university education, have a career, and choose whom they want to marry.

Seyran Ates’ project is not about a necessary contextualisation of Islam’s holy texts in a European reality, maintaining the characterisations of the region. The project is rather about a total change of Islam. In her book, Ates justifies such a change by creating strawmen with sweeping generalisations about Muslims. She, for instance, writes that ‘it is a fact that Muslim men have a considerable problem with our free world’, and that ‘Islamic politicians do not distinguish between religion and politics’ – without mentioning the widespread authoritarian secular tradition in Muslim countries in modern times such as in Turkey and Baathism in Syria and Iraq.

Less sexual restraint

Ates’ main argument in Islam needs a sexual revolution is that Muslim men and women are sexually oppressed because sexuality is defined as a blessing and source of love only within – and not outside of – the frames of marriage. The rule of intimate relationships being reserved for marriage meets with unison agreement from Muslims from different schools of thought; Ates, however, absurdly calls it an expression of “fundamentalist” Islam. In this view, Seyran Ates disagrees with the well-known American feminist Naomi Wolf who, after having travelled in Muslim countries, believes that this marital channelling of intimacy, in fact, strengthens sexuality and family ties at the same time.

The German-Turkish author wants less sexual restraint, more promiscuity and a liberal attitude to nakedness, in line with the ideals of the sixty-eighters. Seyran Ates praises the sixty-eighters’ revolution as an ideal for Muslims. Although the #metoo campaign, which can be said to have brought to light the negative consequences of the sexual revolution, was released after Ates’ book was published, it makes her attitudes to this revolution seem somewhat doubtful. The heritage of the sixty-eighters is not only freedom and equality but also the breaking up of the family as well as selfishness and decadence. It is also ironical that someone like Ates, who claims religious credibility, calls attention to Alfred Kinsey, the atheist sexologist who believed in open relationships, as a model for Muslims.

Public pillory

Ates’ book is mainly about freedom, a personal freedom in the name of value liberalism and sixtyeighters. A well-known American intellectual, Patrick Deenen from the University of Notre Dame, however, criticises such a perception of the concept of freedom believing we should ask ourselves if freedom can really be defined as human beings pursuing their instincts more or less uncritically. Deenen maintains that human beings are then in effect unfree and slaves of their instincts, while real freedom is achieved if we manage to free ourselves from being governed by human appetites.

Seyran Ates and her non-Muslim supporters seem to have no understanding at all of such a definition of the concept of freedom. Even more problematic is that they want to make their sixty-eighters’ liberal values absolute, believing Muslims must adhere to them if they wish to belong to modern society. Harvard professor Adrian Vermeule calls this form of liberalism aggressive because it only tolerates itself and no differences of opinion. It maintains its rituals in the form of checkpoints of ‘correct’ opinions in particular about sexuality, gender, and identity. Disagreeing with this can result in reprisals in the form of public pillory or even legal steps.

Obsessed with removing the hijab

When Muslims are met with such absolute-making of liberal values it is like an extension of colonial cultural imperialism when French and British colonial masters wanted to westernise Muslim populations, believing it was the only way of making them civilised. Some of them were obsessed with removing Muslim women’s hijabs, just as Seyran Ates is. The British consul general in Egypt, Lord Cromer, was a representative of this view. He wanted to free Muslim women from the hijab while at home in the UK he was ardently against feminism and women’s suffrage (source: Ahmed, Leila (1992). Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven: Yale University Press).

Worth noting is also that extensive surveys by Gallup Coexist Index among West-European Muslims show that they are far more religious than the majority population. Similar findings in relation to Norwegian Muslims were made by Bushra Ishaq in her book Hvem snakker for oss? (Who speaks for us?) from 2017. Considering these figures, it would be utopian as well as illiberal to expect Muslims to opt for a liberal values morality. On the contrary, it should be expected that religious European Muslims understand their religious practice as belonging to a Western context, that they value equality and that they support the liberal state governed by rule of law that actually allows people to live according to liberal as well as conservative norms of value.

*The original German-language version of the book, Der Islam braucht eine sexuelle Revolution: Eine Streitschrift, was published in 2011

Dr Mohammad Usman Rana is a Norwegian columnist, author and a commentator on Islam

Continue Reading

#Life

Chronicles of A Muslim Father: It All Began With a Prayer

Avatar

Published

on

fathers, Muslim fathers

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Family, friends, neighbors, coaches, and teachers are all part of that community and the pillars of that system are the parents. Mothers specifically have and continue to make monumental contributions to this effort. But what about Muslim fathers?

There are thousands of blog posts and hundreds of books on the fundamentals of raising Muslim children in the current climate written by mothers across a diverse array of the spectrum. They have tackled issues that range from Aqiqa’s to matrimonials and beyond, but when I needed a fresh perspective on raising Muslim children by someone like me, a Muslim father, I could hardly find any readily available resources.

I don’t know if this is a cultural deviancy or just men in general, but we leave all the parenting to the mothers and justify skimming over our responsibilities in the name of “breadwinning”. Whatever the case may be, I am a person who is constantly looking for guidance so that I, as their father and the head of the household, can make the right moves for my kids morally, academically and socially.

Furthermore, I am convinced that there are thousands, if not millions of Muslim fathers, just like me looking for the same thing that are coming up empty handed just like I did.

It’s for this reason, with the help of Allah that I have endeavored to fill in this much-needed gap and compose this essential series that will be comprised of archives from my own experiences coupled with advice on best practices and pitfalls in raising Muslim children from a father’s perspective.  

I hope and pray that my work will be a source of guidance for both mothers and fathers on raising Muslim children, if not at the very least a catalyst for a call-to-action for fathers to assume their respective roles. May Allah guide all of us to be the best parents for our children and raise our children amongst the righteous to be the coolness of our eyes. 

Jameel Syed  

Hajj 2000- I find myself at the time of Tahujjud standing humbled with all my faults in front of the ancient house of Allah trying to collect myself under the shade of night, to muster up the courage to address my Lord in efforts to ask…

What makes me think my voice would reach Him amongst a legion of believers who have come to this place with their righteous deeds and all I have to offer Him are years ladened with transgressions? How do I ask? Where do I begin…

Standing at six feet, I began to shrink both in stature and in spirit. Tears began to swell up in my eyes as I stood as still as a statue. I truly felt more insignificant than the idea of the word “below” itself. As natural as rain falling from the sky to the ground, in one action I collapsed into prostration, embracing the ground as if it were life itself. There I remained for what seemed like an eternity— sometimes praising Him, other times asking for His forgiveness as my body shook uncontrollably with tears running a constant flow. I had no concept of my surroundings or that the world existed at all. In that moment in the darkness, I just felt it was me, Him and the appeal that I had to make. I knew that I had no right. It was not my place to ask and that I had come with nothing to offer, but there was no place else to go, nobody else to turn to. I maintained my sajdah for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually, I summoned up my courage and brought the sentiments of my heart to my lips:

“Ya Allah pair me with a righteous wife who will give me righteous children.” 

At that moment, my prayers that were for me were for them. My tears flowed for them, whatever ramblings came from my mouth were for the unborn children that I have never met. If you think about it, it seemed foolish, so absurd, but in my bones, it felt so right. I didn’t even have a wife and there I was begging for righteous children. The truth in context was that I wanted something very special from the Treasury of His Majesty and I came to His House to humble myself to get it.

It was on the sound of the Fajr adhan that I finally arose from my prostration. My cheeks and kurta (shirt) wet with tears and all that was left was contemplation. It seemed as if I was transitioning into yet a different train of thought. 

I began to take account of who I am, what I wanted and what I needed to do. I didn’t know the first thing about being a husband or father. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes I made as a son. I wanted my children to have the best in this world and the next but didn’t have a clue on how to pave that path. I wanted to endeavor to strive to be at least as good as my own father and put my family first. In all honesty, as these thoughts began flooding my head, I felt totally helpless and totally overwhelmed. 

I knew that I would have to sacrifice, upgrade my character, prioritize to put the pleasure of Allah at the forefront of my thoughts and actions. This was a huge shift from how I lived my life for the past couple of decades. My time was mine, my money was mine and I impulsively chased my desires. All that had to change!

Change Brings Change

One thing did, however, make sense to me:

I thought to myself that if I laid down the track based upon my style of thinking, it would certainly be disastrous. I needed to consult with scholars and gather as much information as I could to construct a path in accordance with what Allah has prescribed to give myself a chance at achieving my dream.

This, I concluded, was what was needed to be done in order to ensure a chance of success. I felt resolute to act upon it. At that thought, the Muaddhin began to recite the Iqama and the entire ordeal concluded.

Six months later, I found myself in the living room of Dr. Ahmed Muneeruddin whose lineage goes back directly to AmĪr-ul-Mu’minīn, Umar Al-Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him). I was witness to one of the most profound events of my lifetime. My father (the late) Dr. Abdus-Salam Syed recited Khutbah Al-Haajah for the company that was present, which included immediate family from both sides. He then turned his attention to his host and began to declare with profound emotion:

“Praise to be Allah and blessings and peace be upon His final Prophet and Messenger Muhammad. I enjoin you to fear Allahﷻ. I have come to you to engage your noblest daughter Maria Muneeruddin to my son Jameel Abdul Syed in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet and the pleasure of Allah .” 

He then went on to conclude with Du’a for happiness, well being, prosperity, that the beginning and end of this affair should be on the straight path and that this union should bare righteous children in the future.

She was going to be the mother of my children

It is noteworthy that I had only known my future wife then for two weeks in total with no more than two physical meetings and a half a dozen phone calls.

She presented very strong qualities, which matched all of the qualifiers outlined by the Prophet: Beauty, wealth, status and religion. As most prospective couples do, we dialogued back and forth measuring each other up against our ideals, but truthfully my decision to pursue her at the end had little to do with any of her questions to my answers. Rather it was the fact that when I looked into her eyes, I saw the mother of my future children and I knew that no other woman on the face of this earth could hold that status for me. It was a feeling I knew to be true and the final criterion for my decision that I feel my heart was guided by Allahﷻ. The series of events that led to my engagement was idiosyncratic and unplanned. In my experience, when Allah wants something to happen, it happens rather quickly and arrives unannounced and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. 

Our marriage took place on July 1st, 2001 in Ontario, Canada. Shortly thereafter she became pregnant and learned that it was going to be a baby boy. Both of our families were elated. It was the first child of the next generation on both sides. We debated back and forth about the name until we finally reached a unanimous decision: Muhammad Jibril Syed. Maria constantly listened to Surah Al-Baqarah during her pregnancy and prayed for him during this eight-month period. My job was to keep her happy! 

On March 13th, 2002, Jibril had arrived at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, Michigan honoring both Maria and me with the titles of parents. I gingerly picked up the boy and took him to my father who raised the adhan in his right ear and the iqama in his left as per the tradition of The Prophet. The feeling was indescribable. A feeling of pride, disbelief, elation. Maria felt the same, but she was obviously exhausted. The hospital was flooded with friends and family— it was total chaos. I had to escape, if only for a moment.

I broke away from the excitement and retreated to the hospitals chapel to pray. After prayer, I sat by myself in that room and reflected on how I got to this point. That prayer I made during Tahajjud in front of the Kaabah. It was the beginning of my journey into fatherhood. My heart softened and I began to cry. SubhanAllah, I thought to myself. “Just look at the plan of Allah. He didn’t turn a deaf ear to the pleas of a sinner that day. He’s given me so much in such a short period of time. I promised myself that I would not be an ungrateful slave. That I would honor the trust that He’s bestowed on me with this child and any other future children by devoting myself to try and raise them in accordance with His pleasure.

As I walked out of the chapel and back to my family, I thought to myself: “I wonder what he’s gonna call me…”

Continue Reading

Trending