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Obedience to a Woman’s Advice Causes Regret

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By: Abd- Allah

All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our selves and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides can not be misguided, and whomever He leads astray can not be guided. I testify that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

(O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam) [3:102]

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Among the challenges that have faced the Muslim Ummah since early times has been the issue of having weak and fabricated hadith become widespread amongst common Muslims as well as many of the Shuyukh. From the (many) ill effects of attributing to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) things which he never said is the distortion of the proper understanding of the pure Islam which the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent with and that which the companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) practiced.

Despite the fact that the scholars of hadith have pointed out the fabricated narrations in their books and lectures, these statements which the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never said, still somehow made their way into many matters of creed, jurisprudence, and manners, among others. An example of one such fabrication which is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the statement “Obedience to a woman’s advice causes regret.” The Shaykh and Muhadith Muhammad Nasir Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) included this hadith and other similar statements (such as “consult women and then do the opposite”) in his book ‘Silsila ad-daifa‘ (A compilation of weak and fabricated hadith), and after examining these narrations and their chains according to the methodology of the scholars of hadith and declaring them to be fabricated, he then comments on these statements saying that their meaning isn’t totally true either, and he then cites the following incident during the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyyah, where one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave him advice and he acted upon it immediately.

A long hadith in Sahih Bukhari (2732) which mentions the details of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyyah describes this incident where, after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) signed the peace treaty with the disbelievers of Quraish, he then commanded his companions to slaughter their animals and shave their heads thus completing the rituals of Umrah at the valley of Hudaibiyyah. As they would had to return to Madinah without entering Makkah as per the terms of the treaty which was signed with the disbelievers of Quraish. The companions were so saddened that they would not be allowed to enter Makkah and perform the Umrah which they had set out to do, that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered them to slaughter their animals and shave their heads, not a single one of them got up to carry out this order. After repeating this command three times, still no one got up to perform his orders, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went and entered upon his wife, Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her), and he told her what had happened. Upon hearing his complaint, she told him to go out and not talk to any of them until he slaughtered his animal and shaved his head. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took her advice and acted upon it promptly, and when the companions saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) slaughter his animal and shave his head, they all followed him in doing so.

Anyone who looks into the Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and at incidents such as this one will see that he used to talk to women, take their advice and act upon it if he thought it was a good idea, or at least listen to what they have to say regarding these worldly matters. Therefore it becomes clear that these statements which encourage opposing the advice of women and not acting upon what they say are falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and clearly oppose his practice and guidance.

Dear brother, it does not make you any less of a man if you talk to the women in your life such as your mother, wife, sister, or daughter, and discuss things with them and consult them. Their advice and perspective on things is very valuable, and by not listening to what they have to say on different issues you might be missing out on much benefit. If I have something on my mind which I need advice on, I often go to my mother before I talk to my father about it, not because my father’s advice isn’t as good, but rather because I want a different perspective on the issue, and since the nature of women is different than that of men, they might view things from a different perspective and point out things that a man would not have noticed, just as men might see certain things which women might not pay attention to. Asking your mother or wife for advice also shows that you care about them and value their advice. If you want to please your mother and make her happy, ask her for advice on a certain issue that you are dealing with, I am sure she will be thrilled that you care about what she has to say.

I personally like to read the stories of the companions and righteous predecessors because there is much for us to learn and benefit from them. The companion Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan once wrote a letter to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with them both), and he asked her to write him a letter and advise him but keep her advice concise, so she wrote him back saying: “Salaam Alayk. To proceed, I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say , ‘Whoever pleases Allah by angering the people, Allah will suffice him, but whoever angers Allah by pleasing the people, Allah will leave him to the people.’ and Asalamu Alayk.” (Silsila as-sahiha; 2311).

Allahu Akbar! How great was the generation of the companions. A great man asking a great woman to advise him, and what advice would have been better than the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?!

(And continue to remind, for surely the reminder benefits the believers) [51:55]

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Drew

    March 27, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    This is an interpretation true to the spirit of the Prophet’s teachings, because it respects the fundamental dignity that he places with human kind, whether male or female, and its ability to positively contribute to society.

  2. Sayf

    March 27, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    JazakAllah Khair,
    I really love this article, so much substance in such a short piece, mashAllah.

  3. Hafsa

    March 27, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Jazakallahukhair!

  4. Umm Bilqis

    March 27, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Masha’Allah Tabark’Allah very good article .
    I always enjoyed reading the story of how Umm Salaama advised the Prophet Sallahu allahi Wasalam after the companions did not listen to his orders after the treaty of hudaiybia.
    When the peace treaty was written down, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said to his companions: “Get up and slaughter your sacrifices and have you heads shaved.” One of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) relates: ‘By Allah none of them got up, and the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) repeated his order thrice. When none of them got up, he left them and went to Umm Salamah (radhi allahu anha) (the Prophet’s wife) and told her of the people’s attitude towards him. Umm Salamah said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody until you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) did as Umm Salamah suggested. Seeing the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), the Companions got up, slaughtered their sacrifices and started shaving the heads of one another. There was so much of a rush and sadness that there was a danger of killing each other…”(Ahya org)

    • Umm Bilqis

      March 27, 2010 at 1:48 PM

      Jazak’Allah khairan to the author and I would suggest to the parents of young children especially young girls to highlight this story because it really impacts a child and may make them wish to be like umm Salama.

  5. Ahmad

    March 27, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    This is something all people should know Muslim or not. Much agreed. Thanks.

  6. Abu abdullah

    March 27, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Salamualaikum
    first islam and ego lecture By Nouman Ali Khan hafidhahullah and now this today article made my day.
    Jazak Allah khayr to the author Abdullah.
    In the subcontinent i have noticed not giving due importance, credibility
    to the opines and views of women and even
    of the children who are not helping earn a living (read students etc.) and feels how long one has to go before reaching Allaah Ta’la with a sound heart.
    Well as it says only person one can really change is self and try
    improving your khulooq and make dedicated duas.
    Allaahumma thaqabbal minna, innaka Anta Assamiyy Al’Aleem. Ameen.

    Wassalam

  7. ummahmed

    March 27, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    jazakallahu khairaa

  8. Ahmed Anwar

    March 27, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Only hardcore misogynists relegate one half of humanity to the nether world, of kitchen and the confinements of the ‘hujurath’ and treat them as vassals and slaves. I firmly believe there is nothing that prevents wholesome and open-minded ‘shoorah’ with the womenfolk that are concerned with the particular matter at hand, of whatever nature. It was BIlqees (Queen Sheba) overruled the immature of advice of her council with the sane words, ‘innal mulooka idha dakhaloo qaryathan….’

    I am a hard-core ‘feminist’ in that sense and not in its stereotyped meaning. But I have a lot of direct experience, due to the nature of my work, of homes being turned to hell, simply because the men in them happen to be MCP’s, to borrow a feminist phrase. The man simply walks out of home, not telling his wife where he is going and is roaming somewhere, leaving her in the lurch. On my questioning him, he says, he is not bound to tell her. “Why should be concerned about men’s affairs?” Another fool would simply buy the clothings and others for his wives simply without asking them any opinion. “Theirs not to ask why, theirs but to obey,” as Tennyson would say. Ditto for buying provisions at home such as ‘sabjee’ and other groceries; for folks like him,it is ‘haram’ for women to walk through the streets and markets and make purchases. And for all these indignities, it’s religion that they quote in support. Why, even in the much-maligned, much-misused multiple marriages ( Who are you to proscribe something that Allah has permitted?’ is their indignant question. Well, I think I am another Umar, to think differently, is what I feel like retorting.)
    And the new Avtars of Mujahideen (whether Manhaj or not, I don’t know) are no different from the classical orthodox men; they make life more and more difficult and narrower and their strait-jacketed attitudes would consign women to mere objects, unfeeling, and drained of all the finer emotions. I have enjoyed a very good life. All the home-purchases — even the tiles to be paved, the water-tanks to be installed, the cement, not to mention the daily sabjee or meat or rice or ration articles — are made by my wife and daughters. Of course, in consultation with me; but then I am a cypher in these matters. I encourage them to go out and be involved in people’s matters

    • Fazila

      April 1, 2010 at 9:28 PM

      It’s not just hardcore misogynists that relegate women to a subordinate role but the majority of men. The subconscious thinking of generations is difficult to get rid off and still lingers today. A leading feminist who lead the way for women’s rights in the UK said a while back that this (the role of women today) is not what they intended. In the past women were kept by their husbands but there was some kind of balance there- the men were responsible for taking care of their wife and children financially while the women took care of the domestic chores and raising the children. Now women have the liberty to follow their own path in life but this subordinate mentality still persists. Now it’s not ‘you can’t because you’re a woman’, instead it’s ‘You can do what you want but you still have to fulfill your role’ and what role is that exactly? Where does it say that a woman must cook and clean? And what logic is there in the belief that women should be kept hidden? We’re not cattle that will be stolen away! When a woman abandons her dreams to fulfill her husbands she is considered noble, but when a man does the same for a woman he is considered whipped and the woman is said to be manipulative and evil!

      Misogynist attitudes pervade all cultures. The beauty of Islam is that it transcends this which shows that it is a truly just and fair religion. Islam documents how women are equal- in fact, if you study enough on the Islamic roles of men and women you will find that men have the short straw because they have many more responsibilities! But instead of celebrating and promoting this it is shrouded and perverted to oppress women.

      It saddens me every time a Muslim man says something to undermine women, even if it is ‘a joke’- it’s not funny. If non-Muslim women were exposed to the true level of a woman in Islam then they would most likely want to be a part of this beautiful religion.

  9. muslimah101

    March 28, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    assalamu’alaikum

    jazakAllah khayr. can i email this to a few people? i will link it back to MM.

    • Sadaf Farooqi

      March 28, 2010 at 4:36 AM

      Yes, please include the link in the email.

  10. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    March 28, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    Good work, mashaAllah! I knew the story of Hudaibiyah, but had never heard of that daaef/false narration, nor (obviously) of the work of Shaykh Albaanee in refuting its authenticity and repudiating its substance.

    The best feminism is in Islam.

  11. Sadaf Farooqi

    March 28, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for this article.
    Alhamdulillah there are Muslim brothers out there who practice and support the sunnah of respecting and consulting the mahrum women in their lives. May Allah guide us all towards that behavior which exactly matches/imitates that of our Prophet Muhammad [صلى اللهُ عليه و سلم].

  12. Nahyan

    March 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    jazakallahukhair

  13. RunningMuslimah

    March 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Masha Allah, I love this article! I remember Shaykh AbdulBary Yahya telling us the story of Umm Salamah’s advice to Rasulullah (SAW) in the Seerah class. Such a great piece, I will be sharing this.

  14. Yasir

    March 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Assalamualaikum Wa Jazakallahu Khairan for this article. It has a lot of points and mashaAllah there are some wonderful responses. However, there is one point I do not see anyone comment on…
    “Anyone who looks into the Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and at incidents such as this one will see that he used to talk to women, take their advice and act upon it if he thought it was a good idea, or at least listen to what they have to say regarding these worldly matters.”

    I am sure what I want to comment on is nothing new to anyone but it is always good to remind oneself. Women should be consulted but we should not forget the status of women amongst themselves. Mother’s opnion should come first followed by wife and so on. We should be smart enough to judge when a woman is right and when she is under the influence of shaitan, as I beleive they are more prone to the whisper of shaitan.

    It is commonly seen in our community that many men blind foldedly follow what women say and that leads them leaving their family, parents, old good friends and so on. More importantly, this is something typical of a married man. Be caring but CAUTIOUS too. The above story is of our mother and no woman today is even compared to the foot-dust of any of our mothers – Ummahaathul Mumineen.

    JazakaAllahu Khairan

    Wasalaam

    Yasir

    • Fazila

      April 1, 2010 at 9:35 PM

      First I would like to say that neither is any man equal to the ‘foot dust’ of a mother.

      Secondly, any person, whether they are male or female, is a fool if they follow everything another says. How ridiculous that you can say a woman is more prone to the influence of the devil when statistically and historically it is men who sin more! When a person is wrong it does not mean they are under the influence of the devil, they are just human!

      Frankly, you sound like a chauvanist. You seem like the type of man that sees one woman do something and you’ll say “I knew it, all women are like this…”. Throughout history women have been made to blindly follow the rule of man but this has never been considered wrong! For thousands of years men have ruled the world in majority and if men were always right, just, fair, etc then we’d all be living in utopia. Clearly we’re not.

      My point is BOTH men and women are EQUALLY liable to make mistakes/errors in judgement/bad choices/etc and that’s down to being human, not due to gender

  15. Olivia

    March 28, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    a very nice article. good job.

    brother yasir, i was interested in hearing you elaborate on two things which you mentioned:

    1. Women should be consulted but we should not forget the status of women amongst themselves. Mother’s opnion should come first followed by wife and so on.
    I understand that everyone in this world is placed in a sort of rank when it comes to various things like obedience, good treatment, etc. But I do not understand how something like advice can be relegated to this same ranking system. For example, a mother might deserve the best treatment and obedience, but what if she gives you bad advice on a particular subject, whereas your wife (or even you grown child) or father or brother gives you better advice? Isn’t a person called upon to follow that advice which is best, regardless of where it is coming from?

    2. We should be smart enough to judge when a woman is right and when she is under the influence of shaitan, as I beleive they are more prone to the whisper of shaitan.
    Please elaborate. Of course, as of right now i’m just assuming this is your personal belief, since you used the precursor “i believe.” if there is some sort of hadeeth about this than please enlighten me. until then i’m interested in hearing what you have to say (and really, im not offended, so please don’t misjudge my tone).

  16. fais

    March 29, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Yasir bro, you’ve made some dangerous generalizations (or atleast, left room for missinterpretation). Suffice to say It is essential for every muslim man to know E.X.A.C.T.L.Y what right his mother holds over him vs. what rights his wife holds over him, vs. what rights his sister holds on him and so on…

    I’ve heard of way too many horrible stories involving husbands, wives and mothers taking place within desi communities (many more so in Pakistan) that are downright scary and depressing, making you wonder if its possible for muslims get any dumber…

    Awesome job on the article, great job citing a well known example from the life of the rasool SAW himself to disprove an apparently unsound hadith! the importance of making mashwara and the barakah comes from doing so cannot be over stated.

  17. Abu Azhar

    March 30, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Assalaamu’alaykum.

    Nice article!

    Always love the story regarding the hudaybiyah incident with Umm Salamah’s advice.
    Small note however, what I heard (or read?) and understand that the prophet (SAW) only ordered the companion twice because he was affraid that if he said thrice and they still wouldn’t follow, they would get Allah’s anger for disobedience?

    Also I love that you mentioned the story of Muawiiyah (ra) asking ummahaathul mu’miniin Aisyah (ra). Which I’ve never heard.

    Wassalaam.

  18. Abez

    March 31, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    It would be great to see more examples of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) consultation with women in his seerah.

  19. Pingback: Riyadh as-Saliheen Series – Hadith 2:’He Looks at your Hearts’ | MuslimMatters.org

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