Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi
In the name of Allah who states “And when your Lord made it known; if you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe” Q14:7. May His everlasting peace and blessings be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
Let me start by congratulating the Sisters’ forum on the successful completion of nationwide programmes marking the International women’s day. The events were very enlightening and generally encouraging. Also, with the advent of Rajab, the seventh month of Islamic calendar, in which believers were encouraged to engage in many recommended acts of worship.
The topical issues discussed in the International women’s day generally revolved around gender, matrimony and morals from the Islamic point of view. I want to highlight few points in the light of the event;
Firstly; on the rationale behind the creation of man as a trial in a journey from Allah back to him. All messengers were sent on this purpose, with the do’s and don’ts to reflect in the worldly life. No doubt, man would be rewarded in the hereafter according to his deeds. Therefore, he should be very careful and obedient to the end of his life on earth.
As an excellent model for believers on the rightful mission, life of Sayyidah Fatima was elaborated. Born on the 20th Jimada – sani, her birthday was celebrated as International women’s day, an event that reminds the Ummah and the world of her exalted life embodiment of sterling qualities worthy of emulation by all.
The day demonstrates the exalted position Islam accords the woman in the stages of her life and generally encourages honour in her respect. Some traditions in her respect include; “Fatima is the chief of the women of Paradise.” (Sahih al – Bukhari Vol. V, chapter 29. Mother of believers A’isha has said “I have not seen a person more similar to the Prophet’s appearance, conduct, guidance, and speech, whether sitting or standing, than Fatima. When she enters, the Messenger of Allah stands up, kisses and welcomes her, then takes her hand and asks her to sit in his place.” (Tirmizi and Ibn Abdurabbeh in Eqd al – Farid).
Apparently, Islam attaches unique attention to the morality and education of the female who grows as mother, especially as the moral standard of every society largely depends on its women, and to debunk the Western propaganda that criticizes the religion on disenfranchisement on her rights.
Allah states “O men! We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another; verily, the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is deeply conscious of Him. Behold, He is all knowing, all aware. Q49:13
The event strongly urged for more respect to women as mothers, wives, sisters, relatives and daughters. They should be adequately educated, protected and empowered for the socio – economic growth and stability of our nation. And as earlier announced, at the end of the Kano programme, champions of the Essay writing competition on fourty traditions narrated by Sayyidah Fatima (as) were honored with various prizes. The sisters have also donated valuable materials on humanitarian ground.
Secondly; observance of hijab is the second issue I want to emphatically draw to the attention of our respected sisters.
Allah states “O prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, And the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when out of doors); that is most convenient, that they should be known 9As such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft – forgiving, Most Merciful“ Q33:59
It is interesting that the international day of hijab is observed annually across the world covering America, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Britain, Ghana, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Libya, South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria among others. Hijab literally means a cover, a veil a barrier or a protection. In addition to the physical cover however the ethical aspect is greatly emphasized. The philosophy was to protect the society from immoral tendencies. The Jilbab referred in the verse above is the outer garment that women were asked to wear for protection against molestation. Based on this concept, a woman should cover herself completely with exception of face and palm. In fact, covering of the face is also encouraged in case of extremely beautiful women. So Hijab, in this context is not peculiar to Islam, it is also evident in Judeo – Christian cultures. It should be noted that it is not a uniform but simple cloth preferably black that should be LOOSE and UNATTRACTIVE as a condition.
Hijab is not meant for streets, therefore a woman should not observe it as she goes out but dresses fashionably at home irrespective of whoever is present. It is meant to serve as barrier or protection against any man that is neither legally tied with a woman in marriage nor closely related in such a way, marriage is not permissible between them. In fact, even if the marriage is permitted on conditional basis, like the case of a husband’s brother that can marry his brother’s wife in the event of death or divorce, the woman must observe it on any encounter with him, not to talk of house aides like drivers, whose services were either employed by husbands or the women themselves!
In addition to this, sisters of one’s wife must observe it in his presence as abomination of marriage is temporary since they can marry in the event of death or divorce. To cut it short, observance of hijab is obligatory in any encounter with men in rented residences, offices, hospitals or any other place. Thus, the need for girl child education is very apparent here. For example, the flowery designs and kunshi must not be displayed to other people not allowed. And the use of such under such a situation will become necessary until it fades to avoid exposure and attraction.
However, there is no blame for ladies to appear adorned before their fathers, sons, full brothers, brothers’ sons, sisters’ sons, their women, and slaves whom their right hands possess. Q33:53
Likewise, there is no problem with the adornment of women before the men prohibited in marriage either on direct biological or and marital relations. These include women married by fathers, mothers, daughters, sisters, father’s sisters, mother’s sisters, brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters, foster mothers (who gave suck), foster – sisters, wives’ mothers, step – daughters under one’s guardianship born of wives who were gone in, wives of sons and two sisters at a time in a wedlock. Q4:22-23
Parents have greater responsibility in the good home training of their children, as the popular saying goes, charity begins at home. So they must see to their good discipline. Girls must be taught to wear it before the onset of their period, so that they will become accustomed from childhood. The scholars as heirs of the prophets should indefatigably call to the teachings of Allah without any fear. They must also put all their knowledge into practice strictly.
Allah said “O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded” Q66:6
Allah has also stated “You are the best community raised for the good of mankind. You enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong, and you believe in Allah” Q3:11. The messenger has also said “take care! Each of you is a caretaker, and each of you shall be asked concerning what is under your care!
Most disheartening is the incessant reference to immodest dressing by most women as LALURA, especially when it involves some profession. This must not be tolerated at all. Muslim sisters must therefore be very careful in their mode of dressing in schools and organisations as uniforms. Stakeholders must play an elderly role in favor of morality. Thanks to the ONGOING CAMPAIGN, in our tertiary and the larger society, of MODEST DRESSING.
The wives of the prophet – mothers of believers – were first commanded to observe the hijab and avoid what Allah referred as “dazzling display like that of the former times of ignorance” Q33:33. In the same way, Allah warned the companions of the messenger emphasizing the need for communications between the messengers’ wives from behind a veil where necessary. Q:33:53
There are so many misconceptions to be clarified on hijab for believers in general. It is obligatory, not optional for those who feel like. And the rationale as we observed was to cover the natural beauty and make up. So all beautiful Atamfas, lace, materials and other fashionable clothes should not be exposed except to those permitted by the shari’a.
Thirdly; Allah states “Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah’s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred; that is the right reckoning; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them, and fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together, and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil). Q9:36.
I will draw the attention of brothers and sisters on the significance of Rajab as one of the four sacred months highly placed in Islam. I cannot be graphical but I want to emphasize the need for us to put more effort in fasting, prayers and Qur’anic recitation to attain the pleasure of Allah.
We can refer to the books of supplication like Mafaateehul jinaan, Dhiyaa’us saalilheen among others for details. Thanks to the efforts of many brothers and sisters that circulate the details in social media.
Fourthly: I want to acknowledge and appreciate numerous contributions from the respected readers of this column. The discourse has been a pleasing link for re-encounter with many friends, colleagues and mates of historic academic and scholarly journeys in Nigeria, England, Sudan, Iran and other places, both Muslims and Christians. Over the period, the column has concentrated on prevailing issues and some religious topics amidst tight schedule.
For this obvious reason, however, Malam Yusuf Abdullahi will take over the column until further notice. With his background and enthusiastic trend, I believe the brother will do his best to meet our expectations. I hope your support and contributions will be extended to him. I remain very grateful to the cooperation of the management and Editorial board of LEADERSHIP HOLDINGS, its esteemed readership and my colleagues who contributed in whatever way to the success of the column.
Finally, while praying for Allah’s guidance and protection to the leader of Islamic movement in Nigeria, sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Yemenis and Nepalese on the unfortunate Saudi military offensive and catastrophic earthquake respectively.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah!