By Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi
In the name of Allah “O you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves, serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed” Q22:77
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master, Muhammad, and his purified progeny.
Jimaada al – Ula is the fifth month of Islamic calendar, which reminds us of memorable historic events, such as the demise of Sayyida Fatima al – Zahra, daughter of the prophet, peace be upon him and his pure progeny, according to a famous narration.
Before I discuss the subject above, I will like to reflect some lessons tied in the forthcoming International Women’s day.
The expression, Yaumul mar’ah, refers to the day. To many, it is recognized as the fifth day of March, as an anniversary declared by the United Nations. This is in line with its first article “To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or colour.
It was from this perspective, that the recognition was achieved in recent times after hundreds of years of struggle against injustice for women liberation. Issues relating to gender are selectively observed through conferences and rallies, among others.
An attempt to build an international tie by women’s rights’ supporters in the United States and other countries was historically recognized in the late 19th century which led to the formation of advocacy groups and a larger coalition to avert women suffering. This agitation for women’s rights was precisely brought to the United Nations, then League of Nations, in 1935.
It was late in the 1960’s that discrimination against women at work waned, when they began to work for equal rights. In fact, the prominent women’s march – Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA) – chanting for equality, was held in 1970, in New York! This simply tells us how the woman was excessively oppressed and refused her fundamental human rights in the United states and Europe!
Surprisingly, it was not until 1920, that American women were allowed to vote as a right, after amendments were made to their constitution.
This highlights on the social, economic, and political rights that ‘the woman’, was cruelly denied by men. This attitude was very clear and deep seated in western civilization, as women were culturally allowed very limited roles in the society which is not unconnected with their Judaeo – Christian traditions.
Such situational positions and misconceptions about ‘the woman’ was evident in the historic documents of even the highly rated philosophers of the West, such as, Jacques and Rousseau, who claimed that women were frivolous and naturally suited, subordinate companions of men respectively.
With the declaration of the International women’s day generally considered as an achievement not to the womenfolk alone but to their male counterparts, the West encouraged them to indulge in all sorts of evils such as ponography, single parenting and same sex marriage in the name of freedom!
No doubt, portraying the woman as a sex instrument for attraction is an outright abuse to her honour as a dignified human being. And she should not accept this maltreatment to her honourable position.
The Woman from the Islamic Point Of View
Religion, as a practical, ethical, instruction, brought from Allah for the guidance of mankind to happiness, here and hereafter, considers man fully responsible for his/her actions irrespective of sex, ethnicity, geography or social status, but rather, faith and deeds.
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 messenger of Allah has said “no Arab has any superiority over a non – Arab, nor does a non – Arab over a black or the black over white. You are all children of Adam who was created from clay”.
So, Islam cannot accept/support oppression generally, especially as it affects women and children. “And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you. You have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped” Q11:113
Looking at the significance of a female who grows to become a mother, Islam attaches and draws more attention to her morality and education, because the moral standard of every society, largely, depends on its women. But out of injustice and sentiments, the West always criticizes Islam on disenfranchisement on the human rights of ‘the woman’. This is undoubtedly a lie, but is regarded as a normal criticism, owing to differences in belief and cultural dispositions where Islam encourages moral values as against the West.
FATIMA (AS), THE LEADING LADY.
Yaumul mar’ah, as the International women’s day,is best celebrated on the birthday of Sayyida Fatima al – Zahra on the 20th of Jimada – thani, annually. We believe, as the sayings of the prophet ascertained, that Fatima, is the leading lady, here and hereafter. Here are few prophetic traditions in that respect: “Fatima is the chief of the women of Paradise.” (Sahih al – Bukhari Vol. V,chapter 29); It is reported that Aisha 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.” (Tirmadhi and Ibn Abdurabbeh in Eqd al-Farid)
“Surely, Allah is angered when you are angered, and is pleased at your pleasure.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim: V.3, p.154.); “The best of the women of the world are four: Maryam bint Imran, Asia bint Muzahim, Khadija bint Khowailid, and Fatima bint Muhammad” (Musnad Ahmad V.2, p.293)
So the event is fully observed on the very day in the Islamic republic of Iran, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq and the Islamic movement in Nigeria. And the rationale is to analyse the blessed life of this great lady, who lived as an embodiment of all qualities, worthy of emulation by all.
PERSECUTION OF THE AHLUL – BAIT (AS)
Although, Allah has stated “… no reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin…” Q42:23. The prophet (s) has said “no one shall be able to move from his place of reckoning on the Day of Judgment until he has stated four things: how he spent his life and his wealth, where he got his wealth from and he shall also be asked about the love of the Ahlul, but the progeny of the Messenger have suffered untold hardship.
The world is fully aware of the persecution meted against the purified progeny. Sayyida Fatima, was extraordinarily oppressed and finally martyred around the age of eighteen. After a very long persecution, Imam Ali was also assassinated in Ramadan, forty years after Hijra, while leading the Morning Prayer!
DAY OF NURSING
Birth of Sayyidah Zainab, daughter of Ameerul mu’mineen Ali and Sayyida Fatima (AS), was another historic event, on the 5th of this month. Her life style was very exemplary and worthy of emulation.
As example of her audacity and a bitter exposition of maltreatment against the noble progeny, it is reported that when the headS of Imam Husain and surviving members of the prophet’s family, were taken to Ubaidullah bn Ziyad, Sayyida Zainab disguised herself, refusing to answer Ibn Ziyad’s repeated questions.
“Who is this woman’’? The maids around her answered, “This is Zainab, the daughter of Fatima!’’
Ibn Ziyad said “thanks be to Allah who violated your sanctity, killed you and belied your history!’’ Sayyida immediately replied, “Praise be to Allah who honoured us by Muhammad, to whom may Allah’s blessings be granted, and who purified us with thorough purification, not like what you said. The dissolute is the only one to be punished and the profligate is the only one to be belied!’’
He said “how do you see what Allah hath done to your family members’’? She said “ He hath destined death to them, then they went to their eternal beds. Allah shall let you meet them and you will be judged by Him; and Allah is the best Judge”. Ubaidullah was very angry with her immediate response.
Unlike in the past when information was distorted, exaggerated and misrepresented, the level of message appreciation is very encouraging. We will continue to work and pray in this direction for Allah to expose the culprits and support the believers. Think of the extent of persecution suffered by their children, the grandsons of the noble prophets, Imams Hasan and Husain who were deliberately murdered by whom others blindly respect and consider great.
Generally speaking, in this August occasion, ‘the woman’ is strongly encouraged to strive hard towards perfection as a human being and serve her society as a scientist, philosopher, politician, teacher or public figure. With regard to this, Imam Khomeini has said “the Iranian sisters made a significant contribution to the Islamic revolution, and compared to men, were in the forefront and gave strength to them” .
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), leader of the Islamic movement, is on the same track in Nigeria, for which the sisters’ impacts are greatly improved in the overall socio – cultural endeavours.
ABOUT THE ESSAY WRITING COMPETITION
The essay, is part of the annual event organised by the Islamic movement in Kano and its surroundings. The competition was announced as follows:
Topic: “The narrations of Sayyidah Fatima (as) “forty prophetic traditions, are expected as narrated by her.
Words limit: Depending on the need of content.
Deadline for submission: On or before 30th Jimadal – Ula, 1436 H (20/03/2015).
Participation: Exclusively for sisters within and outside the Islamic movement.
Assessment: Normal criteria in essay writing.
Prizes: The champions will be honoured with various prizes including an Automatic Astra wagon with factory fitted air condition and many others which will be disbursed to the winners on the forthcoming Yaumul – mar’ah (to be announced) event to be held in Kano.
Submission: The Essay should be typed in the original Arabic or its equivalent translation in Hausa or English languages, and sent to Fudiyyah Nursery/primary school, Rijiyar – lemo, Kano, or to P.O.BOX 2195 G.P.O., Kano. In addition to that, a soft copy should be sent to email@example.com.
The following contacts could be contacted for more information: 0803 315 2949 & 0909 748 7777 Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah!