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Stray Reflections

The blessed month of Ramadhan is passing with an amazing speed. It is no doubt an ideal time to spend with Quran and everyone I know is trying to get in touch with our precious text book. I noticed so many important instructions and advices in my revision that made me itch to pen down some of my thoughts that kept me wondering how the Muslim Ummah could go so very wrong when we have this miraculous book to guide us in its original language. The answer that popped in my mind was very obvious and straightforward. Firstly, the non-Arabs lost touch with the real thing when we lost touch with the original language of Quran, which is Arabic. Secondly, not the common man but the scholars of this ummah are responsible for the disunity and confusion we see all over the world among the Muslims. It was their duty to pass on the true teachings of Islam to humanity but most of them have for ages neglected the true teachings of Quran and have given their followers their version of Islam or as I now put it in clearer terms, their particular brand of Islam instead of the whole truth. The saddest part is that there are many genuine scholars who have spent their lives serving Allaah subhana hu but because of the vested interest group, they too have lost their credibility and people are now afraid to put their trust in most of them. They would be rewarded for their sincere efforts by their Lord in sha Allaah but for now, they are unable to guide the masses or bring a visible change in the overall scenario facing the ummah. The common Muslim lost touch with Quran and became dependant on the interpretation of this book by various scholars and could not double check whether the version was correct or not. They were content to follow some particular brand their fore fathers followed mindlessly accepting everything as authentic. Quran paints a very horrifying picture of the people who would on the Day of Judgment show their resentment towards these leaders and curse them for misguiding them *1. Then I saw another verse of the holy Quran, The followers of the book made their ulema or religious leaders as their rabb (At tuba 31). A companion of the Prophet (s) Addi bin Hatim (r) converted to Islam from Christianity, he once asked him (s), The Quran says that we made our scholars our rabb (God) but we did not do that. The Prophet (s) asked him, Did you or did you not obey them and accepted their commands as to what is hallal (permissible) and what is haram (not permissible)? The companion said Yes we did and the Prophet (s) said, That is what is meant by making someone your rabb. This means, that all those people who declare the different aspects of our life permissible or non permissible, without the authorization of Quran and Sunnah, put themselves in the position of Allaah subhan na hu, but He alone has the power and authority to do that. Nothing could be a greater sin than that as this is Shirk (making partners with Allaah) in its own way and unfortunately, so many of our learned scholars are doing this without realizing its implications. The major reason for the disunity, confusion and frustration we see today is because those who understood Quran had ulterior motives and they could not reveal the whole truth that would hurt their hidden agenda. Most of them were content to lead their own flock of sheep and keep counting them lest they lost some of them to some other faction. This meant that they had to constantly brainwash their followers against the other group and make hate speeches in the name of Islam. I will narrate one observation in this

regard at the end which should be an eye opener as to how blind we have become towards this phenomenon which is simply cutting at our roots. Some of you must now be questioning my way of thinking and asking yourself what ulterior motives do I have to question the credibility of these scholars. If you were not, then you should because as I said earlier, we have a trust deficit and it is the natural outcome of these times we are living in. I will tell you my way of reasoning and then present my argument to you. The genuine scholars know that we are living in the age of Dajjaal or the false Messiah and the stage is almost set for him to appear any time now. They should prepare all Muslims for this ultimate test of faith which is not possible without reverting back to the real Islam that is the Quran and Sunnah of our Prophet (s). Dajjal can come in any character as it is his duty to deceive people and lead them away from the real thing so all of us should be extra alert lest we fall a victim to his deception. He could come in the form of a scholar of Islam and mislead millions due to his outward appearance so none of us can be safe from this trial unless we know our book. I believe that as an ordinary Muslim, with the only difference that I have a minute understanding of the Arabic language and can grasp a general meaning of the verses, I can understand the crisp, clear and loud instruction for all Muslims to stay united, to love, to trust, to bond with all other Muslims, become one solid rock against our enemies, how in the world can the learned scholars miss this highly important command of their Lord? Why are there so many sects, so many religious organizations, foreign funded religious institutes which are constantly negating each other, high lighting trivial things and creating bad blood among Muslims? How can Muftis give fatwas and declare whole rival groups as non-believers and then allow them to cut each others throats? This takfiri ideology has murdered thousands of Muslims in Pakistan but even the main stream so called Islamic parties and their honorable scholars cannot gather the courage to openly condemn them? How can the scholars overlook this command of the holy Quran and the clear instructions of their Supreme Commander? Is this command of their Almighty Allaah not important? Allaah will ask them on the Judgment Day like it is written in the Quran, Did you believe in one part of the Book and rejected the other (Al Baqarah 85) An ordinary reader of Quran simply cannot miss this instruction so how a genuine scholar could overlook it, simply astounds me. Verily! The only way of life in the eyes of Allaah is Islam. Those people who were given the book, differed among themselves after true knowledge had come to them, they had no reason for that behavior except mutual jealousy.. (Aale Imran 19) O Believers! Be conscious of Allaah with all the consciousness that is due to Him and do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourself unto Him and hold fast, all together, unto the bond with Allaah and do not draw apart from each other.. (Aale Imran 102103) And not be like those who have drawn apart from each other and have taken conflicting views after all evidence of the Truth has come unto them: for these it is for whom tremendous suffering is in store on the Day of Judgment when some faces will shine and some faces will be dark with grief. The dark faces shall be told, Did you deny the truth after

having attained to faith? Taste, then, this suffering for having denied the Truth! (Aale Imran 106-107) My heart bleeds with all the divisions we see in the Muslim world, where we are being butchered like sheep by our enemies and the whole world is watching the pathetic plight of 1.5 billion people. We recently witnessed the slaughter of Egypts Muslims who supported Mursi but the world intelligentsia is still sleeping and unable to speak the truth. Now we are on the verge of World War 3 where NATO and its allies are gearing up to destroy another Muslim country, Syria, where thousands will perish and suffer the horrors of war but the Muslim world is divided with different countries backing different groups. Where the hell are the scholars of the ummah and why are they not doing anything to help us get out of this misery? Why can not the scholars take a stand and form a forum to speak with one voice on matters that are of utmost importance to the Muslim ummah? The OIC proved to be a failure due to the political loyalties of different national rulers to their western masters but does this mean that the genuine scholars of Islam would fail too? Shouldnt their loyalties be to the Quran and Sunnah alone and what is stopping them from coming forward and speaking the truth before jabber or a cruel ruler which is called the jihad of the highest order? Oh wait, maybe they cannot come forward as they are busy discussing more important issues concerning the Muslim community right now like for example, the proper dress code of a Muslim woman or banning woman drivers or issuing fatwas against photography. In reality, that is what most of the scholars and their followers are spending their precious time on, stressing on less important issues and blowing them out of proportion while sweeping the bigger issues under the rug. This situation is similar to the one facing the people in the time of Prophet Jesus (a). He scolded the Jew scholars of his time and said to them, You are people who filter the mosquito from their plates (lesser sins) and eat the whole camels (bigger sins). We rarely see them talking about the character building of a momin, who does not indulge in sins like Shirk, murder, fornication, indulging in ribaa, alcohol, theft, backbiting, pride, jealousy, disobedience towards ones parents, being unkind towards ones spouse, neglect or mistreat children or people under their command, dishonesty, breaking promises, lying and so many other things that build a character that Allaah wants to see in His servants. He almighty wants His slaves to avoid vices and ingrain the virtues like love, devotion, honesty, bravery, truthfulness, sincerity, knowledge etc. Only a true momin who avoids vices and has virtues can become a true follower of Quran and the Sunnah of our Prophet (s). Only he can stand against the unjust system of this time as he has a pure heart which creates a great character which makes him love his fellow beings and unite them against the evils of our times because he does it out of his love for Allaah and has no other worldly desires for fame and fortune. Such a person is a true mujahid and a personified Quran, not the scholar whose life is spent counting his followers and gaining fortunes. There were so many other things I noticed while revising Quran which made me realize that we have been brainwashed into understanding a meaning of a verse, according to the understanding of some scholar, which is simply not there. These are seemingly little things but they create a doubt about our whole knowledge which we received from someone we trusted as a teacher. A scholar I once knew declared, Purdah or the covering of women is the biggest Jihad of todays woman. How come, who made this decision, who said that, does the Quran declare it as such or is

that the decision of this person which is unsupported by the Quran and does he have the authority to make this kind of declaration? I did not question this statement when I was following him and took it at its face value. Now years later, I am amazed at my naivety and cannot understand how I could swallow this statement without asking a few tough questions. It is absolutely true that the dress code of a Muslim woman is one of many important instructions in the holy Quran but it is one of many. How come we are asked to believe that it is the most important Jihad? The instructions of a Muslim womans dress code came in primarily two chapters of Quran, An noor and Al ahzaab, and just a couple of verses deal with them. Verse no 30-31 in Surah An noor *2 and just one verse in Al ahzaab 59*3. Some learned scholars made this claim, again not at all supported by Quran, that the verses given in Al ahzaab regarding the specific instructions for the wives of the Prophet (s) apply to all Muslim women as the wives or as we call them, the Azwaj e Mutaharaat were our mothers and a role model for all Muslim women. Verse no 32 of Al ahzaab clearly states that, O wives of the Prophet (s), you are not like other women. It then gives them many instructions which show that they are a special group of ladies but we are led to believe that they were like any other sahabiah of that time, so we have to do everything exactly as they did. Even I can detect a few differences in the Quran which makes them unique but the so called scholars cannot see that? For example, verse 30-31 of Al ahzaab says that the wives of Prophet (s) would receive double punishment for their sins and double reward for their good deeds. Why? If we believe for a moment that the wives had the same status as any other sahabiah, then why this distinction? The reason was very simple; any scandal associated to the household of the Prophet (s) was bound to bring a great deal of anguish and pain to him that is why the wives were required to be extra careful. We read about this state of mind when Ayesha (r) was left behind from her caravan by mistake and the hypocrites turned it into a scandal. Even the sincere Muslims fell a victim to their propaganda and this caused much grief to the Prophet (s), Ayesha Sideeqa (r) and the house hold of Abu Bakr Sideeq (r). Verses were revealed that showed her innocence and a whole new law was declared that required 80 lashes for the accuser if he does not provide four eye witnesses before accusing any other person for adultery (An noor 4) Secondly, the wives were termed as the Mother of the momineen or the Muslim men and not of mominaat (Al ahzaab 6)*4. A very interesting hadeeth I read revealed that Ayesha (r) corrected a woman, who came and called her My mother and told her, Allaah has made me a mother of your men and not you. (Behki) Thirdly, Allaah clearly told the Muslims that as these wives of the Prophet (s) were given the status of their mothers, this would remain so after the Prophets death and they shall not remarry (Al ahzaab 53) Even this famous verse where the word hijaab*5 occurs deals particularly with the household of the Prophet (s) and Allaah teaches the Muslim men how to behave if they are invited to eat at his place. It instructs the companions to keep a hijab between them if they have to ask the wives for anything. They were a special group of ladies, which is why, some specific instructions were given to them like keeping their voice strict while talking to any man, staying in their homes, if they have to go then not to show any visible beauty, keeping their salah and giving zakat. This Allaah tells them is to remove any kind of impurity from the household of the Prophet (s) (Ahl e Bait) and make them pure ( Al ahzaab 33)*6 .They were also given the additional task of remembering the commands Allaah was giving to His Prophet (s) and understanding their wisdom ( Al ahzaab 34) *7. They were after all in the best position to understand their correct

meaning from the Prophet (s) himself and they did pass on that knowledge to both men and women after his death. This means that only three verses of An noor 30-31and Al ahzaab 59 primarily deal with common Muslims and instructs about one aspect of our social life. It gives guidance as to how Muslim women and men should behave and dress before mehrams (people you can never marry) and na-mehrams (People you can marry at any point in life) One more verse of An noor 60 *8 deals with the dress code of elderly women and that is it. Why blow it out of proportion and make hijab a symbol for pious women? I read countless articles which depict stories of women converts revealing their journey towards Islam and they all end in the same way. The convert was directed towards Islam by the grace of Allaah in some way or the other and the ending is always, and now she is a purdah observing lady who wears hijab! If this story is being narrated before live audience, then there are slogans of Allaah hu Akbar and shouts of joy and happiness that she decided to take hijab. Dear friends, please do not take offense when I write this as it is not my intention to belittle their efforts and try to understand what I am trying to explain. Donning a hijab on your person is just One act of submission to Allaah and nowhere in the Quran does it say that it is one of the most important acts. The real jihad or struggle is not just putting an outer garment on your person, which is easily available and does not cost much in most places, rather the real jihad starts when along with this outer garment you start your fight against your own ego, the devil and the followers of the devil. The real jihad starts when you take Quran as your text book and start molding your character according to its instruction because you love your Lord and want to obey Him. This fight goes on inside you from day one, some days you are a winner and other times you are sorely defeated by evil forces around and inside you. It is a very tough, painful and long struggle and goes on and on till your last breath. Putting on a hijab means that you are now starting your journey and not that you are 90% there. Please put things in their true perspective and pray that Allaah guides us all. I have seen women filled with pride, hatred, anger and jealousy who wear the blackest, biggest, most severe kind of niqaabs plus gloves and socks. Does that mean their dress will be sufficient for them on the Day of Judgment? And as for that matter, proper dress and beard of a Muslim is definitely a plus point but if his Sunnah dress and Sunnah beard is not matched by his Sunnah character, then he is in a lot of trouble. The outer appearance is not going to save anyone from Allaahs punishment if it is not complimented by other instruction that makes a Muslim man a true believer. Read the Quran from your own eyes; see how the easy part is highlighted by so called scholars and the difficult part is ignored. These scholars tend to discuss an issue and then make a judgment about it. They declare that this point of view is right and all their followers should follow it. The true scholar never becomes a rabb or asks people to follow him. He rather shows them the different opinions and asks them to follow which ever point of view they want if it is supported by Quran and Sunnah. He can say that he is more inclined towards an opinion on the basis of a daleel or logical explanation but both versions are correct so his followers are free to choose whatever version they find closer to the truth so walah hu aalum which means, only Allaah knows best. For example, scholars of Muslim ummah have been fighting each other over the issue of face covering of women for ages. Some scholars declare it a must for women to hide their faces from na mehram men at home and wrote categorically that it is a faradh or a must. The fact is that the personal opinion of any scholar means absolutely nothing if it contradicts with the ruling of a companion of the Prophet (s) who is not only a companion of highest order but also a scholar of Quran. Like for example, Prophet (s) made a special

prayer for Abdullah bin Abbaas (r) after gathering him in his arms and hugging him tightly and said, O Lord, give him the wisdom of Deen and the knowledge of Deen. The Prophets (s) dua was accepted and mashallaah, Adbullah bin Abbass (r) was a brilliant scholar of Islam and he was given the title, Tarjuman e Quran He clearly pronounced that in the verse where the instruction for the dress code are given, Ma zahara minhaa (Al ahzaab 31) which means, the parts that are not included and are automatically omitted from hiding are the face and hands of women. He took this meaning and a large group followed him. On the other hand, another companion who is also a scholar, Abdullah bin Masood (r) believes that face and hands are included in the covering up and a large group follows his understanding. This means, if two most learned companions had two different opinions about this issue and people followed both of them without any problem, then it was not such a big issue after all. That is why; it should a non-issue. Why the scholars are trying to prove one or the other point as true or false and writing books upon books on it, is beyond comprehension. You do not have to be in favor or against it and should have the right to make up your own mind as to what kind of version you want to follow as both are correct. When you declare one thing as fardh this means if you are not doing it then you are committing a sin which is punishable by Allaah subhana hu. There is a huge difference between someone who is not doing a fardh and someone who is simply following a version he thinks is allowed. The point should be that Muslim women must at least follow the dress code given in the Quran which is keeping a khumar at home and wearing a jalbaab when they go outside. They cannot simply ignore this instruction if they want to practice Islam as this is not given to us by any scholar but Allaah himself has ordered us to do it. It is an important instruction like all other instructions of Quran but definitely not the most important one. Coming back to my first point, sincere Muslims who want to spend their lives according to the Quran are unable to do so as they have lost touch with the language of Quran. They have to equip themselves with this knowledge of Arabic if they want to double check whether the meaning of some particular Ayah that is being fed to them is true of not. Fortunately, Arabic is still a living language and Quran gives it stability as the grammar and its exceptions are there for all to see and understand. A small example of how sometimes the literal translation of a verse is not what is actually written in the Arabic text. The verse in Al ahzaab which deals with the lowering of gaze or gaz e basar as it is termed in Quran is translated as, And all believing men should lower their gaze (Al ahzaab 30) and all believing women should lower their gaze. (Al ahzaab 31) When I was very enthusiastically doing a Quran course which was helping me understand the Quranic grammar, tajweed, fiqh, seerah of the Prophet (s), I met this very religious lady who runs a madrassah. She asked me about the environment of the classroom where I was doing this course as she had heard that it was a coeducational program. I confirmed the fact but tried to assure her that it was a huge hall with separate entrance and exit for men and women who do not intermingle at any time, men sit in the front and women in the back, there is a huge screen with a one way mirror that separates the men from women and all we are able to see is the white board and the teachers from afar when they are giving a lesson. She was really annoyed and critical of this arrangement and said it was simply not allowed. She said that it was haraam to look at a na-mehram which was unavoidable if we

were looking at the board. This disturbed me a lot and I made some inquiries into that matter and found out that not only the common translation of this verse is not accurate but also that our Prophet (s) was the best male teacher for women of his time and he had taken great personal interest in educating them. One day of the week was assigned to educate women in Masjid e Nabwi and he used to go to the women and teach them himself. The real translation in Arabic text is, All believing men should lower some of the gazes from their gazes. The grammatical significance of a harf e jaar that is Min is very important which means that they are not asked to simply lower their gaze but some of them according to the situation. A momin who treasures his eemaan or faith wants to guard his gaze and so does a mominah. It is because of their faith that they want to please their Lord and not indulge in any kind of act that can lead towards His disobedience. For this simple fact, they themselves know and can best judge when to lower their gaze and seek Allaahs protection if they fear the Devil and its influence on them. Not all gazes are sinful and at times you have to look at another person for one reason or the other. The rule is there but so are its exceptions. The hadeeth of the Prophet (s) who was travelling with his companion on the day of Hajj shows that his (s) companion who was a young man was staring at the face of a young beautiful woman without any reason and the Prophet (s) turned his face away. Not all situations are like that and as I said before, a momin is the best judge of that. In another hadeeth, a blind companion of the Prophet (s) came to meet him and the wives who were present looked at him with curiosity as they felt safe that he could not see them. The Prophet (s) forbade them to do so, as again, there was no reason for them to stare at him. Then in contrast, there is another hadeeth of Faatimah bint Qays which contains the Prophets (s) permission for her to stay at the home of the blind companion, Ibn Umm al-Makhtoom, whom she would be able to see. There was a need as she was required to spend her iddet or waiting period after her divorce and the Prophet (s) gave the reason for that instruction in his statement to her, For if you take off your head scarf, he wont see you. Men and women are required to control their idle wandering gaze and if looking at a woman is stirring lustful desires then not only should he lower his gaze but also walk away and vice versa, but if a man is teaching some women who sit before him in proper Islamic dress and getting education from him, then he should feel proud that he is doing what his Prophet (s) did and following his (s) Sunnah. There are so many really important things that all of us should be striving for instead of being stuck in trivialities. Allaah tells us that we have to live according to the rules set by the Quran and for which He Almighty sent all His messengers, specially our last and final Prophet (s). This huge feat was accomplished by the Prophet (s) in his time which started in Madinah and then spread to nearly half of the world. The system started with prophet hood and it prevailed for many years in the form of Khilaafah. The sacred institute of Khilaafah was destroyed which was the greatest symbol of unity among Muslims. It has to be revived if Muslims want to live according to the wishes of Allaah and the teachings of Quran and Sunnah which is impossible if we are divided and lack power of unity. I once experienced such blatant display of arrogance, pride, ignorance, in the most unlikely place on Earth that made me realize that unless the scholars of Quran and Sunnah get their priorities straight, there will no longer be a concept of a Muslim ummaah that could ultimately unite us. The place was the second holiest sites for Muslims, the Prophets (s) mosque in Madinah, which was once the cradle of knowledge, power, unity, faith and radiated love to Muslims all over the globe. Todays mosque covers almost the entire old city of the Prophets (s) time and is a huge complex that is divided into many sections

inside. Some portions are reserved entirely for women and others for men. The most important section is the old mosque of the prophet which has the Rawza e Rasool or the room where he used to live with Ayesha (r) and it now holds his (s) grave. Some other artifacts like the Mimber e Rasool and some original pillars of the mosque are also preserved there. This part is in the mens section and they are allowed to visit it most of the day without interruption. Women on the other hand, are allowed to visit it three times a day after prayer. People are extremely eager to visit the place and pay their respects as in some authentic traditions; the Prophet (s) can hear them and is allowed to receive their respects directly from his Rawza and sends back salutations. There is also the other tradition which tells that the place between the Rawza and the Mimber e Rasool is termed as Riaz ul Jannaah and it is actually a piece of paradise where praying brings great reward. When I visited this place almost 15 years back, the usual practice was that women used to wait in their section behind the screen after prayer, the guards used to open the door in between, women would rush toward the Rawza, gather in the courtyard and were then ushered inside, small groups at a time, where they took some minutes to pay their respects and pray two nafals on the green carpet that marks the Riaz ul jannaah. Now they have changed that procedure and I used to think that it was done to accommodate the ever increasing crowds and make it more systematic. After observing it for several years, I can now firmly state that not only the whole procedure is a huge disaster but I have strong doubts that the intention was ever to streamline the crowds but to bombard the women from all over the globe with their particular brand of Islam that is the mixture of Wahabi/Salfi point of view. Now as soon as the prayer ends, these Saudi women wearing the blackest of huge oversized gown, along with niqaab, gloves and socks, holding placards start gathering women according to the language they understand. The placards read, Urdu, English, Persian etc and women are rounded up and made to sit in that groups for almost an hour. The doors are opened and the guide holding a megaphone in her hand escorts the group towards the courtyard outside the Rawza. Once you get there, you are again required to sit tight and wait till one group at a time goes inside and visit. Nothing wrong here but now the circus begins. The mega phone ladies start giving a lengthy sermon before they let in a group and it goes on and on till it is time for that group to go inside. They make so much noise, right outside the last resting place of the Prophet (s) that an ordinary person like me is afraid that this could be in itself a great sign of disrespect. Quran condemned people who used to call the Prophet (s) from outside his sleeping quarters and forbade them. It clearly states that the people who love and respect him do not shout but always keep their voices down in his presence but I am sure, the Saudis must have gotten a fatwa for this noble action and that makes it alright. If we believe for a moment that the intention is to pass the message of Islam to the visitors, the contents of the sermon totally negates the spirit in which it should be delivered. The most important part of any sermon is wisdom, tact and sincere advice that bring some benefit to others. What I witnessed was a strict version of Islam that rejects any point of view except their own, belittles others, calls them innovators, and gives them glad tidings of hell before letting them near the Rawza. It was a hate speech that insulted other people and felt as if you did not believe what they believe; they had to let you know what they think of you before they let you inside the place they own and control. What it does to the hearts of all those pilgrim ladies who have spent a fortune and travelled thousands of miles from all over the world to visit their Prophets mosque out of sheer love and devotion, I shudder to think of the repercussions. The one place which was a source of inspiration, love, unity and harmony is being used to create hatred and ill feelings among Muslims. It is killing the bonds of brotherhood and creating groups, not just physically, but emotionally who after getting insulted will try to bond with their

individual communities and will not look at other Muslims as their own. What is making the Saudi regime do it, only Allaah knows, but Muslim scholars must take notice that seeds of hatred are being sowed in the mosque of the Prophet and he (s) will hold us accountable for overlooking this huge crime. The attitude of the guides was not only insulting and filled with pride but lacked common sense as well. Some sisters were trying to get a photograph of the dearly loved Green Dome and they were reprimanded by the woman guide who termed it absolutely haraam . She rebuked them and said that their Imam masjid has forbidden it and issued a fatwa against it. I wanted to ask her politely that the Saudi regime is airing two live TV channels, 24/7 from both Masjid e Haraam and Masjid e Mabawi and the inside and outside of these mosques are shown throughout the day, focusing on the chandeliers and beautiful carved wood work and its marble floors. So if the government is doing it then it is ok with the clerics but if a pilgrim wants to take back a few memories of her own then that makes her a sinner? The hypocrisy of the guides was so tangible and their holier than thou attitudes disgusted me. I wanted to confront them but the realization at the back of my mind that I was standing just feet away from one of the most sacred places that I dreamed about visiting and all I wanted was to remember the life of my Prophet (s), how he used to live here, his absolute love for his ummaah and his extreme sacrifices for Islam. I decided to ignore the circus and tried to find some inner peace to concentrate on more important things. Besides, I was afraid they would term me as a heretic if I questioned them and would start beating me with their little mega-phones before handing me over to the shurtaas. How they could ignore the fact that the shops all around the Harem were filled with expensive books and souvenirs full of beautiful pictures of these two sacred mosques? Anyway, I forgot to give the punch line of this story. When the green signal was given to the Urdu group to go inside, the tired, bored and irritated ladies rushed in as if they were given a call to attack (God forbid). The scene inside was that of pushing, shoving, tripping, where the elderly ladies dared not stayed lest they fell down and got injured in a stampede so they entered and exited in a couple of minutes without doing anything. That was a huge anti climax and what used to be a precious spiritual experience has now been turned into an ordeal by the administration who simply cannot understand what it means for a person to come and visit this place. It looks as if we are losing the essence of all real important things in our lives and just a caricature of the outer visible rituals seems to be taking over its place. My last thoughts before I end my lengthy article directed at my fellow sisters. Most of these instructions hold truth for the boys as well but I want to single out the girls right now. Girls you have got a lot on your plate so please do not take your task as a muslimah lightly. You have so many roles that need extra effort by you and they start when you are a daughter in your home with your parents and family. You need to act with love, devotion and respect towards your parents who educate you and teach you how to be a good person. Allaah has ordered us to be obedient towards them, never raise our voice and make constant prayer for them in their old age. Then there are your siblings who make you mad but you still have to love them no matter how bad they treat you as they are family and Allaah has asked you to be kind to them and never ever cut of ties with any one of them. You will start your new life as a wife and this is a beautiful yet toughest job which needs loads of patience and a constant effort on your part. Understanding your spouses needs, overlooking his weaknesses and always keeping an eye on his positive points will make your home paradise. The best is yet to come, you will have kids, if Allaah is willing, and this is the most wonderful job in the whole world. For that you will need loads of kindness, patience, courage, strength as you will become a role model for your child and molding him/her to what Allaah wants is going to be your ultimate test. You should keep yourself happy, relaxed, groomed and healthy at all times. You have to strive

for concentration and sincerity in all your acts of worship and try to make a strong bond with your Creator. Keep your good friends close to you who make you happy and enjoy your life which is a huge blessing of Allaah. That is one way of showing gratitude that you appreciate all the blessings He has bestowed upon you as this life and all its blessings are from Him alone. Apart from all these roles, you should know how to behave towards your elders, neighbors, servants, relatives and you could have additional roles too if you are a working woman or a student. How to be patient in trial is also an acquired behavior and needs a lot of practice. How you do your work with honesty and devotion will depend on how well you know your Quran. Then there are your teachers who deserve your respect and even if you find years later that they were mistaken in some areas, you still do not abuse them openly. No cheating or stealing or backbiting or leg pulling will show who you really are. Along with all that, you need to equip yourself with current knowledge of what is happening in the world around you. We read about the wars our Prophet (s) fought along with his sincere companions called the ghazwaat which brought peace and harmony to the world. In this respect too, I am really disappointed that many scholars hid the truth from us and told us that women were not allowed to take part in wars by our Prophet (s) and all they did was stay inside their homes. What I discovered by reading different books on the seerah of the sahabiat was that not only were they present in the actual battlefields, motivating their men, taking care of the wounded, bringing them water but they were highly appreciated by the Prophet (s) who gave them portion of the war bounty. These included Umm e Aimen, Umm e Saleem bint e Malhan, Umm e Haraam, Hamna binte Jahsh, Asma bint e Yazeed al ansaria and the most beloved wife of the Prophet Ayesha, along with so many other noble sahabiaat razi allaah hu taala unhuna of that time. Ayesha (r) was present in the battle of Uhad and bravely performed her duties. The mullaahs try to mould us into some harmless creature that suits their own particular mindset which we all must reject and resist. We should try to seek real knowledge and try to mould our character into the mominah that Allaah and His last Messenger (s) wanted us to become. Todays battles are being fought more in the fields of information and technology than on the real battlegrounds. We too should realize what wars are going on all around us and try to support the true mujahids who are fighting the enemies of Allaah and His Rasool (s) in our own times. Quran is filled with the concept of Infaaq fi sabeel Allaah which means spending in His way. Even if we cannot spend money, we should at least spend our time and know our heroes, plus give them our moral support. A true momin is never detached from the knowledge of his time and that goes for the mominah as well. So my dear sisters, there is a lot you are required to do and constant effort is what will bring us to our real goal which is getting the love of Allaah and thus getting entrance into paradise. Let us pray that Allaah guides our hearts and give us the sound understanding of Islam to pass this most important test of our existence. Ameen! Amatullaah. 5th July 2013 27th Ramzan ul Mubarak. Author of (Winds of Change)

Notes: 1. On that Day, it will come to pass that those who had been falsely adored shall disown their followers and the latter shall see the suffering, with all their hopes cut to pieces. And then those followers shall say, Would that we had a second chance in life, so that we could disown them as they disowned us! (Al baqarah 166-167) 2. Tell the believing men to lower some of their gazes and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conductive to their purity, verily, Allaah is aware of all that they do( An noor 30) And tell the believing women to lower some of their gazes and to be mindful of their chastity, and not display their charms in public beyond what may decently be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms. And let them not display their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands father, or their sons, or their husbands sons, or their brothers, or their brothers sons, or their sisters sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desires, or children that are yet unaware of sexual matters, and let them not stamp their feet so as to draw attention to their hidden charms. And all you belivers turn unto Allaah for repentance so that you might attain to a happy state (An noor 31) 3. Prophet (s)! Tell thy wives and thy daughters as well as all other believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments (when in public): this will be more conductive to their being recognized (as decent women) and not annoyed. But Allaah is indeed much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.(Al ahzaab 59) 4. The Prophet (s) has a higher claim on the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers.(Al ahzaab 6) 5. O believers do not enter Prophets house for meals unless called for the food, nor should you go and wait for the cooking of the food. When invited go there and disperse after taking the meals and do not stop there for gossiping. Indeed the Prophet (s) is disturbed by this and he politely waits for you to leave. Allaah is not afraid to tell you these things frankly. When you ask something from his wives, ask from behind a curtain (Hijab). This is chaster for your and their hearts. You should not trouble the Prophet (s) nor marry his wives after his departure. Indeed this is a very grave offence in the sight of Allaah.(Al ahzaab 53) 6. Stay in your homes and do not display your finery as women did in the days of ignorance. Be steadfast in your prayers, give zakat and obey Allaah and His Prophet (s). Allaah wants to remove every kind of sin from the Prophets (s) household and make you pious and clean.(Al ahzaab 33) 7. Remember the revelations of Allaah in your houses and Allaahs wisdom. Indeed Allaah is near and knows every minute detail.(Al ahzaab 34) 8. Elderly women when they have crossed the age of marriage, they can discard their outer garments, provided they do not show their charms. However, it is better if they avoid this. Allaah is all-hearing and all-knowing.(An noor 60)