Thursday, 21 January 2010

The Muslim woman and her religious duties!

From the Book " The Ideal Muslimah"

In a previous article we mentioned the Prayers of the Muslim woman. Now we will follow with the rest of the Muslim woman's actions.

She Pays Zakat on Her Wealth
The Muslim women pay zakat on her wealth, if she is wealthy enough to be liable for zakat. Every
year at a specified time, she calculates how much she owns and pays what she has to, because
zakat is a pillar of Islam, and there can be no compromise or excuse when it comes to paying it
every year, even if the amount comes to thousands or millions. It would never occur to the true
Muslim woman to try to avoid paying some of the zakat that she is obliged to pa.Many ayat of the Qur'an confirm the interdependence of salat and zakat in the
structure of faith:( . . .Those who establish regular prayer and regular charity . . .) (Qur'an
5:55) ( And be steadfast in prayer: practise regular charity.) (Qur'an 2:43) ( . . . [those
who] . . . establish prayers and regular charity) (Qur'an 2:277)

It is clear to the true Muslim woman that Islam - although it has given her the right to financial
independence, and has not obliged her to support herself or others, which is, rather, the duty of
men - has indeed enjoined zakat on her, and has made zakat a right to which the poor are entitled

She Fasts During the Day and Prays
at Night in Ramadan
The true Muslim woman fasts the month of Ramadan, and her soul is filled with faith that:
"Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven."54
She has the attitude of one who truly fasts, whose faculties keep away from all kinds of sins that
may invalidate the fast or diminish its reward. If she finds herself exposed to the trials of hostility
or argument, she follows the Prophet's advice to men and women who fast:
"When any of you is fasting, he should not utter foul words or raise his voice in anger. If then
anyone provokes or fights him, he should say, `I am observing a fast."

The wise Muslim woman must strike a balance, during this all-too-short blessed month,
between her domestic duties and the opportunity this month brings to draw closer to Allah (SWT)
through worship and good deeds. She should not let her household chores distract her from
performing the obligatory prayers at the appointed times, or from reading Qur'an or praying nafil
prayers. Nor should she let traditional late-night family gatherings keep her from praying qiyam allayl
and tahujjud, and making du`a'. She knows the great reward and abundant forgiveness that
Allah (SWT) has prepared for those who stay up to pray during the night in Ramadan

The true Muslim woman and her family should live an Islamic life during Ramadan, striving to
organize themselves in such a way that when they all come back from tarawih prayers, they do not
stay up for too long, because in a few short hours' time, they will get up to pray qiyam al-layl and
then eat suhurEat suhur, for in suhur there is blessing.".
The true Muslim woman helps all the members of her family to get up for suhur, in obedience to
the command of the Prophet (PBUH) and in the hope of obtaining the blessings of suhur, such as
the reminder to pray qiyam al-layl, and encouragement to go out to the mosque to pray fajr in
congregation, awell as the physical benefits of strengthening the body for the day's fast.

She Observes Nafil Fasts

The true Muslim woman also observes nafil fasts at times other than Ramadan, if it is not too
difficult for her to do so. So she fasts the day of `Arafat, and `Ashura', and the ninth day of
Muharram, because fasting on these days and others is one of the righteous deeds that may
expiate sins.

She goes on Hajj to the sacred
House of Allah (SWT).
The true Muslim woman intends to go on Hajj to the House of Allah (SWT) when she is able to do
so and it is easy for her to travel. Before she sets out on her journey, she takes the time to study
the rules (ahkam) of Hajj in depth, so that when she begins to perform the rituals of Hajj, her
actions will be based on true understanding and her Hajj will be complete according to the
conditions laid down by the shari`ah. It will also be the equivalent of jihad for men, as the Prophet
(PBUH) described it in a hadith narrated by `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her):
"I [`A'ishah] said: `O Messenger of Allah (PBUH), can we (women) not go out on military
expeditions and fight in jihad with you (men)?' He said, `You (women) have the best of
jihad, and the best of it is Hajj, a blessed Hajj.'" `A'ishah said, "I should never stop going for
Hajj after I heard this from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)."

She goes for `Umbra
Just as Hajj is obligatory for the Muslim woman, so also is `Umbra, if she is able to go - especially
`Umbra during Ramadan, the reward for which is equivalent to that for performing Hajj with the
Prophet (PBUH). This is seen in the hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari from Ibn `Abbas (RAA) who
"When the Prophet (PBUH) came back from Hajj, he said to Umm Sinan al-Ansariyyah,
`What stopped you from going to Hajj?' She said, `Abu so-and-so - meaning her husband -
has two camels; he took one to go to Hajj, and we need the other to irrigate our land.' He
said, `When Ramadan comes, go for `Umbra, for `Umbra in Ramadan is a Hajj.'" According
to another report also narrated by Ibn `Abbas, the Prophet (PBUH) said: "For `Umbra in
Ramadan is equivalent to (performing) Hajj with me."75

She is obedient to the commands of Allah (SWT)
The true Muslim woman does not forget that she is duty bound to perform all the religious duties
that Allah (SWT) has commanded her to do. In this regard her situation is the same as that of a
man, and there is no difference between them except in a few regulations which apply exclusively
to either men or women. Other than that, women and men are equally responsible before Allah
Allah (SWT) says:
( For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and
women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and
constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who
give in charity, for men and women who fast [and deny themselves], for men and
women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in
Allah's praise - for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.) (Qur'an
( Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will
We give a new Life, and life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their
reward according to the best of their actions.) (Qur'an 16:97)
( And their Lord has accepted of them, and answered them: `Never will I suffer to
be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: you are members, one of
another; those who have left their homes and were driven out therefrom, and
suffered harm in My Cause, and fought and were slain - verily, I will blot out from
them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath - a
reward from the Presence of Allah, and from His Presence is the best of rewards.)
(Qur'an 3:195)
Whenever the phrase "ya ayyuha'l-nas (O people or O mankind)" appears in the Qur'an or Hadith,
it includes both men and women. Evidence of this may be found in the hadith narrated by Imam

Xenia's Note: Writing and reading the above, it brought home to me that I have a long way to go to become the " Ideal" Muslimah. I can try, take one day at a time, and ask Allah swt to help me and make it easy for me and all Muslims to obey His Commands. Ameen.

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