Saturday, May 08, 2010

Women and Fiqh - 8 May 2010

"O ye who believe! .... consort with them (your spouse) in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good." [Surah an-Nisa: 19]

Ustaz Ghazali concluded Chapter 4 of the previous lesson with these 2 ayat -

"... Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy." [Surah al-Hujuraat: 10]

"And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that you might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect." [Surah ar-Rum: 21]

What I took away from Chapter 4 is that in essence, Islam is rightfully conveying this reality (haq) that insan, by design, have imperfections and have tendency to forget. It is the magnificent wisdom and mercy of Allah SWT the Creator, the Perfect, such that the Ummah learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses (which demonstrates Allah's greatness in His diverse Creations). And for those who contemplate, be grateful to Allah Azza wa Jalla for tests on this earth (Allah has already caution us that our family, wealth, work, etc are but tests). So to my married sisters, thank your husband and kids for the 'tests' as they will bring you closer to Allah SWT; To hate attributes of Allah's creation indicates the lack of gratitude to the Creator, nauzu billahi min zaliq!

This emphasises the beauty of Islam, wherein there is no love before marriage, as advocated by the paradigm of the West (dating, inter-mingling between the non mahram could lead to fitnah and open gates to other greater sins). If one really ponder on this, the beauty in marriage is the process of getting to know one another after one is halal to his/her spouse. Shouldn't that be the real excitement which is more long-term vs. knowing A to Z about a person before marriage, then where is the fun post akad nikah?

Ustaz then continued with Chapter 5, "Honour and Dignity of Muslimah" from the kitab Da'wah Mahabbah Vol. 2.

"... Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing." [Surah al-Ahzab: 33]

He emphasised that sufur (not covering one's aurat) and tasyabbuh (mirroring the millah of the Jahiliyah or 'ignorant' e.g. tabarruj) meant that a muslimah's role model shall not be from the West, rather look to our beloved's prophet's family who are rightfully our best exemplars. There are etiquettes Allah SWT taught the wives of the Prophet SAW and Muslimah are required to follow their example, these commandments are applicable to all Muslim women. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol 3, p.83].

Some critics may say that the context in which they lived and in which we live is different. Saying this is dangerous as one is implying the lack of wisdom and greatness of Allah SWT. Truly, it is one's lack of 'ilm (knowledge)... so seek knowledge with the 'Aleem so that one reduces one's ignorance.

When asked if there is a good book I can refer to, he recommends, "Jati diri wanita Muslimah" by Dr Muhammad Ali Al-Hasyimi. The book (in Malay) covers the relationship schema between a Muslimah with her Rabb, herself, her parents, her husband, her kids, her family/relatives, her neighbours, her friends, and her community. AlhamdulilLah, coincidentally I found podcasts (in Malay) on lectures based on the book here.

Afternote: I'm constantly reminded of mum's advice to truly acknowledge that Islam is syumul (complete with all the hukum or law clearly outlined for those who reflect). There is no need to look else where if only one realise that the Islamic paradigm and worldview is disticnt from the Western worldview and knowing this gives one the peace of mind to operationalise one's life accordingly. May Allah SWT be pleased with us, ameen!

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