Obey Your Husband – Part 4

388226_248160071914201_2032915316_nIn the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

In earlier posts, we have made it clear that the Islamic sacred law (i.e. the shari’ah) requires wives to obey their husbands in all things possible and permissible.

We have demonstrated that this obedience is necessary, for both scriptural (naqli) and logical (‘aqli) reasons. Moreover, we have mentioned some of the positive impacts that a woman’s obedience to her husband has on the woman herself, on her relationship with her husband, on the proper upbringing of their children, and on the society as a whole.

In this writing, we shall focus on some of the wrong perceptions that many of us have regarding obedience and what it entails. At the outset, we are going to examine what obedience is not. What are some of the things that obedience does not or must not entail?

 What Obedience Does not Mean

1)  Obedience must not entail weakness or a lack of free-will

Many people think that an obedient person must be a weak person, a person who does not have a strong character, and one who lacks willpower. Before we examine the truth of this claim, let us note that the Arabic language distinguishes between two different types of obedience: one can either obey willingly (taw’an) or unwillingly (karhan).

Let us cite the following verse of the Qur’an as an example:

He (Allah) turned to the Heaven when it was smoke

He said to it and to the Earth: ‘Come, both of you,

Either willingly or unwillingly.’

They both said: ‘We will come in willing obedience.’

(Quran 41:11)

When you obey someone unwillingly (karhan) you do so because you have no other choice. A solider might obey the commands of his superior; but his heart is not present in what he does. He obeys his superior to escape punishment.

When you obey someone willingly (taw’an), the situation is completely different. You obey that person because you love him; because you see your happiness in his happiness; your pleasure in his pleasure; your well-being in his. This willing obedience is a perfect expression of willpower.

Allah expects married women to obey their husbands willingly, sincerely and wholeheartedly; which is why, in this context, the Qurán and the ahadith use the word taa’ah (willing obedience) rather than the word ikrâh (to obey with unwillingness).

A woman who obeys her husband willingly is neither weak nor in captivity. She is making a free decision.

True obedience is a choice; therefore, it cannot be forced. It is a will freely submitted out of reverence to Allah; either to Allah Himself or those He has placed as figures of authority in our lives.

Genuine freedom is the result of obedience. Obedience is the point of departure, and freedom is the destination. We are most free when we obey Allah, His Messenger, and those in authority.

 

2) Obedience must not entail an absence of love:

Genuine obedience is the result of love; as our Lord says in the Holy Qur’an:

If you love Allah, follow (obey) me;

Allah will love you

And He will forgive you your sins;

(Quran 3:31)

First, we love Allah. Then, we obey Allah and His Messenger. Then Allah will love and forgive us. Our obedience is situated between our love for Him and His love for us. True obedience issues from love. Its fruits are also love and forgiveness.

 

3) A wife’s obedience must not entail the dissolution of her personality.

The shari’ah requires a woman to obey her husband; it does not require her to agree with him in all things. A woman has the right to disagree with her husband, to express her opinion before him, and to argue with him.

Even though the Companions, May Allah be pleased with them, were the best of men, their wives still argued with them. Even the wives of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, used to answer him back; and the Prophet never chastised them for doing so.

Let us recount here the following narration:

‘One day Umar, May Allah be pleased with him, rebuked his wife for something and she sharply answered him back. When he disapproved of her behaviour, she replied that the wives of the Prophet were also in the habit of answering him back; so why should she not do the same.

Umar immediately went to ask her daughter Hafsah, who was a wife of the Prophet, if this was indeed the case; and she confirmed that she spoke her mind to the Prophet without being embarrassed for this.

Umar rebuked her daughter; and went to visit his cousin Umm Salamah, who was also a wife of the Prophet.

‘Is it true that you speak your minds to Allah’s Messenger and answer him without respect?’

‘Yes, by God’, said Umm Salamah, ‘We speak to him our minds; if he suffer us to do so, that is his affair; and if he forbid us, he will find us more obedient to him than we are to you.’

This story illustrates very well the difference between obedience, as decreed by Allah and His Messenger, and the complete dissolution of self.

The husband must readily listen to his wife’s opinions; he must consider his wife to be his helper and his best counsellor. The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to consult his wives in important matters; and many of his companions also used to consult their wives. In an ideal Muslim family, the husband acts as the king of a nation; and the wife acts as the king’s counsellor or the country’s prime minister.

 

4) A man has ‘to rule’; not ‘to oppress’.

In the same way that Allah expects wives to obey their husbands, He also expects husbands to exercise this authority and to rule over their wives; however, ‘to rule’ is something and ‘to oppress’ is something else.

The shari’ah does not give men the right to oppress their wives; nor does it give them the right to deny them their rights and to neglect their feelings. A man is responsible before Allah for how he treats his wife and children. As a ruler, he has to rule with kindness and equity.

Allah commands justice and kindness.

(Quran 16:90)

Unfortunately, some husbands, who are not emotionally mature, misuse their God-given authority; and instead of ruling over their wives with equity and kindness, they oppress their wives and hurt their feelings.

Let us cite an example: The husband has the right to prevent his wife from going out of the house; and the wife has to obey him in this. However, a wise husband uses this right only when there is a need to do so. An unwise husband may childishly prevent her wife from visiting her parents or her siblings; thinking that the shari’ah is on his side. Whereas by doing so, the husband is restricting his wife’s freedom with no valid reason; and is in fact oppressing her.

Allah, Exalted is He, says:

Live with them (your wives) with kindness and equity,

Even if you hate them;

For it may happen that you hate a thing

Wherein Allah has placed much good.

(Quran 4:19)

If husbands are supposed to treat the wives they hate with kindness and equity, shouldn’t they treat the wives they love with even more justice and kindness?

 

5) A wife’s obedience to her husband must not entail her disobeying Allah.

We have already mentioned that the wife should not obey her husband, if he orders her to commit a sin. The Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, has said:

Let there be no obedience in sin;

For (true) obedience is in good things.

He has also said:

One must never obey a creature

When it comes to disobeying the Creator.

Particularly, if the husband is not religiously committed himself, he may ask his wife to do things that contravene the Law of Allah; for instance he may ask his wife:

  • To drink alcoholic beverages or to serve him such drinks;
  • To remove her hijab or to dress immodestly in public;
  • To refrain from fasting in Ramadan;
  • To refrain from performing an obligatory prayer (without a valid excuse), and so on.

In all such instances, the wife must choose the Law of Allah above her husband’s command. She must obey Allah’s Commandments, even if that entails disobeying the husband.

Likewise, the Quran tells us that one must not obey one’s parents in sin, for it is to Allah that we all return. Allah, Exalted is He, says:

If they (your parents) strive to make you join in worship with Me

Things of which you have no knowledge,

Then, do not obey them;

Yet, consort with them in this world with kindness.

Follow the way of those who return to Me;

To Me will be your return;

Then, I will tell you the meaning of all that you did.

(Quran, 31:15)

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Obey Your Husband – Part 3

images (1)

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

We have so far explained that the husband and the father is the head of the Muslim family; and that the wife must always obey her husband.

In this post, I will concentrate on the positive impacts that a woman’s obedience to her husband has:

  • On herself
  • On the couple (husband and wife)
  • On the family and the society as a whole

How does a wife’s obedience benefit herself?

Salvation is what every religious soul yearns for. For a married Muslim woman, to obey her husband, is a means to salvation; and a key wherewith she can enter Paradise; as the Prophet, peace be upon him, has said:

If a woman prays her five (daily prayers)

And fasts her month (Ramadan)

And maintains her chastity

And obeys her husband

She will enter the Paradise of her Lord.

(Ibn Habban 4252)

In addition to the eternal Paradise in Hereafter, an obedient wife will also be rewarded with a Paradise on earth. The paradise on earth is nothing but an intellect that is guided, a mind that is peaceful, and a soul which is calm and serene. As Allah, Glory be to Him, says in the Holy Qur’an:

Whoever follows My guidance,

Shall neither go astray, nor shall he grieve.

(Qurán 20:123)

Benefits for the Couple

If we study the ahâdith that instruct men on how to treat their wives, we will see that they encourage kindness, mercy, love and forgiveness. On the contrary, the ahadith which instruct women focus on obedience, submission, and reverence. The reason for this disparity is the difference that exists between the minds of men and women. A man’s most important psychological need is the need to be respected and obeyed. What is most important for a woman is to be loved by her husband and to be reminded of this love.

When a woman obeys her husband, she becomes more womanly and more lovable. In recognizing the authority of her husband, the wife helps to create an agreeable security in him. He undergoes a change and his affection for her is intensified. In this way, authority paves the way to love. When a husband is kind, forgiving and understanding,  the wife also feels affection and love for her husband; and both husband and wife will find peace and tranquillity.

Benefits for the Family and the Society

Children learn many things from their parents, and particularly from their mother. If children are to learn the meaning of authority, they must learn it at home and they must have a model to follow. They find this model in a mother who always obeys their father and sees in him a real authority given by Allah. If a child does not have such a model, he or she cannot understand the true meaning of authority. Children who are born to leaderless families (in which the father does not exercise true authority and the mother does not show an example of submission) will grow up to be individuals that disrespect law (both divine and human law) and figures of authority. The consequence is, of course, chaos and anarchy in the society.

Moreover, if there is a strong recognition of authority in the family, children can more easily understand and recognise the authority of Allah and His Messenger. In a completely democratic family, it is very difficult to understand the creature-Creator relationship. By contrast, in a family in which there is an observable model of authority,  it is easier for all family members, and by extension all members of the society, to comprehend the authority of Allah and to be truly submissive and obedient to Him.

Obey Your Husband – Part 2

hubungan-suami-istriIn the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

In the previous post, we mentioned a few ahâdith (sayings of the Prophet)  in regard to a woman’s obligation to obey her husband. In this post, we shall focus on some of the logical reasons for male headship in the family.

 

Does the Family Need a Head?

At the outset, let us ask this important question: ‘Does the family need a head?’ We know that Allah, Exalted is He, says in the Holy Qur’an that the fabric of marital life is woven of reciprocal love and mercy:

And He ordained between you love and mercy.

(Qur’ân 30:21)

‘Is love not enough?’, one might ask, ‘Why is there a need for obedience?’ This objection is valid to a certain extent. A family is not an army with the man as the general. The obedience of a wife who obeys her husband, because of her love for him, is essentially different from the obedience of a soldier, who obeys his superiors, because of his fear of punishment. A mechanistic or robot-like obedience is not what Allah wants. Allah enjoins an obedience which stems from love and increases the mutual love of the couple.

That being said, mutual love and understanding is not enough. Leadership is an important principle in all social institutions; and the family is not an exception to this rule. A leaderless system is doomed to failure. The same is true about a system that has more than one leader, all with equal authority.

A car has to have a single driver. A car that has two people steering it can hardly reach its destination safely. The same can be said about the family, or in fact, about any social structure.  The family needs to have a single head. The head must have the right to command and to make decisions.

Why the Husband?

Now that we accept that ‘the family needs a head’, another question arises: Who must this head be? The wife or the husband? This is how Revelation answers this question:

Men are in charge of women.

(Quran 4:34)

It is noteworthy that this verse is phrased not in the form of a command but in the form of a descriptive statement. Allah is not telling us that men ought to be in charge; but also that in every normal society, men are in charge. The active or masculine element naturally dominates the receptive or feminine element. Women naturally desire to be led and guided. Men, by nature, seek to lead and to command. Men are happiest when they rule. Women are happiest when they are ruled over by their husbands.

In the same Qur’anic verse mentioned above (4:34), Allah gives two reasons as to why men must rule over women, rather than the opposite. Here are the reasons:

Men are in charge of women;

Because Allah has made the one of them excel the other

And because men spend of their property (for the support of women).

The first reason, ‘Allah has made the one of them excel the other’ is unfortunately misinterpreted by many. The phrase does not mean that ‘Allah has preferred men over women’ or that men are unconditionally and absolutely superior to women. If men were indeed superior to women in all respects, Allah would say so in a much more direct manner. The reality, however, is that men are superior to women only in certain respects. In some other areas, women excel men; and in yet other things, males and females are equal.

As far as leadership skills are concerned, men are generally more capable leaders than women. Women are subject to emotional states, whereas men are better at objective thinking, planning and systematising. Men think in more practical ways, arrive at better conclusions, are better organisers, and give better instructions.

Now let us explain the second reason: ‘Men spend of their property’: When a Muslim couple marry, the man is obliged to pay his wife her mahr; the wife is not obliged to pay him anything. Likewise, the shari’ah obliges the husband to support his family financially. The wife, even if she is rich and has a separate income, is not obliged to spend on her husband and her children. If she does so, it is considered an act of charity and not a duty. The money a man earns belongs to him and to his family; the money a woman earns belongs to her alone. For this, the man has to be compensated; and therefore, the headship of the family (qiwamah) is assigned to the man. This superiority brings with itself not only privilege but also heavy responsibility.

(To be continued)

Obey Your Husband – Part 1

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Consider how you treat your husband; he is your Paradise and your Hell – the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h

 

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Obedience is not a fashionable word these days. It is a basic characteristic of the modern Westerner to despise all that is associated with authority, servitude and obedience; and to deify instead individual freedom and autonomy, even at the expense of social stability and cohesion.

The history of the modern West is marked by three major revolts:

  • The first revolt occurred after the Renaissance; when Western man revolted against the authority of God. Europe was the first continent that produced atheists and staunch enemies of religion.
  • The second revolt, which followed on the wake of the first, was the revolt of the female sex against the authority of the male. As soon as man rejected God as his sovereign, woman also rejected man as her ruler.
  • The third revolt, which was also the consequence of the two former revolts, was that of children and young people against the authority of their parents.

The Muslim, however, sees in obedience not a curse but a divine gift and a great blessing. Islam begins with the premise that humans were created to serve their Lord; it is in this obedience that humans find their true self. Allah, Exalted is He, says in the Holy Qur’ân:

I did not create the jinn and mankind,

Except that they may serve Me.

(Quran 51:56)

Allah commands the believers to respect all authority; for all authority ultimately comes from Allah:

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger,

And those of you who are in authority

(Quran 4:59)

Obeying God is the key to salvation; and obeying ‘those who are in authority’ (parents, husbands, leaders of states, etc.) is a harbinger of social cohesion and stability.

As far as the family is concerned, Islam stresses the following:

  • Children have to obey their parents.
  • Wives have to obey their husbands.
  • All members of the family have to obey God.

In this writing, as the title suggests, we shall concentrate on this second obedience; namely the obedience that a married woman owes to her husband.

Should Wives Obey Their Husbands?

The answer is affirmative. The Islamic sacred law (shari’ah) enjoins wives to obey their husbands in all things; unless the husband commands her to commit a sin, or unless he commands her to do something beyond her capabilities.

The reasons for saying that wives must obey their husbands are both scriptural and rational. We shall  mention the scriptural reasons first. Then, in the second post, we will examine the logical reasons for male headship in the family.

In the Qurán,  Allah describes the perfect Muslim wife:

Righteous women are those who are obedient,

Guarding in secret what Allah would have them guard.

(Quran 4:34)

There are numerous ahâdith (sayings of the Noble Prophet) about a woman’s obligation to obey her husband.

* The first hadith, which is the most famous, deals with the four important duties of a married Muslim woman:

If a woman prays her five (daily prayers);

and fasts her month (Ramadan);

and maintains her chastity,

and obeys her husband,

she will enter the Paradise of her Lord.’

(Ibn Habban 4252, At-Tabarani, 4738)

* In another hadith, we read that a woman once came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I am a delegate of women to you. Allah is the Lord of both men and women; and you are the Messenger of Allah to both men and women. Allah has prescribed the holy war for men only; if they be victorious, their reward is great; and if they die as martyrs, they are alive with their Lord, receiving divine sustenance. What can us women do to obtain those rewards?’

The Messenger of Allah replied:

Obey your husbands and fulfil their rights; for few of you do that.

(At-Tabarani 4782)

* On another occasion, the Prophet asked a married woman: ‘How are you towards your husband?’  She answered that she served her husband to the best of her ability; the Prophet responded:

Then, consider how you are with him. He is your Paradise and your hell.

(Sahih Al Jami’ 1509)

* The Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked: ‘Which woman is the best?’ ; to which he replied:

She who pleases her husband, when he looks at her;

And obeys him, when he commands her.

And who guards her chastity in his absence.

(Ibn Majah 1857)

*  The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

There are three whose prayers do not ascend to heaven;

A man who rules over a people, while those people hate him;

A woman who goes to sleep, while her husband is displeased with her;

And two brothers who constantly fight with each other.

(Ibn Majah 187)

* The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

Were I to command one to fall prostrate before another,

I would have commanded wives to fall prostrate before their husbands.

(Tirmidhi 1/712; Ibn Habban 1291)

The hadith states that had prostration been allowed to anything other than Allah, then the wife should have been allowed to do this to her husband as a way to pay homage to him. But since prostration is not allowed except to Allah, then the wife is ordered to love, honour and obey her husband; for in doing so, she is loving, honouring and obeying her Lord.

 

(To be continued)

Prophetic Supplications 1

1

الْلهُمَّ لا عيْشَ إلّا عَيْشَ الآخِرَةِ

فاغفِر للأنصار والمُهاجرة

O God! There is no life save the life of Hereafter.

So, forgive Thou the Helpers and the Emigrants

2

اللهُمَّ أَرِني الأَشْياءَ کَما هيَ

O God! Show us things as they are.

3

اللهُمَّ كَما حَسَّنْتَ خَلقي فَحَسِّنْ خُلْقي

O God! As Thou hast made beautiful my outward form

Make my inner character beautiful also.

4

اَللهُمَّ اهْدِني وسَدِّدْني

O God! Guide me

and make me steadfast.

5

اَللهُمَّ ارزُقْني الفَقرَ والعافيةَ والمعافاةَ في الدِّين

O God! Grant me poverty and wholeness

and security in religion.

6

اَللهُمَّ اهْدِ قَومي فَإِنَّهُم لا يَعْلَمون

O God! Guide Thou my people;

for, in truth, they know not.

7

اَللهُمَّ مُصَرِّفَ القُلوبُ صَرِّف قُلوبَنا عَلی طاعَتِكَ

O God! O leader of hearts!

Lead our hearts towards Thy obedience.

8

اَللهُمَّ إِنّي أَعوذُ بكَ مِنَ الشِّقَاقِ، والنِّفَاقِ، وسُوءِ الأَخلاقِ

O God! I seek refuge in Thee from discord,

From hypocrisy and from vile behaviour.

9

اَللهُمَّ أَلْهِمني رُشْدي وأَعِذْني مِن شَرِّ نَفسي

O God! Inspire me wisdom;

and deliver me from the evil of mine own soul.

10

اَللهُمَّ اجْعَلْني شَکورًا واجْعَلْني صَبورًا

واجْعَلني في عَينيَّ صَغِيرًا وَفي أَعْيُنِ النّاسِ کَبِيرًا

O God! Make me grateful and patient;

little in mine own eyes and great in the eyes of mankind.

Implications of the Love of God

Do good; for Allah loves those who do good. (Quran 2:195)

It is obligatory upon all believers, males and females, to love God; and to also love His Messengers and His Sacred Scriptures.

Love, however, is not an act of obedience (tâ’ah) that relates to the body. Love originates in the heart, and its roots are invisible. Its fruits can be seen in how one thinks, speaks or acts. Love is the foundation of all acts of obedience. Obedience is the fruit of love. Obedience increases when love increases.

Our Lord – Exalted is He – says in the Holy Qur’ân:

Say (O Muhammad):

If you love Allah, follow me;

Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.

Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

(Quran 3:31)

The Divine Love is not only our destination but also our point of departure. Allah – Glory be to Him – says in the Qur’ân:

He (Allah) loves them (the believers) and they love Him.

(Quran 5:54)

Believers must love Allah more than all other things:

Those who believe are overflowing in their love for Allah.

(Quran 2:165)

The Qur’ânic verse above mentions love as a sign of faith. Likewise, in the Sunnah, love is named as a required condition of true faith. One of the companions of the Prophet, Abu Ruzain Al-Uqaili, asked him: ‘What is faith (al-imân)?’

He, peace be upon him, replied:

Faith is that God and His Messenger must be dearer to you than all things else.

(Musnad Imam Ahmad 4:11)

The Noble Prophet has said in another hadith:

No man truly believes; unless I am dearer to him than his possessions, his family and all mankind put together.

(Bukhari 1:12)

The Holy Qur’ân says in this regard:

Say (O Muhammad): If your fathers,

and your sons, and your brethren,

and your wives, and your tribe,

and the wealth you have acquired,

and your merchandise in which you fear a decline,

and your dwellings in which you delight;

If these are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger

And striving in His Way:

then wait till Allah brings His command to pass.

(Quran 9:24)

Our Prophet, peace be upon him, said in his supplications:

O Allah! Grant that I love You;

And that I love them that love You;

And that I love all things that bring me to Your love.

(Al-Jami’ 3/344)

A Bedouin came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! When is the Hour?’

The Prophet said: ‘What have you prepared for it?’

The Bedouin said: ‘I have not prepared much prayer or much fasting; except that I love Allah and His Messenger.’

He, peace be upon him, said:

‘Man is with whom he loves.’

(Sahih Muslim 4/42)

It is easy to claim to love God; it is difficult to weave this love into the fabric of life. Love is invisible; yet if it is present, it must have visible effects in our lives.

Love is the very force that sets the tongue mention Allah, the head think of Allah, hands working for His pleasure, feet running in way of His Law.

So what are the fruits and signs of loving Allah?

 

(1) Loving Death

One of the signs of the lover of Allah is that he loves death. Every lover seeks to meet his beloved; and the servant of Allah knows that death is the key to the Meeting:

We are Allah’s and unto Him we will return.

(Quran 2:156)

Therefore, the believer who loves Allah prepares himself for death and sees death always before his eyes. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has said:

Whoso loves to meet Allah,

Allah loves to meet him.

(Al-Bukhari, 8:132)

One who despises death (because of his attachment to worldly possessions) does not love Allah wholeheartedly. The Jews were insincere in their claim to love Allah precisely because they hated death and yearned for long life. Allah – Exalted is He- says in the Qur’ân:

Say: ‘O you who are Jews!

If you claim that you are friends to Allah,

To the exclusion of other men,

Then long for death if you are truthful.

They will never wish for death,

Because of what their own hands have sent before;

And Allah is Aware of evil-doers.

(Quran 62:6-7)

 

(2) Obedience

If one loves Allah sincerely, he will give Allah all of himself. He will not divide his love between Allah and sin. A lover of Allah hates that which separates him from Allah; so he hates sin. It is hypocritical for a person to say he loves Allah, and disobey His commands. One who loves Allah submits to His will and obeys all of His Commands, without disputation and rebellion.

Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak says:

You disobey Allah; and yet you claim to love Him

By my life, this is of all actions the most strange

If you were truly a lover, you would have obeyed Him

Lovers are obedient to whom they love.

 

(3) Remembrance of Allah

One who loves Allah must remember Him constantly; a good way to remember Allah is to establish the five daily prayers on time and to begin and conclude the day with mentioning Allah. Rab’ia Al-‘Adawiyya has said:

He who loves a thing, mentions it often.

The lovers of Allah are:

Those who remember Allah,

Standing, sitting, and reclining,

And consider the creation of the heavens and the earth.

(Quran 3:191)

A person who loves Allah must love also His Remembrance, and the Holy Qur’ân (which is His Uncreated Speech), and His Messenger.

 

(4) Loving Virtues; Hating Vices

God loves virtues and hates vices; we too must love what God loves and hate what He hates.  In order to love Allah, one must love all of the virtues and hate all of the vices.

It is not enough to love the virtues theoretically.  One must strive to realise the virtues in his or her own being, and to flee from vices. To love God, we must strive to be among those whom God loves. God loves the virtuous; as He tells us in the Holy Qurán again and again:

  • Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly; and He loves those who keep themselves (their bodies and their souls) pure and clean. (2:222)
  • The chosen of Allah is he who fulfils his pledge, and wards off evil, for Allah loves the righteous (3:76)
  • Allah loves those who are patient, firm and steadfast. (3:146)
  • When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (3:159)
  • If you judge, judge between them with justice and equity; Allah loves those who judge in equity. (5:42)

 

(5) Prayer

It is when we pray that we understand how near Allah is to us:

When My servants ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me:

I am indeed Near;

I answer the cry of the supplicant when he cries unto Me

So let them hear My call; and let them Trust in Me

That they may walk in the right way.

(Quran 2:186)

 

(6) Satisfaction with what He has Decreed

One who loves Allah must be satisfied with what Allah has decreed for him; because what Allah decrees is always good even if one does not understand the wisdom behind it. Allah says in the Holy Qur’ân:

It may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you;

and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you.

Allah knows and you know not.

(Quran 2:216)

 

(7) Fear of Allah

It is possible to fear someone without necessarily loving him; but it is impossible to love someone without fearing him who is loved. Where love is, fear and reverence are also present; because a lover is always afraid of losing his beloved and of being separated from him. Therefore, a lover of Allah must also fear Allah. As Allah says:

O you who have believed! Fear Allah!

And let every soul look to that which it sends on before for the morrow;

And fear Allah!

Allah is informed of what you do.

And be not like those who forgot Allah

And He caused them to forget themselves;

Such are the evil-doers.

(Quran 59:18-19)

Love and fear are not juxtaposed to one another. On the contrary, love is incomplete without fear and fear is barren without love. Fearing Allah is not like fearing any of His creatures. As Al-Ghazzali writes in his Ihya:

‘When a man fears a lion, he runs away from it;

Yet when he fears his Lord, he runs towards Him.’

(v.2, p.312)

The Meaning of Freedom

They said: Why do you follow a religion

Constructed by men to subdue women?

Why do you restrict your freedom on earth

In exchange for a non-existent heaven?

 

Why do you follow the Qur’ân, an ancient book

And a man who lived in antiquity?

Why don’t you follow Western models

And accommodate yourself to modernity?

 

‘Come’, they said, ‘and we will liberate you’

Come; and we will make you free;

Come; we will release you of your traditions

And of worshipping a God you cannot see.

 

She said: I conform to the Timeless

Not to the dictates of modernity;

I rather serve my Maker voluntarily

Than to enjoy this forced liberty;

 

I prefer to swim in the Ocean of Prayer

Than to sink in the mire of desire

I prefer to walk towards Heaven

Than to burn forever in the Fire

 

Freedom does not mean Westernisation

It does not mean forgetting the Lord

It does not mean wearing less clothes;

Let us not demean this lofty word!

 

If you value freedom, let us be free

To freely understand what freedom is;

Only the Infinite is Infinitely Free,

To be really free is to be His.

 

What is the freedom of a tree;

To be freed from its own root?

A prayerless soul is not saved;

And a rootless tree bears no fruit.

 

What is the freedom of a body?

To be freed from its own head?

The religionless soul also withers

As the headless body is dead.

 

What is the freedom of a traveller?

To walk aimlessly from clime to clime?

Or to walk on a straight and clear path

And to look at the map from time to time?

 

To us, freedom is not rebellion

Freedom is to conform to the Free

Freedom is to freely submit to God

Who is the one and only Divinity.