Shaykh Muhammad’s Leadership video from IlmFest 2010 – Toronto.
Because this was so darn awesome mashaAllah:
It’s called M-a-r-r-i-a-g-e
By: Yusra Marouf
Somehow all of us “religious” women got jipped into believing that if we were blessed with a tall, dark handsome stranger with a resemblance of a beard, we would live happily ever after. Boy was that the biggest load of bologna. We all grew up, married the man of our dreams, and realized in the end that we could have done with a short, squat, cross-eyed troll-man with nose hair instead of beard hair, as long as he knew what the heck words like responsibility and consideration meant.
My friends and I sat pondering one day over this mysterious creature called the new-age (“religious” Muslim) man who, despite usually being from hard-working immigrant parents, was raised on a fluffy cushion eating frosted-flakes and playing warcraft. Twenty years later, after college, marriage and perhaps a baby or two, he still is…sitting on the couch eating frosted-flakes and…playing warcraft (or insert utterly useless hobby here). Now the amazing thing (and what has us all stumped), is that his immaturity somehow survived, and remained wonderfully intact all throughout his entire religious “born-again” phase, until his present state. You would think that once one becomes acquainted with the beauty of Islam, they, well, take on some of that beauty in their manners and thinking. Not for this guy. He thinks he’s the icing on the cake my friends. He has it all; a job, a beard, a job, a beard…umm…what else was it that he had?
As we have all heard countless times, Islam is a way of life. You don’t take what you want and leave what you want. It’s not a buffet table. So if you love Islam and want to live a life based on it, don’t take what you want and leave what you want, or order people to do things which you yourself aren’t doing. That, my friends, is called hypocrisy. Allah says in the Qur’an, “O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?” [61:2]
So obviously if Islam is your way of life, then a big chunk of your life, marriage, should be based on Islam, right? Unfortunately, most men somehow think that this delightful chunk of life is excluded from Islam. This chunk for them, dear readers, is governed based on a jumble of their cultural baggage, picking and choosing from the Islamic framework of marriage, and the rest is probably from an overly-moldy brain. So let’s do a really quick overview of how a marriage based on Islam works, from the Qur’an and Sunnah. It’s very much like a mathematical equation: man providing for family = the privilege of being the head of the family (i.e. obeyed and respected), woman and children taken care of by man plus recognizing his privilege of being the head of the family = happy family.
You cannot attain the privilege of being the head of the house if you’re not keeping to your side of the bargain, “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth” [4:34]. Allah gave you the privilege of being in charge of us because you take care of us and spend on us. Pretty simple, huh? And let me be quick to point out here: spending on your wife doesn’t mean covering her pedicure and retail therapy bills (sorry girls). We’re not asking for jewels in our laps (or at least most of us aren’t). Give what you can, and at the end of the day, there is nothing more beautiful than a content wife, and nothing more honorable than a man who works hard to provide whatever he can for his family.
And let me tell you a secret guys, there is nothing that humbles a woman more than seeing her husband come home tired from a long day’s work, or to hear her husband return her crazy, creepy mood swing rants with a loving word. At the end of the day we’ll think “He’s working so hard take care of me and is so good to me and I am nothing but an old hag back to him.” Yeah guys, smirk and laugh with satisfaction. That is what a woman with a normal husband thinks to herself quite often.
A leader is chosen for qualities such as wisdom, maturity, insight, etc. I don’t understand how a guy wants his wife to “obey” him when he’s the biggest jerk that ever roamed the earth. You can’t expect obedience when all you’re giving her is trash. A marriage is made up of you and her, not you and you. You want to be the leader, the “obeyed one”? Then work for the position!
If you want to be the leader and have a leader’s privileges, you need to have leadership qualities. You should deal with your wife with superior qualities such as kindness, wisdom, maturity. And your wife is not your buddy, she is a woman with strong emotions and is different than you and there is nothing you can do to completely change that. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The woman was created from a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So be kind to her, you will then live in joy with her.” You cannot correct something that you don’t like in your wife by screaming in her face like she’s a circus bear. Treat her gently, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised a camel-driver who was singing while leading some camels carrying women, “Beware O’ Anjasha! Go slow while driving the fragile vessels!” So next time you want to bellow out at her, remember that the Prophet described us as fragile vessels. Yes, we ARE sensitive.
Also remember there is no remedy like a bit of kindness and patience. Try it. When you smile at a baby, it will smile back at you, and then it learns to smile at whoever it sees so he or she can get a smile back. Babies learn fast. We all do! Roberta M. Gilbert, a physiatrist in Georgetown Family Center, writes, “A person cannot change his or her half of the relationship problem without changing the relationship fundamentally.”
Each person needs to play a role for a happy marriage; it can’t be done by one person alone. A glaring example of how this fact is completely glossed over is how Muslim women are expected to be oh-so-holy and abide by all the Islamic commands and make sure they know and fulfill every single one of the husband’s rights; all with a demure, content smile pasted on their face. The guy meanwhile can be as grumpy and frumpy as he wants, yet God perish us all if we dare contradict or argue with him because then we’re just being disobedient and that’s BAD. Despite my mocking tone, I am really serious. You get obedience by being what you’re supposed to be: the kind, wise, more-mature leader. You don’t get obeyed by demanding obedience. Then you just get disobedience and rebellion in return. And perhaps a brutal pinch or two when you’re least expecting it.
I believe in you, guys. I know you can change. We really need you to change, because good, responsible, considerate husbands are becoming an endangered species. If working hard to support your family and being considerate and sweet sounds daunting, let me entice you with the words of our dear Prophet (peace be upon him), “The believers with the most emaan (faith) are those with the most refined manners. And the best among you are those who are best to their wives.”
Below are 10 ways to sniff out a new-age man (be sure to alert your girl-friends). He may just have one or two of these qualities, but believe me that is enough to turn a woman’s hair gray. And if he has all of them then, heck, you’ve just found a T-rex. And to think that we thought they were extinct!
1. He takes what he likes from Islam and leaves the rest.
2. He can barely take care of his wife or treat her right and he’s already day dreaming about the second, and/or he acquires roving eyes.
3. He isn’t willing to spend on his wife (“we’re poor”) but somehow always ends up buying the rubbish that he wants.
4. He’s addicted to computer games or OTHER THINGS on the computer.
5. He can’t keep a job for the life of him, or if he does have a job, he’s always whining about it, as if he’s doing you a favor by working.
6. He wants you to follow the western marriage standards by doing your share of the man’s work, yet at the same time he insists that you abide by the eastern/Islamic standards of complete obedience. Sorry! Can’t have the best of both worlds, buddy. Making your wife work a man’s job while you sit molding on the couch will turn her into a man. A man that wants to squash you and eat you for breakfast. Enough said.
7. His mother (who made him into the monster he now is) treats him like King Perfect the First.
8. He whines and moans like a toddler when you ask him for simple favors.
9. His favorite words which he loves to throw at you are “if you fear Allah, you should obey me” (said in a dark, menacing, Darth-Vader-like voice).
10. He never does anything unless he sees something in it for himself.
Disclaimer: I am not a feminazi and I don’t hate men. In fact, my mother is married to one of the greatest husbands ever (Hi Dad!) and after being married to an ogre who possessed all ten of the above mentioned qualities (wait, wouldn’t that make him a T-rex?), I am now married to the OTHER greatest husband (ok, just joking, there are more than two out there). However, the growing reality is that due to the egocentric, morally-starved culture we live in, and an overall lack of Islamic awareness and emaan, more and more guys are treating their marriages like a dating game/joke/zoo.
In Surah Aali Imran, verse 14, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ ٱلشَّهَوَٲتِ مِنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلۡبَنِينَ وَٱلۡقَنَـٰطِيرِ ٱلۡمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ ٱلذَّهَبِ وَٱلۡفِضَّةِ وَٱلۡخَيۡلِ ٱلۡمُسَوَّمَةِ وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ وَٱلۡحَرۡثِۗ ذَٲلِكَ مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَٱللَّهُ عِندَهُ ۥ حُسۡنُ ٱلۡمَـَٔابِ
“It was adorned for mankind the love and desire of women, children, the hoarding of treasures, of gold and silver, branded horses, cattle and plantations. These are the temporary benefits of the life of this word and with Allah is the best everlasting comfort.”
So, for this verse, I’m just going to go over the tafseer because it is sooooo very relevant to us, subhanAllah.
Desires are what make a person happy (usually) when attained. We all have this love of desires and it is something that won’t go away. In a hadith, the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that if ibn Adam had 2 piles of riches, he would just want a second one. Verily nothing fills the eye of ibn Adam except for dirt when he dies. SubhanAllah, it is all left behind. This verse listed the top desires – and it is also saying we are *created* with desires – Allah made us that way. The question is how are we going to act? In Kahf:7 and Mulk:2, it is mentioned these different things are tests – to see who is the best in deeds. There is more to life than just desires.
The first thing mentioned is women. This desire is there for men. The Prophet (S) said “I have not left behind any fitnah more harmful to men than women.” (Saheeh – agreed upon) In another hadith, the Prophet says “Made beloved to me from your world are women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is in prayer.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa ‘i) From the second hadith, we see that desires like women and perfume are okay. The first hadith shows the peril of indulging in this desire a bit too much. In Islam, marriage was commanded to help fulfill these desires, create relationships between people, build the society and so much more. Marriage is there to use this desire in the halal manner – people just have to use that.
Second, there is sons (or children). Some people go to extreme lengths to have sons (*cough Desis/Chinese/etc *cough*) – maybe even to shirk, na’udhobillah. Why do people want these kids? For fame and glory, name, honour, prestige. Not sadaqah jariyah. In Surah Nahl:58 we’re told of the story of how the person is struck with grief after getting the news of a female child – wheras even today, in the days of ‘education,’ people react exactly the same way. Again, we need to channel this desire correctly. If the child (think Hannah and Maryam (as)) grows to become pious and a means of sadaqah jariyah, what more do we need?
Then comes wealth. We want $$ so badly that some people will forget all of their responsibilities, what is halaal and haraam. In Surah Anfaal:28, we’re told that everything – the possessions and children – are just a test. How are we doing in this test? In the end, whatever we have is a Rizq from Ar Razzaq – are we happy with it, content, and using it wisely?
Gold and silver follow this. This is probably more so for women – a huge fitnah. Just think of overseas and all the gold shops, one after the other, and all the women going there constantly. No wonder the price of gold is through the roof. It’s never enough for women eh? 🙂
Branded horses is a symbol of transportation. Even today, horses are used and extremely valued depending on the breed. People will pay just to sit back and see horses race. Now, we also have ‘branded’ cars (think Ferrari, etc). We have customized license plates – you can even customize the car if you like! Some people may not *need* the extra car but will purchase it to show off. What if you don’t have the car? Well then you must have a poster of the car dreaming about the day you will get it. Just think of auto shows and all the people who go to drool over the new cars (yes, I totally understand this one sigh).
Next us cattle – and other animals like camels can be included in this. (Think hadith of 100 red camels – guiding a person to Islam is better than that!) Followed by that is land – owning land is a source or pride and people can show off through that.
The verse ends with saying this is a temporary benefit – and the real deal is with Allah inshaAllah!
What’s a better way to use these desires inshaAllah?
Women are abused in so many ways in our wonderful society – so the brothas should follow the Sunnah and treat women well. Good da’wah right there. Besides, in another hadith, the Prophet said “The whole world is pleasure, and the best pleasure of the world is the righteous woman.”
For children, like mentioned before, if raised right, they can be a source of sadqah jariyah. The Zakah on your gold/silver can be khayr for you in this life and the next. Regarding cars/mounts, if used for needs or fee sabilillah, it’s all good. If used to show off, check yourself. Cattle and land – if the zakah is paid/’ushr is given, again, there will be reward for this in the akhirah.
In the end, the purpose of all these things should be to attain the akhirah – not solely fulfill one’s desires. Use the blessings of the dunya to gain Allah’s pleasure – they’re a test! And to end it off, with a nice quote: “Pull yourself to Allah when the world is pulling you to Hell.”
Best ending: the next verse, ayah 15.
“Say, shall I inform you all with something better than these, with which those who adopt taqwa with their Rabb? There will be gardens beneath which rivers low where they will live therin forever with completely purified spouses and pleasure of Allah. And Allah is watching His servants very closely.”
Ramadan Anyone? Sigh – Allahumma balighna Ramadan!
In light of the new Miss USA, loved the article below because this is so NOT helping Moslems… sigh, may Allah guide us all. Ameen.
Second, Arabs and Muslims are so routinely discriminated against, and racially profiled (notoriously at airports)… Now, the fact that the accomplishment had nothing to do with her intelligence, character or personal skills, but rather with her…huh… yeah, the entire combo, and that it entai…led no other skill than to know how to undress herself with class, all this can be ignored because, hey, how often does an Arab Muslim get to represent America anyway?
Find the whole article here.
Edit: Another good article right here.