When news of the Christian army that had prepared on the horizons to wipe out Islam reached him, Abu Qudamah ash-Shami moved quickly to the Mimbar of the Masjid. In a powerful and emotional speech, Abu Qudamah ignited the desire of the community to defend their land, Jihad for the sake of Allah. As he left the Masjid, walking down a dark and secluded alley, a women stopped him and said, "As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah!" Abu Qudamah stopped and did not answer. She repeated her salam again, adding "This is not how pious people should act." She stepped forward from the shadows. "I heard you in the Masjid encouraging the believers to go for Jihad and all I have is this ... " She handed him two long braids. "It can be used for a horse rein. Perhaps Allah may write me as one of those who went for Jihad."
The next day as that Muslim village set out to confront the crusader army, a young boy ran through the gathering and stood at the hooves of Abu Qudamah's horse. "I ask you by Allah to allow me to join the army." Some of the elder fighters laughed at the boy. "The horses will trample you," they said. But Abu Qudamah looked down into his eyes as he asked again, "I ask you by Allah, let me join." Abu Qudamah then said, "On one condition, if you are killed you will take me with you to Jannah amongst those you will be allowed to intercede for." That young boy smiled. "It's a promise."
When the two armies met and the fighting intensified, the young boy on the back of Abu Qudamah's horse asked, "I ask you by Allah to give me 3 arrows." "You'll lose them!" The boy repeated, "I ask you by Allah to give me them." Abu Qudamah gave him the arrows and the boy took aim. "Bismillah!" The arrow flew and killed a Roman. "Bismillah!" The second arrow flew, killing a second Roman. "Bismillah!" The third arrow flew, killing a third Roman. An arrow then struck the boy in the chest - knocking him off the horse. Abu Qudamah jumped down to his side, reminding the boy in his final breaths, "Don't forget the promise!" The boy reached into his pocket, extracted a pouch and said, "Please return this to my mother." "Who's your mother?" asked Abu Qudamah. "The women that gave you the braids yesterday."
Think about this Muslimah. How did she reach this level of Taqwa where she would sacrifice her hair when today other women do the same to imitate Kafir icons, and her son when other women would die so long as their son stayed home. Indeed, she spent her life in the obedience of Allah, and when exam time came, she passed. Not only did she pass herself, but her children shone with that same beauty of Iman, children that she herself raised.
Very often - and perhaps in our times when we have forgotten much of the Sunnah - the lectures, khutbahs, and talks are all directed to the Muslim men. We forget that from the Hadi – guidance and way – of Rasulallah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - was that he would allocate a specific day of the week to teach the women. Women would come up to him in Hajj, in the street, even in his home and ask him questions about the Din. At the 'Eid Salah, after addressing the men, he would take Bilal and go to the women section and address the women. Allah revealed an entire Surah by the name of Surah An-Nisa' – the Women. And another by the name of – Maryam. And a third by the name of Al-Mujadalah – the women who pleads. It is in enlivening this Sunnah that today this speech shall be addressed to the believing women, Al-Mu'minat.
Dear Sister, Dear Mother, Dear Daughter. Everyone is looking for happiness and fun, and I am sure you are not excluded. Where is that happiness and fun though? And where and when do you want that happiness? Do you want happiness, do you want to have 'fun' in this life at the expense of the hereafter? Or is it in the hereafter, when you meet Allah that you want to be happy?
Every where you go you shall find a swarm of people and media and culture swearing to you that happiness is the happiness of the Dunya. Is it really happiness though? On the day of Repayment, Allah shall take the most 'happiest' kafir of the Dunya and dip him in Jahannam – Hellfire. Then he shall ask him, "Have you ever seen any happiness?" The Kafir will say, "Never!"
Nay, the happiness is only the happiness of the hereafter no matter what happens in this Dunya. Allah shall bring on the Day of Repayment the most tested human and dip him in Jannah – Paradise. He shall then ask him, "Have you ever seen sadness?" And that person shall say, "Never!"
And don't think that this happiness and fun is exclusive to the hereafter. It is very much tied to this life as well. Listen and understand the words of Allah:
"Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer verily to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)." [Al-Qur'an 16:97]
Dear Sister, you have to understand that you or anyone may enter Hellfire! By Allah, we are not better than Fatimah, the daughter of Rasulallah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. And he said to her, "O Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad, Ask me whatever you wish from my wealth, for I shall avail you nothing to Allah." Meaning that it doesn't matter if you're my daughter, if you don't work for Jannah, saying to Allah that my father is so and so will not help you in anyway.
Islam is filled with many Mu'minat that completed their Taqwa of Allah. When the other girls put up posters of kafir singers and kafir athletes and kafir actresses, you should put up posters in your heart of Fatimah and many other Mu'minat.
Asiyah, the wife of Fir'awn. Her Iman in Allah thrived under the shadow of someone that said, "I am your Lord, Most High!" When news reached Fir'awn of his wife's Iman he beat her and commanded his guards to beat her. They took her out in the scalding noon heat, tied her hands and feet and beat her perpetually. Who did she turn to? She turned to Allah! She prayed, "My lord, build for me a home with you in Paradise and save me from Fir'awn and his deeds and save me from the transgressive people."
It was narrated that when she said this, the sky opened for her and she saw her home in Paradise. She smiled. The guards watched astonished - she's being tortured and she smiles? Frustrated, Fir'awn commanded a boulder to be brought and dropped on Asiyah, to crush her to death. But Allah took her soul before the boulder was brought and she became an example for all the believing men and women till the end of time:
"And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir'awn (Pharaoh) – when she said, 'My Lord, Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir'own and his deeds, and save me from the transgressive-disbelieving people.' " [Al-Qur'an 66:11]
When we talk about Jihad and Shuhada' - martyrs, do you know who the first Muslim in Islam to be killed in the path of Allah was? It was Summayah, the mother of Ammar. When Abu Jahl heard of her Islam and her husband Yasir and her son Ammar, he whipped them all and beat them. So much so, that Rasulallah would pass by them as they went through this test of their Iman and would say to them, "Be patient O family of Yasir, for you have a date set (when you shall enter) Jannah!"
As Abu Jahl beat Sumayyah one day, she refused to recant her Din, something that enraged Abu Jahl. He took a spear as she lay on the burning sand, looking up to the sky, and he speared her through her midsection. She was the first of her family and the entire Ummah to meet Allah as a Martyr.
Dear Sister, our role models come from the Qur'an. You may have heard the story of the boy and the king. When the entire village became Muslim by the death of that young boy, the king ordered that an enormous fire be kindled and that all those who would not recant their religion be burnt alive. A Mu'minah, stood with her baby over the fire. She looked at her baby, and seeking her child's weakness and innocence, she considered turning her back. The baby said to her, "What are you waiting for mother. Go forward for you are on the truth!" She nodded. Then with her baby in hand she was pushed to her death.
"And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise! Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is Witness to all things." [Al-Qur'an 85:8-9]
And dear sister, your role models come to you from today. As her son tells us, a senior women in a Muslim land decided that all the vanity that normally happens in the gatherings of women was not for her. She turned to Salah and praying at night, and in her old age, she found herself calling to her so one night from her prayer room. He son says, "I came in and she was in Sajdah saying that she was paralysed!" Her son took her to the doctors and she began a cycle of rehabilitation, but there was little hope. She then commanded her son to take her back home, take her back to her prayer room, take her back to that Sajdah. As she prayed to Allah in her sajdah, the night came when she called to her son. "Astawdi'ukallah alladhi la yadi'u wa da'i'uh – I leave you in the trust of Allah, and whenever something is left in Allah's trust it is never lost." She passed away in her sajdah. Her muscles froze in that position and so they had to wash her body as she was in Sajdah. The prayed Janazah for her as her body was in sajdah. The carried her to the grave yard as her body was in Sajdah.
The buried her as she was in Sajdah. And the Prophet said that we shall all be resurrected on what we died on, she shall be resurrected on the day of judgement in Sajdah to Allah – Jalla Jalaluhu wa taqaddasat asma'uhu - because that it how she lived and died.
There are many other stories that we know about of powerful believing mothers, wives and sisters and many, many that Allah only knows about. Whenever a halaqah is going on, the Muslim women outnumber the men. At the American Open University, (www.open-university.edu) the overwhelming majority of students are Muslim women. Go to an Islamic teachers/schools conference, attend a lecture and you shall see the mismatch of sisters to brothers. Sometimes it is sad to see all these brothers lacking the motivation that many Muslimahs have. But if there is a beautiful sign in all this, it is that – insha'Allah ta'ala – those sisters are going to raise an army of believing men and women in the coming generation. Wallahu akbar!
When Imam Ahmad was still young, his father died. He would tell his students of the work his mother went through in raising him, and he would pray for her. In the cold Baghdad nights, she would wake long before him to warm the water so that her son Ahmad could make wudhu for Fajr. Then she would wrap him in blankets, herself cloaked in her Jilbab, and guide him through the dark, cold alleys to reach the main Masjid, long before Fajr so that her son could get a good seat in class. Her son Ahmad - at that age in grade 2 or 3 - would sit all day long studying Qur'an and Sunnah, and she would wait for him to finish so that she could drop him home safely. At the age of 16, she prepared money and food for him and told him, "Travel for your search of knowledge." He left for Makkah and Madinah and many other places and et many great scholars. She raised Ahmad to become one of the four greatest Imams in Islam.
Dear sister, after all this, ask a non-Muslim what it is that he wants from you? Does he want you to be liberated? Liberated from what? From Allah and his Messenger? From the Qur'an and the Sunnah? From Jannah? From this din that Allah chose for you?
And what is he going to give you in return? Happinness? By Allah, he does not own any happiness to give. Is he going to give you love and protection from punishment in the grave and from the gateke pers of hellfire and from death? Why is it that they want to liberate young beautiful women? Why don't they liberate the seniors? Why don't they liberate the indigenous? Why don't they liberate the inmates? Why is their target audience a young and skinny and tall women (their definition of beauty) between the age of 13 – 28? And why is their first call for you to take off your Hijab?
Remember that friend – if you consider him so – carefully, for – without any doubt, by Allah - he shall be your bitterest enemy on the day of Repayment:
"Friends on that day will be foes, one to another - except the Righteous." [Al-Qur'an 43:67]
One Kafirah summed up exactly what they think of women, "It's not who you are, it's what you wear and what you look like!" And listen to Fabian, a french 'model' (of what?), as she spit on the fashion industry. "Fashion houses made me into a mannequin, a wooden idol. The mission: to manipulate hearts and alter minds. I learnt how to be worthless, nothing on the inside, cold. We lived in a world of filth in all that filth means."
When the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - stood on the plain of Arafah and gave his farewell speech he said to the Ummah, "Treat the women kindly!" History records that in Europe in the same year, at the same time that Islam was saying this, the Christian clergy were arguing hether a women was a human or an animal! Those clergymen are the ancestors of the Kuffar that now want to 'liberate' you.
There is much more than can be said. I shall conclude with the advice of Rasulallah - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - to every Muslim mother, daughter, and wife: "If the women prays her five (Salah), fasts her month (of Ramadan), protects herself (from committing Zina), and listens to her husband, it will be said to her, 'from any door you wish, enter Paradise!' " Sister, that is where you want to be.
"O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which shall give you life; and know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered." [Al-Qur'an 8:24]
Allah and His Messenger are calling you to life. Dear sister, reply!