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In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.

In 2006, Dr Umar visited the UK and delivered a superb lecture on the “Famous Women in Islam” in Birmingham. I was just going through my notesbook today and found some of the notes I made during the lecture, and thought I’d share them here so others can benefit from, and be inspired inshaAllah ta’Ala. (Photo credit: Mas’ud Ahmed Khan)

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah- Famous Women in Islam- 25th November 2006

* Many greater women were Sufis and they trained men.

* Status of women has changed.

*Many of the stereotypes heard in the west and Muslim world (women’s job is to clean, cook etc) developed in the early modern world.

* The working class women in Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco; who have 1-2 jobs as well as looking after the household needs and children whilst their husbands are in different countries working, are true heroines!

* The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam didn’t hurt women. Women were essential to his life. This started with Khadija RadiAllahu Anhu, she gave the prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam Strength to overcome the initial period of revelation.

* Aisha RadiAllahu Anhu was the defender of Islam.

*Islam began in the hands of a women, i.e Sayyida Khadija was the first women to take Shahada.

*The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam gave special timings for teaching women. Even when he SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam was ill, near death and didn’t have much strength, Bilal RadiAllahu Anhu held him up so he could counsel women.

* The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam accepted womens influence (his aunts and wives). For example; Umm Salamah advised the Prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam to go out and shave his head and slaughter sheep so the companions would follow his example. (*look up story in seerah)

* One maxim of Islamic Law is everything is permissible until proven impermissible and it’s not an easy task to *prove* something.

*Men and women completely equal in Islamic law until proven they are not.

* The army never went out to battle without women. Women were always equal in number.

*Women tend to be more religiously devoted.

* Throughout history, we have come to know about men who had fabricated hadiths, but not one single women fabricated a hadith and there have been thousands of women muhaddiths!

Exceptional women in Islam:

Zubaida Bint Jafir

*Wealthiest and powerful women in her time.

*Generous; gave to the poor, Christians, poets etc

* Her palace sounded like a beehive. She had thousands of maid servants who had hifz the Quran. They would complete the Quran at least 10 times a day.

* Eloquent master of Arabic language, known for her intelligence.

* The people of her time said that she was the women who brought earth to life.

*If you want to affect people and change them, tell stories! Stories affect people greatly, just like when we read stories in the Quran.

* 19/20 century is a very difficult time for us. Tipu Sultan was the last magnificent ruler, everything declined and changed after that.

*Also, never feel disempowered when you are unable to do things or don’t have the means to acquire

May Allah bless and preserve Dr. Umar, Amin!

Please be aware that these are my notes, they are not comprehensive at all but I pray what I do share is of some benefit to the readers. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings! You are welcome to share these notes but *please* do not just copy and paste anything without referencing where you got them from as I do not want my notes to be taken out of context or misinterpreted.

Salat al-Haja (Prayer of Need)

Abullah ibn Abi Awfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever has a need with Allah, or with any human being, then let them perform ritual ablutions well and then pray two rakats. After that, let them praise Allah and send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). After this, let them say:

“There there no god but Allah the Clement and Wise. There is no god but Allah the High and Mighty. Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne. All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.  I ask you (O Allah) everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sin. Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allah), except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O Most Merciful!”

The prayer of need is very simple: It is essentially to raise one’s need to Allah Most High, by performing ritual ablution (wudu), praying 2 rakats (or four), and then making whole-hearted dua to Allah. If one uses the above mentioned Prophetic supplication, or other similar supplications transmitted from the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), it is best. [Ibrahim al-Halabi, Sharh Munyat al-Musalli; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The inward manners of supplication is exhibiting our neediness and absolute slavehood to Allah, consigning one’s matters to Allah, and knowing that the only one who gives or benefits is Allah Most High. With this, one should be certain that Allah Most High answers our duas, but in the way He knows is best for us.

When circumstances do not permit us to pray 2 rakats, one should still turn to Allah in supplication, raising one’s needs to Him, for He answers our supplications and loves being asked.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Taken from SunniPath: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?id=1117

A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy
book.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.

He began to search his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words…PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? 

Source: Unknown

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