How a Pearl Develops: A Khutbah for Muslim Women
by Muhammad Alshareef
When news of the Christian army that had prepared on the horizons to wipe out Islam reached Abu Qudaamah Ash-Shaamee, he moved quickly to the mimbar of the masjid. In a powerful and emotional speech, Abu Qudaamah ignited the desire of the community to defend their land – jihaad for the sake of Allah. As he left the masjid, walking down a dark and secluded alley, a woman stopped him and said, “As salamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaah!” Abu Qudaamah 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 jihaad 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 jihaad.”
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 Qudaamah’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 Qudaamah looked down into his eyes as he asked again, “I ask you by Allah, let me join.”
Abu Qudaamah 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 Qudaamah’s horse asked, “I ask you by Allah to give me 3 arrows.”
“You’ll lose them,” said Abu Qudaamah.
The boy repeated, “I ask you by Allah to give me them.”
Abu Qudaamah 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 Qudaamah 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 Qudaamah.
“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 and her son? 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 eman; children that she herself raised.
Most often the lectures, khutbahs, and talks are all directed to the Muslim men. We forget that from the hady (guidance and way) of RasulAllah sal Allaahu 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, and even in his home to ask him questions about the deen. At the Eid salah, after addressing the men, he would take Bilal and go to the women’s section and address the women. Allah revealed an entire surah by the name of An-Nisaa’ (The Women), another by the name of Maryam (Mary), and yet another by the name of Al-Mujaadalah (The Woman Who Pleads). It is in enlivening this Sunnah that today this speech shall be addressed to the believing women – al-mu’minaat.
Dear sister, dear mother, and dear daughter, everyone is looking for happiness and fun, and I am sure that you are not excluded. Where is that happiness and fun though? And where and when do you want that 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?
Everywhere you go you shall find a swarm of people, 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] (An-Nahl 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 Rasul Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. And he said to her, “O Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, ssk 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 any way.
Islam is filled with many mu’minahs who completed their taqwa of Allah. When the other girls put up posters of kafir singers, athletes and actresses, you should put up posters in your heart of Fatimah and many other mu’minahs.
One of these women was Aasiyah, the wife of Fir’own. Her eman in Allah thrived under the shadow of someone who said, “I am your Lord, Most High!” When news reached Fir’own of his wife’s eman, 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, save me from Fir’own 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’own commanded a boulder to be brought and dropped on Aasiyah 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’own [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] (At-Tahreem 66/11).
When we talk about jihaad and shuhadaa’ (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, her husband Yaasir, and her son Ammar’s Islam, he whipped them all and beat them, so much so, that RasulAllah would pass by them as they went through this test of their eman and would say to them, “Be patient, O Jannah!”
One day, as Abu Jahl beat Sumayyah, she refused to recant her deen; something that enraged Abu Jahl. He took a spear as she lay on the burning sand looking up to the sky, and he speared 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 all those who would not recant their religion be burned 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-Buruj 85/8-9).
And dear sister, your role models can also come to you from today. As her son tells us, a senior woman 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 son one night from her prayer room. He son says, “I came in and she was in sajdah saying that she was paralyzed!” 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, back to her prayer room, back to that sajdah. As she prayed to Allah in her sajdah, the night came and she again called to her son. “Astawdi’ukallaah alladhee laa yadee’u wa daa’i’uh,” which means, “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. They prayed janazah for her as her body was in sajdah. They carried her to the graveyard as her body was in sajdah. They buried her as she was in sajdah. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said that we shall all be resurrected on what we died on; she shall be resurrected on the day of Judgment in sajdah to Allah – jalla jalaaluhu wa taqaddasat asmaa’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 that Allah only knows about. Whenever a halaqah is going on, the Muslim women outnumber the men. Go to an Islamic teachers or 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, in sha Allah ta’aala, 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 wudu for Fajr. Then she would wrap him in blankets, she herself cloaked in her jilbaab. She would 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 met 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 deen that Allah chose for you?
And what is he going to give you in return? Happiness? 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 gatekeepers 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, skinny and tall woman (their definition of beauty) between the ages 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-Zukhruf 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,’ 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 learned how to be worthless, nothing on the inside, but cold. We lived in a world of filth.”
When the Prophet sal Allaahu 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 whether a woman 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 sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam to every Muslim mother, daughter, and wife:
“If the woman 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, that from any door you wish, enter Paradise!”
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-Anfal 8/24).
Allah and His Messenger are calling you to life. Dear sister, reply!