In the Quran there are a few surahs and several verses on women. Looking at the 24th surah in the Quran, Surah an-Nur, we can learn 3 characteristics of women inspired by this surah:
- Muhsanat (محصنات) the fortified
This category of women is fortified and protected from committing big sins. She is loving not just to her children and spouse but also managing to keep a healthy relationship with her neighbours.
Another character of this category of women is Qana’ah (القناعة), which means satisfaction.
2. Gafilat (غافلات) the unaware
How is it that being unaware is a good character? According to Buya HAMKA, an Indonesian Islamic scholar; this kind of lady would always be focusing on her affairs and business only. She would never try to deviate from her original goal and always think good and positive about others.
Thus she is unaware of negative thoughts about others.
3. Mū’mina (مؤمنات) believer
The character of this type of believing women is that they are totally obedient to Allah and Ar-Rasul only. Living in this modern era doesn’t break their will to protect themselves from the fitnah or tests and tribulations by potential predators around them. Their mind grows with only positivity.
May we benefit from learning about these characters.
This article was originally written in Bahasa Malaysia by Zirwatul Amal Idrus, and published by the DreamTeam Tadabbur Centre on 28 September 2020. This article is republished here with the Tadabbur Centre’s written permission.
وَإِذۡ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمۡ لَىِٕن شَكَرۡتُمۡ لَأَزِیدَنَّكُمۡۖ وَلَىِٕن كَفَرۡتُمۡ إِنَّ عَذَابِی لَشَدِیدࣱ
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’(Surah Ibrahim, verse 7)
- This verse has often been used in seminars about the desirability of becoming millionaires. The idea of referring to this verse is that it teaches us that we can be millionaires if we are thankful to Allah because if we are Allah will increase it even more.
- Two important terms that we must understand from this verse are ‘being thankful’ and ‘increase in favour’ . The former is clearly mentioned in the Quran, thus it should be easier to understand.
- What does ‘shukr’ or being thankful in this verse refer to? It simply means to run our duty as a Muslim and to completely abandon what Allah forbids us from doing (Tafseer al-Tabari).
- Being thankful doesn’t just stop at pronouncing the word ‘alhamdulillah’, but also means to perform our responsibility in ibadah such as the 5 times a day prayers and zakah. Being a wealthy person means nothing if we fail to pray to Allah. Having all the money in the world would be meaningless if we never pay zakah, and perform infaq and waqaf.
- Now what does ‘increase in favour’ refer to? Ibn Abbas translated the ‘nikmah’ or favour as referring to rewards or Thawāb (Arabic: ثواب). Al-Hasan al-Bashri and Sufyan al-Thauri translated this as obedient towards Allah. (Tafseer al-Alusi)
- With this, the more a person is thankful in its full context, Allah will increase his or her rewards or Thawāb and also his or her desire to obey Allah’s wills.
- This nikmah or favour can also be translated as spiritual nikmah (faith) and physical nikmah (strength). Spiritual nikmah happens when a person appreciates and exalts The One Who Gives The Nikmah more than the nikmah itself (Tafseer al-Razi). This means that the more one is thankful for the favour or nikmah, the more Allah will increase the appreciation of Allah in oneself.
- The increase of nikmah or favour may also be in other forms of benefits from Allah whether in this world or in the hereafter, where the rewards or Sawāb/Thawāb will be doubled. (Tafseer Ibn Juzayy).
- In conclusion, tafseer scholars didn’t limit the meaning of increase in favour to just material belongings.
- The nikmah or favours in this verse are not limited to just material possessions. So shouldn’t we accordingly.
- Looking at the previous verse (verse 6), we will be able to understand better the meaning of ‘shukr’ or thankfulness. Prophet Musa reminded Bani Israel to be thankful of the nikmah of victory against the Pharaoh’s subjugation.
- This victory didn’t only free the sons of Israel but also strengthened their fragile faith before Prophet Musa subsequently came to save them. Many miracles happened in front of their eyes. The red sea miracles were supposed to boost their faith to believe in one God, that is Allah. It should also lead them to the increase of their thabat (steadfastness), Ikhlas (sincerity) and piety (Tafseer al Alusi).
- This shows that being thankful for the favour of having the victory will make Allah increase their faith and ibadah.
- Prophet Musa didn’t ask the sons of Israel to be thankful for the nikmah of material belongings, as there were no treasures such as gold and gems being sent down to them from above. Prophet Musa reminded them to express their thankfulness by fully obeying what Allah had asked them to do and avoiding what Allah had forbidden them from.
- Looking at the next verse (verse 9), let’s take time to think as to why Prophet Musa asked the sons of Israel to reflect what had happened to the people of Prophet Noah, and the people of Aad and Thamud? Weren’t they among those who were given the nikmah of wealth and high positions in society? There’s nothing wrong with being rich and wealthy, but we should always learn from the previous people who had failed themselves in the test of wealth.
- To conclude, we must be able to understand that the meaning of being thankful is not limited to just pronouncing it with our tongue without looking deeply into its full context ,and that it must also be translated into obedience of Allah. Similarly, the nikmah or favour that is to be increased is not limited to just money, property and material belongings but also covers faith, happiness, obedience, ibadah and all forms of good deeds that mankind needs.
- Remember, being a wealthy Muslim is viewed favourably in Islam. But the acquisition of wealth must be based on thankfulness and awareness that it’s a heavy spiritual test upon us. With righteous thankfulness and awareness we shall free ourselves from being another Qarun without realising it.
. قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ عِندِي ۚ أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَهْلَكَ مِن قَبْلِهِ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مَنْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرُ جَمْعًا !
NOTE: This article was originally written in Bahasa Malaysia by Ustadh Syaari Ab Rahman (via his personal Facebook on 7 Sep 2020). This article has been republished with the permission of the author.
One of the famous hadiths in Islam is the hadith about mother. This hadith stresses the importance of honouring one’s mother such that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) repeated the word mother 3 times before finally saying father. But this hadith does not necessarily focus on how Islam views the elderly. Because a mother, or a father is not necessarily old.
So how does Islam sees the elderly?
Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one or both of them reaches old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them since they cared for me when I was small( Quran 17: 23-24).
This comprehensive commandment prohibits worshipping other than Allah, and at the same time to have an undivided loyalty to do what Allah has commanded us to do and to avoid everything Allah has prohibited us from doing.
We learn that after Allah’s rights, there’s our parents’ rights in this very verse. Their rights to be respected, served and obeyed. The morality we can learn from this verse is that children should be grateful to, and respectful of, their parents, and we should serve them as they have nursed us when we were little and helpless.
This command does not only apply to Muslim parents. If your parents are not Muslims, this command applies to them too as long as they do not ask you to do anything that is against Allah’s wills. This moral and mental attitude became part and parcel of the Muslim society.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honour the elderly(Al-Tirmidhi).
Caring for elderly is one ibadah that is considered as charity in Islam. Ibn al-‘Arabi observes,
Support for one’s family and relatives fulfills the criterion of charity while upholding family kinship(Ibn al-‘Arabi, 1994, 2: 96).
As Muslims, it is in our culture to care for our elderly, and this doesn’t just stop at our own parents or parents-in-law. Muslim communities have been taking care of their elderly aunts or uncles too. This culture is in sync with the hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said: The finest act of goodness is the kind treatment of a person to the loved ones of his father after his death.(Sahih Muslim)
And the hadith :
Whosoever desires to have expansion in his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness(Bukhari, 1987, 2: 728, 348).
May we be among those who care for our elderly and put their rights where they belong.
In Islam, we believe that all sustenance (rizq) belongs with Allah. Allah is the One who determines our rizq or sustenance. And indeed, one of the names of Allah is ‘Ar-Razzaq’ or ‘The Provider’. This is why Muslims work hard to find a place they can call home,and food to bring to the table, without really worrying about how much they are really making while also trying to allocate some of their income and wealth to those in need.
In Surah Adh-Dhariyat verse 22, Allah says:
“And in heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised.”
This does not mean that we get to just sit back and relax and not do anything to make a living. We earn what Allah promised us to and that is sufficient and the best for us. In Surah Taha verse 15, Allah says:
“… so that every soul may be recompensed according to that for which it strives”
Believing that what we have is enough makes our life less stressful and we get to focus on our ibadah, as well as doing good to others. Allah didn’t just provide sufficient rizq or sustenance for mankind, but also for plants and animals. In the Quran, there are a few places that Allah talks about rizq or sustenance.
Rizq for giving to others
مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
Who is he who will offer God a generous loan, so He will multiply it for him manifold? God receives and amplifies, and to Him you will be returned (Surah Al-Baqarah verse 245)
Rizq for every creature on earth, including animals and plants.
وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا ۚ كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ
There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance depends on God. And He knows where it lives and where it rests. Everything is in a Clear Book. (Surah Hud verse 6)
Rizq for being grateful
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيد
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ (Surah Ibrahim verse 7)
Rizq for offsprings
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them, and for you. Killing them is a grave sin. (Surah Al-Isra’ verse 31)
Rizq for marriage
وَأَنْكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
And wed the singles among you, and those who are fit among your servants and maids. If they are poor, God will enrich them from His bounty. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surah An-Nur verse 32)
Rizq that is promised
وَفِي السَّمَاءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ
And in the heaven is your livelihood, and what you are promised. (Surah Adh-Dhariyat verse 22)
Rizq for making effort
وَأَنْ لَيْسَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ
And that the human being attains only what he strives for. (Surah An-Najm verse 39)
Rizq for women who were divorced, and for those who abide by his or her fate with taqwa
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
And will provide for him from where he never expected. Whoever relies on God—He will suffice him. God will accomplish His purpose. God has set a measure to all things. (Surah At-Talaq verse 3)
Rizq upon istigfar
١٠ فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا
١١ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا
I said, ‘Ask your Lord for forgiveness; He is Forgiving. He will let loose the sky upon you in torrents. (Surah Nuh verse 10-11)
Previously we talked about the companions spending their wealth in the cause of Islam, mainly to support the work of spreading Islam and helping those in need. We have pointed out that although the companions spent their wealth for others, it doesn’t mean that Islam forbid us from pursuing wealth.
But what inspires the companions and people of faith to give their wealth, possessions and assets to others? , the wealth that they had worked so hard to acquire?
Reading surah al-Hadid from beginning to end, we will discover a great secret that we ourselves may have been groping to find before. How to give birth to a generation that gives all their possessions in the cause of the ad-deen?
What was the great motivation from heaven that had caused them to want to help the government led by Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم without the slightest feeling of loss or regret from the properties that were spent?
ءآمِنوا بِاللهِ وَرَسولِهِ وَأَنفِقوا مِمّا جَعَلَكُم مُّستَخلَفينَ فيهِ ۖ فَالَّذينَ ءآمَنوا مِنكُم وَأَنفَقوا لَهُم أَجرٌ كَبيرٌ
“Believe in Allāh and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made out successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” (Al-Hadid: 57)
May we be among those who will spend in the cause of deen.
Source: Ustadh Syaari Ab Rahman
We’ve always been bombarded with stories of the prophet’s companions donating all their money and material wealth. Prophet Muhammad SAW himself is known to being poor. Does this means Islam is against wealth and into poverty?
According to Ustadh Kamilin Jamilin, PhD, Islam is never against the ummah seeking and exploring the world for wealth as we are actually encouraged to find wealth through ways that are guided and permitted in Islam. Making an effort to gather wealth would be one of the many ways to help others in need, as long as we put Allah first. Allah Himself has instructed us to seek for His overflowing rizq.
فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And when the prayer is ended , then disperse in the land and seek Allah ‘ s bounty , and remember Allah much , that ye may be successful . (AlJumuah verse 10)
This is why in Islam, we have zakat as one of the Five Pillar of Islam . It denotes a duty for every Muslims who meets the criteria of wealth to contribute back to those in need. All wealth comes from Allah so that we would be able to share with others from what was made through us. In our wealth, there is the rizq of others too.
نِعْمَ الْمَالُ الصَّالِحُ لِلْمَرْءِ الصَّالِحِ
“O ‘Amr! How excellent lawful wealth is in the hands of a righteous person!”
(Sahih. Ahmad and Al-Bukhari).
One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions, Umar al-Khattab initiated the Bayt al-Mal (Malay: Baitul Mal), or House of Weatlh in 634CE, to administer the society’s wealth distribution. Uthman al-Affan who ruled the Islamic Caliphate after Umar even instructed the Bayt al-Mal institution to administer savings for the future generation.
This shows the importance of wealth in Islam and the vital instruction that wealth is not for the greatest benefit of certain individuals and exclusive groups only. In this light, Islam preaches equitable distribution of wealth and abhors a socio-economic system that breeds and condones wealth inequality between members of society. Wealth sharing in Islam is for the nurturing and strengthening of social solidarity, and not for social disintegration which will weaken a society.
May Allah make us among those who spend our wealth for charity. Ameen.
Sources: sunnah.com, https://today.salamweb.com/
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