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Women in Islam: Fatimah Az-Zahra

Fatimah Az-Zahra was the youngest daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) and his wife, Khadijah binti Khuwaylid. She grew up as very sensitive child on her age. She was five years old when the Prophet Rasulullah (peace be upon him) declared himself as the messenger of Allah. Her mom, Khadijah binti Khuwaylid told her what the responsibilities of the Prophet are. Fatimah became more closely attached and felt a deep bonding of love to her father. She used to accompanied her father when visiting Ka’bah or attending secret meetings with the early people that has embraced Islam.

Once, when she accompanied her father to Masjid Al-Haraam, the Prophet began to pray in front of the Ka’bah. A group of Quraysh gathered around the Prophet (peace be upon Him) and brought the entrails of a slaughtered animal and threw it on shoulders of the Prophet. Fatimah was ten years old, removed the filth, then, in a firm and angry voice she lashed out against the Quraysh, and they said no single word.

Upon her mother’s death, she felt that she had to give greater support to her father. She looked after his needs, engrossed in her father’s service, and people started to called her “Umm Abiha”, the mother of her father. Fatimah was raised by his father, and received education directly from his father. Her gestures and manners resembled of her father so much. She learnt a gentle speech and manners from her father. She gave the needy foods, preferred herself remain hungry, and she was known as ‘the lady of the light’. The Prophet had special love to Fatimah. Narrated by Miswar bin Makhramah Radiallahu Anha, the Prophet said, 

My daughter is part of me. He who disturbs her in fact disturbs me and he who offends her, offends me.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3767).

The Prophet was also said, “The best women in the entire world are four: The Virgin Mariyam Radi Allahu Ta’aala Anha daughter of Imran, and Aasiya Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha the wife of Pharaoh (Firaun), and Khadija Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha the mother of the believers, and Fatimah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha the daughter of Muhammad ShallAllahu Alaihi wa Salaam.”

Fatimah was married to Ali ibn Thalib, at the beginning of the second year after hijra. She was nineteen-years old and Ali was about twenty-one. Ali was had presented Fatimah binti Rasulullah with a wodden bed intertwined with palm leaves, a velvet coverlet, a leather  cushion filled with the leaves of a plant, a sheepskin, a pot, a water-skin and a quern for grinding grain. They had two children, Hassan and Husein.

One day, before proceeding on to his Farewell Pilgrimage in Ramadhan, 10 A.H, the Prophet said to Fatimah, 

The Archangel Jibra’eel Alaihis Salam recited the Quran to me and I to him once every year, but this year he has recited it with me twice. I cannot but think that my time has come.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 3426). 

On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he was seriously ill. He went to the apartement of his favorite wife, Ayshah Radi Allahu Anha. When Fatimah visited her father, she left the father and daughter together. Ayshah reported:

“We, the wives of the Prophet were with him (during his last illness) and none was absent that Fatimah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha, who walked after the style of the Prophet, come there, and when he saw her he welcomed her saying: ‘You are welcome, my daughter.’. He then made her sit on his right side or on his left side. Then he said something secretly to her and so she swept bitterly and when he found her (plunged) in grief, he said to her something secretly for the second time and she laughed happily. I (Aysha radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha) said to her ‘Allah’s Messenger SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam has singled you amongst the women of the family for talking to you something secretly and you wept’. When Allah’s Messenger SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam recovered from illness, I said to her ‘What did he say to you?’ Thereupon, she said, ‘I am not going to disclose the secret of Allah’s Messenger SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam. When the Holy Prophet SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam passed away, I said to her, ‘I adore you by the right that I have upon you that you should narrate to me what Allah’s Messenger SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam said to you.’ She said, ‘Yes, now I can do that. When he (Prophet SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) talked to me secretly for the first time he informed me that Jibra’il Alaihi waSallam was in the habit of reciting the Qura’an with him once every year, but this year it had been twice and so he perceived his death quite near, so fear Allah SubHanahu wa Ta;ala and be patient (and he told me) that he would be a befitting forerunner for me and so I wept as you saw me. And when he saw me in grief he talked to me secretly for the second time and said, ‘Fatimah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha, are you not pleased that you should be at the head of the believing women or the head of this Ummah?’ I laughed and it was that laughter which you saw. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 6467)

In another narration, Ayshah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha reported when she asked Fatimah why she was crying and laughing when her father talked to her secretly, she said, ‘He informed me secretly of his death and so I cried. He then informed me secretly that I would be the first amongst the members of his family to follow him, so I laughed.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3427; Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2450).

Fatimah Az-Zahra binti Rasulullah. The Princess of Paradise.

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BE KIND TO YOUR DAUGHTERS

Whoever is in charge of (put to test by) these daughters and treats them generously, then they will act as a shield for him from the (Hell) Fire
- narrated by Bukhari and Muslim
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Sesiapa yang diuji dengan anak-anak perempuan sedangkan ia tetap memperlakukan mereka dengan perlakuan yang baik, maka mereka(anak-anak perempuan) akan menjadi tameng yang menghalanginya dari api neraka

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“Sesungguhnya kami telah menurunkannya (Al Quran) itu pada malam kemuliaan. Dan tahukah kamu apakah malam kemuliaan itu? Malam kemuliaan itu lebih baik dari seribu bulan. Pada malam itu turun malaikat-malaikat dan malaikat Jibril dengan izin RABB-nya untuk mengatur segala urusan. Malam itu (penuh) kesejahteraan sampai terbit fajar.“ 

(QS. Al-Qadr:1-5)

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The Excellence of Suhoor is that it is a blessing from Allah. A companion of Allah’s Messenger said, “I entered upon the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and he was taking the suhoor and he said to me, “It is a blessing which Allah has given to you, so do not leave it.” [(Shahih) Ahmad and An-Nisa'i].
 
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said, “Take Suhoor as there is a blessing in it.” [Agreed upon]
Even drinking a cup of water instead of a meal for Suhoor has blessings, for, it implies obeying the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and following his Sunnah. Furthermore, Suhoor adds to the physical health, and provides the essential nutrition and strength to sustain the body during the long tiring hours of the day. 

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Women in Islam: Ayshah

During the struggle of spreading Islam, there was a girl, who has been the witness of spreading Islam, known as the mother of knowledge in Islam later in life. She was Ayshah, the daughter of the Prophet’s true friend, Abu Bakar, known as As-Shiddiq. Abu Bakar was the second person after Khadijah who accepted Islam. Ayshah was very energetic little girl, smart, and had high curiosity. She was raised strictly discipline in her family, and protected by her sister, Asma.

As any other kids, she loved to play with toys and played around with her friends. One day, when the Prophet came into her house, he saw she was playing with winged horse dolls, and he told her that the real horse didn’t have wings. Ayshah told the Prophet that Prophet Sulaiman had a winged horse, which showed that she was intelligent on historical and religious, even she was five years old. She had been trained to listen and observe things around her, and had a good ability to memorize every single detail of them.

One day, Khaulah, one of the closest companion of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) asked him why he had not married again. She suggested him to marry Ayshah, the daughter of his closest companion, Abu Bakar As-Shiddiq. The first vision he got from God was received to a dream. He was dreaming about Ayshah.  He dreamt about a beautiful green silk, and her face appeared in his dream. Ayshah was married when she was nine-years old, but she stayed with her parents for a few years before moving into the household with the Prophet (peace be upon Him) in Medina.

Ayshah accompanied the Prophet when she was fourteen-years old on the expedition to Quadeed, a minor battle between the Muslim army and the tribe of Banu Mustalaq. At that time, Ayshah was borrowed a necklace from her sister, Asma, when the army camp on the banks of Marisa’. The army moved out and camped in the desert. Ayshah went away from the camp and she realized the necklace had gone. After a long search, she found it. By the time she arrived in the campsite, the army had already packed up and left. She decided to stayed there and waited until someone returned to the campsite. One of the the army member, Safwan bin Mu’attal had been tasked to return to the campsite to checked everything left behind. He saw Ayshah was lying in the sand, awoke, and climbed on the camel. He led the camel to the new campsite.

Unfortunately there were people in the army wanted to bring the name of the Prophet into the disrepute. Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool who spread the word that Ayshah was a women who loose moral standard. He spread the words with three other persons: Hasan bin Thabit, Hamnah bin Jahash, and Mastah bin Athahah, together spread the world around Medina.

The Prophet was concerned and disturbed by the gossip circulating her favorite wife, while Ayshah was unaware about the gossip concerning her. She went out with the mother if Mastah bin Athahah who was cursed her son, and Ayshah told her that she should proud of his son as he had fought bravely in the Badr war. Ayshah was being told about the gossip she wasn’t unaware about her and Safwan. Ayshah asked the Prophet to visit her parents to confirmed the gossips that were circulating. She was heartbroken and started to cry for two days and she got ill in the third day. The Prophet told her she should ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness if she had done something wrong. No one believed her and only Allah would know of her innocence. The Ayah An-Nur was revealed to the Prophet, to prove her innocence.

Ayshah wasn’t the only wife of the Prophet at that time, he had many wives. In the difficult times, he gave his wives a choice if they want a divorce, but it was only Ayshah who has chosen to stay with Prophet and the rest of them. Ayshah had been with him until the end of his life. The Prophet was dead in his house, in the lap of Ayshah. After the death of the Prophet and the next Khalifah, Ayshah was the woman who transferred the knowledge of Islam. She told the ummah about the things had done during the Prophet’s life. She was the place to asked about every questions. She was the mother of Islamic knowledge

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Women in Islam: Khadijah

Khadijah binti Khuwaylid was the daughter of successful merchant of Quraysh tribe of Mecca, Khuwaylid bin Assad and Fatimah bint Zaidah. Her family was known as one of the most honored family merchant in the tribe of Mecca. Khuwaylid, with his colleague, Abdul Muthalib (known as the Prophet’s grandfather in later life), were famous as influence person in Mecca. Khadijah was good at archery, horse riding, and math, as good as her father when she was a girl. She also had a good self-defense in desert. As she grown up, she was as generous as her mother. When Khadijah was fifteen years old, Kaba was attacked by King of Abrahah and his elephant soldiers. Abdul Muthalib suggested Khadijah to lead a journey to evacuate women and kids, while he and Khuwaylid stayed in Mecca to lead a war against the king.

In her later life, Khadijah was married twice. She was married to a generous merchant named Abu Hala, and they had two children. Their marriage was last for 4 years because her husband was dead. Later, in her second marriage, she was married to Atiq, a famous nobleman in Mecca. Atiq was a gruff Arabian man, who loved to drunk, their marriage was end up in divorced.

Upon her father’s death, Khadijah took over his business. She ran the business very well, and her business was larger than any other Quraysh tribe and gained a good reputation of high quality goods and fair-dealing. She used to hire a man to sent the goods outside the city. Khadijah was working with her sister, Asma, in her business. Once, when the economics trades fell off, Khadijah decided to find a business partner she could trust. She asked Asma and discussed about it. She had a name, a son of Abdul Muthalib, Abu Thalib. He was running the business with his nephew, Muhammad. Asma was the intermediary to Abu Thalib and asked Muhammad to worked for Khadijah. Muhammad was 25 years old when he started to work for Khadijah as a business leader.

Khadijah sent him to Syiria for a business trip. Muhammad was companied by Khadijah’s personal assistant, Maysarah, and Hakim bin Hizam, her nephew. Khadijah was secretly ordered her personal assistant to supervise her new business leader, and observe the whole business. By the time they returned home, Maysarah reported to Khadijah all that had taken a place in Syiria. Khadijah was impressed by the story and started thinking of purposing marriage to Muhammad.

One night, as she wondered about her plan, purposing marriage to Muhammad, she was dreaming about a wonderful dream. She told her dream to Waraqah bin Nawfal, her cousin and also her uncle, because he was at the same age as Khuwaylid. Waraqah was blind, he has read thousand books and lack of slept during his life. He has depth knowledge about Torah (taurat) and Injil. The wonderful dream she had was indicated that the Prophet (peace be upon Him) whose had been predicted in Torah and Injil was to grace her home and she would gain from his presence in her life.

After her meeting with Waraqah, her desire to marry Muhammad (peace be upon him) became stronger. Nafisah bint Manbah, one of Khadijah’s very close friend, went to Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and asked him a very personal question, she asked why he had not got married yet. He said he did not have a financial resource. Nafisah asked if he willing to marry a beautiful lady from a noble family. He asked her who was the lady she was referred to. He learnt her identity and he said that he was willing to marry her. Khadijah was so happy.

Muhammad (peace be upon Him) was twenty-five years old and Khadijah was forty when they were married. The formal marriage proposal was brought by his two uncles, Abu Thalib and  Hamzah, approached her uncle, ‘Umar bin Assad. The proposal was officially accepted and they were married.

Their marriage was very blissful, they had six children, Qasim, ‘Abdullah, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Khulthum, and Fatimah. It was a very happy household but Muhammad (peace be upon Him) was feeling lost. He went to Hira cave for prayer and meditation. He saw the presence of another being held his arms so tight, and ask him to read. He couldn’t do anything because he couldn’t read. The person loosen his arms, and asked him again to read, repeated three times. Then finally he read the ayah which are the first revelation of Quran, from Surah Al-‘Alaq (Surah Iqra).

“Read! In the Name of your Lord who has created (all that exists). He has created a man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Noble Quran, 96:1-5)

The person was disappeared, and it was an awesome experience he had. He was shocked, and decided to return home sweating and shaking. He called out his wife and asked her to cover him with blanket. He told her about the creature he met in the Hira cave. Khadijah brought him to meet her cousin, Waraqah, and he told everything about the person in the cave. Waraqah immediately guessed the identity of the person was Angel of Jibril, the messenger of Allah. He added that he’d been told were true, surely it meant that her husband was the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon Him) whose had been mentioned in the earlier scriptures.  Khadijah was the first woman who accepted Islam.

Khadijah was loyal and supporting him in most of aspects of life. When the disbelievers saw Islam had gained more and more followers, they decided to declare an economic boycott of the tribe of Bani Hasyim. It was the seventh years after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) declared himself as the messenger of Allah. The innocent children were suffered from hunger, the adults survived by eating leaves. Khadijah who had been very wealthy, bore the hardships with the other Muslims. She was the only person who believed that he was the Prophet and the messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him), when everyone disbelieved him.

Three years before hijrah to Medina, Khadijah passed away. She died at the age of sixty-five. When she passed away, the Prophet (peace be upon Him) was so brokenhearted, at a loss of dedicated companion who stood by him during the most difficult moments during his life. Khadijah was the one and only woman he loved the most. Whenever any gifts bought to him, he sent immediately to some women who had been friends of Khadijah. Narrated from Ayshah, a favorite wife of Muhammad in his later life, whenever he talked about Khadijah, it was in terms of the highest praise, and he would talk at great length and praise her qualities, and pray for her forgiveness. Ayshah said she had never been experienced such a feeling of feminine natural jealousy for any other wife of the Prophet as she did for Khadijah

One day, when Ayshah wondered why the Prophet (peace be upon him) still missed her while Allah has blessed him a younger wife, he just answered, “I have not yet found a better wife than her. She had faith in me when everyone, even members of my own family and tribe did not believe me, and accepted that I was truly a Prophet and the messenger of Allah. She converted to Islam, spent all her wealth and worldly goods to help me spread this faith, and this too at a time when entire world seemed to has turned against me and persecuted me. And it is through her that Allah blessed me with children.”

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Women in Islam: Maryam bint Imran

Maryam was the only woman whose name had been mentioned in the Quran. She’s the one that Allah has chosen to be purified in her faith.  She was the daughter of Imran and Hinna bint Faaquut. They’ve been married for years, but Allah hadn’t granted them with a child. One day, Allah (SWT) gave them a news that she was pregnant, but Allah hadn’t gave them any clues, whether the child would be a girl or a boy, would be a prophet or a commoner. They praised to Allah for the gift they had, everybody was feeling overjoyed.

All of a sudden, Imran was death, he left his wife and the baby who hasn’t born yet. This baby would be born without a father, and as Hinna gave birth, she was expecting that the baby would be a boy, so it could be a prophet and do da’wah. Allah (SWT) had gave her a baby girl, and He gave her a name. Maryam. Hinna was praying when she gave birth,

“And I seek refuge in you O Allah for her and for her offspring from the cursed devil.” (3:36)

Maryam was born, and Hinna didn’t have any ideas what to do with her because in the society it’s not practical for a woman to do da’wah. She went to Zakaria and told about this girl. Later, Zakariyah built a meehrab for her so she could have her privacy, and grow up in the worship of Allah. Zakariyah checked her every single day and always found her was worshipping to Allah (SWT).

One day, Zakariyah was coming and he noticed there’s a food came from somewhere. He asked Maryam who gave her a food, and Maryam replied “It’s from Allah.”, she continued, “Allah gives to whom He wills whenever He wills.” (3:37). She meant that asked Allah for whatever you desire. He understood the message of the dua to asked Allah for a child, so he made pray in his qiyamul lail (night prayer), and Allah gave him what he desired.

Maryam left the masjid and went to the East. As she was there by herself, remembered Allah (SWT), a beautiful man appeared. A perfect human being. He was Jeebril.

“Assalamu’alaykum,” he greet her. Maryam showed him that she wasn’t interested in him. Jeebril gave her a news about Isa, her future child. She became pregnant, and she was hidden from the society. As she was delivering a baby, she was said, “I wish I would have died for this and been completely forgotten.” (Noble Quran, 19:23).

Allah replied her through Jeebril, “Don’t grieve. Don’t grieve. Right. Allah (SWT) has placed a river beneath you.” (Noble Quran, 19:24), and Jeebril continued, “And go ahead and shake that palm tree and fresh ripe dates will fall upon you.” (Noble Quran, 19:25). She knew that Allah was always with her.

When she went back to the society, everyone mocked her. She believed that if Allah with her, she shouldn’t care about what people said. She went to the people and she was carrying a baby. The baby spoke for the first time and defended her, the baby told the society that he would be a prophet in later life, Allah (SWT) has ordered him to pray (salah) and paid for zakat, do good deeds to her mom.

Isa, the son of Maryam bint Imran. The true Messenger of Allah.

Maryam is an example for men and women about how to be devoted in regards to our worship and how to maintain our modesty.  As mentioned in Surah At-Tahreem, Allah mentioned Maryam not only as devoted women, but also as devoted men and women. She held everything by herself. She was the real example to the human being how to trust in Allah (SWT).

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