For Muslim Mums

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Little Story...A Mother's Courage and Sacrifice

Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (Radi Allahu Anhuma) was the mother of Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair (Radi Allahu Anhu). He was nephew of Aishah (Radi Allahu Anha), wife of the Prophet ((Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam). His birth alone was a miracle, he was the first Muslim to be born in the city of Al-Madinah and was a sign of the lies and deceptions of the Jews of the time.

Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair (Radi Allahu Anhu) became Commander of the Faithful with Holy Makkah as his capital, extending his rule over Hijaz, Yemen, Basra, Kufa, Khurasan, and Syria except Damascus. The inhabitants of all these provinces swore the oath of allegiance to him. But the Ummayyads were not satisfied. Restless, they waged continuous wars, most of which ended in their defeat. Nothing changed until Abd Al Malik Ibn Marawan ordered one of the most harsh, criminal, cruel, and merciless human beings to attack Abdullah in Makkah. This was Al-Hajaj Ath-Thaqafiy, who was described by 'Umar Ibn Abd Al-'Aziz: "If all nations were to weigh together their sins, and we came with Al-Hajaj only, the balance would sway to our part."
Al-Hajaj personally led his army to invade Makkah, Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair's capital. He besieged it nearly six months, preventing the provision of water and food to force people to abandon Abdullah. Under the severe pressure of hunger, a large number of fighters surrendered and Abdullah found himself almost alone. Although chances to save his life and soul were still available, he decided to carry out his responsibilities to the very end. He went on fighting with legendary courage, although he was 70 years old at that time.

He went to meet his mother Asma now an old blind woman. Let’s reflect on this beautiful conversation between a mother and her son. We will only grasp the full image of that situation if we listen to the conversation which took place between Abdullah and his mother, the great and noble Asma' Bint Abu Bakr, a short while before his death. He went to her presenting the whole situation and what seemed to be his destiny.

"Peace be on you, Mother, and the mercy and blessings of Allah."
"Unto you be peace, Abdullah,” she replied. "What is it that brings you here at this hour while boulders from Hajjaj's catapults are raining down on your soldiers in the Haram and shaking the houses of Makkah?"
"I came to seek your advice," he said.
"To seek my advice?" she asked in astonishment. "About what?"
"The people have deserted me out of fear of Hajjaj or being tempted by what he has to offer. Even my children and my family have left me. There is only a small group of men with me now and however strong and steadfast they are they can only resist for an hour or two more. Messengers of the Banu Umayyah (the Umayyads) are now negotiating with me, offering to give me whatever worldly possessions I want, should I lay down my arms and swear allegiance to Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. What do you think?"
Raising her voice, she replied: "it's your affair, Abdullah, and you know yourself better. If however you think that you are right and that you are standing up for the Truth, then persevere and fight on as your companions who were killed under your flag had shown perseverance. If however you desire the world, what a miserable wretch you are. You would have destroyed yourself and you would have destroyed your men.”
"But I will be killed today, there is no doubt about it."
"That is better for you than that you should surrender yourself to Hajjaj voluntarily and that some favourite child or slave of Banu Umayyah should play with your head.
"I do not fear death. I am only afraid that they will mutilate me.”
“There is nothing after death that man should be afraid of. Skinning does not cause any pain to the slaughtered sheep.”

Abdullah's face beamed as he said: "What a blessed mother! Blessed be your noble qualities! I have come to you at this hour to hear what I have heard. Allah knows that I have not weakened or despaired. He is witness over me that I have not stood up for what I have out of love for this world and its attractions but only out of anger for the sake of Allah. His limits have been transgressed. Here am I, going to what is pleasing to you. So if I am killed, do not grieve for me and commend me to Allah.
"I shall grieve for you," said the aging but resolute Asma’, "only if you are killed in a vain and unjust cause.
“Be assured that your son has not supported an unjust cause, nor committed any detestable deed, nor done any injustice to a Muslim or a Dhimmi and that there is nothing better in his sight than the pleasure of Allah, the Mighty, the Great. I do not say this to exonerate myself. Allah knows that I have only said it to make your heart firm and steadfast. "
"Praise be to Allah who has made you act according to what He likes and according to what I like. Come close to me, my son, that I may smell and feel your body for this might be the last meeting with you.”

Abdullah knelt before her. She hugged him and smothered his head, his face and his neck with kisses. Her hands began to squeeze his body when suddenly she withdrew them and asked:

"What is this you are wearing, Abdullah?"
"This is my armour plate.”
"This, my son, is not the dress of one who desires martyrdom. Take it off. That will make your movements lighter and quicker. Wear instead the sirwal (a long under garment) so that if you are killed your awrah will not be exposed.”

Abdullah took off his armor plate and put on the sirwal. As he left for the Haram to join the fighting he said: "My mother, don't deprive me of your dua (prayer).”
Raising her hands to heaven, she prayed: "O Lord, have mercy on his staying up for long hours and his loud crying in the darkness of the night while people slept... "O Lord, have mercy on his hunger and his thirst on his Journeys from Madinah and Makkah while he fasted... "O Lord, bless his righteousness to his mother and his father... "O Lord, I commend him to Your cause and I am pleased with whatever You decree for him. And grant me for his sake the reward of those who are patient and who persevere.

They embraced each other and exchanged a farewell look. After one hour of fierce, unparalleled battle, the martyr received a deadly stroke. By sunset, Abdullah was dead. Al-Hajaj, cruel, cunning, and deceiving as he was, insisted on crucifying the Lifeless body. Abdullah's mother, went to see her crucified son. Like a high towering mountain, his mother stood in front of him when Al-Hajaj approached with shame and humiliation and said, "O Mother, the Commander of the Faithful 'Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan has recommended me to treat you well. Do you need anything?"

She shouted, " I'm not your mother. I'm the mother of that one crucified on the cross. I don't need you. But I'm going to tell you a hadith which I heard from the Prophet (PBUH). He said, ‘He will emerge from Thaqif, a liar and a vicious one.’ We have already seen the liar and the vicious one. I don't think he's anyone else but you."

Just over ten days later, his mother joined him. She was a hundred years old. Age had not made her infirm nor blunted the keenness of her mind.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Reminding each other..The Doa of A Mother

Dearest Muslim Mums,

I would like to remind mothers all over the world to always, always pray(doa) for your children. Not just for the usual things we pray for after the solat like their health, obedience, success, welfare and the hereafter but also for daily things that you would like them to be. The Prophet (SAW) said that the doa of a compassionate and loving person (i.e. a mother) will not be ignored, and thus mothers, you must use this tool everyday in bringing up your children!

For example, unremarkable everyday problems like when you need to potty train your children. You can prepare yourself and your child by doa to Allah everyday before starting to train your child so that He will make it easier for you to teach him. InsyaAllah He will make it easier for you. Or when you have sleepless nights because your baby likes to cry at night, doa to Allah to help your baby sleep peacefully throughout the night. InsyaAllah He will help you. Or when you want to start to teach your child to read. Or when you want to take away his pacifier. Or when your child does not listen to your instructions and you want him to be more mindful of your advices. Or a more obvious example is when your child is not feeling well, doa to Allah to make him better soon and that the sickness will not worsen. In short, anything at all when dealing with your children, you must doa, on top of all the other methods you are using. Remember, Allah understands all languages and from my own humble experience, Allah will always listen to a mother's prayer, insyaAllah. Just believe!

Below is a useful article I found about doa or supplication. I hope you will find it useful and enlightening. Wallahua'lam.

Compiled by Saeed bin Ali Al-Qahtani
Translated by Omm Rafiq
Part I
Virtues of Supplication (Dua) Ayah: "And your Lord says: Call on me; I will answer (your prayer). But those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell in humiliation." [Ghafur / Mu'min: 60]
Ayah: "When my servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me. . ." [Baqarah:186]
Hadith: "Dua is (a form) of worship; your Lord said, "Call on Me; I will answer you (your prayer).
Hadith: "Verily, your Lord (Blessed is He and Almighty) is alive, generous and if His servant raises his hands towards Him, He feels reluctant not to return anything to him."
Hadith: "Any Muslim who supplicates Allah with a supplication that does not contain any sin or cutting off of family relations, Allah will give him one of three things for it:
1. Either He will speedily answer his dua
2. or He will save it for him until the Hereafter
3. or He will avert something bad from him equal to the value of his dua.
(Explanation: a dua has a certain relative value determined by Allah, so if a person says a particular dua, say 15 times in a day, then Allah protects him from something bad that is equal to the valued amount of his dua.)

Part II
Customs and Manners of Making duas and the Causes for their Being Answered:
1. Faithfulness to Allah
2. To start with thanking Allah and praising Him and then giving salat on the Prophet (SAW) and ending the dua with the same.
3. To be serious in dua and certain that it will be answered
4. Persistence in the dua and not rushing it (Hadith says don't rush or be impatient. Don't say "I prayed for such and such a thing and Allah didn't answer my prayer. Allah dislikes that.)
5. To put your heart into the dua -- make it from your heart (even if you are reading the words, i.e., mean what you say)
6. Say dua in times of crises as well as times that are good -- don't just say dua in times of need only.
7. Ask Allah alone -- and no one else.
8. Do not make dua against someone's family or money or child or life -- that is, don't say I wish that that person's family be destroyed, or I pray that she loses all her money, or I wish his oldest son would fail or I wish that he would die.
9. Make dua in a moderately low voice -- not silent yet not completely out loud.
10. Know your sins (faults) and seek forgiveness for them and know and acknowledge the benefits and blessings you have been given and thank Allah for them.
11. The oppressor should make amends for what he has done and repent.
12. Turn to Allah with humility, desire and fear of Him.
13. Do not use rhymed prose when making dua.
14. The supplication is (said) three (times). [Hadith that states that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) when making dua, repeated it 3 times.]
15. Face the Qiblah when making dua.
16. Raise the hands during dua [sunnah, not wajib]
17. Make wudu before making dua when possible.
18. Don't pray for injurious or harmful things to happen to people (like praying someone has an unfortunate mishap, or falls down, or chokes or breaks his leg, etc.) Also remember, that the Angels say "Ameen" and the same for you," after your dua.
19. The person making dua should start with himself if he is going to pray for someone else.
20. To make intercession to Allah by use of His beautiful Names and superior Attributes, or by some good deed that the supplicator performed or by the dua of a good man living, who is in his presence (e.g., asking someone who is a good Muslim to make dua for you)
21. That the food and drink and clothing is halal and of a halal source
22. Do not make dua for a sin or cutting off of family ties.
23. To order that which is good and forbid that which is forbidden
24. Distancing one's self from all types of sin.

THE PREFERRED TIMES, CONDITIONS AND PLACES SUPPLICATIONS ARE ANSWERED: (bearing in mind that one can make dua at any time and in any place; however, the following are the most preferable times, conditions and places.)
1. Lailatul Qadr
2. Deep in the last third of the night
3. Immediately after the mandatory prayers
4. Between the adhan and iqamah
5. An hour during every night -- [hadith states that Allah comes down to the sky of the earth during the last 3rd of the night and hears the duas of the believers]
6. At the time of the call to the mandatory prayers
7. At the time of rain
8. During jihad when the ranks of fighters (mujahidoun) advance in the path of Allah
9. An hour every Friday -- the soundest opinion regarding this hour is the last hour between the hours of Asr on the day of Juma, and it could be the hour of the khutba and salat.
10. At the time of drinking Zamzam water with true intentions
11. During sajda
12. At the time of waking up at night and there are hadith regarding what the Prophet r said in these duas
13. If you sleep after having made wudu then wake up at night and then make supplication
14. After you say dua Yunus, make your personal dua or one from Qur'an or sunnah and it is La illah ila Allah subhannaka inni kuntu min al thaalimeen.
15. Dua of people after the death of a person (e.g. the dua of a person who is praying for someone who has just died)
16. Dua after praising Allah and giving salat on the Prophet (SAW) in the tashah-hud at the end of salat. Make your dua before the 2 tasleems.
17. At the time of dua, call upon Allah by the greatest of His names that, if called by them, He answers, and if asked by them, He gives (e.g. Ya Rahman, Ya Raheem, Ya Thal Jalaali wal Ikraam, Ya Al Ahad As Samad, lam yalid wa lam yulad wa lam yakum kuf wan ahad)
18. The dua of a Muslim for his brother or sister Muslim stemming from the heart.
19. Dua on the Day of Arafat
20. Dua during the month of Ramadan
21. Dua at the time of a Muslim gathering for the purpose of remembering Allah.
22. Dua at the time of a crisis by saying Inna lilahi wa inna ilaihi raje'oon, Allahuma ajurni fi museebati, wa akhlif li khairun minha. Verily, we belong to Allah, and verily, to Him is our return. O Allah, Bless me in my problem and replace it for me with something better than it.
23. Dua when the heart reaches out to Allah and is ready to be totally sincere
24. Dua of the oppressed against the one who is oppressing him
25. Dua of the father or mother for the son
26. Dua of the traveler
27. Dua of the one fasting until he breaks his fast.
28. Dua of the one fasting at the time of breaking fast
29. Dua of a desperate person
30. Dua of a just imam
31. Dua of a son or daughter obedient to his or her parents
32. Dua immediately after wudu saying what has been mentioned in the hadith that is directly related to it (ablution)
33. Dua after stoning the jamrat sughra during Hajj
34. Dua after stoning the jamrat wusta during Hajj.
35. Dua made inside the Ka'aba and the dua of one who prays inside the hijr Ismail as it is part of the bait Allah.[This is the semicircle to the right of the Ka'aba if you face the door.]
36. Dua on the mount of Safa during Umrah or Hajj
37. Dua on the mount of Marwa during Umrah or Hajj
38. Dua at any of the holy sites.
Note: The believer can call to his Lord at any time, wherever he is but these times and conditions and places are special and more care should be taken.

Note: All of these circumstances are substantiated by hadith.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ya Ummi

A Nasheed by Sami Yusuf

Blessed is your face,
Blessed is your name,
My beloved,

Blessed is your smile,
Which makes my soul wants to fly,
My beloved,

All the nights and all the time you cared for me,
But I never realized now it's too late forgive me,
Now I’m alone filled with so much shame
For all the years I’ve caused you pain.
If only I could sleep in your arms again,
Mother, I’m lost without you.

You were the sun that brightens my day,
Now who’s gonna wipe my tears away?
If only I knew what I know today,
Mother, I’m lost without you.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Can Muslims Celebrate Mother's Day?

by Hesham A. Hassaballa

There was a time in my life when I thought Mother's Day to be a holiday of the "infidels," not worthy of celebration by a Muslim. Time and wisdom have taught me otherwise. Mother's Day is an American cultural practice that is wholly consistent with Islam's principles.

The Qur'an places kindness to the parents on par with proper worship of God: "Worship and serve God, do not associate any partners with Him, and do good to your parents..."(4:36). The textual juxtaposition of worshipping God and honoring the parents is not coincidental. Maltreatment of parents is one of the most deadly sins in all of Islam. Furthermore, God implores believers to extend the hand of mercy to their parents: "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: 'My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood'" (17:23-24).

After God, my mother has been the source of my strength, my success, my life-force. Everything I am I owe to her. She taught me how to be a man; how to be a husband; how to be a father; how to be a son. Most importantly, she gave me God, and she taught me how to worship and see Him in everything that I do. She ingrained in me the importance of developing a personal relationship with God and developing that relationship throughout my life. Had it not been for my mother, I most probably would not have either known or discovered the beauty of the worship and love of God.

This Mother's Day, however, and every Mother's Day thereafter, in fact, is even more special. I live with another mother who is as important to me: my wife. She is nothing short of a miracle for me. She came to me during the darkest days of my spiritual life, in the depths of my loneliness. She was a precious gift from God, a diamond in the rough. Her amazing character, her fortitude, her maturity, her strength of will is nothing short of inspiring to me. I thank God from the depths of my heart for this most undeserved blessing.

I feed off of her strength. I was in awe of her strength after seeing her endure two difficult pregnancies. She showed her true magnanimity, however, soon after we returned from the Hajj. When our daughter was diagnosed with a crippling genetic disorder, Ataxia-Telangiectasia, my wife was surely devastated. I knew she was crying, no screaming, inside, but tears rarely streamed down her beautiful countenance. She, like me, decided to move on, and she was determined to help our daughter the best way she can.

She continually pushed me to be firm with reluctant insurance companies who did not want to pay for this test or that. She refused to back down when she was told, "No." Even today, as we plan to put our daughter into the public school system, my wife is an unrelenting advocate for our daughter's best interests. She is nothing short of an inspiration.

She does all this after taking care of and educating thirty children of other parents, as my wife teaches the fourth grade full time. She does all this and still does everything she can to tend to the sometimes selfish needs of our family. She does all this while putting up with my occasional selfish stupidity. The compassion she has for our children, even in the depths of fatigue, overflows from her heart. She is truly an amazing woman, and her strength outshines mine hundreds of times over. There is no way on earth I could do what she does day in and day out. She is nothing short of an inspiration.

A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) and asked him, "To which of my parents do I owe the most allegiance?" He replied, "Your mother." The man then asked, "Then who?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother." The man repeated, "Then who?" The Prophet said yet again, "Your mother." The man then asked, "Then who?" The Prophet then said, "Your father."

As I reflect on this Mother's Day, invariably the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also comes to mind: "Paradise is underneath the foot of the mother." How true that statement is. Growing up with my mom and living with my wife have made me truly understand why the Prophet stressed allegiance to one's mother. I proudly kiss my mother's hand in public, and if she would let me, I would kiss my wife's hand in public as well!

This Mother's Day, as we go out to dinner, or gather at someone's home, or call our mothers and say hello, let us reflect a little more on the greatness of our mothers. Let us start kissing our mothers' hands in public and be proud of doing so. If I were smarter, I would do all that I could to literally follow the footsteps of my mother and my wife, because it is there that I will find Paradise.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Nurturing Islam From the Womb

Dearest Muslim Mothers,

The spiritual education process must start from the moment a child is conceived in your womb. This is a useful guide as to how you can do this from conception to birth:
  • In Islam, pregnant mothers are encouraged to recite the Quran more often than normal, especially of the Surah Yusuf, Maryam, Luqman and At-Taubah.
  • An expectant mother must always perform the doa to Allah to ask for a child that is soleh/ solehah, who will be knowledgeable, who has iman (faith in Allah), taqwa and an honorable character.
  • It is very important for parents to buy any food and nourishment for the family with money that is halal i.e. money earned from sources that are halal as the seed which will grow inside the mother must be from halal flesh and blood.
  • A pregnant mother must eat nutritious food and take care of her health. Cleanliness must be maintained in preparing food to ensure health of the babyin the womb. The health of a pregnant mother is so important in Islam that a pregnant mother may break her fast if she was fasting on that day, if in any way the fast is detrimental to herself or her child.
  • After the birth, the father must immediately recite the adzhan in the baby's right ear and the iqamah in the left ear in accordance with the Prophet's practice when Fatimah gave birth to his grandchild, Hasan. (Hadith by Abu Daud and at-Tarmizi)

  • Next, according to sunnah, a small bit of tamar (squashed) or some honey is put in the baby's mouth first before any milk from the mother's breast. (Hadith by Bukhari and Muslim)
  • On the baby's 7th day, it is sunnah for the parents of the baby to give charity by performing the aqiqah for the child; 1 goat for a boy or 2 for a girl. It is also sunnah for his/her hair to be shaved clean so that the the baby has a clean head, with an intelligent mind and his/her new hair will grow well.
  • A breast-feeding mother must eat good food which is halal, clean and nutritious. While breast feeding, she must consistently pray in her heart (recite the doa) for her child's well being and success in life and the hereafter. While putting him to sleep with a lullaby, the mother should choose to sing a lullaby that praises Allah and his Messenger.
  • And finally, when the child starts talking, his/her parents should always use good and kind words to him and practice the zikr and salawat with/ in front of the child.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Little Story...Abu Salamah and Ummu Salamah

Abu Salamah and his wife were indeed a very loving couple. One day Ummu Salamah said to Abu Salamah, ‘I heard from the Prophet that if a husband and his wife are both given permission to enter heaven, then the husband will be together again with his wife if the wife did not marry anybody else after her husband’s passing. And it goes the same way with the wife. She will be together again with her husband if he did not marry again after her passing. Promise me, then, between us, we will not remarry if one of us dies.’ Abu Salamah replied, ‘Will you obey me, wife?’ To which she answered, ‘That is the reason why I am having this discussion with you, in order to obey your decision.’
Abu Salamah then said, ‘I want you to remarry if I die before you.’ And then, Abu Salamah prayed; ‘Ya Allah, after my death, bless Ummu Salamah with a husband who is better than me, who will not cause her sorrow or hardship.’ And when Abu Salamah died later due to an old wound from the Battle of Uhud, Ummu Salamah was offered by none other than Rasulullah himself to which she accepted.


Hello there. I am a mother aged 30. I have 2 young children aged 2 and 5 and we are living in London with my husband and father to the children. This blog is for me to post anything I find to be interesting and useful for muslim mothers like myself. Feel free to comment or leave any suggestions under the entries. I welcome stories too from anyone who cares to share their experiences with me. Looking forward for this journey. Wassalam.