Quotes

As I grow, I learn and as I learn, I grow

Sunday, 28 September 2014

WILL YOU MARRY ME?



WILL YOU MARRY ME?




4th Dhul-Hijjah, 1435                                             Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuh brothers and sisters. So I got a boost to write this article. It is 11:26pm and I should be sleeping now but my energy level went haywire. I have just been taught yet another great lesson by my adorable mum and brother, a family I am consciously and unconsciously learning from. Alhamdulillaah for the love and lessons. The lesson in the simplest statement is: Let Allah azza wa jal take care of everything. I have always believed so but the understanding got a lot clearer. May Allah azza wa jal bless us all. Aameen.

So, I wanted to write a follow-up article to the Young Scholar Saga but I got a tap to write on this particular topic. My article on the Polygamy Unrest sparked a number of responses from people. I want to share two of them with you here.

1.      It touched my heart to the core: An unknown lady on whatsapp after reading the article had said simply to me: ‘May Allah bless our husbands with the best of wives.’ That to me was a beautiful thing to hear from a married woman.

2.      This lady simply didn’t get my point so she says; ‘Why don’t you wait until you are married before you start telling us whether to accept polygamy or not?’ She added that why don’t I talk to the guys to solve the many problems polygamy brings instead of them (the women). So after I tried to make her understand the point of the article to no avail; I said to myself: ‘Ok, she missed the point.’ Smiles…

Marriage…

Marriage is a beautiful thing. Oh yes! I just wrote that. I am an advocate of marriage even though some will say; ‘Why aren’t you married then?’ In shaa Allah, if it is Allah’s will that I marry, I would (smile to Jannah). Marriage is the Sunnah of the most awesome of humans, rasuulullaahi suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. Thinking someone does not want to marry is like thinking someone doesn’t want to embark on the Sunnah of rasuulullaah (May Allah azza wa jal forbid).

As we advocate for marriage among us, we do not also forget that; ‘If the Sunnah of Rasuulullaah must be done, it must be done well.’ Interestingly, I don’t like to write or talk about marriage much because I feel all that I know is theory even though I believe it is theory that people turn into practicals to make it work. All the same, I want to not talk about marriage itself but the situation of some of our ladies before marriage. You know, I am a Muslimah and I worry for myself and my sisters more (don’t worry guys; some things are for Muslimahs only).

Different Shades of Situations of the Muslimah

Some women were meant to marry early and some late (I don’t know how to define the early and late: we could have different perspectives to it). Some have loads of proposals, some a few, some none and all of that for various reasons. Some are so eager to marry and some are not and all of that. This article wants to look at one category of this Muslimahs; those who want to get married and for one reason or the other cannot get married.

Want to Get Married; Can’t Get Married

The Muslimahs who want to get married but cannot do so could be in that situation for a variety of reasons. 

1.      They haven’t had their choice even though they have many men coming.

2.      They are unable to do so for some health, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc. reason.

3.      The men aren’t simply coming and many others.

They haven’t had their Choice

When a woman is not finding her choice, it could be for some reasons as well.

1.      She is looking for something way out of the way which the men who come her way do not possess.

2.      She is not looking for anything much but the men who come her way don’t have it.

Something Out of the Way or Not Out of the Way

The woman who is looking for something beyond normal bears the burden of not getting what she wants. It could be that she will get what she wants someday or she may have to settle with someone who does not have what she wants someday if she cannot bear not being married anymore. 

The same is true for she who wants something that is not out of the way but she is unable to have it. She may have to settle with someone else who does not have what she wants if she cannot bear not being married any longer. So the case of this saying comes in; ‘If the desirable is not available, the available becomes desirable.’

If the Desirable is not Available, the Available becomes Desirable

It is an interesting saying that keeps me smiling when I read it. And oh! I have seen this saying give a lot of ladies and gentlemen vim to keep up with their lives where they wanted someone so badly who didn’t want them. They just told themselves; ‘Come on! Get real and make use of the available kawai!’ 

I love this saying and I believe that is how life should be for continuity to be ensured otherwise, we would all be stacked at one place. The women and men who cannot have what they original desired make do and find desire in that which is available to them. That is a beautiful concept even though for me; ‘It is what I have that I desire.’ If I cannot have it, I cannot desire it! Finish. 

So, What is My Problem?

Mostly, I write my article on observations I make in order to air my views to people hoping that perhaps, I might be able to help someone out there bi iznillaah (by the permission of Allah azza wa jal). 

My Observation

For a number of reasons, I see a lot of sisters who aren’t married and are craving to marry send the whole marriage craving thing to a negative next level. And I say; ‘This is not healthy!’ They want to marry and they seem to think that the power to do so lies in their hands even though for some; no matter how hard they try, it just doesn’t happen to them. The interesting fact which they overlook however is; at the end of the day, whoever Allah azza wa jal wills to get married, will get married and how that will be done, is no human being’s business. That is not also to say that we do not have to do something about getting ourselves married. After we have tried our best, and we cannot force ourselves to marry those we do not want to marry fiisabilillaah (for the sake of Allah) nor do we have to force men to marry us, we should leave everything in the hands of Allah azza wa jal.

The craving gets worse when the age thing sets in. I am growing too old. No man will want to marry me at such an age (and the men also just make it the more worse) and then people will not stop pressuring (it is as if they are those who are going to live in the marriage for you. Heheheheheeeee). Yet, there are those who are really concerned and help in the healthiest of ways. For them, you should always be grateful and then have mercy upon yourself. 

The Truth Which You Must Know

Every kind of man and the kind of woman he wants. The same applies to the women. It is not every man who will get the kind of woman he wants and it is not every woman who will get the kind of man she wants so the desirability-availability factor comes in. I have dealt with quiet a number of guys (mind you, I always build a barrier; physical and virtual; a woman deals with principles) and some of the things they sometimes tell me they want in a woman makes me laugh my head off. I tell myself: ‘Cho! What is this guy thinking?’ 

Just a gist: A guy said he wanted someone at the age of 27 or early 30s may be because he wanted maturity…I was way below that and then he said, if it is you, then no problem…even if you were in your teens…that sure is funny. I kept asking; ‘Why worry yourself over something as trivial as age when there was a lot more you could bother about?’ But such is the nature of men. They will always have specifics: Age, Skin colour, height, weight, tribe, and the likes which all lead to one thing; the physical being…it is not their fault, it is their right. 

Interesting still, a guy said he wanted someone who speaks Arabic…I don’t speak Arabic…he said if it is you, then it is ok. I ask myself still; ‘Is that how little his ‘wants’ meant to him?’ Why then did he make that a specific? I was wondering how many good girls he could have missed just looking for something like that which obviously wasn’t of so much importance to him anyway. Sometimes I look at the choice of spouse a religious guy, whose family-ambitions I know, makes and I go thinking…(I am the pondering type), ‘Why that?’ And then the results start showing…the dream is getting killed. So, imagine you are a woman who does not have anything that the guys around you want, what do you do? Kill yourself? No! No human being is worth that ever! You must start looking for one kind of man…just one kind of man…

The Kind of Man to Start Looking for

Look for the man who is a religious person and accepts you for the sake of Allah azza wa jal solely. A man who wants a lot more than what he sees. A man who wants the Allah azza wa jal in you. A man who will not think you are too young or too old, too short or too tall, too fair or too dark, too thin or too fat, too rich or too poor, etc. The interesting thing is that; such men are hard to find even though I believe they are everywhere. You must look for a man who respects and works with what Allah azza wa jal and His rasuul suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam says enough to treat you well no matter how he finds you; so far as you are Allah inclined. 

What You do Whiles You Look and Wait

Work on being Allah inclined. Marriage, from what I have learnt from my many mentors and people around, is not just a game of balls. It is a lot more than that. Imagine that the whole of your marriage life could constitute 50% of your worship of Allah azza wa jal. That means it is not something you must play with. You must work at getting the full mark or an excellent pass. It is interesting however how we are suddenly making marriage look like a first/one day affair: the dresses, receptions and all of that. No! That is just an entry point to a lifetime affair if that is what Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa wills. So, if you want to do the Prophet’s sunnah and do it well, you must work on your personality (your understanding, your way of doing things, your knowledge, etc).

So instead of wasting your time and energy craving and obsessing about getting married when it is not happening, work at making yourself the kind of person that your husband when he finally comes will count himself lucky to have. Work at making your children when they ever and or finally come count themselves blessed to have a mother like you.
Among the things you can work on are;

1.      Submissiveness (that is something worth learning if you are thinking of having an awesome home).

2.      Your communication skills and abilities (you must know how to talk to and with your spouse in every kind of situation).

3.      Learn basic things about how to keep a family running no matter the ease or difficulties.

4.      Keeping yourself and home clean, organised and fresh (do not be like one who puts everything everywhere).

5.      Learn about intimacy stuff (some you will learn in the course of the marriage of course; just know basics at least).

6.      Expand your knowledge base, your intelligence, your smartness (you need it if you are ever thinking of bringing up a child; you have to outsmart the little ones).

7.      Child upbringing issues (that is one of the most important; to the Ummah of rasuul).

8.      Work at becoming a ‘Beautiful Soul.’ On this one, I hope to write an article in shaa Allah.
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Do not forget that du'a is the weapon of the believer...it is real...

And the list is endless…

There is so much to do than to worry over nothing. I don’t want to continue writing. I am grateful that you have read this and I pray that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa accepts from all of us and unite us in His love on the Day of Mutual Loss and Gain. Aameen. I would be glad if you don’t just read my articles but rather ponder on them and work with at least something in it so that we benefit from one another. It is called; ‘the Multiplier Effect.’ Kikikikiiiiiiiiiiiii! Remember that I love you for the sake of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and I pray that He loves us even more. Aameen.

Jazaakumullaahu khair always!
Assalaamu alaykum!
www.mmahajia.blogspot.com for my articles
Rubaba




Friday, 26 September 2014

THE YOUNG SCHOLAR SAGA: The Virtual World and the Young Scholar’s Pen






2nd Dhul-Hijjah, 1435                                            Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

It is not just the most beautiful greeting but the most blessed one you could ever be given. It is a greeting that isn’t compulsory to give but is mandatory for you to respond to. So, I say to you; ‘Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuh my brother or sister. How have you been? Alhamdulillaah, I have never been anything but excellent.’

If you have not yet come to the realization of how awesome this greeting and its response is; I plead with you to give yourself some time to ponder upon it so that when you say it to someone you will do so with passion and when someone says it to you, you would count yourself lucky enough to give it back in full bloom.

So, to my subject matter for today which I am foreseeing will be quiet lengthier than usual. This is an article I have been wanting to write for some time now. I have even written it in different forms in my head (smile to Jannah). Alhamdulillaah that I am finally writing it.
I keep asking myself anytime the results of my facebook activities especially come popping up into my face (I guess you understand that) the simple question;

‘How did it all start?’

How it Started

So, I didn’t want to join facebook because I had some not-so-good perceptions about it. Then, I don’t know where I got the kick from, but I found myself there. Next thing, I was connecting with friends from the old and the new (I was in level 200 then). 

Suddenly, my name did the magic. I started getting friends’ requests from foreigners: Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and many of such countries. Some tried to chat with me in their language thinking I was their country woman. The name Rubaba was familiar to them (and imagine that my own country women and men aren’t familiar with it…chai!). 

So they sent me messages on mainly Islamic issues and then they added me to many Islamic groups and invited me to some pages as well. It was so much fun being a part of such a family and very ‘lesson full’. There was one particular person who always tagged me in his notes which were mostly on touchy stories of Islamic history and others.

What Happened Afterwards

In the beginning of my facebook days, I was just doing usual hooking up with school mates and acquaintances. Knowing these people (the Bangladishi, e.t.c.) added flavour and purpose to the whole facebook game: Da’awah.

Being a part of them taught me that I could gain some rewards on this network by doing what I have already learnt to love doing best; talking about Islam and its beauty and that is ‘Da’awah.’

I happened to be the women’s commissioner of the Ghana Muslim Students’ Association of the University of Ghana then so I created a group on behalf of the executives especially for sisters: Pearls of Peace, UG. Funny enough, we added guys to the group and we learnt and discussed numerous things. So it continued like that until today: I share what I learn and know with all my friends. I post on social issues too. And now, my facebook activities have widened and grown into something that is an important part of me, alhamdulillaah.

Among the Facebook Results that Keep Popping up

1.      Messages of appreciation.
2.      Messages of admirations and wanting to be closer: friends, sisters, brother-sister (how do I put that?).
3.      The marriage proposals (the good and the bad of it).
4.      Need for help with problems (emotional, spiritual, physical, academic and sometimes financial).
5.      Invitations to programmes and all
6.      The questions about deen (Islam)

The Questions About Deen

Of all the above, I would like to dwell on this particular one due to the purpose of this article. 

So, people sent (they still do) me questions about the deen that they needed answers to. Some were very simple like; how many are the Islamic daily prayers? (Smile to Jannah), and some were simply not questions I should even attempt to answer and so I don’t. What I did was to ask appropriate people for help and when they are able to do so, I relate their answers making sure to let the questioners know that I am not a scholar and the answers are not from me.

Some Key Lessons from Facebook

1. Among the many lessons I have learnt on facebook are that; when you are on any social network, you must have strict principles with which to operate for your own good and for the good of the people you interact with especially when you are a MUSLIMAH. 

As a Muslimah, you need those principles to survive and by survival, I mean; to keep your dignity intact. Among the many principles should be that; you do not entertain guys, be they Muslims (the religious or not) or non-Muslims. That should be an unbreakable rule that you set for yourself because some of the guys are hyper for trouble.

2. Do not take a wrong advantage of the admiration and appreciation people have for your personality on social networks especially when your activities are da’awah inclined.

Taking Advantage

I have tasted the sweetness of the universal Islamic feel of brotherhood and sisterhood on social networks; facebook and whatsapp especially. So many of the very close sisters I have today were initially facebook friends only. Now, I have many close sisters from different countries whom I have never met but it feels as if I really know them due to our common understanding that Islam is our binder.

It is equally amazing and heart-touching when someone feels comfortable enough to confide in you over sometimes very critical issues when they have never met you. You begin to wonder about what it is that they see in you. The expressions of admiration, appreciation and love fiisabilillaah is so touching that I can only hope that Allah azza wa jal accepts from all of us and unite us in Beauty; Paradise.

And it is true that we do take advantage of the trust people on social networks have for us especially to tell them about Islam and our views on some social happenings. That is plausible. What is not right is that we make these people believe that we are scholars which we are not just because we can search, learn and share Islam with them. So, that is what this article is about.

The Young Scholar

Alhamdulillaah, there are many scholars on facebook, both local and foreign ones. These scholars post links to their lectures for people to access. These scholars are however not my focus even though I am going to compare them to my interest group: the young scholars in the virtual world.

My use of young here is not wholly in terms of the age of these scholars but it also features how narrow their knowledge is. The young scholars in the virtual world (social networks – facebook, whatsapp, etc) are those young people who always watch and listen to Islamic lectures, read Islamic stuffs from ‘sheikh Google’ and others. Due to this attitude (commendable when done right), they have come to know a lot about their deen and they are able to share with others what they learn.

Some of these young scholars can recite the Qur’an in Arabic, they probably don’t speak Arabic that much but they understand some things in the Qur’an. The use of the English Qur’an and Qur’an tafseer (commentary) books makes that a lot easier. Some, alhamdulillaah, also attend schools that teach them Islam. For this, we should all be proud of these young scholars and thank and praise Allah azza wa jal for them.

How some of these Young Scholars Become a Problem

In one very interesting lecture by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, he talks about the different types of youths. Check my article; The Youth; which one are you?’ for a brief on the lecture. Among the youths that he spoke about was one who had gotten better in his deen over time but instead of helping others in the best of ways to also grow, he rather takes the self-righteousness approach which is obviously not good. I named this category of the youths; the Seemingly Religious Youth in the article stated above.

Now, I would like to look at the young scholar in the light of the ‘Seemingly Religious Youth.’

Characteristics of the Young Scholars in the light of the SRY

1.      Knowledge is Extremely Narrow

It is true that the Noble Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said that we should preach the message of Islam even if what we know was just a word or an ayah (verse). It is for this reason that we should be proud of every da’ee (one who preaches the message of Islam) whether he is young or old, and whether he is the most or the least knowledgeable.

However, we do not ignore the damage that a narrow knowledge could cause provided one does not know how to say; ‘I don’t know’ when he is asked about something he does not know.

So, in our virtual world, we see young people who have turned themselves or have been turned into scholars giving rulings ‘by heart’ on sometimes very sensitive issues on which various scholars sometimes differ. Some of them, due to their sources of knowledge (websites mostly), are not even aware that there are differences of opinions among scholars on many issues which are all deemed valid. The moment they are attached to a particular website, from which they go to copy rulings on issues to feed their students in the virtual world, they forget that sometimes these websites go with a particular madthhab (school of thought).

The Danger in this

The students of these young scholars in the virtual world tend to start seeing all other people who have opinions that are different from their scholars’ as wrong. This is because of two things.

1.      They do not know except what these Young Scholars teach them.
2.      They have grown to trust these Young Scholars over time due to their religious activities in the virtual world.

2. Over-confidence in their knowledge

That is self-explanatory. These young scholars believe in themselves so much that they do not find the need to even consider Islamic opinions that are different from theirs so as to benefit their students with a variety of understandings like some of the highly respected scholars do.

3. Condemnation of the Real Scholars

This is the height of the troubles of some of these young scholars. A young scholar, as I described above, will learn from a variety of scholars (alhamdulillaah, we have many of them especially now) and then the moment the feeling of self-righteousness starts taking over the better part of him, seeing the many people who believe in what he also says, begin to condemn these same scholars who have taught him (the five pillars of Islam which makes him Muslim and others). Interesting enough, the disagreement and condemnation which comes with insults of all types are mostly on issues that are nothing to write home about. 

The very worst of it is where such a young scholar pronounces the real scholar as a kaafir (disbeliever) just because he holds a different opinion on a particular issue. It is amazing (at least it amazes me) how a Muslim is unable to measure the seriousness of pronouncing his fellow Muslim as a kaafir. Yet these young scholars do so with ease even to the real scholars (some have the whole Qur’an in their heads, some are muftis by learning and training, some are memorizers of ahaadith, some know almost the whole of seerah, and they preach these knowledge to millions of people).

One thing that these young scholars have not tasked themselves to learn is how we could disagree on some particular matters and still respect one another’s opinion because at least we all agree on that which makes us Muslims; the five pillars of Islam. They have not learnt what many renowned Islamic scholars have come to learn with time that their opinions alone should not be that which is right always because they are humans susceptible to being wrong.

Ustadh Nouman says clearly as one of his principles for da’awah that he does not answer questions on hadith, fiqh and others except on Qur’an because his knowledge in the former two is limited. Dr Yasir Qadhi admits without regret that when he was younger, he had said some things in his lectures that were only as a result of his uncontrolled passion against some people and he adds that these passions were as a result of the means in which his scholars taught him – they hated some people for no reason and so they programmed his mind to feel the same. Growing up and learning more, he realizes that things are not as he used to believe. This is maturity in scholarship to me at least. 

I was invited to give a talk on; Purification of the Heart at an all ladies’ programme some time ago and I met a wonderful soul there. She was the chairperson of the programme, her whole body covered in black. She uncovered her face because it was only ladies. I was attracted to her for one particular reason – the manner in which she answered questions. Subhaanallaah! You would just love it. She would say; according to this and according to that and they are all valid and when she doesn’t know, she says so and then she would ask for whoever knows to contribute.

For me, that is the point some of these young scholars are missing. And that is unpardonable because we are in a time where knowledge of these things is everywhere for the seeker.

Who are the Main Victims of the Young Scholars?

The victims of the young scholars are the people who unfortunately, due to their lack of knowledge on Islam, depend solely on them on these social networks for what is halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden) in Islam.

To me, the main victims of these young scholars are the ladies. Oh yes! Too many sisters have too many questions on Islam which they desperately need answers to. Too many sisters are not ready to learn their deen. They want to be spoon-fed all the time. They do not want to buy or download books on Islam and read. They do not want to watch lectures by renowned scholars on different aspects of Islam which are all over to update their knowledge on Islam. 

For that and many other reasons, they just depend totally on their young scholars whom they have put 100% of their trust in to tell them what to do and what not to do. Read! They won’t do so. Watch the right materials! They won’t do so. So you see these sisters raising the status of these young scholars whose knowledge they admire to the next level. This is truth and truth must be said as it is. 

What Really is My Problem?

1.      I will discuss what my major problem is with this negative aspect of the young scholarship in a next article in shaa Allah (perhaps then, it will be your problem too).

2.      I have always been interested in the history of the Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions radiyallaahu anhum. Their lifestyles and how they disagreed on issues sometimes and still stood together, how they did not believe their singular opinions alone counted, how they thought of others as better in knowledge than them even when they were obviously among the best and many of such characteristics about them are extremely admirable and so we must preach that to everyone else. Just look at the personalities of Abu Bakr and Umar radiyallaahu anhum and how they stood together for example. So I ask myself; ‘why don’t we all start learning to really be like these people?’

And I want to end my long article here with the hope that I am able to write the second aspect of this soon in shaa Allah. Remember that I did not write this for any particular person but it is due to a general observation I have made in the virtual world. I do admire and appreciate all the Muslims in this virtual world who are trying their best to portray this blessed deen (Islam) as best as they could. May Allah azza wa jal reward all of our efforts, save us from riyaa and accept from us. Aameen. I love you fiisabilillaah and I pray that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa blesses us with His Shade and Nuur on the Day of Accounts. Aameen.

Jazaakumullaahu khair always!
Assalaamu alaykum!
www.mmahajia.blogspot.com for my articles
Rubaba