Islam and women
The soul of actions
Umm Milad Attariyyah
To Muslims, nothing is more precious than their faith, and this is why Satan strives to deprive them of it. Hence, one can come to know of the importance of faith in Islam from the fact that Allah Almighty has mentioned ‘اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ’ many times in the Quran. Interestingly, faith is mentioned before actions, alluding to the notion that good works and worship are unimportant unless preceded by and rooted in firm conviction and sound belief. Just as a building lacks integrity if its foundations are weak, good works have no value when bereft of sound faith.
Faith (Iman) literally means ‘to affirm,’ (Tafseer Qurtubi, under the verse 3, vol. 1, p. 174) and ‘to provide safety; a believer adopts sound doctrine and saves himself from eternal punishment, this is why adopting sound doctrine is known as faith,’ (Tafseer-e-Na’eemi, under the verse 3, vol. 1, p. 98). Faith for a Muslim means accepting, with conviction, the foundational precepts of Islam, (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, p. 172, amendments) such as the oneness of Allah Almighty, our Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being the last prophet, the prophethood of previous prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام, Salah, fasting, Hajj, Paradise, Hell, and resurrection and reckoning on the Day of Judgement, etc. Even the slightest scepticism about a foundational precept, let alone utter denial of it, is disbelief and prompts the anathematisation of the person, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 29, p. 413, Summarised).
Gauge and ask yourself how much knowledge you have of the foundational precepts of Islam and if you have acquired sufficient knowledge to safeguard your faith. Unfortunately, due to ignorance and readily accepting hearsay, many women make problematic, often blasphemous, remarks that put their faith in danger. For the sake of your faith and the faith of your children, be critical when hearing un-Islamic ideas from people in the community such as elderly ladies.
Learn the core doctrines of Islam and regularly share them with your children. These include, to name a few, that our creator is Allah Almighty; we are all His servants; our Beloved Prophet Sayyiduna Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the final Prophet of Allah and no prophet will come after him; and all Companions of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم will enter Paradise. Talk to your children about Paradise, Hell, and life in the Hereafter because what they learn in childhood will remain firmly imprinted on the minds and hearts. Do not take the practices of Ahl-us-Sunnah for granted; they are powerful mediums to keep orthodox beliefs alive in the hearts. So if possible, arrange Giyarhween and Mawlid every month in your home, and alongside preparing Niyaz on the death anniversaries of the pious predecessors, relate inspirational events from their lives. These steps will invoke love for them in the hearts of your children and provide them with a moral compass with which to navigate life.
May Allah Almighty enable us to acquire knowledge of the beliefs and practices of Islam in the best manner, allow us to raise our children according to the values of Islam, always protect us from uttering or listening to blasphemous statements, and grant us death as believers in Him.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم