Sa’i between Safa and Marwah! Legacy of a mother / Kitchen Garden / Qurbani Meat / Why are men given precedence?

Revelation descended upon Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام instructing him to take his wife Sayyidatuna Hājirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  and his son Sayyiduna Ismāīl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام to an area of land where there was nothing at all but a lack of water, barren plains and dry hills. So, Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام travelled with Sayyidatuna  Hājirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  and Sayyiduna Ismaeel عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام and came to the place where the sanctified Kabah is today. At that time, there was no population, no fountain, no water, and no sign of any person to be found anywhere nearby. After placing some dates and a waterskin of water there, Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام set off to leave. Sayyidatuna Hajirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  cried out, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Where are you going, leaving us helpless in this desolate wilderness where there is no empathiser or comforter?’ Sayyidatuna Hājirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا called out to him many times but he عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام gave no reply. Finally, Sayyidatuna Hajirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  said, ‘At least tell me, have you brought us and left us here due to your own wish or have you done so by the command of Allah Almighty?He عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام replied, ‘O Hājirah! Whatever I have done is by the command of Allah Almighty.’ Upon hearing this, Sayyidatuna Hajirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  responded, ‘Now you may go, I have complete certainty that Allah Almighty will not allow me and my child to perish.(‘Ajā’ib-ul-Qur’ān, pp. 146) A few days after the departure of Sayyiduna Ibrahim عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام when the dates and water of the waterskin had finished, Sayyidatuna Hajirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  began to wander anxiously between two hills that were situated there in search of water. When she returned after the seventh round, she saw Allah Almighty had caused a fountain of water to flow from the place where Sayyiduna Ismā’īl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was lying on the ground, rubbing his blessed heels due to the intensity of thirst. This fountain still exists today and is known as Zamzam, while those two hills are famous and well-known by the names of Safā and Marwah. This struggle of a mother for her son became so pleasing to Allah Almighty that it was made a part of the esteemed worship of Muslims i.e. Hajj and Umrah, until the end of time.

Dear Islamic sisters! The blessed life of Sayyidatuna Hajirah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہَا  is a beacon of light for us. From her blessed life we can take many lessons such as her submission to Allah Almighty, obedience to her husband, the nurturing of her children, patience and contentment, sacrifice, and having trust in Allah Almighty, which are all so essential and important in our practical life.

No matter how difficult the situation may be, we should remain content with the pleasure of Allah Almighty and maintain a mindset of making sacrifices. Whatever kind of worldly sufferings and troubles one may be faced with, whether that be unemployment, illness or poverty, we should not display impatience; rather, we should rely upon Allah Almighty while adopting the relevant means and continue supplicating to Allah Almighty, the Creator of the means.

May Allah Almighty give us the Tawfeeq to spend our lives in the way of the pious women of the history of Islām.اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْأَمِیْن صلَّی الله علیه واٰله وسلَّم

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Sa’i between Safa and Marwah! Legacy of a mother / Kitchen Garden / Qurbani Meat / Why are men given precedence?

Everyone desires good health, and having a balanced diet with the use of fresh vegetables is very beneficial for good health, and to some extent essential as well.

In order to attain fresh vegetables, vegetables can actually be planted at home. Growing plants at home is not a difficult task nor is there a need for a large amount of space; rather, the balcony, courtyard, windows and flower beds of one’s home (which receive around four to five hours of sunlight daily) can be used to make a kitchen garden, increasing the beauty of the home and reducing the food bill.

Plant pots are not necessary for this either, household items like tubs, buckets, big plastic bottles etc. can even be used. Pierce two or three small holes in the bottom of these so that excess water does not gather within them as it is harmful to plants.

Place a small amount of fertilizer mixed with some soil within the containers (this can be purchased inexpensively from a [plant] nursery[1]). You can place within some of them coriander or seeds of green chilli, and in others the seeds of cucumber, peas and aubergine, and then spread a light layer of fertilizer on top of them. Water them every morning, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه small plants will appear in a few days. Also, place a garlic clove and a little bit of ginger in a pot.

Take the following steps to protect the plants from pests and to provide them with energy:

*Plant a Neem plant in a pot (its seeds are easily available from a [plant] nursery). On rainy days, boil a few Neem leaves in some water and spray it on the plants when the water cools down. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه, no pests will touch it.

*If insects are found, it will be very useful to extract garlic and ginger water and water it over the plants.

*Use the leftover water from washing potatoes, rice, chickpeas, and other grains to water them instead of water. Similarly, do not dispose of the water used after boiling any vegetables; adding this water to the plants will provide them with energy.

*Soak iron nails or any piece of iron in water; when the water becomes fully rusty, add this to the plants as well. Energy will be restored to them.

*If you feel that the fertilizer has hardened, mix it around gently, but this must be done very carefully.

*Continue adding new fertilizer to the plants; otherwise, the plants may die.

*If the leaves turn yellow or a twig dries, then separate it from the plant.

*For good cultivation, write the Blessed Name of Allah یَاحَلِیْمُ on a piece of paper, [soak it in water] and sprinkle that water on your plants. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه, the cultivation will remain safe from any calamity. (Madanī Treasure of Blessings, p. 246)

May Allah Almighty grant us the Tawfīq to keep our homes clean and tidy.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم



[1] [A place where young plants and trees are grown for sale or for planting elsewhere.]

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Sa’i between Safa and Marwah! Legacy of a mother / Kitchen Garden / Qurbani Meat / Why are men given precedence?

Hurry up, how long will it take to cook the liver?called out Hājjī Amjad, peering into the kitchen.

It is almost done, just another 5 to 10 minutes, said Shahnāz Begum reassuringly. 

Okay, I will just quickly distribute the meat to Brother Arshad and Uncle Jamshayd.’ After saying this, Hājjī Amjad picked up a big bag and left. The whole pile of meat was still on the mat. After Hājjī Sahib left, Shahnāz Begum - with the help of her two sons – became busy with placing all the meat into the deep freezer.

By the time Hājjī Sahib returned, all of the meat had been frozen. As soon as he stepped foot into the lounge, he was astonished to see that the mat was no longer covered in piles of meat, and instead, just the head, trotters, bones, a few kilos of fat and some small pieces of meat remained.

Hājjī Sahib questioningly looked towards Shahnāz Begum and asked, What is this?Shahnāz Begum smiled triumphantly and began to say, I have stored the special meat in the fridge; in fact, I have even made them into packets and written the names of the dishes on them - look at this.

Hājjī Amjad, a kind and soft-hearted man - was in a state of grief at that point. When he turned his head and peered into the fridge, he saw that not only was it laden with meat but that the many bags were also labelled, Karāhī, Pasanday, Biryānī, Nihārīand many other names were glimmering besides these. The glimmer of those names was also seen in the eyes of Shahnāz Begum.

Looking regretful, Hājjī Sahib asked, ‘Have you frozen all of the meat? What will we distribute amongst the poor and our relatives?

Shahnāz Begum, who closed the fridge and returned towards Hājjī Sahib with the hope of being praised, became perplexed by her husbands serious approach and sudden questioning. However, she quickly regained her collectedness and began to say, Look at this Hājjī Sahib, I have put aside some meat for distribution.

Hājjī Amjad Sahib, who had already actually seen the bones and pile of fat on the mat, barely containing his emotions, said, It is a good thing that you thought of the poor; however, the meat - rather - the bones and fat that you have saved for the poor, have you stored the same kind as this in the fridge too? You wanted the best for ourselves which is why you froze the special meat, but O fortunate woman! Also, think of the poor children as well! Do you not remember the saying of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, ‘None of you can be a complete believer until he loves for his (Muslim) brother that which he loves for himself.’’ (Sahīh Bukhārī)

‘Those poor people are not fortunate enough to eat meat all year round. It is only on ‘Eid al-Adhā that they have hope of receiving some meat from those performing Qurbānī which they can feed to their children.

‘Do you know, on the way back in the morning from the ’Eid prayer, Hāmid, the son of Arshad the greengrocer, was innocently asking his father, ‘Father! Will we eat only vegetables today too?’ Arshad looked towards me and said, ‘No son! Today is actually ‘Eid-ul-Adhā, Allāh willing, we will eat meat today.’

Please tell me why do we perform Qurbānī? ‘Shahnāz Begum, who not only understood the situation after being explained it in this manner but was also feeling shame in her heart, replied, ‘To fulfil the Sunnah of the Noble Messenger and to attain the pleasure of Allāh.’

مَاشَــآءَالـلّٰـه, may Allah Almighty accept your intentions.’ Hājjī Sahib, being appreciative, further asked, ‘So the actual purpose was to sacrifice an animal, wasn’t it? The purpose was not to sacrifice your own animal and then store all the meat.’

Hājjī Sahib then said, ‘Fortunate woman! Even if a person was to keep all of the Qurbānī meat for themselves, it is not a sin; however, it is better and more superior to divide the meat into three portions: One portion for the poor, one for friends and family, and one for your own household. (Piebald Horse rider, pp. 24, 25)

Shahnāz Begum nodded her head in agreement and said, ‘You are absolutely correct Hājjī Sahib! I am ashamed that I only thought of myself and forgot about other Muslims; I will never do this in the future.’ Saying this, she got up and began walking towards the fridge. ‘Where are you going now?’, asked Hājjī Sahib.

‘I am taking the meat out of the fridge, please prepare yourself to distribute it. We will distribute all of the meat by this evening, Allah willing.’

Upon hearing the reply of Shahnāz Begum, Hājjī Sahib closed his eyes with satisfaction and began to thank Allah Almighty.

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Sa’i between Safa and Marwah! Legacy of a mother / Kitchen Garden / Qurbani Meat / Why are men given precedence?

‘Forgive me Haleemah, but it is because of weak women like you that men have so much authority’, said Miss Farwā harshly whilst staring at Haleemah.

‘What do you mean, Miss Farwā?’, asked Haleemah, who was waiting for her husband and was constantly checking her watch, in response to Farwā’s harsh words.

‘The meaning is clear Haleemah! Men are given priority in every area of the society; women have no value. We are held back in every situation.’

‘What is the purpose of you waiting for your husband? You should go alone. Your house is only one block away. I do not know why our women have become so subservient to their husbands. Look at me; I freely go from place to place, there is no one to stop me. I make my own decisions, I am not dependent on any man’, said Farwā whilst raising her neck in a boastful manner. Farwā had taken divorce from her husband two years prior.

Haleemah had come to her husband home to attend an event and was now waiting for husband so that she could return home. She was astonished at these audacious words being spoken against men.

The women around them had also begun to turn their attention to them. Another like-minded woman - Nusrat - also began to share her thoughts, ‘Farwā is speaking the truth; men are put ahead in everything whilst women are left behind, but we are not in any great need of men.’

‘Forgive me, but it is not us who have placed men ahead, it is the Sharī’ah (i.e. Islām) which has done so, and we are in need of men even after death! After all, it is men who will lay our deceased bodies into the ground to rest.’ Farwā suddenly stopped in her tracks and began to look pleadingly towards Nusrat, but Haleemah pressed on, ‘You are right, I can travel one block away alone; however, the protection which I receive en route when I am with my husband is not the same as when a woman is alone. Remember when we were younger, our fathers would lead the way when crossing the road and they would make us remain behind so that no harm reaches us. When we would go out somewhere with our brother, he would be ahead himself whilst he would place us behind himself for our protection. I have pride in my father, brother, husband and son being ahead. A few days ago, when our car broke down in the rain, it was my husband who placed us comfortably in the car and began to fix the car himself in the pouring rain. Even my 12-year-old son continued to console me whilst holding a torch and standing outside the car, saying: Do not worry mother, please remain seated whilst me and Dad check. Whether it is changing the car’s tyre or inflating it, whether there is a knock on the door or if there is any need for medicine, if there is a need for food or the water pump stops working, if there is a need to pay the electric/gas bill or there are any issues with the children, in short, if there is any emergency at all, my husband is always at the forefront. I have no need to worry about anything; everything is always taken care of. The father, the brother, the husband and the son; these four are such strong supports that when they are present, a woman has all the protection and backing that she needs. This is not dependence or inferiority; rather, it gives one complete confidence of being safeguarded; if there is any problem, then they will face it before it even reaches us! In order to keep us comfortable they will undertake struggles themselves, they will go hungry themselves in order to feed us, they will brave the rain for our protection, they will wear old clothes and give us new clothes, they will undertake difficulties whilst striving to make us feel at peace. This is the quality of these men, Miss Farwā.’ Haleemah paused to take a big breath and looked around and saw that the women around her were looking at her with admiration.

Haleemah continued speaking, ‘Today, it is not men, but women who have become audacious after receiving a few privileges. The rank and status of men is that which the Sharī’ah (i.e. Islām) has granted them, which we, besides a few ‘free-thinking’ women, have all accepted! With respect, if one was to even try to envisage the protections and comforts which women have been granted through these four kinds of men after removing them from the equation, it would be nothing but wishful thinking.’

‘When Madrasah ends, my daughter waits for her brother - this is not her weakness; rather, it is her esteem that she will arrive home safely, under her brother’s protection. When the lights go out, my husband puts a torch on for me; this is not my cowardice but it is my honour that I am cared for so greatly. I am waiting to travel one block, not because I am weak but because it is my dignity that he is my protector.’

Farwā attempted to save face and presented another argument saying that women should not remain behind completely, ‘Many women from other countries are equal with men in every field and are ahead in some cases whilst we remain in the same place like a frog in the well.’ Haleemah said, ‘Why should we care about the culture and traditions of outsiders, Miss Farwā?! How can there be any comparison between them and Muslim women? Leave them be, they only appear elegant from afar. If viewed from up close, they themselves wish to flee away from their state of affairs. They now feel a great need for the firm supports and protectors of honour that they have themselves neglected. However, because they have now wasted those privileges due to their mistakes, they make empty claims and try to trap others in that same mess in an attempt to efface their own deprivation. The rights which our religion has given us are sufficient and if our Lord has made men our leaders, then why would we even think of competing with them or becoming their equals! Who are we to demand the exact same rights as the one to whom the Lord of the Worlds has granted eminence?’

‘You are absolutely correct Haleemah, this is also our opinion and judgment’, said Farzānah, upon which all the women began to show their support for Haleemah in a united voice.

Miss Isrā Maryam had the final say and put a stamp on Haleemah’s enthuastic words, ‘When we have been given so much honour, dignity, special worth, and respect, and when we are receiving such privileges for free, then it is only a foolish person who would choose to give all of that up and demand the separate rights of someone else. May Allah Almighty grant us all sound reasoning (آمین).’ Upon hearing the sound of the car horn, Haleemah put on her Hijāb, bid farewell to everyone, and confidently walked towards the gate.

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