This piece was inspired by a lecture that was delivered by Sheikh Ismail Musa Menk (Mufti of Zimbabwe) in Bahrain on what makes a Muslimah different. I believe this discuss is crucial now more than ever because of the eroding morals among the Muslim Ummah. For this reason, I decided to add my voice to this discuss.
The role of a woman is at the heart of any culture. In my humble view, a woman is a special being created by Allah first and foremost to worship Him and also as a companion and best friend to the man (her husband). She tries her best at all times to make her impact felt both at home and in the society as a whole.
A Muslimah is special and unique in all ramifications. Among her peers, she is on a pedestal that is equal to none. There are certain aspects and principles that a Muslimah must hold on to very dearly as her way of life which will in return earn her the favour of her Creator. Those aspects include the following;
Her Obedience to the Creator: A practicing Muslim man loves to have practicing Muslim wife who knows that this life of this world is nothing but a test from her Lord; giving her an opportunity to come closer and closer to Him. She understands that this life is absolutely temporary and she knows that death can take her any minute or any moment. She is focus upon the pleasure of Allah (S.W.A) and not worthily materials. Her goal is to earn Jannah. She has restricted herself from desires of her inner self that go against the will of her creator. She is guided by what Allah said in the Glorious Quran that “But as for him who feared standing before his Lord and restricting from impure evil desires and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode”- (Surah An- Naziyyat)
Her Modesty: Modesty is one of the most significant factors of a woman’s personality. It refers to a bad and uneasy feeling accompanied by embarrassment, caused by one’s fear of being exposed or censured for some unworthy or indecent conduct. A Muslimah feels shy to do anything that would displease her Lord in any aspect. She has modesty in her walk. She has modesty in her talk. She has modesty in her gaze that she does not look at what Allah has prohibited. Her modesty in her clothing is that, she does not reveal to others what Allah has forbidden for her to reveal. She doesn’t see the way she dresses as a sign of oppression but rather as a form of modesty. When she walks, she walks modestly without attracting others attention towards herself. A woman who has the knowledge of Allah’s commandment to preserve her modesty, submitting herself to the will of her creator even after having the desire to be praised for her beauty. Such Muslimah is rated high by good believing men.
Her Beauty: Allah (S.W.A) made a woman beautiful in the sight of men. It is just that some human beings are more attracted towards some others. It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari Aisha (R.A) said “I had the Prophet (PBUH) saying ‘Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with”. Al-Qurtubi said: “Although they are souls, they differ in different ways, so a person will feel an affinity with souls of one kind, and will get along with them because of the special quality that they have in common. So we notice that people of all types will get along with those with whom they share an affinity, and will keep away from those who are of other type. [This is just like the old saying goes, “Birds of the same feather flocks together”] For a believing man, a woman’s beauty is not how her nose looks or her eyes are or the colour of her skin. But rather it’s her modesty, virtuosity, fidelity, tranquility, and innocence which in turn make her beautiful. Also Allah makes people whom he loves, pleasing to others.
Her Purity: A Muslimah is always pure; her purity extends to virtually everything and anything. From the way she dresses, to the way she interacts with other people. She has the purity of the heart. In her heart, there is no jealousy, no malice, no envy, no hatred or any love of sin. She is focus at all times to purify her heart and mind. She also has purity of companionship – that is to say her friends are also pure people.
Her intellect/ playfulness: Intellect and playfulness are qualities of women highly liked by men. Every man likes an intelligent wife who can advise and supports him in day to day matters. Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (R.A) was the one of most beloved wives of the Prophet (PBUH). She supported Allah’s messenger at the very beginning of his Prophethood when Angel Jibril brought the first revelation to him. The Prophet always admired her and remembered her even long after her death. A playful wife is also a joy and pleasure to a man’s heart. She brings happiness and joy into the household. With her behaviors, she induces him to stay at home rather than somewhere else.
Her Truthfulness: Being truthful and honest is an essential quality of a believer. It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim as narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (R.A) that “The messenger of Allah (PBUH) said ‘I urge you all to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will continue to be truthful and seek to speak the truth, until he is recorded with Allah as speaker of truth (As- Sadeeq). And beware of lying, it leads to immorality and immorality leads to hell; a man will continue to lie until he is recorded with Allah as a liar”. A person who is known to lie repeatedly loses his trust. And if that happens in case of a marital relationship, the whole relationship falls apart. A woman who is known to be a “Saddeeqah” certainly has a higher status in a Muslim man’s heart.
Her Obedience: Allah made a man i.e. her husband the maintainer and protector of the woman and enjoined upon her to obey him in all the matters that do not go against Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah (S.W.A) said “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” (Surah An- Nisa: 34). The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said “The best of women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are absent, she protects her honour and your property.” (At- Tabani Ibn Majah)
Her Patience: Patience is the characteristics that can never be praised enough. A woman who remains patient at the time of hardship and relies on the help and mercy of Allah is without a doubt a beloved servant of Allah (S.W.A). Allah says “And Allah loves As- sabirun (the patient)” (Surah Al- Imram: 146).
Good manners: A woman of good manners is a blessing from Allah. When she speaks, she speaks honourably. When she deals with others, she deals with them kindly. She is polite with elders, loving children and good to her fellow folks. According to Abdullah bin Amr, the Prophet said “The best of you are those who possess the best of manners” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
It’s no doubt that the aspects of an ideal Muslimah are many, which makes it practically impossible for me to capture it all. Others includes; her cooking, she is full of contentment, she creates an atmosphere of peace and tranquility around family, friend and society, she is tolerant and forgiving, she is strong in character and others too enormous to mention. Ideal Muslimah is a dream of every ideal Muslim man. I know none of us is perfect. Perfection is an attribute of Allah but we must at all times try our best to perfect our deeds in order to win the favour of Allah. May Allah guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom He has bestowed His Grace, not the way of those you have earned his anger.