Keeping Strong With Dhikr:
I’m sure many sisters would agree that a lot of their time goes into completing chores within their homes. Without a doubt, this duty can turn into a great blessing if a sister has the intention to please her Lord by fulfilling her role with warmth, care and attention. In fact, one can take it a step further and use this time to do the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.
In this way, as the Muslim Woman walks around her home completing her daily chores, her being will be full of deep faith, love and conviction in her Lord. With natural ease, just like the flow of water, a Muslim woman can therefore continually moisten her tongue for hours with the remembrance of Allah ('azza wa jall).
One of the ways we can do dhikr is by reciting the Qur’aan from memory. In this way, as the Muslim woman walks around her home, she will be in a process of continually imprinting within her heart the verses of the Qur’aan and repelling the insinuations of the evil one. Satan runs away when Allaah is extolled and remembered; the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said, “When Satan hears the call to prayer, he turns back in flight and passes wind so as not to hear the call being made, but when the call is finished he returns and distracts (the minds of those who pray), and when he hears the Iqaamah he again runs away so as not to hear its voice and when it subsides, he comes back and distracts (the minds of those who stand for prayer).” (Saheeh Muslim)
By the blessings of dhikr, her very being will feel light, as the sins which bear heavy on the soul will be removed by the recitation of the Qur’aan. Yes, the same Qur’aan which was the governing factor behind the transformation that took place in the time of the Prophet (sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam) - a transformation which changed the very course of history, and which can help her transform and improve herself in these difficult and testing times. Within the encompassment and confinement of her home she will be in fact setting out on an amazing journey and giving her heart permission to go back in time and into the future, whilst gaining cognisance of her Lord. This is because as she recites the words of her Lord, He (Allah ['azza wa jall]) acquaints her with His existence, His Names, His Characteristics, His creation, His Prophets, past nations, heaven, hell…
A Muslim woman knows that this realm is a realm of test, a transitional period between non-existence and eternal existence. For, she belongs to Allah and to Him is her inevitable return. This is why she knows that the commandments of her Lord contain great blessings and wisdoms, saving her from the testing and difficult nature of this world. One such test is covering, at home, in front of non-mahrams and especially the brother-in-law, and even more so if one is living in the same house.
The Muslim woman who fears and loves her Lord makes her actions conform to what is in her heart, which is her faith and belief in Allah (the Most High). In this way her external state speaks openly regarding that which is within the vessel that maintains her very existence.
With her eyes focused, her heart open and sincere, she begins reciting, "And say to the believing women that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons…." (Surah al Noor :30-31)
She continues in this manner until she comes to the verse,
"O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments (Jalaabib) over them so that it is likelier that they will be known and not harmed and Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah al Ahzab :59)
With faith encompassing her heart, wholeheartedly -without complacency - she undertakes the command of her Lord. In the presence of any non-mahram, including her brother-in-law, within her home and outside of her home, she covers with her hijaab and jilbaab. Yes, she is a woman of piety, righteousness and principles- a woman who is acquainted with the words of her Lord, the Most High.
A common misconception some Muslims have is that jilbaab is solely for outside of the home. Due to this misconception some sisters do not wear the jilbaab at home in the presence of non-mahrams. This is a grave misunderstanding that contradicts what was found in the time of the Prophet (sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam) and his Companions... In their time, if the women did appear in front of non-mahrams, it was when wearing the full hijaab and jilbaab. Evidence also suggests that many would cover their faces out of shyness and faith. Their hijaab, jilbaab and niqaab would in fact act as a kind of ‘secondary partitioning.’ The primary hijaab was achieved by sitting separately in different rooms, segregated from the eyes of men. If one is unable to sit separately or must come in front of a non-mahram, then one should cover oneself as Allah [the All-Knowing] and His Rasool (sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam) have commanded. By covering in the presence of non-mahrams th at enter her home, a Muslim woman is actually making an open statement with regards to free-mixing. Her very dress is smartly and cleverly placing a restriction between herself and the non-mahram.
Covering, whilst being at home, may seem difficult at first but it will become easier over time. One must remember that the commandments regarding covering are for the Muslim woman as she is precious, a woman of self-worth and dignity. Her beauty is not open for all to see; she is like a pearl that is covered in an outer shell, so as to protect it from losing its shine and beauty.
In this way, she will be saved from the eyes of people with bad intentions and she will close off any avenue that could bring about evil in the hearts of men and she will save herself from facing unpleasantness and untoward advances.
In the next article we will cover the destructive sin of tabarruj (displaying beauty), what it entails and the evil consequences thereof.