The Sad Reality

milkA common and popular tradition in Indo-Pak weddings is to see the sister-in-law and her friends come and sit at the foot of the brother-in-law. The cameraman and the photographer are both recording and taking pictures of these moments which weigh heavy upon the scale of deeds. Laughing, giggling and fully dressed up, they offer their brother-in-law milk to drink, asking money from him in return. And if they have had the chance to steal his shoes, they offer him his shoes back for money in exchange. All the while the guidance of the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) concerning modesty, covering, and the fear of Allah, are stored away in the back of their minds and remain within the books which are left unattended upon the dusty bookshelves at home.

What’s even worse is when, in Pakistani tradition, the brother-in-law is made to sit on his sister-in-law’s thigh just after she has been brought home from the marriage ceremony and just before she is left alone with her husband. Sitting next to each other with thighs touching is old news, for the brother-in-law can now sit ON his sister-in-law’s thigh for traditions’ sake – even before her husband has had a chance to do so himself! You may be thinking what is the family’s reaction to all this? Nothing. They are smiling, laughing and cracking jokes. And yes, once again the cameraman is present, taking pictures which convey messages of how far the Ummah of the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) has gone from his guidance.

What a start! Then we wonder why there wasn't a beautiful end….


He is my Brother

Although not everyone can relate to the above examples, they are just illustrations which show how bad our situation has become and how far some of us have strayed from the guidance of the Rasool (prayers and peace be upon him) . For some it is due to a lack of knowledge of Islaam and worse still, for others it is due to a lack of consideration for the Islaamic stance regarding the brother-in-law. Many Muslim families are suffering, on a lesser or greater scale, with the problem of Muslim women allowing their hijaab and modesty to wither away as they openly mingle, converse and interact with their brothers-in-law. In this way their scent of modesty is beginning to fade away and many sisters - the beautiful roses of this Ummah - are allowing themselves to be plucked out from the soil of Divine Guidance.

Without a doubt, many of our Muslim women have pure and clean thoughts towards their brother-in-law; they treat them like brothers and likewise many brothers-in-law treat them as sisters. But even then, the reality remains that they aren’t and can never truly be as brother and sister. This is why the laws, restrictions and commands found in the Shari'ah work hand in hand with both practicality and reality. Practically we will be extremely naïve to believe that all brothers-in-law see their sisters-in-law as ‘real’ sisters and to believe such a claim could give way to many problems and issues arising in the lives of Muslim women. Secondly, the reality is that he is not a real brother and he never can nor will be. The words of the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) are clear and we must comply with his words as sincere believers.

Why The Sacrifice and Struggle?

The Meaning of Uboodiyyah [Worship].

Every single thing that surrounds us and is contained within us is proof in and of itself of the existence of the Almighty and that He alone is worthy of being worshipped.  Muslims remind themselves of this fact in each salaah as they declare: iyyaaka na’budu [You Alone we worship].[1] This is because Allah [azza wa jall] states: “And I created not the jinns and humans except that they should Worship Me.”[2] Therefore, for each and every Muslim, the fundamental and underlying principle in all actions must be to worship the Lord of the heavens and the earth as He wants us to.

A Sign that you Love Allah.

Whenever we finmadinahd a hadeeth of the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) , in which there is a command or prohibition, we must remember that Allah (the Glorious and Mighty) said about him, {Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.}[3]

One of the signs of a believer’s true love for the Lord of the heavens and the earth is to follow the command of the Last Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) . This is why Allah (the Most High) commanded the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) to say, {If you (really) love Allâh then follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}[4] Let’s not make our claim of loving and believing in the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) ] empty of any substance. Let’s strive to give life to our claims by making our actions implement the command of the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) . Let’s refrain from that which he has cautioned against, such as when he said, “The Hamuw [brother-in-law] is death.”[5]

A Place of Test.

Allah (the All-Knowing) tells us why He created life and death, {…that He may test you which of you is best in deed…}[6] This realm of our life on earth is a realm of test to differentiate the good from the bad. If every single person was allowed indiscriminate entry into Paradise it would no longer be Paradise, as it will become tainted by the evil of those who do wrong and disobey Allah (the Mighty).

My dear Sister, let’s try our best to pass this test, for the time we will sit in the examination hall is short and the result will stick with us for eternity.

Satan has declared war.

Satan said to Allah (azza wa jall), "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your sincere slaves amongst them."[7] We cannot thank Allah enough for exposing satan’s hatred towards us. For any wise believer, this should be a wake up call – none of us are immune from the insinuations of shaytaan and none of us are guaranteed safety from his scheme – unless Allah wills. He is working so hard to prove himself right that the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) said about Satan that he, “…penetrates in man like the penetration of blood (in every part of the body)."[8]

Dear Sister, let’s strive to be of those about whom Allah (ta'ala) mentions, {And he (Satan) had no authority over them, except that We might test him, who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt about it.} [9] And the only way we can do this is by taking the safety measures Allah and His Rasool (prayers and peace be upon him) have given us.

flowerAllah is the Most Wise.

At times we may not see the fruit behind doing or refraining from an action due to our intelligence being limited in comparison to Allah’s might, power and knowledge. But the believers who are firm in their faith know that Allah is the Most Wise and all of His commandments contain intricate spiritual, mental and physical wisdoms - whether we perceive them or not. So let’s declare, as did the angels, {Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.}[10]

Allah Knows All.

The testimony of faith inculcates in us the requirement of complete intellectual submission to the command of Allah and His Rasool (prayers and peace be upon him) . The very act of Sujood (prostration) is a testimony to this fact. One places one’s intellect adjacent to one’s feet upon the ground, in recognition of the fact that Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth and the Creator of this very intellect, knows better. Just as Allah (the Lofty) said, “Your Lord knows You best.”[11] For we may think we know ourselves, whereas it is Allah (the All-Knowing, the Subtle) who knows us better than we could ever know ourselves!

Just as winds change direction, people’s intentions can change but the command of Allah never changes. We must rely on Allah’s commands to safeguard and protect us and we should give precedence to His knowledge over ours. We may consider someone as upright and righteous, when in fact they have evil intentions or are easily prone to satanic whispers. Allah (the Glorious) knows the secrets of the hearts and the evil stealthy glances; Allah says, {Allâh knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.}[12]

Allah is Just.

The command of our Lord does not contain any injustice, for it is encompassed by divine knowledge and wisdom. We, as believers, must wholeheartedly and sincerely believe in Allah’s Justice and that He is the One who will reward us for our striving and struggling, even if in our eyes or in the eyes of people this deed may seem extreme or unnecessary. This is because no good deed done solely for Allah (the Glorious) is ever overlooked, “And he who works deeds of righteousness, while he is a believer, then he will have no fear of injustice, nor of any curtailment (of his reward).” [13]

tree-sunlight_smallBelief necessitates Trust.

Having firm faith in Allah (the Guardian) necessitates that we place our trust in Him. Just as Allah says, {It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision; if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.}[14] As Muslim Women we must have trust and confidence in the rulings of Islaam. One only trusts those whom one knows. Therefore be constant in reading the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Messenger (prayers and peace be upon him) . Contemplate over your existence and the existence of your surroundings. Your trust in Allah will surely grow.

Islaam Protects You.

Islaam is a religion that emancipated women from becoming easy prey to the desires and evil which lingers within the hearts of men who have little or no god-consciousness. Allah saves us and takes us out of darkness into light, {Allah is the Protector of those who have faith; from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.} [15]

Islaam teaches us that self-reliance is not enough; it is necessary to have rulings which will restrict and curb the evils contained within socialising, conversing and mixing with the non-mahram. For, it might be the slipping of one toe that results in your fall, which will result in your failure in this life, and Allah forbid in the next.

Only Allah (the Mighty and All-Knowing) knows, how many a home has been saved from destruction and unrest and how many a Muslim woman’s chastity has been saved from being dishonoured due to the laws and rules of modesty and covering sanctioned by the Shari’ah.

Let’s have firm faith in our Lord and submit to His commands wholeheartedly, for He says,

{“And who is better in judgement than Allâh

for a people who have firm faith.} [16] 



[1] Surah al Faatihah [1]: 5
[2] Surah al Dhaariyaat [51]: 56
[3] Surah al Najm [53]: 3-4
[4] Surah al Imraan [3]: 31
[5] Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 62, Hadith 159. The Hadeeth is also mentioned in Saheeh Muslim.
[6] Surah al Mulk [67]: 2
[7] Surah al Saad [38]: 82-83
[8] Muslim, Book 26, Hadith 5405
[9] Surah al Sabaa’ [34]: 21
[10] Surah al Baqarah [2]: 32
[11] Surah al Israa’ [17]: 54
[12] Surah al Ghaafir [40]:19
[13] Surah al Tahaa [20]: 112
[14] Surah al Ahzaab [33]: 36
[15] Surah al Baqarah [2]: 257
[16] Surah al  Maa’idah [5]: 50