Let’s face it. As women we can be cruel to each other. As for men, I don’t know the politics of their relationships being that I am not a man. Therefore, I will not speak about men. Though, I do know the relationships and cruelty we women show one another. It seems that everything is a competition. Who is the most pious, intelligent, who has the best children, who is the most beautiful and on and on.In my opinion this competitveness is our human nature. However, as Muslim women we should be above this nonsense. Sadly, many of us are not. Many of us can not control our tongues. We love to backbite and gossip about other sisters. Maybe, it makes us feel better about our own less than perfect lives. Women are quick to point out which woman needs to lose weight, which woman has a big nose or out of date clothing. We are quick to look down on the sister who gives us something that we view as small. Allah (swt) and the Prophet(Saw) advises us:
“And backbite not one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (49:12)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Do you know what is backbiting?” The Companions said: “Allah and His Messenger know better.” Thereupon he said, “Backbiting is talking about your (Muslim) brother in a manner which he dislikes.” It was said to him: “What if my (Muslim) brother is as I say.” He said, “If he is actually as you say, then that is backbiting; but if that is not in him, that is slandering.”
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e., without thinking about its being good or not) and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Prophet (saw) said: The two sins that will be punished for most in the grave are slander (in some narrations it says backbiting) and failure to clean yourself after usuing the toilet. (Bukhari)
O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (English translation of Qur’an 49:11)
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “O Muslim women! None of you should look down upon the gift sent by her she-neighbour even if it were the trotters of the sheep (fleshless part of legs).” (Bukhari, Book #47, Hadith #740)
Ramadan, the month that is supposed to bring us many rewards, turns into the month which we ruin our good deeds. Let me explain. We spend the days in fasting, devotion, and rememberance of Allah. Then, in the evening we throw a lavish iftar meal to break our fast. Usually every night of the week is spent at a different house. What happens at these iftars? Well, on the women’s side it is usually gossiping, backbiting, and sometimes down right slander. Often you will find little to no rememberance of Allah at these gatherings. We all compete to see who can make the most intricate dishes and look down on the households who have less to offer. How many of us actually invite the needy Muslims to our iftars? How many of us even send food to the masjid for the needy muslims in our area? Not many. Instead we invite only those we deem as our friends or those up the ladder in the community in an effort to wow them. Next time, you are in these situations,Reflect on these words from Allah (swt) and the Prophet (Saw):
“Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” (50:18)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Those people who leave a gathering in which they have not remembered Allah, will conclude it as if it has foul odour similar to that of a rotten carcass of a donkey. And it will be a cause of grief to them.”
“Allaah does not look at the outward appearance or wealth of any one of you, but He looks at your hearts and deeds.” (Narrated by Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah).
Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`idi (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man passed by the Prophet (PBUH), so he asked a man who was sitting near him, “What is your opinion about this man?” That man replied: “He is one of the noblest men. By Allah he is certainly a proper person for (a girl) being given in marriage if he seeks to marry, and his recommendation is fit to be accepted if he recommends”. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) remained silent. Then another man passed. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) enquired, “What is your opinion about this man?” He replied: “O Messenger of Allah, he is one of the poor Muslims. He is not a proper person (for a girl) to be given in marriage to, and his recommendation would not be accepted if he makes one; if he speaks, he is not to be listened to.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He is better than the former by earthfuls”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
“And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskeen (the poor), the orphan, and the captive(English translation Qur’an,76:8)
As mothers, we are in a constant bragging competition about our children. My child can do this. Oh my goodness, your child can not do that yet! wow! My son did that months ago! What you don’t breastfeed? Oh how horrible! You are satisfied with the number of kids you have? Well, as for me i want a houseful. This is completely ridiculous. Not only are you bragging but you are also making another sister feel bad. In my opinion, the only people who indulge in this type of talk are insecure about their own children and choices. As parents, we all want the best for our children. Though, we don’t always know what that is. So, we are constantly trying to compare and think we have a victory when our child reaches a milestone before another child his/her age. This bragging and comparing seems to give women the validation they crave in order to feel they are doing a good job raising their children.
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Shuraih al-Khuzai’ that the Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) observed: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should do good to his neighbour and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should show hospitality to the guest and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either speak good or better remain silent. (Muslim, Book #001, Hadith #0078)
In our race to prove who is the most pious, we often get no rewards at all. You see, it all comes back to the intention:
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” (Bukhari, Book #1, Hadith #1)
A woman may pray quickly at home remembering Allah little, though when she’s in the masjid she will take her time and sit and do the dhikr and read Qur’an so that everyone will see how pious she is. Similarly, one may not dress islamically, though, when they go to the masjid they will put on the full garb. Some Muslims strive to be teachers of Islam simply to get the recognition. Our Beloved Prophet (saw) said about these people: Jundub (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who so acts to show off, Allah will disgrace him on the Day of Resurrection, and he who does good deeds so that people (may hold him in high esteem), Allah will expose his hidden evil intentions before the people on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
If you are seeking knowledge to show up other muslims and say you have knowledge then this is of no benefit.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said, “He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection.”
As for beauty the Prophet (saw) said:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers. (Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #27)
‘A’isha, the wife of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him), reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective. (Muslim#6274)
Let’s Remember these hadiths and pass them on to our families and friends:
It is attested on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: one amongst you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother or for his neighbour that which he loves for himself. (Muslim,Book #001, Hadith #0072)
Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other.” While (saying that) the Prophet clasped his hands, by interlacing his fingers. (Bukhari, Book #8, Hadith #468)
So, Instead of tearing each other down, let’s reinforce one another. The whole world seems to be coming at Muslim women from all sides trying convince us we are opressed and turn us back from Islam. We need to put aside our petty ways and come together and be strong Muslimahs. Because the greatest weapon we have against the Shaytan (devil, Iblees) is each other.I advise myself first. Any truth here is from Allah and any mistakes are from myself and Shaytan.