The Character of A Muslim Woman

29 06 2007

muslimwomensitting.jpgLet’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  Women are quick to point out which woman needs to lose weight, which woman has a big nose or out of date clothing.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.”
[Abu Dawud].

“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.”
[Abu Dawud].

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.

A Mom’s Trip to The Grocer

29 06 2007

babyshoppingcart.jpgWell, it starts out as: “Honey, there’s no milk.” Me: Well, have a glass of juice. Him: “There’s no juice either.” Me: “What? let me see.” So, I go in the kitchen and sure enough our cupboards are bare. It’s time for a trip to the grocers.

Knowing that if I don’t get started before noon, it will be terribly hot and sticky, I hurridly try to get everyone out the door. So, I get the baby dressed in about five minutes, myself…..about three, My toddler(T)……with all the wardrobe changes……about fifteen. We make it to the door where my toddler sits down to put his shoes on. I reach down to try to help him. As soon as I touch a shoe, I hear: “AAAAAAAAAAAH I DO MYSELF, I DO IT BY MYSELF!!!!” So, I wait patiently glancing at the clock a few times. Finally, his shoes are on and we make it out the door.

After getting everyone buckled in, we’re on the road. The baby begins crying. I tell my toddler to give him a toy. He takes that to mean, shove a toy at him, which makes the baby cry even more. My toddler covers his ears and hums. Who needs music? This continues until we make it to the supermarket.

Once we make it to the supermarket, I realize that everyone else in town must have ran out of groceries the same time as me! So, I circle until I find a reasonable parking place. You know, the ones close to cart returns are prime parking spots for moms. ;)

I get out and take a cart. I check the seat to make sure it’s not too hot before buckling the baby in. Then, I give my toddler the choice…ride or walk. After much consideration, he chooses to ride. I am relieved!

After we make it inside the store, T starts trying to climb out of the cart while chanting, “I walk now, I walk now.” I stop the cart and explain to him that he chose to ride and so he shall. He sits back down with his bottom lip protruding and his arms crossed. I give him his picture list of groceries he is to spot.

We are cruising along nicely, when all of a sudden the cart starts clicking and clacking at about the same time, T spots the cookies. “I want cookies, I want cookies” he begins to say in a singsong voice. “Sweetie, we don’t need cookies today, find what’s on your list” I respond. “Nooooo……..cookies……yahhhhh.” Anyone who was not already staring at me, is now. So, I nearly sprint until the cookies are out of sight out of mind.

That’s when I realize that the baby is now asleep. His head leaning forward in what appeared to be a very uncomfortable position. I try to wake him up to no avail. Eventually, I have to pick him up and carry him while pushing the cart with one hand. I offer my toddler a front seat. Still pouting over the cookies he shakes his head, “uh uh”.

Well, we finish shopping and proceed to check out. T helps put the groceries on the counter and watches as they are rung up. I notice he is still clutching a pint of blueberries. I tell him to put the blueberries on the counter. Well, this leads to a full on tantrum. He starts stomping in the cart and screaming “No, My berries, my berries, no no no no.” So, I pry the berries from him and quickly have the cashier ring them up, I give them back to him and all is settled.  Oh but wait, I realize that I have forgotten the milk. So, I have to go all the way back through the store after my groceries are paid for and get the milk. Then, I have to go back through the checkout, and have my bags checked on the way out!

As we walk outside, I mutter to myself “he’s staying with his father  next time” “My husband will do this next time, not me.” Meanwhile, T sits happily eating some crackers from a box he’s opened.

About half way home, I look into the rearview mirror and there they are both sound asleep. Ahhh………kids.

Religion & TV

28 06 2007

helpwantedsign3.jpgDear friends,

I am asking for your help as a part of a survey I am conducting regarding Religion and TV habits. The questions found on this survey describe what I am studying and why. Your response to this survey is totally voluntary and anonymous, but it would be so very helpful if you do respond.

You may respond to the survey by clicking the following link:

http://www.Advanced default.asp? SurveyID= 53307

(If you cannot click the link above, please copy and paste the URL in its entirety into your browser’s address bar.)

Also, if you could forward this to your friends or lists I would be so appreciative. I truly hope that this survey will point to a way where people can live in peace.

If you have any questions, please write to me and I will be happy to address any questions, concerns or comments. Thank you very much in advance. I look forward to hearing from you!


Dr. Ali Shehata

****Please forward this to all your contacts****

You Know You’re A Hijabi/Niqabi if…

28 06 2007

Inspired by carimuslima’s post:


You know you’re a hijabi/niqabbi if…You get more stares walking through a crowded parking lot than Paris Hilton got when she walked out of jail.

You know you’re a hijabi/niqabbi if…You are constantly asked about your body temperature (are you hot? lol)

You know you’re a hijabi/niqabbi if…People randomly come up to you and ask if your husband makes you wear “that”or you are asked if he abuses you.

You know you’re a hijab/niqabbi if…people ask you if you shower and sleep with that “thing” on.

You know you’re a hijab/niqabbi if…People talk to you and not your body.

You know you’re a hijabi/niqabbi if…You are asked where you are from by just about every person you meet.

You know you’re a hijabi if…You are often mistaken for a nun.

You know you’re a hijabi/niqqabi if…People automatically have a difficulty understanding you even though you speak perfectly clear and correct.

You know you’re a niqabi if…You often hear ninja jokes

You know you’re a niqqabi if…People are facinated by watching you eat. Some are even so facinated that they may video you and post it on the internet.

You know you’re a hijabbi/niqabbi if…you feel the peace and contentment only obtained by obeying your feel respected and liberated…and you know that even with all the comments and stares your Creator is pleased with you and that’s all that matters!





Feel free to add your own!!!

Celebrities and Charities

28 06 2007

moneybags.jpgIt seems that most celebrities could care less about anyone other than themselves. Many of them spend their time in and out of rehab or jail, partying, and going on lavish shopping sprees day after day while looking down on the rest of us “peasants.” However, there are those few who will actually give back to the world. Though, when I look at the list of charities that they donate to, I can’t help but wonder if the money is really reaching the people in need.  I wonder if it is being used to make a change.  So many of these so called aid organizations have been caught time and time again with their hands in the cookie jar (so to speak).

We all know of the many U.N. and Christian charity fund scandals. Some other Examples of charity organization scandals include (I’m sure there are many more):
Red Cross:

United Way:

You can also check to read more about charities and their validity.

Also, I question these celebrities. Are they doing this for publicity and/or tax benefits or are they honestly sincere?  Insh’Allah some of them are sincere. I have my own assumptions about which are sincere and which are not. Though, If nothing else, these celebrities seem to be able to raise awareness as all eyes appear to be on them. I have to give them that much.

Does Skin Color Still Matter Today???

26 06 2007

I came across this news story today. I saw it on CNN. However, the only article that I can find now is below:

It basically tells of an instance in a small white majority Louisiana town. In a nut shell, some white students hung three nooses on a tree(which is a felony that carries prision time) in which it was known that the African American students congregated around . They were sentenced by the principal to three days of in school suspension. Fast forward, a fight broke out in the school. It is alleged that six African American students attacked a white student while he was coming out of a locker room. He had allegedly been a friend of the boys who hung the nooses on the tree. The boy ended up in the hospital with non life threatening injuries. Now those five African American students are charged with attempted murder and could face up to 100 years in prision, one of the six got his charges reduced. This appears to come in a long line of similar incidences in this county and throughout the southern United States. Which you can read in the article.

As Muslims, we are taught that Islam abolished racism. People were no longer defined by what they had or where they came from but by the taqwa (fear of Allah, piety) in their hearts.

The Prophet(saw) said: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white-except by piety and good action.(Saheeh Bukhari, Vol.7, Ch.3)

O mankind! We (God Almighty) created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (English interpretaion of the Qur’an 49:13)

Hajj is an excellent example of this. People from every corner of the earth and every station in life travel to Mecca, wearing the same clothes, going through all the same actions. The prayer is another example. We all pray shoulder to shoulder no matter our wealth, color, or background.

So, anyway, this brings me to the Questions of the Day…….

Do you think this instance is race related?

Do you think that the color of a person’s skin still makes a difference in his or her treatment today?

Do you think racism is still prominent in the Muslim community even though Islam speaks against it so clearly?

Do you think it is possible to eliminate racism and if so, do you have any ideas on how it can be done?

Name Change

25 06 2007

Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu all my sisters and brothers,

While, I am still definatley a southernmuslimah, I have decided to change my blogging name to “Umm Yusuf.” I have noticed there is also another southernmuslimah@blogspot. I have been told by a few people that this name thing is confusing them. Out of respect for the other southernmuslimah and since she has had her blog up longer, I decided to make the change.

So, insh’Allah now you will see my comments and posts as Umm Yusuf. :) Insh’Allah this will clear up any confusion.

Thank you all reading my blog. :) May Allah continue to guide us all and keep us on the Qur’an and Sunnah. ameen.

Jazak Allahu Khairan

Wa Salaam,

Umm Yusuf


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