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Your lease on life

Assalamu alaykum and welcome.

 

I just want to say that I HATE cleaning the bathroom. But don’t worry, I’ve already cleaned the bathroom before making this post. I think most people don’t really enjoy cleaning the bathroom. The only time I did it willingly was when I was paid to do it a a janitor. Being paid made me willing to clean up messes much worse than anything I have to deal with here at home. Yet I still find myself resistant, crying out “I don’t want to!”

 

There are two things that still get me to do it. Firstly, I don’t want to be lazy. It’s too easy to be lazy. Complacency is one the worst things that can happen to a person. But the big helper in making sure the cleaning gets done is the fact that it’s not mine. We rent our house. While the house may not belong to us, while we’re here it’s our responsibility.

 

While contemplating this the other day I realized the same can be said of our bodies and lives here in the dunya. This body is not mine but in fact belongs to Allah. My body, and the life that comes with it, is merely a gift that has been granted to me. I must take care of it as best I can. I may even be rewarded for not leaving any blemishes behind.

If you have ever rented an apartment or house or anything, you’ve likely signed a lease or some sort of terms of agreement. At the very least you’ve reached a verbal agreement with the owner. While living in your rented house or using your rented item you may want to do something with it that you’re not sure it you are allowed to do. So you would of course look back on your lease agreement to see if you are allowed to do what you want to do. If you violate any of the terms of the agreement you can be punished by a fine or eviction. If the landlord is just, you will first be warned, then maybe even warned again before more severe action is taken. Or, once you move out, you may even be rewarded with your deposit being returned to you if you have taken good care of the borrowed item.

 

Similarly, we entered into our “terms of agreement” long ago:

And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” (07:172 Dr. Mohsin)

This is  why the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Muslim; 33; 6426) This is also why many people who “convert” to Islam will more often refer to it as “reverting” to Islam. They are going back to the state they were in before. Maybe more on that later but back to my main point for today.

 

The Qur’an details how we should live our lives in obedience to Allah. Muhammad (pbuh) came and warned us against our transgressions that we had fallen into after our initial agreement. This life that we live is a gift and we need to treat this gift with all the respect we can. In this way we are also showing our gratitude to the One who has so generously given us this gift. And if we don’t know what’s the best way to go about doing something, we always have our “terms of agreement” the Qur’an to consult. We must never become lazy in taking care of what isn’t ours lest we be punished for it.

Women in Jihad

Assalamu and welcome.

What is the woman’s place in jihad? Well, I hope I have so far cleared up some misconceptions about how one performs jihad in the first place. “Violent” jihad is not the only type of jihad.

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (pbuh) said: Use your property, your persons any your tongues in striving against the polytheists. (Dawud:14: 2498)

Yes, there is fighting, but notice there are two other ways to strive against the polytheists as well. Those methods should not be disregarded. And lets not forget about jihad al-nafs and jihad al-shaytaan.

For women, jihad most often does not involve fighting at all.

Narrated ‘Aisha: (That she said), “O Allah’s Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah’s cause?” He said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj-mabrur (i.e. Hajj which is done according to the Prophet’s tradition and is accepted by Allah). (Bukhari 4:52:43)

The jihad for women does fall more under al-nafs and al-shaytaan.

Striving to please Allah does not have to always involve fighting people. But when it does come to fighting, there is still a place for the women as well.

Narrated Anas: On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw ‘Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, “carrying the water skins on their backs”). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people. (Bukhari 4:52:131)

and

Narrated Ar-Rubayyi ‘bint Mu’auwidh: We were in the company of the Prophet providing the wounded with water and treating them and bringing the killed to Medina (from the battlefield) . (Bukhari 4:52:133)

The woman’s role is very vital when it come to jihad involving fighting. It’s just as vital as her role in the non-violent jihad and insha Allah will get her just as much reward. But there do come times when the women are not just allowed to fight, they are required to fight.

Al-Kaasaani al-Hanafi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “But at times of general mobilization, such as when the enemy is seeking to invade a Muslim land, then it becomes an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn) on every single Muslim who is able to fight, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor). strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allâh. This is better for you, if you but knew.” (9:41 – Dr. Mohsin)

And there are even stories of women fighting in battle.

Umm Sulaym bint Milhaan, who was fighting that day with a cloth tied around her stomach, said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about these people who ran away from you and let you down? You should not forgive them if Allaah gives you power over them.” (In al-Maghaazi it is narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we not kill these who ran away (from the battlefield) as we killed the mushrikeen?”) He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Umm Sulaym, the forgiveness of Allaah is immense.” (from Islam q&a. I do not know where the original text is from but I find this site to be a reputable site and so am quite confident in the validity of this story.)

And

Um Umara Nasiba Bint Kaab Al Ansaria fought in Uhud and also fought with the army that killed Musailimah, the liar. She was wounded in thirteen places that day and her hand was cut off. (from Islamweb.net. Once again, original source is not quoted. This site is more in the habit of not sharing daleel (evidence) but is trustworthy nonetheless.)

 

In conclusion of this patchwork of women in jihad I’d like to reflect. I like knowing that I have something to strive for and that there is a way set forth for me to strive for it. Whether it’s studying Islam, doing dawah, sending money and resources to those in battle, tending wounded soldiers, or physically fighting, the end goal is to make religion only for Allah. It’s such a wonderful thing to strive for. As I improve myself as a Muslim I’m sure the strength of my dawah will improve as well. I will continue to fight with my tongue as long as I am able. Next up insha Allah will be some introspection and a look at some more jihad al-nafs in my life. When next I post on jihad I’ll insha Allah be looking at the word’s usage in the Qur’an.

 

My main sources of information today were from Islam q&a, Islamweb.net, and al-Muttaqun online.

How to read what I write

Assalamu alaykum to all my Muslim sisters and brothers; Welcome to all non-Muslims.

 

I’ve never been a good writer. This was one of the reasons I hesitated for a long time about starting this blog. I did have a blog in the past but I never used it as a means of improving my writing. My biggest hurdle is conveying tone. I usually resort to using emoticons or explain my tone in parentheses. Somehow my writing style has evolved to somewhat resemble my talking style. Tangents, asides, and occasional run-on sentences abound. And if you’ve noticed my use of the 2nd person you’ll know I like to “talk” to my reader.

 

One of the reason I speak and write the way I do is because I have had a lot of interaction with the international community. I will not speak or write with contractions sometimes. I also sometimes speak and write in short sentences. Conversely, when I speak with native English speakers I don’t shy away as much from things like complex sentences or perceived “SAT” and high-brow words… like conversely, for example.

 

If you caught any of the subtlety of that last paragraph that’s the other thing about my writing tone and style. Some people have accused my writing of being preachy and pretentious, and even stilted and condescending. Perhaps one reason it may come across this way is because I’m generous enough to assume my readers are intelligent. It’s only after an indication I have spoken above the level of the listener that I “dumb things down” to the level of their comprehension. Perhaps this developed a bit more in my tech support day when I had to explain to people who didn’t know how to use their mobile phones how to use their mobile phones. I spoke with kindness, not with arrogance or annoyance, and I tried oh so hard to find and use the best layman’s terms. I don’t talk with a preachy or condescending tone so neither does my writing contain these characteristics.

 

I’m also a very good humored person. I like to make jokes just like just about everybody else. I try to stay away from stuff that’s really low brow but it’s not like all my jokes have to be high brow. I just like to play around with words a lot, I like tongue-in-cheek humor, subtlety, dry humor, and I do dabble in sarcasm. So read my posts knowing that I’m a human being with a sense of humor. That doesn’t mean everything I write is supposed to be funny, it just means don’t read as if I’m being dead-serious all the time. Just imagine the voice in your head as you read to be that of a young 20-something woman speaking with sincerity and kindness.

 

What is “My Jihaad”

Assalamu Alaykum to my Muslim sisters and brothers; Welcome to all non-Muslims readers.

 

This is only my first post so I’ll try to keep things brief. I won’t spend a lot of time trying to discuss the messy details of what jihad is or isn’t (that’ll be discussed over the course of many many other blog entries!) I will simply explain why this blog is “My Jihad” and my intentions with this blog.

 

First, a very little bit about jihad. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “jihad is of four kinds: Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self), jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan), jihad against the kaafirs and jihad against the hypocrites.” From the sunnah of Abu Dawud: “Narrated Anas ibn Malik:The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Use your property, your persons, and your tongues in striving against the polytheists.” (book 14, hadith 2498)

 

Yes, part of what jihad means involves fighting. However, I am a woman and the fighting is not for the women except in certain cases when it becomes necessary (which will be discussed later.) I am also not in a situation where there is fighting so I strive for religion to be only for Allah through the dawah of this blog. Through this blog I mainly will share my struggle, my jihad, against my self and against Shaytaan. Not every post is going to be religiously over-toned either. You may often find me regaling you with tales of my everyday life as I strive to be a better Muslimah. And through these posts I hope to also strive against the kaafirs, hypocrites, and polytheists by means of my “tongue” (or writing, rather.)

 

I may play around with the templates a bit in the beginning and I don’t have a definitive “plan” with this blog just yet either. There will be a handful of posts about jihad of course, though (like many other Muslim blogs) I’ll likely post on other topics from time to time, as well as share articles, lectures, and fatawa of interest. However this will largely be a chronicle of my own personal growth and my own personal jihad. So join me in “My Jihad” and see how this Muslimah strives for the sake of Allah.