The Muslimah’s Soul;

March 16, 2008

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Asalaamu Alaikum,

Wa rahmatullahi wa barakato!

I hope everyone is doing well, in the best of health and Imaan, in shaa ‘Allah. I had started a book reading for “The Ideal Muslimah” by Muhammad Ali  Al-Hashimi, via email almost a year ago, and it went on for a time but stopped eventually. Insha’Allah this time I intend to finish the book, sending out a chapter summary once a week or so, so that we may all benefit from one another’s knowledge and texts.  Each chapter is about 3 pages long, so take your time reading, and nevertheless don’t forsake reading it all together.

Bismillah, walhamdulillah, wasalaatu wasalaamu ala’Rasulillah, w’ala Barakatullah.

The Muslim Woman and her Soul!

The Muslim woman does not neglect to polish her soul through worship, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and reading the Qur’an; she never neglects to perform acts of worship at the appointed times. Just as she takes care of her body and mind, she also takes care of her soul, as she understands that the human being is composed of a body, a mind and a soul, and that all three deserve appropriate attention. A person may be distinguished by the balance he or she strikes between body, mind and soul, so that none is cared for at the expense of another.  Striking this balance guarantees the development of a sound, mature and moderate character.

1.)    She performs acts of worship regularly and purifies her soul

The Muslim woman pays due attention to her soul and polishes it through worship, doing so with a pure and calm approach that will allow the spiritual meanings to penetrate deep into her being. She removes herself from the hustle and bustle of life, and concentrates on her worship as much as she is able to. When she prays, she does so with calmness of heart and clearness of mind, so that her soul may be refreshed by the meaning of the words of the Qur’an, dhikr and tasbeeh that she is mentioning. Then she sits alone for a little while, praising and glorifying Allaah, and reciting some ayat from His book, and meditating upon the beautiful meanings of the words she is reciting. She checks her attitude and behavior every now and then, correcting herself is she has done anything wrong or fallen short in some way. Thus her worship will bring about the desired results of purity of soul, cleansing of her sins, and freeing from the bonds of Shaytan whose constant whispering may destroy a person. If she makes a mistake or stumbles from the Straight Path, the true Muslim woman soon puts it right, seeks forgiveness from Allaah, renounces her sin or error, and repents sincerely. This is the attitude of the righteous Allaah-fearing Muslim women:

“Those who fear Allaah, when a thought of evil from Shaytan assaults them, bring Allaah to remembrance, when lo! They see aright.” (Qur’an 7: 201).

                Therefore, the Prophet, asalaatu wasalaam, used to tell his Companions:

“Renew your faith.” He was asked, “O’ Messenger of Allaah, how do we renew our faith?” He said, “By frequently repeating La-ilaha ill-Allaah.”

The Muslim woman always seeks the help of Allaah in strengthening and purifying her soul by constantly worshipping and remembering Allaah azawajaal, checking herself, and keeping in mind, at all times, what will please Allaah. So whatever pleases Him, she does, and what angers Him, she refrains from. Thus, she will remain on the Straight Path, never deviating from it or doing wrong.

2.)    She keeps company with righteous people and joins religious gatherings,

In order to attain this high status, the Muslim woman chooses righteous, Allah-fearing friends, who will be true friends and offer sincere advice, and will not betray her in word or deed. Good friends have a great influence in keeping a Muslim woman on the straight path and helping her to develop good habits and refined characteristics. A good friend –in most cases- mirrors one’s behavior and attitudes: “ Do not ask about a man, ask about his friends, for every friend follows his friends.”

Mixing with decent people is an indication of one’s good lineage and noble aims in life: “By mixing with noble people you become one of them, so you should never regard anyone else as a friend.”

So it is as essential to choose good friends as it is to avoid doing evil: “If you mix with people, make friends with the best of them, do not make friends with the worst of them lest you become like them.”

The Muslim woman is keen to attend gatherings where there is discussion of Islaam and the greatness of its teachings regarding the individual, family and society, and where those present think of the power of Almighty Allaah and His bountiful blessings to His creation, and encourage one another to obey His commandments, heed His prohibitions and seek refuge with Him. In such gatherings, hearts are softened, souls are purified, and a person’s whole being is filled with the joy of faith.

So Abdullah ibn Rawaahah radiyallahu anhu, whenever he met one of the Companions of the Prophet, used to say. “Come let us believe in our Lord for a while.” When the Prophet asalaatu wasalaam heard about this, he said, “May Allaah have mercy upon Ibn Rawaahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angels feel proud to attend.”

The rightly guided Khaleefah, Umar al-Farooq (ra) used to make the effort to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say, “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allaah, the Exalted!

Even Umar (ra), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart. Likewise, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (ra) would often say to his companions, when they were walking, “Let us sit down and believe for a while.”

The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down:

 “By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and by its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right—truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!”

(Qur’an 91: 7-10)

 

“And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.”

(Qur’an 18: 28)

[Other forms of supplication, duaa, come in the form of remembering Allaah before daily acts & chores, thus instilling the most barakaat in your days and dealings, Insha’Allah.]

There is duaa for leaving the house, and entering the house, starting to eat, finishing a meal, wearing new clothes, lying down in bed, waking up from sleep, saying farewell to a traveler, welcoming a traveler back home, etc. There is hardly anything that the Prophet (s) did that he did not have a duaa for. Through which he asked Allaah to bless him in his endeavor, protect him from error, guide him to the truth, decree good for him and safeguard him from evil, as is explained in the books of Hadith narrated from the Prophet (s). He used to teach these ad’iyah (supplications) and adhkaar (various dhikr) to his Companions and encouraged them to repeat them at the appropriate times. 

Thus, in this way, the heart of the true Muslimah will remain focused on Allaah, her soul will be cleansed and purified, and her Imaan will increase.

The modern Muslim is in the utmost need of this spiritual nourishment, to polish her soul and keep her away from the temptations and unhealthy distractions of modern life, that could spell doom for women in societies which have deviated from the guidance of Allaah and sent groups of women to Hell, as the Prophet (s) indicated: “I looked into Hell, and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.”

Therefore, the perseverant Muslimah who understands the teachings of her religion looks where she is going and strives to increase her good deeds, so that she may be saved from the terrifying trap into which the devils among mankind and jinn in all times and places try to make women fall.

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4 Responses to “The Muslimah’s Soul;”

  1. radf said

    JazakAllah Khaiyrun for this beneficial post.
    -radf

  2. Safia said

    How about a article for brothers. Do they not apply to men or is it only women that need to adhere to these teachings?

  3. khwaja said

    salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah…

    the majority of the points can apply to both brothers and sisters, however, there are some that apply more specifically to women in general. i’m sure each individual can decipher the differences on their own, in shaa’ Allaah,

    m’asalaam.

  4. umm haleema said

    Assalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu
    The book of “The Ideal Muslimah” by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi is also available online on internet. So, since it is available on internet for public, I think it would be more benefit if we put the link so that whom ever who really really want to have the book but in some reasons they still not able to have it, will be able to read too,

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/idealmuslimah/index.html

    And the article for the brothers, Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi wrote special book as well with title ” THE IDEAL MUSLIM”, and the points of this book is available online on : http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=576

    I read the question of Sister Safia who asked about the article for brothers, i would like to share what Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi wrote as well about it. And Masyaallah, i believe it is very usefull for musmim sisters too.

    The Ideal Muslim – His Soul
    ————————-
    While he is taking care of his physical and mental needs, the true Muslim does not forget that he is not comprised only of a body and mind, but he also has passionate, yearning soul whose higher longings motivate him to lift himself p by devoting himself to worship, seeking the blessings of Allah and fearing His pinishment.

    He polishes his soul trough worship:
    The Muslim is obliged to take care of his soul, so he starts to polish it and define it trough constant worship and awareness of Allah, night and day. He is alert to devious tricks and deceptive whispers of the Shaytaan and if, in some moment of human weakness, evil thoughts come to him from a source, he remembers Allah and finds his way back to the Straight Path:

    “Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, bring Allah to remembrance, when lo! They see aright.” (Qur’an 7: 2001)

    Therefore, the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam) used to tell his Companions:

    “Renew your faith.” He was asked, “O’ Messenger of Allah, how do we renew our faith?” He said, “By frequently repeating Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.” (Ahmad with a jayyid isnad).

    The Muslim seeks to strengthen his soul trough various kinds of worship which he performs out of obedience to and fear of Allah, such as reading Qur’an carefully and with understanding, and remembering Allah with humility, and praying correctly and with presence of mind, and other kinds of worship and spiritual exercises, training himself to adhere to different acts of worship until they become second nature and he cannot do without them. Thus he develops and enhances his feeling until, in most cases, he becomes alert and aware, conscious that Allah is watching him in public and in private, so that he never mistreats the people he deals with and never deviates from the true path.

    He keeps company with righteous people and joins religious gatherings:
    The Muslims seeks to attain this high status by keeping company with righteous people who will teach one another, and him, about Truth (haqq) and patience and constancy (sabr), and by frequently attending religious gatherings where Allah’s name is mentioned often, where there is discussion of the greatness of Islamic teaching regarding the tarbiyah (education, development) of the individual, the family and the community and where those present ponder the might of Allah, the Subduer, the Omnipotent, from which nothing in heaven or earth can detract, and meditate on the wonder of His creation of the universe and of man. In such gatherings, souls are purified, hearty are cleansed, and a person’s whole being is filled with faith.

    So, ‘Abdullah ibn Rawaahah (Radhiallahu anhu), whenever he met one of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam), used to say,

    “Come, let us believe in our Lord for a while. “When the Prophet heard about it, he said, “May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rawaahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angles feel proud to attend. (Ahmad with a hasan isnad).

    The rightly-guided khaleefah ‘Umar al-Farood (Radhiallahu anhu) used to make the effort to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say, “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allah. (Hayaat as-Shahabah,3/329)

    Even ‘Umar (Radhiallahu anhu), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart. Likewise, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radhiallahu anhu) would often say to his companions, when they were walking, “Let us sit down and believe for a while.” (Ibid).

    The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down:

    “By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right – truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!” (Qur’an 91: 7-10)

    So the Muslim is required to choose his friends carefully and to join only those gatherings that will increase his faith, taqwa and insight. He should avoid the bad company of the devils among mankind, and keep away from gatherings of sin and disobedience which will only corrupt his soul:

    “And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; not obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” (Qur’an 18:28)

    He frequently repeats du’aa’ (supplications) described in ahaadeeth:
    Another was in which the Muslim may strengthen his soul and connect his heart to Allah, the Exalted, All-High, is by repeating the supplications which it is reported that Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam) used to say on various occasions.

    So there is a du’aa’ which he would say when he left his house, and others for entering the home, saying farewell to a traveller, welcoming a traveller home, wearing new clothes, lying down in bed, waking up from sleep,etc. There is hardly anything that the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam did that he did not have a du’aa’ for, trough which he asked Allah to guide for him, protect him from error, to take care of him and to decree good for him, as is explained in the book of saheeh ahaadeeth narrated from the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam). See, for example, Al-Adhkaar by An-Nawawi and Al-Ma’thooraat by Hasan al-Banna’. (*)
    He used to teach these du’aa’ and adhkaar to his Companions, and encouraged them to repeat them at the appropriate times.

    The smart Muslim is keen to learn therse du’aa’ and adhkaar, following the example of the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam) and his distinguished Companions, and he keeps repeating them at the appropriate times, as much as he is able to. In this way his heart will remain in contact with Allah, and his soul will be cleansed and purified. Trough these spiritual exercises the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wassalam) trained the souls of the first generation of the Sahabaah, so they became pure and unsullied. Islam wrought a great miracle in forming a refined, superior generation that was unique in the history of mankind, one which made such wondrous achievements in a few short years.

    The true Muslim, today more than ever, needs to train his soul to soar to that high level and to live up to the heavy responsibilities of his da’wah.

    ——-
    (*) English-speaking Muslims who wish to learn du’aa’ (supplications) may consult Selected Prayers by Jamaal Badawi, which is based largely on Hasan al-Banna’s Al-Ma’thooraat, and includes transliterations of many du’aa’s. (Translator of the book).

    ——-

    Copied from: “THE IDEAL MUSLIM” by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi

    Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

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