Du’a: Pray for the victory of Islamic ummah in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt and Syria.Pray that Islam may rise in Palestine and evict the Oppressors.Pray for our masjid’s success and unity of the Muslims of America on Qur’an and hadith.Pray for good spouses and pious children.Pray for al-Jannah and defeat of the devil within us.Ameen!end Khutbah
A WOMAN WHO PRAYS BEHIND A MAN IS NOT INFERIOR.
This form of prayer is sacred because the Prophet, pbuh, taught it.
Umm Sulaim, r.a. Mother of Anas ibn Malik prayed behind her son. Only an ignorant person would claim that she was inferior to the boy she brought up and taught.
The form of prayer, the formal separation between men and women, has nothing to do with inferiority and superiority. It has to do with MODESTY, which, we learn from Hadith, is an essential part of Faith in Islam.
Prophet Muhammad pbuh reminded us that Modesty and Faith are integral to each other, when one goes the other goes too.
Men and women are equal in reward as Allah says in the Quran:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرًا ﴿١٢٤﴾
[4:124] Yusuf Ali
If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٧﴾
Allah Subhanawataala says in Surat an-Nahl (the Bee): 97
[16:97] Yusuf Ali
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.
وَلَا تَتَمَنَّوْا مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّـهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُوا ۖ وَلِلنِّسَاءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ ۚ وَاسْأَلُوا اللَّـهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا ﴿٣٢﴾
[4:32] Yusuf Ali
And in no wise covet those things in which Allah Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: But ask Allah of His bounty. For Allah hath full knowledge of all things.
Thus He subhanawataala is the judge of who is best in actions irrespective of gender.
All through the Quran it is clear when taken in true contextual reference that gender is NOT the criterion for merit in Islam.
Men and women are enjoined with the same prayers and to stay away from the same things and both men and women if obedient and God fearing and God conscious are promised beautiful rewards in the gardens of Jannah.
At a practical level for instance, if a woman knows more Qur’an than a man, there is no Islamic basis for saying that we will not listen to her because she is a woman and that we will listen to a man even if he is a fool.
WHAT DOES ALLAH (SWT) SAY IN THE QURAN ABOUT MERIT & SUPERIORITY?
* The Qur’an makes it very clear that it bases merit and superiority on Faith-based BEHAVIOR, rather than on gender. Here are the relevant quotes:
Is the Qur’an a source of guidance relating to men or to women? That question is not relevant because the Qur’an says about itself:
ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢﴾
“This is the Book in which is no doubt, a Guidance sure for THOSE WHO HAVE TAQWA.” [The Qur’an 2:2]
Taqwa is translated as conduct/piety/virtue based on fear and consciousness of Allah. It is not limited to either gender.
* All the forms of Islamic worship are similarly related to TAQWA and not to gender. Let us take one of the most important: Fasting in the month of Ramadan. The Qur’an states its purpose in these words:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٨٣﴾
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that ye may learn to have TAQWA.” [2:183]
Thus, as the Prophet, pbuh, explained in Hadith, fasting is mere hunger if it does not change behavior and brings about patience and self-restraint [various forms of taqwa.]
- Where the Qur’an affirms the male and female identity, as well as the differences between nations and tribes, it restricts merit/nobility/superiority to those who have TAQWA. There is powerful emphasis here on the affirmation of TAQWA which makes gender and nationality/tribe secondary, if not unimportant:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ﴿١٣﴾
“O people! We created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other [not that ye may despise each other.] Surely the noblest/best of you with Allah is the one who is best in conduct [has the most taqwa] among you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted [with all things].” [49:13]
Allah Subhanawataala has leveled the playing field in the Quran with TAQWA as the goal and the source of determining merit in a human being irrespective of gender.
Thus, we Muslims must not let the opposing forces trap us into a debate about male and female superiority and inferiority.
Dua: O Allah allow us to see truth as truth and falsehood as falsehood………
Presented at: Women’s History Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
Muslim Women’s Leadership Summit: Sis. Hadayai Majeed Presiding