Friday, June 12, 2009

Jum'a Thoughts: Be Grateful

I am saying be grateful---I am not saying GROVEL. Alot of women reject the following hadith saying it is not authentic because they don't understand its context but it is indeed authentic (why else would women of the Sahaba take part in handing it down to us in its train of narration?):

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28

This hadith is not saying women should grovel to men who do them wrong or act in manner contrary to the sunnah, neglecting their husbandly duties of playing with their wife, financially providing for her, having bad manners despised by Islam such as selfishness or cruelty or even the constant lack of a kind smile or reassuring touch.

It is directed at women who have good husbands or good friends or a mostly good community, who think themselves the center of the world---when they are given they are pleased, and when they are not they are displeased. They are slaves to the luxuries and pleasures of the moment.

They forget how their husband courted them righteously when he forgets to pick up her favourite food at the grocery store, promising to provide for her and do his best to love her before he even knew her very well just because she was a Muslim woman. She forgets how he remembered to wake her up for salat (the reward of which is more than anything on this earth) but she despairs that he does not provide the family with annual vacations (he is saving for Hajj) or buy her enough designer clothes and fancy abayaat.

This is not the kind of woman I wish to be, so every night after Isha, when making my duas I try to list ten things from my day or my life about people that I am grateful for what they have done, and try to remember them specifically and make dua for a certain thing for them. Such as raising the status of their grandmother in Jannah, who passed away, because without that Grandmother I had never met, I would not have this wise person in my life now, to give me guidance when I request it. I ask that that person who supports me is guided and helped. I thank Allah for all of these blessings.

I knew of a Christian girl who was imprisoned. Before Islam I always wondered at her faith, that she could always be thankful to Allah even though she was starved, in constant darkness, and infested with bugs. I even heard her thanking Allah for the lice and skin mites that infected her cell. Her own sister was like, how can you be thankful for THAT?! The girl didn't know, but she said everything was God's will. Her sister thought she was crazy. But we later learned (her sister related her story to me) that if it weren't for the lice, the women in that cell block would have been raped by their guards like the women in other parts of their prison. Theirs was the only cell were the women got lice. If it were not for the lice that she had been thankful for, they all would have been raped. SubhanAllah.

Some blessings we have not the smallest comprehension of, but that does not mean that we have not experienced a miracle unknowing. Sometimes I feel that having all the good Muslims around me that I do is a miracle in itself. SubhanhAllah. That my blessing is to be so lucky to be protected by high iman, and physical men and women instead of headlice. SubhanAllah.


Serap said...

The question I have with this hadith, is it puts men in a position where they're inbetween Allah and women. That can't be right ... if the hadith would say that women were ungrateful to Allah - then yes, of course, that makes sense. There is nothing in the Qur'an that says that women will go to hell because they're ungrateful to their husbands.
The other possibility I've read is maybe this was said in a joking tone, and it's taken out of context.

I would say OF COURSE, women should be appreciative of their husbands. But husbands should also be appreciative of their wives. The Qur'an states that men and women are garments for one another.

Pixie said...

Serap: there are plenty of hadiths out there that mention men to be grateful to women (especially since women are mothers). This one is specific to women in his Ummah whos ebehaviour he might have regarded as being harsh and thought to warn them that that behaviour would lead to hell rather than paradise.

Pixie said...

And this hadith is very specific that the women are being ungrateful to their husbands (which Allah has provided them with). Like the Qu'ran, a good Muslim husband can be a mercy to us, and like the Qu'ran, we don't disregard that mercy just because one thing about the whole displeases us.

Sarah Plain & Short said...

Salam Aleikom,

A good reminder thank you. I will start listing 10 things to be grateful for inshaAllah. Its a great idea. :)

Serap said...

Pixie - the way you explained it, it makes sense. :)

Almallena said...

SubhanAllah! That is an incredible example of how everything happens for a reason. SubhanAllah! JazakhAllah Khair for posting that.

Maryam said...


Sis, a big JazakAllah Khair to you!

I will be doing this (listing things I'm thankful for) after every prayer.

Betty said...

Salaam Alaikum,

AS Serap stated, there are some ahadith out there - like this one that really set a tone of husband as intecessor to Allah (SWT). If husband is pleased, so is Allah. If he is not, then Allah is not. I have read in several areas that many of these hadiths were quoted out of context (like the Prophet PBUH was joking at the time he said it). It is a slippery slope. Men and women are responsible in their duties to Allah EQUALLY and will be judged according to their deeds EQUALLY, which include being nice to your spouse but this "your heaven or your hell" makes me very nervous of setting partners - even symbolically.

Pixie said...

Betty: wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto

the other hadith I think you mean is the one that says whena husband is displeased with his wife Allah will be displeased with her until her husband is pleased? This one is in context only of her having done something Islamically wrong, like having let strangers into their house without his permission, or having given money of his to a charity without asking first, or of her having been rude to him... Not if he has done something wrong. Unlike the hadith that I stated above, most other hadiths are not specific to women but marraiages and women were the ones the used as examples in a few, where as most use men as examples. This hadith pointed out that the Messenger of Allah (pbh) saw a character flaw in women that made the majority of them suceptible to ingratitude more so than men and had the kindness and foresight to warn us of it. It was not to make men our intercessors:D

American Muslima Writer said...

Masha'Allah even when we feel we are being harmed sometimes it is the opposite....

Inspired Muslimah said...

This was a really interesting post and being someone who others constantly tell me how spoiled I am it is a nice reminder to remain humble and grateful,alhamdullilah.