Friday, February 19, 2010

My Omani Outfit, and a Wife's Rights Over Husband (beyond financial)

Since alot of women read this blog, I thought I'd share an interesting article written by a Sheikh I just read on a woman's rights over her husband. Most sites say, yada yada yada, this is the husband's rights over his wife in a dispute, and mashaAllah, these things are wonderful to know, but many women tell me that we have no rights over our husbands in disputes and the like, beyond financial things. This is not so, ya Rub!!!!!!

But first, I'd like to share with ya'll, a pic of my Omani outfit. Yes, the hijab should cover the chest, but I wasn't going out of my home, LOL, so I didn't try to style it as neat as I could have. I am new to the whole "warqiya" (Omani tasselled shawl thing). A local (well, long-time expat) friend tried to show me how to do it, but she's a little less strict on the whole hijab thing than me, LOL.

What do you think? Boxie says I look like a green firefly, LOL, but my Omani friends were all super excited that I actually wore it (only once!). They were all like, but you are Canadian, you can get away without black abaya all the time...

Now to the article (note: I didn't write it):

Q: I have frequently read what, according to Islamic teachings, a husband may or may not do in a dispute with his wife if he attributes it to disagreement with or misbehavior of his wife. I almost never read anything about the opposite situation: if the wife has a disagreement with her husband or *he* misbehaves. Things are nearly always told from the man's point of view! What are the wife's rights in the case of bad behavior of her husband?

A: Praise belongs to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Blessings and Peace on the Messenger of Allah, and on his Family and all his Companions.

Allah ordered the believers to "consort with women in kindness" (4:19) and He said: "And of His signs are this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect" (30:21).

A Wife's Basic Rights Regarding Her Husband's Behavior

NOTE: This is distinct from her other rights regarding living expenditures, housing, clothing, and education of children. And from Allah comes all success.

1. The first and worthiest condition of marriage to be fulfilled by the husband is to "keep the promise or promises he made to the wife at the time he married her." This is an order of the Prophet [salla Allahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, abbr. (s)] according to the hadith: "ahaqqu al-shuruti an tufu bihi ma astahlaltum bihi min al-furuj"

2. He cannot order her to do anything that is against religion. The Prophet (s) said: "No obedience is due to creatures in disobedience of the Creator" (la ta`atan li makhluqin fi ma`siyat al-khaliq).

3. He must exercise patience and be prepared to listen to her advice in every situation. The Prophet (s) listened to the advice of his wives in matters ranging from the smallest to the greatest.

4. If she invites him to wake up and perform the late night prayer, it is praiseworthy for him to do so and vice-versa. The Prophet (s) prayed for such people: "May Allah grant mercy to a man who gets up at night and prays, and wakes up his wife, and if she refuses, he sprinkles water in her face; may Allah grant mercy to a woman who gets up at night and prays, and wakes up her husband, and if he refuses, she sprinkles water in his face."

5. He must respect her and pay attention to her needs so that she will respect him and pay attention to his.

6. He must control his passions and act in a moderate manner especially in the context of sexual intercourse. Remember that Allah has placed between you and her "friendship and mercy" (mawadda wa rahma), not the gratification of your every lust; and that the Prophet (s) advised young men to marry "because it casts down the gaze and walls up the genitals," not in order to stimulate sexual passions. The husband should habitually seek refuge in Allah before approaching his wife and say: "O Allah, ward off the satan from us and ward him off from what you have bestowed upon us in the way of children" (allahumma jannibna al-shaytana wa jannibhu ma razaqtana). Allah has called each spouse a garment for the other (2:187), and the purpose of garments is decency. The Prophet (s) further said that he who marries for the sake of decency and modesty (`afaf), Allah has enjoined upon Himself to help him.

7. He must never ever divulge the secrets of the household and those of the married couple.

8. He must strive with sincerity to acquire her trust, and seek her welfare in all the actions that pertain to her.

9. He must treat her generously at all times. The Prophet (s) said that the best gift or charity (sadaqa) is that spent on one's wife.

10. If she works outside the house, it is praiseworthy for the husband to hire house help to relieve her from too heavy a burden. The wife's duties do not require her to feed her child, nor even to nurse it, nor to clean nor cook. It is the husband's duty to provide a nursemaid, food for older children, and servants to clean and cook. However, if the wife does those things out of mercy and love, it is a gift to the husband on her part.

11. He must avoid excessive jealousy and remember that Allah is also jealous that he himself not commit. The Prophet (s) said: "Do not be excessively jealous of your wife lest evil be hurled at her on your account" (la tukthir al-gheerata `ala ahlika fa turama bi al-su'i min ajlik) and he said: "Allah is jealous and the believer is jealous; and Allah's jealousy is that the believer should not go to that which Allah has forbidden for him" (inna Allaha yagharu wa al- mu'minu yagharu wa gheerat Allahi in ya'tiya al-mu'minu ma harrama `alayhi).

12. He must protect her honor and not place her in situations where it is compromised or belittled. The Prophet (s) said that Allah will not ever let him enter Paradise who cares little who shares his wife's privacy. This includes the husband's brother, uncle, and nephew, let alone non-related friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.

13. He must exercise patience and forgiveness in the case of disagreement or dispute, and not rush to divorce. The declaration of divorce is a grave matter indeed, and the Prophet (s) said: "Of permitted matters the most loathesome before Allah is divorce" (abgh`ad al-halal `ind Allah al-talaq). In another hadith he said that divorce is so grave that because of it Allah's throne is made to shake. He said: "The best intercession [i.e. intervention of a third party] is that which brings back together the husband and the wife." Womanizing -- divorce for the purpose of marrying another woman out of sexual attraction incurs Allah's curse according to the hadith: "Allah's curse is on the womanizing, divorcing man" (la`ana Allahu kulla dhawwaaqin mutallaaq). Finally, even in the midst of and after divorce, Allah has prescribed kindness upon the man: "(After pronouncing divorce) she must be retained in honor or released in kindness" (2:228).

For the above-mentioned reason (i.e. to prevent the quickness of divorce), in his time, Ibn Taymiyya gave the ijtihad (juridical opinion) by saying that three talaqs in one sitting constituted only one. He did this to interdict the prevalent custom of suddenly giving three talaqs, which in his time was on everyone's lips, (i.e. had become so commonplace as to be a habit). However the other four schools of fiqh had the opposite opinion in this matter.

14. He must not dwell on what he dislikes in his wife, but on what he likes.

15. The husband is not to stay away from his wife or keep his wife in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a protracted period of time except with her consent. Allah said: "Turn not away (from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful" (4:129). Protracted separation (6 months or more in the Shafi`i school) without prior or subsequent arrangement with the wife, whether the husband is away willingly or unwillingly (for example due to war, imprisonment, or illness) is sufficient grounds for her to obtain divorce from the judge.

16. The Prophet (s) said: "Do not beat your wife." He also said: "Do not strike your wife in the face." The expiation for striking one's slave in the face is to set him or her free on the spot, but what expiation is there for striking one's wife? The Prophet (s) condemned the man who beats his wife in the day and then approaches her at night. And to beat her to the extent of inflicting serious injury is enough grounds for her to obtain divorce from the judge.

17. Caring for one's wife's sexual fulfillment is an obligation of religion. The Prophet (s) warned against rushing to gratify one's pleasure and forgetting that of one's wife. He also disliked that the husband should quickly withdraw from his wife afterwards, as it is a strain upon the wife. If she asks for intercourse, he should not refuse.

These are only some of the basic duties of the husband in Islam. The state of marriage is part of one's adherence to the Sunna and an exalted state of life indeed. In the words of the Prophet (s), it permits one to meet Allah "pure and cleansed" (tahiran mutahharan). One's behavior towards one's wife is the measure of the perfection of one's belief as the Prophet (s) said: "The most complete of the believers in his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in manners are those who act best towards their wives." Marriage must be approached with utmost seriousness, entered with the purest intent, and cultivated religiously as it does not come cheaply and it carries immense reward. The Prophet (s) called it "his way" (al-nikahu sunnati) and "half of religion" and he also said: "Two rak`at (prayer-cycles) of the married person are better than seventy rak`at of the unmarried." He also warned that among the greatest of responsibilities that had been placed upon men is that pertaining to the treatment of their wives.

And may Allah's blessings and peace be upon Muhammad,
his Family and all his Companions,
and praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Omani Clothing

So I have moved to Oman permanently, au reviour Canada. I am staying in the Gulf for what will probably be the rest of my life, but Allahualim, you know?
So while there aren't many pictures until I get a skanner, above is the fish-n-tail dress of Salalah, and below, some of the different traditional dresses from in and around Muscat. All can be worn with khimar (hijab) but usually abaya is worn where I live.
That's all my hijab reporting for now folks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Modesty is More than Clothes

On this blog sisters have often criticized me for being "too judgemental" when I have written articles on the different aspects of hijab, and intentions for wearing hijab. One can look at posts such as "are the feet awrah" "is niqab mustahaab or wajib" or "cover your chest!" and be like, WHOA, THIS SISTA IS HARSH."

LOL, if only you knew me, he he he, I've never been one to point out a girl on the street and be like, "omigod does she think those leggings are jilbab"- "gadzooks, check out the makeup on that niqabi"- or yell "put some clothes on" to a non-muslim woman in an Arab country, though sometimes I admit, I do a double take. Cleavage with hijab distracts, as well as seeing butt cheeks go up and down in abaya, or fake eyelashes and plucked brows and glittery shadow with niqab. I just go, what is the point but... But to me judging or yelling at people or talking behind their backs---that's bad hijab too. Worse sometimes than another sister's mistake. Maybe when we are being harsh, it is because something is lacking in ourselves and the offensive is our defence?!!!!

No, what I have written, while filtered in my own personal leanings, is directed firstly to myself. it is directed to any woman like myself, who has a love of halal things like design and colour but who wants to hear what the sunnah says, what the examples in the seerah show us. When I am writing "Allah says this is best for us, or a must for us," or "this is what women of the sahaba wore because..." I am not saying any woman who doesn't understand or agree with that is bad or worse, subhanaAllah! LOL, okay, I guess it isn't really funny, but the way people read what we write and miss why we are writing us funny sometimes. Sometimes I get offended when people don't understand me, and I have to realize, hey, I do the same sometimes so be patient and wait, making the best excuses for it.

For me personally, I like hearing nasiha (Islamic advice) about hijab with daleel (evidence from the Qu'ran and Sunnah) from a sister in a non-embarrassing one-on-one conversation, where she's sweet and thoughtful about it. How else do we learn about Islam? I DO apologize, I can't do that online, really LOL. Anyways, then if I think the sister's advice to be wrong, and I disregard it, I prefer her not to nag me about it. If I disregard it and she thinks that's she's right, she should pray for my guidance from Allah. That's the way to do it in person. That is the Islamic way.

Of course, blogs like mine, since they generally aren't directed at any one person I believe it is entirely okay to post multiple hijab posts on a similar issue. It isn't nagging or picking on anybody. If one has a different opinion, they may blog about it on their blog, of course. It is sharing/storing information, even if it is for myself, or others seeking what I learnt after making some mistakes first LOL.

I have discovered that, sadly, in real life women that wear niqabs and gashwas can call down other women in the malls for wearing tight clothes with hijab or girls with no hijabs or Islam at all, but then, have worse hijab in actions and even in dress, on a different day.

When I see girls in ridiculously tight abayas or lack or khimar and jilbab, I don't think I am better than them, and I don't click my tongue at them an go "ayb". I don't know their intentions and the extent of their religious knowledge and the state of their imaan. I simply know that with my understanding my clothing might fulfill the requirements of the Qu'ran better than my skinny-jeans wearing sister in Islam, or my non-hijabi girlfriend. And while I know my clothing meets the requirements of the shariah and theirs does not, clothing alone does not equate modesty. My girl Hanoony has no headscarf but she is of a more modest strain than I am, and Boxie, who used to have a thing for her skinnies, now has simply abayaat than mine, and she doesn't wear make-up, and she doesn't talk as loud in public as I do.

So I know if we work to improve our knowledge about hiojab for ourselves, and our personalities, and we advise eachother in real-life instead of randomly pointing some chicas out in the mall, and pray for eachother' guidance, then the state of our imaan (faith) and the pressure we feel as women in Islam, will balance out. It may be hard, but it isn't that hard, lol.

Sorry I haven't written in a long time. I just haven't been into fashion (strange, I know!). I've had some personal issues and still no internet source. Forgive me those of you who have been loyal readers and forgive me also those of you who think of me as a know-it-all. Serriously, if I've offended you in the past, ever, I extend an invitation- if you're ever in Muscat, Oman I'll pay for tea or coffee and show you the woman between the lines of the blog and make ammends by being by being other than what I am able to communicate in type.

May Allah guide us all, and keep us on the straight path, ameen.