An Islamic Monthly in english language, published in India, Bangalore

Linked with Nigar Ataulla – India, Bangalore.

Editorial of July, 2008: The relationship between ritualism and values is inversely proportional. The more one sees a society engrossed in rituals, putting on the garb of holiness and sanctity, the less respectful it becomes of the values. It grows more concerned with image than character. Rituals often have the tendency of raising a faade, putting on a mask, covering up the real face and robbing the individual or the society off the substance. People of faith, be they Muslims, Christians, Hindus or others, often camouflage their action under ritualism to put on a cloak of sacredness … (full text).

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Women in Islam: Asmaa bint Yazeed Orator of all Women – Asmaa (May Allah be pleased with her), the Prophets companion, obtained from him the definitive statement that women are in no way less than men.

Asmaa bint Yazeed ibn AlSakan was a woman from the Ansar, and a companion of the Prophet (Pbuh). She was distinguished for her sagacity and eloquence. Indeed, she was nicknamed the Orator of all Women. But she was also a woman of learning, and she reported the Prophets Hadith. She was clearly reliable as a reporter. Abu Dawood, AlTirmidhi, AlNassaie and Ibn Majah, as well as other major scholars of Hadith, related a total of 81 Hadiths of her reporting. As such, she ranks among the best learned of the Prophets women companions.

Asmaa also joined Muslim armies on several occasions. She accompanied the Prophet on his expedition that led to the fall of Makkah to Islam. She also participated in the great Battle of AlYarmook, against the Byzantines, during the reign of Umar ibn AlKhattab. She is reported to have killed nine enemy soldiers, using the pole of her own tent.

In order to appreciate her knowledge, we may relate the following story. One day she came to the Prophet as he was sitting with a number of his companions. Addressing him, she said Messenger of God, may both my parents be sacrificed for you. This was a traditional phrase of endearment, used mostly figuratively. I am an emissary from women to you. God has sent you as His messenger to both men and women. We believe in you and your Lord. Yet we, women, are restricted, home bound. We stay in your i.e. mens homes, give you your pleasure, and bear your children. You, men, have been favored over us with attending Friday prayer and congregational prayers in mosques, visiting the sick, attending funerals, offering the pilgrimage repeatedly, and with what is more than that fighting for Gods cause.When a man goes out intending pilgrimage or jihad, we take care of your property, sew your clothes, and bring up your children for you. Do we have a share of your reward

The Prophet turned to his companions asking them Have you ever heard a better statement by a woman than this one who is asking about matters of her faith They said We would not have thought that a woman would ever be able to express such meanings as this lady. The Prophet turned to Asmaa and said Listen, woman, and inform other women who sent you that a woman who is a goodly wife, keen to please her husband and doing what he likes is equal to all that. As she left, she was glorifying God and repeating statements of His oneness.

May God be pleased with Asmaa, the Prophets companion, who obtained from him this definitive statement that women are in no way less than men in their faith or their reward. It should be added that the Prophets words stress that the woman should always try to ensure that the atmosphere in her home is always relaxed and pleasant, so that she leads a happy marital life and her children grow up in a homely environment. As she takes care of the future generation, she earns as much reward as man who is assigned the task of looking after the present generation.

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