By Aarif Billah Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahab R.A
Interview with the Wife of Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
(May Allah preserve them both)
Reproduced, with minor editing, from ‘The Intellect’ magazine (published in Karachi, Pakistan), with direct permission from the Interviewee and Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani (Muhammad ibn Adam).
Question: Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani has spent his entire life in the service of Islam with constant effort and hard work. To achieve so much Masha Allah, he must have a support system at home. Can you kindly share with us how you help him out?
Wife of MTU: Since the very first day of our marriage, I decided – with the intention of earning reward – that I will take up all household responsibilities in a manner so that Shaykh can fully concentrate on the work of deen. This way, I [hope to] get a share in the reward of his religious efforts as well. To this end, I not only try to contribute to the religious environment of the house (e.g. by not involving him in vain conversations), but also give him no trouble regarding household affairs, ranging from arranging groceries to buying personal items such as clothes etc. I try to resolve all big and small household issues on my own; for example, getting a broken phone stand repaired. Even when the children were small, I would try to make sure that Shaykh is not disturbed by routine issues related to them.
I would also like to mention here that I have been blessed by Allah Most High with one of the most considerate of spouses, who has always provided me with the best of worldly and religious environment at home. I feel total bliss, Al-hamdulillah.
Question: Shaykh travels abroad very frequently. Did you get chances to travel with him? If yes, how do you keep yourself occupied when he is busy in official meetings / work etc?
Wife of MTU: I travel very frequently with Shaykh. In fact, I have accompanied him on many foreign tours. Usually, as we board the plane, he begins work on his laptop and keeps working until the plane lands at the destination. In the meantime, I get myself busy in completing my daily recitations (ma’mulat/wird) during the course of the journey. At the hotel, Shaykh proceeds to his official engagements and I open up the Holy Qur’an for recitation, reading [also] the translation, etc. Actually, I love reading. At home, since one is busy with household affairs, one does not get enough time to read with concentration. So on these travels; I fulfill my desire of reading [with concentration]. Recently, I was trying to learn Arabic, so I would open up my Arabic books and try to study. When Shaykh would come to the room for lunch, I would show him about something I didn’t understand.
I am not too fond of outings or shopping, so even with many ladies offering to show me around the town, I prefer to stay at the hotel and follow my routine. At Fajr time, Shaykh and I always go for a half hour walk together, no matter where we are. In the evening, even when I am at home, I complete my evening half hour walk on a treadmill while reciting at least one Juz of the Holy Qur’an.
On foreign tours, after the official work has finished, Shaykh many times adds an extra day to the trip for my sake to show me different sites and places in the city.
Question: When the children grow up, the ladies of the house get some extra time to spend as they like. How do you utilize that time and how to do you spend your average day?
Wife of MTU: Every Thursday, I deliver a talk for the female teachers and staff of the Hira Foundation School [the hybrid school offering the Cambridge education system along with religious learning within Dar-ul-Uloom Karachi premises], where I read from Shaykh’s [book] Islahi Khutbat. I also frequently make surprise visits to the school to check up on its work.
As far as my daily routine is concerned (which is aligned with that of Shaykh’s, to give him maximum comfort), it mostly goes like this: After Fajr, we go for a walk together; then we have breakfast at 7:30am. Shaykh then proceeds to his 8.00 to 10.00am class to teach Sahih al-Bukhari, while I get busy in household chores. He comes home at 10.00am, and until 12 noon works on his laptop [writing books, etc]. 12.00 to 2.00pm are his office hours, so he proceeds there. After Zuhr prayers, we have our lunch together at around 2.15pm, and then rest for half to one hours (till around 3.30pm). [From 3.30pm till Asr, he goes back to his office where teachers, students and others have an opportunity to consult with him]. Asr to Maghrib prayers is family time. Shaykh is very particular that we all sit together at this time and discuss any issues of interest. From Maghrib to Isha, he proceeds to do his own work e.g. if he is working on a book, then writing, researching for it etc. After dinner, we all sit down for 10-15 minutes, where Shaykh reads out from a book. The grandchildren must also attend this reading session. After this, he again gets back to work before retiring to bed at 12.00 midnight.
Question: What needs to be done to further our work for the reformation efforts directed towards women?
Wife of MTU: First of all, more and frequent lecture gatherings must be held for ladies, where discourses of our pious predecessors are read out. The more ladies listen to these, the more impact it would have; not only bringing about a gradual change in them, but they would also be able to positively impact their children and household.
Secondly, our approach to reformation should not be an offensive or even direct one; we should not be scolding the other as it would only irritate the listener, and instead of accepting the good advice, she may become reactionary. We should indirectly try to make people understand about prevalent vices by frequently inviting them over to religious gatherings. As an example, if a lady is busy in rearing up children at home and is interested in da’wah work or feels pain at something that her next door neighbour might be doing incorrectly, she should take out just 15-20 minutes out of her schedule, invite her neighbour and another one or two ladies to her place for an informal gathering where she can read out a few pages from a book of a pious predecessor. In this way, the neighbour will get to know the correct approach in a subtle and indirect manner. Even though this effort seems insignificant, but it will, insha’ Allah, have a huge impact if done regularly over a period of time – just like trickling drops of water impact a hard rock over time.
We as ladies should also remember to teach our children acts of Sunna and Prophetic (masnun) duas from a very young age. It will help develop their habit of following the Sunna, and we would be able to contribute towards their positive upbringing in a very meaningful manner.
To make our advice to others more effective, it is always good to make dua first. Whenever I am to speak at any forum, I always offer two units of Salat al-Hajah (Prayer of Need) to make the effort beneficial for both myself and the listeners.
Question: In these unsettling times where separations are rife, is there any particular advice [for women] that you consider important for a happy and successful marriage?
Wife of MTU: One thing which I think is vital for wives, especially these days, is to be sensitive to the likes and dislikes of their husbands. It is common knowledge that women generally dress up (in their best clothes), put on perfume, don make-up and look their best when they go out, but at home they remain dressed ragged or in very plain clothes, without being even slightly made-up, with whiffs of the kitchen surrounding them. It should be the other way around, in that while going out, ladies should dress simply and be in Hijab. This would create a very healthy environment.
Question: Which of Shaykh’s habits do you like most?
Wife of MTU: (Laughingly) All! Masha Allah. In fact, my relatives joke with me that we have never seen a wife listen so intently to her husband’s discourses. We have been, Masha Allah, blessed with a wonderful companionship by Allah Most High. It is the fruit of trying to do everything for each other with the intention of earning reward.
Question: What does Shaykh prefer in food?
Wife of MTU: He really likes plain mutton gravy and daal mash.
Question: These days, we are surrounded by all kinds of vices – for one, there is a fully fledged media attack. To top it, Muslims themselves are inclined towards non-Islamic rituals and practices e.g. non-Islamic rites at weddings, non-observance of Hijab, extravagance, haram sources of income etc. How do we protect ourselves and our children in such an environment and how do we inculcate self-confidence in children when they are to swim against the tide?
Wife of MTU: I think the most important thing to do at such times is to keep the household environment healthy and safe. If the home atmosphere is Islamic, where children are trained according to religious injunctions and are taught about the rights and wrongs in a proper manner, Insha’Allah, they will remain safe when they step out. When all members of the house pray regularly, fast and remain busy in Dhikr, Allah Most High protects them from attacks of Satan. And the most critical role in this training is that of the mother. If the lady of the house wishes, she can change the entire environment of her home.
On one of our visits to England, we came across a Muslim community whose children knew more Prophetic (masnun) duas than many Pakistani children, whose young girls observed proper Hijab and all the elders were Masha Allah following the injunctions of Islam including prayers at the mosque and adorning the proper Islamic dress. When asked how they could maintain such a lifestyle in an open environment such as in the UK, they simply replied that they had kept their home environments intact. Thus, the children remained insulated from external deviating pressures. So, it is a matter of will really. Islam is as practicable today, in the prevalent environment, as it was in yesteryears. If we want to follow it comprehensively, we need to have a firm and sincere intention to do so. The rest is made easy by Allah Most High.
Question: What would you like to say to the readers of our magazine, especially young females who are becoming increasingly aware of their religious obligations but face peer pressure or even resistance at home?
Wife of MTU: They should try their utmost to attend religious gatherings and read books of our pious predecessors. The more they do so, the easier and quicker would be their transformation process, Insha’Allah. If a girl decides to bring about a change in her life and remains steadfast and resolved, no one can come in her way. In fact, the members of her household would also gradually start noticing the positive changes in her and might all come around to the complete Islamic way of life too, Insha’Allah.
Jazakallah for giving your time and sharing your valuable views with us.
Source: Darul Iftaa Website
Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal R.A was one of the great scholars of Islam. The day his son got married, Imam Sahab gave him some of the most useful wedding advice that any man could wish for. These are golden words of a great scholar that every Muslim husband should read attentively and with the intention of acting upon them.
Here’s what Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal R.A advised his son.
1. A Joyous Married Life in 10 Steps
Dear son, you will not attain good fortune in your home except by 10 characteristics which you show to your wife, so remember them and be enthusiastic in acting upon them.
2. Be Generous in Expressing Your Love!
As for the first two; women like attention and they like to be told clearly that they are loved. So don’t be stingy in expressing your love for your wife. If you become limited in expressing your love, you will create a barrier of harshness between you and her, and there will be a decrease in affection.
3. Don’t be Overcautious
Ladies hate a strict, overcautious man, yet they seek to use the soft vulnerable one. So use each quality appropriately. This will be more appealing for love and it will bring you peace of mind.
4. Be Pleasant & Attractive for Her
Ladies like from their husbands what their husbands like from them, i.e. kind words, good looks, clean clothes and a pleasant odor. Therefore, always remain in that state.
5. Let Her Be the Queen of Your House
Indeed, the house is under the sovereignty of the woman. While she remains therein, she feels that she is sitting upon her throne, and that she is the chief of the house . Stay clear of destroying this kingdom of hers and do not ever attempt to dethrone her, otherwise you will be trying to snatch her sovereignty. A king gets most angry at he who tries to strip him of his authority, even if he portrays to show something else.
6. Avoid Competitions Between Relationships
A woman wants to love her husband, but at the same time she does not want to lose her family. So do not put yourself and her family in the same scale, because then her choice will be down to either you or her family. And even if she does choose you over her family, she will remain in anxiety, which will then turn into hatred towards you in your daily life.
7. Strike the Right Balance
Surely woman has been created from a curved rib, and this is the secret of her beauty, and the secret of the attraction towards her. And this is no defect in her, because ‘the eyebrows look beautiful due to them being curved’. So if she errs, do not rebuke her in a manner in which there is no gentleness, attempting to straighten her; otherwise you will simply break her and her breaking, is her divorce. At the same time do not let her off upon that mistake, otherwise her crookedness will increase and she will become arrogant with her ego. Thereafter, she will never soften for you and she won’t listen to you, so stay in between the two.
8. Understand Her Nature and Adjust
It is in the women’s nature to be ungrateful towards their husbands and to deny favors If you were to be nice to her for her whole life but you grieved her once, she will say, “I have never seen any good from you”. So don’t let this attitude of her make you dislike her or to run away from her. If you dislike this feature of hers, you will be pleased with some other good habits within her, so create a balance.
9. Always Stand by Her Side
Surely there are times when a woman goes through some conditions of bodily weakness and fatigue of the mind. Such that Allah has relieved her of some of her compulsory worships during that period; Allah has totally pardoned her from praying, and has postponed the days of fasting for her within this break to a later date until she regains her health and becomes normal in her temperament once more. Thus, during these days, treat her in a godly manner. Just as Allah has relieved her of the duties, you should also lessen your demands and instructions from her during those days.
10. Be Merciful
Last but not least, know that a woman is like a captive with you. Therefore, have mercy upon her.
Listen to the Audio Bayan
Speaker: Hazrat Maulana Mehboob Elahi Sahab Db (Khalifa e Majaz, Arif Billah Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahab Db)
The Blessings of Daughters from Quran o Hadith
(Summary of the article above)
Taken from various lectures of Aarif Billah Hazrat e Aqdas Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahab Db
Daughters are a great blessing because Allah(SWT) has promised a place in paradise (Jannah) on bringing them up. The one who has 3 daughters or sisters, or 2 daughters or sisters and he brings them up properly and fears Allah(SWT) regarding their rights, then Paradise is made mandatory for him. In some Ahadith, when the Prophet(SAW) mentioned the blessings of bringing up 3 daughters or sisters, somebody asked “What if someone has only 1 daughter?” The Prophet(SAW) mentioned the same prize for him as well,i-e a place in the paradise. Paradise would never be made mandatory for such people had daughters not been blessings of Allah(SWT).
This shows that daughters are indeed a source of blessing from Allah(SWT), therefore if a daughter is born in someone’s house, he should not be saddened by this, instead he should rejoice and thank Allah(SWT) for this blessing. How can they be inferior when a place in paradise is being promise against them? Getting saddened by the birth of daughters was the practice of the Non-Believers(Kuffar) because before the Prophet(SAW) came, the Kuffar used to get saddened by the birth of daughters and used to consider them a burden as they would need to find someone for their daughters to marry. They were such animals that they used to bury their innocent daughters alive.
It is these blessed daughters that are the means for the existence of humanity, how can they be considered a curse, this is the act of the Non Believers. The Prophet(SAW) has called her a blessed woman who’s first child is a daughter. Therefore rejoice and smile when you hear about the birth of daughters and consider them a blessing for yourself.
Islam has given a very high status to daughters, therefore consider them a huge blessing of Allah(SWT). It is these daughters through whom Saints (Auliya Allah) are born and above all, our beloved Prophet(SAW), for whom this world was created, his family and bloodline was continued through his daughter. If daughters were not a blessing then Allah(SWT) would never choose them to carry forward the bloodline of his most beloved Prophet(SAW). This shows that daughters are indeed a great blessing so do not consider them inferior. Sons bring Daughters in Law and Daughters bring Son in Law. Sometimes the son in law is so obedient that he surpasses daughters in serving his parents in law.
However, making dua for Sons is not forbidden, one may do that. Ask Allah(SWT) for sons with the intention that you would make them Aalim, Hafiz so that they would take care of our Religious Institutions (Madaris) and hence become a Sadqa e Jaariya for us.