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…can only be from Allah?

I contemplated this this past weekend when I heard stories of great female scholars, among them Faatimah as-Samarqandiyyah and Zumurrud Jawlee.  Although both excelled in their respective fields of knowledge and became incredible scholars of their time, it was their marriages that most intrigued me!

It was the story of Zumurrud which was a heartbreaker.  Although she had a good first marriage and being raised into a royal family, growing up to be a Queen herself, her husband later passed away and she was left alone with a kingdom, and three sons, none of them worthy of the kingship.  After some turbulent political events, her sons were of no use to her in the end, and while she re-married, her husband never saw her and had no desire to.  Of course, you’d have to know the whole story to get the details, however the ending years of her life were spent in Makkah and Madinah where she was buried.  The amazing thing was that she died and no one knew she was a Queen!  Alone and forgotten… just like how all of us will end up eventually too.

Faatimah as-Samarqandiyyah had a wonderful relationship with her husband, a relationship that I believe most women, like myself, would be envious of.  Although they had no children, it seemed like their life was full already, because they both were scholars in their own right, and had established their relationship upon seeking knowledge for the sake of Allah.   In fact, her husband’s love was very apparent when, after her death, he too died shortly out of grief for her loss.

What a contrast between these two women’s lives!  But it made me think:  is it possible to make a great marriage and have a great relationship such as Faatimah as-Samarqandiyyah’s with one’s spouse, or are these sorts of things strictly from the blessings of Allah?  Either way, I was left with mixed thoughts after hearing about these two stories.  On the one hand, it is the Hereafter we should strive for and there is no guarantee how people in our lives will turn out in the end.  The important thing is to work on ourselves and our own improvement and make sure we are fulfilling the rights of others at the same time.  If good relationships come as a result of that, then alHamdulillah.  However making things happen?  I’m not sure still.

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One major characteristic that made Mutarrif bin ‘Abdillaah so special was the fact that he acknowledged and practised the proper way to deal with Fitnah:  stay out of it.  He lived to see the assasination of ‘Uthman and the turmoil that followed, as well as the killing of ‘Alee and the turmoil after that.  And throughout history, Muslims continued to debate conflict between ‘Alee and Mu’awiyah:  who was right?  Most of us are raised to think it was ‘Alee.  But in the end, it was one of the greatest fitnahs to afflict the Ummah and Mutarrif showed one thing:  neither side was right, and it was only the main body of the Sahabah who chose to stay out of it who were right.

And this way of dealing with fitnah can be applied to so many aspects of our life.  Whether it’s marriage conflicts or it’s problems in the family or the community, the best way to handle a Fitnah is to stay out of it, especially if it doesn’t involve you.  If you know that your involvement will make no improvement to the situation, it’s best to stay out of it.  However, what if you ARE directly involved?  One major enlightening moment for me when I heard about the story of Mutarrif, though it may not be directly related to this, is simply to remain silent especially when no one is going to be willing to listen.  In the heat of a conflict, usually even if the other side LOOKS like it’s listening, they may only be thinking about the way to respond to you.  So until things cool down, just shut your mouth 🙂

And once things are calm and cool, then it’s time to make your move, but the key is to use words which will enter the hearts and minds, and not re-ignite the conflict once more.  And it’s amazing how spoken words have an affect on a person because from personal experience, I’ve been able to avoid potential conflicts from errupting and getting out of hand by simply choosing my words and the manner in which I say them a little more carefully.

December 2017
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Ibn Taymiyyah Says…

"Verily, I constantly renew my Islam until this very day, as up to now, I do not consider myself to have ever been a good Muslim." [Narrated by Ibn al-Qayyim in 'Madarij as-Salikin'; 1/218]