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HONOURING WOMEN IN ISLAM AND THE DANGER OF INTERMINGLING AMONG THE SEXES

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE THIRD SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF JUMAADAL ULA,

DATED: 17TH JUMAADAL ULA, 1445AH (1ST DEC., 2023CE)

TITLED: HONOURING WOMEN IN ISLAM AND THE DANGER OF GENDER INTER-MINGLING

THE FIRST SERMON

All Praises belong to Allah, Lord of the worlds, Who has honoured us with Islam, honoured women with a great honour, raised their status, accorded them their rights, and has given them a respected place in society. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. the One, the The Guardian of the Faith, The Protector. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant, His Messenger, and His Chosen One, may the Blessings and lots of Peace of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions, and those who follow him.

Thereafter…

O Muslims! I enjoin you and myself who are negligent to fear Allah Ta’alaa, for the fear of Allah is part of faith, and whoever fears Allah Ta’alaa will earn His Love, Pleasure and Reward. O you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allah, so that you may be successful. (Aal-Imraan: 200). The topic of our sermon today – honorable servants of Allah- revolves around “Islam’s honour for women and the danger of inter-mingling of the sexes.”

O Muslims! Allah Ta’alaa created human beings, women and men, to be vicegerents on earth, and it is part of His wisdom, the Blessed and the Most High, that He made women an essential pillar in this great mission: which is the succession and the building of the earth. This will not be achieved in its full form and in reality without women, because they are the foundation of society, and they are a large part of it.

Women before Islaam – dear listeners – were treated as if they were not human, and none of the ancient civilizations passed without women being subjected to various colours of torment and types of injustice and oppression. They were living through a difficult period – especially in Arab society – where they hated giving birth to female children, to the extent that there were some among them who would make her live a life of humiliation and disgrace, or buried her alive until she died under the dirt. Some of them also forced their female slaves to commit the crime of adultery. Some of them would hold on to the girl in disdain and hatred and when she grows up she was married off without her permission, then she becomes like a slave woman under the husband who dominates her with all kinds of injustices. If her husband dies, she is deprived of inheritance, and her husband’s family inherits her just as property is inherited. Allah Ta’alaa has told us about these conditions in which women live in the early and modern times of ignorance and in all civilizations which are not governed by the just and merciful Islamic Sharee’ah. Allah Ta’alaa says: And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.(An-Nahl: 58-59) ), and His saying, Glorified He is: And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed? (At-Takweer: 8-9). And His saying, Glorified He is: … And force not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of this worldly life… (An-Nuur: 33).

The Ameerul-Mu’mineen Umar ibn Khattab – may Allah be pleased with him – referred to these conditions for women and said: “By Allah, in the pre-Islamic times, we did not consider women as anything, until Allah revealed about them what He revealed, and apportioned for them what He had apportioned” (Fathul-Baari 10/301). Ibn Abbaas mentioned these circumstances and said: “If a man died, his father or father-in-law had more right to his wife. If he wished, he could keep her or imprison her until she ransoms herself with her dowry, or she died and he took her wealth” (Fi Dhilaal Al-Qur’an 1/508).

Until God revealed to them what He had revealed, and apportioned to them what He had apportioned.” (Fath al-Bari 10/301), as Ibn Abbas mentioned these circumstances, saying: “If a man died, his father or father-in-law had more right to his wife. If he wished, he could seize her or detain her until she ransoms her with her dowry.” Or she dies and her money is gone.”

When Islaam came and the Prophet of Mercy, our Master Muhammad – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – was sent and the earth shone with the light of its Lord, women regained their dignity and gained their rights in the light of their servitude to their Lord.

Manifestations of Islam’s honour for women:

O Muslim brothers! We do not know of a religion that honoured women, exalted their status, and treated them fairly, compared to those of other sects, than Islaam. Allah revealed special rulings for women, and revealed a surah in their name – which is Suratun-Nisaa – and He did not designate a surah for men, and that was only to exalt her status. It raises her rank. It also indicates Islaam’s regard for her and interest in her.

Islaam honoured women and made them the sister of men, as narrated by A’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her – on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him: “Women are indeed the sisters of men” (Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi). He made her rights essentially the same as the rights of men, and also set a clear limit for them. Of inheritance, whether the money is small or large, Allah Ta’alaa says: “…And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable.. (Al-Baqarah: 228), and He said, Glorified He is: There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share. (An-Nisa: 7). Islaam preserved her honour and dignity, took care to cover and protect her, prescribed for her what would preserve her modesty and chastity, and warned against slandering her and harming her. Rather, it punished those who did that without evidence. Allah Ta’alaa says: “And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah). (An-Nuur: 4) And the Almighty said: Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment. (An-Nuur: 23).

Brothers in Faith! Islaam has greatly honoured the woman if she is a mother, making her more deserving of honour than the father. A man said: “O Messenger of Allah, who is the most deserving of my good company? He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Then your father” (Agreed upon). And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the one who left his mother and wanted to go and do Jihaad: “Woe to you. Cling to her feet and then there will be Paradise (for you).” (Ibn Majah). And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave his famous admonition, and he said: “Treat women well” (Muslim). Islaam paid attention to women by attaching a great reward to raising of daughters. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever raises two female children until they reach puberty, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like these two” (and he joined his two fingers) (Muslim).

Servants of Allah! In Islaam, women are given a great honour. She is granted the freedom to choose her husband without force or coercion. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not marry a slave woman until she is advised, and do not marry a virgin until she is asked for consent” (agreed upon). Islaam makes mandatory for a dowry to be given to her by the man who wants to marry her, and obligated him to provide good sustenance for her, and commands him to live with her with good treatment and companionship, Allah Ta’alaa says: “And give the women their dowry as a free gift” (An-Nisaa: 4), and He, Glorified He is said: Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.(At-Talaaq: 7), and He said: “And live with them in an honorable manner” (An-Nisaa: 19), and Islaam also regarded as the best of husbands, the one who is good to his wife. And in the hadith that At-Tirmidhi included in his Sunan, he – peace and blessings be upon him – said: “The best of you is the best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Islaam forbids the husband from keeping a woman in abeyance or holding on to her to harm her, so it specifies a revocable divorce at two times, then he either keeps her with kindness or release her with goodness. Allah Ta’alaa says: The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. (Al-Baqarah: 229).

Honorable servants of Allah! In which religion, system or law can women find such honour, except in Islaam, which is the religion that brought mercy, justice, and true equality.

The danger of intermingling:

Dear listeners! When we say “mingling,” we mean the meeting between a man and a woman who is not his mahram, a meeting that leads to suspicion, or as some scholars said: It is the meeting of men with non-mahram women in a place where they can communicate with each other by looking, pointing, speaking, or body language without a barrier or impediment that prevents suspicion or corruption.

One of its dangers is that it is one of the biggest facilitators of indecency and committing the crime of adultery, as it stirs up evil tendencies in the soul, ignites the fire of unbridled desires, generates temptation and seduction, distracts the ummah’s youth from noble engagements, and turns society into amusement, frivolity, immorality, pornography and prostitution. 

Therefore, O Muslims! Islaam forbids it and forbids all the means leading to it. There is evidence from the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah regarding its prohibition and the prohibition of its causes, including:

Allah Ta’alaa saying: “And when you ask of them anything, ask of them from behind a veil. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.” (Al-Ahzaab: 53).

Ibn Katheer said in the interpretation of this verse: “That is, just as I forbade you from entering upon them, likewise do not look at them at all, and if one of you has a need that he wants to fulfill from them, he should not look at them, and he should not ask them for a need except from behind a veil.” (Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn Kathir 2/109).

On the authority of ‘Uqbah ibn Aamir, that the Messenger of Allah- may Allah bless him and grant him peace – said: “Beware of entering upon women”, and a man from the Ansaar said: “O Messenger of Allah, what about the father-in-law?” He said: “The father-in-law is death” (At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad) .

May Allah bless you and me with the Great Qur’aan and benefit us with the verses and the wise reminders in it. I say this and ask forgiveness from Allah for me and for you.

THE SECOND SERMON

All praises are due to Allah, Who says in His perfect Book: (وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ) “And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror].” (Ibrahim: 42). I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. May Allah shower blessings and peace upon him, his family and grant them peace.

As to what follows,

        O people, dear servants of Allah, we hereby condemn every brutal military action carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinians, which have become a crime of genocide as described by some countries, targeting more than two million people accompanied by killings, displacement and exercising all forms of brutality, including killing, torture and starvation of civilians. All of the prohibitions of both international laws and divine laws are being committed against the people of Gaza. The killing of children, women, the elderly, the journalists and media correspondents, as well as medical doctors, paramedics, and civil defense crews, coupled with the blockade of food, medicine, water, electricity, gas, and all necessities of life, each of which is an internationally prohibited crime in situations of war, and they are all crimes against humanity.  

We hereby call on the leaders of nations to review their practical positions that could impose a different reality on the ground, in order to stop the violence and the escalation. We also call on the Security Council, concerned with maintaining international peace and security, to take a firm and effective stance towards these crimes.

         O people, know that there is no success for injustice, there is no survival for the oppressor, and no stability for the aggressor, no matter how long it takes or no matter the extent the situation attains, ahe punishment for injustice may be delayed for a time or period, that God Almighty knows. (وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ) “And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror].” ( Ibrahim: 42),

Abu Musa (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Verily, Allah gives respite to the oppressor. But when He seizes him, He does not let him escape.” Then he (ﷺ)) recited, “Such is the Seizure of your Rubb when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful (and) severe”. (11:102). [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

        O Muslims, remember your Palestinian brothers and all oppressed Muslims in your prayers, and pray to Allah, your Lord, while you are certain of an answer.

Supplication: O Allah, never allow a banner to be raised for the Jews in Jerusalem, and never allow them to achieve any goal in Gaza. O Allah, help the people of Jerusalem, the people of Gaza, and the people of Palestine. O Allah, strengthen them, O Allah strengthen their hearts. O Allah, spread tranquility in their hearts. O Allah, send them warmth, peace, security and safety. O Allah, accept their martyrs and heal the sick. O Allah, have mercy on the bereaved mothers and widows. O Allah, have mercy on the elderly who bow in (prayers), the suckling infants, and the young who prostrate. O Allah, deal with the aggressing Zionists and those who supported and helped them. O Allah scatter their togetherness, scatter their power, and divide their unity.

O Allah, show us in them the effects and wonders of your power. O Allah, tear them apart in the most devastating manner, O Lord of the Worlds. O Allah, surround them in their numbers and destroy them as a swarm, and do not leave out anyone of them. O Allah, never allow a banner to be raised for the Jews in Jerusalem, and never allow them to achieve any goal in Gaza. O Allah, grant us happiness with the victory of our brothers over our enemy and their enemy. O Allah, we are in dire need of your mercy and help, eventhough we are unable to physically participate with them, then accept our prayers for their victory, O Allah, our Lord, we trust in You, and we hope for Your help, and we turn to Your door, so do not disappoint us. O Allah, grant us victory, O Allah grant us victory, O Allah grant us victory. O Allah, accept their martyrs, grant victory to their armies, heal their sick, heal their wounded, replace their fear with security, their hardship with ease, their distress with relief, and their patience with victory, O Mighty, O Powerful, O Possessor of enduring power, O Possessor of majesty and honor.

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet, our Master Muhammad, his family and companions. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

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