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A Muslim Woman's Diary

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Sayid was so surprised, and it seemed to me that I had said too much. Probably, it was the astonishment of a Muslim who could not imagine a Christian woman wearing abaya.

Another aspect of sisterhood in Islam is the spiritual relationship between you and your sisters in Faith. This is dependant on sharing duties that promote the cause of Islam. These include acquiring, practicing and teaching moral and spiritual knowledge.The term “ halal” means “that which is lawful for you”; thus halal meat is that which has been slaughtered in the name of Allah, and has had the blood drained out from it. The term “haram” means that which is unlawful for you, and includes blood, pork and alcohol. Allah has further commanded that you eat only what is “tayyab,” that is, food that is good and wholesome. Something may be halal, but it may not be tayyab, and thus should be avoided. Islam teaches that the condition of the body affects the condition of the spirit, and thus great care should be taken to keep one’s body healthy and fit. Islam further teaches that all food should be taken in moderation, and nothing should be indulged into excess.

To safeguard your faith, keep company with pious sisters, remain devoted in prayer and good works. Accept your sisters loving offers of support. Fasting for purification, repentance and forgiveness helps to overcome weaknesses. If someone tries to influence you away from Islam, tell them about the truth and beauty of Islam — and influence them instead! Courtesy and good behavior are a very important part of the Islamic way of life. The Holy Qur’an says: O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.” (5:7)Friday Prayer Service (Juma)Friday is the holy day for Muslim worship, with a congregational service held at the time of Zuhr prayer. The Imam delivers a sermon ( khutba), and then the Zuhr prayer is offered in congregation. This is known as Juma prayer. Attendance is obligatory for Muslim men, and women should attend whenever they are able to as the blessings received for attending are very great. At a particular moment during the service, angels come near to the worshipers and they ask Allah to especially bless the faithful who are present in the congregation. Vali Nasr, Mawdudi’s biographer and an authority on political Islam (also referred to as Islamic revivalism), describes Maryam Jameelah as broadly responsible for cementing the global cultural divide between Islam and the West.” A isha , fondly regarded as the Prophet Mohammed's favourite wife, the daughter of his companion Abu Bakr and the "Mother of the Believers", was arguably the most influential woman during the first few generations of Islam. She is believed to have narrated more than 2,000 Hadiths , and thus helped in transmitting and spreading Islamic knowledge after the Prophet Mohammed's death. In this book, scholar Resit Haylamaz chronicles the critical role that Aisha played in early Islamic history. 'Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge' by Asma Sayeed Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam by Asma Sayeed. Courtesy Cambridge University Press

My face is my identity. No one will cover it. I’m proud of my face. If my face bothers you, don’t look. Turn your own face away, take your eyes off me. If you are seduced by merely looking at my face, that is your problem. The end of the Holy month of Ramadhan is marked by the festival of Eid ul Fitr. This joyous day is celebrated to give thanks for the blessings of Ramadhan. Muslims attend the congregational Eid prayer service which is held in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day exchanging greetings and gifts with family and friends. They wear new clothing, cook delicious food and invite friends and neighbors to celebrate with them. Fasting during Ramadhan inspires sympathy for the hungry and needy, and encourages Muslims to donate generously to the poor.

Hazrat Ubbay bin Kab, a companion of the Holy Prophet, aptly explained taqwa by likening muttaqi (the righteous) to one who walks through thorny bushes, taking care that his clothes are not caught in and torn by their branches. In other words, a righteous person is one who is ever on his guard against sin and takes God for his shield against temptation. However Islamic worship is not limited to salaat alone, for the need to communicate with one’s Creator arises constantly during the day. This need is fulfilled by reciting prayers and remembrance of Allah (Zikre Illahi) at any time. The Holy Qur’an contains many short prayers for all kinds of situations, and the prayers used by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) are well documented. You will find several Arabic expressions used for the remembrance of Allah in Chapter 5. Seek exaltation in the sight of Allah through courtesy towards one who behaves churlishly towards you and through bestowing favors upon him who deprives you of that which is due you.

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