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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


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The Man And The Woman In Islamic Society: Part 1

Imam W. D. Muhammad


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen. There is no god but Allah:
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Arabian community of 1400 years ago was a backward and an ignorant community. It was a pagan community that worshipped all kinds of superstitions and that had all kinds of immoral practices. Despite the immorality that pervaded the community, they had a sense of human dignity and they were a very proud people. Because the men thought themselves much more superior than the women, they treated the women as property, like cattle. The men cherished the women as valuable because the women gave birth to sons, but they did not respect them as human beings on an equal plane with men.


Muslim Woman Is Liberated Woman

When the Holy Quran came to Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (peace and blessings be upon him), he forbade all of the evil practices that denied women their equal rights and respect in the society. As a result of his teaching, women gained the right to vote, to have a political voice, to speak out against the rulers, to respect their feelings and to teach and educate the children. In Islam, the woman also gained the right to share in the wealth of the society. Never before in the history of humanity did the women receive the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to inherit property or the right to go into business. All of this was done under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (peace and blessings be upon him).

As you know, in Western society, women's right to influence the direction of the society has only been granted to them recently. The right to vote is no more than a few decades old. But, in Islam, women got the right to vote as soon as Islam came to the Arabian peninsula. Contrary to what you have heard about women being kept in an inferior position and treated as slaves, the Muslim woman has been and still is, the most liberated woman on the face of the earth. When we say liberated, we do not mean that the woman in Islam is unprotected or neglected. The Muslim woman is a liberated woman, but at the same time she is a respected being. We value her for her role in society as mother and as the first womb of the society. We respect her and we protect her because we do not like to see her treated as though she does not deserve reverence. The woman in Islam is sacred to us and the ties of relationship are sacred.

1. O mankind! reverence
Your Guardian - Lord,
Who created you
From a single Person,
Created, of like nature,
His mate, and from them twain
Scattered (like seeds)
Countless men and women; -
Reverence God, through Whom
Ye demand your mutual (rights),
And (reverence) the wombs
(That bore you): for God
Ever watches over you.


Your Role Is Adam's Role

The main point to remember as a guiding light for us in our marriage or in our relationship with each other as man and wife is this: when you come together as male and female, you are repeating the act that brought about society from the very beginning. Society, from the very beginning got started because male and female came together and had children. After you start a family, your family will grow to be a small community in the large community. If you accept the responsibility that was put on the first man and the first woman to watch over the affairs in your life so that society will not inherit corruption from you and your children that will further burden and disrupt the society, then you will be doing your job to correct the wrong that we have inherited from the ancient generation.

The religious people complain against Adam and say that he "sinned." As a result of his sin, they say that the human race is "cursed." But, I want you to remember that everytime you marry and have children, you are taking on the role of Adam and you are responsible for the proper growth of society. I advise you to see yourself as the first people on the
earth who are starting a new generation and a new society. You have obligations to your children, if Allah blesses you with children, and you have obligations to the society. The hope of every couple that marries should be to be blessed with children. We must remember that we all belong to the vast community of human beings, and this vast community of human beings started from a relationship no different from the one that you embark upon when you accept a mate. If you remember the heavy burden of responsibility that is upon those who are beginning a society or a community, you will do a better job of preserving the marriage union and preserving its fruits.


God Is The Highest Law

The first part of the above verse from the Holy Quran speaks to the general society and it is true for everybody whether they are a believer in God or not. We start a family and we multiply hardships or we multiply happiness in our lives. The second part of the verse is addressed to those who believe in God: "Keep your duty to Allah by whom you demand one of another your rights."

If we hold God as the light and the judge in our light, we should not make decisions without referring the matter to Almighty God. Many people who believe in God get into a lot of trouble in their marriage life (home life) because they never think that there is a higher law, or a higher, light to which they can turn. This verse is telling us to remember that there is a higher light and a higher law. When you run into trouble, turn to Almighty God, because in the end you are going to turn to God to settle you raff airs. When there is nothing else to do, we all turn to God, so why not keep Him before us all the time?


Parents To Be Respected

We should value, respect and bold sacred the ties of relationship that we share on both sides of the family - the husband's family and the wife's family. Both the husband and the wife are born of a mother and a father, so neither one is beginning independently. You are beginning because someone provided for you before and those that provided for you are your parents. They made it possible for you to grow up, to have the things that you have and to have the independence that you have that enables you to form a marriage union like the one your parents formed. You should never leave your parents. You should always remember that, if trouble comes into your life, you should call the two family heads together; the father and the mother from both sides, if it is possible. If not, call those that are surviving and discuss the matters with them. If you have trouble in the marriage union, it is most likely going to effect the relationships that bore you and others that are closely related to it.


Saving Powers

We belong to the vast community of people at large, but as Muslims, we also belong to another community - that is the Muslim society. We have to remember that we are indebted to the vast community because we are an offspring from the vast community. We also have to remember that, as Muslims, we are indebted to the Muslim community. There is a saving power in the Muslim community force. If we run into trouble we can come to the Imam (minister), or we can come to our brothers and sisters and discuss our problems with them. So we have Almighty God, we have the vast society and the lessons that we have learned from that society, and we have our Muslim brothers and sisters and the law of Islam.


Keep Jour Faith
102. O ye who believe!
Fear God as He should be
Feared, and die not
Except in a state
Of Islam

Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali; Sura III Verse 102

The above verse speaks directly to Muslims. The first verse spoke to two communities - to the general community of mankind and to the religious people (not just Muslims) who believe in Almighty God. If you want to be successful as a married couple, or as heads of families, you should preserve your Islamic life because your Islamic life is a safeguard against all kinds of disruptions and corruptions in your life. The man and the woman in Islam should keep their faith to the end. Die in a state of Islam, not in a state of corruption.


"Fear" God

70. O ye who believe !
Fear God. and always) say
A word directed to the Right:

71. That He may make
Your conduct whole and sound
And forgive you your sins :
He that obeys God
And His Apostle, has already
Attained the highest Achievement.

Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali; Sura XXXIII: Verses 70-71

In all the established religions there is the belief that people should "fear" God. We should not fear God with a superstitious fear or a primitive fear, but a fear that is generated by love. The proper fear is the combination of love and fear. If we keep this fear for Almighty God, we keep safe the only relationship that can save us - that is the relationship with the Creator, Almighty God. No other relationship can save you. If you want the rest of your relationships safe and secure, keep your relationship with God safe and secure.


Speak Directly To The Truth

There is very important advice in the above verse for the safety of a marriage union: "...speak a word directed" to the right (point)..." This is very good advice for all of us whether we are getting married or whether we are already married. If you remember this point it can probably save 90% of the problems that arise in marriage between the husband and the wife. In Islam, marriage is a union of two mates. The mates come together and they form a unit (a whole) that can produce offspring. This unit is called the parent, or the family head (male and female). When they come together, they have to remember that they have come together to live as one. they live under the same roof, they share the same problems, and they share the same concerns: so they cannot afford to have suspicions and deceit among themselves. Husband and wife must be open with each other. When they say a thing, they should speak the truth and the whole truth. They should speak directly to the point and not "beat around the bush." We have the habit as men and women all over the world of trying to soften things for our mate, the person that we love. We feel that if we give the problem or the situation just as it is, our mate might not respect us anymore. We feel that they might not love us as much if we reveal the thing in its nakedness. No matter bow hard it is or no matter how bad it is, brother and sister, we should not keep secrets between each other. We should make the right approach. If the thing is hard to take, we should present it with an apologetic approach to soften the blow, but we should not make a devious approach.

If both sides can speak the truth and speak directly to the truth without hiding anything, you will really have a saving power in your relationship. If you want to keep your marriage safe and sound and if you want to keep a good relationship, do not start hiding things from each other, do not start lying to each other, and do not start beating around the bush. Be open and fair with each other. Keep the light on in your house and do not hide anything from your husband or your wife.

When male and female marry they become one. In order to keep that kind of strong union, you have to live together as one-that is, do not hide things from yourself. If you hide things from your mate, you are hiding things from yourself. This will lead to great trouble.


The Supreme Success

As the above verse in the Holy Quran says, the man and the woman who strive to obey the message of God through His apostles have already attained a supreme reward. Nothing can save you like faith and obedience to God. Anyone who has given their life, or who has taken the position to obey God and His truth, has already gained the supreme achievement. If you keep obedience to Almighty God, nothing can fail you. Your relationship will remain strong and secure and you will live together happily forever. The problem in most of our relationships is that we worship ourselves or that we worship our mates. If you worship Allah you will save yourself and you will save your mate. The supreme success or the supreme victory in life depends upon us keeping God first in our hearts. We should keep Him before us first of all and follow the message that came to us from the messengers of Almighty God. The Holy Quran is referring directly to the complete version of Islam as it came to us from Prophet Muhammad of Arabia in the Holy Quran. If we keep obedience to God first and uppermost in our lives, we are sure to have not just ordinary success, but the supreme success.

Your brother W.D. Muhammad