Caring For Women in Islam, By Imam Murtada Gusau


First Sermon:

Praised be to Allah. O Allah, we praise you, beseech You for help and forgiveness. Whomever Allah guides, no one can misguide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, I also bear witness that our Master Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his honourable family, his righteous companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgement.

O servants of Allah,

I urge myself first and all of you to fear and obey Allah in observance of His Divine Revelation: “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his mate (Eve), and from them both scattered (like seeds) countless men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual rights, and do not cut the relation of the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (Al-Nisa’:1)

O Believers,

Know that, woman enjoys a very special status in Islam. Our beautiful and fine religion (Islam) protects her rights, preserves her dignity, bestows upon her safety and security. Islam honours female offspring, beloved sister, loyal wife and caring mother. If Allah, the Exalted, grants you a daughter, you are responsible and legally bound to take proper care of her. If you raise her properly, care for her, educate her and teach her good ethics, she will be your gateway to Heaven. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:“Whoever has three daughters or three sisters or two daughters or two sisters and is very kind to them, demonstrates good company and fears Allah in their treatment will enter Paradise.”

O fathers,

One of the ways in which Islam has honoured woman is by giving her the right to choose her husband. If your daughter reaches the proper marriageable age, advise her when a potential suitor comes along. No one has the right to force her to marry someone she dislikes. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad that support woman in this issue. Aisha, may Allah be please with her, said: “A girl came to me and said “My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match. When Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, came she complained to him. He (pbuh) called on her father. The daughter said: “I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them.”

O servants of Allah,

Islam honours wife greatly and reasserts her rights over her husband like his rights over her. Islam urges the husband to treat his wife in a good, kind and affectionate manner as Allah, the exalted, says in his Book“Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity.” (4:19). In his last sermon (farewell sermon), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) addressed men saying: “remember that you have taken them as your wives, only under Allah’s trust and His Permission…Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

Islam puts the responsibility of earning and providing for the wife over the husband. It even rewards him for doing so, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said: “No amount you spend on your family seeking reward from Allah but He will reward you even if it is a bite of food that you put in your wife’s mouth.”

O servants of Allah,

When Allah, the Exalted, grants women good offspring, He enjoins that her children take care of her and look after her affairs as appreciation for her love and caring. In Islam, the mother is the most deserving person of her children’s loyalty and good companionship. The Prophet Hadith (saying) that, “Paradise lies at the feet of the mothers” clearly demonstrated how much mothers are cherished in Islam. This hadith states that Muslims who respect their mothers and take care of them are destined for Paradise. Further, Abu Huraira reported that a person came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment? The Prophet (pbuh) said: Your mother. He again asked: then who else? The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Your mother” (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who else. The Holy Prophet said: Your mother. He (again) said: Then who else? Thereupon He (pbuh) said: then it is your father.”

Islam urges woman to seek education and knowledge, both Islamic and Western (Ilimin Addini da na Zamani). She has the right to work and excel for self-empowerment, and to have an active role in her country’s development. Muslim women nowadays have advanced greatly and assumed halal leadership positions. May Allah be pleased with Aisha (the wife of the Prophet) who was so learned in the Qur’an and the Hadith that “Even senior companions of the Prophet used to consult her in resolving intricate issues.”

O believers,

What a great role woman assumes in raising her children and instilling in them good ethics, thereby paving the way for a bright future for her country.

How wonderful it is to have a girl observing chastity, eager to pursue her education, and to help man hand in hand in societal development, and nation prosperity. How great it is to see her as a modest wife in charge of maintaining peace, stability and bonding in her family. How delightful to see her open mindedness, her tolerance, her good practice of Islam and her obedience to her husband (unless he asks her to do prohibited matters). Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) used to say:“After fear of Allah, a believer gains nothing better than a good wife who obeys him if he gives her a command. Pleases him as he looks at her, is true to him if he adjures her to do something and is faithful and sincere to him regarding his property in his absence.”

May Allah, the Exalted help us to obey Him and those He has commanded us to obey in his Divine Book. “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority.” (4:59)

O Allah, make us the people of the Qur’an and of those who practice what they recite. O Allah makes us of the true and sincere followers of the Noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, amin.

Second sermon:

All praise and thanks to Allah, the Lord of all mankind, Jinn and all that exists. I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. We beseech the Almighty to bestow His blessing on our Prophet Muhammad, his noble family, his companions and all those who follow him till the Day of Judgment.

Dear Muslims,

Men and women have similar rights and duties in Islam as both reward and punishment are in no way associated with gender. Allah the Most high said:

“So, their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), “Never will I waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female.” (Al-Imran: 195)Also He said in the Holy Qur’an, “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever as All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisa, 4: 1)

Dear Fellow Muslims,

Civilizations and communities building have always been shared by men and women. Women worked side by side with men in all halal aspects of life. Also in Islam the responsibility of building and maintaining communities compliant with Islamic principles and moral values lies on both men and women. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Women are but (equal) brethren for men.” The Noble Qur’an honours women who had tremendous impact on Islamic civilization. Among the pious women who were highly valued in the Qur’an was the wife of Imran (mother of Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus) who was a role model as a mother and a care taker for her family. She supplicated to the Exalted Allah to grant her good and pious offspring. Referring to her, Allah-Glorious be He – said in the Qur’an “(Remember) when the wife of Imran said “O my Lord! I have vowed to you what ((the child that) is my womb to be dedicated to your services so accept this from me. Verily, you are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.” (Al-Imran: 35)The Qur’an also mentions the Queen of Sheba who was known for her prudence and her leadership. When Sulaiman (Solomon) revealed to her the truth about monotheism (Tauheed or Oneness of Allah), she became a Muslim andshe said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself and I submit (in Islam, together with Solomon) to Allah, Lord of all creators (mankind, jinn and all that exists).” (An-Naml: 44)

Prophet Muhammad’s first wife, Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, was a prominent businesswoman. She has a tremendous impact on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and gave him great support. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to remember his deceased wife, Khadijah, with an honest burst of tender emotions. He used to say: “She believed in me when no one else did. She embraced Islam when people disbelieved me. And she helped and comforted me in her person and wealth when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.” (Musnad of Imam Ahmad)

Islam elevated the position of women in society. Women played a prominent role in public life, attending congregational and Friday prayers during the times of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). He granted the right of assembly to women. The lady companions of the Prophet (pbuh) submitted to him. One day, one of them said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, men always get the opportunity to be present in your assembly, please spare some time for us too. Prophet (pbuh) agreed and selected a day during the week for their assembly. Prophet provided answers to their questions and addressed their issues.”

Since the “Pursuit of knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, male or female” as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, women have as much right to education as men do. Through the history of Islam, you can find examples of highly educated women, scholars, writers, poets and teachers.

Further, Islam grants women equal rights to work, to contract, to enterprise, to earn and to possess independently. Islam has also given women the right to inherit. Moreover, women are entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. They do not have to work or share with their husbands the family expenses unless they want to.

Almost over fourteen centuries ago, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) declared that: “the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim, male and female”. This declaration was largely implemented by Muslims throughout history, with the exception of those so-called Muslims who doesn’t understand the religion.

My respected Brothers and Sisters,

Our Lord, guide us to obey You and those you commanded us to obey in the Holy Qur’an “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority.” (An-Nisa’, 4:59)

O Allah, we seek your favour to let our hearts be full of your gratitude and keep our tongue moist with your remembrance. May Allay bless us with good provision, accepted work, beneficial knowledge, well-being in mind and body and blessed living, life and progeny.

O Allah, increase your blessings upon us and do not withhold your provision from us, honour us and do not disgrace us, give us and do not deprive us, advocate us and do not disfavour us. O Allah, bestow upon us your satisfaction and grant us self-contentment. O Allah makes piety our pursuit, solidify our faith and increase our knowledge and wisdom.

O Allah, we seek your mercy and forgiveness, we turn to you in repentance, put our hope and trust in you to guide us to do the righteous actions and accept our supplications to you. We also beseech you to confer on us safety from every sin, and booty of all righteousness, and to win paradise and deliverance from the Hellfire. O Allah, we implore you at this instant, not to let a sin unforgiven, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a dead without mercy or a debt unsettled. Our lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the fire.

Amin yaa Ar-hamar-raahimeen ya rabbal ‘Aalameen.

Finally, my respected people know that, anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

This Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today (Jumu’at) Dhul-Qi’dah 11, 1435 A.H. (September 5, 2014) by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the chief Imam of Nagazi Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected] or [email protected]