Weekly Letter

 

WOMEN – HEROINES OF COMPASSION

In our every action, we need to act according to a saying that is attributed to Imam Ali:

‘Be a person from amongst the people.’
Act humbly and never project yourself as superior by taking steps forward to appear at the forefront.
Even if you evoke respect, when people see you, they shouldn’t be able to distinguish you from others at a first glance.
In fact, this was the attitude of our noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
As mentioned in the biographies of the noble Prophet, on the way to Medina, he took a break on the site where the Quba Mosque would one day be built.
He honoured that place by resting there.
Now there is a grand mosque there, with tall minarets.
Since God’s Messenger took a rest there, people see it as an act of respect to pray there.
At that time, he was there with respected Abu Bakr, his companion in the dominion of Thawr.
There must have been a notable similarity in their appearance.
I have not come across any references to such a similarity in the biography of the noble Prophet but there must have been some similarities in their appearance because new Muslims were mistakenly going towards respected Abu Bakr to embrace him rather than our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, would point to God’s Messenger.
This shows that our noble Prophet did not take half a step forward aiming to be seen as superior, there was nothing about him in his actions that made him stand out amongst the people.
‘Be a person from amongst the people.’
The noble Prophet, whose guidance is encompassing and worthy of following, is an example and a model for us.
As the Holy Qur’an states:
‘Assuredly you have in God’s Messenger an excellent example to follow for whoever looks forward to God and the Last Day, and remembers and mentions God much’ (Al-Ahzab, 33:21).
If you must abide by someone’s example, be subject to them, follow them; it should be the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him. Only him, because he is the polished mirror of Divinity.
‘Whatever exists in the universe is a mirror and subsists by Him;
It is God Who is constantly reflected in the mirror of Muhammad!’
(Master Aziz Mahmud Hudai)
Indeed, may Almighty God bless us with acquiring that morality.
May He protect and preserve us from viewing ourselves superior to so and so.
Each woman is a monument of compassion.
The compassion they show to their children is also one of the main principles of your path.
After helplessness, neediness, and thankfulness comes contemplation, reflection, deep pondering, and also compassion.
These, similar to the six pillars of faith, are the six pillars of servitude to faith and the Qur’an; and compassion is one of these six pillars.
Being compassionate towards others is of the utmost importance.
Whoever they may be, compassion is vital; however in women, this attribute is doubled, even tripled.
Women prioritise this with their children; insomuch that even while in the womb, they avert their eyes from their children fearing, ‘My gaze will hurt them!’; they shake in fear in that matter, they go through a world of trouble for their children.
We do not know this since we do not experience those feelings.
Such diligence they show in that matter, fearing, ‘Oh, something bad may happen!’
And when they give birth; they embrace their children, smelling them as if smelling roses, kissing them; when children cry, they abandon their sleep and try to comfort them.
Mothers continue to display this compassionate manner and behavior maybe until the end of their lives.
You would all have witnessed this: How a father or a mother, especially mothers, how they sacrifice all for their children.
I too have witnessed this.
Once my mother called me on the phone. She jumbled her words, I couldn’t understand her.
My uncle, who had passed away recently, whom I believe died because of sorrow, who was two years older than me and was also my milk brother, was with her.
‘Give the phone to my uncle’ I said to my mother, ‘Let him tell me what you wanted to say!’
She did not have the strength or power to tell me what she wanted to tell me; she was overcome with her compassion.
Indeed, a father loves too, but motherly compassion is different.
In a time like this, women are in a kind of race to show their compassion to their brothers and sisters in faith which they would normally show to their own children and relatives.
I see that happening here too, they organise charity bazaars:
They light a fire.
They make kebabs, they bake bread.
They sell them at an average price or more, for the sake of donation.
And they use the money they gain to help the oppressed.
This sense of ‘helping each other’…
When you called people to take part in this service in the past, you asked them to donate and people would contribute.
Those contributions would be spent on the cause they were collected for, without a single cent being unfairly given to any individual.
They were used to build schools and universities.
They were such schools and universities that they would function as a place of education as well as a place of worship and as a home.
A war was declared against ignorance; poverty was being tackled; people’s hearts were beating with love, affection and compassion against disunity.
Actually, declaring a war to destroy such institutions, destroying them, is a bigger blame than destroying a place of worship.
Closing them, at one time they closed up places of worship, is a greater crime than this.
Yes, at one time these contributions of people allowed for many institutions and services to occur across many parts of the world, with God’s permission and grace.
And this was appropriate, and at the same time it was a realisation of a matter that the Pride of Humanity, peace and blessings be upon him, alluded to.
He states:
My name is going to reach everywhere the sun rises and sets.
Perceive this as a target set by the Messenger of God.
Therefore, it is your duty to fulfill this mission.
Perceive this as news from the unseen.
So that target will be achieved, therefore why don’t you rear up like a steed and set out to be the ones who make it happen.
You can approach the matter however you like.
In the past, some individuals with determined zeal managed to do this.
They spread around the world but never sought any material benefit.
Because service requires forgetting yourself, it requires complete altruism and commitment, but to not let this commitment be felt by others.
The person of service, devoted to that cause…
Essentially a slave of that cause…
One who does not become a slave of sultans and emperors but instead becomes a slave of the truth, raising the majestic name of Muhammad to all the corners of the globe.
They have said, ‘We are souls devoted to this cause and we do not think of anything other than this!’
And when leaving the world they say,
‘I have submitted whatever I had to that Friend, so I no longer have a house;
I have been liberated from everything, so I have nothing in the name of the two worlds.
When the interrogating Angels, Munkar and Nakir, come and ask: ‘What do you have in the world!’, they will realise and say, ‘They have nothing in the world, questioning them is pointless!’
Those who will be asked many questions should consider their fate; this does not concern us.
Yes, today oppression is at its peak, there is no reason to state this.
There is a scene that burns the hearts; that triggers all feelings of compassion.
If you were to express all of what is happening accurately to Picasso, I believe that the art formed from that would have everybody running out of tears, on their knees, their heads on the ground, crying onto the prayer mat.
That is the picture. However I cannot convey this matter with my poor expression skills and therefore it has not been communicated in an ideal way.
If it were represented properly, I believe humanity would feel ten times the disgust and repulsion they feel now and would respond to the hatred in like.
Those that have been separated from their spouse, thrown into jail, lost their children.
Like the noble Hagar, waiting alone in a deserted place for a family reunion.
Thousands of oppressed and suffering women.
When Prophet Abraham took our respected mother Hagar to the desert, he had done so with the command of God.
Because our mother Hagar knew about this she said, ‘The God who commanded you to leave me here will not allow me to perish here.’
That is why our blessed mother never lost her hope.
It is only because of Prophet Ishmael’s cries and kicking that she ran between Safa and Marwa saying, ‘Water, water, water!’
Was that in Hebrew or Aramaic?
This potentially comes back to linguistic matters, how the syllables in the word ‘Moses’ mean ‘water and forest.’
She probably said something along those lines and ran from Safa to Marwa, then Marwa to Safa.
When she returned to her baby and leaned affectionately over him, she saw water underneath his foot.
Does water come out from the heel of a foot?
In that geography, water can only be extracted through drilling.
However, if God wills it to happen, it will.
Just like the twelve springs that gushed from the rock when Moses struck it with his staff, water appeared from beneath the foot of that blessed baby.
May all we be sacrificed for that baby.
First,
He is Prophet Abraham’s child; second, our mother Hagar’s child; third, our noble Prophet’s ancestor.
Our Prophet is the fruit of that blessed seed.
When Ishmael kicked the ground with his foot, water flowed out.
Then our blessed mother realises the following:
First,
Submission to God’s orders;
Two, following a Prophet’s instructions;
Three, to be left alone at an unknown location and all worldly causes had been completely ceased to operate,
The mystery of Divine Uniqueness within the light of Divine Unity led to the water gushing forth.
As she perceives these successively, she feels at comfort.
Therefore, it may not be right to seek such belief, devotion, reliance, commitment and confidence at that level in present-day humans.
I am not trying to say, ‘Those who do such things are deprived from these.’
I am only saying, ‘It is important to emphasise our mother Hagar’s characteristics for the sake of the truth.’
Our mother had certain endowments; she had been left alone in an isolated area and she endured it.
Nevertheless, a human, a woman, a Prophet’s wife.
And hundreds of thousands of women, even though they are relatively safe, try to share all their troubles with their tears and help those in need by running charity markets, they suffer deeply because they are ‘heroines of compassion’.
It seems to me, they run these charities, either on a Friday or Sunday; not just here but in other places around the world.
What you referred to as himmet (fundraising) in the past is called muavenet (assistance or help) now.
It is expressed as ‘mutual assistance’, you are being of assistance in this way, and in turn, they, with their prayers are securing your place in the Hereafter, they are praying for you.
Even if they do not, the One Who Sees will see, the One Who Knows will know, therefore, those that do good will safeguard their afterlife.
Let others oppress; the real prize appears once you win.
Some will lose.
To have sympathy for their humiliating situation and to not reciprocate in a similar manner as them; in a way to act like a gentleman, and to say, ‘May God plant in their hearts, Divine beneficence, affection, harmony and God consciousness!’ This is what should be said.
Hundreds of people have drowned in the Maritsa fleeing from them.
I have not come across even a fraction of those from the media uttering a few humane words or breaths, not a single word worthy of a human about this issue.
At such a time, when such calamities are being experienced, it is important that some people can provide assistance.
At the same time, they are not losing; they’re not losing like the others, they are assisting those in need.
Of course, there is always the possibly that channels become blocked.
They decide:
‘Where does this aid come from?
We must block those arteries.’
I don’t know if that is what they say; if they do not, it is slander.
‘May their aid dry up, may they suffer from hunger!
May they become dependent on us, where they become beggars at our feet, and pledge their allegiance to us!’ etc.
In consequence of all of this?
What lies behind this scary, fatal deprivation, only God knows.
Therefore, in the face of oppression, and injustice, that helping spirit within them, in particular, those mothers, they are deserving of Paradise.
‘God has bought from the believers their selves and wealth because Paradise is for them’ (At-Tawba 9:111).
The meaning of the letter here is that of correspondence.
They help others with God’s pledge of Paradise.
They give that.
It may seem as little; yet in light of our current standing it is a big thing.
They give, but receive such a profound thing.
When they travel to the afterlife, they will see that what they gave in aid as seeds and what they got back as large as Mount Everest and say, ‘My God!
How did those seeds transform in a mountain?’
Now, who is in loss and who is in gain?
Therefore, with different incentives, and beliefs, and with a passion they are demonstrating efforts through charities, just as their male counterparts do.
I think the term ‘kermis’ was derived from Latin.
But the term has established itself in our language and tradition.
At those charities, we work together to make sales in the pursuit of helping others.
If I am to contribute five cents to that, than I must, if my strength is sufficient for it, I must be of help.
If I can give five dollars, I must give that.
If I have income from somewhere, and five thousand dollars needs to be paid I must give that.
If ten thousand dollars is necessary, I must give it; If one hundred thousand dollars is necessary I must give that too.
How will this transform in the sight of God; you figure that out yourself.
In the sight of God…
Now, in consideration with all that our sisters are doing, we must make a consideration in connection with this.
When we can, we must also help, to the best of our ability.
Let us express this once more:
Women are heroines of compassion.
Compassion is an expression and manifestation of Divine Mercy and Compassion.
And this refers to the All-Just God taking guardianship, protecting all the creations on Earth and Hereafter with His Divine beneficence and gifts.
So our sisters display their profound activities and achievements in this regard.
When people see this, they open their hearts and their hands and pray.
The Exalted God, the Knower of the Unseen, sees this; the dwellers of the heavens see this.
Ignorant people like me, absolutely ignorant people, see this.
Using my imagination.
This is my imagination; please do not misunderstand.
I imagine what they do and bend over double with my prayers to them.
While they are overwhelmed and cry uncontrollably there.
Some of them cry for their children.
The children quietly bury their sobbing for their parents inside themselves.
Some cry for their spouse, some for their mum and dad.
And others are being killed, since their immune system collapses while locked up and they are defeated by sicknesses; some of them die of a stroke, some pass away by heart attack, these people who have been killed.
The people of conscience are very touched by this and they also lament.
It is definite that these sorrows will be rewarded.
These have such an important value in the sight of God that any explanation that I try to make here will be ridiculous to the souls of the Hereafter.
They will say, ‘He spoke of them in a very simple way!
But the All-Just God bestowed unimaginable rewards to these efforts and endeavours.’
God’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, states:
‘Be God-fearing, be in the circle of piety, take refuge in God and do not take any act of goodness lightly.’
Acts of goodness refer to things God commands you to do.
These may seem small efforts considering what is happening across the whole world, but are profound efforts being put forward considering our capacity.
People give whatever they have, and say: ‘No matter,
God is Generous; he will surely provide for me as well’
Some hand over the keys to their homes.
At the same time, others leave something at a needy door with a note: ‘You may take this wholly at ease; I know you are in need of it’.
There are many similar instances.
For now, they accept these favours, but they have pride as well, and think: ‘We are dependent on others; if they do not look after us we are not able to make our own living’.
All of this causes distress to them.
And the others experience the stress of helping them.
Collective suffering is being experienced thus.
Perhaps this suffering is being experienced by a few million people.
Because there are relatives amongst them, loved ones, acquaintances, friends, allies, people whom they held in esteem until now.
People of the highest moral fibre and character, but as you have witnessed dirt and tar is being thrown at them, and they are being painted as wicked by people with evil souls.
Now, these are not simple matters.
Therefore, we need to consider their weight in the sight of God.
Our mother Umm Salama asked our noble Prophet a number of questions regarding the place of women in the Qur’an:
‘O Messenger of God, in the Qur’an the immigration of men is glorified but there is no mention of the immigration of women?’
‘Women are not mentioned in the same way as men are?’
As a matter of fact, the Qur’an adopts the principle of taghlib, whereby the meaning of one word includes other words and meanings by reason of their proximity. For example, mother and father are referred to as the dual form as ‘parents’.
The verse is both for men and women but it uses masculine gender, which may lead to people thinking that it is only for men.
We can explain this use of taghlib as:
an inflected binary plural (forming a dual from one of two names by giving preference to the one over the other)…
This does not necessarily mean one is more important or greater than the other.
For instance, at times when the Moon and Sun are being referred to, the term ‘two moons’ is used. They are related to each other.
For instance, in Prophetic biographies the noble Abu Bakr and Umar are mentioned, the term ‘Two Umars’ is used, this does not lessen the significance or place of Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr is brought down to the level of Umar.
In his Maktubat Imam Rabbani says, ‘Even their merit is depending on their order of being Caliphate, their position in the sight of God.’
‘Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.’
However, they are mentioned as ‘Two Umars’, using this grammatical feature.
If this is the case, our auspicious mother, probably because of her desire and excitement, and also of her desire to see women being mentioned in the Qur’an openly and clearly says, ‘Let women be included!’
Her desire and request is accepted and verses in this form are revealed.
In the Qur’an there are other verses that also use this form of language.
An example;
‘Surely all men and women who submit to God (whose submission is attested by their words and deeds), and all truly believing man and truly believing woman, and all devoutly obediently believing man and devoutly obediently woman, and all man and woman honest and truthful in their speech (and true to their words in their actions), and all men and women who persevere (in obedience to God through all adversity), and all men and women humble (in mind and heart before God), and all men and women who give in alms (and God’s cause), and all men and women who fast (as an obligatory or commanded act of devotion), and all men and women who guard their chastity (and avoid exposing their private parts), and all men and women who remember and mention God much…
for them (all), God has prepared forgiveness (to bring unforeseen blessings) and a tremendous reward’ (Al-Ahzab, 33:35).
Yes, this verse from the Chapter ‘The Confederates’ is revealed based on the question from our mother Umm Salama, and mentions both men and women openly.
This form of expression is used in different places; it is not limited specifically to this verse.
In fact from this perspective the matter is no different.
Off the subject:
I think that different cultures and militarist thought within governments has caused these differences.
For example, our mother Aisha, the most chaste of women, the most loyal, the most innocent, the most preserved.
The rest were not less than her, they were all like that.
But she, may God be pleased with her, was the daughter of Abu Bakr, the Most Truthful person, and at the same time at a very young age the wife of our noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
She was raised in an environment where revelation was pouring down; in a sense she was a sapling which grew under it, a seed that became a cypress.
When we say ‘our mother Aisha’, that’s how we should perceive it; a seed that grew in the house of the Prophet, under than rain of revelation, the mercy of revelation.
The one who narrated the most number of traditions after Abu Hurayra, in other words, the one who we received half of our religion from, especially in regards to matters specific to women.
So many male Companions narrate traditions from her.
Some scholars that came from the school of Kufa such as Aswad ibn Yazid and Tawus ibn Kaysan even narrate traditions from her.
But from behind an enclosure…
She is the mother of believers, our mother; she has that attribute.
She attributes that those who follow her down, she has those characteristics.
Despite this, the Holy Qur’an says:
‘O wives of the Prophet!
You are not like any of the other women,
provided that you keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety (and, therefore, act with awareness of your special status).
So (even more than other believing women) do not be complaisant in your speech (when addressing men), lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved to desire, but speak in an honorable way’ (Al-Ahzab, 33:32).
So to protect herself from those with diseases in their hearts, she speaks to people from behind an enclosure.
And they are also taught to speak in the right manner, regarding the matters of manners and courtesy.
From this perspective, there is no difference between men and women; they have been forced to be different due to culture.
Our blessed mother, the noble Aisha, at once stage rode a horse, and rose up against the noble Ali as a commander.
Is there such a thing today?
Look at civilized countries; look at the non-civilized Islamic world; look at the people who are crawling along on their face on the path of the Prophet.
Is there such a thing?
We have fallen behind in this matter.
Consequently, from one aspect, we have placed them in jail.
This is actually—it seems to me—the result of a militaristic thought.
Otherwise, they are a part of life.
But how much?
They have children and homes of course.
On the other hand, they are taking part in issues that influence you as well and they are taking ownership for it, whenever the opportunity arises, with God’s permission and grace; they are also doing what must be done regarding these matters.
I would like to mention that as a side note.
From this perspective, we are making the difference.
As I mentioned this through various means; when the word ‘dissension’ is brought up in relation to women; in reality, this refers to a ‘means of ordeal’, not a source of dissent.
Many times when considering this it is the men that lose their trials, the women become the ‘factor in making people fail a trial’.
Because living only for ones for desires is one that brings people to their knees and brings great misery to their lives.
That is also one factor that contributes.
Otherwise, may even the thought of it perish, if we talk of ‘dissent’, there are so many examples of people who are undertaking such dissension in our day and age, you witness them.
Back to the point:
The oppression suffered by our sisters and the good that they do not go unnoticed, by God’s permission and grace.
Essentially, they are just like everyone:
‘God has bought from the believers their selves and wealth because Paradise is for them.
They will fight in the path of their Lord’ (At-Tawba, 9:111).
Now, there is no battle.
There is a struggle in the path of God.
They strive and struggle by using the fundamental principles of the Qur’an.
They struggle against their carnal souls.
They struggle in elevating the perspicuous religion of Islam.
They gather, spend time together and talk of the Beloved and renew their faith.
In this regard, they have no difference.
Outside of looking after their children and the homely duties, they also assist you in your work and help you too, with God’s permission and grace.
We must grasp the matter with balance.
Balance refers to the ‘Straight Path’.
Slipping from that path is either extravagance or insufficiency.
Some in regards to this matter have been excessive and others have been apathetic.
Both of these are a deviation from the Straight Path.
‘O God!
Guide us on to the Straight Path; keep us steadfast on this path and do not make us slip.’
Yes, personally, in many instances I see women to be much more elevated and superior than men.
They are the representatives of our mothers Aisha and Khadija.
As you all know, we don’t exclude anyone from our prayers.
How do we say it in our prayers?
We say, ‘O God! Please help us; favour victory for all our brothers and sisters, female and male friends, from all corners of the world and every field of life’.
Without making any discretions and in conformity with the meaning of the former verse, all brothers and sisters, friends, supporters and sympathisers, all those who have set their hearts on this issue, are collectively mentioned in our prayers.
May The Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant allow all of them and all of you to continue steadfast on the path of service to faith, Qur’an and the Prophet.
May He allow us to be steadfast on the road of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.
True Islam is their path:
When Abu Bakr passed away, he did leave behind any worldly property.
When Umar passed away, he did not have any worldly property.
He brought two super powers to their knees, in a short span of ten years.
They did not have any tanks, cannons, planes, etc; only mules, camels and similar animals.
What takes one hour to travel now, used to take one month on the backs of those animals.
Both women and men did not refrain from these journeys.
A Companion would object:
She had just embraced Islam; it was Abu Sufyan’s wife Hind, who was a Muslim for two to three years.
She was from the Banu Umayyad; until the moment Mecca was conquered they were one of the most critical enemies of the God’s Messenger.
However she took part in the Yarmuk campaign.
There was an instant the opposing side came to the edge of the Muslim’s tents.
And at that moment she also took out her sword and fought beside her husband Abu Sufyan against the Romans.
And they won that war; the Romans retreated.
Both women and men…