I managed to attend several Isra' and Mi'raj talks recently. The Isra’ Mi'raj event is celebrated in remembrance of the journey made by Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu ‘Alaihi Wassallam (s.a.w.) from Masjidil Haram in Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Palestine and then to the Upper Heavens and Sidratul-Muntaha.
“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing,” (Surah al-Isra verse one).
The ascension of Rasullullah s.a.w.is known in history as Mi'raj, and it was in body and spirit and not only a vision. It was at this time that Allah SWT ordered Muslims to perform the 'solat' (obligatory five daily prayers).
Isra’ Mi'raj is a 'mukjizat' (miracle), given only to Rasullullah s.a.w. as a sign of power and strength of Allah SWT. There are lessons from Isra’ Mi'raj that we can use as valuable guides in our lives. Since I have written a few articles on Is'ra M'raj before this such as about the concept of time and space pertaining to that historic event, this time I would like to focus on women.
Why do I choose the subject on women this time around? It is because of what my mother had told me during our daily one hour discussion on religious matters recently before I would be off to my 'kebun' (garden) in the morning. Her experience is priceless to me and I would like to share it with readers.
Before I continue the story of my mother, let's have a look at what Rasullullah s.a.w. had to say about women during his Isra' Mi'raj. He saw 'the good life' of Mashitah (a helper of the Pharaoh who was steadfast as a believer even though she and her baby and other family members were thrown into boiling water and he also saw the punishment that befall women. The Prophet was shown that two thirds of those in Hell would be women.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in a Hadith said: "I was shown the Hell fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful."
It was asked, "Did they disbelieve in Allah?" (or were they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "they are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favours and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you'." (Sahih Bukhari, narrated by ibn 'Abbas).
Also about women, in his journey, the Prophet s.a.w. was shown:
1. Women hanging from their hair and their brains boiling. These are women who do not wear 'hijab' and do not cover their heads from men who are not their 'muhrim'. 'Muhrim' refers to someone who you are closely related to such as a brother or a sister. One is not permitted to be in physical contact with a non-muhrim in a state of non-covering of the body according to Islamic edicts. Well, there is a beautiful phrase regarding this - A rose protects its beauty with thorns. A Muslimah protects her beauty with the 'hijab'.
2. Women hanging from their tongues and hands coming out from their hips. Burning oil would be poured inside their throats. These women hurt their spouses with bad words.
3. Women hanging from their breasts. These are women who breast-fed without the permission of their spouses.
4. Women whose hands and legs are tied, and are surrounded by snakes and scorpions. These are women who are able to pray and fast (in Ramadan) but refuse to perform these obligations. They also did not ask permission from their husbands before leaving the house and did not take the specified bath after their 'haid' (menstrual period) and 'nifas' (confinement period after giving birth) were over.
5. The Prophet s.a.w. was also shown women eating their own flesh, with fire burning under them. These would be women who put their beauty on show for men who were not their 'muhrim' and those who liked to speak ill of others.
6. Women cutting their own bodies with scissors (from Hell). These are women who liked to show off their jewelry.
7. Women with the head of a pig/swine and bodies of a donkey. These women would be the liars, and,
8. A woman shaped like a dog with snakes and scorpions entering her mouth and coming out from her bottom. These would be the women who were always angry with their husbands and slandered others.
During the discussion with my mother, she said: "After facing ups and downs in life for 70 years, I have now realized that you cannot depend on people not even your own sons and daughters but your must work very hard on your own for your well being...well I am not talking about life in the future...I am talking about our days in our graves and the journey in the Hereafter.
My parents have eight children; four boys and four girls. When they were in their early twenties, the boys of course took their own initiative to obtain driving licenses but the girls had mixed feelings. Their mother (my mother-lah) advised them: "go and get your licences, when you have the licence and a car then when I become old and sick I could depend on you to take me to hospitals and clinics."
Now at old age my mother has this to say: "Well, they all have licences and cars, but could they always take me to have medical attention? No, they are now busy with their work and house hold matters and further more they have to seek permission first from their husbands (refer to the hadith regarding women based on Isra' Mi'raj), thus they are not always free to help me...The correct way for me would be to take the initiative to have that driving license myself in those good old days...then I would be free to move around according to my wish!"
"The same thing could be said about our preparation for our journey in the Hereafter. You prepare for it, for example by performing all deeds that Allah SWT has ordained upon you and stay away from what He has forbidden. You have to do all these for your own benefit at the same time instruct your wife and children to follow suit.
"At this old age like mine (70 years), our 'kauf' (fear) and 'rajak' (hope and surrender) to Allah must be intact inside us. Our 'rajak' must almost reach the fullest. Our hope is only to Allah SWT; others including those close to us such as our spouses and children too cannot help. Look, when you lay on your death-bed, nobody can help you not even your husband...our hope is only to Allah SWT. Yes, to Allah SWT we completely surrender ourselves."
During the Isra' Mi'raj talks I heard several 'ustaz' (religious teachers) saying that women were very lucky because they could enter Paradise 'the easy way' if they had religious knowledge and were willing to practice what they had learnt and known.
In Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3254 narrated by Anas ibn Malik; Allah's Messenger s.a.w. said, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes."
In Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 286 narrated by Umm Salamah; the Prophet s.a.w. said: "If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter Paradise."
An 'ustaz' said, many women do not realize that their homes are actually their fields to toil and then harvest bounty rewards from Allah SWT. For example regarding 'solat' (prayers), women are not required to join congregators at masjids like men; what is expected from them is to perform their 'solat' at the earliest time possible inside their homes and better still inside their own room.
"If a wife 'persuades' her husband to go the masjid and prepared the needs of 'her man' such as his attire, then the rewards of her husband doing such good deeds would also go to the wife. For example if the husband attends a prayer in mass, with a reward of 27 times compared to performing the 'solat' alone, this reward would also go to the wife; she would get the reward of 28 times (from her husband's prayers of 27 plus another one by herself at home).
"She would also get the rewards of her husband’s good deeds such as walking to the masjid after performing ablution at home. If the couple have say three boys, then the rewards of the boys going to the masjid would also go to their mother...that surely would be a great one for she would get rewards of 27 x 4 + 1 = 109...Subhanallah!
Then during Ramadan, if the wife or mother readies food for 'iftar' (breaking of fast), then other than the rewards of her own good deeds, she would also be rewarded from her husband and children’s good deeds...Subhanallah!
Then if her husband or sons go for 'jihad' (for example going to struggle in the way of Allah), if they get martyred, their rewards of good deeds would also be rewarded to her. There is a story about a great Muslimah who was very pleased and thankful to Allah SWT when her three sons were killed one after another in a holy war. Yes, she would get the bounty rewards of 'jihad' even though she did not go to war herself at all...Subhanallah!
And there is a story of a wife who was rewarded handsomely by obeying her husband’s orders not to leave home; she even dared not visit her sick father until the old man died - for her being a very obedient wife, her father had been blessed and pardoned by Allah SWT...
The list of good deeds which would benefit a woman without she having to leave her home would be a long one; it shows and proves that women would be rewarded handsomely by Allah SWT by performing 'simple tasks and deeds'....for He is Most Gracious and Merciful. Subhanallah.... - ES