Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is it time yet, to review our Intention(NIYYAH)?

Wishing you all tremendous amount of peace, in your mind, home and all your endeavours.

Today I wish to provoke your thoughts on an issue that we all usually overlook. As Muslims, our primary mission alive is to serve the Almighty Creator. So, I think it is only a smart move to make sure that we dedicate all our actions to worshiping him.

This been said, I would like to draw our attention to the importance of Niyyah in everything we do by quoting some Hadiths of our beloved prophet (SAW)
Allah's Messenger SAW: "Verily, all actions are but driven by intention and for everyone is what he intended." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] 
Allah's Messenger SAW also said: "Certainly, Allah does not look at your shapes (appearance) or wealth. But He only looks at your hearts and deeds." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

So, here comes the question. "Why are you working?"

Maybe the question seems weird but it really isn’t. Taking time to reflect why we do what we do may be all that is left to actually be happy and fulfilled with our jobs.
It is not enough to answer with sentences like:
I have to provide for my family” {yes, that is noble but may be tiring along the way. You may start wondering why you must be responsible for all these. Isn’t all this too much for you? Are you being appreciated enough? This intention may not be enough to get by those exhausting days}.
“I want to be the Miss/Mrs Independent” { Yeah, that’s also cool but with it comes a bit of pride which you may have to fight so hard to keep in check, in order not to hurt the important people in your life. Trust me, time will come you will desperately need them, not necessarily for money or material things but moral and emotional support that help you through stormy work experiences}.

Now how do we renew our intention?

Let’s not forget that the best of our actions which would earn us the greatest reward is fisabilillah (for the sake of Allah (SWT)). 
It is understandable if we have some glitches in arriving at this level and being sure it is not superficial. We shouldn’t just say it for saying sake."I am working for for Allah's sake" *roll my eyes*
In fact, we do not have to say it at all. It is the strongest convictions in our hearts that matters. Hence, there are some steps we can take to, Insha Allah, help us reach the noblest intention that will earn us greatest reward in front of our Creator. Not only will we enjoy His bounties in this world but also be saving for the hereafter as we go.

Constant Renewal of Knowledge:

Striving to increase our knowledge in Islam is the first step. Allah(SWT) said in the Quran "if we do not Him, how will we know how to worship Him?". Understanding that the greatest success we can achieve is not a measure of any of the worldly materials and status will push us to actually achieve the real success.

Constant Renewal of Faith:

Complete believe and submission to Allah will go a long way. We need to understand that all our labour, sweats, sleepless night ultimately means nothing without the mercy of Allah(SWT). Whatever we have or achieve is not by our might but by his grace. So, why not let Him help us attain the greatest achievement possible. In the process of genuinely leaving everything in his hand, we will recognise there is not worth spending our time on if not for His sake.

Outlining How the Job Benefits the Ummah:

It helps to take pen and paper and list all the ways we can think of, in which what we do, for the most hours of our days contribute to the propagation of Islam and humanity. We may be amazed at how much we will discover about our self worth after doing this. It helps you gain a strange sense of strength to keep going.  

Constant Reflection as we go:

We sure need to pause for a moment and reflect as we go about our daily life and struggles. It is extremely important to arrange our thoughts and put things into perspective. This helps us retrace our step when we start to go off track with our intentions and actions. See this as a form of check and balance we often do with our finances. (MCL TIP: this can be done daily as we retire to bed at night before we say our supplications prior sleep. Think about your actions that day, evaluate yourself and ask Allah for strength to be better)
May God strengthen our faith and keep us in the right path as we go about our daily life activities. {Amin}

We will like to gain from you too. Share with us how you stay in focus keeping your eyes on the star prize (Jannah) InshaAllah. Sharing knowledge is an act that will definitely be recognised and rewarded by Allah(SWT), Alhamdulilah.

Friday, October 21, 2016


This is the part two to the previous post which was about corporate muslimahs having best of both worlds. This list includes those exceptional women who inspire us in this era of ours.

NB: this list is nowhere near complete. There are millions of wonderful and inspiring women out there. For the sake of discussion, please share with us those corporate muslimah who inspire you in the comment section. :)
Instar A. Rabb

Intisar Rabb is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. Rabb also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University.

Dalia Mogahed (born 1974) is an American scholar of Egyptian origin. She is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington, D.C. She is also President and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based executive coaching and consulting firm specializing in Muslim societies and the Middle East. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, nonpartisan research center that provided data and analysis to reflect the views of Muslims all over the world. She was selected as an advisor by U.S. President Barack Obama on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Linda Sarsour
Linda Sarsour is the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.Sarsour has been called a "champion of change" by the Obama administration. Linda Sarsour is a working wife, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. Currently she is the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Coordinator for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a network of 22 Arab American organizations in 11 states including the District of Columbia, nationwide where she conducts trainings nationally on the importance of civic engagement in the Arab and Muslim American community. Locally (in the states) she serves as the Director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social service agency serving the Arab community in NYC. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of community development, youth empowerment, community organizing, civic engagement and immigrants’ rights advocacy.
Hauwa Ibrahim
Hauwa Ibrahim, the first female lawyer in northern Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim Gombe region.was a Yale World Fellow, became an honorary citizen of Paris, and in 2005 earned the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. By that time she had already taken on 90 mostly pro bono cases helping people (mostly women) get the right judgement in Shariah law. (The total today: around 150).
roula Allouch
Roula Allouch is an attorney with expertise in employment law, civil rights and general civil litigation. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky School of Law in 2006. Allouch is the Chair of the National Board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At CAIR, she monitors and analyzes policies and statements that foster discriminatory behavior toward American Muslims.

Zainab S. Ahmed
Hajia Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed
She is the Minister of State Budget and National Planning of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She is also the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).Until her appointment Mrs. Ahmed was a Member of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of NEITI and the former Managing Director, Kaduna Industrial and Finance Company. She holds a degree in Accounting from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Masters in Business Administration. Mrs. Zainab Ahmed is a member of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and Fellow, Institute of Certified Company Commercial Accountants of Nigeria among other professional organisations.

NB: this list is nowhere near complete. There are millions of wonderful and inspiring women out there. For the sake of discussion, please share with us those corporate muslimah who inspire you in the comment section. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Salam aleykum ladies,
I am so grateful for the comments and encouragements from you. May Allah make it easy for us to do the right things.
Today, we bring to you a list, with little introduction, of some of the believing women. They made huge contribution to the propagation of Islam, their communities and the world at large using skills and talents Allah (SWT) blessed them with. Alhamdulilah we have great role models to look up to.

Here goes:

 Khadija bint' Khuwailid(ra
She was the first wife, confidant and companion to our beloved prophet (SAW). A wealthy businesswoman and trader, supported him morally and financially when he was granted prophethood.

Aisha bint Abu Bakr (ra),
Also beloved wife of the prophet (SAW). She transmitted expanses of knowledge from him and  became a great jurist and scholar
Umm Al-Muqtadir-Billah
She directed state affairs due to the incapacity of her son, the Abbasid caliph Al-Muqtadir-Billah, in the early fourth century Hijrah. In a public square in Baghdad, she set up a tribunal for the purpose of settling people's petitions and lawsuits one day a week. She placed one of her female courtiers as judge. People were scandalized and no one came to her on the first day. On the second day, the woman courtier brought the famous judge Abu'l-Hasan so the public would know that there was scholarly approval. Many wronged people benefited from this increased access to justice, so people soon overcame their resistance to this idea.
Ash-Shifa bint 'Abdullah al-Qurashiyyah al-Adawiyah
The Companion Ash-Shifa bint 'Abdullah al-Qurashiyyah al-Adawiyyah was one of the wise women of her time. Literate in an illiterate age, she was skilled in medicine, involved in public administration, and had a strong presence in early Muslim history.
Al-Shifa embraced Islam before the Hijrah, and was one of the earliest to migrate from Makkah to Madinah. She took the Pledge or Bay'ah to the Messenger, declaring loyalty to him before witnesses when it was still a dangerous thing to do.
Her real name may have been Laylah. Ash-Shifa is a title derived from her profession as a medicine woman; it means "healing." She used to conduct preventative treatments against ant bite before the advent of Islam. After Hijrah, she approached the Prophet, and said, "Oh Messenger of Allah, I used to do preventative medicine for ant bites during Jahiliyyah, and I want to demonstrate it for you."
He said, "Demonstrate it."
Ash-Shifa said, "So I demonstrated it for him, and he said '[continue to] do this, and teach it to Hafsah [a wife of the Prophet]." In another version he said, "Why don't you teach this one [indicating Hafsah] the preventative medicine against ant-bites, just as you taught her how to write?" She apparently taught Hafsah, and probably others, to write, at the personal request of the Prophet.
The Messenger used to visit her in her own home so frequently that she set aside a mat and a cover, orizar, for his use when he took his siesta there. She kept these mementos until her death and passed them on to her children.
The Messenger (peace be upon him) gave her title to a house in the Hakakin area of Madinah. His value for her company influenced the caliphs. As Caliph, 'Umar used to defer to her opinion. 'Umar's respect for Ash-Shifa's competence, character, and judgement led him to appoint her as an officer, or wali, in the administration of the marketplace. This makes her possibly the first Muslim woman to hold an official position in public administration.
Ash-Shifa narrates a good number of ahadith. Many Companions narrate ahadith on her authority, including Hafsah.
With her forceful character, influential counsel, and multiple professional skills, Ash-Shifa bint 'Abdullah must have been a major figure in early Muslim society, probably a household name.

Rufayda bint Sa’ad al-Aslamiyya 
She who lived at the same time as the Prophet (SAW). She nursed the wounded and the dying in the battlefield during the Battle of Badr on 13th March 624 CE. She learned most of her skill from assisting her father, Sa’ad al-Aslami, who was a physician.
Nusayba bint Ka’ab al-Mazneya
She offered her medical services during the Battle of Uhud.
Fatima al-Fihriyya
In the ninth century, there was Fatima al-Fihriyya in Fez, Morocco, who founded the al-Qarawwiyyin mosque. Established in the year 859, the Qarawwiyyin mosque, through which Arabic numbers became known, and used, in Europe, had the oldest and possibly the first university in the world and is still functioning. Students travelled here from all over the world to study Islamic studies, languages and sciences.

Sutayta al-Mahamili
A mathematician who lived in the second half of the tenth century, and came from an educated family in Baghdad. She excelled in many fields such as Arabic literature, hadith and jurisprudence. She invented solutions to many equations which have been cited by other mathematicians which denote aptitude in algebra. She was praised by historians such as Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Khatib Baghdadi and Ibn Kathir.

Labana of Cordoba (tenth century, Spain) 
She was well-versed in the exact sciences of mathematics and could solve the most complex geometrical and algebraic problems known at that time. She was employed as the private secretary to the Umayyad Caliph of Islamic Spain, Al Hakam the Second.
Ashifa bint Abdullah 
Ashifa was the first Muslim woman to be appointed by Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab as market inspector and manager. 

Amina, the queen of Zazzua
Amina was the queen of Zazzua, a province of Nigeria, in the sixteenth century. At the age of sixteen, she became the heir-apparent to her mother. Amina chose to learn military skills and emerged as the leading warrior of Zazzua cavalry.  In her reign of 34 years, she expanded the territory to its largest size ever. Her main focus was on forcing local rulers to accept vassal status and permit safe passage to Hausa traders. She is credited with popularizing of the earthen wall fortifications which became characteristic of Hausa states since then. She ordered the building of defensive walls around each military camp that she established. Later towns grew within these walls and many of them are still in existence and are known as Amina’s walls.
Zainab al-Ghazali
The most recent account of a scholar, who dedicated her life to Islam, is that of Zainab al-Ghazali. Born in 1917, in Egypt. Her father encouraged her to become an Islamic leader, citing the example of Nusayba bint Ka’ab al Muzaniyya(mentioned above). At the age of nineteen, she founded the Jama’at al-Sayyidat al-Muslimaat (Muslim Women’s Association) which had a membership of three million throughout the country by the time it was dissolved by government order in 1964. She was invited by Hassan al-Banna, the Founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to merge the Jama’at with his organization. She refused his offer in order to retain her autonomy. However, she did take an oath of personal allegiance to him. Her weekly lectures attracted a crowd of approximately 5000 people. Besides offering lessons for women, the Jama’at published a magazine, maintained an orphanage, assisted poor families and mediated family disputes. She took a political stance, demanding that Egypt be ruled according to the Qur’an. She died on 3rd August 2005, aged 88 years.
  1. A'lam an-Nisa, by Umar Kahhala
  2. Al-Muhaddithath by Dr. Akram Nadwi
  3. Ishraq al Ma’ani, Juz 30, by Syed Iqbal Zaheer
  4. www.wikipedia.org
  5. http://www.muslimheritage.com
  6. www.bewley.virtualve.net
  7. FSTC, Al Qarawiyyin Mosque and University (published 20 October 2004)
  8. El-Azhari, Taef Kamal, “Dhayfa Khatun, Ayyubid Queen of Aleppo 634-640”, Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies no.15 2000.
  9. http://sunnah.org

Friday, October 14, 2016

Corporate Muslimah Against Guilt.....

Salam Aleykum Ladies,
Have you ever wonder whether or not it is allowed for muslim women to work in a corporate world? I mean, I'm not even talking about being an entrepreneur with the choice of whether or not you want to run your business out of the comfort of your home with you being your own boss giving yourself deadlines. I'm talking about the classic 9 to 5 type of jobs with all the rules, regulation deadlines, targets, cut throat competitions and office politics. It already sounds pretty scary, right? But imagine being in that situation with the feeling that MAYBE you are being sinful to your Creator in the process, now the HEAT is on...

Alhamdulillah, our religion is so complete and all-encompassing. As muslims, we are clear about what are allowed for us and what are forbidden. And if we are ever in doubt, there are the 'best references' ever we can always go to, (THE GLORIOUS QURAN AND HADITHS).
So, if you are like me, maybe you're just looking for a yes or no answer to this burning question on your mind. In that case, my answer and believe is YES, Islam allows women to have a corporate career.....as there is no place in Quran or any Hadiths of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) it is forbidden for a woman to work to provide for herself and her family.

Yes we know, providing for the family is the responsibility of a man. But a woman may have to work to support the men who are responsible for her (father, husband, brother e.t.c.). Also, what if her parents can no longer provide for her and she's not  married yet? What then?
From the time of the Prophet(Peace be upon Him) through the history, to this age, there are numerous example of believing women who made their living by rendering one service or the other, based on their intelligence and competences, to the others. These women didn't lose sight of their womanly responsibilities because of their career. (That is what we strive to influence in our muslim sisters out there and more on this insha Allah).

Here comes the buts.....

  1. Make Sure Your Work Doesn't Support Propagation of Any HARAM Products and Services:

  • It could be hard, but we should try. Understand the mission of our employer is the key. Do not accept to work for people who are obviously hiding secrets
  • Beware, if there is a top secret room no employee can enter except some mysterious scientists. (I'm not joking). 
  • Alcoholic drink (or/and other haram foods) production is forbidden, if we can't drink or eat it, we can't make it available for others to drink. 
  • May Allah help us on the issue of interest-based banking system. I'm holding my peace on this one.
  • Bottom-line, we should never stop acquiring Islamic knowledge so we can understand where to draw the line.
    2. Do Not Compromise Your Modesty
  • Always observe your Hijab (in dressing and comportment). Let's not forget we are ambassadors of Islam. The world tend to judge Islam by our behavior. It's easy for them to blame our misdeed on Islam than them accepting it as human mistakes.
  • Do not allow yourself to be put in an uncomfortable position. A job that requires your feminine charm in the midst of men is already pushing you to the edge of a dangerous pit. 

  • You should be appreciated for your intelligence not your looks (Watch out for even too many compliments on your modest dressing style, it shouldn't be their source of attraction to you).

   3. Establish Your Prayers

  • This is more challenging if our employers are not Muslims and could care less of our religious obligations It's now left to us to make them care.
  • We need to make a request for a prayer space at work or permission to go out to a nearby mosque (you could negotiate this before taking the job, if possible). If we never ask, we wouldn't be sure whether they are or not up for it.
  • We should never be tempted use this prayer-time ''break'' for our extra-official activities. It's not only going to cost us our dignity but also Islam's.

   4. Do Not Forget Your Responsibilities as a Woman

  • This is for the wives and moms, learning how to multitask, delegate and improvise could be a lifesaver. It's not like we have a choice, our Creator has prescribed our jobs for us and there is no escaping them.
  • On this note, we shouldn't forget to keep praying for Allah's mercy on granting us husbands who understand our situation and support us.
NB: Stay turned on this page for tips on how to balance work and other aspects of our lives.
May Almighty Allah ease our affairs.
Allaahumma laa sahla 'illaa maal ja'altahu sahlan wa 'Anta taj'alul-hazna 'ithaa shi'ta sahlan.
O Allah, there is no ease other than what You make easy. If You please You ease sorrow.

اللّهُـمَّ لا سَـهْلَ إِلاّ ما جَعَلـتَهُ سَهـلاً، وَأَنْتَ تَجْـعَلُ الْحَـزَنَ إِذا شِـئْتَ سَهـْلاً