Servitude to Allah the Almighty

Servitude to Allah the Almighty is first of all an act of consciousness. Servitude means to be able to see our weak state before the Divine Kingdom and to know our place. When a person properly recognizes his place, there would be no strength left in him to claim arrogance, egoism and even his very own existence.

The real modesty makes the servant confess his nothingness and nonexistence before the Divine Majesty and bow his head, like in the following supplication of Mawlānā Jalal al-Dīn Rumī (Alaihi Al Rahma):

“I have become a servant, I have become a servant, I have become a servant. I, humble servant, have ashamed of not fulfilling my servitude properly and bowed my head down (in shame). Every slave becomes happy when he is emancipated. Dear Lord! I have become happy for being Your slave.”

As a matter of fact, Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) grandson Hazrat Hasan’s (May Allah be pleased with him) supplication after circumambulating the Kaaba and performing two rak’ahs of prayer at the quarter of Ibrāhīm (Upon him be prayer and peace) is one of the best examples of manners of servitude:

“Dear Lord! Your little and weak servant came to Your door. O Allah! Your weak servant came to your door. Dear Lord! Your beggar came to your door, Your poor came to Your door…”

After this touching supplication, Hasan (May Allah be pleased with him) met on his way with some poor people, who were sharing a dry piece of bread. He greeted them, and they invited him to their modest table. Prophet’s grandson Hasan (May Allah be pleased with him) sat with them and said:

“If I knew that this bread did not come from charity, I would eat with you.” Then he said:

“Let’s go to my home.” After serving them a nice meal, he clothed the poor people with nice clothes and gave them considerable amount of money and then sent them back in a very happy state.” (Abshihī, Al-Mustatraf, Beirut, 1986, I, 31)

This is the state of real modesty and an eminent manner of servitude, which makes a believer live in deep sensitivity towards his Lord and Creation. Those who adorn their souls with this exclusive manners act prudently in their acts and behaviors. This manner manifests itself in their sitting, standing, walking, choosing their clothes, speaking, walking, and, in short, in all of their actions.

Allah the Almighty states:

“And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace.” (25; 63)

“And do not go about in the land exultingly, for you cannot cut through the earth nor reach the mountains in height.” (17; 37)

“And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting over much; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster;” (31; 18)

In these verses, walking arrogantly and swaggering is clearly prohibited. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) always walked fast and his eyes fixed on the ground like going down a hill. This was a manifestation of his humility. In fact, this good behavior has become one of the principles of the Sufis, in which they referred to as “nazar ber qadem – one’s eyes fixed on his feet.”


Q – What things do women need to pay attention to in order to protect their families’ peace and happiness?

First of all, women need to be careful about their service to Allah and to be devout. In this respect they need to pay attention to their prayers and worship in addition to being sensitive about what is lawful and what is prohibited in Islam.

A woman’s piety should manifest in her family through encouraging her husband, her children, her relatives and even her neighbors to give charity and perform good deeds. A pious woman is like a sweet-smelling flower of Paradise!

The most important task of a woman, after service to Allah, is to make her husband and her other family members happy. Making her husband happy and not shadowing the happiness of the family will grant a wife the contentment of Allah the Almighty. In fact the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says in this regard:

Pious Woman

A pious woman makes her husband happy when he looks at her face; she fulfills her husband’s licit requests and when he is away from her, she protects his property and honor. (Ibn Maja, Nikah, 5/1857)

Therefore a pious woman looks for ways to make her family happy and she finds them.

Q – Can we elaborate this matter a little more? To what things does a wife need to pay most attention in her daily life and in her house?

At home she must take great care of herself. She needs to be clean and well-groomed. Being untended and dirty will make her husband lose his respect for her. A wife should stay away from all appearances that her husband does not like, because if a man cannot find what he looks for in a woman in his wife, his heart may turn toward what is inappropriate and prohibited, which will destroy the happiness and peace in the family. So a wise woman offers herself like a bouquet of flowers to her grateful husband. It is in her best interests that he look forward to being at home in the evening.

A pious woman should meet her husband at the door with a smiling face and in the morning should send him off to work with kind words and prayers. Even if her own day’s work has exhausted her, she should conceal her fatigue and not make a wry face in front of him. She should share her husband’s worries and help him to relax.

She should keep the counsel of her own emotions rather than disturb the tranquility of the house. Umm Sulaym (may Allah be pleased with her), a Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), gave an extraordinary example of such behavior. Even the death of her child did not overcome her compassion toward her husband. According to the narrative, Abu Talha’s son, who had been gravely ill, died when his father was not home. Umm Sulaym (may Allah be pleased with her) washed and enshrouded the body. She commanded the other members of the household, “Do not tell Abu Talha of his son’s death before I tell do.” When Abu Talha came home, he asked, “How is my son?”

Umm Sulaym (may Allah be pleased with her) replied, “His pains are relieved and I think he is resting right now.” Then she brought her husband dinner and after that they went to bed. In the morning, when Abu Talha wanted to go out, Umm Sulaym said, “Abu Talha! What do you think of what our neighbors did? I left something in their trust and they did not give it back when I asked for it.”

Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “They did wrong.”

Then Umm Sulaym said, “O Abu Talha! Your son was entrusted to you by Allah the Almighty. He has reclaimed His trust.”

For a while Abu Talha was baffled and quiet. Then he said, “We belong to Allah and to Allah we are continuously returning.”

When Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) went to the mosque for prayer, he told everything to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet prayed for them, “O Allah! Bestow your blessing upon them with regard to that night of theirs.”

Less than a year later, Allah granted the couple another son. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) took a date, chewed it, took some of it out of his mouth, put it into the child’s mouth and named him Abdullah – “Servant of Allah.” It is narrated that seven out of Abdullah’s nine children memorized the whole Qur’an as a result of the blessings of the aforementioned prayer. (Bukhari, Jana’iz, 42: Aqiqa, 1; Muslim, Adab, 23: Fada’il al-Sahaba, 107).

Q – What other things does a wife need to be careful about in her relations with her husband?

She should never neglect her husband and never put him in second place among the members of the family. A normal man cannot accept to be in second place, for that is against his nature. Continue reading

When she spoke, spoke nothing but verses from the Qur’an…

Taqwa means protecting the heart from anything other than Allah or anything that distances one from Allah so that the heart becomes a mirror of beautiful manifestations. The following story is very telling in showing the piety of a woman who, when she spoke, spoke nothing but verses from the Qur’an out of fear of falling into sin:

Abdullah bin Mubarak (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates:

One time I had set out with the aim of performing the hajj at Allah’s Sacred House, the Kabah and visiting the tomb of the Prophet e, when I saw something black in the middle of the road. I looked carefully and saw that it was a woman with a cloak made of wool on her back and a veil of wool over her head… I greeted her:

“Asalamu alaykum wa rahmetullahi wa barakatuhu (May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you)”.

She replied from chapter Yasin of the Qur’an:
“Peace!” A word from a Merciful Lord”.

“May Allah bring you good! What are you doing here?” he I asked.

She replied with the 186th verse of Chapter A’raf:
“If Allah misguides people, no one can guide them”.

I realised that she had lost her way. So I asked her:
“Where do you want to go?”

She replied with a portion of the first verse of Chapter Isra:
“Glory be to Him who took His slave on a journey by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa”.

I understood that she had made the pilgrimage and wanted to go to Jerusalem. I asked her:
“How many days have you been here?

She replied with the 10th verse of Chapter Mariam:
“For three nights despite the fact that you are perfectly able”.

“Don’t you have anything to eat” I asked her

She read the 79th verse of the chapter Shu’ara:
“He who gives me food and gives me drink”.

“How can you perform the ablution in this dry desert?” I asked her

She replied with the 43rd verse of Chapter Nisa:“(If) you cannot find any water, then do tayammum [*] [cleanse yourself] with pure earth”.

“I have something to eat with me. Would you like to eat?” I asked.

She responded with a part of the 187th verse of chapter Baqara: “…then fulfil the fast until the night appears”.

“This is not the month of Ramadan” I said.

She answered with a portion of the 158th verse of chapter Baqara:“If anyone spontaneously does good, Allah is All-Thankful, All-Knowing”.

“To break the fast is permissible when you are on a journey” I said.

She responded with a part of the 184th verse of chapter Baqara: “But that you should fast is better for you, if you only knew”.

“Why don’t you speak to me in the way that I am speaking to you?” I asked her.

She answered by reading the 18th verse of chapter Qaf:
“He does not utter a single word, without a watcher by him, pen in hand!”

“Shall I let you mount my camel and take you to your tribe” I asked her.

She replied with a portion of verse 197 from chapter Baqara: “Whatever good you do, Allah knows it”.

I got my camel ready for her to mount it.

She read a part of the 30th verse of chapter Nur: “Say to the believers that they should lower their eyes”.

While she climbed up onto the camel, she read a portion of the 13th and 14th verses of chapter Zuhruf: “Glory be to Him who has subjected this to us. We could never have done it by ourselves”.

When we started moving she read from the 20th verse of Chapter Muzemmil:
“Recite as much of the Qur’an as is easy for you”.

Inspired by the 269th verse of chapter Baqara I then said:
“He who has been given wisdom has been given great good”.
I said to her: “You have been given much good”.

She finished this verse:

“But no one pays heed but people of intelligence”.

At last we reached her caravan. “Here is your caravan. Who do you have in it?” I asked

She read from the 46th verse of Chapter Kahf:
“Wealth and sons are the embellishment of the life of this world”.

I understood that she had sons in the group. I asked: “What is their role in the pilgrimage group?

She read the 16th verse of chapter Nahl:
“As well as other means of orientation; for it is by the stars that men find their way”.

I understood that her sons were the guides of the caravan. Indicating the tents and I asked her: “Which of them are your sons?

She answered:“Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend, and Allah spoke directly to Musa. Yahya, take hold of the Book with vigour”.

I then shouted to the caravan: “O Ibrahim, O Musa, O Yahya”. Three young men radiant as the moon came out. When they came and sat down, their mother recited to them from the 9th verse of Chapter Kahf:
“Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat”. (Kahf, 50:19)

One of the young men went to purchase something to eat and placed it in front of them. The women read the following verse from Chapter Haqqa:
“Eat and drink with relish for what you did before in days gone by!” (69:24)

I said to the sons of the woman: “May your food be unlawful for me if you do not inform me of your mother’s state”.

Upon this the young men said:
“For 40 years now, this here our mother has spoken nothing but verses from the Qur’an out of fear of falling into error before Allah, the Most Merciful”.

I then read from Chapter Jumu’ah:
“That is Allah’s favour which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah’s favour is indeed immense” (62:4)

Subhan Allah

Q – To what issues should young Muslim men and women pay particular attention in order to safeguard the soundness of their family?

We should know that a society rises on the shoulders of its male members, but that its female members also produce its ascension. Without the help of men and women alike, no development or ascent can be achieved. A man who is unhappy at home cannot be successful at work. Consequently we can say that a nation develops through the maturity and experience of its women. The opposite of this is also correct: a nation loses its power and value through the degradation of its female members. History teems with examples. That is why every community needs healthy families.

Although human beings are created with the most perfect of natures, the manifestation of our perfection in a developed personality can be achieved only in a healthy family environment. The family is the primary place where the human personality is educated. Only with a proper education can souls reach lofty spiritual states and stations. We can take lessons from the lives of the prophets and from the lives of the saints.

Felicity and joy in a family depend on mutual respect and understanding between the parties and on the observation of each other’s rights. It is also very important to comprehend the meaning of the verse ittaqu Allah – “be mindful of Allah!” (Qur’an 2: 194) – if happiness in the family is to be achieved.

Our world can become a paradise if the rights of women are observed; and it can also turn into a hell as a result of the violation of their rights. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expressed the significance of women’s rights in his farewell sermon:

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.” (Bukhari, Mukhtasar, X, 398)

Preventing women from raising righteous generations by forcing them into unsuitable occupations is a great mistake. Happiness in a family can be achieved only by employing and protecting both men’s and women’s abilities in the occupations that best fulfill their natures.


Islam affirms the importance of marriages undertaken for the sake of lofty ideals. Marriage has two dimensions, worldly and spiritual. We must be serious and careful in order to make our families functional in both dimensions. It is all too easy for marriage to become one-dimensional. Unfortunately, this kind of marriage often ends up in an unhappy divorce, or continues as a chain of agony until the end of life. Naturally these are not the results we desire when getting married!

Divorce is depicted in one of the sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as an incident which shakes Allah’s throne:

“Marry and do not divorce, for verily divorce causes the throne of Allah to shake…” (`Ali al-Muttaqi, IX, 1161/27874)

For a man to divorce a woman merely for his own convenience and pleasure is oppression and great sin, which is certainly prohibited in Islam. It is violating another servant’s right, which will lead to eternal disappointment and destruction.

Divorce often follows from arbitrarily and carelessly performed marriages and it has countless pitiful results. The worst and the severest of these results befall the children. Children who see no warmth in their families and are exposed to frequent abuses from their parents, who are supposed to be their role models, live at the mercy of the streets. Sometimes they run away from their homes and start living in the streets; they shortly fall into the web of alcohol, narcotics, prostitution and crime. This prepares the ground for social destruction.

Of course, there are times when divorce is the only reasonable option. Catholic marriages can never be annulled and must be continued no matter how miserable the parties are. Islamic marriages, by contrast, are contracts and there are legal provisions for terminating contracts when necessary. Every agreement can be superseded by another agreement. If there were no way out of a failed marriage, the couple’s life would be torture. Family unity would be no better than slavery.

Spouses who cannot find solutions to their problems become desperate and may not see situations clearly. This is why Islam allows divorce, but in principle assigns the right of divorce to men, on the theory that they are likely to act more resolutely than women. However, if it has been previously stipulated in the marriage contract, there is no obstacle to giving the right of divorce to women as well. This is known in Islamic law as tafwid al-talaq. Even if the right of divorce has not been given to the wife in the marriage contract, under some circumstances she can still appeal to a court for divorce.

In order to avoid unnecessary divorce, men and women should appreciate each other’s significance and respect each other. Memories, happy moments, welfare, tranquility and all the pleasurable things in life can be achieved under the shadow of divine wisdom. Success will manifest itself through mutual fidelity and sincerity. It is stated in the sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

“When a man wakes up at night, wakens his wife and they pray two cycles of formal prayer together, they are recorded among the men and women who make much mention of Allah.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu`, 18; Witr, 13)

“May Allah show mercy to a man who gets up during the night and prays, who wakens his wife and she prays; if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. May Allah show mercy to a woman who gets up during the night and prays, who wakens her husband and he prays; if he refuses she sprinkles water on his face.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu`, 17; Witr, 12)

According to the aforementioned Prophetic sayings we can conclude that happiness in a family depends on two great principles:
1. Sincerity of the both parties
2. Mutual encouragement to piety.

Dear Lord! Bestow upon us and upon our families a pious life with which You are content. Make our homes a Paradise of felicity and blessings. Protect our homes from being a scene from Hell. Amin!


-An Excerpt from “A Peaceful Home-Paradise on Earth”

Q – In our society, young people who plan to get married first spend time being engaged.. They face several problems during this period. What do the parties need to be careful about during their engagement?

The central issue, as we have been trying to explain, is the necessity of building a family upon a strong and healthy foundation. This principle must be kept in mind not just during the engagement period, but in every phase of the establishment of the family. Divine rules and measure must be observed at every stage. Unfortunately, in our time some couples see the engagement as permission to act as if they were already married. This leads to a number of irreparable mistakes and to broken hearts.

We do need to remember that the engagement stage is just the period of agreement to marriage. It is not marriage itself and during the engagement period parties are still unlawful to each other. Therefore they must be careful about the divine limits. In short, engaged couples should not meet privately in secluded places and talk more than they are supposed to before the marriage! Today we witness the devastation caused by this type of carrying on.

In this regard I would like to remind you of the following narration of Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him):

Allah the Almighty created Eve from a rib from the left side of Adam. During her creation Adam (peace and blessings be upon him) was asleep. When he woke up and saw Eve next to him, he fell in love with her and wanted to hold her. Angels said, “O Adam! Do not touch her. You have not been married yet.” Then they got married and for her marriage portion they agreed upon uttering three praises for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

This was the beginning of the marriage agreement before Allah. Thus with the praise of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the marriage agreement gains a sublime meaning and teems with blessings and manifestations of mercy.


– An Excerpt from “A Peaceful Home-Paradise on Earth”