The Final Ruling of the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhum)

THE SAHAABAH

The imperative need to follow the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in understanding the Sunnah can never be over-emphasised. The Sahaabah of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) represent the pivot upon which the Wheel of Islam revolves. The Sahaabah are the fundamental basis, the foundations on which the super-structure of the Shariah has been raised. The Sahaabah cannot be divorced from the Sunnah and vice versa. Without the reports, comments, interpretations and rulings of the Sahaabah it is not possible to understand the Qur’aan and the sacred utterances and practical acts of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

In view of the pivotal and fundamental importance and indispensibitity of the Sahaabah in relation to Imaan and Islam, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) declared:

“Adhere compulsorily to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly -guided Khulafa.”

“My Sahaabah are like the Stars (of Guidance). . . .”

In Muatta Imaam Maalik, the following Hadith appears: “Verily, Allah Ta’ala gazed into the hearts of His servants and chose Muhammad whom He sent with His Message. Allah then gazed at the hearts of His servants and chose for Muhammad companions. Thus Allah made these Sahaabah of Muhammad the Helpers and the Ministers of the Deen. “

Just as Allah Ta’ala has created the Sahaabah to be the first helpers and ministers of the Deen so too will He establish them as our leaders on the Day of Qiyaamah. Thus, Rasulullah {sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “On the Day of Oiyaamah my Sahaabah will be raised as Leaders and as Lights for the people of the respective lands wherein they had died.”

Beacons of Light and Guidance they were here on earth and beacons of light will they be in the Aakhirah There is no Islam without the Sahaabah. There is no Ummah without them. No man or woman who claims to be an adherent of Islam can ever become indifferent to the Sahaabah. No Muslim can claim independence from these illustrious souls, these men of Imaan and Knowledge who adorned the firmament of Truth and Imaan. There are numerous exhortations and commands of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) decreeing obedience to the Sahaabah. The few cited above will suffice for this concise refutation of the modernist’s view that Islam permits women to participate in congregational acts of Ibaadah in public places.

It will be appropriate here to indicate the status which the Qur’aan-e-Hakeem confers to the Sahaabah. In one aayat, the Qur’aan states: “Believe like the people have believed ” .

In the tafseer of this aayat, the authoritative Mufassireen say that the term, Naas (people) mentioned here refers to the Sahaabah. The high degree of the Imaan of the Sahaabah is declared by implication in this verse. Since they are our guides, the Qur’aan compels us to believe like the Sahaabah had believed. Our Imaan and our A’maal (deeds) have necessarily to be in the mould cast by the Sahaabah.

In another aayat, praising the Sahaabah, Allah Ta’ala says: “They (the Sahaabah) are the ones who have received guidance.” “They (the Sahaabah) are those who have taken precedence and were the first (to accept Islam}, among the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, and those who have followed with belief. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well -pleased with Allah.”

Numerous verses in the Qur’aan Majeed extol the virtues and the lofty rank of the Sahaabah. However, this brief refutation of the baatil view regarding the permissibility of women going to the Musjid propounded by men gone astray, does not require the enumeration of all the Quraanic aayaat dealing with the Sahaabah and the imperative need for the Ummah to follow them.

 

THE BAATIL (BASELESS) VIEW

Sheikh/Maulana Adam Moosa Makda of Zimbabwe asserts that it is perfectly permissible for Muslim women to go to the Musjid for Juma’ Salaat. In his pamphlet on this question, he presents his baatil view as follows:

“It is clear, therefore, that Muslim women have the undeniable right to attend congregational prayers in a Masjid. Based on this right of the Muslim women to participate in congregational Ibaadat and Taa’leem in a Masjid it becomes essential for every Masjid (Baitullah – The House of Allah} to provide equal but separate facilities for Muslim women to exercise their Islamic duties of IBAADAT and IMPROVING THEIR KNOW LEDGE OF ISLAM.”

Let Sheikh/Maulana Makda tell us more about this “undeniable right” supposedly enjoyed by Muslim women. Since when has this supposed right been ordained? Did the Sahaabah have knowledge of this supposed “undeniable right”? Did the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen have knowledge of this right? Did the Fuqaha of the Khairul Quroon era know of this “right” which  Maulana/Sheikh Makda has sought to confer on Muslim women in this belated age of corruption, vice and immorality? If these august personalities and authorities of Islam had acknowledged this contended “undeniable right” of women to attend the Mus|id, can the modernist bring forward his Shar’i proof? Without the slightest fear of contradiction we declare that never will anyone be able to prove on the basis of Shar’i evidence that women possess an undeniable right to attend the Musjid for Salaat or Ta’leem. The “undeniable right” which modernists seek to give Shar’i sanction is a figment of their imagination–an imagination belaboured with western influence.

 

THE SAHAABAH AND THE IMAGINED UNDENIABLE RIGHT OF WOMEN

If women did in fact enjoy any such undeniable right as the modernist contends, the Sahaabah would have been the first to have recognised it. It is inconceivable that the first set of Authorities of Islam, the direct students and disciples of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had failed to recognize the supposed right. It is absurd and blasphemous to even entertain the idea that the Sahaabah abrogated or ignored the asserted right inspite of having had knowledge of it. Only Shiahs ore capable of piling such slander against the Sahaabah.

The rulings and the practical example of the Sahaabah demonstrate conclusively that women do not possess any undeniable right to execute acts of Ibaadaat in the Musjid. How can they ever possess such a right and how can men of intelligence ever confer to them such a right when the Qur’aan Majeed commands women: “And, remain glued inside your homes …”?

Is Sheikh/ Maulana Makda aware of the Sahaabah’s attitude on this question? If he was, we are certain that he would not have ventured to put across such a baseless claim — a claim which has absolutely no Shar’i sanction. Men of Knowledge should know what they are speaking about. They should be far-sighted. They must be alert and realize the consequences and implications of the statements they make in the name of the Shariah. The Shariah cannot be trifled with. It is not an object to be toyed with. It cannot be submitted to wishful thinking and battered about to eke out confirmation for personal opinion, whims and desires. Let us now see the attitude of the Sahaabah in regard to this right which Maulana/Sheikh Makda has innovated for women of this twentieth century.

Every Muslim knows or should know who Aishah (radhiallahu anha) was. Every Muslim woman who desires to follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will take cognizance of the ruling of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha), the beloved wife of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and a great Faqeehah and authority of Islam. After all, there can be no woman living today who can ever hope to have a better understanding of this question than Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha). Can Maulana/Sheikh Makda claim that he has understood the question of women’s lbaadat congregationally outside the home better than what Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha) did? What is Aisha’s view regarding the contended undeniable right?

In Muatta Imam Maalik the following narration appears: “Yahya Ibn Saeed narrates from Umrah Binti Abdur Rahman that Aishah (radhiallahu anha) said: ‘If Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had observed that which women have now introduced (i.e. after the demise of Rasulullah), he would most certainly have prevented them from attending the Musjid just as the women of Bani Israeel were prevented.” Yahya enquired: ‘What, were the women of Bani Israeel prevented from the Musaajid?’ Umrah replied. ‘Yes.’

When Ameerul Mu’mineen Hadhrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu) finally enacted the prohibition to prevent women from going to the Musjid, they complained to Aishah (radhiallahu anha). Answering their complaint, Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha) said: “If Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had known what Umar now knows (of the condition of women), he would not have granted you permission to emerge (i.e. to leave your homes and come to the Musjid for Salaat).” (Jaamiur Rumooz)

It is, thus, abundantly clear that Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha) did not recognize women to have any undeniable right to attend the Musjid. A permissible act restricted by numerous conditions – a permissible act which is discouraged even by the one who grants the permission – cannot be interpreted as an undeniable right. If it was an undeniable right, the Sahaabah would have been the very first people who would have recognized the right. If women had enjoyed any such inviolable right as the modernist asserts, the Sahaabah would never have prohibited women from the Musjid. The very fact that such a prohibition was enacted by the Sahaabah—by the most senior Sahaabah— in the very age described as the noblest of ages by Rasulullah {sallallahu alayhi wasallam), is ample refutation of the baatil view propounded by the votaries of female emergence from the home. When the Sahaabah did not recognize the right about which the modernist speaks, then it is clear that the supposed undeniable right of women to attend the Musjid is a mere figment of the  Sheik’s or Maulana’s imagination. Arabi in his Sharhut Tirmizi states:

“Aishah {radhiallahu anha) and Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu} are of the opinion that women should be prevented from the Musjids and that they should necessarily cling to the dark corners of their home {when performing Salaat).”

Maulana/Sheikh Makda should not expect the Ummah to accept that he has understood this question better than Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha) or better than the Fuqaha of Islam. He must not assume that his personal interpretation of the ahadith pertaining to permissibility constitutes a basis for enacting a Shar’i mas’alah. His personal interpretation of the ahadith in question is utterly devoid of substance and can never be tendered for obtaining an abrogation of the rulings of the Sahaabah and Fuqaha. When one sets aside the authority of the Sahaabah, one is bound to drift far far from Seeraatul Mustaqeem. This is precisely what is happening to modernists who present their unbridled and unfounded interpretations in opposition to the interpretations and rulings of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam. Aatikah (radhiallahu anha), the wife of Hadhrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu), explaining her reason for having discontinued her practice of attending the Musjid said: “We used to come out when people were yet people.” (Laamiud Duraari)

Hadhrat Aatikah’s attitude indicates that the practice of women attending Musjid was discontinued in the early stages of Islam. Amr Shaibaani narrates that he saw Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu) expelling women from the Musjid on the Day of Juma’ (Majmauz Zawaaid). Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud {radhiallahu anhu) was a top-ranking Sahaabi among those Sahaabah who were considered to be the Ulama. His action of expelling women from the Musjid was directed to achieve the complete discontinuance of the early practice of women visiting the Musjid. His action further refutes the claim that women possess the “undeniable right” to attend the Musjid.

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) would go to the extent of pelting women with pebbles on Fridays in his effort to prevent them from the Musjid. Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud, Hadhrat Ibn Umar, Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anhum) and the Sahaabah in general firmly forbade women from the Musjid. How is it possible that these illustrious Sahaabah were unaware of the “undeniable right” of women to attend the Musjid supposed by Sheikh/Maulana Makda? It is abundantly clear from the statements and actions of the Sahaabah that women possess no such right as Sheikh/Maulana Makda imagines.