THE DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS OF
WOMEN FROM THE QURAN AND HADITH
Up to now, we have mentioned the stories of 100 women. The purpose of these stories was to show their good characteristics. We felt it would be suitable to quote Quranic verses and Ahadith which mention the characteristics of pious women, their praiseworthy mannerisms, and their status. When women read these and realize that Allah and His Rasul sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has specifically mentioned them, their hearts will be filled with joy and they will have a greater desire for good deeds and good characteristics, and even difficult matters will become easy for them.
Allah has said that those women who are Muslims, who put their iman in order, who are obedient, who give in charity, who fast, who protect their honour and chastity, who remember Allah abundantly – Allah has set aside forgiveness and a great reward for them.
Allah has said that pious women have the following qualities: they are obedient, and they protect their honour even if the husband is not at home. Allah has further stated that such women are good women, who are steadfast on the Shari’ah, whose beliefs are in order, who are obedient, if they commit any act that is contrary to the Shari’ah they repent immediately, who occupy themselves in the ‘ibadah of Allah, and who fast.
1. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Allah’s mercy descends on a woman who wakes up for
tahajjud and awakens her husband as well.”
2. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The woman who passes away in her virginity, while delivering a child or while in her nifas shall receive the status of a martyr.”
3. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The woman who loses three of her children and exercises
patience considering it to be an act of reward, will be entered into jannah.” A woman asked: “What if she only loses two children in this way?” He replied: “The reward for two is the same.” Another narration mentions that a Sahabi asked about one child and Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also mentioned a great reward for such a mother.
4. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The woman who miscarries, that child will draw its mother
towards jannah as long as she exercises patience hoping to be rewarded.”
5. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best possession is a pious wife: when the husband looks at her he is pleased with her, when he orders her to do something she obeys, when the husband goes out, she protects her honour and chastity and remains in her home.”
6. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Among the Arab women, the women of the Quraysh surpass all other women in two aspects: they are very compassionate to their children and they protect the wealth of their husbands.”
Lesson : We learn from this that women should possess these two characteristics. These days, women spend the wealth of their husbands very lavishly. They should display far more compassion and attention to reforming their habits and mannerisms than what they display for their children’s food and clothing. If they do not do this, their compassion and tenderness will be incomplete.
7. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Marry virgin women because their relationship with their husbands is soft and tender, and they are pleased with the minimum that is spent on them.”
Lesson : We learn from this that modesty, consideration and contentment are good characteristics in a woman. This does not mean that one should not marry widows. Instead, this is actually in praise of virgin women. There are certain Ahadith in which Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made du’a for a certain Sahabi for marrying a widow.
8. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “When a woman offers her five times salat, keeps the fasts of Ramadan, safeguards her honour, and obeys her husband; she can enter jannah from whichever door she wishes.”
Lesson : This means that if she is steadfast on the necessary forms of ‘ibadah, there is no need to engage in other forms of ‘ibadah which are very taxing. The status and reward that one receives for engaging in the other forms of ‘ibadah can be obtained by a woman by merely obeying her husband, tending to her children, and fulfilling her domestic tasks.
9. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The woman who passes away in such a state where her husband is pleased with her will enter jannah.”
10. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who has been blessed with four things has in fact been blessed with the treasures of this world and the hereafter. They are: a grateful heart, a tongue that remembers Allah, a body that exercises patience at the time of calamities and difficulties, a woman who does not cause any taint or blemish with regard to her honour and her husband’s wealth.”
Lesson : In other words, she should not lose her honour nor should she spend her husband’s wealth without obtaining his pleasure.
11. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “A noble and rich woman who is widowed and yet becomes dirty on account of serving and rearing her children to such an extent that they mature and live on their own or pass away, shall be close to me in jannah just as the index finger and middle finger are close to each other.”
Lesson : This does not mean that there is more reward for a woman to abstain from remarrying. What this means is that if a woman feels that by her remarrying, her children will go astray and she has no inclination towards beautifying herself and no desires, then this will be her status.
12. A person said to Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “O Rasulullah! A certain woman offers plenty of nafl salats, fasts abundantly and gives a lot in charity. However she causes much verbal harm to her
neighbours.” He replied: “She will go into jahannam.” The same person then said: “A certain woman does not offer many nafl salats, does not fast abundantly nor does she give a lot in charity; she merely gives pieces of panir (a type of cheese) in charity. However she does not cause any harm to her neighbours.” He replied: “She will go into jannah.”
13. A woman came to Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with two children, one she was carrying and the other she was holding by the hand. Upon seeing this scene, he said: “These women bear the children in their wombs, thereafter they give birth to them, and thereafter they display so much of love and compassion for them. Had their relationship with their husbands not been bad, and had they offered their salats regularly, they would have went directly into jannah.”
A selection of Ahadith from Kanzul ‘Ummal
1. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam addressed women and said: “Aren’t you pleased that when a woman falls pregnant through her husband and he is happy with her falling pregnant, she will receive a reward equal to a person fasting in the path of Allah and engaging in ‘ibadah at night in the path of Allah? When she experiences labour pains, the things which are kept in store for her and which will provide her with comfort are not known to all those in the heavens and the earth. Thereafter when the child is born, for every drop of milk that he drinks and each time that he sucks her breast, one reward will be recorded in her favour. When the mother has to wake up at night on account of the child, she will receive the reward of freeing 70 slaves in the path of Allah. O Salamat! Do you know who these women are? They are those who, despite being pious and delicately brought up, are obedient to their husbands and are not ungrateful to them.”
2. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “When a woman gives anything in charity from her husband’s
house without destroying it, she will be rewarded on account of her giving. The husband will also be rewarded because it is his hard-earned money. The person who has been entrusted to distribute the charity will also receive a similar reward. No one’s reward will decrease on account of the other.”
Lesson : A woman should not be under the misconception that if the income is the husband’s she would not receive any reward.
3. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O women! Your jihad is performing hajj.”
Lesson : Look at the concession that he has given. That is, by performing hajj, in which they do not have to bear the difficulties of jihad, they receive the reward of waging jihad which is the most difficult form of ‘ibadah.
4. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “There is no jihad on women, no jumu’ah, nor do they have to accompany the janazah.”
Lesson: Here again, look at the rewards that they receive by merely staying at home.
5. When Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took his wives on hajj, he said to them: “This hajj is sufficient for you. Now you must remain on your mats (i.e. in your homes).”
Lesson : This means that they should not undertake any journey without any dire need to do so.
6. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah loves the woman who has love and affection for her husband and safeguards herself from other men.”
Lesson : This means that she should not consider it below her dignity to express her love and adulation for her husband as is the habit of certain proud and haughty women.
7. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Women are also parts of men.”
Lesson : It is a well-known fact that Hawwa was created from Adam ‘alayhimas salam. The meaning of this Hadith is that rules that are applicable to men are applicable to women as well, except for certain specific rules.
Based on this, even if their virtues are not mentioned separately, then too there is nothing to complain about. The virtues for good deeds which are mentioned with regard to men are applicable to women as well.
8. Rasulullah saUallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah has prescribed jealousy for women and jihad for men. If a woman exercises patience with iman in the hope for reward on account of a certain action which may cause her to be jealous, such as her husband marrying a second wife, then she will receive the reward of a martyr.”
Lesson : Look at the great reward that a woman receives on account of a little self-control and patience as opposed to the man who has to undergo so many difficulties to receive that reward (i.e. the reward of a martyr).
9. Rasulullah saUallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “By doing your wife’s work you will receive the reward of
Lesson : Look at how the Shari’ah has shown you the ways of providing comfort to women. It has promised to reward you in such a way that every Muslim will provide comfort to his wife in the hope for this reward.
10. Rasulullah saUallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best woman is the one whom when her husband looks at her he is pleased with her, when he orders her to do something she obeys him, and she does not displease him by doing anything contrary regarding his wealth and honour.”
11. Rasulullah saUallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “May Allah have mercy on women who wear izar.”
Lesson : On account of purdah, wearing the izar is something that is natural to women. Despite this, Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has made du’a for such women. This is a great form of compassion towards women.
12. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The immorality of one woman is equal to the immorality of 1000 men. The piety of one pious woman is equal to the ‘ibadah of 70 ‘auliya’.”
Lesson : Look at the immense reward for a mere small act. If this is not in consideration of women then what is it?
13. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The fulfilling of domestic tasks by a woman can cause her to reach the stage of jihad – Insha’ Allah.”
Lesson : How marvellous! There is no end to the bounties of Allah Ta’ala.
14. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best woman among you is the one who is untainted with regard to her honour and chastity, and who loves her husband.”
Lesson: To love the husband is actually happiness of the heart. Despite this, there is virtue and reward in it.
15. A person said to Rasulullah saUallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “O Rasulullah! I have a wife. When I go to her, she says to me: ‘Welcome to my chief and the chief of my household.’ When she sees me sad and sorrowful, she says: Why are you worrying about the world? Your hereafter is being made easy for you.'” Upon hearing this, Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Inform her that she is from among all those who are working for Allah (i.e. doing good deeds) and she is receiving half the reward of those waging jihad.”
Lesson : Look at the immense reward she received for this insignificant gesture of hers (which caused comfort to her husband).
16. ‘Asma’ bint Yazid Ansariyyah relates that she addressed Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “O Rasulullah! I have been sent as an envoy by other women. They are saying that men have surpassed us on account of their attending the jumu ‘ah salat, congregational salat, visiting the sick, attending the janazah, hajj, ‘umrah, and defending the borders of the Islamic state.” He replied: “Go back to these women and inform them that for them to beautify themselves for their husbands or fulfil the marital relationships with them, to search for those things which will cause the husband to be pleased with them, and to be obedient to the husband equals all the above actions (which are carried out by men).”
17. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The reward that a woman receives from the time that she falls pregnant until she delivers the child and commences breast-feeding is equal to the person who is guarding the borders of the Islamic state and who has to be ever ready to wage jihad. If this woman dies in the course of this period, she will receive the reward of a martyr.”
18. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “When a woman breast-feeds her child, the reward that she receives for every sip is as if she has given life to a dead person. When she commences breast-feeding, an angel taps her on her back (a form of congratulation) and says to her: All your past sins are forgiven. Now whatever you do will be recorded from the very beginning.”‘
That is, the sins that you may commit will be written for the future. Minor sins are referred to in this context. However, having one’s minor sins forgiven is no small feat.
19. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O women! Remember that the pious among you will enter jannah before the pious men. (Later when their husbands will enter jannah) they (the pious women) will be given a bath, perfumed and then handed over to their husbands on red and yellow conveyances. They will have children with them who will be like scattered pearls.”
Lesson : O women! What greater virtue do you wish to have? You have already reached jannah before the men. Obviously, the prerequisite is that you should become pious and this is not difficult.
20. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The woman whose husband is not at home, and she
safeguards her honour, abandons beautifying herself, remains at home, abandons everything that is considered to be a form of beautification and offers salat with steadfastness will rise on the day of judgement as a virgin. If her husband was a true believer, she will be his wife in jannah. If he was not a true believer, e.g. if he passed away without iman, Allah will perform her nikah with a martyr.”
21. Abu Darda’ radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates: “My friend, Abul Qasim sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made me a bequest. He said: ‘Continue spending on your house folk according to your ability.'”
Lesson : Those who act miserly when it comes to spending on their wives despite being able to spend should ponder over this Hadith.
22. ‘Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu says: “A person will not become a manager over his house as long as he does not worry about how the house folk clothed themselves or how they extinguished the fire of hunger.”
Lesson : Those men who do not worry about their house folk due to their (men) selfishness should take a lesson from these words of Hadrat ‘Ali.
Additional Ahadith from Mishkat
23. Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Accept my advice of kindness towards women because they have been created from a rib….”
Lesson : In other words, do not expect to straighten them completely. Exercise patience over their lower understanding. Look at how we have been commanded to take them into consideration and be lenient towards them.
24. Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that a believing man should not despise a believing woman (i.e. his wife) because if he does not like a certain habit or trait of hers, he is bound to like some other habit of hers.
Lesson : In other words, he should think about this and thereby exercise patience.
25. ‘Abdullah bin Zam’ah narrates that Rasiilullah sallalldhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Do not strike your wife as you would your slave and thereafter engage in sexual intercourse with her at the end of the day.”
Lesson : In other words, if you do this, how will she show affection towards you?
26. Hakim bin Mu’awiyah narrates from his father that he said: “O Rasulullah! What rights do our wives have
over us?” He replied: “When you eat, you must also feed them. When you clothe yourself, you should also
clothe them. Do not strike them on their faces. If you have any quarrel with her, it should be left in the house.” In other words, if you have any quarrel with her, this quarrel should not go out of the house (or should not be mentioned to anyone).
27. Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasiilullah sallalldhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best among the believers is he whose character is the best. And the best among you is the one who is best with his wife.”
ADVICES FROM THE QURAN AND HADITH CONCERNING CERTAIN SHORTCOMINGS OF WOMEN
When we mentioned the good characteristics of women, one can deduce that there are certain shortcomings which are also found in them. These shortcomings cause a blemish on their piety and spirituality. We will mention these shortcomings which have been referred to by Allah and His Rasiil sallalldhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and regarding which they have advised against. In doing this, Inshd ‘ Allah, women will adopt a repugnance for these evil habits and thereby attain total piety.
Allah says that the women regarding whom you know will not obey you should first be advised. If they do not take heed, abstain from sleeping, sitting, etc. with them. If they still do not take heed, strike them. If they obey you thereafter, do not search for things in order to cause harm to them.
Lesson : We learn from this that it is a very evil practice to disobey the husband.
Allah says that when you walk, you should not stamp your feet on the ground causing the jewellery to tinkle, whereby strangers may able to deduce (who is walking, the age of the person, etc.).
Lesson : It is not permissible to wear tinkling jewellery at all. This verse is in reference to those that do not tinkle on their own, but do so when they touch other jewellery. One should understand well that if one has to be so cautious with regard to the feet (which constitute just a part of the body), how much more cautious a woman will have to be with regard to her voice and the exposure of her body.
1. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O women! I have seen many of you in jahannam.” They asked the reason for this. He replied: “You curse too much, you are ungrateful to your husbands, and when they give you anything, you despise it.”
2. A woman who was in the presence of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began cursing her fever (that she had contacted). He said: “Do not speak ill of your fever because your sins are forgiven because of this fever.”
3. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “If a woman who is in the habit of crying in a shouting manner does not repent from this action, she will rise on the day of judgement in such a state that oil will be wrapped around her body just as a dress is wrapped around her body. This oil will be such that it catches on fire very quickly and the entire body will be afflicted by scabies. In other words, she will receive two types of punishment – one is that her entire body will be covered with scabies, and the other is that the fire of jahannam will devour her.”
4. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O women! No neighbour should despise anything that her neighbour sends to her even though it may be the hoof of a sheep.”
Lesson : Many women have this evil habit of despising anything that is sent by their neighbours and cursing
them as well.
5. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “A woman was punished because of a cat. She had caught this cat and tied it up. She neither fed it nor let it free. It died panting (out of hunger and thirst).”
Lesson : Similarly, it is punishable for one to domesticate an animal and thereafter be negligent in feeding it and tending to it.
6. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Certain men and women engage in the ‘ibadah of Allah for sixty years. However, at the time of death they make a bequest (wasiyyah) that is contrary to the Shari’ah and thereby become eligible for jahannam.”
Lesson : For example, some people are in the habit of saying the following at the time of death: “A certain item of mine should be given to my grandson. Do not give it to my brother. The major portion of a certain item should be given to a certain daughter, while the other daughter should receive the lesser amount.” All this is haram. The masa’il related to bequests and inheritance should be found out from an ‘alim and acted upon. Never act contrary to that which the Shari’ah has prescribed.
7. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “A woman should not meet another woman in such a state that she describes her to her husband in such a way as if he is looking at her.”
8. Once, two of Rasulullah’s sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives were sitting with him. A blind Sahabi was approaching so he asked his wives to observe purdah. Out of surprise, both of them said: “He is blind!” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “But you are not blind, you can see him.”
9. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “When any woman causes distress to her husband in this world, the hoors of jannah who has been set aside for this person says: ‘May Allah destroy you. He is your guest, very soon he will leave you and come to us.”‘
10. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “I have not seen such women of jahannam who will be
wearing clothes but will in fact be naked, they will walk in a proud swaying manner, they will tie their hair in such a way that it appears to be plenty – like the hump of the camel – such women will not enter jannah, in fact they will not even get the fragrance of jannah.”
Lesson : This means that when the pious women will go into jannah, these women will not go with them. It is possible for them to enter jannah later, but only through the barakah of iman.
11. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “If a woman wears gold jewellery for show, she will be
punished with the same jewellery.”
12. Once Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was on a journey when he heard the voice of someone
cursing. He asked: “Who was that?” The people replied: “A certain woman who is cursing the animal that she is riding.” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Remove her from her camel and also remove all her possessions that are on it. According to her, this camel deserves to be cursed, so why is she using it?”
Note : Thus far, we have mentioned 5 Quranic verses and 52 Ahadith. At the beginning of this part, we
mentioned many noble characteristics of Rasiilullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is necessary to adopt them all the time. In the previous parts of Bahishti Zewar we mentioned various pious acts and words of advice in great detail. Bear all these in mind and practise them. ‘Insha ‘ Allah, you will attain great stages on the day of judgement. If not, you will meet the same fate as that of evil women. If at any time you are able to understand the Quran and Hadith, you will read incidents of many irreligious, evil-minded, disbelieving, and disobedient women. May Allah guide you and I to live like the pious, die among them, and be raised among them. ‘Amin.