Scholar: ´Allâmah Sâlih bin Fawzân al-Fawzân
Lecture: Risâlah ilâl-Mar’ah
Reference: Maktabah Darulhadith.com
Shaykh Fawzaan (hafidahullâh) said:
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allâh and may the blessings and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad and all of his family and companions.
In these two blessed Friday sermons, we have heard a lot of good by our preacher (Khatîb) –may Allâh grant him success. He spoke on one of the most serious issues, namely the issue of women.
O brothers! Allâh (subhânahu wa ta’âlâ) created the woman, just as the man, for a great duty in this life. Each got their (own) task. The men got their tasks and the women got their tasks. If each stick to their own task and fulfill it, the society would attain a great deal of good. If this order were to be shaken, a great deficiency would occur, just as you heard about the role of the woman in the pre-Islamic time of ignorance, as well as her role in the disbelieving countries of today and her role with the religious Muslims.
The woman is very important and that is why the prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered that she is well taken care of. He said in his Kutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah in connection to his farewell pilgrimage:
“Treat your women well, for they are captives with you.” (Ibn Mâjah 1851)
The prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to take good care of the women because they play an important role in the society. It’s not only about taking good care of them and giving them their due rights… this is obligatory, what is more important is to protect them from indecencies – the woman is weak as you know – and [to protect them from] trying appearances [i.e. fitnah] and letting them do whatever they want to do. This is the most important thing the prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered [in regards to women], namely that we protect them. Allâh (jalla wa ‘alâ) said:
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللّهُ
“Men are in charge of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allâh and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allâh orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.).” (The Qur’ân 4:34)
What does it mean that the man is in charge of the woman? Is it only about providing (for her) and justice? It is not only about that. His responsibility is (also) about something that is more important. He should namely protect this woman so that she doesn’t lose it, frees herself and [begins to] take shyness and chastity lightly. This is the greatest responsibility of the man in regards to the woman.
The “man” in the verse is not only referring to the husband. The man, whether it be her father, brother or some other guardian, is responsible for her and protects her. If it were to go to the length of him having to punish her, he then does it1:
وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ
“But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them.” (The Qur’ân 4:34, interpretation of the meanings)
The woman is thus in need of being under observation.
The enemies of Islam of these days concentrate on the issue of women. They know that she is the most serious matter in the society. They focus on her. They wage war against the chastity and honour and consider it to be oppression against women. If the woman sticks to chastity and honour, they say that she is deprived of liberty. The fact of the matter is that it is just at that time her freedom (liberty) is preserved (i.e. when she sticks to chastity and honour). She can feely obey Allâh, raise her children and fulfill that which Allâh has given her as a responsibility. She is as a shepherdess in the home of her husband and (is) responsible for her flock. This is her true freedom.
As for her freedom in nudity, indecencies in front of other people, flirtatious gait in the stores/shops and the ability to go wherever she wants to, then this is a type of slavery and not a freedom. It’s slavery to temptation and satan.
O servants of Allâh! Freedom lies in obeying and worshiping Allâh. Therein lies the glory of the soul and the honour of the human and their happiness in this life and the next one. The one who acts disobediently towards Allâh and his commands, whether it is about women or anything else, is one of the degraded slaves of the devils among the humans and the Jinns. It is slavery and not freedom.
We have to know this! We have to preserve our women among the wives, daughters and relatives. We have to cooperate in protecting them and to refrain from listening to this propaganda [by the Kuffâr in west]. The Kuffâr (disbelievers) are trying to eradicate Islam by all possible means. The greatest ways of destruction is to destroy the woman. Because the woman is the basis of the family and the home. If she is destroyed, the home and the family is destroyed as well. The daughters will be destroyed after having copied their destroyed mothers and relatives. Thus, we have to safeguard our women.
Even If the Kuffâr have been successful in degrading some Islamic countries, they will never – by the will and motion of Allâh – succeed in doing the same thing with this county, which is the country of the two holy mosques in which the revelation was sent down to and in which the messenger (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent. Herein are men who take care of her honour, even if some deluded men and women take this issue lightly. This country has men who safeguard their honour and the honour of their female relatives. You belong to them – in sha’ Allâh – and (those) who will initiate it.
We have to fear Allâh (subhânahu wa ta’âlâ) and live up to this great responsibility. If we do it, we’ll protect our homes, children, families and societies. She is thusly the basis. Thus, the enemy focuses on her. They are focused on the woman. They got her in a specific focus you are familiar with; in books, papers, magazines, newspapers, media, internet, and all other (possible) fields. They want this country to end up as the other countries so that the manners disappear and the honour gets lost. It will then become easy for the Kuffar (disbelievers) to eradicate Islam from its basis. The poet said:
‘The nations exist as long as their manners exist, when their manners vanish, so do they.’
If the manners disappear, then there is nothing left. The purpose of the manners is the honour, behavior, shyness and dignity. This is what the manners are (ahlâq). Another poet said:
‘I do not say that one should allow the women to show their faces as the men and to walk around in the shops, they have a lot of duties in their homes as the man who is the possessor of the sword and the spear.’2
The woman has her line of work and the man has his. If each of them does their suitable works, the society will then be good and the welfare will be complete. But if this order were to be shaken, the society would then become deficient. That is why the prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) cursed the masculine women and the feminine men. All of this just to preserve the woman and allow her to stay in her natural nature, religion, character and honour. The glory and honour should be protected and preserved. Read the chapter “an-Nûr” (of the Qur’ân). You will find therein how greatly and notably the women are protected with covering and permission before one enters into the homes. The same goes for the Sunnah. The prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forbade the woman from travelling alone without a Mahram and said:
“It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allâh and the Last day to travel without a Mahram.”
(al-Bukhari  and Muslim )
He forbade that she is alone in private with a man who’s not her Mahram and said:
“A man is not alone with a woman but that the Shaytân makes a third.” (at-Tirmidhi 1171)
He forbade the women from mixing with the men. That is why the women prayed with the Muslims behind the messenger of Allâh (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and behind the men in the mosque of the messenger of Allâh (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). They were so covered that no one could recognize them. They prayed behind the men. Herein is a proof that mixing is prohibited between both of the sexes. If a woman is not allowed to mix with men in the mosque, which is a place of worship and piousness, one can then ask how she would be allowed to mix with them in offices, amusement parks, parties, and markets. This matter is very serious. We’re surrounded by the enemy now and an ideological warfare. You are well aware of the ideological warfare that is taking place now. The Kuffar (disbelievers) are waging war against the Muslim countries with weapons, ideologies and all other means. We are, as I said before, surrounded by the enemy. We have to be observant.
If we are with Allâh, Allâh is with us. He said:
لَا تَخَافَا إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَى
“He (Allâh) said: “Fear not, verily! I am with you both, hearing and seeing.” (The Qur’ân 20:46)
If we are with Allâh, Allâh is then with us. And if Allâh is with us, nobody can hurt us:
لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا
“Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allâh is with us.” (The Qur’ân 9:40, interpretation of the meanings)
But who is Allâh with? Allâh is especially with the pious, those who do the right and the believers. We thusly have to be with Allâh (subhânahu wa ta’âlâ). The prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to Ibn ‘Abbâs [what means]:
“Boy! Take care of Allâh and He will take care of you. Take care of Allâh and you will find Him in front of you.”
We have to, as I said before, be with Allâh, obey Him and follow His commands and avoid His prohibitions for Him (subhânahu wa ta’âlâ) to be with us with His victory, His support and His help.
I ask Allâh for forgiveness and I repent before Him. And I ask Allâh to preserve us and you with His preservation and that He looks after us and you with His victory and help. And may the blessings and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad and all of his family and companions
1: What is intended here is not severe beating as is generally done in west by indecorous men, see Tafsir ibn Kathîr verse 4:34 for the explanation.
2: Obviously, the beauty of this poetical verse cannot be seen in the English language.