Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
What is sisterhood in Islam and how do we practically speaking, keep our Sisterhood alive? Ustadha Fatima Barkatulla gives practical advice from the Qur’an and Sunnah as to how to keep sisterhood strong & vibrant and how to avoid pitfalls in our relationships with our sisters in Islam.
Allah Muhammad Ali,
indeed All praise is due to Allah praising, we seek his help, and we seek His guidance.
We seek protection in a lot from the evil of ourselves, and from the evil consequences of our actions, whomsoever a lot of guys, 90 can miss and whomsoever leads astray.
I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship a lot without any partners. They know that Mr. Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
This is a salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa you're welcome to
keeping the sisterhood alive. When I was thinking about this topic, I thought,
there must be someone in each of our lives. If I was to ask you to just look back in your life and think of all the faces of all of the sisters, the Muslim sisters who touch your life in some way. I'm sure each and every one of us could name some very special people.
Looking back myself, I remember I was when I was 16 years old. I was a lonely student in Cairo. It was the first time that I'd moved away from my parents couldn't cook. I didn't know Arabic. I got lost every day. Yeah, I couldn't cook. That was the main thing.
I didn't have much company, I was the first time I was away from my family. And to be honest, I soaked to a level
in myself in my mind that he like, where I would never like to inshallah pray and never seek to ever again.
until Allah Subhana, Allah said, two very special sisters my way.
The names were.
And they were from Berlin. I'd never met them before. We just happen to meet in Cairo one day,
these two sisters reached out to me. And they brought me back to Thailand, as the only way I can really describe it.
They befriended me, they cared about me. They were older than me. And they were very forgiving towards me. And my little, you know, teenage idiosyncrasies. They laughed with me, they spent their money on me, they inspired me.
And they forced me to take a long, hard look at myself, and make some serious changes. And for that, I'm indebted to them. In fact,
if it wasn't for that sisterhood, if it wasn't for that relationship, I lost my way. I don't think I would even be standing here in front of you today. And I don't think that they realized how important they were actually, you know, and what impact they they really had. Now, they didn't do this, because I was a relative of theirs. Well, because I came from the same country as them all because I came from the same background or tribe, whatever, they would gain anything at all. They did it simply because I was assisted in Islam.
So my sister's one of the greatest blessings that last Canada has given us is the sisterhood that we enjoy, and sometimes you don't even realize it. This sisterhood is a huge blessing directly from Allah.
Because what other nation can say that they could travel? I feel confident about this. I could travel to any country on this earth. And in any country on this earth, I could find a sister
who would feed me who would take me in.
She can speak a completely different language. She may dress differently.
And yet there's something in our hearts that is connected. Our heart speak the same language.
She's our Muslim sister.
As soon as you say,
Hello, the connection is there. The Love Is that what other community or nation on earth can claim to be able to do that?
When I was about 17 years old, I tried to test this theory of mine out.
And I packed nothing but the clothes I was wearing. And I traveled to Jerusalem, from Cairo.
And I went there completely 100 100% confident that I would find somebody there
would help me in some way, you know, help me find the place. And surely enough, we stayed there for 10 days in the house of a lady who just met Palestinian lady, and, you know, they fed us and bites by the elevator, we were kind of hoping they wouldn't take us to all the different places they wanted to take us to meet all the different aunties and uncles and their families. But the love that they expressed towards us was so overwhelming. And that just confirmed to me that, yes, we could go to any country on Earth, and we would find sisters, and we'll find a home.
This sisterhood is a God given gifts. It can't be manufactured.
I was tired of the other talks about the brotherhood and sisterhood in the Quran.
Now, even the government is asking, and people ask, what is it about you Muslims, that connects you? With the heart of
a mother in Syria? Why is it that you cry? When you hear about the plight of your sisters in Gaza? Why do you care so much? You know, why do people care so much that they would actually travel leave the comfort of their homes, and travel for humanitarian purposes, all the way to a place where they kind of really don't know what they're going to be expected? What is it that binds us?
And many of the Muslim sisters that I've met, they often say to me that they never experienced sisterhood, or connection with women, the way they did when they when they became a Muslim.
I know a number of sisters who you know, on their journey to design, they can go to two different religions, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, they tried out lots of different things. They said they never found love and sisterhood the way they did. You became Muslim. Allah Subhana, Allah tells us what to do become low and all the journey I'm less available to be him when I came
was this as he brought together their hearts, if you had stayed all that is in on Earth, all the wealth that's on Earth, you would not have been able to bring their hearts together. But Allah brought them together. Indeed, he is Exalted in Might and Wise.
And Islamic made it so conducive.
For us to have a strong system. There's little things that we sometimes take for granted. I'm just gonna give you one little example.
A few months ago, we were at a wedding. And I was sitting with some sisters, and we're all really dressed up, you know, was segregated ready. And so I really dressed up there were some sisters were wearing, you know, strapless dresses, and really letting their hair down. And everyone was looking glamorous, everyone was admiring each other.
And there was no feeling of animosity or jealousy or negative kind of feeling. But there was some Converse was sitting with us. So the thought entered my head. I wonder if we actually feel as comfortable as we're feeling right now. If, you know, we were in a mixed gathering, if there was a menu here, if our husbands were here,
and also the conference, you know, what was it like, when you used to go to these kinds of functions, you know, weddings, parties, and you were with your husband, and there'll be other women all dressed up.
And a number of the Congress sisters said to me, that the word that they described to describe that environment with is that it was a toxic environment. They said,
subconsciously, every woman who was there would be kind of vying to get the attention of the men.
And each one of us, she said, was secretly without even kind of intending it, competing with
eye inside our hearts, we were, we had feelings of jealousy for each other.
And we were wondering, you know, who? Who's my husband talking to? And you know, what was he looking at. But we kind of had this rule that, you know, he can flirt as long as I can flirt.
And she said, It was only when I became a Muslim I, for the first time tasted true friendship, and started to enjoy the company of women.
So something very, very simple that we can take for granted.
The hikma of it is so great, that lots of how to Allah by removing the sexual tension from society from from the public sphere. That's what you know, segregation will not look into mingling freely, and wearing observing the rights, you know, parameters for dress as a last mindless student, that's what that really works to do, you know, take away the sexual tension from the public space. And through that, we get so much freedom, we don't even need it.
But in the age of social media, sometimes we can feel like we really, really connected with hundreds of people 1000s of people even and yet, we're not really even meeting them. We're not even fulfilling the basic rights of our sisters in Islam.
So I want to talk about how is it that we can teach truth systems, not virtual system but true sisterhood in the real world alive? I'm going to give seven key ways that I feel Charla from the ground sooner that we as a community can really work on these things, we will really bring the system to the life number one.
When you meet somebody, can we see your sister greet her with a smile
you know, firsthand, as a professor long way we used to do, one of the sides of your piano coming is that people will only say Salaam to people who they know.
You know, sometimes you walk down the street and you actually are glad to see
you guys see most of the time, but in northwest London, kind of happy to see and wisdom and then it feels like they they kind of try to avoid eye contact with you. For some reason, I don't know what the reason for that is.
We should be so happy. It's your chance to get advice from somebody. You know, when we say a salon what what are we saying? We're saying Peace be upon you. Safety. May Allah give you safety? Yeah, a salon.
A salon. We're saying my almost protection be upon you.
Which one of us does not want that for my sister.
So really, a lot of what we sell instead of should Salama Bella, spread the salon wherever you go. However, many times you have to say, say
smile in the face of your sister, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said no in the heartbeat in which he was telling us to every single joint about what he needs to make a subtle call every day. He showed us some really easy ways to give someone a car without even spending one penny of our wealth. He said smiling in the face of your brother is subtle. In fact, it was even reported to have said that way to Muslims need. And they Converse, Allah will forgive the one who has the most cheerful face. You don't know what effect you're just be cheerful with somebody could have on the day, practice now. I was sitting in one of the colleges locally. And a sister just wanted to suicide
never really met before wanted to talk to me. She just started a conversation. And I had a short conversation with her even though I had to go
and get out at the end of the conversation. She says to me, you've really made my day I was feeling so down today. And to me it was like such a little compensation didn't really I didn't think of it as that significant. You know, they think I'd had any particular effect, but you don't know the way that that system is feeling and how you could inject some happiness into her life.
Number two, having her son have been having her son as one of our sisters. That means having positive thoughts about people, you know, when there's two ways to interpret what your friend or what your sister in Islam has said. If there's two ways to interpret our behavior, choose the one that is positive way right because
Unfortunately, many of the problems that arise between sisters are because of the way we interpret what other sisters have say. So sister, for example, can even say something as nice as here look really nice today. And somebody who has a su advantage mentality, meaning they have negative thoughts about people would interpret that and say, What's she trying to say? But she's trying to say, I don't usually look nice, you know, you could interpret it in a negative way if you want to. But why would you want to do that, and a lot of the time, when you hear about issues that you're having, it's usually a simple case of interpretation, you know, this is tired, it's not that she was
ignoring you. One of my problems is I don't remember people's needs. And I'm always worried that they might think that I don't take you know, I'm not thinking of them as significant or something like that. Right? So, but we shouldn't have to be feel like that about our sisters, we should know that our sister is gonna think the best she's gonna she's not gonna, you know, read into my actions, she's not going to think negatively of things that I'm doing. So stop looking for reasons to be offended by your sister in Islam, but making negative and evil assumptions and having negative thoughts because a lot of times Allah again, says to us, yeah, you had learning in our language
study who can hear me and he says, Oh, you have believed, avoid this, you know, this negative assumptions, having a negative assumptions about people. And then he says, In
indeed, some of this negative kind of thinking is a sin. And then almost, Allah says, Well, I've adjusted to what you're about to compound on your head, I had to call my Yakuza coolala.
He says, Don't spy on one another. So we shouldn't be listening in on people's conversations, yet, he's dropping, because we can eavesdrop, you're probably not gonna get the proper idea of what was being talked about. It's a type of spying shouldn't be looking at people's messages and letters. These are not things that we should be doing to our Muslim system. And we'll talk about backbiting, and we'll talk about these things in a moment. But you see,
can you imagine even having a negative thought could be a sin? And that is if I mean, all of us have negative thoughts sometimes, don't we? But the key thing is not to allow those thoughts to take a grip, not to entertain those thoughts. So the first time you have a negative thought about a sister, or about somebody, or about anything, it's like a seed has dropped into some soil.
Now, if you were to think about it, analyze it, as more and more evidence to prove, you know, this negative thought that you're thinking is true. And that's like you're watering it, like a watering it, you're allowing it to take root, and you're allowing it to grow. And that is what the sin is. That's where the sin comes in. What you should do what she did is when we get those negative thoughts that anyone just take the seed and throw it out, throw that thought out, don't entertain it. Shake on is working hard to make you entertain it.
Number three, be Muslim. A Muslim
says in another room, Muna is one who
says the believers are a problem. So make soon make reconciliation between the brothers, what.
So what is it to be a translator? The believers are nothing else. But brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers and failed law that will be conscious of Allah so that you may receive mercy.
What is it to be
to be a Muslim needs to bring people together to be that glue to be that person who doesn't, you know, put a bridge between people, but it brings them together. And so power Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us that he is not a liar, who seeks to reconcile between people by saying good things. So in other words, you are even allowed. This is one of the one of the situations in which you're even allowed to live in order to bring people together. And what do I mean by that? So for example, you could say she wants to stop
sasara she was praising you the other day. You can say things like that, and say, you know, she, she really thinks highly of you. He really admires you, even if it's not true, just in order to bring their hearts together, if a sister is having some doubts about a lover, you can actually tell her things about that of his sister that will help to bring their hearts together and that's actually a good deal.
Praise considers praise worthy
and the opposite of that is backbiting in the Mima.
libo backbiting is to say something about somebody, even if it's true,
to say something true facts about somebody that they would not like you to say about them. Right? slander is, if you were to say something that's not true, that's even worse, but even saying the truth about something that they don't like, is evil in and of itself. And what about the Lima Now, sometimes just to fall into the meme of very easy, an amoeba is basically if you're having a conversation with the system, and you let her know that somebody else was talking about her in a way that she wouldn't like, right? Well, she was being mentioned somewhere in a way that she wouldn't like. And this is hail carrying this is the major sin. LIBOR is a major sin as well. And I mean,
what is even worse. So that's something we should really avoid. Even if you know that somebody has been talking about a sister shouldn't be letting her know that you should let her you know, ignorant ignorance is bliss, should let her feel that things are okay.
Otherwise, you'll fall into
one of the salad. He said when backbiting appears, brotherhood for a lot will disappear. And at that time, you will be like gold and silver plated objects wooden on the inside, and just looking nice on the outside.
So we need to create a culture where it's not acceptable for people to back by, we need to walk away from it. In order to preserve our own the being a Muslim also means not forsaking your system.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us the gates of Paradise are open on Monday and Thursday. And everyone who does not do share everyone who does not associate partners with a lot will be forgiven for those days except a person who has an argument with his brother or sister.
And it will be said wait to these two reconcile and the love returns between them. This is how much a lot of Allah dislikes discord between the believers, you know that it's completely wrong, to abandon your system to not speak to her for more than a maximum of three days.
And then, as the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, the first person to initiate the conversation, the first person to forgive is the one who is the better one. And you never think my sisters that by being the one who humbled themselves by being the one who says sorry, first, that your status is in some way diminish.
No loss. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, it doesn't reduce your wealth. Forgiveness only increases you in prestige. And whoever humbles themselves for the sake of Allah, Allah will raise them up.
So if Allah, Allah is promising you that the prophets are promising you, that alone will do that, have nothing to fear. You know, you're not saying sorry to that person, because you're trying to humbling yourself, for that person, you're humbling yourself for the sake of Allah because Allah Subhana Allah is watching. This is what it means to be Muslim, going to sleep every night without having the baggage of negative and, you know, horrible feelings and thoughts towards other people, just to give people a
number for visiting ancestors, so physically visiting them.
I'm sure all of us want to be one of the seven types of people who will be under the shade in the shade of Canada on your piano the day when there will be no other shade except a lot of shade. And this is such a simple and shallow way for us to be amongst those people. The Prophet sallallahu Sallam said to people who love one another for the sake of Allah meeting for the sake of courting for his sake. So they met for no other worldly reason not to set up a business or you're going to buy anything or to gain anything in this world. They only met because they love each other because of the bond or Islam that they have.
And that will mean that a lot of young people will actually call, where are the people who loved, who loved each other for my sake, let them be in my shape.
And when we do meet our sisters, we should give our sisters are divided attention. It's not, it's not giving somebody love, it's not fulfilling them right? As a sister, if, throughout the time that we're sailing with that person, we're constantly looking at our phone, we're constantly our mind is somewhere else, give people, the whole of yourself just like the Prophet sallallahu Sallam used to do the Sahaba used to think that they were the most beloved to him. You know, when he came to ask the prophets, Allah, Who is the most beloved person to you, you actually thought that the Prophet would say him. That's why he asked him, you actually thought that he would say it, because that's
how the Prophet said a loved one. It's so nice to make you feel.
But he said, I shall write. And then he said, Oh, from the men, because he's hoping that he's now going to mention him. He said, her father. So this harbor that used to feel so special in the company of nonprofits all along, but how else will we find out? If our system is in need? How else will we find out if she's ill? Or she's got some something in her life that's troubling her if we without visiting her, unless you visit her.
So visiting our sisters
choose system, which includes, and this is number five, enjoying the good and evil. Now this is an area that is a little bit uncomfortable, isn't it? Because at the moment, it feels like it is kind of a culture where we don't really want to correct people. We don't want to seem judgmental. And people say that, you know, they say, Look, I'm Who am I to judge, right? It's not, it's not about judging people. It's not about passing a fatwa on them or anything like that. It's simply as the Prophet sallallahu Sallam told us, the believer is the mirror of his brother, the believer is the brother of the Beaver. He protects him from ruin, and got his back. And I remember, I had a friend
who was from the Philippines. And she was like her. She's like an oppa, you know, like an older sister. And she was always telling me things that she thinks I'm doing wrong. And, you know, I mean, really nice way. But still, I was getting a little bit annoyed with her. And one day, she said to me,
if you have debt on your back, how are you going to know that you have debt on your back? If I don't tell you? And if I have debt on my back, how will I know if you don't tell me. So that is what being that is what enjoying the beauty of bidding evil is obviously doing it in a lovely way, in a really nice way. The best way, in the way that somebody who really loves somebody and wants the best for them would do. You can't force anybody to listen to your advice. But don't be Don't let us not make our community, the sort of community where nobody says anything to each other. Nobody even advises each other anymore. We should advice and then let them make the decision and don't spoil our
relationship with them. Number six, make bluff resistant absence.
The Muslims prayer for her absent sister or his absent brother will always be answered. In fact, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us there's an agent at your head when when you are making to ask for your brother or your sister in her absence. Who says
Allah you have likewise. So it's a harbor, when they wanted something, really, really to come through quickly, they would make bar for that thing for somebody else. It's one of the ways to get your guys answered very quickly. So we should make up for one another. And it's also one of the ways to remove envy from our hearts. Know when you feel some kind of jealousy or envy towards somebody, first of all, recognize that this is a blessing that a lot has given them. If you want that blessing, if you want a blessing like it, then forget about that person should be seeking it from Allah. nobody else's success. Nobody else having a blessing is going to stop you from having a
blessing. You can have that blessing, a lot of Allah is rich. Lots of Allah can give to whomsoever He wills. So instead of feeling any kind of envy should turn to Allah and asked him for exactly what we want. And we should make go after that person. Right? So we see something wonderful we say barakallahu li ke we say Masha Allah
categorical love made to ask for that person in the absence to make up for your sustained absence.
let us not keep our love to ourselves. Don't keep your love to yourself, tell your sister that you love her. The profits are love what is that and said, If any of you loves his brother,
Ben should inform him. And he said,
he said give gifts and you will increase in love for one another, you will love one another. So in other words, the feeling of love the feeling of love that you have told us the system, don't let it just be inside you express it in some way, express in some way that can be very simple gestures, like small gifts. And, you know by actually telling your sister I love you for the sake of Allah as the Sahaba used to allow the panel to help. taala asks on your piano, where are those who love each other for my sake, today and the day when there is no shade but mine, I shall shade them with my shade.
So I asked Allah Subhana Allah to make us of those who met today, for Allah sake, and report for Allah sake. And I'm just going to quickly remind you of the seven things number one, meet and greet your sister with a smile in the most positive and wonderful way that you can.
And number two, how personnel can have positive thoughts and positive interpretations of everything that your sister does and says number three, be loosely held between people make the environment conducive for good relationships between people. Number four, visit your system in Islam. And number five, truth sisterhood also includes enjoying the good and forbidding evil. Tell your sister when there's something wrong that she really needs to change.
And number six, maybe go after your sister in absence number seven, don't keep the love to yourself. Tell her sister that you love her for my sake. And
What have you not
a lot of affection in our hearts and set a right are matters between each other and guide us to the way of peace army from army. Charla with that I'll finish satanic alarm on behalf of the guard