Issue 131 » August 17, 2001 -




Surah al-Nisa'
The Women (4) - Ayah 19

"Live with your wives in a good manner. If you dislike them in any manner, it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good for you."


In this verse a believing man is being advised and admonished to be kind and patient in dealing with his wife, even if he sees something in her which he disapproves and dislikes. Both husband and wife should recognize that they are dealing with human beings with natural imperfections. As the Prophet (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) once beautifully put it:

"Let a believing man not dislike a believing woman. If something in her is displeasing to him, another trait may be pleasing."

This verse teaches us if the wife is either not beautiful or has some shortcoming because of which she does not seem attractive enough to her husband, the latter should not suddenly decide, in a fit of rage and disgust, to part with her! This is morally and Islamically unethical. Rather he should act with patience. One should remember the fact that before superficial and physical beauty comes the beauty of Iman (Faith) and Akhlaq (Character). If such a woman finds the opportunity to express her 'higher' and moral qualities, the same husband who may have been repelled by her, becomes captivated by her attractive conduct and manner.

It is in these times, such as ours, when majority of couples 'fall in love' just based on superficial and artificial physical attraction, and many of whom even end up separating as soon as their physical appetite is fulfilled, that we begin to appreciate these jewels of wisdom provided to us by Allah. We realize that in Islam, love and marriage is much more than mere outer looks. It is founded on trust, compassion, faith, sacrifice, character, kindness, God-consciousness (Taqwa) and mercy. It's very sad to see today when Muslim families search for a bride for their son, their first priority is to find "the most beautiful bride" possible. Similarly, when the families of the daughter analyze the proposals, their greatest wish is to get the "wealthiest man" possible. What use would money and beauty be to us, if their is no peace and faith in our homes? Even though wealth and beauty could be part of the criteria for selection, they could never be above Akhlaq and Taqwa.

It is interesting how Allah is warning us about the possibility of us hating something about our life partners which Allah Himself loves, and which may be of great benefit to us! The following two Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are of utmost significance for our age:

"Allah does not look at your bodies, nor does He look at your looks, but He scans your hearts and deeds." [Muslim]

"Marry and do not go about divorcing. For God does not like men and women who keep on changing partners merely for a change of taste." [al-Tabarani]

[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. II, and "The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, p. 204]


The Needy Bedouin

Once when the Messenger of Allah ('alayhi salaatu wa sallam) was offering Salah in Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque) when a Bedouin in need of help came. He went straight to the Prophet, held onto his shirt and began pleading, "O Rasulullah, come with me! I am in need. I want you to come right away or I fear I might forget it." The Prophet interrupted his Salah, went with him and attended to his need. He later returned to the Masjid and completed his Salah. Such was the compassion and self-lessness of our Last Messenger. [Bukhari, Vol. 14, p. 484]



Tarbiyah Based on Iman is the Foundation

  • Tarbiyah (education and training) is the basic and necessary approach for any Islamic movement that seeks to change the state of affairs by changing people themselves.
  • The point of focus in the field of tarbiyah should be the preparation of the Muslim vanguard who will aid the cause of Islam and who will represent in our age the role of the Prophet's Companions.
  • The foremost quality that members of this vanguard must have is Iman (faith), by which is meant the iman of the Quran and Sunnah; the iman that has over seventy branches of values and morals; the iman on which volumes have been written. Iman does not come about by wish or by pretence, it is what settles in the heart and is proved by acts.
  • So, what is meant here is not just the intellectual knowledge whose effect does not extend to the heart so that it may light it, or to the will, so that it may move it. Neither is it just filling the memory with words and terms such as Allah, Rabb, Deen, Ibadah, the different branches of tawheed, taghut, jahiliyyah, and then feeling proud that one possesses what makes a true believer and what constitutes yaqeen (perfect and absolute belief) and dragging others to arguments and verbal battles over these words and terms.
  • Neither argument nor verbal battles would yield a belief like that of Pharaoh's magicians when they believed in the Lord of Musa and Harun, or like that of the Prophet's Companions when they believed in the Messenger.
  • The required Iman is the one of the first generation as prescribed in the Quran and Sunnah. Only one verse from a surah in the Quran needs to be quoted here. It is the verse with which Allah answers the desert Arabs who said, 'we believe' while belief had not entered their hearts: "Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their wealth and their lives in the Cause of Allah. Such are the truthful ones." [Surah Al­Hujurat: 15].
  • It is also narrated in the hadith that the Prophet said, "Whosoever possess the following three qualities will find the sweetness of Iman: the one to whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than anything else; the one who loves a person only for the sake of Allah; and the one who hates to revert to kufr (disbelief) after Allah saved him from it as much as hating being thrown into Hellfire." [Bukhari, Muslim]
  • It may be enough for the common people who follow the leaders to have a half or even a quarter of iman, but the leading vanguard must have true Iman and should not be composed of 'half-believers' or 'quarter­believers'.
  • Imam Hassan al­Banna used to say to his students, "Give me twelve thousand believers, and I will conquer with them the mountains, cross the seas and invade the land."
  • But is this number enough to bring about the great hopes and realize the ambitious aspirations of the Islamic Ummah? I say yes, 12000 of true believers is enough! But I will also say that we will not do with 24000 half-believers or 48000 quarter-believers, or any of the 'fractions'of believers whom one stumbles upon as a result of their stupendous numbers but who can do nothing of use in times of need.
  • We want believers like the Ansar (Helpers) of Madinah, who were described as 'increasing in number at the time of war and decreasing at the time of distribution of the war booty'.
  • As for those who are many in numbers but of little use in reality and are no better than - as the Prophet stated - 'the scum of the torrent', they will never be fit to be in the leading vanguard, even if they are millions in number.
  • Tarbiyah based on Iman and Rabbaniyyah (godliness) is the first precondition for bringing up a generation that will defend the cause of Islam, as described in the Quran: "Believers, whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him ­ humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah and never afraid of the blame of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Knower." [Surah Al­Ma'ida: 54]
[from "Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi]


  • means to come back or to re-turn towards someone or something.
  • Tawbah on the part of humans signifies that he has given up his disobedience and has turned to submission and obedience to Allah.
  • The same word when used in respect to Allah means that He has mercifully turned to His repentant servant and that the latter has once again become an object of His compassionate attention.
  • Allah tells us all tuboo il Allah "turn back to Allah" so that you may be successful!