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Islam Elevates The Status of Women

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Friday Sermon

17 September 2021 / 10 Safar 1443H

Islam Elevates The Status of Women

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam,

Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.) by obeying all His commands, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions.

Brothers and sisters,

Islam emphasises for every person to seek good examples and role models for us to emulate. This is why the Quran is filled with various stories for us to learn from. For example, stories about those who receive God’s wrath are lessons to be avoided, whereas the stories of Prophets and pious men and women are for us to emulate.

When Allah (s.w.t.) encourages us to take these individuals as role models, it is our responsibility to study and reflect on the qualities and characteristics of the people who attained a high status in the sight of Allah (s.w.t.).

On this note, I would like to share the Quranic verses, where we can find the commandment of Allah to make certain individuals as our role models. Allah (s.w.t.) said:

Which means: “And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people. And the example of Maryam, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.” (Surah Al-Tahrim: 11-12).

Brothers and sisters,

At this moment in time, it is necessary for us to pause and reflect upon the important teaching behind these verses. Take heed, fellow Muslims, that Allah (s.w.t.) commanded every believer to take these two women as role models. If we study the life of these two noble individuals, we will find that they possess remarkable traits and characteristics. The Pharaoh's wife was endowed with fortitude, despite the challenges of living a religious life in a challenging environment. Similarly, Saidatina Maryam - the mother of Prophet Isa (a.s.) - remained steadfast in obeying Allah (s.w.t.). Both are ideal examples of the characteristics of patience and perseverance.

Brothers and sisters,

This is the teaching of Islam. A religion that allows both men and women the equal opportunity to attain a high rank in the sight of Allah.

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sent by Allah, he abolished all forms of cruelty, injustice and suffering against women. Their status and dignity were glorified. So much so that he reminded his people to always be kind to women.

Yet unfortunately, there are some individuals who ignore this message of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and misinterpret certain religious texts. Thus, due to this misinterpretation, they oppress women or feel that they are much better than women.

For example, misconceptions occur when some individuals read quranic verses or hadiths relating to the testimony and leadership of a woman and so on.

Brothers and sisters,

Here lies the importance of every believer to seek proper religious knowledge and understanding from a qualified teacher. This is to ensure that our religious understanding remains on the right path and safe from any misunderstanding. Thus, any interpretation of a religious text must remain guided by the main principles of this religion, which means there should be no oppression, violence and injustice.

Let us recall the message conveyed by the Prophet (s.a.w.) through the his last sermon regarding the responsibility of husband and wife in a household. The words of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) were: "Have taqwa in Allah in order to implement the rights of women, because you have taken them as wives in the form of the trust of Allah." (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim).

Let us all continue to deepen our religious knowledge under the guidance of a teacher. If we want to attain a better understanding on Islam and its teaching, let us refer to the experts from our credible Asatizah. Let us remember the words of Allah (s.w.t.) in surah al-Nahl verse 43:

Which means: “And We did not send before you, except the men to whom We revealed; then ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.

May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us true understanding of this religion and protect us from all misinterpretation. May Allah (s.w.t.) continue to bestow upon us His guidance and keep us on a straight path. Amin. Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.

أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم


Second Sermon


الْحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.

Brothers and Sisters,

Today, the Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin Foundation (RLAF) will hold a donation drive to help organizations that support persons with disabilities whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. Our donations would help them in facing these challenging times.

More information on the donation can be found at MUIS and the Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin Foundation (RLAF) websites. Let us lend a helping hand to this good cause. May Allah (s.w.t.) accept all our contributions and grant us a place in His paradise. Amin.

أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ الْعَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.

وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ، الْأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالْأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا الْبَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالْمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ الْبُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ، وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدْكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ يُعْطِكُمْ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ، وَاللهُ  يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ.