In a world where Muslim women are having difficulty forming an identity between their role as Muslim women and the contrasting expectations of their society, there is a book called The Ideal Muslimah. Now, I know what you are thinking, ‘Oh here is another book that sets unrealistic, too high expectations of us women’. However, this is not that book. This is a book that guides you in the most simple, non-condescending way.
The Ideal Muslimah is written by Muhammed Ali Al-Hashimi in Arabic and is also translated beautifully. (It is translated by Nasiruddin Al-Kattab, the same translators of Civilization of Faith)
The book focuses on the Muslimah’s relationship between her Lord, her self, her parents, her husband, her children, her sons and daughters in law, her relatives, her neighbors, her friends and sisters in Islam, and her community/society. The layout of the book clearly follows the belief that in order for you to create change, you must start with yourself. It starts out with the inner most private relationship, which is that which she has with her Lord, then her own self, before it branches out to those most important and closest to her and finally out to the greater society.
The most wonderful thing about this book is that many of the things you read in it are common sense things and you think, “Hey, that’s great I already do that.” It really makes you feel how easy it is to be a Muslim. Then there are other things that are really interesting that you didn’t know. For example, all women nowadays are interested in losing weight and being healthy and fit, but what most of us didn’t know is that it is required from you as a Muslim to take care of your body. So even when you are doing things to keep yourself healthy, like exercise and eating healthy, it is also a form of ibadah. Same thing goes with hygiene. It also talks about the mind of the Muslim woman and how she should take care of it by reading and pursuing knowledge; how she should never stop reading and studying.
There are so many other really great topics in this book and it is one that I constantly refer to. It is a wonderful guide for any Muslim woman and really helps you form a good idea of what your identity should be as a Muslim. This book shows you that a large majority of your deen is really good manners, ethics and cleanliness.
The Ideal Muslimah uses verses of the Quran and sahih hadith to back up all of its points. It also gives stories of the Companions and many from Aishah that discuss a story related to the topics in each chapter. I could talk about it much more but I am going to let the book speak for itself when Inshallah you all read it. There is also a male counterpart to this book called The Ideal Muslim.
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24 Sep 2012