This topic was delivered by Ustadha Thameena Khan in Manchester through Quba Initiative on 7th September 2013.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.

You have to make the best of every situation you are in. Allah will only take you into account for your situation. The grass is always greener on the other side. He (Exalted is He) will not judge the other side.

Anybody who is a single mother will know it is difficult. In history, the greatest Ulema (scholars) came from single mothers. They brought up these great men. Imam Bukhari, Imam Shaf’i, Imam Ahmed b. Hanbal, Imam Malik b. Anas (not a single mother but she raised him alone) and his teacher Rab’eea (her husband was absent for 27 years). There were just women behind these men. May Allah be pleased with them all.

It doesn’t matter about a perfect husband or everything else. If the mother has a concern, she will achieve, and through dua (supplication). It doesn’t matter about your circumstance, you can have everything but there is no mention of Allah (Exalted is He) and attachment to Allah (Exalted is He) and RasulAllah (peace and blessings be upon him).

This commodity trend, this is the concern now. It’s all about that. These mothers utilised what they had well. Some gave education, Imam Ahmed b. Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on Him) was taught amazing akhlaq (good character). When he was young, people would just say SubhanAllah. In those days, people would pay people to teach their children akhlaq (good character). His mother didn’t. They used to ask how does he have amazing akhlaq (good character. In her tarbiyah (rearing), she taught that the pre-requisite of knowledge is taking adab (etiquette). Knowledge without the right etiquette works against you.

A person who tries to raise themselves in the dunya (this world), Allah will debase them in the akhirah (the next world). We are talking about having humility when you should have humility, having bravery when you should have bravery and courage when you should have courage.

Imam Bukhari (May Allah have mercy on him); his mother was another great woman. He had photographic memory. During his childhood, he had temporary blindness and she made dua (supplication) for him every night for a cure; endlessly. Then it was accepted. She wasn’t like look at him, there is no hope. The dua of a mother for her child is mustajab (accepted). Ask them. Be good to her. Don’t scold/curse your children, perhaps it is a moment of acceptance.

When Hababa Zahra’s eldest was crying, she used to rock him and say “Mufti, in sha Allah.” Now he is the Mufti in Hadramawt. With Habib Umar she would say, “Da’i, in sha Allah.”

Do you know who Imam Bukhari really is? We owe it to his mother. We don’t even know her name. She wasn’t out for fame. She sacrificed everything for her son so the message of Allah (Exalted is He) meant something to him.

Imam Shaf’i (may Allah have mercy on him) was born in Gaza. During the pregnancy, his father passed away. His mother was a great worshipper; profuse. Ibn Hajar says about her that she never remarried. They are from the ahl-al-bayt (family of the Prophet). When she was in Gaza, she said she would move to Makkah because the greater Ulema (scholars) are there. It is about sacrifice. Makkah is where the people who were people were. The tradition then was that the Ulema (scholars) were paid to teach the children. She had no money and he was taught for free as they said he is from the ahl-al-bayt (family of the Prophet). What a great student he was. Perhaps it is due to her sacrifice that he didn’t have a problem in studying with women like Sayyidah Nafisah. Why? He understood that he owed so much to his mother. Belittling women is not from our heritage.

Ibn Hajar was married to Uns. She used to pester him by asking him to let her study with who he studies with. He arranged this. You have to have the want to acquire. Ibn Hajar’s father passed away when he was four years old and his sister was seven years old. Her name was Sita’ tul Rakn. She would teach him. What? Good manners. When she was four, her father took her to all the circles of ilm (knowledge). When he dies, she protects his huge library. The books were handwritten then so they were worth a lot. She could’ve said to her male guardian to sell the books but she didn’t. She looked after it by reading every book. Ibn Hajar said she was my mother after my mother. It was her.

The road to Allah is a steep-hill. Those who persevere will get to the top. The daughter of Habib Mashour used to say about the wood mites (which scratch wood and it becomes a ball at the top) in Tarim that if you look at it, it gets to the top because it wants the ball. When it falls, it starts again. Even it doesn’t give up. The tulaab al ilm (students of knowledge) give up half that, even a wood mite keeps trying.

The sunnah of life is that only through perseverance, you will achieve. We owe so much to our women. Somewhere along the line, we owe it to great women. But where are they? Allah (Exalted is He) has always been there. We just have to want. We live in a time where we want a little and Allah will give so much because it is rare to have concern. Recovery in our ummah (nation) will come from having concern.

Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me. Please correct me when you spot any mistakes.