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Archive for March, 2009

Asalaamu Alaykum.  In this post I will be pointing you in the direction of some books on women’s issues. While generally men and women have the same obligations when it comes to ibaadah, worship in Islam; there are many issues which specifically affect women and that we need to know about. A lot of cultures and even some so-called ‘Islamic sects’ look down upon women and do not encourage their women to learn their rights and obligations with Islam; and unfortunately some reverts do get sucked into this SubhanAllaah. With all the good material that is out there; we really do have no excuse to be ignorant.  I have not recommended any specific books on the women’s dress in Islam; as I feel it is covered in the below books; but if it is something you need to look into further get in touch and I can advise some books for you InshaAllaah.  Also I have not recommended any books on marriage in general and seeking a marriage partner; I feel that is a very important and seperate issue InshaAllaah.

The first book I will recommend is written by one of the female scholars of Yemen, Umm Abdillaah Al-Waadi’iyyah.  Do bear in mind that this book was written for women in Yemen who due to societal reasons there, tend to be less educated in both ‘secular’ and Islamic matters than in the west, so it is written in quite a basic terminology and tone; which is not intended to be patronising.

My Advice to The Women

My Advice to The Women

The second book MashaAllaah is quite difficult to get hold of but I would really advise getting it if you can; again it is written by a knowledgeable Muslim sister; and is very beneficial.

Supporting The Rights of The Believing Women

Supporting The Rights of The Believing Women

Next a book on a topic that is a big stumbling block for many women who embrace Islam subhanAllaah, and that is polygyny or marrying more than one wife. If you have the correct understanding of this topic; InshaAllaah it will no longer be such a stumbling block. I find that those who cannot accept this sunnah, even for others, or have incorrect thoughts about it or those who participate in it; usually are simply lacking knowledge of how it is practiced in Islam.  InshaAllaah this book will be a wonderful eye-opener if you have any questions about this practice.  It is written by two Muslim sisters; so really comes from the female perspective MashaAllaah.

From Monogamy to Polygyny A Way Through

From Monogamy to Polygyny A Way Through

Next a really nice book MashaAllaah on the early women of Islam who were given the glad tidings of paradise; including the wives of Prophet Muhammad Salalaahu Alaihi Was Sallam. Although this book is well written it does contain a few typos.  Do try to ignore these; and don’t lose focus on the rest of the book as it is very nice and easy to read mashaAllaah.

Great Women of Islam

Great Women of Islam

Finally a couple of books on issues relating to raising children. I find many sisters come to the deen with young children mashaAllaah; and as such they are in need of guidance as to their upbringing in their new faith. InshaAllaah these two books are really helpful in this regard.

Raising Children in Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah

Raising Children in Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah

Islamic Fatawa Regarding The Muslim Child

Islamic Fatawa Regarding The Muslim Child

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I am writing here to recommend books on topics around the pillars of Islam in practice; I could have recommended you hundreds of books but I think it is important not to ‘bog you down’ too much when the other books I have recommended offer some fairly lenghty reading experiences! The actual physical practices in Islaam come under a banner known as ‘fiqh’ or jurisprudence; which is a science that covers all the legal aspects of Islaamic law and practice of the faith and that has been derived from authentic evidences from The Qur’an and Hadiths; scholarly consensus and certain types of reasoning based on previous precedents derived from the texts.

I believe; Allaahu Alim that the first pillar of Islam; Shahadah or Declaration of Faith; has been covered in quite some detail by the previous books I have recommended as well as in some of the articles I have written and posted here.

With regard to the second pillar; the Salah, or the prayers, there is a huge plethora of books on the topic. Here I will be focusing mainly on those books which teach you how to pray, teach you the conditions and pre-requestites of the salah and that focus on any issues that may arise in the salah such as what to do if you miss something out.  I will also be posting a couple of titles about prayers that are not completely obligatory but very highly recommended such as witr, the night prayers in Ramadan, and the ‘Eid prayer.  The inner dimensions of the prayer; peripheral issues and the minutae of the salah I will perhaps be posting about on another occasion; but for now I will focus on the books that focus on these core issues.

First up is a very concise book on the conditions of the prayer. It is incredibly easy to read and I can highly recommend it.  It is taken from the works of Muhammed Ibn Abdul-Wahhab but the great thing with this book is, it is really two books in one as it has the original translated work with commentary by two scholars MashaAllaah; and as such they have chosen to comment on different issues, so you are really getting a multi-dimensional insight here.

An Explanation of the Conditions, Pillars and Requirements of The Prayer

An Explanation of the Conditions, Pillars and Requirements of The Prayer

The next book is about special prayers in Ramadan although they can be prayed all year round, it is from the works of Shaykh Al-Albaani but translated by Muhammed Al-Jibaali.

The Night Prayers Qiyam and Tarawih

The Night Prayers Qiyam and Tarawih

And another really good one on the sunnah prayers; that are prayed regularly at the times of the compulsory five daily prayers by Shaykh Muhammed Umar Bazmool.

A Description of The Regular Sunnah Prayers

A Description of The Regular Sunnah Prayers

The next pillar in Islaam is fasting in the month of Ramadan, or Sawm in Arabic. There are many opportunities for voluntary fasts in Islaam as well; but for now we will focus on the books that the issues around fasting in Ramadan and problems that may occur such as illness or pregnancy and how to deal with fasting around these issues.  The second one is written by various major scholars; it sometimes comes with a slightly different cover but the same font and heading is used.

Treatises on Zakat and Fasting

Treatises on Zakat and Fasting

Ramadhaan Fataawa

Ramadhaan Fataawa

After this pillar comes the pillar of Zakah (which is covered somewhat in the book above by Shaykh Bin Baaz) commonly translated as ‘alms-giving’ ; there are two types of Zakah; the first one known as zakah-ul-fitr is required to be given by, or on behalf of every Muslim after the end of Ramadan so that poorer Muslims can enjoy the festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr; the second form, the general Zakah is required to be given once a year mainly on certain amounts of money or jewellery made from precious metals, and certain types of crops and livestock. Although it is commonly said to be 2.5% of your income; the criteria and minimum income before you start being liable to pay Zakah is actually somewhat more complex and even the percentage to be given can vary on certain items so it is important to read up on the issue InshaAllaah and if in doubt to ask a qualified scholar.

The final pillar is Hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah; it is only required once in a lifetime and has some very important pre-requisities; without which one is not required to go. I have heard the following book is very good MashaAllaah and it also covers the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah as well.

Hajj and Umrah from A-Z

Hajj and Umrah from A-Z

InshaAllaah this concludes this post; there are as I have said, many books on these topics out there but these are really an excellent introduction mashaAllaah…

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