Women in Da'wah - II
A definite role
The work of the Muslim woman in the field of Da'wah (call to Islam) strengthens the man's work, and expands it into areas where her effectiveness supersedes that of the man. The woman's role does not end at door. She can be greatly effective by being a good example to others, by being good-hearted, kindly spoken, and of friendly conduct. She can offer assistance, and share concerns as well as joys. She can also use all appropriate opportunities to educate, guide and call others through observing the conditions of those whom she addresses.
Examples are needed
Women, who understood their role, started educating themselves and achieving their rights to education. Look at the Hadeeth [narration attributed to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) narrated by Abu Sa'eed may Allah be pleased with him that a women said to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) "The men are keeping you busy and we do not get enough attention from you; would you specify a day for us, women? He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) promised them a day to meet them and educate and admonish them." [Al-Bukhari]
The fruits of this understanding and concern by the women companions of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) and the attention he gave them, are shining examples and a source of pride for Muslim women.
Muslim women played a great role in sacrifice and service for the religion of Allah. Sumayyah may Allah be pleased with her gave up her life when Abu Jahl, the head of disbelievers, killed her for becoming a Muslim. She was the first Muslim, and woman, killed in Islam. Khadeejah may Allah be pleased with her the first wife of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) who was very rich, spent a lot of her money to support the Da'wah. Umm Salamah may Allah be pleased with her left her husband and saw her children persecuted when she migrated. Umm Imarah may Allah be pleased with her fought in defense of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) in the battle of Uhud. Tending the wounded in battles was the role Muslim Women played throughout history.
Building successful Dawah Programs
There are conditions that must be met for women's Da'wah work to succeed and achieve its expected outcome:
First: important guidelines
There are important points that should be used as guidelines when planning or doing Da'wah work:
Typically, the woman's main job is at home. This is clearly stated in Qur'an and Hadeeth. Allah Almighty Says (what means), "And abide in your houses..." [Quran 33:33] Of course women can go out for Salah (prayer) in the Masjid (mosque), participate in any other activities she may need and to do Da'wah. However, none of these activities should conflict with her essential duties at home as wife and mother.
2- There are special injunctions regarding women, such as the mixing of men and women that must be observed in any Da'wah activity and under any circumstances.
a) Proper Hijab (Islamic woman dress) must be observed at all times.
b) Woman cannot travel without a male companion who is her Mahram (her husband or a man with whom marriage is unlawful).
c) Woman cannot intermix freely with men who are not directly related to her.
d) Women cannot exit from their homes except by permission of those who are in charge of them and care for them, i.e. their husbands or fathers, etc.
3- The enemies of Islam usually exploit these injunctions and use them to defame Islam as demeaning to women. Some Du'aat (callers to Islam) get affected by these allegations and they are thereby led to be lax and unmindful. The true Du'aat guided by the Sunnah (the way/ tradition of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention )) must be mindful, lest they be affected by the lusts and whims of society.
4- Men have the original right in Da'wah activities to take the lead as was the case in the age at the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) and the excellent generations that followed. Women's role in Da'wah work is undeniable, provided the appropriate guidelines are adhered to.
Second: Objectives of the program:
Any Da'wah program directed towards women should strive to, at least, serve the following ends:
1- Strengthening Eeman (faith): This comes about by increasing worship, remembrance of Allah (Thikr), and reflection on Allah's names, His power and creation in ourselves and in the universe. There is great power in reflection. And its positive impact on one's heart and Eeman is almost limitless. This, however, would not be possible without the inculcation of the right understanding of certain issues related to our Aqeedah (Belief); the emphasis has to be on Tawheed (Monotheism).
2- Increasing knowledge: One cannot achieve much without knowledge. Special emphasis has to be put on the basics of Islam and on subjects that the Daa'iyah (caller to Islam) needs in her environments. Knowledge should be spread about deviant thoughts, ideas, groups and sects. Awareness must be raised concerning those who do not like to see the spreading of Islam and who are gaining grounds in the hearts and minds of people.
3- Building of the Da'wah personality: Da'wah requires sacrifices and, therefore, women must be prepared to bear the burdens of calling to Islam. This comes through awakening them to the conditions of the Muslims and the endeavors of the enemies of Islam. Leadership, responsibility and individual initiative should be taught. Theoretical and practical educational faculties must be nurtured. The Daa'iyah must be taught the necessary social skills and the importance of Da'wah through good example and conduct. They also must be taught the value of time, its management and how to use Halal (lawful) fun activities during their times of leisure.
4- Building up immunity to sin: This includes recognizing the ills of sins, particularly those relating to women, and blocking the way to them by shunning the means leading to them and the places where they exist.