Al-Shifa Bint Abdullah Assignment July 24, 2010
Today we talked about a notable female companion, Al-Shifa bint Abdullah (raa), who entered Islam during the earliest stages of the Prophet’s message. She (raa) endured, as did the early Muslims, the persecutions inflicted upon them by both the leaders and people of Quraysh until Allah (swt) permitted them to migrate to Al-Madinah. In Al-Jahiliyyah, she was skilled in the art of Ruqyah (healing through supplication). After embracing Islam she demonstrated this skill–Ruqyah–to the Prophet (saw) for permission to either continue, modify, or stop it altogether. See how conscientious she was that all she did conformed to Islam. The Prophet (saw) not only asked her to continue performing Ruqyah, but even suggested she teach it to his wife Hafsah bint Umar ibn Al Khattab (raa).
Al-Shifa was among the few individuals, at the time of Jahliyyah and the early days of Islam, who were literate –i.e. could read and write. Al-Shifa (raa) taught these skills to Muslim women, including Hafsah (raa). She sought the reward and pleasure of Allah (swt) and is known today as the first female teacher Islam. In Musnad Ahmed it is reported that the Prophet (saw) made a very special arrangement for Hafsah’s education with Shifa bint Abdullah (raa), who taught her the art of writing. This probably has a connection with the fact that all the biographers report that the Prophet (saw) after obtaining all the handwritten portions of the Qur’an compiled, he (saw)kept a copy with Hafsa (raa) rather than any of his (saw) other wives.
Ruqyah and literacy weren’t the only two strengths of Al-Shifa, indeed Umar ibn Al Khattabl when he was caliph (raa), appointed her as officer, or wali, in the administration of the marketplace. Al-Shifaa was probably the first Muslim woman to hold an official position in public administration.
Al-Shifa was empowered by the skills that Allah (swt) blessed her with, and showed her gratigue by using them to benefit the Muslim Ummah of her time. What skills do you think we Muslim women currently need to empower us, and in turn use to benefit our current Muslim Ummah (and in the long run bring about the establishment of Islam on earth once more Insha Allah)?
Assignment for Nusaybah Bint Ka’ab
We discussed the legacy of the female companion of the Prophet (saw) Nusaybah Bint Ka’ab–a.k.a. Um Umarah, the mother of the martyr Habib Ibn Zaid. We marveled at the fervor with which she defended the Messenger of Allah (saw) in the Battle of Uhud.
In the Battle of Uhud she showed tremendous courage at a time when many men deserted the Prophet (saw). Indeed, she was a women worth ten men. The Prophet (saw) said that wherever he (saw) looked there she was standing firmly defending him, even when her shoulder gave in to Ibn Qami’as blows and after she fell in her own pool of blood.
Seeing her steadfastness in defending him (saw), he (saw)looked at her and asked her who could endure what she was . With confidence and obstinacy she responded that she could endure even more. Then she requested that the Prophet (saw) grant her his companionship in Jannah, to which he (saw) answered, “Not only you, but your whole family.” At which he (saw) raised his hands to Allah (swt) and asked that Allah (swt) grant her her and her family that very honor.
Today, as in the past, the Messenger of Allah (saw) is being attacked as well. Not with the sword, but the weapon of our time–the pen. Do you remember the cartoons that came out in a magazine in Denmark and later on republished in Holland and Norway? This is but one of the many attacks on our beloved Prophet (saw). So, did Southpark here in the USA. And don’t forget the Seattle cartoonist who even launched a “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day“. The attacks continue and will continue, unless we Muslims take action. Muslims? Why Muslims? Aren’t those who attack the Prophet (saw) completely to blame? No, we are partly, if not mostly, to blame. Unlike the victims of the Holocaust and Anti-slavery activists we have not made our issue with this attack on, and disrespect of our Prophet (saw) clear.
Your group assignment is as follows:
In your respective groups, I want you come up with a plan to defend the Messenger of Allah (saw) in our current day and age–like Um Umarah did during her time, and in accordance with the moment she was in. Make use of the tools of today–the pen, the internet, media, advertising, campaigns etc. I am asking you to do so within our capacities and not beyond them. Justify your choices–for instance if you have chosen to put together a website then how is your website going to differ from those already around.
Why work hard on this assignment, although it is not graded?
Who knows, you may get to use this plan in the future to defend the Messenger of Allah (saw). But know that if today insha Allah you have the sincere intention to do so, Allah (swt) will give you the rewards for actually executing this plan. That is grounds enough to work hard on this assignment insha Allah.
At the last hour of class each group will present their plan to the rest of us.
Homework on Asma Bint Abu Bakr July 13, 2010
Last time we talked about the extraordinary moments of Asmaa Bint Abu Bakr (raa) for Islam. All her stands were nothing short of “extraordinary.” Answer the following questions in preparation for our next class meet insha Allah . Email me your response or hand in a hard copy at the beginning of class. Also, be prepared to share it with us ORALLY at the beginning of class insha Allah. The questions are:
1) Are there extraordinary moments in your life for Islam or not yet? Why not?
2) Do you aspire to have one, or two or more maybe? In what field, and why in that particular field?
3) Design a detailed plan that will help you achieve this “extraordinary moment for Islam” that you aspire to? (Remember to include how you believe you can prepare yourself for it, what skills you will need and how you believe you can acquire them etc.)
NOTE: “YES’ AND “NO” ANSWERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. I WANT YOU TO GENUINELY GIVE THIS DEEP THOUGHT! I WANT YOU TO LOSE SLEEP OVER IT 🙂 FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
Look forward to reading and listening to your thoughtS insha Allah.
Leadership Training camp Syllabus
Instructor: Dr. Lamya Almas
Location: Dar Alfarooq, 983 17th Ave. SE. Minneapolis, MN 55414
Welcome to Summer 2010 Dar AlFarooq Leadership Camp! My name is Sister Lamya, so please free to call me so. I am from Yemen, situated in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. You might know it as the land of Queen Sab’a (English Sheba)—the 34th Surah in the Qur’an is named after her/ Or you might know it to be home of Shibam also known as ‘the Manhattan of the desert’ which is home to the world’s oldest surviving skyscrapers.
Above I have listed all my contact information. Email is the best way to reach me.
Course Age Requirements: Age 12 + (I am also willing to accept girls aged 10—as long as they can focus during the lecture section).
Class Meetings: We will meet once a week Saturdays from 9:45am-1pm. We will start our first class on the 26th of June and end July 31st, 2010. Please be on time, we want to pray Tahiyat Al-Masjed before we start. You will also be meeting with Sister Aryati on Wednesday 7-8pm to implement some of the concepts we talk about during the mostly theoretical and discussion part of this camp insha Allah. In other words, you will be putting what you learned to action with Sister Aryati Insha Allah.
Girls Leadership Camp Description: A six-week camp in which we will look at the Seerahs (life stories/autobiographies) of 6 inspirational and exceptional women from our rich Islamic history. Through their stories we will add to our knowledge of them, identify what made them so great, develop our leadership potentials by following their examples, aspire to be as successful as they were, and develop our interest in studying other characters of their likes,. We want to raise the banner, “We want to be Muslim women leaders!” very high Insha Allah by starting with ourselves.
Girls Leadership Camp Goals:
- Educate ourselves through stories of our mothers such as Khadijah (raa) and Aishah (raa), and of other exemplary Muslim women who have done great things for Islam. We also, want to learn the names of our mother’s—the Mother’s of the Believers. Have you heard of anyone who doesn’t know the names of their mothers? Do we know the names of the daughters of Rasool Allah (saw).
- We want to be inspired by their stories to motivate ourselves to take them on as examples in our own lives. So we are not only going to KNOW about them, but we are going to follow their great examples in our everyday lives.
- We want to find ourselves. Who are we REALLY like? Are we like Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), or Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), or maybe Nusaybah Bin Ka’ab (may Allah be pleased with her).
- Find out what made them great Muslim women leaders, and see if we possess leadership potential. In other words, do we have what it takes to be leaders? Do we have talents to lead and serve others at home, school, community, and the world at large.
Books I will be using:
أسد الغابة في معرفة الصحابة
الاستدراك في معرفة الأصحاب
الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة لابن حجر
Some of the books are available on this site Insha Allah: http://www.almeshkat.net/books/open.php?book=400&cat=12
I will also make use of lectures I have heard from Da’ees such as Dr.Tariq Suwaydan, Dr. Umar Abdul Kafee, Dr. Amr Khaled among others.
- An e-mail account. I will pass out a sign-up sheet on our first class meet.
- A lined notebook (with removable pages) for your in-class writing, note taking, activities and short tests.
We want to surrender our eyes, ears, hearts and minds for the sake of Allah (SWT) in the hopes that Allah (swt) will accept our coming together for the camp as a gathering of remembrance of Him (swt). That He (swt) and shower us with his Mercy. We want that when Allah (swt) looks down at us he finds us on our best behavior, and in turn is pleased with us, and mentions our individual names to the Angels and dwellers of the seven heavens. We want Allah (swt) to look into our hearts and find them undistracted. So, let us show Allah (swt) the best of us Insha Allah.
- You are expected to attend all class meetings and participate in discussions and activities. If you cannot make it to a given class make sure you ask your peers about what they learned and make sure you do the homework for the following week. It will help to know the email or number of someone in the camp, so you can email or call. Or you can email me or call me. Part of being a leader is taking your responsibilities seriously.
- Foul language and other aggressive behavior will not be tolerated and can be grounds for suspension from the camp.
- Be punctual. I would like for you to attend at 9:45am so you can pray Tahiyat al-masjed before we start class. Being late to class not only makes it hard for you to follow along, but it is a distraction for your peers as well. Plus Allah (swt) loves those who are PUNCTUAL. It means they care—and we all care don’t we?
- Please turn off or silence your cell phones during class. Absolutely no text messaging during class.
- Eating during class is not allowed. I will give you two short breaks—one for a quick snack and the other for lunch. Please bring packed snacks and lunches!
Let us work together to make this a fun experience.
Assignments for the Course:
- Quizzes: You will be quizzed at the beginning of every class period on the personality we discussed the week before.
- In Class Activities: these will be different every class period.
- Homework: will be assigned every class period. Details will be provided with the homework. Always due on time.
Schedule for Summer Leadership Camp
|Week 1||Among the leaders of the women of Paradise: Fatima Bint Mohammad (May Allah be pleased with her)
|Week 2||“Learn a portion of your religion from this lady”: Aishah Bint Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with her)
|Week 3||She of the two girdles: Asma Bint Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with her)|
|Week 4||“O Allah! Make this family my friends in Paradise.”: Nusaybah Bin Ka’ab, also known as Umm ‘Umarah.|
A “professional”: Al-Shifa bint Abdullah
|Week 6||“Preacher of Women”: Asmâ’ bint yazid ibn as-Sakan|