Outings are a fun way to get out of the bustle of life, relax and connect with fellow Muslimahs – meeting our girlfriends, eating good food, swapping stories and the latest updates of our personal lives. Although these outings can be fun, they can also be a source of sins. Here are some tips on how we can make them enjoyable and productive too!
Us girls, we are hardwired to connect. News of a social gathering can make us happy and excited, anticipating the day we will see our friends again. On the other hand, many of us are familiar with the hadith narrated by Mu’adh bin Jabal that the Prophet said, “Are the people tossed into the Fire upon their faces, or upon their noses, except because of what their tongues have wrought?” [At-Tirmidhi]. The dangers of backbiting and gossiping are clear, and it is easy to fall into this trap when we are in an outing.
How can we keep our outings fun and halal?
1. Surround yourself with great company
Abu Huraira narrates that the Prophet said, ”There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: …two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that…” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]. In another hadith narrated by Abu Huraira , the Prophet Muhammad said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend so let one of you look at whom he befriends,” [At-Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood].
If we surround ourselves with like-minded Muslimahs, we can strive for Jannah together and avoid what causes Allah’s anger. Make a collective intention to have an outing that will be fun and ultimately earn the Pleasure of Allah .
2. Find unique, unusual places
Rather than hanging out at the mall, café or at one’s house, why not try and discover wonderful and authentic places in your city? Google is an invaluable tool for this. Women-only swimming sessions, women-only spa days, picnic hotspots, and nature walks are great places to start!
Decide together what you are interested in. Cooking? How about a cooking class or a “cook-offs” to raise money for a charity. Sports? Try arranging ladies-only sessions with a female coach at your local leisure centre.
Of course, if you are having a hard time finding ladies only places, be proactive and start your own! I once heard of a sister who so much wanted to play sports in a female and music-free environment. Being the proactive Muslimah she is, she found a school ready to lease their basketball court once a week; she brought bottles of water and apples, made an announcement that there would be weekly female basketball games and charged a modest fee.
3. Have productive conversations!
Remember the Hadith that Prophet Muhammad said, “Allah has made it prohibited for you to be disrespectful (showing undutiful behavior) to your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to refuse others (their dues), and to demand things from others (which are not worth demanding), and He hates that you engage in gossip, asking many questions about people’s affairs and wasting wealth.” [agreed upon by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
So, agree upon a theme to discuss on your outing. Everyone researches a Hadith or tafsir of a verse from the Qur’an related to this theme to bring to the gathering. Some topics could include patience, marriage, modesty and hijab and wives of the Prophet Muhammad . This will ensure that your conversation remains a source of knowledge and good deeds.
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Big minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
4. Avoid negative energy
Negative energy comes from complaining, seeing the dark side of things, gossip, backbiting and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Agree to warn each other if someone begins to backbite. Make istighfar for you and the person you spoke about so you set yourself back on track. If someone is feeling down, discuss her issues with the will to make things better, and fill her with positivity.
So you’ve arranged an outing with your girlfriends? Before you run out, run through this checklist to ensure your outing becomes a productive one.
5. A Productive Outing Checklist
Make an intention at heart to please Allah in your outing.
- Pray Salatul Istikhara.
Ask Allah if attending this outing will bring the best to you and your friends. This dua is not just for big matters like marriage and changing careers, but also for deciding on outings with sisters.
- Plan your topic of conversations.
Before the gathering, think of all the interesting things that you read/heard of lately that will benefit the girls in this world and the Hereafter. Agree upon the theme a few days in advance so the sisters can prepare.
- Remember Kaffara Al-Majlis at the end.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet Muhammad said,’Whoever sits in a gathering and indulges in useless talk,and before getting up supplicates, “subhanakaAllahumma, ash-hadu an la ilahailla anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk” (O, Allah, You are free from every imperfection, praise be to You. I testify that there is no true God except You; I ask Your pardon and turn to You in repentance), he will be forgiven (for the sins that he committed intentionally or unintentionally) in that assembly’. [At-Tirmidhi]
Remember, as the saying by Jim Rohn goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the time with. So make sure that you develop yourself and your girlfriends to become really productive Muslimahs!
About the Author:
Zain Maraqa works as a project coordinator at We Love Reading initiative. She has started a support group (Nartaqi) with her friends so that they can help each other with their life-long goals. Zain loves to read aloud to kids and teenagers and enjoys big social gatherings. She prays to Allah that one day she can write to teenagers and start a teenage girl empowerment program. You can contact Zain at: firstname.lastname@example.org.