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  1. Why is it that Muslims still seem to use the Urdu literal translations of ‘reading’ to replace the correct English world for ‘performing’ prayer or ‘studying’ a subject (in this case law)? It’s quite embarrassing and the incorrect use of the English language. English isn’t better than any other language but if you are going to use it, please use it correctly or in cases like these, it really makes Muslims look bad. May Allah (swt) guide us ameen.

    • Salaam Muslimah,

      I was sad to see that your comment made no mention of the wonderful article above. I wanted to inform you that the definition of the verb ‘to read’ includes reading a subject. This is not an incorrect use of the word. Please feel free to look this up in any dictionary.

      What makes Muslims look bad is that we always think we are right and everyone else is wrong and we forget to do our research.

      I hope your comment does not spark a debate over the phrase ‘reading law’, instead of sparking intellectual discussion about the article itself.

    • Great article mA. Muslimah, the term ‘reading’ to imply studying a subject is a term used by the most prestigious Universities in England and is perfectly acceptable. You should enjoy the article or if you do not like it then do not say anything. It is a shame if there is need to tell someone who takes the time and effort to put an inspring article together that they are an embarrassment or make Muslims look bad. For me this makes Islam even more beautiful and I can only hope others feels this way too.

    • Ameen. “Reading” for a degree or “reading law” is correct usage. As for prayer, some would argue that you don’t “perform” prayer; you just pray. Others would say you “make” a prayer. Let’s accept the diversity :)

  2. May Allah reward you sister for sharing that advice. Alhamdulillah i found it useful and remembering these inspirational women made me teary. May Allah help us to balance faith, family and work in an excellent, productive and positive way, which pleases Him.

  3. Salaam Ayesha,

    Congratulations on your article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and hope to see more posts from you in the future! Thanks for the great advice!

    • Salaam Emaan,
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading my article. I look forward to writing more too :)

    • Salaam Yasmin,

      InshAllah! They are all the best of role models and we can benefit so much from learning about them.

  4. JazakAllaho khair Ayesha, may Allah swt be pleased with you n help you to be a source of guidance to others , language is a medium to transmit , someone lost the essence of the talk .

  5. Such a great article, I agree with everything you wrote. It’s also good to see someone writing about this, because in my opinion there should be a lot more articles and books on this theme. Thank you!!!

    • Salaam Vildana,
      Thank you so much! I agree- these women are extremely inspirational and everyone should look to them as role models!

    • Salaam Syamsiah,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article; be sure to read my upcoming ones too iA :)

  6. JazaakALLAH khair for this wonderful article.
    I’m studying to finish my MD abroad and this article is a wonderful inspiration.Never give up and ask ALLAH to give oneself strength.

    • Salaam Ameerah,

      Wow!! I’m so glad this was an inspiration to you. Good luck with your MD iA!

  7. Enjoyed reading. ..great information of pious women..hoe to see some more post in future. Jazkullah !,

    • Salaam Mehroon,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading the article- inshAllah I will be writing an article for Ramadan so be sure to check it out :)

    • Salaam Nasreen,
      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article. What you say about women is absolutely correct and we shouldn’t forget it!

  8. Where is name of Aisha Siddiqa, on which Allah revealed several verses, she was the most beloved to prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as per Hadith of Amr Bin Aa’s and was termed the Siddiqa, daughter of the Siddiq????

    • Salaam S,
      Aisha (ra) is also a wonderful role model mashAllah. However, I based my article around the hadith of the Prophet (saws) that mentions these 4 women to be the best of mankind (mentioned at the beginning of the article). I hope to mention Aisha (ra) in upcoming articles inshAllah as I am very fond of her!

  9. Assalam o alaikum.
    MASHA’ALLAH, a beaautiful article, it will definitely be helpful getting closer to ALLAH. May ALLAH grant us the best understanding. ameen

  10. Al Hamdulilah , What a generous blessing to educate and remind us of The Jewels of ALLAH Ta Ala, Our Women of faith are and forever will be a resourceful example for us and striving Muslim women and women everywhere. Shukran jaziylan for a beautiful article, Amin.
    Queen Sheba Cisse

  11. As-Salaamu Alaykum, Ayesha: I appreciated your article. May Allah bless and reward you. It would be a good idea for us to take each of these woman, one at a time, and use them as our role models and try to put all of their wonderful traits you mention into concentrated action in our day to day lives. Start with one and then move on to the next. jazakallahu Khair.

    • Walayakumassalaam Sabriyya,

      inshAllah that sounds like a great plan. JazakhAllah for the very kind comment! :)

  12. WOW, thank you Ayesha Salahuddin. What an inspiring and much needed article, mashaAllah. And you have an awesome name, too.

    I just want to share that
    * the first Muslim was a woman (Khadijah RA),
    * the first Martyr was a woman (Sumayyah RA) who was tortured to death for her faith
    * the first Muslim entrepreneur was a woman (Khadijah RA) who hired the Muhammed PBUH, before he was a prophet, to manage her business

    Allahuakbar. So my sisters, never let anyone tell you you can’t do something.

    Here’s one of my favourite quotes – by Theodore Roosevelt.
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    I believe that you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. Thank you sisters for being part of the solution and doing something.

  13. Salaam Thurein,
    wow!!! thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the article!
    great facts too about Muslim women thanks for sharing- although Khadijah (RA) was the first Muslim after the Prophet saws- I’m sure that is what you meant :)

    fantastic quote- real inspiration.

      • well some people would say that Khadijah ra was first because nabi (s.a.w) was shaken by the visitation of jibril and thought he was mad, but she realised before the him s.a.w that it was truth and supported that immediately, subhanAllah.

  14. Salaam
    Good Article. We all need reminding every now and then. I am a working mother of three kids(7, 5 and 2 yrs). I managed to keep my career going through all the pregnancies and care taking of infants. Recently, I opted for a work from home project, so I can be with my kids during summer vacation. Though I am happy it happened, I am extremely unhappy because the work extends late into the night and I am unable to wake up for Fajr most of the times. I used to pray Tahajjud for consistently some time before getting into this project. But now, find it difficult even waking for Fajr. I believe this is not the way to live life. Is my thought of quitting job correct? Any suggestions are welcome.

    • Walaykumassalaam Afeefa,
      Thank you for your comment. It’s nice to hear that you can spend time with your kids after working so hard when you were pregnant and they were young. That is extremely impressive mashAllah! This is a difficult situation. I suppose it depends on how much you need to do the job? And is there anyway you can do some work in the day as opposed to at night so you can sleep earlier at night? Also how long will the project last for?

      I found a great article on Productive Muslim that you can refer to for tips on waking up for Fajr:
      http://productivemuslim.com/how-to-wake-up-for-fajr-part-1/

      Personally, I always drink water before bed hoping I will wake up needing the toilet! Also I keep 2 alarms on. One by my bed and one further away so I have to get up to turn it off. Then when I am up I have the strength to read my Fajr. It is all about fighting your nafs (desires) and knowing that you are taking this great opportunity to talk to Allah when he is closest to us.

      I hope that is helpful and other people give suggestions as well inshAllah. All the best!

    • Great suggestion from Sr Ayesha. When I work late into the night for a few times in row, I personally use the two strategies that you mentioned – drinking water and 2 alarms ;)

      Sr Afeefa, first of all I think it’s amazing what you’ve accomplished so far. Working full-time while taking care of a young family is not an easy task. Kudos to you. In terms of you quitting your job, if the only thing making you doubt your decision is the fact that your work now is interfering with your spiritual/family/personal life, I don’t think you should second guess yourself. IMHO, I think it’s a matter of setting up some clear boundaries and sticking to a number of key decisions as to what’s acceptable to you and what’s not.

      Here, if I may share some of my thoughts and strategies. I hope they help you in getting back to your old productive self, iA.

      * Preplan your workload and have a ‘go to sleep’ alarm that tells you to go to sleep by such and such time.

      * When you work from home, it’s important that you have a clear boundary between professional/business and personal/family life. If one doesn’t have a clear boundary, mediocrity creeps in because there’s no focused commitment to giving it their best. There’s always the guilt of “should have’s” and “could have’s” and that drains energy and is not healthy.

      * And getting clear on your priorities – what comes first?

      * It could be as simple as making a decision to stop doing something at a certain time and making Fajr a must. Most of the time, we are not clear on whether we’ve made a decision or not. So, getting clear on the consequences of missing Fajr and getting clear on the benefits of waking up for Fajr, and then associate them to your life, look at it from the perspective of your future self (or from the grave).

      * Ask, ‘if I keep going the way I’m going, where will I end up?’, ‘What kind of example am I setting for my children?’

      * If you decide to sleep late and get some work done, then you might as well take that opportunity to pray your Tahajjud before going to sleep.

      * Use the ‘Sleep cycle’ to preplan your wake up time so that it’s the easiest for you to wake up and get up.
      – More resource here regarding understanding and utilising your sleep cycle and sleep routines by Br Abu Productive
      http://productivemuslim.com/productivemuslim-sleep-routine/
      http://productivemuslim.com/ramadan-series-master-your-sleep-this-ramadan-part-1/
      http://productivemuslim.com/ramadan-series-master-your-sleep-this-ramadan-part-2/

      * Lastly, please be patient with the process of rebuilding your habit of Tahajjud and Fajr. It becomes easy after the first week of sticking to your commitment with consistent action, iA.

      Apologises for the long comment. :)

      • Jazakallahu khair brothers and sisters for your kind comments. I wanted to share an update as an example of Allah (SWT)’s infinite mercy. As you know IT industry can be very demanding. And the work I was doing needed me to connect with people in US on a regular basis. Due to the time difference (I live in India)I had to be awake in the wee hours of India time so I can have these meetings with my counter parts in US. As I was contemplating to quit my job as in my comment above. Something miraculous happened. The client himself had to let me go due to some budget constraints. I was happy. I had some negative feeling thinking that this might lead to job loss. I want to work at least till we can buy our own house without Riba. I took a one month vacation deciding not to think about it and having my faith in Allah (SWT). I spent some beautiful time with my family during my vacation time. Made some new friends from among our cousins. We traveled to a beautiful place called Kerala in South India.
        Before even I came out of vacation I got a phone call, guess what, asking me to work for the same client but this time in India hours. Alhamdulillah.
        I say thanks to Allah (SWT) everyday for the following:
        1. For letting me to be patient in a time of change
        2. For helping me to be positive and happy through out this period of change which was around 2 months.
        3. For allowing me to have some beautiful days with my family. Making our bond stronger.
        4. For giving me some new friends with whom I share my new learnings and positive thoughts.

        Though I had to leave my last project, I learnt a few things from that project as well
        1. I learnt that if I can be awake for project work, I can wake up for Qiyam-al-layl.
        2. I must accept that I got closer to Allah(SWT) during this time of trial. I yearn to improve on my islamic knowledge and get much closer to Him.
        I call it trial because I had to be awake in the night for work. And had to wake up early in the morning so I can get kids to school on time. It became more of a trial because this period followed a series of health issues I had like a typhoid fever, an accident which left knee injury that pained all the time, a low blood cell count etc.

        Alhamdulillah, I am trying to improve my health while I take care of my family and work towards something good. I like being able to give zakat and sadaqah from my own earnings. I also look forward to being a full time home maker taking care of my kids, house, family without having to worry about work and boss :) Insha’Allah. I wanted to share my story as an inspiration to whoever might need it. Please keep me and my family in your Dua’s.

        Apologize for a long story.

        • Salaam Sr Afeefa.

          I am so so so happy to hear from you! No need to apologise at all for your story- it is so beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. You have been given a wonderful gift- and that is trusting in Allah (swt). May Allah continue to bring you closer to Him and give you every success in this world and the Hereafter! Ameen

          All the best,
          Ayesha

  15. Assalamu Alaykum sister Ayesha!
    JazakAllah Khair for your inspiring and useful article. MashaAllah, it was just what I needed. I had always been fascinated with the status of women in Islam and reading your article gave me a clear picture of a role model to look up to. I work part-time as a research assistant while studying law (just like you! ^_^). I had been workaholic but lately, I’ve been reevaluating my priorities and, Alhamdulillah, I’ve started to focus on improving my deen and making it top priority from now on, in shaa Allah. Thank you so much for sharing this article. In shaa Allah, I’ll include you in my dua’a. Hoping to read more of your articles. Keep it up! :)

    • Walaykumassalaam Sister Kishee,
      JazakhAllah Khair for your kind comment! I completely understand what it feels like to be sucked into law school- the reading is endless! However, as you said it is so important to balance our deen with this. Alhumdilillah I am glad to hear you will be focussing on your deen (but don’t forget about law either :P)

      The women I have written about are truly the most beautiful women that have ever lived. They are a beacon of light to look up to. Never lose faith in Allah. <3

    • Salaam Naas and sorry for the very very late reply! I’m so happy you enjoyed the article and inshAllah I hope you benefit from it.
      Ayesha

  16. sallam to author;
    i love your though on muslim women in their career, family and work.. (although im a non muslims)
    ive in a proposal of doing in deep study about modern muslim women & still practicing the values of religion in the work place & family. – that factors that could gave view to reader about;- although women are working, they still practicing muslim values. a factor that could open up/encourage everyone mind(women especially) to work.

    *keep up on posting about Siti Khadijah RA (love to hear more about her past especially her career part at that time. etc.)

    love <3

    • Salaam Lynnie!

      First of all, I am very sorry for the very very late reply! I’m so happy you enjoyed the article and inshAllah I hope you benefit from it. I am also happy to know, as a non-Muslim that you have enjoyed the article.

      Ayesha

  17. Very nice , thought provoking article. Jazaakallahu Khairan. I need to read more of this often as I strive to keep on the right track. Send in more!

  18. Masha Allah. !!! may Allah s.w.t help us to follow whatever we read. Jazakallahu khairun sis for sharing such a beautiful article.

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