Imam W. Deen Mohammed
QUESTION: I do not understand when I listen to you speak. My husband teaches me to the best of his ability but it doesn't get through. I want to know the religion and I want to know how to serve Allah, as He is to be served.
I came into the community not knowing anything, and two years later I don't know as much as I did when I came in. When I make up my mind to make prayer, I get so busy with housework or the children I forget about my duties to Allah.
Could you take the time to help me to get started in understanding Al-Islam and serving Allah in the proper way?
IMAM: We all have had problems of rejection to an orderly, Muslim life. Many of us had orderly lives before, but when we accepted the religion and came to know that the religion required that we do certain things during the daylight hours, our awake hours, we had to reorder our lives.
That is what all of us have to do in order to conform to what is prescribed for us as Muslims in the Quran. We have to reorder our lives and it is not easy to do in the West, or in a non-Islamic environment.
We could be in America, or we could be in China, we could be in some other country, but if it is a non-Islamic environment, then there is nothing in that environment to remind us of our duties except our own conscience.
There is no Adhan to remind us over the radio or television or over a loud speaker like there is in many of the Muslim lands to remind us that it is time to pray. The only thing to remind us is our own conscience.
Most of us live some distance from the masjid and it is not convenient for everybody to go to one masjid in a city of so many hundreds of thousands of square miles, so this heavy responsibility rests on the individual Muslim.
But the mothers don't have the same responsibility as the men have. They are not obligated to go to the masjid as men are. Their responsibility is at home. This excuses or exempts them from attending the masjid on a regular basis.
In fact, according to Hadith, the history of the Prophet (PBUH) on what he allowed and disallowed, he only indicated that Muslim women should attend the Eid services — the two Eids that we have. The Eid at Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr, and the great Eid, or the bigger Eid, the sacrifice, Eid Al-Adha. And on those great Eid days the women were encouraged to come out. The Prophet wanted them to come out.
So I would say, knowing the language of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that women should come out on the Eid days. And there is nothing to exempt them from coming out on the Eid days. Their monthly situation does not exempt them. They are not to join the prayer in that state, but they can come out on the Eid and make their Eid donation, and participate in the joy of the Eid with all other Muslims.
The mother who has children is so much in demand by those little children that sometimes even at prayer time, her prayer might be interrupted. There are cases in the Hadith where women have had their prayer interrupted by a child who needed them at that time.
If a little child, a toddler — or the child could be older - - if the situation is very serious for that child, the mother should quickly conclude her prayer by turning to the right, then the left giving the greeting. She should conclude her prayer and go right away to assist that child. (To be continued)