Saying #9:

Prophet Muhammed said, “Whoever has a female (daughter) under his guardianship, and he neither buries her alive, nor treats her with contempt, nor gives preference to his sons over her, God will admit him to paradise.” [Abu Dawood]

COMMENTARY: At first glance, this hadith may raise some eyebrows with its mention of burying daughters alive. However, we must read the hadith in its proper historical context. During the life of Prophet Muhammad in Arabia, the birth of a daughter was viewed as a burden on the family, as bad luck, and as a curse from the gods. Many families resorted to burying their newborn daughters alive in order to rid themselves of this perceived burden, bad luck and curse. Taking this historical context into account, this hadith and the overt prohibition of the slaying of children in any way, but particularly of girls in this manner, can be appreciated for its progressive tilt. Honor killings, forced marriages, or repression of women are all cultural aberrations, and are not derived from Islam or the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad in any way, shape or form.
Not only is this hadith overtly progressive for its stance against infanticide, but it goes a step further in its revolutionary spirit. Prophet Muhammad stated that those parents who are entered into paradise will be those who treat their daughters and sons equally, without preference for one over the other. Again, for an era in which females were viewed as nothing but property and burdensome hindrances, this teaching of Prophet Muhammad is nothing short of avant-garde.
Islam has taught the males of this world how important it is for us to respect females, specifically our daughters. Islam ordered men to respect their daughters at a time when daughters were treated with such contempt that they were even buried alive. Sadly, even though the above teachings are more than 1,400 years old, female infanticide and genital mutilation is still widespread in some countries. Fetuses are aborted for no other reason other than for being a female. If a few Muslims mistreat their female family members, the pristine teachings of Islam should not be held responsible. Honor killings, forced marriages, or repression of women’s rights are cultural aberrations, not Islamic ones. Throughout his life, Prophet Muhammed truly displayed respect to females.

Saying #22:

Prophet Muhammed was asked, “Messenger of God! A certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, does pious actions and gives charity, but injures her neighbors with her tongue.” The Messenger of God said, “There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.” They said, “Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd (cheese like food) as charity and does not injure anyone.” The Messenger of God said, “She is one of the people of Paradise.” [Bukhari in Al-Adabul Mufrad]

COMMENTARY: The Prophet of Mercy advises us that it is not enough that a person merely takes care of their own religious rituals, but rather, part of faith also entails that we do not physically or emotionally hurt our neighbors. Being an evil neighbor will eat away our pious noble deeds and actions. We should not do things to intentionally make our neighbors feel bad. 
On a broader scale, the Prophet was announcing through this hadith that religious prescribed and recommended deeds (in Arabic called Ibadah) cannot be enough to save one’s soul if they do not result in the practitioner’s good behavior toward others. The purpose of worship is not only to bring the practitioner closer to God, but also to help perfect the character of the practitioner so that he or she can be a productive and beneficial member of society. Therefore, the Islamic faith tells us that our acts of worship are not enough to gain us the favor of God; we must supplement our acts of worship with the avoidance of evil deeds and the practice of beneficial ones.

Saying #55:

Ibn Umar (R.A.) mentioned, “During some of the battles of God's apostle a woman was found killed, so God's apostle forbade the killing of women and children.” [Bukhari]

COMMENTARY: The mercy to the world reminds us that our conduct during times of war must be honorable, and we should be merciful to the weak and unprotected, especially women and children. The Prophet's companion, Abu Bakr, advised one of his military commanders with the following merciful proclamation, “Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place." [Muwatta] While many in the media wish to paint Islam as a bellicose religion, in fact, the revelation of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet had the effect of civilizing conflict and restricting its reach through numerous limitations and rules of warfare. One of the rules included a provision in which non-combatants could not be intentionally harmed, including women and children, the weak and sick, the elderly, and those things that bring livelihood to a place, including its crops, buildings and infrastructure. Like so many other misconceptions floated about the religion of Islam, the concept of warfare in Islam has been misconstrued. In fact, warfare techniques of many countries are very barbaric, with the concept of civilian casualties and the destruction of homes and infrastructure relegated so simply to “collateral damage” or a “necessary evil.”

Saying #95:

Prophet Muhammed said “It is better for anyone of you to take his rope and to go to the mountain and bring a bundle of wood on his back, sell it and cover his needs, than to ask people, either they give him or refuse.” [Bukhari]

COMMENTARY: The Prophet of Mercy reminds all of us that we should not be stretching out our hands and begging from people. We need to make every effort possible to take up whichever occupation we can to earn our own livelihood. If that means that we have to take up the most menial of jobs, then we should in the interest of not living off other people’s money. How can people still in their young age not work on their own and expect other people to look after them? Accepting the lowest paying jobs is much better than begging or continuously living off the government and people’s taxes. 

This is not to say that the Prophet did not believe in social security or the bolstering of society with social services. It is simply to state that the Prophet wanted able-bodied and able-minded people to make every effort to make a living for themselves. This instills self-reliance, self-esteem and confidence in the people and makes them self-sufficient. When the people do fall on genuinely hard times, it is then that the community should come together to help.




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