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Travelling without a Mahram: Why do Muslim women do it New means of communication have rapidly turned the world into a global village. A village easily accessed by advanced modes of transport increasing the number of people who travel to a scale never witnessed before. Today many Muslims are “wandering” the world for various reasons, work, leisure, discovery or necessity. With the emergence of women in the workforce, Muslim women have also begun to travel by themselves within their countries and abroad. Cii Radio asked its Facebook followers what they thought the reasons were for women disregarding the Islamic guideline that is impermissible for women to travel on her own over the specified distance of 88,864km. “1) Some women haven’t got a mahram, 2) some mahram’s are not playing their role and taking up the responsibility, 3) the woman doesn’t want to ask her mahram especially if he sees her as ‘burden’,” wrote Fatima. Another Facebook commenter coined the issue as the concept of “Womandla”. She said statistics of kids growing up in SA without a father in the home was “shocking”, “Many women have become sole breadwinners of the household and unfortunately have to travel and do many daily tasks on her own for herself and the family.” Aadila shared the same sentiment writing, “instead of ‘Muslim women today are not adhering to this guideline’ ask ‘why are Muslim [men] not taking care of Muslim women today so Muslim women can adhere to this guideline’.” Others simply wrote the reasons were because: women did not have any mahrams, a “western influence”, the “destruction of Islam”, a yearning for freedom, “no other choice” and imperfect Muslims living a perfect Islam. A male commenter wrote, “1. Many are not aware of that [ruling]. 2. Those who are aware of think that this is medieval safety system and it has lost its relevance now in this post-modern period. 3. Men-women equalitistic sense clouds their sense.” While the practice has become commonplace and questioning why it has become “normal” seems unusual and “backward” the ruling remains. According to Islamic law, a woman cannot travel without a Mahram if she is going to traverse beyond the Safar – specified distance – of 88,864km – the distance of three days and nights. In his book Injunctions Pertaining to the Traveller – edited by Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias – Maulana Mufti Inam Haq Qasmi writes that in addition to a women’s physical nature, “The Islamic system of values attaches paramount importance to the safety and chastity of women.” It is for these reasons that Shari’ah has stipulated special guidelines for every situation in which the chastity and honour of a woman may be jeopardised. There are many clear narrations of Nabi Muhammad SAW in this regard. Sayyiduna Abu Said al-Khudri RA narrates that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Let no woman travel for more than three days unless her husband or a Mahram is with her.” (Sahih Muslim). Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar RA narrates that Nabi Muhammad SAW said, “A woman must not travel for three days except with a Mahram.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1036 & Sahih Muslim). Sayyiduna Abu Huraira RA narrates that the Nabi Muhammad SAW said, “It is unlawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day that she travels the distance of one day and one night without a Mahram accompanying her.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1038). The Shari’ah has allowed women to travel a distance less than the Safar without a Mahram as there is little danger involved. However, Ulama have discouraged it in today’s time as her honour is greatly jeopardised given the widespread immorality and corruption present. The four main schools of thought all agree on this matter except with women travelling for Hajj with a group of trustworthy ladies, which the Shafi and Maliki madhabs say is permissible. The basis for this ruling is not an evil assumption about women and their manners, as some people unreasonably think, but it is to take care of her reputation, dignity and safety. It is to protect her from the desires of those who have diseased hearts, from the assault of an immoral person. Today people argue that forms of travel have changed from how it was in the time of Rasulullah SAW. Since various modes of transportation such as planes, buses and ships gather large amounts of people at a time this provides plenty of confidence and reliability, removing feelings of fear for women, because she will not be by herself in any place. Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam from the UK based Darul Iftaa explains, “This deduction is incorrect and the permissibility of women travelling without a Mahram can not be justified on its basis.” Neither can the justification that we live in a different era where women need to “move with the times in order to improve” carry any weight. Rulings that are based upon clear texts of the Quran and Sunnah can never change. The wisdom behind this ruling is to save women from the dangers that can be encountered on a journey. However, this is not the legal reason. Whether the journey is safe, in a plane or on foot, it will remain impermissible. This is very similar to the ruling of shortening of prayers for a Musaafir. The wisdom behind the ruling is undue hardship; however, this is not the reason. The reason is the travelling distance of three days and three nights. Even if one was in a perfectly comfortable journey, all the Hanafi scholars (classic and contemporary) have declared that it is incumbent upon a traveller to shorten the Fard prayers. We don’t see people suggesting that prayers must not be shortened due to the modern day means of transport. (source: Jamiatul Ulama - KZN)
10 things a Women on Menses can do in Ramadan Almighty Allah has made it easy for a women in Ramadan during her menses for she is still able to get the same rewards as men. The good deed accounts don't stop when a women is menstruating for the angels are continuing writing down good deeds as long as a women is doing good actions in order to please Allah. The following are 10 good deeds a women can do whilst on her menses during Ramadan and throughout the whole year: 1. Listen to Qur'an recitation: Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. Is is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse. Abu Nu’aim states, in his Tib an-Nabbi, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that the benefits of listening to recitation are increased when it is understood – that is, when its meaning is understood. Allah Himself says:…so give good news to My slaves, those who listen to the word and then follow the best of it…(Qur’an: 39.17-18) Source: As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 2. Read the tafseer and meanings of the Qur'an: To reflect upon the verses of Allaah is a form of worship; it is something that will draw one close to Allah, Most High. Allaah, Most High, Says in the Quran (what means): "Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from [any] other than Allaah, they would have found within it much contradiction." [Quran: 4:82] We should try to understand the Qur'an: Ibn Kathir says regarding tafsir of [soorah al-A'raf (7): 179]: The similitude of the one, who memorizes the Qur'an but does not act in accordance to it, is like a donkey, which carries a load of books, but does not understand! We should read and study the deeper meanings of the Qur'an and act upon everything we read as this is what the Sahaaba did. Some of the Sahaaba took a very long time finishing the Qur'an because they wanted to implement everything they read before moving on to the rest of the Qur'an. 3. Dhikr of Allah: A woman on her menses can do excessive dhikr night and day. We will all have utter regret for each second wasted without remembering Allah: Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The People of Paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah." Narrated Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman (1:392 #512-513) The highest rank in Jannah are for those who remembered Allah the most: Abu Sa`id (RA) narrates the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked, "Which of the servants of Allah is best in rank before Allah on the Day of resurrection?" He said: "The ones who remember him much."I said: "O Messenger of Allah, what about the fighter in the way of Allah?" He answered: "Even if he strikes the unbelievers and mushrikin with his sword until it broke, and becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Bayhaqi) Therefore we should remember Allah as much as we can & glorify him night & day, not just in Ramadan but until our very last breath. What better time to start remembering Allah more than in this most blessed month. So we should set ourselves daily targets of doing as much Dhikr as we can. We can remember & glorify Allah whatever we are doing throughout the day. At work, whilst cooking, shopping & even whilst relaxing. We should remember Allah in our heart's & not just by our tongues. We should also contemplate over his magnificence & his creations & imagine him in front of us as we glorify & remember him. The following are 10 Dhikr, supported by Hadith that we can recite throughout the day & night in Ramadan until our last breath: Note: We should try & aim to recite each of these 10 Dhikr a 100 times each which makes a total of 1000 a day minimum. 1. Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee - Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan. 2. Subhaanallah 3. Alhamdulillah 4. Allahu Akbar 5. Laa ilaaha illallah 6. LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH-HIL ALIYYIL ADHEEM 7. Asthaghfirullah-halladhee Laa ilaaha illa-huwal Hayyul Qayyuumu Wa athoobu Ilay Or short version: Asthaghfirullah 8. SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI SUB-HAAN'ALLAH-IL ADHEEM Or short version: SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI 9. Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm 10. Lā ilāha illā-llāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu lahu-l-mulku wa lahu-l-ḥamdu yuhyi wa yumītu wa huwa ḥayyu-llā yamūtu abadan abada, ḏū-l-jalāli wa-l-ikrām, biyadihi-l-khayr, wa huwa alā kulli Shay-in qadīr Or the shortened version: Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer We should also recite much of durood e Ibrahim which is the durood that is recited towards the end of Salaah. Or the shortest durood is: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim 4. Dua & Repentance: A woman in her menses can make excessive Dua to Allah night and day. Almighty Allah says in the Qur'an: "When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me." [2:186] The place of Dua is so high in front of Allah, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim) has said: "Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Dua." [sahih al-Jami` no.5268]. Allah loves repentance & loves those who turn to him in sincere repentance: Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance... (Qur'an 2:222) Many of us rush our Dua’s & quite often our hearts are not present whilst we are making dua to Allah. That is why we lose out on much of the benefits & blessings of Dua. Therefore we should not let our minds wonder whilst in Dua & we should concentrate more, making sure our hearts are present whilst asking of Allah. Whilst we are in dua we should imagine Almighty Allah in front of us & so we should humble ourselves in front of him in a state of meekness & humility. It may also help if we made a list of what we want to ask Allah during our dua’s. We can then refer to this list as a reminder so that we can cover everything we need to ask him, which may help in making our Dua’s longer & more sincere. This is because we will not always remember everything we want to ask Allah unless we note it down & refer back to it when we need to. The times when Dua's are most accepted during Ramadan are: 1. The third portion of the night shortly before sehri ends. 2. Whilst fasting. 3. Between Asr & Maghrib. 4. Just before fast opens. 5. On Jumma before & after khutba. 6. Between Adhan & Iqamah. 7. Whilst raining. 8. After Qur'an recitation. 9. The Night of Qadr Let us not be of those who pass by Ramadan without gaining any forgiveness: Rasullullah (sallahu’ ‘alaihi wasallam) said: ...the angel Jibra’il appeared before me and said: Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness...’ Upon that I said: ‘Amin.’ (Al-Bukhari, Al-Tabrani) We should ask of Allah to accept all of our good deeds & efforts throughout Ramadan & be hopeful that Allah will accept it from us. We should also have FULL hope that Allah will accept our Dua’s if not in this world then in the hereafter. We should accept his decree for he knows best in all matters. Narrated ‘Ubaadah that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for EACH believing man and believing woman.” (Tabarrani) Subhanallah this deed can be done in EVERY dua and can you imagine how many rewards can be gained for each and every Muslim you make dua for from Adam alayhis 'salam until now and the last Muslim on earth. This is the easiest way to earn rewards that go into the billions and the more you make these dua's then the more your good deed account wil get filled! Every night in the last ten nights the following dua should be recited abundantly: Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim): 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee" O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' " (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi). 5. Learning Islamic knolwedge: A woman in her menses can learn Islamic knowledge as much as she can through books, online, teachers etc "Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have been granted knowledge to high ranks." (Qur'an) "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female)." (Hadith) THE VIRTUES OF KNOWLEDGE Allah (Most Exalted is He), Who created us and gave us sustenance, has also given us guidance. He said: "Verily We have created man into toil and struggle… Have We not made for him a pair of eyes; and a tongue, and a pair of lips; and shown him the two ways (obedience and disobedience)?" (Qur'an, Al-Balad 90:4-10) After providing us with the capability to contemplate, think and differentiate between things, He instructed us to know Him, to know his Prophets and to know His Deen, Islam. He said: "So know that there is no god save Allah, ask forgiveness for your sins and for the believing men and the believing women. Allah knows well your moving and your place of rest." (Qur'an, Muhammad 47:19) This verse shows the importance of knowledge and the virtues that Allah has given to it. It also shows that knowledge comes before deeds, since Allah instructed His Prophet to know that He is One and the only One worthy of worship. After that, He commanded him to ask forgiveness for himself, his family and for his Ummah. If Muslims truly realise the importance Islam places on knowledge and its virtues, they will definitely be keen to learn and teach others. They would start with themselves and their families; then their neighbours and the community at large. 6. Serving your parents: A man once asked the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim): "'Should I join the jihad?' He asked, 'Do you have parents?' The man said, 'Yes!' The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim) said, 'Then strive by serving them!'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 5972) Therefore serving one's parents is even better than jihad so serve your parents as much as you can and gain rewards you can NEVER imagine! Treating your parents the best: To be obedient and to show kindness to parents has been enjoined in the Holy Quran in such a manner as to say that among the noble deeds, to obey parents, treat them respectfully and to show kindness to them is next to worshipping Almighty Allah. The Quran says, "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour." - Surah Al Isra (17:23). The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him!” Someone asked: “Who, O Allah's Messenger?” He replied: “He whose parents reach old age, either one or both of them, and he does not use their presence (by being good to them, etc.) to cause him to enter Paradise.” (Muslim) Abdullah bin Mas'ood (RA), observed: "I asked Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) which deed was the best." He replied: 'The Prayer at its appointed hour.' I (again) asked: "Then what?" He replied: 'Kindness to the parents.'... (Sahih Muslim: 120) So a woman in her menses should do what she can to serve her parents in anyway that she can like for eg clean the house so that her parents do less, attend to their every need etc. Surely she will be pleasing Allah so much and gaining unimaginable rewards! 7. Giving dawah: "And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'"[al-Qur'aan, Fussilat(41):33] A woman on her menses can give dawah to other sisters and non Muslims. We should spend our lives inviting others towards Allah whether they are Muslim or non Muslim. "Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are prosperous ones." (3.104) We should not argue with them or use a harsh manner but use wisdom, tact and the best approach possible: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious. (16:125) We should enjoin good and forbid evil for it is a duty upon us: The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Indeed, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as he had cursed them’ (At-Tirmidhi) Whatever beneficial knowledge we have we should convey it unto others so that they may also benefit from it: Zaid b. Thabit (RA) narrated the Prophet(Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: "May Allah cause to have freshness and brilliance the man who hears what I say and keeps it in mind, then convey it to others. (Ahmad, 5-183) We should know that any good action another does because of some beneficial knowledge we have shared then we will also have a share of it: "Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." (Sahih Muslim) So she can give dawah by text, e mail, direct or indirect 8. Best Manners, Character & Conduct: A woman on her menses should show the best manners, character and conduct in this blessed month and throughout her life. She should strive to be of those with the best of characters and manners as that is what will elevate us in the hereafter: Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alahi wasallam) used to say: The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character. (Related by al-Bukhari) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: There is none heavier in the scales of the Hereafter than good character, (Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud). Subhanallah so if we show good character outside of Ramadan then it is of the heaviest on the scales but can you imagine the rewards of good character in Ramadan? The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant." (Tirmidhi) So let us strive to perfect our manners, character and conduct and know that these good deeds will be of the heaviest on the scales and will enable us to reach the highest ranks of Jannah 9. Charity: A women in her menses should spend in the way of Allah as much as she can for charity extinguishes sins save one from the fire: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Charity wipes out sins as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi) Charity should be paid secretly: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Righteous deeds protect a person from an evil end; a charity spent in secret extinguishes Allah’s wrath; and maintaining good ties of kinship increases ones lifespan.” (Tabaraani) Removing harmful objects from people’s way is also a charity: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“I saw a man enjoying himself in Paradise (simply) because he removed from a road a tree that used to harm people.”(Muslim) Providing for ones family is a charity: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“If a man provides for his family hoping for the reward, it will be counted as charity for him.”(Bukhari & Muslim) She can involve herself in charity work in her local community or for a charity organisation. She can do various projects to raise money and awareness for good cauises. 10. Serve and obey Husband: It is obligatory on all Muslim woman to obey their husbands in all matters of good. She is promised Paradise for fulfilling her obligations unto her husband. Abu Hurairah reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “If a woman prays her five (daily) prayers and keeps her private parts chaste and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any of the doors of Paradise she wishes.” [ibn Hibbaan] So whether a woman is on her menses or not she should do her utmost this Ramadan and for the rest of her life to serve and obey her husband in the best manner possible for the pleasure of Allaha and in doing so she will not only be pleasing Allah but she will gain unimaginable rewards Conclusion Therefore a woman on her menses must never feel that she is not able to gain the blessings and reward of the month of Ramadan. There is NOTHING stopping her from gaining IMMENSE rewards equal to that of a man. All that is required from her is effort, the right good intentions and sincerety in her actions. May Allah enable us to gain he best of this month. Ameen (Source)
The following is an article written by Bint Assalaam and posted on Jamiatul Ulema (KZN) website: Is sisterhood dying? We hear it often, “By nature women are nurturers.” Just not always with each other. We easily speak about how men hate on women, but let’s talk about our propensity as women to hate on each other. And we do it frequently. Almost habitually, that unbeknownst to us, sizing each other up has become a skill we can perform in a matter of seconds. Women are often harder on each other than men. At home, at work, even at play, appraising and judging each other constantly. We have entered each other in a competition where the only prize on offer is an unfounded feeling of short-lived self satisfaction. In a never-ending pageant, we are contesting with and judging each other on our dress, marital status, occupation, smarts, social disposition, walk and talk. No matter how much girl power we profess to have over men we’re still insecure about it. We are strangely threatened by another woman possibly “stealing” our power that it drives us to wield that so called power over each other. A lot of women will tell you that they have either survived the torment served by at least one mean girl in their past, that girl who dismissed, belittled, or socially tortured them. There might be some who will tell you they are going through it right now. And chances are you’re actually the bully. Take for example that most mother and daughter – in – law relationships are based on mutual dislike or worse. The line between letting go and grabbing on too tightly is thin. Mother – in – laws are more often the ones abusing what’s meant to be a respectable seniority in these cases, to such an extent it results in the failure of some marriages. Most times these mothers – in – law suffered under the iron fist of their husband’s mother but instead of breaking the vicious cycle, they continue the “tradition”. One would think rearing one’s own kids would incline one to be more accepting of another’s. But instead power play has pushed some mothers – in – law to take out a hit on their new daughters. Because of this young women enter marriage with their guards up thinning the chances of a mother-daughter bond from forming. Sisterhood is dying. A recent study has found that two women are less likely to co-operate than two men when one is more powerful than the other. This contradicts the accepted notion that a woman’s nurturing nature makes it normal for them to help each other. Aside from this asphyxiation of one woman’s growth by another, the female newbie at a company undergoes all types of tests by those already there. If you’re too quiet, you’re labelled a snob. Speak up and you’re a big mouth. Take the initiative or push boundaries and you’re a suck up. Disagree with others views and you’re outcast and given the silent treatment. This happens with women in the same profession, of different professions and generally outside the workplace also. This strong arm tactic of mocking or shunning other women, and denying them a social connection works because according to experts, relationships are a source of solace and power to women and girls. But female bullying is not restricted to the real world only. Twitter and Facebook have opened up new arenas for it, with complete strangers slinging verbal vitriol at each other. Never mind that woman make silent deductions about other women based on their dress within seconds of meeting women across seas are openly typecasting each other. Social media has allowed women to betray, backstab and trash-talk each other without face-to-face conflict, to the amusement and glee of their friends and followers. It sets apart the real friends from the pseudo ones. Disagree with a woman on her status or tweet and you might earn the cold shoulder at work or even worse be unfriended. Constantly images of what the perfect woman should look like bombard us. It isn’t a surprise that the reason for women hating on women is self hate. Not being able to identify with this ridiculous slim, flawless, cellulite-free, and perfect image of beauty has created angry women. Envy, insecurity and feelings of intimidation drive women to knock other women down. More often than not these unhealthy feelings develop because of this visual assault, rather than a deep rooted psychological problem. Women with a strong sense of self and high self-esteem are less likely to hurt others, if they aren’t prone to making judgments about women of other cultures and religion. Sisterhood is drawing its last breaths. Unfortunately even amongst Muslim girls and women. We are choosing the wrong examples to direct our identities and so weaving flimsy friendships and relationships based on the superficial. If sisterhood in Islam transcended the surface levels of friendship, Muslim women could enjoy a very special bond with each other. As Muslim women we share a gift more special than any other, we share the belief in the Oneness of Allah SWT. This shared belief and testimony of faith should go beyond our differences of race, nationality, culture or language. Being a sister in Islam is one of many blessings but it also comes with a responsibility to each other. As Muslim women we are taught that there is great reward in loving each other for the sake of Allah SWT, that we should be trustworthy and show a cheerful face towards one another, that we should not abandon each other, that we should be faithful, forgiving, kind and tolerant to each other, that we should conceal each others flaws, and that we should love for each other what we love for ourselves. It’s fair to say the opposite is happening. We place each other in boxes of too religious, too modern, too pious,too quiet, too intelligent or too homely. The list goes on. We choose our friends based on the superficial and fail to make lasting friendships with other women because of our increasing envy, self-hate, insecurity and feelings of intimidation. If we are failing to build a strong sisterhood in Islam how do we expect that sisterhood to extend to women of all faiths to build a sisterhood in humanity.