Video With the Divine

If God Helps You, None Can Overcome You

Imam Suhaib Webb, Shaykha Muslema Purmul, and Shaykh Jamaal Diwan speak about our relationship with God at the MAS-ICNA 2012 Convention.

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  • Assalaamualaikum,

    I am just wondering. I thought sisters shouldn’t speak in front of mixed gender audiences? Why is Shaykha Muslema Purmul on stage in front of a mixed audience?

  • Wa Alaykom Assalam,

    Sister Sarah, are you thinking or telling ?

    In reference to: “I *thought* sisters couldn’t speak in mixed audiences”

    The answer to that will determine how the answer should be phrased and even whether an answer should be phrased.

  • Assalamu alaikum, I totally agree with sister Sarah becos she thought & told right – We ladies are to speak to a lady audience – even our voice is not to be heard by men – we cannot make amendments in our islamic rule book to suit the environment or people we live in or with. Though the intention wud be to spread Allah’s word (which is good)but the route to that is not good, as per our Lord’s command. Please, our learned brothers & sisters in islam, let’s not make adjustments in our islamic way of life from any aspect of this worldly life & not give chances to less learned or layman people in islam a different or wrong view & stray from the right path. May Allah guide all brothers & sisters in faith to siraathul mustaqeem.

    • wa alaykum as salaam dear RK,

      May Allah reward you for your concern and sincere advice. While there are scholars who subscribe to the opinions that you have mentioned (that a woman’s voice should not even be heard by men), there are many scholars who would differ, not only on that particular point but on an array of issues dealing with women teaching.

      This is not something new to our tradition nor an attempt at modernized ‘amendments’ or ‘adjustments’, but simply a manifestation of other opinions (some even classical), that have their basis in sacred texts. There are numerous articles and books on this subject that I’m sure you can easily find that can elucidate these points, such that I don’t feel a need to go into a detailed defense of these views.

      I can understand your general concern, especially in our times when there are many attempts to bring certain trends into our community that are alien to our ethics, values and teachings; but there are times when just because something is new to us, it does not necessarily mean that it is improper or incorrect.

      I hope that we can have a level of hussn al-dhann in our dealings with others, and instead of assuming that someone is in the wrong, assume that perhaps there is something that I don’t know about what they are doing, and further, give people the space to practice when realizing they are subscribing to another legitimate view.

      May Allah bless you and all of us and help us to do what is most pleasing to Him at all times,


      • As Salamu Alaikum,

        For a good, short video on this topic, see the following by Shayk Omar Baloch called ‘Can sisters speak in public?’

        The video references several instances in which muslim women, during the time of the Prophet (S) and his Companions, spoke in public, including ‘Aisha (RA).

        This website recently had a very good article on dealing with differences of opinion, called, ‘There can only be one truth, right?’ by Shafiur Rahman hich can be found here:

        Insha Allah this is helpful!

        • Just to say, Alhamdulillah our tradition has a rich history of female scholars, many of whom taught men. Aisha (ral) is one good example and many would consider Rabia al-Adawiyya to be one of greatest ulema. She is credited to have brought a incredibly important understanding to the ummah on the concept of the love Allah bears to creation. It is well worth reading about her contribution. My understanding is that a lot of this knowledge is not yet available in English widely though. My source for the above is mainly from an amazing conference given by Sh. Hamza Yusuf and Sh. Umar Farook Abdullah on the attributes of God in Islam. It is well worth listening to.

          In my own work as an academic and scientist, I see so often what value women bring to the gathering. As the prime examplars of Allah’s ‘rahm’ (=mercy, compassion) in the world, the feminine perspective has unique gifts. As much as women learn from listening to the male perspective, men also benefit from listening to the female perspective. Allah’s creation is diverse and rich. It behoves us as honored custodian’s of this amazing organ known as the human brain, as well as the priceless and indefinable trust we bear as the children of Adam and Hawwa (alai) to not limit our exposures to it. Scholars call the seminal hadith ‘innamal a’malu binniyyath’ (actions are based on intentions) to be a half of the religion. The intention of this talk is nothing but good mashaAllah.

        • i second joymanifest. i am a descendent of a female teacher/judge/brilliant legal mind/”renaissance woman” who taught both men and women, who is herself descended from a female religious teacher/brilliant faraid mind/”renaissance woman” who taught both men and women. my grandmother clearly did not find anything in her religious training that impeded her from such teaching and speaking (both also had need to advocate for causes/influence decision-makers on matters of community or even national importance, who will oftentimes be male – whereas their peers, including the men, feared to or were unable/less qualified). and i am today in my own circle doing the same – teaching both men and women in environmental science as well as critical/logical reasoning. i consider myself following in the path of muslim female scholars, who taught widely while europe was still in the dark ages of cloistering their women in ignorance and behind locked doors.

  • MaShallah; I really liked the bit where Imam Suhaib described how important it was to improve his relationship with his parents and Qiyam Lail and how it helped with his learning of the Quran. Doubly interesting is the order in which his teacher recommended he implement these actions!

    May we all be helped to give and receive sincere and good advice!

  • Selamu Alejkum

    May Allah make us put things in their proper place

    There are definitely differences of opinion and they are respected within limits. Interestingly the few examples however seemed not to be in there proper place and I’m sure that is because of my limited understanding. However, I would like to speak on them humbly and would like for you who know much more than me to please shed some light on this.

    Two things, when we say women taught men what is it that we mean? Also, what women and if we are talking about Sahabiyyat and wives of the prophet than how did they teach them?

    See a few statements I have seen above were very general and I fear that maybe somethings were placed in improper places.
    The wives of the sahaba did speak to and show themselves before men but the part that was omitted was how they dressed. See saying that they dealt with men gives us a very one sided picture. If we take Aisha’s description of them they could not be recognized and seemed to have black crows on their heads. See they wore niqab/burqa’s then so when they talked to men they could not be seen. So when we say they talked to men or were out in public lets please not forget to mention that they could not be recognized whatsoever by a man.

    Secondly, the wives of the prophet were commanded to speak to men from behind a veil. So when we say Aisha taught men without mentioning that she did so behind a veil we get a verry misconstrued picture of that situation.

    Brothers and sisters whom I love for the sake of Allah please correct me if I am wrong for my understanding is limited, I simply would like for us to know and understand our predecessors, I fear that we ascribe the things we do to them while they were free from it.

    Jazak Allah Hajr

  • Assalamu alaikum dear sisters,

    I really didn’t mean to offend anybody with my reply. Honestly, I am not familiar with your ways in the west because I am settled in the middle east & here it is not only not allowed but even sisters who do dawah do not prefer that their speech be recorded for other people to hear. I am sure they have their reasons & proofs from Quran & sunnah, just like how you have your reasons & proofs.
    I love all your articles in this blog – sis.Shazia, sis.Rehab, sis.Mariam, sis. Jinan & her best, best articles on the names of Allah, sis.Yasmin, whose’ wonderful article “why people leave each other” bought me to this virtual mosque in the first place and of course sis. Muslema – her speech was very good (mashaallah) & I know because of what she spoke, in sha allah, her neayah also would be 100% good (like the sister who said “kullu aamal binneayah”). When u learn to know about Allah(swt), it sort of qrows on you & you want to spread it as much as possible. Her speech was really inspiring. Jazak allah khair all you sisters, who take time & write such wonderful articles to do dawah – Alhamdullilah.
    But the reason why I mentioned about going public with dawah is – “Good decisions come from experience, but experience comes from bad decisions” & it is better to be “safe than sorry” – this is my experience & I wouldn’t wish this pain on any sister – so please sisters – tread carefully – do more research on this topic & do what u feel is right – after all, we do this only & only for the pleasure of Allah(swt).

    May Allah(swt) help us all in our endeavours to please Him. Ameen

  • As Salamu Alaikum!

    Jazak Allahu Khayran for posting this video! All the speakers were inspirational.

    A great learning point for me, was made first by Imam Suhaib but reiterated by others as well, is that there is a link between the unseen and the seen.

    Ie, why am I not progressing so much in learning and memorizing Quran? Why can’t I ever really seem to learn Arabic, I just stay around at the beginning intermediate level despite years of trying? Why has learning Islamic knowledge been difficult for me, much more difficult than learning worldly knowledge?

    Yes, it could be that I am not studying hard enough, that I dont focus enough, etc. But perhaps its also because I have a interest based loan that I took in my time of ignorance that I am still trying to pay off? Or perhaps my relationships need to improve with family and friends? Or perhaps of some sins I am committing, or because I need to sacrifice for the sake of Allah? Perhaps its because I need to further humble myself in front of Allah?

    It definitely puts a new spin on things…much to think about, and then act on.

    Please make dua for me that Allah gives me tawfiq do what is most pleasing to Him and increases me in knowledge that is pleasing to Him.

    • It is attributed to Sufyan At-Thawri that he said

      “I once committed a sin and Allah kept me away from Qiyam ul Layl for 6 months”

      We are floating in sin so I believe that Sithara may be on to something here.

      Jazak Allah Khair

  • Thank you so much for downloading this, absolutely inspiring, truly! I often listen to Imam Suhaib Webb but I must say that the bit that got me the most was from Brother Dawud Wharnsby and his comments regarding our soul, something I will carry with me for the rest of my life Inshallah. JazakAllah Khair

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