“A Muslimah’s Guide to Living a Blissful Life” by Sayyidah Khairun Nisaa (rahimahallah) #3

My dear daughters! I do realise that (even if you do not prepare yourself while in your parents’ home, then) the day will eventually come when you will have improved, acquired the skills that you need and learnt what you need to know. As time passes, your weaknesses will transform into skills, because you will learn from the difficulties that you underwent and the mistakes that you made. However, of what good will it be, when people who wished well for you and had aspirations in you would no longer be around? It is my aspiration that you begin, from now, acquiring all the qualities and skills that will shield you from the challenges and difficulties that you will face later on.

If you think that you ‘know it all’, and you will be able to deal with the demand of every occasion, then you are absolutely wrong and mistaken, even though you may have occasionally sewed yourself an outfit, or cut out the draft and design of a garment, or cooked a pot of food now and again, or embroidered on a kurta, topi or purse at some point, or you learnt to read the Quraan Majeed and a few kitaabs in some madrasah and then left, and let alone understanding the kitaabs – you did not even know what subject the kitaab was written on! Can this ever be regarded as capability, and can such a person be considered competent? If someone has to ask you a question, then you will be left speechless.

What is required of you is that when you need to perform some task, then regardless of how difficult, complicated or intricate the task may be, you must be able to accomplish it with complete ease and competence. You must neither require the assistance of people, nor should you be dependent and reliant on a domestic worker. It must not be such that you cannot complete your domestic work without burdening your elders or the men folk of the family to help you.  Instead, you must display such intelligence and energy in attending to your domestic work and tasks that even the men folk of your family will be impressed with you and marvel at your ability and efficiency.

Look after your children, raise them correctly and care for them well. When they are sick then nurse them to good health while also seeing to the running of the home and other domestic responsibilities. You should not become so engrossed in attending to one responsibility, that in the process you neglect a hundred other responsibilities. Instead, you should be mindful of all your responsibilities and show due attention to everything. You should also enquire and find out what is happening out of the home from time to time[1].

If you acquire all these qualities and skills, then even if you encounter an unfavourable situation, you will be able to turn it to your advantage. If something gets damaged, you will be able to apply your intelligence to find the solution and remedy it. You will know who your friends are, and you will similarly know who your enemies are. When you speak, then you will not utter anything that will put yourself into a problem or that will hurt others. You will completely avoid all fights, arguments and quarrels. You will find people all over welcoming you and receiving you with warmth and love. In fact, you will even win the hearts of your enemies and turn them into your friends. Nobody will have a chance or opportunity to complain about you.

On account of you behaving intelligently at all times, people will show love and affection for you. Thereafter, even if perchance you do something unintelligent, people will not regard it to be irrational, since the occasional foolish action of an intelligent person is overlooked. On the other hand, when a person is foolish, then even if he happens to do or say something intelligent, many people will still view his action or statement in the light of his foolishness. Furthermore, because a fool lacks intelligence, then he often causes problems where none existed. He turns his friends into enemies, whereas an intelligent person turns his enemies into his friends.

In order for you to correctly understand and practise on the advices that I have given you thus far, as well as the advices that I am still going to give you, it will be necessary for you to apply your mind and intelligence and ponder deeply over what I have mentioned. You must realize that every virtue of this world and the next can only be attained if you learn to think and reason correctly. Intelligence and hayaa (modesty and bashfulness) are two invaluable gems. This quality of hayaa is also such that it will save you from many wrongs.

[1] This will refer to those things that concern us, relate to us and will benefit us. For example, we should know if any woman in our locality is sick so that we could visit her and help her, or if any person passed away, so that we can console them, or if any person is in need so that we can render them assistance, or if there is a Deeni programme taking place in the locality, we could attend it, etc.