In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The first time I heard the Adthan(call to prayer), I stopped to listen to one of the most beautiful voices I had ever heard. At that moment, I realized that I had passed this mosque every day on my way home from work. But on this day, after working only half of the day, I planned to sit in the park by the river, time to reflect. I later learned this day was called Jumu’ah, the Day of Assembly for Muslims. I remember the time was 1:00 pm. A young woman invited me to come inside. She motioned for me to remove my shoes as she handed me a lovely scarf and garment to cover my head and body. Then she directed me toward the mosque library. “Stay as long as you like Sister, there are books you may take with you.” I sat for over an hour reading and listening to the khutbah (sermon). The topic of this sermon was prayer. Since my parents (now deceased) were Christians the practice of prayer was performed mostly at church, at the dining table and at funerals. Verses from the Bible were usually read by adults. I didn’t know about any other form of prayer.
A Muslim woman’s day begins before dawn, she completes ghusl or wudu (ablution) with calmness of mind and a grateful heart. She expresses her gratitude by reciting, “Bismillaah, Subhanah Allah, Alhamdulilaah, Allahu Akbar” as she opens her eyes to see another sunrise, for having good health and standing for fajr salah. She offers two voluntary rakats before reciting the divine ayats (verses) of praise and worship for Al-Mulk (The Sovereign Lord). A Muslim woman makes her intention to submit her will and humble herself before Allah (subhana wata’Allah) and repeats, “I seek refuge from satan, the rejected enemy” before each surah. Prayer, being the 2nd pillar of Islam is very important to Muslims. It is an expression of a Muslim’s dedication and devotion and the only path to Jannah (Paradise). By preserving the Holy Qur’an, through memorizing and reciting, a Muslim woman purges bad deeds from her life and begins to taste the sweetness of faith. Muslim women are the cement in the foundation of society, community and family.
The "Ideal Muslimah" section of Striving For Clarity provides an array of articles, micro-series and short tidbits geared towards highlighting the important characteristics of a Muslim woman.