On Difficulties for Muslim Women in France

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The situation is very difficult for Muslim women in France. The hijab is banned in schools and in the workplace and attacks on Muslim women are on the increase. There is widespread Islamophobia in the media and in politics. How should we react to these attacks and how should we protect our religion and not allow hatred to enter our hearts?

The real essence of the believers becomes manifest in times of hardship. Women should retain their modesty as far as possible[1] and remain firm, show good character and patiently bear the hardships they are exposed to and the end result will belong to the people of taqwa. Allah mentions in the Qur’an the types of people who have hatred for Islam in every generation: You are those who love them, but they love you not… when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers in rage… if any good befalls you, it grieves them, and if any evil befalls you, they rejoice at it. Allah did not then say: “You should hate them, treat them harshly, plot against them or be happy if evil afflicts them.” Rather Allah said: If you have patience (sabr) and taqwa then their scheming will not harm you.[2] Our brothers and sisters should embody this Qur’anic character: we should wish goodness and guidance for them in spite of their harming and insulting us. Allah mentioned that the Messengers said to their peoples: We shall patiently bear the harm that you have inflicted upon us, for those who put their trust should put their trust in Allah.[3]


[1] Habib Umar mentioned that they may leave the niqab or face covering, since the scholars differ over whether it is compulsory. They may not, however, leave the hijab which covers the hair and they should avoid beautifying themselves and using perfume.

[2] Al `Imran, 3:119-20

[3] Ibrahim, 14:12

On Discouraging Convert Sisters from Wearing Make Up

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can we do to discourage convert sisters from wearing make up?

First of all we should strive to make faith firm in their hearts so that they taste the sweetness of faith. We should let them mix with other sisters who have left things like make up. We should teach them about the lives of the Mothers of the Believers and the daughters of the Prophet ﷺ so that they then come to venerate these great women. We should convey to them the true meaning of honour and nobility that Allah has accorded believers both male and female in what He has legislated for them. We should convey to them also that the hijab and modesty are a means of honouring and protecting a woman.

We should not talk about the issue directly in the first instance but rather we work on establishing the foundations of their faith. Each individual is different so we must take this into account. Some will take longer than others to leave these things. The Prophet ﷺ taught Mu`adh to call people in stages: first to call them to faith, then to prayer and then to zakat.

Adkhar for Someone Who Has Not Been Able to Conceive

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can someone who has not been able to conceive recite?

Our Shaykh, Habib `Attas al-Habashi, used to recommend reciting Surat al-Fatihah 41 times between the Sunnah and Fard of Fajr with the intention of being blessed with a child.

Also recite the following verses 100 times a day or more or less:


رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء

Rabbi hab li milladunka dhurriyyatan tayyibatan innaka sami`u-du`a’

“O my Lord! Grant me from You pure descendants, for You hear all prayers!” (Al `Imran, 3:38)


رَبِّ لا تَذَرْني فَرْداً و أَنْتَ خَيْرُ الوارِثينَ

Rabbi la tadharni fardan wa anta khayrul-warithin

“O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring, and You are the best of inheritors.” (Al-Anbiya’, 21:89)


رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hab lana min azwajina wa dhurriyyatina qurrata `ayun wa’ja’lna lilmuttaqina imama

“Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” (Al-Furqan, 25:74)

On Women Wearing Western Clothing

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Some Muslim women in the West have taken to wearing a shirt and trousers so as not to stand out too much. What do you say about this?

As a principle, we should be concerned with seeking Allah’s pleasure rather than trying to fit in with society. Our aim should be to follow the example of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the pious. As for the ruling it is permissible for women to wear this as long as it is normal for women to dress in this way in that society. The clothing must not be tight-fitting and must not expose the shape of the body. In general, women must not expose any part of the body which must be covered to strange men.

On Women Balancing Between Work and Home

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can women perform their duties at home if they also have to go out to work?

They can do this by only going out when it is necessary to do and by wearing modest attire when they do so. They should follow the example of the daughters of the Prophet Shu`ayb, whom Allah mentions in the Qur’an: He (Musa) found at a distance from them two women keeping back (their flocks).[1] They refused to mix with the men but rather waited until they had finished watering their flocks. When their father sent one of them to Musa, Allah describes her as ‘walking shyly.’ When there is no longer a necessity for them to be out, they should return to attend to their duties in the house.

[1] Al-Qasas, 28:23

On Maintaining Awrad After Giving Birth

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

After giving birth I have not been able to be consistent in my awrad and other acts of worship. What can I do to maintain my spiritual progress?

You should realise that raising your children is a type of worship so you should make a good intention in raising them and intend to follow the Prophet in doing so.

You should take a moderate path – not neglecting the awrad completely and not trying to do too much. Rather you should do that which is easy for you to maintain. You will still be rewarded for that which you are unable to do.

On Balancing Awrad and Household Duties

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

A lot of my time is spent raising my children and doing the housework. How can I be consistent in reading my awrad?

Try to read the awrad while doing the housework. Perhaps the children will then memorise these awrad. A young child memorised Surah Ya Sin before knowing how to read and write just by hearing his mother reciting it while cleaning the house every day.