Every Muslim woman is virtuos to some degree in one way or the other. To be virtuos is to conform to some form of moral and ethical principles and what’s more virtuos than upholding the prinples of Islam wherein honesty, compassion, patience, charity and fairness are part of its teachings?
The hassle & bussle of everyday life, of working, being a student, a wife, a mom, all of the above or a combination of each may weight you down. You may function robotically, offering your daily salat (on time is a bonus), making sure there’s food on the table, the children are looking neat and crisp and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and on time are all part of it. Yes, you will often (more so then less) feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but it’s not overreaching to strive for virtue in your day to day and becoming a virtuos woman is not about being ‘perfect’. It’s about living life by the way of the Almighty with purpose and diligence.
Virtue is a common characteristic that can be found within the mindsets of the Mothers of Islam: Maryam (Mary), Asiyah, Khadija and Fatima (May Allah be please with them), as well as described of other women in the Quran.
So, what does the virtuos Muslim woman look like?
Faith & righteousness:
She lives in submission to the will of Allah and follows the ways of the best of creation – the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
She upholds her connection to the Almighty and always strives to increase her level of faith and piety. She does not omit any obligatory duties, and she is keen to do some nafl (supererogatory) deeds. She gives precedence to pleasing Allah (s.w.a), over everything else.
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَـٰلِحًۭا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌۭ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُۥ حَيَوٰةًۭ طَيِّبَةًۭ ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
“Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely bless them with a good life, and We will certainly reward them according to the best of their deeds.” (Al-Nahl 16:97)
As a wife
She is good-natured, of good character, pure of soul and clean of heart, has good manners, speaks in a gentle way and treats her husband kindly. she isn’t known for foul speech or meanness. And, she is one who is dutiful, obeys her husband, and, will guard her chastity and her honour both in her husband’s presence and absence.
عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «الْمَرْأَةُ إِذَا صَلَّتْ خَمْسَهَا وَصَامَتْ شَهْرَهَا وَأَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا وَأَطَاعَتْ بَعْلَهَا فَلْتَدْخُلْ مِنْ أَيِّ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ شَاءَتْ» . رَوَاهُ أَبُو نعيم فِي الْحِلْية
Anas reported God’s Messenger as saying, “When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of paradise she wishes.”* * A way of saying nothing will prevent her from entering paradise. (Mishkat al-Masabih 3254; Book 13, Hadith 171)
وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قِيلَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: أَيْ النِّسَاءِ خَيْرٌ؟ قَالَ: «الَّتِي تَسُرُّهُ إِذَا نَظَرَ وَتُطِيعُهُ إِذَا أَمَرَ وَلَا تُخَالِفُهُ فِي نَفْسِهَا وَلَا مَالِهَا بِمَا يَكْرَهُ» . رَوَاهُ النَّسَائِيُّ وَالْبَيْهَقِيُّ فِي شُعَبِ الْإِيمَان
Abu Huraira told that when God’s Messenger was asked which woman was best he replied, “The one who pleases [her husband] when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 3272, Book 13, Hadith 188)
As a mother
She is compassionate, loving, caring and serious about raising her children by the way of Allah. She teaches her children Islam, good manners and the Quran; nuturing the love of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w) in them. She disciplines them in the way they should go, in order to attain a high level of piety, religious commitment, good character and knowledge.
Kind, patient & forgiving
She doesn’t highlight the fault of others and strives to do good even with those who have wronged her. She is known to respond with kindness and tranquility when faced with stressful situations and harshness.
خُذِ ٱلْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِٱلْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ ٱلْجَـٰهِلِينَ
“Keep to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Sura al-’Araf, 7: 199)
وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُو۟لُوا۟ ٱلْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَٱلسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوٓا۟ أُو۟لِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَـٰكِينَ وَٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا۟ وَلْيَصْفَحُوٓا۟ ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌ
“Do not let the people of virtue and affluence among you swear to suspend donations to their relatives, the needy, and the emigrants in the cause of Allah. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love to be forgiven by Allah? And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nur 24:22)
حَدَّثَنَا هَدَّابُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ الأَزْدِيُّ، وَشَيْبَانُ بْنُ فَرُّوخَ، جَمِيعًا عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ، – وَاللَّفْظُ لِشَيْبَانَ – حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا ثَابِتٌ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ أَبِي لَيْلَى، عَنْ صُهَيْبٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لأَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ ” .
Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it”. (Sahih Muslim 2999; Book 55, Hadith 82)
She is diligent with her work and uses her time wisely. She doesn’t waste time on worldly affairs and uses her time on that which is good.
She is a homemaker, ensuring that her home and family are well taken care of with willing hands. She creates a clean and tidy environment with an atmosphere of peace, love and warmth within the home.
She looks after her appearance and embraces beauty – in look and in smell. She equally looks after her husband’s and childrens’ appearances and she beautifies them and her surroundings.
Neighbourly and charitable
She is helpful, respectful, courteous and responsible when it comes to her neighbours, the Ummah and humanity in need. She works with her neighbours to create a peaceful community for the benefit and support of one another.
وَعَنْ حُسَيْنٍ الْمُعَلِّمِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا قَتَادَةُ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ لا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ ”.
Narrated Anas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 13; Book 2, Hadith 6)
وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم، مثل الجسد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالسهر والحمى” ((متفق عليه)) .
Nu’man bin Bashir (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”. (Riyad as-Salihin 224; Introduction, Hadith 224)
مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَٰلَهُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِى كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٍۢ مِّا۟ئَةُ حَبَّةٍۢ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَـٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies ˹the reward even more˺ to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Al-Baqara 2:261)
Every Muslima is at the least, a person of righteousness and of high integrity who deals with varying degrees of moral excellence, respectfulness, self-control and keeps up with promises on the daily. Recognising these qualities within ourselves and striving for brilliance for the sake of Allah will make us good representations of our faith. This, will bring us the tranquility, satisfaction and drive we need to live the Muslim lifestyle (by the shariah). We as wife’s, will elivate our husbands, as mother’s, we will raise virtuos Muslims and collectively, we will strengthen the morality & righteousness of our communities.