ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Canada is an Islamic nationalwide organization striving “to build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam.”
Located at 391 Burnhamthorpe Rd., East, Oakville, Ontario, ICNA Canada emphasizes that “the propagation of true and universal message of Islam is only possible in Canada when whole Canadian Muslim Community transformed into a Dawah community by practicing and propagating the true Islamic Way of Life. With the vision of building an exemplary Canadian Muslim community it is very important to spread the word of Islam…”
Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi is the Amir (President) of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada and is also serving as Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams. he also served as Director of Al-Falah Islamic School in Oakville, Ontario from 2004 to 2011, prior to which he served as Imam of Muslim Association of Calgary Islamic Center from 1998-2004 and as a member of the University of Calgary chaplaincy team.
Zunera Ishaq, the woman that stood at the centre of the “niqab debate” in the Canadian election campaign, works/ed for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
On its official website ICNA Canada shares with its members, followers and supporters the book “Riyad us Saliheen” (“The Gardens of the Righteous” رياض الصالحين) compiled by Imam Zakaruya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi, a Sunni Shafi’ite jurist and hadith scholar who lived in 13th century.
The Gardens of the Righteous (Arabic: Riyadh as-Salihin), is a compilation of verses from the Qur’an and hadith by Al-Nawawi. It contains a total of 1905 hadith divided across 372 chapters, many of which are introduced by verses of the Quran.
The book “Riyad us Saliheen” (“The Gardens of the Righteous”) which appears on ICNA Canada site adds modern commentary to the verses from the Qur’an and hadith.
The following are excerpts from the book which deal with differences between the sexes according to Islam and the threat of the Western civilization to Islam.
“[Hadith]: 267. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever supports two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this”. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) joined his fingers illustrating this.[Muslim].
“Commentary: In the pre-Islamic era, Arabs were greatly dejected and showed resentment on the birth of a daughter, which in fact reflected the status of women in society, In order to give them their rightful place in the society, Islam taught its followers to recognize their legitimate rights. Among the injunctions which were issued in this behalf, the most important was that their proper upbringing, education and training were made a means to attain Jannah so that people did not only feel joy over the birth of sons but also felt pleasure on the birth of daughters. In this respect, Islam is the first religion which has not only ensured protection of their rights but also made full arrangements for their respect and prestige in society. For instance, they have been prohibited from having close contacts with men
and for this purpose restriction of the veil has been imposed on them. Islam has emancipated them from the obligation of earning their own livelihood so that they are safe from the malicious eyes of evil- minded, and secure from the sexual lust of men, the way it is happening with women who are working side by side with men in the West. But it is a curse indeed that due to intellectual immaturity and evil trends, this freedom of women, which has disgraced and robbed them of the virtues of a chaste life, is liked by many people and they are trying that Muslim women should also imitate the style of western women. To the people of such crooked thinking, the Islamic teachings, which ensure the honour and chastity of women, appear to be the yoke of slavery and they want to release women from it.
“[Hadith]: 684. Abu Sa`id Al-Hhudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was even shier than a virgin behind her veil. When he saw something which he disliked, we could perceive it on his face. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
“Commentary: Though this Hadith particularly refers to the character of Messenger of Allah (PBUH), it also reveals the fact that modesty is a peculiar quality of woman. An unmarried woman, above all else, is considered to be the embodiment of bashfulness. Islamic countries have witnessed many curses of western civilization and the worst is the one which has robbed away the modesty of woman because it is the last protective shield of Islamic civilization which the enemy is consistently sweeping off. May Allah grant Muslims the insight to avert this wickedness!
“[Hadith]: 1276. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The best Jihad for you women is Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted by Allah).” [Al-Bukhari].
“Commentary: In ordinary circumstances, Hajj is the best of Jihad for women because in Islam, politics, economy, government, military affairs etc., come in the purview of men and men alone. Women are exempted from all such matters. However, in case of war, if the need arises, women can be engaged for supply of food, first-aid of the wounded etc., on the internal front, provided they can do such works without crossing the bounds of the Islamic-type veil. But imparting military training to women and dispatching them to war front are sheer imitations of the western nations for which there is no scope in the teachings of Islam. This Hadith also confirms this view.
“[Hadith]: 1627. Abu Sa`id Al-Hhudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “A man must not look at a man’s private parts nor must a woman look at a woman’s private parts; neither should two men lie naked under one cover, nor should two women lie naked under the same cover.” [Muslim].
“Commentary: This Hadith tells us how Islam has closed all doors of immodesty and obscenity. When Islam does not allow a man to sleep without any clothes on with another man, and also does not permit a woman to sleep without any clothes on with another woman, how can it possibly let the gents and ladies mix freely? Free mixing of men and women is a common evil in the West and is now being projected through television in Muslim countries. May Allah guide Muslims to the Straight Path!.
“[Hadith]: 1631. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cursed those men who ape women. He also cursed the hermaphrodite of men.
“Another narration is: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cursed men who copy women and cursed women who copy men. [Al-Bukhari].
“Commentary: Mukhannath (hermaphrodite) is a man who dresses himself like a woman and has an effeminate gait and carriage, while Mutarajjilah is a woman who dresses herself like a man and adopts a masculine style. What we learn from this Hadith is that men and women should stick to their natural qualities and characteristics and strictly avoid the imitation of the opposite sex in appearance as well as conduct. Those who violate their nature have been strongly cursed. Women who are influenced by western philosophies and thoughts and try to adopt all those professions which are special for men, fall in this category. Allah has not entrusted them with those responsibilities which are marked for men only. It is a pity that out of sheer imprudence and blind imitation of the West, Muslim women are now adopting the western lifestyle in all walks of life. Such blind imitation has led many astray and is bound to bring Allah’s Wrath upon the transgressors.
“[Hadith]: 1644. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cursed the maker and wearer of a wig and the tattooer and the one who is tattooed. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
“Commentary: Al-Washimah is a woman who practises Al-Washm Al-Washm was performed (in the past) by piercing needle in some part of the body for drawing blood and then filling the cavity caused by it with antimony, indigo, etc., to make the spot green or black. This is called tattooing. In the Arab society of the Prophet’s time, this fashion was very popular among women for enhancing their charms and beauty in the same way as the fashion of patching someone’s hair with his own. Al-Mustaushima is a woman who asks some women for tattooing and/or a woman who marks tattoos on the skin of another woman.
“As this act amounts to changing the natural appearance of a person, both women, that is the one who subjects her body to tattooing and the one who makes this operation, are cursed. Such fashions are in vogue in this age also. Plucking the eyelashes and filling them with colours and other material of make up, or like Hindu women, making mark between the eyebrows with cinnabar etc., fall in the category of such fashions. Such means of make up which are practised nowadays by women and on which huge amounts of money are wasted are the things which have been cursed. Muslim women should, therefore, avoid such evils as they are ruinous for religion as well as worldly life.
“Similar is the case of nail polish. In the opinion of some religious scholars, this act invalidates Wudu’. Women are now also in the habit of keeping long nails on which nail polish is applied to give an effect of beastly claws. All such vile fashions have been borrowed by oriental societies from the class of shameless women of the West, and Muslim women have also adopted them. We must strictly abstain from them because they tend to create resemblance to the non-Muslims, which is unlawful and is rated as a major sin.
“[Hadith]: 1879. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah’s forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women.” A woman amongst them said: “Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.” Upon this the woman asked: “What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?” He (PBUH) replied, “Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion.” [Muslim].
“l. In this narration, certain weaknesses of the female sex have been pointed out, which are natural and pertain to the woman’s biology, psychology and embryology.
“According to biologists, during and before menstruation, a female’s thought process is affected. Similarly, her pulse and blood pressure are also altered. Females are also more prone to hysteria. For these reasons, the Qur’an has declared that when you have to appoint or choose witnesses among women, you should choose two in place of one man. Modern researches have proved this rule to be correct on the basis of biology, psychology and embryology.
“Again we know that physically speaking, the female has been named as the weaker sex. For these reasons, females have been excused from earning their livelihood. For earning livelihood, one may have to go out and work hard. Women have been exempted from this duty because of their biological differences and other considerations of Shari`ah. Present-day women who are ignorant of Islam and modern researches are not prepared to accept these scientifically and religiously proved facts. The West claims equality between the sexes. But this equality has not been established so far. Today all the important posts are occupied by males and all the international policies are framed by them alone. Even matters pertaining to women are decided by them. They have mostly relegated them to the posts of workers, secretaries and stenographers for their sexual satisfaction and enjoyment. After a struggle for hundred years, their condition today proves that they are the weaker sex.
“So, it is both beneficial and more respectful for her to limit herself to the sphere of action suggested for her by Islam. If she oversteps her sphere, she will certainly lose her female dignity and prestige, as has happened in the West. Her state and condition there is an eyeopener for all.
“2. Women should request forgiveness from Allah very often and be generous in charity. They should not show ungratefulness to their husbands and should avoid backbiting and cursing others so that they may save themselves from Hell.”