Sisters in Solidarity $1000.00 Scholarship Winning Essay by Anum Shami
In your opinion, who has been the most influential Muslim woman of the past century? Discuss her contribution to society and how it continues to impact our lives today.”
It was in 1990’s when one Muslim woman decided to take on an important mission: to raise Allah’s banner high. Dr.Farhat Hashmi graduated with a M.A. in Arabic from Punjab University and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from University of Glasgow. But this motivated sister took her education and knowledge to the next level. She decided to share it…with the whole world.
Dr. Hashmi lectured at her local college teaching young women Arabic and Islamic Studies. Alongside she would give halaqahs (lectures/ study circles) to women from all walks of life. But as her halaqahs grew, attracting Pakistani women of all social and financial statuses, she realized that Allah SWT had given her a task to replace light with the ignorance that was consuming our Ummah. Dr. Hashmi then established Al-Huda International in two locations in Pakistan. The founded organization defines itself as “a non-political, welfare, educational, training and research oriented Islamic organization”. It was not long after that her teaching style attracted Muslimahs thirsty for knowledge from the US, England, Canada and the Middle East. Over 10,000 students have graduated from the Al-Huda programs. Students can take courses both in English or Urdu, whichever language they prefer but ultimately all the students are dedicated to understand the language of Allah.
Primarily catering to women, Dr. Hashmi opens the eyes of narrow-minded Muslims as to the role of women in Islam. Using the Quran and Sunnah as her ultimate sources, Dr. Farhat works diligently to eradicate the cultural stereotypes projected of a woman’s position in contemporary society and replaces it with the truth and guidance that Allah SWT has revealed for us in our complete and beautiful Deen (religion). Bringing the freedom of knowledge to the ignorant angers some, as they lose their power over the ignorant and weak but her moral and ethical teaching styles truly changed many lives.
Encouraging women to seek an education allows them to develop a more spiritual connection with their Rabb (Lord). While lecturing, Dr. Farhat constantly prompts her students to stop and ponder about their purpose in life. Why are we here? The Quran is our manual for life warning us that there is an afterlife. Materialism and love of the dunya will not benefit us on the Day of Judgment. If one woman can wake up thousands of Muslims to the reality of our life’s purpose, imagine the reward that Allah SWT will bless her with when each of her students brings productive change in their own lives.
I believe Dr. Faraht Hashmi is one of the most influential Muslim woman figures in contemporary times, her success and recognition is because she continues to put Allah first in her life. Success is not measured by the worldly gains but rather the amount of preparation for the Akhirah (Hereafter). Dr.Hashmi has made a global contribution to the Ummah by providing the means to spiritual satisfaction and by generating leaders who will continue to propagate Islam to the four corners of the Earth.
Nabeela, 24th Feb’10
aslam o alekum i dont have words to explain that how madam farahut hasmi has utilized her faculties bestowed by God.simply promising effort.but the way quran changed my way of thinking , i can never ever be able to be in a position to thank my Allah for confering me knowledge of my deen and such a benign teacher through her i saw world and all its contents in a marvellous way and inshallah this process is going on and on.(ALHUMDULILH)may be this word could express my feelings . i do agree with the writer rather more more than that.inshaalh Allah will give her rewards and pray for me that may Allah give me the opportunity like this AMEEN
Tasneem, 29th Sept’09
Assalam-o-alaikum ! I am not qualified to comment on the whole world or the whole century; but in Pakistan that is absolutely true.She has very positively influenced the educated, modern reasonably well-to-do women who were till yesterday busy (oh So busy), with their coffee parties or fashion shopping etc.etc. She has managed to convince them to hold fast to the Quran and lead their lives according to it….a feat no-one was able to do for the past couple of centuries. Not only that,a large number of her students have been motivated to expand her work whole-heartedly, and I being among one of their beneficiaries am totally in awe of their dedication.I could never have hoped to have such easy access to understanding the Quran, just e few years ago. A tree is known by its fruit. May Allah reward them All…..Ameen I Pray that there may be more women like her all over the globe.
Mehreen Furqan, 28th Sept’09
Assalamualaikum Wr Wb My experience with Dr. farhat Hashmi has been of a enlightening nature. Allah opened the doors of Islam to me thru her. After spending time with her as a Listener and then a regular student, the changes in me may not be very impressive to you, as I am no GREAT SCHOLAR but She showed me simply how to be regular in my prayers, fast with zeal,she showed me how to share what I learnt from her, she taught me to say sorry to people I hurt, she taught me to start preparing for my real life, she taught me to give and give with a open heart.I learnt not to belittle others despite the fact they may not approve of the teachings at Alhuda. For others these things may seem trivial but not to me. My sincere duas for her and her family. Definitely she is the woman I vote for
Simeen A. Hussain, 28th Sept’09
I totally agree with what Anum has written about Dr. Farhat Hashmi. She is in the truest sense, a revolutionary, bringing about change not only in the lifestyles but also the thinking of many many women.Although I have never ever personally met or even seen her she is my spiritual guide and teacher. May Allah reward her manifold times. Ameen
Ayzaz, 22nd Sept, 09
May Allah subhanatalla bless her and her family so many families including me have gained and are practicing islam and she is the source ,may Allah bless her and forgive all of our sins and give hidaya aameen..
Azra Sabir, 22nd Sept, 09
Thank you for recognizing, Dr. Farhat Hashmi’s contibution to women of Muslim Ummah. Dr. Hashmi is a great teacher who has absolutely taken the ignorant Muslim women by their foreheads to change the life for their own benefit in this world and hereafter. These women that I noticed are indeed from all walks of life. The ladies who have benefited from Dr. Hashmi’s institute, lectures, personal visits to different cities in different parts of the world, including here in Canada, and word of mouth, are examples that I have personally experienced in my own circle of family and friend are some wonderful ladies from rich, educated, influential, elite group of people who have changed their unislamic life styles to the beautiful way of our Deen e Islam. I have to mention about my own experience…..I find Dr. Hashmi’s way of teaching has brought me very close to my Creator, the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Mohammad Salalallaho Alai Wa Sallim, in short the beauty of our time on this earth. Also, to remind us of what are we going to take with us from this world for the benefit of our life to come, the “Aqirah”. I’m indeed very thankful to Allah Subhanao t’Ala for blessing us with the opportunity to learn from Dr. Hasmi. Jazak Allah Khairan, Dr. Farhat Hashmi for being a great teacher and a role model for us (the ignorant generation). Also, thanks a million to the writer of this article to bring out the beauty of learning from Dr. Farhat Hashmi..
Tahira, 22nd Sept’09
Allah SWT has chosen her for Islam. Masha’allah she have lots of suport and courage. I just pray from Allah SWT that he can choose women like us too. Women like us we try to get up, make disisions like a boiled Milk and in few secound it went cool. lots of weakness, lots of excusess, lot of reasons. Just remmber in your dua’a may Allah make us good Muslim and make us stand up strongly in Islam. One thing I noticed that if the person have back up and strong company then courage will come. But people like us. Istghfura’Allah fall so fast. May Allah keep our heart stright on the path of Islam.
Nasreen Khan, 21st Sept’09
Dr Farhat Hashmi is the first person who is teaching the Quran in such a simple way that it is so easy to under stand the Quran and Hadees. There are lots of Quran translation avalible but the way Dr Farhat explains the meaning of Quran and relates it with our daily life, it makes it more interesting and easy to act upon it. Dr Farhat Hashmi work is changing the lives all over the word and people are understanding the Quran the way it was meant to be . i pray to ALLAH SUBHANATALLAH to give her long and healthy life so she can continue the work she started and make us all to help in that mission because this is the only way we muslims can come out of darkness and make our lives more meaning full and beneficial for others.
Ameena Shafi, 20th Sept’09
Indeed Dr Farhat has touched millions of lives across the globe.Her untiring efforts have reached hearts far and wide.we are proud of her contribution to society and its betterment in all walks of life.May Allah Bless her for it.
Uzma Hussain, 20th Sept’09
Assalamo alikom I totally agree with the writer of the essay.Dr. Farhat Hashmi is a true embassodor & a rivivalist of Islam. If I look in the near histroy i donot find any woman who has authentic knowledge of islam and then she shared with others,thats the important part.Ustazah’s mission is put Quran in each & every hand. She has dedidcated her life for islam & has changed the life of many in a very postive way.May Allah Reward her the best (Aameen)
Bela, 19th Sept’09
Mashallah… This is an awesome achievement..both in terms of the scholarship won and article written on ustadzah.