Author: Mufti Mohammad Ashiq Elahi Buland Shehri
The role of women in the education and training of a nation is so well known that one need no speak more on it. A mother's lap is not only the first school of her child but it is also the base from which its training and upbringing begins. Therefore, the need to impart religious teachings and training to women is no less significant than the need to educate and reform men. We see this in the commands' of Islam that are addressed to men and women without distinction. In fact, some of the commands are appropriate to women alone. Further, in the final analysis, the training of women is af ter all the raising up of the entire nation.
It was the practice of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, to inc1ude both men and women in his sermons of a general nature. The 'Ulama and religious scholars of every generation since then, have kept alive this practice of the Prophet. Their sermons and their writings have reflected this practice. Thus, we find many books that are written for the women alone. By the Grace of Allah, there is a rich treasure of Urdu books for women. Let us take the example of "Babishti Zaiwar'" the only book that leaves out nothing that a woman must know.
My respected elder, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Ashiq Hahi (may Allah lengthen his life), too, has been chosen by Allah to pay attention to this fieid. When the monthly Urdu periodical 'al-Balagh' was launched under my editorship, the respected Maulana chose a topic that was at once unparalleled in Urdu literature and highly invaluable. The subject he selected swas entitled, "The Lectures of the Prophet, peace be upon him, for women of Islam".
Women eagerly awaited these artic1es. They gathered together and read them to one another. In this way, we got a collection of Ahadith for women, and a commentary on these Ahadith and I am sure, it is peerless in the Urdu language. It was a constant demand of our readers that these artic1es must be published in a book form. The respected Maulana revised the material to give it a constancy for a book. He added some material, too. Now, indeed, this book may be referred to as a valuable "Gift for Women". Allah has blessed Maulana Muhammad Ashiq Hahi with knowledge and excellence, and truthfulness and sincerity. He moves hearts with words. His simple words have the power to move hearts to a degree greater than literary compositions do.
His style is not very high flown or obscure but easy and understandable and natural. I have faith in Allah that this book will be instrumental in reforming many women. It is imperative that we prescribe "Bahishti Zaiwar" and this book for the education of our women. Young girls must be taught from these books at an early age and, when they marry, they may be given gifts of these two books.