Imagine yourself in each of the following situations and answer truthfully what you would do, choosing the answers a, b, c, or d. Then score yourself to find out what type of sister you are.
Remember, no one will judge you, but yourself! So, be truthfull in answering which most suitable with you. You choose the answer not to reach the best mark, but to find out what type of sister you are.
1. While walking down the street, you see a sister-in-Islam, who is unknown to you, coming your way.
a) not give salaam (greeting of peace), instead you go about your business.
b) smile at her then if she says salaam to you first then you will say salaam to her.
c) agonise over whether you should say salaam then wish you had given her salaam because it is too late – she is already gone.
d) say salaam to her.
2. You are sitting in your car and are about to drive off, when a sister-in-Islam whom you don’t know, knocks on your window. You wind your window down and she desperately asks if she can get a lift to the next suburb.
a) ascertain how desperately she needs to go and only then if it was on your way that you give her a lift.
b) give her a lift but you notice how far it is and you keep checking the time.
c) without hesitation you give her a lift.
d) not give her a lift, afterall, she could be some mad woman – you can never be too sure these days!
3. Your sister-in-Islam, who is in some sort of financial difficulty, says to you, “I need fifty dollars”, and you have in your possession $50.
a) asks her what she needs it for.
b) give her the $50.
c) pretend you didn’t hear because she didn’t actually asks you for it.
d) tell her, “here, take $25.”
4. You have bought a favourite food which you have been craving for. Just as you are about to eat it your favourite sister-in-Islam knocks at your door. You open it to find that she has brought another sister-in-Islam that she wants to introduce you to.
a) invite them all to share your food.
b) put your food away but when they are leaving you call your favourite sister-in-Islam aside to give her some of your food for her to take home.
c) excuse yourself for a moment, then eat as much as you can of the food to satisfy your craving, then invite them in to share the remaining food.
d) wait until they all leave so that you can sit down to enjoy your food.
5. Your sister-in-Islam has been admiring your new dress.
a) give her one of your old dresses that is similar to this one but not as nice.
b) wait until you have worn it a few more times then give it to her.
c) wait until she asks, yet hoping that she doesn’t.
d) give it to her as soon as you can.
6. Your sister-in-Islam wants to ask you for a favour.
Do you say to her:
a) “What can I do to help you?”
b) “It depends on what you asks me for.”
c) “I don’t know if I can do it.”
d) “If I can then I’ll do it.”
7. You have just done your sister-in-Islam a favour.
a) feel good that you were able to do it for her.
b) thank Allah for your good deed.
c) feel proud that you have done a good deed.
d) feel that now she owes you one.
8. Someone has just praised your sister-in-Islam.
a) rush over to tell her immediately.
b) tell her when you next see her.
c) forget about it.
d) tell her when you remember about it.
9. Your best sister-in-Islam is unmarried but she really wants to marry. However, she cannot find anyone.
a) tell her when you know of someone available.
b) offer your husband to her (for her to be a second wife).
c) console and commiserate with her.
d) go out of your way to find her a husband.
10. There is one fault that you notice in your sister-in-Islam.
a) tell other people about it.
b) confront her with it.
c) make excuses and allowances for her, as we are all human and very few of us are without faults. d) become suspicious of her character.
11. You have been entrusted with a secret from your sister-in-Islam. Another sister-in-Islam asks you about it.
a) admit knowledge of it but refuse to divulge it.
b) hint at it without giving it all away.
c) tell her, but also tell her not to tell anyone else.
d) deny any knowledge of it.
12. Your sister-in-Islam has angered you.
a) tell everyone about her faults and secrets and never forgive her.
b) refuse to talk to her at all because you will never forgive her.
c) seek refuge with Allah and refuse to talk to her for 3 days.
d) seek refuge with Allah and forgive her immediately.
13. While discussing the correct way to raise children, you disagree with your sister-in-Islam’s view.
a) insist that you are right and she is wrong.
b) tell her your viewpoint then keep silent on this topic.
c) tell her that you are right then change the subject.
d) have a heated debate about who is right.
14. You have been told, “So and so said that you are not a good Muslim! She said…….”
a) find out who said it then say some things about that person.
b) ignore it and immediately change the subject.
c) listen to all of what is being said then ignore it.
d) listen to all of what is being said and find out who said it then ignore it.
15. Someone is saying nasty things about your sister-in-Islam.
a) stop them from saying anymore.
b) listen to it but you hate what is being said.
c) go somewhere where you can’t hear it.
d) join in the discussion.
16. Your sister-in-Islam insists that you tell her her faults because she sincerely wishes to improve herself.
a) recount all of her faults including the ones she already knows of then and there, regardless of whether you are in private or not.
b) advise her then and there, regardless of whether you are both in private or not.
c) recount her main faults then and there.
d) advise her gently when you are both in private.
17. Your sister-in-Islam comes to you and advises you in private.
a) get annoyed because she noticed your fault.
b) thank her and accept her advise and try to improve yourself.
c) become offended and angry at her and tell her her faults.
d) listen to her advise, accept it then ignore it.
18. Your sister-in-Islam needs to use your telephone but is too shy to ask.
a) insist that she uses your telephone after you have found out who she wants to call.
b) insist that she uses your telephone.
c) pretend you don’t know about it.
d) insist that she uses your telephone to make a local call but if it’s a long-distance call you ask her to pay for it.
19. While walking down the street, you see a sister-in-Islam fall down.
a) rush over to offer help.
b) wait to see if she can get up by herself, if she can’t then you offer her your help.
c) wait to see if anyone will help her, if no-one helps then you offer her your help.
d) go on your way because you don’t know her.
20. When you agree to meet your sister-in-Islam at a certain place and at a certain time, do you usually:
a) arrive an hour late.
b) arrive 1/2 an hour late.
c) meet her at the appointed time.
d) arrive 5 to 10 minutes late.
For each answer that you have chosen, write the corresponding score for that question, then tally the total to find out which category you have scored.
1. a=1, b=3, c=2, d=4.
2. a=2, b=3, c=4, d=1.
3. a=2, b=4, c=1, d=3.
4. a=4, b=3, c=2, d=1.
5. a=2, b=3, c=1, d=4.
6. a=4, b=2, c=1, d=3.
7. a=3, b=4, c=2, d=1.
8. a=4, b=3, c=1, d=2.
9. a=2, b=4, c=1, d=3.
10.a=1, b=3, c=4, d=2.
11. a=3, b=2, c=1, d=4.
12. a=1, b=2, c=3, d=4.
13. a=2, b=4, c=3, d=1.
14. a=1, b=4, c=3, d=2.
15. a=4, b=2, c=3, d=1.
16. a=1, b=3, c=2, d=4.
17. a=2, b=4, c=1, d=3.
18. a=3, b=4, c=1, d=2.
19. a=4, b=2, c=3, d=1.
20. a=1, b=2, c=4, d=3.
71-80 = Excellent Sister
Praise be to Allah that we have a sister-in-Islam like you among us. You know the true meaning of sisterhood.
You are an excellent sister to everyone. To you, a sister is any woman who is Muslim, regardless of race, nationality or whether you know her or not.
If a sister needs your help, you will tirelessly help, even if it means you will have to forgo something just so your sister can have it. You prefer your sister to yourself because you put her needs before your own.
Once you have helped your sister, you thank and praise Allah for giving you the opportunity to do a good deed.
You are humble and are patient towards your sisters. You do not pick faults with them nor do you gossip about them. Everyone wants a sister like you!
Al-Ghazali calls this the ‘third degree’ of brother/sisterhood, which is the highest level.
There is limited counselling at this level since you are content with Allah and whatever He has given you, and you are at peace with people and yourself. The main recommendation is to continue to make duas (supplications) to Allah to keep you on this true path, and to continue to praise and thank Allah.
51-70 = Good Sister
Praise be to Allah that you are a good sister. You treat your sister as you would yourself. Whatever you have you share it with your sister. You feel upset because she has not got something and so you share it with her equally.
Al-Ghazali calls this the ‘second degree’ of brother/sisterhood, which is the middle level.
What stops you from attaining the highest level of sisterhood is your inability to place yourself second to your sister. Something else which stops you from being an excellent sister is that although you treat your sister as you would yourself, you limit this treatment to the sisters whom you know closely. Those sisters whom you do not know, you treat as mere acquaintances.
How, then, to overcome these two obstacles?
As to the first, use the affirmation, “My sister’s needs come first”. Also, always ask yourself, “What does she need that I may give it to her?” If you constantly have these thoughts foremost on your mind then you will remember your sister and her needs and will try to fulfil them as if they were your own. That is, you will fulfil them 100% and not merely 50%.
Similarly, as to the second obstacle, say to yourself whenever you see a sister that you do not know, “She is my sister-in-Islam. I must say salaam to her”. After you have said this to yourself then immediately say “salaam” to her. The reason for this is clear in the following hadeeth: Abu Huraira (r) reported in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you have iman (faith), and you will not have iman until you love one another! Shall I not guide you to something which if you do it then you will love one another? Spread the greeting of salaam amongst yourselves.”
Once you say salaam you will begin to love each other, and once you love one another, you will begin to treat her as if you have known her all your life.
Finally, like with all other things in your life that you want, you must supplicate to Allah to strengthen your sisterly love to others. Ask Allah to make you selfless so that you can put your sisters’ needs first.
Now go on to read what it says under ‘Excellent Sister’ so that you may learn from it.
21-50 = A Sister
Praise be to Allah that you are a sister. You treat your sister to whatever you have in excess. That is, if she needed something and you have more than you need to satisfy your own needs, then you will give it to her.
Sometimes you are a good sister and at others you are not so good – it depends on your moods and needs.
Al-Ghazali calls this the ‘lowest degree’ of brother/sisterhood.
Obviously the one thing that stands in your way of becoming a full-time good sister is the satisfaction of your needs.
To overcome this shortcoming, you need to learn to give your sister what she needs spontaneously without consulting your needs first. Ibn Umar (r) said that a sahaba (r) was given a sheep’s head to which the sahaba (r) said, “My brother so and so needs it more than I do”. And so he sent it to that brother. That brother then sent it on to another. Thus it was passed from one to another till it came back to the first sahaba (r), after it had gone through seven hands. Although the sahabas (r) were all hungry, each one had thought of the others first. This is how it should be.
To get into the habit of thinking like this, whenever you have something, say to yourself, “My sister so and so may need it more than I do,” then pass it along to her.
Now read under ‘Good Sister’ and learn from that, then make supplications to Allah to help you to reach that level of sisterhood.
1-20 = Not A Sister
You should learn to praise Allah so that He will purify you.
The minimum requirements of a Muslim female is to be a sister to other Muslim females. If you come under this category then you are not a sister. You do not understand what it means to be Muslim. Being a Muslim means to be concerned and caring for others’ needs, especially your sisters-in-Islams’.
Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “When a companion accompanies a companion, if only for one hour of the day, he will be asked to account for his companionship, whether he fulfilled his duty to Allah therein or whether he neglected it.”
To overcome this deficiency in your character, you must convince yourself firmly that, “I am a Muslim. And as a Muslim I must give my sisters-in-Islam their rights because I will be accountable for it.”
Next, start reading books on ‘Brother/Sisterhood in Islam’ and ‘Muslim Character and Personality’. Then make supplications to Allah to help you to become a better Muslim, and therefore, a sister.
Lastly, read what it says on being ‘A Sister’ from above. This will guide you to the next step of being a sister.
“”A kind word opens the doors to people’s hearts and removes enmity from them, and tolerance, forgiveness and sincerity restore love between people. When a person speaks a kind word and turns a blind eye to bad treatment, he earns people’s respect and makes the one who has done something bad apologize for his bad behaviour or stop persisting in it. Undoubtedly some people may choose a way of dealing with people that they themselves would not like to be dealt with, and they think that being tough and confrontational is what will make people respect them.”