Going through the history of the world, one can realize that women have always played significant roles in society. When men and women accompany each other, and each party plays its own role to the fullest, miracles start to appear. And as we are going to discuss the role of women, it is good to recollect that the patience of a woman in nurturing a child is no different from her patience and tolerance in nurturing and training her husband and her whole family. That is why when a mother is taken away from a family, putting it again together as a healthy family is a hard job.
When Allah wants to give examples of good and bad role models for non-believers and believers in the Quran, he mentions four women:
“Allah cites an example of the faithless: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah … Allah cites an example of the faithful: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, ‘My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.’ And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded the chastity of her womb, so We breathed into it of Our spirit. She confirmed the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was one of the obedient.” (66: 10-12) [i]
Now that we have discussed the central role of women in many significant events, we would like to study the role of women in the important event of Karbala, in about 1400 years ago.
When we discuss the role of women as mothers, sisters, wives, or daughters, we never mean to neglect the vital status of women as individuals. Of course, a woman should have a strong, self-built character as an individual to be able to influence and train others and manage different situations.
The fact that faithful women's names who were present while, before and after the event of Karbala have remained in history is due to their characters. They were strong to some point before the day of Ashura and represented their strength and beauty within the hard situations of the day of Ashura and after that.
To be able to represent such an astonishing character, a woman needs to have developed her character in the following dimensions: individual, spiritual, social, political and cultural, while having a high status of knowledge and wisdom at the same time. This type of woman is of the kind who can observe the event of Karbala and see it a blessing from Allah. The famous few words of Lady Zainab (AS) after witnessing all the cruelty and brutality of the enemies of her brother shows it very well: “I did not see anything but beauty.” 
When women read about the character of those women who were present in the day Ashura with Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions or women whose names have remained in history for their well-being, they may think that those women were extraordinary and not every woman can be like them. But reading the history and commemorating the events of Karbala is to show us that we can all become astonishing characters, only if we follow the orders of Allah, the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and his household.
An example of those ordinary women whose name has remained in history is Habib Ib Mazahir’s wife. What made her special was the right choice she made based on the teachings of her religion and obeying the commands of her Imam; Imam Hussein (AS). Thus, when her husband tested her by saying that he was not going to join the army of Imam Hussein (AS) as he was an old man, she blamed him and reminded him of the status of the Imam based on what she had learned from the Quran and narrations. 
Therefore, all women who read and obey the rulings and advice of the Quran can reach the highest levels of faith and spirituality.
The vital role of mothers in the event of Karbala is to be studied many years before the incident occurred. That is when the soldiers of Imam Hussein (AS) were just born and were being nurtured and trained by their mothers to become great servants of Allah and to recognize the truth from the wrong in a critical situation.
The first one of them was Lady Fatimah (AS), Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) daughter, who brought up her children in a way to be the greatest leaders of all times.
The second Fatimah that should be mentioned here is Fatimah bint Hizam. She was a knowledgeable and pious woman and a few years after the martyrdom of Lady Fatimah (AS) Imam Ali (AS) married her. She gave birth to four sons, and therefore she was called Ummul-Banin (Mother of Sons). His eldest son was Abbas ibn Ali (AS); the commander of Imam Hussein (AS) forces. All her four sons were martyred while defending Imam Hussein (AS); the Imam of their time. 
The role of those mothers who were present in Karbala and encouraged their sons to fight and defend their Imam should not be neglected. Lady Zainab and Umm-e Wahab are among the most significant ones.
Also, the behavior of Lady Robab, who lost her six months old baby and never mentioned it before her Imam and husband can be an excellent lesson for all the women in the world.
One of the most significant moments when women nag their men is when they feel insecure for any worldly reasons. It is less probable for women to complain to their men when they find them spiritually at risk. In such situations, the faithful woman would find ways of preparing her husband for growth and spiritual improvement where nagging won’t work. But if men put the worldly belongings of a woman at risk, the woman would usually fight against him.
However, in Karbala, Imam Hussein (AS) and his followers gave everything in the way of Allah, including their life. But those specific women who were with them, not only encouraged them to do so, but also supported them and promised to follow their true path after them.
One of these outstanding women was Wahab’s mother; Umm Wahab. Wahab was a Christian and was traveling with his mother and his newlywed. They met Imam Hussein (AS) on the way and were informed of what was going on to the household of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). So Umm Wahab tells him that she will not be satisfied with him until he joins and defends Imam Hussein (AS). Wahab joined Imam’s army and fought until he was martyred. When he was laid in the middle of the battlefield, his mother sat at his body, cleaning blood and dust off his face, where the enemy attacked her, and she was also martyred in the way of Allah. 
Such women can be great role models for all women in the world to support their husbands if they find them on the right path or even to guide them to the right path.
In the event of Karbala Lady Zainab (AS) was present as a sister and a mother, while for some specific reasons, she was not accompanied by her husband [ii]. Imam Hussein’s (AS) daughters were also present in Karbala.
The leading roles that they played in the event of Karbala were to encourage and support men to defend their leader, to take care of the sick and the wounded ones, to stay together and take care of women and children.
When they were captured and were being taken from city to city, the women were careful not to let children take any charity from people, as charity is forbidden for the household of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). They also kept reporting the true events that went on in Karbala, and before and after that, to increase the awareness of people about the truth. 
When they returned home, they narrated the event of Karbala to the next generations, by giving speeches, saying poems, and mentioning the events wherever they could.
Commemorating the aims of Imam Hussein (AS) in confronting the corrupt rulers of his time was a tradition that started by faithful women of his time, and should be continued to help us realize the true path from the wrong path.
[i]The above verses show that in the same way that women can help developing the spirituality of the individuals, the family, and society they can also lead them towards decadence and corruption
[ii] Search history for “Why lady Zainab’s husband was not present in Karbala?”
The death of a loved one, the problems at home or work, and even maintaining the Islamic regulations and orders might sometimes be challenging for us. In all these cases and many others, the patience to which Islam has invited can be enlightening for a Muslim. This patience is not merely passive waiting. Instead, patience in Islam directs us toward bearing things in a more steadfast and hopeful way.
The word patience in Islam has several meanings like limiting and constraining the self (Nafs), and, strengthening it against anxiety and discomfort . Patience in Islam can be defined in two ways:
Being steadfast in doing what Islam and Allah have advised us to do and in preventing ourselves from whatever they have forbidden us to commit  & . The duties that God has assigned to human beings, and especially those He has determined for Muslims, are not free of hardship. Hence, one might ignore some of them or abandon entirely or choose to be patient and experience their eternal joy: “so worship Him and have the patience for His worship” (19:65).
Moreover, being steadfast in avoiding sins and against committing evil deeds is the highest level of patience and the hardest one. Resisting the temptations and desires that appeal to evil deeds, to worldly positions or personal benefits against the collective interests, etc. is not easy, such that Prophet Joseph (AS) said: “And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy.” (12:53).
Keeping the inner peace and serenity in difficulties and disasters such as the loss of a loved one or some money, sickness or natural disasters, and having perseverance and persistence in those circumstances such that one keeps calm, does not complain, nor shows overreaction are the signs of patience in our personal lives: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to those who are patient.” (2:155) , 
According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) patience is manifested in the behavior of the one who believes in the other world, its rewards and punishments, is pious and considers this world as a temporary dwelling, and is aware of his/her mortality and the fact that one day he/she will be no more and the difficult moments will soon pass and be forgotten .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has explained the characteristics of a patient person as follows :
1. Is not lazy or indolent: being lazy and not doing anything equals ignoring the rights of others, including family, friends, neighbors, etc., as well as those of oneself ;
2. Does not get upset and disappointed: believing that there is a wisdom behind every happening, a patient person does not lose his\her hope . These are the ones that in case of sorrow, tell themselves that: “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him, we will return.” (2:156);
3. Does not complain: a patient person does not complain  despite any difficulties that he\she faces, because he\she is satisfied with everything that God has considered for him\her to be the best thing that could happen. On the contrary, he\she asks God for the help and solution on that matter.
3. Controls his words: a patient person does not lose his temper when being frustrated or hurt and avoids insulting, slandering, and offensive words.
According to a Hadith, patience is required on five occasions:
• A respected person who is humiliated:
• An honest person who is accused of something unfairly;
• One who invites to justice but is ignored;
• An innocent person who is hurt;
• The one who seeks justice is opposed .
If one faces these troubles with serenity instead of showing a sudden naïve reaction, and if he\she be patient and trust the divine support, sooner or later he/she will find justice.
- patience in islam
- Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, "Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran", p. 474.
- M. M. Naraqi, "Jami' al-Sa'adat", vol. 3, p. 280.
- M. Davoudi, “Islamic Ethics (Principles and Definitions)”, p. 92.
- M. Al-Karajaki, “Madan al-Jawahir”, p. 40.
- Shaykh al-Kulayni, "al-Kafi", vol. 2, p. 91.
- Shaykh Sadooq, “Illal al-Sharaie: Reasons for Islamic Practices”, vol. 2, p. 498.
- “Misbah al-Sharia”, p. 154.
Being a Muslim and living in or traveling to non-Muslim countries, always brings about the challenge of where to eat and what to eat. For Muslims who are adventurous eaters, food is not just something to provide energy for a more useful life, although that would be the desire for a real Muslim believer. But here we are not discussing such high levels of faith.
Here we are just Muslims in non-Muslim countries, facing different cultures and tastes and those giant advertised burgers, seafood, various kinds of Italian Pizza, etc., and at some point, we realize that we are not capable of going home and enjoying our toast and fried eggs. That is where we seek an inspiring call, inviting us to eat and enjoy life, and that is where that verse of the holy Quran echoes in our minds: “Say, who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which he has produced for his servants and the good (lawful) things of provision?”(7:32) and thus, we decide to find those “lawful provisions”; The Halal food.
Finding restaurants of all types in all different parts of the world that serve Halal food is not a difficult job these days. From the Far West to the Far East we can see restaurants with a Halal label on their signs. But have you ever happened to ask the restaurant staff if the food is Halal? And have you ever heard the firm reply “Yes, madam. Feel sure. Even our pork is Halal!” This point, my friends, is where our project of finding a real Halal restaurant begins.
In some non-Muslim countries, the population of Muslims in some specific cities or specific areas of the town is quite noticeable. Often, in these areas, the number of Halal restaurants owned and run by Muslim managers is large. We could usually trust these restaurants as the managers care about Islamic law, and therefore the food they serve.
However, in some western countries, my friends and I have come across restaurants in which their managers came from Islamic countries, and so we thought that the food would be Halal. But after some local investigations, we realized that the manager is not a practicing Muslim, and the food they serve is not Halal. Now, what do we do?
Since selling Halal food brings more customers to the burger shops or restaurants, many non-Muslim restaurant owners have decided to serve Halal meat. Therefore, apart from the Halal label on their signs, they keep a certificate in the restaurants, usually hung on the wall someplace all caring customers can see.
Now you might be thinking about how we can trust those certificates? How do we know they are not fake? From the Islamic law viewpoint, you can trust that and enjoy your meal . Do keep in mind the verse that says: “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship…” (2:185)
Even in some coffee shops that serve sandwiches, the managers have provided an extra sandwich-maker for Muslim customers with which they do not roast pork and other non-Halal sandwiches.
Living in a non-Muslim country, it is prevalent to socialize with non-Muslim friends or colleagues. It often happens that our group of friends or colleagues decide to dine together at a fancy restaurant that may not be Halal. It is understandable that isolating yourself from the group may have some personal or social consequences. What can we do at these times?
First of all, we can remind the rest of the group that we only eat Halal food, and they may agree to dine at a Halal restaurant. But if they did not accept, what does Islamic law say about eating vegetarian or Halal food in restaurants that serve pork or wine? According to Islamic law, if we did not have a choice, we should not be too harsh on ourselves, and we should trust the vegetarian or Halal food of non-Halal restaurants .
Thinking deeply of the verse “Then let mankind look at his food.” (80:24), one may realize the importance of the food we eat and its influence on the human soul. Apart from Islamic law, almost all Muslim jurists emphasize that we should be extra careful about what we eat. Because what we eat affects our souls.
Therefore if we intend to treat our souls and ascend the steps of spirituality, it is necessary to find food we are sure of is Halal. In such cases, it would be good to be fussy about eating in non-Halal places. And if the spirituality of the soul matters to us more than socializing with friends, then better to be isolated for a while, rather than preventing the soul from its spiritual growth.