SISTERS' ROLE IN JIHAD (Some Q & A as well)
Allah, The Exalted, has stated in the Qur'an: "And the Believers, men and women, are supporters one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong (munkar), and they establish worship, and pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise." [Quran 9:71]
The Prophet (saws) is reported to have said: "Anybody amongst you who notices a 'munkar' ( a violation of Allah's command), should correct it with his own hands, and if he is unable to do so, he should prohibit the same with his tongue; if he is unable even to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart; this is the lowest degree of faith." [Muslim].
It follows from the hadith that correcting a violation of Allah's Command by hand is the best way. Now let us ask ourselves: What is the greatest violation of Allah's Command? The answer is simple according to the Qur'an: Disbelief in Allah and/or Associating others with Allah. And what is the best method of putting a check on this violation by hand? The answer, again, is clear: Jihad fi sabeelillah (fighting in the path of Allah). Numerous verses of the Qur'an and many traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him) make this point clear beyond any doubt.
Thus, it follows that women and men are supporters of one another in the important obligation of Jihad in accordance with the spirit of the Qur'an and Prophetic traditions.
And when Jihad is Fard 'Ayn (an individual obligation like praying and fasting - where one person's engaging in it does not lift the responsibility from all others), as it is at the present time due to the domination of the enemy on several Muslim lands, the obligation to participate in Jihad is upon both Muslim men and women. Nowhere have scholars stated that only men are required to engage in Jihad and that women are not required to participate. In fact, books of fiqh have clearly included women and have also mentioned the regulations, for instance, that when Jihad is Fard 'Ayn, a woman does not need her husband's, father's, or waliy's (guardian's) permission to engage in the works of Jihad, just like she does not need her husband's or father's permission to offer her daily prayers or fast in Ramadan or pay Zakah (Note that travelling to a distant location for Jihad may have additional regulations found in books of fiqh).
The question here is not whether women's participation in Jihad these days is an obligation or not, but rather, how can Muslim women participate in this noble cause and prevent themselves from falling into the sin of abandoning Jihad.
There are many ways a Muslim woman can participate in Jihad, both by accompanying the Mujahideen to the battlefield, and by staying behind:
Sisters' Role On the Battlefield
1. Participation in the Actual Fighting
2. Supporting the Fighters in the Battlefield
3. Guard Duty and Protection
1. Participation in the Actual Fighting
While Jihad (or Qital) is generally waged by men, there is clear evidence of women's participation in Jihad - both during the times of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and throughout Islamic history, up until this day. While all the examples are too numerous to include in this short section, a few examples are briefly mentioned below:
Nusayba bint Ka'b, also known as Umm 'Ammarah, mother of Shuhadaa, and wife of a brave Sahabi, she participated in physical fighting more than once in her lifetime, got severely injured in one instance (Uhud), and lost an arm in another (battle against Musaylama Kaddhab). The most famous of her participation is that of the battle of Uhud, where, in the midst of the confusion among the Muslim army, she was amongst those very few who were close to the Prophet (saws), and who were shielding the Prophet (saws) with their own bodies. The Prophet (saws) remarked after this battle: "When I looked to my right I saw Umm Ammarah, and when I looked to my left, I saw Umm Ammarah". After the battle, the Prophet (saws) inquired about her injuries and asked her what she desired. She replied that she wanted the company of the Prophet (saws) in Paradise - and her request was accepted by the Prophet (saws). What more can anyone desire? She attained the greatest of blessings through her participation in Qital (fighting in the path of Allah).
And then we have the wife of the great Muslim hero Mahmud Qutus, who was a trained Mujahidah (female of 'Mujahid' - fighter for the sake of Allah), and was martyred while fighting against the barbaric Mongol army. Allah , The Most High, bestowed a magnificent victory to the Muslims against the Tatars (Mongols) in that battle through the sacrifices of such great women among many others.
And coming to this very day and age, we have our beloved sister, Shaheedah Hawaa' Barayev, who was martyred recently in Chechnya during a solo Martyrdom Operation in which 27 Russians were killed and numerous others injured.
It should be noted that physical fighting has been a role assigned primarily to men, both by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those after him. However, when the need arose, our brave sisters never held back from fighting, and neither should they now!
A note for sisters wanting to participate in fighting these days: By the Grace of Allah, The Most High, the situation in the Ummah is not that desperate yet, that sisters are called to fight. Those sisters who voluntarily want to join the fighting for reward from Allah, are advised to not go unless the leader of Jihad in that place calls sisters to fight. As for other help, they can go if the Mujahideen are able to accommodate and protect them. However, sisters should definitely be prepared!
2. Supporting the Fighters in the Battlefield
There are several ways in which Muslim sisters can support the Mujahideen on the battlefield directly. These would vary in accordance with the nature of the fighting. In general, these include, among others:
Medical Support - Tending to the wounded mujahideen was a role assigned to the Sahabiyyat (female companions of the Prophet) during the times of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Among the women who participated as such were Aaishah, the Prophet's wife, and Fatima, his daughter among others.
In Chechnya itself, while Muslim women cannot travel with the Mujahideen, we see sisters working as nurses managing the meagre health resources available for the Mujahideen. May Allah , The Most High, reward their participation.
Providing Food and Water to the Mujahideen - This was another duty assigned to the Sahabiyyat, who carried caskets of water along with their first-aid kits and quenched the thirst of the Mujahideen during the heat of the battle. These days, this can be considered somewhat analogous to providing food and drink to the Mujahideen and tending to their other needs while they are engaged in fighting. Such a role was assigned to sisters in at least some cases in the Afghanistan Jihad in the 1980's.
Providing Weapons and Ammunition - This is another area where sisters can help. One sister in her 50s from the UK carried weapons and ammunition for the Bosnian Muslims over mountains as she knew the enemy would not suspect her.
Encouraging the Mujahideen to Remain Steadfast - Most notable in this aspect was the Prophet (saws)'s aunt, the sister of Sayyid-ush-Shuhadaa' (The Master of the Martyrs) Hamza, the mother of Zubair bin 'Awwam (another great sahabi) - Safiyyah bint Abdul Muttalib. When she got ready to participate in the battle of Uhud, she carried a spear (or dagger) with her. The companions informed the Prophet (saws) of this, and he asked her what she would do with it. She said she will remain at the back of the army and use it to strike those Muslims who dared to escape from the battle --and this role she played very well. Hind bint 'Utbah, after she embraced Islam, was also known to accompany the Mujahideen to battles and encourage them to fight and remain steadfast for Allah , The Most High, .
3. Guard Duty and Protection
Safiyyah bint Abdul Muttalib was among the women who had conducted such duty during the battle of the Trench (Ahzab or Khandaq), when the Muslim army had to be protected from the rear. The danger there was from the Jewish tribes who were known for their enmity and treachery against Muslims. She was stationed in a tent with other women and one ill sahabi (Hassan bin Thabit). She noticed an enemy spy approaching, and asked Hassan to kill him. Hassan expressed his inability to do so on account of his sickness. She then tracked the enemy, came behind him, and struck and killed him with a pole of the tent.
Another brave sister, a companion of the Prophet (saws), Asma bint Yazeed, is similarly reported to have killed nine enemy soldiers from a group who had decided to attack a tent of women and children. The rest of the soldiers fled, fearing for their lives.
Allahu Akbar! Such bravery on account of these women puts to shame most "men" of today.
Sisters' Role Off the Battlefield:
1. Raising Mujahid Children
2. Physical Training
3. Encourage Loved Ones to go for Jihad
4. Training in Combat Medicine and First-aid
5. On an Academic Level
1. Raising Mujahid Children
This is perhaps the most important role women can play in Jihad - raise their children to be brave and loving, courageous and sensitive, and fearing none other than Allah. Raise them as such not only in spirit, but also in terms of physical ability and training. And raise not only sons as such, but daughters as well. The key is to start instilling these values in them while they are babies. Don't wait until they are seven to start, for it may be too late by then! Some practical tips that most sisters can implement without difficulty are as follows:
1. Tell children bedtime stories of Shuhadaa and Mujahideen. You will find many such stories from the life of the Prophet (saws), the Sahabah, and throughout Islamic history, including contemporary times.
2. Emphasize, while disciplining young children, that they are not to hit a Muslim, but rather forgive, and are only to get their anger out on the enemies of Allah who fight against Muslims. Teach them the meaning of "Ashiddaa'u 'alal kuffari ruhamaa'u baynahum" (Strong against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves). Make a makeshift enemy (could be a punching bag for instance) if you have to, and encourage children (especially boys) to use it and build their strength as well as learn to control and direct their anger.
3. Eliminate your television completely if you can (it mostly teaches shamelessness, anarchy, and random violence) and keep a check on the company your child is in. In addition to the largely damaging content of TV in general, another of its negatives is the laziness and passiveness that it breeds, and the mental and physical loss that it contributes to. Compare this to the healthy aspects of engaging children in play and sports that benefit them in terms of discipline and physical strength.
4. If you cannot eliminate the television completely, then at least use it only to show children videos that will instill in them the love of Allah, the love of Islam, the love of the Mujahideen, and the love of Jihad fi sabeelillah. Many Islamic videos as well as military training videos are available from various sources.
5. Only if you have acted upon items 3 and 4 above, it is a good idea to start your children young in terms of introducing them (through safe toys) to target-shooting. Make it very clear who their target should be and who their target should NOT be. This can be done through toy guns and toy military sets, as well as by engaging in sports that develop good hand-eye coordination, such as darts and archery. If you can spare the time to spend with your children and play military games with them in a fun way, and get them interested in these (as opposed to other largely useless, but very popular games and sports), then that will insha'Allah be counted as Jihad in itself (as preparation for Jihad is a part of Jihad). You can practice in front of them in your own home using their toys. Children learn by imitating what adults do. Insha'Allah you will find them interested and imitating your actions and they will become disciplined experts before you know it. Of course, if you own a real weapon, then please keep it totally out of young children's reach and don't use it in front of them either.
6. Some sports and activities that will be an asset in Jihad training for your children (and yourselves), in addition to being enjoyable, healthy, and fun:
Martial arts training
Target-shooting (with different kinds of toy weapons)
Orienteering (learning to navigate your way in the woods)
Exercise (running, jogging, push-ups, etc.) to build stamina
Driving (a range of different vehicles)
Camping / Survival Training (an excellent and enjoyable method of training!)
7. Get your young children interested in Jihad by getting military books (preferrably with pictures) and other similar books, CDs, videos, and by visiting web sites such as the www.qoqaz.net along with your children, and utilizing other internet resources. Show them the pictures of Mujahideen and encourage them to become like these people at the least. These activities can be done with children even as young as a couple years or even younger. Don't underestimate the lasting effect of what those little ears and eyes take in during the first few years of life! No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training in one form or another, the minimum being simple encouraging words and verses from the Qur'an that the young child will never forget Insha-Allah.
8. Video games and computer games are not to be preferred over actual physical training and practical experience for the same reason that television is recommended against. However, if one's child has to have video games for whatever reason, then military video games and war strategy games that are not violent and graphic (if any exist!) would be preferred over other largely useless but popular video games. Start working on your children while they are very young, and set their priorities straight. Then Insha-Allah you and they will not be faced with internal battles once they start getting older and more involved in the 'dunya'. Perhaps they will not even want to have video games and the likes thereof, which is the best case. And Allah knows best.
9. A mother knows very well the aptitude of her children. In accordance with this, she can encourage her children in the relevant aspects of Jihad. Note that participation in Jihad can be in various ways. For instance, a nuclear physicist can help strengthen the national defense system of Muslims, an expert of communications can assist in his role, a computer expert can dedicate his or her skills to the service of the Mujahideen, a news-reporter can help further the cause of Jihad by bringing authentic news to the world, and a doctor or nurse can help the Mujahideen in the medical aspect. Children need to be made clear what their goal is, as well as what it is not, by taking on any given profession - that their goal is to serve Allah in the highest way possible (through Jihad) and not to accumulate wealth and physical comforts for their own sake. It should be emphasized here that, no matter what profession is chosen, even if it be with the intention of Jihad, still, basic military training is a must. In fact, military training is a right of the children upon their parents.
2. Physical Training
There are two main reasons why sisters themselves also need to get military training:
1. So that they can Participate Themselves :
Especially helpful aspects of military training for women are:
Firearms - Learning to shoot a weapon, and keeping one where possible is another asset whose value cannot be overstated. Imagine if every woman possessed this in a Muslim society! Imagine how many sisters would be prevented from being raped and killed at the hands of the barbarians. Imagine how may barbarians could at least be wounded before they could take our sisters. At least our sisters could contribute to Jihad before getting killed themselves, as opposed to being totally helpless and easy victims. The Russian barbarians and rapists in Chechnya would think twice before they would try to arrest and torture women if they feared this sort of retaliation.
Self Defense and Hand-to-Hand Combat - Physical self-defense, and especially RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) are other valuable skills that ALL sisters, whether they live in a potential war zone or not, need to learn. This training is generally easily available and makes use of techniques that give even weak and frail women an advantage over burly men. The advantages of such training are obvious and need mainly an eager mind and heart.
Build Stamina - Any kind of military participation requires a fair amount of stamina. Sisters need to build their stamina, both physical and emotional. Engage in a proper exercise program for the former, and try to imagine and picture what jihad would be like and envision one's own role, visit Jihad websites such as www.qoqaz.net regularly, and try to remove the fear of blood and injury for the latter. An example of a strong woman is that of Safiyyah bint Abdul Muttalib mentioned above. In the battle of Uhud, her brother Hamza's body was mutilated by the kuffar. Safiyya (may Allah be pleased with them both) insisted on seeing him, so she could reinforce her desire to fight against the kuffar and encourage others. Initially she was refused, but upon her insistence, she was allowed. She was patient at the site of what would make most women lose their minds. She did not hit her head, and wave her fists and yell out aloud, but was an example of extreme emotional strength and patience.
2. So that they can Train their Sons and Daughters:
All other fields of military training in addition to the above are helpful here. If young children can learn the names of all the Pokemon characters, surely they can learn some basic terminology related to Jihad. If they can learn nursery rhymes and whatever have-you on television, they can also learn the duas that help the Mujahideen in Jihad. The key is to present this information to children in a manner that does not turn them off, but rather, gets them interested and engaged in a positive 'fun' manner (Note that 'fun' here does not mean music and dancing, as is portrayed by Western children's TV programs).
If a mother or caretaker possesses knowledge and training of Jihad herself, she can impart that easily to her children and those in her care, not the mention the important role of men - fathers, uncles, brothers - in this aspect.
3. Encourage Loved Ones to go for Jihad
This, again, can be done in various ways:
Naseehah - by patiently and untiringly encouraging the men of their families, reminding them of their duty to Allah and other Muslims, reminding them of the blessings of Paradise and the torments of this world and the next - all in a way that encourages them and does not make them feel pressured or causes them to turn away. Remember that we cannot force anyone to go, as firstly, that is contrary to the role Allah has assigned women, and secondly, if the men go unwillingly and under pressure, they may not be useful to the Mujahideen and may even become an unwanted burden.
Dua - Ask Allah , The Most Powerful, to change the hearts of unwilling men, make them and their families steadfast, and guide all Muslims! It is only Allah , The Most High, Who can change hearts around and give the ability to do what needs to be done.
Patience - Know that when one's caretaker goes out for Jihad, it is a time for much patience for his family, especially his mother, wife, and sisters. Encourage your men by being strong, confident, and patient, so they can focus on their mission and not worry about the anxiety of their women.
Skills - While Islam does not require women to learn any technical skills or get an education in order to get a job, however, if a woman will do so with the intention of supporting the family if her father or husband or brothers go for Jihad, then, Insha-Allah that can be counted as her participation. Ideally, sponsors should take care of the families of the Mujahideen and Shuhadaa', as according to the Prophet (saws), taking care of the family of a Mujahid and equipping a Mujahid are also Jihad. However, given the present unfortunate times where women are expected to fend for themselves in need, it is not a bad idea for a Muslim woman to acquire some skill provided the intention is correct.
Tawakkul - Tawakkal 'alallah! Rely on Allah, for He Alone is enough for His servants. Refresh belief in Qada wal Qadr (Islamic concept of Destiny and Pre-Ordination)- that whatever Allah has decreed to happen will happen and none can avert it. If a woman's loved one is to get injured or die, that will happen at the time and place appointed. Not going to Jihad will not avert that. If one has to face financial difficulty, that will happen even if the husband or father is around - so don't stop them out of such fears - remind yourselves, make some sacrifices for Allah (Paradise is not all that cheap), and do what needs to be done!
4. Training in Combat Medicine and First-aid
The glorious women of this Ummah, the female companions of the Prophet (saws), were experienced in this aspect of Jihad, and in-fact, this was a job assigned mostly to them. It goes without saying that one needs to be trained beforehand in order to be of benefit when the time comes. Such training is generally easily available. At a minimum, sisters should know how to stop bleeding from a wound, how to dress wounds in different parts of the body using a bandage and what to do if a bandage is not available, lifting and turning a person who cannot walk without bearing all the weight, how and where to apply basic antiseptics, how to deal with potential broken bones, dealing with head-and-neck injuries, and other such first-aid techniques. Another very helpful skill is the knowledge of using natural resources for medicines and first-aid. This knowledge is valuable to reduce dependence on synthetic medicines, which may not be easily available in a combat zone.
5. On an Academic Level
Sisters can participate in Jihad on an academic level in the following four ways:
Answer Objections Raised Against Jihad - Read books such as those of Shaikh Abdullah Azzam and others, that deal with the aqidah (doctrine) and fiqh (practical application) of Jihad. Know how to answer objections and propaganda of those who seek to eliminate Jihad (or Qital) from Islam, or at least change it's nature by coming up with watered-down and new interpretations of the word 'Jihad'. If the misinformation being spread by these people is not checked, it will contribute to further Muslim massacres, such as that of Bosnia, where the population had largely left Jihad. Thus, sisters need to educate themselves in matters of Jihad, as well as help others learn the truth.
Encourage Others to go for Jihad - Allah , The Most Exalted, has commanded the Prophet (peace be upon him): 'And strongly encourage the Believers to go for Qital (fighting in the path of Allah).' [Quran 8:65]
It has to be said that men tend to listen more if they are told to be 'men' by women. So sisters, use whatever means Allah has given you within Islamic bounds, encourage all the Muslims you can to realize their duty to Allah and His deen. And very importantly, encourage other sisters as well, as it is they, with Allah's help, who mold the thought-process of their young sons - the future mujahideen of the Ummah.
Obtain Knowledge of Jihad and Teach/Train Other Women (and men if needed) -
Don't hold back on whatever knowledge and wisdom Allah grants you. If Allah has shown you the way that leads to Him, then show that to others without holding back. Let Allah protect you and other Muslims and let no other fear overcome you.
Read and Narrate for Motivation - Read about Jihad to motivate yourselves, your children, and others you know. Humans love stories, so be generous with telling uplifting stories of Jihad.
Allah , The Most High, has commanded Muslims to engage in Jihad with their selves as well as their wealth. Sisters can help arrange for fund-raising events; call, email, and visit their friends, neighbors, and relatives for the same; and donate for Jihad from whatever Allah has blessed them with of jewelry, money, and assets. If sisters want to donate their jewelry, a suggestion (especially applicable in the U.S.) is to be the first to donate it at a fund-raising event, and arrange (preferably beforehand) to have it auctioned off at the event. You can also request to not give it unless it's cost is met. Experience has shown that usually the jewelry that is auctioned first generates high donations, sometimes several times more than it's monetary worth. What actually matters is the intention of the donor, as that is what causes even a small donation to multiply with Allah - The Most Generous!
One of the most important, if not the most important contribution of sisters in the on-going Jihad in Chechnya and other locations worldwide is their sincere dua, as is requested by the Mujahideen themselves.
If sisters (and brothers for that matter) don't know the Qunut nazilah, a dua from the Sunnah, then it is imperative that they learn it as soon as possible and recite it in their witr prayers at a minimum. Another dua for the Mujahideen is contained in. Allah, The Most High, understands all languages and accepts sincere supplication from all His servants! May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala grant a complete and permanent victory to the Mujahideen fi sabeelih, and may He, The Most High, give us the ability to do our part in Jihad to the fullest, and may He accept it from all of us (aameen).
A Special Section for Special Sisters (Q & A)
True stories of some heroic contemporary women whose husbands are either engaged in fighting or have attained the ultimate success of martyrdom:
This section is added to give a real-life flavor of the lives of some of those women who participate in Jihad in the background, by taking care of their husbands' children and property in his absence, by encouraging their men, and by patiently bearing all the consequences thereof. The information has been extracted almost ditto from the diary of a certain sister who has personally known or met these sisters. Some information has been changed/omitted in an effort to hide the true identity of the sisters mentioned below:
Umm Saburah - Wife of a Shaheed
"I finally got the opportunity to meet with her! She was visiting my city for some time when I had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She had never met me before, but knew who I was through another friend. So Alhamdulillah, she was frank in telling me about her life and some glimpses of her Shaheed husband's. Below is my sketchy recollection of our conversation (I took no notes):
Q. Ma Sha Allah, you are one of the most honored women to be the wife of a Shaheed! I don't know what I would give to have that honor! Tell me, sister, how did you manage your (several) young children all through the years he was in Jihad, and how are you managing now?
Umm Saburah: I used to teach children and live with whatever I got out of that. Now, with the persecution of my government (they arrested and harassed her) I don't even know where I am going to go. People tell me all sorts of things. What can I do? I am just visiting family and friends moving from place to place at the moment. My dream would be to go to Chechnya and work with the refugee women there. I would want my children to be exposed to that life. I think the hardship will be good for them. There is too much luxury, too much ease over here.
A. SubhanAllah sister, you encouraged your husband all along for Jihad even though it was so difficult for you. I know of some sisters who just only think of themselves and their rights and stop their husbands from Jihad and then there are others whose husbands simply don't want to go even though the sisters encourage them.
Umm Saburah: Well, in my case, it was my husband who taught me and encouraged me. Sometimes I felt like that (referring to the women who discouraged their husbands), but I never tried to stop him or discourage him, as it is haraam to do so. Jihad is a fard from Allah. How could I stop him from that?!
A. I have heard a lot about your husband tell me more about him how was he martyred? Of course, Allah only knows who is a martyr, but we like to think of him as such.
Umm Saburah: O I know he was martyred (and her eyes filled with tears and she paused). He had all the signs of a Shaheed. They wouldn't send his body home after they killed him. They kept it for several days in cold-storage. Finally, when they sent it home (a very short distance from the cold-storage facility), his body was so warm and he looked like he was still alive! He had all the signs of a Shaheed. He always wanted Martyrdom. Once in a previous war he was badly injured and doctors had said he would not be able to survive, but he did and became well. He was saddened by his recovery and often used to cry, thinking that perhaps he was not good enough to be accepted by Allah as a Martyr. He was a very good husband and a very good man.
Q. So what do you want your sons to be when they grow up?
Umm Saburah: (Firmly) They will be Mujahideen insha'Allah. That was their father's wish and there is no choice about it.
Q. How will you ensure that they do take that route?
Umm Saburah: They do have other brothers (in Islam) who were my husband's friends and they have already instilled in them these values. They look up to their father and what he did with admiration and respect, and they look up to his friends now. My daughter feels angry at the whole situation though and I am working on trying to give as much love as I can to all my children. It's hard, but Alhamdulillah.
[The above conversation was at a time of great trials and difficulty for Umm Saburah. Please realize that the Allah Who tests His slaves also helps them. Alhamdulillah, she is in a much better and happier situation now insha'Allah. May Allah bless and protect her and her children and continue to keep them steadfast in the deen!]
Umm Siham - Wife of a Mujahid
"I have known Umm Siham for a while. From the first time I met her until now, I have admired her strength, simplicity, sincerity, and straight-forwardness. She was always so humble and sincere and straight - no pretense whatsoever - and this is what I love about her. I have seen her sit so quiet and still with so much respect in Qur'anic lessons, that I almost imagined a shining light about her once. I loved her dearly from the first time I met her until this day and pray to Allah for her protection and that of her family. Below is what she described of her experience when her husband first went out fi sabeelillah: " It was hard, but also Allah made it easy in some ways. My youngest child was only some days old when my husband left. My older child was two, and I couldn't get myself to go out and earn money and leave the two young ones. My mother bought me some fabric, so I used to sew and make crafts and sell these at whatever occasion I could. There was a time when my living room was strewn with fabric, but at least I could stay home and be with my children. The money I made was very little - but SubhanAllah, it went a long way (Barakah from Allah).