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Oppressed Muslim Women

Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

This is what I hear more often than I would like:

“Those Muslim women are oppressed by their men. They are not allowed to go anywhere alone. They’re always covered head to toe.”

“Those Muslim women are beaten by their husbands and forced to wear hijab.”

“Those Muslim women are forced to share their husband with 10 other wives while they raise 145 sand chillun’.”

And so on… They’re endless honestly.

Well, if you ardently pity us so much so that you know all these struggles we face, then why not be kind to us? LOL

There is so much to say about our “oh-so-horrible” lives, then why not help us? Instead, why do you spit on us, curse us, scream at us? Oh wait, the newest form of insult, skip us in lines because we’re apparently invisible (since we wear only black clothes and you can’t see us. We just blend in with the background, right?).

Let’s just say, mind you- in an imaginary situation, that Muslim women are oppressed. Well, you’re not really being good humans by treating us like dogs. Oops, my bad, your dogs are treated better.

Your brains really don’t seem to function all too well because your logic makes no sense whatsoever. It must be the drunken state you’re always in from hearing the anti-Muslim media all day.

So let me just clear this up, lads. Muslim women are NOT oppressed. We choose to wear hijab. It is our right. We are NOT forced to do anything. Yes, sure there are some backward societies in some places, but that is NOT Islam that teaches people to treat their women like that, it is patriarchy. So, please do not assume so easily.

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WW3

Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

So… It seems like WW3 can potentially occur because of all this chaos that’s going on. I just wanted to make some things clear.

Firstly, Muslims are not terrorists. Nor are all terrorists Muslim. I don’t know how many times I have to say this but this is true. Like it’s that simple.

Second, Muslims do not have to publicly condemn ISIS or apologize for their actions. I used to think I had to do that. But no, we did NOTHING wrong. Why do we have to prove our innocence when we were innocent from the beginning.

I understand that some Muslims from around the world are joining ISIS but it’s only because of ISIS propaganda online. And also because these Muslims feel marginalized by society. You know what? I don’t blame them for feeling marginalized either. I do too, especially nowadays what with everything that’s going on. So instead of continuing to marginalize Muslims, please love everyone because ISIS’ major weapon is this hate. Our only antidote is love.

Fighting a war won’t do anything but cause more innocent deaths and please, with all your power, I beg of you, do NOT let another war occur. It is NOT worth it. What do I know? I haven’t even lived through a war. But I’ve read so many books on accounts of war. I’ve researched so many genocides during wars. I’ve learned so many things in school about wars. So yes, I may not have been through one but I think I’ve got an inkling.

Third, you have to realize that USA, Saudi Arabia, and Israel funded ISIS. That’s how it got so large and powerful in the first place. They did this only for their own selfish motives and now it’s turning against them. Ironic, huh? Well, don’t go blaming Muslims or whatever. It wasn’t us, I assure you.

Also, ISIS is not just crazy terrorists, it’s also the poor Syrians who had no other source of protection from the government or from US. Yeah, that’s right, us. We did not help the Syrians when they needed us the most. We turned our backs on them and called it on another Middle Eastern problem that was too far away and too large to handle. Well now the problem has worsened. The Syrians sought protection and ISIS provided it, they had no other choice.

So now these desperate Syrians are still trying to escape. Escape danger and war and deaths. They’re trying to come to our countries for refuge. But another problem has arose. The Paris attacks this November has caused many leaders to not accept refugees. Sign petitions, do whatever you can to change this. They need us. They are not terrorists.You can’t be bias and not take them in because you think they’re all terrorists. That’s cruel. These are people who are living in inhumane conditions. It is our duty as a part of mankind to help them! We must!

Let’s prevent a war from occurring by spreading love!

 

Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

The other day, my sister said “It’s all about that bass”. I was like “Shut up. Do you even know what you’re saying?” And she’s like “Well, it’s not my fault. Everyone sings it. Even my teacher knows it.”

This seems to be a constant occurrence in our society. Little kids following the example of their elders, whether it’s older siblings or whatever, but their elders don’t seem to be on the right path either. -_-

I didn’t know what this song was lol so I searched it up. It’s about a lady singing about how it doesn’t matter if you’re fat if you have a nice body… Ok? What is that even supposed to mean? That if you’re skinny, you’re ugly? Not to mention, it uses bad language and just bad morals in general.

Kids nowadays constantly listen to these songs without even putting into thought what they really mean and what they end up making you think and changing your morals gradually without you even noticing. After hearing this song, I bet a self-conscious, low-esteem girl will feel as if her body is not “good enough” according to the song. What even? Everyone is beautiful- in their own way. There is no need to conform to what society wants of you.

But my main point is don’t let mainstream songs and TV shows brainwash your minds and your morals. Usually, they don’t even teach anything good. It damages your heart, it’s not good for your soul. So if you know a younger, pure soul, let them stay pure and keep them away from these corrupt things and permit them to learn and make their own set of morals, not what society dictates.

 

 

Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

Most of us know Ibn Battuta as the great traveler in the fourteenth century who traveled around the world, 3 times more than that of Marco Polo’s travels. But he was so much more! Honestly, I think he receives less recognition than he deserves.

Ibn Battuta’s journey began when he was 21 years old and he was just beginning his career as a Muslim lawyer. As a young and bright man, he could have stayed in his home town but he decided to leave for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.). And so he set out to Makkah for Hajj, leaving behind family and friends whom he may never see again. It took him 1 1/2 year to finally reach Makkah. How easy it is for us to go to Makkah now with the ease and safety of an airplane. How old we are growing and yet so many of us have not completed hajj. Yet so many of us are reluctant to go because of money, work, responsibilities, etc. But Ibn Battuta left all that for Hajj because of his devotion and faith.

However, this, along with his other adventures, was difficult because he usually traveled alone and was constantly attacked by bandits, leaving him with no water or money. Not to mention, there were ferocious sand storms along the way and the risk of dehydration.

Yet he kept moving forward; determined to complete his goal. He traveled and met many Islamic scholars and Islamic kingdoms all over the known world at that time. There were no Islamic colleges in his own city and that is why he wanted to travel and discover the amazing and, at that time, flourishing libraries and madrasas in places like Cairo and Damascus. He even served as judges in the kings’ courts that he visited. He didn’t return home until 29 years later, after visiting 44 countries. After returning home, he found both his parents to be dead unfortunately.

Not even people today accomplish such feats and imagine someone doing that in the 1300s! Man, how our ancestors tackled such impossible goals but what about us?image1320349314-2655-PlaceID-0

 

Originally posted on MuslimMatters:

By Maryam S.

When I first started wearing hijab, my mother would pin it for me every day—a square scarf that she’d fold into a triangle, pin under my chin, and whose ends I would then tie into a little knot on my chest. I’d go to school (where my sister and I were the only girls in hijab) like that, thinking that I looked pretty good, especially if I was wearing a particular blue silky scarf that made 5th-grade me feel glamorous. There were other aspects of my wardrobe that I wished I could change at 10 years old (namely the many denim shirts with flower decals that my mother loved buying me so much)—but I can’t recall feeling inferior to anyone because of my hijab style (or lack thereof, really) at that point in my life.

Fast forward 15 years. My fashion sense has developed considerably, and my hijab has gone through various style-phases, but it’s still there on my head, though it’s now more often secured with 3 pins instead of 1. But when I see images and videos of hijabis who teach others online how to wear this piece of cloth, now I feel somewhat inadequate. I had never considered that not being amongst many others who wore hijab during my youth could have had its benefits. But perhaps it allowed me to define for myself what my hijab should look like. I wonder how my formative pre-teen and teen years, as well as my concept of hijab, would have been different had I had access to hijab and makeup tutorials when I first started out—or, more importantly, had there been girls around me who followed them. I was content with my cotton scarves and bubble gum lip balm. But if I was 10 years old today, I think I’d be draping necklaces on my head and yearning for red lips.

I had the opportunity to grow into my hijab, to have it contribute to my own personal style and sense of individuality—and I believe that that is a right that every woman has. The requirements of hijab are a foundation around which women of different cultures, ages, and circumstances can work. As long as everything that needs to be covered is properly covered, one cannot call another woman’s hijab incorrect simply because it is different from her own.

But there is a key difference between shaping my hijab around the standards laid out in the Islamic tradition and styling my hijab around the standards laid out by society. The desire to conform is something real and it’s something that I fight against almost on a daily basis. What I was shocked to experience was feeling the need to continue that internal fight while around other Muslim women. I think the woman in a flowy tunic with white skinny jeans and stiletto heels looks beautiful, and the woman with red lipstick against a black hijab is striking, but I know that certain elements of their style are not ones that I can mimic with a clear conscience. And so the battle against myself and the beauty norms that I see around me, but that I choose not to adopt in an effort to please God, has permeated even my safe space.

I recently came across a video tutorial on “hijabi makeup”—how to dress up your face in order to make it stand out from the background of your hijab. There are tutorials on how to style your hijab with matching makeup for holiday celebrations, tutorials on “everyday makeup” for hijabis as though we can’t step outside without properly pink cheeks, ones for hijabis with blue eyes vs. brown eyes. The conversation still exists on the oxymoron of hijab with makeup, but each Islamic conference that I attend shows me that the norm is swiftly moving away from clean faces.

The fact that mainstream messages regarding women’s beauty standards have permeated into Muslim fashion is a testament to the rapid growth and development of our community, but also something that each Muslim woman should take the time to notice and consider on an individual level. I have to remind myself on an almost daily basis about the spirit behind my hijab. I style it and match it, but remind myself that it is not an accessory. It is a form of worship to my Creator that I get to show to the world every minute that I’m outside. And so I try to guard my hijab as I do any other form of worship. As its purpose is submission to God, I try to ensure that I am not simultaneously “submitting” to anyone else’s code of dress while wearing my hijab.

There is a difference between looking presentable and looking like a presentation. I know that any hijab will turn heads, but I am careful in ensuring that the one who turns will have nothing to see when he/she takes a second look. Stiletto heels, red lipstick, smoky eyes, jewels on my forehead—all of these will hold a stranger’s gaze on me and, for that reason, work directly against the spirit of the cloth on my head.

I find it to be a mercy that God revealed in the Qur’an that the believing women must “not reveal their beauty except that which [naturally] appears thereof” [Ch. The Light: verse 31]. We were created beautiful as humans, and certain manifestations of that cannot be hidden—and God is telling us that when they’re natural, that is normal. But when we place them there to beautify and accentuate, then they’re no longer natural, and that should not be part of our normal.

Status of Women

Asslaamualaikum wr wb,

In Islam, we are taught to respect and care for our women. The mother’s status is shown by the “Jannah underneath her feet” and the “favoritism of a mother over a father” and the countless times my Lord says “to be grateful to your parents” . The daughter’s status is shown by the fact that “taking care of daughters allows for the parents to earn Jannah”. The wife’s status is shown by how “husbands should treat their wives kindly”.

But what about a divorced woman? Someone who technically doesn’t have anyone to rely upon? That might sound a bit cruel but it’s true. In today’s society, women are taught to be independent and get their own jobs. However, this might have worked except for the fact that many women have kids too. If they were to be independent and take care of their own kids and themselves, well that’s simply quite tough. May Allah (s.w.t.) provide for divorced women. Ameen.

I know this one woman who was divorced with a child. She had to get a job but it couldn’t sustain both her and her child. So her husband’s family was kind enough to let her stay in their home in the basement. Soon her only parent died. Then her husband’s family kicked her out for some reason. She has no another sibling except a sister in another country. Now she’s all alone in this cruel world. May Allah (s.w.t.) help her and her child. Ameen.

Well anyways I mentioned this story to prove that it is actually really difficult for divorced women whether one chooses to believe it or not.

But Islam helps divorced women: The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) asked: “Shall I not guide you to the most excellent sadaqah? It is to provide for your daughter when she is sent back to you and has no one but you to provide for her.” [Tirmidhi]

This teaches us that when a woman is divorced, her parents are encouraged to take her in and help her. Thus, women always have a high status in Islam.

Trust in Allah

Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

In Islam, certain things are made so easy for us Muslims and we should be more than grateful for these things. For example, ideally, Muslims should never worry because all they have to do is try their best and leave the rest to Allah (s.w.t.). A true Muslim does not fret over worldly matters but he/she does not remain idle either.

Umar Bin Khattaab (radi Allahu anhu) heard the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saying, “If you trust Allah with the right kind of Tawakkul, He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs.” [Tirmidhi]

So my fellow Muslims, do not worry. Be calm and work your hardest and Allah is All-Seeing and All-Knowing; He will provide for you always!

#lovin’myLord