Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Bogus Thoughts | April 13th 2017

Since I’ve decided to clear my LiveJournal page and didn’t want to permanently delete all of the entries, I’ve decided to post them here in order to preserve them. I’ve kept them completely intact, in case somebody needs entertainment and stumbles upon them 😛


Date originally posted: April 13th 2017 (9:16 p.m.)

Mood: apathetic

I’ll say it right off the bat… I have no clue what I’m doing here. I guess maybe I’m looking for an outlet, a personal space to share my deepest inner thoughts away from my social issues rants on WordPress and my obsession with 20th century history on Tumblr, among other things. I’ve become rather disillusioned with writing pen to paper because these endless journals only seem to pile up and gather dust under my bed or somewhere else in my room. At least here I’ll be able to discover something new and interesting every day, and maybe somebody will even think the same about my own profile. Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m doing here.

I also wanna practice writing because I aspire to publish a book someday. I’ve already decided to go ahead with CreateSpace as I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from some of my author friends who have published with them. I also have two great ideas for two separate novels. Really, I only need to get a move on with it. Staying motivated to expand my creativity is probably the hardest part because I’ve been struggling with my emotions and when this happens I would just rather bury them deep inside of me. I know, I know that’s not good, but it’s exceptionally hard for me to do it any other way.

I also hesitate to open up to others because most of the time all they do is invalidate my emotions and do me more harm than good. Growing up I was never allowed to express myself. I was not allowed to cry, to complain or even to ask for help. I know that has contributed a lot to how I am today with not being able (or wanting) to open up to other people. I also hope that coming here will help me with that down the line. I know I’ll need to get out of my asocial comfort zone if I’m going to be an author. I suppose that this is the first step. I suppose that the most I can do is see where this goes.

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

If You’re Husband Isn’t Muslim…

When I browse Islamic websites seeking various opinions from different schools about something in particular I always come across the very same issue: what happens if a woman converts to Islam but her husband doesn’t? So many people are quick to say that she must divorce him on the spot, seemingly without consideration for anything else.

Personally, if I was a man and my wife left me like that you could be certain I would want nothing to do with Islam because it cost me my family, my everything. I find such to be absolutely insane because the Quran places such a high importance on family, marriage and a strong foundation for society. Destroying it like that doesn’t make sense to me, quite frankly I think it’s un-Islamic, and I am far from the only person who shares this opinion.

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This was originally posted on the Facebook page for The Conscious Muslim and shared two years ago in July 2015 and shared on Tumblr. This isn’t about whether or not a Muslim woman is allowed to many a non-Muslim man (Jew or Christian) because that’s a separate issue, but I previously posted about a woman staying with her non-Muslim husband after her conversion also upholding Shaykh Hamza’s point of view. It may be a minority view for the moment but with valid and sound evidence to back it up.

I also wanted to share some of the comments on the Unity1 WordPress site that I feel are pertinent to this discussion, but I encourage my readers to read all of them on the original post.

Think about the fact, that if we divorce because of my (possible) conversion to Islam, there will be at least 30 people who will never even consider Islam as a true religion after that. That includes my husband and children, our parents and siblings and nephews.
The only reason for that I haven´t converted yet is the question of marriage here. I am happily married and we love each other. I see my family as potential converts.

But, maybe it´s better to stay as a christian then and still believe in one God. It can´t be right to hurt so many innocent people including my own children.

And even if I would convert, I couldn´t do it openly or visit the mosque because of other muslims would laugh me out because of my (so far) non-muslim family (and the family is a blessing for me, nothing to laugh at).

If I was young I would convert and marry a practising muslim, of course. It seems to be that I and many other women have lost “everything” by living our own lives… and God did know that it would go like this.

If I have to choose between being a muslim or a mother, I choose to be a mother. And wish that my children will later choose the right path – in time!

(Posted by Lina)

Here is also a question by Adele in the comments:

Maybe can help me?
I am married. Have 2 kids (10 and 13 years old). 3 years before i convert to Islam. Husband does not prevent me from practicing my faith, can i stay with him or must divorce?

To which the author of the site responded:

As the fatwas in the above article state, you are perfectly entitled to stay with him and enjoy a full, happy married life. There is no reason or need whatsoever to even think about divorce. May God bless you all!

Whether you agree or disagree with the opinions of various scholars cited here, this is definitely not going to be a topic that disappears in the near future with more people than ever embracing Islam in the West and in other nations around the world which are not Muslim-majority countries.

 

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 3 of 3)

I also wanted to add this one but for some reason it would only say ‘error’ when I tried to add it. I hope that these little things have enlightened you, or at least reminded you of important things that many Muslims seem to have forgotten.

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 2 of 3)

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 1 of 3)

I’ve been browsing Tumblr quite a bit recently and I came across a couple of things that I wanted to share here just for the sake of sharing. These things aren’t in any particular order but I believe they are self-explanatory and I also believe that people need to be reminded of some of these things. I hope you enjoy them the same way I did, and if you’re also on Tumblr please stop by and say hello! 🙂

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion

Birthdays

One hot topic (or debate I should say) in modern Islam is whether or not it’s permissible for us to celebrate birthdays, whether our own or our friends’ etc. I’m tackling this topic today because it’s my birthday, I turned 21 today! Yesterday marked a whole year since I “formally” accepted Islam too, but I studied it for almost two years before I decided that this was the religion for me. So let’s tackle another controversial issue that has everyone divided…

Wishing-U-A-happy-Birthday-wb798

The first thing I’m going to say about the topic is that I celebrate my own birthday. From time to time I will celebrate a friend of family member’s birthday too if their celebration doesn’t involve anti-Islamic things like drinking alcohol and the like. If that’s the case then I will politely decline to attend but I’ll give them a card to let them know that I love them and care about them anyway. While I appreciate all of my friends each and every day of my life, I mark their birthday as the day that God brought an incredible blessing into this world and I thank Him for the day when the world became a slightly better place because that person came into it.

You don’t have to go far to find all the people saying that celebrating a birthday is completely forbidden, but there are also those who say that it’s allowed as long as it doesn’t involve things that are clearly forbidden in Islam. The forbidden side say that it’s an innovation of the faith (we all know Muslims don’t like those) and that it has un-Islamic originals, therefore it’s prohibited. The permissible side say that since it’s not the religious holiday of another faith and that it doesn’t involve prohibited things, it’s allowed because Islam doesn’t seek to strip a person of their culture or heritage. Plus, the Quran never outlaws birthday celebrations.Personally, I see it as a cultural thing no different than something like Canada Day, which Canadian Muslims adore because after all, what’s not to love about this country? Except maybe the super cold climate….

You can read various p.o.v. from another blog written by a fellow Muslim about this issue with almost a hundred comments on whether or not it’s permissible to celebrate a birthday by people from a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds. The purpose of this article is not to impose my belief about birthdays on you, it’s to make you think for yourself. Whether you celebrate your birthday (or something else like a national holiday or a wedding anniversary, etc.) or not it’s ultimately a decision between you and God and it should be respected by those who believe differently than you, but I’ll tell you why I don’t have a problem with birthdays as long as they don’t include forbidden things.

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But why would anyone celebrate something that signifies that you’re one year closer to death? That’s much like the endless debate over whether the cup is half full or half empty. It’s all about perspective. Some people hate the idea of getting a year older, while others see a long life as a blessing and something to rejoice over because so many never make it that far. That’s the way I see it. I’ve been no stranger to tragedy in my short life and the blessing of seeing another year is something I hold on dearly to. But that’s not really the issue, so, moving on…

You can read a variety of viewpoints on Quora when it comes to birthdays but since even some of the most conservative Muslims in Saudi Arabia celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, how dare they say that you can’t celebrate your own? Whether or not it’s “appropriate” to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday is another intense issue but that’s not the point here. The point is, how can you allow one but prohibit the other? And what about your country’s national day? We all have one don’t we? Even if a birthday is an innovation, you can’t say that it’s the worst that’s being passed around in modern Islam. I don’t really believe that a person’s birthday is an innovation added to the faith, I think it’s a cultural thing that is not related to religion. In some societies birthdays have never been part of the deal, hence it’s also fine if you don’t like them and prefer to skip them, but I enjoy having them part of my society.

There’s another interesting point of view about birthdays here but I should add that based on the words of Mufi Muhammad, I don’t believe that music and singing are prohibited in Islam as I’ve written about before on this blog. However, I agree that your birthday also shouldn’t include extravagant things, lavish and excessive spending, and forgetting God and other stuff that’s clearly not Islamic, but I see nothing that would indicate that acknowledging or observing your birthday is wrong. It may not be encouraged since it can turn into a bad habit, but ultimately it’s all about intentions. I want to share a quote I found on Yahoo when researching both sides of the issue myself from Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi:

Permissibility is the original ruling in this case, as there is no evidence of prohibition. The principle of not following the Jews and Christians is really required in matters of their false claims and beliefs in relation to religion. Such beliefs are no more than disbelief from an Islamic perspective.

Islam supports the celebration of birthdays if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man’s life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty. In this context the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he answered: “It is the day on which I was born.” Muslim scholars take this hadith and the hadith of fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ (10th of Mharram) as evidence on the permissibility of celebrating good occasions, which have special significance in our religion such as occasions like the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

In this context, people must be aware that celebrating such occasions, e.g. the Prophet’s birthday, is no more than a matter of habit, and by no means a religious requirement. However, if it entails any forbidden practices, such a celebration becomes forbidden for that reason alone. Moreover, a celebration of this sort becomes recommended if it includes recommended acts of worship.

It is also right to say that such celebrations contain some aspects of innovation, however it is an innovation in matters of popular habits not in matters of religion. Actually innovation in habits is not prohibited. What is prohibited in this context is innovation in religion, as indicated in a well-known Prophetic hadith.

By analogy, there is nothing wrong in celebrating birthdays, as long as the celebration does not include any forbidden practices.

While I accept that those who say that birthdays are forbidden have some good arguments too, I have found nothing from my own research that would indicate that a birthday celebration (within the bounds of what is permissible) should be prohibited. When it comes to the little things and the technicalities of a birthday, I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not it’s acceptable. At the end of the day only God knows best, but I see no indication that I should refrain from celebrating my 22nd birthday next year if God blesses me with life until then.

allah

I haven’t always celebrated my birthday. When I was younger I didn’t have your classic pool parties popular with kids in the summertime because we couldn’t afford them, but as I got older I came to understand that a birthday isn’t about a big money-motivated party, it’s actually a time of gratitude to God. Some years I have cake (or other food like caramel apple pie) and some years I don’t depending on how I feel but my birthday is always a day where I feel extra blessed by both God and those who love me. For me a birthday is another reason to thank God and get closer to Him. But for those whom this might end up being a stumbling block for them, it’s best to abstain. Next year I think I might opt for the foods super high in calories either before or after my birthday and fast on the actual day and see what ends up of that spiritual experience.

This year I even found some cute Islamic-themed birthday cards with uplifting quotes and scripture inside that I will definitely be happy to send to my friends to remind them on their special day that God makes no junk and that they are a valuable part of His plan. May God bless me with another year to continue to serve Him and His beautiful creations. May God accept my actions to make this world a better place for all who live in it. What do you think? Please share your thoughts but be respectful of commenters who believe differently than you.

 

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

We sure can! In addition to my lengthy previous rant about the apparent “ban” on cross-gender interactions of friendships that has not actual basis in the Quran or Hadith because at the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him) both genders interacted all the time, I wanted to add some science to the mix that I only looked at after posting my rants. I never implied that all interactions with the opposite sex will be easy, much like same-sex relationships, some will fail and some will flourish. But science does say that they are beneficial for both people despite some challenges!

Across the internet you’ll find plenty of posts saying that men and women can’t be “just friends” yet they provide no actual scientific proof to back up these claims. Well, I have some for you. This is from Psychology Today, click on the link below to access the web article. I find it hard to argue with science! 🙂

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157733045311/can-men-and-women-be-friends

The vast majority, 83% in fact, of people do believe that a friendship can be purely platonic. And like I’ve said before, it’s helpful to tell the person right off the bat that you want nothing more than a platonic friendship. If you or the other person cannot respect this, then it’s time to move on. Also like I’ve said before, maintain the bounds of modesty and if you fear sin then abstain. That in no way means that all interactions between the opposite sex are forbidden. You must use your judgement and wisdom and decide for yourself if you can be humane with the opposite gender or if you can only be an animal. Nobody can tell you that except you. If you don’t like cross-gender friendships stay out of them, but don’t come and break down mine.

It’s not true that everyone will automatically fall for their platonic friend at some point It’s equally not true that men are nothing but uncontrollable sex machines and that women are apparently to blame for that. The cold hard truth is that women are forced into closets not to “sinfully entice” men who on the other hand rarely ever do much to control themselves. All of this comes down to erroneous, legalistic, patriarchal and outdated rules that the two genders can’t cross paths with each other in even the most innocent and beneficial of ways when scientifically cross-gender friendships have plenty of benefits (and the key here is moderation and balance: you should have both same-sex and opposite-sex friends, not just one or the other) and in the Quran men and women are allies of each other who were never prohibited from interacting.

“And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” And when he arrived at the water of Madyan he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” (Qur’an, 28:22-25)
What can be deduct from this cross-gender interaction?
  • It was modest
  • It wasn’t sinful
  • People lowered their gaze
  • There was no flirting
  • There is no mention of them automatically turning into animals around each other

In Islam, contrary to other religions doesn’t teach that sex or attraction is evil. In fact Muhammad was very open about sex and both men and women could come to him for knowledge and advice. Read the article below:

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157734238676/sex-and-the-ummah-series-the-hadith-of-jabir

One thing that jumped out at me was this passage from the article:

For us as Muslims, sexual desire in and of itself is never associated with evil; it is only the misuse and abuse of such desire that is evil.

Shouldn’t confining women to closets and denying their own desires or banning them completely from everyday dealings with men be considered misuse and abuse? Right now Muslim scholars backwardly think like this:

  • If I’m attracted to the man it’s my fault
  • If a man is attracted to me it’s my fault
  • If I sin out of temptation it’s my fault
  • If a man sins out of temptation it’s my fault

Instead of fostering (whether silently or explicitly) a culture of coldness, the mentality of “the other” and a lack of accountability or control, how about we begin working together to stop the idea that one gender is an animal and the other is their toy and to put an end to gender-based violence, discrimination, inequality and stigma as allies. This isn’t a “man’s problem” or a “woman’s problem” it’s a humanity problem. I can bet that God looks down on us with sadness at what we’ve turned religion and sexuality into when God made men and women complimentary to each other, not enemies of each other.

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Another Rant About Gender Segregation (Part 3 of 3)

Of course this topic also begs the question, well what if the opposite gender is really a temptation for me? For some people, that is true. In that case use your judgement and don’t get involved in activities that will lead to sin and corruption. But stop pretending that men are animals when it comes to sex and that women are only objects of gratification for them. It’s offensive to both men and women. Both genders deserve more respect than this.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157715790076/the-hypocrisy-of-gender-segregation-separate-can

For me this is a topic that also comes back to gay/lesbian Muslims too. I know that the Quran condemns homosexuality but that does not stop people from having feelings for the same gender. If you’re not familiar with this you ought to do some research because I know (and truly respect) many LGBT Muslims and my question in their case is this: if I were a lesbian would I be required to only have male friends because being around other females would sexually excite me too much? I’ve always had both male and female friends both before accepting Islam and after and they’ll all tell you that I never tried sleeping with them and I can tell you that they’ve all respected my “friendship only” policy.

I was 14 years old (I converted to Islam the day before my 20th birthday) the first time I was approached by a lesbian. Did gender segregation help me with that? In all of my dealings with people I establish clear boundaries, much like the terms of use of this blog. Can’t respect them? Leave. Similarly I’m clear with people I make friends with that our interactions will me as friends only so there’s no room for lewdness or other sinful behavior. If I entice you it’s your job to get away from me but don’t prevent me from hanging out with people who respect me and my boundaries. Tell me, how are my “terms of use” a violation of the Quran?

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9:71)

Allies of one another. How is not being able to speak and interact with that person part of being an ally to them?! Andrew, Levi and Duane are my allies just as much as Anne, April and Jenni. We respect each other. We support each other. We love each other. We don’t burn the world together. We don’t spread corruption together. We don’t sleep together either! 😛 The six of them are people of equally good character and morality. They don’t lure me into sin with their conduct and vice versa. Now tell me how this is a sin! Tell me how I’m such an awful person. Tell me how I’m an adulteress (despite that I’m still a virgin) and how I’m going to hell. How about this? Gender segregation is bad for society, Muslims or not.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157716595306/why-were-protesting-against-gender-segregation

Now, I want to make it clear (not to sound too extreme) that I’m not calling on for a complete ban on segregation in all areas of life because obviously men and women will use different bathrooms and changing rooms, this post is solely in the context of non-sinful everyday social interactions. I also agree that if you prefer voluntary self-imposed segregation then you have the right just as much as to me to hang out with who you want. If you’re more comfortable with other women (or with other men if you’re a man) then it’s your right to be surrounded by them. Each person is different with what they are comfortable with but here is something we should all be uncomfortable with: being forced to do something.

Personally, I feel far more comfortable in a mixed environment than a divided one because a segregated one (be it that this word has probably been overused and has much negative connotation now) I feel that there is this unignorable coldness and mentality of “the other” and that makes me highly uncomfortable. Based solely on personal experiences, I’ve had a much better experience in mixed crowds than with other women only crowds but that’s just me. At school when I was 15 or 16 I was the only girl in physics class (which also had a male teacher) at school and never once did they guys make me feel out of place. Not one of them ever made a move of any kind on me. All respected me.

Why? My personal opinion is that it’s because they were largely accustomed to having females around. They weren’t frustrated in some way and somehow erroneously saw me as the object or cause of their frustration. Physics class is probably the class I have the most fond memories of and honestly my memories of school in general aren’t fond at all, and it never had anything to do with men. So don’t blame me if you can’t control your own sexual desires!

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157717317656/gender-segregation-and-islam-on-revolvycom

According to some if there are three people together somewhere (either two men and one woman or one man and two women) this is not considered “free mixing” because the third person is considered a “chaperone” of sorts, however others say that there ought to not be any free mixing of any kind unless there is absolute necessity. An opinion held during the earlier generations was that a man could be in the company of a woman if he was a reliable person. An example of this is Sayyiduna Umar, who once visited a woman’s house in the night, and this was permitted, because he was praised for his reliability. However, this seems to be discredited in modern times.

Really I just want there to be an end to this crap and the mentality of “the other” and the coldness that comes with it and for people to realize that your physical presence won’t automatically make somebody else commit a major sin! I’ve been around men my whole darn life and I have yet to hear a story about how I “forced” him to do something evil with my mere presence! Of course this would imply that I was properly and modestly dressed in appropriate Islamic attire, which I always am, and to me that in itself should be barrier enough. Some people may call me a heretic and a whore for my stance on this issue but their misogynistic and patriarchal views (not to mention close-mindedness) will not stop me from interacting with men or having male friends. I have lesbian friends too for that matter, who also respect my boundaries.

Not every single interaction between a man and a woman will automatically lead to evil. I am confident when I say that my interactions with men will be recorded in the book of my good deeds, will yours? Only you can answer that question. And if one day I feel tempted by a man I’ll take the appropriate measures to not fall into sin, but I most certainly won’t go around believing that every man I cross paths with is a danger to purity or chastity. Whether in the masjid or the mall, school or on the sidewalk, men and women alike are enjoined to be keenly aware of themselves and their roles in creating, encouraging, and maintaining a society that values spiritual purity and chastity, but also one that is free from coldness, discrimination and that toxic mentality of “the other.”

As a result of our gross misunderstanding of the Sunnah, we have gone to two extremes: attempting to segregate the genders to an unhealthy level, to the point where a simple, innocent conversation is considered sin; or throwing out any notion of modesty, lowering the gaze, and considering any and all behavior between the genders – even zina – to be acceptable. In both cases, diseased hearts are created and fostered, because there is no holistic understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Islam came to transform the Ummah from one of ignorance to one of beauty, honor, dignity, and respect.

To reach that state, we must go back to the understanding of the prophet. Only then can we possibly start seeing the men and women of this Ummah coming together, as they were meant to be, to cooperate upon birr and taqwa: goodness and righteousness, together as allies.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157718054796/how-do-muslim-women-encourage-misogyny-about

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Another Rant About Gender Segregation (Part 2 of 3)

I find it interesting that when I post about controversial topics I get an increase in blog followers. That shows that people care, so let’s continue this important discussion. I believe that I’ve already said all that I wanted to say in my articles and added a ton of links to support my point of view, you ought to carefully read all of them. Contrary to popular belief, we are far from being the only ones who think like this or dare to speak out.

The Quran itself never prohibits interactions between men and women, au contraire in fact, and while some argue that there are some passages from the Hadith that claim that opposite sex interactions are forbidden I have a two cents to add on that too. Do you believe that the Quran is complete? Do you believe that it is the infallible word of God? If so, why do you wanna prohibit something that was never prohibited in the Quran? I’m not saying that the Hadith is bad, not as long as it supports a principle already established in the Quran, but it should never be taken as an infallible or equal to the Quran and God forbid one that abrogates it!

You know, one thing I’ve always wondered was why some scholars issued fatwas prohibiting gender mixing (within the bounds of modesty) but never supplied evidence to support this. In my opposition to forced segregation I’ve got plenty and I’m just a self-taught girl who applies common sense and ijtihad when it comes to modern issues and an ancient text. And to those who claim to have evidence prohibiting this, I ask, is it credible? Not that I’ve come across so far.

This is without a doubt a hotly debated issue and those of us who choose to stand up to this often get judgmentally shot down by people who don’t even take the time to consider our point of view or our experiences. In addition to everything I’ve already posted, read this passionate post by a Muslim sister. You’ll find more that I’ve shared under the “Reblogged Posts” section of this website.

https://keepyourgoodhearttumblr.com/post/157714092351/british-imam-quran-does-not-rule-on-segregation

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This is another opinion by another sheikh who also states that segregation is not a requirement (it can be practiced voluntarily however) and that men and women used to interact freely. Like I’ve previously mentioned, if you observe modesty and do not act in a careless (indiscriminate) manner that would entice sin then what’s the problem? Why have some Muslims reduced women to nothing but a temptation? Why do so many foster a culture of looking at the opposite gender like they are nothing but an object of your sexual gratification and why do you behave like an animal? Read this post by a fellow Muslims feminist while you’re at it.

While the majority of people who talk about these issues talk about them in the context of being inside a mosque, it is something that very much spills out into all areas of life and even more so here in the West where there is as much diversity as a person can possibly imagine. And if you don’t believe that Islam and feminism can be compatible, you’ve obviously never heard of Islamic feminism. Also take a look at these Muslim feminist blogs that I really enjoy:

And there are so many more, too many to list here. Islamic feminism has been around pretty much since always, because Islam is a very feminist religion. It has given both men and women equal rights (but different responsibilities; for example a man is required to work to support his family while a woman is not) but it’s unfortunately people and not the faith that are misogynistic and cripple women in various areas of life. Personally, the aspect of feminism is one of the many things that attracted me to Islam.

 

Posted in Personal & Opinion

Another Rant About Gender Segregation (Part 1 of 3)

While I have previously written (mostly ranted actually) about what I think of gender segregation in Islam twice, I’ve recently read this wonderful article by a Muslim brother and I felt compelled to write some further thoughts about this. First I want to make it clear that this post is about forced/obligatory segregation, not voluntary segregation. You can voluntarily sit next to a person of the same gender as you at a gathering at any time, there’s nothing stopping you. This is yet another post attacking the hypocrisy and misogyny (among other nasty things) being spread around by some people from average people to religious authority figures.

First, I also want to mention that while I don’t believe that gender segregation is Islamic, I want to make it clear that I do think that getting together for the purpose of evil (regardless of the people are involved are men or women or both), regardless of what that evil may be, is obviously prohibited. This post is about every affairs such as work, school, social gatherings, neighbors and communities and whatever other circumstance in your everyday life where you’ll cross paths with other people.


gendersegregation

The first thing you’ll notice on the Wikipedia page about this issue it’s that there is no evidence from the Quran or Hadith that enforces the segregation of the sexes. Some people attempt to prove there is using the following verses that say in part:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity – (and,) verily, Allah is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms beyond what may be apparent thereof…

Now how is this preventing interactions between men and women? In fact it’s the exact opposite! It tells us how to appropriate interact! This verse says that men and women should not dress or behave immodestly around one another, not that they aren’t allowed to interact! Since I’ve last written about this I think that the term “free mixing” has a rather negative connotation so I will refrain from using it from now on but it’s obvious that interactions between men and women have always taken place and have always been allowed within the bounds of modesty.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157708941951/free-mixing

I’m far from being the only one with this opinion, be it that we are often attacked by others who believe otherwise. They don’t seem to understand that we are saying that segregation has to be completely abolished, nobody is stopping you from doing it voluntarily! We are on the other hand criticizing those who force it upon others. It doesn’t protect women, it only discriminates and fosters the culture of “the other.” It promotes the idea that we are no more than sex objects when the Quran advocates nothing but equality between men and women while still understanding their natural differences.

It’s a good idea to remember that by promoting the idea of separation based on any trait, people are denied the most important lesson — learning how to live with others that aren’t like them. Did you know that 6 of the 8 countries who seek the most porn online are Muslim-majority nations? It’s estimated that over 40% of porn is derogatory towards women so this most certainly doesn’t teach these people that women are valuable members of society. Similarly to sex segregation in schools, sex segregation in society is bad for everybody. Much like Ed Husain said in his criticism of gender segregation, it only leads to poor social and communication skills and ultimately only plunges society further into a culture of coldness and gender inequality.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157709774786/the-disadvantages-of-schools-segregated-by-sex

Gender inequality has no place in Islam. The religion itself is extremely kind to women, but unfortunately Muslims nowadays are not because they’ve fallen into legalism or other corruption that isn’t in the spirit of Islam. Women aren’t inferior to men in Islam, in fact the Quran states that they are allies and complementary halves of each other, so why break them apart? Here is what the leader of Iran Sayed Ali Khamenei said about the quality and greatness of both men and women:

“If we adopt a comprehensive outlook, we see that there is no difference between men and women. Certain privileges have been granted to women and certain others have been granted to men. And this is based on their natural characteristics, which Allah has bestowed upon them. There are no differences in terms of human qualities. There are no differences when it comes to human rights, social rights, spiritual values and spiritual perfection. A man can become Ali and a woman can become Fatima. A man can become Jesus and a woman can become Mary.”

Both men and women have always been a very important part of Muslim society and that naturally means that they will have to work together to build that strong and equal society. It’s not by not speaking or interacting with each other that we achieve this.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157707778116/gender-segregation-in-muslim-societies-from