Monthly Archives: December 2013

Islam Has Given Women Their Rights; Muslims Have Not

Islam has given women their rights; the Muslims have not.

Daughters in Muslim homes are still treated (and disciplined) unfairly.

Sisters in Muslim homes are still expected to serve their brothers like they would serve their parents or husbands, when Islam has never stipulated that.

Wives in Muslim homes are still expected to be subservient to their husband’s entire family, when in fact Islam has not placed in-laws at that level of obedience and service.

Mothers in Muslim homes are still expected to take full responsibility of the children while the father refuses to even help. She is also degraded in front of her children, consequently lowering her worth in their eyes.

Islam never stipulated this, but did culture.

So women have been fighting throughout history for their rights that God has given them but are enforced only by some.

If a movement comes along and calls itself “feminism,” whose aim is to restore the diminished rights of women, then why would Islam be against that?

Islamic feminism is just that. By taking the support of religious scripture, historical evidence, and the prophetic example, women seek to re-establish their rights in their homes and societies.

If Muslims (and by this I mean mostly Muslim men) had lived up to the teachings of Islam on how to treat women, there would be no reason for Muslim women to turn to other places for support.

If a Muslim woman is a feminist, it does not mean that she is pursuing an ideology that contradicts the laws of Allah. It means that she is using the means available to her to regain her rights that were given to her by Allah in the first place. 

And yes, any true believing woman with knowledge will never go against what Allah has said. She will fight for her rights in the ways allowed by Islam.

So Muslim women will have to keep speaking out for their rights until Muslims decide to follow what Islam has already stipulated.

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Everything Will Perish

I used to be an avid reader of Al-Jumu’ah Magazine. Now I occasionally pick it up (just because I have other things to do). I remember reading a self-help article for hoarders. I was a hoarder myself so that article helped me a lot. The ayah that the author used to drive home a point that many hoarders (and maybe majority of the people in the world) fail to realize was this one in Surah Ar-Rahman:

Everyone upon the earth will perish, (55:26)

followed by this one:

And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. (55: 27)

From that point on, one little aspect of my consumerist and hoarder mentality received a spiritual blow, and that doesn’t mean I stopped buying and storing stuff. That means that a new realization had begun.

Then I started reflecting on other things in life. I like to write poems a lot and they are very valuable to me because in them I have documented fragments of my life, my emotions and my struggles. Then I thought: One day, all of this will be gone? When I die, these books which contain bits of my soul, these blogs which had collections of memories will vanish? These years of school which I find pleasure in remembering will be forgotten? I will be standing there on the Day of Judgment with none of these. My words, my clothes, my work, my books, my purses, my scarves, my jewelry, my laptop, everything will be gone. My feelings, my problems, my lame concerns, my valid concerns, my fears and my sorrow.

Then I realized the value of these statements that emphasized that Only Allah will remain while all else perishes.

Isn’t it amazing that even while everything perishes, including us along with the heavens and the earth, that Allah will remain and then He will bring all of us backwith all of our deeds?

There is none like Him; there is truly none like Him.

Glory be to Him.

Extreme?

If you ever feel like you are “too extreme” in your practice or people are saying you are, no need to ask other people.

Turn to the Qur’an; read about the stories of the prophets, the stories of the Sahabah, the Sahabiyat, and our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Salaf and see if your practice is in accordance to theirs.

In this day and age, if you practice Islam properly, you will be labeled. People will take any label and stick it on you to take away any credit from your justification.

Don’t listen to them.

You only have to please Allah, not the creation.

Reflections (Parents)

I have always felt odd talking about my mom in a neutral or positive light, maybe because I’ve always focused on her negative qualities. Over time, I’ve alienated myself from her deliberately, and not all of my reasons for doing so were wrong. But now that I am able to handle what I know will come my way (inshaAllah), I think I should stop pretending to be a vulnerable victim and start doing what I know is right.

My aunt told me a few days back how much my mom praises me and loves me. I don’t need anyone to tell me that my mom loves me-that’s a given with *every* mom, but when she told me that my mom is proud of me, my world changed. Before this, I mostly used to hear complaints and sometimes I cared while at other times not necessarily.

I remember how miserable I used to be in high school; and I know for a fact that one of the main causes of my misery was my failure to treat my parents the way Allah had obligated.

One of my main du’as used to be: “O Allah, make my parents pleased with me because Your Pleasure lies in their pleasure.” 

Then, I started the journey of trying to fix my behavior with my parents. I remember first verbalizing my intention to do so to my friend on the last day of school when I was in 11th grade.

Even two years after that, I still felt as if I was lost, as if my efforts were in vain. But SubhanAllah, as with all things, Allah gave me victory with patience. I know for a fact that my parents will never be 100% pleased with me and nor will one of them probably ever say it to my face if they are, but at least I know that they are right now and that Allah is consequently pleased with me too, at least in this arena (inshaAllah).

This is an extremely personal bit of my life that I decided to share because I think there are lessons to learn from it (apart from the fact that I feel kind of at ease right now).

1) Allah is the Turner of the Hearts, so ask Him to turn your heart to His deen and His obedience. If you feel constricted by any relationship factor that is not in your control, ask Allah to help you. Beg Him to fix your situation and to grant you sabr and istiqamah, because without patience and steadfastness, you will fail.

2) Dedication is the key to attaining anything in life. Wanting something but ignoring it or not working towards it diligently will not gain you anything.

3) Your mom loves you more than anyone else, just short of your Creator Himself, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). You need to make time for her and validate her concerns instead of brushing them off. There is an incredible amount of love that goes into her nagging, scolding and disciplining.

4) If you love one parent more than the other, that’s not your fault; it’s a matter of the heart. But your treatment of them should be according to what the Qur’an and Sunnah dictated, i.e. a mother is 3x higher in degree than a father.

5) Learn to overlook peoples’ mistakes, esp. those of your parents. When you seek to understand people and they notice that, they will automatically let their guard down and trust and respect you. In the case of parents, when you obey them, they love you more and they become more lenient towards your shortcomings.

6) Victory comes slowwwwly. Really, really slowly. Like a wave that comes in to shore, you must come and carry the bad sand away into the ocean and purify it. You must wait and work until what you want to become is what you are.

7) The road to improvement never ends. When you have one negative thing in your life, get rid of it, revel in the joy of doing so and then move on to other things that need improvement. InshaAllah one day you’ll be able to stand before Allah telling Him all about your journey of Tazkiyah (purification).

May Allah grant us all the ability to fulfill our obligations to our parents and to treat them with love and respect. May Allah open their hearts to understanding us better and ours to do the same. Ameen.

The Fruits of Yaqeen

This video is promoting the Darusssalam community’s new project, Home of the Heart. I attended Al-Huda School when I was in 1st & 2nd grade and that place has a special place in my heart, along with the people who are a part of that community. Imam Safi Khan started Al-Huda School back in the 90s and SubhanAllah, his yaqeen and tawakkul in Allah (SWT) is simply amazing. It is things like these that make me proud that I picked my career to be a teacher. I am a product of various Islamic schools and I want to dedicate my life to serving in these places that plant the seeds of iman in young Muslims. Please support them generously with whatever you can. Jazakallahu Khairan.