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May. 22nd, 2011



Need help with the Surah on Women

Hi All,
I am writing a paper and wanted to reference the Holy Quran. I read the entire Surah on Women and did not find the passages I was looking for. I am looking for the part in the Quran where God gives women a set of conduct and daily rules to follow. For example, when God talks about the Hijab and modesty and purity? Is that in the Surrah Women or in a different Surrah? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Mar. 4th, 2011




It  has been pointed out recently that my style of discussion becomes a bit counterproductive to engaging dialogue.

Firstly, led me sincerely apologize to anyone who  feels I have shut down their arguments in discussion, this has never been my intention.

One of the main reasons I joined this group is because, as a male convert to Islam, I am genuinely interested in the degree of rights and the overall elevated status of women that is granted in Islam versus other social or religious societies.   Additionally, I am troubled by the lack of respect shown to women by Muslim men and women alike due to ignorance of this liberty and elevation.

There is a disparity in Muslim society versus the teachings of Muhammad and the words of the Qur'an.

This community serves as a great place for dialogue to occur in which to bridge this gap.

At times in the discussion I play a sort of devil's advocate and argue in defense of dubious positions in order to get people to expound upon ideas and draw out more information and depth in the discussion.  Recently it has been pointed out to me that this tactic is not appreciated and becomes counterproductive.  I shall endeavor to put it aside or at least to preface any comments which are not genuinely felt but merely used to further the discussion.

Therefore, in order to re-open the discussion in a productive way I ask this question:

If you were granted the opportunity to address a group of Islamic scholars American Imams, what point would you address to convince them of the legitimacy of Islamic Feminism and get them to rally behind a social movement within Muslim-American society to elevate the status of women to where it should be?

Basically I want to know specifically what issues you feel need to be addressed and how we can go about enacting change.  

Please cite supporting documents if possible.

EDIT: added underscored items

Feb. 13th, 2011



A Woman's Reflection on Leading Prayer

I wanted to share this (it wasn't written by me)
from suhaibwebb.com

On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud led the first female-led jum`ah (Friday) prayer. On that day, women took a huge step towards being more like men. But did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation

I don’t think so.

What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left—except men. As a result, the Western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man.

When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it.

What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness – not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.

For 1400 years there has been a consensus of the scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way. Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading prayer is not better, just because it’s leading. Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet ﷺ have asked Ayesha or Khadija, or Fatima—the greatest women of all time—to lead? These women were promised heaven—and yet they never led prayer.

But now, for the first time in 1400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “That’s not fair.” We think so although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind.

On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And God has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet ﷺ taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?

When asked, “Who is most deserving of our kind treatment?” the Prophet ﷺ replied, “Your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. Is that sexist? No matter what a man does he will never be able to have the status of a mother.

And yet, even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men to value it—or even notice. We, too, have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, inferior. Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother—a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.

As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is a knee-jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too. If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too. Somewhere along the line we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with God.

A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn’t need a man.

In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we as women never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.

Fifty years ago, society told us that men were superior because they left the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we were told that it was women’s liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine. We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society—just because a man did it.

Then, after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker—and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men. We watched as our children became strangers and soon recognized the privilege we’d given up.

And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full-time. And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93% of them say they would rather be at home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to ‘financial obligations.’ These ‘obligations’ are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West, and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.

It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1400 years ago.

Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not – and in all honesty – don’t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.

If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet—I choose heaven.


from suhaibwebb.com

Jan. 10th, 2011



Islamic YouTube

Apologies if you've seen this before, but I only just discovered her work and think she's so talented. I love the message in this one also.

Jun. 18th, 2010

Totes Me!


Headscarves on non-Muslims

A friend of mine has asked a question I know I've asked in the past: is it okay for non-Muslims to wear the headscarf in a way reminiscent of the hijab, or is it appropriative? Especially since it would be done not as a show of solidarity with Muslimahs, but as a fashion statement. I've worn pashminas loosely over my hair before to keep my head warm (and also because I like the way it looks) but during winter, and I pull it off once I'm indoors because I don't want to be seen as wearing a symbol that is not mine, since I know the hijab can be very meaningful to many Muslimah. However, I know there are other Muslimahs who don't attach such meanings. For me, it seems to be that I have no way of knowing who I will hurt by blithely wearing a headscarf, so I just don't.

Thanks for any feedback.

Mar. 15th, 2010



Washington DC Mosque – Muslim Women Demand End To Sex Segregation Again

Washington DC Mosque – Muslim Women Demand End To Sex Segregation Again

Last month, a Muslim woman by the name of Jannah bint Hannah led a group of Muslim women in gatecrashing the main prayer hall of the Islamic Center of Washington to demand an end to sex segregation in mosques in America. That demonstration was broken up by Washington DC police but the Muslim women said they would continue with their struggle on this matter. This week, true to their word, risking arrest, the Muslim women returned to the Islamic Center of Washington to repeat their action and their demand for an end to sex segregation in mosques.

Whereas the February protest managed to gather 20 Muslim women, this time round the demonstrating group consists of 6 Muslim women. According to press reports, this group is led by Fatima Thompson, an American Muslim who converted to the faith 18 years ago.

The 6 Muslim women, with hair covered by headscarves, entered the prayer hall of the Islamic Center of Washington through the main door. They then joined 20 other Muslim men present to pray. The main prayer hall is the domain of male worshippers. Female worshippers have their own prayer room at the side, which is much smaller, the entrance door of which is hidden behind a screen.

What is the purpose of this demonstration? Fatima Thompson explains: “Wooden barriers have to be taken down and women have to be allowed to join, to pray behind the men in the main praying area. That’s our request. We are against gender segregation, against the fact that women are put aside or in a totally different room at the mosque.”

Fatima Thompson added: “The general issue we are pushing is gender segregation and the ramifications it fosters. It’s not healthy, and not reflective of our society here. It’s very reflective of very restrictive, ultra orthodox societies.”

Asra Nomani, a leading Islamic feminist who led a similar protest in West Virginia, said last month: “We have this generation of American Muslim women who are saying ‘look, you want us to go to Harvard, to rise to the highest level of Wall Street firms and you want us to sit where in the mosque?’”

Speaking about this month’s protest, Asra Nomani said: “If you are black in this country they can’t tell you to sit in a corner but if you are a woman they can.”

So how did the protest end? Well, like the way the first protest last month ended. DC police were called in to evict the Muslim women. The imam presiding over the prayer meeting announced: “We are going to wait, because some people came to disturb the prayer, until the police come and take care of this issue.” Then he added: “It’s disgusting. If they are Muslims they have to follow the rules.”

The police came, and promptly ordered the 6 Muslim women out or face arrest. So what did the women do? Well they left alright, but they regathered on the street outside facing the metal gates of the mosque to perform their prayers. One male onlooker offered this hopeful advice to the women: “Build your own mosque.”

Did the women expect to resolve things that day? Jannah bint Hannah who led last month’s protest said: “We may not get to see that in our lifetime but we do that for our daughters.” She added that she would continue to fight for shared prayer space.

But the women were encouraged by a comment made by Bachir Kardoussi, a lecturer in comparative religion at the University of Constantine. He said: “Traditions control Islam at the moment, and that’s not the same as Islam.”

Think about it. Is Bachir Kardoussi correct in saying that Islam that is controlled by traditions is not Islam? If so, is there any branch of Islam that is not influenced by traditions? For that matter, is there any religion in the world that is not influenced by traditions?

Mar. 3rd, 2010

Christian the lion


news item

Women Stage Pray-In at DC Mosque

Thought y'all would find this interesting!

Dec. 16th, 2009

Islam Inside


Featuring the Literary Works of Linda “iLham” Barto, Author and Illustrator.


Is the only site where you can get autographed copies of the following books:

Three Books by a Muslim-American author for readers of all faiths.Collapse )

All of these books are written by a southern American woman who converted to Islam later in life. Her wealth of experiences as a wife, mother, former Christian and retired Air Force Sergeant have all colored her understanding and interpretation/application of Islam in modern life. Far from the hyper-conservative scholarly texts you may be used to, Linda's approach is comprehensive and understandable for the common person and provides real sensibilities in a pragmatic approach.

Her forthcoming book will be added to the website by March 2010.

Sep. 21st, 2009



Chesler v Naomi Wolf over the veil

 I was looking over the recent posts at Feministing, and look what I found.

Here are the  links, if you want to see them at the original source page.

Sep. 6th, 2009



tags: Turkey, scarf, ban

Tashny, I noticed that my answer to your questions were turning into a nice long rant, so I thought I might share them here. Hope you don't mind:)

the hijab..Collapse )

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