Thursday 27 October 2016

The Muslim Hui people of China

Erie’s recently published book, “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law”, is a look at how Sharia is implemented among the Hui. In an interview he discussed his findings, which confound many preconceptions about Sharia, Chinese law and the rigidity of the communist state. Excerpts:
How should we understand the statistics on Muslims in China? Officially there are 23 million, but this assumes that Islam is an ethnicity, and that all Hui, or all Uighurs, must be Muslim.
It’s a problematic issue because it’s an ethnic category that is used to define members of a religion. Hence, it can be both over-inclusive and under-inclusive. For the former, Muslims outside China may not consider every Hui to be a Muslim. Many Hui are very pious. They attend mosque regularly and go on the Haj. And then there are people who say they’re Hui, meaning they just don’t eat pork. For the latter, it’s possible that some Chinese citizens who are ethnically Han [the dominant ethnic group in China] or Tibetan are, in fact, Muslims. It’s a very loose category.
Full article

Tuesday 25 October 2016

'Talaq' and the battle to ban the three words that grant India's Muslim men instant divorce

Image result for talaq
“I literally begged him,” she says. “I went down on my knees and said, if you want to have affairs, go, just don’t throw me out of the house. Where will I go with my child? I don’t have a steady job – what will I do?”
Because her husband chose an Islamic divorce, rather than one under India’s more progressive secular law, Arshiya was also denied the third of his salary she would be legally due in alimony.
The 45-year-old, now working up to 16 hours a day as a teacher in south-west Delhi, is trying to have her husband’s divorce overturned, and pursuing him for the meagre compensation Indian courts have carved out for triple talaq victims.
She doesn’t want to get back together. The legal action is about making a point. “I want justice,” she says. “The question now isn’t money. I was not his servant. I was not his slave, who he kept in the house for 12 years and then threw out.”

Monday 24 October 2016

Religious Concepts Reexamined: Why Do We Continue Using Religious Teachings To Justify Domestic Violence?


Advising a woman to be “patient” in the face of abuse minimizes her experience, and may prevent her from seeking further assistance.  In reality, the concept of patience in Islam refers not to a state of stagnation, but rather towards progression, albeit under difficult circumstances.  Rather than shutting down a survivor’s attempt at seeking help, a more useful approach would be to hear her story, support her in her choices, and be a resource (rather than a roadblock) for her.  Furthermore, the reassurance that her situation will improve over time is factually incorrect.  Research suggests that the severity of DV escalates over time, and that what may start as emotional abuse may well develop into sexual or verbal abuse, or serious physical assault.  Therefore, those who encourage a woman to “put up with it” may unwittingly place her in a situation of increasing danger.
Another common response is to excuse the behavior of the abuser, often based on the idea that the husband is the head of the household and can behave as he wishes without being called to account.  In addition, women are often told that, after Allah, their obedience is due to their husband.  These claims have little basis in Islamic theologoy or the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).  There are numerous hadith which elevate the status of women and emphasise the importance of kindness towards one’s wife and family.  There are no recorded narratives of the prophet using violence or misconduct towards his female family members, so why do we think that it’s acceptable for the men in our communities to do so?  While Islam promotes co-operation with and loyalty towards one’s husband, it does not sanction relationships in which one partner exerts coercive control over the other. Indeed, Islam states that partners are equals and that loyalty and kindness should be mutually expressed, and that poth parties are accountable for their actions.

Wednesday 19 October 2016


Image result for Dr Umar Al-Qadri
Love this brother. He is an inspiration alhamdulilah.

He believes that Muslims often isolate themselves in an effort to protect their faith and identity, something that is, in fact, damaging for the community. “We are living in a society where people do accept and tolerate other views. We should reach out and not be afraid”, he urges his fellow Muslims. His recent invitation to members of the LGBT community to the mosque’s end of Ramadan meal in June reflected this sentiment of inclusion. “As Muslims we must reach out to others’’, he says, “we must not treat people differently because of their lifestyle or beliefs”. Although such an expression of kindness and support appears radical in relation to the more stereotypical image the religion being strongly doctrinal, Al-Qadri cites the teachings of Islam as the foundation for his argument, where you must treat people as human beings first – something which he says has been lost among many Muslims.

Nonetheless his actions were still somewhat radical, and he came under criticism from the group that he represents for reaching out in this way. Some felt that this gesture was akin to him condoning homosexuality, but in the face of the controversy, he stands by his actions. “Inviting them does not mean that we condone or that we agree with [homosexuality]”, he explains. “It means that despite our disagreement we can still share a meal together”. Although he does not condone the act, he believes that the LGBT community, like Muslims, share similarities. The two minority groups have both been marginalised and should join together against a common injustice. He gives a practical example to support his decision to invite LGBT members to the event, which he hopes that Muslims will be able to appreciate, drawing a comparison between the two Islamic sins of drinking alcohol and homosexuality: “Muslims, when they have friends that are consuming alcohol, they would be okay with it, they will sit down together, they will interact together, but they won’t drink themselves and they will not treat the person that drinks alcohol differently. But they will treat someone who is gay differently, and that is something that is not understandable”. Al-Qadri emphasises that the teachings of Islam are to treat people as humans first, and the success of the meal, which had over over 20 LGBT members alongside some Muslims all enjoying themselves together, stands as testament to that.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

What Is Hayaa and Why Is It Being Defined by Men?

Your very existence as a Muslim woman is a form of resistance.
If you’re shy and quiet, you’re a prude. You’re boring. If you’re loud and outgoing, you’re attention-seeking. If you are a Muslim woman that doesn’t don the hijab, you’re asked why you don’t by Muslims — or why you would follow such a barbaric religion by bigots. If you do wear the hijab, every aspect of your hijab is criticized for not being “hijab,” white feminists want to liberate you, men want to test you and see how pure you really are and whether the hijab you’re wearing is just a front.
Because of your hijab, all of a sudden, you become the spokesperson for more than one billion people. Even when you don’t want to answer the questions you’re bombarded with, you feel obligated because the very act of wearing hijab is a form ofdawah, and the words you leave with this person can change their perspective on Islam. And in the middle of all of that, everyone has something to say about your hayaa.
Hayaa isn’t something someone can look at you and see. Similar to your iman(faith), it is purely between you and Allah (SWT). The word hayaa, is derived from the word hayat, which means life.
Hayaa can mean many things, the most popular definition of it is shyness, but it also means modesty, humility and self-respect. There are different types of hayaa, the social one and the one you have with Allah (SWT). The hayaa (shyness) that has to do with Allah (SWT) has to do with feeling embarrassed about committing a sin, no one knows how you feel about committing a sin except for Allah (SWT). That is solely between you and Him.
The societal one is the tricky form of hayaa. When it comes to men, hayaa can be talked about without bringing up their chastity because in a hetero-patriarchal society, a man’s virginity isn’t intrinsically attached to their worth. A woman’s hayaa is always spoken about in connection to her modesty, how appropriately she hides her beauty from the unlawful gaze of men — and after 1400 years of Qur’anic exegesis, it amazes me how hayaa has been reduced to how docile, de-sexed and nonthreatening a woman can be.
Hayaa for the woman in Islam is defined many times by men — and each time, it has something to do with hindering the man’s fragile, ravenous sexual appetites by contorting the Muslim woman into something that’s impossible. Likeable, but not loose or flirtatious. Quiet but not too quiet. Delicate but strong. Confident but not boastful. Intelligent but un-intimidating.
Celibacy until marriage is also stressed when it comes to a woman’s hayaa, along with hijab. Sex before marriage is haram, or forbidden, for both men and women — yet when we speak about a man’s hayaa, this is left out. When you consider how hayaa could also mean self-respect, hayaa is put into a better perspective.
How you treat yourself, your body and the space around you is all a part of your self-respect. As a Muslim, your body has rights over you for you to treat it well while you’re on this earth. One can’t tell someone that they have no self-respect because there is truly no way to know if someone has respect for themselves.
Khawlah bint al Azwar was a warrior, fought alongside the sahabah, or the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and they mistook her for a man because of the way she fought. She was confident, fearless and humble about her abilities as a warrior. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) even recommended that she be in the front lines in the fight against the Romans.
When one of the Roman generals tried to pursue her for marriage she said: “I wouldn’t even accept you to be the shepherd of my camels! How do you expect me to degrade myself and live with you? I swear that I’ll be the one to cut off your head for your insolence.” — and that’s exactly what she did.
Many times, when Muslim men and women speak about the great women in Islam, they bring up the loyalty of Khadijah (RA), but they won’t bring up that she was a hustler. They’ll bring up how charitable and softhearted Ayesha (RA) but they don’t bring up how knowledgeable, articulate and intelligent she was. The strength, the intelligence and the might of Muslim women aren’t brought up because that threatens men.
The idea that women have to be shy, quiet and wear as much clothing because women have to hide themselves/their bodies is not Islamic, it’s patriarchal. Our modesty as Muslim women, or our hayaa, is not directly attached to our hijab and how subservient we can be. The moment a woman doesn’t wear hijab or she’s too confident and “loud,” people start questioning her iman (faith).
Women in Islam are given agency over their bodies and whether they wear hijab or not, in the end — it’s a choice. The issue is, hijab is personal. What one considers modest, and what one believes will please Allah (SWT) is different than the next person, regardless of how you interpret the Qur’an and what you believe is right. Not wearing hijab doesn’t diminish one’s hayaa.
When hustlers like Khadijah (RA) existed and warriors like Khawlah fought for Islam, it can’t be more obvious that Islam encourages women to be self-assured and confident — not shy. Hayaa is not about how invisible you can be or how quiet you can be, because all of the great women in Islam have been the exact opposite of that.

Monday 17 October 2016

Kindness to animals -Hadith

Image result for kindness to animals

A companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "We were traveling with
the (Prophet). . .(when) we saw a bird with her two young chicks, and we captured (the chicks). The mother bird came and began to spread her wings (to distract attention away from her chicks). The Prophet came and said: 'Who has made this bird miserable by snatching her chicks? Return her chicks to her.'" Sunan of Abu Dawood

When the Prophet was asked: "Is there a reward for us in helping (or being kind to) animals?" He replied: "Yes, there is a reward for helping any (living creature)." Sahih Al-Bukhari

Thursday 13 October 2016

Carer murdered by husband over her work with men

Imran Khan
A disgraceful munafiq murderer who orphaned his own children!
A man who told his wife it was "not halal" for her to work with other men as a carer has been jailed for life after admitting her murder.
Manchester Crown Court heard Imran Khan, 38, stabbed Nasreen Khan, also 38, at their home in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport on 18 April while five children were in the house.
Khan was extremely controlling of his wife, the court heard.
He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years.
Khan had sent his wife angry text messages which said "leave the job" and "I don't give permission", the court heard.
The court was told the couple had a volatile relationship and frequently split up.

'Nothing to lose'

Khan complained they had no physical intimacy and did not like that her job as a care assistant because it involved one-to-one contact with other men, even though she was not bathing them, the court heard.
Judge Patrick Field said it was a "merciless attack" and described Khan as a "selfish and controlling man" who "did little to support" his wife and family.
He told Khan there was "an element of jealousy of your wife's independence of mind".
"She was a devoted mother. She worked hard to support her family and she was good at that job", he said.
"Unless anyone should think there was a cultural clash, let it be said the evidence shows your parents and sister were entirely supportive of Nasreen's choice."

Mrs Khan told a colleague she was going to confront him and stand up for herself, the court heard.
On the night of her death, the court heard the couple had been arguing at their home on Cheadle Road.
The court learned when Mrs Khan told her husband she wanted him to leave, he said: "I've got nothing to lose now have I?"
He then phoned his father and the court heard he told him "I've got no choice. I'm going to kill her and kill myself."
There were five children in the house who the court was told heard her screams as he repeatedly stabbed her in the kitchen. He then phoned his father again, saying "I did it" before hanging up.
He discarded the knife on the driveway of their house before driving off.
Mrs Khan died later in hospital.
The court heard he told police: "I always loved her. I never meant to do nothing."
His lawyer told the court Khan was "genuinely remorseful".

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Incest & Widow Burning: How Much Can Muslims Stomach?

Incest & Widow Burning: How Much Can Muslims Stomach?
Must read article by Dr Jonathan Brown.
I support the right of same-sex couples to have civil marriages according to US law. Islam does not approve of same-sex acts, but I don’t believe that the social or religious traditions of any one group should dictate what sort of contracts or unions those of other beliefs can engage in. I want to preserve my right to have my Shariah marriage contract with my wife recognized by US law even though I know many Americans consider Islam’s conception of marriage to be unpalatable. I don’t see the desire of gay couples as any different.
In the near-carpal-tunnel-syndrome inducing outrage that followed that piece, many Muslims objected that I was ‘enjoining wrong’ instead of forbidding it. My response was that the Shariah has always, to a certain degree, allowed practices that Islam condemns as reprehensible among religious minorities (ahl al-dhimma) living under Muslim rule, practices that Muslim rulers could easily have banned (at least on paper). I wrote:
In classical Islamic civilization, Muslim authorities allowed Zoroastrians to engage in brother-sister marriage, Jews to charge interest, and Christians to cultivate wine and pigs. (Correction!  In the previous article I added ‘Muslim judges could even hear such cases brought by non-Muslim litigants by applying the laws of their respective communities instead of the Shariah.’  I cannot actually find any evidence to back this up. To the contrary, all evidence seems to be against this!)
Because the scholars who built up the Shariah system could easily have prohibited such practices among its subjects but did not, the Shariah effectively facilitated them. If Muslim scholars and rulers permitted practices that they considered reprehensible and were in a position to deracinate, a fortiori (min bāb al-awlā), a Muslim minority with no power to regulate the conduct of those around it, like ours in the West, can condone the rights of others to reprehensible practices.
Full article

Thursday 6 October 2016

Father stares at the hand and foot of his five-year-old, severed as a punishment for failing to make the daily rubber quota, Belgian Congo, 1904

A Congolese man looking at the severed hand and foot of his five-year-old daughter who was killed, and allegedly cannibalized, by the members of Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company militia.

He hadn’t made his rubber quota for the day so the Belgian-appointed overseers had cut off his daughter’s hand and foot. Her name was Boali. She was five years old. Then they killed her. But they weren’t finished. Then they killed his wife too. And because that didn’t seem quite cruel enough, quite strong enough to make their case, they cannibalized both Boali and her mother. And they presented Nsala with the tokens, the leftovers from the once living body of his darling child whom he so loved. His life was destroyed. They had partially destroyed it anyway by forcing his servitude but this act finished it for him. All of this filth had occurred because one man, one man who lived thousands of miles across the sea, one man who couldn’t get rich enough, had decreed that this land was his and that these people should serve his own greed. Leopold had not given any thought to the idea that these African children, these men and women, were our fully human brothers, created equally by the same Hand that had created his own lineage of European Royalty.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Perplexed Muslim Misogynists Wonder Why Nobody Likes Them

confusedface Major lolllzzz!!
Muslim man shocked at being called a misogynist after telling women that their purpose in life is to procreate.

“But all I did was tell the truth,” he said, clearly bewildered at the vehemence of the accusations made against him. “Everyone knows that women were just not created to handle the difficulties of the public sphere. Finance, medicine, expressing opinions – all of that is really dangerous for a woman’s fragile psyche. Their delicate constitutions are more suitable towards gentler activities, like childbirth. There are, like, studies about it. I don’t know why saying that makes people think I hate women! I love my mother, she cooks the best biryani.”
His mother, last seen wondering whether it was too late to give him up for adoption at the age of 25, could not be reached for comment.

Senior Muslim lady warns ‘good Muslim boys’ to choose potential wives carefully.
“These modern girls, just look at how they behave, no shame, no shame!” she tutted reprovingly. “Going to college and then they think they can talk about politics and economics yet they don’t even know how to cook a good curry. My son is God’s gift to women; how is he supposed to find a good doctor wife when all these girls are studying nonsense like journalism and then they refuse to give up four years of education to have his babies?”
Her son Anjem, found peddling weed on a street corner, strongly agrees with his mother’s analysis. “There’s a marriage crisis, innit,” he commented sagely, then grew angry & chased off our reporters when they wouldn’t buy a ten gram baggie of skunky marijuana from him.

Monday 3 October 2016

Side Entrance: Why Mosques Are Still Getting It Wrong

Side Entrance: Why Mosques Are Still Getting It Wrong, by Mona Rahman
Do some people not like it? Every once in a while someone new will come and say this is haram. But you know what? This is closest to the Sunnah. Oh people are not as at the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Really? From my understanding, men used to go to the back rows at the time of the Prophet ﷺ and try to see the women through their legs when in prostration. That is when the Prophet ﷺ said that the best lines for men are at the front and the best lines for women are at the back. He didn’t say to build a wall or stick the women on another floor. The Quran says to lower your gaze and guard your modesty. Lower your gaze is stated first. You are responsible for your own actions. These are principles taught 1400+ years ago but which we have been practicing since, Insha Allah.
Are people uncomfortable with this? Of course there are women who are uncomfortable praying in there same room as men as it is foreign to them, so in order to make everyone comfortable and not infringe on the rights of any of the women, when we expanded the sisters area we expanded sideways in order to create a space with more privacy for those sisters who do not want to be in the same visible space as the men but still keeping the structure of the main prayer hall. Note, it wasn’t done in response to the men who complained. A mere bookshelf separates the area so there is free flow from the private part to the main sisters area. That is their preference and everyone is free to worship in the main area or in the more private areas, which is also very useful if nursing
Full article