Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Are you Following The Crowd?

 


When Umar bin al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) was walking in the market, he passed by a man who was supplicating,
اللهم اجعلني من القليل اللهم اجعلني من القليل
“O Allah, make me from the few!
O Allah make me from the few!”
So ‘Umar said to him;
“Where did you get this du`a’ (supplication) from?”
And the man said;
“Allah in His Book says:
و قليل من عبادي الشكور
‘And few of My servants are grateful.’
(Qur’an 34:13)”
So ‘Umar wept and admonished himself;
“The people are more knowledgeable than you, O Umar!
O Allah make us from Your ‘few’ servants.”
Sometimes when you advise someone to leave a sin, they respond with “But everybody does it, it’s not just me!”
But if you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most people -
ولكن اكثرهم لا يعلمون
“And however most people do not know” (7:187)
ولكن أكثرهم لا يشكرون
- “and most people do not show gratitude” (2:243)
and
و لكن اكثر الناس لا يؤمنون
- “and most people do not believe” (11:17).
And if you look for “most of them”, you will find that most of them are
و آن أكثرهم فَاسِقُون
- “definitely disobedient” (5:59)
و لكن أكثرهم يجهلون
- “ ignorant” (6:111)
بل أكثرهم لا يعلمون الحق فهم معرضون
- “turning away” (21:24)
So be of the “few”, whom Allah says about them:
و قليل من عبادي الشكور
- “And few of My servants are grateful.” (34:13)
و ما امن معه الا قليل
- “But none had believed with him, except a few.” (11:40)
في جنات النعيم ثلة من الاولين و قليل من الآخرين
- “In the Gardens of Bliss, A [large] company of the former peoples, And a few of the later peoples.”
(56:12-14)
❝Go on the path of truth and do not feel lonely because there are few who take that path, and beware of the path of falsehood and do not be deceived by the vastness of the perishers.❞
- Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله
Found in Kitab al-Zuhd by Ahmad bin Hanbal (رحمه الله), and also in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah.
🤲 May Allah make us of His few who are grateful, obedient and believers till our last breath - Allahumma ameen!

From Ideal Muslimah

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Domestic Abuse: What You Need to Know (Podcast)

 


 “This is not a Muslim issue, this is everywhere. But, we need to seriously address this issue…There needs to be an awareness of working together.”

 On this week’s TMV Podcast, Cheif Editor Salim Kassam speaks to Canadian psychotherapist and counsellor Berak Hussain on domestic abuse and everything you need to know about a topic that is often labeled as ‘taboo’, and why the Muslim community must step up with this issue.

Listen to the full podcast below:

Link

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

“Do you apologise for the killings of the Charlie Hebdo staff and police?”

 



Habib ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Jifri was asked, “Do you apologise for the killings of the Charlie Hebdo staff and police?”  Charlie Hebdo is the magazine that ran cartoons denigrating the Prophet (s.a.w.), and routinely insults Muslims, immigrants and minorities.


He replied, “We condemn the crime that was committed, we regret that it happened, and our condolences go to the families of the victims.  But we will not apologise for something we did not do.  This is a battle of which we have no part.


If the above question was asked because the perpetrators were Muslim and, therefore, Muslims should apologise, then we must also remember that among the victims was a Muslim policeman, and there was a Muslim store worker who helped save the lives of a number of hostages.


If the above question was asked because the perpetrators and those who claimed the attack justified it as being for the defence of Islam, and, therefore, this somehow implicates the Muslim community, then we must also remember that thousands of Palestinian civilians and children were killed in the name of the ‘Biblical right’ of establishing a Jewish state and Palestinian civilians were killed in the name of ‘self-defence’, yet we do not hold all Jews responsible for the crimes of the occupier.  Iraq was obliterated in the name of a ‘crusade’, ‘democratisation’, and the promotion of ‘human rights’ while thousands of Afghan and Iraqi civilians were killed as ‘collateral damage’.  Despite this, we do not accept that the people of West carry the blame and responsibility for these crimes.


There is a difference between our responsibility and duty to expend our efforts in explaining truth, and clarifying wrong, erroneous ideology; and responding to the lies that today’s Khwarij present as being Islam, and; attempts to place responsibility for what happened on Islam and its scholars and preachers.
What we need, and what the world needs, is to stand side by side in facing up to the terrorism perpetrated by organised movements, and the terrorism that is committed by states.  The killing of innocent civilians will always be a crime, even if a state is the one doing it.


In closing, we will not accept the attempts of some people to make us feel shame at our religion nor will we accept being put in positions where we are expected to take responsibility for the actions of extremist movements.”

From A Muslim Convet Once More

Thursday, 5 November 2020

WHAT WAS OUR PROPHET صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ LIKE?

 



• He was the mildest of people and also the warmest and most generous of them.
• He would fix his own sandals, patch his own clothes and help his family with the daily errands.
• He was very shy; shyer than a virgin in her chamber.
• He would respond to the invitation of slaves.
• He would visit the sick.
• He would walk alone [without guards].
• He would allow others to saddle-up with him on his mount.
• He would accept gifts.
• He would eat food that was sent as a gift; but he never consumed anything that had been given as charity.
• He did not have enough dates with which to be satisfied, nor was he satisfied with barley-bread for more than three consecutive days.
• He would eat whatever food was readily available.
• He never criticized food.
• He never ate lying down, and ate whatever was closest to him.
• He loved perfumes and disliked foul odors.
• He honored people of virtue, and kept affectionate ties with nobles and dignitaries.
• He never rejected anyone and would accept the excuse of those who presented excuses.
• He would joke, but never would he utter anything untrue.
• He laughed, but not loudly.
• He would not let any time pass without being in the service of God or being engaged in whatever was essential for his own self-development.
• He never cursed women, nor abused servants.
• He never hit anyone, except for in jihad in God’s cause.
• He did not perform revenge for his own sake, but did so when God’s limits had been transgressed.
• If he was presented with two options he took the easier of the two, unless it entailed disobedience or the severing of ties – in which case he would be the furthest away from it.
• He would sit in an assembly wherever it was convenient and would mingle among his Companions as one of them, so much so that when strangers came, they couldn’t tell him from others, except after inquiring as to who he was.
• He would take to long periods of silence, but when he did speak he did so slowly and clearly, repeating himself so that he would be understood.
• He used to pardon, even when he was in a position to punish.
• He wouldn’t confront anyone with what they did not like.
• He was the most truthful of men.
• He was the one who most fulfilled his trusts, pledges and commitments.
• He was the easiest going of people; the most affable; and the most generous in friendship.
• Whoever looked at him unexpectedly, was amazed by him.
• Whoever knew him, loved him.
• His Companions, whenever they spoke about worldly affairs, he would join in with them; and when, in recollecting their pre-Islamic days, they would laughed, he would simply smile.
• He was also the bravest of men. One of his Companions recounts: When the fighting grew intense, we would seek shelter behind God’s Messenger.


Source: Summary of Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasideen by Imam Ibn Qudamah (pp. 157-158)

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Extremism/Exaggeration (الغلو في الدين) - 10 Ayat & Hadiths



Religion is like Medicine:
- An Overdoses will KILL you.
- The right amount will SAVE you.
- Without it you'll SUFFER in illness.


1- The Prophet said:
‏ أَلاَ هَلَكَ الْمُتَنَطِّعُونَ
"Beware! The extremists perished!", saying it three times.
["Abu Dawud", 4608 - authentic صحيح]
https://sunnah.com/abudawud/42/13


2- It says in the Qur'an:
لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ
"Do not go to extremes in your religion." [Qur'an 4:171].


3- The Prophet said:
وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغُلُوَّ فِي الدِّينِ فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمُ الْغُلُوُّ فِي الدِّينِ
"And beware of going to extremes in religious matters, for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in religious matters."
["Nasai", 3057 - authentic صحيح]
https://sunnah.com/nasai/24/440


4- It says in the Qur'an:
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ
"God wants ease for you, and wants not hardship for you." [Qur'an 2:185].


5- The Prophet said:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ يُسْرٌ، وَلَنْ يُشَادَّ الدِّينَ أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ غَلَبَهُ
"Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will be defeated by it."
["Sahih Bukhari", 39].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/2/32


6- It says in the Qur'an:
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
"[God] has not laid upon you any hardship in religion." [Qur'an 22:78].


7- Aishah said:
 مَا خُيِّرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَيْنَ أَمْرَيْنِ إِلاَّ أَخَذَ أَيْسَرَهُمَا، مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ إِثْمًا
"Whenever God's Messenger (ﷺ) was given the choice of one of two matters, he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so."
["Sahih Bukhari", 3560].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/61/69


8- It says in the Qur'an:
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
"This is how We made you a moderate nation." [Qur'an 2:143].


9- The Prophet said:
‏ يَسِّرُوا وَلاَ تُعَسِّرُوا، وَبَشِّرُوا وَلاَ تُنَفِّرُوا
"Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)."
["Sahih Bukhari", 69].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/3/11


10- The Prophet said:
خيرُ دينِكم أيسَرُه
"The best of your faith is the easiest."
["Ahmad", 15371 - authentic إسناده صحيح]. 


Monday, 2 November 2020

Our Mothers, Our Role Models

 


Virgin Mary عليها السَّلام miraculously bore Jesus ﷺ, one of the most incredible men to walk the planet, but she was never married. 


Ayesha رضي الله عنها had an incredible marriage, but she was never a mother. She was also a widow. 


Asiyah عليها السَّلام was an adoptive mother to Mosesﷺ, but was married to a tyrannical husband.


The blessed Prophetic father ﷺ of Hajar's رضي الله عنها son Ismail ﷺ was alive but physically separated from them and so she essentially raised her son as a single mother.


Eve عليها السلام had one child who was committed to morality, and she another who must have torn her heart out when he murdered his own brother. 


Zaynab bint Jahsh رضي الله عنها was divorced, but then remarried the best man on earth 


Fatima رضي الله عنها was repeatedly described as the most devoted daughter in addition to her roles as wife and mother. 


Khadija رضي الله عنها had the most amazing husband ﷺ with the most amazing children and the most compassionate, passionate marriage.


The Queen of Sheba  رحيمها الله is described in the Quran in connection with her position, but not explicitly in connection to marriage or motherhood.


God gave us examples in history of some of the most spiritually elevated women in different types of single/married or motherhood/less situations.


It is unjust for our community to portray a woman's piety being connected solely to her marriage or motherhood status when even some of the most important figures of our history did not fulfill some of our community's contemporary expectations. Yes, marriage and motherhood are so important. But not every woman will experience them, nor find happiness in them. That is not commentary on her worth or the level of her connection to Allah. 


Sisters: God knows your life circumstances, even when everyone looking in from the outside have no idea of your pain, of your frustration or your confusion or your burning duaa. And I know many of you deal with pressure constantly. But instead of feeling crippled when you're overwhelmed, focus on these women. God gave us their myriad of examples for a reason. Let's draw our strength from them and renew our commitment to Him and to working for His sake regardless of our status.

From the FB of Maryam Amir 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Do American Muslims Still Care About Palestine?


 

In July 2014, I wrote about the quasi-clandestine program called the ‘Muslim Leadership Initiative’, run by the Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute (which now also has an office in New York). In the piece — and subsequent pieces that followed, written by myself and others — ample evidence and connections were shown to make it more than apparent that the purpose of the program was to deputize Muslim American “leaders” in various fields to undermine the growing tide and strength of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. MLI wasn’t a lone endeavor on this front, but it seemed to be the one to stick and show some success. The program targeted people in close proximity to students: writers, (aspiring) media personalities, Muslim chaplains; professors.
I genuinely didn’t see the 2014 expose having the impact that it did. I had hoped that the piece would spark a productive communal conversation on the sort of politic we needed to unify around. I had hoped it would be a corrective, reconciliatory moment. Instead, a deep-rooted fissure was not only revealed but has since deepened and widened, illustrating a blueprint of what the future of Muslims in the United States can and likely will look like.
And a lot of this hinges on Palestine.


For the first time, Palestine has become a negotiable issue in the American Muslim public community. When our communities disagreed on everything else, we could agree on Palestine. There were always individual exceptions, but generally, at the level we were able to have public conversations as a community, Palestine was long integral to and front and center of the American Muslim politic. The freedom of Palestine was Sacred — and convincing people to not work with those whose ideology explicitly relies on the violent erasure of Palestinians wasn’t controversial ..or in need of mass debate.
Not so much anymore.
In recent years, the centrality of Palestine to the American Muslim politic has been chiseled away — through both design and inevitability.
You don’t need to go full Netanyahu, but undermining the single most powerful and effective protest tool supported by Palestinians under direct occupation and in the diaspora — BDS — seems to be pretty okay.
And it’s especially okay if you’re doing it in the name of building relationships, inter-communal strategies and fighting Islamophobia — the same Islamophobia that is largely upheld by narratives about Muslims as pathologically and inherently violent, savage; incapable of self-governance and thus in need of control.
The same narratives that are used to justify the continued occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid against Palestinians. The same narratives that are used to justify a foreign policy that is the greatest expression of systemic anti-Muslim violence this country has to offer.
And we’ve come to a point where if you disagree with strategies, groups and individuals who undermine an international political protest of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, you stand accused, by many in our community, of sowing discord, fitna — of dividing our power. Maybe even of voter suppression and enabling President Donald J. Trump’s fascism.
This is a strange (and not new) point that doesn’t see how powerful, money-injected institutions and individuals claiming to work for Muslims, under the opportune guise of a ‘Muslim American’ identity, betray the very principles and safety of the affected communities. Our institutions, that claim to represent us and gladly will take our money, are held to a far lower standard than those they claim to be working on behalf of. And our spiritual leaders, who we have long trusted as guiding lights, have embraced regimes that spill our kin’s blood and shake hands with oppressors.
How did we get here?
Pretty easily.

We Shall Return by Imad Abu Shtayyah
At some point, our conviction to principles causes us to hit a glass ceiling in pursuit of not just community power but personal career growth. How far can a Muslim working in the American empire, sustained on myths about itself in opposition to ‘the Others’, get by holding onto the very principles and beliefs that make her/him the ‘Other’?
And how far can any Muslim organization go, in achieving its stated goals and pushing back against rampant anti-Muslim hate, without having to make some concessions along the way in order to ‘play the game’?


In the last six years, it has become apparent that there are four major political categories in the American Muslim public: Professionals, Expedients, Principlists and Determinants.
And here’s what I mean by those terms:
The Professionals are those for whom the identity of ‘Muslim’ and the community that buttresses this identity serve as a means to an end. Religion, in and of itself, is irrelevant as is the material betterment of the community. The Professional Muslim class has zero interest in the creation and empowerment of a Muslim politic, instead its interest is only in exploiting superficial representational politics which allow them space in white institutions, space they use to stomp around on ‘their own’. This in turn functions as a sort of native informancy, signaled through how they speak to their communities of origin and happily echo the accusations of those who suppress those communities. Steven Salaita, who has come to embody what cost Palestinian Americans in particular have had to incur for their commitment to their existence, comments a bit on a related phenomenon quite well here.
The Expedients are those who seize opportunity for political expediency. In their view, in order to have political power in a country such as the United States, as a community or as an individual, it is necessary to participate in some (maybe all) systems of power and politics: including those which may be antithetical to one’s personal or communal interests and principles. The stated goal, usually, is that to build power we need to build relationships with those who are “on our side”, even if we have some disagreements. For this group, political expediency and opportunity trump principles for sake of political representation and power. Political power is best (but not only) exercised within established systems of power: media and party-centric politics. Think your typical ‘seat at the table’ politic.
The Principlists are those for whom principles are non-negotiable. Political power for this group isn’t built on short-term opportunities but long-term strategic building. The greatest political power, in this group’s mind, is one that is built through community and that remains unwavering on principle and demands concessions from the Establishment (media, party-centric politics). In other words: people power over establishment power, resistance over representation. Any representation that comes at the cost of principles that are seen to define the power and moral anatomy of the community — principles for the betterment of the Ummah, for example, versus just simply the US-centric community — is not representation worth having. Think your standard ‘turn the table over, we’re on the menu’ politic.
Finally, The Determinants. Generally speaking, this group is interested in Muslim American civic, creative and grassroots engagement at every level but isn’t committed to access to power at any cost and also isn’t committed entirely to making all principles non-negotiable. The organizations that fall under this group will have a mix of individuals who fall into either the Expedient or Principlist camps. Those of which are more rooted in Islamic practice and ethos, explicitly so, tend to fall in the Principlist camp on many, but not all, critical issues. I think this group, which admittedly isn’t yet as well defined as the others, makes up a large cross-section of the American Muslim community. There is a process of learning happening that has been accelerated in the last four years, and it finds itself torn between expediency and principlism. The benefits of expediency are palpable, but it’s hard to argue why some principles can be negotiable and others can’t be. This group, in my opinion, are critical in determining the route the American Muslim politic will take and look like over the next few years. Think a ‘we can’t turn down all the invites but the food on the table does look kinda poisonous. Risk it?’ type of politic.


Think of these labels as classifying emerging, sometimes porous, trends versus solely (and strictly) certain individuals and organizations. I want these to be open to debate, discussion and evolution because we need to, collectively, start critically engaging with what the public face and politic of our community is.
Because, everything is at risk right now.

When we make the one non-negotiable position negotiable — what else is up for the taking, the bending, the “we can talk about this later”? Where is the line? And I want to be clear: we’re not talking about a political position- we’re talking about a moral, ethical, spiritual position that speaks to our role in defending human life, sacred ground and resisting colonization.
Here I want to take a moment to dispel not a myth but an ahistorical, anti-decolonial perspective that has emerged in recent years. The myopic view laments that the preponderance of Palestine as an issue for Muslims is in large part due to ‘Arab supremacy’ both in American Muslim communities and the Ummah. This perspective ignores the following:
Jerusalem is the third holiest site for Muslims, in Islam. It was the site of the first direction of prayer and destination for pilgrimage. Would we argue that the importance of Mecca/Medina in Islam is also …Arab Supremacy?
The centrality of Palestine in anti/de-colonial resistance. Palestine is one of the last colonial fronts of the 20th century — while countries across the world, including what’s referred to as the Middle East, were gaining ‘independence’ from European colonial reign, Palestine‘s colonization, also a violent European erasure, was just beginning. Anti-colonial figures and groups have long not only shown solidarity with Palestinian liberation but recognized it as central to international decolonizing efforts — especially today.


‘Islamophobia’ (a term we need to revisit) in the United States is largely rooted and sustained by efforts by pro-Israel groups and is sustained through pro-Israel narratives that dehumanize ‘The Arab’ and ‘The Muslim’. Even the vocabulary and discourse surrounding “Muslim terrorism”, that pathologizes violence by Muslims as especially noteworthy, dangerous and apart from other forms, is rooted in the same industry that exists to build the case for Israel’s violent dominance over Palestinians. This, however, benefits the United States more so than Israel because…
Israel is of geo-strategic importance to the United States and thus to American taxpayers and citizens. Its central location in the so-called Middle East makes it integral to the American project in the direct region and the neighbouring regions. There’s this (anti-Semitic) misnomer that Israel controls the United States. This line of thinking makes the world’s most powerful, cunning and violent country and military somehow suddenly meek and naive to the whims of..uhhh…‘The Jews’? Israel — like KSA, UAE, Bahrain, etc — is a client state of the United States. The survival and legitimacy of Israel is sacrosanct for American dominance in the region — why else does ‘normalization of relations’ between Arabs states and Israel matter?s
This needs to be said here: none of what I’ve said above is to undermine or ignore how our communities inflict and deal in anti-Blackness at a mass scale — because Black issues are Muslim issues and it’s taken too long for us, here, to move away from respectability politics and towards solidarity with our brothers and sisters, who make up one-fifth of our population in the US. Instead, for decades, we have been separated and there is a problem when all “our” issues are only abroad in solidarity with Muslims and never where we’ve settled and grown at the systemic expense of a population of people, many of whom comprise of our community. This is ironic given how Black/African movements for liberation have stood in solidarity with Palestine and Palestinians for decades, and still today.
That was long, but I wanted to list these out to really underscore that the presence of Palestine as a political priority in our communities can’t just be chalked up to ‘Arab supremacy’ — it is a systemic priority that stems from a long history and the heavy residue of geopolitical realities for many in our communities “back home”.


This frustration — that I’ve heard a lot in recent years — has also been used to undermine BDS.
That because of the centrality of ‘Arab politics’, we can’t create strategic relationships with certain temples or organizations that lean slightly or entirely Zionist; that strict and rigid adherence to Palestine is getting in the way of building an American Muslim politic.
But what good is any power and politic built at the expense of people in our community? What good is any power and politic that is built by standing on the wrong side of justice? One of the most basic ethical premises in our faith, for day to day and greater political conduct, is to enjoin the good and forbid the evil — so why are we negotiating with the boundaries of evil?
Because this is an issue of faith.
And here I want to dispel another ahistorical talking point: that Palestine is not a “Muslim issue”. Yes, being Muslim does not make you the authority on Palestine, to decide what is best for millions of people. Being Muslim isn’t a card for you to use to barter Palestine and Palestinian humanity for the sake of your career.
But given the sacredness of Jerusalem in Islam, given that members of our communities are directly impacted by a multi-state supported occupation and system of apartheid and given how decolonization and anti-imperialism are (/should be) paramount to Muslim societies and their histories, Palestine and its liberation are a ‘Muslim issue’. And it is that connection that creates one major form of solidarity — across sect, ethnicity and region — with Palestine (though, forget our criminal governments). And that solidarity, when utilized and empowered, can wield influence.
So, do American Muslims still care about Palestine?
I think everyday people, those who are disconnected from the spheres of influence and power, do.
But this is not a battle we can or will win in our institutions, in our organizations; perhaps even in our representations. Because the fight for liberation must be absolute, otherwise it isn’t liberation — it’s politics.


And for the future of this community’s survival, for the growth of its power — however fickle such a hope maybe whilst living in an Empire built to tear it away from you — I hope we can see what is at stake.


You must come to understand things as they should be understood. I know that one day you’ll realize these things and that you’ll realize that the greatest crime any human being can commit, whoever he [sic] may be, is to believe for one moment that the weakness and mistakes of others give him [sic] the right to exist at their expense and justify his [sic] own mistakes and crimes.” — Ghassan Kanafani, Returning to Haifa.

Link

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Extremism/Exaggeration (الغلو في الدين) - 10 Ayat & Hadiths



Religion is like Medicine:
- An Overdoses will KILL you.
- The right amount will SAVE you.
- Without it you'll SUFFER in illness.
1- The Prophet said:
‏ أَلاَ هَلَكَ الْمُتَنَطِّعُونَ
"Beware! The extremists perished!", saying it three times.
["Abu Dawud", 4608 - authentic صحيح]
https://sunnah.com/abudawud/42/13


2- It says in the Qur'an:
لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ
"Do not go to extremes in your religion." [Qur'an 4:171].


3- The Prophet said:
وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغُلُوَّ فِي الدِّينِ فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمُ الْغُلُوُّ فِي الدِّينِ
"And beware of going to extremes in religious matters, for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in religious matters."
["Nasai", 3057 - authentic صحيح]
https://sunnah.com/nasai/24/440


4- It says in the Qur'an:
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ
"God wants ease for you, and wants not hardship for you." [Qur'an 2:185].


5- The Prophet said:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ يُسْرٌ، وَلَنْ يُشَادَّ الدِّينَ أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ غَلَبَهُ
"Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will be defeated by it."
["Sahih Bukhari", 39].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/2/32


6- It says in the Qur'an:
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
"[God] has not laid upon you any hardship in religion." [Qur'an 22:78].


7- Aishah said:
 مَا خُيِّرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَيْنَ أَمْرَيْنِ إِلاَّ أَخَذَ أَيْسَرَهُمَا، مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ إِثْمًا
"Whenever God's Messenger (ﷺ) was given the choice of one of two matters, he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so."
["Sahih Bukhari", 3560].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/61/69


8- It says in the Qur'an:
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
"This is how We made you a moderate nation." [Qur'an 2:143].


9- The Prophet said:
‏ يَسِّرُوا وَلاَ تُعَسِّرُوا، وَبَشِّرُوا وَلاَ تُنَفِّرُوا
"Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)."
["Sahih Bukhari", 69].
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/3/11


10- The Prophet said:
خيرُ دينِكم أيسَرُه
"The best of your faith is the easiest."
["Ahmad", 15371 - authentic إسناده صحيح].

Monday, 19 October 2020

Destruction of Islamic architecture in China

 

The reserachers using satellite imagery, have estimated that approximately 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang (65% of the total) have been destroyed or damaged as a result of government policies, mostly since 2017. An estimated 8,500 have been demolished outright. A further 30% of important Islamic sacred sites (shrines, cemeteries and pilgrimage routes, including many protected under Chinese law) have been demolished across Xinjiang, mostly since 2017, and an additional 28% have been damaged or altered in some way.

The report outlines the deliberate erasure of tangible elements of indigenous Uyghur and Islamic culture in Xinjiang appears to be a centrally driven yet locally implemented policy, the ultimate aim of which is the ‘sinicisation of indigenous cultures, and ultimately, the complete ‘transformation’ of the Uyghur community’s thoughts and behaviour.

The report also lists media and non-government organisation reports, which have unearthed individual examples of the deliberate destruction of mosques and culturally significant sites in recent years. The reserachers found out that such destruction is likely to be more widespread than reported, and that an estimated one in three mosques in Xinjiang has been demolished, mostly since 2017.

Interpreting the datasets acquired through satellite images, the reserachers concluded that this equates to roughly 8,450 mosques (±4%) destroyed across Xinjiang, and a further estimated 7,550 mosques (±3.95%) have been damaged or ‘rectified’ to remove Islamic-style architecture and symbols. Cultural destruction often masquerades as restoration or renovation work in Xinjiang.

The report says that mosques across Xinjiang were rebuilt following the Cultural Revolution, and some were significantly renovated between 2012 and 2016, including by the construction of Arab- and Islamic-style domes and minarets. However, immediately after, beginning in 2016, government authorities embarked on a systematic campaign to ‘rectify’ and in many cases outright demolish mosques.

Besides mosques, Chinese Government authorities have also desecrated important sacred shrines, cemeteries and pilgrimage sites. The report provides photographic evidence of how mosques have been redesigned or decreased in size and the same techniques have been applied to cemeteries and other religious places in Xinjiang.

Although other religious minorities weren’t the focus of the report, still the reserachers checked several Christian churches and Buddhist temples across Xinjiang and found that none of those sampled had been damaged or destroyed. 

Link

Friday, 9 October 2020

Israel founders were ‘thieves’, Israeli historian says

 



Early Jewish settlers in Palestine “looted Arab property”, a new book by an Israeli historian has said, adding “authorities turned a blind eye”.

In what has been described as the “first-ever comprehensive study” by Israeli historian Adam Raz described “the extent to which Jews looted Arab property” during the Jewish gangs’ attack in 1948 on Palestinians and their homes, and explains why Ben-Gurion said “most of the Jews are thieves.”

Writing in Haaretz, Ofer Aderet’s review of Raz’s book was entitled: “Jewish soldiers and civilians looted Arab neighbors’ property en masse in ’48. The authorities turned a blind eye.”

Another senior writer at Haaretz, Gideon Levy, commented that the words “most of the Jews are thieves”, “wasn’t uttered by an antisemitic leader, a Jew hater or a neo-Nazi, but by the founder of the State of Israel, two months after it was founded.”

Levy said that the Israeli authorities “turned a blind eye and thus encouraged the looting, despite all the denunciations, the pretense and a few ridiculous trials.”

The looting served a national purpose: to quickly complete the ethnic cleansing of most of the country of its Arabs, and to see to it that 700,000 refugees would never even imagine returning to their homes he explained.

The Israeli writer added: “Even before Israel managed to destroy most of the houses, and wipe from the face of the earth more than 400 villages, came this mass looting to empty them out, so that the refugees would have no reason to return.”

Levy also said that the looters “were motivated not only by ugly greed to possess stolen property right after the war was over, property belonging in some cases to people who were their neighbors just the day before, and not only by the desire to get rich quick by looting household items and ornaments, some of them very costly…, but they served, consciously or unconsciously, the ethnic purification project that Israel has tried in vain to deny all through the years.”

“Almost everyone took part” in the looting, he added, which “was the small looting, the one that proved if only for a moment that ‘most of the Jews are thieves,’ as the founding father said. But that was mini-looting compared to the institutionalized looting of property, houses, villages and cities – the looting of the land.”

“Denial and repression” were part of the reasons why heads of Jewish community allowed the looting of Arab property in Palestine. He said: “Thirst for revenge and drunkenness with victory after the difficult war might perhaps explain, even partially, the participation of so many.”

Levy said that “the looting reflects not only momentary human weakness but is intended to serve a clear strategic goal – purifying the country of its inhabitants – words fail.”

Concluding his article, Levy said: “Anyone who believes that a solution will ever be found to the conflict without proper atonement and compensation for these acts, is living in an illusion.”

He asked Israel to “think about the feelings of the descendants, the Arabs of Israel and the Palestinian refugees, who are living with us and alongside us. They see the pictures and read these things – what crosses their minds?”

He answers: “They will never be able to see the villages of their ancestors: Israel demolished most of them, to leave not a shred,” noting that “one small stolen souvenir from the home that was lost might cause a tear to fall.”

Adding: “Just ask the Jews enraged over any stolen Jewish property.”

Link

MY JOURNEY TO ISLAM IN 2020! British Revert Story


 

 

 

 

Monday, 5 October 2020

The role of women in Islam | DW Documentary

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Thursday, 1 October 2020

Backbiting and finding fault in others: Hadith

 


Abu Barzah al-Aslami reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “O you who have faith with their tongues but faith has not entered their hearts! Do not backbite the Muslims or seek their faults. Whoever seeks their faults, Allah will seek his faults. And if Allah seeks his faults, He will expose him even in the privacy of his own house.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4880

Mu’awiyah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, if you seek out the faults of people, you will corrupt them or nearly corrupt them.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4888

Monday, 28 September 2020

How to pray, talk and act across faiths without betraying your own

 



I can’t pray in Jesus’ name, but I say “peace be upon him” when I hear it. For though he is one of Islam’s greatest prophets, referenced throughout the Quran and praised with lofty virtues, to pray in his name would be a violation to my faith’s tenets.

In a recent conversation with two friends, a rabbi and a Baptist minister, the rabbi jokingly asked me, “Do you also hold your breath at times while a Christian minister prays, wondering if you’re going to be able to say ‘Amen’ at the end?”

Considerations such as this come with the territory when you do interfaith work. The occasional interfaith vigil after a national tragedy doesn’t normally warrant concern, though there are examples of conservative ministers facing discipline for praying with other clergy, and some traditional faith leaders prefer to abstain from such events.

But when interfaith understanding is not only necessary to connect with your wider community but part of the dissolving of differences you believe faith can achieve, the question becomes, at what point is making adjustments to accommodate the other still fruitful? As an orthodox Sunni imam from Louisiana who now lives in Texas, I too have struggled with these questions.

There are two basic ways to encounter a person of another faith seriously. One, which is engaging with another’s Scripture, will inevitably reveal expected differences, as well as some surprising similarities. In an effort to harmonize, it can be tempting to depart from one’s own understanding of Scripture to demonstrate an added layer of sameness that just isn’t there. But that would remove the richness of the study, and potentially compromise the authenticity of it as well.

There is also multifaith community work — when we form coalitions with other faiths to make a meaningful difference in society. This shouldn’t be a problem: You don’t have to shred your faith identity or Scripture; just champion its elements of service. Come to the table in the fullness of yourself, and demonstrate how you’re going to enrich that table with your faith-inspired work. Easy, right?

Not always. For instance, inevitably there are common prayers said over our common efforts, or introductory remarks that suddenly turn into prayer. Some faith traditions see the divine as more abstract, and an invocation — a prayer that calls upon God for relief or change — can be grasped by members of those faiths even if the prayer is calling upon different deities.

To others, the divine is personal and fixed and can only be invoked in specific ways. It should never be an expectation that a faith leader pray or say amen to anything that would violate that leader’s creed or traditions, but the onus should probably be on those who can adjust without violating to accommodate everyone in the room.

Perhaps, for example, if a Christian minister feels uncomfortable omitting “in Jesus’ name” when among colleagues of different faiths, the minister can offer a reflection instead or give a courteous disclaimer that “I will be offering this prayer as such” that at least gives the others a chance to respectfully abstain. To make fellow faith leaders uncomfortable with your invocation could compromise the very unifying spirit that calls us all together in the first place.

In the same way, we should be careful not to assert that those who believe in an exclusive route to salvation are necessarily unable to work with a diverse group of people.

Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, left, and Yaqeen Institute founder Imam Omar Suleiman participated in a conversation at North Carolina State University. Courtesy photos

One of the most fruitful dialogues I’ve had in years came in March at North Carolina State University with the Rev. J.D. Greear, who serves as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. At an event convened by Neighborly Faith, Greear and I founded a friendship on our ability to speak faithfully and honestly about our differences, even with a crowd of more than 1,000 looking on.

Five years earlier, three young Muslims had been murdered in nearby Chapel Hill. Some of the family members of those victims were present. Our topic was hope and uncertainty, and we expressed hope that we could work together against hatred and polarization. As a start, Greear, one of the most prominent evangelicals in America, openly condemned anti-Muslim bigotry.

Pastor Greear and I also spoke about religious freedom not being restricted to one religious group, without either my or his concept of salvation being compromised or made ambiguous. I was and am fine with his vision of the hereafter not having space for me, so long as it doesn’t become an obstacle to me having space in the here and now.

Often the obstacle to interfaith communication is not between faiths but within them. I often joke about my relationship in New Orleans with a Reform rabbi and Orthodox rabbi who seemed to view me as a safe mediator regarding some of their core disagreements. While their disagreements were friendly, sometimes our internal disagreements as faith communities are more intense than our larger disagreements with different faith communities altogether.

It can be so much easier to unite with an outsider than an insider who you feel threatens the foundations or trajectory of your shared faith. Indeed, a theological progressive may have a harder time with a traditionalist of the same faith than a traditionalist of another faith.

But it’s a mistake to think that the divisions in our faith give us implicit insights into those of other faiths. Each faith’s factions have their own unique political and scriptural considerations in their internal debates. The basis of our broader cooperation is not what we share as believers, but instead shared community goals.

As our country becomes further polarized into a secularized left and right (white nationalism is no less secularizing than any “ism” on the left), it is imperative that as religious people we don’t merely dress political slogans with religious scripture. We must instead model for the broader society what it looks like to work on shared goals despite our different beliefs.

We can talk openly and honestly with one another without shying away from our disagreements. And we can work, proudly anchored in our different faith traditions, with similar goals through recognition of our full shared humanity.

Link

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

How Zia ul Haq Demonised Rape Survivors Instead Of Punishing Rapists


Whether it is a former president of Islamic Republic of Pakistan or the current CCPO of the capital of Pakistan’s largest province, the mindset of our male dominated society hasn’t changed in the last four decades.

In 2005, President Musharraf made comments in the context of a question about the treatment of a rape survivor Mukhtar Mai whose case gained international attention.

“You must understand the environment in Pakistan … This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.”

The president said that the newspaper had misinterpreted what he had said and that he was misquoted. But co-author of the Washington Post article, said: “The president’s comments were tape recorded and they were quoted verbatim and in context.”

On September 9, 2020, a woman was gang raped in front of her children during a robbery bid in Gujjarpura along the recently inaugurated Lahore-Sialkot Motorway.
Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh blamed the victim of gang-rape incident instead, for taking the route that she had chosen and said that she should have checked her petrol tank before getting on the said route. Umar Sheikh added that the woman had left Lahore’s Defence area at 12:30am for Gujranwala.
“I am surprised that a mother of three, a lone driver after leaving Defence should have taken the straight route from GT Road — a generally well-populated area.”

Did public hangings in Zia era stop rapes?

A false and deceptive claim has been circulating on social media by many accounts since the rape incident last week to justify public hanging of rapists: “During 1981 — in late Gen Ziaul Haq’s tenure — the public hanging of a killer and rapist of a young boy, had effectively worked as a deterrent for the next 10 years.

“The abductors and killers were arrested and executed in public and their bodies remained hanging till the sunset. This stern punishment served as an effective deterrent as no child was reportedly molested and murdered in the next decade or so. And Islam closes the door to the criminal who wants to commit this deleterious and truculent crime. The laws of Islam came to protect women’s honour,” they say.

On February 10, 1979, General Zia ul Haq promulgated four ordinances, collectively referred to as the Hudood Ordinance. The intent of the ordinances, as stated by him was to bring Pakistan’s legal system closer to the precepts of Islam.

Four years after the Zina Ordinance was adopted, a law of evidence was promulgated that did not allow women to testify at all in certain cases and in others considered a woman’s testimony irrelevant, unless corroborated by that of another woman. This essentially gave men and women different legal rights, underscoring that the state did not regard women and men as equal actors.

In 1983 Asma Jahangir and other women rights activists from the Women’s Action Forum organized a protest against Zia’s proposed law of evidence stipulating that the value of a woman’s testimony was half that of a man. This was the first time Zia’s laws and his regime was publicly challenged. In 1987, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the only independent watchdog for human rights with a nationwide presence.
Following are the few examples of rape victims who suffered for years because of the Hudood Ordinance:
Rafaqat Bibi applied to the martial law authorities to instruct the police to file an FIR against influential people in her village who raped her. She was arrested by the police and in 1984 the court convicted her of Zina for being pregnant without proper explanation.

Safia Bibi, a blind girl, was convicted of Zina by a court in Sahiwal. Her confession was her unexplained pregnancy. The alleged rapists were given the benefit of the doubt and acquitted.

Tasleem Bibi was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment and awarded 30 lashes in public by the Federal Shariat Court in 1985.

Jehan Mina, who gave birth to a still-born child, suffered the rigours of imprisonment and went mute with the shock of her experience. Her uncle had filed a report with the police, alleging that his orphaned niece had been raped by his brother-in-law and nephew. The trial court convicted Jehan of Zina, as she was pregnant. She was awarded 100 stripes in public. Later the Federal Sharia Court reduced her sentence to three years of rigorous imprisonment and an infliction of 10 lashes in public.

In 2002, Zafran Bibi went to the police to register a case of rape, but she herself was instead charged with having an adulterous affair. A court sentenced her to stoning by death under Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinances, which effectively equate rape with adultery. Despite Bibi’s repeated charges that her brother-in-law had raped her on multiple occasions, the presiding judge convicted her of Zina. She gave birth to a son. She remained in jail with her seven-month-old baby until 2005, when a judge in Peshawar suspended the sentence and allowed her appeal to be heard by a full bench of the Sharia court in Islamabad.

In 1996 Benazir Bhutto’s government brought the Abolition of Whipping Act, forbade sentences/punishments of whipping offenders except when imposed as a Hadd punishment. Those aligned with the clerics argued that the Hudood are God’s law and term any tampering of them un-Islamic.

On 15 November 2006, National Assembly of Pakistan passed Women Protection Bill to amend the heavily criticised 1979 Hudood Ordinance laws. Under the new bill, death penalty for extramarital sex and the need for victims to produce four witnesses to prove rape cases were removed. Death penalty and flogging for people convicted of having consensual sex outside marriage was removed. However, consensual sex outside marriage was still treated as a criminal offense with a punishment of five years in prison or a fine. The punishment for rape under 2006 Women Protection Bill is either death or imprisonment of between ten and twenty-five years. For cases related to gang rape, the punishment is either death penalty or life imprisonment.

On 7 October 2016, Pakistan’s parliament unanimously passed new anti-rape and anti-honour killing bills. According to the new anti-rape bill, DNA testing was made mandatory in rape cases. According to the new law, anyone who rapes a minor or a mentally or physically disabled person will be liable for the death penalty or life imprisonment. Recording of statement of the female survivor of rape or sexual harassment shall be done by an Investigating Officer, in the presence of a female police officer, or a female family member of the survivor.

Despite the revisions of laws over the period of time, we are not getting anywhere because of non-implementation of laws. Until and unless there are serious reforms in Police and judiciary, nothing is going to change. Pakistan’s social structure is not accommodating women as equal citizens. Women in Pakistan live within an environment of retrogressive cultural practices that are often viewed as religious mandates. Progressive voices are often labelled as radical because of Pakistan’s legacy of conscious Islamisation. From Benazir Bhutto to Asma Jahangir to Mukhtar Mai and thousands of unnamed women made it possible to force the successive parliaments to make changes in Hudood Ordinance. Whatever rights they have now, because of their own struggle. There are no contributions of men I am afraid.

Let me quote Asma Jahangir to close the long timeline of women’s struggle in Pakistan:
“You cannot have human rights in a society if you do not have women rights”

Link

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Dalits bear brunt of India's 'endemic' sexual violence crisis

 
 
A spate of brutal rapes and murders of young girls in a single district of India over the past month has provoked outrage and exposed the ongoing use of sexual violence as a tool of oppression and revenge against lower caste communities.

Over the past month, the Lakhimpur Kheri district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed four incidents of girls being raped and brutally murdered. At least two of the girls were Dalits, the lowest caste in the Hindu system of social hierarchy, who were previously referred to as “untouchables” and cast out from society.

Last week, a 14-year-old girl Dalit girl was found hanging from a tree in a village, having been raped and murdered. Just a few days before, a three-year-old girl was raped and strangled to death.

On 14 and 24 August, two girls, a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old, were both raped and killed in Lakhimpur Kheri.

“These cases of extreme sexual violence are more examples of the dominant caste wielding power over Dalit women who are perceived as weak and vulnerable and available,” said Manjula Pradeep, director of campaigns at the Dalit Human Rights Defenders Network.

She added: “Dalit women are seen as impure and deprived when they access basic amenities but their bodies are also used as objects to take revenge on the Dalit communities and keep them oppressed. With more Dalits demanding their rights, these kinds of incidents we have seen in Lakhimpur Kheri are increasing.”

Local activists said the assaults carried out against the Dalit girls went ignored by police until the issue was raised by activists and members of the opposition political party, who said the incident of the 13-year-old had “shaken humanity”. Activists have also struggled to enter the village to intervene in the cases as upper caste members of the village had reportedly blocked access.

The state of Uttar Pradesh already has the highest number of reported cases of violence against Dalits but during coronavirus lockdown there was a reported spike of attacks on Dalits by upper caste Thakurs. However, no arrests have been made.

“The recent spate of rape and murder cases in the Lakhimpur Kheri district indicates an endemic problem of sexual violence and the state government needs to do much more to address this crisis,” said Divya Srinivasan, a south Asia consultant for women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“In many instances, sexual violence committed against Dalit women and girls is perpetrated by men from dominant ‘upper castes’, who use sexual violence as a tool to assert power and reinforce existing caste, social and gender hierarchies,” said Srinivasan.

Srinivasan emphasised that these entrenched hierarchies of power gave attackers of Dalit women a worrying sense of impunity. Assaults on lower caste women were rarely investigated or prosecuted, and in the case of Dalit victims, rarely prompt much media coverage or public outrage.

India remains the most unsafe country for women in the world, with a woman raped every 20 minutes. Lower caste women in particular bear the brunt, with little to no access to justice. It first came to light in a 1999 report by Human Rights Watch that documented how Dalit women in Bihar were raped and then had their breasts cut off and were shot in the vulva.

Official statistics show that at least four Dalit women are raped in India every day, though the real number is thought to be much higher as the communities often do not report the rapes due to pressure from higher castes or because police refuse to file the cases.

Recent incidents include a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Gujarat who was sodomised and her body hung from a banyan tree in January, and a 16-year-old Dalit girl in Gujarat who had been repeatedly raped and gang-raped and then thrown from a water tank in April.

An upcoming joint report by Equality Now and Swabhiman Society found that Dalit women are subjected to more severe or aggravated forms of sexual violence, such as gang-rapes or rape with murder.

The issue of sexual violence has become more prominent in recent years, particularly following the 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape case, and again last year after the brutal gang-rape of a vet in Hyderabad. Despite harsher punishments introduced for sexual violence, reports of rape and assault continue to rise.

Link


Monday, 21 September 2020

Marital Rape in Pakistan



TRIGGER WARNING: disturbing content!

When Mannat was 16, her brother got married. He loved his wife – let’s call her Ambreen – and admired how religious she was. She observed the hijab and everything that made her seem like a good Muslim woman.

She had five older brothers, all of whom were just as religious. The eldest one, who was 31 years old at the time told her he was interested in marrying her 16-year-old sister-in-law. Perhaps due to his age or experience, he was managing the family business and everyone held him in high esteem.

Eager to forward her brother’s message, Ambreen talked to her husband about the proposal which he immediately refused. His sister was only 16 and the age difference could not be justified so he knew it was a bad idea.

However, the rejection made Ambreen unhappy and she decided to talk about it with her mother-in-law in the hopes of getting her on board.
So, she did. Along with promising that her brother would pay haq-mehr worth a million in cash as well as a hefty amount of gold. Unfortunately for Mannat, her mother was the greedy type and readily agreed to the proposal. Thus, began a series of emotional manipulation, whereby she would pressurize Mannat into saying yes.

Mannat was only 16 and aspired to be a doctor but her mom’s coercion saw no defeat. “Agar tumne yahan shadi nahi ki to yaad rakhna jahan bhi shadi hoi mein tumhen bilkul support nahi karun gi. Tumhen pata hai susral mein kitne problems hote hein. Mujh se koi umeed na rakhna. Yeh tumhari bhabhi ka bhai hai. Apni behan k darr se tumhare sath theek rahe ga. Waise bhi agar shohar bari umar ka ho to biwi k bohat nakhray uthata hai.”

After days of feeding her such nonsense, Mannat finally gave in to her mother and sister-in-law’s cruel demands. And long story short, she was married.

Right after the wedding functions ended, the torture began.

He sexually abused her every night, continued to rape her even though she told him the sex hurt. In fact, whenever she complained, he flat-out refused to accept she was in pain. He also bit her in different places and her entire body was covered in bruises.

Needless to say, he was sexually frustrated. It was later revealed that he held resentment against women since he had been rejected multiple times before. Turns out, because he was ‘too’ religious, families weren’t willing to get their daughters into such an arrangement.

Despite his claimed devotion to religion, the man regularly engaged in anal sex (read: marital rape) with Mannat. He continued it for three weeks, everyday, until she got sick. She lost a lot of blood and ultimately fainted, upon which her husband’s parents called her family and asked them to take her back.

“Jo larki apne shohar ko satisfy na kar sakay us ka hum kia karen?” they said.
When Mannat’s brother came to pick her up, she was unconscious and he took her straight to the hospital. Once the doctors examined her, they called him in and showed him how brutally her body had been violated. That’s when he realized what was happening all along. Naturally, he was furious but because Mannat was in such bad condition, he had to wait for her medical treatment to complete. She had to go through a procedure to get her rectum fixed. And Mannat and her brother returned home after five days, both mentally shattered.

Knowing that his wife had pushed Mannat into the marriage, things got to the point where he wanted to divorce her. And when Ambreen found out he wanted to end their relationship, she argued she wasn’t the only one to blame “mujhe to talaq de do ge apni maa ka kia karo ge? Woh bhi barabar ki shareek hai.” He knew full well that his mother was equally responsible. In fact, Mannat was the reason they ended up staying together. She urged him not to leave her because she believed her mother was just as guilty.

However, he helped his sister get a divorce and it took her eighteen months to gain whatever normalcy was possible in her circumstances. She resumed her studies and is a practicing doctor now. And guess what? she never got any haq-mehr; not the money nor the cash. Maybe this will be a lesson for Mannat’s mother who should have known better than bargaining her own child for greed.

It’s unbelievable to think that a mother would do such a thing. But it doesn’t end here.
At the beginning of it all, Mannat told her mother about her now ex-husband’s heinous acts but instead of helping her, she told him ‘sub mard aise hote hen.’

One of the times, Mannat even went back to her parents’ house because she decided she had had enough. But her mother forced her back to hell by telling her to keep quiet, as otherwise it would hurt her brother’s marriage. “agar tum ne koi baat munh se nikali to yad rakhna bhai bhabi ka ghar kharab hoga.” Apparently, they were pregnant with their first child and Mannat had to suffer more torture because her mother guilt-shamed her into potentially breaking her brother’s family.

Mannat is one of the thousands of girls forced into marriage everyday; for money, honor and shame. While men like her ex-husband deserve to be apprehended for their crimes, let’s not forget the parents. For a mother – or a father – to let their child suffer, that too, on top of forcing them into a marriage that is utterly peodophilic, is and always will be criminal.TRIGGER WARNING: disturbing content!

When Mannat was 16, her brother got married. He loved his wife – let’s call her Ambreen – and admired how religious she was. She observed the hijab and everything that made her seem like a good Muslim woman.

She had five older brothers, all of whom were just as religious. The eldest one, who was 31 years old at the time told her he was interested in marrying her 16-year-old sister-in-law. Perhaps due to his age or experience, he was managing the family business and everyone held him in high esteem.

Eager to forward her brother’s message, Ambreen talked to her husband about the proposal which he immediately refused. His sister was only 16 and the age difference could not be justified so he knew it was a bad idea.

However, the rejection made Ambreen unhappy and she decided to talk about it with her mother-in-law in the hopes of getting her on board.
So, she did. Along with promising that her brother would pay haq-mehr worth a million in cash as well as a hefty amount of gold. Unfortunately for Mannat, her mother was the greedy type and readily agreed to the proposal. Thus, began a series of emotional manipulation, whereby she would pressurize Mannat into saying yes.

Mannat was only 16 and aspired to be a doctor but her mom’s coercion saw no defeat. “Agar tumne yahan shadi nahi ki to yaad rakhna jahan bhi shadi hoi mein tumhen bilkul support nahi karun gi. Tumhen pata hai susral mein kitne problems hote hein. Mujh se koi umeed na rakhna. Yeh tumhari bhabhi ka bhai hai. Apni behan k darr se tumhare sath theek rahe ga. Waise bhi agar shohar bari umar ka ho to biwi k bohat nakhray uthata hai.”

After days of feeding her such nonsense, Mannat finally gave in to her mother and sister-in-law’s cruel demands. And long story short, she was married.

Right after the wedding functions ended, the torture began.

He sexually abused her every night, continued to rape her even though she told him the sex hurt. In fact, whenever she complained, he flat-out refused to accept she was in pain. He also bit her in different places and her entire body was covered in bruises.

Needless to say, he was sexually frustrated. It was later revealed that he held resentment against women since he had been rejected multiple times before. Turns out, because he was ‘too’ religious, families weren’t willing to get their daughters into such an arrangement.

Despite his claimed devotion to religion, the man regularly engaged in anal sex (read: marital rape) with Mannat. He continued it for three weeks, everyday, until she got sick. She lost a lot of blood and ultimately fainted, upon which her husband’s parents called her family and asked them to take her back.

“Jo larki apne shohar ko satisfy na kar sakay us ka hum kia karen?” they said.
When Mannat’s brother came to pick her up, she was unconscious and he took her straight to the hospital. Once the doctors examined her, they called him in and showed him how brutally her body had been violated. That’s when he realized what was happening all along. Naturally, he was furious but because Mannat was in such bad condition, he had to wait for her medical treatment to complete. She had to go through a procedure to get her rectum fixed. And Mannat and her brother returned home after five days, both mentally shattered.

Knowing that his wife had pushed Mannat into the marriage, things got to the point where he wanted to divorce her. And when Ambreen found out he wanted to end their relationship, she argued she wasn’t the only one to blame “mujhe to talaq de do ge apni maa ka kia karo ge? Woh bhi barabar ki shareek hai.” He knew full well that his mother was equally responsible. In fact, Mannat was the reason they ended up staying together. She urged him not to leave her because she believed her mother was just as guilty.

However, he helped his sister get a divorce and it took her eighteen months to gain whatever normalcy was possible in her circumstances. She resumed her studies and is a practicing doctor now. And guess what? she never got any haq-mehr; not the money nor the cash. Maybe this will be a lesson for Mannat’s mother who should have known better than bargaining her own child for greed.

It’s unbelievable to think that a mother would do such a thing. But it doesn’t end here.
At the beginning of it all, Mannat told her mother about her now ex-husband’s heinous acts but instead of helping her, she told him ‘sub mard aise hote hen.’

One of the times, Mannat even went back to her parents’ house because she decided she had had enough. But her mother forced her back to hell by telling her to keep quiet, as otherwise it would hurt her brother’s marriage. “agar tum ne koi baat munh se nikali to yad rakhna bhai bhabi ka ghar kharab hoga.” Apparently, they were pregnant with their first child and Mannat had to suffer more torture because her mother guilt-shamed her into potentially breaking her brother’s family.

Mannat is one of the thousands of girls forced into marriage everyday; for money, honor and shame. While men like her ex-husband deserve to be apprehended for their crimes, let’s not forget the parents. For a mother – or a father – to let their child suffer, that too, on top of forcing them into a marriage that is utterly peodophilic, is and always will be criminal.

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Thursday, 17 September 2020

Muslim Medics Taunted About Bacon And Alcohol – By Their Own NHS Colleagues



 Being “visibly Muslim”, such as wearing a hijab or having a long beard, made it more likely for Muslim NHS workers to face Islamophobia. One woman said she stopped wearing the hijab as it was “like wearing a sign saying ‘kick me’.”

Meanwhile, alcohol – forbidden in Islam – has been described as a “social glue” in the NHS, with many Muslims believing they have missed out on career and bonding opportunities because socialising outside work revolves around drink.

And while there are many incidents of outright bullying and harassment, it is the subtle, more difficult to prove Islamophobia within the NHS that is the “most dangerous discrimination”, say Muslim healthcare workers.

A staggering 43% admitted they had considered leaving the NHS because of Islamophobia.

Our survey conducted in conjunction with BIMA had 133 respondents from all over the country working in various NHS roles including consultants, surgeons, GPs, pharmacists and medical students.

One Muslim NHS worker said: “I think Islamophobia has increased in society at large and this is reflected in the NHS.”

Dr Salman Waqar, general secretary at BIMA, told HuffPost UK: “It reflects a wider societal unease about religion and the way spirituality and belief is seen as a problem.

“Some Muslims will not make a fuss because of fear of retribution. But making small compromises causes turbulence and unease internally.

“This creates a sense of not belonging for Muslims in the NHS and biological weathering. They feel they have to put on their uniform, turn up for work and justify their existence to colleagues.”

Dr Hina J Shahid, chair of the Muslim Doctors Association, said: “We see people celebrating diversity in all its forms in the NHS – but people generally don’t want to talk about religion. It is like a taboo subject.

“Belonging to a religious group is almost seen as going against the scientific nature of being a doctor.”

“In the NHS, you realise there’s something about the hijab that really riles people,” says Kiran Rahim, a paediatric registrar in London. “People make assumptions about you. When people first see me, they presume I don’t speak English, or I have an accent.”

She says judgements are made about women in hijabs and she is asked questions by colleagues like: “Does your husband make you wear that?” and “Do you wear your hijab when you shower?”

“I would expect people I work with to be more clued up. I am as British as they come, but my religion is part of my identity.”

Muslim women told HuffPost UK they were often perceived to be less educated due to wearing headscarves, and received backhanded compliments such as surprise at how well they spoke English – even when they were born and raised in the UK.

Zineb Mehbali, 32, a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, believes a culture exists within the NHS where people are discriminated against for being different.

She wears a hijab and experienced overt Islamophobia at one hospital when her locker was vandalised and had the word “hijab” scrawled across it.

“I’m quite resilient, but there have been situations where I’ve cried at work,” she said. “When my locker was vandalised for being Muslim, it made me feel vulnerable but also very hurt as I knew a colleague had done that.”

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

India: How a Muslim doctor was incarcerated for raising his voice




Dr Kafeel Khan told Al Jazeera he was physically tortured while in captivity, which included him being stripped of his clothes and beaten and deprived of food for days.

"It was very hard for the whole family. My 65-year-old mother was forced to visit the courts during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

Dr Khan was arrested in January for a speech made a month earlier that authorities in Uttar Pradesh (UP), governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deemed incendiary. He was later charged under the National Security Act (NSA), which stipulates that a person can be held without charge for a year.

His speech focused on major issues facing the country of 1.4 billion people such as malnutrition, lack of health facilities and unemployment crisis.

They really wanted to break me this time.

But Khan's criticism of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which bans Muslims from neighbouring South Asian countries from gaining Indian nationality, seemed to have earned him the government's ire.

The passing of the law in December sparked nationwide protests led mostly by Muslims - India’s largest minority, numbering nearly 200 million.

Yogi Adityanath, who is UP's chief minister and known for his anti-Muslim statements, ordered a crackdown against anti-CAA protests in the northern state. More than two dozens Muslims were killed in police action that was condemned by Amnesty International India.

"Who will speak up in this time of atrocities, if we are also quiet, who will raise their voice?" Khan had said during the speech in front of students of Aligarh Muslim University, located around 125km from the capital, New Delhi.

Critics and family members say the 38-year-old paediatrician was targeted because he chose to speak up against the law, which the United Nations dubbed "fundamentally discriminatory".

The UP police department in its complaint accused Dr Khan of "sowing seeds of discord towards other religious communities".
But the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday disagreed with the police, saying "a complete reading of the speech also nowhere threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh [located in UP]".

Dr Khan is rising as a prominent Muslim face in India, which the government doesn't want ... they don't want an educated Muslim person raising his voice, about their rights or equality.

"The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence," the 42-page judgement read as it ordered the immediate release of Khan.

Dr Khan said that after he was slapped with the NSA, his family became "untouchable" as people avoided contact with them in their home city of Gorakhpur in UP. "Lawyers would not take my case," he said.

His activism has also brought troubles to his family. His brother Adeel Khan said his business has been targeted since Kafeel Khan was arrested in 2017. Another brother survived a gun attack.

The 38-year-old doctor's release on Tuesday ends his third stint in prison [Courtesy family of Dr Kafeel Khan]
Harjit Singh Bhatti, a doctor based in New Delhi, has been one of Khan's most vocal supporters. He said that Khan has been presumably targeted because of his religion.

"Dr Khan is rising as a prominent Muslim face in India, which the government doesn't want ... they don't want an educated Muslim person raising his voice, about their rights or equality," Bhatti told Al Jazeera.

Dr Khan has spent nearly 500 days in prison in the last three years, as his case has become a symbol of state repression on dissent.

And he is not the only one. Several activists behind the peaceful anti-CAA protests are still behind bars for opposing the government's alleged anti-minority policies.

The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens.

Rights groups have condemned their continued incarceration as the coronavirus virus pandemic poses a threat to their life in India's crowded prisons. On Monday, India overtook Brazil to become the second-worst country hit by COVID-19 with over 4.2 million cases.

The 38-year-old doctor's release on Tuesday ends his third stint in prison.

His ordeal with the BJP-led UP government began in September 2017, when he was arrested in the wake of the deaths of 70 children due to lack of oxygen supply at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur, Khan's hometown.

Then a junior doctor in the paediatrics department, Dr Khan was hailed as a hero for securing a supply of oxygen tanks for the hospital ward from his personal money.

However, according to Dr Khan, the incident did not go down well, with Adityanath chastising Khan for his efforts upon meeting him days after the incident.

Khan was arrested with eight others for the deaths of the minors, and jailed for seven months.

He was arrested again a year later for 45 days, after authorities claimed he had barged into a hospital in the Bahraich district in UP, leading to an alleged ruckus.

The doctor claims he went to the hospital to enquire about the deaths of children at the hospital from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Thousands of children have died in Uttar Pradesh and in neighbouring Bihar state due to episodic outbreaks of encephalitis since the 1970s.

In 2018, an investigating team looking into the BRD hospital tragedy exonerated the paediatrician of any criminal wrongdoing. Khan has sought an apology from the Adityanath-led government and the reinstatement of his job.

But instead, the government ordered another inquiry into the children's death case.

Dr Bhatti, who is also the President of Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum, said Khan has been made a "scapegoat".

"Khan has been continuously made a scapegoat for the BRD tragedy, despite being a junior doctor at the hospital," Bhatti told Al Jazeera.

Bhatti has been an outspoken critic of the Modi government's coronavirus pandemic policy, as the country has emerged as the epicentre of the virus in Asia.

Khan, who has moved to western Rajasthan state since his release, says he feared for his life inside the jail. "For the first four to five days of my incarceration, I did not receive any food. I wore the same clothes ... I was not able to take a bath or brush my teeth."

"To go to the toilet there was a queue of 30 minutes," he said, adding that he had to share the barrack with some 150 people while it actually had the capacity to hold 40.

"They really wanted to break me this time," he told Al Jazeera.

The paediatrician said at times he would bite on his sleeves to distract himself from the excruciating hunger he experienced. "I was in so much pain I could have eaten grass," he said.

He said that jail authorities asked him to stop talking about the BRD hospital tragedy, and also demanded that he stop criticising CAA and a proposed citizenship register, which critics fear will likely be used to disenfranchise Muslims.

Despite the immense hardships, Khan revealed that his fellow prisoners, who were aware of his heroics during the BRD episode, would help him with food and other requests during his incarceration.

Khan has temporarily moved to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, where he has been reunited with his family, including his two children, wife and brother.

He said his most pressing concern is to demand the UP government revoke his suspension from his previous post at the BRD hospital so that he could resume his work.

"For the past three years," he said, "I have written 25 letters to the UP government to either revoke my suspension or terminate me, so that I can go work somewhere else."

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