Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Marriages of today

 


Can we stop comparing marriages of our parents and grand parents to our marriages? Feminism and liberalism is NOT  the issue, women have learnt to identify abuse, women are independent and women don't put up with gaslighting anymore. Women have also realised its harmful for children to grow in an abusive household and the idea of "kids need both their parents" is farce. Kids need happy, sane and healthy parents.


Please stop labelling women as "impatient". And rather teach men to level up, treat women better, stop expecting women to be their second mothers.
Longevity of a marriage does not equal a successful marriage. Some of the most broken children come from marriages that went on longer than they should have.
Where the women put up with abuse because she had no other option.
The condescending and emotionally ignorant jibes from these boomers gotta stop like yesterday.
It's always better to be single and alone than to be in a relationship, to be abused, used and be alone.
Women realizing their self worth and not putting up with abuse is the reason most marriages aren't working. Teach men to be less abusive, better at communication and to lay out all expectations before marriage so women can make informed decisions.


If you want her to cook for entire family, if she will have to ask mother in law for her expenses, if she has to ask all members of the family before leaving home, if she has to hand over her salary to father in law, if she has to keep quiet when someone in your family hits her children, if she has to give up her job, if she has to share a bathroom with other family members and your brothers. If she has to handover her gold to her mother in law, if her marriage gold will be given away to your sister in her marriage.
Lay all these things out in the open. Instead of putting her through this after marriage.
Before someone says "not all men" - "enough men" to make this status. Also most men know nothing about their brothers or male friends or how they are behind closed doors with the women of their family. So before you stand up for your mate make sure you truly know him.
IMPORTANT - Yes I know happens to men too. But happens way more especially in desi communities to women. 

From the Ideal Muslimah

Monday, 14 November 2022

Why Muslim women are upset with Andrew Tate’s conversion

 



Many have asked why Muslim women are upset with Andrew Tate’s conversion. That is the wrong question. We should be overjoyed when anyone accepts Islam.


The issue is the celebration connected with definitive declarations such as, “The top G accepted Islam!” and, “He’ll bring real masculinity back into this Ummah!” The issue is some Muslim men viewing a man who *domestic violence shelters* described as “capable of radicalizing men and boys to commit harm offline,” as a paragon of manhood. The issue is the glorification of a personality – pre-Islam – associated with exploitation of women. The issue is expressing unfettered jubilation without nuancing, “inshAllah through Islam he can find the best form of reformation.” The issue is the celebration, without any acknowledgement of the ramifications that the celebration is of his messaging before.
The Prophetic Tradition of Honoring Women
The Prophet ﷺ took a generation of men and women who were from a culture which buried their own baby girls alive, to a generation of men who honored women, and women who saw honor in themselves.


This mentorship started from infancy, even in the most sacred space. The Prophet ﷺ used to pray while carrying his granddaughter Umāma, and when he prostrated he placed her down and when he got up he carried her. [Bukhari, Muslim] Ibn Hajar quotes the scholar Fakahani in explaining that the Prophet ﷺ  did so to show them in action how to honor girls. [Fathul Bari].
The comprehensive change of a generation is summarized by Omar’s raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) statement, “In the times of ignorance, we used to have no regard for women whatsoever. But when Islam came and Allah made mention of them, this caused us to realize that they have rights upon us…” [Bukhari]
Revelation transformed a culture of violence, ownership and objectification of women to one in which women and men were, as described by t

he Prophet ﷺ “partners” [Ahmad], and as the Quran describes, “allies” [Surat At-Tawbah: 9;71]
Islamic law and Islamic history have shown us the depth of care and critical participation of women, as established by the mentorship of the Prophet ﷺ :
1.Spiritual space: Aishah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates about a Mother of the Believers that she was in i’tikaaf with the Prophet ﷺ “and she was bleeding in between her periods. She used to see the blood and she would perhaps put a dish under her for the blood.” (this was the bleeding of istihaadha, not menses, which take different rulings for prayer) [Bukhari]
If a Mother of the Believers would go to the masjid in istihaadha, and because of not having today’s hygienic resources would put a tray under her to protect the masjid from her blood, but would still pray in the masjid – then what does that say about a woman’s access and connection to the house of God?
2. Intimacy: While there is a depth and breadth of discussion on the issue from a legal perspective, Ibn Taymiyyah’s words speak to a recognition of women’s needs even in spaces wrongfully considered taboo: “Causing harm to the wife by not having intercourse is grounds for annulment in all cases, whether the husband did that intentionally or otherwise, and whether he was able to do it or not; it is like maintenance and even more important.” [Fatawa alKubra]
How often have women been made to feel like sex is only for men, that being sexual beings is only for men? And yet Omar himself changed law on how long men could serve in the army when he overheard just one woman complain she was sexually lonely without her husband. [Ibn Qudamah, alMughni]
3. Scholarship: Women scholars played a critical role in Islamic history. Aisha, the daughter of the great saw]companion Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, taught Imam Malik. Sayyid Nafisa, the great granddaughter of the Prophetﷺ himself, was the teacher of Imam alShafi. Karimah alMarwaziyyah, the greatest hadith scholar of her time, was the teacher of alKhatib alBaghdadi. Shaykha Fatima bint Muhammad alSamarqandi was a scholar who the famous Salahudin alAyoubi and his predecessor Noor alDin would seek fatawa from, seeking advice on state matters. These are simply a handful of thousands of women scholars in our history. [Sh Akram Nadwi’s AlMuhadithaat, Ibn Hajar’s alIsabah fi Tamiz alSahaba, Ibn Sa’ad’s al-Tabaqat, and alSakhawi’s alDaw’ al-Lami’]


A Dangerous Following & The Muslim Male Reaction
The Prophet ﷺ is associated with uplifting women. Contrast this with Andrew Tate, whose brand is associated with men who harm and objectify women. In fact, a sister who is working on publishing a study with a university sent me a message explaining, “I work in social services in England, I’ve come across several young men newly referred to the social services for violent behavioral challenges, and when interviewing and working with each of these young men in the last year we have identified at least 65% of them had consumed Tate’s material.” While she recognized this may be correlation rather than causation, she mentioned that the fact so many of them cited him by name is alarming.
Despite all this, before Tate even accepted Islam, some men micro-influencers were hosting him on podcasts and promoting him on their pages. They were platforming someone who was proud to have a webcam business of exploiting women for entertainment, who spoke and joked openly about committing violence against women and objectified women in some of the most derogatory ways. These micro-influencers who platformed him are not scholars. In fact, I have heard men scholars in the past denounce Tate and warn Muslim men from following him. Why were these men hosting him as an example of manhood before he even became Muslim, when these views are so blatantly far from Islam?
Dear Brothers: When you praise Tate as a “true man” who can bring that manhood into the Ummah with his conversion, you communicate to many women that you literally do not care about what happens to your sisters.
Can you see why Muslim women, especially women who are victims and survivors of domestic violence and those who work with women and children who are, could be terrified that Muslim men will adopt Tate’s pre-Islamic attitudes towards women? And even worse, now take Tate’s previous attitudes and deem them Islamic?
This week, sisters who have written publicly regarding feeling terrified about staying in this community because of many Muslim men’s loudly celebratory and un-nuanced reaction, have received death threats from Muslim men who follow Tate. These women were told they aren’t actually believers and they saw Muslim men on multiple live social media streams joking about raping them. Yes, they did report these accounts. But the fact that this has been the experience of so many women who have vocally expressed their concerns, is certainly in line with that same type of branding.
Conversion
We welcome conversion joyfully. And we should all recognize that rectification takes time, support, and mentorship. Conversion is an opportunity to perfect not only one’s beliefs, but also one’s character in following the pinnacle of character ﷺ
We should pray Andrew Tate will become the best of us and that we all become better. We should want him to have incredible support and mentorship to become his best self in front of Allah and in the footsteps of the Messenger (peace and blessings of God be upon him). But that process- as we all recognize- takes time. And the fact that we aren’t giving him time before he is immediately lauded as an example and hosted on so many platforms, is alarming and speaks to the real issue.
This is not an issue of conversion. The issue is commentary on the reaction of some men in our community, the silence of too many in the face of those men, and the willingness for them to not only not recognize how their reaction is so viscerally painful for women, but also how violent some of these same “brothers” are when they disagree with their sisters, and the double standards of these same men when it comes to women.


So celebrate conversion, yes, but also recognize the necessity for public accountability and responsibility to uphold the Prophet’s ﷺ mandate to men:
“…I enjoin you to be good to women.” [Bukhari] 

From Maryam Amir fb

Friday, 14 October 2022

Struggling with Fear and Sadness - Khutbah Reminders - Nouman Ali Khan


 
 
In this clip, Ustadh Nouman explains how we can derive strength from our faith to navigate the hardships that we will go through in life and how we come out stronger and more resilient.


Thursday, 13 October 2022

Honor Killing from an Islamic Perspective

 


It’s a well-known fact that Islam maintains the protection of life and does not sanction any violation against it. In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93) `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The blood of a Muslim may not be legally spilt other than in one of three [instances]: the married person who commits adultery; a life for a life; and one who forsakes his religion and abandons the community.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Sh.Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “There is no such concept in Islam that is called “honor killing”. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law in their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Therefore, based on this, Islam does not permit such killings. First of all, in order to sanction killing, it must be through a binding verdict issued by an authoritative law court. Individuals themselves have no authority either to judge cases or pass judgments. 

Therefore, a Muslim should not sanction such killing because doing so will be leading to the rule of the law of the jungle. A civilized society cannot be run by such laws.” Shedding more light on it, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states: “Like all other religions, Islam strictly prohibits murder and killing without legal justification. Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93) The so-called “honor killing” is based on ignorance and disregard of morals and laws, which cannot be abolished except by disciplinary punishments. 

It goes without saying that people are not entitled to take the law in their own hands, for it’s the responsibility of the Muslim State and its concerned bodies to maintain peace, security, etc., and to prevent chaos and disorder from creeping into the Muslim society.” Moreover, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, adds: “In Islam, there is no place for unjustifiable killing. Even in case of capital punishment, only the government can apply the law through the judicial procedures. No one has the authority to execute the law other than the officers who are in charge. Honor killing could be a wrong cultural tradition. It is unjust and inhumane action. The murderer of that type deserves punishment.”

Read More on islamonline

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Longevity of a marriage does not equal a successful marriage.

 


Can we stop comparing marriages of our parents and grand parents to our marriages? Feminism and liberalism is NOT  the issue, women have learnt to identify abuse, women are independent and women don't put up with gaslighting anymore. Women have also realised its harmful for children to grow in an abusive household and the idea of "kids need both their parents" is farce. Kids need happy, sane and healthy parents. 


Please stop labelling women as "impatient". And rather teach men to level up, treat women better, stop expecting women to be their second mothers. 


Longevity of a marriage does not equal a successful marriage. Some of the most broken children come from marriages that went on longer than they should have.
Where the women put up with abuse because she had no other option. 


The condescending and emotionally ignorant jibes from these boomers gotta stop like yesterday.
It's always better to be single and alone than to be in a relationship, to be abused, used and be alone.
Women realizing their self worth and not putting up with abuse is the reason most marriages aren't working. Teach men to be less abusive, better at communication and to lay out all expectations before marriage so women can make informed decisions.


If you want her to cook for entire family, if she will have to ask mother in law for her expenses, if she has to ask all members of the family before leaving home, if she has to hand over her salary to father in law, if she has to keep quiet when someone in your family hits her children, if she has to give up her job, if she has to share a bathroom with other family members and your brothers. If she has to handover her gold to her mother in law, if her marriage gold will be given away to your sister in her marriage.
Lay all these things out in the open. Instead of putting her through this after marriage.
Before someone says "not all men" - "enough men" to make this status. Also most men know nothing about their brothers or male friends or how they are behind closed doors with the women of their family. So before you stand up for your mate make sure you truly know him.
IMPORTANT - Yes I know happens to men too. But happens way more especially in desi communities to women. 

From Ideal Muslimah

Monday, 10 October 2022

Ka'ab Ibn Malik (ra): The Greatest Story of Repentance | The Firsts | Dr. Omar Suleiman

The eloquent poet who was silenced, then elevated through his story to be the most narrated about repenter in the history of Islam.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

O Allah, I Love You Even Though I Disobey You | Khutbah by Dr. Omar Suleiman

 


While some of the pious predecessors were passing away, they made a prayer to the effect of “O Allah, I love you even though I disobey you.” Is it possible to really love Allah and disobey Him at the same time? If so, what are the limits to that disobedience?

Monday, 3 October 2022

Abdullah Ibn Rawahah (ra): The Warrior Poet | The Firsts | Dr. Omar Suleiman

 


O My Soul, Death Is Inevitable,So It Is Better for You to Be Martyred

Abdullah ibn Rawaahah ibn Tha'labah (Arabic: عبدالله ابن رواحة‎‎) was one of the companions of Rasulullah ﷺ.
Abdullah ibn Rawaahah RA was from the Arabian tribe, the Banu Khazraj. At a time when writing was not a common skill he was a writer and a poet.
Abdullah-bin-Rawaha RA was originally a Christian writer from Madinah and was also known as Abu Amru’ Al-Ansari Al-Khazraji Al-Badri. He was one of the most active persons from among the Ansar to support the faith of Islam and strengthen its structure.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Pioneers of Islamic History: Omar ibn Abdul Aziz: The Rightly Guided Caliph

 


Islam, meaning surrender to the will of God, is an eternal idea. Muslims assert that it is the pristine faith of mankind, subscribed to by the first created humans, Adam and Eve and confirmed by the Messengers of God, including among others, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them). Islam throws a challenge to the community of believers to create a society “enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in God”. Islamic history is a perpetual struggle to meet this challenge in the matrix of human affairs. This struggle is continuous and relentless. Muslims through the centuries have struggled to rediscover the fountain from which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) drank. The corruption that surfaces with time is challenged time and again and a corporal attempt is made at a renewal of faith. Hence, revivalist movements in Islam provide benchmarks from which subsequent historical events can be measured and understood. 

Before Omar’s Rule Omar ibn Abdul Aziz, also known in history as Omar II, was the first revivalist Caliph in Islamic history. After Muawiyah, the character of the Caliphate changed and dynastic rule was established. The corruption of the Omayyads reached its crescendo with Karbala. The Omayyads built lavish palaces, surrounded themselves with servants and maids, accumulated enormous estates, treated the public treasury as their privy purse and lived like princes and kings. There was no accountability for their wealth or for their actions. The populace had no say in the affairs of the state. The Caliph was not nominated nor could he be questioned. The people were there merely to obey the strongman, pay taxes and serve in the armed forces. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz became the Emir (Caliph) by a coincidence of history. When the Omayyad prince Suleiman (714-717) lay on his deathbed, he was advised that he could earn the pleasure of God by following the example of the early Caliphs and nominating someone besides one of his own sons as the next Emir. He therefore dictated in his will that Omar ibn Abdul Aziz, a distant cousin, was to succeed him and Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was to be followed by Yazid ibn Abdul Malik. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was a man of polish and experience, having served as the governor of Egypt and Madinah for more than twenty-two years. He had been educated and trained by a well-known scholar of the age, Saleh ibn Kaisan. Before his accession to the Caliphate, Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was a dashing young man, fond of fashion and fragrance. But when he accepted the responsibilities of Caliphate, he proved to be the most pious, able, far-sighted and responsible of all the Omayyad Emirs. 

A Pious Reformer, indeed, Omar ibn Abdul Aziz set out to reform the entire political, social and cultural edifice of the community and to bring back the transcendental values that had governed the Islamic state in its infancy. He started by setting a good example in his own person. When news reached him of his nomination to the Caliphate, he addressed the people saying: “O people! The responsibilities of the Caliphate have been thrust upon me without my desire or your consent. If you choose to select someone else as the Caliph, I will immediately step aside and will support your decision”. Such talk was a breath of fresh air to the public. They unanimously elected him. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz discarded his lavish life style and adopted an extremely ascetic life after the example of Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari, a well-known companion of the Prophet. Abu Dhar is known in history as one of the earliest mystics and Sufis in Islam who retired from public life in Madinah during the period of the Caliph Othman and lived in a hermitage some distance away from the capital. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz discarded all the pompous appendages of a princely life–servants, slaves, maids, horses, palaces, golden robes and landed estates–and returned them to the public treasury. His family and relatives were given the same orders. The garden Fadak provides a good example. This was a grove of palms owned by the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet’s daughter Fatimah had asked for this garden as an inheritance but the Prophet had declined saying that what a Prophet owned belonged to the whole community. Fatimah had pressed her claim before her father, but Abu Bakr had denied the request saying that he could not agree to something that the Prophet had not agreed to. After the Caliphate of Ali, Fadak had been made a personal estate of the Omayyads. Omar restored Fadak to the public treasury, as a trust for the whole community. The Omayyads had no accountability to the treasury. To support their lavish life styles, they collected enormous taxes from Persia and Egypt. They compelled traders to sell them their merchandise at discount prices. The Emir’s appointees received gifts of gold and silver in return for favors. Omar reversed the process. Omar abolished such practices, punished corrupt officials and established strict accountability. Some Omayyad officials, drunk with power, mistreated the conquered peoples. Oftentimes, their property was confiscated without due process of law. Contrary to the injunctions of the Shariah, even though people in the new territories accepted Islam, they continued to be subject to Jizyah (tax to be paid by non-Muslim citizens). Those who refused to pay the taxes were subject to harsh punishment. Umar abolished these practices and ensured fairness in the collection of taxes. Gone was the oppression of Al Hajjaj in Iraq and Qurrah ibn Shareek in Egypt. The populace responded with enthusiastic support of the new Caliph. Production increased. Ibn Kathir, the Muslim scholar, records that thanks to the reforms undertaken by Umar, the annual revenue from Persia alone increased from 28 million dirhams to 124 million dirhams. 

Following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, Omar ibn Abdul Aziz sent out emissaries to China and Tibet, inviting their rulers to accept Islam. It was during the time of Umar ibn Abdul Aziz that Islam took roots and was accepted by a large segment of the population of Persia and Egypt. When the officials complained that because of conversions, the jizyah revenues of the state had experienced a steep decline, Omar wrote back saying that he had accepted the Caliphate to invite people to Islam and not to become a tax collector. The infusion of non-Arabs in large number into the fold of Islam shifted the center of gravity of the empire from Madinah and Damascus to Persia and Egypt. Knowledge Applied in Daily Life Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was a scholar of the first rank and surrounded himself with great scholars like Muhammad ibn Ka’b and Maimun ibn Mehran. He offered stipends to teachers and encouraged education. Through his personal example, he inculcated piety, steadfastness, business ethics and moral rectitude in the general population. His reforms included strict abolition of drinking, forbidding public nudity, elimination of mixed bathrooms for men and women and fair dispensation of Zakah (alms). He undertook extensive public works in Persia, Khorasan and North Africa, including the construction of canals, roads, rest houses for travelers and medical dispensaries. Omar ibn Abdel Aziz was the first Caliph to commission a translation of the Quran from Arabic into another language. Upon the request of the Raja (king) of Sind (in modern day Pakistan), Umar ibn Abdel Aziz had the Quran translated into the ancient Sindhi language and had it sent to the Raja (718 CE). 

To put this event into historical context, this was within ten years of the conquest of Sind and Multan by Muhammad ibn Qasim and the conquest of Spain by Tariq ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nussair. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was also the first Emir to attempt a serious reconciliation of political and religious differences among Muslims. Since the time of Muawiyah, it had become customary for khatibs to insult the name of Ali ibn Abu Talib in Friday sermons. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz abolished this obnoxious practice and decreed that the following passage from the Quran be read instead: {God commands you to practice justice, enjoins you to help and assist your kin and He forbids obscenity, evil or oppression, so that you may remember Him} (16:90) It is this passage that is still recited in Friday sermons the world over. He treated Bani Hashim and the Shi’a with fairness and dignity. He even extended his hand to the Kharijites. According to Ibn Kathir, he wrote to the Kharijite leader Bostam, inviting him to an open discussion about the Caliphate of Othman and Ali. He went so far as to stipulate that should Bostam convince him, Omar would willingly repent and change his ways. Bostam sent two of his emissaries to the Caliph. During the discussions, one of the emissaries accepted that Umar was right and gave up Kharijite extremism. The other went back unconvinced. Even so, the Caliph did not persecute the man. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was the first Muslim ruler who moved his horizons from external conquests to internal revival. He recalled his armies from the borders of France, India and the outskirts of Constantinople. 

There were few internal uprisings and disturbances during his Caliphate. Islam had momentarily turned its horizons on its own soul, to reflect upon its historical condition and replenish its moral reservoir. Faith flourished, as it had during the period of Omar ibn al Khattab. It is for these reasons that historians refer to Omar ibn Abdul Aziz as “Umar II” and classify him as the fifth of the rightly guided Caliphs, after Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali. But greed does not surrender its turf to faith without a battle. The reforms of Omar “II” were too much for the disgruntled Omayyads and the rich merchants. Omar ibn Abdul Aziz was poisoned and he died in the year 719, after a rule that lasted only two and a half years. He was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death. And with him died the last chance for Omayyad rule.

Read More on islamonline

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Islam’s Stance on Celebrating Birthdays

 


Islam teaches Muslim to have a unique character and to be distinguished. A Muslim is weaned on morality and avoiding blind imitation. Islam supports the celebration of a birthday if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man’s life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty. Focusing on the issue of celebrating birthdays, we would like to start by citing the following: “In Islam, birthdays are not considered `eid (a festival) like `Eidul-Fitr or `Eidul-Adha, because `eids have conditions and guidelines such as not being allowed to fast during the days of Eid. Therefore, birthdays are simply occasions of a person’s date of birth and are a matter of culture. If a person wants to commemorate his/her date of birth, then he/she may do so, especially if he/she takes the opportunity to reflect on the past and pledge to be better during the following year. However, to make the birthday an important occasion is not recommended or encouraged.” (Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamicity.com) 

 Shedding more light on the issue, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Tajuddin Hamid Al-Hilali, Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, states: “A Muslim has a distinguished personality. He should not imitate others in evil things and leave the good ones. Talking to our children about their birthdays, we should remind them that on such days they should remember the blessings of Allah and praise Him for giving them life and guidance. It would be better if we ask them to offer something in charity as a form of showing gratitude. Still there is nothing wrong if we try to make them feel happy on that day as long as we are using lawful things. It is better if we make it a day ahead or a day after. You said that your children insist on having such a celebration, and this is really dangerous. If the child insists on having his desires fulfilled at this early age, what is going to happen when he grows older? We need to be alarmed and never allow Western traditions that are based on individualism, to ruin our families. Thus, calling birthdays `eids is not accepted, for this has no basis in Islam.

  At the same time, there is nothing wrong if we use these occasions to inculcate Islamic principles in our children, like showing gratitude to Allah, praising Him and seizing the chance of this life in performing good deeds since the older we grow the nearer to the grave we come.” Speaking about the same issue Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, adds: “Permissibility is the original ruling in this case, as there is no evidence of prohibition. The principle of not following the Jews and Christians is really required in matters of their false claims and beliefs in relation to religion. Such beliefs are no more than disbelief from an Islamic perspective. Islam supports the celebration of birthdays if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man’s life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty. In this context the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he answered: “It is the day on which I was born.” Muslim scholars take this hadith and the hadith of fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ (10th of Mharram) as evidence on the permissibility of celebrating good occasions, which have special significance in our religion such as occasions like the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In this context, people must be aware that celebrating such occasions, e.g. the Prophet’s birthday, is no more than a matter of habit, and by no means a religious requirement.

 However, if it entails any forbidden practices, such a celebration becomes forbidden for that reason alone. Moreover, a celebration of this sort becomes recommended if it includes recommended acts of worship. It is also right to say that such celebrations contain some aspects of innovation, however it is an innovation in matters of popular habits not in matters of religion. Actually innovation in habits is not prohibited. What is prohibited in this context is innovation in religion, as indicated in a well-known Prophetic hadith. By analogy, there is nothing wrong in celebrating birthdays, as long as the celebration does not include any forbidden practices.”

Read More on islamonline :

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

My Child Has Wandered off the Straight Path

 


I’ll admit it. I used to be complacent. A decade ago, my children were young and happily attending Islamic school. They were memorizing Qur’an, socializing with other Muslim kids, and willingly joining us for salat in our home and activities in the masjid. In those days when I would hear about a Muslim teen in our community who had started dressing immodestly. . . or one who had been caught with a boyfriend or girlfriend behind the school. . . or one who consistently skipped prayers . . . I thought, alhamdullilah my kids are not like that.

If I’m being completely honest, deep down inside I also sometimes thought, What did their parents do wrong to get such a misguided child? This assumption, of course, implied that I was doing something right. That my children’s current acquiescence to the rules of their faith was my doing. That my husband and I could take all the credit for their innocence and love of Islam.

So often in life we find that the very thing we judge others for – the thing we smugly think could never happen to us – will come back to bite us. And in my case, sadly, it did.

My daughter wore hijab until she was seventeen. Then one day she removed it, not with hesitance or regret, but with grim determination. In retrospect, I guess I should have seen it coming. She had been dropping hints for a long time. She had cried about the tactless and hurtful comments about her Islamic dress that she’d heard from non-Muslim peers and complete strangers. She had complained numerous times about the inconvenience of wearing modest swimwear at the beach because all the material weighed her down, and she felt she looked like a “freak” amongst her bikini-clad contemporaries. She had argued countless times that Muslim men had it easy: they could blend in with Western society and wear almost anything they wanted. They usually did not face the same harassment that Muslim women did. No matter how many times I tried to explain the reasoning behind Islamic rulings, remind her of Allah’s wisdom and love, and encourage her devotion to her faith, my words increasingly fell on deaf ears.

Still, the fact remains that I was surprised and heartbroken when my daughter decided to remove her hijab. Even more concerning, her faith started slipping away bit by bit – missed prayer by missed prayer – over the subsequent months. I tried many times to change her mind, but ultimately, I felt powerless to stop the downward spiral. At this point, my intelligent, strong-willed daughter was listening only to her peers, social media influencers, and even the books she read in school. All of these made her feel like her faith was a prison that she needed to escape.

I was a teen once. I remember the allure of the “freedom,” “independence” and “glamor” that the world promises to individuals who follow their whims and desires. I realize that as an adult, it is far easier to embrace modesty, humility, and submission to God; but for many adolescents in the modern world, adhering to Islam can indeed feel like grasping a burning coal, as our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) predicted.

Eventually, due to my daughter’s deviation from the Straight Path, I realized that my children’s guidance was not in my hands. Yes, I have a responsibility to do my best to be a good Islamic role model and teacher, but my efforts are not necessarily enough to secure my children’s hearts to Allah. Only He SWT can guide, and He is the Turner of Hearts. “Verily, you [O Muhammad] guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided” (Quran 28:56).

I grieved privately for months. Finally, I hesitantly opened up to some close Muslim friends about my experience. I was immensely relieved when they confessed similar stories: many of them also had teens who were struggling to practice, or barely practicing, or not practicing at all. Of course, I was not happy to hear this news, but I admit it gave me some solace to know I wasn’t alone. Those parents,my friends and contemporaries, were excellent Muslims. They prayed and worshiped as a family, led a wholesome life, set a good example, and invested in Islamic schools, homeschooling, and Qur’an lessons. And yet, many of their teenagers had still drifted from their deen. It was a tragedy, yes, but clearly, it wasn’t entirely the fault of us parents.

Talking with other moms, I also realized that the Muslim community’s reaction to misguided youth is, generally, very unhelpful. The teens feel so judged and unaccepted that they stop attending Islamic events and start avoiding practicing Muslims altogether. One friend’s daughter noticed that when she stopped wearing hijab, some of the “aunties” who had known and loved her for years were suddenly cold and distant. In part, I can’t blame them. They were probably saddened to see a young woman abandon an important act of worship. Perhaps they were even worried that she would influence their daughters and encourage them to stop dressing modestly. I don’t entirely fault them, but I do know the community’s rejection hurts teens deeply and pushes them even farther away from the deen.

Whether you can relate to my situation or not, if you are a Muslim parent, I have some words of advice. These are words from a distraught mother whose own child has wandered off the Straight Path and whose constant prayer is for her child’s repentance.

Don’t get complacent. If your young children are enthusiastically practicing their faith, that is wonderful. But do not mistake that for a guarantee of future adherence. No matter how much they seem to love Islam now, still make dua for your children’s guidance on a daily basis. Their faith will likely be tested in the teen years, and peer pressure is perhaps worse than ever because of social media.
Never be arrogant if your children are “good Muslims.” If they love Islam, and if they continue on the Straight Path, it is a blessing from Allah, not a bragging right.
Don’t condemn people silently or, even worse, backbite them verbally. We know that speaking badly about someone is like “eating the flesh of your brother,” according to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Keep in mind: we never know who might stray from the Straight Path. It could be me, or you, or any of our children. We all must work continuously to maintain and strengthen our faith. Even the Prophet (s) who was the most perfect human and the most beloved by Allah SWT, continually made the dua: “O Turner of Hearts, keep my heart firm on your deen.” If the Prophet (s) supplicated Allah SWT to help him keep his faith strong, who are we to be complacent about our iman?!
Supplicate for any wayward child. The best thing you can do for a youngster who has stopped practicing is to make sincere dua for them. Do it with compassion, sincerity, and humility. Know that each prayer we make for another person is answered by an angel saying, “And the same to you.” By making heartfelt dua for another child, then, we are also protecting our own, insha’Allah.
Continue to treat them like your brother or sister in faith. Even though they might not look or act like a “proper” Muslim right now, they still have a seed of iman in them, insha’Allah. We do not know what lies in another person’s heart. Errant Muslims still deserve our kindness. Indeed, perhaps because of their precarious situation, they need even more of it.


Be supportive of that child’s parents. Do not treat them differently, nor presume that their child’s behavior is their fault. Remember that some of the strongest Muslims of all time had family members who did not embrace Islam. Prophet Nuh had one son who remained a disbeliever, refused to board the ark, and eventually drowned. Even Prophet Mohammad (s), whose beautiful example inspired countless individuals to accept Islam, could not convince his uncle Abu Talib to acknowledge the truth.
Guidance is in the hands of Allah SWT, and a person’s current behavior does not necessarily reflect the quality of their upbringing. Remember that many forces are working against Muslim parents’ best intentions. Keep in mind that teen rebellion is a common – if not justified –phenomenon.
Do not assume this is the end of their story! Insha’Allah their period of disobedience, rebellion, and confusion will end, by the grace of Allah. Insha’Allah their parents’ fervent du’as will be answered, and these children will repent and turn back to the Straight Path. Perhaps today’s misguided teen will become tomorrow’s pious adult who knows exactly how to reach confused Muslim youth because she has been in their shoes. There is always hope, insha’Allah, and a believer is always optimistic about Allah’s mercy and guidance.


May Allah SWT guide our children, forgive our shortcomings, and protect our ummah from anything that turns us away from His love and forgiveness. Ameen. 

Link

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Stop the pointless judgement....

 


I am sick of seeing Muslimah hijabies cake make up on!
Well how about.....
Ya Allah bless my Muslim sisters with confidence and help them overcome their insecurities and let them truly see and believe how beautiful they are the way you created them.
Well how about.....
Ya Allah help me concentrate on my own shortcomings instead of lashing out at others and their life choices.
Well how about....
Ya Allah make me a Muslimah who is empathetic and not judgmental.
Well how about...
Ya Allah help me understand that Muslim women are under peer pressure and the pressure from society to look a certain way to show they are strong, confident and empowered. That Muslimahs face a lot of pressure to fit in.
I just gave you 4 different ways to think and our deen asks us to give 70 of these excuses. Before you judge someone please step back, pause and remember to give excuses.
❝If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.❞
- Hamdun al-Qassar
📘 [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 7.522]

from Ideal Muslimah

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Visiting the Sick: A Sign of Mercy

 


Islam invites to all that is good and warns from all that is bad. From those good and virtuous deeds is the visiting of the ill and afflicted. When people visit each other while they are in good health, bonds of brotherhood and friendship are strengthened. But when they visit each other in times of sickness and poor or failing health, their brotherhood grows even more.

Illustrating the empathy that Muslims are required to feel for each other, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “The parable of the believers in their mutual love and mercy is like that of a living body: If one part of it feels pain, the whole body suffers in sleeplessness and fever.” (Muslim)

Visiting the sick is one of the clearest signs of such mutual love, mercy and empathy. Indeed, it is also a duty that Muslims are required to fulfill, in adherence to the following hadith in which the Prophet reportedly said, “The rights of a Muslim over another Muslim are six… When you meet him, you greet him with the salaam (i.e. to say: as-salamu alaykum); when he invites you, you accept his invitation; when he consults you in a matter, you give him sincere advice; when he sneezes and praises Allah, you ask Allah to have mercy on him; when he is sick, you visit him; and when he passes away, you follow his funeral.”(Bukhari)

From the above hadith, we can conclude that Muslims are encouraged to have concern for one another during three phases of worldly existence: health, sickness and death.

Whilst in good health, the Muslim is obliged to greet his brother in faith with the invocation of peace and mercy, to accept his invitation and to give him sincere advice.

Then, when a Muslim is suffering from a cold, an allergy or whatever else that is causing him to sneeze, his brother in Islam is instructed to ask Almighty Allah to have mercy on him. Likewise, when a Muslim is sick and bedridden, his Muslim brothers should go and visit him.

Finally, when a Muslim passes away, Muslims are required to attend his funeral procession and Prayer, and ultimately his burial.

The great reward awaiting those who visit the sick was spelt out by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who reportedly said, “A Muslim visiting his sick brother will continue to be in the harvest of Paradise until he returns home.” (Muslim)

And he is also reported to have said, “A Muslim walking to visit a sick person will be wading in the mercy of Allah. When the visitor sits with the sick one, they will be immersed in mercy until his return.”(Ahmed and Ibn Hibban)

Demonstrating the greatness of the reward of visiting the sick, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reportedly said, “On the Day of Resurrection, Almighty Allah will say, ‘O son of Adam! I became sick and you did not visit me!’ The person will say, ‘O Lord, how can I visit you and you are the Lord of all that exists!’ Allah will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave ‘so and so’ was sick, and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you visited him, you would have found me with him?’” (Muslim)
A Role Model

In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says:

(Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for whoever hopes for [the meeting of] Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.) (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Sent as a role model for all virtuous deeds and noble duties, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) led people by example. He would both make time to personally visit the sick and would also enquire after them through others.

Whilst in Makkah, for example, a pagan woman used to throw filth and garbage at the noble Prophet whenever he passed by her house. One day, the noticeable absence of the Prophet’s abuser concerned him so much that he enquired after her. When he learnt of her sickness, he visited her. She was so taken aback by his merciful concern that she embraced Islam. This sublime attitude is encouraged in a Qur’anic verse that reads:

(Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.) (Fussilat 41:34)

The learned Companion Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) related the following episode from the life of Allah’s Final Prophet to humanity:

A Jewish boy who would serve the Prophet fell sick. The Prophet said to some of his Companions, “Let us go and visit him.” They went to visit him and found his father sitting by his head. The Messenger of Allah said to the boy, “Proclaim that there is no god but Allah, and I will intercede on your behalf on account of it on the Day of Resurrection.” The boy looked at his father, who said, “Obey Abul-Qasim (Muhammad)!” In response, the boy uttered it, saying, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.” Upon that, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “All praise is due to Allah Who saved him from the Fire of Hell.” (Ibn Hibban)

It is clear from these two examples from the Prophet’s life that the virtue of visiting the sick is not restricted to Muslims, but it includes non-Muslims as well. Such a visit to a non-Muslim patient can be such a touching and moving experience that it might even cure the most fateful of diseases: disbelief. 

Link

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

"I don't need a man" culture

 


Most unmarried Muslim women aren't adopting "I don't need a man" culture, what we have learned and adopted is "I don't need a boy that needs to be raised" culture.
We are looking for men that can lead. Qawwam.
Many Muslim women are looking for strong men who can lead them, who can financially provide for them and their children and who truly fear and love Allah.
Few sisters have even shared that they will happily give up their day jobs if they find a man who can truly lead, protect and provide for them - financial security and emotional stability. Men who can communicate, who won't call it quits when going gets tough, men who believe in marital counselling, men who do justice, men who are teachable, men who move with rehma instead of being mini dictators and abusers at home. 


This idea that women are giving up marriage to earn money is false.
They haven't found a brother who is emotionally and financially intelligent to lead. Who isn't obsessed with feminist shaming, obsessed with gender issues, who isn't fragile to differences of opinions and at the very basic offers 5 daily Salaah.
Muslim women are just looking out for themselves in the meanwhile and pursuing their goals and independence. They have realised single life on deen is better than getting married to brothers who aren't what they are looking for.


Getting married is very easy, getting married to the right person who will understand you, who will bring you closer to Allah and who will be with you atleast 80% of the time is a challenge.
Getting married to the right person who won't abuse you, harm you emotionally and spiritually and drive you away from your deen and Allah Himself is very difficult.
Very few men/women out there, who are serious about their obligations and their fear of Allah with regards to their spouse. Others are just using each other for halal sex but their love, compassion and sincere good intentions for each other are dead.
Ofcourse before we talk about finding the right spouse it is also important to remember to learn and become the right spouse for someone else.


Expecting women to lower standards needs to stop. Please. 🙂
Don't expect obedience and respect when you cannot lead and protect.
🤲 May Allah renew love, taqwa, compassion and care in the hearts of married Muslim men and women for His sake and remove selfishness and self serving attitude from their hearts Ameen ya rabbi.

From Ideal Muslimah

Monday, 5 September 2022

Don't Curse Your Children - Mufti Menk

 


Anas ibn Malik (RA) said,
I served the Prophet for ten years, I lived with him for ten years and not once did he rebuke me. Not once did he say the word ‘uff’. He never said to me why did you do this or why didn’t you do that.

Friday, 2 September 2022

How to pass with all A* - Mufti Menk

 

Prophet Ibrahim a.s. made this Dua, asking Allah s.w.t. to bless him with righteous offspring.

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

Rabbi hab lii minas-solihiin.

“My Lord! Bless me with righteous offspring.”

(Surah As-Saffat, 37:100)

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Once a Sahabi’s son was missing.......


Our Prophet ﷺ! ❤
Once a Sahabi’s son was missing.
The Sahabi went looking for his son.
As he was searching he found a group of children playing and saw his son was amongst them.
He saw that Rasoolallah ﷺ, the Beloved of Allah was sitting at a short distance watching the children.
The Sahabi came into the presence of the Beloved ﷺ and after presenting Salam he asked Ya Rasoolallah ﷺ I have been looking for my son and found him playing here, do I have your permission to take him?
The Prophet ﷺ replied,
Let your son play a little longer.
The Sahabi took his leave and left.
A short while later he came again and found the Beloved of Allah in the same place watching the children play. 


The Sahabi asked for permission to take his son and once again the Prophet ﷺ asked to to let his son carry on playing.
The man left and came back a short while later. Again he asked for permission to take his son and this time the Prophet of Allah ﷺ gave him permission, now you may take your son.
As the man was about to approach the children and call his son, Rasoolallah ﷺ called him back.
He returned to the company of Rasoolallah ﷺ and the Prophet ﷺ said, Take your son but when you call him don’t call him as ‘my son’ call him by his name.
The Sahabi was a little inquisitive as to why this instruction was given and he asked Ya Rasoolallah, the child is my son and if I did call out to him as ‘my son’ would that be a problem?
Tears began to fall down the Blessed cheeks of The Mercy to Creation and He replied,
O my companion, amongst those children there are orphans... if you call out to your child as ‘O my son’ the orphans may feel the loss of their fathers and may be saddened.
To avoid this I have requested that you call your son by his name so as not to hurt their feelings!
The Sahabi was amazed at the intricate level of concern and sensitivity of Rasoolallah ﷺ.
The man took his son, came back to Rasoolallah ﷺ to ask leave.
He then asked Ya Rasoolallah ﷺ why are you sitting watching these children, again with tears in his blessed eyes, the Mercy to Creation replied,
I was watching those children and sat close by so that they know that even though they do not have fathers, they have the Prophet of Allah to care for them.
Subhan'Allah.


We have forgotten what it is to be a true Muslim...


SOURCE - Imam As Suyuti's Al-Khasais-ul-Kubra

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Raising Emotionally Responsible Sons


Allah’s Messenger kissed Al-Hasan ibn `Ali while Al-Aqra` ibn Habis At-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra` said, “I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.” The Prophet cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” (Al-Bukhari)

 

Monday, 22 August 2022

Dua for our children

 


Dear Allah,  


When I complain of my child, remind me of the test that Adam and Hawa عليه السلام faced when Qabil killed Habil,
When I complain of my child, remind me of Nuh عليه السلام as he watched his child die in the waters when Allah ﷻ sent the floods,
When I complain of my child, remind me of Hud عليه السلام whose son refused to believe in Allah and remained with the non believers,
When I complain of my child, remind me of Ibrahim عليه السلام who was asked to leave Ismail عليه السلام as a newborn infant on the burning sands between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah,
When I complain of my child, remind me of when You ﷻ commanded Ibrahim عليه السلام to sacrifice his only son after almost 100 years, for Your pleasure,
When I complain of my child, remind me of Yaqub عليه السلام whose sons left Yusuf عليه السلام to die in a well, yet Yaqub عليه السلام held on to the belief that his son was still alive,
When I complain of my child, remind me of the mother of Musa عليه السلام, who was commanded to place her newborn baby in a bassinet and in the dangerous waters of the river Nile,
When I complain of my child, remind me of our mother Maryam  عليه السلام, who gave birth to Isa عليه السلام alone under a date tree,
When I complain of my child, remind me of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who buried all of his beloved children in his lifetime, with the exception of Fatimah  ‎ رضي الله عنه ,
When I complain of my child, remind me that until today there are people who are struggling to conceive.


🤲 Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum, my child is an Amanah that you have blessed me with. I am grateful for this blessing, and I pray every single day that this Amanat will be the coolness of my eyes, as well as a bearer of the pillars of Islam.
Ya Allah bless my sisters who are praying for children with pious, healthy and beautiful children.
Ya Allah answer the prayer of every mother/guardian/parent for her child.
Allahumma ameen! 


Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Blood Transfusion was Haram

 


When blood transfusion became a common medical procedure to save lives, the scholars of Islam ruled that it was haram.  It took them many years to come to their senses.  In recent centuries, in every scientific advance or social change, the scholars of Islam have been behind the curve.  The default position seems to be that everything that is unfamiliar is haram.  This is in contrast to the height of Muslim civilisation, where the scholars were the ones driving advances in thought and progress in society.

In this day and age, being a scholar, or an ustadz is no longer something that is immediately respectable.  People graduate from religious schools poorly equipped to function in society.  In effect, we are creating a beggar class.  A lot of these “scholars” are able to recite the Qur’an beautifully; not enough of them are able to derive practical lessons.  Jurisprudential edicts are anachronistic, impractical, rigid – everything the religion is not meant to be.  It makes it seem as if Muslims worship a petty god.  But it is true that limited people can only envision a limited god. 

From the blog: A Muslim Convert Once more 

Monday, 15 August 2022

Why coastal Karnataka is southern India’s ‘Hindutva laboratory’

 


Mohammad Ismail was 21 in 2005 when he worked as a salesman at a saree store in the coastal city of Mangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

One afternoon in May that year, Ismail was on way to Mysore, a heritage city some six hours away, in a bus when he along with several other Muslims were pulled out and brutally attacked by a mob of Hindu vigilantes. Ismail suffered serious injuries and remained bedridden for months.

The reason? The group he was travelling with included Hindu girls.

“The culture at the time was such that we could not even be found near Hindu girls,” Ismail told Al Jazeera 17 years after the incident.

“Mobs from Hindu right-wing organisations would beat up and lynch any Muslim boy over the pretext of seducing Hindu girls or transporting cows for slaughter, and there would be little action against them.”

‘Karnataka model’
In the nearly 320km-long (199 miles) coastal belt of Karnataka, such attacks are no aberration. They have a steady history of more than 30 years, giving the region the notorious distinction of being southern India’s “Hindutva laboratory”.

Hindutva refers to a 100-year-old Hindu supremacist movement that aims to turn a constitutionally secular India into an exclusive Hindu state. The movement is led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fountainhead of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and dozens of other Hindu right-wing groups across the country.

India protest
A woman holds a placard during a protest against the killing of a Muslim man in Karnataka’s Belagavi district [File: Aijaz Rahi/AP]
“Everyone talks about the ‘Uttar Pradesh model’ when it comes to Hindutva, but it is actually the ‘Karnataka model’ which has now spread to the rest of the country,” Ismail said.

Over the last few years, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state governed by the BJP, has made headlines for its anti-Muslim policies, including extra-judicial encounters, demolishing homes and businesses, and arresting people for exercising their freedom of speech.

Before Uttar Pradesh, it was the “Gujarat model” that was widely seen as having first spread the Hindutva movement across India with its large-scale violence and apartheid-style segregation of Muslims.

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Gujarat is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, which he governed for more than a decade before becoming a parliamentarian in 2014.

In 2002, Modi’s government was accused of a state-sponsored pogrom of Muslims following the burning of a passenger train, in which 67 people, most of them Hindu pilgrims, were killed. While officials said more than 1,000 Muslims were killed in the massacre that followed, activists claim the toll was twice as high.

However, the “Karnataka model” has garnered relatively less attention. Yet, since the 1990s, this highly developed and urban region has not just participated in but also led the Hindutva project nationally.

In the last two weeks alone, there have been at least three religiously motivated murders in coastal Karnataka, including two Muslim men and a member of the BJP’s youth wing.

Responding to the Hindu man’s murder, the BJP chief minister of the state said he would implement a “Yogi model” in the state, referring to his counterpart in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, a saffron-robed monk known for his anti-Muslim policies in India’s most populous state.

Another Karnataka minister was even more direct. He said the southern state would “go five steps ahead of Uttar Pradesh” and was ready to even carry out extrajudicial killings of the accused.

Earlier this year, the state made global headlines over a controversial ban on hijabs in schools and colleges.



The state has also banned cow slaughter and introduced an anti-conversion law that makes interfaith marriages a matter of legal scrutiny. Many BJP politicians have called for a boycott of Muslim businesses.

For close observers of Karnataka’s politics, these events are no coincidence.

“None of these issues erupted sporadically … The Sangh Parivar has worked on all of these issues meticulously over decades in this region,” Rajaram Tolpadi, retired professor of political science at Mangalore University, told Al Jazeera.

Sangh Parivar refers to India’s many Hindutva organisations controlled by the RSS.

While the Hindi-speaking northern Indian states are considered the natural support base of the BJP, electoral success in southern India had evaded the party until 2008 when it came to power in Karnataka.

Even now, Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP is in power – a political success that came after decades of communal polarisation and Hindu consolidation.

It was in Karnataka’s Udupi town in 1985 that a “Dharm Sansad” (religious parliament) had called for the opening of the disputed Babri mosque – a 16th-century Mughal-era structure that Hindu right-wing groups claim was built on the exact site where Hindu god Ram was born.

The mosque was demolished by a Hindu mob seven years later, leading to religious violence across India in which at least 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed.

In 2019, India’s Supreme Court handed over the site to a trust controlled by the federal government to build a Ram temple at the site. Muslims were given land to build a mosque 25km (15 miles) away.

In August 2020, Modi himself presided over a religious ceremony to launch the construction of the temple.

Karnataka does not fit the stereotype of backwardness, unemployment and illiteracy often associated with a “bigoted” society. The state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, a higher-than-national average literacy rate, and boasts of Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of Asia, as its capital.

Since the 1980s, Bengaluru’s thriving IT industry has attracted talent from across the country. Global software giants and almost half of Indian unicorns have offices there. With the first pubs in India, high-rise corporate offices and gated apartments for the city’s upper middle-class, Bengaluru is as cosmopolitan as it gets.

Even coastal Karnataka, the hotbed of Hindutva, is not particularly backwards, either. On the face of it, the region is urban, multicultural, multilingual and wealthy.

The region’s main city of Mangalore is a national education hub with some of the leading engineering and medical institutions located there.


Even during the monsoons, the city is bustling with students huddled in buses, autorickshaws, bus stands and coffee shops. Billboards advertising universities and colleges with photographs of their top-ranking students dot the busy roads.

Malls and restaurants serving Mangalorean, north Indian, Keralite, Goan and Arabic cuisines stand in seeming harmony with centuries-old temples scattered around the city.

“There is overt modernisation but underneath, coastal Karnataka is a deeply parochial society. People here are educated and settled in places like the United States and Dubai, but their worldview remains unchanged – the cosmopolitanism they bring back is limited to money,” Tolpadi told Al Jazeera.

One of the earliest signs of a more aggressive Hindutva was seen in this region in 2009 when a group of young women in a pub in Mangalore was beaten up for violating “Indian values” by dozens of activists belonging to a far-right Hindu group, called the Sri Ram Sene.

“Not just moral policing, hatred for Muslims is public culture here – one which they have successfully exported throughout the state and the country,” Tolpadi said.

The local media, for example, refers to Muslims and Christians as “anya Bharatiya” (the other Indians) or “anya komu” (the other religion).

“Some time back, a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy were attacked and handed over to the police in a case of moral policing by a Hindu group. The next day, the local media said a boy from the ‘other community’ was caught with a girl,” Naveen Soorinje, journalist and author of a book in Kannada language on communalism in Karnataka, told Al Jazeera.


“They do not even mention ‘Muslim’ because it is assumed that both the reporter and the reader is Hindu, and the ‘other community’ is Muslim.”


The Muslims of coastal Karnataka, locally known as the Byari community – a word that translates to trade or business in the local Tulu dialect – are known to have lived in this region for more than a thousand years.

Muslims constitute nearly 14 percent of India’s 1.35 billion population. In coastal Karnataka, however, they form about 24 percent of the population.

The community benefitted from the opening up of the Gulf economies to foreign workforces in the 1970s. They own businesses such as malls, hospitals, construction and educational institutions in the region.

Across the region, hijab-wearing girls and women, who recently found themselves at the receiving end of global attention, are seen driving big cars, walking on the roads alone, going to colleges, or hanging out with friends.

“Other communities also went to the Gulf, but Muslims from Kerala and coastal Karnataka went in large numbers,” Mohammad Kunhi, Karnataka state secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a pan-Indian Muslim socioreligious organisation, told Al Jazeera.

“This brought a lot of prosperity and visibility for the Muslim community – flashy cars, new clothes, new technology, more money – which, in turn, created a sense of economic jealousy.”


Mangalore-based activist Vidya Dinaker says the Muslims of coastal Karnataka are not the quintessential oppressed community.

“They are visible, they go to restaurants and malls, they are educated, they drive good cars, they have voices in the otherwise highly communal local media …They are not powerless, so there is a pushback and therefore, there is a good fight.”

The Hindu right-wing forces here manufacture the fear of the Muslim “outsider” alleging they plan to take over Hindu land, businesses, and even their women through marriages and conversion.

The prosperity of the Byari community also caused rivalry with other trading communities, mainly the Konkanis and the Gowd Saraswat Brahmins, the two dominant Hindu castes in the region.

“Whenever there is a riot and Muslim shops are attacked, it is these people who benefit,” said Soorinje. “So, the funding and ideological leadership for Hindutva has come from them.”

Meanwhile, a parallel project to “unify” Hindus divided by castes also continued in Karnataka. Experts say the RSS since the 1940s has been infiltrating schools, colleges, media and local neighbourhoods with one clear message: “Hindu Navella Ondu”, or ‘Hindus are one’ in Kannada.

Two political developments in the 1970s helped the RSS. First, a popular movement against the imposition of the state of emergency by the Congress government in 1975 was spearheaded in the region by the RSS, which used the anger against the then-ruling party to push the Hindutva agenda.

Second, the land reforms enacted by the Congress further antagonised the dominant Hindu caste groups whose lands were taken and redistributed to people from the less privileged castes. Moreover, sustained social engineering even brought the lower castes closer to the RSS than the Congress.

“The Billavas are numerically the dominant caste in this region who have been economically, socially and educationally backward,” Phani Raj, Udupi-based professor and activist, told Al Jazeera.

“But the RSS worked on their social inclusion and they have become the stormtroopers of Hindutva who create terror in the society. For a community with little identity, being called a Hindu and given space and responsibility by the upper castes has meant largely unquestioned devotion to the Hindutva project.”

Today, it is no coincidence that a large section of local Hindu right-wing leadership is occupied by men from the Billava community. At the office of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a far-right Hindu organisation, young boys sit idly on a breezy morning.

Most of them have not studied beyond high school and have no secure source of employment. They are drivers, medical representatives, contractual staff working in local banks, and security guards. For them, being a part of the Hindutva project is a form of identity assertion – one that hinges on Muslim hate.


A young medical representative who did not want to be identified said his job does not require him to be working all day.

“I have a lot of free time and I devote that to Hindutva … Those with 9-5 jobs cannot do what we do because the idea is to be present immediately whenever there is a case of cow slaughter or ‘love jihad’,” he told Al Jazeera.

“If we do not do this job for Hindutva, who will?”

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