Friday, 1 July 2022

Naira Ashraf's murder must be the last: Egyptian women's rights activists


The gruesome murder of an Egyptian university student in daylight must be the last straw in a toxic male-dominated society where violence against women is not fully criminalised, a number of high-profile women's rights advocates in Egypt have said.

Earlier this week, a university student stabbed his classmate, Naira Ashraf,  to death and then slit her throat in broad daylight outside Mansoura University, located northwest of the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The victim was in her early twenties.

The perpetrator confessed to the murder to authorities and said the reason was that Ashraf had repeatedly turned down his marriage proposal.

"It may seem a crime of passion on the surface. But it, actually, revealed societal endemic ills," prominent political sociologist Said Sadek told The New Arab.

"The incident spotlighted the violence and injustice women are subjected to in the absence of deterring laws or religious and social awareness that could confront regressive thoughts," said Sadek, who is also a feminist.

Seham Ali, lawyer and board member of the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance, agrees with Sadek.

"We witnessed some reactions to the murder that nobody could've ever imagined. This crime is the law straw, a warning that there must be a decisive action to protect women in the society," Ali told The New Arab.

"It is time for a law to be enacted to confront violence against women, socially and family-wise. There is no definite law on this purpose, only some articles within some laws," she added.

In the few days following the incident, a further debate erupted on social media regarding the victim not abiding by the Islamic hijab, whether she does not deserve God's mercy and whether those unveiled could meet the same fate for wearing ordinary or revealing outfits.

Mabrouk Attia, a preacher and professor of Islamic Sharia at Al-Azhar University, said in a video released on social media demanding women "to fully cover up" or else "meet the same fate" as the Mansoura University victim.

"The horrific incident highlighted the dreadfulness of the religious discourse of extremists and the masculine obsession of covering women up. So it's not OK to seek mercy for an unveiled woman, while at the same time, advocating for the culture of suppressing women in the name of religion," Sadek remarked about the preacher's comments.

A number of women's rights supporters as well as the National Council for Women were quick to condemn Attia's statements and filed official complaints before the prosecutor general, accusing him of several legal offences, among them were "inciting hate speech and violence against women."

"There is a citizen named Mabrouk Attia, who claims to be a sheikh, asking girls to wear 'tents' in order to preserve themselves. He justifies the murder of the Mansoura University girl that this is the nature of the Egyptian society," renowned lawyer Nehad Aboul-Komsan said in a video shared online addressing the prosecutor general and her followers.

"If women are required to protect themselves [as he said in the video], then there are no laws or a constitution," she said.

"We won't wear 'tents' or live in ones…I speak as a mother of two daughters and in my capacity as the head of the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights," she added.

After being faced with widespread criticism, Attia, a common face on TV, appeared in another video and declared he will take an indefinite time off and may not even appear publicly ever again.

Azhar institution released a fatwa (religious edict) on Facebook in what seems to be a response to the ongoing debate in which it denounced any justification for killing women.

In the written fatwa, Azhar noted that "it is religiously prohibited to underestimate a woman, whether veiled or unveiled, and taking that as an excuse to assault her is a heinous crime."

"After this wake-up call, now what? Will laws be amended? Will those in charge consider threats ahead of women and work on the ailing male-dominated culture? Will TV channels quit hosting extremist Islamic preachers who talk about women for some time until fatwas against women are purged?" Sadek wondered.


Monday, 27 June 2022

Is BJP to blame for reports of India's rising Islamophobia?


 Left homeless for protesting against hate speech in India.
That's what dozens of people whose houses have been demolished say is happening to them.
Most are Muslims.

But the demolitions took place as emotions were running high across India.
In the past week, people rallied in several cities, protesting against offensive comments that two members of the governing BJP made about the Prophet Muhammad.
Anti-Muslim violence has been growing since 2014 - the year Narendra Modi became prime minister.
What does growing religious intolerance mean for the future of India?


Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Murdered women: A history of ‘honour’ crimes

That sentence rang in my head throughout my career as a senior reporter at the Jordan Times and as an activist on this topic.

A few months later, I was assigned to cover court hearings on homicides in Jordan. Again, I came across dozens of stories of women who had been murdered by their male relatives for reasons related to so-called “family honour”. Some of these cases I investigated, including Kifaya’s.

To my surprise at that time, the majority of perpetrators would get away with little more than a slap on the wrist. Their sentences would range from three months to two years in prison.

But in Kifaya’s case, the court rejected the “rape excuse that was uttered by her brother and handed him a 15-year prison term for manslaughter”, as I wrote in my report for the Jordan Times. It was an unusually harsh sentence for its time.

But that sentence, like most of those relating to “honour” crimes, was later cut in half because the victim’s family dropped their legal claims against the defendant, who was, of course, also a family member. While sentencing has gradually become more severe over the years, it is still possible in Jordan for defendants to have their sentences cut in half if the victim’s family drops the charges.

My career has exposed me to another unjust consequence of women being threatened with harm or murder by their family members. In Jordan, dozens of women used to be locked up in prison, without charge, for indefinite periods in “administrative detention”. In other words, the state was imprisoning them to stop them from being killed or harmed. The logic, surely, should have been to imprison the person who threatened them. But that is not what happened.

I discovered that this practice also took place in Yemen, when I went there to visit a women’s prison for my work in the late 1990s. Thankfully, Jordan no longer locks women up for being at risk of an “honour” crime – they are now sent to a safe house known as “Dar Amneh” instead, but this cruel practice only came to an end in 2018.

My reporting and activism on this topic began with Kifaya’s story. And my resolve only grew with each new story I heard. I took it upon myself to become the voice of those women who were unable to tell their own stories and to examine and expose the root causes of these types of murders.

If a wife violates her duty, she shall be ‘devoured by dogs’
Violence against women has been documented throughout history. Most of the ancient civilisations – among them the Assyrian, Roman and Sumerian – had penal codes that condemned “women adulterers and their partners” while allowing men to publicly have mistresses with little or no punishment at all.

The late Dr Vivian Fox, a US university professor who specialised in family and women’s history, argued that Judeo-Christian religious ideas, Greek philosophy and the Common Law legal code have all influenced modern Western society’s views and treatment of women.

“All three traditions have, by and large, assumed patriarchy as natural – that is male domination stemming from the view of male superiority,” she wrote in the Journal of International Women’s Studies. “As part of the culture perpetuated by these ideologies, violence towards women was seen as a natural expression of male dominance.

“Ordained by the Gods, supported by the priests, implemented by the law, women came to accept and to psychologically internalise compliance as necessary. Violence towards women in all its forms has and still thrives in such an environment.”

Matthew A Goldstein, a historian who has studied honour killings in the Roman Empire, explains how at the root of such murders – and the concept of “honour” itself – was the desire of men to ensure the children their wives bore were their own. By placing the responsibility for this “honour” on the shoulders of women, those women could be more easily controlled and, therefore, men could be more certain of the progeny of their children. In essence, the simplest way to ensure that men produced offspring of their own lineage was the suppression and control of the sexuality of their female mates.

Anne Boleyn before her execution [Getty Images]
Fathers were in control of the life and death of their daughters. Once a woman married, her father’s authority over her was transferred to her husband. Adultery by women was considered a felony under Roman law – punishable by death – and the state prosecuted family members and others for not taking action against adulterous female relatives by confiscating their property, according to Goldstein.

The Romans were not the first to enshrine this concept of “honour” – as borne by women – in law. The Hammurabi Code, which was written in 1780 BC and made law by the Babylonian king, Hammurabi, who reigned in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) from 1792 to 1750 BC, was also severe when it came to penalising women adulterers. Their punishment was to be tied up and thrown into the river to die. There was no punishment at all for male adulterers in this Code.

The Laws of Manu of ancient India were written around 200 BC. They stated: “Though destitute of virtue or seeking pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.” On the other hand: “If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or [her own] excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place frequented by many.”

In the 1st century AD, chastity, virginity, and the “good behaviour” of women were highly prized across Europe. According to Jacob Burckhardt’s book, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, for example, German adulteresses were flogged and buried alive.

“It was common throughout Europe for men to murder their wives because they suspected infidelity and to kill their daughters because they eloped. It was also common for brothers to kill their sisters because they refused to marry the man their family had chosen for them,” Burckhardt writes.

The situation remained the same in Europe during the Middle Ages.

In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII and queen of England in the 1530s, was executed on charges including adultery, witchcraft, incest and conspiracy against the king. The charges against her were highly suspect. One admission of adultery from her music teacher, Marc Smeaton, was extracted under torture. It is widely accepted by historians today that all Anne was really guilty of was failing to produce a male heir – she gave birth to one daughter and suffered multiple miscarriages, at least one of a male foetus – and having a strong personality. Therefore, the charges against her were likely to have been concocted by the king or his aides as a way to get rid of a troublesome woman and make way for a more compliant consort – Jane Seymour, who was one of Anne’s own ladies-in-waiting – who might be able to produce a son.

The late Egyptian activist and feminist Nawal el-Saadawi pointed out in much of her research that murdering and burning women in the West for adultery was a common practice in the 14th century as well.

In the Dark Ages, “wise and smart women” were considered sorceresses by the Church in Europe and were killed, burned or locked in hospitals for the “mentally ill”, Saadawi explained. The real reason for these heinous acts, she argued, was that male priests were afraid of losing power. Women with knowledge of plants and other methods of treating the sick, offered an alternative to the priests’ use of “holy water and God’s powers”.

There were other reasons why a woman in Europe might find herself murdered by her relatives. In 1546 in Italy, Isabella Morra, the 25-year-old daughter of the baron of Favale, was murdered by her brothers. The reason: She had exchanged poetry with a Spanish nobleman, Don Diego Sandoval de Castro, the governor of Cosenza. Isabella had already been locked away in the family castle before this because her love of poetry was deemed unseemly for a woman.

In Europe, penal codes that punished women for adultery but excused it in men continued throughout the centuries. In France in the early 1800s, four jurists drafted the Napoleonic Code, which placed women under male guardianship, explained Georgina Dopico Black in her book, Perfect Wives, Other Women: Adultery and Inquisition in Early Modern Spain.

The Napoleonic Code stipulated that wives had to obey their husbands, while husbands had the power to send them to solitary confinement for adultery and to divorce them – but not the other way round. If a man caught his wife in the act of adultery and killed her, he was excused by law, Black wrote.

The depiction of women as evil and immoral was also reflected in the world of the arts. In her book, The Second Sex, French philosopher, novelist, and essayist Simone de Beauvoir argued that popular European culture in the 1880s frequently portrayed women as sinners. De Beauvoir argued that plays and operas based on this theme often gave communities the right to punish evil women since their “misbehaviour is offensive to the entire community”.

The late Egyptian writer Nawal el-Saadawi during an interview with Reuters in Cairo on May 23, 2001 [Mona Sharaf/Reuters]
Meanwhile, Judy Mabro points out in her book, Veiled Half Truths: Western Travellers’ Perceptions of Middle Eastern Women, that in the Victorian era between 1837 and 1901, images of women in popular culture were frequently those of women who were “hysterical, mad and filled with mad diseases”.

Moving closer to our own time, in 1996, Jordanian scholar and feminist, Lama Abu Odeh tackled so-called “honour” killing. In particular, she addressed the issue of virginity, stating: “The hymen becomes the socio-physical sign that guarantees virginity and gives the woman a stamp of respectability and virtue.”

The writer during a 2020 protest in Amman following the killing of a Jordanian woman, Ahlam, allegedly by her father [Annie Sakkab/Al Jazeera]
Abu Odeh, who examined several court verdicts pertaining to “honour” crimes in Jordan, pointed out that a woman might suffer violence if she was spotted conversing with a man behind a fence or seen leaving the car of a man and that, in both instances, “the woman is seen as having jeopardised not her vaginal hymen, but her physical and social one. She moved with a body and in a space where she is not supposed to be”.

In 2002, former UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Radhika Coomaraswamy, described the term “honour” as a “magic word that can be used to cloak the most heinous of crimes”.

Much later, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime conducted a global study on homicide that was gender-related to women and girls for the year 2017.

The report indicated that a total of 87,000 women were intentionally killed that year, including 50,000 who were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day.

Figures from the UN Population Fund from 2000 show that more than 5,000 women are killed annually for reasons related to “family honour”, although experts estimated the number to be much higher even back then.

In my own research, I found that many “honour” killings were not reported at all or were classified as suicide or accidents.

In Jordan, things started to take a positive turn in the late 2000s. It had been a long time coming.

In 1998, shortly after I had won the Reebok Human Rights Award for my activism and reporting on honour crimes, a Jordanian pharmacist approached me to suggest we form a group to tackle the problem at the grassroots level. I was excited by the idea. We emailed our friends and urged them to spread the word. The National Jordanian Committee to Eliminate So-called Crimes of Honor was founded the following year. We decided to hold our meetings in our houses. At the first one, 30 people turned up.

Within a few weeks, we had formed a core group of seven women and four men who would meet on a weekly basis to discuss the best means of raising awareness about the issue of “honour” killings and lobbying for the abolition of all laws that discriminate against women and afford the perpetrators of such crimes leniency.

We prepared a petition and collected 15,000 signatures. For the first time, Jordanians signed their names and gave their full contact details on a petition. In the past, people had always been reluctant to sign a petition for fear of being harassed by security agencies. The country had been under martial law from the 1950s to the 1980s, during which time political parties were banned and people were forbidden to distribute pamphlets or circulate petitions. Although these laws had ended in the late 1980s, people remained cautious for some time afterwards.

The writer speaking at a protest in downtown Amman in 2015 [Photo courtesy of Rana Husseini]
Our activities were also aimed at high school and university students because we hoped they would take up the cause. And they did.

It was clear that the public mood was in our favour. We used to take the petitions everywhere we went. We would encourage the (mostly male) waiting staff at restaurants and cafés we visited to sign, and most would after hearing our arguments. If we saw the chefs, we would also ask them to sign too. On one occasion, I saw a street cleaner and approached him with a pen. He grabbed it quickly and told me: “Of course I want to sign this petition. It is against our religion to kill a human being.”

On another occasion, we walked into a shop and identified ourselves. The shopkeeper replied, “I’ve been waiting for you,” and signed.

Of course, some people refused – either because the topic did not interest them or because they believed “honour” killings were justified.

We divided ourselves into teams and toured the governorates to talk to people from all walks of life. In general, we found most wanted to learn more and many signed.

Soon, the local dailies and other media outlets started reporting on our activities. With that came harassment from some conservative MPs and religious figures who accused us of being Western and Zionist agents whose ultimate goal was to destroy the morals of Jordanian families.

Columns and editorials were written attacking us. And one conservative member of the lower house of Parliament, Mahmoud Kharabsheh, told me in person: “Women adulterers cause a great threat to our society because they are the main reason that such acts [of adultery] happen. If men do not find women with whom to commit adultery, then they will become good on their own.”

The writer and fellow activist Sahar Aloul taking part in a demonstration against honour crimes in December 2016, in front of the Jordanian parliament [Photo courtesy of Rana Husseini]
He lobbied against us in the lower house and circulated a petition among his colleagues a few days before the reform of Article 340 – which allows reduced sentences for men who kill their wives or female members of their family for committing adultery – was due to be debated in November 1999. He criticised the government for allowing the debate, calling it an “invitation to obscenity”.

I was present in Parliament on the day Article 340 was debated. Kharabsheh was the first to speak. “This draft is one of the most dangerous legislation being reviewed by the House, because it is related to our women and society,” he told the assembly.

There were defenders of the proposal to abolish Article 340. Nash’at Hamarneh, a leftist from Madaba – a majority Christian town about an hour from the capital, Amman – argued that Jordanian society could not develop unless women were given their full rights. “This article has become a sword over the necks of our women. [Furthermore] we have never once heard of a man being killed in the name of honour,” he said, amidst vehement indignance from lawmakers.

At the end of the session, when it was time to vote, I took a peek from the balcony to see who might vote in favour of reforming the law. I was expecting a count of hands and for the names of the deputies and how they had voted to be called out. But, despite almost a dozen deputies speaking out against Article 340, one deputy asked: “Why are we wasting more time?”

The speaker asked who was against the proposed bill to reform the law. The majority of the deputies waved their hands and that was that. A decision had been taken and the bill had been rejected without even the pretence of a count of hands. Article 340 remains law to this day.

Jordanian tribal leaders attend a rally against honour killing outside parliament on February 14, 2000. Around 3,000 Jordanians gathered outside parliament to demand the cancellation of a law that gives lenient punishment to those who commit ‘honour’ crimes [File: Ali Jarekji/Reuters]
It was a blow, but during our activism, we also received signs of support from high-level officials, people who believed in the cause, and some columnists. The late Iyad Qatan, secretary-general of the Ministry of Information at the time, was a courageous man who helped us gain access to documents that facilitated our work. He also helped free some of our petition signature-collectors from police stations on a few occasions.

On another occasion, in February 2000, we organised a public march led by Prince Ali – the half brother of King Abdullah – and Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad to Parliament to demand an end to such crimes and the abolition of discriminatory laws, including Article 340.

Afterwards, Prince Ali posted on an internet chatroom: “Contrary to some opinions, the demonstrations were organised and carried out without any governmental or institutional help.

“In fact, the prime minister [Abdur-Raouf  Rawabdeh] stood against it. He contacted Jordan TV and the papers and asked them not to publicise the demonstration. When we moved to the government, the prime minister was supposed to meet us. However, he sneaked out before we arrived…

“In reality, forces both within the government and Parliament had never intended the bill [to amend Article 340] to pass in the first place… the reason behind it is not about the article itself but fear that the article will lead to reforms…reforms that would hold them accountable, loosen their grip on power, by allowing people to move creatively and freely in progressing our country.

Prince Ali, brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah, embraces Jordan’s Senate Speaker Zaid al-Refa’e outside parliament on February 14, 2000. Thousands of Jordanians gathered outside parliament to demand the abolition of Article 340 of Jordan’s Penal Code, which grants leniency to those who kill female relatives found or suspected of committing adultery.

“It is an old game where parliament and government oppose each other outwardly to give the image of democracy at the expense of the people and our progress, and meanwhile innocents are murdered and our country remains economically stagnant.”

More and more people started to speak out against these crimes and the unjust laws that allowed them to continue.

In the past, many Jordanian men would casually say they would kill their sisters if they did anything perceived to have damaged their family’s “honour”.

But for the past 10 years, I have found that men’s reactions to my lectures and to the topic, in general, have undergone a major shift. Many men have become much more interested in being part of the solution.

And there have been small changes along the way. In 2003, for example, a royal committee recommended changes to Article 98 of the Jordanian Penal Code that had been used as leeway for perpetrators of such murders by their lawyers. It stated: “Whoever commits a crime in a fit of fury which is the result of an unjustifiable and dangerous act committed by the victim, benefits from a mitigating excuse.”

The committee recommended that the principle be disallowed as an excuse for crimes against women unless a husband caught his wife in the act of adultery and it extended this right to women who caught their husbands in an act of adultery.

Lenient sentences against men accused of honour crimes have continued, of course. In 2014, for example, a court revoked the death sentence of a man convicted of shooting and killing his daughter, sentencing him to 10 years in prison instead. The daughter, who was in her late 20s, had left her marital home for several days, the court was told, and her father wanted to “cleanse the family’s honour”. His sentence was reduced after the family agreed to drop the charges against him.

But the changes that have taken place have filled me with hope. Still, the fight continues and demands dedication, commitment and patience.


Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Is Forced Intimacy in Marriage Allowed

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The most complete of believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behavior to their women.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1162

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Tirmidhi

Abu Mūsa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he said: "O Messenger of Allah, who is the best among Muslims?" He said: "The one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe."  
Sahih/Authentic. - Al-Bukhari and Muslim





Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Does organ donation translate Islamic faith into practice?


I've spoken to so many people about this, many insist it is haram without giving any proof. They also think receving organs is acceptable but refuse to give them in any circumstance. This is beyond hypocrtitical and unjust.

Monday, 13 June 2022

Khalid ibn Walid, a Profile of a Warrior


 Khalid ibn al-Walid ibn al-Mughira al-Makhzumi (Arabic: خالد بن الوليد بن المغيرة المخزومي, died 642) was an Arab Muslim commander in the service of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr (r. 632–634) and Umar (r. 634–644). He played the leading military role in the Ridda wars against rebel tribes in Arabia in 632–633, the initial campaigns in Sasanian Iraq in 633–634 and the conquest of Byzantine Syria in 634–638.

Dr. Roy Casagranda explores the career of one of the greatest warriors in history. Khalid ibn al-Walid is essentially unknown outside of the Muslim world despite his brilliant victories. Dr. Casagranda ranks him with Thutmose III and Alexander the Great as having one of the three greatest military records.

Monday, 6 June 2022

Daughters of a New World


Very benificial lecture from Nouman Ali Khan. Please do not limit your children when it comes choosing a righteous Muslim spouse. Tribalism/Sectarianism is our biggest weakness.

Friday, 3 June 2022

The Crisis of Marrying Outside the Faith| Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi



 A very sensitive topic that definitely needs discussing. I grew hearing about brothers and sisters who were prevented from marrying outside the family/caste/ethnicity, marriage was made so difficult for them. Please do not forbid what is halal, look at iman and taqwa are the most important critieria.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Monday, 30 May 2022

Sisters allegedly murdered by husbands in Pakistan ‘honour’ killing


Two sisters with dual Pakistani and Spanish citizenship were allegedly killed by their husbands, uncle and brother in a so-called “honour” killing a day after they were tricked into travelling to Pakistan.

Aneesa Abbas, 24, and Arooj Abbas, 21, were strangled and shot dead on Friday after arriving in the eastern city of Gujrat with their mother, Azra Bibi.

It is understood that, on arrival in Pakistan, the sisters were pressured to help their husbands, who they were forced to marry last year, apply for spouse visas so they could travel to Europe.

It is alleged Aneesa and Arooj were killed when they refused to help. Both women wanted to divorce their husbands, who were also their cousins, so that they could remarry in Spain.

“The investigations have confirmed that both the sisters were killed in the name of ‘honour’,” said investigating police officer Muhammad Akhtar.

Police said the women’s husbands, Hassan Aurengzeb and Atiq Hanif, their uncle, Hanif Goga, and their brother, Shehryar Abbas, have been arrested and confessed to the killing. Two other men have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Hundreds of women are murdered by family members in Pakistan each year in so-called “honour” killings for violating conservative norms governing women’s relationships, despite 2016 legislation ending the loopholes in the law that allowed culprits to walk free in the country’s deeply patriarchal society.

Earlier that year, the murder of Qandeel Baloch, known as “Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian”, by her brother Waseem Azeem sparked national outrage and demands for changes to the law. Azeem was sentenced to life imprisonment but was acquitted in February this year after his parents pardoned him.

Samar Minallah, a human rights activist, said: “This is yet another brutal murder of innocent girls raised in another culture valuing basic human rights, yet treated like inanimate objects by their own families.”

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights group, more than 470 cases of “honour” killings were reported in the country last year.

It is not uncommon for parents with dual citizenship to force their daughters to marry cousins in Pakistan to secure European visas. A report on forced marriage, published by the UK government in 2020, found almost 40% of cases involved British citizens being taken to Pakistan to marry against their wishes.

In 2016, Samia Shahid, a British Pakistani beautician from Bradford in the north of England, was raped and killed when she returned to Jhelum district after marrying a man from outside the family. She had previously left her first husband, a first cousin from their village in Pakistan. Her ex-husband and father were arrested for her murder. Six years later, the case is ongoing.


Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Unsung guardians of the 'true' tradition


Back in 1995, when The Times asserted Islam was to blame for the poor levels of education among women in the Muslim world, Mohammad Akram Nadwi began scouring ancient Arabic manuscripts for women's names. Looking specifically for female scholars, his hope was to find maybe 20 or 30 women. What he found was astounding. By Julia Ley

In 1995 Mohammad Akram Nadwi was conducting research at the Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford. Annoyed by a blanket assertion made by The Times newspaper that the reason Muslim women were so poorly educated was down to Islam, he was moved to take action. He began scouring ancient Arabic manuscripts for women's names, looking specifically for female scholars.

Initially, he hoped to find maybe 20 or 30 women, he says, but: "I soon realised that a huge number of women had been active in the search for knowledge. Sometimes a single scholar would write, 'I studied with 70 women'. Another would pass on a hadith that had been transmitted by a total of 400 women."

Recording the life of the Prophet
After the Koran, the hadiths are the second most important source for very many Muslims. They are written records about the life of the Prophet Muhammad – things he is said to have said, or done. They are vitally important to Muslims because they translate the abstract message of the Koran into everyday specifics. During the early years of Islam, Muslim scholars concerned with establishing hadith authenticity handled their source material critically.

Nadwi began his research by scouring well-known and lesser-known hadith collections for women's names. He also delved into biographies and reports that scholars wrote about their teachers – male and female. What he found exceeded all his expectations.

sits in conversation at a table with various writings and books (photo: Al-Salam Institute)
Twenty years of dedication: Nadwi has gone to great lengths to rescue these female scholars from historical obscurity. Yet, he is not necessarily what you would call a liberal Muslim. Nor does he call himself a feminist. "But feminism and I do agree on one thing," Akram Nadwi concedes. "I do believe women have been oppressed and that we should work hard to defend their rights and give them the honour they deserve"
The article he set out to write turned into a book, the book into an encyclopaedia. In mid-January 2021, after more than 20 years, he finally completed his work. The biographies of more than 10,000 women are now contained in 43 volumes. The final tally even surprised even Islamic theologian Dina El Omari, who conducts research at the University of Munster in Germany. "I was aware that there were many, but that it turned out to be so many in the end was astonishing – indeed, it is what makes the whole project so exciting."

Nadwi also has a few exciting stories to tell. Take Umm al-Darda, for example, a prominent legal scholar in 7th century Damascus. As a young woman, she not only studied together with the men, but she also prayed with them in the men's area of the mosque – something that would be unthinkable in the vast majority of mosques today. Or Karima al-Marwaziyya, who lived in Mecca in the 11th century. Her copy of the most important hadith collection, the al-Buhari collection, is still considered definitive to this day.

Altogether, Nadwi estimates, about a quarter of all hadiths were handed down by women. What's more, they were apparently not only diligent, but also thorough. "When it comes to the Prophet's traditions, very, very many men have been accused of making up hadiths. Yet all the hadith scholars confirm that lying about one of the Prophet's hadiths is not something a woman has ever been accused of, which is amazing."

A foretaste of the final work: this book provides an English-language preface Nadwi's 40-volume biographical dictionary (in Arabic) of women scholars of the Prophet's hadiths. During the formative years of Islam learned women enjoyed high public standing and authority. For centuries, women travelled intensively for religious knowledge and routinely attended the most prestigious mosques and madrassas across the Islamic world. An overview chapter, with accompanying maps, traces the spread of centres of hadith learning for women, and their eventual decline
But if there were so many learned Muslim women and they were so conscientious – how come so few of them are remembered today? Akram Nadwi explains with an example:

"One of Islam's great scholars, Ibn al-Sam'ani, who lived in the 13th or 14th century, records that he wanted to study with a woman called Karima: 'I asked her brother many times to allow me to study with her. But her brother always found excuses.' You can see the problem here: if people had a son or a brother, they wanted them to be famous. If they had a sister, they wanted to keep her hidden."

Nadwi has gone to great lengths to rescue these female scholars from historical obscurity. Yet, he is not necessarily what you would call a liberal Muslim. Nadwi has worked with the European Fatwarat, which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor does he call himself a feminist.

"But feminism and I do agree on one thing," Akram Nadwi concedes. "I do believe that women have been oppressed and that we should work hard to defend their rights and give them the honour they deserve. What I don't like is that feminism aims to make men and women equal."

Nevertheless, his work remains important for Muslim women, since it provides them with convincing arguments when fighting for more say. After all, says Gonul Yerli, even today, some Muslim men still invoke "tradition" in an attempt to keep women out of positions of power.

As deputy director of the mosque in Penzberg, Yerli is one of the very few women at the head of an Islamic community in Germany. Some members of the Bavarian congregation initially had a problem accepting her position. "One of them said: 'You know, there is a hadith: when a woman heads an Islamic community, then the community is cursed, and she will never reach her peaceful goal'," Yerli recalls.

Dina El Omari is also acquainted with instances where men use religious arguments to manipulate women. "We have a tradition that is supposed to have been spoken by the Prophet: that is, if a man invites a woman into his bed and she refuses, then the angels will curse her all night. Of course, that's a very extreme example. But it does show how women are pressured – using religious arguments – to do things they don't actually want to do."

According to Gonul Yerli, there is another, very practical reason why such sayings are so widespread: they are much easier to understand than the Koran. "The language of the Koran is complex, and it doesn't offer an answer to every question. In fact, to be honest, it rarely does."

Questioning misogynistic traditions
Both Gonul Yerli and Dina El Omari try to counter the misogynistic hadiths in their work, their teaching and in pastoral care. El Omari explains, for example, that it is very uncertain whether Mohammed was in fact the originator of these sentiments. After all, none of them turn up in the oldest extant collections. "Which is quite striking. It really does make you pause for thought: these misogynistic traditions are in such stark contrast to the Prophet's biography that they simply don't fit in."

As long as women had a say, El Omari says, the misogynistic traditions were corrected. Aisha, for example, one of the Prophet's favourite wives, often argued with Abu Huraira, one of the Prophet's companions, after her husband's death.

Pioneering position: as deputy director of the mosque in Penzberg, Gonul Yerli is one of the very few women at the head of an Islamic community in Germany. Some members of the Bavarian congregation initially had a problem accepting her. "One of them said: 'You know, there is a hadith: when a woman heads an Islamic community, then the community is cursed," she recalls. Yet, according to Yerli, there is another, very practical reason why such sayings are so widespread: they are much easier to understand than the Koran. "The language of the Koran is complex, and it doesn't offer an answer to every question. In fact, to be honest, it rarely does"
Abu Hureira asserted, for example, that a man's ritual prayer would be invalidated if a woman walked past in his direction of prayer. "And that's when Aisha just put in her vote and said very clearly that the Prophet would never have said something like that," says Omari.

Aisha herself reports in various hadiths that the Prophet prayed in his room, even when she was lying in bed in front of him. It is examples like this that reveal how important it is that these ancient female scholars are finally noticed and recognised again.

Mohammad Akram Nadwi agrees. "If women are not represented, then no-one will represent them. Then false ideas about women will prevail and no-one will be able to defend them."

Thursday, 19 May 2022

A tale of divorce


I found this quite an eye opener:

How did we get here? I genuinely don't know whether or not to laugh or cry or fume with anger. This is another divorce case I am helping with right now. The wife came from abroad, lives in a tiny London flat, has no family here, struggles to speak English, completely financially dependent for the past 20 years and looks after their disabled (adult) child.

Man: We will divorce according to Islam. I will maintain her for the waiting period. That is all.
Sheikh: Where did you read this?
Man: There is a fatwa website online. Proper scholars. I only share the truth. This is the Shariah.
Sheikh: And what should she do after the three months?
Man: I don't know. Get benefits.
Sheikh: And your son? The extra care, hospital visits, appointments, you will not even leave her a car? London is an expensive city.
Man: I will pay for the boy. He gets benefits. I don't pay for her. This is the Shariah. I work hard.
Sheikh: And she doesn't work hard? You think, this is what Allah wants?
Man: I don't make the rules. Allah says:
وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّۭ لَّكُمْ
 "Maybe you hate a thing, but it is good for you and maybe you love a thing, but it is bad for you" (Qur'an 2:216)
Sheikh: This verse is about people who do not like to fight, when they must.
Man: Yes, marriage is jihad.
(It is explained to him that the majority of the "classical" rules of divorce and settlement were written in the context of Muslim majority communities, where women had support structures and family that could take care of them and furthermore, there would be Zakat readily available to support someone who could not earn. In the absence of these, he must continue to support her and/or give her a financial settlement. Cherry picking fatwa online is not Islam. He refuses. Sheikh now getting ruffled.)
Man: If she goes to the courts, it is haram. She is stealing from me. Anyways, I will fight her and it will cost so much, she will be left with very little. I don't believe in this modern Islam. The deen is the deen. This is the Shariah.

Sheikh: Okay. You want to follow only classical Islam? Khalas. Show me this website, let me see which Mufti.
*Man pulls out website, a very popular Q&A website, with British 'scholars' giving many of the answers, including this one.*
Sheikh: Okay, great. Let me search something - *Sheikh looks through the website* Okay, perfect. Here. What about this?
Man: *He reads* Ermm.. Errrr.
Sheikh: Just to confirm, you did admit to having multiple affairs during the marriage after your wife caught you?
Man: I repented from this.
Sheikh: Okay, but we are we only want to follow classical Islam, right? Right. So what is the "classical Islamic" way to deal with your infidelity according to these same scholars and the same website you showed me?
Man: You know this. It is not possible to do here.
Sheikh: Okay, but maybe you can go to another country and they can fulfil the Shariah? You are a man of truth, right? Tell me, how much of your wealth with your wife get in this case?
Man: I don't understand.
Sheikh: If we follow the Shariah, according to this website, your punishment for your actions is to be killed. So when you die, your wealth will be split between your wife and your children, right?
Man: Yes, but...
Sheikh: You don't have any parents alive or other wives or children?
Man: No, but...
Sheikh: This is the Shariah, right?
Man: We don't live in Darul Islam.
Sheikh: You are correct, we live in Darul England. So, please make your mind up on which system you want to follow.
I find it fascinating that the website in question, for the adultery question now has this big disclaimer at the top:
"An Important Clarification - In light of recent attempts by some to sensationalise my views by taking them out of their intended context, I would like to categorically express that the answer below does not, in any way, call for stoning or capital punishment in non-Islamic states... the implementation of the law on adultery and fornication is only applicable under an Islamic State, and as such, this is merely an academic and theoretical discussion, since Britain is not an Islamic state... I do not of course endorse the implementation of this law in places where people choose not to have it."
Very funny that this disclaimer is not found on the divorce questions. Why aren't they "academic and theoretical discussions" when they are literally citing fiqh rulings from about 800 years ago that are being used to literally make Muslim women homeless today.
Marriage is hard. Divorce is messy. Using or rather, "abusing" Islam to line your pocket while leaving a woman vulnerable, not least the mother of your disabled child, is one of the most despicable things you can do.

Alhumdolillah, over the past year, we've been able to help a number of women in this exact or similar situation with cash/Zakat. If you can help, little or large, please reach out. At the very least, please like, comment and share to raise awareness on this oppression in our midst.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

How to be a good parent to Muslim children growing up in twenty-first century Britain?


From Yahya Birt's Fb page, I found it very beneficial alhamdulilah.

An old friend whose children are much younger than mine asked me how to be a good parent to Muslim children growing up in twenty-first century Britain. I was a bit flummoxed by the question as I’ve never considered myself to be any sort of parenting model. As a father, I am decidedly a work in progress: I still make parenting mistakes even into my third decade as a father. However, after mulling over it for a couple of months, these are some of the rules of thumb that have worked for me. Maybe they will work for you.

1. Don’t squash your child into a preconceived mould of what a good Muslim should be, but facilitate their own journey of discovery. Good parents nurture: they are not dictators.
2. Prepare your children for the world as it is not how you would like it to be. You have to prepare them to be resourceful and resilient.
3. Focus on the fundamentals of faith: on God, the Prophet, and the Hereafter in their youth. Build that bond and connection with the faith, with the mosque, and with pious and holy people, with the gatherings of remembrance and learning.

4. Establish your own prayer and worship if you wish to establish it in your children. Let them see that dua is the first resort of a believer who puts their trust in God.
5. Make the child used to seeing giving in action, helping others; give them money to give to others from a young age. Make them see generosity, hospitality, service and compassion as the Muslim's bread and butter, and their salt and pepper.
6. Try to establish love and attachment to the Quran from a young age. Listening to Quran recitation is an important part of this.
7. If you break your child’s spirit in pursuit of inculcating self-control you will break their confidence. Don’t be your child’s eternal life raft and never be their jailor: focus on teaching them how to swim.
8. Always remind your child their faith must come to centre on their own relationship with God, not on parental approval or disapproval. The latter are props to be kicked away as their faith matures and their understanding grows.

9. Under-confidence is a bigger issue among young Muslims, boys especially, than is egotism. Let us recognise bravado as a sign of lack of confidence rather than of arrogance.
10. Our established systems of moral education (tarbiyah) were not built for Muslim minority status or the structural Islamophobia of the postcolonial period. They need to be rebuilt from scratch with wisdom and love to become fit for purpose.
11. No educational institution, religious or secular, will give everything your child as an individual needs to grow. Be prepared to change things around in the best interests of your child. Be ready to work in active partnership with your child's educators and to challenge them constructively if they are not doing right by your child. You can't leave them at the school and madrasa gates, do nothing else and just hope for the best. That is a failure of parenting.
12. If you find a teacher who inspires your child hang on to them. They are a priceless commodity. Even in adulthood, many of us struggle to distinguish between our interest in a subject and poor teaching -- this is doubly true for children. Teachers have the power to switch us on or off many subjects, either secular or religious, until we solidify our own motives for learning various subjects.
13. Consider holiday time an opportunity to explore the history and culture of Muslims; such educational opportunities are there even in our home countries in the West if travelling abroad is beyond your means.
14. Stay close to your extended family if you are blessed to have one. A child brought up in an extended family is more rounded and confident. The nuclear family structure combined with the current economic requirement for dual income households doesn’t add up to attentive parenting.
15. Keep your kids off smart phones for as long as possible -- at least until they gain a love of reading books. Make book reading with your children a daily practice. Focus on making it enjoyable for them not onerous. If they master the art of long-form concentration and capacity for subtle and extended argument or great prose and sophisticated character studies in terms of nonfiction and fiction book reading they will retain an advantage few others will possess in the digital age.
16. Don’t try as parents to present a united parental front to the children, but demonstrate to them the art of disagreeing and then compromising within a family setting. Teach them to use words and reason to convey what is on their minds.
17. A home without any arguments is one where someone is usually keeping quiet and making all the compromises.
18. Don’t go to bed without making up with your children after an argument. Don’t let things fester.
19. Always strive for open communication with your children above all. Never penalise honesty, especially when they confess to wrongdoing or to having doubts. That way your child will feel safe to tell you what’s really on their minds. This openness is a blessing not a test.
20. Tell your children that doubt is part of faith, and that you will always be there to help answer any question they have, no matter how tough or awkward it might be. If you don’t know the answer yourself, tell them you don’t know, but that you are willing to go away and find out more. Or direct them to someone who does know.
21. Try to teach your children as many practical life skills as possible. Schools do not cover this adequately in my experience.
22. Encourage your children to eat the same food that you eat from a young age. In other words, eat together, not separately. Resist the temptation to give them children’s meals. This is just marketing and the food is normally bad for them.
23. Try to offer them a balanced plate of food. Reduce carbs and sugar, and get them used to vegetables and fruit. Don’t become a household that is reliant on fried foods or a heavy meat diet. Try to source meat and poultry that is organic, halal and cruelty-free (this is particularly important in the case of chickens who are mostly kept in cruel conditions).
24. Encourage them to love the outdoors and sports. Let them muck around in puddles and get muddy when young. Don’t keep them cooped up. Barring a heavy storm with heavy wind and rain, there’s no such thing as truly bad weather but only a wardrobe unable to adapt to Britain’s temperamental weather.
25. Encourage your children to love plants, animals, and nature. Have plants in your home, and even if you have a small yard put some pots in it. Grow some tomatoes or strawberries so that they can see where food comes from. Cats make ideal pets. They are affectionate but also independent and clean. They retain a sense of their wildness and this is important for children to experience.
26. If a parent has to assert their authority by saying that Islam teaches children to respect their parents then usually something has gone wrong. The same goes for shouting.
27. Model good manners to your children. Good manners are gold, but only with the right motives. They are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.
28. If you model good listening to your children, they will become good listeners too, insha’Allah.
29. Help your children to learn to navigate friendships. This is particularly important for girls, who seek out deeper friendships than boys do at a younger age. The most important lessons they have to learn are that friendships come in different shapes and sizes, that they are based on reciprocity and can’t be one-sided, that friends should respect your boundaries, and not to blame yourself for dynamics in friendships that are beyond your control.
30. You never stop being a parent. However your children do become adults, and so the relationship does become more equal and this is natural and to be expected.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Mesut Özil: The Muhammad Ali of Our Time


I completely agree with CJ Werle here: International football superstar Mesut Özil is the Muhammad Ali of our time, risking reputation and livelihood to speak out forcibly against the world’s worst human rights abuses.

Whereas millions of ethnic Uyghurs have been forcibly disappeared in a network of Chinese-government-run concentration camps, torture dungeons, and possibly mass graves, international football superstar Mesut Özil, a German-born Muslim, has been forcibly erased from the world’s premier football league and international attention for daring to speak out against Beijing.

It all started with a tweet posted on December 13, 2019, when he condemned China for its persecution of Uyghur Muslims, and the governments of Muslim majority countries for their complicit silence.

“Qur’ans are burned, mosques are closed, madrassas are banned, religious scholars are killed one by one. The brothers are forced into the camps. Chinese men are settled in their families instead of them. The sisters are forced to marry Chinese men,” reads an excerpt from Özil’s tweet. “Despite all this, the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad is silent. Doesn’t object/say anything.”

Friends and advisers had warned Özil that there would be consequences for speaking out.

According to the New York Times, friends and advisers had warned Özil –– who was then under contract with the English Premier League (EPL) team Arsenal –– that there would be consequences, but Özil felt compelled by his religious faith to act. He ignored their warnings. The consequences came swift.

Not only did Arsenal distance itself from their star player, saying, “The content published is Özil’s opinion,” and that as a football club, it adhered to the “principle of not involving itself in politics” –– which is nonsense, given Arsenal has publicly expressed support for an array of political causes, including Black Lives Matter. In response to Özil’s activism, China disappeared Özil’s name from video games, social media, and Internet search engines, while threatening to ban telecasts of Arsenal’s future fixtures.

Ten months later, Özil’s name also disappeared from Arsenal’s rostered list of players, ending his time in the world’s top football competition with a £13,975,000 annual salary. Arsenal traded him to Turkish club Fenerbahce in the 13th ranked league in Europe.

His fall couldn’t have been greater. In 2018, he became the world’s highest paid player in history, earning £350,000 per week in the top-flight EPL, but today he pulls in only a fraction of that, roughly £60,000 per week, playing in the second-rate Süper Lig. Barely six months after he condemned China for its persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Adidas ended its seven-year, £22 million sponsorship deal with Özil.

Notably, Adidas has been accused of profiting from the mass detainment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, where detainees have been forced into picking cotton.

Speaking out against what the United States government has now identified as “genocide” has exacted a massive financial and emotional cost on Özil. Yet he remains undeterred, using his massive social media following to raise awareness about the brutalities endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Syrians under Russian bombardment, and Yemenis caught in the middle of a proxy war.

Özil prayed for the “safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India.”

To celebrate the Islamic holy night of Lailat al-Qadr on April 27, Özil prayed for the “safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India,” calling the Indian government’s crackdown on the religious minority “shameful” before asking, “What is happening to human rights in the so-called largest democracy in the world?”

Clearly, Özil is undeterred and unintimidated by India’s growing economic clout. He fears no man and no government. He answers only to God and his own moral compass.

While far from a perfect analogy, Özil is the Muhammad Ali of our era, and like “the Greatest” heavyweight boxing champion of all time, he has risked reputation and livelihood in speaking out forcibly against the world’s worst human rights abuses.

Ali told reporters back in 1966, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong,” which was followed with, “No Vietcong ever called me [N-word],” a line that perfectly couched his ethical opposition to an unjust foreign war in support for civil rights at home. Sixteen months later on June 20, 1967, Ali was sentenced to 5 years in prison for refusing to be inducted into the US armed forces.

Although he managed to stay out of prison while appealing his case to the US Supreme Court on religious grounds, he was stripped of his boxing titles and denied the right to fight professionally for nearly four years. But the Supreme Court overturned his conviction and his actions as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War made him an icon of the American civil rights movement.

It’s impossible to imagine the late Muhammad Ali isn’t an inspiration to Özil in an era of hyper-commercialism.

It’s impossible to imagine the late Muhammad Ali isn’t an inspiration to Özil in an era of hyper-commercialism, where very few athletes are willing to put principles before profit.

Most live by the mantra quipped by NBA hall of famer Michael Jordan, who explained away his refusal to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, an African American, in a 1990 US Senate race against Republican Jesse Helms, a notorious and vicious racist, by saying, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

Well, China buys football merchandise and EPL products, too –– but Özil dared to use his global following to stand up against the abuse committed by Beijing against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. He knew that he would have to write off the world’s largest economy as a market, including his six million followers on the Chinese social media network Wiebo and his fan club there, which boasted more than 50,000 signed-up members.

He knew that “he might become too toxic even for any club with Chinese owners, or sponsors eager to do business there,” reported the New York Times.

With the world bedeviled and besieged by intractable conflicts, fledgling and ongoing genocides, and the hate that flows from rising ultranationalist impulses, we need the likes of Mesut Özil and Muhammad Ali more than ever.


Thursday, 12 May 2022

Australian Academic Accepts Islam After Surviving 1200 days as a Hostage

Very shocking but moving story of conversion. May Allah strenghthen this brother's faith and reward him for his patience.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Be kind.....



“Kindess is a mark of faith and whoever is not kind has no faith.” Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) (Muslim)

Abu Ad-Darda رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ  said:
Whoever is given his portion of kindness has been given his portion of goodness, and whoever is deprived of his portion of kindness has been deprived of his portion of goodness.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2013,

Ibn Mas’ud reported رضي الله عن : The Messenger of Allah ﷺ
Shall I not tell you for whom the Hellfire is forbidden? It is every person accessible, polite, and mild.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2488



Monday, 9 May 2022

Famous Jewish Skater SHOCKED Sheikh Uthman


A very emotional convert story. Share your faith by being he kindest Muslim you can be.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Duas for the Last 10 Days of Ramadan

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches its close, we are reminded how important the last 10 days of Ramadan really are. It is during this time that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (ﷺ) on Laylatul Qadr, and though we don’t know exactly which day in these last 10 days of Ramadan our Holy Scripture was revealed, we do know that each of these nights brings immense rewards.

The Prophet (ﷺ) was known to pay special devotion to Allah (SWT) during the last 10 days of Ramadan, his most beloved wife Aisha (ra) noting, “Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time." [Muslim] - This is, without doubt, a special time and we should all follow our beloved Prophet’s (ﷺ) example, entering these last 10 days of Ramadan with a renewed sense of commitment and fierce devotion.

We can make the most of the last 10 days of Ramadan and show our devotion by exerting ourselves to perform as many good deeds as possible; reciting the Qur’an, praying during the night, giving charity and making dua. Our supplications during the last 10 days of Ramadan are exceptionally special. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Dua is the essence of worship.” [Tirmidhi] and in these last 10 days of Ramadan Allah (SWT) generously multiplies the blessings you receive for your worship.

To help you maximise your worship and embrace all the blessings Allah (SWT) has laid out for us, we have compiled a list of some of the best duas for the last 10 days of Ramadan. These duas for the last 10 days of Ramadan will be sure to maximise the impact of your supplications and close out the blessed month in the most beautiful way.

Maximise your worship

Dua for the Night of Power
This dua should be recited on Laylatul Qadr, so it is the best dua for the last 10 days of Ramadan. Recite this dua every night, as much as you can, over these last 10 days of Ramadan to receive Allah’s (SWT) mercy.

الْلَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibb al-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni

“O Allah, You are the Most forgiving, and You love to forgive, so forgive me.”

Dua for protection
Asking for Allah’s (SWT) protection during Ramadan is important, and in doing so we can seek protection from hellfire.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ رِضَاكَ وَالجَنَّةَ ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَالنَّار

Allaahumma innee as-aluka Ridaaka wal Jannah wa a’audhu’bika min sakhatika wan-naar

O Allah, I ask of Your pleasure and for Paradise, and I seek refuge from Your displeasure and from the Hellfire.

Dua for after your fast
You can recite this dua throughout the last 10 days of Ramadan once you have broken your fast in the evenings to give thanks to Allah (SWT) and seek His blessings.

‏‏ ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ

Dhahabaz Zama’u wab tal latil uruqoo wa thabbatal ajru inshaAllah

Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills.

Dua for guidance
During the last 10 days of Ramadan, Allah (SWT) is especially close to us and accepts our duas with contentment for our striving towards Him, so what better time could there be to ask for guidance!

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الهُدَى وَ التُّقَى وَ العَفَافَ وَ الغِنَى

Allāhumma Innī As’aluka al-Hudā Wat-Tuqā Wal-Afāfa Wal-Ghinā

O Allah, I ask You for guidance andpiety, and abstinence (from the unlawful) and modesty, and contentment and sufficiency.

Receive Allah's blessing

Dua for direction
In the last 10 days of Ramadan, we should renew our intentions and ask Allah (SWT) to guide us on the way forward so that we can continue to be good and just.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِني ، وسَدِّدْنِي

Allaahummah-dinee wa sadd-dadnee

O Allah! Direct me to the Right Path and make me adhere to the Straight Path.

Dua for wisdom
Reciting a dua for wisdom throughout the last 10 days of Ramadan is a wonderful way to ask the Almighty for the knowledge we need to be faithful to Islam and protect our brothers and sisters in humanity.

اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنِي وَ عَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي وَ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

Allaahum-manfa’nee bimā ‘allamtanee wa ‘allimnee mā yanfa’unee wa zidnee ‘ilmā

O Allah, benefit me with what You have taught me, and teach me that which will benefit me, and increase me in knowledge.

Dua for your parents
Our parents are some of the most important people in our lives and we should dedicate time to make dua for them during these last 10 days of Ramadan. Share Allah’s (SWT) blessings with those who raised you!

 رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

Rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayani sagheera

My Lord, have mercy upon them (parents) as they brought me up [when i was] small.

Help those in need

Dua for the deceased
Something special that we can do our loved ones who have passed away is make dua for them. Over the last 10 days of Ramadan, our duas for the deceased will provide them with blessings in Jannah.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ الَّلهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ
Allaahum-maghfir lahu Allaahumma thabbithu

O Allah, forgive him. O Allah, strengthen him.

Dua for health
This Ramadan, COVID-19 has swept the globe and many of us have been affected by this pandemic. Make a dua for good health in the last 10 days of Ramadan to keep yourselves safe.

اللّهُـمَّ عافِـني في بَدَنـي ، اللّهُـمَّ عافِـني في سَمْـعي ، اللّهُـمَّ عافِـني في بَصَـري ، لا إلهَ إلاّ أَنْـتَ. اللّهُـمَّ إِنّـي أَعـوذُبِكَ مِنَ الْكُـفر ، وَالفَـقْر ، وَأَعـوذُبِكَ مِنْ عَذابِ القَـبْر ، لا إلهَ إلاّ أَنْـتَ

Allaahumma 'aafinee fee badanee, Allaahumma 'aafinee fee sam'ee, Allaahumma 'aafinee fee basaree, laa 'ilaaha 'illaa 'Anta. Allaahumma 'innee 'a'oothu bika minal-kufri, walfaqri, wa 'a'oothu bika min 'adhaabil-qabri, laa 'ilaaha 'illaa 'Anta.

O Allah, make me healthy in my body. O Allah, preserve for me my hearing. O Allah, preserve for me my sight. There is none worthy of worship but You . O Allah , I seek refuge in You from disbelief and poverty and I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave . There is none worthy of worship but You.

Dua for calamity
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing great suffering to millions of people in the world, we place our lives in the Hands of Allah (SWT) almighty and make dua for our safety, asking Him to rid us of our afflictions.

إِنَّا لِلهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ، اللَّهُمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي ، وَاخْلُفْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا

innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji‛oon, allaahumma’ jurnee fee muṣeebatee, wakhluf lee khayran minhaa

To Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better.

We hope that our list of some of the best duas for the last 10 days of Ramadan helps you find Allah’s (SWT) pleasure and joyously bring in Eid with family and friends. May Allah (SWT) accept all your duas and grant you the immeasurabl blessings in this life and the next – Ameen.


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Ramadan in Palestine Vlog | Iftar at Al Aqsa


Alhamduliah this brave sister a true example to us all. So grateful she provided us with this beautiful glimpse of Ramadan in Palestine.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Pakistan: Hindu girl’s killing reignites forced conversion fears


A teenage Hindu girl was killed last week in Pakistan’s southeastern Sindh province after she resisted abduction for alleged forced marriage and conversion, prompting fear among the country’s minority community.

The family of Pooja Kumari, 18, described her as a girl full of life, often seen stitching traditional garments at their home in Rohri town in Sukkur district, some 470km (292 miles) north of the port city of Karachi, the provincial capital.
Kumari’s uncle Odh, whose first name Al Jazeera is not using due to security concerns, said she was often harassed by Wahid Bux Lashari, a member of the powerful Lashari tribe. Lashari, 24, had threatened Kumari with forced marriage earlier this month.

Her family said they approached the local police who “showed no interest” in helping the family against the powerful landowning tribe.

A week later on March 21, Lashari showed up again along with two associates and broke into the girl’s house. When Kumari resisted abduction, Lashari allegedly fired his gun.

“They shot her dead on the spot,” Odh told Al Jazeera. “She [Kumari] preferred resistance and death instead of marrying the abductor out of her faith.”

Police arrested Lashari and the two associates on the night of March 21 after the incident caused outrage on Pakistani social media.

“Mr Lashari and two others were arrested for their involvement in the murder,” local police official Bashir Ahmed told Al Jazeera. “The prime suspect has even confessed to the crime.”

Rights groups say Kumari is among nearly 1,000 minority girls forcibly married or converted to Islam – or both – every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

“Forced conversions are against the teachings of Islam and we are committed to ensure justice and peaceful environment for minorities. We will take serious action against the culprits and ensure protection to the family of [the] victim girl,” Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on religious harmony and Middle East affairs, told Al Jazeera.

According to the 2017 census, Muslims make up 97 percent of Pakistan’s population while Hindus are around 2 percent, an overwhelming majority of them – close to 90 percent – residing in Sindh province bordering Hindu-majority neighbour India.

Last year, the United States placed Pakistan on a list of “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations.

Activists say some victims of forced marriage or conversion are as young as 12.

In 2019, Khan’s government ordered an investigation into forced conversions after two Hindu sisters were allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam – a case that triggered a controversy with India.

A Pakistani court later ruled that the two sisters had converted voluntarily.

Activists say a lack of legislation aimed at safeguarding minority rights has made the situation difficult for Hindu and Christian girls.

In October last year, a parliamentary committee rejected an anti-forced conversion bill after the Ministry of Religious Affairs opposed the proposed law despite protests by legislators belonging to minority communities.

In 2016, Sindh province passed a law declaring forced conversion a punishable offence carrying a life sentence, but the region’s governor refused to ratify the legislation.

Meanwhile, minority groups in Pakistan have been protesting against forced marriage or conversion of girls belonging to their communities.

“Forced conversion is a very serious and becoming a chronic issue for the country, but unfortunately all the major political parties till now have failed to legislate on this important issue,” Kapil Dev, a rights activist belonging to the Hindu community, told Al Jazeera.

“She [Kumari] would have been another victim of forced conversion, if she had not resisted her kidnapping.”

Dev said the government should “think seriously on this issue” and bring a bill to stop the “heinous act sooner than later as these incidents not only bring a bad name to the country but also to the faith of the majority people”.

Dev pointed out the “lack of interest from political parties” that he said cave in to right-wing groups when a bill to stop the practice is presented in a state or national assembly.

Legal experts also say there is no existing law to stop forced conversions in Pakistan.

“Despite the surge in forced conversions, federal and provincial governments have not shown appropriate resolve to tackle this grave constitutional violation. The government, despite having a parliamentary majority in the national assembly, did not take this bill to parliament,” lawyer Osama Malik told Al Jazeera.

“Similarly, the provincial government of Sindh refused to legislate on this matter twice.” 


Monday, 18 April 2022

The Manners of The Believers: Covering The Mistakes of Your Brother | Shaykh Dr Yasir Qadhi


On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. Allah is helping the servant as long as the servant is helping his brother. Whoever follows a path in order to seek knowledge thereby, Allah will make easy doe him, due to it, a path to Paradise. No people gather together in a house of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descended upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them and Allah makes mention of them to those in His presence. Whoever is slowed by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.” (Recorded in Muslim)

“Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter.”