Tag Archives: Feminist

A Commentary on the “Muslim Women are Cool Too” Video:

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Author’s-Note:
Allah states, within His Noble-Book: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your Wives, along with your Daughters & the Believing-Women, to cover themselves. That is to ensure that they are recognized publicly & not harassed. And, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.33, 59)

Since this “Somewhere in America Muslim Women Are Cool Too” video has went viral, basically, there has been a lot of buzz about it: good, bad, ugly & all sorts of in between. There are some whom have taken the video out of proportion from both the Conservative & Liberal camps within the Muslim-Community, anywhere/everywhere that this video has been viewed. So, what I’ve decided to do is simply ask someone,  whom is pretty much on the level socially, yet sincerely attempting to be an adherent Muslim, what are their potential concerns that this video may be projecting. I’ve decided to interview my brother Navroz Shariff, who I take to be a very balanced, well-rounded Muslims, to chime-in to personally examine this video & what image this video could possibly be sending to the public about Muslims generally, and also Muslim-Women. And, I know that a lot of People, Women (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) will take issue with Men speaking about the issue of “Hijab”, based upon a very ignorant misconception that (from both Men & Women: Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) that Islamic-Issues are monopolized by Genders, and/or that Hijab is only a Women’s-Issue…both are completely false (learn more about the reality of Hijab: http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/theoriginofthehijabofthemanwomaninislam/).

Navroz Shariff pic

G.B.: So, what do you think about this phenomenon, known as Hijabi-Culture?

N.S.: The purpose of Hijab is to be inconspicuous, not to stand out, glowing with make up and various kinds of fashion-accessories. I am afraid that this video will make guys much more curious about our sisters in Islam who wear modest-clothing and it may even get to a point where they will be disrespected in the streets, because, guys will have the mentality that they can just approach them similar to any non practicing girl or any Non-Muslim for that matter. We know those who do not cover their `Awrat/Private-Parts, wear tight-clothing, and show their shape, love the attention they receive from guys. Unfortunately, this video is tarnishing the respect that girls who wear Hijab properly deserve, because, guys will start to get the impression that girls who wear Hijab are the same as girls who don’t and are just as approachable. Have you ever seen how non-Muslim men act towards our sisters who properly cover their `Awrat? They show so much respect to them. Ask any of the Hijab-wearing sisters how a woman is in front of them wearing a skimpy-outfit gets whistled at and harassed while when the modest sister passes the guys the all just quiet down. Ironically, the non-Muslim men here in America give our sisters more respect, compared to fellow Muslims in some/many Muslim-Countries. Our sisters in those countries get groped, harassed and even raped, even when they sincerely attempt to dress modestly.

G.B.: Well, honestly, many Muslim-Women who may choose to not dress properly, Islamically, or not cover their bodies to any extent, may say, “Even without ‘Hijab’, I’m still ‘Modest'”.  So, let me ask you: what is the (Islamic) definition of Modesty?

G.B.: You can’t have modesty without HIjab & vice versa: they define one another simultaneously Both Hijab & Modesty are (jointly) signs of purity and dignity; they highlight the Muslim-Woman as a pure, chaste, integral, woman and sets her apart from the immoral-behavior associated with women who dress/behave immodestly. It is an external-protection, for chaste Muslim-Women, against the evil that exists within the world. When a woman wears a Hijab she is less likely to be harassed by men, with lusty-motives, especially here in America. For our sisters who cover and wish to be inconspicuous, in my humble opinion, this video has just put them on the radar and Non-Muslim men will begin to think they are no different than women who don tight-jeans, mini-skirts, etc., who show their `Awrat. It is bad enough for some that men in some/many Muslim-Countries showing disrespect to our sisters, now the non-Muslim men will also do the same. May Allah protect our sisters, and in particular I am thinking of my lovely wife here, and guide us all. And, for the sisters that see this as a Hijab instructional-video (believe me some do), the perpetrators in the video will all be responsible for all the sisters they mislead when standing alone in front of Allah.

G.B.: Do you think that Muslims are trying too hard for socio-cultural/socio-political acceptance in Non-Muslim-Countries/Non-Islamic societies, at the expense of their religious-integrity?

N.S.: It seems that Muslims are desperately trying to be accepted even if it means that they have to sculpt their religion to gain acceptance. They heed more the creation than the Creator. What does this say about their emaan? It may very well be a test for them from Allah which they are failing miserably. Mu`awiyah wrote to `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with them both), asking her to write him a letter giving him advice but not to make it lengthy. She wrote: ‘Peace be upon you! To proceed: I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) say, “If anyone seeks Allah’s good pleasure at the cost of people’s displeasure Allah will keep from him the trouble caused by people; but if anyone seeks people’s good pleasure at the cost of Allah’s displeasure Allah will leave him in people’s hands.”

G.B.: Are you at all biased to their views on what direction Muslims should turn towards?

N.S.: If we were to stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah, then we would not be having this discussion. Is that what you mean by that question?

G.B.: Have you previously revealed your general-views regarding this new-wave of “Islamic-Identity?

N.S.: Yes, my views I tend to write in public; but, to verify that I am not biased, I ask others that they think about my opinion, discuss with them, look at it at other angles.

G.B.: How much opposition do you/have you received as a result of your views against your stances against this brand of “Islamic-Expression/Islamic-Identity”?

So far, none. But, there are many people who condone what the video shows, and the way it depicts Muslim-Women.

G.B.: If you could have a serious-conversation with either the producers of, and/or those depicted within this video, what would you say to them, and how would you say it; meaning how would you even approach the conversation?

N.S.: Honestly, it really depends: if the producers are not Muslim, then I would question the sisters…if they both are Muslims, I would question both of them and their agenda, especially with regards to the explicit lyrics and dress-style which are contrary to Islamic practice anyway…if they are just young, then I would question the elders in the video what were they thinking and that they should know better to guide their sisters.

G.B.: Are you fearful of fellow Muslims viewing you of being “backwards”, “too conservative”, “unrefined”, “too traditional”, etc.?

N.S.: I am only fearful of Allah. Islam is not about picking and choosing what you of Islam and compromise it.

Islam is not about picking and choosing what you like of the Deen and compromising.

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A “Female-Imam”: What is this?!!!

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Pamela Taylor pic

Author’s note:

This article is exclusively based upon finding out that the person whom had wrote the Pro-Homoesxual/Same-Gender-Marriage article for AltMuslim, Pamela Taylor, apparently, has been granted the title of “Imam”. Now, What I plan to do is to simply clarify what exactly an Imam truly is, in both its linguistic, Islamically historical context, and whom has the entitlement to be labeled “Imam” in the 1st-place.

Let’s begin…linguistically:

The word, Imam, inherently, is actually from the Arabic verb “Āmma” meaning to afront/to be in front, to lead, to supersede, to head, etc. So, with that being said, anyone, theoretically/realistically can be a leader.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Tongue of the `Arab [Lexicon of the Arabic-Language])

Next, let’s examine the types/categories of Imamah/Leadership:

There are many different, universal types of Imamah/Leadership, such as the following: Parents, Teachers, Sports-Coaches/Owners, Principals, Business-Owners, etc. Any/all of these respective types of Imamah/Leadership, is for anyone/everyone. In other words, any/all Human beings are 100%-entitled to take the reigns of these manifested types of Imamah/Leadership. However, when it comes to specific religious-duties, particularly/especially within Islam, then, now, the rules must change, as to whom are allowed to possess Imamah/Leadership, as well as to which extent that Imamah/Leadership is Islamically allowed to be taken.

Now, let’s investigate the Islamic definition of “Imam” & who is justified to carry this title:

Imam, firstly, is a Masculine-Noun in the Arabic-Language, and just like any/all Nouns within the Arabic-Language, their Natures are exclusive to their Genders. In the Arabic-Language, which is the language which Allah had purposely chosen to reveal the Qur’an in (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.12, V.3), no noun (person, place, thing, concept, idea, etc.) is “unisex” or “unigender”…Every noun, which the word “Imam” is, in the Arabic-Language, has to be either masculine or feminine, exclusive for/to either males or female created-things. Even in referrence to created things which don’t have a gender, at all, like Angels, for example: the name “Khalifah”, meaning caretaker, custodian, ruler, etc., which is most commonly known by its bureaucratic definition, being the recognized global-leader of Muslims…this particular geo-political position can only be held by a Muslim-Man, and even linguistically, even though the word, Khalifah, has an apparent feminine-ending, it is still, in fact, exclusively, a masculine-word.(al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun, Jalal-ud-Din as-Suyuti; Lisan-ul-`Arab) We, then, have the word “Malak” (pl. Mala’ikah), meaning Angel, is masculine, by virtue of the fact that Angels were created, by Allah, without a gender. So, because of that, the word in Arabic, Angel, itself, as well as the actual names & characteristics of Angels, are also, by definition/extension, must be masculine. This was a very huge-issue, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), because, the Pagan-Arabs had a religious-view, that Angels were, female & the “daughters of Allah”. However, when the Qur’an was revealed, it thus clarified this degenerate religious-belief, among all of the beliefs of the Pagan-Arabs.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.37, V.149-156) So, with that being said, it becomes, thus, very clear, that any noun in the Qur’an, must, at all times, coincide with a respective gender.

Now, coming back, full-circle, to the main point of inference, the primary-topic, at hand, concerning the whole “Female-Imam” issue: we can now get our hands dirty, about this issue. The term Imam, relative to what I’m directly referring to, in the context of the claim of Pamela Taylor, as being a “Female-Imam”, we know based upon text, from both the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, as well as simply from the linguisitc-dyanmics of the Arabic-Language, that there is no way that a Muslim-Woman can be an “Imam”, in any religious-context. Before I continue, it’s fair that I go in-depth as to what an “Imam”, in the context of what Pamela Taylor is claiming: it is referring to, directly, leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women in prayers, giving the weekly Khutbah/Sermon, on the day of al-Jumu`ah/Friday. Please, note, that this has never been done, before, from among any members of the Salaf (the 1st-3-generations of Muslims, after the revelation of the Qur’an: as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them all-together], as well as the 1st & 2nd-generations of at-Tabi`in/the Followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them all-together]). And, if anyone from among the Ummah (Nation/MuslimCommunity) of Muhammad would’ve been justified to enact this practice, it would’ve definitely been these Muslim-Women, from among the Salaf & more specifically, the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), because they were, by-and-large, the most-righteous, as well as the most knowledgeable Muslim-Women, during the lifetime of Muhammad, as well as among the Salaf, and yet, none of them, participated in leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, in any prayers, nor did any of the give any Khutub (sing. Khutbah) on the day of al-Jumu`ah.

What’s interestingly-ironic is that these “Progressive-Muslim” individuals/groups, whom all co-sign this Bid`ah (Religious-Innovation) never taken into consideration that the best people among the Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an, never did this. And, it absolutely tickles me, when people reference our (religious) mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), whom wielded immense religio-scholastic, geo-political prestige & authority: her husband being Muhammad of course, the last Prophet/Messenger of Allah & her own father, Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah…AKA Ab-Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), whom religio-scholastically taught mostly Muslim-Men, her entire life, after the death of Muhammad, and even raising an army, against her own cousin-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, while he was a Khalifah (May Allah be pleased with him); yet, guess what, folks…yeah…you’ve got it…SHE NEVER LED ANY MUSLIIM-MEN IN ANY PRAYER, NOT EVEN ONE DAY, IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. As powerful as she was, in both religious-academics, as well, as on the geo-political stage, she knew that she had absolutely no justification to lead Muslim-Men in any prayers.

So, for someone to come, not days, years, decades, but, centuries, after her death, whom are clearly not as knowledgeable, Islamically, as she was, nor could they ever be, and proclaim that being a “Female-Imam” is Islamically valid, when the best of Muslim-Women, from among the best of Muslims, never did this, shows a very clear, obvious disease of the heart, which is spreading, like a wildfire with that’s HIV-infected. I, Gareth Bryant, do by, henceforth, dare to challenge, any Muslim, “Muslim-Feminist”, “Progressive-Muslim”, “Reform-Muslim”, regardless of one’s sectarian-persuasions, to provide any proof, even an abrogated-proof, from either the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the documented-practices of the Salaf, which gives any at all justification for a Muslim-Woman to be a “Female-Imam”.

Gareth Bryant/2013