Tag Archives: Women

Circumcision vs. Mutilation: is there a Difference between the two?!!!

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Circumcision in Islām is of 2-Types:

1. Male-Circumcision-

Male-Circumcision consists of removing the Male-Prepuce/Foreskin, exposing the Head of the Penis.

2. Female-Circumcision-

Female-Circumcision consists of partial or complete removal of the Female-Prepuce/Clitoral-Hood, exposing the Clitoris.

Both Types of Circumcision are known to possess Precedent within Islām via the Qur’ān&Sunnah.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim) Circumcision is not Mutilation of the Human-Body, as Anti-Circumcision Advocates dishonestly propagate to be the Case, simply because Islām never textually condones Mutilation of the Human-Body in any way. Also, Circumcision isn’t some Archaic (many would even dare to argue “Barbaric”) 3rd-World Custom, as many would attempt to classify it as such. Rather, the Islāmic-Origins of Circumcision actually begin when Allah commanded Abraham (Peace be upon him) to establish Circumcision: to circumcise himself, along with all Male-Members of his Household.(Qasas-ul-Anbiyā’/Stories Of The Prophets, ibn-Kathīr) And, thus proving that Circumcision not only predates the Revelation of the Qur’ān, but that it also is predicated by Revelation which Allah imposed upon Abraham: the Friend of Allah…the Father of the Prophets.

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Since this Discussion is particular to Female-Circumcision: it must be noted that the Islāmic-Allowance of Female-Circumcision is in no way akin to Female Genital Mutilation, because of what I’ve already mentioned prior, pertaining to Islām never condoning Mutilation of the Human-Body & by virtue of the fact that there’s no Islāmic-Texts stating that Female-Circumcision is Mafrūdh/Mandatory.

Rather, Female-Circumcision is something which is Mubāh (Neutral/Optional), as is proven within the following Text:

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Now, based upon this particular Hadīth/Prophetic-Narration, it’s Clear that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) never mandated nor abolished Female-Circumcision, yet only advised/warned, commanded that it must not be done in an Extreme-Fashion. Based upon what we know concerning FGM, it’s obvious that this is the Extreme-Fashion in which Muhammad set out to avoid & forbade from taking place.

There’s very blatant differences between Female-Circumcision, which is Islāmically-Acceptable vs. FGM, which is Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited, by virtue of the Harm which is caused by it. In fact, in Islām, we as Muslims are commanded to avoid Harm at any/all Costs. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.2, V.195; an-Nawawī)

The following Diagram proves my Point:

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Let’s review the above Diagram (B.  Type I [A. Prepuce removal only]): it paints a Clear-Picture, that B. Type I (A.Prepuce removal only) is the only Islāmically-Acceptable form of Female-Circumcision, and therefore could never be FGM. The other Figures  within this Diagram clearly describe/define that these other Types are not Circumcision; rather, these are Types of Mutilation/FGM. In the Modern-World: I must agree that most Places Worldwide where Female-Circumcision takes place don’t use proper Medical-Technology, nor Sanitary/Hygienic Tools and/or Facilities to conduct Female-Circumcision correctly, according to Islām. So, under these Conditions, coupled with the Reality that Female-Circumcision isn’t Islāmically-Mandatory anyway, I do advocate that Female-Circumcision generally should/must be discontinued in Places where there’s no proper Facilitation that Female-Circumcision: 1. Won’t be done correctly, according to Islām…2. Could/would result in Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks for Women. And, unfortunately, there’s enough Evidence that Female-Circumcision (1. Based upon Unhealthy-Methods of it being done…2. Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks) should/must be discontinued.

In Islām, if something isn’t Obligatory: if there’s a higher Probability that Muslims won’t be able to maintain it and/or do it correctly, not only is it Islāmically-Allowable to discontinue it (depending on what it is), it would also then be Islāmically-Mandatory to discontinue it, if the Harm resulting from it becomes greater than its Benefit.

The following Hadīth gives us Precedent, as to the Islāmic-Allowability to discontinue something which is not Mafrūdh:20170802_183904In Conclusion, let 1-Thing remain Crystal-Clear: Female-Circumcision is in no Way akin to Female Genital Mutilation. So, do not…I repeat, do not continue to allow Ignorant/Islāmophobic (Muslims and/or Non-Muslims) People attempt to treat Circumcision and FGM as though they’re the same Things, because they’re clearly not akin to one another at all. And, stop allowing them to promote this Fallacy that FGM is supported by Islām.
Gareth Bryant/2017

The reason why Muslim-Women are against Polygyny & why Muslim-Men can’t really blame them:

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Author’s-Note:
There’s going to be a lot of controversy behind the release of this article. But, that’s ok because that’s what Gareth Bryant is all about.

Allah states: “Men are Responsible for Women.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34) And, this status of Qawwamah/Responsibility, that Allah has placed upon Men, to be Responsible for Women, consists of any/all elements of the Human-Experience. But, in the interest of time, I’ll just focus on a few of them, which could very well, ironically, encompass any other facets of Responsibility. Sadly, the problem is that we, as Muslim-Men, really don’t match-up to the standards of Qawwamah for Women that Allah requires of us, neither within the Qur’an nor the Prophetic-Tradition.

All Women (Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) are attracted to Quwwah/Power, which linguistically intersects with the word Qawwamah.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Yet, Power, within our Modern-World, is something that the typical Muslim-Male has either forfeited, never experienced, or is just pathetically powerless.

Here are some of the many avenues of Power, as is manifested in many significantly different ways:

Intelligence-
Intellectual prowess is something that Women value very highly. Women require to be stimulated on an intellectual plateau. They want to be with someone who can & will stimulate and challenge them, intellectually…no Woman wants a dumb Dude.

Religion-
A Man with strong religious-convictions are qualities that Women are very impressed with, because it shows that he has spiritual structure, boundaries, self-restraint, morals, character, etc.

Politics-
Women respect a Man who is able to control his surroundings, his environment, to be able to dictate policy, which can & will ensure the preservation, goodwill, safety, security of all.

Wealth-
Women want to be maintained…they want to live comfortably, without having to do it all themselves, without having to struggle financially. Women require Men to be able to stand on their own 2-feet, to have some type of financial independence, stability, security, etc.

Sexuality-
Women want a Man who knows what he’s doing in the bedroom. They want a Man to treat them respectfully, yet at the exact same time, take them places sexually that they’ve never been before.

Humor-
Every Woman wants a Man who can make them laugh, when they’re sad, to be able to bring a smile & joyful mood to their person.

Now, contrary to popular-opinion, the reason why the Muslim-Woman doesn’t generally approve or is privy to a Muslim-Man having more than 1-Wife/Multiple-Wives aren’t any of the cop-out reasons some try to give like:

1. Jealousy-
The Wives of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the best of Women in Human-History (May Allah be pleased with them), often displayed acts & fits of jealousy against one another, over being married to Muhammad. However, his house was still in order, his wives never had to go out into the streets to get food, clothing or shelter, he made sure that these elements of Human sustainability, protection, safety, security, were well taken care of for his wives.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum/The Sealed-Nectar)

2. Emotional-Disproportion-
This plays on number one a lil’ bit, because the Wives of Muhammad also displayed, at times, disdain for one another, as a result of vying for the affection of Muhammad. In fact, there’s a Hadith/Narration concerning one wife knocking food onto the floor, because Muhammad had decided to eat food made by another one of his wives.(al-Bukhari)

3. Men wanting younger Women-
One of the biggest & most obvious ways to disprove this is the fact that most of the Wives of Muhammad were similar in age as he was. In fact, `Ai’shah was (via [Islamic-Scholarly] Ijma`/Unanimity) the youngest wife that he had ever married. Also, his 1st-Wife, Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was (via Ijma`) the oldest Woman that he had ever married: they were married even before he had been given Prophecy, 15-years prior, to be exact & she was 15-years his senior. And, she was the only Woman that he was ever married to prior to her death, which was 13-years after Muhammad had become a Prophet.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum)

4. Lack of ability to spend equal time with all of one’s Wives-
Muhammad had 9-wives at one time; yet, he was able to be a Prophet, a Military-Leader, a Father, a Community-Leader, a Diplomat, a Statesman, and he was also able to give time to all of his wives, relative to their respective needs. Now, if he were able to wear these many hats & perform the duties attached to each of them to their fullest capacity, yet was still able to be the best of husbands to all of the wives he ever had, then, surely, the Muslim-Man, who is religiously-relegated to only having up to 4-wives at a time, can handle 2, or three additional wives to the 1 wife they are currently married to.

Rather, the true reason why so many Muslim-Women are growing more unwilling to agree to their respective husbands to have multiple-wives is simply because they genuinely believe that we’re not even deserving of this. And, why do I say this? The answer will make sense, trust me. Most of the Muslim-World is a direct product of Colonization, nation-building/nation-making, by the Oppressor & with the help of power-hungry, sinful, Muslims, etc. Now, within this process, there have been, unfortunately, so many, too many, atrocities that have plagued the Muslim-World, particularly Muslim-Women, like: being raped, forced to leave Islam at the hands of Non-Muslims, while the Men of the Muslim-World have largely stood by & have done nothing about it. All of the prior things I’ve mentioned, the facets of Power, which are seen in fruition in everyday Life, all around us-To be able to execute the manifestation of any/all of the above means that one possesses an immense amount of Power.

However, within the Muslim-World today, we tend to be very lacking in our manifestations of these particular facets of Power, especially referring to the following: Intelligence…Religion…Politics…Wealth:

1. Intellectual-Weakness-
Muslims have no say as to how Academic policies are conjured, concepted, carried out, etc. We are just influenced by the order of the day by other People, with their Anti-Islamic intellectual theories, like Atheism, Darwinism, etc. In fact, ironically, Atheists/Anti-Theists have more influence within the Academic-World than Muslims do & historically, many of the World’s 1st Universities were incepted by Muslims, several centuries ago.

2. Religious-Weakness-
There Muslims who are Billionaires, like Prince al-Walid ibn-Talal, of Saudi Arabia, nicknamed “The Arab Warren Buffet”, whom have invested their wealth into companies like NewsCorp, which owns FoxNews, the most Islamophobic media-outlet the Human-Race has ever known. This proves that Muslims don’t even control/can’t even control how our own religious image & narrative is portrayed within the media, because here we have one of the most affluent Muslims, in Human-History, financing the Oppressor, against the Oppressed, who happen to largely be his own fellow Muslims.

3. Political-Weakness-
There is no country on Earth, right now, where the Muslim-Woman is 100% secure from getting abused, raped, forced into Prostitution, Slavery, etc. Countless cases have even actually indicated that many of the World’s Oil-Rich Muslim/Arab nations have been responsible for some of the highest Human-Rights Violations against Muslim-Women, on all levels. I’ve already mentioned some of the too many historical instances in which invaders of the lands of the Muslims (both Muslims & Non-Muslims) have pillaged & raped, and forced into Prostitution as well as Slavery, untold thousands, if not millions, of Muslim-Women. And, the Men of the Muslim-World have done nearly nothing, basically nothing to prevent this or to avenge these types of atrocities that our Muslim-Women have been forced to endure, by our own hands, as well as by the hands of Non-Muslims.

4. Financial-Weakness-
With all of the World’s wealthy Billionaire/Millionaire Muslims, there’s absolutely no excuse as to why Poverty exists on planet Earth, particularly/especially within the Muslim-World. And, this is actually how we know that there are Muslims aren’t even properly paying 2.5% of their wealth in az-Zakah/Annual Obligatory (the 3rd among the 5-Pillars of Islam).(Minhaj-ul-Muslim/The Methodology of the Muslim) The reason why I’m bold enough to say this is because there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that if every Wealthy-Muslim on this planet were to truly pay 2.5% worth of az-Zakah, on their personal-wealth (their net-wealth), there’s absolutely no way that there would/could be any hungry, homeless, jobless Humans on Earth. If the Wealthy-Muslims were to truly implement the payment of true Zakah, the World wouldn’t need the usury-based, exploitative International Monetary Fund, the World-Bank, etc. The World would be able to come to the Muslims for economic balance, fairness, justice, sustainability, etc.

Now, for those of you whom happen to be Men, Muslim-Men especially, reading this article: try looking at these very unfortunate realities, from a Woman’s point of view: knowing the sheer weakness of the Muslim-Man, who has largely no Power of his own to wield globally, where the Muslim-Man has basically become an international Joke-of-the-Party, then, why should Muslim-Women want to have Men like us having more than one Wife? Basically, we don’t have our shit together. Take a look at all of the atrocities that have befallen the Muslim-Woman, within the 19th-Century alone: the inhumane tragedies in the Middle-East (during World-War I), North Africa (during World-War II), The Balkans & the USSR/Russia (during the 90’s), India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iraq, and the list can go on forever. The Muslim-Man is in absolutely no position to secure the sanctity, the integrity, of the Muslim-Woman. And, that’s the real reason why they are not comfortable with the Muslim-Man having multiple-wives, particularly/especially within the confines of the Western-World, where Feminism is King (an ironic hyperbole obviously), our Muslim-Women are being influenced to the extent that Men generally, particularly/especially that Muslim-Men are completely useless, which unfortunately, we’ve proven that very ugly & malicious stereotype right for far too long.

The issue of Muslim-Women being against Polygyny honestly has so much more to with the inadequacies of the Muslim-Man to serve his environment & protect his Women. Trust me: if the Muslim-Man had his shit together, no Muslim-Woman on planet Earth would have any justification as to why they wouldn’t be in favor of Polygyny at all. But, the weakness of the Muslim-Man gives them that justification, that the Enemies of Islam have helped to indoctrinate the Muslim-Man with, to disempower him, as in the Pharaonic mentality that Allah mentions within the Qur’an, “kill the Men & spare the Women”.

Gareth Bryant/2014

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.

Breast-Cancer Awareness: It’s not just a Women’s-Issue…It’s our Issue!!!

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With the permission of Allah, Muslims Giving Back will be participating, as volunteers, advocates, walkers, at this year’s annual Breast-Cancer Walk in Central Park in New York City.

These are the reasons why Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, is participating:

1. For every Mother, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Son by her side.

2. For every Daughter, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Father by her side.

3. For every Sister, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Brother by her side.

4. For every Wife, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Husband by her side.

There’s one particular fact that people, whom don’t know, have to recognize/accept:

1. Breast-Cancer is like the Female version of Prostate-Cancer for Men: every Woman, within her respective lifetime, if she lives long enough, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this will in fact impact her life, in some way…it’s one of the leading-causes of deaths among Women, particularly within the United States.

2. Statistically, although not nearly as common, Men have also been documented to have acquired Breast-Cancer; so, none of us, as Men, should ever dare think that this disease is Gyno-Centric, that it only affects Women.
Allah says, “Men are Responsible for (supporting) Women.”. (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34)

These (4-types of) Women, that I’ve mentioned previously, are the most-important Women in any Man’s life, and these Women do so much, for us, yet we do very little/if nothing for them…we need to change that & it needs to start by supporting them via supporting Breast-Cancer awareness…Any/all Men, whom are able to make it to this walk, in New York City, must go…and, if you are going, think of your own, personal reasons why you’re participating in the Breast-Cancer Walk, in support of awareness concerning one of the most relevant health-crises effecting the most-important Women in our lives…no exceptions!!!

(Trust me when I tell you) Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the greatest, created-thing that Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe ever created, the greatest person whom was ever given Revelation, the greatest Prophet, he greatest Messenger, the greatest, Son, Father, Brother, Husband, that any Woman could ever want or ask for: if he were alive, today, among us, he would most-definitely attend a walk such as a Breast-Cancer Walk, because that was both his (Prophetic & personal) nature, that’s why Allah sent hm, with the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, to show us how to work, strive, fight, help make the existence/lives of others better, via Community-Service, through service of one’s Fellow-Man.

For more info. about how to support the noble-efforts of Muslims Giving Back, in our efforts to spread Breast-Cancer Awareness, please, visit us online:

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org/

2012 in review:

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

My Message to the Women of the World:

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Humza Oza pic

Author’s note:

This lovely poem has been duly written by Humza Oza, a heavy-hearted individual, with a lot of substance, and a lot of important & beautiful things to write about.

Why don’t you see?

And continue to suffer indignity

Hijab is not what brings you down
Verily, your scarf is your crown

For you see in Islam, women are royalty
Virtuous and filled with true beauty

And only for worthy eyes to see

So you see, the veil is not opression
Nor does it bring women in depression

Women of the World

Do you now see?
Hijab is what truly sets you free

Humza Oza/2013

Some Brief Islamic-History (Islam’s female version of the “Dream-Team”):

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Author’s note:

I’ve written this exclusively to address the fallacies of people whom are Islamophobic, who state that Islam has no respect for women, and that it’s even religiously-sanctioned in Islam to mistreat women, all of which are complete not at all true.  However, ironically, unfortunately, sadly, there are Muslims out there who attempt to justify the abuse of women via the religion of Islam. What my writing is merely meant to do is to highlight just some of so many known female figures in Islam, whom Allah has honored to such a magnified degree.

1. Eve-
The mother of the Human race, Eve (also known as Hawwa’ [Peace be upon her]) is the pinnacle of womanhood. The first to mother a child-She was the first to nurturer & educate people. She was the first woman to cover herself, commanding respect, honor, pride, and dignity, by not revealing her body to others, setting an ever important precedent & example for any & all of her female descendants to come after her.

2. Hager-
Known as Hajar in Arabic, Hager (Peace be upon her) was the wife & mother of Prophets, Abraham, her husband & Ishmael, her son (Peace be upon both of them). She taught us all how to deal with the separation of family, during hard times. She taught us that a woman can raise a man, in the absence of a father. She taught us the resilience, drive, ambition, and iron-will that is required for survival. She taught us gratitude, in the absence of security & hope.

3. Mary-
The mother of Jesus (Peace be upon him), Mary, known as Maryam in Arabic (Peace be upon her) was an outcast of the Children of Israel, because she had a child, but no father for him. Because of this, she was scrutinized, ridiculed, and slandered. But, through all of this, she was still an honorable woman & a mother like no other, whom in the face of adversity, raised a man, whom Allah is well-pleased with, who became a Prophet, Messenger, the Christ, and will return to this Earth, as the one who will rid the world of the corruption of the Anti-Christ. Through Allah’s guidance & direction, Mary gave her son his foundation, to commit himself to the service of his creator.

4. Khadijah-
The first wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), our mother Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was the first from among his nation to believe in his Prophethood & the first to accept the teachings of Islam, even when he doubted the legitimacy of his own calling. She gave him the encouragement that he needed to endure through those early years in Makkah, when he really didn’t know whether he was suitable for this mission, and when the Muslims were mocked & persecuted, just for their belief in the existence & oneness of Allah. There was never anyone before or after her whom the Prophet could’ve individually count on for moral support in the fashion that was provided to him by Khadijah.

5. `A’ishah-
The wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & the daughter of his most trusted friend, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), our mother `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) set the standard for leadership & scholarship among women. She set an unprecedented & unchallenged authority of narrating the most Prophetic-Statements about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), about his military campaigns, his home/family life, his character, his business practices, his humor. All of the narrations about Muhammad, through her, gave us humanized aspects of his life, that we may have never known without her exposing them to us, through teaching them to countless persons, many of whom were men. After all, she came from a society where women were not Humanly valued as they should be. But, through the guidance of Islam, she was able to establish herself as a religious, social, and political authority that no one would dare violate the sanctity of.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Women & Women’s History Month (Part III):

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Women worth all the respect in the world:

1. Eve-
The mother of the Human race, Eve (also known as Hawwa’ [Peace be upon her]) is the pinnacle of womanhood. The first to mother a child-She was the first to nurturer & educate people. She was the first woman to cover herself, commanding respect, honor, pride, and dignity, by not revealing her body to others, setting an ever important precedent & example for any & all of her female descendants to come after her.

2. Hager-
Known as Hajar in Arabic, Hager (Peace be upon her) was the wife & mother of Prophets, Abraham, her husband & Ishmael, her son (Peace be upon both of them). She taught us all how to deal with the separation of family, during hard times. She taught us that a woman can raise a man, in the absence of a father. She taught us the resilience, drive, ambition, and iron-will that is required for survival. She taught us gratitude, in the absence of security & hope.

3. Mary-
The mother of Jesus (Peace be upon him), Mary, known as Maryam in Arabic (Peace be upon her) was an outcast of the Children of Israel, because she had a child, but no father for him. Because of this, she was scrutinized, ridiculed, and slandered. But, through all of this, she was still an honorable woman & a mother like no other, whom in the face of adversity, raised a man, whom Allah is well-pleased with, who became a Prophet, Messenger, the Christ, and will return to this Earth, as the one who will rid the world of the corruption of the Anti-Christ. Through Allah’s guidance & direction, Mary gave her son his foundation, to commit himself to the service of his creator.

4. Khadijah-
The first wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), our mother Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was the first from among his nation to believe in his Prophethood & the first to accept the teachings of Islam, even when he doubted the legitimacy of his own calling. She gave him the encouragement that he needed to endure through those early years in Makkah, when he really didn’t know whether he was suitable for this mission, and when the Muslims were mocked & persecuted, just for their belief in the existence & oneness of Allah. There was never anyone before or after her whom the Prophet could’ve individually count on for moral support in the fashion that was provided to him by Khadijah.

5. `A’ishah-
The wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & the daughter of his most trusted friend, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), our mother `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) set the standard for leadership & scholarship among women. She set an unprecedented & unchallenged authority of narrating the most Prophetic-Statements about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), about his military campaigns, his home/family life, his character, his business practices, his humor. All of the narrations about Muhammad, through her, gave us humanized aspects of his life, that we may have never known without her exposing them to us, through teaching them to countless persons, many of whom were men. After all, she came from a society where women were not Humanly valued as they should be. But, through the guidance of Islam, she was able to establish herself as a religious, social, and political authority that no one would dare violate the sanctity of.

My thoughts on Women & Women’s History Month (Part II):

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Women are the best!!!

Women are so important to both you and me.
It’s so obvious; yet, we still can’t come to see.

They are our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends & comforters.
Yet, we show no thanks in return for selflessly giving all of themselves.

We depend upon women in so many ways, we don’t even realize.
It’s through them, that Allah has decided to ensure that we survive.

When we are young, frail & weak, they provide us with nutrition.
They give us all that they have, and without any type of hesitation.

They always care for us, setting us on the right path, so we won’t go astray.
But, when it’s time for us care & do for them, we’re so quick to turn away.

We often forget that when we’re at a state of strength, they helped us to get there.
Loving, nurturing & supporting us from birth to manhood, they don’t ever despair.

All that they have, they give; but, we seem to have no concern whether they lived or died.
Allah made them special parts our lives, to be their allies, to stand with them, side by side.

They are so important to all of us because without them, there’s no us.
And, without us there’s no them; so, helping them to improve is a plus.

It is high time to stand & defend women, let them know that we will never abandon them.
We need to view the woman as she truly is, the most valued of our race, our Human gem.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Women & Women’s History Month (Part I):

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Author’s note:
Since the month March is Women’s History Month, I will be writing several things about women, at random times during this month. In this particular post, I plan to highlight some things about the unjust treatment of women all around the world, particularly & especially in the Muslim-World, more specifically in the Arab-World. I find it very relevant & important that we are made aware of the realities of the general mistreatment of women everywhere. The subject matter in which my discussion will be based upon highlights only one of many types of problems which women globally face.

Human-Trafficking & the hypocrisy of Politics which fuels it:
Human-Trafficking is a Human disease of the heart. It’s a disgusting industry, which ruins the lives of millions of Human beings each and every day, particularly the lives of women & young girls. It is my hope that this post will shed some knowledge and/or awareness of the reality of the ugliness of Human-Trafficking, whose involved & who profits from it.

What is Human-Trafficking?
Human-Trafficking-
The illegal trade, transportation of Human beings, for the exclusive purposes of reproductive slavery and/or commercial sexual exploitation (i.e. prostitution), forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery.

The Evils of Human-Trafficking:
I won’t go through the ridiculously long lists of stats, which recall how sinister this trade is. It’s very obvious how inhumane & disgusting Human-Trafficking is. However, what I do plan to do is expose the incredible levels of hypocrisy, which are displayed, when countries like the United States condemns nations who indulge in Human-Trafficking, yet the ironic fact is that in countries which are red-flagged as being the lowest-tier Human-Trafficking countries (meaning the the nations with the highest reported cases of Human-Trafficking), are outright allies of the United States & vice-versa.

These countries which I plan to highlight for this discussion are the following:
Bahrain-
Bahrain is a country where both men & women from places like India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, migrate voluntarily to work as domestic workers or as unskilled laborers in the construction and service industries. But, unfortunately, they are often duped & coerced into forced labor & more specifically, forced prostitution. Some of the classic abuses that people who migrate to Bahrain, in search of greater economic opportunities for themselves & their families are the following: unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on traveling through the country, under-handed contract substitution, non-payment of wages, threats, and even physical or sexual abuse.

According to a study, by the Bahraini government’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), 65% of average migrant workers in Bahrain had not seen their employment contracts, and 89% of migrant workers were unaware of their terms of employment upon arrival in Bahrain. Many labor recruitment agencies in Bahrain require workers to pay high recruitment fees, a practice which makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in the country. This same LMRA study also revealed that 70% of migrant workers either borrowed money or sold property, in their countries of origin, in order to secure employment in Bahrain.

Some Bahraini employers illegally charge workers non-contractual fees in order to keep them in Bahrain, working for third-party employers, under the “free-visa” arrangement facade. The LMRA estimates that 10% of migrant workers in Bahrain work under illegal “free-visa” arrangements, a practice that can contribute to debt-bondage. The Bahraini Chamber of Commerce and Industry puts this statistic at 25%. Women whom are most likely forced into prostitution in Bahrain are from Thailand, the Philippines, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, China, Vietnam and Eastern European states.

Israel-
In Israel, men and women are trafficked & often used for forced labor and commercial prostitution. Low-skilled workers from China, Romania, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India flock to Israel for contract labor in the construction, agriculture, and health care industries. Israeli migrant workers are often confronted terrible conditions of forced labor. Many labor recruitment agencies in Israel charge fees ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. This causes migrant workers in Israel to become highly vulnerable to trafficking once in the country, and in some cases, situations of debt-bondage are ever prevalent. Israel is also a destination country for women being trafficked from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Belarus, China, South Korea and possibly the Philippines, for the exclusive purposes of sexual exploitation. In addition, NGO’s note an increase in the internal trafficking of Israeli nationals, for commercial sexual exploitation, and report new instances of trafficking of Israeli women abroad to Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Kuwait-
Men and women readily migrate to Kuwait, from countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines, looking for employment as domestic servants or low-skilled laborers. Upon arrival, however, some are often subjected to conditions of forced labor, especially women, who are most often, once caught up in the web of Human-Trafficking,  forced into commercial sexual exploitation. For example, some female domestic workers are forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers, or after being deceived with promises of employment in different sectors. Kuwait is also a transit country for South and East Asian workers recruited by Kuwaiti labor recruitment agencies for low-skilled work in Iraq. Oftentimes, these workers are deceived, as to the true location and nature of this work, while others willingly transit to Iraq through Kuwait, but endure conditions of involuntary servitude while in Iraq. Some Kuwaiti nationals have even reportedly traveled to foreign destinations, including Morocco, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh to engage indulge commercial sexual exploitation.

Oman-
For men and women, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, some of whom are subjected to being trafficked, specifically under conditions indicative of forced labor, Oman is a haven for Human-Trafficking. Most of these South and Southeast Asian migrants travel willingly to Oman, with the expectation of employment as either domestic servants, or as low-skilled workers in the country’s construction, agriculture, or service industries. Some of them face conditions indicative of working for long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.

Recruitment agents, as well as labor brokers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Iran, very often deceive workers into accepting work, that in some instances constitutes forced labor. Many of these agencies produce falsified contracts for employment, either with fictitious employers or with fictitious wage rates, charging workers high recruitment fees (often exceeding $1,000), and urge workers to enter Oman with tourist-visas. Oman is also a destination and transit country for women from China, India, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and South Asia, who may be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, generally by nationals of their own countries. Male Pakistani laborers, and others from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and East Asia, transit Oman en route to the UAE, are often exploited in situations of forced labor upon reaching their countries of destination.

Qatar-
People from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China travel to Qatar as laborers and domestic servants, but some face very inhumane conditions once in Qatar, among many other things, predominately involuntary servitude. These conditions include threats of serious physical or financial harm, withholding wages, charging workers unnecessarily for employment benefits, which the employer is fully responsible for by default, traveling restrictions, including the confiscation of passports and identification documents, illegal detention, threats of deportation, as well as physical, mental, and sexual abuse. In some cases, arriving migrant workers have found that the terms of employment in Qatar are wholly different from those they had previously agreed to in their home countries. Individuals employed as domestic servants are particularly vulnerable to Human-Trafficking, since they are not covered under the provisions of the labor laws in Qatar. Small numbers of foreign workers transit Qatar and are forced to work on farms in Saudi Arabia. Qatar is also a destination for women who become caught up in prostitution-rings, but the extent to which these women are subjected to forced prostitution is unknown.

Saudi Arabia-
Regarding Human-Trafficking, Saudi Arabia is notoriously known to not fully comply with the minimum standards of anti-trafficking enforcement & are currently not any making significant efforts to do so. Saudi Arabia is a destination for both men & women, from South East Asia & East Africa, to be trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation. Also, children, from countries like Yemen & Afghanistan, have very often been trafficking victims, for forced begging. Hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers from places like India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya migrate travel to Saudi Arabia, some fall into conditions of involuntary servitude, suffering from physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, withholding of identification & traveling documents, restrictions on their freedom to travel within Saudi itself and non-consensual contract alterations. According to international organizations, such as the Ansar Burney Trust, young children from Bangladesh and India are also smuggled into Saudi Arabia, to be used as camel-jockeys. These children are underfed, to reduce their weights, in order to lighten the load on the camels used for racing. Saudi Arabia has been classified as having a Human-Trafficking Tier-3 status, since 2005.

United Arab Emirates-
Women from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Philippines travel  to the U.A.E. to work as domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude such as excessive work hours without pay, unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on traveling, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. Oftentimes, they are not even given legitimate employment, but rather, they’re smuggled into the sex trade in the U.A.E.
Similarly, men from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are drawn to the U.A.E. to work in the construction industry, but are often subjected to similar conditions of coercive labor, as we as debt-bondage, as they work to pay off recruitment costs, often exceeding the equivalent of a 2-year salary. Women from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Uganda, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, the Philippines, Iraq, Iran, and Morocco are reportedly trafficked to the U.A.E. for commercial prostitution.

Non-Emirate women are reportedly recruited to work as secretaries or hotel workers by third-party recruiters, perhaps even in their countries of origin. But, they were often coerced into prostitution or involuntary domestic servitude. The U.A.E. may also serve as a transit country for women trafficked into forced labor in Oman, and men deceived into working involuntarily in Iraq. And, much like the neighboring Tier-3, oil-rich Arab states, which border the U.A.E., the Emirate government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of Human-Trafficking.

What all of these countries have in common-
What these countries have in common is their collective importance to U.S. interests in the Middle-East. each of these countries provide enormous resources, like petroleum, as well as influence & insight into the Muslim-World, the Arab-World, and the region known as the Middle-East generally, which is essential for America to maintain dominance in this part of the world. These particular countries are highly valued by the U.S. America has deeply vested interests in the economic sustainability as well as the geo-political survival of these nations, against any of their would-be rivals in the region. Likewise, these nations have also managed to acquire a substantial influential foot-hole into the economic fabric of the U.S., to such an extent that many of these countries have so much money invested into our economy, that if they were to remove their assets, America’s entire economy would collapse. And, because of this need for the U.S. to keep these countries invested in the American economy & to ensure the safety & security of these regimes to stay in power, they’re willing to turn blind-eyes when it comes to things like Human-Trafficking.

Honestly, if the U.S. really wanted to do something really substantial to these countries, for their lack of diligence in dealing with the issue of Human-Trafficking, they would put them on blast at U.N. meetings, commence economic-sanctions against these countries, decrease the amounts of foreign-aid given to these countries, decrease their consumption of foreign goods from these countries, thereby making the economies of these Human-Trafficking havens stronger via U.S.-patronage, etc. But, which should not be surprising, none of what I’ve mentioned is happening, and it won’t happen, so long as the symbiotic relationship between money & power exist in our world.

The U.S. thrives particularly upon maintaining its dominance & influence in the Middle-East, via supporting the following countries mentioned whom clearly, blatantly violate the sanctity of basic Human-Rights, on a daily basis; yet, they are left alone, to do as they please.