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Are You A Feminist?


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#26 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:28 PM

These ahadith aren't telling women to get married young if there is a fear of falling into sin. They are telling fathers to get their daughters married young (ideally before they even menstruate), full stop. As for men being more likely to fell into sin than women, that may or may not be true, but the ahadith also say women were created with more desire:


4 – And from Muhammad b. Yahya from `Abdullah b. Muhammad from `Ali b. al-Hakam from Aban b. `Uthman from `Abd ar-Rahman b. Sayaba from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. He said: Verily Allah created Hawwa from Adam, so the ambition of women is men, so fortify them in the houses.

5 – And by the isnad from Aban from al-Wasiti from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. He said: Verily Allah created Adam from water and clay, so the ambition of the son of Adam is in water and clay. And He created Hawwa from Adam, so the ambition of women is in men, so fortify them in the houses.

6 – And from `Ali b. Muhammad from Ibn Jamhur from his father going up to him. He said: Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã said in one of his speeches: Verily the ambition of the beasts is their stomachs. And verily the women, their ambition is men.

7 – And from a number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from al-Husayn b. `Alwan from Sa`d b. Tarif from al-Asbagh b. Nabata. He said: Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã said: Allah ÚÒø æÌáø created desire in ten parts. So He put nine parts in women, and a single part in men. And had Allah ÚÒø æÌáø not put in them modesty in proportion to the parts of desire, there would be for every man nine women attached to him.

8 – And from them from Ahmad from Muhammad b. Sinan from Abu Khalid al-Qammat from Durays from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. He said: I heard him saying: Verily women were given the sexual potency (bud`) of twelve and the patience of twelve.

10 – And from Muhammad b. Yahya from [one of – in a manuscript] our companions from Marwak b. `Ubayd from Zur`a from Sama`a b. Mihran from Abu Basir. He said: I heard Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã saying: The woman has been made to excel over the man with ninety-nines (portions) of desire. However Allah has cast modesty upon her.



You just said it, women are created with modesty. They have stronger desires than men but they also have patience. You're still on the whole marriage aspect of this discussion. I assure you that for men it recommend just as much if not more to get married. Also, none of this says that a woman can't take care of herself. Khadija is the perfect example here and the only example I could think of right now. She took care of herself and if you noticed she actually got married very late. She was around. 45 when she got married and correct me of I'm wrong but she had a very successful business and was rich. Who better to learn from, haydar, than the favored wife of the prophet and the mother of Fatima?

#27 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:36 PM

You just said it, women are created with modesty. They have stronger desires than men but they also have patience. You're still on the whole marriage aspect of this discussion. I assure you that for men it recommend just as much if not more to get married. Also, none of this says that a woman can't take care of herself. Khadija is the perfect example here and the only example I could think of right now. She took care of herself and if you noticed she actually got married very late. She was around. 45 when she got married and correct me of I'm wrong but she had a very successful business and was rich. Who better to learn from, haydar, than the favored wife of the prophet and the mother of Fatima?


Men should also get married young, but due to the fact that they need to support a family, and also normally reach the age of bulugh at a later age, it's not usually at as young an age as women.

Regarding Khadija (as), she was almost certainly not 45 (or 40 as is more often claimed) when she married the Prophet (pbuh), since that would have made her too hold to have as many children as she did, paricularly since she would have been in her 60's when Fatima (as) was born. In fact, the other age mentioned about her in history books in 28, and this seems far more realistic, as well as being the age Shias often take. By the way, there is also the possibility that she was divorced or widowed before marrying the Prophet (pbuh), which seems likely given her age.

I would say who better to learn from than the leader of the women of paradise and all the worlds, Sayyida Fatima (as). She was even better than her mother, and had the benefit of not living during the time of Jahiliyyah, where they didn't know what was recommended in Islam.

Edited by Haydar Husayn, 26 December 2011 - 12:37 PM.


#28 Ruq

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

People can't just use words to mean something they don't.


Yeah, like redefining the word 'woman' to include children, for instance and 'justice' and 'fair' in ways that are 'unjust' and 'unfair'...funny how people manage to do what suits themselves one way or another, so glad you quoted hadith to illustrate how historically prevelent it is.

#29 Marbles

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:50 PM

Can we please stop back and forth arguments and stick to the topic of the thread, which, I must say, is great. As many women should answer as many questions as possible.
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#30 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:51 PM

Yeah, like redefining the word 'woman' to include children, for instance and 'justice' and 'fair' in ways that are 'unjust' and 'unfair'...funny how people manage to do what suits themselves one way or another, so glad you quoted hadith to illustrate how historically prevelent it is.


The term woman is usually reserved for adults, and in Islam a female reached adulthood at the age of 9, or at the latest when she starts menstruating. According to this definition, where did I misuse the word?

Also, show me from Islamic teachings where I promote injustice or unfairness. The problem for you, as always, is your mind is imprisoned by your upbringing, and you have deluded yourself into thinking it has made you openminded, when it has done the exact opposite. There is little logic or objectivity in your posts, just a rejection of anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or that goes outside the consensus of modern society.

#31 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 03:04 PM

Men should also get married young, but due to the fact that they need to support a family, and also normally reach the age of bulugh at a later age, it's not usually at as young an age as women.

Regarding Khadija (as), she was almost certainly not 45 (or 40 as is more often claimed) when she married the Prophet (pbuh), since that would have made her too hold to have as many children as she did, paricularly since she would have been in her 60's when Fatima (as) was born. In fact, the other age mentioned about her in history books in 28, and this seems far more realistic, as well as being the age Shias often take. By the way, there is also the possibility that she was divorced or widowed before marrying the Prophet (pbuh), which seems likely given her age.

I would say who better to learn from than the leader of the women of paradise and all the worlds, Sayyida Fatima (as). She was even better than her mother, and had the benefit of not living during the time of Jahiliyyah, where they didn't know what was recommended in Islam.



Is there a Hadith or anything that states that Khadija was in her late 20's?

#32 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:44 PM

4 – And from Muhammad b. Yahya from `Abdullah b. Muhammad from `Ali b. al-Hakam from Aban b. `Uthman from `Abd ar-Rahman b. Sayaba from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Verily Allah created Hawwa from Adam, so the ambition of women is men, so fortify them in the houses.

5 – And by the isnad from Aban from al-Wasiti from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Verily Allah created Adam from water and clay, so the ambition of the son of Adam is in water and clay. And He created Hawwa from Adam, so the ambition of women is in men, so fortify them in the houses.


From what I know, we don't really believe that Lady Hawaa (peace be upon her) was created from Adam (as) or his ribs.

Is there a Hadith or anything that states that Khadija was in her late 20's?


Well, I do remember once Sayed Muhammed al Musawi was asked about this on the "Q & A" program on Ahlulbayt TV. He suoported the view that she was around 20 something. I just remember one of the arguements he posed and it was something like when the Prophet (pbuh) was burying her, there was a mention of how long they had been married and in other narrations, her age at death has been mentioned. So, when he subtracted the years of marriage from the age at death, it was coming to the twenties (precisely 25, if I am not wrong).

#33 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:06 PM

From what I know, we don't really believe that Lady Hawaa (peace be upon her) was created from Adam (as) or his ribs.



Well, I do remember once Sayed Muhammed al Musawi was asked about this on the "Q & A" program on Ahlulbayt TV. He suoported the view that she was around 20 something. I just remember one of the arguements he posed and it was something like when the Prophet (pbuh) was burying her, there was a mention of how long they had been married and in other narrations, her age at death has been mentioned. So, when he subtracted the years of marriage from the age at death, it was coming to the twenties (precisely 25, if I am not wrong).



You wouldn't happen to know if I could find that would you?

Edited by 3laweyaZainabiya, 26 December 2011 - 07:07 PM.


#34 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:12 PM

Is there a Hadith or anything that states that Khadija was in her late 20's?


I don't have a hadith to hand, but it's quite well known that the two ages often given for her when she married the Prophet (pbuh) are 40 and 28. The first doesn't seem very realistic. If you consult most Shia books on this, for example on al-islam.org, they will most likely give her age as 28.

#35 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:12 PM

You wouldn't happen to know if I could find that would you?


I don't really understand what you mean? Are you asking where you can find that Q&A session where Sayed Musawi talked about this? Well, I don't know but search on youtube and you will, most probably, find it since many clips of this program are uploaded. Or else, google "Lady Khadija's age at marriage" or something like this. I am sure you can find an article on it. Or else, wait for HH and he will give you something.

If this is NOT what you had meant, then please explain what you had meant.

#36 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:18 PM

You're weird. Lol thank you. That was what I meant. Btw I don't like just googling things like this because I don't know any website I can trust.

#37 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:34 PM

You would need someone to actually consult the history books, but in the meantime, here is something:

According to a number of sources, Khadija was born in 565 A.D. and died one year before the Hijra (migration of the Holy Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina) in 623 A.D. at the age of 58, but some historians say that she lived to be 65.

http://www.al-islam.org/masoom/bios/khadija.htm

If she died at 58 a year or so before hijrah, and the Prophet (pbuh) was 53 when he made hijrah, that makes her no more than 5 years older than him.

#38 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:26 PM

In The Name of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

You're weird. Lol thank you. That was what I meant. Btw I don't like just googling things like this because I don't know any website I can trust.



How dare a woman call me weird! :mad: :P By the way, why do you think I am weird? I seriously did not understand your sentence. Well, there is no harm in googling. At worst, it will give you a Salafi site but it is good to know the others side's opinions so as well so even that would do more benefit than harm. I am sure you won't convert! :P So don't worry! :P And, by the way, you are the one who is weird because you don't do what nearly everyone with an internet connection does: google! :P

You would need someone to actually consult the history books, but in the meantime, here is something:


http://www.al-islam....ios/khadija.htm

If she died at 58 a year or so before hijrah, and the Prophet (pbuh) was 53 when he made hijrah, that makes her no more than 5 years older than him.


Which would be 30?
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#39 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 09:09 PM

Which would be 30?


Yes, at most. I don't think anyone can be sure of her exact age, but she was probably late twenties to early thirties.

#40 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 09:41 PM

Brother Haydar, is there any other evidence to suggest that her age was much less than 40? Like the example of proof I have quoted by Sayed Mohammed al-Musawi. Have you ever come across it? Do you have those hadith which indicate this?

#41 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:07 PM

Brother Haydar, is there any other evidence to suggest that her age was much less than 40? Like the example of proof I have quoted by Sayed Mohammed al-Musawi. Have you ever come across it? Do you have those hadith which indicate this?


The most obvious proof is nowhere was it ever mentioned that a miracle was needed for Khadija (as) to get pregnant, and yet if the age of 40 is to be believed, she would have been near 60's when she was having her last couple of children.

#42 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:59 PM

In The Name of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.




How dare a woman call me weird! :mad: :P By the way, why do you think I am weird? I seriously did not understand your sentence. Well, there is no harm in googling. At worst, it will give you a Salafi site but it is good to know the others side's opinions so as well so even that would do more benefit than harm. I am sure you won't convert! :P So don't worry! :P And, by the way, you are the one who is weird because you don't do what nearly everyone with an internet connection does: google! :P



Which would be 30?



You are weird. It's just that. Embrace it. Lol

I do use google. All the time when I need trival information or things for school but I never just google stuff when it comes to Islam. Tbh some of the stuff I come across makes me angry so I try to avoid it. You are right though, the more I know about the other side the stronger my faith will be.

The most obvious proof is nowhere was it ever mentioned that a miracle was needed for Khadija (as) to get pregnant, and yet if the age of 40 is to be believed, she would have been near 60's when she was having her last couple of children.


Haydar you are confusing me....


#43 Haydar Husayn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:10 PM

Haydar you are confusing me....


How come?

#44 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 01:30 PM

In The Name of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

You are weird. It's just that. Embrace it. Lol...


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: Why am I weird? :mad: Haydar, I am starting to agree with whatever you and Dawud were saying about women! :P

I do use google. All the time when I need trival information or things for school but I never just google stuff when it comes to Islam. Tbh some of the stuff I come across makes me angry so I try to avoid it. You are right though, the more I know about the other side the stronger my faith will be.


Well, you know, in my view, ignorance to one's own faith is one of the most profound reason for conversion. It doesn't matter whether you convert to the right religion or from the right religion but if you don't know your original religion properly, there is a high probability that when you talk to people about it, you will start to change. Why do I say this? Because once you don't know much about your own religion and then you start to debate others, there will surely be something or the other which you may not have expected. So, when they present it to you and you have a shock. This shock, psychologically, accelerates your rate of conversion.

I have seen two example of this effect myself. One happened with me. I used to visit this Sanatana Dharma (Hindu) website where they would constantly criticise Islam and I used to try and defend it. I was doing pretty well until they brought forth something that seemed shocking to me and I have never ever posted on that website again. Of course, I have some reason to brush that thing down the carpet, objectively or maybe I am too biased to my religion to not take heed of it. :unsure:

Another time, on Paltalk, a Sunni was trying to attack Shias and one of the brothers there gave him some stuff - which is very disgusting - from Sahih al Bukhari and he had never heard this before. He was just so shocked by it; he has not visited the shia room after that and I don't even think he comes online now. Whether he uses another account, I don't know but he surely does not use the one he used that time!

So, it is always good to see what others believe and what are their criticisms about your beliefs so that this shock effect is reduced a bit. This may, of course, also be positive in the case of a non-Muslim coming to Islam but also destructive in the case of a Muslim seeing shocking stuff. Overall, I would say that it is really not benefiting both sides because when you have this "shock", it is much more of an emotional conversion rather than a intellectual one.

By the way, here is another proof of your weirdness: you google to find school stuff when you have the encyclopedia e natiq - Khadim uz Zahra! :P

Haydar you are confusing me....


What he is trying to say is that if she was around 45 at marriage, then she would have been around 60 when she gave birth to the last of her children. The problem here is that, normally, women CANNOT give birth at such an old age. So, what he is trying to say is that if she did get children at 60, it is nothing less than a miracle and, so, the history books would have been filled with tales of this miracle! Since this is not the case, there was no miracle and, therefore, her age could not have been so much. On the other hand, an age of 25 or 30 would still be a lot more reasonable than 40.

INSHALLAH, I have been helpful, clear and objective in my reasoning and have not hurt those who call me weird!

May Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì bless us all, our families and loved ones, guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and The Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, indeed, there is neither any refuge nor any respite for the sinners except in Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì.

In The Name of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

You are weird. It's just that. Embrace it. Lol...


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: Why am I weird? :mad: Haydar, I am starting to agree with whatever you and Dawud were saying about women! :P

I do use google. All the time when I need trival information or things for school but I never just google stuff when it comes to Islam. Tbh some of the stuff I come across makes me angry so I try to avoid it. You are right though, the more I know about the other side the stronger my faith will be.


Well, you know, in my view, ignorance to one's own faith is one of the most profound reason for conversion. It doesn't matter whether you convert to the right religion or from the right religion but if you don't know your original religion properly, there is a high probability that when you talk to people about it, you will start to change. Why do I say this? Because once you don't know much about your own religion and then you start to debate others, there will surely be something or the other which you may not have expected. So, when they present it to you and you have a shock. This shock, psychologically, accelerates your rate of conversion.

I have seen two example of this effect myself. One happened with me. I used to visit this Sanatana Dharma (Hindu) website where they would constantly criticise Islam and I used to try and defend it. I was doing pretty well until they brought forth something that seemed shocking to me and I have never ever posted on that website again. Of course, I have some reason to brush that thing down the carpet, objectively or maybe I am too biased to my religion to not take heed of it. :unsure:

Another time, on Paltalk, a Sunni was trying to attack Shias and one of the brothers there gave him some stuff - which is very disgusting - from Sahih al Bukhari and he had never heard this before. He was just so shocked by it; he has not visited the shia room after that and I don't even think he comes online now. Whether he uses another account, I don't know but he surely does not use the one he used that time!

So, it is always good to see what others believe and what are their criticisms about your beliefs so that this shock effect is reduced a bit. This may, of course, also be positive in the case of a non-Muslim coming to Islam but also destructive in the case of a Muslim seeing shocking stuff. Overall, I would say that it is really not benefiting both sides because when you have this "shock", it is much more of an emotional conversion rather than a intellectual one.

By the way, here is another proof of your weirdness: you google to find school stuff when you have the encyclopedia e natiq - Khadim uz Zahra! :P

Haydar you are confusing me....


What he is trying to say is that if she was around 45 at marriage, then she would have been around 60 when she gave birth to the last of her children. The problem here is that, normally, women CANNOT give birth at such an old age. So, what he is trying to say is that if she did get children at 60, it is nothing less than a miracle and, so, the history books would have been filled with tales of this miracle! Since this is not the case, there was no miracle and, therefore, her age could not have been so much. On the other hand, an age of 25 or 30 would still be a lot more reasonable than 40.

INSHALLAH, I have been helpful, clear and objective in my reasoning and have not hurt those who call me weird!

May Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì bless us all, our families and loved ones, guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and The Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, indeed, there is neither any refuge nor any respite for the sinners except in Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì.

#45 Mehvish

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:30 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm glad to see some of the women on this board taking this discussion seriously, and I also find the responses very interesting, in fact, a bit different than I expected. This post will be long, so I have summed up a few conclusions at the top here:

1. I noticed that a few women may have misinterpreted the word "patriarchy", or, at the very least, associated the word on very negative terms. Haydar has already posted a definition, but I'll restate it here:
Patriarchy, for the sake of this discussion is a social system in which men play the authoritative role over women, children and property. This happens in economic terms (in that the man is the breadwinner of the family), political terms and legal terms.

2. Men and women on this board alike seem to dislike the word "feminism", but everyone has different understandings of what the word means.

3. I believe that women are very conscious of their rights in Islam, and that Muslim women are a very mobilized group (as opposed to the oriental view that women are passive, sexualized beings). At the same time I do not believe that men see women's rights in Islam the same way women see their own rights. Many women may have passed off my questions as really typical, 'same-old' type topics we see ALL the time on Shiachat. Thats true. I just wanted the chance for women to be able to speak by themselves FOR themselves.

4. I also believe that men are confused about their own roles too. This is not just in the Muslim world, but in the West as well. Women have been writing gender discourse for centuries so we've had a ton of time to think about our issues, our position in relation to God, and our position in relation to men. At the same time, men have also been thinking about women's issues and made their own contributions to the field as well. But very rarely do men think about their own position in relation to women.

5. I'd really appreciate if more women answered the questions and we stay on topic. I know they are time consuming so just answer the ones that interest you. I really did enjoy reading every single person's response here. I've taken a few days just to read and think about what you all have written, so thank you!


And now I'll respond to a few of the posts I found interesting.

3. How do you define what it means to be a Muslim woman. For the sake of this discussion lets say there is a new term called "Muslim Womanism" (sort of like the term "feminism"), what values and ideas would you attach to it? (ex, equality? motherhood?)

I dont think i've understood this question properly..but, i think if I gave my definition of a muslim women - id get in trouble, lol/


Well if you can say it in a respectful way, I'd really like to know what you think! You are a very distinguished character on shiachat, so your opinions are very valuable in this discussion.

4. Do you wear hijab? If not, why not? - If you used to wear the hijab, and decided to take it off, what led you to your decision?

No. Because its not seen as modest anymore. I took it off because i was getting more (muslim) male attention with it on.


Interesting. So what do you consider 'modest'? Is it a way of dressing?
What was it like to remove your hijab? Did you see it as 'liberating'? Do you think you've changed as a person after you took off your hijab?

5. Should women be involved in politics (if so to what extent)? How do you feel about male politicians deciding laws for women?

Not sure about this. I think women are sometimes a bit too emotional...


Well how about women's issues in law? Do you feel comfortable about men deciding what constitutes 'rape'? Sexual abuse? Abortion laws? Access to birth control? These are issues that men clearly do not have any foresight about.


10. What are your thoughts about mutah? Does (or did) your virginity hold any special importance to you?
Disgusting. Im ashamed to be a shia for this reason. Virginity is very important.


Outside the domain of Islam, do you believe women should save their virginity until marriage? Why is virginity important? Often it is associated with chastity and purity - do you agree?


3) You wanna know what it means to be a Muslim woman? Go read about the life of Fatimat ul- Zahra (as). She is, and always will be, every Muslim woman's role model. Also her daughter, Zainab, whom without her brave speeches along the way to yazids palace, Islam wouldn't exist today.


This was a lovely response. You can disagree with me here if you want. But often I find that in majlises, different lecturers will stress on different aspects of Bibi Fatima and Bibi Zaynab. Some will specifically talk about their roles as great mothers and housewives, and others will focus on their outspoken will and defenders of Islam. I see you have emphasized on the latter.

4) I do wear the hijab and there isn't anything in this world that can convince me to take it off.


When did you start wearing hijab? Why?

5) Yes they should and they are. I don't know much about other countries but in Iraq we have many women involved in politics. Also there is nothing in the Quran or any Hadith that says women shouldn't be involved in those matters.
Well male politicians are elected by both men and woman so if it really is majority rules then i don't understand why it's a problem.

Well said.

6) If there are any improvements to be made It would be cultural and not religious. I don't quite understand this question. What difference would it make if a woman translated the Quran or a man. If you think something is unclear about a marja's ruling on things maybe you should contact them.

Perhaps. I suppose if you take the topic of hayz though, there may be the issue that male ayatollahs can't tell us what a period is or isnt since they clearly havent experienced it or seen it. In the Prophet's time, the rules for women were explained through Fatima (as). Shouldn't it continue to be that way?

8) I honestly have never even heard of female circumcision being practiced outside of Africa and it's quite sickening. Thats also another thing that has nothing to do with islam.


There is a long winded thread on shiachat which basically says that female circumcision is allowed in Islam. There are certain rules that apply, but at the end of the day it is circumcision. It is not mustahab or anything, but it is allowed


10) My views on mutah are the same views of any Muslim woman. It's a blessing Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì bestowed upon us.
You know what? You've been asking me all these questions, why don't you define virginity for me. What makes a woman chaste and pure? Her hymen? If that's the way that you're going to look at things then any woman who was unfortunate to have a hymen that doesn't break right away should be tried and convicted as a adulteress. As for the woman who lost their virginity during a mutah marriage, what's the difference between her and a divorced woman? She did it the halal way so what part of that is unchaste?


I believe you certainly have a point here. I don't disagree. Historically speaking, virginity and chastity were first associated with one another via Christianity. Islam was not traditionally a proponent of this idea of associating the two things together.


One thing I would like to comment on from your original introduction, is your statement that you wish the conversation to be conducted between sisters without the interference of brothers. In general I agree it could be beneficial to have any number of serious discussions focusing in on the view point of sisters. However, since brothers are able to read this topic, if they view something which is wrong and no one else is standing up and correcting the wrong statement, then they have a duty Islamically to address the wrong being stated. In this case they would not be allowed Islamically to avoid interference in a sister’s only topic.

Inshallah I will try to answer some of your questions today and I will come back to answer others at a later time.


First of all, thank you so much for your long detailed response. You clearly put a lot of thought into your answers and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that enjoyed reading your answers. I am looking forward to reading your answers to the rest of the questions.

Certainly, I think men's opinions are great contributions too, but frankly, they are overrepresented on this board. The idea though was so that we could get a real discussion flowing on how women view their own rights and place in Islam. My plan is to start another topic in the men's forum and ask them some gender specific questions as well (although probably not as many as this one calls for). We can have a discussion on circumcision for example, and the discussion will go on and on about how female circumcision is halal, but it will hardly talk about how women feel about the issue, and whether they'd willingly allow the practice.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? If so, how do you define 'feminism'? If not, why not?

No, I define myself as a creature of God and as a Muslim (one who submits to Gods will, which is in the ability of every creature to do so). As God loves all His creatures and provides for all of them, I must also strive for the rights of all the creatures to be implemented (as this is the just thing to do). Regardless of the creature’s gender, age, race/nationality, religion or species, I must fight for their rights equally without allowing any group to oppress the rights of another.

If the definition of a feminist is one who strives for the rights of women to be implemented, then I could be deemed a feminist (and striving for the rights of women) by others, if commitment to this cause would not exclude commitment to the fight for the rights of every other group within God’s creation. For example I would also have to be considered by others as a fighter for animal rights, male rights, children’s’ rights, adult’s rights, elderly rights, the racial and religious minorities rights and the rights of the religious and racial majority, and the list would continue until it encompasses the rights of every group in the creation.

To need to define every sector of the creation for whom I fight for, would not be practical. So it is better to be classified under a name which defines me as a striver for the rights of all. Furthermore, I would not define myself separately under the names of each different group because I believe that the whole of creation should be looked upon as a whole whenever possible, to avoid the creation of barriers between us.

The reason we should try to define ourselves as being part of one big group, is that God wants the whole of creation to work together in co-operation to achieve the greatest happiness for all, and all our actions should be aimed at achieving this goal.

In order to achieve this goal, defining difference between groups of creatures is necessary only for obtaining the understanding of what each individuals role should be for the greatest benefit of the collective (different creatures will have different strengths and weaknesses, and therefore will provide greater benefit working in the areas of their strengths).

But when deciding which group we as an individual should work to obtain the greatest benefits for, we should always make our priority the group as a whole (prioritize obtaining the rights of all of creation). If we prioritize achieving benefits and what we deem as ‘rights’ for just one or a few groups, we may overlook the rights of other groups and oppress them. So we need to consider the rights of all groups in the group as a whole, and try to apply equilibrium by following God’s laws.

One of the biggest diseases faced by the human is the disease of prioritizing the self at the expense of others. We have to understand that we are created to co-exist in a system that will only function efficiently if there is harmony between every creature. We have to understand that for our self to achieve our greatest benefit, the whole has to achieve the greatest benefit. This is because, if every creature wanted for others the good that they want for their self, then logically no creature would harm another.

Feminism combined with the ignorance of the rights of other groups, is another expression of the disease of the self. It is about prioritizing one’s self or one’s own group, in order to try to obtain the greatest benefits for this group. It is no different to racism, nationalism (believing ones nationality is superior), believing one’s religious group to be more important than others and believing adults are superior to children, etc. The desire to obtain benefits for one’s own group above others always comes back to the selfishness of wanting to obtain the greatest benefit for one’s self. And this is harmful if obtaining self benefits, is at the expense of the rights of others.

However, being selfish is not necessarily a bad thing. It is necessary to want the greatest benefit for your self, it is a basic instinct God has placed inside all of us. God has placed inside us the desire to obtain the greatest benefit for our self and to avoid harm as much as possible. He has done this so that we will for strive to find the truth of what will really provide the greatest benefit for our self and for us to apply this in our life. If we study reality and discover what the truth really is, we will see that God is Just so He made achieving the greatest benefit for each individual creature directly tied to achieving the greatest benefit for all of the rest of creation. He did this so that there would be the maximum chance for all to receive the greatest benefit. And once we understand that our greatest benefit is achieved by obtaining the greatest benefit for all, then we will fight for justice for all and not just for imagined ‘benefits’ for our self and our own groups, at the expense of oppressing the rights of others.

Bad selfishness, is wanting the greatest benefit for one’s self but not truly understanding what that is, and thereby oppressing others to obtain their rights (in the belief that you are gaining more benefit for your self), when truly you are harming the whole of creation (and thereby truly harming your own self).

The only way to make your self and the rest of creation happy, is to know what truly are your own rights and what are the rights of the rest of the creation, and then by working to have these rights implemented in every situation we face in everyday life. You can only find out what the true harms and benefits are by finding out what are the true laws that the Just Creator has provided for us. Truly only the One who is Just and has knowledge of all things, can be the only true expert on what laws will provide the greatest benefit for all of His own creation. And that is why we must submit to His laws, for the happiness of our self and all creation, in this life and in the next.


I think your take is very interesting but I have a few followup inquiries for you:

1. Do you think equality for every being is really what Islam promotes? Equality is not necessarily synonymous with justice. This world can be just, but it does not mean that everyone has to be equal in order for it to be just. Animals, for example, are clearly not equal to the status of human beings. God created us with intellect that animals do not have.

2. Are you implying being a feminist in the most general and orthodox sense of the term is selfish?
Your view on equality seems a bit idealistic to me. While anyone might believe in equality of all kinds, as in the examples you mentioned, there are only certain causes we can take up. We cannot simultaneously mobilize against every injustice at the same time: this is not very productive or realistic. Furthermore, just because one is a feminist does not necessarily mean they are ignorant of other issues. Most hardcore feminists are vegetarians as well. That said, are there certain causes you would prioritize over the rights/needs of women?
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#46 WhiteSkies

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:05 PM

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? If so, how do you define 'feminism'? If not, why not?
If we take the definition of feminism to be "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men", then no I don't consider myself to be a feminist. The reason for this lies with the fact that I am happy with the position given to me by Islam and I have to reason to pursue what is seen as 'equal rights' by others (usually the Western world). However, that said, in many Islamic cultures women are not even respected like they should be in Islam, in such cases I do consider my self to be a feminist as I'm not being given my rights (given to me by Islam) and so I need to pursue them.

4. Do you wear hijab? If not, why not? - If you used to wear the hijab, and decided to take it off, what led you to your decision?
I do wear hijab (you didn't really ask 'why' so I shall leave it at that :P )

6. For example, some women feel that there needs to be translations of the quran by women, or more female scholars to interpret the fiqh rules for women (as opposed to having a male ayatollah decide the rules for them). Do you think they might be unfair or unreasonable? 7. On a similar note, do you think the lecturers in mosques do a fair job talking about women's issues? Many of us have heard Ammar's rant about Muslim women who don't wear their hijabs properly. Are you okay with male preaches lecturing women about their hijab? or should women be the ones engaging in this discussion themselves?
I think that questions 6 and 7 have elements of similarity and so I have put them together and taken out the parts I haven't thought of or have no interest in. Apologies, I hope that is okay? :blush:

I don't have any problem with an Ayatollah telling me what I should do, what my rights are as a women, what are my duties as a women etc. I doubt that a scholar would purposely hold a bias approach to women and tell them things which are not Islamic. If anything, I think that if a woman was to interpret the fiqh rules for women they would hold more bias (as opposed to men) as they would be deciding on laws about themselves. To be honest, I don't really see any difference if a women did the translations of the Qur'an.. if anything I would look for the best and most learned person (when reading a translation) rather than worrying about their gender. On the other hand, I do feel encouraged by women who decide to study Islam as if anything, when lecturing, they can speak from experience when discussing female issues whereas with male speakers won't be able to and it may be hard for female listeners to be able to connect with them. An added bonus would also be that it can be awkward asking a male scholar about female issues (in person as opposed to online) and many women would probably feel a lot more comfortable talking to a woman.

8. How do you feel about female circumcision?
Apart from the fact that it is a horrible practice? I don't really think this is an issue in many Islamic cultures..

9. What are your thoughts about polygamy?
I don't have any particular views on polygamy however I do believe it should only be practised by men who can actually remain fair to all wives, whether there is such a man who can do that or not is another question. Though admittedly, being the romantic that I am, the idea of me being the only one for my (hypothetical) husband and him being the only one for me, appeals to me much more.

10. What are your thoughts about mutah? Does (or did) your virginity hold any special importance to you?
I don't have a problem with mu'ta at all really, I believe that you might as well stay with one women (for a period of time) in a halal way, rather than committing zina with your eyes with 20 women/men. That said though, I agree with mu'ta in theory however it is not really an option for many women who would probably be shunned by men when it came to permanent marriage.

11. What age do you want to get married/What age do you think women should get married? Before college? After pursuing a career?
The thing is, when people are on their own for so long, they develop their own lifestyles and when it comes to marriage they find that their lifestyles clash too much. Consequently, I think it is much better to get married young so you can grow and develop with your significant other
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#47 kim.tinkerbell

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:48 PM

1) yes it is, the fact that you have to take their premission to do certain things kind of takes your freedom away. Men are dominated in islam and its understandable why because he provideds and protects so asking for premission for somethings shows a sign of respect towards the man.

2) Thats for me to know and for you to figure out.

3) A strong woman that believes in Allah. The greatest muslim woman is fatmaid al zahra , shes the prefect example of definig what a muslim woman means. "muslim womamism" is extermly similar to feminist veiw e.g equal rights, they can do what a man can do and do better. Which can be achived because their are female soldiers,officers,pilots etc.

4) Hijab is wajab but it shouldnt be forced up on anyone. People should wear it because they fair god and not their parents. I think hijab is beautiful it makes you feel save and it covers you , its a sign of modesty but then again its not just about what you wear on your head its your actions and purity.

5) Ofcourse they should, if they have the ability to argue their case then why not? How would you feel about a female politiocans deciding laws for men? Obviously these politicans have worked with woman and studied what they want to make law for them. However some would say a woman would have a better understanding of what a woman needs, but if oppiste attrack then shouldnt they know better? Woman can be involved in any sector just like men can. The top chiefs are men, even though we have this sterotype that woman are good at it.

6) Culture and religon have to work together to see improvement. You need one to apply to the other to solve issues. If you think about it all these hadiths we have, have been designed to answer thr cultures issues. God put them as a guide. An this maybe the reason why culture and relgion cant be separated for some people. It would be nice to see a females interpretation of the quran ,why because their are ayat that females may faser differently . However if the words are the same or similar then their would be no difference if a man or woman did it. Their should be more female scholores , because I dont know any , if you can write my a list of names you be doing me a favour. Females can not be ayatallah because of this so called " emotional" aspect , then we have the pregnency issue etc. Men ayatallahs are better because they focus on one thing a time, while woman multi task they may mess out a point . Nevertheless woman can look at the topic from different angles and not just focus on one. Their will never be a ayatallah female because people may not take her word seriously because of the way culture looks at woman. Theres nothing unreasonable about it. However there may be some hadiths or ayats that men translate differently to a female which may lead to unfairness. Having said that if we translate some things we usually have similar traslations so theirs nothing unfair about it. Some may want the quran to be translated by a female to see if theirs any information hiden.

7) The lectures do a far job at the masjjed, however they can still discuss more about their issues because woman have all sorts of issues. Ammar is the last person on the plant that can talk about hijab, how you he feel if a woman told him about his hajab?
Some male lectures make the topic funnier so its lighter to take in, while others scream or shout which does not help sovlve the problem. How would men feel if a woman lectured them? Take it lightly or give that attuided " oh shes a female what does she know". Their are females that do a great job talking about hijab , woman are the ones that wear it so getting a woman to represent their view on the topic is good too.

8) No comment, purely because I feel sick and can not comment.

9) It states in the quran that men can have four wives but it also says that men can never, I repeat can never ever be equal in feelings. Even though god have allowed it , he has also made it difficualt just like he has done to other rules. If a man is a multi tasker and can treat all his wives equally then their would be no problem. But to what extend can a man treat them fairly, what if he forgot the needs of the other one sub cousiously ? Doesnt he have to have the same feelings for each one ? But if thats impossible then how can he marry another? For the ones that think woman are jealsey and selfish , would you like to share your wife? When you have the answer for that then you have the answer to why some woman act that way.

10) I CANT STRESS TO YOU HOW MUCH I HATE THAT WORD RIGHT KNOW. Its a type of marriage that can cause: honor killings, no sinning,tricking of others, self pleasure and premeint marraige rare cases. Its like boy/girl friend relationship but those words you say save you from sinning. But then again both of this relationship have no witness but god and god is forgiving. Whoever wishes to engage with them is not doing anything wrong but using a halal alternative to feed their needs. If virginity is not important then why is their a whole surah about mariam al 3thra (virgin mary)? Why didnt fatimat al zarha enter this type of marriage? Why did god create us virgins if its not impotant? It may of been designed for the male ego because it makes them feel like they have taken a gift,a specil thing away that no one else can take. Its a sign of purity , that you have saved your self from the sins and you have saved this for the person that deserves it.

11) When your physically and mentily ready to get married. When you find a person that accepts you for who you are, supports you , takes you in your highs and lows, grows your faith and doesnt change anything about you accepte your last name and address lol.





#48 3laweyaZainabiya

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:18 PM

This was a lovely response. You can disagree with me here if you want. But often I find that in majlises, different lecturers will stress on different aspects of Bibi Fatima and Bibi Zaynab. Some will specifically talk about their roles as great mothers and housewives, and others will focus on their outspoken will and defenders of Islam. I see you have emphasized on the latter. 



When did you start wearing hijab? Why?


Well said.


Perhaps. I suppose if you take the topic of hayz though, there may be the issue that male ayatollahs can't tell us what a period is or isnt since they clearly havent experienced it or seen it. In the Prophet's time, the rules for women were explained through Fatima (as). Shouldn't it continue to be that way?



There is a long winded thread on shiachat which basically says that female circumcision is allowed in Islam. There are certain rules that apply, but at the end of the day it is circumcision. It is not mustahab or anything, but it is allowed




I believe you certainly have a point here. I don't disagree. Historically speaking, virginity and chastity were first associated with one another via Christianity. Islam was not traditionally a proponent of this idea of associating the two things together. 



Okay, I admit it,  in a way Islam is patriarchal. 
I may have been a little hesitant to accept that. Although I try, it's kinda hard to let go of the western mindset. 



I completely agree. I, too,  dislike the way that some of the lectures are made. Fatima and Zainab (as) wouldn't be the great women they are if it weren't for their roles as both great mother figures and as defenders of Islam. You just can't see the full beauty of a picture if you look at one small piece of it. Those people who focus on one aspect or another will never see the true greatness and beauty of Fatimat ul-Zahra and Zainab (as)
_______________________________________

I started wearing the hijab at 8. The original reason I put it on at the time was because I wanted to be like my mother. I found the hijab to be beautiful and something about it made me feel comfortable. Around the age 13, I started hating the hijab. I couldn't stand it and I'm pretty sure I was ready to take it off. The main reason for this was that I went to an American school wearing the hijab and not knowing why I did.  So after a while I started questioning everything and i started learning more about islam. I especially focused on the meaning of hijab. 
As a girl who grew up with a kind of feminist ideology, the idea of being respected for who I am and not my body amazed me. Alhamdulillah, at the time I also started learning about the other benefits and beauty in wearing the  hijab. Like the fact that the hijab is meant to keep your true beauty for the eyes of those whom deserve it. It really emphasizes how special a woman is. Also, hijab is the banner of islam. When someone sees me, they judge my whole religion by the way i look and act. That gave me responsibility, it made me want to represent Islam in the best way that I can. That's why it saddens me when I see a Muslim girl donning the 'wrong' hijab. This actually pushed me to wear as modest as i could. Even back when I first started wearing the hijab it wasn't the full hijab. Back then I would have rather died than to walk outside my house with what I wear now. 
Now, when I see a non-muslim I am completely confident and comfortable to be wearing the hijab. 
I would also like to emphasize that if one was wearing the correct hijab then one wouldn't attract the attention of men.  This was a very short summary of why I wear the hijab. I could elaborate even more if you would like me to.

___________________________________



Most women in western countries trust male doctors but they can't trust male ayatollahs?? Okay, lets say that it is a problem that a man is making these rulings. So are you saying that we should have women as ayatollahs? I could add the fact that there are some women who go to howza just as long as any ayatollah out there. I have a relative that has been in the howza for quite some time now. We could have women working with a marja' to make these matters easier for us women. I'm not sure if that is the case currently or not.  

___________________________________



Would you please provide me with a link to that thread...  To be honest, I'm appalled at this idea and I'm very sure that it is prohibited. 

______________________________________


The idea that words virginity and chastity are synonymous with each other is completely unislamic. I believe its just another one of those societal rules that are pushed as Islamic laws. Ive heard many stories of good Muslim women being divorced by men because they didn't shows signs of virginity on the wedding night. Sometimes it's the mans parents that demand proof that this girl was a virgin. It's disgusting. If only everyone started think as Muslims and only Muslims. 
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#49 MajiC

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:59 PM

I think the way OP used patriarchal she she meant islam favors men over women.




It may be neither politically correct nor fashionable to admit to this fact in modern time but Islam, as defined by the brother, is indeed patriarchal. As Ayatullah Professor Mutahhari wisely explains in his book "The Modest Dress" (http://www.al-islam.org/modestdress/), Islam views men and women to be equal but not identical. And it is this which differentiates some laws that apply to the two genders. Some unenlightened people and pseudo-intellectuals often decry this asymmetry as "the oppression of women". But their blunder is not recognising this fact; that we are equal but not identical. This is only logical, for had we been created identical then 'gender' would have no real meaning or existence.

An example of how we all acknowledge this fact, regardless of world-view, is when we all agree that men and women are not identical physiologically. Hence, a female would normally take no offense at being offered a seat on the train or having the male carry the shopping bags! This is an everyday acknowledgement of the fact that we are not identical. The opposite – for the female to carry heavy objects in the presence of her male companion - would be scandalous and that is because our assumptions are grounded in reality; that genders have real differences. But this is not the whole extent of the asymmetry and genders also differ in other aspects. Islam simply understands more about this asymmetry between genders and this is hence manifested in the different form of laws that apply and the supposed ‘patriarchy’ that results. If cultures take this too far, as is often the case, then Islam is not itself at fault but those who have misapplied it.

All in all, and according to Islam, God has created male and female as complimentary beings that each possess strengths and weaknesses that alleviate or are allevated by the other, respectively. This intrinsic “asymmetry” between genders is, according to the Qur’an, a blessing and mercy from God and is the cause of gender companionship.

Edited by MajiC, 30 December 2011 - 01:09 PM.

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#50 Khadim uz Zahra

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:15 PM

6) Culture and religon have to work together to see improvement. You need one to apply to the other to solve issues. If you think about it all these hadiths we have, have been designed to answer thr cultures issues. God put them as a guide. An this maybe the reason why culture and relgion cant be separated for some people. It would be nice to see a females interpretation of the quran ,why because their are ayat that females may faser differently . However if the words are the same or similar then their would be no difference if a man or woman did it. Their should be more female scholores , because I dont know any , if you can write my a list of names you be doing me a favour. Females can not be ayatallah because of this so called " emotional" aspect , then we have the pregnency issue etc. Men ayatallahs are better because they focus on one thing a time, while woman multi task they may mess out a point . Nevertheless woman can look at the topic from different angles and not just focus on one. Their will never be a ayatallah female because people may not take her word seriously because of the way culture looks at woman. Theres nothing unreasonable about it. However there may be some hadiths or ayats that men translate differently to a female which may lead to unfairness. Having said that if we translate some things we usually have similar traslations so theirs nothing unfair about it. Some may want the quran to be translated by a female to see if theirs any information hiden.


Well, there are many - but not enough - females who have accomplished a lot when it comes to study of Islam. Here is a small list:

1. Sister Amina Inloes
2. Sister Rebecca Masterton

I know they are not seen with the Amama that our male aalims may wear or they don't look like traditional Female scholars from "back home" but I still do think they are quite knowledgeable.

3. Sayyed Khanum Tayyiba Bukhari (urdu speaker).

In fact, there is even a lady who has reached the level of Ijtihad! I follow Ayatollah Seestani and, therefore, am one of the "old school" people and he does not allow women to be Marjas but even if she cannot be followed, she is certainly knowledgeable. Here is a link about her:

http://www.islamicin...reh-sefati.html

Of course, most Marjas don't allow women to be followed but I will give a quote from someone who is quite well known (not revealing his identity):

I will provide a short "script" of the question:

Brother A: So can we do her taqleed or only Women can ??

Knowledgeable brother: Yes, according to Ay. Yusuf Sanaei and Ay. Ahmad Jannati (If I recall correctly).

375] The precedent set on its historical prohibition was a logical one and therefore can be dispensed with in accordance to circumstance; Ay. Syed . al-Kho'i wrote on some length on this matter.



Brother B: Bro (knowledgeable brother's name) sorry was that yes you can follow her?

Knowledgeable brother: If I recall so, yes, based upon the requisite statutes governing A'lamiyyah and/or its subsidiary responsibilities.

"My religious view – which is born out of a half century of deliberation and effort and while recalling the religious jurisprudence of Javaheri and durable methods of religious jurisprudence – is that the rights of men and women are equal in all affairs, and a woman can take up any and all government posts or very important religious positions."

- Aya. Sanaei ®


(The different colours represent the different people)

So, even if you disagree - like me - and say she cannot be followed, you must, at the least accept she is very, very knowledgeable about Islam.

May Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì bless us all, our families and loved ones, guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and The Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, indeed, there is neither any refuge nor any respite for the sinners except in Allah سبحانه وتعالى.



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