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In the Name of God بسم الله

Imamology

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Islam and Feminism


Qa'im

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Lady Khadija, Lady Fatima, and Lady Zaynab are exemplary models of Islamic femininity. Their virtue, intelligence, patience, and strength is celebrated in Muslim civilization, alongside other reputable women. These women stood up to the sociopolitical injustices of their time, making their permanent mark in history. Without these paragons, the religion of Islam falls apart. Throughout the Quran, God explicitly addresses both men and women, because they are both necessary in the establishment of good societies and families. The Prophet elevated the status of women, from being buried alive beneath the Earth, to having Paradise beneath their feet.

But today, we live in a time where it is almost easier to say that you are a cannibal than to say that you are not a feminist. People look at you as though you are in favour of rapists, sexual assault, inequity, and bad behaviour to women. The truth is that we live in a very individualistic society, where competing individuals are pitted against each other in all aspects of life. There are constant clashes between economic classes, races, religions, sects, and now, even genders. As individuals, we stand largely on our own, with little communal or neighbourly support. Instead of viewing society in a familial, tribal, or communal lens, we view society as a collection of selves in constant competition for jobs, grades, wealth, reputation, and territory. As Muslims, it is true that we have individual responsibilities, but we are also commanded to be selfless - not greedy, stingy, territorial, or combative - and genuinely look for the collective interests of our communities.

Faith in God, Trust in God

A Muslim is one who has become convinced, through reason and intuition, that there is no god except the One Creator, Sustainer, and Nurturer of the cosmos. We then accept the prophethood of the final Messenger (s) due to his inimitable character and revelation. After we have established the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet as our ethical foundation, we are to follow the moral guidelines and principles that they espouse. It is our belief as Muslims that Muhammad (s) was the last prophet and messenger, and that the system that he brought would be one that would be in our best interests in every era and every place. Our God, in His boundless compassion and mercy, wants us to live out the most fulfilled, natural, and productive life, so that we may achieve the best of this world and the next. Islam recognizes that men and women are different, but equal, and so different instructions and obligations have been given to each gender for our own best interest. God has also warned us of what happens to communities that transgress these natural balances - dogmatism, nihilism, and eventually destruction.

Feminism vs Women's Rights

Feminism is much like the Marxist dialectic, except the proletarian class is replaced with women, and the bourgeoisie is replaced with men. Feminists advocate for women's rights, but its underlying theory is that men have collectively oppressed women by monopolizing all forms of power: political, economic, cultural religious, physical, and sexual. Its goal, therefore, is to destroy the patriarchy - which it says has been built to keep women down - and redistribute the power. Historically, feminism addressed some serious issues: suffrage (women's right to vote), economic independence, and generalizations against women. There is no doubt that some aspects of pre-modern society and developing countries have been very oppressive towards women in particular, including violence and economic oppression.

There is, however, such a thing as being an advocate for women's rights without being a feminist. All of the prophets uplifted and defended the rights of females, but they were also proponents of a patriarchal system. Islam advocated for the right of women to own property, take leading roles in commerce, choose their husbands, and take part in politics. Societies still addressed domestic violence, and chivalry instated the respect of women, the removal of their burdens, and holding them in protection and honour. Women were even exempted from religious and economic responsibilities to make their lives easier. In reality, a good man wants the best for his mother, his sister, his wife, and his daughter. Similarly, a good woman wants the best for her father, her husband, her brother and her son. These "patriarchal" civilizations consisted mostly of women who would reinforce these values in their sons and daughters. It's inconceivable that a worldwide system would collectively dupe and oppress all women for thousands of years.

But the underlying premise of feminism is that the two genders are at war with one another, and the only way to stop that is to destroy the patriarchal power structure. This simplistic worldview sees all aspects of patriarchy - including Abrahamic religions - to be oppressive and designed to put women down. It generalizes all men, it ignores any good that came out of traditional communities, and it puts the world on a dangerous course. The gender war basically pits the two genders against one another, perpetuates misconceptions about men ("mansplaining", "manspreading", "toxic masculinity", unhinged objectification) while ignoring men's issues (graduation, suicide, poverty, drug addiction, gang violence, work-related injuries, conflict, imprisonment, unfair divorce settlements and custody cases). The movement presupposes that men are privileged just by being men, and then ignores the many ways that men suffer.

Feminism is Changing

This is not an argument for weak women, there is no women in my mind stronger than Fatima, Zaynab, Umm al-Baneen, Sakeena, Ruqayya, Khadija, Asiya, and Maryam. They all displayed strength in their life and were often killed or imprisoned for their strength. I do not believe that all women must be submissive, gentle, meek, or put up with male abuse. Pre-modern societies had their misogyny: preventing women from owning property (how is that any different from Fadak?), forcing women into marriages, having women pay dowries, and having women put up with brutally violent husbands - all of this is haram and reprehensible.

However, supporting third-wave feminist ideology is different from supporting women's rights. As Muslims, we should be against an ideology that preaches Free Love, which is promoted by some of feminism's pioneers ( such as Mary Nichols), and promoted by popular modern feminists like Gloria Steinem. We should be against the idea that marriage and the patriarchy are a plot to keep women down, which is the position of Wollstonecraft. We should be against a feminism that shames stay-at-home mothers as uneducated and brainwashed. We should be against the simplistic idea that males are privileged just for being male, which leads to policies and customs that ignore the issues of our young men and boys. We should be against a raunchy feminism that would like to normalize female sexuality (the Vag.ina Monologues, #freethenipple campaign, slu.twalk, Femen) and legalize prostitution (Margo St. James, Norma Jean Almodovar, Kamala Kempadoo, Laura Maria Agustin, Annie Sprinkle, Carol Leigh, Carol Queen, Audacia Ray). We should be against a feminism that enshrines discredited narrative over fact (the wage gap, rape culture) and silenced those that disagree with it. We should be against an ideology that promotes the legalization of late-term abortion. We should be against queer-focused, anti-nuclear family feminists that have sway over the LGBT and Black Lives Matter movements. We should be against a feminism that denies any biological, anatomical or psychological basis for gender, and promotes gender-fluidity, non-binary and nongendered identities, genderless bathrooms, and cross-dressing. We should be against any ideology that promotes censorship on campus or among academics; including the idea of a safe-space. We should be against an ideology that attacks the hijab and separates harassment from clothing (a clear contradiction of 33:59 in the Quran). As someone who works with young people, I can say that all of these ideas are very influential among millennials, including young Muslims.

Freedom to Work, or Freedom from Work?

While feminist ideology has often run against capitalism and the free market, there is a strong aposteriori link between feminism and capitalism. It's an unintended unholy alliance: just as feminism encourages emancipation through economic independence, the free market will always want more consumers, more workers, more students paying tuition, longer hours of operation, more bank accounts (more revenue from interest), and more people relying on outside food. Most feminists today realize that there will not be a proletarian utopia, at least not any time soon, and so co-opting the current system is good enough for now. Many policies are being proposed and implemented to give women an edge in the business world. Today, women have a 2-1 advantage getting a STEM job (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) at an American college (Cornell 2015 study). A lot of this is because of the oft-repeated statistic that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The problem with this statistic however is that it does not take into account career choices, degrees, hours in the work place, men being more likely to ask for raises, and female CEOs less likely to give themselves a higher salary. When you account for these factors, the gender pay gap is only about 4 cents, and there is no way to verify if those 4 cents are because of gender discrimination or other reasons. Wages are different from earnings.

Although feminist tropes can be good for upper-middle class white women, who want to escape the boredom of being a housewife or mother to work in bookstores, offices, and schools; it can be extremely detrimental to working-class women, who are now forced to work as maids and babysitters while raising their own children at the same time. Many women must support their children and their parents, often without the support of a man, whilst working overtime. All households in the future will definitely require two full-time incomes just to make ends meet. The problem, however, is that women no longer have the freedom not to work. They are basically forced to work to upkeep a home, because their husband's salary is now likely worth significantly less than it used to be. They will no longer have the option to stay home and raise their kids: nursing them, teaching them, and safeguarding them. Now, they must rely on babysitters, the television, the internet, coaches, and out-of-touch retired relatives. Leaving children unattended also gives predators and abusers more chances to get to these children. In general, naturally, a mother has the best interest for her children. When she is removed from the picture, many children grow up unloved, abused, suffering from mental health issues, behind in school and filled with the media's filth.

I can understand the reasons for female economic independence, but it comes with several costs: delaying marriage, raising one's chance of fornication and casual relationships, and having less family time during marriage. Especially today, economic independence is taking much longer to achieve, because more people are attaining university degrees. As Muslims, we must brainstorm as a community and find a more Islamic middle ground and moderate path.

Islam is not against working women whatsoever. Lady Khadija was a rich businesswoman, and the Prophet was her employee. A woman can do whatever she wants with her own money, while a man is obligated to spend his money on his family. In our fiqh, a wife can even demand to be paid by her husband for any housework or childrearing that she does. Many women in the history of Islam were known for their knowledge in the Islamic sciences and their personal virtues. But this all happened in "patriarchal societies".

Children

You cannot rely on the education system to teach your children ethics or practical life skills. On the contrary, you may even have to reverse some of the negative affects that public schooling can have a child. How much energy can realistically you give to them when you are working and under stress, on top of other responsibilities? There must be a middle way: take the first few years off, then work part-time (or go to school) until they hit adolescence. In our religion, a woman can also demand a wage for household responsibilities, demand a dower of her choice, and demand a maid for cleaning or nursing. These tools need to be revitalized for the modern age, even if it means that men work longer hours and families live within humble means.

As a child, I was able to do extra reading and math, French, Arabic, Islamic classes, Quran, sports, and eat only home-cooked meals, all because my mother took those years off. Most of all, she gave me the love, attention, and energy I needed as a child, without relying much on babysitters. She was able to become a teacher, memorize the Quran, volunteer at my school, exercise, have a social life, and have time for my father. Any lifestyle we choose will require some sacrifices, it's about what you prioritize. As a highschool teacher, I learned a lot about the parent-child relationship and how it affects their school and social life.

Feminism plays right into the hands of misogynists

In feminist circles, marriage is constantly attacked as a patriarchal institution designed to oppress women. Stay-at-home mothers are mocked and seen as weak and brainwashed. This is completely irreconcilable with Islam, which promotes marriage and motherhood as means to reaching God and a balanced, fulfilled life. Instead, free love is pushed for both genders, and a strong effort is being made to take all shame away from all forms of sexual deviation. Advising our sisters is now considered "sl.ut-shaming". But free love is incredibly oppressive towards women. Men can now have as many sexual partners as they want, without their parents' permission or knowledge, without being responsible for children, for food and shelter, or for other marital responsibilities. If sex is freely available, then men can do this indefinitely, without getting married, and they will become more adept at this with age, which is usually coupled with economic stability and maturity.

Furthermore, with feminists pushing to legalize "sex work" (prostitution), they believe that they are trying to free sex workers from the patriarchal law enforcement. But does this really help women? Paving the way towards legalizing prostitution means that cheating will be accessible to more men. More men will just rely on the sex industry, and less men will need to commit to a woman through marriage. With free love and immodest clothing and behaviour, women open themselves to the objectification of players, without those men paying any consequences. God created women to be the most sentient and empathetic of beings, and there is no doubt that being used, abused, and heartbroken repeatedly inflicts permanent scars. With more men checking out of marriage than ever before, and a 50% divorce rate in some parts of the world, it is not a mystery that older ladies with many past partners - and even children - will not be able to find the most desirable spouses. Islam recognizes the power of sexuality, which can either build or destroy communities. A woman is most fulfilled with a strong, stable man by her side - this is conventional wisdom in every culture - and so Islam recommends early marriage. But instead, feminism encourages women to get a full education and climb the corporate ladder, only to find that there is a lack of suitable male partners that can stimulate their intellect. With drug abuse, suicide, war, homelessness, and other crises that affect men in particular, there is always a natural imbalance in society. God hates bachelorhood and divorce, because they destroy the family, which is the basic unit of society. Men potentially lose most of their assets in a divorce, and often lose custody of their children, which causes more men to just keep a girlfriend.

Prostitution is not the oldest profession, it is the oldest oppression. Sex in Islam is enshrined in the protection of women, while free love victimizes women in many different ways. it is true that 1980s Second Wave Feminists were against prostitution and pornography, because they objectified women. But feminism today is changing, and its campaigns play right into the hands of perverted men.

Feminism is Anti-Scientific

Feminism ignores tons of conventional wisdom, science, psychology, and evolutionary biology. One of the faults of feminism is that it assumes that all feminine and masculine traits are socially constructed. Meaning, any characteristic of a gender is a product of culture and society, rather than nature. This flies in the face of everything we know about gender through biology, psychology, chemistry, and anthropology. The reality is that we are hardwired with certain traits, which allowed the human race to survive and thrive for thousands of years. Human nature does not change overnight due to an ideology. Political correctness and gender politics is silencing the academic process ("trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" are the most unacademic and unintellectual concepts in modern universities). The reality is that male and female brains are different. Men and women excel in different subjects and they tend to [refer different careers. Male domination of the STEM fields or physical labour is seen as a sexist social construct by feminists, rather than just respecting the different skills men and women have. Males and females compliment one another; they are not supposed to be exact copies of one another. In today's sanitized politically-correct culture, we can no longer highlight these differences without being silenced or shamed.

The question we are brainstorming is: is gender a social construction and a function, or is it biologically/neurologically/chemically/anatomically/psychologically rooted? Most reasonable people would say that it is both. Even the LGBT movement, which argues that people can be born with a male or female brain, would therefore agree that there is such a thing as a male or female brain, or a male and female anatomical appearance ("lipstick feminism"). So we must ask ourselves, do these differences have social consequences? Are we attracted to the same things in the other gender? Is motherhood and fatherhood exactly the same - and if they are different, what are the consequences or growing up without a mother or a father in a divorced or gay household? Why have almost all cultures used the exact same division of labour for generations? My view is, in answering these questions, we will conclude that men and women should have the same rights, but that their behaviour and affect in society will generally differ. And this is a good thing - it brings balance to the system. Men and women need one another to live a fulfilled life.

Not to mention the current LGBTQ trend (i.e. gender politics), which are a spin-off of identity politics. I can now identify as a 6'10" grade 1 lesbian Chinese female fox without being challenged in most academic or work settings. We can debate the roles or stereotypes of men or women, but if we are silenced from questioning basic identifiable realities, then what does that say about our ability to answer the real questions?

Addressing Women's Issues

I firmly believe that the issues of domestic violence, forced marriages, and unfair treatment of women needs to be openly addressed in our community. Domestic violence is a symptom of a diseased heart. It destroys families, and it cannot be taboo in our communities to openly challenge its reality. The caveat, however, is that we must address these issues in a way that does not give credence to movements that are set on destroying our civilization as well. As Muslims, we should rise above the domestic power dynamic and learn how to be compassionate, merciful, and loving. God created marriage as a sign so that we may know Him. But we can reproach these serious issues without compromising our futures.

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Extended readings:

Allah's Hijab: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/65-allahs-hijab/

Feminism and Islamic Epistemology: http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/feminism-recalibrating-faith-according-to-an-islamic-epistemic/

Feminist outrage: http://muslimmatters.org/2014/11/17/the-hypocrisy-of-feminist-outrage/

The Gender Pay-Gap Myth: http://www.businessinsider.com/actually-the-gender-pay-gap-is-just-a-myth-2011-3?op=1

The Decline of "Marriageable" Men: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/308654/

Women who have more sexual partners have unhappier marriages down the road: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/21/more-sexual-partners-unhappy-marriage_n_5698440.html

Violence against men: http://www.sciencevsfeminism.com/the-myth-of-oppression/violence-by-women/a-historical-review/

Same-Sex Science: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/02/same-sex-science

Same-Sex Attraction: http://muslimmatters.org/2016/08/22/from-a-same-sex-attracted-muslim-between-denial-of-reality-and-distortion-of-religion/

Marriage will never be a Feminist Choice: http://www.xojane.com/issues/unpopular-opinion-marriage-will-never-be-a-feminist-choice

Is feminism destroying the institution of marriage? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11824814/Is-feminism-destroying-the-institution-of-marriage.html

Egyptian women number 1 beaters of husbands: UN study http://tribune.com.pk/story/1158555/egyptian-women-number-one-beating-husbands-shows-un-study/

More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence

Ashura march for LGBT victims: http://i.imgur.com/otAHWTD.jpg

MSA Gay Pride Month: http://i.imgur.com/eACrFns.jpg

University of Toronto professor attacked for refusing to use "genderless pronouns": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4R0bWC41g4

Why as Muslims we cannot support Noor Taghouri: https://themuslimvibe.com/muslim-current-affairs-news/why-as-muslims-we-cant-support-noor-tagouris-decision-to-feature-in-playboy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Advanced Member

MashAllah Qaim, you're so talented.  Please consider publishing your blogs in a book format.

You made so many good points in this blog, esp. the one about women and working.  I hated leaving my baby boy with my elderly parents to return to work.  Isa was only 4mths old when I did so, and the guilt never left me. I ended up being a wage slave.  Sometimes baby would keep me awake the whole night, and then I would somehow stagger into work like a zombie.  I would think to myself on the way into work, this is isn't freedom or liberation.....THIS IS HELL. 

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Sometimes, feminism plays right into the hands of misogynists. Even if a woman would like to make different life choices and spend time with their children, they are pretty much forced to work. If they are single mothers, they may even work two jobs, while bound to her children, struggling to get sleep and have a social life.

Furthermore, the incoming legalization of prostitution will only subject women to more objectification, abuse, and unfaithful partners. Prostitution is not the oldest profession, it is the oldest oppression. Sex in Islam is enshrined in the protection of women, while free love victimizes women in many different ways.

Third-wave groups like Femmen are protesting objectification by protesting naked. This, "sl.ut walks", and "free the nipple" campaigns play right into the hands of perverted men.

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9 hours ago, enigma313 said:

MashAllah Qaim, you're so talented.  Please consider publishing your blogs in a book format.

You made so many good points in this blog, esp. the one about women and working.  I hated leaving my baby boy with my elderly parents to return to work.  Isa was only 4mths old when I did so, and the guilt never left me. I ended up being a wage slave.  Sometimes baby would keep me awake the whole night, and then I would somehow stagger into work like a zombie.  I would think to myself on the way into work, this is isn't freedom or liberation.....THIS IS HELL. 

Since you're still their mother, guess it was a treat from Allah swt and you just passed it very well, don't worry about it.

I'm sure Isa will proud to you.

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incredible brother Qaim most of the points you said were incredily spot on and how i too as a woman felt about these issues, i completely agree about boys reaxhing for trucks and girls reaching for dolls, now i was a tom boy but even i didnt feel one had to com pletely and absolutely reject feminine identity i didnt want to see little girls stop playing with dolls or told they couldnt ? and its not wrong to identify what one can play and not play with, i have seen women are generally emotional while men are not, simple and true fact in society. Qaim i am impressed not just hte points i mentioned here, i am impressed overall

Edited by sidnaq
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  • Veteran Member
1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

Many feminist thinkers have been against the traditional gender roles, because they limit women to the domestic sphere, thereby having less economic and political influence and independence in society. Gilman and Goldman are key thinkers that argued for the economic emancipation of women, breaking out of the private sphere of unpaid childcare and housework. Gayle Rubin has also encouraged female economic independence so that they would not need to rely on male domination in heterosexual marriages. So yes, practically speaking, second wave feminists encouraged women to finish their education and attain economic independence before thinking about marrying. The problem today is that economic independence takes a long time to attain (a bachelor of arts won't get you far), and even then, most households cannot subsist on one income alone. Again, I can understand the reasons for female economic independence, but it comes with several costs: delaying marriage, higher chance of fornication and casual relationships, having less family time during marriage, etc. In Islamic fiqh, you can come to a middle ground. Women can pursue a career, or be paid for their housework and rearing, but marriage and having children remains an early priority.

It isn't just to challenge male domination for the heck of it, it is a matter of finding practical solutions in a certain kind of society.  What is wrong with encouraging women to achieve financial independence in state capitalist societies?  You can live in a dream world and think about a patriarchal utopia as well, where single or dependent women are well taken care of, but that isn't the predicament most women have found themselves in. 

Okay, so you have identified the problem, you suggest a middle ground?  That is easy to suggest but how do you achieve this? It is easy to say marriage and children should be the first priority and I agree, but we both realize that for most women it isn't a matter of choice. So how is the women's rights movement to blame? I agree that such pursuits leave tremendous strain on marriages and are detrimental to the development of children, but I don't see how you can primarily put this on feminism.  Businesses are always looking to pit workers against each other, it used to be children before, it is women and foreign workers today.

1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

Many third wave feminists are against the institution of marriage altogether, or large aspects of it. Even a movement like Black Lives Matter, which was founded by feminists and LGBT activists, does not mention "fathers" on their website, and see heterosexual and nuclear families as an arm of white supremacy.

Okay, well at least you are being a little more specific now, even though I highly doubt most feminists today are against the institution of marriage.

1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

More consumers, more bank accounts, more workers (including more competition for the same jobs, which lowers wages), longer open hours, more industries. It's a match made in heaven.

It isn't, most features of capitalism run against the very core values of the women's rights movement.

1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

And what is women's emancipation? First, second, and third wave feminists have different definitions and goals, but all three reek of utopianism.

Yes, and islamic movements don't reek of utopianism?

1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

Well there were many second wave feminists that criticized the objectification of women in pornography, for example, but third wave feminism - which is pretty much feminism's logical conclusion - has promoted legalizing prostitution, sl.ut walks, naked protests, etc. The agenda to get women to wear less and absolve them of all shame and blame plays right into the hands of misogynists and players.

Again, this is exactly the nature of rhetoric you see on fox news regarding muslims.  Most feminists still see porn as objectification of women, because it is, and I highly doubt most are interested in naked protests, you seem to be drawing a lot of your conclusions based on sensationalist nonsense in the media. 

Edited by King
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  • Advanced Member

I'm not going to deal with " Islam and Feminism". King said a lot of what I would have anyway.

I come from a perfectly good tribe  whose traditional  " gender roles" never depended on " western feminism" or " eastern Abrahamic religions" for anything anyway and few of our families, thank God, could be described as " nuclear". Multigenerational is the norm.. A lot of the work was done by both genders since much of the food supply was plant and fish based. Both genders can do that just fine. Women were /are leaders here,no problem. So were /are men. Who got the job ....who was/is  the best at it according to the community. Still that way. Works fine. In some other tribes, the Chiefs are all male, but the women , the Clan Mothers, choose them...and can depose them. That works fine too.

I will say the " neutral " articles ( those not associated with Muslim or conservative Christian websites...where one would expect only authors who agree with a certain position would post...kind of like the Salafi ones I am being directed to to show me why my daughter has made the mistake of her life) ,when you read them in full, do not seem to bear out the conclusions some folks seem to be making here. Just because a female or male brain are not the same size or the connections are different says nothing about abilities or intelligences and those articles are pretty clear on that. They are also clear as to the parts that societies play in men and women's  " roles" ....which is not related to their brains or abilities.

Here is a direct excerpt from the " truck" article:
"Previous studies have reported differences between males and females in toy choice; that is, girls generally favor toys such as soft dolls, whereas boys generally favor construction and transportation toys (e.g., Connor and Serbin, 1977; Liss, 1981; Pasterski et al., 2005; Roopnarine, 1986). We believe that this description of the findings fails to highlight another important and intriguing “within-sex” difference in toy preference, which is wonderfully illustrated in Hassett et al. (2008). As shown in their Fig. 1, when play time with toys is examined in human children (Berenbaum and Hines,1992) and rhesus macaques of all ages, males spend significantly more of their play time with the “male” toy(s) than with the female toy(s), while females spend about equal times with “male” and “female” toys. This is true both for frequency of interactions and in time spent playing (Hassett et al., 2008). "

(It appears females can swing both ways. Perhaps it is only the males who are "deficient"?.)

As well, PISA has found women's abilities in math, science, etc. to be closely related to gender-parity. The reason for this is probably obvious. Whether it has anything to do with " Islam" is up to you. In any " patriarchal" society where a woman's ability to get an education is ruled by a male who may or may not wish it, it is probably due to access,not her intelligence or  ability.

Findings: 
•  Boys do better in only about ½ of the OECD nations. For nearly all the other countries, there were no significant sex differences. In Iceland, girls outshine boys significantly. They also state that , in all nations taking the test globally,although boys  on average are  better in math, girls are better in reading and both genders do about the same on science.
programme for International Student Assessment.

There is an interesting article in Forbes on the STEM issue:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/06/20/stem-fields-and-the-gender-gap-where-are-the-women/#32232e8f33a9


IMHO, There is no  scientific reason to limit either gender in anything from toys to studies or to presume abilities. I have never found it to be true in teaching. In fact, the honor students in the upper grades tended towards the females. The math and science requirements were the same for both genders. 

If you want to say to your daughter that a good woman stays in the house and tends to her kids....do that.

If you want to say to your daughter, as I do, that she must be prepared to lead an entire tribe of people into a future that may include multiple  legal and possibly physical conflicts with the dominant culture...do that.

Just admit it has nothing to do with her brain.

Whether the problem is Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, culture, society, unfair gender roles ,or bad parenting...women are not being held back by  brain formation, lack of ability ,or temperament in relation to males.


(To remove the gender issue:
My own ethnicity ( and others as well)  is underrepresented  proportionally in the sciences to this day. Do you  folks think this the result of some inborn racial inability or do you think it could be due to the fact that up until my own high school career native kids were  routinely tracked off into non-college prep courses because they were considered fit only for manual labor or domestic work? )

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Feminism is much like the Marxist dialectic, except the proletarian class is replaced with women, and the bourgeoisie is replaced with men.

I'd say that both the struggle for the proletariat and women had their seeds in the Industrial Revolution, the driving force for which was the capitalist exploitation of scientific/technological innovation.

The latter upended existing socio-economic relationships, and there was a collateral impact on marital life. This change was followed by the trauma of the two world wars, both of which saw, in the west, the deaths of millions of men and the women left without them, again altering the balance of power.

Feminist ideology was simply a rationalisation, justification and solution to cope with the rapid changes that were taking place. 

Was it superior to what preceded it? Well, it helped society to cope with the new realities being imposed on it.

Both of the industrial revolution and the world wars equipped the west with the tools with which to dominate the rest of the world regarding both goods, arms and the ideologies with which to use them. The by-product of feminist ideology has been used in much the same way.

Will these ideologies persist?

No. Well, likely, not in ways that we are familiar with.

Firstly because as these ideologies have been communicated to other cultures, there'll be a range of different responses. Some cultures that lack the capability will take the ideology as is and will simply impose it on itself and will look towards the west for the latest versions of the same ideology.

More resilient cultures are likely to appropriate these ideas, adapt them and mould them to suit their own perspectives in a world that is in any case changing in terms of technology and science and which will anyway need an evolution in these ideas.

You'd imagine Islam would fall into the latter category.

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8 hours ago, LeftCoastMom said:

Multigenerational is the norm.. A lot of the work was done by both genders since much of the food supply was plant and fish based. Both genders can do that just fine.

I think when people talk about feminism, what they are often talking about is the loss of control over economic activity by the family unit, in favour of the industrial organisation.

Now some of this may ostensibly have been driven by the differing labour requirements of new economic processes.

But I think it is fair to say that some societies have internalised the industrial organisation into the family, for example, with the development of 'family businesses'.

As I said previously, resilient societies will adapt change to suit their beliefs, needs and traditions, less resilient ones will adapt themselves to whatever the new paradigm is.

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Glad I came across this blog and I couldn't agree more. And you're right that in the beginning Feminism dealt with some important issues and did indeed bring a good change for women but today it has gone out of control and it does not serve women in general and is destructive to society.

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On 9/27/2016 at 6:10 PM, LeftCoastMom said:

IMHO, There is no  scientific reason to limit either gender in anything from toys to studies or to presume abilities. I have never found it to be true in teaching. In fact, the honor students in the upper grades tended towards the females. The math and science requirements were the same for both genders. 

If you want to say to your daughter that a good woman stays in the house and tends to her kids....do that.

If you want to say to your daughter, as I do, that she must be prepared to lead an entire tribe of people into a future that may include multiple  legal and possibly physical conflicts with the dominant culture...do that.

Just admit it has nothing to do with her brain.

Whether the problem is Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, culture, society, unfair gender roles ,or bad parenting...women are not being held back by  brain formation, lack of ability ,or temperament in relation to males.

I have no disagreement that women should have equal access, equal pay, and equal opportunity everywhere. Even in traditional Islamic civilization, women were able to do almost everything men did (being judges or governors are notable exceptions, and I think that can be revisited. In my view, even Muslim men should not be judges in non-Muslim systems, but that's a different topic). The question we are brainstorming is: is gender a social construction and a function, or is it biologically/neurologically/chemically/anatomically/psychologically rooted? Most reasonable people would say that it is both. Even the LGBT movement, which argues that people can be born with a male or female brain, would therefore agree that there is such a thing as a male or female brain, or a male and female anatomical appearance ("lipstick feminism"). So we must ask ourselves, do these differences have social consequences? Are we attracted to the same things in the other gender? Is motherhood and fatherhood exactly the same - and if they are different, what are the consequences or growing up without a mother or a father in a divorced or gay household? Why have almost all cultures used the exact same division of labour for generations? My view is, in answering these questions, we will conclude that men and women should have the same rights, but that their behaviour and affect in society will generally differ. And this is a good thing - it brings balance to the system. Men and women need one another to live a fulfilled life.

The modern age is unique in that the nature of work is very different. Our jobs are not just limited to hunters, gatherers, farmers, builders, and merchants - aka jobs that require a lot of physical labour and travel, and so therefore have been historically dominated by men. Today, we have more educators, desk work, office work, writers, counselors, librarians, accountants, community organizers - i.e., more varied jobs that do not require any physiological function, and therefore will be gender neutral. It is natural that men and women will work, and their wages should be identical. But wage equality does not equal earnings equality or interests equality: men and women make different decisions in life.

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Just today in the news:

A professor at the University of Toronto, my alma mater, is being attacked in the press and decried on campus because he refuses to use gender neutral pronouns like "xe" instead of he or she. Bill C-16 potentially considers this to be criminal discrimination. Here is his plea:

Furthermore, today, an event called "Why Feminism Hurts Women" organized by internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled after the FBI investigated a credible bomb and firearms threat: http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/09/29/milo-event-florida-atlantic-university-cancelled-due-credible-threats/

For those who thought this was not a big deal: even openly questioning this stuff can hurt you or your career in the West.

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Now I'm no fancy big city lawyer, and maybe I do not know what is the proper decorum for treating a "guest" but I'm throwing my chips in here just for the heck of it and I am sorry if the rest of yous is embarrassed of me.

Firstly, @LeftCoastMom if you don't want to hear about Islam and feminism, good job. Maybe we don't want to hear about how y'all are oh-so-more-civilized than we? It's a two way street, innit. You can have a bit more tact is all I'm saying.

Secondly, and this is in relation to the oh-so-more-civilized bit: since you are teaching us the ways of you people, how about I teach you one of our words? The word "hujjah" is usually translated into English as proof. But it is more encompassing than the English word. For example, if I say: such-and-such prophet's word is hujjah upon you this means that what he says is binding upon you. Or for example, if a Shia Muslim wants to debate a Sunni Muslim, naturally he will try to use Sunni sources. Why? Because the Sunni sources are a hujjah upon that Sunni. It would make no sense for a Shia to argue with a Sunni using only Shia sources, and vice versa.

Now... what makes you think the ways of your ancestors are a hujjah upon us? That's the question.

As someone who used to have a sort of wannabe fascist tendencies but thanks God I have grown out of, I am not even convinced that the ways of your ancestors should be a hujjah upon you, either.

I'm not saying tradition is garbage, I'm saying: tradition needs to be assessed by a higher gauge, and not taken as a hujjah unto itself. Everybody has traditions; if everyone takes their traditions as hujjah, then it essentially creates a moral relativism.

By the way, before Islam, the kings of my nation used to practice incest and use religious justifications for it; that the relationship of incest was heavenly or whatever. Thankfully, people do not take that as hujjah upon them. Because that would be stupid. (FYI this is a five thousand year civilization I'm talking about here; what if people ignorantly used that fact to defend such a practice? It's not all that farfetched; it happens all the time)

Re: division of labor

As brother @Qa'im mentioned (thankfully he is much more clever than I), every society has had some sort of division of labor based on gender. This is something which is very difficult to argue against, given the biological aspect of it, both the gap in physical strength and the reality of pregnancy (aside from the metaphysical debates as to what is the "true" character of man or woman; debates which is unfortunately dismissed by people who think that doubtfulness is a substitute for intellect).

Of course, women always worked. The notion that women started working in the 1960s or during WWII or that crap... that's born out of the concept of the modern bored housewife. But if you go to any village and turn the clock back one generation, you know that there is no such thing as an idle housewife for most of history. What was considered womanly work a couple hundred years ago would be considered hard labor today. My mother has an aunt whose back is at a 90 degree angle. That's from a whole life time of non-stop work.

Women working is not unique to your special unique snowflake of a people; that's a universal thing. However, there has always been a division of labor based on gender. In every society, almost without exception. Why? Because it makes a lot of damn sense, that's why.

Now, I don't know what all those letters you posted signify. I am assuming they are some kind of test?

If they are a test, then I should let you know: I went through five years of university education and maybe studied for a collective... 30 minutes. for my entire time in school. I graduated with no issues; I didn't make the honor roll or whatever it's called but I definitely graduated. Meanwhile, female classmates always killed themselves before tests in order to achieve the desired result. If you ask any professor, they will tell you that grades are reflective of effort rather than natural aptitude. They will openly admit that they will give higher grades to someone who is constantly asking stupid questions and coming to them after class with more stupid questions, rather than someone who stays quiet but proves through their work that they understand the subject matter perfectly.

So yeah, I know that girls on average get better grades than us... but I can't really bring myself to respect anyone who considers grades as being valuable enough to judge a person's intelligence or abilities based upon them. FYI I'm not saying girls are stoopid, but this "grades" issue was brought up in the past on shiachat, and some poor soul was using it to justify the fact that certain jobs are dominated by women even though they ain't any better at them than men. It's kind of ridiculous, really. University, in most cases, is a complete waste of time and money. Most of us go into them with no goal in mind; it's just a social convention. This is why attendance rates are so much higher than graduation rates. The whole system is a joke; using our insecurities about "future" and "career" to squeeze money out of us; anyone who uses this as a way to assess people's abilities is faaaaar too confident in the legitimacy of the system.

Sorry if I left some of your post unanswered; I didn't read it all. It just seemed like an ethnic studies class threw up all over my screen. I already took that class once I didn't want to pay tuition again so I stopped reading.

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On 9/28/2016 at 1:47 PM, Qa'im said:

Let us keep the conversation going inshaAllah.

So just to clarify, this is not a thread that is going against all of the ideas and achievements of feminists. I think most people today instinctively agree with suffrage, equality of opportunity/access, and equal wages. I can tell you, however, that the movement is transforming among millennials, and not just with a minority subsection of the population. As a school teacher, and as someone who is doing his masters in a liberal arts program, I have some insight on the trends on campus and even among Muslim youth. I am talking about the feminism of people like Amber Rose and Lena Dunham, who are immensely popular today on the blogosphere. I am talking about third wave feminism, which is a pornographic ("The Vag.ina Monologues", Newman & White), queer-focused (BLM, LGBT, anti-cis), pro late term abortion, pro raunchy fashion and nudity (#freethenipple , sl.utwalk , divorcing harassment from clothing - a clear contradiction of 33:59 in the Quran), enshrining narrative over fact (the wage gap - which is oft-repeated even by Obama and Clinton, rape culture, folkloric myths that won't die), anti-marriage (have fun: https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=feminist+views+on+marriage), anti nuclear families, and straight-up man-hating (mansplaining, manspreading, toxic masculinity, which are periodically discussed on Buzzfeed, Vox, and VICE).

Events promoting all of the above have taken place on university campuses (I have attended 3 universities), and our community is not immune to this narrative. Just look at your average tumblr blog, and ask yourself if Lady Fatima would have endorsed all of this. Strange enough, men who are straight and white are even being banned from some events: https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=straight+white+male+banned+events

Furthermore, the movement, which was initially established to bring women up, ignores and fails to address issues where men are at a disadvantage in society today: graduation, violence, addiction, mental health, homelessness - all issues that affect men disproportionately. Even a 2015 Cornell study noted that women have a 2-1 advantage going for the same jobs, because firms must now fill gender quotas. Christina Hoff Sommers and Karen Straughan have highlighted many of the shortcomings of modern feminism, while still promoting equal rights and opportunity.

As for pornography and prostitution, it is true that 1980s Second Wave Feminists were against these things, because they objectified women. But that is not the dominant position among Third Wave Feminist theorists. And these are not just loony extremist ideas - more than 44% of Canadians (where I live) believe that prostitution should be legalized. These aren't just misogynists, this is the general population and a large subsection of modern feminists.

But you see, many third wave feminists are against marriage altogether, because it is patriarchal and oppressive. Strong criticisms of marriage go all the way back to Wollstonecraft. You can read their perspective below:

http://www.xojane.com/issues/unpopular-opinion-marriage-will-never-be-a-feminist-choice

http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/02/12/11-reasons-not-to-get-married/

And this is an article about divorce: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11824814/Is-feminism-destroying-the-institution-of-marriage.html

So we can promote marriage in our communities by denouncing certain feminist tropes, including this vile men vs. women dialectic, the LGBT movement, free love (Mary Nichols, one of the 19th century founders of feminism, believed in free love, same with the popular modern feminist Gloria Steinem). We should promote modest/elegant dress and healthy eating; not the rape-culture narrative and body-positivism.

In my community, there are a disproportionate amount of single and divorced ladies who simply cannot find desirable partners to marry. It is becoming an epidemic in almost every community I have visited. We have to review why this is happening, and my argument is feminism is partly responsible for this problem for contributing to free love culture and preferring education and career over marriage, pushing women to marry closer to 30 or 40.

If you take a look at your original blog post, it is loaded with gross generalizations and over-simplifications.  Now you seem to be elaborating on specifics and this contemporary third wave of feminism.  This is fine, and I acknowledge that some self described feminists today have lost the plot and and employ aggressive tactics which are detrimental to women's causes.  I still am not convinced that most feminists today are against the institution of marriage or are pro porn etc. Yes I realize that the institution of marriage has always had it's detractors, a lot of them male, and this would be true of any institution.  The institution seems to be struggling due to a lot of factors discussed above in this thread, it isn't that most serious feminists are out there encouraging their female counterparts to avoid the institution all together. We have already discussed the primary drivers for women seeking education and employment.  Also, most research in the west establishes the important role of both parents in a child's development, and women are generally encouraged by professionals to avoid having late pregnancies.

Legalizing prostitution however is an interesting question.  The arguments are backed in part by proposals based on a review of the practical consequences of prohibitive practices employed in different societies.  Legalization of drugs is also interesting, as in some societies this has led to a significant decline in overall drug related deaths and pathologies.  I do not feel the core of these arguments are driven purely by ideology and you cannot equate being for legalization with being for prostitution, so that inference above is not fair.

Thirdly, I do not see what is so surprising about the women's movement in general ignoring the suffering of men.  Most movements tend to be specific and primarily focus on the trials of the group they are trying to represent.  It would be better if this was not the case, but to expect otherwise is not realistic.

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If a woman with young kid has to work, it's only for a short period of time, 3-4 years. After 4 years, raising a kid is not so much work. If a women keeps having children when she has no support, then it's her fault for staying in the relationship. It's a misconception that a house wife can focus on raising kids or she is allowed to sleep in if she spent the night taking care of a sick child. Most women have responsibilities towards their in-laws or guests.

I want to work because being house wife is the hardest job in world. Women, who are not good in studies, are very good at housework and for men, only housework matters. When I go to work, at least I get paid for my work and I get SOME respect because of that money. I know many women who are brilliant in their professions but at home they are degraded in front of uneducated women because they are not very good at housework. 

If we compare women in east and west, I think anyone can see that women In west (where feminist movement is more effective) are in better condition than women in east. Compare the condition of women in societies dominated by men TODAY with the women in west. It's not fair to compare women in west with women in an ideal islamic community. That community doesn't exist. 

Edited by rkazmi33
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On 9/30/2016 at 8:46 AM, rkazmi33 said:

After 4 years, raising a kid is not so much work. If a women keeps having children when she has no support, then it's her fault for staying in the relationship. 

Wow, you're ignorance is so deep.  The hardest years begin after the age of 4.  

On 9/30/2016 at 8:46 AM, rkazmi33 said:

Women, who are not good in studies, are very good at housework and for men, only housework matters.

So only women who are thick and dumb stay at home, if they are intelligent they go out and work.  Spewing even more ignorance here.  I am educated to degree level, choose to work part time in television, and spend all my free time with my children. 

On 9/30/2016 at 8:46 AM, rkazmi33 said:

I know many women who are brilliant in their professions but at home they are degraded in front of uneducated women because they are not very good at housework. 

I know women who are talented in the home and in the workplace, and they would surely wipe the floor with someone as ignorant as you. 

On 9/30/2016 at 8:46 AM, rkazmi33 said:

If we compare women in east and west, I think anyone can see that women In west (where feminist movement is more effective) are in better condition than women in east.

The number of women with mental health issues is on the rise, as is the case of the number of women being treated for eating disorders, and the list goes on.

Oh and btw, did I mention or emphasise enough how ignorant you are, and how insulting your comments are too. 

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Salam brother @Qa'im

Are you married yet? If not how about set a good example for marriage for the rest of the brothers on SC , as you mentioned there are many single and divorced women who cannot find a suitable partner.

With your qualifications you have a lot of scope :)

Hope to hear the good news soon ** if you are not married or engaged to be married soon!**

Edited by certainclarity
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13 minutes ago, certainclarity said:

Salam brother @Qa'im

Are you married yet? If not how about set a good example for marriage for the rest of the brothers on SC , as you mentioned there are many single and divorced women who cannot find a suitable partner.

With your qualifications you have a lot of scope :)

Hope to hear the good news soon ** if you are not married or engaged to be married soon!**

Is this supposed to be sarcasm? How about we stick to discussing the ideas and concepts instead of ad hominem points

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1 minute ago, Qa'im said:

Is this supposed to be sarcasm? How about we stick to discussing the ideas and concepts instead of ad hominem points

Not at all just a sincere wish for you. :) 

Most of your points,in my opinion  are valid, otherwise I would have not liked it.

 

Edited by certainclarity
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Going back to third-wave feminism's objectification and sexualization of women. There is a strand of feminism that is provocatively and overtly sexual, in an attempt to normalize and humanize female sexuality. A relevant example in the news this last week is Noor Tagouri's feature on a reprehensible magazine. Noor Tagouri is a rolemodel for a lot of young Muslim women, and she has over a hundred thousand followers on social media. She has received a lot of support from some sections of the Muslim and non-Muslim community, and most of those supporters would probably describe themselves as feminists.

The magazine specifically targeted Noor not for her career, but for her headscarf. According to Linda Sarsour, this magazine actually contacted four hijabis for their piece. Three turned it down, but Noor took the opportunity.  This is classic orientalism: This magazine is trying to fetishize the hijab for a deranged male audience. Everyone knows who Hugh Hefner is, everyone knows what the bunny represents. This magazine has done nothing but objectify women over the years. Her feature has also redirected countless young Muslims to a pornographic page.

Noor wants to be the first hijabi mainstream anchor. But is the hijab just a fashion statement?

She should not be namecalled or threatened. But I sure hope this is not the future of Muslim women in the West. I actually followed Noor's career for years, because she had spoken against the objectification of female journalists. But she fell into this trap, and now thousands of young feminists are justifying it. She is praised in Western media as a liberated Muslim woman, a renegade, making her own stand, fighting against social norms. To me, this is not emancipation whatsoever, this is classic misogyny. Should Muslim girls look up to her and emulate her?

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      1.     Brain stem: Brain stem is an upward continuation of spine. It is concerned with functions like controlling heart rate, regulation of blood pressure, breathing and some digestive functions to name just a few. Some of these are vital functions so an injury to brainstem could mean immediate death. That is why special care is taken to stabilize the neck in road traffic accidents.
      2.     Limbic System: This is a group of structures in our brain which together are involved in controlling behavior and emotions- Anger, pleasure, fear and punishment, reward, rage, curiosity, hunger, satiety, sexual drive, motivation and passivity, all of these come from the limbic system.
      3.     Cerebral Cortex: This is what we call the higher brain in laymen terms. It performs the ‘executive functions’. The prefrontal cortex(PFC) occupies the anterior portion of the frontal lobes and is thought to be one of the most complex anatomical and functional structures of the mammalian brain.
      All living creatures have some system for maintain vital body functions like breathing in place of brainstem. All vertebrates possess a limbic system so dogs, cats and other animals are able to feel and express emotions. Amongst vertebrates the only classes to possess the characteristic cerebral cortex are mammals (and some reptiles, lolz, so the conspiracy theories about the world being controlled by an elite group of reptiles could turn out to be true) Amongst the mammals Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bestowed the humans with the most highly developed cerebral cortex of all its creations on earth. When I say highly developed I don’t mean size or surface area relative to body, I mean functionally development and intellectual capabilities. Humans are probably intellectually highest of all the earthly species created by Allah.  It is because of this highly developed cortex that humans sit at the top of the hierarchy and have been called ‘Vicegerents of Allah’ on earth. Of course, not any two footed being in human form can be the vicegerent of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). He also has to manifest divine attributes in both his private and social life.
      So our cerebral cortex is capable of ‘higher mental functions’ like thinking, abstraction, planning, decision making and controlling the limbic system! This last function is probably its most important function.
      The brainstem functions are not under our conscious control. Obviously we cannot tell our bodies increase or decrease the heart rate or blood pressure.
      Higher mental functions are almost always voluntary.
      The limbic system sits on the the borderline between brain stem and cerebral cortex both structurally and functionally (the word limbic means borderline in latin) What does this mean? This means that we can choose to exercise control over our behavior and emotions using the executive powers of cerebral cortex or we can let the limbic system run loose and let it do whatever it wants in which case a human would be expressing a range of unbridled emotions anger, curiosity, sexual drive etc
      Let’s look at some differences in capabilities of humans vs animals which are manifested by virtue of an intellectual cortex and are important from a religious perspective.
       Animals are incapable of differentiating between haram and halal. That’s why Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) didn’t make it obligatory on them to respect these boundaries.  It is the cerebral cortex and its associated areas which give the humans the capability learn this and differentiate between the two in various life situations. But if the humans choose not to utilize the cerebral cortex for this purpose and let their limbic system(emotions) take over, they lose the differentiation and in those instances they are acting like animals. This can easily be observed in the most primal of behaviours like consuming food and copulating and also in advanced actions like earning rizq through unlawful means. Animals cannot be taught moral and ethics. If your pet dog steals a piece of meat you can arouse feelings of fear and punishment in it but you cannot teach him why stealing is wrong. This is again due to the absence of the cerebral cortex that humans possess and probably this is the reason why animals won’t get punished for misconducts in the akhirah like humans.  Animals cannot differentiate between tahara and nijasat. Again this is something which is a function of cerebral cortex. Physical purity is something which is very crucial in Islamic faith. The principles of mahram/namehram can only be comprehended by humans. Looking at the above we can see how intellect elevates humans from the level of animals to vicegerents of Allah. Maybe this is why most of things that are counted as sins in islam are in principle limbic system(emotions) overriding the cortex(intellect)
      Anger- limbic system taking charge, Zina and haram lust – limbic system taking over humans, Consuming haram food and even stuffing yourself with halal food- limbic system satiety centre gone out of control, Curiosity-  Even though the mechanism behind curiosity isn’t very well understood because it is difficult to differentiate curiosity from information seeking but what research has discovered so far is that a part of the limbic cortex is involved in both regulation and reward that is associated with curiosity(1). In Surah Hujraat (49:12) Allah forbids us from spying and ‘Tajassus’ but if limbic system is not controlled the person could be snooping around other people’s affairs, just like an animal would sniff and examine any object in vicinity. Gambling – During gambling intellectual areas of the brain like prefrontal cortex show less activity than limbic areas depicting a link between gambling and limbic system(2) What’s interesting is that in an animal study conducted on gambling ,some species of animal demonstrated the same choices and psychological behavior as pathological gamblers. So, when Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) made gambling haram it was probably to not let humans reduce themselves to animals. Drinking –Alcohol impairs functioning on the prefrontal cortex, disrupts normal pattern of neuronal activity required for decision making and thinking and hence leads to limbic system taking over. This is manifested a as lack of inhibition in people commonly observed in people who has ingested alcohol.(3) If we look at Jihad bil nafs in medical terms it’s just a battle between limbic system and cerebral cortex.
      Looking at the lives of Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) we won’t find any instance where we see limbic system ruling over them. There is a famous incident where in the battle of Khandaq, where Imam Ali(عليه السلام) was on Amr bin abde Wud’s chest and about to kill him but then he abused Imam Ali(عليه السلام). At this Imam Ali (عليه السلام) moved from Amr’s chest and walked away. After the battle was over people asked Imam Ali(عليه السلام) the reason why he had spared Amr’s life when he had overpowered him. At this he replied,” When I had floored him, he abused me, as a result of which I was overcome by rage. I feared that if I were to kill him in that state of anger, it would be for pacifying my anger. So I stepped away from him till my fury subsided.Then I returned to sever his head from his body only for the happiness of Allah and in obedience to Him.” (Manaqib Al Abi Talib by Ibn Shahrashub)
      In Sahifa e Sajjadiya, Imam Sajjad (عليه السلام) has described three types of worshippers
              i.  Those who worship Allah because of fear of hell
             ii. Those who worship Allah to get to Jannah
            iii. Those who worship Allah because they find Allah worthy of worship.
      He(عليه السلام) says the third is the highest form of worship. Why? Because the first two are worship of punishment and reward (limbic system worships) while the third is the worship of intellect (Prefrontal cortex). 
      So if we learn to control our limbic systems through reflection and worship gradually, we gain power over our nafs and then no amount of worldly temptation and desires can then take us away from out true purpose, that is submission to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      (1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635443/
      (2) https://neuroanthropology.net/2009/05/23/gambling-and-compulsion-play-at-your-own-risk/#:~:text=For gamblers%2C the gambling references,high” from an emotional response.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3593065/
    • By Zainuu in Deen In Practice
         0
      "And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him...."
      Each and every creation (makhlooq) in this universe has a natural innate attachment with the creator. Every being that is created, itself carries a signature of the creator in every form and shape and also submits to the reality of existence of its creator. This is not something for which a creature needs something from outside his being. His existence itself contains those elements that lead his way towards his creator. If we try to specify those elements within a human being, our first attention goes towards the conscience (fitrah) of a human being. This conscience is captured in our soul and is completely intrinsic to our being. The spirit is the being which is the home of conscience while body is just the outer representation of our being.
      Our conscience is the one which tells us the right and wrong and all such moral principles. Hence, it needs to have an orientation or inclination. Orientation will set a direction for a being and finally a direction will have no end without an inspiration. So, basically, every spirit has a conscience which sets the moral principles and in order to do that, we ultimately and naturally need an ultimate inspiration. The entity that might act as an inspiration can have a scope. But there needs to be one entity, neither more nor less, which needs to be above every entity. To explain this mess, I would like to take an example of a student pursuing a career:
      Let's suppose that a person has an orientation of caring and healing others. A sudden thought comes to his/her mind that he/she should become a doctor. Also, he/she defines certain objectives to achieve his/her career. This is the direction that was taken according to the orientation. According to the scope of final objective, inspiration or motivation is also recognized. And finally, he/she goes to the school and college and studies to become a doctor which is the path to reach the inspiration.
      If we carefully notice this example, everything is clear-as-sky that the career path selected is due to the orientation which acts as a cause and it is pointing towards a direction to become something which is guided by the inspiration. And the inspiration here can be multiple but one, the ultimate is definitely needed. So, that states our point of view that the idea of God is an idea of ultimate inspiration which is undeniable if we have a conscience that is willing to set it's moral principles. Now, because taking care of morality is intrinsic to our conscience, the idea of god is also intrinsic and an innate reality which cannot be denied by our conscience.
      This argument stated above begs a question. What about the conscience of a person who denies the existence of God? The simple answer is that it is impossible. Because it is not our words that testify to the idea of God but it is our conscience and our conscience doesn't work exactly according to us. Every being has an ultimate inspiration within his self. If someone denies that ultimate inspiration, his self will start recognizing something else as an inspiration and if he still denies this new inspiration then his self will cling to something else and so on. So, denying the idea of God means ultimately denying the idea of existence or submitting to something at some point by stopping the loop of denial. My physics teacher in school once said that most of the scientists our athiests and they don't believe in god. But he was forced to conclude his statement by saying that there god is nature. So, one can say that 'his idea of god is different than others' but cannot deny the idea itself. So, we conclude that atheism by definition has no value and it is fundamentally impossible to deny the existence of God. And the Holy Quran states in this context:
      "The seven heavens declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving." Al Isra (17:44)
      The above verse shows how the idea of God is within every creation. And another verse which states that how our conscience says opposite to what a proponent of athiesm might say:
      "Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day." Al Isra (17:14)
      Our self definitely contains this fundamental idea of god and that is the reason it will be a proof against us finally. Also, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states, "The one who recognized his self, recognized his lord" implying that ultimately our self consists all those fundamentals we need to understand the idea of God in its entirety. So, now let us go further to address what is left with us.
      We see that ultimately we now have to see what can be the possible reality of God. And we shall only use the most basic rational ways to reach the results inshallah. We can easily think of some possiblilities. Either God is one or more than one. Within these two broad categories of reality of God lies a long list of classifications. We are not going to mention them as it is not at all necessary to ponder on each and every speculation regarding these categories. Definition of more than one gods is followed in the polytheistic systems. This is a possibility but let us match this idea with what our self testifies. It doesn't matter for us over here whether Gods are two, three or more than that but the fact of the matter is that does our pure and perfect self which is the essence of our being accept it? Our self contains the innate idea of God which must be an ultimate inspiration. Can we have more than one ultimate inspiration? If we have many inspirations within our idea of God, those inspirations should either be absolutely equal or they should differ from each other. If they are equal then why are they having multiple forms? There multiple forms is a proof of the fact that they are different. Even if there forms are identical in a way that they are exactly a replica of each other then they cannot be absolute or independent. Because a replica needs to have an original version which means it depends on it's original form and that implies that it is not absolute but rather relative to the existence of the original version. Another proof is there similarlity which itself testifies that they are not unique.
      So, absoluteness with exact equality is impossible and hence we are left with another option that they are different. Now, being different is itself a proof that one inspiration is better than another and one is best of all of them. So, again the multiplicity of the inspiration will finally melt down into a single inspiration which is best of all of them. We see this in the polythiestic faiths where one god is better than other and one of them is best of all. Because establishing such an idea is possible but it will not sustain. It will finally break into a hierarchy. This defeats the argument of multiple gods. As the gods which are different, comparative and have a hierarchy can be an inspiration but not ultimate inspiration. Our soul is traversing on a path which should end up on the absolute, the ultimate inspiration and objective rather than a passer-by-checkpoint or a short term goal. A doctor will never settle alone with a medical science degree. He/she will explore more unless and until he reaches a point where he doesn't need to strive further.
      The Holy Quran challenges the idea of multiple gods or even a lower form of god by stating:
      Do not associate with Allah any other god, lest you sit down despised, neglected. Al Isra (17:22)
      This verse is not neglecting the possibility of a human being to accept multiple gods but rather it is clarifying that one would not achieve and would be finally neglected and despised if they do so. Because, naturally it means lowering the bar of the objective and inspiration which will be problematic for none but the self of the person as his soul will loose the ability to explore, think and ascend further. Finally, submitting to something less than the ultimate inspiration actually means submitting to someone who carries it's own inspiration. As Quran says:
      "Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord-- whoever of them is nearest-- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of." Al Isra (17:57)
      So, we notice how beautifully these verses state which is extremely fundamental to our souls. How these verses convert the fundamentals of every being into words and negate the reality of polythiestic ideologies. The verses of Quran are definitely speaking the voice of our self here which we don't listen. Concluding the above argument, we stand clear that atheism is impossible and an athiest has a god which he submits but is unaware of his own submission. And polytheism which might be a possible inclination will vanish if we deeply ponder upon the fundamentals of our self. We will understand if we ponder carefully that all the entities that we accidently thought of as gods were short of being an ultimate inspiration.
      Now, if we enter into the realm of monotheism, we again need to deal with several questions. Now, the focus of discussion has shifted from 'what is the suitable idea of god?' to 'how should we define a single inspiration/God?' There can be a few possibilities. But those possibilties are not what we are looking to identify but rather what our soul will find to be the best. We need to understand that we are not forcing our conscience to accept something which is not asked for and is inferior. The concept of a single inspiration is proven but that inspiration should fit into the exact criteria of what our conscience fundamentally wants. It was stated in the above discussion that there must be atleast one ultimate inspiration above all that should suffice the requirement of our final destiny or objective on this journey of our soul. Further, we also stated while having an argument on polytheism that inspiration can be comparative and different but such inspiration cannot be considered ultimate inspiration. It might be the best among all but if it is comparable then it is not unique. Our ultimate inspiration should be one, unique, independent and above everything while being the origin of everything. Can an entity within the realm of creation fulfill such a criteria? Can we call a creation, an origin of other creation? Even if this creation is not known to us or it is something really amazing and out of the box? The problem over here is that, whatever it might be, it is still a creation and hence it doesn't fulfills the criteria of being above all. Because, it lies withing the realm of creation and is remotely comparable to something even if the comparison is not that close. A star we see in the sky might be a million light years apart but the distance is still finite and it can be compared to other stars because it is has all the features of a star. So, this short example shows that our conscience will never settle with an ultimate inspiration which is not unique in all aspects and has nothing remotely similar. One might say, what about this universe as a single entity? Well, this universe is a system which is dependent upon several physical forces and natural phenomenas and if we contemplate the origin of these forces we are left with a question mark. It doesn't suffice the criteria of the self that the inspiration should be independent. So, whatsoever we might imagine and regardless of how much we move ahead, our self searches for more.
      We our left with nothing but to take an option of this ultimate inspiration which is away from all bounds. This process of reasoning to reach the final conclusion is quite clear in the Holy Book (Qur'an) where Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) says:
      So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones.
      Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people.
      Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: O my people! surely I am clear of what you set up (with Allah).
      Al Anaam (6:76-78)
      As Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states the definition of that one god, the ultimate inspiration below:
      Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks......
      He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
      (excerpts of Nahj ul Balagha sermon 1)
      As Amir al Mumineen (عليه السلام) defines, this is the ultimate destiny and inspiration our self is looking for and this is the only inspiration which can set pure moral standards for our conscience. Hence, this is the best and most beautiful definition of monotheism as it is testified by the soul and it is fundamental and intrinsic within ourselves.
      Concluding this entire discussion now, we reach a conclusion which is solely given to us by our pure soul and our conscience. Similar to this, as described in the above verses, every particle in this entire universe is in complete servitude to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) (the ultimate inspiration). Hence, while setting up moral principles, they should be derived from this inspiration and nothing else. Such should be the fundamental of the religion of our conscience. Therefore, monotheism in theory and in action is our fundamental principle whether we accept it or deny it. As the verse below says:
      "Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray...." Al Isra (17:15)
      At last, the acting upon this principle just means pure servitude. We end on where we started. Serving the commandment of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the only way to act upon the principle of monotheism and for this Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given commandments in his book of principles i.e Quran. Along with this he has brought the guiding inspirations which are not the ultimate inspirations but just the checkpoints on the path. Not the destiny but the bridge that connects to destiny. These are the prophets and Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). This is just a brief Islamic point of view to elaborate the principle of monotheism and not necessarily the scope of our discussion for now. In this way we conclude our discussion by claiming from the purity of our soul that:
      "Verily, we belong to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and verily to him do we return."
      [Al Baqarah (2:156)]
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      کتنی بار تو انسانیت کو مارے گا بتا؟
      کب تک تو کائینات کو رلائے گا بتا؟

      کعبة سے تو کرارؑ کو کرپایا نہ ختم
      کب تک تو دیواروں سے مٹائے گا بتا؟

      نامِ حق سے باطل تیرا کام ہے منافق
      کب تک تو حق کو جھٹلائے گا بتا؟

      تیری سیاہ روح، نہ کوئلہ، ہے جہنم کا ایندھن
      کب تک تو جلتے در سے منہ موڑے کا بتا؟

      آتا ہے بقية اللّٰهؑ اور دَورِ عدل و انصاف
      کب تک تو اپنے انجام سے بھاگے گا بتا؟

      تو  نے بہایا نہ صرف آب تو نے بہایا ہے لہو
      کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
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