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In the Name of God بسم الله

AnotherUmmAli

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  1. As salam alaykum, Leda, I'm sorry that I can't offer you more. All of my books are packed up right now, and I don't have much time for googling these things. If/when I come across the numerous other hadith on this issue, I'll try to post them. "O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (Quran 49:13). "All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood." From the Prophet's (saawas) last sermon. The Prophet (S.A.W.) had said: "My father be sacrificed on the mother of the 9th Imam who will be a pure and pious Nubian." Imam Ja’far as Sadiq married Hamida Khaton (ra) and she was the mother of Imam Musa Al Kadhim (as). The records state that she was from the Barbary coast. Europeans called NW Africa (Tunisia, Morocco etc.) the Barbary coast, but Arabs called that area the Maghrib. According to Dr. Hamid Algar for Arabs of that time Barbary referred to East Africa, so it was highly unlikely that the mother of Imam Musa Al Kadhim (as) was a light skinned Berber and very likely that she was a darker skinned W. African. Also, check out this nice pamphlet http://www.al-islam.org/nutshell/files/asabiyyah.pdf The Prophet (saawas) also stated that Salman (ra)- who came to Medina as the Persian slave of a Jewish master- was from ahl al bayt. There are hadith about honor being in akhlaq and *not* lineage and the belief in the idea that lineage alone brings honor is from the time of jahiliyya. There is also a hadith where Imam Ja'far As Sadiq (as) advises that nubian women should be married because of their purity and, I believe, piety. I'm sorry, I don't have these things memorized, but if I can find sources I will post them InshaAllah.
  2. As salaam alaykum, Please don't leave on my account. My apologies if I've offended you. It seems to me that this discussion is becoming about inappropriate generalizations that are especially insulting to black men. I want to balance that, especially because we are involved in a thread about racism and I don't want to perpetuate racist stereotypes. Just because you've been privy to a few (or many) conversations where black men complain about black women and you haven't been privy to such conversations amongst Arabs or Indians you've drawn some conclusions about other men "cherishing" their women and black men not doing so. I disagree. I grew up in a very black city in a pretty black part of the country amongst plenty of black men who LOVED black women and made it very clear that they thought we were the be all and end all of beauty, intelligence, competence and female grace. Once I became a Shi'a Muslim, I saw less of that, but I chalk a lot of that up to the area I was in not because I think all or most black Shi'a men have inferiority complexes. Frankly, most black men (Sunni, Shi'a, Christian, atheist whathaveyou) marry black women, so black male opinion of black women clearly isn't *that* abysmal. In my own circle of associates, most of the women are married to men outside of their own racial group. Some of these women complain about men from their husband's racial group, sometimes far too much. But I'm 99% sure that if they had it to do all over again, they'd marry from that group again. For example, when I've asked some white women if they'd have preferred to marry white men they usually answer with a swift "no!" People love to gripe. It's not good, but it's a normal human thing to do and we shouldn't draw too many conclusions from it. Anyway, enough airing of the laundry. I just think it's unfair to decide that because some black men you've met have issues, that most or all black men don't "cherish" black women the way other men do.
  3. Whoa! Let's not turn this discussion into an opportunity to bash black men. Some black men, just like some Arab men, some Pakistani men etc. have internalized white supremacist thinking and project their hatred of themselves on others of their on race. This is by no means all black men. And, now that I think of it there were a few black American men who were interested in me when I was single, so I wasn't being fair there, I had actually forgotten about the nice guys allowing them to be overshadowed by the poor self-hating souls who found my dark skin disappointing. Sister Leda, I have to disagree that solutions can not be found in Qur'an and sunnah. There is nothing in the human condition that has not been addressed deeply and beautifully by the qur'an and explained in depth and beauty by the Prophets and the A'imma from the household of Prophet Muhammad (saawas). Racism, colorism and tribalism are issues that have plagued this ummah since its infancy. Ultimately, that tribalism is what led to the misguidance of the majority of the ummah, the murder of our beloved Imam Hussain (as) and centuries of murder and abuse of the followers shi'ite of ahl al bayt (as). There are lots of hadith about racism and its degrading impact on faith.
  4. As salaamu alaykum Brother, I have to disagree with your argument here. Actually, I find it insulting that you would presume to tell "racial minorities, especially African Americans" that the problem is not racism, but our poor understanding of the issue. It is not perceived racism when an Arab refers to you as a slave rather than by your name. Slaves are considered inferior, considering someone inferior on the basis of race is the very definition of racism. Secondly, the idea that slavery in Muslim lands was all happy folks whiling away days in equality with masters is as much a lie as American myths about southern slavery. Generally, slavery sucks for the slave. Being owned is not a nice thing. Turkish Muslims routinely kidnapped African men and cut off their genitals to make them guards in the harems of the royal and wealthy. Sound humane to you? Women who are owned can be forced into sex at any time with the man who owns them no matter what he looks, smells, or acts like and no matter how she feels about it at the moment. Sound fun to you? How about having your kids sold away from you and one another? All of those things were and are part of slavery in the Muslim world. Let's not sugar coat. While Abid is not an uncommon name the context is servititude to Allah (swt) which is the highest honor we can achieve and NOT unwilling service to another human being, which is a terrible state and something that just about every culture in the world through time and space has recognized as an inferior state. Abid in reference to black skin is plain out racism. Also black is still used all the time here in the U.S., and is not considered an insult by anyone really. This is also, unfortunately, not the case. Racism was a major problem amongst the Arabs even during the time of our beloved Prophet (saawas) as many looked down on Bilal and Salman (ra) because they were foreigners. If racism were not an issue the Prophet (saawas) would not have had to address it as clearly as he did. Also, if you do a little research you will find that the famous Afro Iraqi scholar Al Jahiz ( from the late 8th century to the early 9th) wrote about racism from lighter skinned Arabs. Racism has been a major problem in Indian history that preceded Islam and continues today even amongst Muslims. Lots of Iranians consider Arabs inferior and try all sorts of ways to distance their Islam from its Arab roots.
  5. as salaam alaykum, Actually, Leda, Maryaam was quoting me. She just happened to get my quote in before I deleted the post after deciding I didn't want to take part in the conversation. Clearly, those words were meant to be read whether I wanted them to or not, mashaAllah. I have to say though, Leda, that with regard to marriage--once again, as a very dark skinned black woman-- I think the issues are more complex than racism. I had proposals or inquiries from many Arabs (Egyptians, Palestinians, Sudanese, Lebanese, an Algerian and a few Iraqis as I can recall off the top of my head) 2 American white men, a Burmese and two Iranians (maybe an afghani too, I can't recall) before I got married. Granted, I was a very pretty young woman, but most young women in their teens and early 20s are beautiful whether they realize it or not. I was also very conservative in my clothing (big scarves, jilbabs, no make up) and behavior (I never looked at men and really didn't talk to them). And my inquiries tended to be respectful--with the occasional slimy, cowardly married guy who wanted a secret muta or the guys who saw one big walking green card. Interestingly enough, the black American men (not the African brothers) were showing almost no interest. One of the reasons I think you see less interracial marriage between black women and other men in our community is NOT because they don't find black women attractive (Believe me, they do! Especially Lebanese because they love women, all kinds of women, period.), but because they don't find us as accessible. White women are everywhere and on college campuses and in the workplace (where these guys are meeting these women) the perception is that it's much easier to hook up with a white woman than just about anyone else. Men decide on the odds of rejection before they approach a woman and are much more likely to approach a woman they feel won't reject them even if they are more attracted to another woman. Also, black American women are very loyal to black men, and many black women aren't even willing to look at men outside their race. This is changing dramatically with Gen Y and some of us at the tail-end of Gen X, but many of us think black men are the be all and end all of masculinity and no other man could possibly compare. Also a lot of us rightfully fear the cultural differences. Black Americans come from a culture where female strength and achievement is valued and partnerships tend to be more egalitarian, whereas many Arabs, Iranians, S. Asians etc. don't appreciate these qualities in women as much and it leads to cultural conflict. I don't want to discount race issues, because they are real. A lot of our brothers in this faith have colonized minds and think that white women are better. These men have inferiority complexes and they also think white men are better than they are. Thank Allah (swt) they screen themselves out of our marriage pool, 'cause we'd be miserable with them. And there are the men who have managed to pick up stereotypes about black Americans (people really do think of Africans differently, ime) and, while you might want to educate them, would you want to marry them? But I know plenty of black women married to men of other races in our community (myself included). Quality is a different story, but we each define quality differently, and really, intelligent and morally upright human beings with good manners are in short supply regardless of race or gender.
  6. No, not at all. Not all Lebanese women, not all Lebanese Shi'a women wear hijab. It's more an accurate reflection of the community. I'd find it strange if all the women did wear hijab.
  7. As salaamun alaykum, You know, regardless of our perspectives I'd like to believe that we are all coming from the same place, a place of dedication to aligning our lives with tawhid and the principles that naturally derive from it. We are identified as the Shi'a of ahl al bayt (as) and our history is one of great sacrifice in the name of love. This is the dunya and it's a really murky place and its hard to struggle through these issues, but as brothers and sisters in this deen we can at least speak to each other with respect and try to come from a place of love. None of us can read one another's hearts, heck, we can't even read one another's facial expressions. No matter our disagreements we are not enemies and we should seek to strengthen our ties even when we disagree.
  8. Like any ideology feminism has many interpretations, heck just like Islam. Unlike Islam there is no one pure feminism, it is dependent on the unique circumstances of those involved in the struggle to end women's oppression and even oppression is going to be defined differently. Actuallly, even that is like Islam as we often defer to 'urf when trying to sort out fiqh issues. Muslim feminists and Islamic feminism (the two are not quite the same as the latter is an actual emerging academic discipline) fall under the big tent definition of feminism, so they don't necessarily feel that one part of themselves has to collide with the other. There are pro-life feminists who believe that the fetus' right to live is more important than a woman's autonomy, they are considered feminists. There are feminists who believe in submission, so long as it is truly a choice and those women's boundaries are respected by those they submit to, they are also considered feminists. Complicated questions exist in feminism and feminists of all sorts have wrestled with and continue to wrestle with those issues. I'm not really sure where you are coming from in terms of longstanding traditions.Times change, people's circumstances change and the law has always had some flexibility. Alhamdullilah, we are not sunnis. In terms of the actual people engaging in this work, it seems that you've had some bad experiences. I've met plenty of people who I wouldn't trust at all either because of their shoddy conclusions, unreliable sources or just poor character, but I've also had the opportunity to engage with Sunni and Shi'a scholars many of whom have had education both in our howza system and Western institutions who certainly have mastery of Arabic, Farsi and solid understanding of the traditional ways our primary sources are used to derive fiqh. It's not all about women leading salaat. Sometimes its just about some pretty basic stuff like hitting and raping your wife is bad for your family.
  9. As salaamun alaykum, Bro. MacIsaac asked why a Muslim woman would identify as a feminist, because Islam already incorporates the "best" of feminist ideology. While I don't believe in privileging one type of oppression over another, I recognize the command to dedicate one's efforts toward promoting good which includes breaking the shackles of oppression that anyone faces. I identify as anti-racist and have done some anti-racist work, I have friends who are environmentalists and have dedicated a lot of their lives to that cause. Islam is anti-racist and commands us to deal with natural resources justly and responsibly, but some people dedicate large amounts of their resources to one cause or another. There is nothing wrong in this, quite the opposite. While we may have plenty in this deen that liberates women, the truth is that interpretations of Islamic law vary widely and some of that stuff *is* oppressive and dangerous. Real women suffer real harm because someone read a hadith that a little of their clitoris should be cut off, or that their genitals are the property of their husbands even when it causes them "harm" (because, you know, harm is up to interpretation) or that girl children can be molested, permanently damaged and then abandoned, or that ... the list is long and shameful. Many Muslim women run into brick walls when they are in abusive and unjust situations because those responsible for upholding justice fail to do so and use our primary sources Qur'an and hadith and the fiqh derived from those two sources to justify dhulm. Islamic feminism is about utilizing those same primary sources to reassert the principals of justice and compassion in the Qur'an and sunnah when dealing with women's issues.
  10. Rape is an act of sexualized violence. Because it is sexual, arousal must be present, but the arousal stems more from the act than the rapist's attraction to the victim. A few studies have reported that soldiers often experience the distinct physical sign of arousal that men get (I really don't know how else to say it w/o becoming too graphic here) while killing. Is there something sexy about dead bodies of either gender? Sex is first in our heads and THEN in our bodies and if we learn to link arousal to any feeling, person, place or thing then that person place or thing will become sexual stimuli. Killing is power, I believe that men, are naturally aroused by asserting power just as women are aroused by watching male power (as long as they feel safe). One of the common threads that runs through all of the research that the OP noted was power. Rapists are men who use sexualized violence to assert power either to make up for what they feel they lack (the ugly guy mentioned in the first example ) or taking what they feel they deserve because of their station (the kibr infested psychopath). Men rape in war, they rape other men, they rape women, they rape children of both genders. It is a means of humiliating the enemy it is a statement of domination and assertion of power. Rape is about power, as is all violence. I do think that the assertion that how women dress and behave is unrelated to rape is false. Modest dress and behavior ARE a source of protection, it's a kind of extreme naive to assert otherwise and I'll explain why in the next few lines. It is equally naive and dangerous to assume that modest dress and behavior are a complete protection from sexualized violence and that a woman who is the victim of rape was always at fault. This issue of dress and behavior is NOT an issue of fault, btw because it does not matter what someone does or does not do rape is a crime and a sin and the criminal/sinner is 100% accountable for his own crime/sin. Sister Smiley mentioned this issue of availability, as stranger rape is often a crime of opportunity. If a man is weighing the cost/benefit of rape, he is going to take into account the risk of this rape costing him life or limb. If women who dress a certain way are percieved to be under protection then the cost of raping her may be assumed to be higher her dress is a form of attention. Allah (swt) tells us that we are supposed to obey Islamic laws of dress so that we "may be known and not molested" (translation from memory). Allah (swt) knows that human dynamic and has made it clear in the Qur'an. The dress and behavior of the potential victim does sometimes have something to do with placing them in a more or less vulnerable position. If I walk around in certain areas with very expensive clothing and large amounts of money visible, I am more likely to be robbed. The theif is 100% accountable for their crime/sin, but I placed myself in a more vulnerable position by exposing my wealth. I did not deserve to be robbed, but the reality is that I need to take some precautions to safeguard what is rightfully mine.
  11. actually, i think both those hadith are weak. Its fairly likely that neither statement was ever uttered by any holy person.
  12. I don't believe that men and women are so different. Men and women are largely motivated by the same things and when conditions are appropriate, they behave in the same ways. When it's socially acceptable for women to be violent, you find the gap between male and female violence shrinks. When its socially acceptable for women to w.hore around you find the gap between male w.horing and female w.horing closes. Men don't cheat because they are under the forces of uncontrollable biological urges, they do so because they can and they want to. Women also do so because they can and they want to. Now why would either gender want to have sex outside of a supposedly monogamous relationship? Some suggestions: Ego: The person they are cheating with reminds them that they are still attractive. This is especially an issue when we start to undergo some significant change in appearance or status like age, weight gain or loss, losing hair, loss of financial status etc. Money: The new person essentially pays for the sex and the cheater likes the cash and/or gifts Feeling Trapped: The person is unsatisfied at home, but feels like they can't leave the relationship because of the financial and/or social cost Selfishness: They just don't care about the other person or the relationship the only want to gratify themselves consequences be damned Drama Kings/Queens: Some folks have this satanic drive for CONSTANT drama in their lives and go to crazy extents to ensure that they are ALWAYS the center of attention. Interestingly enough, I think abused women are probably the least likely to cheat. These women are generally so terrified, attached and caught up in the cycle of violence that they don't have the nerve. The truth is, though, I don't think men and women should allow themselves to be motivated by fear of anything other than Allah (swt). Otherwise you'll go to crazy lengths and drive yourself and your partner crazy trying to prevent them from cheating. You can't stop someone from sleeping around if they want to. Just follow the golden rule (treat others as you'd want to be treated) and steel yourself against the inevitable ups and downs of life in this dunya with focus on the One Reality.
  13. Women on thier period are NOT NAJIS. They have some najasa on them, but their entire bodies aren't najis. Sheesh. Next thing you know one of these e-marjas will start advising us to lock ourselves in huts during our periods so as not to contaminate the household. As for the OP, I agree with Smiley. It's no one's business why you are or are not praying and if grown men don't realize that there are times when women are exempted from salaat then its their problem not yours. I wouldn't fake it, I just wouldn't pray and if they asked I'd say it was none of their business.
  14. The purpose of hijab is *not* to save you from "undeserved" attention. The qur'an specifically states that a Muslima's dress is at least in part to identify her as a Muslima. So no, my adherence to Allah's laws is not in anyway a violation of...Allah's laws. Letter and spirit are intact. The medical professionals were being unprofessional and gossipy, even if I didn't have a headscarf the issue would have been my refusal to use a male practitioner when an equally qualified woman was available, once again letter and spirit intact. Thirdly, my facility isn't woman only. The classes are usually all women, but sometimes there are men.
  15. As salaam alaykum, What do you believe is the purpose of hijab?
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