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  1. So I hear this argument a lot as a guy searching for a practicing Shia spouse: "Oh don't be so strict on the hijab, she can always wear it after." or here's a better one: "What? You don't think you have enough faith to bring her closer to Islam." (paraphrasing) and of course my favorite: "Oh well just because this girl does Hijab now doesn't mean she'll do it forever. She might wear the hijab but wear tight jeans and do lots of make up." (I call this the hijabi fashionista argument which is valid to a point). So my question is: am I crazy to have something as simple, basic and WAJIB (key here) as hijab as one of my requirements for marriage? I mean if I'm looking for a practicing Muslim (isn't that by definition someone who does Hijab)? I feel if you have enough sense to wear Hijab you must have some sense about the basics of Islam. You may not be necessarily be religious but at least there is a visible potential there (and yes I know the whole "don't judge a book by a cover" but I think it applies here). I mean at the end of the day if Hijab doesn't matter, let me just go and find the most attractive looking girl and "charm her" into wearing hijab (sarcasm). I'm going insane.
  2. Hello! I wonder if darker or more grayer clothes are more modest than white or light colored clothes. I have always worn dark and grayer clothes when I'm outside, but my mother insists on me that I should wear more light colored clothes, for example like beige and white. The thing is that I don't feel confident wearing them because it adorns me, considering that a muslim woman should not display her adornments. Actually, I think lighter colored clothes can make anyone more appealing in contrast to someone wearing darker clothes. So my question is is it more modest for a muslim woman to wear darker and grayer clothes than light colored clothes?(take into account that the woman doesn't wear makeup!) Thank you!
  3. Original publication: A Passing of Time, blog Bismehe Ta3ala, Assalam Alikum. One of the many reasons why I love living among the Shias in the Dahiya is some sisters hold majalis at their homes and invite neighbors, friends, and family. Majalis, is a gathering where we listen to a recitor who describes the events that unfolded of the martyrdom of the Ahulbayt. The third narration of the martyrdom of Sayyida Fatymah is taking place now and this specific majalis are entitled "Fatamiyya." Great reverence is given to Sayyida Fatymah. We learn from her how to be the devoted mother, wife and daughter. She perfected how to worship God. She also perfected in haya (modesty/shyness) and 3iffa (chastity). Western culture promotes individualism with attitudes of "mind your own business" and "to each his own." Yet, Prophet Mohammad teaches us كلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock." Time and time again when hijab is brought up you can see so many camps for or against hijab. Even those who do observe hijab, it is not followed by what Allah wants but according to their liking or latest fashion accessory. When Muslim sisters and brothers bring up the topic they are encouraging sisters to complete their hijab. It is not a matter of self righteousness or hypocrisy to advise the sister. Of course the person advising should first know the rules of observing hijab and secondly they themselves are wearing it correctly. Imam Ali said,"Chastity is the zakaat of beauty and grace." (Ghuraral Hekam) The labels "haram" or "moral" police are thrown around too. I can understand why these words would be used for individuals who are belligerent or who make it out to embarrass you, which is not the way we approach anyone about any matter. Both ways are wrong and incorrect! Always approach with kindness, warmth, and gentleness and NEVER in front of a crowd. Finally, I just want to address that we should never look at any sin lightly. Many of the sins we might fall into we see it disparagingly. We should always work on improving ourselves in obeying Allah swt. Don't look at any sin lightly and brush it off as it was nothing. One of those sins is when sisters beautify themselves in front of non mahrams. Yes, God loves beauty and beauty is not a sin, but when a sister enhances her looks by makeup, racy clothing, finger nail polish in PUBLIC (key word, in front of strange men) all this is haram and you are sinning. In closing, a du3a from our beloved Imam al Mahdi. O Allah!· Award dignity and peace of mind to old people,· Confer repentance and turning away from sin to our young people,· Bestow modesty and chastity to our women. وَعَلَىٰ مَشَايِخِنَا بِٱلْوَقَارِ وَٱلسَّكِينَةِ وَعَلَىٰ ٱلشَّبَابِ بِٱلإِنَابَةِ وَٱلتَّوْبَةِ وَعَلَىٰ ٱلنِّسَاءِ بِٱلْحَيَاءِ وَٱلْعِفَّةِ 5 Comments Sumayyeh 1,696 Posted Wednesday at 12:49 AM Thank u Sister for sharing that beautiful hadith: "Chastity is the zakat of beauty and grace." Imam Ali (a)---so succinct and powerful <3 1 person likes this Chaotic Muslem 4,683 Posted Wednesday at 7:17 AM It will be celebrated again once it is found that Haya is a beneficial evolutionary trait -.- Syed Zain Shah 14 Posted Wednesday at 4:34 PM Mashallah, Beautiful. It is very difficult to fight with your own. Jaffery15 0 Posted 22 hours ago (edited) I don't how could a normal person get attracted or turned on to a woman without hijab its just hair . Your still a Muslim regardless. Edited 21 hours ago by Jaffery15 Caliguy 4 Posted 21 hours ago its not just the head scarf, but the entire body should be conceal under loose garment. Otherwise, don't deceive yourself or god. Head scarf is worthless when people can see the shape of your private parts!
  4. Hello Shiachat! I have been away for awhile and due to recent news events, remembered Shiachat, curious about the reactions of Shiachat members to what happened in Paris. However, that's a different subject. This subject is due to a message a very kind member sent me concerning head coverings for women and modesty. I do see the value of dressing modestly. What promotes a well-functioning society however is not how people dress, but rather how they control their minds. That is why Job made this covenant: "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. For what is our lot from God above, our heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step?" Job 31:1-4 (NIV) The passage in Job is what is needed for people to do, both men and women, to make a covenant with their eyes not to look lustfully at people who are NOT their spouse. [i do think it's fine for a husband and wife to look "lustfully" or better stated - with desire- at each other.] I frankly would be miffed if my husband did not look with desire at me... I exercise and strive to take care of myself to make sure he does! Jesus Christ says,“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[Exodus 20:14] But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." - Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV) He also says, "But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." - Matthew 15:18-19 Jesus Christ is more concerned with a person's heart than with his or her outward appearance. Why? Because people can be completely covered, yet have evil in their hearts. That is why it is important for people to keep their hearts clean and their eyes and brain from lust, no matter what other people wear or do. I know many Muslims have an issue with Christian women not wearing a head covering, especially since Paul (who many Muslims don't typically admire) commanded the Christian women in Corinth to cover their heads (1 Corinthians 11). There are many views concerning this passage. My Mom and many other Christian ladies believe that the head covering is the lady's hair, due to 1 Corinthians 11:14-15: "Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering." I believe this as well, plus I believe it to be a cultural issue, since Paul addresses other specific issues to the church in Corinth. No other passage in the Tanakh (Old Testament) or New Testament o the Bible specifically commands women to wear a head covering. Now, I do admire women who cover their heads. I don't think it's bad at all. Actually, I saw a report on Vice News concerning fashion in Iran, and many of the head coverings and outer garments are beautiful!!! I would prefer wearing them, becuase they are truly lovely. However, regardless of what women (or men) wear, it is vital to keep one's heart pure from sinful thoughts. What do you think? Do you have any questions concerning Christianity and modesty, as well as self-control? Thank you in advance for your politeness and kindness. Peace and God bless you
  5. Salam I did the whole Google site search of SC. Wilayah has posted some very helpful material. I have also seen (you might have to copy-paste the URL) http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&q=cache:3jMABu0m00cJ:http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php . My biggest complaint with it is that the footnotes are not listed, so there are no references. When I get more time, perhaps I could try to Google each citation, but #Unsure. http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=9475
  6. Women... What is a Woman, rather, WHO IS A WOMAN?? During the pagan times in the annals of history, we see that while some tribes and nations used to think of female children to be a curse or an ill-omen, some used to practically bury the innocent girl children alive! However, as awareness spread, it came to be known that a woman is a blessing from the Almighty. Weather we call her "Rahmah" or "Laxmi," The decent way of addressing the Woman in English is to address her as a LADY. This lady is a blessing in her childhood, a glory in her youth and a mentor in her adulthood... As she develops from a child to an adolescent to being an elderly person, she plays the most important role in families... THIS Same little lady grows from a daughter to being a wife, then a mother and then a mother-in-law and then a grandmother, all of these being crucial roles in one's life that we can't live without. When we say "Lady" the mind automatically thinks "Beauty. ' A lady therefore, is an embodiment of beauty; However, since beauty is a vast word that defines a myriad of aspects, I'd like to ask you all, What is beauty to you?? Is it having a nice face? Or nice make up? Or nice clothes? What is beauty?? All throughout history, research shows that apart from what you've mentioned, Beauty is actually the embodiment of MODESTY and CHASTITY in a Lady/Woman. A group of ladies had once appeared in the presence of Lady Fatimatoz Zahraa SA, The Daughter of The Revered and Renowned Prophet Muhammad SAWW and asked her what is the best ornament for a woman, to which she replies, "Hayaa," Which means Modesty / Chastity. So then, what is Modesty / Chastity??? ...Simply, Self Respect. Modesty is when the lady has a beautiful Soul, a beautiful heart, more than having a beautiful face. As the age phases away, external beauty withers, what keeps our relations intact is not our flawless skin or model figures, it's the kindness of the heart and the goodness of the character. This is all common knowledge. I want to take you all to a different dimension of Modesty and Chastity. Modesty is realising self worth and thus keeping oneself protected. How?? Look at the Pearl... Despite the pearl being protected inside the oyster shell, it is not only tightly closed, but also kept protected and kept far on the sea bed and isn't easily accessible and not freely in sight and available. The Woman, in Islam and also according to other major religions like Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and others, is an Epitome of Respect, and is regarded as "The Pearl that has to be Covered and Protected" WHY?? Because it is realised that everything valuable, like your gold, your money, your ATM and GOLD Cards, Your Passport and legal Documents and every other thing that is considered important and valuable to you is "locked up and hidden in a safe place far from the sight of others who may either steal or plunder them," Yes? In this case therefore, the daughter, the wife, the mother and the grandma in all her aspects is MORE VALUABLE than the pearl and all of the materialistic items mentioned above and so, must be "covered with the sheet of Modesty" Modesty in a woman, therefore, is that the lady realises her worth, keeps herself covered and protected from the sight of all and sundry. Modesty is covering oneself despite having a beautiful figure to show off, because only that which is worthless is on display, and what is valuable is veiled. Modesty is maintaining self respect in the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we relate to others and overall behaviour in dynamic situations. Modesty is covering the physical appearance despite having the bodice and beauty to show off, not because we ladies are not attractive, not because we're not attracted, but because we are attracted to a higher goal that is to maintain our Value and Self Respect. And finally, my favourite part: Modesty is Staying in Style without revealing oneself; For, if being more fashionable meant wearing more "flashy" attire and most "revealing/open" outfits, then i must remark, the flashiest and most fashionable are the animals because they don't wear anything at all Lady Fatimatoz Zahraa SA has also been recorded to have said, "The best thing for a woman is that she is protected from the sight of strangers (men) such that neither does she have to see them nor do they get to see her." Ayatollah Emam Khomayi RA, revered scholar and Islamic Leader had once said, "If women knew how men perceive them when they look at them, they would have covered themselves with an iron armour." Having said this, Allow me to conclude by saying, "Aurat woh chand nahi jisko Har koi be-naqaab deikhe, Balke woh Suraj honi chahiye jisse deikhne se pehle hi negaahein jhuk jaaye." ----- Courtesy of Fatimiyyeh © Ba Sadaaqat, Tofayl va Taufeeq az Ahlebayt AS Forever In Servitude & Adoration of The Mahdy (AS/AJTFS) * اللهمّ عجّل لوليّك الفرج عليه السلام *
  7. I am in the 11th grade, and a brother, and I have a friend at school who is a girl, who is in the 12th grade, and is Muslim, but is not very religious. For instance, she doesn't pray 5 times a day or 3 times a day, and she doesn't fast during Ramadan.....I am wondering if that is haram, because it says in the Qur'an (I forget which verse) "...do not approach zina.." rather than "do not committ zina" and many Muslim preachers and Muslims I know think this is haram....is there really harm in just being friends, or is this not modest?
  8. dear brothers and sisters Salam Alaykum. this is a long essay on the topic of Hijab I tried to cover new challenges in this article, your note are greatly appreciated. through your complementary note added to this essay we could support the aim of Islam. Hijab And Modern Challenges, Freedom of Choice And Gender Equality “And tell the believing women to reduce some of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily appears and to draw their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their sons...”(Quran 24:31) At first glance, this Qur’anic verse seems like an unfair statement aimed to restrict women’s freedom. This verse in a sense contradicts what society and media as well expect women that her worth lies in her appearance and she should keep herself pretty to look desirable to men. In fact, they look down to such thoughts regarding modesty and decency. Nowadays, however, we see this spreading idea, that a women is free to dress up as she likes, is being triggered even among Muslim societies. For instance you might face many teenagers in Muslim communities who are not pleased to be labelled indecent dressers by parents, elders, and teachers but they are. Here is where freedom, religion, modesty, and modernity challenge one other. Covering skin flaws with a heavy make-up, wearing short clothes which cling to your body, expose your beauty, and attracting others to your physical appearance are what modern society expects you to apply. In contrary to what modernity says, none of us would argue this fact that all Abrahamic religions demands woman to dress decently, cover up her privet parts and try her best to look modest as much as she can. “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” (1 Timothy 2:9) “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.”(1 Peter 3:3) Taking a new look at human, religion says that men and women are valuable because of their righteous deeds they do, the moral values they have, and the way they behave to others;[1] Not the way they dress and go out to society. Actually the way religion thinks of human is perceived by the modern world to be imposing oppression on women. All feminist activists see roots of diminishing women’s right and violence against her in religious teachings. To them, religion restricts human freedom of choice and looks down to woman as a second citizen. Such objection is that evident that if you start delivering speech with respect to the issue of Hijab saying that religion requires men and women to observe modesty and decency in their social life you will be facing this challenge that “our body our choice”. “No one has right to tell us what to wear what not to wear”. Adherents of modernity maintaining the idea of gender equality say, human being has right to choose his lifestyle and dressing as he likes regardless what impression his clothes would have on others. No one, with no excuse could diminish others’ freedom. This essay is aimed to study the topic of “Hijab” considering the concept of gender equality, liberty, and freedom of choice as a modern issues. Gender equality What is initially meant by this controversial topic was to indicate that men and women should receive equal treatments in social and political situations such as participating in politic, having access to education, and whatsoever. But nowadays we see what aimed to benefit women turn out to exploit her. One of the reasons, feminist movements through which started encouraging women to dismiss what they used to regard based on their traditional costume was the newborn issue of sex equality. They maintain that to make distinction between men and women results in women oppression and would cause them to be confined to house works and child upbringing. Thus, women should admit that they have the same right as well as men in every aspect of social life and the time women used to be housekeepers, dress in their traditional clothes, and not to go out to the society to take part in social situations has passed. Meanwhile, media played an influential role in this ground. Portrayal women in mass media in one hand was inspiring the spirit of women being equal to men, doing the same jobs as men in factories and in the other hand was lightening the spirit of modesty and decency among women. In addition to this, one cannot help but notice that what some so-called religious scholars did also led women to welcome such freedoms that modernity claim he has brought for them. The advent of modernity, waning religion considerably in the world, and spreading such movements across the globe consequently caused increasing gender equality tendencies among the youth and now, as a fruit of it one could easily see that morality in the modern communities is on the decline. Many of youth following the sex equality empowerment throughout the world tend to dress unisex clothes, shoes, jewelry, and hairstyle and keep themselves fashionable at every expense. No matter what impression it conveys, the way that they dress. But Islam unlike the ongoing thoughts toward woman holds a different view upon this issue. Islam in one hand maintains that man and woman are equal in status, worth, and value before God.[2] And both of them are capable of reaching highest levels of spiritual growth. This notion is that obvious through Quranic verses that God presents a devoted woman in the Quran as a role model for all believers both male and female. [3] And in the other hand Islam affirms that men and women were created different physically and emotionally and equipped with special tools to fulfill complementary roles and functions in society. Thus, there should be inherent distinctive characters leading them to different conducts and expectations. However woman, whose way of creation differs from men should be treated and expected in her social life not the same as man. What is our concern pertaining to this issue, men and women differences, is to discover accuracy of the old thought that women should cover their body in front of non-relative men and not to expose their beauty except for their husbands. No one would argue that physical attractiveness plays a significant role in arousing sexual tendencies in society. And men and women are involved in this issue, nevertheless gender stereotypes suggest that male place more importance on the physical appearance and attractiveness than what females do. And very interestingly studies say that female are more likely to emphasize their beauty and apparent attractiveness rather than men. These two different yet complementary traits that men and women carry are the key roles in constructing family life that through which the cycle of human life continues on the earth. For these physical characters along with moral attitudes could bring a couple together under the contract of marriage in order to create a family and take care of children in all aspects, financially and spirituality. Actually this blessing difference in addition to other different attitudes result in warmth, honesty and faithfulness of wife and husband toward one another. Given what is mentioned regarding the physical attractiveness the nature of men that rates it more than everything and the role of physical appearance in happy relationship, one is justified to say that freedom of choice should not lead to sexually distracting dress or the society will regress to promiscuity which effects the family, the principle base of society. Freedom of choice Now, it is time to deal with this question that we will be asked even if we admit all arguments above that why women should go through this unfair limitations concerning such simple matter of dressing? When do we want to respect freedom of choice for women and stop depriving them of their liberty? Who would guarantee that it will not reinitiate confinement of women to her home and diminish her rights? As a matter of fact freedom of choice has become a good excuse for all those who are not disposed to submit to the concept of Hijab, regardless they are politicians who see their interest in it, pseudo- enlightenment movements who could through which increase their popularity in society or ignorant women who have found it good excuse and justification to remove their Hijab. But to be honest, it should be said that wearing hijab or modest clothing actually meant to respect laws of freedom of choice. All of us believe that freedom of choice should not lead to harming others in society. One is free to do whatever he wishes as long as he is not annoying others. So there must be kind of restrictions within freedom otherwise it would not sound reasonable. And now the question is that why none of us object such limitations to our freedom? Rather we have accepted it? And found it compatible with human rights? The answer is so simple. We are living in a community and this is the commonly accepted way by which we could communicate and respects people. Nobody has right to harm others physically and emotionally out of his freedom. But now this question arises that why every one of us easily accept to go through limitations in order to respect other’s health, properties, rights and so on in society but when it comes to the concept of Hijab all would complain? Campaigns will be launched to support human rights as if a massacre occurs. Why nobody seeks to break down this issue a little further to see if what religion says comes true or not? All religion says is to treat human as a human, value him out of his morality, spiritualty, and the status he has before god [4], not because of his wealth or physical attractiveness. Indeed religion affirms the role of modesty in peace of mind and inner peace. Hijab is not a hindrance to our freedom rather is to respect our freedom. How the one who is shouting out in streets and public areas would be treated as a transgressing of the law, why he cannot say “my mouth, my choice”? The same goes with the Hijab. Let’s describe a modern western street. Women are free to come out dressing transparent clothes, miniskirts, exposing their breasts and cleavage and nothing wrong with them even if they wear skimpy clothes. And men are allowed to wear baggy trousers pulling it down in a way that their underwear exposed and put on a clingy T-shirts the way that shows their muscles. Well, nobody can go against his inherent nature. As a male and female we grow up with natural tendency upon the opposite sex and marriage aimed to direct lustful desires to avoid promiscuity in society. We can’t walk in street closing our eyes, nor can we object any of such indecent instances in society because we will be told “our body, our choice”! Now, how even a believer, the one who has no will to betray his wife could go home not imagining of all those unwillingly pictures he has faced during the day? Is it an appropriate answer to say close your eyes? Suppress your nature? Isn’t it the same as to say “close your ears”! Try not to be disturbed by shouting? Conclusion Religion, a group of laws pertaining to human life physically and spiritually which is revealed by his creator, tries to present an appropriate model for life that through which human could find his role in creation. As long as human is thinking of diversity for his animal instincts he is a modern animal nothing more. What religion holds is that one should not dedicate all his life to fulfill his animal urges nor should he dismiss it. Talking of chastity and modesty, religion suggests that house and family life should be the only option that men and women are allowed to enjoy their sexual life. [1] - Quran 49:13: Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you. [2] - Quran 16:97: Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life And We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did. [3] - Quran 66:11: And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe, the wife of Firon when she said, My Lord! build for me a house with you in paradise and save me from Firon and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people. [4] - Quran 49:13: Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you.
  9. Asalaam Alaikum brothers and sisters! I had a quick question concerning hijab and marriage. I currently live in the United States, and I am an American convert, hamdullilah, and I had a question concerning Islamic dress. My husband tells me I dress too conservative (I wear an abaya, or skirts, and usually a black or grey hijab (similar to the Iranian manner), and he often tells me that I do not need to wear the hijab so conservatively. I respect his opinion, and I thank Allah he is a very understanding man, but I did not know what I should do. I personally enjoy dressing conservative, and I believe it leaves more for him to be seen, but sometimes we can argue over this. Should I listen to my husband and dress less conservatively, or is it more appropriate to continue dressing the way I do. A few times I wore pants and a long shirt dress for him, but I feel awkward and not as protected in these clothes. Any advise from scholars or married people would be best, thank you :)
  10. (salam) I used to think that people innately respect modesty but a couple of years ago it occurred to me that the word 'modest' in the West no longer has a positive connotation. It used to I'm sure, but now it's just... nothing. "Oh you're trying to be modest? Oh okay good luck with that." You will never hear something being advertised as 'modest' in this day and age unless it is specifically targeted to Muslims or conservative Christians/ Jews. And now, amongst Muslims the emphasize is sometimes not even modesty, it's being a hijabi fashionista. Anyway I just started thinking about this after reading this article called Oregon Christian blogger gives up leggings to honor God and husband; sparks international debate. It talks about a woman whose very mild, non controversial blog post about choosing not to wear leggings as pants went viral. Viral?!? I can't believe people feel so threatened by modesty now a day that they have to mock and attack her. I thought this opinion piece in defense of her had a lot of good points There's more in the article if you want to read the whole thing: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/hey-look-that-woman-is-trying-to-be-modest-lets-all-laugh-at-her-and-call-her-names/ It's just sad, a very sad state of affairs. It is now a threat for a woman to keep her sexuality to herself in public. This also made me think about how often we see Muslim, hijabi women nowaday who wear skinny jeans out in public as part of their hijab. I guess it is tempting to think that since there is technically no skin showing, that you are covered sufficiently but it becomes clear through these articles that something that is tight is not modest enough for hijab. Period. Society would like us to lower our standards of hijab but we have to try to keep our standards as high as possible, God's standards inshaAllah. Any thoughts girls? Or guys?
  11. (bismillah) Okay, I've been noticing a couple of things that have become quite common in the Muslim Community--in the East and the West. One makes me laugh because it's just super funny, and the other really grinds my gears. Let's start with something lighthearted. Ever been to the mall and suddenly this absolutely stunning woman just walks past you? She has enough perfume to asphyxiate a Komodo Dragon to death, her clothes makes Britney Spears look modest, the amount of make up on her face just makes you uncomfortable and her hair couldn't be more exposed. Yeah, that's happened to all of us but here's the ironic bit. Her parents are following her around--her mother is covered head to toe in a niqab and her father is wearing a long thobe with an imamah to top it all of. Both of them have an expression of such pride on their faces, as if the contrast between their modesty and their daughter's immodesty was a good thing. It's sort of sad, but it's also worth a chuckle. Now the part that's not so funny. Whenever I travel abroad and hit the beach, I sometimes see hijabis wearing the most uncomfortable clothes to protect their modesty(My Allah bless them) and then their husbands pop up wearing these super small shorts and super tight T-shirts. I mean seriously, what's that about? I always wear full pants, and loose T-shirts(it's not that bad, trust me) so I'm not being a hypocrite here. What annoys me is that it's okay for these men to boss their wives around and make them wear layer upon layer of black clothing in the middle of June and force them on to the beach and they themselves dress so immodestly. So woman must be perfectly Islamic but man can just put on his shorts and play volleyball in public because he is a man? I know Islam prohibits this kind of immodest behavior but many of us don't pay attention to these types of situations. Has this ever caught your attention? Does it bother you? How would you recommend going about remedying this problem? Salam. Shahreem.
  12. The Scientific American article posted below is a commentary on the paper Benefit or Burden? Attraction in cross-sex friendship by Bleske-Rechek et al. (2012). There's so much in this study that supports the Islamic attitude toward cross-sex friendships. =============================================== Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends"Scientific American Researchers asked women and men "friends" what they really think—and got very different answers Can heterosexual men and women ever be “just friends”? Few other questions have provoked debates as intense, family dinners as awkward, literature as lurid, or movies as memorable. Still, the question remains unanswered. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and generally seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together. However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface. New research suggests that there may be some truth to this possibility—that we may think we’re capable of being “just friends” with members of the opposite sex, but the opportunity (or perceived opportunity) for “romance” is often lurking just around the corner, waiting to pounce at the most inopportune moment. In order to investigate the viability of truly platonic opposite-sex friendships—a topic that has been explored more on the silver screen than in the science lab—researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab. Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship. In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility. These friendship pairs were then separated, and each member of each pair was asked a series of questions related to his or her romantic feelings (or lack thereof) toward the friend with whom they were taking the study. The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships. Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends. Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual. As a result, men consistently overestimated the level of attraction felt by their female friends and women consistently underestimated the level of attraction felt by their male friends. Men were also more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction. Both men and women were equally attracted to romantically involved opposite-sex friends and those who were single; “hot” friends were hot and “not” friends were not, regardless of their relationship status. However, men and women differed in the extent to which they saw attached friends as potential romantic partners. Although men were equally as likely to desire “romantic dates” with “taken” friends as with single ones, women were sensitive to their male friends’ relationship status and uninterested in pursuing those who were already involved with someone else. These results suggest that men, relative to women, have a particularly hard time being “just friends.” What makes these results particularly interesting is that they were found within particular friendships (remember, each participant was only asked about the specific, platonic, friend with whom they entered the lab). This is not just a bit of confirmation for stereotypes about sex-hungry males and naïve females; it is direct proof that two people can experience the exact same relationship in radically different ways. Men seem to see myriad opportunities for romance in their supposedly platonic opposite-sex friendships. The women in these friendships, however, seem to have a completely different orientation—one that is actually platonic. To the outside observer, it seems clear that these vastly different views about the potential for romance in opposite-sex friendships could cause serious complications—and people within opposite-sex relationships agree. In a follow-up study, 249 adults (many of whom were married) were asked to list the positive and negative aspects of being friends with a specific member of the opposite sex. Variables related to romantic attraction (e.g., “our relationship could lead to romantic feelings”) were five times more likely to be listed as negative aspects of the friendship than as positive ones. However, the differences between men and women appeared here as well. Males were significantly more likely than females to list romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, and this discrepancy increased as men aged—males on the younger end of the spectrum were four times more likely than females to report romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, whereas those on the older end of the spectrum were ten times more likely to do the same. Taken together, these studies suggest that men and women have vastly different views of what it means to be “just friends”—and that these differing views have the potential to lead to trouble. Although women seem to be genuine in their belief that opposite-sex friendships are platonic, men seem unable to turn off their desire for something more. And even though both genders agree overall that attraction between platonic friends is more negative than positive, males are less likely than females to hold this view. So, can men and women be “just friends?” If we all thought like women, almost certainly. But if we all thought like men, we’d probably be facing a serious overpopulation crisis. ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Adrian F. Ward is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. His doctoral research is focused on the relationships between technology, cognition, social relationships, and self-esteem, and he worked briefly as a scientific consultant for a dating website.
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