Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who is *really* oppressed: A Muslim Woman's Views on Modesty

THE RIGHTS OF A MUSLIM WOMAN IN SHORT

ALOT of the rights of a Muslim woman in Islam are twisted to make us look suppressed rather than given protection and honor. Here are some questions I myself used to ask before Islam, about Muslim women being suppressed, and the answers I learned in my journey towards Islam.

1.) ``how can you say that you are equal to a man when you cannot marry without a Maharam`s permission.``

Answer: I can say that because a Muslim woman has the right given by God (Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala) in Islam to have a man promise to love her, protect, and provide every earthly need (and even entertainment and desire) before they even hold hands. Having myself been a non-muslim surrounded by the dating world, we know most guys aren`t willing to do this even after a year relationship, let alone after an honorable courtship. Even after marriage some guys don`t give us these things and Islam says it is our right to have them. A Maharam exists for a few purposes. They ensure that no one physically harms a woman, they are supposed to throughly investigate the character of this would-be-suitor, they make sure `no funny stuff`happens before the marriage contract is signed, and since it was their honor that brought the woman to marriage, it is their honor at stake if the one they agreed to her marrying turns out to break any of the marriage promises. Then they have the right to break the marriage for her protection. So not only do we usually have our family, and our own wit looking out for us, we also have someone sworn to protect us (not that or wit isn`t usually enough: D).

Question 2.): ``How can you say you are equal to a man when you go from being your father's to your husband's possession?``

Firstly, man and women are equal before God on right of their deeds and character. We are weighed by our souls. Not all women are equal to men in strength, and if we woman choose to have children (which couldn`t be avoided at the advent of Islam) we are not equal on time to work always (thought the Prophet Himself and a few Arab husbands I know of do the cooking, and sweeping, and take care of children equally with their wives). Islam gives the mother the highest status saying heaven is under the feet of our mothers. Having hoped I explained that, I will never be a pocession of my husband`s anymore than he is of mine. He is expected to provide for me completely finanacially should I not wish to raise a doller but for my own entertainment or to give to charity (anything a woman spends on the home or family is considered a charity before Allah subhanu wa ta`ala). He is also responsible to see me safe, and I am repsonsible for seeing that his household is safe and that I uphold Islam as well as possible. My father`s duty the is the same, and my duty to him is to take care of him in his old age. My father is not a Muslim, but my duty to him stays the same, although he cannot be my Maharam because he does not understand Islam enough to help me choose the right husband (since I want a man who prays five times a day and my Dad probably just wants a well-off, hard-working and honest guy who happens to ike learning how to build things so my father has someone to help out in his shop when he retires---all things I am looking for too, but my father would leave out some things that are very important to me). So then, a woman can have an Islamic father, brother, Uncle, or husband be her Maharam. She can also choose a Maharam from those well-respected in her community to act on her behalf, such as an Imam (she doesn`t always need her father`s permission---BTW a man sort of needs his mothers to marry just the same, but both women and men can forgo this to seek a very wise Islamic person like a respected Imam to act on their behalfs. I hope that explains the non-pocession thing.

Question 3.) Why give a dowry if you aren't a possession?``

Answer: Um, why does a man give a woman a diamond wedding ring in Western culutre you might want to ask yourself. It isn`t about pocessing.

The dowry is given to the woman by her husband. It goes ONLY to the woman (and anyone who takes this from her is severly to be punished in hell for this). It is also requested by the woman. She can ask for money, deeds, promises, or knowledge, and the man has the option of saying yes or no depending on how high or how difficult her reqest is. The dowry also forms her legal rights, a woman can ask that her husband sign a formal agreement to only ever take one wife, she can ask him to hep her start a business, ect... It isn`t to buy her, but part of her legal rights.

BTW Islamic ladies LOVE their dowries:::: HE HE HE. I have asked that my man help me save the lives of people even if it gets him or I jailed or worse and that was a difficult thing to ask for but I didn`t want a man that wouldn`t do that, ya know, cuz Ilike to live and work in dangerous places upon occasion. other sisters require their husbands be open to adoption. Enough said `bout dowries.

Question 4. ``How can you say that you are equal to a man when inheritance laws say you only receive 1/2 of your brothers.``

Answer first off: I get half of my brothers AND I get to have a husband who buys me everything, whereas my brother has to pay for a wife, and everything she needs. I get to demand a dowry, and he has to pay one if he wants wives and children. He also is responsible for financially providing for our parents when they get old, which I am not though it is charity for me to do so. He can be punished for not doing it, and I can only be rewarded if I do so. Actually, the inheritance laws are quite fair, since women in most Western and European properties didn`t have the right to own property up until the last few hundred years. Moving on...

Question number 5.):``Why is a man able to divorce by saying 3 times "I divorce you x3". Why can't woman do so?``

Answer: In some cases this law doesn`t work because some men try to keep their women out of spite (and they will probablly be tortured in hell for this---the men I mean) but for a good man, there are steps he does first proceeding this to ensure divorce is the only actions. The reason why subhanhu wa ta àla said so I don`t quite know, but maybe because we women would declare divorce more often, in the heat of emotion, and not really mean it. To obtain our divorces, we must present evidence why it can`t possibly work for us and simply stating you are unhappy and uncompatible was enough in the Sunnah of the Prophet`s time. I personally don`t mind doing this, because if they had a similar thing for children, knowing my father and me, I would have disowned him a thousand times, and I still love him to this day, and want him around. Bad answer but best I`ve got. LOL. If a woman is undergoing harm though, at the hands of her husband, or he is not praying, or he is preventing a woman from prayer, a woman can seek out the aid of an Imam, and the Imam will warn the man and give him a period to change while the Imam takes the woman out of situation for her protection. If he does not do change, the woman will be granted divorce. Also, if the terms of her marriage contract are not met, the Maharam may disolve the marriage and seek legal action against the failed husband.

Question 6.): ``Why is a child only to stay with a mother for 7 years. Why is he then the possession of his father's?``

Answer: Not quite true. Any baby---come child is the pocession of the mother until the child turns seven, after that, provided the father has no major sins or mental problems, the GIRL is given her father as her guardian, as she has the rights to a Maharam, and since her mother Islamically can`t go around intervewing boys to make sure they are good for her (though she lines up potential candiates through her own aquaintances more often than not) a daughter can receive this extra insurance from her father. Plus father`s tend to be gentler with their daughters. As for the son, he has the choice to stay with his mother or go with his father. He can act as a Maharam (though only a cute little one---she`d probably want a stronger one if she was going somewhere dangerous) for his mother, or he can go with his father. It is really his choice. It is actually more of the sunnah to foster children out to different families alotgether, but few families practice this anymore (the Prophet S.A.W was raised by a family other than his own when he was young).

Question 7.) ``Why can a man marry a woman of the book but not a muslimah without permission?``

Answer: No good Maharam will ever let his charge marry a non-muslim. The answer is, the Qu`ran says the believeing women are only for the believing men. As a Muslim woman I know that if a I met a man with a religion different than my own and he believed in it as strongly as I do my own, we would fight, plain and simple, and there are some things a Muslim is not allowed to compromise in, such as having pagan symbols in the home (worshipping Jesus as the son of God is one), being around those who drink alchohal, or talking to strange men without reason, ect.... (and this man can`t count as a Maharam because he is not beliveing in the laws of Islam). The reason it was forbidden for women but not for men (they are actually forbidden from marrying any woman who is not a believing (in God) Jew or Christian) is because these women are already supossed to believe in Allah, and they are bound by their own relgions which say they have to be obediant to their husbands (which the Qu`ran adds to, in what he is resonable in). So he cold forbid them form having pagan things in their home, or talking to unrelated men without business to attend to, ect. More often than not the Christian and Jewish women who marry Muslims end up becoming Muslims anyway. I studied Christianity almost ten years living with a fundamentalist (not evil fundamentalist but I mean they LIVED by the Bible) Christian family and they told me if I was Christian I could not marry a man who was not also Christian soooo... It is actually much the same between these three faiths, only, Islam gives more rights to women from what I have studied. I would also like to add, there aren`t very many practicing Christians that I have met, but those that I have (Tamara, Christina, and Karen----I love you!!!!) they can relate more to a muslim woman than the girls at their highschool can relate to them.


Bismillahir Ar-Rahmanir Rahim

Remember the days in high school, where the popular girls wore revealing clothes and always came to school looking their best? How about turning on your television and seeing the latest ad for "Desperate Housewives"? Nothing but 4 old women in lingerie and over-done faces. (At least that's what it shows here in UAE, not sure about the rest of the world LoL!)

Western women and even Muslim women are ignorant of the facts why we wear the full body cover of Hijaab. In fact, there are Muslim speakers (both men & women) who make claims that we don't have to wear the Hijaab -- that this was a pre-Islamic tradition and therefore no need to dress in such a "oppressive & demeaning" manner!!

A`uthu billahi min al-fasiqun, wa Allah yusamhina.


Don't listen to these corrupt people, they are slaves to their nafs and personal short-comings. To tell a Muslim woman to show her body and imitate the evil actions of others is to deny the verses of Allah ta`ala & call for munkar (fitnah on earth). I recently saw a woman on Youtube burning a headscarf to the applause of non-Muslims. She didn't accomplish much except make herself look foolish to the Sisters who truly follow their Lord's commands.
We have womens' groups and other "humanitarian" workers trying to "liberate" us. Newsflash, we were liberated 1400 years ago. While the media is busy corrupting a woman's body and prostution is seen and even accepted as a "profession", our Holy Book tells us that we are women with rights & deserve to be treated with diginity and respect -- without knowing our bra sizes or how long our legs are.

Meanwhile, some will say, "Islam is a barbaric religion because it approves the mistreatment of women and treats them as second-class citizens!!" One of these people once included my mom but when I showed her *true* message of Islam and it's laws concering women, she has since changed her mind (alhamdulillah!!).
My mother was once a member of the Church of Ladder Day Saints or the FLDS. They found her as a teen travelling across the country & converted her to their religion. She was married to another Mormon and was told that since she was only a woman, she was not allowed to pray to God; only her husband could on her behalf. Along with many other confusing rules, she eventually left and hasn't applied herself to any religion since then. But one day, insha'Allah, she will enter Islam and has asked many questions about this very mis-understood world religion. Of course, the made-in-Israel movie "Not Without My Daughter" didn't help the image of a Muslim woman and I think we are still doing damage control for that one.

So, to the female walking down the stree in her booty-tight jeans and chest revealing shirt who sighs down at a covered woman; re-evaluate the situation. It may appear to YOU that we are poor, suppressed women, slaves to our men but in reality it's YOU who is the slave to a man's desire. One only has to go to a strip club or even a place as innocent as Earl's, where the women have to wear mini-skirts & tight black t-shirts.


Please, leave us alone and stop telling us what to do -- all this talk of liberation when you're the ones oppressing us.

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26 Comments:

Blogger Melda :o) said...

HUH? I can't read a single word of your blog! What happened? Is this some kind of joke? :P Cause I don't get it!

April 26, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger ModestJustice said...

Heck yes!
Say it sister(s)!
There's also 'Hooters' where it's supposedly a 'family-friendly' restaurant, but I don't see anything family friendly when my waitress is a busty blonde with a cropped t-shirt and shorts on, a'outho billah!

April 26, 2009 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Intisar said...

Aalia: This font you've used can't read by over half the people. It comes up as jibberish. Maybe try and type it out?

April 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Aalia said...

Sorry everyone!!

Is it readable now?

Insha'Allah!!

April 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Intisar said...

No.

April 26, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Chica said...

I cant see it stilll... it looks like 'Wingdings' font or something!

April 26, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Ruqayya said...

it comes out as wingdings font aha

April 26, 2009 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Melda :o) said...

Same here sister Aalia,

I still can't read it, it looks like the wingdings font like someone mentioned before me! :o/

Could you please change the font again so that we can read your post, too, insha'allah? I feel left out lol =)

April 26, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Jasmin Hassan said...

I love this entry!

April 27, 2009 at 3:14 AM  
Blogger Hell Fire Furious Muslimah said...

So many times I've been asked this question and MAN you just keep tryin to expalin things, but ova and ova it just keeps gettin twisted around so I LOVE these answers. Good job on this post and your whole Blog.
Keep it up sista ur sure helpin people!

April 27, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I loved the first half, but the last half (I'm guessing it's on hijab?) is still in wingdings for me :(

April 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

It's hilarious! I thought it was Japanese when I first looked. You guys are rockin' the house over here.

April 28, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Aalia said...

OMG is it STILL un-readable??

:-(

April 29, 2009 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Here's what the webdings say when I switch them to times-

"Bismillahir Ar-Rahmanir Rahim
Remember the days in high school, where the popular girls wore revealing clothes and always came to school looking their best? How about turning on your television and seeing the latest ad for "Desperate Housewives"? Nothing but 4 old women in lingerie and over-done faces. (At least that's what it shows here in UAE, not sure about the rest of the world LoL!)

Western women and even Muslim women are ignorant of the facts why we wear the full body cover of Hijaab. In fact, there are Muslim speakers (both men & women) who make claims that we don't have to wear the Hijaab -- that this was a pre-Islamic tradition and therefore no need to dress in such a "oppressive & demeaning" manner!!

A`uthu billahi min al-fasiqun, wa Allah yusamhina.

Don't listen to these corrupt people, they are slaves to their nafs and personal short-comings. To tell a Muslim woman to show her body and imitate the evil actions of others is to deny the verses of Allah ta`ala & call for munkar (fitnah on earth). I recently saw a woman on Youtube burning a headscarf to the applause of non-Muslims. She didn't accomplish much except make herself look foolish to the Sisters who truly follow their Lord's commands. We have womens' groups and other "humanitarian" workers trying to "liberate" us. Newsflash, we were liberated 1400 years ago. While the media is busy corrupting a woman's body and prostution is seen and even accepted as a "profession", our Holy Book tells us that we are women with rights & deserve to be treated with diginity and respect -- without knowing our bra sizes or how long our legs are.

Meanwhile, some will say, "Islam is a barbaric religion because it approves the mistreatment of women and treats them as second-class citizens!!" One of these people once included my mom but when I showed her *true* message of Islam and it's laws concering women, she has since changed her mind (alhamdulillah!!). My mother was once a member of the Church of Ladder Day Saints or the FLDS. They found her as a teen travelling across the country & converted her to their religion. She was married to another Mormon and was told that since she was only a woman, she was not allowed to pray to God; only her husband could on her behalf. Along with many other confusing rules, she eventually left and hasn't applied herself to any religion since then. But one day, insha'Allah, she will enter Islam and has asked many questions about this very mis-understood world religion. Of course, the made-in-Israel movie "Not Without My Daughter" didn't help the image of a Muslim woman and I think we are still doing damage control for that one.

So, to the female walking down the stree in her booty-tight jeans and chest revealing shirt who sighs down at a covered woman; re-evaluate the situation. It may appear to YOU that we are poor, suppressed women, slaves to our men but in reality it's YOU who is the slave to a man's desire. One only has to go to a strip club or even a place as innocent as Earl's, where the women have to wear mini-skirts & tight black t-shirts.

Please, leave us alone and stop telling us what to do -- all this talk of liberation when you're the ones oppressing us."

Very interesting post.

April 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Jannah said...

Asalaamu alikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Aalia Sweets

have u changed this post?

I had a quick readd when you commented on my ''Quick thought' post the other day and im SURE it was different.

Confused.com!

nonetheless - great post. Ive just had an old colleague who upon seeing my now wearing hijab expressed a few opinions of Islam..

Namely that its oppresive to women! Pfffft - yeah o-kaaaaay!

Ill deffo be forwarding this on this on insh'Allah

= )

x

April 29, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Jannah said...

Sorry sis!
Previous post was Jannah
x

April 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger PerplxinTexan♥ said...

I can read the post fine! I don't necessarily agree with some of the advice, alot of it seems opinion based and less on Quran/sunnah. Especially in the questions regarding mahraams.

I do however appreciate FAQ style of post. It's an amazing flow of information.

May 5, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger singamaraja said...

Singamaraja reading your blog

May 6, 2009 at 4:13 AM  
Blogger مسلمان ایرانی said...

Salam. It is very good that you trying firls to Islam couse it gives best rights to women...

I'm trying to do it too. My blog is update with a article, named: What Non-Muslims Say About…Islam

fi amanellah

May 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Really good post. I think too many people have tried to look upon these as negative points to slam Islam. I thought the one on inheritance was esp. eye-opening. I had never thought of all the things the sons would have to pay before.
Keep up the good work.

May 7, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Travis aka. Samir said...

THANKYOU!! for this blog, the truth on womens rights is one thing that keeps comin up from cynical non-muslims. Good post

May 8, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

perplexin texan: the maharam's thing IS based on the sunnah.

May 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aalia: I am totally going to re-post what you wrote because for half the readers it still comes up as wingdings.
-Pixie

May 9, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

WOW! What a good read! Except for the other half with the hyrogliphics.

I'm a housewife and housewives are treated like oppressed property... but just like what is said a lot in this post, the man ends up being the one paying and being responsible and protecting... who's really getting off easy? Hardly oppressive to women if you ask me! Our world is soooo confused!!

I really agree with this quote:

"So, to the female walking down the stree in her booty-tight jeans and chest revealing shirt who sighs down at a covered woman; re-evaluate the situation. It may appear to YOU that we are poor, suppressed women, slaves to our men but in reality it's YOU who is the slave to a man's desire. One only has to go to a strip club or even a place as innocent as Earl's, where the women have to wear mini-skirts & tight black t-shirts."

Immodesty totally represses women!!

May 10, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

"There's also 'Hooters' where it's supposedly a 'family-friendly' restaurant"

Er... a restaurant named after boobs and full of nothing but boobs-on-display is a family friendly environment?? Maybe as a venue for a Breast Feeding Convention...

Oh ~ I forgot to say: if any of ya'll want to join my private hijabi blog, drop me a line at:

errlend.spence@virgin.net

Yes, there are supposed to be 2 rr's in that addy LOL!

May 10, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Wow, great post.

I'm very new ( I went to Friday prayers this week) to Islam and I have to say that covering up is very comforting to me. I have always been very conservative but now when I see a Muslim women I can't help but smile and know that she is covering for Allah and not for anything one else. I find Muslim women dress better than any modern western woman. I find the more I am around Muslim women and the Islamic culture the more comfortable I feel with myself.

Western women should look at Muslim women and realize how much more power and respect they have for themselves and family by covering up.

I look forward to learning more and more about Islam. thank you your post I look forward to reading more about Islam and seeing good examples of a Muslim women.

July 7, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

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