DEENI STUDENT WITH MUSICAL VIDEO ON HIS WHATSAPP AND FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT ULAMA

Q. There’s a student who is studying full time at a Darul Uloom. He has Whatsapp, a social media platform. On his WhatsApp status you can add “your status” and add things like videos or pictures etc. He has a musical video thereon. Should such a student remain at a Darul Uloom?
A. The student to whom you have referred, follows in the footsteps of shaitaan. It is haraam to impart higher Islamic Knowledge to such agents of Iblees. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“He who imparts Ilm (higher Ilm) to an unfit one is like the one who garlands pigs with diamonds, pearls and gold.”
You should pass the information to the Principal of the Darul Uloom, even if you do so anonymously. Give the details of the student. Today, he is not an exception. This type of immoral behaviour is the norm of most Madrasah students. That is why the Darul Ulooms are churning out a mass of molvis who become the Ulama-e-Soo’.


Q. Some ulama say that it is necessary for ulama to be financially independent so that they can speak the haq and not be subjugated to the trustees. However other ulama say that ulama should not work in the corporate world because it diminishes the roohaniyat and the love of the world enters the aalim’s heart due to which he loses focus on ilm. Many ulama who were teaching and working at the same time, when they had to choose between the two, they chose the corporate world because of the high pay and so forth. In light of the above, what should an aalim do?
A. If an Aalim or even a non-Aalim has Taqwa he will know what to do when in a conflict between the Deen and the dunya. He will choose the Deen and kick away the dunya. Proclamation of the Haqq does not depend on finance. The molvis who are subjugated by the trustees are worse than the trustees. Such molvis do not believe that Allah Ta’ala is the Raaziq even if they acknowledge with their mouths. A molvi who conceals the Haqq or who interprets it to suit the trustees and the wealthy, deserves to be ‘subjugated’. He is a traitor to the Deen.
Trustees are able to control and dictate only mercenary molvis. An Aalim of the Haqq will never barter away his Imaan for the wages the fussaaq trustees pay. A molvi who has no concern for the Haqq and whose objective is worldly benefit will not hesitate to behave like a Munaafiq. He will misinterpret, distort and conceal the Haqq. Such a molvi befits humiliation at the hands of the fussaaq trustees who have employed him for their own evil designs. He is not an Aalim. He is a mercenary molvi for who fussaaq trustees are befitting.

Facebook knows Instagram is harmful to teens especially teen girls: WSJ

Social Media

Documents seen by The Wall Street Journal show that Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for young girls, which strays from the tech giant’s public position on the matter.

By Al Jazeera Staff14 Sep 2021For the last three years, Facebook has studied how its Instagram photo-sharing app affects the mental health of its millions of young users, and the firm’s researchers have repeatedly found that Instagram is toxic to a sizable percentage of them, particularly teenage girls, according to internal Facebook documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from a 2019 presentation by researchers that was posted to Facebook’s internal message board and viewed by the WSJ.

“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide seen by the WSJ. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

The Instagram documents are part of a trove of internal Facebook communications reviewed by the WSJ, and show that Facebook has made minimal effort to address these issues and actually minimises them to the public.

As part of a series entitled “The Facebook Files”, the WSJ on Monday reported (paywall) that internal Facebook documents revealed that the social media company has built a system that exempts high-profile users such as politicians, celebrities and journalists from some or all of its content rules while publicly claiming that its more than three billion users are given an equal platform.

The programme, known as “cross check” or “XCheck”, shields millions of VIP users from the company’s guidelines and rules around what content may be removed, the WSJ reported.

Revelations from internal documents describing Facebook’s research on the impact of Instagram, published on Tuesday by the WSJ, appear to be the deepest dive yet into what the tech giant knows about its impact on teens’ mental health and reveals a gap between Facebook’s understanding of itself and what it reveals to the public.

More than 40 percent of Instagram’s users are 22 years old and younger [File: Thomas White/Reuters]

Among teens who reported thinking about suicide, 13 percent of British users and 6 percent of American users traced the desire to take their own lives to Instagram, the WSJ reported after seeing one of the presentation slides.

More than 40 percent of Instagram’s users are 22 years old and younger.

Some 22 million teens log onto Instagram in the United States each day, which is a lot higher than the five million teens signing onto Facebook.

For Facebook, which paid $1bn for Instagram in 2012, expanding its base of young users has been crucial in recent years as fewer and fewer young users turn to Facebook for their social media needs, show the materials seen by the WSJ.

“The research that we’ve seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental-health benefits,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a congressional hearing back March, when lawmakers probed him about children and mental health.

Then in May, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said that research suggests the app’s effects on teen mental health are “quite small”.

The dive into Instagram’s impact is made up of focus groups, diary studies and surveys of tens of thousands of people. In five presentations over 18 months, researchers found that some of the problems were specific to Instagram, and not social media in general, according to the WSJ.Unlike other apps that are grounded in performance or silly filters, Instagram focuses on the body and lifestyle, which Facebook research found is detrimental to young girls’ self-esteem and mental health [File: Jon Nazca/Reuters]

“Social comparison is worse on Instagram,” states Facebook’s research, referring to the tendency of users to compare themselves to others posting on the site.

While other apps such as TikTok, a short-video app, are grounded in performance, Instagram focuses on the body and lifestyle. The pressure to look perfect and have an ideal way of life could send teens spiralling towards eating disorders and depression, internal research found.

“Aspects of Instagram exacerbate each other to create a perfect storm,” the research said.

Facebook’s findings were reviewed by the company’s executives and mentioned to Zuckerberg in 2020, according to the documents seen by the WSJ.

But when asked last March by the lawmakers about the impact of Instagram on young people, Zuckerberg defended the company’s plan to launch an Instagram product for kids under 13.

“I believe the answer is ‘yes’,” Zuckerberg said in front of the congressional committee when asked if the company had done research on Instagram’s effects on children.

And when several senators in August asked Facebook to send them their internal findings on the impact of Instagram on youth mental health, Facebook sent a six-page letter but did not include the company’s research.SOURCE: AL JAZEERAhttps://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/14/facebook-knows-instagram-is-harmful-to-teen-girls-wsj

ARE SECULAR QUALIFIED DOCTORS CONSIDERED AS ISLAMIC HEALERS?

  • A response to a misleading Hadith interpretation going around on social media.
  • The addition of the words in brackets “a doctor/medical practitioner” is not part of the original Hadith… it’s just an assumption based on someone’s interpretation.

Below is the Hadith going around with the misleading addition:

Amr bin Shoaib narrates from his father, who narrates from his grandfather, that Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

Whoever gives medical treatment and he is not known to be [a doctor/medical practitioner] then he is liable.

(Sunan Nasai; Al Mujtaba, Hadith: 4830, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 3466, Sunan Daraqutni, Hadith: 4497)

The addition of the words in brackets “a doctor/medical practitioner” gives unsuspecting readers the assumption that secular indoctrinated doctors and medical practitioners are considered as the people that the Hadith are referring to. This is not true as there are many reasons why graduates of secular medical schools should not be considered as people of knowledge when it comes to health matters. Below are just some of the reasons:

  • Secular medical schools promotes the beliefs of the secular state which contradicts many Islamic beliefs.
  • Health effects of spiritual problems (evil eye, black magic and jinns) are not taught to students in medical schools but are mislabeled and passed off as other health conditions….as per the Hadith doctors will be held liable for this misdiagnoses.
  • Students at secular medical schools are not taught about how to use natural cures from the Quran and Sunnah to treat patients….as per the Hadith doctors will be held liable for been ignorant of this.
  • Students at secular medical schools are not taught that sins can also be a cause of sickness….science cannot explain all causes of sickness as it has limitations.
  • Students at secular medical schools are not taught about other Islamic treatments like repentance, sadaqah, supplication and duas…..this explains their incorrect belief on incurable diseases, which Islam teaches us can be cured using divine interventions…..as per the Hadith doctors will be held liable for this ignorance.
  • Students at secular medical schools are taught the incorrect beliefs on fever, sneezing, detox symptoms, sickness and contagious diseases….as per the Hadith doctors will be held liable for this misinformation that they promote to their patients.
  • students at secular medical schools are brainwashed into taking scientific evidence over Islamic evidence and mislead the muslim ummah in the process by propagating fake promoted science when real science(which is censored) are in line with Islamic beliefs.
  • Students at secular medical schools are brainwashed into believing that there are no better/safer alternative treatments than the allopathic treatments that they are indoctrinated into believing…. according to the Hadith they will be held liable for the harmful effects that these allopathic treatments cause.
  • Why didn’t they include the words like Hakeems, Raaqis, Aamils and Hijamah therapists in brackets? It’s clear that secular practitioners are been promoted over Islamic practitioners to indoctrinate unsuspecting Muslims into secularism by using secular titles in brackets.

-The title of doctor itself is an academic title and not an Islamic title…doctor is actually a Latin word and later a French one, meaning anyone who’s a teacher – usually of law, theology, philosophy, as well as medicine for a learned profession. So the really precise way to call for healing of sickness would be to ask for a practitioner that heals patients according to Islamic standards.

  • Based on the above secular trained medical practitioners are untrained, unqualified and unfit to practice medicine and healing according to Islamic standards. Secular indoctrinated Muslim health practitioners need to acknowledge the deficiency in knowledge that they are operating with and should make sincere attempts to get a real education according to Islamic standards as they will be held liable for whatever harm that they are causing to their unsuspecting patients. If an unqualified person physically treats a patient or operates on him and this leads to his death, then he will be held liable to pay the blood money. This is aside from him being liable in the court of Allah!

This is also a good response to ignorant people who like to use the words “ARE YOU A DOCTOR?” when you question or challenge the views and beliefs of doctors on health matters. Just because the secularists promotes the beliefs of doctors and scientists using various tools of propaganda it does not mean that they are considered as Islamic healers according to Islamic standards. Many doctors have good intentions of helping patients but they have been given a license by the secularists to harm people due to their indoctrination in unislamic beliefs.

It is advisable for Muslims to promote legitimate Islamic healers instead of promoting doctors. Be cautious of getting information on health matters from pro secular sources like mainstream media, the secular state, the WHO, Muslim doctors and the misguided scholars who align themselves with those who promote secular beliefs over Islamic beliefs. Don’t expect secularists to promote Islamic beliefs on their secular platforms as those platforms are used to promote their beliefs instead. Muslims need to make an effort to get their health information from alternative sources if they want to improve their health.

Another serious issue is that nowadays Muslim radio stations, Muslim newspapers and Muslim television programs are giving secular indoctrinated Muslim health practitioners a platform to promote their unislamic beliefs on the unsuspecting Muslim ummah….be cautious of them as ignorance is one thing but never forget that some Muslims are agents of the kuffar.

Bursting the Bubble​

As exhausted as she was, she put in the extra effort. “Never mind if I’m tired, I’ll do it for my hubby,” she thought to herself. She wore attractive clothing and jewellery, applied perfume, prepared his favourite meal and dessert and even lit candles, hoping to please her husband by making it a ‘special evening’. Sadly, as soon as he entered, let alone appreciate and admire, and let alone a simple smile and a hug – he didn’t even spare her a second glance! He walked in, glued to his phone, absolutely oblivious to the loving wife who had eagerly awaited him all day. At that moment, her bubble burst and her heart was broken…

After reading the above, most people would be quick to condemn the husband’s behaviour and classify him as insensitive, callous and uncaring. Now, consider the following:

“Mommy! You know what aapa told us today?” Faatimah excitedly exclaimed as she ran in from madrasah. “Not now Faatimah! I’m busy!” her mother snapped while frantically typing on her phone.

“Daddy! See what I made for you with my blocks!” Muhammad said, hopping with happiness. “Can’t you see that I’m on the phone?” his father scolded in irritation.

In all the cases above, a person turned to someone that they love, hoping and expecting to receive warmth, love, attention and acceptance, and were instead brushed off abruptly and painfully ignored. Just as a wife feels hurt when her husband treats her indifferently, children similarly feel hurt when their parents treat them in this way. If the husband is guilty, the parents are also guilty and deserving of condemnation.

In such a child’s eyes, his parents love their phones more than him as they cannot even put it down for a few minutes to give him attention and love. When the child sees that his parents have bonded with their phones more than with him, it is unsurprising that he develops a fascination with the phone and also wishes to acquire one to bond with. If it is not the phone occupying the parents, then regardless of what it is, it causes hurt and pain to the child – especially when it happens on a continuous basis.

As fathers and mothers, we need to understand that parenting is not an eight-to-five occupation where we can knock off for the day, thereafter ignoring all responsibilities of the work place until the next morning. As parents, we can never feel, “I gave my children enough attention today, now it’s my turn to relax and I do not want them to disturb me or bother me.” We are on duty 24/7, and whenever our children come to us, we must show them warmth, love and attention. Failing to do so creates a serious complex in the child, affecting their emotional wellbeing and causing them to develop a dangerous craving for attention.

When the wife is displeased with her husband for ignoring her, then due to her intelligence and age, she will be able to express herself with words or even tears. In the case of the child, he does not know how to communicate his need via words. Instead, when he desperately craves the attention and love of his parents, he looks for other ways to gain it – or he will seek the love from outsiders.

Children are simple souls and do not understand diplomacy and tact. If a child wants a toy from another child, he will often snatch it without thinking twice. Likewise, when the parents do not give the child the attention that he wants, he tries to ‘snatch’ it from them. This often manifests in the form of naughty behaviour such as breaking things, tantrums, etc., as the child knows no other way to draw his parents’ attention. 

How sad that the child has to resort to this behaviour simply to make his parents look at him!

Unfortunately, this plan backfires. The child is given attention – but in the form of scolding, punishment, etc., and this further entrenches the complex and craving within the child. The parents then lament and complain about the behaviour of their children, failing to realise that it is actually a shout for help from a child who is starving for love and knows no other way to express himself.

The next time our child comes to us, even if it may be to show us a flower they picked in the garden, or a ‘picture’ that they scribbled with crayons, or to tell us something silly that their friend told them, or to show us their toy, let us not burst their bubble and break their hearts. Let us take out a few moments to give them our undivided love and attention. 

uswatulmuslimah.co.za

How You Can Help Regulate Your Child’s Access to Smartphones & Social Media

Thousands of testimonies which highlight the prevalence of sexual abuse experienced by young girls have been posted on a website called Everyone’s Invited. The shocking number of testimonies has triggered an Ofsted review, which aims at introducing more protective policies and improving the experiences of females in educational institutions.
The findings of the review were published in a report by Ofsted on 10 June,[1] which immediately shocked many parents, caregivers, and teachers. The revelations shed light on the high levels of sexual abuse and harassment which occur within educational facilities. According to Ofsted’s findings, girls in one school were asked for up to ten nude or semi-nude pictures per night by different boys. The report highlights the alarming problem of inappropriate sexual behaviour among children in schools.

In light of this issue, parents are naturally concerned about how they can protect their child from being abused, as well as preventing them from abusing others.

While the source of the abuse and harassment boils down to the education, upbringing, values, and mentalities of young boys, what also cannot be ignored are the tools which facilitate the exponential growth of these cycles of sexual misconduct. The prevalent use of smartphones and social media platforms by almost every teenager in the present has provided abusers open access into the lives of thousands of children. If this vicious cycle is not stopped, then the impact will be felt for generations to come.

These abuse cases stem from the unfettered access to social media platforms that children in the present have. Surprisingly, almost every child in the present age has unrestricted possession of a smartphone device. If the frequency of abuse cases is to be mitigated, access to smartphone devices must be restricted. Since every child and family is different, we should be open to adapting our approach for every unique situation. Parents with younger children are in a better position to tackle this situation more efficiently. But even for the parents of older children, imposing clear rules and boundaries may be the only way to prevent episodes of abuse from occurring on social media platforms.

In this article, I will outline the advice I often give to parents regarding the use of smartphones and social media.

1. Do not give your child a smartphone

Refusing to give your child a smartphone is not due to a lack of trust, but about giving them the right things at the right age. If a parent were to give their child a bottle of alcohol and permit them to play with it, do you think the child would not end up opening the bottle and drinking from it? Would we be surprised if the child ultimately ended up becoming addicted to the substance? Similarly, a smartphone can be a dangerous tool if placed in the wrong hands. If such devices are used improperly, a person can face numerous complications related to mental health, such as severe anxiety or depression.

Inform your child that they can have a smartphone when they turn 16, that is, once they start college or their senior years in secondary school. In the years before they turn 16, ensure that you educate your child regarding the benefits and harms of smartphones and social media. Educate them about the values of right and wrong, so that the process of learning and understanding becomes easier for them. You must also consider the fact that a child learns from what they see. Therefore, you must be a positive model by exhibiting the best behaviour with your smartphone and social media usage. If you are using these applications to the extent that they are taking over your life, your child will not value your advice and rules.

Owing to your strict guidelines, your child may feel like an outcast by being the only primary student who does not have a smartphone. In response to such concerns, you should educate your child by informing them that it is perfectly fine to uphold different values and standards. Inspire them by saying that we should be leaders, not blind followers of others. Remind them that during the technological age, it is extremely dangerous to obey others without thinking about the values of right and wrong.

2. If a phone is required, then consider giving a technologically inferior model

If you need to give your child a phone due to health and safety reasons, such as their school being located far away from their area of residence, then give them a technologically inferior device. By such a phrase I am referring to older phone models which do not have any smartphone capabilities.

This will enable your child to contact you in case of an emergency, yet they will not be able to have access to any smartphone features.

3. If a smartphone is required, then do not give it to ages under 11

If for whatever reason you feel that your child requires a smartphone, then do not give it to a child of primary school age. Only provide the smartphone when they are 11 years of age or older. The phone should not be under contract, and have no data plan. This way your child will only be able to access the Internet or mobile applications when they are in Wi-Fi zones. In addition to these measures, instruction about the appropriate use of smartphones is still necessary, and ideally, your child should not have any social media applications installed. Bear in mind that most social media applications are designated for the ages of 13 and older. You should also ensure that your child submits their phone to you whenever they arrive home, enabling you to maintain control of their device.

4. Regulate their time

If you wish to give your child some time to use their phone at home, it must be regulated. For example, they could be permitted one hour of phone usage straight after dinner. However, the use of the phone must be in communal areas to ensure nothing inappropriate is occurring. Under no circumstances should any technological devices enter the bedroom. After they have indulged themselves with the smartphone, they should hand the device over to you. It is also important that as a child’s first teacher, you must also appropriately manage your device usage. For instance, if your child is not using their phone at home, then you as a parent should also model that behaviour and try to avoid phone usage during after school hours. Instead, use it in the evening after your child has gone to bed, if possible.

5. Use limits and preventive measures

If you have agreed to let your child use some social media applications, then a few limits and preventative measures must be put in place. These include the following:

  1. Add a parent or guardian as a contact,
  2. Only add friends and family members approved by parents,
  3. Do not add acquaintances of the opposite gender,
  4. Do not allow your child to set their profile page as private.

This is still not the best option, but at least there will be some rules and regulations in place. These measures will mitigate the potential harm that your child may encounter during their use of social media.

6. No phone at night

Under no circumstances should you allow your child to have their phone with them during the night. It must be taken from them before bed, as this is a time of greater risk. In fact, studies confirm that most cases of harassment and cyberbullying take place at night, and most girls are asked for nude or semi-nude photographs during overnight hours. No child should ever be allowed to take a smartphone with them to bed. It is therefore essential that the bedroom remains a technology-free zone, and it is your duty as a parent to maintain checks and balances on your child’s night time activities.

7. Put parental controls on your Wi-Fi

Unfettered access to the internet contributes to the abuse and harassment of children. To combat this, there are a number of services that parents can utilize to help put filters on their home Internet network. Through these simple measures you can protect your child from accessing harmful content and other potential risk areas.

While we may face pressure from our children on these matters, we must nevertheless be mindful that as parents we assume the obligation of protecting our children and raising them up with good values. Smartphone devices and social media platforms are not age appropriate forums for children, even if the current degree of restrictions worldwide is limited. Besides the requirement of them having to reach mature age, you must provide your child with sufficient know-how regarding the advantages and liabilities found in modern technology. When a child realises that your rules come from a coherent value system which is designed to make them a better person, they will be more inclined to abide by your commands. This way, as parents we will face a lower degree of friction and ensure to safeguard our future generations.

I have been working with Parents, Carers and Schools to help cover difficult sensitive topics, with a view of helping to improve safeguarding.

Last year I published the second book part of the ‘Difficult Conversation Series’ and addresses several safeguarding topics.

‘Let’s chat about your body & privacy’ uses relatable scenarios and discusses issues around body safety, exposure to indecent images (pornography), and sharing of images via social media (sexting).

There are several thinking points in the book which encourage discussion and problem-solving. This book helps children, parents, and teachers to explore difficult situations and conversations in a child-friendly and sensitive way.

The book is designed for pre-teens and early teens (marked as suitable for children aged 10+) and helps prepare children for Secondary School and the teenage years.

The book is available to purchase on Amazon here

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges#what-did-we-find-out-about-the-scale-and-nature-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools

Muslim Lives Matter

May 25, 2021 was the first death anniversary of George Floyd. His murder at the hands of the Minneapolis police department has been memorialised in the United States and around the world. His death began a movement which posed direct and difficult questions regarding the structure of white supremacy in America and elsewhere. “Black Lives Matter” is a rallying cry that has echoed across every corner of the globe: it not only encompasses the plight of African Americans, it also applies to minorities in Europe and Australia.

While it’s important to note that “Racism” should be scrawled on George Floyd’s death certificate as the cause of his untimely demise, there is another form of discrimination which is proving deadly too. It’s time to say just as loudly, Muslim Lives Matter.

It’s been difficult to escape the recent images coming from Gaza. What is at the root of the conflict between Hamas and Israel? While land is certainly a major part of it, why were the Palestinians moved off that land? It was because their presence, as Arabs and mainly Muslim, precluded the possibility of the Jewish state that Israel’s founders wished to build. The walls that Israel builds around Palestinian territories is further evidence of this exclusionary policy: yes, there are Israeli Arabs and they have political parties. However, their participation in Israeli political life is the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, Palestinians lead different lives on the same land. The figures around coronavirus vaccination make this particularly clear: according to Reuters, only 5.1% of the population of the Palestinian territories have been vaccinated. Israel, in contrast, has vaccinated 58.3% according to the same source.

Israel is one example, however, it’s worth looking at recent trends. Remember, one of the first actions of the Trump Administration was to ban travellers to the United States from predominantly Muslim countries. On March 17, 2021 the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) cited a report from the UN Human Rights Council which stated that Islamophobia had risen to “epidemic” proportions. We have seen France turn on Muslim communities’ practices and beliefs in the name of secularism. We bear witness to on-going prejudices deeply embedded in Western societies. There is a patronising assumption among many in the West that because Muslim women wear scarves as a symbol of our faith, that we are somehow downtrodden and need to be liberated to be just like Westerners. We would choose this, the assumption goes, if only we had the ability to make that selection.

The bafflement and misunderstanding of some politicians leads directly into dehumanisation: witness Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s remarks that women who don the veil look like letterboxes. It’s not altogether clear that he has repented these remarks: he recently was visited by Hungary’s Prime Minister, Victor Orban, whose government has decidedly Islamophobic views.

So long as there is incomprehension and arrogance, there will be bigotry, stretching all the way from Israel to across the Atlantic, to the furthest corners of the globe. Bigotry leads to “othering”, the process by which the views and lives of an entire group are discounted. This discounting is the route to maltreatment, or worse.

The Muslim community in Great Britain and elsewhere does do outreach programmes: I am aware of open-door events, whereby people from other communities are invited into the mosque or to share Iftar during Ramadan. I appreciate the non-Muslims who go to these events: they may be catalysts for a better society. I just don’t believe there are enough of them. Boris Johnson can say what he likes, and yet not suffer terrible consequences in the polls: this makes Islamophobia appear to be the last acceptable form of overt bigotry.

I believe it is incumbent on Muslims to learn from the Black Lives Matter movement. We should record the toll that Islamophobia has taken, memorialise its victims, talk about our lives and the discrimination we face. We should stand up for our values too. For example, I wear a headscarf not because I feel oppressed, but because when it comes to the Western game of chasing their standards of beauty, I have opted out. I have decided to follow the dictates of my God. I want to be valued for my intellectual contributions, not judged on how my hair looks on any particular day. I am free: I choose modesty. So long as that is my choice, that should inspire neither pity nor condescension. Nor should any of the choices that Muslims make, whether that is refraining from alcohol or pork, be seen through any other lens. None of this means Islam is not compatible with modernity: I myself have advanced degrees and a career. Thus, there should be no “othering”, rather, there should be tolerance, understanding, and the equality of consideration that flows from both.

Too often, however, I see Muslims apologising: whenever there are extremists in our midst, we feel compelled to denounce them to be good citizens. It is right that we do so. However, have the religious right in America denounced those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th? If we are to denounce extremism, surely there must be equality in this too. Surely, we should say so.

I believe that God created the world for all of us, regardless of faith, race, or creed. I believe He made us to serve Him and each other. We do not serve anything except the darker corners of our nature if we exclude and denigrate. That, in my opinion, is not in His plan. Most faiths and ethical frameworks hold the equality of mankind to be sacrosanct: these state Muslim Lives Matter. We should say so too, via the way we live our lives, live proudly in our faith, and continue to push at the barriers which exclude us from any corner of mainstream society. Until we do, bigotry will persist, as it is a convenient crutch for those who want to blame others for those who want to explain away difficulty in their lives. We should not let it.

https://tribune.com.pk/article/97391/muslim-lives-matter

NIKAH THROUGH ZOOM OR WHATSAPP VIDEO

Q. A new trend that many people are involved in is, Nikah through Zoom or whatsapp video. In present lockdown conditions this method of nikah are becoming widespread. Some Imams seem readily available to perform these nikahs. There are two scenarios quite common:
1) Imam sitting in his house and bride and groom sitting in their own respective homes. (Bride in her house and groom
in his house). Both having witnesses present in their homes.
2) Imam sitting in the bride’s house with witnesses and the groom sitting in his own house with witnesses.
In these scenarios is nikah valid or invalid. In which scenarios will nikahs be valid?

A. Marriages performed in this manner are not valid. No scenario is valid. They will be living in the state of adultery.

Shades of Anger

Allow me to speak my Arab tongue
before they occupy my language as well.
Allow me to speak my mother tongue
before they colonise her memory as well.
I am an Arab woman of color.
and we come in all shades of anger.
All my grandfather ever wanted to do
was wake up at dawn and watch my grandmother kneel and pray
in a village hidden between Jaffa and Haifa
my mother was born under an olive tree
on a soil they say is no longer mine
but I will cross their barriers, their check points
their damn apartheid walls and return to my homeland
I am an Arab woman of colour and we come in all shades of anger.
And did you hear my sister screaming yesterday
as she gave birth at a check point
with Israeli soldiers looking between her legs
for their next demographic threat
called her baby girl “Janeen”.
And did you hear Amni Mona screaming
behind their prison bars as they teargassed her cell
“We’re returning to Palestine!”
I am an Arab woman of colour and we come in all shades of anger.
But you tell me, this womb inside me
will only bring you your next terrorist
beard wearing, gun waving, towelhead, sand nigger
You tell me, I send my children out to die
but those are your copters, your F16′s in our sky
And let’s talk about this terrorism business for a second
Wasn’t it the CIA that killed Allende and Lumumba
and who trained Osama in the first place
My grandparents didn’t run around like clowns
with the white capes and the white hoods on their heads lynching black people
I am an Arab woman of colour and we come in all shades of anger.
“So who is that brown woman screaming in the demonstration?”
Sorry, should I not scream?
I forgot to be your every orientalist dream
Jinnee in a bottle, belly dancer, harem girl, soft spoken Arab woman
Yes master, no master.
Thank you for the peanut butter sandwiches
raining down on us from your F16′s master
Yes my liberators are here to kill my children
and call them “collateral damage”
I am an Arab woman of colour and we come in all shades of anger.
So let me just tell you this womb inside me
will only bring you your next rebel
She will have a rock in one hand and a Palestinian flag in the other
I am an Arab woman of color
Beware! Beware my anger…

A POEM BY A MUSLIM WOMAN REGARDING HER PALESTINIAN HOMELAND