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

Selfitis

By Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

Among the greatest qualities of a Believer is humility. Conversely, pride and arrogance are among the worst diseases that can afflict a person. A humble person is beloved to Allah Ta‘ala and is also loved by people, while a proud person or one who loves to “show off” falls from the grace of Allah Ta‘ala and is disliked by people as well, though they may appear to respect him.

Pride and vanity are not detected by means of an X-ray or CT scan. Instead they are manifested in one’s utterances, reactions to situations, choices, manner and general conduct. One of the recently discovered symptoms is “selfitis”.

Inflamed Ego

The American Psychiatric Association has defined “selfitis” as being “the obsessive, compulsive urge to take photos of one’s self and upload them on social media.” In essence, the victims of this illness are major attention seekers. The APA further explained that the suffix “itis” by which the word ends generally refers to inflammation. Hence bronchitis refers to inflammation of the lungs and tonsillitis to the inflammation of the tonsils. Thus this mental disorder was named “selfitis” as the people who suffer from it are generally prone to having “inflamed egos.”

The ahaadeeth have sounded numerous warnings for people who engage in the sin of photography. Apart from these warnings, when a person is filled with such vanity and conceit that his ego tricks him into thinking that the entire world is simply dying to share every moment of his mundane life with him, and thus he cannot see past his own face, how is he supposed to see the majesty and glory of Allah Ta‘ala?

When we will stop trying to attract the attention of people to ourselves in whichever way, including posting pictures of ourselves or our activities on social media, insha-Allah we will attract the special attention and blessings of Allah Ta‘ala towards us. This will make our lives in this world contented and peaceful.

Sourced from UswatulMuslima

MISC. WOMEN’S ISSUES

VARIOUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RELATED TO WOMEN FROM THE MAJLIS VOL 25 NO 10

Q. Is it permissible for a wife to take a job outside the home? Can the husband prevent her?
A. It is not permissible for the wife to take a job outside the home even with the permission
of the husband. It is not permissible for her to do any work even from home without the
permission of her husband. The maintenance is the responsibility of the husband. If he provides the maintenance, and he refuses permission for his wife to work and earn even from home, then it will not be permissible for her to undertake any job even from within the precincts of the home. The husband is under Shar’i obligation to prohibit and prevent his wife from leaving the house to work or to participate in any kind of function.

Q. My husband works in an office among females who are immodestly dressed. He says that he keeps his eyes cast down. He also says that Muslim doctors and even Ulama work with women. What is the Shariah’s law in this regard?
A. The doctors and even Ulama who do not observe proper Hijaab and who work with women are not the Shariah. Their activities and their mingling with women in their professions and occupations may not be presented as a valid basis. The only basis is the Shariah, not the practices of people even if they are great Ulama. If their practices are in conflict with the Shariah, it will remain haraam and not become halaal because they happen to be ‘great’ Ulama. It is not proper and not permissible for a Muslim male doctor to attend to female patients. He should divert them to female doctors. Only if there is a valid reason upheld by the Shariah may a male doctor attend to a female and vice versa. There are numerous non-Muslim female
doctors who can handle Muslim female patients. A Muslim doctor is not supposed to work in a hospital where he has to incumbently interact with females. Thus, their actions are not Islamic proofs for permissibility.
Your husband should himself make a sincere attempt to work elsewhere where he will not be in the company of women. He is bound to fall into the pit of zina. Shaitaan and the Nafs are deceiving him.


Q. Is it permissible to donate human milk?
A. Human breast milk is haraam. Breast milk is only halaal for under two year old infants. Donating or selling human milk or any part of the human body is haraam.

Q. Will a woman be a faasiq if she does not wear niqaab?
A. A woman who does not wear Niqaab in public is worse than a faasiqah. She is a faajirah (immoral).

Q. Will the wife be disobedient if she refuses to submit to her husband’s demand for oral sex?
A. The one who makes such a filthy satanic demand is worse than a pig. Oral or shaitaan sex is haraam. The wife should not submit to the swine-filth of the husband. She will not be disobedient. She is under Shar’i obligation to refuse the haraam instructions and haraam lusts of her husband. How can a human being who is termed Ashraful Makhluqaat (The Noblest of Creation) descend into such depths of swine-inequity?

Q. Is marriage to a Salafi girl valid?
A. Marriage with a Salafi girl is valid just as marriage with a Muslim prostitute is valid. However, such a marriage will be full of misery, hence inadvisable. There will be no compatibility and the marriage is likely
to break down and end in divorce. The Deeni differences and conflicts between Salafis and the Muqallideen of the Math-habs constitute an unbridgeable chasm.

Q. Does the period of breastfeeding differ for boys and girls?
A. The period of breastfeeding is two years for both boys and girls.


Q. My mother is extremely sick and complains a lot. What advice can I give her?
A. Be of service to her to the best of your ability. Tell her that it comes in the Hadith that sickness is a purifier. It cleanses us from all our sins provided that we do not complain. Complaining will not cure the sickness. On the contrary the sickness will become worse. Sickness is also a ni’mat (favour) of Allah Ta’ala. He purifies us here on earth with sicknesses and other difficulties so that we can enter Jannat fully purified. Advise your mother to keep her tongue constantly engaged in Thikrullaah. Maut can come at any moment. Therefore, the tongue should always be engaged in some Thikr to ensure departure from this dunya with
the Kalimah on the tongue.


Q. Is imitation jewellery permissible?
A. Imitation jewellery is permissible for women except rings. Rings must be of either gold or silver.

Q. Is it proper for a man to marry a second wife only for the sake of his lust?
A. Allah Ta’ala permits a man to marry four women. As far as ‘lust’ is concerned, everyone marries to satisfy his/her lust. The primary motive for marrying even one wife is to gratify lust. Initially people marry only to satisfy lust even if only one wife is taken. Allah Ta’ala has created lust in people, hence He is aware that men require more than one wife to satisfy their lust lawfully. Never voice yourself against any Law of Allah Ta’ala. Recite Istighfaar and make Taubah.


Q. Why is it not permissible for women to attend walimahs. During the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), they would go to walimahs.
A. Just as it is not permissible for women to attend the Musjid even if there are separate entrances, so too is it forbidden for women to attend ‘walimahs’ nowadays. Furthermore, the ‘walimahs’ nowadays are farcical and bid’ah. In fact, it is not permissible for even men to attend the reception organized by the girl’s parents on the day of the Nikah. Such a reception is not the walimah. Women used to attend the Musjid for Salaat during the age of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, this was unanimously banned later by the Sahaabah.
The same applies to walimahs and to all other merrymaking functions.

Q. How many holes may a lady pierce in her ears?
A. A lady may pierce her ears only with one hole in each ear. More than one is the style of the kuffaar.

Q. My husband has cheated on me. He has struck up adulterous relationships. My heart is broken. I don’t know what to do. My health is suffering. I want to run away. Please give me some advice.
A. Countless women are undergoing the same heart-breaking problems. When men lack Taqwa, they conduct themselves like atheists. They really do not believe that Allah Ta’ala is seeing them and that the Recording
Angels are writing their misdeeds. However, do understand well that your broken heart is a wonderful treasure by Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala, in His Own Words, said to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“I am with every broken heart.” Your grief will not be in vain. You will receive immense rewards for patiently bearing the grief. Focus more on Allah Ta’ala. Do not ruin your health on account of the shenanigans of your husband. Maintain your health and use it to gain nearness to Allah Ta’ala. Increase ibaadat. Life on earth is short. It is full of trials. May Allah Ta’ala grant you strength and steadfastness on the Deen. May Allah Ta’ala guide your husband and protect you.

Q. A man has two wives. The one wife lives with him while the other wife lives in her own house about 100 kilometres away. This wife demands equal nights. What is the Shariah’s rule?
A. In the scenario mentioned by you, if the wife who lives 100 kilometres away desires equal nights, then she has to reside in a house procured for her by her husband in the town where he lives. She cannot demand equal nights living in her own house 100 km from her husband.

Q. I do not allow my children to visit their grandparents – my parents and my wife’s parents.
They have televisions, and in general they do not observe the rules of the Shariah such as purdah, mushtabah / haraam food, etc. They are accusing me of breaking family ties. Am I breaking family ties?
A. In fact, it is not permissible to send your children to relatives who are not strict on the Deen. Refraining from sending the children does not mean that you are severing family ties. It is the Waajib obligation of parents to ensure that the Akhlaaq of their children are not compromised by relatives. Nowadays, the safest is to stay at home, and not to visit even relatives. We are trapped in an era of fitnah and fasaad. A home where the Deen is observed is a holy sanctuary visited by the Malaaikah of Rahmat. On the other hand, houses such as the homes of your parents are haunts for the shayaateen. These people lack the haziest idea of the meaning of family ties and what constitutes disruption of breaking of family ties. Furthermore, it is haraam to uphold
‘family ties’ when in conflict with the Shariah.

Q. Is there a special thikr or amal for anxiety and depression? When my evil past comes to mind, I develop anxiety and go into depression.
A. When anxiety develops, do not brood on the past. Do not entertain the thought which is the cause for the anxiety. Instead, lapse into Thikrullah. Perform two raka’ts Nafl and engage in Thikrullah. Shaitaan tries to derail a person by causing anxiety in this manner. A Mu’min equipped with the weapon of Thikr does not suffer depression. Anxiety is an assault of shaitaan, and its antidote is Thikrullah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Shaitaan sits glued on the heart of man. When he (man) makes thikr, shaitaan
flees. When he (man) is oblivious (ghaafil), shaitaan casts his waswasah.”

Q. I have found out that my husband is conducting relationships with women via his cell phone. He refuses to give me the password. What should I do?
A. 99% of the men of this age, including molvis and sheikhs, are involved in cellphone zina and pornography. There is nothing you will be able to do in these circumstances. Men and women are drowning in deluges of moral filth – zina and porno – of the cellphone. Little children are also addicted to this device of shaitaan. The
entire Ummah across the board, is buffeted madly in this whirlpool of cellphone filth. People no longer have Imaan. They have become atheists. They are in entirety bereft of any concept of Allah’s Omnipresence. They
have become munaafiqs. Whilst they blabber with their mouths about the Recording Angels, they sin flagrantly in front of these Malaaikah and with Allah Ta’ala looking at them. But since they do not really believe in the Presence of Allah Ta’ala and His Malaaikah, they sin recklessly. You can only constantly offer good advice to your husband and adopt Sabr. If you are unable to bear his evil abuse with patience then your marriage will end. Thus, your choice is between Sabr and Talaaq.
Q. The separation between a husband and wife was in terms of Khula’. Is it correct that the Iddat of this woman is 30 days?
A. The Iddat of a woman whether separated by Talaaq or Khula is the same. It is three haidh periods if not pregnant. If pregnant, it ends with the delivery of the child.

A defence for the caricatures depicting the Prophet is a defence for Islamophobia

The caricature controversy keeps rearing its ugly head, this time after the murder of a French teacher for showing degrading caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Every time a Muslim reacts with violence in response to these despicable caricatures, a wave of support for the caricatures spreads across the world in defence of freedom of speech. This is very unfortunate.

Why is the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ caricatured?

What makes the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ significant today is that there are about 2 billion people around the world who love him and have him as their supreme role model. Caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would be of little interest if Muslims did not follow him. Every time he is caricatured, it is not the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who is in focus – instead, the focus is on all the Muslims in the world who follow him. The cartoons are not only depicting him as a historical person, but are meant to represent Muslims as a whole.

The “bomb in the turban”

The drawing by the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, where the Prophet ﷺ is depicted with a bomb in his turban with the Islamic creed (shahāda) inscribed on it, makes one question why he is portrayed in this way. There were no bombs at the time of the Prophet ﷺ, so how can this be a criticism of him? What is the context behind this image? Evidently, there is no visible context whatsoever. The message one is left with is that Islam, bombs, and terrorism are all one and the same, and that Muslims are dangerous.

Where does this caricature come from? Some Muslims are seen committing terrorist attacks, but instead of blaming only these terrorists individually, one wishes to blame all Muslims. To substantiate that all Muslims support terrorism, the Prophet ﷺ is caricatured with a bomb in his turban as a symbol of the inner faith of Muslims.

The obvious message is that all Muslims – at least if they are “good Muslims” – either openly or secretly (through “taqiyyah”) support terrorism.

Therefore, the drawing is Islamophobic

The drawing is a clear Islamophobic racist cartoon, and the reason behind this is that it conveys an extremely negative stereotype that Muslims are terrorists. This is supported by the following arguments:

  1. When the average viewer sees the drawing, the natural impression he is left with is that Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism. This is precisely why this drawing has become so popular in Islamophobic circles, and just as hated in Muslim circles.
  2. The Muslim creed – which defines all Muslims – is written on the bomb. Therefore, the drawing conveys that all Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism, not just a specific person or organisation. If, for example, the terms Al-Qaeda or ISIS were written on the turban, it would have conveyed a completely different message.
  3. The drawing is a caricature of the Prophet of all Muslims, not of, for example, Osama bin Laden. Had it been a caricature of the latter, one could argue that it would not have been Islamophobic. But precisely because it is attributed to the Prophet ﷺ, it is a picture that portrays all of his followers, i.e. all Muslims, as terrorists or supporters of terrorism.
  4. More or less all Muslims, about 2 billion people, experience the drawing as Islamophobic and a violation of their human dignity.

Can the message be explained away?

It is also necessary to emphasise that Westergaard tried to explain away the cartoon as a symbol of terrorists taking the Prophet ﷺ and the religion as a hostage. But, since the drawing from the beginning has been conveyed as a caricature of the Prophet ﷺ, and not one of a terrorist, this is not a credible explanation. Therefore, the drawing remains Islamophobic.

To further exemplify it: If a Nazi makes an anti-Semitic drawing that shows that Jews exaggerated the Holocaust, and the cartoonist says that the drawing is really only meant to criticise some Jews who make too much fuss about the Holocaust, this will be rejected. Why? Because the drawing must be able to convey a meaningful message by itself, without it having to be explained away. If the drawing itself promotes a racist, anti-Semitic, or Islamophobic message, then that is exactly how it should be understood, regardless of how the cartoonist later explains away his intentions.

What about other caricatures of the Prophet ﷺ?

Similarly, when the Prophet ﷺ is caricatured as, for example, a misogynist, the indirect message is that everyone who follows the Prophet ﷺ – namely, all Muslims – abuse and discriminate against women, at least if they are “good Muslims.”

Any caricature of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that promotes a negative stereotype of Muslims will be Islamophobic because the Prophet ﷺ represents all Muslims.

Aren’t the caricatures a critique of religion?

Some may say that the caricatures are meant to be a criticism of the Prophet ﷺ. To portray the Prophet of the Muslims in Islamophobic stereotypes is quite different from non-Muslims criticising certain actions that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did in his historical context. According to the secular world view Muslims must tolerate criticism of their religion, but they do not have to tolerate Islamophobia. That’s why the distinction between criticism of religion and Islamophobia is crucial. One moves from criticism of Islam to Islamophobia when one either:

  1. Stigmatises Muslims as a group by attributing negative opinions, characteristics, or intentions to them; or
  2. Mentions historical events related to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in a stigmatising way without showing the context of the event one wishes to criticise, which leads to stigmatisation of Muslims.

The caricatures of the Prophet ﷺ do exactly this because they portray the symbol of the ideal Muslim as a terrorist and misogynist, without showing any real historical context. The context is crucial for distinguishing between criticism of religion and Islamophobia.

Therefore, the caricatures are Islamophobic, in line with claims such as Muslims inwardly support terrorism, good Muslims oppress women, or that Muslims secretly want to conquer Europe, etc. This is the same rhetoric found in right-wing extremist circles and organisations that promote the idea that to be a good Muslim, one must support terrorism, murder, and the oppression of women.

Should the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ be defended as freedom of speech?

The distinction between criticism of religion and Islamophobia is crucial in this debate. Precisely because this distinction has not been clear enough, we see that many defend Islamophobic caricatures in the name of freedom of expression.

Islamophobia is still a new concept for many, so it is important to point out that Islamophobia is a branch of racism. When we see these caricatures in the context of Islamophobia, it is easier to see the moral reprehensibility of saying that Muslims must tolerate being portrayed in this way. For instance, we would not say that Jews must tolerate caricatures of Moses being portrayed as a greedy man with a big nose (a typical anti-Semitic stereotype). It is morally reprehensible to make such anti-Semitic portrayals of Moses a symbolic struggle for freedom of speech.

But it has taken the world many years and many lost lives to really understand the dangers of anti-Semitic propaganda. We must learn from the mistakes of history. Now, in 2020, we understand the phenomenon of Islamophobia much more than society did in 2005 when the caricature controversy first started.

It is now time to put these caricatures in their right context. Defending the drawing, printing, or publication of Islamophobic caricatures is not a defence of freedom of speech – it is a defence of Islamophobia.

Source: www.islam21c.com

The Politicization of Blasphemy [Part I]

Islam Reigns

By Ibn Mosharraf

After decades of apathy we are finally seeing Muslims mobilizing and agitating against France for their continued anti-Muslim policies.

Something that many of us have been calling for years.

But these calls for boycott is not sitting well with some(or many) self-professed advocates of Laïcité (Secularism) and even some Muslims.

Here is a summary of the contentions against boycott making rounds online.

  1. The Prophet(ﷺ) tolerated blasphemy. Muslims who are protesting against blasphemy are radical extremists and terrorists. Or enabling them.
  2. Muslim nations should civilize themselves first before lecturing a Modern Nation like France which promotes Free Speech.
  3. Boycotting France is Hypocrisy. What about the Uyghurs?
  4. Boycotts are not effective.
  5. What about offensive verses in the Quran?

This two part series will address these contentions as comprehensively as possible.

In this first part we will discuss the following issues.

  • Are Muslims unIslamic in their intolerance towards blasphemy?
  • Does…

View original post 2,381 more words

Using impermissible avenues to propagate Deen

Q: Is it permissible to post videos on Whatsapp with photos of people where the sole intention is to impart a Deeni message or to educate people islamically?

A: We have been commanded to practice deen correctly as well as propagate deen correctly through halaal means. If one adopts haraam methods in propagating deen, then even though one has propagated deen to others, one will be guilty of committing two crimes. The first is the crime of not practicing on deen correctly, and the second is the crime of propagating deen incorrectly through impermissible means. In doing so, one will be sinful for disobeying Allah Ta’ala and presenting the wrong version of deen to the ummah.

Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Gangohi (rahimahullah) mentioned: In Shariah, we have been commanded with two responsibilities. One is making an effort to preserve deen and the second is making an effort to propagate deen. Both these aspects are of great significance and importance in deen. However, it should be borne in mind that from the two aspects, the first aspect (making an effort to preserve deen) will be given preference over the second aspect (making an effort to propagate deen). Therefore, propagating deen through an impermissible means, which will lead to the destruction of deen, is actually working against deen and certainly not in keeping to the demands of intelligence.

Hence, it is not permissible to propagate deen through posting videos containing animate pictures on Whatsapp, Youtube or other social media platforms as this is against the commands of Shariah.

Furthermore, severe warnings have been sounded in the mubaarak Ahaadith for those who get involved in the grave sin of photography and picture making. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The people to be inflicted with the worst punishment will be the picture makers.” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has cursed the one who receives interest, the one who gives interest, the tattooist, the tattooed and the picture maker. The Hadith also explains that the angels of mercy do not enter a home in which there is a picture of an animate object.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

حدثنا الأعمش عن مسلم قال كنا مع مسروق في دار يسار بن نمير فرأى في صفته تماثيل فقال سمعت عبد الله قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن أشد الناس عذابا عند الله يوم القيامة المصورون (صحيح البخاري، الرقم: 5950)

عن عبد الله قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أشد الناس عذابا يوم القيامة المصورون (صحيح مسلم، الرقم: 2109)

عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله أنه سمع ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما يقول: سمعت أبا طلحة يقول: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: لا تدخل الملائكة بيتا فيه كلب ولا صورة تماثيل (صحيح البخاري، الرقم: 3225)

حدثنا عون بن أبي جحيفة عن أبيه قال لعن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الواشمة والمستوشمة وآكل الربا وموكله ونهى عن ثمن الكلب وكسب البغي ولعن المصورين (صحيح البخاري، الرقم: 5347)

عن أبي هريرة قال: الصورة الرأس فكل شيء ليس له رأس فليس بصورة وفي قول جبريل صلوات الله عليه لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في حديث أبي هريرة إما أن تجعلها بساطا وإما أن تقطع رؤوسها دليل على أنه لم يبح من استعمال ما فيه تلك الصور (شرح معاني الآثار للطحاوي، الرقم: 6947)

وظاهر كلام النووي في شرح مسلم الإجماع على تحريم تصوير الحيوان وقال وسواء صنعه لما يمتهن أو لغيره فصنعته حرام بكل حال لأن فيه مضاهاة لخلق الله تعالى وسواء كان في ثوب أو بساط أو درهم وإناء وحائط وغيرها ا هـ فينبغي أن يكون حراما لا مكروها إن ثبت الإجماع أو قطعية الدليل بتواتره (رد المحتار 1/647)

وكذا النهي إنما جاء عن تصوير ذي الروح لما روي عن علي رضي الله عنه أنه قال من صور تمثال ذي الروح كلف يوم القيامة أن ينفخ فيه الروح وليس بنافخ فأما لا نهي عن تصوير ما لا روح له لما روي عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنه أنه نهى مصورا عن التصوير فقال كيف أصنع وهو كسبي فقال إن لم يكن بد فعليك بتمثال الأشجار (بدائع الصنائع 1/116)

فصل التحليل ذكر الفقيه أبو الليث في تاسيس النظائر إذا لم يوجد في مذهب الإمام قول في المسئلة يرجع إلى مذهب مالك لأنه أقرب المذاهب إليه (رد المحتار 2/583)

فتاوى محموديه 5/229

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)