Category Archives: Women in Islam

Shadeed Muhammad – Is Saudi Arabia The Standard?

For those who see the cultural practices Saudi Arabia of the criterion of right and wrong in our deen…

 

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Keep The Partitions Up

Gender mixing (ikhtilat) leads to flirting. Flirting leads to touching. Touching leads to zina. Zina leads to the destruction of marriage. The destruction of marriage leads to the downfall of family. The downfall of family leads to the end of humanity. Keep the partitions up.

~Daniel Haqiqatjou

Boycotting is the Final Treatment

Shaykh Albaani was asked:

_‘How should I deal with my neighbor who has removed her Jilbaab that she used to wear, should I boycott her?’_

Shaykh Albaani answers:

‘Boycotting a Muslim as an individual in an Islamic society is like treating a sick person with cauterization, like it has been mentioned in a proverb and in an unauthentic hadeeth: that the last treatment/cure is cauterization so boycotting is the final treatment.

It is not allowed for a Muslim man or woman to be hasty in boycotting the one who has deviated from his Islaam, rather it is upon us to follow them up, by visiting them, by reminding them about their Deen or by refuting them, perhaps they will return and repent.

If we stay with them and become despondent or we waste our time with them and become neglected and we fear this sickness will transfer to other than its source then we say salaam (farewell) to them, we do not seek the ignorant ones.

All praise belongs to Allaah Lord of the Worlds.’

[Taken from ‘Explanation of al-Adab al-Mufrad’ tape 8 side A]

Patriarchy Yes, Misogyny No

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Jumping straight in: ISLAM IS A PATRIARCHY

Now some of you will be having a hard time accepting that statement, that’s OK so I am just leave it out there for now and going to ask you to read on and I’ll explain why I said it but for many of you, Islam = Good, Patriarchy = Evil.

If after reading this post you still disagree with me feel free to say so in the comments, write your own thoughts on it elsewhere, unfollow, or just generally be mean to me. Don’t worry I won’t cry and I grew up in a time when we were able to disagree without the need for anyone needing a safe place.

It’s pretty clear that in it’s use in academia, the media and the workplace that patriarchy has become this big, evil, dirty word in modern Britain, as well as the rest of the world. It shuts down discussion, prevents dialogue and I would argue stops us getting to the root of problems and having a go at solving them in matters of gender relations.

Sadly many Muslims including I assume some you who are reading this post have adopted this use of the word, and the ideas that follow from feminists along with other aspects of ‘progressive’ ideology from the media, fellow race / equality activists, education, especially higher education or just general society around us.

To see if you’re one of these people, read the following three statements and decide whether you agree with the traditionalist Muslim in the dialogue or the progressive one.

Traditionalist Muslim: “Sister’s shouldn’t travel without a mahram.”
Progressive Muslim: “That’s patriarchy!”

Traditionalist Muslim: “Hijab is about behavior not just what you wear.”
Progressive Muslim: “Don’t tell women how to behave or dress, that is patriarchy!”

Traditionalist Muslim: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian, her nikkah is invalid, her nikkah is invalid, her nikkah is invalid…”
Progressive Muslim: “How dare you tell women who they can or cannot marry, THAT’S PATRIARCHY!”

If you find yourself agreeing with our progressive Muslim brother in the above three dialogues then you have a problem, actually you have two problems. The first is you probably assumed it was a female making the argument, which is really sexist of you, shame on you and your sexist views as there are men and women on both sides of the discussion.

The second problem you have if you agree is that all of them in isolation are statements of truth, Islamic teachings which as a believer you should not be digressing from and the last is even a sahih hadith from the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam).

FROM THE DICTIONARY

Patriarchy has become the catch all, go-to term, used by feminists and their allies who have accepted feminist arguments to malign any male influence over any power structure, organization or idea in culture, politics, education or any other aspect of life.

According to prevailing feminist writers, “Patriarchy is the term used to describe societies like those we live today, characterised by current and historic unequal power relations between women and men whereby women are systematically disadvantaged and oppressed.”

 

OK, we can all be against oppression so doesn’t that make us all feminists and all against patriarchy?

Well no it doesn’t, because the actual dictionary definition of patriarchy is different to the one given above and allowing others to define words is a powerful tool, and changing the meaning of the terms prevents us coming to a common understanding between opposing views and prevents any chance of any form of reconciliation through dialogue or even arguments.

Patriarchy dictionary definition

noun

  1. a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.
  2. a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
  3. a society or community organized on patriarchal lines.

plural noun: patriarchies

On the first definition, yes Islam is guilty as charged, the man is amir of the household, lineage is tracked through the male line so if you have a problem with that you have a problem with Islam.

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 6719, Sahih Muslim 1829

On the second and  third definitions, though we can argue there was a tradition of female Islamic scholarship and leadership in lower positions that we’ve lost to some degree and need to reestablish , still the role of leader of the nation, leader of each community based around the masaajid and the imam, leader of tribes and societies are men and rightly so.

Ibn Hazam reported in his book Maraatib al-Ijmaa’ that there was scholarly consensus on this point. In the section he says: “Out of all groups of the people of the Qiblah [i.e., all Muslim sects], there is not one that allows the leadership of women.” Al-Qurtubi reported something similar, and al-‘Allaamah al-Shanqeeti said, “There is no difference of opinion among the scholars on this point.”

 

Once again, if you have a problem with this you have a problem with Islam and you need to go check your emaan, reflect and see if you truly see Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) as your source of guidance in these matters because I don’t think you do if you wish to change them every time it clashes with one of your modernist view points.

CORRECTING THE MISOGYNY OF SOCIETY

So as for the rest of us Muslims, we’ll not be changing Islam to suit whatever the prevailing tendencies in society are from decade to decade.

Now if we’re going to have committees to run our institutions I’m all in favour of appointing women to these governing bodies as long as gender relation etiquette is observed as we need to listen to those voices, value their opinion and point of view but don’t come saying we need to appoint female imams, or try to say a woman can run the state or some such other modernist idea.

Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) and the rightly guided khulafa used to make shura (consultation) with the women, listening to their views, valuing those views as valid and worthy of consideration.

We adapt ourselves and our society to and around Islamic teachings, we do not change or bend Islamic norms to suit ourselves and our society and Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) was correct when he said:

“Nothing will rectify the last part of this Ummah except that which rectified its first part.” (i.e. the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alayhi wa salam)).
— Imam Malik (rahimahullah)
Reported by Ibn ‘AbdulHādi, in Tanqih at-Tahqiq 2/423

We should as believers stand firm in justice and truthfulness, standing up to the tyrants in people’s homes even, who are usually (but not always) men abusing their spouses, producing further dysfunctional people to raise more dysfunctional families of the future ummah.

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa (the chapter of Women, 4:135

Umar ibn al Khattab (Radiallahu anhu), the second khalifa, the one about whom Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alahi wa salam) said: “If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab” was a man who used to walk the streets day and night, and when he heard problems in people’s households he would deal with them justly, just as our Nabi (Sallallahu alahi wa salam) did in his time.

When we look at the examples of their lives, we see strong men able to deal justly with strong women taking a full role in accordance with their nature in society around them, not men feeling they can only be strong by forcing down women into a lesser role and the sooner we return to something like that as our target the better for us and the rest of society around us.

We see in the early days of Islam the natural role of women being valued, treasured and there are many evidences to attest to this such as the Sahabi being told to give good company to his mother three times more than his father.

Men are men, women are women. We are mentally, emotionally, physically different and we cannot change biology or ignore it, nor should we if we are true to ourselves.

The problem with feminism, especially second and third wave feminism is that it tries to force women to match men or even beat men at their game, rather than getting society to change to value and respect the role and nature of women. That would be true liberation.

MOVING FORWARD

Promoting the Islamic view point of the true role of women is the way  to move forward, a constructive message of productive gender relations to those around us, as well as forbidding the evils of many men both within and without the Islamic community is the way we as Muslims need to go in combating misogyny.

You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.
Quran translation, Surah Al e ‘Imraan, 3:110

I say within as well as without the Muslim community, as we have to admit to have a problem and that as we’ve so many things we’ve strayed far from the Sunnah when it comes to gender relations and there is a middle path between the free mixing and other sins of the modernists and liberals and the almost absolute and total gender segregation practiced by most traditionalist and salafi communities here in the UK.

Likewise I cannot believe that our Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) would allow  the practices of marriage bandits, the wife beaters and oppressors, those who refuse to care, maintain and financially support their spouses to go unchallenged if he was with us today as many Imams and activists do by staying silent on these matters.

In this I would urge all the brothers and sisters out there to correct themselves, their families and the community around them. Many revert sisters speak of how they liked the Islamic viewpoint of women’s rights, sadly most of them are disappointed about how we practice that in reality in our daily lives and marriages.

If we can do this, then I believe there will be no reason for even non-Muslims to believe in feminism, never-mind Muslims and we can do it all through the Islamic system, a Patriarchy.

Evolution of Adam Saleh, Deen Squad, IAmKhaled & Fouseytube

Assalaamu alaykum,

The reality of the disgusting Muslim Youtube celebrity scene, how much is hidden in terms of their behavior and we’ve got young teen sisters looking up to and admiring these guys, chasing them down the street when they visit London.

Parents please be careful.  Adam Saleh, Deen Squad, IAmKhaled, FouseyTube and the rest of the Youtube Muslim celebrity circuit, just because these men (and some women) are apparently Muslim doesn’t mean they are good or allowed for your kids to follow on social media, check the Youtube feed of your family and if you are finding these people on there then you need to sit them down and talk to them.

These people are shaiateen, leading the masses astray, mini-dajjal types with girls and women literally chasing after them thinking they are something special but they are hiding their true selves, they are playing with and leading astray thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of youth.

They are destroying our youth, destroying your children and by not speaking out sooner we have been letting them do it.

Assalaamu alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Maybe There is a Reason Allah Made Men Forgetful

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Every man here will sympathise I am sure, unless he has an eidetic memory the frustrations of getting into an argument with his wife, and she can bring up past mistakes in detail whilst he is pretty sure there are some similar good points from his side, but right there and then the details just are not there.

Point and often argument lost in many cases and men in they are wise learn other coping mechanisms to deal with this side of relationships over the years.

My own personal one being not allowing the matters to escalate to that level in the first place because it’s not possible to ‘win’ in such a situation against a woman, even if you come up with the pertinent facts she just changes angle and brings up some related topic, or something totally unrelated until she ‘wins.’

But what if we could remember brothers, what then?

Being a somewhat typical INTJ personality type, I thought I’d come up with a cunning plan to get around my male memory and I did once make a spreadsheet of every thing done in our relationship, good or bad but this included every argument and misdemeanor for about two months in a row.

Not a good idea apparently and it was one of the worse times in our marriage at least from my point of view as I found myself becoming more agitated and not my usual calm self, as each day I would submit the latest entries, and dwell on past problems.

I became more liable to see flaws I would otherwise have not seen, or else let go long before, in the past. Every relatively minor little thing became another bitter addition to the previous few days list of what were really totally minor and petty disagreements.

I’d often become vexed, walking around doing a Mr angry impression with the Mrs not knowing why and often I was more annoyed with an unresolved issue from days or even weeks before I’d read about that morning than I was about the actual thing which was on my mind right then.

So maybe for good reason we are forgetful creatures, perhaps it’s really a good thing, or mostly so.

This old English saying (actually most languages probably have this one) has a lot of truth in it…

“MEN DO NOT FORGIVE, THEY FORGET. WOMEN FORGIVE EVERYTHING BUT NEVER FORGET!”

Whenever I have to listen to a brother or sister discuss the problems in their marriage, men tend to have a few ‘big’ items they just cannot let go off, where as the sisters… the sisters can write long lists sometimes even with dates of every infraction real or imagined most of which the man cannot even remember happening.

In our lives trying to follow Islam brothers need to learn to forgive, struggle and strive to forgive others especially our spouses and sisters need to learn to let things go, if a matter is resolved and in the past don’t keep bringing it up every time you are angry with him.

Psychologists have pondered over the reason why men are more forgetful, and this has been measured and proven to be so but for whatever reason Allah has designed and made us different in this way. I am not sure there is one reason why, but perhaps if men were less forgetful they would not be able to fully function in their overall tole as leaders of the household.

We are made to be forgetful of these little details in arguments and life and if this makes married life run along more smoothly so Alhamdulillah I am grateful to Allah he has made us this way.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

The Polygamy Catch-22

And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa’ 4:3

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Confession time: I am no Sheikh or imam, I have no formal qualifications to speak about the deen. I am just someone who is active in Da’wah and working in the Muslim community helping others. Those I help are usually new Muslims who come to learn about the basics of Islam but also then later on when they need help if / when they get into personal difficulties in their lives.

So given I only have the one wife and my own my lack of deeni educational paperwork, feel free to ignore any or all of what you are about the read.

However it is based upon my own experiences in over 10 years of community activism, counselling others, reverts and non-reverts with their many difficulties and from asking questions myself from the people of knowledge I know and learn from and I would hope it carries some weight to those who are considering polygamy (or Polygyny for those wanting to be more precise in their English usage).

 


 

MY ADVICE REGARDING POLYGAMY

Now those who know me personally can confirm that I am quite pro-Polygamy. It’s a beautiful part of the sunnah and I post about it on this blog often. Polygamy  is a blessing to those families I know who are involved when it is done correctly and could solve many of the ills facing the Muslim community so why do I almost always find myself talking brothers out of  the idea of adding another wife to their home life?

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The rights of one Muslim over another are six.” It was said: What are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “If you meet him, greet him with salaam; if he invites you, accept the invitation; if he asks for advice, give him sincere advice; if he sneezes and praises Allah, say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah have mercy on you); if he falls sick, visit him; and if he dies, attend his funeral.”
Sahih Muslim

It’s because the men wanting to take up this are for the most part not ready for it. It’s not necessarily something which is their fault but there is reason polygamous marriages fail at such a disastrously high rate.

Most men are not ready for this responsibility, they cannot do justice or sometimes even provide for two or more wives. Some are outright malicious and just want what they want and don’t care if people get hurt in the process.

 


 

A BIRD IN THE HAND…

Some may think they are ready for polygamy, hope they are ready, but they are almost always not but carry on regardless and marry again anyway. Especially with all the other brothers are telling them, “JUST GO FOR IT BRO!”

This is not the sincere advice mentioned in the hadith above, and none of us would want our own sisters, daughters or mothers treated in such a flippant manner by their husbands.

Sisters and those with waliya over them need to be asking the potentially polygamous husband-to-be whether he has spoken to the people of knowledge and what they say regarding his suitability for handling polygamy. Usually they don’t bother speaking to the people of knowledge first, and if they haven’t then don’t even consider this man.

Though some ill-advised polygamous marriages somehow manage to succeed, almost always they don’t and they often end up damaging not just the new wife’s life and prospects but their first wife’s also along with all the children from these marriages into the bargain.

So this is the first type of brother who falls into mistakenly thinking polygamy is for him and the least harmful, though by far the most numerous.

It’s not like he has bad intentions. They wish to fulfill their desires in a halal manner and don’t realize what damage they will do just jumping in unprepared and sadly I’ve seen so many of them come crying (sometimes literally) and asking for help and advice from the masaajid, imams or activists like myself after ending up divorced from one or even both wives, or close enough to it there is little anyone can do to help them fix this mess they’ve got into.

This problem is becoming sadly too common and the olde-English saying ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ definitely applies more often than not to most brothers because most lack the requisite traits to fulfill polygamy.

LEARNER DRIVERS

The second type of brother is like someone thinking the best way to learn to drive is by just buying a car, then crashing it, then buying another and crashing again, over and over until he gets it right. This is sadly how some take marriage, especially polygamous marriage which is a whole other difficulty level to marrying the first time and often a miskeen long suffering wife is somewhere in the background picking up the pieces each time things go badly wrong for this type of brother.

Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said: “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Maajah, 1977; and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

They have a callous attitude to others to some degree and need to fear Allah regarding our sisters in Islam. But unlike the last group I’ll mention they not outright malicious and if they get the right wife for them, or somehow manage to learn along the way without breaking things totally then they’ll at least make a half decent effort at it even if they might fall short in some areas.

Usually these brothers can be found out as they don’t have much of a clue on how to handle polygamy, probably never even read a book on it never-mind sat with the people of knowledge, or else have a series of ex-wives in the background as a big sign post to avoid.

Brothers, these are our sisters in Islam, someone else’s daughter or sister, the fragile vessels and you don’t treat them in this way, Ever.

I think regular brothers have way too easy-come, easy-go an attitude to polygamy and you can see it in the way they speak about it among themselves and this is the fault for the rest of us who do not pull them up often enough when they start to discuss sisters in this way.

I genuinely think most of these brothers are giving advice not out of sincere intentions on whether polygamy is best for this particular brother, but because they selfishly wish to push polygamy so it becomes something more easily accepted in the community and so available for themselves.

BANDITS AHEAD…

The final group who go in for polygamy… marriage bandits or on their way to being such who actively don’t care about hurting their wives if it serves their needs and desires, or if they do care it’s not enough to actually stop them.

Such a ‘brother’ will sadly marry and divorce far too easily, his gaze constantly moving on to something new. As if this new wife, someone who is meant to be their sister in Islam, who intends herself to be his partner for life and the hereafter is nothing more than a latest girlfriend or baby-mama to be discarded after use for a time when he becomes tired or bored with her, or else she doesn’t fit an exact match to his criteria of what a perfect woman should be, an ideal which can never realistically be met.

The problem with the last group is that their personally flaws are often hidden well, as they know their own failings but don’t care about hurting others.

They’ll lie, cheat, hide all their ex-wives from you, and sometimes even other brothers especially if they are in the same hizb will lie for them also and cover their many past mistakes and sins. Others may often be impressed by their level of knowledge of the deen, even if there is not always more than a surface level implementation of that knowledge in their lives.

I’ve posted about marriage banditry before and it’s another reason (other than regular badly behaved brothers) why sisters should never speak to a man alone and why it’s important that a sister has a good wali doing the talking for them especially in the initial stages.

A man that is able to not just speak to a brother once or twice but check his references back to front. If a man has skeletons in his closet someone will know about them usually and these men are experts at manipulating sisters, but brothers can sniff them out more easily and anyway… if they meet resistance they will often move onto easier prey.

 


 

CATCH-22

And herein in the character of our polygamous brothers in the community lays the Catch-22 in the title.

Though I like the idea of polygamy and would love to see it practiced more, those who usually do ‘just go for it’ or are callous or even downright malicious in their intent are most likely to fail or don’t care if  they fail and continue to tarnish this aspect of the sunnah in the eyes of the majority of the people.

Those who fear Allah  the most in regards to their womenfolk are likely to stick to one even though they are the most likely to be able to succeed in leading and supporting two or even more wives and attached families.

I was present when a brother was speaking to a Sheikh in my city regarding polygamy, and whether he should seek a second wife or not. He’s known as an upstanding and just brother but yet he feared hurting his first wife and the Sheikh advised him this is what made him best suited to polygamy and that given his character if he could not do justice then none of us could.

I doubt the same advice would be given to any brothers falling into the three groups I’ve listed above if they’d gone to this Sheikh themselves.

 


 

THE THREE TRAITS

Being close to the masaajid in my city, and getting the chance to speak to many brothers I’ve seen the good, the bad and ugly in the community when it comes to polygamy and I’d like to end on a more positive note or at least more productive one and show how polygamy can work and succeed.

From my observations and speaking to those are successful polygamy requires three traits in a man to make it work well. Those that have all three of these traits will Allah willing make good polygamous husbands.
Two will probably work out OK, especially the later two.
One you’re pushing it… really don’t risk it bro, bird in the hand remember.
Zero and you’ve got little to no chance and anyone who knows you well, or doesn’t know you at all and is telling you to ‘just go for it’ is an idiot and should be told he is an idiot. Actually tell him I told you to tell him he’s an idiot.

If you wish to pursue polygamous marriages in the future you will need to cultivate these traits, train your mind and mold your character to something new and better and what’s more into the bargain you’ll become a better all round better husband to wife number one, a better Muslim and human being as well.

1. MONEY

OK not technically a character trait but yes money, dollars, pounds, dinars, whatever your local currency happens to be. This is part and parcel of being able to support and maintain more than one wife, actually to support even one wife.

And this attitude of working your butt off to earn a halal income is something I’ve seen in many successful polygamous husbands. However a lazy workshy brother is almost never going to provide properly for one wife, never-mind two plus so yes this does relate to character as well.

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
Translation of the Quran. Surah An-Nisa 4:34

So if you’re not willing to spend on your wife or wives, you are giving up a large portion of your authority and in this I am not talking about brothers who make effort but still fall short, sisters need to be patient with such brothers, I am talking about those who don’t even put in the effort at all.

Yes I know the salaf used to marry again when in need of rizq and that Allah states in the Quran:

And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
Translation of the Quran. Surah An-Nur 24:31

But most brothers do not have those levels of tawakkul, reliance upon Allah, or have some other barrier from their sins or actions they’ve placed between themselves and the help of Allah coming to them. Some are frankly using this as an excuse to marry and not care about the consequences.

Yes the rizq comes from Allah, but brothers tie your camel also, do not expect wealth to fall into your lap with no effort or planning on your part.

I do know brothers with more than one wife who are poor, or at least less well off, but they strive and struggle in some form either in some deeni field and their wives are patient with that but is the exception, not the rule and sisters expect, and quite rightly so that we as husbands provide for them or at least try our hardest to do so.

2. MANLINESS

There are reams and reams of words written upon how to be manly from a point of view of Islam or non-Muslim society and these days especially as a counter to the feminist movement written by Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

(not to be taken literally…)

Manliness is not something most find easy to pin down, especially the meaning I am using here in relation to polygamy but it is something some people know when they see it in themselves or another brother.

So I want to be clear I am referring to being a man from the point of view of Islamic traditions here. This is nothing to do with the men’s rights movement and if you start quoting some badly written trashy articles by barely pubescent boys over on 4chan or reddit on how to be an alpha male trust me, if that’s your thing then right now polygamy is not for you and you’ve got major issues you need to resolve.

Nor is it forcing your wife to walk ten paces behind you pushing a buggy weighed down with bags whilst you breeze on ahead without a care in the world or bullying and pushing the women in your life around until their will is crushed and they obey automatically.

This ummah is meant to raise up strong women, as well as strong men. If you cannot handle a strong women, or feel you need to bully her or even beat her down, you need to dominate then no this is not manliness, or at least not any Islamic version of it.

For me the manliness I am talking about here for those who are successfully polygamous is being a leader or having leadership potential. Having that effortless confidence in their own abilities and inspiring good out of those around them, an air of command without needing to shout or bully others, an ability to quietly get things done without whinging or whining.

Though we might have difficulty pinning it down, women seem to be able to pick up on parts of it it straight away especially issues such as confidence, self-belief and this is one of the reasons why some brothers get easy marriage offers, even offers to take a second wife when some  otherwise good brothers struggle for years even a decade or more to marry.

Though it requires more than just confidence to be a man, women feel attraction towards such men in ways they cannot always get their head around and when other men see not just confidence but other admirable traits in a brother they trust in him being able to look after their daughter in terms of marriage.

Let me ask you brothers, if a man came to you with a weak, anemic personality would you really feel he going to look after your daughter properly? Times that lack of confidence in his manliness by 10 when it comes to polygamy.

Women need to be certain the man in their life is going to get things done, to just deal with things. This is obviously an even greater requirement in polygamy where shaitan, and all his little helpers among the jinn and mankind will be keeping the gossip going, running to each wife whispering in their ears trying to cause a rupture in the man’s marriages.

3. ‘PERSISTENTLY STANDING FIRM IN JUSTICE’

The final and most important trait of the three is being just towards others. Especially the women in your life. So much so that the condition Allah places on polygamy in the Quran is whether a man can be just or not.

And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa 4:3

How many times does Allah mention being just in the Quran?

If you know yourself you are not a just man, then stay clear of polygamy as it will destroy you and destroy your deen, and possibly contribute towards doing the same of your wives and children when they see you behaving in an oppressive manner.

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
Translation of the Quran, Surah An-Nisa 4:135

All believers have to strive to be just, towards each other and in this case especially towards their wives, Allah is saying if you cannot be just then one is better for you and dhulm, oppression is forbidden to us and can have grave consequences here in the dunya and in the hereafter.

It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, narrating from Allah, may He be glorified and exalted: “ ‘O My slaves, I have forbidden dhulm to Myself and I have made it haraam among you, so do not wrong one another.”
Sahih Muslim (2577)

All successful polygamous marriages I know of the man is just, known to be just to those around him in the community, just to Muslim and non-Muslim, just to all.

This is the most important trait of a polygamous husband’s character and without it either one or more of the marriages will break or else it will cause misery in his spouses even if he himself is happy and content in his life.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”
Sahih Bukhari

Touching on justice, some men think they are automatically superior in the marriage / marriages, by default of being the man in the home. That the degree that Allah gives them over women in Surah Al-Baqarah is because of what hangs between their legs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ibn Abbas and others in their explanation of this ‘darajah’ degree of men over women, this superiority is in an man being lenient towards his wife or wives, and that when he is able to do this even when a woman is being unjust, as they are likely to be from time with even the best of wives then he gains this degree over women, and that this was part of ‘rujulah’ manliness in Islam.

Gingerbeardman – The Meaning of Men Have A Degree Over Them

 


 

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This is a long article but that’s not the only reason it’s taken me a while to write and it’s been even longer coming in my mind, that something needed to be put down on this subject.

As I said at the beginning, I am not anti-polygamy, I am very much in favour of it, it is just I am in favour of the right people doing it and the rest of the males in the ummah not listening when other brothers tell you ‘Just go for it bro!’

Those brothers who give polygamy a bad press both to the Muslims and the non-Muslims around us. As someone active in Da’wah for many years there are few things as annoying as seeing someone who is close to the teachings of Islam but has been put off by seeing some bad character, some injustice or evil taking place in the community.

So I am not trying to attack those brothers who are taking part in polygamy or put off those who are seriously thinking of it, just giving some thoughts on how it can be done successfully, what traits you need to build up to make a success of this so we avoid so many painful clashes in the community when it goes pear shaped.

And by successful, I don’t mean still married after a year or two, or even cancer survival rate ‘success’ chances of 5 years. I am talking life-long happy unions with all the ups and downs such marriages bring but mostly bringing that beautiful sense of sakinah to the husband and all his wives, that marriage is meant to bring.

There are so many unmarried sisters in the community, divorcees, widows, even young and now not so young single sisters who have just not been able to find suitable husbands and one of my forthcoming pieces is going to cover why this and why this is a particular problem in the Muslim community.

Polygamy is Allah’s solution to this problem and all the follow on issues it causes, and when done correctly can help bind the community together. Some of the stories I have gathered from those who have grown up in polygamous households, or in communities where it is common are awe-inspiring to someone like myself striving to practice Islam as a whole way of life.

My final comment is to those brothers out there, who find themselves feeling they would like to take another wife, and reflecting on themselves after reading this article think they have most if not all of these traits is that you first sit with a Sheikh, discuss this and whether he thinks you are ready, whether you are suitable for this type of marriage.

After you’ve done that, speak to your family and yes of-course your wife and be just in letting her know what you are thinking. Yes, she will most likely cry and there will be difficulties, but she is helper, your garment, you should be consulting with her on this matter as on all things and letting her know her opinion is valued and listened to is what will make it easier for her to accept.

The after all of this, you are still convinced this is for you then not to let the horror stories stop you from going ahead and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala put baraqah in your all your marriages and grant you goodness from it, ameen.

And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”
Translation of the Quran. Surah Al-Furqan 25:74

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Fragile Vessel – From a Blogger to the Bloggers

https://ummruqaiya.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/from-a-blogger-to-the-bloggers/

I like how Hend Hegazi said in her recent interview with Umm Afraz Muhammed which is published here, that not everyone is going to like your work, your writing. She spoke a known, but not necessarily always remembered, fact. It is such an important fact to remember as a blogger. We need to let people “not like” our work, and consequently have peace with it in our minds.

Each one of us is unique, but not necessarily “good enough” in readers’ eyes. Some of us have huge word bank, while others use simpler vocabulary. Some share their thoughts in simpler form, while others find eloquence in a different path. Some hold degrees while others hold only experience. And so on….

Writing for many of us starts with the passion to share our thoughts in our own words. Pure love for writing motivates us to get started. But as human as we are, some times it is inevitable to fall in the trap of “likes.” This trap is oh so hard to avoid, and oh so depressing to be in. Like anything else in life, renewing our intentions is a must in this field too.

Keeping high goals as writers is understandable. For instance, wanting to write for sisters magazine some day (YES, that is a high achievement) or publishing one’s own book. Interestingly, to reach these goals in some undeniable manner we need to keep our readers happy. The more readers you have the better it is. Which is the very reason why it so hard to avoid the trap of “likes.” We need to balance it out for ourselves and remind ourselves from time to time. While we would like our content to be liked by readers, our writing should not be for the sake of “likes.” There is a huge difference. In first one, we share our thoughts as they are and then are content with how many ever people agree with our thoughts and like our work. Whereas in the latter one, we write in a way that readers may accept it – that is when we have lost the sole purpose of our writing.

Problem is in front of us and so is the solution.

We just need to remind ourselves and each other.

May Allah help us purify our intentions and help us write to spread good & knowledge for the benefit of Muslim Ummah and mankind in general. (Aameen)

Abu Abdurrahman – An Advice To Married Students

“An advice to married students from me, a married student

1.)Understand that your wife has given up some integral rights that she is due, in order for you to seek knowledge. So be even more kind to her and show your appreciation more.

2.) If she is living away from you, do not be too quick to judge and undermine her decisions and actions. Remember a persons decisions and actions are cultivated by the environment around them. Compare your environment to hers and show mercy and try not to demand too much from her.

3.) She is constantly reminded that her husband isn’t there. Whether intentionally or unintentionally from her family and peers there is a constant reminder that her husband is MIA. While her friends return from the masjid to the loving arms of their husbands she returns home to a husbandless home. Be aware of this and try to do what you can to counteract this feeling. Msging, Calling, Email, SnailMail (“TheNoteBook” style) All these things can help lessen the burden from her.

Finally my brothers remember you said “قبلت”
You accepted her and all burdens that she would come with. Be smart and wise when you say and do regarding her.

I ask Allah to unite all the students of knowledge who are currently away from their wives.”