Tag Archives: Feminism

Daniel Haqiqatjou – Down with the Patriarchy!

“Down with the patriarchy!” she posts on a social media platform invented by a man, using a computer developed by men, powered by electricity possible through a vast infrastructural system designed by men, built, and maintained on the back of men and through the blood and sweat of men. She sips her herbal tea, growing angrier by the minute.

“Men only care about themselves. Who needs them anyway?!” she muses, as she lounges in her college dorm room in a building built by men, in her final semester studying “Gender and Sexuality Studies,” her $55,000 per year tuition being paid for by her father — a man. She gets up to go to the corner store to buy some lip gloss at 1AM at night.

“Patriarchy is just about perpetuating rape culture!” she thinks, as she walks alone in the middle of the deserted street that is brightly lit due to street lamps installed by men, in a neighborhood that is completely safe because of a massive police presence ready to use deadly force at a moment’s notice, a police presence consisting of men. She buys the lip gloss and heads back to the dorm.

“Toxic masculinity is the worst,” she sighs, as she tosses the lip gloss packaging into the trash, trash that is collected and disposed of by men in landfills maintained by men as part of a massive network of utilities and services provided by men, in a country that is defended from the possibility of foreign invasion because of an army of men willing to die for the protection of the nation’s interests, including its women and children. She applies the lip gloss and picks up her $800 iPhone for a selfie.

“Things would be soo much better if women ruled the world,” she smiles contentedly, as she posts her selfie to Instagram, hoping that that rich, smart, good-looking guy in her network of friends will notice and show interest in her, maybe send her a flirty message, maybe one thing leads to another, maybe he sweeps her off her feet, but in a way that totally respects her independence and her lack of need for men in any way, shape, or form. Instead that “ugly” guy who drives an old Camry DMs her, asking if she is interested in going out.

“OH MY GOD, what is this creep doing, trying to get in my DMs, pushing himself on me?!” she sneers, as she hastily prepares a #metoo social media post about sexual harassment, male privilege, and perpetual female victimhood, once again typing angrily on a $3000 laptop developed and paid for by men. She decides to go to bed.

She closes her eyes, but she is seething with rage. She tosses and turns, hatred keeping her up later into the night. Finally, she dozes off as one last thought crosses her tortured mind: “Men are trash!”

~ Daniel Haqiqatjou

 

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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.

Understanding the Rise of Feminism by Sh. Ali Al Tamimi

Article originally posted by silky2016blog – https://silky2016blog.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/understanding-the-rise-of-feminism-by-sh-ali-al-tamimi/

Feminism is a topic that is tweeted about a lot on Twitter, I didn’t hear about it that much until I joined and people are majorly divided over it. Whether pro feminism or completely anti feminism it seems to be a subject that is raging between the sexes and also the religious and non-religious. I’m not too interested in the subject but I wanted to find out a little more on it because it’s brought up so often, from people believing it’s harming society, harming the relationship between men and women, affecting the family and people saying how bad it is for women.

It was a movement for equality, justice and fairness and I’m told now its anti men pro matriarch anti patriarchy, Obscuring gender roles, diminishing women’s femininity because women are trying to be more like men (this is what they say) work roles and getting more radical.

As I said I’m not too interested in this topic but I did come across a lecture and found it to be very concise on its history as to why and how feminism came about. I’ve written some key points from the lecture.

The speaker is an Islamic scholar and teacher named Ali Al Tamimi of Iraqi American heritage. He is a knowledgeable and intelligent man who is very much ahead of his time and I believe this lecture, even though it was contextual to its time conducted in the 90s (I believe I’m not 100% sure) still applies today. He’s an Islamic scholar and teacher as well as a geneticist, at one point he was one of the top 25 in the world. He was studying cancer research using mathematical chaos theory to explain the random multiplication of cells in the body. The sheikh (scholar) is currently incarcerated for life in an American prison, I pray Allah hastens his release Ameen. His take on the current wave of feminism would be fascinating.

He begins the lecture by stating that he feels it’s quite important discussing the topic of feminism pertaining to Islam because there is a concerted movement throughout the world to try to reinterpret basic Islamic beliefs and practises in a feminist interpretation of the Quran (Muslims holy book) and Sunnah (practises of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). From what I see this is still in full fledge today. A popular book regarding this has been written by a Moroccan woman named Fatima Mernissi – The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminists Interpretation of Women’s Rights in Islam. A collation of poor scholarship according to the sheikh.

The notion of feminism is relatively new in terms of ideas, 3 to 4 centuries ago there was no such thing as feminism, you cannot find it in dictionaries, encyclopedias or in the historical books. It is a new school of thought that has appeared in the last 150 years, in particular since world war two in the west due to men being conscripted and the need for women in the workplace, when the men returned the women were effectively forced out.

How has this school of thought appeared in the west initially? How does the west look to women historically? This gives an idea to why feminism arises in the west.

The Wests culture is rooted in ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans traced to the Greek philosophers Socrates, Aristotle, Plato etc. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of women being full human beings rather the notion was they did not possess full humanity like men do. Women were mere objects to be bought and sold in markets. Then the west adopted the teachings of Christianity, not what Allah sent down to the prophet Eesa (Jesus) but a mix of Rabbinical Jews, a mix of pagan practises and ethical early Christians with some preserved truth that was not lost that was sent down with some falsehood available.

Rabbinical Jews regarding women – essays were written by apostle Paul originally Jew according to the New Testament, you find general degradation of women and a notion was that they were the cause for the fall of humanity. When Adam the first man to be created ate the forbidden fruit in heaven according to the Old Testament, it was Eve that succumb to the wishes of satan and she convinced Adam to transgress. The Jewish and Christian theology both say the sin and the fall of humanity from paradise is put squarely on the shoulders of the woman alone.

Major Christian authors throughout the middle ages refer to women as satan’s tool and the cause of all the suffering faced by humanity. This led to degraded views of women in the middle ages, western civilisation and Europe. There are no examples of women having share of political, intellectual or social life in societies. Only from the 14th century in England was it permissible for a woman to read the Bible, prior to this is was forbidden according to church law let alone having a copy. Islamic history states that the original copy of the Quran made during the time of Abu Bakr was placed with Umar then after his death with his daughter Hafsa the prophet’s wife.

Women not being considered full human beings and being degraded continued in the west and was part of society for a number of centuries. In the 18th and 19th century the industrial revolution took place mainly in England and as a result a lot of labour in the mines and factories was needed. There was a shortage of sufficient men so women and children were forced to work 12-16 hour shifts for relatively no pay if any at all. As a result a number of aristocratic women saw the plight of their sisters and called for equality and justice and for their rights to be given. The first book written on this was in the 18th century – A vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft. The book argues if the women are working 14 plus hours they should get paid like men and have a right to education and be able to participate in the culture and so forth, to raise their status in the western society. Feminism was not just a call to be treated fairly but for their essential humanity.

The sheikh states that amongst the non muslims and those muslims that do not adhere to the Quran and Sunnah, you find they go from one extreme to the other. The west had essentially stripped women of the quality of humanity with no rights, they could not own property, they weren’t allowed an education to then arguing women and men are the same and even neutral terms such as gender instead of sex were introduced. They stated that rolls can be assumed by both sexes and there wasn’t any difference between men and women and that any difference that did appear were the teachings of that culture and society.

The sheikh states that feminism is a school of thought and within that there are different types such as liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, post modern feminism etc.

The feminist approach to religion in the west is two types, firstly apologetic Christians and Jews that try to reconcile to achieve reinterpretation of the Hebrew texts and New Testament and that is a minority view.

Secondly the radical feminist thought – they consider in essence its nature is against religion, so no religion irrespective of which they reject and that religion is not positive at all for women and they have to be free from religion as a whole. He cites this is the majority view.

The book by Leila Ahmed – Women and Gender in Islam states that men have misinterpreted Islam to enforce the male cause.

Basic Notions in Islam Regarding Men and Women

The Quranic texts and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) say that men and women are fully sharing in humanity, it doesn’t teach that women are less of a human being then men. The major thrust of teachings to submit to Allah and worship are addressed to men and women alike. The basic pillars such as Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), Zakat (giving a percentage of money from wealth to the poor), prayer, belief in the oneness of God, men and women are addressed equally and they will receive the benefits and rewards of their actions and good deeds equally.

The Quran does not suggest the sin was of Eve alone and that Adam was duped. In Surah (chapter) Al Ar’af the Dua (prayer/invocation) of Adam is plural ‘we’. In Surah Taha it states that ‘Adam disobeyed so he went astray’, the sin fell on him, Muslims didn’t believe the woman to be the cause of evil.

Islam recognises that men and women are different. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better but a sign of Allah is that he created duality, night and day, sky and earth, moon and sun male and female. Neither of the two can be considered better or the same. The major difference between contemporary thought and Islamic belief is that the west went from the extreme of denying women’s humanity and that they’re full humans to now arguing men and women are the same and the only reason they act a certain way as men and women is due to the society and culture that teaches them that.

They try to deny that physiology has any effect on the psychological mental disposition of the sexes. Scientific literature cites male physiology and male hormones leads to different ways of acting and reacting in part of the personality compared to females. In Allah’s wisdom he created this order. The distinction in the sexes means there has been given different obligations to the sexes, obligations which will fit each sex best according to the way we are created for the purpose that Allah wanted of it. When a sex has obligations put upon it then entails it has greater rights.

It’s important to understand at the same time that throughout the Muslim world one does not find the teachings of Islam in regards to women applied and it’s undeniable that you find women in a bad state. Why? In the Islamic world all the rights are not observed, whether it’s the rights of Allah, fellow Muslims one to another, plants and animals etc. If society does not check tyranny and injustice and uphold decency the strong end up devouring the weak whether it be, women, children, the elderly, the poor which are the weakest members. This is not unique to women but Muslims as a society.

Proof that Islam is Better to Women

The sheikh cites that the greatest evidence is history itself, what has Islam brought to women compared to what other civilizations brought. Historians will tell you that humanity has seen 15 to 20 civilizations, in all of them you do not see women having any role in the development of that civilization per se. Examples cited – the American revolution and the founding fathers. The French revolutions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. The ancient Greeks had male philosophers, the ancient Chinese/ Japanese/ Hindus you don’t find women having any role in it. Books recorded in the last 5000 years of history you don’t see women being written about until the last 150 years playing a role in the society becoming doctors, office election roles etc.. It means nothing really was affected by women and they were passive in these civilizations.

In Islam it’s completely different, firstly it is not man-made but revelation sent down by Allah to his prophet Muhammad pbuh. In the beginning of his mission the most important person was his wife Khadijah pbuh. Had it not been for her support morally and materially his message could not have continued in Makkah. After Islam spread and after his death the knowledge transmitted by one of his wives Aisha pbuh. Out of the 7 major narrators of Hadith (books describing the prophet’s words, actions, habits)whereby 70% of Hadith is transmitted Aisha pbuh is amongst the major 2 or 3. The Fatwas (legal pronouncement interpreted from the Quran and Sunnah) Zarkashi wrote books on how she corrected Fatwa of the other male Sahabah (companions of the prophet pbuh) she participated in the society and was a major scholar.

Islamic history until the last 2 to 3 centuries, most major scholars had among their teachers a woman. 8th century Islamic history shows that 3 to 4 of Ibn Taymiyyah’s pbuh teachers were women from the number of people he learned from. The number of books show roles of women that transmitted Islamic knowledge.

In the West/Hindu/ Chinese civilizations they lack biographies of women personalities, you don’t know much about them, contemporary women we do have biographies. At the time of the prophet pbuh out of 9000 companions of the prophet there is a whole section on women, Ibn Hajar pbuh gathered biographies of the prophets pbuh companions.

In Conclusion

The sheikh concludes the lecture by stating that we should not approach this topic in an apologetic manner to the reason to why feminism occurred and that they want to wipe out any difference between men and women in the west as a reaction to the extreme treatment they had before when they weren’t considered full humans.

What’s interesting is the number of books the sheikhs cites, as i stated the lecture was conducted a number of years ago so keep in mind the context to that point. I’ve included the link to the lecture, It’s in 6 parts with a short q&a at the end, the audio is poor due to it being old but as i stated earlier he was a ahead of his time on topics that are relevant today. Allah protect and preserve him.

Click here for the full lecture – Understand Feminism