“I have not left behind me any fitnah (temptation) more harmful to men than women.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5096; Muslim, 2740.
Taken from Salafi Feminist Blog – http://thesalafifeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/how-would-you-feel-if-it-was-your.html
“Brothers, how would you feel if someone abused your mother/ sister/ wife/ daughter?”
You don’t get it. Dearest shuyookh, your intentions are sweet, but you don’t get it.
Men DO abuse their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. They watch their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters be abused.
And they let it happen.
Maybe they don’t always approve of it. Maybe they feel bad. Maybe they genuinely think it’s terrible.
But they let it happen.
“She’s married now, we can’t interfere.”
“She needs to be more patient, all men get angry sometimes.”
“She just needs to stop being stubborn and get used to it.”
“Divorce is the most hated thing in the sight of Allah.”
“Men will handle their own business, we can’t get involved.”
And so another generation of sons, brothers, husbands and fathers grow up watching their womenfolk being lashed at with both words and fists. It’s normal, after all.
Some will break the cycle, recalling the horror they witnessed; these men, the true qawwam, will block the blows rained down upon their mothers and protect their daughters and show their wives only the greatest respect.
But many will not, because gheerah is no longer about protecting one’s womenfolk from harm, but about protecting male ego and so-called honour built upon insecurity.
“Brothers, how would you feel if someone abused your mother/ sister/ wife/ daughter?”
Not enough to make it stop.
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31
Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,
We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?
THE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE
Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?
STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION
This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.
I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped), a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.
This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.
Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari
Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.
Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3
So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.
AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK
So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.
I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.
Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.
As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.
As I read more about this topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.
You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.
Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.
Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.
So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.
My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.
For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.
Heard a clip clopping coming towards me as I was walking today, assumed it was a woman and in inappropriate footwear so kept my gaze low until got closer and realized it was a brother who gave me salaams…
Bro had a man bun, tight clothing and boots with big enough heels that sounded just like a woman in high heels walking.
The world has just gone so strange and mashed up past few years, what are we going to see next? Brothers in make-up? Going to get their eye lashes curled at the beauticians?
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men, and he said: “Throw them out of your houses.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5885).
Is it permissible for a Muslim man to wear his shirt tucked in his pants, showing the shape of his legs, buttocks, etc., especially in some countries where women are not ashamed to look at them? And when they perform prayer, shouldn’t they be wearing a long shirt covering their private parts while they prostrate?
Praise be to Allah.
The `awrah (private parts to be necessarily covered) for men includes what is between the navel and the knees as stated by the Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him), so covering it is obligatory according to Islamic law. Wearing shorts that disclose the thighs or show the shape of the buttocks, does not cover the `awrah. Neither does a dress that is transparent and displays skin complexion, nor a tight dress that shows the size, shape or bends of the `awrah. All of this is prohibited (haraam) in front of people whether the women are ashamed of looking at it or not (as asked in the question). If the trousers (or pants) are wide enough and not tight, then one may tuck his shirt in it as long as it does not display his `awrah. Covering the `awrah is obligatory during the prayer and outside it. What many people do is cover their `awrah while going to prayer but are negligent of it outside the prayer. This is a clear mistake and a wrong act which happens due to lack of understanding or as a result of a misunderstanding of the matter.
May Allah cover our sins in this world and in the hereafter.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
“…And women have rights corresponding to the obligations on them, according to what is equitable…”
Quran translation, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:228
In spite of the fact that both parties should be kind toward each other, the right of the husband over his wife is greater than his wife’s right over him according to the completion of the previous verse:
“…But men have a degree over them. Allah is exaclted in power.”
Quran translation, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:228
(women have an) Emotional make-up which is ideally suited for child rearing but generally unsuited for ultimate authority, she may wrongly disobey or contradict her husband. Under the Influence of her monthly cycles, she may be contrary or high-strung and thus make bad decisions or and among mankind.
He has made man the dominant member of the pair. There need be no contention on this point has Allah has the last word on the subject. However, if we look at the animal kingdom, we must confess that a like division also exists among its members.
Nor are we aware of any country whether primitive or modern which has more than one reigning head in a position to make ultimate decisions. Every kingdom has a chief and Allah in His All-Encompassing wisdom and absolute knowledge of human nature has chosen man for that role. This choice does not detract from the uniqueness of the woman’s role nor does it belittle her in the least.
We are well aware of the fact that some women are more intelligent, and more capable of ruling and have a greater degree of talent than some men. We are witnesses to female heads of state, but these cases represent exceptions and not the norm which Allah addresses. In fact, there is an authentic Hadith in which the Prophet (Sallallahu
alayhi wa salam) stated that,
“If mankind had been ordered to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, women would have been ordered to prostrate before their husbands.”
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah and collected by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi
This is a clear indication of the hierarchy which exists in respect to the roles of males and female and the importance of of that hierarchy to the basic unit of human society, the family. In order to reinforce these roles, Allah made the male inheritance portion greater than that of the female. There is no doubt that a man’s familial and communal obligations are greater than most woman’s obligations in these spheres. It is his duty to support his
immediate family and weak kinfolk. In addition to these familial responsibilties, men must be prepared to defend and enlarge the borders of Islam even to the point of bearing arms. Women, under normal circumstances, are excempted from these and other similar obligations. The existing situation in the West, where many women have been obliged to compete with men for work while raising families, is an exception when looked at on a global scale and an abberation when looked at historically. Hence todays situation can not be used to aruge that a woman’s obligations are equal and exceed those of a man’s. In fact recent scientific research has uncovered a wealth of physical differences between men and women all of which affect the performance of male and females in society.
Taken from pages 29 and 30, ‘Polygamy in Islam’ by Jameela Jones and Sheikh Bilal Philips