A FEW GOOD MEN? THE MUSLIM AMERICAN WOMAN’S DILEMMA…


***[ Dear Goatmilk Readers, What are your thoughts on this piece? Feel free to sound off in the comments.]***

By SONDOS KHOLOKI-KAHF, Staff Writer, IN Focus Magazine

Afaf*, 25, has been searching for a husband for a solid two years to no avail.

“All my friends were getting married by the age of 22, so, naturally, I wanted to be part of the ‘wedding club,’” she recalls. “And, of course, there was this romantic notion that it would be the love story of love stories.”

Afaf started feeling the pressure as her friends talked endlessly about wedding dresses, halal caterers and honeymoons, even though she had not been planning on getting married while in college.

“For whatever reason, getting married seemed to be the only, if not main, goal they strived for,” she says. “So, I felt I had to have this goal as well, and felt lacking among my friends that I was not married upon completion of my undergraduate studies.”

Thus began her search after graduating from college. When suitors came knocking, Afaf was surprised at the mediocrity of the suitors available and was left wondering, “Where are all the ‘good guys’?”

Afaf, now a first-year law student, is one of thousands of American Muslim women between the ages of 25 and 30 struggling to find a decent suitor. Educated, pious, beautiful and accomplished, these women should have a gaggle of like-minded men waiting outside their doors. Unfortunately, the few, if any, men who approach these women appear less than satisfactory.

“I tend to meet two types [of men],” says Maryam*, 28, who has also been searching for a mate since college. “The first is the practicing Muslim brother who has his act together, but unfortunately has some really incompatible ideas about women and gender roles. The second type I meet is progressive and open-minded and is truly looking for a partner in life, but is not a practicing Muslim.”


“For me,” Afaf says, “a good man is someone who lives a balanced life between Western and Eastern culture, giving precedence to religion.”

The lack of noteworthy male suitors is a topic frequently discussed between female friends. Muslim women are frustrated with the options left, and many are worried that their degrees and careers are getting in the way of meeting Mr. Right.

“We’ve been pushing young women to get educated and to get jobs, and now they’re being penalized for their ambition,” according to Munira Ezzeldine, author of “Before the Wedding: 150 Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married.”

“However, while these men are impressed with a successful and active woman, they do not consider her ‘marriage material,’” Ezzeldine adds. “Despite the elevation of women, many men have maintained traditional ideas as to the type of wife they seek. After all, they do not see anything wrong with the way their mother was.”

“I recently had a suitor who told me he would be willing to help me [around the house] by not making a mess,” Afaf recalls, adding he also told her she should not use her job as an excuse to ask him to help out at home.

“Furthermore, if he comes home from work hungry, I guess that would mean I would have to work part-time in order to have dinner prepared and ready when he comes home. I think that is the most frustrating aspect of being a female, only to be seen as a maid and a cook,” she says.

Dr. Maher Hathout, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, agrees. “Men are being programmed by their parents to look for a specific kind of woman: submissive, comforting, shy, and obedient,” he says. “The reality is that women are educated and looking to be comrades in marriage.”

The marriage crisis materializes when these women in their late 20s and early 30s become settled in their careers or studies and seem like less desirable options to men because they will not bend into this traditional role. While these women work on their personal goals, young Muslim men appear to give up on them and marry from “back home” or marry non-Muslims, making the pool of suitors even smaller.

“Education is becoming a sore point for the girls because the guy moves on,” says Shaikh Sadullah Khan, executive director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Center of Irvine. “Our immigrant community has this mentality that our kid must graduate first, and for the girl, we’re stressing graduation versus marriage.”

Indeed, a startling number of young Muslim women are finding themselves scrambling to find a husband before reaching their 30s and possibly never marrying. Many accomplished and educated young women end up lowering their standards for the sake of avoiding lifelong loneliness.

“Unless this crisis is addressed seriously, honestly and scientifically, it will lead to the disintegration of our community through a dilution of the next generation Islamically, a sudden revolt against marriage by women or a decrease in self-esteem among wives who lowered their standards just to marry,” Hathout warns.

One young Muslim bachelor still searching for a spouse shares his take on the seeming lack of “good guys” on his weblog, “Marriage & Islam: The Quest for the Sweet One.” In the post, Quest, as he is called to maintain anonymity, states that the worthiest bachelors start looking for a spouse when they are in their early 20s to “satisfy their built-in, intense desire for women. … And this desire is always there, in the back of every man’s mind since puberty, like a ticking [bomb].”

These young, pious men begin looking for a wife, Quest reasons, who is closest to their age — basically, 19 to 21 years old.

“And what are these ‘good, smart ambitious girls’ doing when they’re in that age range?” Quest writes. “They’re also busy working on their education” and aren’t considering marriage. Or those who are considering marriage may be in a different location, so the two never meet, and the bachelors get fed up and marry from back home, he says.

Essentially, Quest emphasizes that the lack of a meeting forum is at the heart of the issue. “I think that is the BIGGEST problem – Muslims are scattered all over the country, and we’re not well connected. It’s hard to identify, know about, and meet the families of all the ‘good girls’ in a major metropolitan city, let alone the country,” he explains. “We put all these obstacles between faithful Muslim guys and girls, that I think even a Muslim Tom Cruise would have a hard time marrying!”

With the current circumstances at hand, Ezzeldine advises young women to plan realistically. “You have to realize that you can’t have it all,” she says. “It’s not going to be a fairy-tale where you excel at school, work 40-hour weeks, and marry a perfect guy. If you want to focus on a job or a higher degree, know that you might not have time to meet people.”

Quest echoes this sentiment by clarifying that women shouldn’t have to give up their goals, but should realize that in doing so, they are taking a risk. “The longer they delay marriage in favor of education, the less [number of ] eligible men they’ll meet once they’re ready for marriage,” he says. “And marriage and education are not necessarily conflicting. With the right husband, both can continue. It’s definitely a topic that should be brought up when considering a potential husband,” he adds.

Dr. Hathout also favors a path that allows for both education and marriage to flourish simultaneously. “We need to change the current family model into one that builds the self, the family, and each other at the same time,” he says. “Think of marriage as a tennis match — you want to play doubles, not singles, to win. In other words, struggle together and build your empire together. You are ready for marriage as long as you can get food on the table and a roof over your head, and there’s a potentiality for growth,” he stresses.

Ezzeldine draws on the life of the Prophet Muhammad for guidance, specifically the example of his relationship with Khadijah.

“The Prophet’s first wife, Khadijah, was an established career woman who was 15 years older than her husband,” Ezzeldine says. “Khadijah was a very confident and successful woman who actually proposed to the 24-year-old Muhammad. Yet, the Prophet was not intimidated by her nor found her ‘unmarriageable.’ They maintained a strong marriage as she continued to be a businesswoman, as well as wife and mother.”

Ezzeldine goes on to remind Muslims that Prophet Muhammad and Khadijah were married for 28 years, the longest of all his marriages. “Many Muslim women seek not to compete with men, but rather to establish a partnership with their spouse,” she continues. “Ultimately, these women want to be cherished and loved in the same way that the Prophet loved Khadijah. This type of partnership in marriage can only exist when both people are accepting and respectful of one another’s ambitions and priorities in life.”

Afaf has not given up searching for Mr. Right, but meanwhile uses school as a welcome distraction. “I used to be obsessed about marriage until I entered law school,” she says. “Pursuing my graduate studies has really allowed me to learn a lot about myself and to focus on things that matter. It is very sad to see girls who are 22 and depressed as to why they are not married. I have no problem with a woman who chooses to be a wife and a mother, but I do have problem if she believes that is all she can be … or doesn’t define herself as accomplished until she attains her MRS. Degree.”

* Names have been changed.

SONDOS KHOLOKI-KAHF, Staff Writer, IN Focus Magazine

Advertisements

101 thoughts on “A FEW GOOD MEN? THE MUSLIM AMERICAN WOMAN’S DILEMMA…

  1. As a muslim married man, I have some advice for the younger males.
    First of all, I have found that most are hypocritical… When looking for a muslim woman, they expect her to be submissive and waiting on them hand and foot. Yet, when they can’t find one they opt for a western woman, who doesn’t do any of those things anyway.

    Muslims need to change their perspectives, and realize that they are not violating Islamic laws by doing so.

    You have put it really well in your article by stating that marriage should be seen as an equal partnership, like tennis doubles, rather than a singles match. Also, the example of the Prophet (sws) and Bibi Khadija (rda) are perfect.

    As one imam during a Friday Khutbah put it, as muslims we need to be flexible like palm trees, not rigid as oak trees. The branches of an oak tree break in a storm or with strong winds. Yet a palm tree bends with the wind or violent storms.

    Ali

    • in islam westren or eastren we muslims are to want for each other as we want for ourself. Men should not stand in the ways of the women seeking knowledge of halal meaning.. Women should still stay suited to mataine the home and husbands as perscribed by Allah…. so seeking the right male or female isnt a war battle or struggle. Instead have faith in the substainer of mankind and what ever his will has to reveal to you…. you except it and steadfast to the religon amoung the miner world means allah has made halal for us such as seeking knoweldge….

  2. Why do these girls think they deserve “Mr. Right” in the first place. This article serves to validate my opinion that Muslim girls in America live in a bubble, they’re dancing around frolicking Tralalala, i want mr. right, cuz im a perfect little wholesome muslima angel, I’m daddy’s little princess’, I’m a Jewel, protected from the big bad evil world.

    Anyone heard of the “J.A.P” (Jewish American Princess) well how about the “M.A.P” – the Muslim American Princess. You arent perfect either, don’t think that your shit don’t stink, cuz it do.

  3. Personally, I’m experiencing Schadenfreude at these girls’ expense. 🙂

    ‘Thus began her search after graduating from college. When suitors came knocking, Afaf was surprised at the mediocrity of the suitors available and was left wondering, “Where are all the ‘good guys’?”

    [ . . . ]

    “I tend to meet two types [of men],” says Maryam*, 28, who has also been searching for a mate since college. “The first is the practicing Muslim brother who has his act together, but unfortunately has some really incompatible ideas about women and gender roles. The second type I meet is progressive and open-minded and is truly looking for a partner in life, but is not a practicing Muslim.”’

    • Maybe you are right but a normal Muslim man still exist. I am one of them. I found hard to meet a girl from Canada. I could go to middle east but I prefer find someone here in Canada or USA!

  4. This article sheds light on the true situation of American Muslim women. However, it thumps all the blame on the men, their families and backward culture. How ignorant do you have to be to not even look at your own faults? the author actually tries to prove the notion of marrying older women islamic which i thought was disgusting. Rasulallah (s.a.a.s.) always advised us to get married asap whne we had the means. You deviate from the islamic principle and place the blame on the other party. The women who fall in this category usually reflect Afaf’s arrogance when they complain about the ‘good guys’. Excuse me, but the last time i checked, you prioritized your career above marriage and looked down upon women who were homemakers. In islam, the woman’s duty (fardh)is to raise children and take care of the household, work is optional; but i guess that was too boring for you. Always remember that this life is temporary. instead, you want daycare to raise your children. you want it all(rich husband, career, million dollar mahr, nuclear family). sorry to say, but this just reflects the materialism and individualism that growing up in America has put into your hearts. there is no concept of humility, compromise and shyness here. You need to purify youself first b4 complaining. Salam and good luck!

    • Do you sound that frustrated, because every women you tried to marry refused to take you? Because you are backwards, not very islam-orientated and uneducated? Doesn’t surprise me ^_^

    • non-ABCD stated: “In islam, the woman’s duty (fardh) is to raise children and take care of the household . . .

      No – it is not, there is no Islamic legal requirement for women to look after her children or do housework. Why do so many Muslims believe falsehoods and actually state it is “fard” or obligatory?!?! Where and from whom are they learning about Islam?

      Read your Islamic sources! Stop perpetuating falsehoods amongst ourselves about the role of Muslim women. Read what our great scholars have written and get your facts straight.

      In the event of divorce or widowhood, for a woman to lack work experience or possess sustainable skills (where there is no extended family for support) is a disaster in the making for her and her children. She will be in the most vulnerable position imaginable facing issues of where to live and how to pay. What if her husband cannot earn due to illness or job loss? The attitude is one of “nothing will happen to the husband and the wife will be the homemaker with all her bills paid by him”. This guarantee came from what universe?

      Stop blaming America for materialism. Just go to any number of Muslim majority countries and see how many middle class women have servants to bark orders to (lazy calls for “chai”), nannies to look after children, drivers to drive them around. Servants are one thing we don’t have in America (except for the rich).

      It’s completely irresponsible to use the guise of Islam to promote the parading of culture as “fard”.

      • Sarah,
        I completely agree with you Sarah. The big problem from middle east Islam is we inherit the Arabic culture and forget Islam is more Quran and Muhammad teaching. The non Arabs Muslim should read about a real Islam and show and teach Arabs Islam is not for or from macho. it is all about balance and help each other.

      • Respected sister Sarah, life of our Salaf is full of examples of women taking care of house and children, Fathima(r.a), daughter of the prophet (s.a.s) had marks on her body due to carrying water. Being the daughter of a Prophet she never cribbed and our ladies…..need not say much. Khateeja (r.a) was business woman, rich, we agree but she also did her duties of being a mother well, did she not up bring her children properly? Where is the Akhlaaq gone ya sisters in ISLAM?????

    • muslim women have been given constant applause from their communities just for donning the hijab. they are always made to feel like htey are such good girls. even if they then go and pose with duckfaces and tight outfits on facebook. They still think they are model muslmahs who deserve perfect husbands. People don’t want to acknowledge taht there IS a clear hierarchy when it comes to power in marriage. and the balance of power lies with the man. in Islam, this is the clear advice and is stated explicitly. in the rest of the world, including hte west, it is by force of nature and logic that the same state obtains. no man, muslim or not, wants a bossy wife, or a wife who constantly questions his decisions and wants to get her two cents worth in on every little matter. It’s annoying, it’s distracting, it’s a waste of time. Western women know that – and they let their men be men. muslim women have swallowed the worst of feminist theory and expect their men to support them financially, take care of them emotionally, respect their every opinion and hold a shura concil for what plans to go with that evening or what type of fridge to buy; and to get them gifts and surprises. in short, it’s all about ‘me.’ It’s time Muslim women wake up: here is why you are not married: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-mcmillan/why-youre-not-married_b_822088.html

      • See this comment is of the the muslim women who may be steadfast but clearly excepted what allah has sent down to be revealed to mankind and that is the only thing thats gonna matter inshallah.

  5. Although non-ABCD’s comments are caustic there seems to be wisdom in what he says. I would urge you ladies to read this article. http://www.slate.com/id/2188684/

    The bottomline is, Dont wait forever to find Mr.Right. He is not there & neither are you perfect. Almost perfect should do. Good luck to you ladies.

    • Sister, there is nothing called as luck in islam. There is Qadr, to believe in this is a pillar of faith. everything is predestined by Allah subhanawatala, hence no element of luck or chance or fortune. Jazakallahu khair

    • agree 100% with non-ABCD. The problem stems from some ignorant Americans who convert to islam without understanding the fundamentals of human condition upon which islam is based. Mohammad PBUH rightly said Islam is the natural religion of man.

      indeed woman has alway been the home maker across the cultures, she is the inner force that binds the family, she is the comforter for her husband and her children, this is her “Fitrah” genetic disposition if you like.

      once the woman is expelled from home and made to work in the greedy, ugly market’s of western world then she is reduced to yet another beggar desperately trying to acquire a few plastic needs which in the end becomes a nightmare of useless materialism, its little wonder western world is on the brink of disaster, all their systems have broken down and the family structure is broken beyond repair.

  6. Problem is not just men tangled up in their preconceptions of “a female, only to be seen as a maid and a cook,” but also educated women are not programmed to “establish a partnership with their spouse,” these women rather “looking to be comrades in marriage” while keeping their strong ideals of a provider and a protector of the family. They are looking for “educated, pious, beautiful and accomplished,” men nothing less. not just pious and supportive. After marriage they push their ideals on to their partners to fulfill traditional roles and responsibilities without being asked themselves to do the same.

    The men who marry non-Muslims, avoid being dragged into this conflicting traditional life without having traditional wife. A non-Muslim woman, who keeps her sphere of interest her set of responsibilities and independence while letting her partner his sphere of space seems to be better choice for them.

    Muslim educated women, tends to have the best of the both world, the best only for themselves and not for the couple its like eating your cake and have it too.

    • Actually muslim men who go after fake haram women of the book do so because they get away with zina and dating and free mixing so they can have unislamic fun so why lie about it? They enjoy the haram then blame the women for being single and then you have muslimas with abusive controlling fathers and brothers who don’t let them meet potentials or until its too late or make them undesireable when they were stopped from getting an education and degree or a job as they were stopped from working even.

      • brother, since when has the “meeting with the potential” become a part of Islam, is this not Haram? One look for the purpose of marriage that too in present of Wali, that too covering the proper awrah is allowed. Jazak Allahu Khairan.

  7. I completely agree with non-ABCD. There are too many woman who are striving for the best careers, best education instead of striving for a marriage partner. I myself am trying very hard to get a good career that at least match what the woman are striving for. She’s trying to be a lawyer?! By doing that, she eliminated the possibility of a lot of marriage partners, because assuming she will make at least a good amount of money, all those good muslim men will not want to marry a woman who makes more money than them, because they are the ones who are supposed to taking care of the financial situation. The muslim women need to realize that all muslim men cannot be doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc., because that’s what they would have to be in order for a muslim woman who makes good money to want to marry them. Marriage priorities should be emphasized.

  8. The best way is the way of the Sunnah.

    The man is responsible for providing the money and the woman is responsible for maintaining the house. Men or women who aren’t humble enough to realize this should not expect to find a decent spouse.

    • SubhanAllah, May Allah reward you, and thats the bottom line, Islam is not a religion of equality between genders but does justice. Men and Women have different roles to do. Why then 2 women as against 1 man as witness, why then women get half of inheritance, why no WOMAN prophet, why no woman KHALIFA. Think over this my beloved sisters. But at the same time a woman who dies during child birth get the level of a martyr, 75% love and care and affection goes to Mother, WOMAN and only 25% to father, MAN.

  9. Honestly, non-ABCD did a pretty good job covering it. Everyone agrees that no one was, is, or ever will be perfect, other than the Prophet (S) and so the fact that people nitpick at each other’s mistakes very closely before taking a look at themselves first, is where most of the problems start. Why are there elevated standards? What does that say about a person’s humility? The mentality that there are “A few good men”, I think is a very closed-minded approach. Similarly, men can argue that there are “a few good women”. It works both ways. What makes a woman criticize a man when sometimes, women are victims of the same problems?

    Also, its a bit stereotypical to conclude that men expect their wives to be servants and cook food along with catering to the husband and children. Islam is a religion that was sent for all times. It wasn’t just for the era of the Prophet (S) and his Companions (RA), rather because of the fact that it’s so universal, along with being the truth and several other reasons, it’s the fastest growing religion in the world. Just because society brings about change doesn’t mean that people should compromise their religious views to conform to society’s norms. Personally, it seems a bit selfish and self-conscious to me only because it just appeals to people more. It’s the easy way out, so they find themselves doing whatever it is that they want, regardless of the fact that it falls into the confines of the religion. (This applies to both men and women) Therefore no one should get offended when the hadith is stated in regards to the women’s roles in Islam. This is not to shun them from doing anything, or excelling in life, or succeeding, rather it just comes down to the fact that Allah made both genders with their respective qualities. Women have emotional superiority as they have capability to give birth, subhanallah, I don’t think anyone can argue that a man has the [power to give birth and raise the child with the love and patience] all in one, of a mother. At the same time, men have been created with physical strength for the purpose of supporting the internal affairs of the wife. If people want to really know how men should treat their wives, read up on how the Prophet (S) treated his wives, how he loved them, teased them jokingly and respectfully, and how he would play games with them. He and Aisha (RA) would race in the desert. Things of that sort.

    Just the notion that women who pursue their education and find it difficult to get married bothers me. As mentioned previously, the Prophet (S) DID say that marriage completes half of your faith, and that people should get married once they hit Puberty. That’s no joke. There’s an importance placed on the haste of marriage, not to say that the minute you hit 12 or 13, you have to get married, it’s just a mere example that education can continue post marriage as well.

    Sorry for the long post. Massalamah.

  10. – Knock Knock..

    – Who is there?

    – Disillusioned men and women.

    Let me make it short and sweet.

    1 – The problem with men: We enjoy the double standard life we are living. We like to flirt around, make out and enjoy your youth years and when it comes to stability, we tend to look for the perfect female partner who would take care of the children and the house and us. Prequisites: Never-been-touched-relgious-preferably gorgeous-well-educated woman.

    Conclusion: Men follow the culturally acceptable norm that men are allowed to flirt around while women are not. If you want to defy this norm, go ahead. It is futile. You are a needle in a big haystack of muslims who will relentlessly oppose this.

    2- The problem with women: Everything was going fine at some point in history until some american woman decided to wear jeans and spark the beginning of feminism globally. I am not against jeans. I am not for women sitting at home washing my feet in a big basin full of scented water and cutting my toe nails. BUT it is worth mentioning, that this feminist movement have somehow brainwashed women in a way that made them more oriented to prove that they are as equal and as capable as men in terms of the job market and career prospects.

    Question: Are they more inferior than men in corporations?

    Answer: No! They might be even better than some men.

    Question: Does that mean that men and women are not really that different?

    Answer: THEY ARE DIFFERENT. That is the whole point. That is part of the life cycle. We should be different. However, men and women end up challenging each other over superiority instead of enjoying the synergy of what marriage should be.

    Conclusion:

    Think of a relationship as a trade transaction between two countries. Each country has a competitive advantage in one field than the other.

    Example: MAN : 50 Points for work. 10 points for raising children.

    WOMAN: 50 points for work 50 points for raising children.

    In a an efficient scenario, although both man and woman could have the same value at work, it is obvious that the woman would be able to raise the children more efficiently. Why? Because women are more emotionally intelligent than men who usually rely on logic than emotions. Hence, this emotional superiority is what keeps the children in good shape.

    In a another scenario, both man and woman are working. getting the 100 points worth of work and leaving the children to be raised by a maid, daycare provider, etc… thus, cutting what should be stronger ties with their own children and leaving a crucial task to large some of unknown variables to be processed by an non-nuclear family member.

    Question: SO ARE YOU SAYING THAT WOMEN ARE MADE TO STAY AT HOME AND RAISE THE KIDS?

    No. they are not made to stay at home and raise the kids. What i am saying that they are better than men in raising the kids. As for the cooking and the sorts, men should just get a hold of themselves and start cooking with their wives for a change. There is nothing “unmanly” about that. Best chefs in the world are male. Nothing beats the feeling that your wife would get a cooked breakfast to bed from you on a friday morning or something.

    One more thing:

    Girls: Work. No problem. Follow your career. No problem either. As long as it is not affecting your children’s upbringing.

    Men: Synergize.

    Cheers,

    • Women on average are emotionally retarded and lack integrity. I am not saying their is anything wrong with women biologically or that they are inferior to men but that is how they choose to be.

      As for your statement about women not being made to say at home, it is absolutely wrong, they are made to stay at home and raise kids and be obedient to their husbands. In fact a women should obey her husbands so long as he doesn’t ask you to do something haram.

      Because women like you have abandoned Islam as far as gender roles and marriage are concerned but you still expect that your religious rights be given to you.

      You take it as an insult to be a homemaker and an obedient wife, while this is what brought all the wives of Muhammad (S.A.W) honor and elevated their status

      • A H Qureshi: Your lack of knowledge is really showing in your response.

        You are using a post-industrial standard of division of labor (stay-at-home vs going-out-to-work) and applying it to a pre-industrial setting (Prophet’s time). This is a common mistake amongst Muslims when discussing the role of women in Islam.

        Prior to the Industrial Revolution, this distinction in work did not exist. It is a relatively new historical creation. There was no such thing as a “homemaker” in traditional societies. All family members (including children) participated in division of labor. This includes spinning cloth, weaving, making soap, making candles, creating items for use, tending to animals and crops, selling in markets. The men usually performed more physically demanding tasks.

        No one lived in nuclear families, they lived in extended families. The husband did not go “out” to work, unless he was a merchant required to travel. “Going to work” began with the advent of factories and shifted work from rural to urban areas. Most performed required tasks and stayed within the confines of their immediate location. Children were looked after by the extended group.

        Even the Prophet (pbuh) himself was sent away as a baby to be nursed by someone else, not his mother. Protection from enemies, drought and immediate threats required sharing and cooperation to survive.

        Women at the Prophet’s (pbuh) time performed many tasks which homemakers today do not do. This has been the case for most of history except for the last 300 years. They did not simply look after children and cook with groceries bought at a store, get into cars and drive to malls buying whatever they need. They did not slap down credit cards and make arrangements over the phone or computer.

        In the past, it was a collaborative effort, not an issue of someone earning money to pay bills, mortgage, groceries, leases, insurance etc. Water was not available by turning a tap, energy was not available by turning a switch. All of this affected women’s labor.

        Domestic arrangements in pre-industrial societies are completely different from present day standards. Just read the immense publications available on the organization of work in pre-industrial times and you will quickly realize how wrong your limited perceptions on what Muslim women are suppose to be doing.

        Do not use today’s cultural norms and socio-economic climate and apply it to standards of family life from 1500 years ago to define “gender roles”. They are completely different and factually wrong, making your interpretation wrong.

        The Prophet’s (pbuh) wives were subject to special rules including who had access to them and their visibility to avoid public issues. This is specified in the Qur’an as rules only for his wives.

        You mention women being “emotionally retarded” but did not consider that being “intellectually challenged” – as your writing strongly indicates you are – is far worse.

      • A H Qureshi: It is not compulsory upon Muslim women to do “housework” according to Islam.

        Let the shock of this die down before reading further. Have oxygen ready.

        The majority of Muslim scholars are of the opinion that serving one’s husband is NOT compulsory rather it is only among the noble manners.

        Our greatest Islamic scholars and founders of our Schools of Thought: Imam Malik, Imam Shafi and Imam Abu Hanifa support this. Imam Al-Qayyim cited that marriage contract enables a husband to enjoy his wife however it does NOT enable him to engage her in housework.

        From fatwa from Imam Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah (common result amongst many fatwas from other scholars based on Islamic law):

        Does Islam oblige the woman to be a housewife before and after marriage?

        “According to Islam, not a single person whether a father, a mother, a brother or any relative, is authorized to legitimately oblige the woman to manage domestic work. So, housework is NOT imposed on women.

        She can take on this charge if she willingly volunteered to, out of the sense of responsibility towards the house that is taking care of her. And when the girl becomes a wife, the fact that she manages the domestic work in her house or does not, will also remain a voluntarily matter that is up to her to decide.

        The contract of marriage does NOT bind women, from a legal aspect, to do housework, NOT even to rear her children and take care of them, unless the two married people worked on including the performance of these works in the marriage contract under special terms.”

        My note: Muslims need to stop confusing cultural roles of women with what Islam states. The term “Muslim homemaker” sounds like an oxymoron when viewed from its Islamic legal perspective.

        Yes, A H Qureshi – that’s “oxymoron” not moron, as in the many-ignorant-comments-on-this-blog type.

  11. To the Gentleman Caller,
    Everything you said is pretty much the truth, in terms of WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. It sounds very unpalatable, I must admit, but that’s how things happen in the REAL WORLD.
    So although there shouldn’t be a double standard, and men shouldn’t prefer the ‘back-home-foot-scrubbing-back-rubbing-children popping-gourmet-cooking Stepford Wife’, a lot of them DO. They prefer all of that without bringing the Man Equivalent to the table, and somehow think they deserve it. And a lot of them get a close approximation of this. It’s not impossible to obtain.

  12. I am speaking from my experience and I disagree with the notion that women have delayed marriage in favour of their careers and that’s why they’re having problems marrying. In fact I think it’s quite the opposite! Alot of sisters I know wanted to get married young but the brothers were all going back home to India/ Pakistan and whereever else to get married. They just didn’t want to marry sisters from the UK full stop! Usually their mothers would advise against it. My mother advised my 4 brothers against marrying in the UK, because the women from back home would wait on you morning and evening, take care of the whole house including the extended family, not have an opinion of their own to express/ or be too afraid to express it and would look after your parents in their old age. And if there’s trouble, you threaten to send her back home. On the whole you would have an easier life. Women from here (UK) would want a more equal division of labour and you’re not going to do that.

    The sisters in the UK carried on their education in order to place their energies into something more constructive until someone decent came along. I have yet to meet a sister who has turned down a good prospective partner saying, ‘sorry, I’m still studying’ – that has never happened!!
    Incidentally, my friends from school who didn’t put their energies into something more constructive (by studying) ended up dating, taking drugs and becoming single mothers.

    As ‘the mother is the first school for a child’ and ‘to educate a woman is too educate a nation’. I don’t see why a womans’ education is a problem. If anything it is men that have been conditioned to desire submissive, housemaids as wives from back home, under the guise of ‘they’re more practising back home’. But they’re not. Women in the UK are more practising than the women from back home.

    • It really annoys the heck out of me when girls brought up in Pakistan and India are made out to be illiterate, submissive, lowlife types, with no goals, aspirations or opinions; in short the lesser human beings. I find the girls brought up here have a superiority complex. The truth is that the men are not going to Pakistan and India to get married because girls there are mousy. They are going back because girls here are arrogant!
      Best regards

  13. to Non-ABCD

    “the author actually tries to prove the notion of marrying older women islamic which i thought was disgusting”

    Why is this disgusting? It is a fact that the Prophet (SAW) did marry an older woman – what is wrong with that?

    I am also surprised that so many people agree that Muslim women are choosing careers over men- why can’t we have both? It is not selfish. Maybe the problem is the men are too insecure-

    as JMAN put it:

    “The muslim women need to realize that all muslim men cannot be doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc., because that’s what they would have to be in order for a muslim woman who makes good money to want to marry them.”

    Why does a man need to make more money than a woman anyway in order to marry her? Or- why should a woman dumb herself down just so she can attract the larger population of men who are perhaps less educated than her?

    Muslim men- women are out there and want families too-and aren’t all super feminists because we work and are educated. Don’t lump all of us American Muslim women in one group. As my mother always says- all five fingers are not alike.

  14. Wow. All I can say is WOW. I work because I HAVE TO, not necessarily because I WANT to. Both of my parents are deceased, I am the eldest child, no brothers, and even if my parents were still alive, my parents (Americans through and through) would still not be supporting me financially. If I had the option to be a “stay-at-home” mom, believe me, I would. It would just be nice to have a freaking break from the drudgery of going to work every day. And besides that, I love kids and really want to raise them MYSELF, not have someone at a daycare raise them. I can’t believe all the ignorant brothers who actually believe that we single muslimas would rather go to school/work than get married. DO you ACTUALLY BELIEVE that???? I’ve been trying to get married since I was 30 (about the time I re-verted to Islam) and still not finding Mr. Right. It is most definitely NOT because I put off marrying because of school or my career. In fact, I did no such thing. In the non-muslim world there are 20-somethings chasing me because they think i’m anywhere between 25-28 years old, but in the muslim world no one wants to marry a good muslima who’s just barely turned 38. How UNFAIR is THAT??????!!!!!!! Oh, and not to mention the fact that I’m white…. oh yeah, the “religiously-elite potential mother-in-laws” don’t dig their darker-complected sons marrying white girls, don’t ya know. I really want to know how my being white has ANYTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM and not being a suitable wife!

  15. Afaf hopefully I can understad u…..but u know same thing hpnd with boys also……dnt bother hopefully u wil get someone super dude some day…..n rememder it’s never too late

  16. I think it needs to be said. In this day and age, there will be some muslim women in the west who will never get married. The sooner you accept this the better. In the muslim community, as stated above, the preference of muslim men will usually be on those who are younger (even if they are not as educated as they their late 20 and 30 something counterparts). These young 19, 20, 21 year olds will be engaged and ‘snapped up’ even before before they finish university by men ranging in ages from 20s to mid 30s, leaving a much smaller pool of educated available muslim men. Consider that increasing numbers of muslim men will be dating and marrying non-muslim women, leaving much reduced chances for the 30 something muslim women.

    Best thing for the educated 30 something muslim woman is to start dating professional non-muslim men in their age bracket (who generally don’t have a preference for untouched virgins like muslim men of a similar age, and thus are more willing to date older), and hope to god that the guy stays with you and converts upon marriage (if you want it to be islamically valid that is).

    If not, you’re faced with a generation of professional pious 40 something women who will still be virgins, unmarried and no longer as fertile, and thus unappealing to both professional muslim men (who want to start families) and non-muslim men (cos of lack of sexual experience). Worst comes to worst, these 40 somethings will have to ‘settle’ for imported husbands from the homeland (no doubt after easy visas), marrying divorces with children or even look at polygamous set up. Or else, accept the fact that they will never marry and have kids of their own.

    But then again, why get married anyway…it’s overrated.

  17. first of all from the ahadith, the wife HAS to be obedient to the husband(in all that is halaal). subhanallah if this is what Allah seeks of us, then why keep up a fuss??? do it for the pleasure of Allah man! and jannah, as the hadith says, that women who dies in a state while her husband is pleased with her, can enter jannah through whichever 8 gates she wishes! Allahu AKbar. dont deny yourself jannah! does a womens submissiveness to her husband make her less of a human being? no ways! in fact it elevates her status in the eyes of Allah soooo much more for women have been created for the companionship of man! honestly anything done with the intention of pleasing Allah and with the obedience of Him will only bring nobility. yep the previous typer made a good ponint too, if theres no good guys left, then consider polygyny.

    • Sister Fathima, I sisncerely pray to Allah subhanawatala to grant you the best of this world and the akhira, may Allh grant you peace and raise you amongst the pious. SubhanAllah, what lovely akhlaak you possess, masha Allah. And I mean it.

  18. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and
    screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic
    but I had to tell someone!

  19. The problem with career women is that they are too demanding in their choice of spouse. Is a career women likely to settle for a hardworking man who may either not be as well educated or not as high up on the social ladder? I don’t live with my parents, I cook, I clean, I don’t raise my hands or my voice but I’m a mature student and divorced. No one will give me a second look nor will they give a second look to Taxi drivers or people who work in retail for example. Yes Khadijah was a wealthy career women but most of the people in paradise are poor, not middle class. Sisters in the West have adopted western ideals on marriage, establish a career and look to marry later. Men don’t like waiting, we’re not allowed to date, we can’t play the field and settle down later. Why is this so hard to understand?

  20. The problem with career women is that they are too demanding in their choice of spouse. Is a career women likely to settle for a hardworking man who may either not be as well educated or not as high up on the social ladder? I don’t live with my parents, I cook, I clean, I don’t raise my hands or my voice, I don’t need my parents approval to marry but I’m a mature student and divorced. No one will give me a second look. Yes Khadijah was a wealthy career women but most of the people in paradise are poor, not middle class. Sisters in the West have adopted western ideals on marriage, establish a career and look to marry later. Men don’t like waiting.

    • Salam Sisters and Brothers,

      I am experiencing the same difficulties to find a descant or normal woman to marry.
      I am a very successful and healthy man, I try to follow my religion, Islam and avoid Haram. I consider my self as an average, even if my friends, coworkers consider me as an attractive person. Believe me it is not easy to find a woman to marry in western countries. I tried everything. I found out that I am attracted to the white women but I didn’t have luck to meet the one who accept my religion or at list respect it.
      Please let me know if anybody knows how to find a lady in western country. The one who want family and stability, also, I think the best why to deal with this problem, educated Muslim in western country, is communication. We need to talk and help each other as a Muslim couple. I am not with the couple who thinks wife should just cook and have a baby. We need to evolve a little bit. Even our prophet Muhammad was helping his wives at his house.

      Thank you for reading and forgive me if I hurt anybody feeling, May Allah forgive us!

      Salam

  21. If you want to be a ‘good muslim girl’ and live behind the veil then marry a ‘good muslim boy’ who has a beard and does his prayers. It doesn’t matter to him if you’re educated he expects a traditional wife. If you want a modern guy who ’embraces the western values’ and takes you out and has a cool haircut then marry an non religious muslim or a non muslim. Why are these girls complaining? You can’t have your cake and eat it. You sound like hypocrites. Maybe the muslim guys ( regardless of religious or not) don’t want to be with a girl who wears a hijab for society and parents and underneath has ‘western values’ and slaps on loads of make up. These two ideals don’t work in Islam. It is a middle aged Arab faith with no flexibility. So you’re either muslim or not. Islam doesn’t really value women’s liberation or freedom so to act like it does is nonsense. Women are seen as the possession of men, for their pleasure and to procreate and look after the home. The only religion where women are given divine status of creator is Hinduism. If you want to be treated equally, then there are two choices for muslim women where they can revert to Hinduism or become atheist. Otherwise if you want to remain muslim accept that in Islam the husband comes first, he can bring 3 other co-wives, he can divorce you with 3 words, and no matter how much western education you have it means nothing in Islam. So stop moaning.

    • Tori: Per your comments: “If you want to be treated equally, then there are two choices for muslim women where they can revert to Hinduism or become atheist.”

      Hindu widows commit “sati” by burning themselves alive in their husband’s funeral pyre. It’s named after the goddess Sati, who self-immolated for her husband the god Shiva. The “Puranas” part of the Hindu “Smriti”, mention sati as being highly meritorious in several instances.

      The Muslim Mughal Emperors were the first to prohibit this horrific practice in India. I’d be happy to provide directions to you for said fire.

    • Tori, sorry to say that your view about islam is not 360. Mother of believers, Khateeja (r.a) was a wealthy woman, business class, but she knew her limits. Umme Atiya (r.a) took part with her husband in 6 battles, nursing and serving the muslims on battlefield, western world now has the red cross, i am telling of 1400+ years ago. Islam gives rights of inheritance to woman 1400 years ago, so called western world gave these rights very recently. Prophet Mohammad (peace adn blessing be on him) used to race with his wife, used to make space so that his wife would see people playing games. Just because you do not know how happy a woman is with her beloved husband and with her viel, you cannot say Islam is a cultural thing of the arab….I welcome you to read the biography of the prophet

  22. It is not easy even for men. Believe me I am educated good looking have a good job and salary I couldn’t fine any woman to be with in Hallal way. I don’t want any haram thing. I will try for next 6 months if it is not working I will give up finding girl or woman in the western world. We will see Inchaa Allh.

  23. Hinduism! In the long list of stupid comments posted online that comes near the top. Women’s rights in Islam? I think you’ll find it is the West who have adopted laws brought to mankind by the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) over 1400 years ago.

    1. A man can divorce a women by saying divorce. At which point he is OBLIGATED to provide her with accommodation and support her financially if they have children
    2. A women is NOT allowed to live in the same house as her brother in-law – this overcrowding nonsense is a Hindu cultural trait
    3. A women must keep her own father’s surname, taking her husband’s name is seen as possession and forbidden
    4. A women who works is under no obligation whatsoever to give any of her money to her husband, it is her money, it is his job to provide
    5. A woman has the right to say no when approached for her hand in marriage. Any marriage without her consent is forbidden. A marriage without her consent and the consent of her protector is INVALID and not recognised

    Yes a women is supposed to obey her husband – within reason. He is also expected to help around the house, not raise his hand or his voice, show her affection, engage is foreplay (it is commanded), play with her and their children. These are some of the reasons women find Islam empowering.

    • ? where did you get these poinst from? she is not supposed to say no to a man who has good character and relgioun. you are flipping it to make it look like she can just be picky as she likes. no. where did yuou get obey her husband “within reason” – who told you this? just look at your rough attitude. i am a convert from christianity and honestly we have a much more loving and soft attitude we are raised with when it comes to learning how to be wives. i find muslm women so abrasive and aggressive when you talk about marriage and you always focus on rights this and that. what about love? what about accpeting a man with all his faults nad being teh bigger person by still admiring what’s good in him. what’s happened to your natural feminine natures and your God-given spiritual ability to love?
      where did you get taht he is expected to help in the house? you are so full of ego it’s scary.

  24. There are a number of outrages comments on this blog, many clearly based in culture rather than Islam.

    A mess of statements claiming marriages are not occurring due to materialistic demands from women, their pursuit of education and careers. The view that women should be more domestically inclined and homemaker oriented, although this is not required by Islamic law. This would somehow be the “Islamic fix” for everything. This domestic vision is not based in Islam but rather in culture.

    For the sake of expediency, we should look at “The Four Perfect Women in Islam” – as confirmed by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). For all the talk about the role of women, this is important.

    Who were these four women? What traits did they possess which made them “perfect”?

    They are:

    1. Asiya (wife of Pharoah at the time of Prophet Moses pbuh) – Asiya was known to defy her husband. She protested his polytheistic beliefs and proclaimed her monotheism. Not only did she stand up to her husband but he was the king. Not only was he the king, but he considered himself to be a god. She stood up to the political leader and told him his ways were wrong. A number of Qur’anic commentaries state she was put to death for this.

    In Asiya we learn of a woman who is strong in POLITICAL defiance.

    2. Maryam (mother of Prophet Jesus pbuh) – When God conveyed to Maryam (through an Angel) that she was to bear a child, she accepted it. She knew she would be harassed by society for her pregnancy without being married. Qur’an 19:28 – “O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste” – accusing her of bad conduct, citing she came from a good family. She did not fear her social position, talk and rumors. She fulfilled what God asked in a public manner.

    In Maryam we learn of a woman who is strong in SOCIAL defiance.

    3. Khadija (wife of Prophet Muhammad pbuh) – Khadijah was a woman of great fortitude. Of the many great traits she possessed, she gave generously of her wealth to promote the cause of Islam. As a successful businesswoman, she used her economic position to assist others in times of great need. Her financial footing proved to be critical for the early Muslim community.

    In Khadija we learn of a woman who is strong in ECONOMIC contribution.

    4. Fatima (daughter of Prophet Muhammad pbuh) – Fatima was highly spiritual. She died very young at age 18 years. From a biography: “Fatima inherited the genius and wisdom, the determination and will power, piety and sanctity, generosity and benevolence, devotion and worship of Allah, self-sacrifice and hospitality, forbearance and patience, knowledge and nobility of disposition of her illustrious father, both in words and in actions.”

    In Fatima we learn of a woman who is strong in SPIRITUALITY.

    Women with strength in political and social defiance, economic strength to assist others, being spiritual. What made them perfect is not defined by their “domestic” roles, housekeeping skills, mothering or cooking abilities. They are perfect by the examples they set under difficult circumstances.

    Let us please get away from the 20th century, middle class construct of the homemaker role imposed on Muslim women – actually confusing all of this with Islam, which is wrong. There are many challenges for Muslims in the West relating to marriage, but by imposing cultural expectations camouflaged as Islam is not going to help matters.

    Contrary to a number of opinions on this blog, the best way for a woman to challenge wrongful aspects of both a social and political nature (all issues addressed by our Prophet pbuh) is by getting a good education. A good education will also help in advancing her economic situation – which in turn can be used for positive causes, especially assisting the poor, children and the sick.

    If Islam states there is no legal requirement for a woman to do housework or even look after her own children (this is true per our greatest scholars) and the “Four Perfect Women” are known for their specific contributions, we need to make an effort to see beyond our cultural clutter.

    • A woman is closest to Allaah when she is in her home.
      Proof:
      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Woman is ‘awrah, and if she goes out, the shaytaan raises his hopes (of misguiding her). She is never closer to Allaah than when she stays in her house.” [Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Khuzaymah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Shaheehah, no. 2688]

      Why? Because she is a fitna.
      Proof:
      The Prophet (Saw) said, “I did not leave any fitna more harmful than the fitna of women upon men.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

      Even in her home, she must not be alone with a non-mahram.
      Proof:
      Umar (ra) reported that the Prophet said, “A man shall never keep alone with a woman except that the third between them is the Shayton.” [Tirmidhi]

      When times call for it, and a women needs to go out, she should stay far away from men as possible, closely clinging onto the sides of the wall, not in the open.
      Proof:
      Hamza bin Abu Usaid Ansari transmitted through his father that the Prophet was coming out of the Masjid when he found that the men and women had got mixed up. He asked the women to go behind and said, “It is not proper for you to walk in the middle of the street. You should walk on the edge of the street.” After this command, women walked so near the walls of the houses that their long sheets (over-garments)sometimes got stuck into the walls. [Abu Dawud]

      In the masjid, the last row is the best for her. Why? Because this way she is away from men.
      Proof:
      Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first.” Narrated by Muslim under No. 664. (Because they are away from men)

      However their houses are better for them.
      Proof:
      And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning a woman’s prayer in the mosque: “Their houses are better for them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (567) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. ”
      And the prayer in the masjid is rewarded, yet still their homes are better for them, so what about going out for less important things?

      In the corner of her room is the best place for her (in her home).
      Proof:
      Umm Humaid Sa’idiyya(raa) reported, She asked, “Oh Prophet of Allah, I desire to offer prayers under your leadership.”
      The Holy Prophet said, “I know that, but your offering the prayer in a corner is better than your offering it in you closet and your offering the prayer in your closet is better than offering it in the courtyard of your house, and your offering the prayer in the courtyard is better than offering it in the neighboring Masjid, and your offering it in the neighboring Masjid is better than your offering it in the biggest Masjid of the town.” [Ahmad & Tabarani]

      Even if she is next door to the ka’bah, her home is still better for her.
      Proof:
      Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
      The Sunnah indicates that it is better for a woman to pray at home, no matter where she is, whether she is in Makkah or elsewhere. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not prevent the female slaves of Allaah from coming to the mosques of Allaah, but their houses are better for them.”
      He said that when he was in Madeenah, even though prayer in the Prophet’s Mosque brings more reward, because a woman’s prayer in her own house is more covering for her and farther removed from temptation (fitnah), so if she is in her house then this is preferable and is better.
      [See Fataawa al-Jaami’ah li’l-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, vol. 1, p. 207. See also Question # 3457.]

      When a woman does go out, Shaytaan beautifies her (in the eyes of men)
      Proof:
      Abu Ahwas from Abdullaah who said that the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The women is object of concealment, when she leaves the house, Shaytaan (the Devil) beautifies her” [Tirmidhi 1173, Ibn Khuzaymah 1685-1687, Tabaraani 10/132, Abdur-Razaak 5116, authenticated Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albaani in Sunan of At-Tirmidhi 1173]

      She is an adulteress if she wears perfume out of the house.
      Proof:
      Abu Moosa Al-Ash’ari reported that Allaah’s Messenger said, “Every eye commits zina (fornication). And when a woman wears perume and then passes by a gathering of men (so they smell her perfume), she is an adulteress (by that).” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasaa’i and Ahmad. Classified saheeh by Shyakh Al-Albaani]

      Don’t even ask about a woman who beautifies herself for other than her husband!
      Proof:
      Fadala Ibn Ubayd reported that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Do not ask about three; … (and third) A woman whose husband is absent and who has suficient provisions and then she displays her adornment to strangers and mixes freely.” [Ahmad, Al-Haakim and others. Classified saheeh by Shaykh AL-Albaani and Imam Muqbil]

      A woman’s real responsibility is in her home.
      Proof:
      From ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for those whom he is in charge of.
      So the ruler is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects;
      a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for those under his care;
      a woman is a guardian of her husband’s home and is responsible for those under her care;
      a servant is the guardian of his master’s wealth and is responsible for that which he is entrusted with; and a man is the guardian of his father’s wealth and is responsible fore what is under his care. So each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for what he is entrusted with.”[Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 9/189/no.252) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 3/1017/no.4496)]

      The basic principle is that a woman should remain at home, and not go out except for necessary purposes.
      Proof:
      “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [al-Ahzaab 33:33].
      Although this is addressed to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it also applies to the believing women. It is only addressed to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) because of their honour and status with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because they are examples for the believing women.

      The sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him):
      ‘He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand;
      and if he has not strength enough to do that, then he should do it with his tongue;
      and if he has not strength enough to do even that, then he should (at least abhor it) from his heart; and that is the least of faith.”Sahih Muslim Hadith 79 and 81 Narrated by Abu Sa’d al Khudri

      • A H Qureshi: With all due respect, the circumstances surrounding the quoted sayings by you assume that Muslim women are living under an Islamic socio-economic-political-legal system where they are subject to male financial support. We don’t all have “guardians”.

        In the west (and other parts of the world) Muslim women are not necessarily supported by anyone. As discussed on this and other blogs, there are many Muslim women who remain unmarried for a host of reasons and do not have husbands or fathers or anyone to support them. They don’t have the luxury of “staying at home” while all their financial needs are provided for by a male. This is not reality.

        We don’t all have the option to remain dormant-like if we don’t have funds for shelter, food etc. Depending on circumstances, many Muslim men have a difficult time supporting families in the most basic manner in expensive societies due to employment challenges. For the majority – there is no extended family home.

        The quotes cited by you are roughly as follows: 5 re: a woman’s “fitna” (temptation/provocation), 4 re: prayers, 5 re: her physical presence/movement. If a woman has to work to ensure she and/or her children are fed and have a home or an elderly parent has provisions, should she cling to the subway station’s walls enroute to work? If she is at an job interview should she consider if the third person in the room in Shaitan or rather how she is best responding to questions for that much need job?

        Should she not get an education and worry about how her presence is adversely affecting the males around her with her “fitna”, when the males are responsible for their own behavior – and not her?

        Why does a certain Muslim majority country have one of the highest rape statistics in the world (and in the most conservative areas) where women’s attire and movements are highly scrutinized?

        Many of the quoted sayings regarding women’s freedom of movement are a result of their time and circumstance. They take into account physical security, society’s structure, resource distribution, established hierarchy of responsibility, lack of technology. But pointing them out without considering the absolute lack of governance by an Islamic system which clearly defines responsibility of support, is resulting in a gross distortion. If women were to abide by such rules without the corresponding support today, there would be a large number of homeless, hungry, destitute Muslim women – a situation which leads to extreme problems.

        As stated, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand etc” – the biggest abomination is the lack of examination of context under which Muslim women throughout the world live. Religious sayings hurled at women without considering the system under which they where meant to be applied is unfair to say the least.

        Our Afghani sisters are suffering the most horrific consequences re: their movement etc by overzealous and mindless men who apply Muslim “rules” out of context and in the most inhumane manner possible. Having more concrete discussions and providing viable solutions that may actually assist women with their challenges (while living in more diverse cultures) seems to be the more humane, less abominable route.

      • Its a typical argument of the people of desires that the ‘world has changed’, ‘the circumstances are different’, ‘that was for another time, another place, another people’. You abandon Islam by pointing out exceptions and in most cases distortions of historic events.

        We Muslims take religion as it is and then shape our lives accordingly while people like you take your lives and ‘circumstances’ as they are and try to change religion to feel good about your actions.

        Didn’t Muhammad (SAW) tell us to marry our children as soon as they reach puberty.
        Women don’t have a guardian because they didn’t marry when they should have and now they have to support themselves.

        There is no point in arguing if you don’t accept the authentic hadith.

        And by the way when Hazrat Aisha went to war, she later expressed regret over it.

      • A H Qureshi – You stated the following points:

        1. “A woman is closest to Allah when she is in her home. Why? Because she is a fitna.”

        – Can a woman be considered as anything beyond a source of temptation? Is her sole existence measured by her supposed threats to the morality of men?

        Isn’t a person closest to God when they are feeding the hungry, healing the sick, sheltering the poor, protecting the orphan? Do these actions not gain God’s favor and actually help another human being? Staying at home is comparably selfish.

        2. “When times call for it, and a women needs to go out, she should stay far away from men as possible, closely clinging onto the sides of the wall, not in the open.”

        – Clinging to walls whilst walking can lead to the a quick visit to the psychiatric ward initiated by the authorities.

        3. “In the corner of her room is the best place for her (in her home).”

        – So a woman should be denied the use of her full room? What is the purpose of this? Perhaps the “isnad” of this should be heavily considered.

        4. “When a woman does go out, Shaytaan beautifies her (in the eyes of men)”

        – That is the man’s problem, not the woman’s. He needs to get a grip and smarten up.

        5. “She is an adulteress if she wears perfume out of the house”.

        – Perfume cannot be equated to the physical act (Chanel No. 5 down the drain). Islam demands four witnesses to adultery as it is so serious. How about promoting the basic use of deodorant for some of the men? Lack of its use is beyond adultery, it is murderous.

        It seems men are the only ones in this vacuous and false Islamic paradigm that can see and smell, have rights to feeling sunlight. There are many handsome Muslim men and beauty is not limited to women. But as the quotes are all from a male perspective, this is not discussed.

  25. i just want to say: do we have to get married? i kind of think it’s okay if i dont…i mean, i don’t get why everyone is so hellbent on getting hitched. life is okay wihtout it too you know. just someting to konsider. btw what’s wrong with a woman feeling obliged to do housework. most nonmuslim women do it with a smile. they do it to show their lvoe for the man. i don’t get why muslm women are so ultrafeminist about this matter. what’s wrong with submitting adn obeying teh one you claim to love isn’t that love?

  26. i mean, who is supposed to do teh housework? muslim men can’t aford house help like they could back in the time of teh Sahabahs. so i think you should stop acting like little fairies gonna be diong the houseowrk. a woman is good at nurturing the home so she should not be so selfish as to reject helping out to make a good home. why are you bringing the legal issue into i t- “no legal requirement” – how about a practical need of teh modern life/ you need a wife to help you make a welcoming home. you people r so argumentive.

  27. hey by the way: LADY Fatima did so much housewrk that her hand was bleeding. that’s when she was given Tasbeehat al Fatima by an Nabi (saw) – i don’t understand y you always talk abotu law law law islamic law – life is not based on law all the time. it can be based on doing things lovingly for your partner, and culture is not a bad things in islam if cultulre has women taking care of the home, y is this wrong? so misguided.

  28. There is a tendency of some Muslims to post a series of religious quotes, without accompanying meaningful discussion, on this and other blogs. It’s as if the quotes are deemed to speak for themselves as evidence without the benefit of historicity or context of the source. This flat approach is very limiting and leads to distortions. Our greatest Islamic scholars have always qualified their responses and tried their best to contextualize debates. They weighed outcomes taking multiple aspects into account. They also wrote within the context of their time.

    The Prophet’s (pbuh) wives were suppose to be “at home” yet Aisha led a large battle (Battle of the Camel). The outcome was an unfortunate entry in Islam’s history. She has a very high status amongst Sunni Muslims but obviously did not “stay at home”.

    • You would like me to interpret the scriptures I posted wouldn’t you. You want to argue over interpretations and opinions because that is the weapon of the people of desires. The truth doesn’t side with you so you want to blunt it through opinions and twisted interpretations.
      The scriptures are true and without fault. If your intentions were pure you would understand the truth.

      • There is no interpretation of yours that I would be interested in reading – at all. You selectively picked the most narrow sayings and verses “without context”. You wrongly assume that questioning is directly due to “people’s desires” when in fact it is the reverse. But I am sure you have not idea of what I am referring to. Understanding the truth goes far past “pure intentions”. There are Muslims with “pure intentions” out there who cannot add 2 + 2. I suggest you go and build more closets for women to sit in.

      • Context, context, context! That is all you have to say. Has the context changed so much that you can’t be Muslim anymore?
        You want all the Muslim Men in the world to apologize to you women and accept your selfish demands. You think that is the solution to your ‘challenges’. That isn’t going to happen.

        Let me suggest you a solution to your challenges. Become a Muslim again. Believe in not just the right and wrong of Islam but also the desirable and undesirable what Allah and Muhammad(SAW) has considered to be as desirable and undesirable respectively.

        Desire what Allah wants you to desire rather than what your nafs wants you to.

        That will solve your problems.

      • A H Qureshi – Here is a Hadith you should be interested in reading:

        It is mentioned in many traditions that NO ONE has the right to interpret the Qur’an according to one’s personal views and opinion. And if anyone does it, his place is Hell. What is the meaning of interpreting according to one’s personal views?

        Muslim scholars and commentator of Qur’an are unanimous on the view that NO ONE has the right to interpret the verses of Qur’an. Many traditions are narrated in this regard:

        1. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: One who interprets the Qur’an according to personal opinion makes his place in fire (Hell).

        2. One who interprets the Qur’an according to his view, even though it may be right, has committed a sin.

        Interpretation is quite complex:

        From source: “If the commentators forms an opinion before conducting considerable research it becomes a cause that the word which has two meanings and there is no indication which meaning should be taken or an ayat (verse) is enigmatic from the aspect of its meaning and it becomes necessary to remove its doubt and ambiguity with the help of other ayats (verses) but the commentator explains it in a way which is in conformity with his preconceived notions.

        In other words to justify the established beliefs and preconceived notions become the cause that one does the Tafseer (commentary) of a particular ayat without any testimony and method, on the basis of his beliefs and instead of making the Holy Qur’an his guide and leader, he moulds it according to his own views. Also he were not having these views previously, he would never have interpreted in this way.”

        Your stated: “You would like me to interpret the scriptures I posted wouldn’t you”.

        Again, I confirm I am NOT interested in “your” interpretation. I am aware of this Hadith and would not dream of having you participate in a sinful act. . . such is a supposed “person of desire” – as me.

      • It’s mentioned in the Qur’an as well :

        He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. Qur’an 3:7

        Yes it’s better if women stay at home but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t see daylight, afterall the prophet’s wives travelled with him. As for duties, yes a wife doesn’t HAVE to cook and clean, it’s not her duty Islamically but it is and can be part of her duty in obeying her husband. That doesn’t mean husbands should take advantage of this by making their wives fetch and carry for their own families.

        It is related that a man came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, May Allah be pleased with him, to complain about his wife’s behavior. While he was standing in front of his door waiting from him to come out, he heard ‘Umar’s wife speaking to him in an insolent manner and quarreling with him, while ‘Umar remained silent and did not respond. The man turned round to leave and said, “If this is the way that ‘Umar acts in spite of his harshness and severity and his position as Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Believers), then how am I meant to behave?”

        ‘Umar came out and saw him walking away from his door. He called him, saying, “What do you need, my good man?” He said, “Amir al-Mu’minin, I came to complain about the bad behavior of my wife and her insolence towards me. But when I heard your wife acting in the same way with you I decided to return home. I said to myself, ‘If this is the way the Amir-al- Mu’minin is with his wife, then how is it with my situation?”

        ‘Umar said, “My brother, I put up with her actions because of the rights she holds over me. She is the one who cooks my food, bakes my bread, washes my clothes and nurses my children, even though she does not have to do any of these things. It is she who stills my heart and keeps me from falling into the unlawful. For these reasons I put up with her and her faults.” The man said, “It is also like that with my wife.” ‘Umar said, “Have patience my brother for it is only a short period of time.

        The source is Kitab Al-Kaba’ir by Imam Dhahabi which from his bio was the grandson of Imam Shafi’i?

        http://kitaabun.com/shopping3/product_info.php?products_id=2061

        The Author Muhammad bin Ahmad bin ‘Uthman bin Qaymaz at Turkamani, Shams al-Din al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi’i (673-748 AH), the imam, Shaykh al-Islam, head of hadith masters, critic and expert examiner of the hadith, encyclopedic historian and biographer, and foremost authority in the canonical readings of the Qur’an. Born in Damascus where his family lived from the time of his grandfather ‘Uthman, he sometimes identified himself as Ibn al-Dhahabi – son of the goldsmith – in reference to his father’s profession.

      • A H Qureshi: Context is exactly the scope within which our great Islamic scholars worked. Examination of context does not equate to “not being Muslim”. Why don’t you take the time to determine how our Islamic jurists determine their formulations. Do you actually think they ignore context? Sharia law is based on context and varies from geographical jurisdiction.

        You wouldn’t last 5 minutes in front of a western audience that may ask serious questions about Islam. Your expression is actually damaging as it is without thought. All you can do is make angry accusations with no contribution.

        We don’t want any Muslim men to apologize to anyone. No one was seeking an apology to begin with (?!) Why did you automatically think that?

        How dare you state that I am not a Muslim and that I should become a “Muslim again”! What arrogance led to that?

        You have completely been unable to address “any” of the points I made. Why? Why are you unable to address anything? If you are qualified to be the “guardian” of some female, why are you incapable of responding to me?

        I want a thoughtful and coherent rebuttal from you, otherwise – admit you cannot address my points in a meaningful manner. I have no issue with divergence of opinion but you can’t even explain why you don’t agree! Brilliant.

        The world has changed. You are communicating with me (a fitna-filled woman) via computer. Is this exchange of words haram? How would we know when there was no computer 1400 year ago? Should I crawl into some corner and countdown the days to my death with hands stuck in permanent duah formation? Would that re-qualify me to be a Muslim in your literalist world?

        You accuse a Muslim woman of being kafir over a virtual-system. That is quite shameful. It really is.

        This is your poor standard of discourse. Do you realize our conversation is read instantaneously by many throughout the world at this time? Whether they be Muslim or not, male or female, in the east or in the west. The world “has” changed – except for literalist Muslims.

    • You should be ashamed of yourself for rejecting authentic hadith and belittling them for being from a ‘male perspective’. You are clearly not interested in being Muslim. You just want Islam to justify your flawed beliefs so you could defend your poor decisions and blame society for the problems you have created for yourselves.

      • Who are you to determine if I (or anyone else) is interested in being Muslim? Who are you to do that?

        This statement of yours defines your lack of thought and is the usual knee jerk reaction from the Muslim peanut gallery. This includes berating those who do not agree with your presentation as possessing “flawed beliefs’, making “poor decisions” and “blame society for problems” which we have “self created”. You did not address “any” of the points I made nor did you reply in a coherent manner.

  29. A H Qureshi: You stated: “Women don’t have a guardian because they didn’t marry when they should have and now they have to support themselves.”

    You clearly have no idea of the situation our Muslim sisters face in the west. You constantly state that people are following their “desires” instead of Islam. Let me tell you that many of our sisters have “not” married due to a number of serious issues which you are clearly unaware of. They remain unmarried rather than marry a non-Muslim due to religious restrictions. How is this following their “desires”? – in fact it is the opposite. Do you have any concept of the consequences of this to a woman’s life?

    I realize that you cannot address any of the points I made because it is beyond your comprehension. Your approach condenses Islam to a point where its intent is no longer recognizable. You have a right to remain in your bubble. Let the rest of us try to address the challenges we face.

    It is for God to determine what our intentions are, as He is the only one who understands our predicament. For someone to point an accusatory finger at others and burst a vein in the process is useless. I will refrain from using choice words here to avoid declining to your puerile level of retorts.

  30. Example of distorted thinking:

    Islam says being clean is half the faith. It also says getting married is half the faith. So is clean 50% + married 50% = 100%? That’s it? This is the perfect Muslim – showered and married? Of course not. If taken literally this results in a huge distortion of what a person should be.

    The Qur’an’s grammar, syntax and morphology (morphological annotation) and semantic ontology as well as Qur’anic ontology (that defines key concepts in the Qur’an and shows the relationships between concepts using predicate logic).

    Metaphors, analogy, etymology, historicity, esoteric understanding – all must be weighed in context for comprehension. There is also the issue of abrogation (naskh) in the Qur’an (113 verses). Understanding time sequencing of verses is critical.

    Lifting select verses without subjecting it to the above process results in distortion, especially its intent.

    • A H Qureshi: There are so many points in that blog that I don’t agree with. It is one very limited perspective that omits many other variables. The last thing it does is make me “see the error in my actions and beliefs” – as if you know what my actions or beliefs are to begin with.

      Is that your response? Do you really think that you can point to a blog, i.e. a few hundred words of one person’s opinion and convince me of my “errors”. How do you function?

  31. You use terms like ‘Women on average are emotionally retarded and lack integrity’ on one hand then on another claim you are championing Qur’an and sunnah?

    O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. Qur’an 49:11

    • I am talking about a specific group of women which are in the majority and my comment is based on how they are with out any ridiculing.

    • I never said anything about my interpretation nor did I say that I interpret according to my view.
      Not all verses of the Quran require such elaborate criteria to be interpreted to become almost incomprehensible to the average Muslim. They are clear.

      It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(3:7)

      “And We have revealed the Book to you which has clear explanation of everything, and a guidance, mercy and good news for those who submit.” (Qur’an 16:89)

      “Alim Lam Ra. These are the signs of the Scripture, and a clear Qur’an.” (Qur’an 15:1)

  32. A H Q: Here’s a really easy one for you to respond to, per your status as “qualified to be guardian of woman”:

    Abu MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.

    And on that farm he had a ______? (halal animals only please). Try that one.

    Note: fire and brimstone will only burn down the farm and not help any of its inhabitants – either two or four legged.

    • What’s most ironic of all is you two bicker like a married couple!

      The Messenger (peace be upon him) also said: “…And whoever knowingly argues uselessly, Allah will continue to be angry with Him until he refrains from it, and whoever says about a believer, that which is not in him Allah will house him in a mill of the people of the fire of Jahannam until he leaves off what he said …”. Muslim

  33. When Muslims quote religious sources stating for example that Muslims should marry when they reach puberty etc, the following must be noted for clarity:

    From source: Muslims are generally obliged to abide by the laws of the country they live in, whether it is Islamic states (al-Khalifa), Muslim countries, or non-Muslim countries (i.e. the west) – as long as they are not ordered to practice something sinful. Some Muslims are under the impression that it is permissible to violate the laws of countries that are not an Islamic state, which is totally incorrect.

    Muslims must adhere to the laws of any country they live in, whether in the west or east. There are many Islamic references about this that cannot all be listed here.

    Sahih Bukhari hadith: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin”. This hadith is general and does not distinguish between Muslim and non-Muslim lands.

    Islamic scholars have divided non-Muslim lands into two categories: Dar al-Khawf and Dar al-Aman. The former refers to a land where Muslims are under a constant threat and fear with regards to their religion, life and wealth. The latter refers to a land where Muslims are relatively secure and safe, thus the command to follow the laws of Dar al-Aman would apply. This is the condition of millions of Muslims who live in jurisdictions where the system of governance does not involve any form of a “rightly guided ruler” per Islamic laws (indeed a rare situation today, if such exists at all).

    Sheikh Salman-Al-Oadah (graduate of the Faculty of Sharia and Religious Principles in Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia, PhD in Sunnah and Islamic Jurisprudence) stated the following:

    “Muslims living in non-Muslims countries have to comply with laws and regulations of the country they have been entrusted though to enter (live in) or valid visa. At the same time, they have to avoid whatever contradicts Islamic teachings. In case they are obliged by law to uphold something contrary to Islamic teachings, they have to adhere to the minimum that the law requires of them.

    Therefore, the general rule is that a Muslim should obey the law of the land in which he lives as a matter of upholding his citizenship contract or visa.”

    The marriage of minors (age of puberty) is illegal in all western countries. 11 or 12 year olds cannot marry. The same applies to polygamy (not a religious requirement). It is against the law. Muslims are free to marry upon legal age, they are free to conduct religious marriage ceremonies with appropriate State or Provincial license, they must register such marriages with the local authorities, they are free to have one wife.

    Islam states: “He would can afford to marry should do so”. How many 12 year old boys (puberty age) can support a wife?! The average age of puberty circa 1900 for females was 17 years of age. It is now about 11 years. Big difference in context.

    Also, there are no “guardians” for adult females (age of majority and being of sound mind) and each individual is responsible for themselves before the law. A Muslim woman is responsible for her legal conduct, filing income tax documents, signing contracts etc. She “alone” will be held responsible for any default (financial or otherwise), civil or criminal liability she may incur.

    The approach by some Muslims that they can easily disregard the laws of the land in by quoting Islamic sayings out of the context without looking at the totality of the situation Muslims face, as well as ignoring all the stipulations for living as minorities in non-Muslim lands as confirmed and accommodated by our Prophet (pbuh) and our great Islamic scholars.

    The failed and flawed attempts to apply religious rules out of context for Muslims who do not live under a Muslim system of governance – where laws are applied in a series of checks and balances, of responsibilities – is sheer ignorance. All aspects which are connected legally, socially, economically and politically.

    Perhaps those who thoughtlessly promote polygamy and illegal underage marriages for us in the west as “solutions” to our marriage problems should consider what Islam has to say about our situation first – and in correct context. We don’t cease to be Muslim by trying to address our challenges and we are certainly not assisted by those who have flat and highly limited understandings of Islam – which actually reduces the great scope, humanity and fairness contained without our great Islamic tradition.

    • This is exactly the situation where a country’s laws prohibit you from doing your duty. You should then migrate so you could follow Islam better. Also you don’t have to file for marriage and let the state know you are marrying while below the minimum legal age.

      And then your stupid argument that women reached puberty later in their life in the past than they do now shows your intentions are bent on fabricating Islam to suit you point.

      The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never mentioned the minimum age to get married. He said as soon as you reach puberty. It doesn’t matter what age. If he meant a particular age by puberty, he would have made it clear.

      Since his words are against your wishes you twist the message by saying things like: He meant mental maturity etc.

      Also your statistic that women reached puberty at 17 is not true for all regions in the world.
      Do you think Hazrat Aisha was an exception?

  34. A H Qureshi: What a bizarre and unrealistic response from you.

    If the person is a minor they cannot marry. If a minor has sexual relations with someone who is at the age of majority (18 years+), the older person will be criminally charged with statutory rape and sent to prison – married or not, consensual or not. Straight to jail.

    Two minors cannot enter into a contract legally, so how are they getting married? They must abide by the law of the land. Imams who conduct nikah ceremonies must be registered with the state to do so. That is the law.

    Read medical research re: puberty over time. I am correct about the age decline, which is the reality of what we live with. You are factually wrong. There are Muslims in Africa who are marrying off 12 year old girls due to their interpretation of this and many, many young girls are dying in childbirth as their bodies are too immature to handle it. This is a fact. The Prophet (pbuh) did not mention an age, but he mentioned puberty which is now 11 or 12 years old now.

    The Prophet (pbuh) did not consummate his marriage with Aisha until years later when she was older. Mental maturity is reached in adulthood and not at puberty. Marriage is also based on the ability to support a spouse and family. You are the one twisting words and your ignorance about facts is shocking.

    Muslims ARE to abide by the laws of the land they live in. There is no Khalifate in the world which runs its laws by Islam. There is no qualified ruler of such magnitude. Where exactly are Muslims to migrate too? A truly insane and ridiculous suggestion. The Muslim world is filled with injustice, superstition, economic disparity and lack of human rights – all attributes that are the antithesis of Islam. The stampede is out of such places and not toward them.

    Even the great Muslim dynasties of the past created non-religious laws to run their states for the sake of efficiency, not everything was based on Islam.

    For more serious Muslims out there – the “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” (RIS 2013) convention was held in Toronto, Canada last December. Over 20,000 Muslims from North America attended. Sheikh Zahir Mahmood gave an excellent lecture entitled: “Islam in Search of Muslims – What can we learn from the Life of Nelson Mandela”.

    He noted that many Muslims are migrating to the west as they see non-Muslims reflecting aspects of the Prophet’s (pbuh) Sunnah in their behavior, as it is sadly lacking in their Muslim majority countries of origin. He elaborates. The video is on the RIS 2013 site. It’s excellent to hear such a perspective which is reality based instead of insanity based. Imam Zaid Shakir also gave a great, taped talk about Muslims and Nelson Mandela.

    How refreshing to hear from Muslims who are well educated in Islamic teachings and apply the foundations of what our Prophet (pbuh) taught in the current context. They were accurate, knowledgeable, take history into account and introduce valuable lessons that Muslims today can learn from in a constructive manner. I am grateful for our learned brothers and sisters who present to our larger communities in the west.

  35. Muslims in the west are not alone in your marriage challenges. Muslims in majority countries are also facing their own unfortunate struggles.

    Egypt, a Muslim majority country, has been experiencing a marriage crisis for years. The issue is that men are unable to afford to get married. Their burden is added with the housing crisis in urban areas. This is no doubt saddening and troublesome for young Egyptians and their families. Employment and housing are necessary.

    It is reported that with a chronically bloated public sector, Egypt does not have enough government jobs for a flood of graduates who are otherwise unqualified for private sector jobs. Prof Madiha El-Shafty of American University in Cairo stated: “The inability to marry is an overlooked crisis that keeps escalating in Egypt, it’s not hard to understand how this mass frustration can lead to intense religiosity and how it can contribute to the country’s rampant issue of sexual harassment.”

    It’s interesting to note that although it is a large Muslim country, its legal code is derived from Napoleonic Code and its criminal codes are based on British, Italian and Napoleonic models. No Khalifate there.

    From: Women, Sharia and Personal Status Law Reform in Egypt after the Revolution (AUC):

    “The debate over personal status law reform is fraught with the many anxieties Egyptians feel about their future. . .Sharia is a powerful concept in this debate, because it represents an ideal far from the great body of substantive law that is traditional Islamic law (which is perhaps more closely equivalent to the term fiqh – Islamic jurisprudence).

    Sharia represents the ideal of following the will of God, but, as most classically-trained Muslim jurists would agree, human knowledge of the will of God is subject to interpretation. No one simply “knows” what that will is.”

    Yet how many literalist Muslims claim to know the “will of God” and attempt to enforce it on others (especially women) via their own limited misunderstandings of Islam – which our great Muslim jurists state is truly subject to interpretation and by those qualified to do so.

    • The Prophet married Hazrat Aisha when she was 6 and consummated his marriage to Hazrat Aisha when she reached the age of 9-12 years.

      Mental maturity is subjective. If you treat someone like a kid all his life he or she will never mature.
      In Islam a person is supposed to be sane and should have reached puberty to me marriageable.

      Marriage does not necessarily have to be registered. Registration is optional. The state/govt. is informed so that couples could benefit from certain laws that favor married people.

      Marriage in Islam happens with the consent of the bride and bridegroom and the bridegroom’s guardian.
      A father may give her daughter in marriage to a person with the consent of her daughter and he may consent to marrying her. Witnesses are required.

      No Imam is actually needed, no magic words HAVE to be spoken.

      This is an excerpt with my conversation with a lawyer in U.S.A:
      “…… you can get married by way of Islamic Law and not file your marriage license here. What does that mean? It means in Allah’s eyes you’re legally married, but you are not married by way of the laws of the country you reside in. From a religious perspective you’re married. But in the eyes of the U.S. government you’re relationship status is not that of a married person.”

      • A H Q: Get off the Kool-Aid, get on the meds. Remove your head from the orifice that is currently impeding it from responding sanely.

      • A H Q: Why don’t you ask the lawyer what the definition of child abuse is. Ask a minor what exactly they think they are giving consent to. Perhaps the young groom could sell his toy cars and play-station and come up with about two days worth of food money to support his new “wife”. Perhaps the bride could sell her Barbie doll collection and they might get dessert as well.

      • A H Q: Here are some hard facts for you to digest – per The Guardian in the UK, May 2012:

        “. . .few British Muslim marriages have been registered under British law, which means that when the relationship breaks down the female has little if any spousal rights. This is an outrage, condemning thousands of women to a life stuck in limbo and it is time to take action to end this discrimination”.

        “An increasing timebomb” is how Aina Khan, family law specialist, describes the growth of Muslim marriages that have not been legally registered. It is estimated that 70-75% of Muslim marriages in the UK have not been registered under the Marriage Act. Muslim women and their children have been left open to abuse when they are only registered as having the rights of co-habitants.

        If their marriage breaks down or her husband dies, women have little recourse as it becomes almost impossible to seek spousal support and even child support. Many are denied equal sharing and the inheritance of wealth and assets accrued in marriage.

        The dreadful consequences of this include women being left homeless, with no rights to claim maintenance, and no automatic rights to a share of any property in the other’s name. Many men refuse to have the marriage registered so that they can practise polygamy here in the UK, again leaving the first wife vulnerable. In fact, studies cite this as the fourth most common reason for Muslim marriages ending in divorce.

        There is a deeply worrying lack of knowledge about these problems within British Muslim communities. Many Muslim women believe that, like Christian and Jewish marriages, their religious marriage (nikah) is automatically registered, when this is simply not the case.

        If a Muslim woman wants to get a divorce without having registered her marriage, she has no other recourse than the services of a Sharia council, many of whom have been found to have discriminated against women on the basis of their gender. Some women, for example, have been charged twice as much as their husbands would be to obtain an Islamic divorce, regardless of whether they have an income.

        In many cases, women seeking an Islamic divorce from Sharia councils have found themselves imprisoned in the system for three or even five years thanks to the time-consuming and inefficient process.

        Many of these problems can be avoided if Muslim marriages are simply registered in the first place and so recognised in British law. Muslim imams and institutions conducting these marriages ought to be at the forefront of educating communities of the importance of registering civil marriages.

        Currently one in 10 mosques are registered to conduct civil ceremonies – but much more needs to be done. The government should ensure all institutions that conduct nikahs are simultaneously conducting civil marriages. The scandal of unregistered marriages and the resulting humiliation British women have endured should not be allowed to continue in 21st-century Britain.”

        And you want to subject our precious young Muslims to this?!?

      • A H Q: You stated: “If you treat someone like a kid all his life he or she will never mature.” Considering you think women should stay at home, never leave, preferable sit in a corner – not only is this person being treated like a child (an abused child) worse she is being treated like an animal. How is this abused-child-animal suppose to “mature”?

        If there is no legal Islamic requirement for Muslim women to do housework, what exactly is such a house-bound, inactive yet breathing, apparently corner/closet dwelling person doing? How is this being an adult?

  36. A H Q: Here are some hard facts for you to digest – per The Guardian in the UK, May 2012:

    “. . .few British Muslim marriages have been registered under British law, which means that when the relationship breaks down the female has little if any spousal rights. This is an outrage, condemning thousands of women to a life stuck in limbo and it is time to take action to end this discrimination”.

    “An increasing timebomb” is how Aina Khan, family law specialist, describes the growth of Muslim marriages that have not been legally registered. It is estimated that 70-75% of Muslim marriages in the UK have not been registered under the Marriage Act. Muslim women and their children have been left open to abuse when they are only registered as having the rights of co-habitants.

    If their marriage breaks down or her husband dies, women have little recourse as it becomes almost impossible to seek spousal support and even child support. Many are denied equal sharing and the inheritance of wealth and assets accrued in marriage.

    The dreadful consequences of this include women being left homeless, with no rights to claim maintenance, and no automatic rights to a share of any property in the other’s name. Many men refuse to have the marriage registered so that they can practise polygamy here in the UK, again leaving the first wife vulnerable. In fact, studies cite this as the fourth most common reason for Muslim marriages ending in divorce.

    There is a deeply worrying lack of knowledge about these problems within British Muslim communities. Many Muslim women believe that, like Christian and Jewish marriages, their religious marriage (nikah) is automatically registered, when this is simply not the case.

    If a Muslim woman wants to get a divorce without having registered her marriage, she has no other recourse than the services of a Sharia council, many of whom have been found to have discriminated against women on the basis of their gender. Some women, for example, have been charged twice as much as their husbands would be to obtain an Islamic divorce, regardless of whether they have an income.

    In many cases, women seeking an Islamic divorce from Sharia councils have found themselves imprisoned in the system for three or even five years thanks to the time-consuming and inefficient process.

    Many of these problems can be avoided if Muslim marriages are simply registered in the first place and so recognised in British law. Muslim imams and institutions conducting these marriages ought to be at the forefront of educating communities of the importance of registering civil marriages.

    Currently one in 10 mosques are registered to conduct civil ceremonies – but much more needs to be done. The government should ensure all institutions that conduct nikahs are simultaneously conducting civil marriages. The scandal of unregistered marriages and the resulting humiliation British women have endured should not be allowed to continue in 21st-century Britain.”

    And you want to subject our precious young Muslims to this?!?

    • These are exceptions and happen among non-religious/’secular Muslims’. People marry for wealth, status and citizenship of western country’s. That is their priority and they are responsible for their decisions. If they don’t follow Islam in certain things they may find out eventually that their partner also does not follow Islam in certain things, for example in giving rights to his spouse. They are all responsible for their decisions.The division of assets under secular law is more unfair. If a husband abuses his wife, she can go to the police, she doesn’t need a marriage license for justice. And regarding providing for the family, Muhammad(SAW) in a hadith asked parents to provide it for them until they can support themselves.

    • I never said anything about my interpretation nor did I say that I interpret according to my view.
      Not all verses of the Quran require such elaborate criteria to be interpreted to become almost incomprehensible to the average Muslim. They are clear. You needlessly complicate them to interpret them as you want to.

      It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(3:7)

      “And We have revealed the Book to you which has clear explanation of everything, and a guidance, mercy and good news for those who submit.” (Qur’an 16:89)

      “Alim Lam Ra. These are the signs of the Scripture, and a clear Qur’an.” (Qur’an 15:1)

      They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.(2:19)

      It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah , so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.(2:187)

    • I wouldn’t respond to your arguments because if you are going to disregard the Quran by making pathetic excuses then you may do as you want. Btw I am not a literalist.

      But don’t steer away from the topic. Just because Islam has not made it unlawful for women to work, does it mean we should be indifferent to it. Allah has favoured women who stay at home and so do Muslim men.
      You may work but you don’t get to force yourselves on us.

      Muslim men wait to get married from the day they reach puberty till they are able to afford a wife, whereas women wake up at 22-35 and start complaining that no one wants to marry them.

      We are supposed to marry when we reach puberty. A man may not be able to marry cause he can’t afford a wife but women delay it for education and other materialistic reasons. You have no right to complain.

      Muslim men marry when they are young and they marry young women. So women are left with the irreligious.

      And further more mental maturity and sexual maturity are achieved at the same time and that is when you become an adult. How can you say that a person is sexually mature but not mentally unless he suffers from some disorder? It is possible that he had a poor upbringing and is thus ignorant but that does not make him mentally immature, just ignorant. The Hudood are applicable when you are an adult(sexually mature).

      But why don’t you ask your (enlightened) alims, may be they will tell you to marry non-muslims. Then you can tell Allah at the day of Judgement how muslim men were so pathetic that even non-muslims which beneath animals were better than them.

      Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.(98:6)

      Or you can tell Allah that you became an atheist because the times and people had changed so much, atheism was all the rage.

      You are a damaged muslim. I wonder what strand “moderate or even liberal Islam” do you identify with. You like to complicate the scriptures to the point where the message is indecipherable for a common man so that you and your ‘scholars’ could twist them to get whatever meaning they want out of them and you could follow them blindly. If you can flip Islam upside down under the guise of ‘changing times’ then there is really nothing left to argue here.

  37. It is clear that you have serious issues with Islam so it is pointless to argue with you cause no hadith or ayat or the historical example of the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) and his companions will ever be enough for you. No ruling of the scholars will be enough for you except the ones that have deviated from Islam.
    You live your life how you want to and whenever someone points its incoherence with Islam you instantly latch onto some bizarre interpretation and common excuses of the people of desires and justify your actions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s