I shared this post from Sumayya B Willaimson's timeline...
Please read and forward it to all Muslims Who ask for gender equality.
Question posed By Sister Sarah was:
*On March 18, 2005 Amina Wadud led the first female-led Jumu`ah Prayer. On that day, women took a huge step towards being more like men. But, did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation?*
Thank you for your inspiring question!
Well, answering your question, I can say that I don’t think so.
What we so often forget is that God has honored women by giving them value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left but men.
As a result, the Western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man—the standard.
When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army, and so on. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it.
What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness, not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.
For 1,400 years, there has been a consensus of scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way.
Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading Prayer is not better just because it is leading.
Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet have asked Lady `A’ishah or Lady Khadijah, or Lady Fatimah—the greatest women of all time—to lead?
These women were promised heaven and yet they never led prayer.
But now, for the first time in 1,400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “that’s not fair.” We think so, although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind him.
On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And the Creator has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does, he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?
When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied “your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. Isn’t that sexist? No matter what a man does, he will never be able to have the status of a mother.
And yet even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it or even notice it. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, “inferior”.
Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother is a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.
As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too.
If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too.
Somewhere along the line, we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with God.
A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn’t need a man here.
In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases, we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.
Fifty years ago, we saw men leaving the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we saw men doing it, so we wanted to do it too. Somehow, we considered it women’s liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine.
We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society—just because a man did it.
Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men.
We watched as our children became strangers, and soon recognized the privilege we’d given up.
And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full time.
And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93 percent of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to “financial obligations.”
These “obligations” are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.
It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not, and in all honesty, don’t want to be—a man.
As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men and value the beauty in our own God given distinctiveness.
If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet, I choose heaven.
I hope my words answer your question. In case you have any comment or you need more about the topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Thank you and please keep in touch.
_Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
This is the tragedy of our time that our youths are bent on accepting every glitter of the modern era as fashion and symbol of progress. There are many things that, at first sight, seem odd, strange and indecent, but with the gust of advertisements, media coverage and competitions of commercial institutions it is made in to a popular fact. In recent years, a new phenomenon has spread among the youths - males and females alike – to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to lovers. This celebration was rarely known by any Indian youth some decades ago, though it might have been celebrated in western world.
St Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February by sending greeting cards or gifts to express love to one’s beloved. The cards are generally designed with hearts to symbolize love. Now, the craze of celebrating St Valentine’s Day is increasing year by year in Asian countries, especially developing nations like India. As the Valentine’s Day approaches nearer florists pile up love cards, gifts and bounties of flowers, the general stores sell Valentine chocolates, cakes and other gifts. The barbers cut hearts into men's head hair, restaurants promote Valentine's Day dinners. Newspapers publish romantic and flirting messages. The satellite channels are not lagging behind even an inch; they present special features and organize love-letter competitions. Internet dating services enjoy a rise in surfing and telecommunication companies record high surge in outgoing and incoming calls.
This phenomenon is spreading many unholy things and in our society as well the mind of younger generation. Of course, love is a natural feeling and valuable asset of human life, but not the love that spoils their life and involves many other wrong aspects.
Baseless Historical Background
There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origin of Valentine’s Day. However, this is certain that this is celebrated in the memory of some Valentine. Also, this is another historical fact that there have been more than one Valentines who were martyred in early centuries of Christianity.
But, as far as the matter of its origin is concerned it goes back to ancient Rome before the Romans embraced Christianity. In ancient Rome, there was celebrated a holiday on February 14th in the honour of Juno Fructifier, Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. The other day on February 15, they celebrated the feast of Lupercalis which was originally a festival of shepherds, and was primarily for the purpose to secure fertility for the fields, the flocks, and the shepherds themselves. There were many myths associated with this festival and many dirty rituals were performed.
When Christianity spread in Rome, the celebration of the pagan festivals persisted among them. The Christian Romans continued to celebrate these festivals, until came Pope Gelasius I who abolished Lupercalis and declared in 496 that the feast of St. Valentine would be on February 14. Thus, the ancient Roman Lupercalis festival was replaced by a new Valentine’s Day.
Who was this Valentine; there is no specific information about him. There was more than one person in Rome with similar name who existed during the early years of the church, two or three of whom were martyred. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius.
But, why was he killed, this question also remains deprived of a clear-cut answer. It is also said that Saint Valentine advocated love and peace, therefore he was martyred. It is also said that the Roman emperor Claudius II sentenced St Valentine to be executed because of his opposition of government order that prohibited soldiers to marry. It is also perceived that Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter. The emperor offered him to pardon and make him one of his closest confidantes if he forsook Christianity, which Valentine refused and preferred martyrdom. He was executed on 14 February 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalis.
Thus, the pagan Roman festival of Lupercalis was transformed into Valentine’s Day and was called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.
Irrelevance of Valentine’s Day
However, whatever the reality may be, but one thing seems clear that none of the narrations appears to have much to do with love or romance that we see is observed on Valentine’s Day. If the Christians celebrate this day in the memory of their martyr, then it is something that looks sound, but what the Muslims and other people of faith have to do with this? Not only it is nonsense for Muslims and others, but also for Christians as well, because today’s Valentine’s Day has no relation to the sacrifice for truth that was offered by St Valentine, as they claim.
And, if it is historically true that Valentine was killed in punishment of having love affairs with a girl, then the entire story takes a U turn and instead of being ‘a cause of pride’ becomes ‘a matter of shame’. Being a saint he commits such kind of act. And, more shameful is the act of those who celebrate this day in his remembrance.
The Valentine’s Day celebration is entirely based on groundless historical myths. How surprising it is that if an unmeaning and baseless ritual is celebrated by other people of faith it is taunted as ‘mythology’ and ‘orthodoxy’, but if it is practiced by the western world it becomes a symbol of progress and intellectualism!
In the society we live, every thing is based on commercial foundations. Why only education, even the human parts and human dignity is a saleable commodity. The culture of celebrating ‘Days’ is actually the invention of the Capitalism, which primarily aims at devouring the common man’s wealth and amassing it up. The commercial companies give push to ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Days’ in order to boost their products. They do not miss even a single opportunity to take out money from the pockets of people. Schemes are announced, concessions are declared and the public is seduced to achieve it in order to be in pace with the world and to be called progressive, whether they are not able to afford it.
The Muslims’ history is full of such personalities who bravely sacrificed their lives in order to guard their mission and religion. But, Islam is a natural and simple religion, it did not like to burden the people with the loads of continual festivals and celebrations as it slows down their march to spirituality and affect the common man financially.
We Indians, especially Muslims, instead of imitating the West should be proud of our own culture and social order where the foundation of love, affection and relationship is far deeper and stronger than in the West. Why to fall in inferiority complex, be proud of your own invaluable asset that is quite perfect and matchless!
Published in Milli Gazette (Delhi) and Eastern Crescent (Mumbai).
Darul Uloom Deoband
There are repeated requests from within India and outside that Darul Uloom Deoband should express its view regarding the Ruju (revocation) of Maulana Muhammad Saad from his comments about the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).
It is hereby clarified that as far the Ruju of Maulana Muhammad Saad from this particular issue is concerned it is somehow satisfactory, but the ideological divergence of Maulana Muhammad Saad to which Darul Uloom Deoband has pointed out in its Stand cannot be ignored at all; this is because even after so-called Ruju he continues to make several other statements wherein he adopts the same innovative style, baseless conclusions and unwarranted application of Islamic resources (nusus) to his peculiar ideology of Dawah. This is the reason that not only we (the servants of Darul Uloom Deoband) rather the other Ulama-e-Haq are very much worried due to the overall ideological approach of Maulana Muhammad Saad.
It is our assertion that the least diversion from the path of Akabir (pious predecessors) is immensely harmful. Therefore, following the footstep of the predecessors, Maulana Muhammad Saad should be cautious enough in his statements and should stop the personal deductions (ijtihadat) from the Quran and Hadith; since his innovative deductions and interpretations denote as if he is bent to formulate a new group which will be different from the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’at and Akabir. May Allah keep us firm and steadfast on the track of our pious predecessors, Amen!
Those who turn to us in this regard are once again reminded that Darul Uloom Deoband has distanced itself from the internal dispute of Tablighi Jamat and it has declared its impartiality clearly from the beginning. However, whenever people approach Darul Uloom for its views about wrong ideologies and thoughts, Darul Uloom always strives to guide the Ummah considering it its religious duty.
(Maulana Mufti) Abul Qasim Nomani
(Maulana Mufti) Sayeed Ahmad Palanpuri
(Maulana Syed) Arshad Madani
Date 13/05/1439 AH / 31/01/2018