Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Friday, December 28, 2007

You know what....

Sometimes the people who represent our religion make me sick. Scratch that, a lot of times they do. I'm here at work, bored to tears, and I decide to just read through some of the answers on Islam Q&A. I figure that there is no better way to spend your time than to educate yourself on Islam. As I'm reading though, I find myself getting sicker and angrier with almost every answer they give. Previously I had been quite a fan of the site, using them often to back myself up in debates, but as I probed deeper into what the site had to say about women I got downright pissed off.


And why, on earth, do these sites try to prove that true Islam means women stay home, don't make a sound, virginity is everything, and anything else kufaar? OH MY WORD if I were a cartoon steam would be coming out of my ears. If I ever needed proof that this site (and others like it) is run and answered by Middle-Eastern men who assume their back home culture is Islamic because it happens to be a Muslim country then this would be it.

Consider this: a new convert to Islam asks about praying at work and praying where her coworkers can see her. And their answer to her is "But if she is in a place where non mahrams could see her, she must cover all of her body including the face and hands." And in another answer to the same type of question this is what they replied, "It is clear from your question that you work in a place where there is mixing with men. Mixing leads to many evils and things that are forbidden, as is clear to anyone who has insight. . . it is not permissible for a woman to study or work in a place where there is mixing between men and women, and it is not permissible for her guardian to give her permission to do that."

Excuse me? You've got to be joking. Of all the blind, short-sighted, and small-minded answers to give... I work. I HAVE to work. I have no choice on this. I also work in a place where "men and women mix" so... what? I lack insight? Its haraam for me? I live in the US, even IF I was able to find some sort of job that was only women the chances of it paying any sort of decent wage are almost non-existant. I seek refuge in Allah from the idiots of this world.

I don't even know what to say. Its like when someone says something so obviously stupid that you're not even sure where to begin because its wrong on so many different levels.

Or leaving the topic of men and women working together, lets investigate this website's idea of niqaab (the veil covering the face). For one thing its obvious from the first question that they consider niqaab to be fardh (obligatory). Number one indication that they are narrow-minded and bigoted and only interpret hadeeth to suit their own desires. But here a pregnant woman who was wearing niqaab began to have breathing problems from wearing it and was advised by her doctor (who is also Muslim, female, and wears niqaab) that she could take it off if it poses a problem. Their answer, "Women still wear the niqaab (face veil) and khimaar (headcover) and we do not see any of them complaining about it or finding it too difficult. Perhaps what has happened to our sister – or others – is because of the quality of her niqaab or khimaar, or because of the way it is worn. If a woman is wearing a thick niqaab then that may make it difficult for her to breathe or to see, so the solution in that case is to make it thinner." And then once they are done insulting the sister asking the question, who according to them is weak and should suck it up and wear a thinner niqaab, they go on to insult the doctor who obviously doesn't know what she is talking about, "It would be a good idea for you to refer to a doctor who has more experience than the doctor you are currently seeing, and perhaps they will be able to find a solution to your breathing problem that she has not come up with."

How do you counter something so absurdly disgustingly wrong?

And then, just to add the cherry on top lets see what they have to say about virginity and widows. This is their answer to a wonderful Muslim man who married a widow with children with sincerity in his heart to do good in Allah's eyes and help the widow and her orphaned children but instead got anger and rejection from his family. Thank God they acknowledged his goodness in marrying her, but then they go on to say, "Marriage to a virgin is encouraged in sharee’ah and is better than marrying a previously-married woman."


They go on to narrate a hadeeth Al-Bukhaari (4052) and Muslim (715) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Have you got married, O Jaabir?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “To a virgin or to a previously-married woman?” I said, “To a previously-married woman, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said, “Why not a young girl with whom you could play and she could play with you?” I said, “My father was killed on the day of Uhud, and he left behind nine daughters. I did not like to bring to them someone like them, and I wanted to bring a woman who could look after them and guide them.” He said, “May Allaah bless you,” or he said good words to me. According to one report he said, “You did the right thing.” And according to a version narrated by Muslim, “Then that is better. For women may be married for their religious commitment, their wealth or their beauty. Choose the one who is religiously committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).”

Which directly contradicts their previous statement that it is shariah to marry a virgin.

Allah save us from those who seek to pervert our religion.

I will never use this site again.

Anyone know of any other sites like this with truly knowledgeable Sheikhs who answer?

SubhanAllah I am disgusted.


UmmAbdurRahman said...

Salamu Alaikum. Oh dear sister I'm totally following you on this one. I've seen you commenting around on other blogs that I frequent. I also live in the twin cities.

I work at a hospital and alhamdulillah because I work at night it is me and one other woman. I don't deal with patients, but most of our pathologists are male. I have to interact with them very briefly in the morning. I too have to work and just have to laugh at fatawa that prevent women from providing for their family.

I laugh even harder when they try to say "work from home", but I wouldn't make nearly as much money as I do now if I did that.

You have to remember that these scholars are answering questions from a different perspective. They look at the situation of women in their own countries, but don't realize the plight of the american muslimah. It is very different from the muslimah in the middle east. This is why it's best to find a fatwa from someone in your own area who knows the situation of the muslims and can better help you.

Molly said...

I know what you're saying, but if you look their entire website (in english) is aimed at western converts. They answer these things with a biased and closeminded view of Islam AND a lot of people read them.
With Muslims like these, who needs hate-mongering enemies? They do it singlehandedly.

UmmAbdurRahman said...

of course it is aimed at converts. the problem is they think we should behave the same way that muslims in their countries do. They put a lot of their cultural mumbo-jumbo into the mix.

It's like okay you convert...act like us or else. Culture isn't inherently bad. In fact american culture can be just the same as any other "muslim" culture...the only time culture is bad is when it contradicts islam. PERIOD!

Molly said...

Exactly. And I also think that its bad if you try to force someone to conform to your culture saying that you have to do it or you're not Muslim, etc. As far as I know this is even haraam to do so (unsubstantiated claim cuz I don't have time to look it up at the moment.)

UmmAbdurRahman said...

salaam, i saw your question on my blog. i work for the U of MN over on the riverside campus aka somaai central hahahaha. other than the occasional attempted molestation at starbucks i love working at that place.

Molly said...

ok my husband just pointed out that there are two different types of answers, those answered by the administrator of the website, and those answered by a Sheikh. The ones answered by a Sheikh are generally ones I agree with, and all these ones with stupid, bigotted and small-minded answers were by the administrator.
Obviously he needs to be silenced. InshAllah he stops being allowed to answer questions.

UmmLayla said...

There are many things that are all a matter of interpreting the sunnah... Fiqh is not a responsabilty to be taken lightly (imho). I get miffed at these off the cuff answers I see on Q&A sites too sometimes. But I have to remind myself that there are many schools of Islamic jurisprudence and some are more strict than others. For example, the hadith you have sited has been taken in part (namely the part about marrying one who you could play with) to DEFEND marrying a virgin as recommended. Allahu'Alim.

The longer I am Muslim the more I see the things I disliked initialy in a global perspective and I have found that there are things that would've made me mad 8 years ago that I agree with now, subhan'Allah.

But, at the same time I have been on a personal journey of making certain things in the deen a priority... I have accepted that even the hard liner in me needs to have a little flexability. That niqab question is a case in point... Man, I say take off the hijab and all if there is a medical issue (though I can't imagine what that issue would be).

"Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you" [2:185]; and "Allah does not want to place you in difficulty" [5:6].

Nuff said.

The Imugi said...


I'm a non-Muslim, so perhaps I'm not the best person to be suggesting sites on Islam, but have you been to Imam Zaid's website, New Islamic Directions? I've found him to be quite sane, intelligent, and reasonable.

Umm Abdul Hakim said...

OK, I am not well-informed about different websites, as I am a new Muslimah, alhamdulilah, but I have liked different opinions I have from this website:
http://www.islamonline.net (then click ask the scholar)

There seem to be a lot of westerners asking questions, and I have not read a rude reply.

Please try not to be too upset. I get upset like that when I am being defensive. Remember that it does not matter what other people think of you or people like you, insha' allah the people who are offended by these people will find the right guidance. If you think this man is being harsh, then pray for him and be sincere in it, and it will ease your heart of these feelings, insha' allah. You have a loving husband and you know your situation. Is it really worth getting upset about?

When I converted, I went to the masjid without hijab. The imam there heard my shahadah and was very kind, and then sent me to the women's side. There was only one woman there, and she was nice, but she looked at me like I was a weird bug. The next Friday I went to Juma'a, also without hijab, and mostly no one would look at me or talk to me. I cried in my car on the way home. I really didn't even know you have to wear hijab in the masjid even if you don't wear it normally (now I wear it all the time, alhamdulilah). I stayed away from the Muslim community for months after this, for a lot of reasons including that my feelings were hurt, and it led me to many, many problems. These women could not understand me, and they had their own stuff going on, and it was all totally foreign to me. I was totally naive.

It was OK though, because Allah subhana wa ta'ala is merciful and aware, and eventually when I got over my hurt feelings, I went back to the masjid and met some women who have really been kind to me and helped me in many ways, alhamdulilah. Do not worry. Allah will guide the sincere people. You might be right to worry about this administrator (allahu alim) and those he comes across, but do it in the right way, the one that will be the best for you. Insha' allah.

Molly said...

UmmLayla: I absolutely agree with you, and I know what you're saying about how things that would have pissed you off before you were Muslim being acceptable now. I am the same way, I do things now that my pre-Islamic self would never have agreed to. It happens and it comes from God. There is however a line that I don't think I'll ever be able to cross. Call it culture, call it feminism, call it progressive, call it whatever. I don't think I will ever agree with some things they teach.
And it gives Muslims a bad name to those who don't understand.

Molly said...

Imugi: Welcome to my blog, I'm glad to have you, and I'm especially glad to know that non-Muslims come to read what I have to say. So much misinformation is given out about our religion and I'd like to think I, and other bloggers like me, could be an envoy between the two worlds.
I have never read or heard of the site you gave me, but I will definately check it out.

Molly said...

Umm Abdul Hakim: That is EXACTLY why that website makes me so ANGRY, because how many people go to it looking to find out some more info about Islam because they're benignly curious and open to possible conversion? And how many read these answers and are forever lost to us?
Alhumdulillah you were strong enough in your deen (thank God thank God thank God) that you could walk away from an incredibly traumatizing experience and still stay a Muslim. You are a beacon of hope, I just fear for those that we've lost because of maniacal, narrow-minded, bigoted, extremist morons like that administrator.

Molly said...

My good, dear friend C gave me a website I've heard about but never thought to use and yay! they actually do have good answers (at least from what I browsed) and they also have a WOMAN who answers WOMEN'S questions. Imagine that... an intelligent female. I don't think Islam Q&A believs those exist.

Check out http://qa.sunnipath.com/

Forsoothsayer said...

i've always found islamonline to be uncrazy (for a while there it was one of the few websites i could access from my office). also, my indu friend works as an editor at their cairo office and the fact that they agree to employ her (not even from ahl el kitaab!) says good things about them.

Molly said...

thanks dear! I will check them out.