"There is no faithfulness to the message of Islam without evolution in our understanding. So, while there is a verse of the Koran which appears to permit beating a woman, the best example was the Messenger himself never beating a woman"
Tariq Ramadan (via mndrngs)
I don’t have to say anything. Everything that needs to be said is already said in Qur’an and Hadith. Your understanding is given to you already by Allah(swt). You basically have the entire package. The words are:
1.”We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth” (46:15).
2. ”Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’ “(17:23-24).
3. “We have enjoined on man and woman kindness to parents; but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not’” (29:8).
4. “We have enjoined on man and woman (to be good) to his/her parents; show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is (thy final) Goal. If they (parents) strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)” (31:14-15).
YOUR understanding of these words is up to you. Whatever you add, comprehend, ignore, dismiss, reflect on, etc is YOUR choice. I have the right to repeat the commands of Islam. I’m not forcing anyone to love their mothers, lol.
1, sure, fine. That’s to do with childbirth though, and like I already said, childbirth pains do not excuse a lifetime of abuse…
2, as bolded: “as they cherished me in childhood”. Abuse is not “cherishing”. Abuse the the very opposite, it is an injustice. One of the fundamentals in Islam is fighting against injustice, anywhere, everywhere. Your ayat in this context is moot.
3. “BUT IF THEY STRIVE THEE TO JOIN ME ANYTHING OF WHICH THOU HAST NO KNOWLEDGE OBEY THEM NOT”. As in, if they force you to do something that’s haraam, then you don’t obey them, though you can reject whatever they’re telling you to do with loving kindness. The ayat does not speak on abuse, on parents doing something haraam that affects you and on your healing. But I do have:
Ibn ‘Umar said, “Allah has called them the ‘dutiful’ (al-Abrar) because they are dutiful (birr) to their parents and children. Just as you have a duty which you owe your parent, so you have a duty which you owe your child.” (Also see this whole article by Imam Khalid Latif)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra’ bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them,” Allah’s Apostle cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” (Bukhari)
Also see this article.
The commandments of Islam are to love and respect your parents when they love and respect you too. You’re bringing this up in a context which is wholly irrelevant. In fact, when the OP post was about not shaming kids because they don’t love their parents, particularly in cases of abuse, you came in and said you think that not only do you think those kids should love their parents (mothers, in this case) anyway but that they owe their mother thanks, praise, and love. For carrying them through pregnancy. What about reminding abusive “mothers” that they owe their kid a serious apology for completely ruining not only their childhood but leaving them with emotional trauma to deal with for the rest of their life? What about remembering the part in Islam where parents owe their kids respect and kindness too, and that abuse is haraam?
Yeah, you can remind people to love their parents. But you don’t get to do show sympathy with the abusers of children on a post specifically made for supporting the feelings of abused children and not shaming them.
I like to read the various intellectual blogs on Tumblr, masha Allah, there is tremendous intelligence and insight on display here, alhamdulilah.
What amazes me though is that we have many Muslim bloggers, who are highly educated in the politics of the Arab world, in South Asia, in East Africa, and so on and so forth, but (and this is a very important but) they are not educated in Islam and yet they have confused their tremendous talent (masha Allah) and training in regions that are Muslim as a means towards discussing issues that are Islamic.
There is a sharp contrast that must be underlined here. You can discuss Muslims, especially since your training is directed towards doing so, but that lack of education (education as in training) in Islam shows itself constantly in these commentaries that I read that stray from people to religion.
I’m not denying anyone the right to discuss Islam, quite the contrary, I like to encourage it, but remember that when you discuss Islam (not Muslims, Islam) you are dealing with God.
This isn’t some political crisis that you can guess on, or to be apathetic about, this is about The Religion of Almighty God. You cannot discuss Islam in parts, because when you discuss Islam in parts, you will be dealing with an incoherent discourse, and your lack of training in Islam will mean that your interaction with these fragments will fool you (and your ego) into thinking, “I can conquer this element,” or to say “this issue does not matter.”
Of course it will not matter to you, because you are discussing one side, one part, and so your indignation is confirmed by others who share this fragmented conception of Islam, as an academic discipline, and criticism of your stance is insulated because of how talented you are (masha Allah) in your particular field which so happens to feature Muslims.
There are issues that don’t matter to you, there are methods that you may disagree with, and that’s fine, but when all you discuss are issues and methods while ignoringthe actual content and source material of Islam, do not fool yourself as to what you doing: you have contributed to this incomplete discourse, you have contributed to the misinformation about Muslims that we all decry and which has led to such horrendous and problematic human experiences and ideas in the regions and discourses we are trained to discuss.
That is the responsibility you take when you enter into a discussion of Islam, not Muslims, Islam.
You will be held accountable by your Maker, this isn’t a game, this isn’t a fandom, this isn’t the throw-away genres of political identification you get to reminisce about years later when thinking about grad school, this is Islam.
This is something that strikes terror in me, daily, and so if I refrain from discussing something, if I ask to avoid something, it is out of a genuine fear that I may misguide that person, not to save face on some website, not to seek social acceptance. I talk about Shariah, professionally, being a tobacco lobbyist would garner greater social acceptance than what I have chosen to do.
My silence on various issues is from a fear that I may be wrong, that I may not be able to help, because let’s face it: my training is not in helping with domestic issues, is not with how to deal with abuse, or with mental illness. My training is in Islamic Law, not pastoral care, not social work, the law.
I am uncomfortable with simply taking stances on issues, I will say “go to so-and-so, not me” because I believe I will be held accountable to my Maker for what I say.
If this is unacceptable to you, I apologize for the offense, but I simply want what is best for my brothers and sisters and I would like to break the cycle of Egyptians giving answers to questions when they don’t know what to say (think of getting directions from an Egyptian when they are as lost as you); but jokes aside, this is my mindset, informed by my training, as I try to navigate the balance between being firm in my positions while allowing the flexibility to allow others the room that I may not need, but that is critical for others.
My hesitancy and resistance to this demand for quick answers, for stances, for stated positions, is informed by The Islamic Tradition. This is why education in Islam, not Muslims is so critical here, because we have allowed our personal experiences at Sunday School or our local Mosque to define what Islam does and/or doesn’t do.
This is academically problematic that this persists, and it is why we have a disjointed Ummah, because we have people discussing words in The Qur’an without knowledge of Arabic which is akin to debating The US Constitution in Japanese and wondering why there is a disconnect.
If words and ideas are important, which I believe they are, the entire miracle of The Qur’an is Its power over words and ideas, specifically those within the linguistic parameters and context of the Arabic language. Yet, we ignore this most basic of common denominators when we discuss Islam, and this lack of care towards Islam, this lack of awe, this lack of humility has allowed us to believe that our achievements in other fields will necessarily translate into our discussions of Islam.
That has not happened, if anything, it has ensured that this casual approach to Islam, this highly personalized approach, not only denigrates our interaction with Islam, but with other Muslims.
So take a moment to be honest with yourself, apply the standards for academic authenticity in your field and apply it to academic (key word here) discussion of Islam as it relates towards your interaction with formal Islam; if someone had the amount of training you have in Islam, in your field, would you listen to them? Would they be able to understand why you answer questions in a certain way? Would they get why you hold so tightly onto some things?
In sum, I write this to encourage you to learn more about Islam, but to do so from a place of humility, and with the inclination towards subverting your ego and achievements in submission to The Command of God, not for some process of humiliation as means of purification, but so that you can truly grasp what it means to be a Muslim: to submit to God.
So that your interactions with your fellow Muslims will be positive, so that change can occur within the very framework that made Muslims so successful before, because if we are to renew our Faith it should be directed towards a complete acceptance of Islam’s Creed and Laws, otherwise, our efforts will have been wasted and our subsequent failures will not teach us lessons but will only serve to harden our hearts towards one another, for if change in the Ummah is to come, it is not “you against me,” it is “us, together.”
I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.
Reflections on Haqq as Rights, by Amina Wadud
In which the brilliant and outspoken scholar of Islam touches upon feminism, personal rights, classism, white privilege, and her experiences visiting Makkah for Umrah (among other things) while discussing it all under the context of Qur’an and hadith.
I am not against the commentary you gave in the quote. Child abuse is a serious problem and is NOT supported by Islam.
Having said that, i believe it unfair to use a single quote which is generally true and applicable to point out how it promotes “thinking that makes it okay for cycles of abuse to continue”. In general if we look at the Islamic duties parents and children owe to each other (more on that can be found here: http://www.al-islam.org/islamic-family-life-rizvi/3.htm) one would recognize that the the Prophet and the Imams did not support such abuse. When looking at any hadith it is best to take the good from it in the general sense instead of apply it to specific anti-islamic scenarios and make a claim that such ahadith protect or justify anti-islamic actions such as child abuse.
i assume that was your intention, because i do know that you are knowledgeable about Islam. But i am just letting you know that you came out sounding as if you are implying that pro-parent ahadith protect child abuse. IF that is the case, then i just want to let you know that it is just not true. Such ahadith are meant to support familial relationships b/w children and parents in general. Where the child is supposed to be subserviant to the Parents wishes as long as those wishes Promote Islam. If the parents try to involve the child in activities that are against islam, then the child has every right to refuse, and if they abuse, then hate will develop naturally.
Salaam! I hear you, and I am fully and completely supportive of things that support healthy family relationships. That is not what this quote was. It, quite specifically, said “If one looks with anger to his parents when they are unjust to him, Allah will not accept any of his prayers.” Unjust. Things that are unjust: violence, abuse, assault, regardless of they’re emotional, verbal, or physical. This is not talking about things that are unfair, like a kid thinking not getting candy is unfair. ‘Unjust’ has completely different connotations. If this is a mistranslation, or just badly worded, then it is still something we have to work on, because I’ve seen this used over, and over, and over against those who speak out about their abuse. I’m generally not picky with words. But I have actually witnessed this used against people. Perhaps you can say, hey, this doesn’t imply abusive relations are excusable, people can’t be that ridiculous right, but there are people who do, and people who have excused abuse because of this wording. Because they think Islam says abuse is okay. It’s not.
And frankly speaking, in our desi/Arab communities in particular, it’s not an idea no one’s heard of, the love and respect children owe their parents. The conversation I don’t see happening? How abusing anyone isn’t something that’s okay. I do not see that happening. I get that there’s shame in the idea that something so horrible happens, but that’s not going to make it go away. Confronting it will, though.
"If one looks with anger to his parents when they are unjust to him, Allah will not accept any of his prayers."
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (ع) al-Kafi h. 2713 (via shiaislam)
[tw: abuse, childhood sexual assault] With all due respect, I cannot accept this, and this is the sort of thing we need to break down in our communities and critically examine. This is the kind of thinking that makes it okay for cycles of abuse to continue onward, and that’s not okay. The cycles—the ones I’m talking about are where someone was raised under abusive conditions and had it enforced that it was a good thing, that “I was raised this way and I turned out fine”, because this is the kind of thing that bot extends the cycle and shames those who do say “no, this wasn’t okay, isn’t okay, is never okay”. Children are completely allowed to be absolutely angry if any parent abused or assaulted them in their childhood. They’re also completely entitled to demand their pain and trauma be heard.
Islam is all about opposing injustice, no matter where it comes from. The idea that someone shouldn’t be angry at their abuser is something that perpetuates abuse culture. And the idea that someone who was forced to endure horrible conditions in their childhood won’t have their prayers accepted is horrible and totally un-Islamic.
Deen Tight directed by Mustafa Davis
Definitely a lot to unpack in this short documentary. Three comments that struck me out really forcefully from the documentary (they are all paraphrased here of course):
1. Muslims need to stop Arab-izing Islam.
2. The Muslim community has a race problem. The fact that the Muftis can’t understand that hip-hop and African music has its basis in a different kind of drumming than the Arab instruments speak volumes about it.
(I think this also speaks volume about how us Muslims approach our own history and we glamorize it so much and don’t speak about the respected dissidents that used to exist in our community but that’s a topic for another time.)
3. Many scholars are safe in their mosques setting out fatwas while many of these people are reaching “the people in the gutter” (so to speak) and reaching out to them with the Da’awa.
People should watch it. It’s just about an hour long.
pbnpineapples asked: salaam. I will first admit that I don’t have any grasp of any arabic, so this question may sound foolish (but please indulge me). In reference to 4/6, I always took”nikah” to mean “coming to of age”. reaching puberty/maturity (however that is defined by individuals.). in context with 24/33, would that make sense? the “dont get married/have sex until u come to of age/maturity”? would be curious to know your opinion. jazakallah for your previous answer.
I made a few notes about this here, where I tried to show that nikāḥ can only be done by those who have reached both mental and physical maturity. You’ll see that I interpret 4/6 the same way you have i.e. that nikāḥ represents reaching maturity.
I’ve moved on from that particular interpretation of 4/6 is because I don’t think it captures the actual meaning of the word nikāḥ fully. There’s another verse where the Quran talks about coming of age:
12/22 And when [Yusuf] reached [balagha] his maturity [ashudda], We gave him wisdom and knowledge…
It says balagha ashudda, not balaghū l-nikāḥ like in 4/6. I think the difference comes from the fact that 4/6 is about handing over trusts, which requires an agreement, a nikāḥ, and not just the coming of age of the orphan.
pbnpineapples asked: salaam. question for you. as a quarnist, what are your views on zina and/or premarital sex?
A few people have asked me this recently and my answers are scattered about, so I’ll use this post to consolidate them.
I’m not exactly sure where I stand on this issue just yet because I’m yet to look into it properly.
I understand zinā to mean any illicit relationship which amounts to betrayal or breaking of an oath; so adultery/infidelity and the like. The Quran forbids this in the strongest of terms in 24/6-10.
I believe promiscuity is against the philosophy of islam, as we’re told we are not to commit excess in our actions (4/171) nor transgress in our consumption in this life (20/81). The Quran also speaks against secret/illicit relationships (5/5).
As for pre-marital sex, the following verses come to mind:
24/32 And join to [ankiḥū] the single from among you and the righteous from among the servants and devotees. If they are poor, God will enrich them from His bounty. And God in Encompassing, Knowing.
24/33 And let him show restraint [walyastaʿfifi], those who do not find partnerships [nikāḥ], until God enriches them from His bounty…
I think the restraint mentioned in 24/33 is referring to sex, although I’m not 100% on this. So I think sex is for after nikāḥ but the word nikāḥ doesn’t necessarily mean marriage contract. The word itself literally means union/agreement/tie knot. Marriage is a type of nikāḥ but not the only type. You can see this in 4/6:
“And test the orphans until when they reach the nikāḥ, then if you perceive from them right guidance then deliver for them their wealth…”
The nikāḥ here is the agreement i.e. the agreed upon conditions in which you would hand over the orphan’s wealth. This demonstrates the nikāḥ is a solemn oath, one you are bound to and one to be taken seriously. So I believe a similarly serious oath is a requirement for healthy sexual relations between two people.
But in terms of the Quran, what exactly constitutes a nikāḥ? We usually understand it the way the ancient Arabs did without considering the possibility that it might be something a bit more abstract than that. Is nikāḥ a written contract with an agreed upon dowry and pre-nuptials involving witnesses and guardians etc? I’m not sure how much support you can find for this definition in the Quran. There might be an argument that if two people are in a serious relationship then they are in fact already in a nikāḥ, so long as it’s not an illicit/secret one (5/5), and it isn’t a betrayal of any kind (24/6-10). If they are bound together by a solemn oath and love one another, regardless if they have a formal registry/marriage contract or not, then perhaps the conditions set by the Quran have been met and sex would be acceptable in this type of relationship.
Having said that, the Quran does tell us to cooperate in that which is good in 5/2. I think formal marriages are a good thing and gives a message to society that two people are committed to one another. There is wisdom in defining nikāḥ in this way, in my opinion, even if it isn’t explicitly found in the Quran.
However, in the context of Quranic moralism, I’m not sure what the difference is between a serious relationship with a marriage certificate and a serious relationship without one.