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10 common fallacies about muslim women


Forum: Islamic Parenting

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  #1  
July 30th, 2012, 12:15 AM
shilo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Somewhere Green
Posts: 2,171
I didn't write this, it's an excerpt from: Muslimahs: Ten Common Falacies About Us «

But, it does seem pretty accurate! What do you think? Have you experienced these? Would you add/remove any?

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Assumption # 1: The Muslim woman is crazy or brainwashed

Inner Fallacy: If she was born into Islam they say she is brainwashed by her culture. If she is a revert she is labeled crazy for her choice.

Reality: Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today with women making up the vast majority of new devotees. Women who embrace Islam do so because they find it completes them. They find peace, inner joy, God consciousness and healing.

Culture does not determine religion. It is a misnomer to say that a woman who is a born Muslim has been brainwashed by her culture. If that is the case then we must all be brainwashed by our cultures! Many born Muslims are not religious or live their lives according to the teachings of Islam. It is all relative as people are individuals who can not be painted with the same brush stroke.

“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will we give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to their actions.” [Noble Quran 16:97, see also 4:124]

Woman according to the Quran is not blamed for Adam’s first mistake. Both were jointly wrong in their disobedience to God, both repented, and both were forgiven. [Noble Quran] 2:36, 7:20-24]

Assumption # 2: Her husband forces her to practice Islam

Inner Fallacy: Again, if she was born into Islam it is said that she never had a chance or choice in the matter. If she is a revert married to a born Muslim she must be doing it just for him.

Reality: Women who embrace Islam now seek out good practicing Muslim men to share their lives with according to their faith and belief. Muslim women may sometimes be more religious than their counterparts and often are in the position of encouraging their husbands to become more religious.

“The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife.” [Abu Dawud]

“He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and there from did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)…” [Noble Quran 7:189]

Assumption # 3: Her hijab makes her hot, uncomfortable and she is hiding something under her modest dress

Inner Fallacy: The idea and attitude is suggests that our lives are merely something we endure but certainly not enjoy and that perhaps we are hiding an unattractive figure under our layers of clothing.

Reality: Our physical bodies have the miraculous ability to adjust to different levels of temperature. Muslim women who dress modestly experience comfort and feel relaxed in clothing that does not expose every curve of their bodies and allows them freedom of movement and the ability to breathe easier. Muslim women are not obsessively concerned over their figures and their cultures tend to place a greater emphasis on natural feminine beauty. More importantly in Islam, all women are valued for their beauty of faith.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…” [Noble Quran 33:59]

Assumption # 4: Her Husband and family force hijab on her

Inner Fallacy: Hijab is seen as a mark of shame and forced on a woman by the men in her life that dominate and control her.

Reality: Muslim women are honored in Islam with hijab. It is a mark of respect. It is also an act of faith. The Qur’an has also instructed men to observe their own hijab by lowering their gaze as they have been addressed before women to make this distinction.

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty save to their husbands, or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical desire, or small children who have no sense of sex; and that they should not stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O believers! Turn all together towards Allah, that you may attain bliss.” [Noble Quran 24:31]

Assumption # 5: She is controlled by her culture, religion and has no say over her own life

Inner Fallacy: She is really trapped with no where to turn. She can not make her own decisions and her religion is not her choice but the pressure of her culture.

Reality: It is the pomposity of individuals who believe their way must be better which allow for these thoughts and the belief that one’s culture, land and religion are superior to another.

“A non-virgin woman may not be married without her command, and a virgin may not be married without her permission; and enough permission for her is to remain silent (because of her natural shyness).” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others]

Assumption # 6: She secretly longs to be set free from her culture, traditions and religion

Inner Fallacy: If given the chance she would flee her oppression.

Reality: She loves her religion, family and culture as much as the next person. She would not choose another life over the one her creator has endowed her with.

“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will we give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to their actions.” [Noble Quran 16:97, see also 4:124]

Assumption # 7: Islam says her value is that of half a mans

Inner Fallacy: According to her religion she has no value and is a slave to men.

Reality: Muslim women are honored Mothers and wives in Islam. Our deeds, prayers and intentions are valued no differently by the creator than men. It is only a person’s level of piety which grants them greater success.

Women and men are valued as equal but different for their unique traits and qualities. A man’s strength is appreciated and acknowledged while a woman’s intuitive and feminine qualities are celebrated. Men are responsible for maintaining and protecting their families and women are responsible for teaching their children and guarding their homes.

A woman can not be forced to leave her children and go out to work. Men bear that responsibility thereby freeing a woman up to raise the children and care for the home. Her work in the home is valued and respected.

A woman has the right to work outside her home providing she does not neglect her family in the process. Whatever money she earns belongs to her and her husband has no rights to it or say in how she spends it.

“Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds” [Noble Quran 74:38]

Assumption # 8: She has been beat into submission

Inner Fallacy: She has given herself up to Islam because of the ritualistic beatings she has faced. Her appearance, mannerisms and personality are all viewed as the final result of absolute persecution.

Reality: Due to the complete lack of knowledge and understanding regarding Muslim women and their lives in Islam we see this taken as common place perception that lacks validity and conveys ignorance.

“And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect.”

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means (to support the women). Therefore the righteous women are devout and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, go back to them (in intimacy), if they return to obedience and do not seek any means of annoyance against them. Certainly, Allah is most High, Most Great.

“Could any of you beat your wife as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?”Noble Quran 4:34] [Noble Quran 30:21]

“Never beat God’s handmaidens.”

Al-Quran: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali, Princeton University Press, 1988; pp78-79

Assumption # 9: Her potential has been cut short / she can never be as happy as a non Muslim woman.

Inner Fallacy: Her faith, family and culture are a prison. She will never know freedom of choice and therefore can never fully evolve as a person.

Reality: Muslim women are some of the happiest, fulfilled and evolved women you will ever encounter. For the practicing Muslim woman her happiness is derived from her faith and her passion to reach her spiritual potential.

Her faith supports and strengthens her. When she needs assistance she turns to her Lord and finds sustenance. She knows her ultimate success and happiness are not to be found on the outside but to be derived from the inside.

Assumption # 10: Muslim women stay in their cultures, marriages and within their faith even if they live in a Democratic society because they are afraid to leave.

Inner Fallacy: She stays out of fear for her life and total dependence.

Reality: This is an idea created by media and popular culture. It is yet another label placed on Muslim women. It is also unfair to place this on Muslim women as you can find people the world over who live in fear of the unknown and may neglect to change their lives out of fear. Muslim women do not own this issue.

Instead, Muslim women remain active and participating members of their Muslim communities. They continue to choose and serve Islam.

I am a Muslim woman who was once a slave to the world. I am now in submission to my Lord. If you see me, this you should know is my truth.
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