It takes a blockbuster idiot to say my post is stupid a mamak tongkang is a mamak tongkang

MACHOGILER

AbOUt mY SeLF?NoThiNG mUCh!`

The Contemporary Muslim Woman” featuring diverse Muslim women writers from around the world discussing a gamut of topics in their own unique, honest and eclectic voices.

Breaking a Stalemate
ZEBA IQBAL
My sincere request to the Muslim American community, namely eligible men and their mothers, matrimonial sites and event organizers, and rishta aunties everywhere: ‘Please stop ignoring me, and many others like me. I am part of a growing population of single women over 35 in our community, and we are not going away.’
In The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The All-Compassionate
“Marriage is my tradition and whoever seeks
other than my tradition is not with me.”
-Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace)
 Malaysian Muslims can search for potential spouses
 in this free site. Submission tohttp://www.orinam.com/mimms/
 We’ve reached a stalemate on marriage (probably several years ago) and have been on opposite sides of the table for too long. Can we be allies, not enemies? No one’s right. No one’s wrong. Can we call a truce and move on?
Though not widely discussed beyond the living rooms of Muslim American families, we all know marriage is a high priority (to be clear ‘wajib’ not ‘fardh’). Being unmarried and over 35, I know searching for a suitable mate also includes a lot of soul searching (example: “Why is this happening Allah, what have I/we done wrong?’ accompanied by muffled sobs and tears, and of course chest beating).
Growing up on romance novels and romantic movies, we (women) are not averse to marriage. Before you say ‘tauba’ too many times many of the ‘romantic movies’ are Bollywood movies our parents ‘wished we would watch’ so that we would stay ‘connected with our culture’. Culture is a double-edged sword I guess.
I believe we all need help. We need to take this discussion out of our living rooms to Muslim social scientists, our prominent imams and our community leaders. We need to do research, ask for their expertise and assistance. You think I’m joking. I’m not. This situation is not something we can address effectively without deep Islamic knowledge and strong data.
I honestly do not believe I am ‘incapable’ of finding a ‘suitable match’, or that I am too old to have children, too picky, too ambitious, can’t cook or placing too much focus on my career. Yet this is what I have heard for the better part of 10 years.
Let’s move beyond these circular discussions. I truly appreciate any and all efforts, but I am not big on ‘cookie cutter’ solutions where the focus is on culture, not religion. Why are we re-enforcing failed cultural paradigms and not creating a religious paradigm for our community?
I have pep-talked my single friends out of some rough times (I’ve been there too), and know that ‘I’m younger today than I will be tomorrow’, I am ‘Allah’s creation and Allah’s creations are all beautiful’. More importantly, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married women that were older/younger, thinner/fatter, darker/lighter, taller/shorter, stronger/weaker, etc. Except for Bibi Khadija, none of his wives had children, and yet they were the ‘best of women’.
Marriage is a fortress, it is a protection for men and women, and is not only for procreation. Also, wealth and children are gifts from Allah, we cannot guarantee either of them. We forget these things when we get wrapped up so tightly in our social and cultural norms.
I am ‘unlucky in love’ at least partly because I am working against a system, a mindset, with little to no support outside of a tight network of family and friends. Meeting and speaking with qualified, eligible men in informal and varied settings without going bankrupt and losing all my pride is a tough, if not impossible, proposition. You shake your head, but I speak the truth.
Informal and Varied Settings
Ask any relatively normal and well-adjusted person who does not stick out like a sore thumb in any other aspect of life except their ‘unmarried’ state and you will know that matrimonial events and sites focus on age, height, income and location. Not always to be discriminatory, but more because they are the ‘easiest ways’ to pre-screen and categorize.
These settings are awkward and uncomfortable at best, especially for outliers (women over 35) and most men. Women over 35 are often asked to sit in corners of the room or are ‘screened out’ of internet searches. We often convince other women to keep us company, but convincing men (our friends or people ‘like us) is tough, if not impossible.
Informal professional networking events and sites in ‘halal’ settings are a better option, but they don’t target (or want to target) only marriage-minded singles. Their goal isn’t (and shouldn’t be) marriage.
Going Bankrupt
We were always taught to be prudent, but internet site subscriptions add up ($20-30 each per month on Shaadi, Shadi, Match, eHarmony, etc) as do matrimonial events ~$100 each excluding clothes, make-up, hair and travel.
After paying dearly for these, I have stopped both. With the former, it was the numerous photo-less two-line bios (example: ‘Were r u luv of my life? I am waitin my hole life for u. I bad with writting about myself. If u want to know me more please call or txt to me.’) and communicating with ‘lonelyinluv’s, ‘lookinforu’s, receiving email marriage proposels from ‘juscantwait’s and jpgs of roses from ‘luvofmylife’s. I decided, country song titles were not my thing. With the latter, no men, but I have made enough wonderful girlfriends to last me a lifetime.
Rishta aunties, well, they do pass on my cell phone number to people (without informing me). I recently got a call from a man who had been sent by one. I spoke to him, but after responding to my query ‘so you’re divorced, do you have children’ with ‘kind of, do you like men who have children or not?’ I politely got off the phone and did du’a not to receive such calls anymore. Some pre-screening please!
We spend freely because absent other options, the rationale is ‘OK these efforts are expensive, but —- true love: priceless!’. I am half-kidding, but in all seriousness, if there was more promise in any of these options, I would gladly keep paying, despite the economic crisis.
Pride
Need I say more? Suffice it to say, this search for the ever elusive ‘suitable match’ has been a humbling experience
I have said my peace, and really do want to crack this egg, if not for me, for others – now and in the future. We can change this situation, InshAllah, but not without honest discussion. Life is too short to waste in a stalemate.

  • RELATED ARTICLE https://muslimmalaysia786.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/can-a-muslim-woman-marry-a-non-muslim-man-no-absolutely-not-not-ever-haraam-sister/
    Honor Killings. Female Circumcisions. Forced Veiling. Stoning. Oppression.
    These words and phrases commonly arise when commentators, news media, and critics describe Islam’s attitude and practices towards its women. Unfortunately, ideologies espoused by the Taliban, right wing conservative parties in Pakistan, Wahhabi elements in Saudi Arabia, and others make it nearly impossible to combat and refute claims of Islam’s “inherent animosity” and suppression of women. In the spirit of Ramadan, the essay will merely juxtapose the conduct and rhetoric of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a template to the countless oppressive “Muslim” ideological regimes of the present. The reader can draw his own conclusions.
    “Recite in the name of thy Lord that created! He created man from that which clings. Recite; and thy Lord is most Bountiful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not.” (96:1-5)
    The first five verses of Chapter 96 were revealed unto Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the year 610 in Mecca signifying an era of monotheism and worship of one creator, Allah, and an adherence to the Quran, the Divinely revealed text of Islam, and the Prophetic model of conduct and actions, the Sunnah. The honor of being the first convert to Islam, as well as the Prophet’s (pbuh) significant ally and confidante, did not belong to a man, instead the status is forever reserved for the Prophet’s (pbuh) first wife, Khadijah. In an era where women were buried as children and men took women forcefully and with impunity, Khadijah was a 40 year old, twice widowed wealthy, noble woman with a private caravan. She proposed to the 25 year old, modest orphan Muhammad (pbuh) impressed by his honesty and righteous conduct when escorting her merchandise to Syria on her behalf. Until her death 25 years later, Khadijah, the noble wealthy widow, supported her husband through every persecution, hardship, and calamity as he preached Islam in a hostile, threatening environment. Specifically, her wealth aided Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spread the message of Islam, free slaves who had embraced Islam and were persecuted by their masters, as well as feed and shelter the community of Muslims that slowly but surely began to grow. During their marriage, the Prophet (pbuh) did not take other wives, after her death he remarried but forever exalted her name and character: “She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.” Granted, this essay is not a love story about the Prophet (pbuh) and his first wife, but if indeed Islam, as characterized by the persecution of women in “Muslin” countries, is inherently misogynistic and oppressive, how can there be such unconditional support, love, and honor between the Prophet (pbuh) and his wife?
    The introduction of Islam into Mecca and Arabia as practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions radically altered the status of women by affording them newfound rights of property, inheritance, divorce, marriage, and judicial compensations and remedies. Before the advent of Islam, Muslim scholars state Arabia was immersed in a period of Jahiliyya (An Age of Ignorance) characterized primarily by its brutal treatment of women as second, almost third class citizens. Quranic legislation, implemented under the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), ended the pre-Islamic custom of girl infanticide (Chapter 15:58-59), restricted the number of wives a man can have to four provided there was no injustice and unfairness (4:3), allowed women the right to inherent and bequeath property (4:7), guaranteed women the right to have full possession and control of their wealth, including the dower during marriage and after divorce (4:4), as well as grant women the equal right to initiate both divorce (2:299; “Divorce must be pronounced twice and then a woman must be retained in honor released in kindness”) and marriage (as evidenced by Khadijah rdh initiating marriage with Prophet Muhammad pbuh).
    However, various verses of the Quran, pointing to the inherent spiritual and moral equality of men and women and also those suggesting male superiority, allow leeway for possible misogynistic interpretation. As with any religious or legal ruling, the interpretation of the reader can greatly manipulate the intent of the words for selfish, ideological benefit or detriment. The Quran and Hadith literature (the comprehensive collection of the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad pbuh) are no exception to this unfortunate reality. From a Quranic standpoint spiritual excellence and success belongs to both men and women, “Allah promises to the believers, men and women, Gardens underneath which rivers flow…” (9:72), “Lo! Men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe…Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.” (33:35). Furthermore, men and women are commanded to assist each other towards comfort and spiritual excellence as evidenced by the verse “…they (women) are a raiment for you and you are raiment for them…” (2:187), and “And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of the other; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.” (9:71).
    However, The Quran also establishes that “Men are a degree above women,” (2: 228). Specifically, the Quran states that “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). (4:34). Indeed women under Islamic law are barred from certain religious and political functions such as the call to daily prayer (adhan), leading the Friday sermon (jumaa), and religious leadership (‘imama). However, legal interpretation by scholars such as Tabari (died 10th century) suggest “men are in charge of their women” specifically due to the Islamic obligation on men to provide dowers on women, spending their wealth on them, and providing for their security and comfort in full, including bestowing guidance with regards to spiritual duties towards Allah and themselves (“And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of the other” 9:71). Thus, Tabari literally interprets the Quran as endowing men with obligation to provide material and financial support for women, as well as authority over women in a family setting.
    Other scholars such as Baydawi (died 13th century) stress male superiority in mental faculties and wise counsel thus ensuring their “charge over women”. However, modern scholars such as Jamal Badawi state that “the degree” men have over women is entitled Quiwama (maintenance and protection), “refers to that natural difference between the sexes which entitles the weaker sex to protection.” However, he quickly adds, “It implies no superiority or advantage before the law. Yet, man’s role of leadership in relation to his family does not mean the husband’s dictatorship over his wife. Islam emphasizes the importance of taking counsel and mutual agreement in family decisions.” Even though interpretations of certain Quranic verses and Hadiths have been used to aid misogynistic cultural beliefs of women’s physical, spiritual, and intellectual inferiority, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh specifically espoused kindness and fairness numerous times: “The best of you is the best to his family and I am the best among you to my family.” “The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives.” “Wives are not slaves and should not be treated as such.” “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”(From the last sermon of Prophet Mohammed ).
    The traditional Islamic scholars sought esoteric and practical religious knowledge from the wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Hadrat A’isha bint Abu Bakr, proving women’s intellectual faculties were respected and exalted. A’isha’s wisdom and superior intellect was so well known that a contemporary of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) famously remarked, “if the knowledge of ‘A’isha were placed on one side of the scales that of all other women on the other, ‘A’isha’s side would outweigh the other.” Due to her intimate interactions with the Prophet (pbuh) and her wisdom, she gave counsel to generations of Islamic scholars following the death of the Prophet (pbuh), as evidenced by Abu Musa who is recorded as saying, “Whenever a report appeared doubtful to us, the Companions of the Prophet, and we asked ‘A’isha about it, we always learned something from her about it.” Furthermore the Prophet (pbuh) recommended: “Learn some of your deen (religion) from this red haired lady” (referring to his wife, A’isha). It bears utmost importance to examine traditional Islamic law and behavior towards women as practiced by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions to compare and contrast the treatment of women under the Taliban, Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinances, and the current Wahhabi Saudi regime.
    Furthermore, Aisha plays an integral role in “the Affair of the Necklace,” a profound episode in Islamic history that established Quranic verses protecting women’s honor from slanderous gossip regarding sexual impropriety. The beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Aisha, was inadvertently left behind by her caravan when she set out to retrieve her lost necklace. A young Samaritan found her and offered a ride back to her community in Medina. Upon returning, however, slanderers and gossip mongers spread rumors of possible infidelity between Aisha and the young man, thus causing great distress to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Due to the improper and baseless allegations against Aisha’s honor and character, several Quranic verses were revealed admonishing and punishing those who “launch a charge against chaste women.” Specifically, the Quran demands: “And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations), – flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors.” The evidentiary requirement of four witnesses and the severe punishment of flogging stem from an Islamic desire to protect the reputation, chastity, and “honor” of women from baseless accusations of sexual indecency.
    Men and women who engage in the activity of slander and gossip involving women’s chastity receive stern admonishment and reprobation under traditional Islamic law. For example, in the same chapter describing the punishment for slander, the Quran says, “Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous penalty, – On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them to their actions.” Furthermore, Islamic etiquette as ordained by Allah and performed by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) commands the community members to construct the most favorable opinion of the accused perpetrators, and not indulge in condemnatory assumptions. The Quran says, “Why did not the believers – men and women – when ye heard of the affair, – put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, ‘This (charge) is an obvious lie”? Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it?’ When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars!” From the historical episode, “The Affair of the Necklace,” and the Quanic verses establishing the evidentiary requirement of four witnesses and the admonishment of slanderers, the emphasis on protecting and guarding a woman’s honor is paramount in traditional Islamic law.
    A brief analysis of both Quranic verses and the character and conduct of the early Muslims, especially the criterion of Islamic etiquette, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), clearly indicate Islam’s motivation to respect the dignity and honor of both men and women. Specifically, the behavior of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) towards his wives, as evidenced by his devotion and respect for his first wife Khadijah’s loyalty and dignity, as well as his admiration for Aisha’s intelligence and wise counsel, introduce a progressive, compassionate model of conduct between husband and wife. Moreover, the specific Quranic injunctions condemning sexual indecency, as well as defamatory rhetoric and gossip, strongly suggest Islam seeks to cover and hide sexual indiscretions, whether real or imagined, as to protect a person’s reputation, and chastity. If indeed that is true, then the question remains: How did a 7th century egalitarian Islamic system seemingly commanding respect and tolerance for women arguably transform into a 20th century system of misogyny, abuse, and indignity in many “Muslim countries?” The answers to that question demand examination and introspection by Muslims of good conscience, however the model of the Islam’s Prophet might cause those who espouse such misogynist views to take pause and reflect.

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