Muslim Feminism

Can you be a Muslim Woman and a feminist ? For some both of the terms together don’t go down the throats very well. If you say the F word , you can be dreaded for a woman who will run down the streets naked shouting weird slogans ! Thanks to ‘Free the Nipples’ Campaign supporters and FEMEN activist for giving such an image for Feminist Women worldwide. Feminism is much more than just freeing our bodies or not wearing makeup or making some odd stands ! The earliest dated Feminist movement  started in 1848 in America with the first Women’s Conference which identified the issues such as  guardianship of infants, property rights, divorce, access to higher education, equal pay , right to vote and protective legislation for women workers.

Do you see any problem voicing any of the above mentioned issues?  I think every woman will stand for it and this is what Feminism has always revolved around , then why so much noise when you hear someone being a Feminist?

Thanks to all those Feminists who stood against the patriarchal and misogynist systems and fought  which is why the constitutions of the most of the democratic and republican countries safeguards  the rights of Women today.

Since then feminism has evolved in West and it has evolved in the East. There was a growing wave of feminism in Muslim major countries where branches like Islamic Feminism have originated  so what is this Islamic Feminism and how is it different than main stream Feminism or secular Feminism? There have been books written over the entire two words, so I cant do justice to  explain everything in few lines but to cut the long story short, Those who identify with Feminism based on teaching of Islam and support rereading and interpretation of Quranic texts from a women’s perspective are mostly called Islamic Feminists. Some of the well known women are : Amina Wadud, co-founder of Sisters in Islam  ,Leila Ahmed , Asma Barlas . They advocate for Women equal rights in Mosque and Rights to lead the Prayers as an Imam,  etc which have not been well received by Islamic scholars worldwide.  Their work have been condemned by major scholars. Recently I have been researching a lot on these terms and the pioneers of such movements. More to be followed as I will advance on their work and books.

So to keep away the scorns and frowns of clerics, Muslim women more  like to be associated with the term Muslim Feminists than Islamic Feminist because most of them don’t agree with re interpretation of verses keeping aside the source of Hadith and Sunnah and different MAdhabs or leaving the technicalities of interpretation as done by Islamic scholars. No, they donot want to enter that grey zone. They just want to advocate for the legal rights as per Islam and the law of land where they are living . Some men even argue that you cannot be a feminist if you are Muslim , according to them Islam doesn’t not give equal status to men and women and supporting feminism meaning going against the teachings of Islam. Well most of the scholars have agreed on the term Allah’s creation for referring to men and women  where both stands equal. They might be different in physical appearances, strengths ,in thought processes and  their capabilities ,there is certainly no way a man superior to a woman or  women less favored by Allah in comparison to men except based on his/her deeds. We both have to adhere to same 5 pillars of Islam , pray the compulsory 5 times prayers , follow the same foundations principles and will be judged on the same ground of our deeds on earth.

Muslim feminists that I have talked to, till date or with whom I  agree with , strive more for exercising their rights which have been given to them by their Creator but  are hidden behind the blind cultural practices given the name of Religion.  They call out for Women Education , self learning and knowledge building for women to increase their intellect, coming out of victim mentality and being strong and helping other women to be strong . If all this for what a Muslim Feminist stand  today is wrong  then I really wonder what is right ?

 

Advertisements

The Lunch Saga

Yesterday while doing our kitchen chores before going to bed , I was at my usual  best to bore my husband with daily blabbers of what happened during the day and so on. He looked amused for a change ! so I have saved the story for you as well .   As you already know it is  an achievement for me  to warm up the food during lunch hours  at the office microwave , my husband has already proposed that I take our microwave from home and put it in the office 😀 , I will save some time and my mood too   .

I am standing in the queue at microwave, there is an Indian guy ( very serious looking) waiting for his turn behind me and one of my Indian colleague warming up his food in the microwave. We are cracking up few jokes, the other Indian guy still look tensed, doesn’t bat an eyelid forget about the smile on the joke ! Just when my colleague is about to finish , I see another of our colleague also Indian rushing towards us, he said he is in such a damn hurry  if we can warm up his food first .While I was thinking to give a response , my other colleague has already allowed him (and I was like Hey !  , it is  my turn what about the guy behind me if he will also allow)  These words never came out of my mouth though! and the other colleague has already put his boxes in the microwave and started warming up his food, so we were now waiting for him to finish, boxes after boxes he kept putting inside ! so he finally finished after 5 minutes  or more!

I took a moment of relief , just at that moment , the other guy behind couldn’t hold his anger anymore , He exploded at my colleague:

‘ You should have some respect for others ! ‘

My colleague “We are all just friends “, and fled the scene with his uncountable boxes of food.

The angry guy : ” I am not your friend ” .

Me (Left abandoned on scene, still have to warm up my food otherwise I would choose to go invisible ) mustered up some courage and spoke: ‘You can warm up your food first, I can wait more ! ‘

The angry guy :  ‘No, its your turn , go ahead’.

Me : ‘ Okay ‘ and starting warming up the food.

The angry guy :’ At least there should be basic manners and etiquette’.

Me: ‘ Relax bro , the basic manners are missing when it comes to Indians vs Indians , Sorry ‘ followed by a nervous laugh.

The angry Guy  , clueless! but  still angry.

Me: fled the scene  with my box too!

I somehow managed to hold my laugh and reach the table where my colleagues were sitting and started laughing there. The guy who caused all the ruckus enjoying somewhere his lunch with his boxes clueless of embarrassment he caused  me !  but anyway as he said we are friends !

 

Does your wearing Hijab or Jilbab guarantees you will not be eve- teased ?

Does your  wearing Hijab or Jilbab guarantees you will not be eve- teased ?  Unfortunately, It doesn’t ! There are many times this argument has been given over modesty of women where her covering up is directly linked to the response and behavior of eve teasers and molesters . A covered woman implies I am not open for harassment then what does  a women in shorts implies ? Is she is quite open to it ?  I don’t think any woman would like that. There is no guarantee if you wear Burqa or Hijab that nobody will stare at you, or harass you or pass lewd comments or might even try to touch you inappropriately on  public transports  especially if you live in third world countries. We are often so engrossed in thinking how a woman’s behavior and dress should be that we forget how  behavior of men should be ! Who is going to moral coach these men to  behave with women and respect them, irrespective of what women wear and  look like. Why our scholars not talk about it more often, than they do for pious women . If by wearing Hijab  I have done my part for modesty, then where is your part Brother or my not doing Hijab gives you a right to not do your part ?

There are pictures on internet floating in support of Hijab where there is a comparison of Hijabi and a non Hijabi  by showing an  open candy surrounded by flies  and a  wrapped candy safe and sound like a Hijabi in her Hijab , I mean really ? What are you reducing us to ? mere candies ! This is what you think of woman as? and it’s a pity seeing women supporting it. Are you wearing your Hijab because you feel you are fulfilling a command of Allah or you think it makes you holier than the other women and you can assume them as lower and less worthy than you , if that is the case , it is time for a Reality Check sisters. This  holier than thou attitude is like a pest and eating all your efforts and goodness. We have to let it go, we are wearing Hijab because we want to, because Allah asked us to. Us doing something and other’s not doing it  doesn’t make us any better . Even when you read Quran , Allah always mentions things as This is better for you  and you might now know or harmful for you that you do not know. He nevers says ,I will love you less and you are now less holy than others. We might be doing something more worrisome than wearing or not wearing Hijab  and we might even not know about it . Time to self introspect and improve .

Time to stand up for all women respect and dignity irrespective of her choice of clothes. It is time for men to start behaving than pointing fingers on women . If you say a woman in less clothes provokes you , what argument you have to misbehave with a woman in Hijab or full covered clothes, you don’t like what she has put on her head or that loose garment around her body, you have to admit it is your pervert nature and it needs to be cured.

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

PH2008061702631

 

My rating for the book: 3 stars

The Book starts with a great opening, the storyline is superb, It has the advantage of historical fiction where the readers know some of the characters and start imagining them in real life as they are described by the author.The humor is good and fresh in first half but I felt  it started to get boring and monotonous in the second half and I dragged at few places to finish the book, The story is set on the scenes when Zia ul Haq was the ruling President of Pakistan, it throws light on corruption of Army , his dictatorship, The Hypocrisy of American intervention in Afghan War and how the Islamization of country started at his hands. The book is about the possibles conspiracies that could have been in place which killed the then Military Dictator of Pakistan in airplane crash of 1988. There are so many interesting pieces in the book which highlights the the plight of country like case of blind Zainab where the failure of judiciary is shown, She was convicted to being stoned when she was a victim of rape, the overpowers of ISI chief who were killing people mysteriously to their advantages, The mystified death of Colonel Shigri around whom the story revolves as the male protagonist of the story is his son trying to avenge his father’s death . Overall it makes a good read ! An altogether different book I must say.

 

On Receiving The Blog-aholic Award!

trh-blog-aholic-award1

To begin with thanking my lovely sisters of   THE HUMAN LENS and SCOTTISH MUSLIMAH who have nominated me for this award. 

What’s the Blog-aholic award about? “It is an award for bloggers addicted to blogging with creative, ingenious and inspiring posts. They mesmerize their followers with their posts, keep them captivated and riveted to their blog. The Blog-aholic Award is also for bloggers who share and inspire others” – creator The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy).

My Best Post:

I don’t know if it was the best one or but it’s my most viewed post ,  The Idea of Simple Marriage  , I wholeheartedly believe in the idea that best weddings are the ones which are done in the most simple way.

3 Facts About Me:

  • I am a foodie and love to cook .
  • I believe in spirituality .
  • I love visiting new cities.

So my nominees are:

  1. Ameena K
  2. Farheen Siddiqui 
  3. Scottish Muslimah
  4. Between Sisters, SVP!
  5. ontheland
  6. Tam
  7. Accidentally inked
  8. mintyfreshie
  9. sapna ahirwar 
  10. desertchameleonblog

Dear nominees, you may wish to acknowledge/accept at your goodwill 😉  

Rules:

  1. Put the above award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog (it can be to the post in which they nominated you or any other post or you can even link to their “About” page.)
  4. Mention the creator: (The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy)) of this award and please provide a link or pingback as I (Esmé of The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy) would love to meet you!
  5. Write a post to show your award.
  6. Share a link to your best post(s).
  7. Share 3 interesting and different facts about yourself.
  8. Nominate 5-10 fellow bloggers, or more if you wish.
  9. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created