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Monday, February 8, 2010

How Far Can You See? Just the Cultural Practices, or the Real Islam? Part 2

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah,

There are, unfortunately, just so many things so many Muslims are doing that non-Muslims think are part of Islam when it really is all from their cultures.

One of the biggest things that the non-Muslims see and hear is that there are a lot of Muslim men expecting to marry virgins but they themselves are out "sewing their wild oats" (with Muslim and non-Muslims women) before marriage. For the men who expect to marry virgins, they consider the women having pre-marital sex as whores, but only the women.. not themselves.

as I have pointed out that one verse in my last post, keeping your chastity applies to both men and women. for instance, this hadith:

Abu Dharr reported:
some of the people from among the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said to him: Messenger of Allah, the rich have taken away (air the) reward. They observe prayer as we do; they keep the fasts as we keep, and tray give Sadaqa out of their surplus riches. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: Has Allah not prescribed for you (a course) by following which you can (also) do sadaqa? In every declaration of the glorification of Allah (i. e. saying Subhan Allah) there is a Sadaqa, and every Takbir (i. e. saying Allah-O-Akbar) is a sadaqa, and every praise of His (saying al-Hamdu Lillah) is a Sadaqa and every declaration that He is One (La illha ill-Allah) is a sadaqa, and enjoining of good is a sadaqa, and forbidding of that which is evil is a Sadaqa, And in the sexual act of each of you (with your spouses) there is a Sadaqa (charity, or gift). They (the Companions) said: Messenger of Allah, is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us? He said: Tell me, if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.

Sahih Muslim Book 5, Hadith #2198

so you see, Prophet Muhammad (slallahu alayhi wa salaam) here even makes a point that unlawful sex is a sin (and in this hadith, he is speaking to men).

--That women have no choice/say in marriage and have to marry whom their parents choose. Sadly, it is something that sometimes happens, but it really isn't only the women who are affected by this. There are families that force their sons to marry women they do not want either.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."
Sahih Bukhari, Book 62 Hadith #67

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: An orphan virgin girl should be consulted about herself; if she says nothing that indicates her permission, but if she refuses, the authority of the guardian cannot be exercised against her will.
Sunan AbuDawud Book 11 Hadith #2008

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice.
Sunan AbuDawud Book 11 Hadith #2091

--Women who are basically slaves at home. Even worse is when the women have to move in with their husbands' family and are expected to slave away for the whole household!! Please read these links:

Housework is not a legal obligation for wives...

Women are not obligated to live with, or to have to serve her in-laws...

Another on living with in-laws

of course, it is only fair if a woman is a housewife that she do many household chores but it does not mean the husband should come home and order her around. And it does not mean he should get to completely relax the whole time he is at home while she is running around caring for the children and the home almost 24 hours a day.

-- In some households, women have no voice in their marriage and are completely controlled by their husbands. The husbands completely disregards their wives' opinions and walks all over them telling them things like "what have you done all day?" or "Its MY money because I am the one who works!" etc...
please read:

--consulting one's wife and listening to her advice and accepting it is part of living with them honourably and treating them with kindness.

if you do read that link page, you will see the questioner obviously has issues with women having a voice of their own.... inshallah this questioner studied the fatwa and changed his attitude.

--That women have to shut up and put up in their unhappy marriages, or abusive husbands.

There is way too much advice that a woman always has to stay patient even if she has tried everything she can to get her husband to change. for more on this, please read a previous post of mine:

be patient, be patient, be patient... our final choice??

I would certainly never ever ever ever follow a religion that condones any of these attitudes toward women. And these things are certainly NOT from Islam.

Just because someone calls himself/herself a Muslim, it does not mean they are practicing Islam correctly. When we become practicing Muslims, we have to look at our cultural practices and only take from the good and leave the bad. And mistreatment of women goes against Islam. Sadly, there are too many people who don't leave the bad...

And just because a girl/woman is from a more Christian country like the USA it doesn't mean there is no mistreatment of women. I know because I grew up in the USA and my mother, sisters, and I have experienced physical abuse from my very own non-Muslim father.

It has nothing to do with religion, it is something that happens in families and most of the time it is a cycle of mistreatment passed down from generations before.

Also, many times in cultures like these, people tend to blame women automatically for mens' sexual sins-- and since many families allow their sons to go out freely while the daughters have to stay at home and behave, boys disregard the part of Islam of how they are supposed to behave around girls, and then they grow up and get to blame women for their sins.

And on top of that there really is an inbalance of dawah, or advice, when it comes to marriage. There is so much more out there for women on "how to be a good wife." compared to men being advised on how to be good husbands.

The double standards are not only passed down through generations from the men. Women continue it as well.

This is the mother who watches over her daughters like a hawk but gives her sons full freedom to do whatever because "boys will be boys."

This is the mother who, if her daughter goes out, she is constantly calling her cell phone asking her "where are you?" "who are you with?" "whose voice did I just hear in the background?" --while her son's cell phone only rings when.... his friends call him.

This is the mother who gives her son his privacy when making a phone call, but when it is her daughter, she asks "who are you talking to???"

This is the mother who does not allow her daughters to go online onto any socializing sites, or any chatting programs like Messenger--yet she has no problem if her sons do so.

And this is to the mother who will constantly lecture her daughter how to be a proper girl and to not dare look at boys etc... yet there are no lectures on how to be proper boys for her sons.

And this is to the mother who will make sure every part of her daughters' bodies and hair are properly covered all the time when out, but the same rules don't apply to their sons-- for instance, if their sons go out to play soccer and wear shorts that come above the knees. Its ok even though shorts above the knees is not proper covering for Muslim men.

Of course I am not putting all the blame on mothers, just pointing out that women also teach their sons and daughters these double standards, its not all from the men only.

I personally know women who are like this with their different attitudes toward their sons and daughters. And most likely these parents were raised by their parents the same way... their parents before.. and it just becomes sooooo normal to them that it is hard to break the cycle. But you know what???

None of these double standards are Islamic!!!! Muslims boys have to learn to behave like proper Muslim boys as well!!

And guess what?? There are so many Muslims who do leave the bad from their cultures and bring up their sons and daughters with the same moral responsibilities. So many Muslim men do not oppress their wives and ignore their wives' opinions.

The media right now focuses on the negative things that Muslims do and unfortunately for all of us Muslims who are striving to be on the right path, all of the good Muslim men, and all of us Muslim women who are not being denied our rights get such a bad rap because of these cultural Muslims.

And as much as it makes me sick at how the media is toward Muslims,  if there weren't Muslims doing all of this bad stuff to women, there would be no stories to tell.

These cultural practices aren't all Arabic things. There are many more Islamic countries/communities that are committing horrible sins against women in the name of Islam when they are not Islamic.

Women in Malaysia just recently got their voices heard in divorce court (for women wanting divorces) because some women educated themselves and demanded they be given their rights to divorce.

In the UK, the government has set up a task just for dealing with forced marriages... and many of these forced marriages in the UK happen with the Central Asian communities... I have heard so many stories with some Pakistani brothers and sisters who are being pressured and forced to marry people they do not want. Either force them with pressure and abuse, or they trick their sons and daughters with vacations to visit family back "home" but they are force into marriage while back there!!!

In Afghanistan... the Taliban has recently bombed 14 girls' schools!!! its like the attitude is "keep the girls undeducated and they will never ask for their rights." --when girl/women have rights to education.

ohhhh there is more but I will stop there for now.

of course there are many in all of these countries/cultures that are not like this... just pointing some stuff out I have seen and heard of.

Alhamdulillah for my husband and my in-laws who are wonderful people and to all of the friends and family of my in-laws who I see and observe how their lives are. It is NOT filled with oppression like the media portrays us Mulsim women. Alhamdulillah for my friends who have wonderful husbands and family who treat women right.

May Allah guide the cultural Muslims to practice the right way and treat women the right way. And may peace and blessings be on Prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam), his family, and his companions. Ameen.

And to my readers.. I am terribly sorry for the length of this post... I know its very long--and there is even more to discuss on this topic, but perhaps another time in the future inshallah.


  1. MashAllah sis its a wonderful post!!! Ameen to dua!

  2. hey salaamz! It's so nice to see other Female Muslims active in the blogosphere. I myself have a blog, but it isn't just dedicated to issues on Islam/ Muslims. Would love it if you could visit it and give me some pointers and/oradvice. It's

  3. salam the way i love the name ( now ur gonna tell me it belongs to ur cat or something lol)
    anyway i agree completely about the different attitudes towards girls and boys, I seea lot of this in my culture! And Alhamdulilah i do not have an oppresive husband but My dear Lord his family are really hard work i really do feel so down about it. thank you for highlighting these areas makes me feel that it is not just me that can see all these injustices.

  4. as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah,

    thanks for commenting... I know it must have taken forever for y'all to read that post LOL!!

    Sonia, he he I just read through your blog and you gave me an idea for a future post when I read about the food and the kids being picky about it :)

    sis Kay, I will take a look at your blog inshallah!

    sis Queen--yep, Twizzle is my cat's name, although my parents are caring for her now that I moved overseas :)

    I also call her Tizzy Wizzy LOL

    but anyhoo, inshallah sis you will get out of your in-laws' home soon!!

  5. excellent post, I love it!! you brought some great points and it's really awesome how you provided links too for extra support =) inshaAllah this will help a lot of people =)

  6. Salam alaikum, I'm a new reader - this is the first post I've read and I totally agree! I am so sick of the double standards!

  7. Thanks sister twizzle. I look forward to your input.

  8. Subhan'Allah! Great is so important to try to address these misconceptions about our beloved religion...Jazzak Allah khairun, and keep it up!

  9. This was such an excellent post Sis! I loved it, longer the better, lol! Well, as I said in my comment on part 1, the double standard and how mothers treat their sons different from their daughters is such a shame to say the least. I mean, I think it should go both ways - if the son gets to be "free" in his actions, then the daughter should be able to as well. I've always thought, so its ok for your son to mess around with SOMEONE ELSE's daughter, but your daughter, no no, she has to be under sharp supervision at all times. Uff!
    Yes, this is very common in our (Indo-Pak) culture sadly and I even have a classmate here that it seems her mother is doing just the same, so of course, you know what happens - daughter has to hide things and then hope for the best when the truth comes out. It's really sad and it affects the livelihood's and future of so many young people, when a parents takes this action. So, as you can imagine, its repeated within so may families, so imagine how many kids overall are affected by this attitude rooted in culture.

    Anyways, again, great points and yes, I love those ahadith you quoted! I was trying to find that one about being rewarded for the post on intimacy issues for women, so now I know where it is exactly. Shukran for that and Jazak'Allahu Khairan for this great two-part lesson!

  10. ohhh no, I never replied to the later comments!! sorry all!

    this is late but here it goes :)

    first, jazakAllah khair to all for reading, and for all the comments :)

    Zaiynab- inshallah the links are useful for people :)

    Jaz- withing our own families we can change this practice, and inshallah we do :)

    The Mujahada in Prada, inshallah we are all out there always trying to clear up the misconceptions!

    MuslimFirst, yes, I can't even imagine how many kids are affected by the double standard in how their parents raise them.

    one thing that disgusts me is when parents make their daughters serve their own brothers!! it happens!!