Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Ideal Muslimah - Muslim Montage has featured my piece: The Ideal Muslimah.

 About Zainab:
Salafi feminist. Professional nomad. Untamed dreamer. Veiled warrior. Wandering scribe. Whimsical idealist. Wannabe biker chick. Incorrigible rebel. Absent minded mother. Faithful believer.

The Ideal Muslimah

The ideal Muslimah… is not afraid to have her own personality, whether she is as wise as Khadijah, passionate as A’ishah, fierce as Hind, noble as Zaynab, or demure as Maymunah.

The ideal Muslimah… follows the sunnah of Khadijah and uses her financial savvy to benefit the Ummah… and doesn’t allow others to tell her that she’ll never get a man that way.

The ideal Muslimah… is loved, valued, and married for her taqwa and beauty of character, not some shallow, arbitrary cultural standards of physical beauty.

The ideal Muslimah… is not a doormat. She has the wisdom of Umm Salamah, the audacity of A’ishah, the intelligence of Hafsa, the ego of Zaynab, and the humour of Sauda.

The ideal Muslimah… is someone who may never have children, like A’ishah; someone who may have numerous daughters but no sons, like Khadijah; someone who has children from a previous marriage, like Umm Salamah. Her worth as a human, as a believer, does not lie in her fertility.

The ideal Muslimah… has the courage of Zaynab bint Ali when she fights for what she believes in and faces down oppression, even if it comes from fellow Muslims.

The ideal Muslimah… does not allow her intelligence to be belittled or disrespected, for Allah created her to be of those who think.
{And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} (Qur’an 45:13)

The ideal Muslimah… is not kept locked away or helpless. She is a vibrant, contributing part of the Ummah and doesn’t let anyone tell her otherwise – because Allah told her so.
{The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.} (Qur’an 9:71)

The ideal Muslimah… is not perfect.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” [Sahīh Muslim (2687)]

The ideal Muslimah… makes mistakes and knows it, but loves her Lord and repents to Him constantly.
{Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.} (Qur’an 2:222)

The ideal Muslimah… is beloved to Allah, Who promised her paradise.
{Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.} (Qur’an 33:35)



Sarah said...

You know, this is all very nice and commendable - but this kind of writing seems to me to be nothing but a farce on the part of religious Muslims, to try and make ourselves feel better about Islam. How can we write such pieces on one hand, obviously defending women and their rights, whilst simultaneously defending a religion that says very clearly that "women are deficient/inferior in religion and intellect" and "it is better to marry a fertile ugly woman than a beauty who is barren" and, at least in the classical tradition, equates a woman's testimony to half a man's testimony in most cases, due to this "deficiency" of theirs?

You might say that it's simply a question of 'how you look at the texts', but in that case people like Amina Wadud are justified in their calls to 'reinterpret Islam' from the classical tradition - which, largely, saw women as inferior beings, or second class citizens whose movement was to be controlled by their guardians. Note, I am not saying that women were treated as chattel, nor that they were worse off than women in other places - but I AM saying that there WERE methods of oppression, and any Muslim who wants to be orthodox/mainstream/what-have-you needs to face these uncomfortable truths!

Please do reply - I do want to see what other Muslims think of this.

AnonyMouse said...

All the statements that you made are commonly used as arguments about how Islam discriminates against women and so on - but the truth is, ALL of those statements are both wrongly transmitted and deliberately mistranslated and explained incorrectly.

"Women are deficient in religion" - I have an article coming out on that very soon, inshaAllah.

"Marry fertile women" - the hadith says nothing about 'ugly fertile women' vs 'barren beauty', it was simply a reccommendation to marry and have many children.

The issue of testimony is also not a blanket one, and there are actually cases in the Shari'ah where a man's testimony is completely disregarded.