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7 Things I Didn’t Expect When I Converted to Islam

Written by Theresa Corbin

Take the overwhelming desire for people to know how others live, along with the fact that I am having a hankering to talk about myself this week, and mix in the fact that lists are fun and in the world of technical writing- easy to digest.

And what results is:unexpected things about converting to islam

Let the countdown begin!

7. I didn’t expect to love dressing modestly

I thought I would have to swaddle myself in hideously, un-creative clothing in order to observe hijab. While I became interested in controlling who saw what parts of me, I didn’t want to give up my style. Now there is nothing wrong with looking bland if that is your thing, but it is not mine.

I am in LOVE with color, and I am a highly creative person with a love for fashion. I learned that I didn’t have to give up my signature style just because I wanted to be modest. See islamwich’s pinterest page if you want more examples of what I mean. Modesty doesn’t mean giving up style. I was very happy to discover that.

6. I didn’t expect there to be so many different brands of Islam

I didn’t expect that every Muslim that I would meet would want me to subscribe to their own special brand of Islam. It gets very confusing for brothers and sisters who convert. All you have to do is verify, verify, verify. Know! Your! Sources!

The great thing about Islam is that everything is documented and verified. Meticulously. I learned this the hard way. When I first converted, I thought every Muslim knew better than me. And mostly they did, but there are also Muslims out there who feel very passionately about the brand of Islam their parents blindly took from their parents, and so on.  

Muslims and non-Muslims alike, go to the source and ask your friendly neighborhood Muslims to verify the “Islamic facts” he/she is trying to sell you. If he/she becomes upset by this request, walk away, he/she has an issue with arrogance.

5. I didn’t expect to save so much time not fighting a daily battle with my hair

If you take into account that, before Islam, on a weekly basis I would spend about 5 hours in total, grooming my mane, and over the period of 12 years of wearing hijab and maybe devoting only 1 hour a week to making my hair look nice for the hubby (ok, so maybe more like 30 mins, -sorry hubby-).

Carry the 1, I have saved approximately 4,000 years just in hair care time alone. (I am good at math!). THAT! IS! AWESOME!

4. I didn’t expect to be expected to change my name

I have a perfectly fine name, thank you. Theresa. It means one who reaps what she sows. How much more “Muslim” can you get? And most people (who are not in my immediate family–b/c they call me Reesie Roo) call me “Corbin”, a name meaning raven or black bird, because I am a descendant of dark haired folks from Gaul, who were called “Corbin” or black feathered for this pigment of their hair.  

By the way, The companions of the Prophet (PBUH) didn’t change their names when they converted. Their names became Muslim names, and so did mine, and so can yours.

3. I didn’t expect attendance to be taken

I did expect to be a part of a community. As a part of the majority in my country, community was not something I was familiar with. What I did not expect was that my attendance in that community would be monitored, questioned, and scrutinized. 

Where were you last Friday Prayer? Why weren’t you at the lectures every night and morning? Why don’t you come out to the special Eid event we have planned for small children since you neither have small children nor are you a small child?  All well-meaning, but what they don’t understand is that I am a lone wolf.

However, I have learned that if you want people to like you and desire your presence, don’t go and or at the very least be indifferent to showing up.

2. I didn’t think I would be expected to be an expert on Middle Eastern Politics.

I didn’t know every Tom, Dick, and Harry would want to debate ME politics with me just because I’m a Muslim. Being a Muslim doesn’t have anything to do with knowing about the Middle East (ME). I am not and have no desire to become an expert on ME politics. 

1. I didn’t expect to be loved.

I didn’t expect that perfect strangers in every small town and big city I visit would immediately love me … Just because we share a love of Allah (SWT). And I didn’t expect to feel the same way for them. *Gush* ❤ *Barf* That’s enough of that.

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Why I am Not Losing My Religion to Science

Why I am Not Losing My Religion to Science

Written by Gracie Lawrence

science major graphic

I have always been attracted to research laboratories. Walking past them when I was younger and at university, I would peer in as I walked down the halls. Shelves cluttered with clear bottles, scribbled labels with acronyms I didn’t understand, tools on bench tops- many whose shape gave me no clue to their purpose. What goes on in there? What is in that ice bucket? It seemed mysterious, like a secret club of sorts and I wanted to learn the password. I wanted in.

I have since worked in research laboratories for the past 10 years.

Many people do not realize, that despite advances in technology, a lot of biological/medical research can still be very labor intensive, and of course, by its nature, repetitive to an exhausting end. And although much of the reagents and tools have now become as familiar to me as the ingredients in my kitchen cupboard- there is always that excitement about a new project or experiment.

We love you xkcd comics
We love you xkcd comics

But let’s be honest. Science, I am calling you out in public- you’re a tease.

Answering one question leads to hundreds more. Obtaining a piece of the puzzle leads you to realize the puzzle is much bigger than anticipated. It toys with you, and that is the fun in playing on the periphery of knowledge. You have to be prepared that anything may be correct or that everything may be wrong.

That is how the boundaries get pushed, and if you are lucky- you get to witness it.

Never in the course of a study, have I or a colleague ever thought, “Here we go, I think we know it all now!” With practically infinite number of potential variables for every experiment complied upon study, after study, how could we ever feel this way?

Science is not in the business of proofs- leave that for the mathematicians- what we do is compile data, upon data, and as each new piece is acquired, the stream twists and turns until we are able to step back and develop a theory of what we see- knowing all the while we may only be seeing the tail of the elephant.

Science is humbling.

And yet I see something different happening in society.

Yes, it is true; many scientific discoveries have been made, and for many individuals in the modern century it has made nature feel all but mysterious. Confident with past success, we envelop ourselves in a sense of security and pride. God is needed less to explain the wonders of the world, religion begins to be seen as primitive and ridiculous and the fashion of Atheism emerges.

atheists-peanuts

But how does the success of one diminish the other? Understanding and describing the world around us does not tell me the “why” anything exists at all. People have tried to convince me that religion is not needed when each one of us can become enlightened on our own, inspired internally to a higher level of ethics without the need to acknowledge a creator. Are we as humans all on the same intellectual plane to even make that a possibility?

Religion is more than just about motivating an individual to “do good”. It is about society and a set of laws and beliefs that can possibly encompass this strange and mutable species of ours.

And it is easy for those who 1. know they err 2. and because they know they are prone to error- look for guidance outside of themselves. Life, much like a board game, is played much smoother when there is a really great rule book.

It is the most probable way that I can hope to play reasonably well- which is easy to do since I can acknowledge that I did not create the game in the first place.

Can I convince you that there is a higher power that has sent us guidance in one form or another? Of course not.

I simply appreciate the limitation of my senses, I acknowledge that science is still in its infancy despite our advances, and in that knowledge comes the possibility of, well … just about everything.

Yes, in this I include the possibility that God and religion is still very much true and needed in this world and serves a purpose whether others choose to believe in it or not.

To better appreciate this, it is nice to have examples of just how limited we are- if nothing else we can appreciate just how far we have come with the abilities we have been given.

I could begin with fact that in recent years, scientists have discovered that 95 percent of the cosmos are invisible to all current methods of direct detection (see Dark Matter and Energy).

Look at it, isn't it beautiful?
Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?

But I have decided to keep this closer to home (planet Earth that is)- introducing my  favorite…

  3 Senses We Fail At

1. Sight

(This gets first place for more than one reason)

A. We Don’t Detect Much

Yeah, we’re practically blind, but before you pull your inferred/night vision goggles out on me as proof that you are not (and hopefully you just have those for hunting) let’s consider the entire light spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum -or entire spectrum of light- span light waves that are miles long to waves that are extremely short. The light we see (visible light) only spans about 1.5% of the entire light spectrum. For an awesome example of how that might compare in real life- see the mountain and man picture example.

We only see the colored part- massive visual FAIL.
We only see the colored part- massive visual FAIL.

That does not only limit what we can detect with our own eyes, but distorts how we see the world around us. A simple example, flowers depend much more on honey bees to help pollinate and perpetuate their species than humans.

Honey bees (that can detect ultraviolet light) can spot the bull’s-eye of flowers that we can’t and make use of an awesome little landing pad for honey bees to spot- where we just see just a bunch of yellow. I say, what else can that those little buggers see? Hopefully not dead people.

Which photo represents the true image of this particular flower? They are both true.
Which photo represents the true image of this particular flower? They are both true.

B. Size Limitations

Things that are too big or too small are hard for us to see.  But because I promised to stay on Earth, let’s talk about microorganisms- you know those tiny living things that are all around us and even within us that outnumber our own human cells 10:1. See Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones

You're just the human spaceship that I use for getting around
My gut bacteria tell me, “You’re just the human spaceship that I use for getting around.” Nice.

As a semi-side note: Well into the late 1800’s (which is really not that long ago) women died from child bed fever to such an extent that it actually was much safer to give birth in a manger than in a hospital. With no knowledge of germs, entire wards of women would fall victim to certain kinds of staphylococci- pass away and leave their babies behind.

The main culprit were the doctors who believed that “gentlemen hands are never dirty” and therefore, there was no real reason to wash-up- thereby infecting woman, after woman, after woman. Thankfully as microscopy began to improve and an understanding of germ theory started to develop, healthcare professionals finally began to implement safer practices in hospitals and by 1935 there was a cure. See The Doctor’s Plague.

Uh, whoops- I guess that now that I can see bacteria I have to believe in it.
Uh, whoops- I guess that now that I can see bacteria I have to believe in it.

Though, interestingly to this day, there still exist germ theory deniers.

Scientists continue studying microorganisms to better understand how they work with us and against us. In fact, new microorganism continue to be found- and with less than 5% of the oceans having been explored and the amount of biodiversity within- I am sure we still have a long, long way to go.

2. Magnetoception

(runner up)

It’s how organisms detect the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s how birds know which way they need to go when traveling north for the winter. I can’t readily detect it; but supposedly people do poses a bit of a magnetic mineral at the back of our nose, between our eyes.

But does it help us navigate better? I don’t know and neither do the experts. Although as a kid, my dad never seemed to ever be lost even when in a new area- though I highly doubt that is the reason why.

birds2

3. Sound

Errrr….I think this graph is pretty self explanatory.

hearing

I could also go on about other senses, such as our sense of smell which is far inferior to our canine friends, but I think I have made my point here.

With a 10,000 X better sense of smell- it just doesn't seem fair.
With a 10,000 X better sense of smell- it just doesn’t seem fair.

Science is an incredible field, it has left me more modest, it has left me more spiritual. But the fact that it itself is done in the minds of humans means it is not error free. It’s limitations lie on our intrinsic short coming both of our intellect and our senses. As technology improves, hopefully more will be understood with time.

Believing in a creator is not about believing in a ‘big man in the sky’. It is about believing that there exists something more powerful than us, acknowledging that we error, and getting our guidance from something other than ourselves.

Taking the best of science does not prompt me to discard my faith. Understanding that God has created more than what I can imagine just makes me a better scientist.

Gracie

What natural wonders still inspire you? Let us know below.

Want to dig deeper? See Why science cannot explain why anything at all exists (understanding the limits of science by Dr. Luke Barnes).

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What Makes Being a Muslim Woman Hard in the West?

Written by Gracie Lawrence

There are tons of scholarly articles that explain the Islamic stance of women- so I am not going to go into that in depth. However, as the internet is also filled with information intent on making Islam look crazy, thanks to some very dedicated groups, here are some more reliable sources for those who are interested in the woman’s role in Islam.

being-muslim-woman-in-the-west-is-hard

 

But in a nutshell, for those who do not know or have the time to research into the above links, here’s a clue:

And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (Quran 2:228)

Yes, there is a lot in Islam that is about rights between family members (husband/wife/kids), neighbors, business partners, and even between me and you, dear reader. But those “rules” are not what makes being a Muslim woman hard, it is what restores the balance to a system that can be overrun with those who sometime take too much or sacrifice more than they should.

But having a relationship can be difficult, especially when one party is thought of as just a stereotype. And the predominate stereotype that I see about me and other fellow converts- is that we are backwards.

And how do I know that there are many with this belief? Because campaigns like this have to be launched: Not ‘Brainwashed’

For those that absolutely insist that I am backwards because I chose Islam for my life – I doubt I will do much to change your mind if your identity and confidence is built on the misconception that 1. I am oppressed. 2. I am an idiot 3. This poor oppressed idiot of a woman needs saving.

baby seal1
You know you want to save me.

Yes, it is fun to save things- I know that. Every time I see a picture of a sad baby seal on an organically grown cotton tee-shirt, I sigh. Every time, I think about wide-eyed orphans and how many I’d like to adopt, like kittens in a basket, I get misty-eyed.

And I know that this sympathy stems from the awareness that I HAVE IT BETTER. And awkwardly that can actually elicit some good feelings- yes, tinged with guilt- but it reminds me to be more grateful for my circumstance (that I know has little to do with me); however, for others, this feel good feeling stems more from them being a washed in an ugly false sense of superiority.

So when I am walking down the grocery store in my headscarf, concentrating on the price of macaroni and trying to calculate if I truly AM saving more if I buy bulk, and I get cast one of ‘those looks’-

You know I see you checking my style.
You know I see you checking my style.

or if I overhear whispers between women that usually start with “I don’t know how … “. If one more person tries to ‘save’ me, I am liable to throw MY face on a cotton tee that reads – SAVE The Gracies from Judgmental Busybodies!

And that, my friend, is what makes being a Muslim woman in the West hard, not Islam.

I am not subservient (though I do like to help those around me), not backward (I was lucky enough to be born middle class in a first-world or developed nation), and I didn’t convert for a man (not that a woman can’t make her own choices post-man-in-life), nor am I uneducated.

I am not the voice of the impoverished Afghani girl, or the underage Yemini child bride (both problems that can be overcome if Islam were truly and correctly implemented in those parts of the world).

In the fashion of Sesame Street-
In the fashion of Sesame Street- “We are the people in your neighborhood…”

I am just your friendly scarf-wearing neighborhood Muslim.

AND once the shock of that can be overcome, and you can look at me as an equal…

We can have a real relationship as neighbor, or friend, or co-worker, or just acquaintance. If you’re interested.

By the way- I am also not trying to change your way of life or bring Sharia law here either … Just saying.

Gracie out!

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Who Does the Housework?: Marriage Issues

Written by Theresa Corbin

Traditionally, in most parts of the world, men left the home and worked for a few hours a day and earned money, while women worked 24 hours a day cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing for free. 

There are examples in many societies were these roles where not so clear cut. We can think of a quite a few examples of Muslim women who were (are) business owners, boss ladies, scholars, etc. And we can think of many examples of Muslim women who took (take) care of the home and family, and even examples of women who did both.  

who does the housework

But in modern times, it has become a matter of degradation to be the one in the family who does the dishes, washes the clothes, and generally takes care of the home and family. Some even go as far as to call it “woman’s work”, and view nurturing and caring for our property and our loved ones as humiliating tasks.

There is nothing wrong with being a homemaker, whether you are male or female. In fact it takes a strong person to work for free and without much gratitude from others. Think of all the people who washed the dishes once and expected a parade in their honor. That’s because these kinds of people do not have the strength or wisdom to do the thankless and unpaid work that creates a clean and happy environment for the family.

When we look to Islamic perspective, the work of nurturing loved ones and caring for the home is not prescribed for women even though women are usually the ones who have the strength to do it. Nowhere in the Quran or the Sunnah does it say that woman shall wash-eth the dishes or it doth be for the female to scrub-eth the hearth.  

In fact, there are several ahadith (prophetic traditions) that state plainly that the Prophet (PBUH) did a lot of housework. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (May God be pleased with her), was asked:

What did the Prophet do in his house? She replied, He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it. (Narrated in Bukhari)

In another report Aisha said:

He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.” (Adab Al-Mufrad graded sahih by Al-Albani)

Note that in these ahadith, it does not say that he helped. Many people will phrase these ahadith as him helping out around the house. But the word “helped” implies it was someone else’s burden to bear, and he was just helping them.

It says he did work. He did housework. He cared for and nurtured his family and didn’t expect anyone else to do it for him. Nor did he find it beneath him. Islam does not assign one gender to be responsible for the housework. In fact, in some schools of though, if the wife does fill the role of cook and housekeeper, she is to be paid for her effort.  

Women are not meant to be married just because men “need” maids and cooks (I believe men are entirely capable of doing these things all by themselves). Women are to be married as partners to men and men to be married as partners to women.

They are your garment and you are a garment for them. (Quran 2:187)

And housework is not “woman’s work” in the Quran nor is it considered a degrading role in the Sunnah.

And so it is up to each couple, each family to equitably negotiate who does what around the house without putting too much burden on one person. So, dear bothers, please keep this in mind when your wife comes home from work and you expect her to cook dinner and clean the house while you watch TV. You are not entitled to rest while she works by virtue of your gender.

But there is a balance in this. Because sisters also need to keep this sharing the burden thing this garment to each other thing in mind when your husband is working three jobs just to make ends meet and you get mad and make a gender issue out of him forgetting to pick up his socks because he is delirious.

Our job as spouses is to share the load of life, to get each other’s back, not to act like one person must do one role no matter how hard and heavy it becomes for them. Nor should we act like doing certain tasks is degrading.

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The Last Sermons of Prophets Jesus and Muhammad

Written by Stephanie Siam

Is Earth flat? What happens when we sail past the horizon?

Did dinosaurs really exist? How did they become extinct?

Are there intelligent forms of life on other planets? Have they ever contacted us?

What happens after we die? Has anyone come close to experiencing it for real?

A cursory glance at a general encyclopedia shows humans have never fallen short of curiosity and wonder. Never satisfied with the present and tangible, we strive to answer questions every second of every day — even those that have been answered before!

And, no matter, what the subject of interrogation is at the moment, the one topic that always finds its way back into the spotlight of our inquisitiveness is religion. Believers and non-believers, alike, insist their truth is THE truth and all others must conform to THEIR interpretation.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I’m not trying to drag back the dead horse and beat it all over again. This post is not going to question the truths of Islam — or any other religion, for that matter.

mankind
Photo Credit: history.com

There are a great many people who’ve made a significant impact throughout the History of Man: Socrates, Aristotle, the Virgin Mary, Amelia Earheart, Gandhi, MLK, Hitler — hey, not ALL impact is positive.

But I can almost guarantee that no matter which influential character of history you name in a mixed group of people, there are two individuals whose existence is incomparable to the rest: Essa (Jesus) and Muhammad, may God’s peace and blessings be upon both of them.

Read more

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Confusion Muslims Create

Written by Theresa Corbin

A lot has been said/written about the misconceptions non-Muslim have about Islam. Most of these misconceptions have been created by the Western media or by non-Muslims themselves *cough* orientalism *cough*.

Confusion Muslims Create

But I think it is time to talk about how Muslims themselves create misconceptions or confusion about Islam. Yes, it happens! Not surprised? You shouldn’t be. 

Confusion Muslims create:

1. Muslims are always angry, therefore this must be Islam

Yvette Sanchez*, a Muslim convert, a scientist, and mother of three, says:

Muslims propagate the myth that we are aggressive, angry, & emotional.

There is a group of Muslims that take themselves too seriously. They scowl all the time. They riot over every insult that any other faith community would just ignore. They are ALWAYS offended by something. These people have anger-management issues that have nothing to do with Islam. 

We need to get over ourselves, folks. Have a laugh at yourself once in a while. The Prophet (PBUH) smiled, joked, played, and withstood insult with grace. Check out Humor in the Muslim Heritage for more about the sense of humor of the Prophet. If your Islam doesn’t make you generous, friendly, and smiley; you are doing it wrong!

2. Islam is a culture

I hear this all the time, whether it is someone speaking about Islamic culture or someone asking me about my Muslim culture. Muslims who are very insular in their part of the world and then migrate to the West often bring with them the idea that somehow their culture IS Islam. But the thing is that there is religion and their is culture. sometimes they intertwine. Sometimes they don’t.  

I am a Muslim by faith and an American by culture. I eat red beans and rice without pork and with a nice cold beer … a root beer. I wear denim in a modest way. I say “salam, y’all” way too much. I’m an American Muslim and am not in need of any other culture in order to practice my faith. 

Janice Jan, a Latina American Muslim convert, says that Islam is misrepresented by:

Those Muslims who follow their culture as if it is real Islam. Those Muslims who practice caste system.

This practice can be very confusing to the onlooker because Muslims come from a variety of cultures: Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Chinese, Western European, American. Any culture you can think of, Muslims come from and participate in. Check out my post, “What is the Islamic World” for more on this topic. 

However, this cultural confusion isn’t a huge problem until a Muslim, who is in direct contradiction to Islam, practices a cultural “quirk” and then turns around and calls their un-Islamic habits- Islam.

Cultural example: Saudi’s restriction on women drivers. It’s a cultural thing that many Saudis themselves believe to be Islamic. 

But what is actually Islamic is that all the women in The Prophet’s (PBUH) day rode camels, and he never said boo about it. Seeing as how camels were the mode of transport back in the day, it is safe to say riding a camel is equivalent to driving a car.

We need to learn the difference between religion and culture and stop confusing the two. And stop confusing the world with our confusion.

3. Muslims believe that women are not equal to men

Speaking of women, this is another myth about Islam that Muslims propagate.

Asif Balouch, from philasify101.blogspot.com, says that one myth Muslims propagate is that of 

Women being lesser. This is perpetuated most heavily via the mosque. The barrier that is placed, the women’s area being less accommodated, roomy and whatnot. Women practically being ostracized. Having to write in questions at Q&A rather than speak, etc.

In Islam women and men are EQUAL!! End of story.

Women need not be marginalized. The Prophet (PBUH) interacted, visited, and even sought counsel from women on a regular basis. He did not bar them from the Masajid (plural for masjid or mosque). He did not send them away when they approached him. He never treated them as or said they were less than men. 

What he did say was that:

Men and women are twin halves of each other. (Narrated in Bukhari)

We are in a sad state if we cannot honor women. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character. The best of you are those who are the best to women. (Narrated in Tirmidhi)

Discrimination against women is prolific in the Muslim world and in direct contradiction to Islam. Women are having their genitalia mutilated, being forced to marry their rapist, being forced into marriage period, barred from education, barred from the workplace, and the list of un-Islamic treatment of women goes on. 

It is a mark of arrogance that some men think themselves superior when Allah (SWT) tells us directly that no one has superiority except by righteousness, something earned and not innate or gendered. 

4. Muslims are obsessed with hijab

Kiara Shank, a Muslim who observes hijab, says:

Muslims have an obsession with the hijab. I find it rather sad that we have reduced our religion to covering and not much else. There are more dire issues facing our ummah [community] than if a sister is wearing hijab correctly or not.

Hijab is a small part of Islam. More about hijab in my Hijabology post. But it is something external. So, many Muslims focus on it as a determining factor of faith. And while it is obligatory for women and men to dress modestly in respect to what is prescribed by Allah (SWT), many times Muslims will place the burden of modesty on women. 

A Muslim woman could be the best she can in her worship of Allah (SWT), but her only failing (we all have at least one) is that she does not dress observe hijab, and she will be chastised and ostracized by those Muslims who may not do any acts of worship except dressing modestly.

We need to know that if faith is in the heart it cannot be seen, it cannot be judged, the connection with Allah (SWT) is invisible. Hijab does not define Islam, and it certainly doesn’t define someone’s faith.  

5. Muslims are untrustworthy

Deen Stewart says:

So many times I have dealings with other Muslims in business and I know that when they use the word InshaAllah [God Willing], it means that whatever has been inshaAllah-ed, won’t get done. As a Muslim myself, I find this behavior and misuse of InshaAllah really gross.

I like to call this the InshaAllah Paradox. Some Muslims think that by saying InshaAllah they can get out of doing anything they have promised to do, acting as if their lack of effort in doing things promised was Allah’s (SWT) will. This is just laziness and a manipulation of faith. There’s a difference between Allah’s will and our own effort in seeking the means.  

It has gotten so bad that most non-Muslims think that inshaAllah means NO! When it actually means that you will do everything in your power to do what you agreed to. And if God’s will prevents you, you know you still did everything in your power. 

Muslims, we need to take these things seriously. Creating confusion about Islam is a serious matter. In fact, we could be misguiding people by our actions. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be responsible for that.

*Name changed for privacy.

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Female Genital Mutilation- Excavating Sharia Part 2

As a faith community, we are facing a serious crisis in human (and God given) rights violations. Many of those “in charge” are and have been misusing religious texts to cripple more than half of our population- women.

We are a global community and these issues have infected our lives on a global scale. Because of these issues, Saadia Haq and I are “Excavating Shariah” in an attempt to chip away at the fiqh interpretations (human understanding of the Shariah (Islamic) law) that have either intentionally or unintentionally ignored the female experience, oppressed women, or co-opted women’s religious dedication.

Female Genital Mutilation Part 2

Part 2 Written by Theresa Corbin

We take it as a serious matter that Islam has been wrongfully used as a weapon against women. We feel we have the right and an obligation, as Muslims, to speak on these issues. Currently we are “excavating” the affront that is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

What is FGM

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” -The World Health Organization (WHO)

There are four types of FMG that increase in horrific nature from the removal of the clitoris to the removal of all external genital tissue and creation of a seal over the vagina, leaving only a small hole for urine and menstrual blood to escape.

It’s hard to read, I know. But imagine having to live through it. A few years ago, I read about the procedures in depth and I was beyond shocked by the brutality and severe physical and emotional scars and complication the victims are left with. Read more here if you want to know more about this brutal reality.

History of FGM

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