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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 who 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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58 thoughts on “What Makes Being a Muslim Woman Hard in the West?

  1. Salam,

    Some people like to deal in the blackest blacks and the whitest whites. Everybody, everything is either wholly good or wholly evil. It’s easy that way, without any of those intermediate shades which, in life, complicate reality and perplex the eye that seeks to probe it truly.

    Of course, Islam has problems, some of which stem from cultural backwardness and some of which stem from a poor understanding of Islam itself, some of which stem from the failure of Muslims to propagate liberal Islamic ideals, but, on the whole, Islam, in my experience, is practiced by very polite and well-educated people who want to do nothing more than live according to their consciences.

    “Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess [the slave]: For God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious” (Q:4:36) This is the Islamic ideal. Everything else is just commentary.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that it is much easier to avoid those various shades between black and white. It exposes the fact that issues are much more complex than they seem- which can make people uncomfortable. However, thank you for noticing, and your points about the way Islam is understood by many are spot on. Hopefully, Islamwich can help clarify these issues for others. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Wasalam

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      1. Well, you have my full support in that endeavor.

        Said’s “Orientalism” and liberal or progressive Islamic scholars, who have produced a significant body of work, are the best places to start, in my opinion, in spreading understanding about Islam.

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “propagate liberal Islamic ideals”..I beg your pardon, what may those be ? Gay marriage ? Sexual intercourse outside of marriage ? It is very idealistic and naive to assume by saying the shahada, one can attain the perfect life. Lives are lived, not talked about right. I have trouble when folks say the Muslims are not liberal, to what standards are they not liberal too ? Western standards ? Secual standrds ? Zeitgeist standards ?

      Said’s book can certainly be an academic introduction to how Islam has been viewed by the West for the past century or two, but it may be ill to think some modern progressive “Scholars” can know more about Islam without understanding the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Salam,

        I beg your pardon. Here we go again, somebody hears the word “liberal” and thinks the gays and feminists are coming to town for a parade. It’s the echo of some illiterate mullah with an agenda, a mullah who seems to have forgot how 113 of the 114 surahs begin.

        Just Google ‘Liberal movements within Islam’ for the answers you seek. Liberal Muslims don’t disagree with the six articles or the five pillars. They hold to the basic tenets of Islam.

        Firstly, I never said all Muslim’s are not liberal, which was your implication, I think. I know many who are very liberal, so be careful what you are implying here. Secondly, I would say some Muslims are not liberal according to the Qu’ran’s standard. Remember, where equality is advocated?

        As for Said’s work, it challenges Westerners to critically examine his or her own preconceived notions about the East, her peoples, and her history. What better starting point is there than that?

        Cheers

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Yes of course mullahs are ilterate and deviants, but someone who enjoys the modern world in it’s totality is very illuminated ?

      Liberal movements in Islam…hmmm…Progressive Muslims…yeah know what they are all about. You can still follow the articles of faith while drunk in a club. Funny how progressives and fundamentalist both have a nice way f cherry picking what they want from the Quran and sunnah to justify their beliefs.

      Yup, most muslims in America are liberal especially the young generation. Trust me on that one, since I am one…atleast I used to be one of them. Pray tell, what do you think will happen to Muslims once they fully integrate into American society ?

      Said thesis is academically challenging and over 30 years old. It certainly had an huge influence on my thought process, but I think it is too terse and old for the layman.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hyde,

        Some mullahs are illiterate and deviant, usually the ones who are always going on about the evils of progressive Islam. Of course, many mullahs are not illiterate or deviant.

        As for the illuminated remark, I am not perfect nor illuminated, but I’ll make do. (Q: 46:9)

        I don’t think in terms of integration, but humanness. American values, whether ill or not, will have their effects on American Muslims, no doubt, and perhaps some things will be lost and others gained, but I don’t view America as a savior or a devil. Living in America may change some Muslims, but what would be the point of living if we didn’t let life change us? Of course, there may be some superficial alterations or some slight changes in behavior, but in the real ways Muslims in America will remain the same–compassionate and hopeful–people who are attempting to live fulfilled and right lives according to the Qu’ran. (Q:29:69) In the end, men and women choose between ultimate values; they choose as they do because their life and thought are determined by fundamental moral categories and concepts that are, at any rate over large stretches of time and space, a part of their being and thought and sense of his or her own identity; part of what makes them human.

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

    4. So “usually” any mullah or heck anybody that goes against the zeitgeist of liberal progressive way of life (i.e. alternative lifestyles) is “usually” illiterate or deviant, eh?

      Why is always thought that changes are always good? (Do any Muslims even care about the Sign of the End of Times?) Of course America is not evil, heck I am an American myself and I think Muslims have probably more rights here than in the Muslim world. But I jeer at your liberal optimism. The same western optimism that equates that when everybody has neoliberal democracy the world would indeed be a better palace. Pessimism is just as gratifying as optimism. Pessimism, to be at least is a sign of intellect, while optimism, in these liberal days I often fused of naiveté and foolishness.

      If morals and honor can change swiftly as the season’s turn, then why waste time with religion in the first place? If human beings were qualified to conduct their own affairs with intelligence and responsibility, there would not be a need for divine guidance, would there?

      Muslims generally follow the Hobbesian perspective of life. But the new progressive liberal generation that is coming of age (me included) are starting to think that they know better, i.e. a Lockesian point of view.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW, Hyde and Writtenbyafloridian, neither of you have defined what you take to mean liberal and both of you have inferred what you want and on opposite sides of the spectrum. I agree that we as a Muslim ummah need a new look at Islam, but a look that involves getting rid of cultural ignorance that we have allowed to infiltrate and corrupt our religion, can this mean liberalism? I think so. I also agree that we do not need to be following the opinion of the majority, and those who only guess at truth and do nothing more than lie: we need to turn to divine guidance in order to fortify our humanity. Does this go against progress? I would argue that it does not. So who is to say that we can’t be liberal and progressive as Muslim and within the limits of the Quran and sunnah?? No one. We are an amalgamation of time, place, and beliefs and I know that Islam is structured enough to guide us away from the BS and flexible enough to allow us to incorporate the human truths we find along the way. And this optimism, or naivete, I think is what will lead us to an awakening and strengthening of the ummah.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right, I went too far, but I still think there is merit to the point I was attempting to make–that progressive Muslims are generally degraded in a way that is uncritical, amateurish, illogical, ahistorical, and embarrassing.

        You are mistaken, dear friend, I am liberal, but I have no desire, in the words of Rousseau, “to force men to be free.” I think that sort of mindset is responsible for the slaughter of individuals on the altars of the great historical ideals, be they justice or progress or the happiness of future generations, or the sacred mission or emancipation of a nation or race or class, or even liberty itself, which demands the sacrifice of individuals for the freedom of society. This is the belief that somewhere, in the past or in the future, in divine revelation or in the mind of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science, or in the simple heart of an uncorrupted good man, there is a final solution. This ancient faith rests on the conviction that all positive values in which men have believed must, in the end, be compatible, and perhaps even entail one another. “Nature binds truth, happiness, and virtue together by an indissoluble chain,” said Condorcet.

        I don’t agree. Conflict of values is an intrinsic, irremovable element of human life, existence, to contradict Hegel and Marx, is a metaphysical chimera. Condorcet, Mill, Tocqueville, Marx, etc visions represent a similar sort of dogmatic certainty that has been responsible for the deep, serene, unshakeable conviction in the minds of the most merciless tyrants and persecutors in history that what they did was fully justified by its purpose. The notion that, as Kant argued, a rational judge, can discipline me, because I am irrational and some rational person must “teach” me to act, properly, that I am not capable of self-direction like an idiot, a child, or a savage.

        In fact, this is the degradation I am fighting against-I am not seeking equality of legal rights, nor liberty to do as I wish(although I may want these too), but a condition in which I can feel that I am, because I am taken to be, a responsible agent, whose will is taken into consideration because I am entitled to it, even if I am attacked and persecuted for being what I am or choosing as I do. It is about recognition, of class or nation or color, or race, as independent source of human activity, as an entity with a will of its own, intending to act in accordance with it, whether it is good or legitimate, or not, and not to be ruled, educated, guided, with however light a hand, as being not quite fully human, and therefore not quite fully free.

        If, as I believe, the ends of men are many, and not all of them are in principle compatible with each other, then the possibility of conflict–and of tragedy– can never wholly be eliminated from human life, either personal or social. The necessity of choosing between absolute claims is then an inescapable characteristic of the human condition. This gives its value to freedom as Acton conceived of it–as an end in itself, and not as a temporary need, arising out of our confused notion and irrational and disordered lives, a predicament which a panacea could one day put right.

        I am not saying that morality is subjective, but that one cannot have everything is a necessary, not a contingent truth. In this sense, morals are objective, but not absolute, at least in my mind. To ask for divine guidance is the realization that we are not very compassionate nor very intelligent, as Socrates reminded us, and that some external ultimacy, whether God or not, is found to be indispensable to our lives as unpredictably self-transforming human beings.

        As a great man once said, “To realise the relative validity of one’s convictions and yet stand for them unflinchingly is what distinguishes a civilised man from a barbarian.” I chose God, and I demand no more than to live according to that choice, even if I am persecuted for it, even if everyone thinks me wrong. Is this not Islam?

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Western civilization has reached it saturation point. It is bored and soon be forced to reconcile all the post enlightenment apocalypse.

      I have read your blog and am very much interested in reading it and will comment on it, but your optimism and let’s start Islam anew in 2013 is ad nasuem

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And for the first time I believe I just caught a glimpse of two sides of an evolving “Western” Islam. What is scary is that my senses pick it up like thunder before a rain- and I am nervous. I am not going to pretend that the East does not have its own reason to want a monopoly on the religion. I know it is a power thing, I also know it is the one of the last things they have to maintain their identity and pride after years of colonialism. However their way of doing things reminds me of the Catholic church deciding I am not qualified enough to understand much, so I must let those trained in a specialized way (who have the benefit of maintaining this system) show me the path. I can’t help but wonder how a religion sent for anyone, for anytime, can truly be this complicated- if it is really meant for the masses- it just can’t be. I am also not going to pretend that all people are qualified to NOT take council. I think there needs to be a better defined middle path.

    Not a lot of Muslims in the West are going to be happy about the kind of converts that questions, challenges and pushes the edges to get a better sense of its boundaries- to get to the root of what it means to be Muslim stripped of its cultural traditions. Do I ever think it can be seen in its pure form- not really, because how it manifests itself has too much to do with the bodies that are shaped by their own culture- for sure. Most Muslims I know insist there is only one right kind of Islam. And as far as the basics go- I believe that to be correct. Now what everyone is going to argue is where that line lies and in defining “liberal” or “Western” or “progressive”. From an area where all things “Western” and “liberal” are feared and seen as evil- I am worried that we will become divided, but as mentioned perhaps that is just in our nature. And those that are quick to anger and point fingers will always be there to protect what they are comfortable with or are afraid from. I hope that we can all continue to let our voices be heard and discussed and questioned in a civil way.

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    1. Very true and well said, Gracie.

      “how a religion sent for anyone, for anytime, can truly be this complicated- if it is really meant for the masses- it just can’t be….that questions, challenges and pushes the edges to get a better sense of its boundaries- to get to the root of what it means to be Muslim stripped of its cultural traditions.”

      I think this is the essence of progressive Islamic thought. The individual use of ijtihad and fitrah.

      Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this is the essence of progressive Islamic thought. The individual use of ijtihad and fitrah.

    No need for religion in the first place then. Let’s all just make up our own laws and moral guidelines via ijtihad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, no, of course not. The Qur’an is there for a reason, but some, more than many would admit I am sure, of the traditional interpretations are, more or less, out-dated and fading into irrelevancy, particularly, Islamic laws based on single Our’anic verses. All I am saying is that we take into consideration the 7th century Arabian cultural context out of which Islam birthed, and also dig deeper into the Qur’an to find the most Islamic interpretation of God’s commands.

      Furthermore, there is the natural sense of right and wrong and proper reasoning within everyone, or fitra, which is why many Muslims call converts reverts. Islam is in everyone, to some degree or another, of course some may not like me saying that.

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      1. My good fellow you are well beyond liberal or anything. I met people like you before. Lets destroy the past…pretty pathetic. Traditional interpretations are outdated…well what about the prophet then ? Dare I say would you call him that too, or better yet use him “symbolically” ? Like Christianity ?
        Islam is going through it’s final stage like every religion in the past did. Soon the “museum” stage will too pass…ashes to ashes dust to dust.

        And natural sense of right ? For who? Who sets the standard? For how long? Who changes them? When? Why? Fading into irrelevancy? What ? Polygamy? Hijab? Sexual relations? 5 time prayer? Fasting?

        Bye the way reverts are called reverts reverts because that is the natural sate of human beings…submission to God.

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    2. Not to cause any problems, but I believe (someone correct me if I am wrong) that most Islamic scholarship (and a lot of how Islam is interpreted today) came out of Baghdad from the mid-9th century until the Mongols sacked it in 1256 (the Golden Era). I think writtenbyafloridian is just suggesting that caliber of academic intensity to be taken up again. Academics being the contributions of individuals engaging in intellectual discourse (written or otherwise).

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    3. Man submitting to his own will, yeah let’s make up religion as we go along. What is accepted today was unheard of twenty years ago. Let’s keep changing religion until we can just rub it altogether.
      Tabula Rasa…so let man be in charge of his fate…what sheer brilliance…
      (Ijtihad…one of the most misunderstood thing in the muslim world. Funny thing is often only employed by the most lefty-mefty folks as fulcrum to tell muslims they are “islamically grounded”)

      Like

      1. Hyde,

        Hoping to emulate the Prophet(PBUH) is a way of life, it is the Islamic way of life, I don’t want to change that.

        Islam is submission to God, you are right, not submission to anyone else, however.

        I will probably comment at length tomorrow, but I do want to say one thing. Why would anyone want to change 5 prayers a day? It is, in my opinion, everything. It is knowing that all of life is lived in between prayers, it is our little dates with God, where God is remembered consciously and intentionally. Why would anyone want to give this up? Why would anyone want to surrender that deep connection with God that is yearned for by so many?

        Like

      2. No one is talking about throwing out previous centuries of scholarship, but the interesting thing about scholarship in any area is that it should be constantly growing- understanding constantly improving. That is not a threatening idea. It is not a disrespect of the past, it is our duty to encourage scholarship in the most important area of our lives as technology/science and the resulting social problems change. And in a time (NOW) where judges in Saudi Arabia are angry that they MAY have to write down the reasoning to their Islamic rulings in court –especially regarding unexplored areas – so there can be at least documentation of reasoning to justify future precedent- I think it is worth speaking about.

        http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/01/23/why_wont_saudi_arabia_write_down_its_laws?wp_login_redirect=0
        Please – no one comment on this unless the entire thing was read.

        I don’t believe the Meccans were insulted when Bahghdad became the center of most Islamic scholarship, people from many places traveled to contribute academically. Another example would be when Muslims scholars used Greek styles of logical argumentation to use in Islamic discourse. It really is okay to take the good from a culture; let’s not pretend that certain cultures cannot have any strengths.

        “What was accepted today wasn’t excepted 20 years ago” I see the populace becoming more Islamic- some examples- Egypt (how Islam was barely practiced in the 1950s and now hijabs are on the rise), the same thing can be said about Turkey, look how the Indonesians are blooming with their Islam compared to many other areas, even entire families of Muslims that practiced grave worshiping in Indian have become educated and are changing their ways in the last 20+ years.

        If we cannot have a conversation about subjects like this out of fear of not being obedient or having our intentions questions, then we really can’t have an open dialogue. An open dialogue requires not letting our egos or insecurities get in the way-something I think everyone can work on, me included. Let us not make premature assumptions about others, if there are questions about their beliefs- let’s ask them before admonishing them and make this an interesting place of conversation where we can all participate.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Let us not make premature assumptions about others, if there are questions about their beliefs- let’s ask them before admonishing them and make this an interesting place of conversation where we can all participate.” Precisely Gracie.

        Like

  4. I could not have access to FP, but seriously SA ? They are the prahessis of the Muslim world. Saudis have reputation of women and drink and semi deranged Wahabi nonsense.
    Anyway I have read your comments and the floridian and I categorically disagree with most of what you guys said, but as Sister Corbin said lets respect our differences and move on.

    (P.S. The greek thought process set the Muslim world back for some time until the greatest of Islamic Philosopher Imam Gazali came though. They are modern day Khawarij and they are modern day Mutazilite. Both are damaging and pulling the ummah away from the middle path that is Islam.

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    1. Couldn’t get access either, was looking forward to reading the article. I don’t think Gracie is pro or anti-SA, but pro writing down laws as a way to show precedent. I think we all agree more than may seem apparent, but anyway…

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    2. Destined to disagree, I suppose.

      I am preferential to Muhammad Iqbal myself and his willingness to apply Western philosophical categories to the interpretation of the Qur’an, although I vehemently disagree with him on some things. As an aside, Pakistan owes him a great debt, I think. Of course, I really identify with Ibn Rushd and the Mu’tazilah, although I understand the impetus behind al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyah, and others opposition to philosophy, but I cannot embrace their anti-rationalism.

      Also, the Ishraqi tradition, which I believe is still flourishing in Iran, has pumped out some stellar intellectuals, in recent years, with particular relevance to modern issues, like the Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr and the late cleric Mahdi Ha’iri Yazdi.

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      1. I should probably clarify something really quick: I think al-Ghazali was much more of a philosopher than he was prepared to admit, he was opposing philosophy after all with philosophical and demonstrative tools–in other words, opposing philosophy with philosophy– and I don’t think he held back the development of philosophy in the Islamic West, and I don’t think he impeded the emergence of an Ibn Sina tradition in the East. But I do think that his idea that philosophy is dangerous temptation is wrong, for whatever that is worth.

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      2. Wow, probably the first time I seen a Muslim [if I may call you that] that openly recognizes himself as a Mu’tazilah! Most Muslims, no matter what spectrum they come from, would label you as “confused” and some even heretical. But whatever…
        Yes Iqbal was a giant of Islamic philosophy of the 20th century. His RRTI is a monumental book, but very difficult to read through (tried it at 18, with no luck. Again at 21 with some better understanding). Pakistan owes him a debt for what? Pakistan was error in part. A separate homeland for the Muslim was a mistake. In fact I also disagree with many things that Iqbal aid, namely his political philosophy regarding Muslim polity.
        There is little we can agree with if you identify with a small almost extinct ideology of the Islamic past, but I can certainly show admirability for Seyyed Hossein Nasr, a man who has been much neglected by the Muslims of today. His books (starting with Young Muslims in the West, 1994) have had a tremendous influence on me. Through him, I was introduced to Geneon, Schuon, Lings, Spengler, Evola, etc. I am not a perennialist by any matter, but the occultist aspect of that philosophy does have sway particularly when it comes to eschatology.
        Hmmm…nice way of mentioning Imam Gazali, who did shut up the philosophers.

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  5. It is true that Al-Ghazali had his share of criticism, though he was very popular, but even important scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah (you remember the one who was jailed back and forth and then finally the rest of his life for declaring that grave worshipping was Bidah ) of the Hanbali school harshly criticized him. If we could learn anything from this time-it would be that you should not go around murdering and imprisoning scholars, but when obedience and memorization trumps dialogue and understanding these kinds of things will occur (and continue to occur). I don’t agree that the Greek process set back the Muslims, a lot of good (for the world) came out of this in terms of its impact on the sciences, even though that was Al-Ghazali’s stance- I know. It is funny how popular this ‘we-have-our-own-way’ thought is, Saudi Arabia proudly treads this path until now. And by the way- though it must feel great to blame the Greeks/kuffar- for division amongst the ummah -that has been going on since the Battle of the Camel. That is- it is human to do these things, and those areas that we are allowed to discuss should be free for us to do so. What does create division is people calling each other kuffr and wanting to get emotional and violent anytime someone has a question. I am not promoting the creation of various sects, but to this day we are okay with various schools of thought- so there is room for scholarship (I am not saying by me, of course lol so relax). I will try to find another link to the article Corbin.

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    1. Again with the KSA ? The reason most Muslims even care about the Saudis is because of their money and control over M&M. Nobody is sitting around thinking how they can implement Saudi theological rule over their people.

      And the borrowing of Greek culture was good, but it dilapidated Muslim thought when it came to theological issues. In secual sciences yes, Muslims acquired great knowlege from the Greeks, but from the point of view how Muslims view the Quran and creation of God, it was problematic to see an essential non-muslim point of view. Like today, when the all the crazy commies of the 60’s became the ardent Islamists of the 80’s and 90’s. Swinging from one way to another.

      Ibn Taymiyyah is one of the maligned scholars in the modern world. Much of the cannibalistic Wahhabi ideology is allegedly influenced by him much to his discredit. Yes he was writing at a time when the Muslim Holocaust (i.e. Mongols) has just occurred and the Muslim word was in complete shock.

      As you stated, many followers of certain madhabs actually criticized their scholars. Okay let’s get one thing that straight, if the framework is Islamic then many discourses are allowed, even atheist, as they were in the past. The complete disarray of the ummah is test to the opposite of that today.

      As we most Muslims are here for having fun and making money like the rest of this stupid world. Haram and halal does not mean diddly squat for these people. That is why we have American idol in the Muslim world and Miss World contests, Dubai nudie beaches, Beirut nightclubs, Kuwaiti escort services, drunken bazaars of Karachi and so on. See all these things matter as well. It is one thing for philosophers to sit in an ivory tower to discuss Kant and Marx, but it is quite different on the street level where there is utter chaos.

      Perhaps sister Corbin may write an article on that.

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      1. Of course, I don’t agree with a number of aspects of Mu’tazilite ideology, but I do agree, that in the domain of willing, individuals are free or capable of choice, and in the domain of outward action or doing(fi’l), they are capable of carrying out their freely chosen designs. I also believe in God’s justice and unity.

        Moreover, I think humans are able to apprehend right and wrong intutitively, revelation adds to the substance of this apprehension, as you may have gleaned from my previous comment. Revelation, as in the Qur’an, is a confirmation of people’s moral insights, so to speak, and guards them against error. More specifically, such revelation spells out in detail the kind of moral and religious obligations incumbent upon individuals, and its ordinances are, in fact, divine graces dispensed to humanity ‘so that those who perish may perish knowingly, and those who live might live knowingly.” (Q:8:42)

        I also happen to like Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina’s idea of the conjunction of the Active Intellect.

        As for Iqbal, yes, I happen to agree with you about Pakistan, but I was referring more to his poetry, philosophy, fight against inequality, discrimination, oppression, etc.

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    2. Oh Vey! Wait a minute a soul sista! Let’s please not say I am opposed to scholarship since I did mention muslims need to brush up when it comes big issues, but retarded ideas that some verses of the quran are useless or whatever, really, I mean really? And I was not upset in the way that one may think. I have nothing but but respect for you, warlord Corbin and even the Florida dude. It is just we have to keep our eyes open and ears to ground. The ivory tower may be good for a day or two, but let’s not forget the zeitgeist. As a brother told me, “we can’t all just hide in the majid”.

      It was just absurd to think Mutazilite ideology would ever surface again, but then again if the nihilistic blood mongers can come so…anyway sister please don’t consider me so high and mighty. I just let’s not forget the jihad, that is the greater jihad.

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  6. I am enjoying being an onlooker in this back and forth. Good show, lady and gentlemen! But allow me to say, Hyde that would make for an interesting article, “It is one thing for philosophers to sit in an ivory tower to discuss Kant and Marx, but it is quite different on the street level where there is utter chaos.
    Perhaps sister Corbin may write an article on that.” very interesting indeed, considering how most of us behave like nihilist instead of Muslims and can’t read more than 140 characters of social media vomit.

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    1. Exactly sister Corbin. I had a brief stay at the ivory tower when I was much younger in my days. And it was prideful and arrogant stay thinking I know so much about metaphysics and so forth. Seriously what is the point of all that Enlightenment knowledge when you have mix gendered bathrooms! And one wrong click leads to you pornograoghy, and there are poeple who are confused about their gender and the fact that there are so many incentives to live an alternative lifestyle, most people do not think twice about yielding to the incentives.
      What is the point of discussing “categorical truths” or “existential mindset”, the modern world is losing its humanity? Where the great ages of Western Civilization, when western civilization has become devoid of any “reason” and understanding? I am a product of the West. I adore Beethoven, Flaubert, Kiersgaard, French Culture, German History, Russian Icons [from an artistic point of view], Shakespeare, etc but where does it all come down to when, I see two men going at each other at a NY subway (excuse my language) or when people actively choose to live along with each other rather than in “holy matrimony” [a phrase of sheer ridiculousness in today’s time].The revenge of the bastards is sign of the end of times.

      Who will care of philosophical truths, while babies are being made in bar bathrooms and taken out back in back alleys? Optimism is a dead man’s game. In 140 characters or less you can announce an engagement, a birth a death or the fact you are taking a crap. Some of the biggest users are pornstars and deranged celebrities, because of course their opinion matter. We have 13, 14 year old girls putting their entire life history on the internet. Muslim girls better be aware of the fact thet their pictures are used for online porngrapgy and masterbation pusposes. I hope they are happy with that. We have teenagers committing suicide because somebody disliked them online. Girls are getting pregnant just because they can get on “16 and pregnant”, MTV is shown in the most conservative parts of the world. Zina is being literally promoted. Parents are becoming useless. People’s bodies have become dumpsters. Our lives are manifested by what we eat [junk], what music we listen to [junk], people we date [junk], news we watch [junk], books we “listen” to [junk]. The biggest selling book right now is a soft core porn book which some Muslims love to read, A book that has absolutely no literary value whatsoever.

      So excuse me if these things are not being shoved under the carpet anymore.

      [Drops mic, and leave stage. The audience gasps and slowly recoils in shock. A baby cries].

      On another note, I love to see more stores on jinns and marriage life in your upcoming posts.

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      1. Can’t disagree with this. Hyde, you have my attention, what are you proposing? [picks up baby and pats back].

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      2. Yes, let me write all my posts on crap I can’t control or change instead of useful info like what are the jinn and how to protect against them. And I don’t remember ever writing a post about married life. Yes, culture has gone to hell in a hand basket, as the old folks say, but what is bitching about it going to do? And the last I check a lot of good things have happened also. What is the point of all that Enlightenment knowledge when you have a mixture called a vaccine that cures diseases that killed most newborns back in the day. And one click leads you to quran.com. Where is the great age of Western Civilization, when westerns are coming to Islam in droves? Who will care of philosophical truths, while Muslims are making the earth their mosque at maghrib and babies grow up memorizing Quran? You can choose to look at only the bad but the truth is life is a dead man’s game. We need to focus on the good we CAN do and not those who choose to do evil. Leave them to their paths.

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      3. Hyde, I just want to say that I never said verses in the Qur’an are useless.

        I enjoy philosophy, in fact, I am probably naturally inclined towards it. I also enjoy math–I study math–, history, and I like to read primary physics literature. But I am not here to speak with any finality on anything of ultimate finality. My views are always tentative.

        Of course, I have my beliefs, and they are absolute for me, I suppose, but they are not anyone else’s, and my beliefs are not absolute for anyone but myself. Everyone else has to work out what they want to believe for themselves. If they want to be a Muslim, then go read the Qur’an. If not, then don’t. Either way, I trust that God is the most compassionate and merciful, and that is quite enough for me, which is why I remain optimistic.

        I think you are right about the greater jihad, my friend, whatever our differences I think we can agree on that.

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  7. Common sense madam. There are numerous awesome lectures that come to mind that one can easily find on youtube that show this.
    Dr. Winters “Liberalism and Islam”
    Shaykh Yasir Qadhi “The Printing Press and The Downfall of Islam”
    Anything by the brilliant Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
    I would also encourage to go to ahem occultish authors; Evola, Guneon, Hall, Striner [not responsible for weird things happening].

    Muslims better wake up. Kuffar this and kaffir this is only going to help the real kuffair and kaffirs dig a bigger hole for us. You can tell a 12 year old boy evolution is haram, but you can’t tell that to a 25 year old man who studied biology at Harvard. He will just simply walk out of the masjid.
    “Music is haraam..yeah mum and dad why do you listen to those indian films then ?”
    What does islam say about general relativity ? Time travel ? Quantum physics ? Can one pray fajr at the edge of the black hole ? Tomorrow when babies are being pumped out of tubes, what will Muslim do ?
    [baby calms down; but lady is more anxious]

    Opps, where are my southern manners, Asalam Alaikum and welcome to Sister Corbin’s blog; who apparently has become a scottish warlord, i.e.Corbin the Elder 🙂

    Interesting:

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      1. Thank you for the welcome Hyde, I will watch these videos, and I understand you are upset; however I am confused about what you want. The idea of scholarship doesn’t appeal to you, because it is too ivory-tower-ish and after a warning of apocalyptic proportions your proposal is to watch more videos? What do you want Hyde? What do you propose?
        Walikum salam

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  8. @Sister Corbin
    hmmm are you scolding me ? Wow…I was just about to write that how your articles appear simple on the first glance yet have so much depth in them and that you actually have the integrity to write back and forth.
    I guess we should take the good and leave the bad…and I was giving ideas about possible blog ideas, not criticizing them.

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