one slice muslim. one slice 'merican. and all that comes between.
Corbin is a freelance writer (and sometimes a public speaker) who pontificates on topics both Islamic and cultural in markets both foreign and domestic. She is a defender of the Oxford comma's place in the English language; she holds a degree in sarcasm and literary debauchery; she has spent the last 18 years studying Islam, its people, said peoples' cultures, and the past 15 years contemplating her position in this often complex entanglement of belief and practice.
The topic I want to tackle today is about women leading the Islamic prayer. The title gave it away, didn’t it? This topic, as all things confusing and provocative, is brought to us by the letter “F” and Facebook.
My talented and super busy social media manager shared a post on islamwich’s fb page about a woman leading the prayer at a masjid (mosque) in Copenhagen. The title was “The Future of Islam is Women”. Perhaps it is.
And as you can imagine, there were many who decided that they have the authority to declare who is going to hell. So much fun! Now my social media manager is experiencing a downward spiral in her faith and needs counseling because of all the harshness that was spewed over this post.
Should women run masajid (mosques)?
My thinking on this “scandle” is that yes, women mustbe running masajid. There must be at least one woman on every masjid board. Period. Why? Because this is the example of the Prophet (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad sought advice from women often. Women in his community had a voice, a vote.
Women must be on every board of every masjid and hold offices higher than that because we are half of the community. We are more than half of society. We are moral agents just like men. And if we want our community and society to function properly, women must be included. We must sit at the table.
Islamification (a verbal noun) is a word made up by the far-right conspiracy theorists and Islamic vilification factory which means that Islam—not actual Islam, but the myth invented by Islamophobes themselves—is taking over a region.
It happened when self-proclaimed terrorism expert, Steve Emerson, falsely claimed on Fox News that “a number of Muslim no-go zones existed in areas of the U.S., England, France, and other western countries. […] ‘Sharia law’ essentially overrode the laws of the countries in which said zones were located, and local police avoided interceding in the affected areas.” The term “Islamification” took off.
But is there any truth behind the claim? Absolutely.Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent forThe Telegraphwrites, “Islam is the only religion growing faster than the world’s population.” A major area of growth: The West.
But this growth, this “Islamification,” has looked so little like the Fox “News” fever dream that it tries to sell to the American public. The spread of Islam has not come with tribunals or the oppression of women or the abuse of other faiths. It has come instead with education, modesty, finance, and -not surprisingly- big appetites.
Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.
Pork! Bacon! Ham! Ribs! Pickled Pigs Feet! Oh, the promiscuity of pork! It will be anything you want it to be for a price.
I wrote about the pork topic when I posted myCandy Conundrumand the delicious solution (halal peeps recipe for the peep-o-phile). But now I feel as if it is time to talk turkey. Not really. If you will allow me, I would like to explore the position pork plays in the psyche of the Muslim.
On the one hand pork is nasty:
1. Allah tells us not to eat the meat of swine in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. It is unclean. Do you think a rule like this was just a suggestion? Or maybe there is a reason behind it …
2. An animal’s flesh is a composite of what it eats. Pigs eat their own feces, as well as the dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.
3. The Center for Disease Control states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs.
4. Many of these toxins that other animals expel through urine remain in the pigs’ system to be stored in their tissue i.e. Urine in the meat that you eat.
5. Trichinellosis or trichinosis: an infection that humans get from eating under cooked or uncooked pork that contains the larvae of the trichinella worm. This worm has been known to hatch in the brain of the consumer i.e. worms in your brain!
6. Pigs are also primary carriers of:
Taenia solium tapeworm
Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome)
7. Eating pork can lead to gallstones, hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol
8. Pigs are biologically similar to humans, and their meat is said to taste similar to human flesh. (Who is tasting human flesh to know this IDK, but am worried!)
On the other hand, I think people are way too focused on pork.
1. Avoidance of pork is not a prerequisite of faith.
Does eating pork negate your Islam? Does it make you not a Muslim? No.
Did Allah say to believe in His oneness, the Day of Resurrection, His Prophets, the angels, and that eating pork is nasty? Then did Allah say to establish the prayer and don’t forget to not eat pork? No & No. No y No. Non et Non. La wa La.
2. Pork free is not dawah (invitation to Islam)
Many times I have overheard someone answering questions about what Islam is by saying that Muslims don’t eat pork. Well … we are also not supposed to eat cats or cockroaches, but I don’t think it is an appropriate topic for an introduction to what Islam is.
3. Pork prohibition does not a Muslim make.
This is kind of like the inverse operation of number one above … maybe, if I knew what an inverse operation is (j/j i do).
Pork free is not a part of belief, nor is it the only directive in Islam. Why are we so hyper focused on such a small detail? While many Muslims will go around drinking and hooking up, they still revile the idea that somewhere … out there … a pig exists!
Sure your belief is what makes you Muslim, and action are also important. But following the no pork edict is not the only action that makes you a Muslim. If you aren’t eating pork and also not praying I have a sneaking suspicion that the later action negates the former.
If your entire religious identity revolves around the avoidance of one type of meat, I recommend therapy. And can I also recommend a rigorous reading routine that includes more that the regular no pork propaganda?
4. The pigs mere existence is not haram.
People are so ridiculous about the avoidance of pork that they act like even the existence of a pig is haram (unlawful). While I was teaching a second grade class at an Islamic school, I hung up a poster that trailed around the room.
The poster was the typical a-z learning tool that included examples of what things start with each letter. It just so happened that the poster I purchased for the classroom portrayed a pig as something that starts with the letter “p”. Which is true and can be useful in learning that “P” sounds like “pah” in “pig”.
The kids and some of the parents flipped out. Pigs are haram!!!!, they proclaimed as if I were unaware.
In no way was I advocating that they should eat the pig in the poster. He didn’t even look that appetizing, but still there was much ado about nothing. I didn’t take the P for Pig down and we stared at his forbidden flesh all year. (The kids also threw a fit about my left-handedness. Such is the heavy handed way of those who know little but have great zeal.)
What do you think?
Is there some kind of conspiracy theory that pigs and their meat will cause some cataclysmic event? Did I miss that on Fox news? It is possible considering all the diseases that pigs carry and spread to us. But is it necessary to act this way when all your kid wants is a piglet stuffed animal from the Winnie the Pooh franchise?
Most recipes from my home land of New Orleans include pork (or alcohol). It is a sad reality that I have to face everyday. I thought about organizing a marathon to raise awareness of this travesty, but no one I know wants to run or even walk.
Alas, I have dried my tears and become a creative cook because I refuse to let a little pork get in the way of destroying the traditional dishes of my people.
One of my favorite home town dishes is jambalaya (JUM-bah-LIE-yah). It is a twist on Spanish paella with French and Caribbean spices.
Test kitchen-ed and written by Theresa Corbin
In jambalaya, andouille (ANN-do-ee) sausage usually features in the recipe. And if not that spicy, pork sausage, then some other form of ham is mixed in. But it shouldn’t be a big surprise to know that you can just leave the pork products out and !viola! you have a halal jambalaya recipe.
It really is that easy. And you really don’t miss it. You can add any other kind of meat that you want. I added chicken, but shrimp, crab, beef sausage, or all of the above, work just as well.
I thought it would be interesting to write about how we can know that Quran is truly from God and that in fact God exists.
God does not expect us to take any old charlatan who calls himself a prophet at his word. So, Allah has sent each prophet with miracles. Examples abound.
For Moses (peace be upon him-PBUH), one miracle was the parting of the seas. For Jesus (PBUH), bringing the dead back to life and many more. And for Muhammad (PBUH), among other miracle, the biggest was the Quran itself. And we can see the miraculous nature in the way scientific facts, discovered only recently, were explained 1400 + years ago.
Some people claim all kinds of weird and extrapolated scientific and mathematical miracles in the Quran. These folks are kinda zealous and get excited about looking for things that may or may not be there. As the saying goes, if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.
Some claim that scientific topics in the Quran are prediction of later discoveries. Not really predictions of discoveries. This is a human-centric explanation. It is really Allah telling us how He created the world and all its intricate and amazing patterns. It is only that man came to know the processes of creation.
And then some say they don’t believe in God because they believe in Science. This is perhaps an attitude of a lot of ex-Christians who refuse to believe in the Church sponsored view of science that is closer to science fiction.
I don’t blame them.
The evidence to disprove Christian “science” is mounting.
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:
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’spinterest page if you want more examples of what I mean. Modesty doesn’t mean giving up style. I was very happy to discover that.
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.
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.