Religious Manipulation in One Word: Fitna

Written by Theresa Corbin and originally posted on

You are fitna!  If you’re a Muslim woman, it’s likely that you have heard this a thousand times. You might have even been convinced that your own existence is somehow bad or the cause of evil or misguidance (which is essentially what fitna means).

“Women are Fitna” has unfortunately turned into a blanket statement and a kind of religious manipulation to keep women from participating in, well, pretty much everything including their own lives.


Much of what Muslim women face in terms of oppression is because many misunderstand the meaning of one particular adîth (a saying of the Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]):

I have not left behind me any fitna more harmful to men than women. (Bukhâri)

And this misinterpretation plays out in very real and destructive ways in Muslim women’s lives.

Fitna in Driving?

Maha Salman recalls a trip to her husband’s country, where she was unaware of cultural standards. She ended up feeling traumatized after being told she had caused fitna. Salman says, “While I was visiting with my family, I needed to get something out of the car.

I put on my outer garments, grabbed the keys, and went to the parking garage. As I approached the car with car keys in hand, one of the [morality police] started running toward me yelling fitna and something else in Arabic that I didn’t understand.”

While disallowing women to drive is seen in few countries, it is still based on the “religious” assumption that women driving, in their particular local context, will lead to fitna, or a door to sin, in many ways.  Yet we know that in the Prophet’s time his wives rode camels, the modern equivalent to driving. The Prophet œ said:

The best women among the camel riders are the righteous women of the Quraysh. (Bukhâri)

Fitna in the Mosque?

Read more

What European Ideals Took from Muslim Women

What European Ideals Took from Muslim Women

This video must be watched by all, Muslims and non-Muslims.

This video is for all those non-Muslims who think Islam oppresses women.

This video is for the feminist, Muslim and non-Muslim. 

This video is for all of those Muslim men who think women are housemaids.

This video is for all those Muslim women who need to claim their rights and their religion.

Tamara Gray: American Muslim convert. Yes, it is 39 + minutes, but I have included a run-down of what you need to watch:

@ 2:35 – Declaration of Sentiments signed in 1848: The beginning of Feminism

@ 3:50 – Muslim Women in pre-colonial period benefited from Islam. Women had political, social, economic, educational, and religious power.

@7:15 – When Europeans began to rule Muslim lands, The European attitudes toward women as property and servants to men infiltrated Muslim societies. 

 @ 9:20 – In the face of deterioration of the rights of woman, Feminism took root. But became synonymous with anti-Islam or the non-religious woman.

@ 12:00 – Islam does indeed deal with the issue of the feminist movement.

@ 12:30 – Islam does not need Western Feminism, but Muslims could use a jolt of Western Feminism.

@ 13:50 – Striping colonialism from our thinking, getting back to women’s right in Islam is the only cure. Women at the time of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings Upon Him- PBUH) did not sit back and wait to be asked to participate. Women were integral in public, political, economic, civil, and educational roles AND were paid equally for it.

@ 17:00 – Hijab was/and is the ultimate way for women to be recognized as powerful and as someone who is to be respected.

@ 25:00 – What Muslim men are doing wrong according to Islam. A bit of retribution.

@ 27:00 – Men have a share in work at home. The Prophet would work at home, not help, but work.  Housework is NOT the Islamic duty of a woman.

@ 30:00 – Support, encouragement, and celebration of women’s accomplishments is the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). 

liberation through education

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