Women and Shariah

22 02 2008

A very good discussion on the treatment of women under the shariah following comments by Dr Rowan Williams.

Joan Bakewell (Broadcaster) and Dr Nazreen Nawaz (Muslim activist)

Enjoy with a cup of tea 🙂

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‘If you don’t like it here… go back home’

17 02 2008

I really hate it when I get into discussion with certain people about what being a Muslim means to me… the discussion often concludes with one sentence, and more than often since Dr Rowan William’s comments. ‘If you don’t like it here, go back HOME.’ Go back home, where? I don’t have a ‘back home’. I find this kind of response annoying more than offensive because of ignorance and narrow mindedness involved, and that coming from people depicted as the most progressive and civilised people on earth. I am not shy to discuss what I believe in, and I dont’t have a problem presenting it to people as an alternative way of life, why can’t people do the same? I don’t know.

If we were to explore the idea of going back home, which unlike me, most immigrant Muslims living in the West can do so…would it solve anyones problem? Well, not really. Most Muslim countries which have abundance of resources are run by tyrant despotic rulers installed and supported by the West working to secure those resources for the West. Regimes changes only occur when the Western interests are at risk of being fulfilled, one dictator is simply replaced by another and sometimes at the cost of thousand of innocent lives such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most problems of the Muslim world, however complex, can sometimes be narrowed down to the presence of these idiot rulers and their puppet regimes working against Islam and Muslims in cahoots with the Western rulers. And when any neo Islamic party termed ‘Islamist’ comes close to power even through fair electoral process, who feels the first itch? Sometimes it seems almost impossible for Muslim world to free itself from the shackles of Imperialism/colonialism and the constant interference from the West to be able to decide its own political destiny.  So what are they suppose to do? Perhaps, it would sound reasonable to send people back home if they were going to bring back their own troops, stop interfering in their lands and allow them to live however they wish to. But that I don’t see happening, not when this hypocritical theory of ‘one law for all’ will soon be applicable to the world.

Regardless of all that, the ‘if you don’t like it here, go back home’ attitude clearly highlights the strength of ideas people hold and their views towards minorities. Muslims are accused of being emotional, ready to explode the minute their faith is questioned, but didn’t those accusers explode with emotions of anger at the speech made by Dr Rowan Williams? Is it understandable for people to react in such way? Isn’t it clear that it is not only some Muslims, but narrow-mindedness, ignorance, intolerance very much prevails in the West too?





Stuff going on

4 02 2008

There is lots going on. To start with, it was revealed on Sunday that Sadiq Khan MP for Tooting was bugged twice by the Metropolitan Police which may have shocked government ministers and members of Parliament but comes as little surprise to British Muslims who for some time have felt that they are living in a “Police State.” Sadiq Khan is a lawyer by profession and was bugged twice on his visits to Woodhill prison to discuss legal matters with his constituent Babar Ahmed.

Bugging of MP ‘ordered by Police officer’

PRESS RELEASE: Reaction by Family to Police Bugging of MP’s Visit.


Egypt-Gaza border is being sealed again causing confusion, havoc and casualties on both sides. Palestinian shot dead after Egypt-Gaza border sealed

On the issue of Iraq, a very good article discussing facts and trends on the ground. – The State of the (Iraq) union.

Divorce Sharia Style was a documentary shown on Ch4 last Sunday. The documentary centered around the London based Islamic Sharia Council and the kind of challenges it faces in being officially recognized. Aside from that, it also highlighted lack of understanding of shariah rules by Muslims showing exactly how stupid and naive some Muslims living in Britain can be! A more lengthy discussion on this can be found at Sumera’s Inner Reflections Transcribed.

In the blog sphere, Shahrzad and Unique Muslimah are working on a brand new blog project called: Empowered Muslim Youth. Please take a look and support their project by giving your input.

I have also been reading Dr Marranci‘s rather interesting blog: Islam, Muslims and an Anthropologist.

Oh and Pakistani Spectator was kind enough to send me bunch of interview questions which they have now published on their site. I must admit I knew nothing about this excellent blog until I’d seen it.. and what can I say? If you like to know anything about Pakistan, its people, culture and particularly Political analysis… it’s the one stop blog for all.





Breakup of the Middle-East

2 02 2008

The breakup of the Middle-East and most of the Muslim world is the most talked about subject these days. I found this articles at the Atlantic.com which discusses Iraq and the future map of what is known as the Muslim world.

A report from the new Middle East—and a glimpse of its possible future

by Jeffrey Goldberg

After Iraq
Not long ago, in a decrepit prison in Iraqi Kurdistan, a senior interrogator with the Kurdish intelligence service decided, for my entertainment and edification, to introduce me to an al-Qaeda terrorist named Omar. “This one is crazy,” the interrogator said. “Don’t get close, or he’ll bite you.”

Omar was a Sunni Arab from a village outside Mosul; he was a short and weedy man, roughly 30 years old, who radiated a pure animal anger. He was also a relentless jabberer; he did not shut up from the moment we were introduced. I met him in an unventilated interrogation room that smelled of bleach and paint. He was handcuffed, and he cursed steadily, making appalling accusations about the sexual practices of the interrogator’s mother. He cursed the Kurds, in general, as pig-eaters, blasphemers, and American lackeys. As Omar ranted, the interrogator smiled. “I told you the Arabs don’t like the Kurds,” he said. I’ve known the interrogator for a while, and this is his perpetual theme: close proximity to Arabs has sabotaged Kurdish happiness.

Read the rest





Gaza – Fence that fell…

31 01 2008

You don’t feel safe anywhere in the Gaza Strip. It’s dangerous everywhere; Israeli helicopters and F-16s overhead all the time.

The hardest thing is going in the streets of Gaza to find body parts scattered everywhere. So many people have been killed here over the past few days.

We are living under occupation. I’ve been applying to Israel to go to the West Bank – which is part of my country – and I’m not allowed.

MOHAMMED OMER, 23, RAFAH, GAZA STRIP

The Kaa’ba (Qibla) has an over whelming spiritual aspect attached to it, for a Muslim, there is no place more sacred than the holy lands situated in Arabia. Every year millions of Muslims gather and circumambulate (tawaaf) around the holy Kaa’ba or Qibla during the month of Dhul Hijjah and all year around for the ‘Umrah. The Muslims turn towards the same marvelous Qiblah five times a day when performing their daily salah, decorating their living rooms and places of trade with pictures of it, on walls, in miniature design, on calenders, on prayer mats, and the whole of Muslim cola market has thrived upon its name.

But what does the marvelous Ka’ba, its spiritual or historical significance have anything to do with the giant concentration camp which Gaza has been turned into? Consider this:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is quoted to have said, when beholding Ka`ba: “How sanctified you are to Allah, however, the blood of a Muslim is more sanctified to Allah than thee!”

The noble Ka’ba symbolises a deep rooted concept, a concept far beyond the psychological and emotional spiritual aspect we long to feel in its presence. Despite the unceasing dictum, most Muslims including myself have not been able to truly conceptualise what the bond of unity based upon a common view of life (Islam) means. I attempted at experiencing this unity and being over whelmed by it rather than the spiritual aspect which comes from being around the ka’ba. ‘It is only made of stones, you will circumumbulate this one and throw stones at the other ones in Jamaraat’, I said to myself during hajj. The spiritual aspect which comes from witnessing thousands of people of different colour, race, height, size… gave me the ‘buzz’, the same kind of buzz experienced by the dancing dervishes which they interpret to be spiritual elevation, though there is no similarity between the two. But the persistent question remains: Is Muslim unity a fanciful concept? an emotional weak bond? or something real and perceivable?

An-Nu`maan Ibn Basheer, may Allah be pleased with him, quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him as saying: “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind to themselves, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body aches then the whole body shares the pain with sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

This body as described by the Prophet of Islam (saw) exists today as we witness the Muslims stand in solidarity across the Muslim world with their brethren in Gaza. Despite the brutal clampdown by the despotic Egyption regime, the Muslims gathered at the Tahrir Sq chanting, “Gaza residents, we are with you night and day”. Muslims also gathered in Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Mauritania to call their rulers to aid the Muslims of Gaza and to end their links with the Zionist State.

GAZA (CNN) — There is something almost indescribably exhilarating about suddenly evaporating borders, an almost palpable electricity that pulses through the air.
It was breathtaking to watch as tens of thousands of people poured over what once was a towering Israeli-built iron wall, a seemingly insurmountable barrier between Gaza and the world, now a walkway through which Palestinians strolled into Egypt.

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, there were no borders and no walls across much of what is now the Middle East. You could travel from Baghdad to Jerusalem to Cairo to Tunis without a question asked. Then came the era of the nation state, when Arabs became Egyptian or Iraqi or Tunisian.

But the depth of desire for unity, for freedom of movement in the Arab world remains profound. And you only need cross a border in this region to understand why.  Source

Contemplating upon some of these realities makes me wonder that ‘artificial borders disuniting the Muslims’ theory may not be so far-fetched after all. The moment of unity shared by the two nations separated by an artificial border which once never existed, however brief, it looks incredible. The CNN video shows the barrier being physically removed liberating and uniting the people… imagine if this was to occur throughout the Muslim world.





Going Hajj…

7 12 2007

Assalam Alaikum wrtwbrkt Dear Readers.

Alhamdulilahi Rabil ‘Alameen, a short while ago we have received confirmation from our agent that everything is in order and we will be flying tomorrow to blessed place for the blessed journey. I am so overwhelmed right now as our agent could not confirm our flights in time and we almost accepted we weren’t going. All praise be to my Rabb, everything has fallen in place as we set off tomorrow.

It is my request to anyone reading this to please make Du’a that we are able to complete it and that our Rabb (swt) accepts our actions during Hajj.. insh’Allah. Also to forgive me for any wrongdoings, mistakes and shortcomings. And finally if anyone has any special du’a please let me know as I will write them all down later. Subhan’Allah the last time I went Hajj was 6 years ago, seeing the Ka’ba for the first time right in front of me was amazing experience, my legs were shaking and I had forgotten to make all the dua, insha’Allah I will do better this time 🙂

Please make Du’a for me.

Shukran

“And proclaim (openly announce) to the whole of humankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (in order to perform Hajj).” [Al Hajj; 22:27]





Dark Stars of Islam

2 12 2007

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said, “The scholars on earth are like the stars in the sky. People are guided by them in the darkness of the land and the sea. If the stars are covered, people would get lost.” [Ahmad]

The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) tells us of the important role the scholars play in guiding the Ummah and championing its cause. The position of a Mufti is a position of great responsibility, dignity and authority. Those who achieve such a position are endowed with such knowledge and wisdom that the very fate and progression of the Ummah may rest on their shoulders. The entire Islamic world including its leader looks to such men with awe and respect and the words of such a man have the weight to change the progress of history. Or at least that’s how it used to be.

The grand Mufti of Egypt, Mufti Ali Gomaa’, one of the highest religious authorities of Sunni Islam is found to be almost opposite of what his title stands for. But not only him, those at al-Azhar and those running the shariah based judiciary in places like Sudan and Saudi Arabia have proven themselves to be incompetent time and time again. Far from being stars in the Sky guiding the Muslims, at a time when division and fragmentation pervade the Muslims, they have only added to the darkness by their feckless counterproductive fataawa. Take for example:

Egypt’s top Muslim scholar has defended himself against criticism for a series of controversial fatwas he has issued.

With tears in his eyes, Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Gomaa told reporters his religious edicts were never influenced by pressure from the authorities.

Fierce criticism followed his recent ruling that speeding drivers cannot be condemned for killing people who deliberately stand in their way.

It became public days after just such a case involving a police car. 

and

A committee of scholars at al-Azhar university, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institution, called the ruling “abhorrent” and something “even the devil himself hadn’t thought of”. Source

this man from al-Azhar solved the segregation issue at work by issuing a fatwa allowing women to breadfeed thier male colleagues 😮

Dr Izzat Atiya of Egypt’s al-Azhar University said it offered a way around segregation of the sexes at work.

His fatwa stated the act would make the man symbolically related to the woman and preclude any sexual relations.  Source

And last but not least

Turkish Muslims will be allowed to pray only three times a day from Wednesday instead of the usual five – without fear of committing a sin.

A member of the scientific council of Istanbul University, Muhammad Nour Dughan, has issued a controversial fatwa or religious edict cutting Islamic prayer requirements from five to three times a day.  Source

There are many more examples of such blatant ‘juristic’ errors which are often shown to discredit the Shariah.  Anyone with eyes to see can discern the irresponsible attitude of Muslim scholars throughout the world, who have turned Islam and its powerful infallable Shariah into an academic experiement. The scholars are to be blamed for the problems of the ummah, I know there are some good scholars, but they are also to be blamed for not taking government appointed feckless Muftis to task. The stars in the sky, as described by the Prophet (saw) are desperately needed now to show us how to live by Islam and the Shariah without having to reform or alter it.

Imam Ali (ra) is reported to have said, “Two types of people I cannot tolerate are – a scholar who is shameless and an ignorant worshiper. The ignorant worshipper fools the people with his worship and the scholar with his shamelessness.”

see also: End of Ulema