Adeel Ahmed - "Muslim Men Can Be Feminists"
Living in local pagan society in the 7th century Arab world, the Prophet Muhammad was seen as a feminist. Women were given little to no rights. It was custom to bury unwanted female newborns. Women were property of their husbands and they weren’t allowed to vote. The Prophet Muhammand preached and advocated against these actions.
I finally figured out why I couldn’t post this video yesterday. So, Voila! Here it is:
This video is great. Sooper accessible, easy to understand and 13 minutes long. The only criticism is the last bit he says about Egypt. I think he meant to say that “Egypt, birthplace to one of the longest, continuous cultures the world has ever known is now the largest Islamic Country in the world.” Not Arab. Egyptians are very clear on this, they are not Arabs, they are Egyptians. Two totally different races. Then again, I could be wrong.
I’ve seen so much bigoted propaganda lately, I wanted to share.
I have seen two videos this week that I am thrilled to pass along to you. The first is an illustrated part of a lecture on Surah Al Ikhlas, explaining the word Ahad. Remember when viewing this video, the word Allah = God. Allah is the Arabic word for God.
The second, well…I can’t get the link to work right now. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Earlier this week, I posted Spiritually Religious, a blog post wherein I talked about my difficulty in finding a place where I felt comfortable to worship. This morning, this question was posted in the comments.
These comments particularly interest me because I’d always thought you were a devout Christian who felt dedicated to furthering your husband’s faith and who had made a promise to raise your children predominantly Muslim. I have only read you for the past year or two so maybe I missed something. I have been curious about how your Christian faith fit with Islam because it seemed to me that your dedication to Islam went above and beyond keeping your promise to your family. I would never ask this of someone in normal conversation, but since your blog focuses intensely on faith, is it OK to ask for some background? Why can’t you pray to Jesus? Has something changed for you, do you feel that you should not, or is that how it always was? Do you find Christian faith merging with Islamic faith or have you always felt that the two share more than they don’t?
I am not critical at all in asking–just curious, in part because I have a very hybrid faith myself; and I spent several years going to church but always ran up against a difficulty with worshiping Jesus.
Regardless of whether you want to answer my forward questions (and thank you for receiving them), your present state of being sounds good, deep, and wonderful, and I think many people in many faiths have a similar state of prayerfulness as their goal. (as asked by L.)
Back in December of 2010, I wrote a lot about my decision to sign on with having our children raised in a Muslim home. Even before I knew how much Islam and Christianity really are similar. I wrote about my vision for my children to have a solid center, a home base that not only consisted of a loving home foundation, but a strong religious foundation. How I came from a home where the extent of our religious stronghold was to believe in God, believe that Jesus (the son of God) died for our sins, and to always try our best to be good people so we would go to heaven.
Sometime during my religious journey, before I met Khaled, when I had a difficult time, I would go to the church where I felt most comfortable, and I would sit in the pews and pray. Much like you see people doing on TV. I would sit and stare at the cross and eventually I would start talking. Now I know this might seem childish to some, me sitting there picturing Jesus and talking to him. But Jesus wasn’t the guy on the cross, he was my friend. I would talk to him, just like he was sitting next to me. Hours would pass, people would check in on me, and when I came out, I felt more at peace. I was better able to make decisions.
When my Grandmother died, I had a big fight with my friend Jesus. We didn’t talk for quite a while. I would visit my Grandmother often and talk to her and rail at Jesus. I was soo pissed at him. Why didn’t he do something? I stopped getting answers. How could he take her away from us when we weren’t ready? Silence. Then I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need Jesus to intervene between me and God. I didn’t need a middle man. I wanted answers and I would go OVER HIS HEAD. So I did.
I started talking directly to God.
I started talking to the head honcho, and I never stopped. My friend Jesus is still there, but he is not quite so important in my life anymore since I don’t need middle management any longer. He is just one of the many, like Moses, David and Noah.
About 7 years ago I started going to meetings to learn more about Islam. I was told that the meetings were for American women who married Muslim men and who wanted to know more about the religion. I always went with the intent that I was there to learn, so that I would better understand my husband, his religion and the religion of my children. I wanted to learn more so that I could be a better partner and a better parent. I’m not interested in converting. If it happens that God speaks to me and calls me to Islam, making all of the issues that I have with the stuff of Islam OK, I’m not opposed. I’m just not convinced that there is any ONE right way to talk to God. I think they all work, it just depends on what you are comfortable with. God meets you where you are.
Sometimes it would be nice to have a place to go where people pray like I do. I know I’m not the only one.
I am at the part of my religious journey where I no longer feel comfortable praying in any established environment. I cannot pray in church, because I cannot pray to Jesus. I pray to God. I cannot pray in a mosque, because I cannot pray the way Muslims pray. It feels wrong.
So, I pray when I’m driving. I pray when I’m doing yard work. I pray when I’m cooking. I pray while I’m sewing or making jewelry. I pray in the shower. I pray when I’m holding my child close. I pray when I watch them sleep. I feel like a being who is constantly in prayer.
I looked upon every Cross, in every church,
yet He was not there.
I went to the temples of India
and the shrines of China
yet He was not there.
I searched the mountains of Herat and Candalar
yet He was not there.
I scaled the distant peak of Mount Qaf
only to find
the empty nest of the Phoenix.
I visited the Ka’be
but He was not in that tourist site
amidst the pilgrims young and old.
I read the books of Avicenna
but His wisdom went beyond all the words.
I went to the highest court,
within the distance of “two-bow lengths,”
yet He was not there.
Then I looked within my own heart
and there I found Him-
He was nowhere else.
I was cruising around on Twitter the other day, reading random tweets, and I came across an app called ‘Arabic Word of the Day.’
Out comes the phone.
Search: ‘Arabic word of the day’
Sweet! I DL it. Then I get Pea and Kate’s devices. Not available on Fox’s kindle. :-/
Day 1: Bitter; mour.
Day 2: Big; kabeer.
Day 2.5: Little; sarir. (Who can learn big without little?)
Day 3: Some guy’s name. Osama. (This is a little janky because who doesn’t know the name Osama?)
Day 3.5: I asked husband what was the opposite of mour – he says helwa. Sweet.
Each day now, we review and then learn the new word. My people know 4 new words in Arabic they didn’t know last weekend. They make fun of my Arabish (arabic/english mashup.) I don’t care because when they correct my pronunciation they are remembering the correct way to say the word. This is a WIN in my book.
Last week I subbed in a pre-kindergarten room at the Islamic School. Like most pre-kindergarten programs, at about 1:00, it was time for nap. We also refer to it as down time, quiet time or resting. The usual protocol in the classroom during rest time is to play Quran for the hour. I usually use Quran Explorer since this is the website I’m most familiar with. So, last week while I was sitting at the desk doing paperwork and listening to The Quran, I noticed a prayer times widget for my computer. Our prayer clock is difficult to set and is usually off time, so when I came home that day I pulled up the website and installed the widget on my computer.
I don’t usually keep the sound turned up on my computer, but I had it on earlier in the day to listen to music and it was still on later that day when the sound came for Asr prayer. It surprised my people, they were intrigued. Then they immediately went to pray. Khaled liked it so much, he downloaded it on his own computer. His computer’s clock is 30 seconds faster than mine, so his Athan sounds 30 seconds before mine. If you’ve ever been overseas, you will recognize this as the Athan coming from every Mosque in a 15 mile radius from your window. To us, it sounds a little like Cairo.