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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Muslim woman denied flat in Mumbai

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

A Merry Christmas?

As-Salamu alaykum. I have a lot of non-Muslim friends, and on Christmas day I greet them or give them a Christmas card. To get to the point, I just try to represent Islam as a peaceful religion and Muslims as kind and caring people. So, can Muslims give their non-Muslim friends Christmas cards just to be nice and show kindness as a Muslim? Or am I doing something wrong?

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

French Muslims anxious after attack leads to miscarriage

muslim_women_france

Two years after France passed its so-called “anti-burqa law”, the nation’s Muslim community is rallying around a woman who was beaten by fascists so severely that she suffered a miscarriage. Her attackers tried to pull off her head covering, but it was only a commonplace hejab, and not a banned burqa or niquab. It follows another incident, in the same Parisian suburb, where French police resorted to using tear gas after a group of sympathizers tried to stop a burqa-wearing woman from getting arrested.

Some Muslims at her press conference sharply criticized the French media for using unsubstantiated anonymous sources which cast doubt on the victim’s story. They also asked why the victim herself had not interviewed by any French press. Press TV, however, interviewed the victim shortly after the attack. They also asked why the French coverage was skewed towards the sensational aspects of the crime, instead of relating them to the larger issues of repeated attacks and why they continue to take place.

French politicians have condemned the incident, but many say it’s just empty talk. One Muslim activist covered a baby doll with blood to illustrate the real-life consequences of the state’s repeated failure to protect Muslim women from ethnic violence.

There’s little doubt that fascist groups are rising in popularity. The far-right National Front recently topped the Socialists in a first-round by-election to replace a disgraced Socialist cabinet member. Besides widespread perceptions of corruption, voters said that at least the extreme right is providing an alternative to the poverty-inducing economic austerity of the two mainstream parties.

Many demonstrators say that it’s difficult to imagine that French politicians couldn’t foresee that the anti-burqa law could empower some right-wingers to become violent vigilantes. Many French Muslims insist that, in order to prevent more violence against women, the government should take the radical step of repealing the anti-burqa law.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Muslim Womens Rights in Islam

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

In Search of the Beautiful Body

Niqab3

There seems no limit nowadays to the extent that women (and men) are prepared to go to in order to achieve that ‘perfect look’. Forget false eyelashes and wigs, we are now talking scalpels, implants and liposuction!!

Cosmetic surgery amongst film actor/actresses has been common place for quite some time now, but these days, it wouldnt be too hard pressed to find ordinary women on the street who are more plastic than real! Indeed, in some circles, having multiple facelifts has become a status symbol: the more you have, the higher you are in the status rankings.

If questioned whether cosmetic surgery was Islamically correct or not, then without doubt, most Muslims would instinctively respond by saying that it isnt, for the simple reason that it would be interfering with Allaahs creation. And certainly, this would be the correct response.

The Companion, Ibn Masood, radiAllaahu anhu, once said (quoting what he had heard the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, say): “Allaah has cursed the tattooers and those who have themselves tattooed, and those women who have their teeth filed for beauty and those who have their [facial] hair plucked and thus alter Allaah’s creation.” A woman remarked, “What’s all this?” So Ibn Mas’ood – radiAllaahu anhu – said: “Should I not curse one whom Allaahs Messenger cursed? And it is in the Book of Allaah!” She said: “I have read the Quraan from cover to cover, but I did not find that in it.” He replied: “If you had read it thoroughly you would have found it.

Allaah says, ‘Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it and whatever he has forbidden, retrain from it’” [Sooratul-Hashr (59):7]. 1

So the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, forbade women from performing these three practices which the women commonly did for the sake of beauty in those days – seemingly ‘insignificant’ practices for which they would incur the CURSE of Allaah. And this forbiddence isnt just restricted to the procedures mentioned in the hadeeth.

Because Allaah says in more general terms in His Book: “So set your face truly to the faith, Allaahs handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind, [Let there be] no change in the creation of Allaah.” 2 [Soorah ar-Room (30):30].

Therefore, it is obligatory for us to accept the creation of Allaah as it is, not making any alterations to it.3

More importantly though, it is also obligatory or us to believe that all of Allaahs creation is beautiful, because Allaah, the Khaaliq (Creator) does not create anything except with beauty and perfection, which is why He says to mankind: “You can see no fault in the creation of ar-Rahmaan [the Most Merciful]. Then look again: can you see any rifts? Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.” [Soorah al-Mulk (67):3].

This may all sound quite strange when we consider how often we hear women complaining about their appearance. In fact, it is estimated that over half of the Western women today actually perceive themselves to be ugly. In addition, surveys show that nearly all women feel under pressure to “look good”.

As a result, the quest for beauty has become a serious preoccupation for many women. Open up any womens magazine and you will not fail to find a single one which doesnt contain tips on how to “look good”, or which dont contain huge adverts promoting new creams that halt the aging process or concealers to hide wrinkles, etc.

Beauty today is big business. Beauty contests are very profitable and – contrary to popular belief – more are spawned every year. The cosmetics market is a multi-billion dollar industry; the demand for cosmetic surgery is growing at a tremendous rate. All three industries promote the same notions o beauty that women everywhere are expected to meet: mainly a white, European, “Barbie-doll” like standard. The pressures on women to conform to these standards are enormous and few are able to withstand them.4

The fact is that Western women today may complain that they are not treated with equality and respect, but it is they themselves who have made it acceptable for society worldwide to see women merely as beauty-objects who are there to be ogled by the men who in turn are the (im)polite voyeurs. When viewed in this light, we find that beauty contests are not too dissimilar to reality itself: just as the tallest, slimmest blonde girl gets the title in the beauty contest, in the real world its the tallest, slimmest blonde girl who gets the man!

In Islaam, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, beauty is in the whole of creation, because Allaah – the One free of all imperfections – is the one responsible for it.

And as Allaah says: “Your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses: no choice have they. SubhaanAllaah! And far removed is He from the partners they ascribe [to Him].” [Soorah al-Qasas (28):68].

So it is from the wisdom of Allaah that He has chosen to create some of us short, others tall, some fat, some thin, some dark-coloured, some light – all are beautiful and perfect in their own right. That is why we are taught from the Sunnah, the beautiful duaa (supplication) that the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, would say: “O Allaah, as You have made my appearance beautiful, likewise make my character beautiful.” (Allaahumma kamaa hassanta khalaqee fa hassin khuluqee). 5

As Muslims, we must believe that evil and imperfection cannot be attributed to Allaah. 6

The desire to change any aspect of ourselves means, in effect, that we are dissatisfied with Allaahs choice and His handiwork, and that there is imperfection in what He has created. Thus to say about ourselves or anyone else that we or they are ugly is a great sin.

This point was reinforced by the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, when he once saw the Companion, Amr ibn Fulaan al-Ansaaree, radiAllaahu anhu, whose izaar (lower garment) was hanging low (to the ground), so he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, ordered that he raise it. Amr made an excuse saying that he had skinny shins (i.e. he was embarrassed to show them), so the Prophet responded by saying: “O Amr! Verily Allaah – the Mighty and the Majestic – has created everything in the best form.” 7

All this is certainly not intended to discourage women to look after themselves and adorn themselves in lawful ways (e.g. wearing nice clothes, having nicely done hair, etc.). Indeed, adorning oneself is something that the wives are obliged to do for their husbands and Allaah rewards the woman who pleases the husband when he looks at her. 8

But with these tremendous pressures on women to conform to the ideals set by the marketing media, it may be hard for Muslim women to resist feeling insecure or uncomfortable about their appearance. Consequently, many Muslim women have shed their hijaabs for the sake of following fashion; Muslim women too develop inferiority complexes about themselves.

We must bear in mind that this search for the ‘body beautiful’ is, in reality, a deception from Shaitaan. Shaitaan has vowed that he will create such false desires in mankind.

He has said (as stated in the Quraan): “Surely I will arouse in them [mankind] false desires; and certainly I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah.” [Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):119].

May Allaah always keep us safe from the false promises of Shaitaan, for Verily He is the One who guides to the Truth.
——————————————————————————–

Notes
1. Reported by Ibn Masood and collected in Saheeh Muslim (English trans, vo1. 3, p.1166, no.5301). This incident is a good illustration of the status which the Sunnah held in front of the Companions.

2. Note that this forbiddence applies to the whole of creation, not just human beings. Therefore, defacing any part of Allaah’s creation is haraam. By extension, this ruling also applies to all forms of genetic engineering, which are carried out on farm animals, for example, in order to procure more profitable meat from them.


3. This is with the exception of those things which have been prescribed in the Shareeah, e.g. clipping the nails, shaving the underarms and around the private parts, etc.


4. In fact, some women go to such extremes that it results in them developing health problems – anorexia nervosa – for instance. The carcinogenic nature of breast implants are also well documented now. No doubt, the future will reveal more harmful effects of these artificial means of changing creation.


5. One hadeeth which contains this supplication mentions that this duaa should be recited on looking in the mirror. However, the chain (isnaad) of this hadeeth is not authentic. But it is authentically reported as a supplication to be recited at any time. (See Ibn Taimiyyah’s al-Kalimat-Tayyib with al-Albaanee’s footnotes.)


6. For an explanation of this important aspect of belief, please refer to The Prophet’s Prayer Described (p.15).


7. Saheeh – collected in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (vo1.4, p.200).


8. See Musnad Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee and others. Also, it is forbidden for the husband to invoke ugliness upon the wife – as was a common practice amongst the pre-Islamic Arabs.

source: originally appeared in Ad-dawah ilallah magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3.

 

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Church Forces Girl to Apologize After Being Raped :: News

Tina-Anderson

We have often heard about horror stories from Saudia Arabia where a woman is raped and along with her attacker is accused of committing fornication and then flogged or at least sentenced to be flogged. Some might think that this sort of thing could never happen anywhere else, but something equally egregious occurred here in the USA.

A Christian church found out that one of its parishioner raped a fellow parishioner twice, impregnating her. What did they do? They sheltered the rapist, made him apologize for raping the girl and made the girl apologize for becoming pregnant.

Police: Girl raped, then relocated

After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.

While her pastor, Chuck Phelps, reported the alleged rape in 1997 to state youth officials, Concord police detectives were never able to find the victim. The victim said she was sent to another church member’s home in Colorado, where she was home-schooled and not allowed to have contact with others her age. It wasn’t until this past February that the victim, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, realizing for the first time it wasn’t her fault that she had been raped, she told the police.

The police arrested Ernest Willis, 51, of Gilford, last week in connection with the case, accusing him of raping the girl twice – once in the back seat of a car he was teaching her to drive in and again after showing up at her Concord home while her parents were away. He was charged with four felonies – two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor, court records show.

In a statement to the police, the victim said Willis came to her home in the summer of 1997 without warning.

“He said he wanted to talk to me about something so I let him in the house,” she wrote. “He locked the door behind him and pushed me over to the couch. I had a dress on and he pulled it off. I pushed my hands against his shoulders and said ‘No,’ but he didn’t stop.”

At the time of the alleged rape, Phelps was in touch with the police, who told him to contact the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

But moving the girl out of state prevented the police from collecting evidence or a statement, the police said yesterday.

“Without a victim, it makes it very difficult to have a case,” said Lt. Keith Mitchell. “That basically made the investigation very difficult.”

At the time, Willis also refused to give a statement, police records show.

So for 13 years, a file on the case sat closed and marked “unresolved” at the Concord police station.

Police records do not show whether detectives asked church leaders to help them get in contact with the victim or if information was withheld.

“If somebody tried to cover this up or not cover this up, that’s a separate issue,” Mitchell said.

Phelps did not return a message seeking comment yesterday. He no longer works at the church.

“The leadership of Trinity Baptist Church reported this alleged crime within 24 hours of hearing the accusations on Oct. 8, 1997,” said spokesman Peter Flint from a prepared statement. “We continue in our commitment to cooperate with authorities so that justice is served.”

‘Completely in shock’

The victim said she came forward after getting in touch with Jocelyn Zichterman, who runs an online group for victims of church abuse.

In a seven-page statement to the police, the victim recounted the moments leading up to her departure from New Hampshire.

At 14, she began babysitting for Willis, a well-known member of the church. She told the police she would often stay the night if he got home late.

Just over a year later, he offered to give her driving lessons. While in the parking lot of a Concord business, Willis asked her to pull over to switch seats, she told the police.

But instead he pulled her into the backseat and raped her, according to a statement to the police.

In the summer of 1997, Willis raped her again, this time while at her home while her mother was out, according to police records.

“I was completely in shock, but too scared to go and tell anyone because I thought I would get blamed for what happened,” she said.

Over the next few months, the girl became suspicious she was pregnant. She called Willis, who brought over a pregnancy test that came up positive, she told the police.

“He asked me if I wanted him to take me to a neighboring state where underage abortions were legal . . . and he would pay for an abortion,” she told the police. “He then asked me if I wanted him to punch me in the stomach as hard as he could because that might cause a miscarriage.”

She declined both.

‘Church discipline’

The victim told her mother about the pregnancy. Soon after, Phelps was also alerted.

The victim said Phelps told her she would be put up for “church discipline,” where parishioners go before the congregation to apologize for their sins.

She asked why. “Pastor Phelps then said that (Willis) may have been 99 percent responsible, but I needed to confess my 1 percent guilt in the situation,” the victim told the police.

“He told me that I should be happy that I didn’t live in Old Testament times because I would have been stoned.”

Fran Earle, the church’s former clerk, witnessed the punishment session.

At a night meeting of the church’s fellowship in 1997, Phelps invited Willis to the front of the room. Willis apologized to the group for not being faithful to his wife, Earle said.

“I can remember saying to my husband, I don’t understand it’s any of our business why this is being brought up,” Earle said.

Phelps then told parishioners a second matter was at hand; he invited the victim to apologize for getting pregnant.

“I can still see the little girl standing up there with this smile on her face trying to get through this,” Earle said.

A day after the session, Earle called the pastor’s wife, who said the victim had decided not to press charges for statutory rape.

“You’ve got to understand, we trusted our pastor and his wife to be telling us the truth,” Earle said. “They told us it had been reported. He reported it as a consensual act between a man and a woman. Well, I didn’t know a 15-year-old was a woman.”

Earle, who left the church in 2001 after 19 years, said it was regular to see young girls who were pregnant called to the front of the congregation to be humiliated.

Rob Sims, another former member, said the discipline sessions were formulaic – Phelps would read Bible verses, give a limited overview of what happened and then each person would read a statement.

“(The) statement agreed that they had done wrong and why they ‘now believed’ that they had sinned,” he said. “Then Pastor Phelps would give a few closing remarks and then a vote would be taken to remove the guilty party from membership or to keep them in membership but under discipline, or something to that effect.”

The police said the victim’s family asked for her to be moved to Colorado.

“I think that she clearly did not want to go to Colorado, and I’m quite sure she expressed that to the church, her mother and the pastor,” said Concord police Detective Chris DeAngelis. “However, she was a juvenile. Her mom requests assistance and that was what they came up with.”

Mitchell said the police are looking at pressing other charges.

Willis was released on $100,000 personal recognizance bail. He faces an arraignment June 16 in Concord District Court.

Trent Spiner can be reached at 369-3306 or tspiner@cmonitor.com


IN HOW MANY NEWS YOU SAW THIS STORY ?

WHAT IF SHE WAS MUSLIM  ?

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