Women and the Quran

  • The Quran is not an inherently patriarchal text. Because Muslim societies have historically been highly misogynist, patriarchy has been read into the Quran. The Quran has been interpreted with prejudices against women since the those interpretations focus on the male as norm without substantial support or evidence. The Quran needs to be constantly reinterpreted depending on the context it is being applied in, so that it can maintain universality. The overall message of the Quran emphasises justice and egalitarianism.
  • According to the Quran, men and women are created equal, but have different functions and roles in society. This is because the Quran recognizes differences in gender; however, it does not advocate essentialist roles. Furthermore, the Quran recognizes the cultural differences between men and women’s work, but does place any judgements on them.
  • Creation:
    1. The creation of humans is not expressed in terms of gender. The Quran does not state that Adam was created first; the language is generic. Similarly it does not state that Eve was the second person since the Arabic equivalent is ‘spouse.’ Therefore, it could be male or female.
    2. Humans were created as caretakers for Earth, not heaven.
    3. Unlike the Biblical account of creation, Eve is not blamed for disobeying Allah.
    4. At creation, male and female were not defined. The only thing that is stated is that women bear children due to biology. Men and women are seen as equal partners.
  • Paradise:
    1. Descriptions of Paradise were meant to appeal to the patriarchs of Arabia in order to encourage them to join the religion. The early verses (Makkah) do indeed promise huris, who are beautiful virgins, as rewards in heaven.
    2. However the later verses (after migration to Madina) switch to the generic and state that everyone will be rewarded with companionship.
    3. The real and true purposes of paradise are peace, transcendence from Earth, and most importantly, Allah’s company. This is possible for both genders.
  • Veiling:
    1. Veiling is not prescribed for all women in the Quran. It was advocated for Prophet Muhammad’s wives.
    2. Modesty is urged for both men and women.
  • Inheritance:
    1. The Quran ensures women inherit equitably and gives women the right to property.
    2. The ‘one third the share of the males for the females’ formula is a suggestion, not a prescription.
  • Divorce:
    1. Men have the right to vocally divorce women. Women can not initiate divorce without an arbitrator.
    2. Emphasis is on equitable reconciliation or separation.
    3. A couple can only divorce each other twice (thus limiting constant remarriage).
  • The Quran banned practices that have severe ramifications for women such as female infanticide, the sexual abuse of female slaves, denying women property and inheritance. It also restricted others such as polygamy.
  • The Quranic verse on polygamy restricts the number of wives a man can have to four. However, one condition for polygamy is equal treatment, and many argue that since this is not possible, polygamy is not realistically possible.
  • While women’s responsibility is child bearing, men’s responsibility is to provide economic stability. Although women are identified as child bearers, nurturing is not assumed to be essentialist to mothers.
  • The Quran does not emphasise men as more ‘natural’ or ‘capable’ rulers. Bilquis, the Queen of Sheba, is the only ruler who is talked about favourably.
  • Although no women are identified as prophets in the Quran (again, in terms of context, it would have been almost impossible for a female to succeed in highly patriarchal societies), many are talked about. Additionally, some are identified as having received wahy or divine revelation, such as Mary and Moses’ mother.
Most of the information used for this presentation came from two main sources:
  1. Amina Wadud. Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective
  2. Asma Barlas. “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an

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93 thoughts on “Women and the Quran

  1. I have been trying to follow the burqa debate amongst Pakistanis on Twitter. I would appreciate it if you can expand on your views regarding the banning of burqa in France!

    • I wrote a small personal view on it for CHUP. I’ll put up the full version when I get time. For the moment, all I can say is that although I acknowledge that this will be exploited by the persecution complex lobby as Islamphobic, and it may lead to further radicalisation, I personally am for bans on symbols of patriarchy.

  2. that’s pretty cool nabs. i’d be curious to hear more on these sources but its interesting to see a different perspective.

    • Daanish I remember talking to you about this in Canada, years ago, where I started doing this research. In fact, I did a presentation in Toronto, but you weren’t there.

      Both these books are worth a read. Wadud can definitely be found in York University’s library if you still have access to it as an alumnus. Otherwise I’m sure you can get these at Toronto Women’s Book Store or they can be ordered from there. Reading Fatima Mernissi is also quite important in order to understand reform Muslim feminism.

  3. I despise the word “reform” when characterizing feminism of Muslim woman. Until the advent of Wahabism, did we really see such high frequency in abuses of woman rights in Muslim countries? One only needs to dig slightly into the history to know that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave rights to woman and slaves that were inconceivable in his age. Islam needs to be revived, not reformed.

      • Nabiha, I fully agree with you on re-interpretation of various concepts in Islam, as I also believe that it is needed. As regards the above comment on past and future, one mustn’t forget that present is the continuation of past and present leads us to the future.

        The reason I agree with you on re-interpretation is not just on the subject of women rights and gender superiority but, being a corporate banker I have always insisted that the concept of interest needs to be redefined as it is always confused with “Riba” or, Usury. Whereas, some Islamic Scholars call it “Faida” or profit and consider it as halal.

        The only problem is, those scholars who disagree with the concept of interest and call it haram are not aware of all the complex banking products. They say, buying and selling of commodities is halal whereas, buying and selling of currencies is haram. They have no knowledge about how it is traded in the money-market. It is a very lengthy subject and I do not wish to discuss it at this forum. However, rather whenever and if at all you raise this subject in any of your blogs please remember to invite me.

        Javed Ali Khan
        Montreal, Canada
        badnoc@hotmail.com

  4. I am curious – why does an empowered woman like yourself find the need to justify these verses. Why cant you purge them from your version of the Quran or do you believe that because it is supposedly revealed, you have to accept it in its entirety. I would suggest that you treat the quran as the work of an eminent thinker or thinkers and accept what is palatable for this time and age. I do this with my religion as well – you must know that all organised religion is anti-woman.

  5. intellectual points concerning your article
    1. Angels were ordered to prostrate in front of Adam, not in front of Eve.this strongly implies that Adam was created first. having said that, creation of either as first does not imply supremacy of that gender.
    2.polygamy is very difficult, but not impossible.
    3. genetic science does tell gender of child at time of inception. it depends upon type of chromosome.
    4. veil is prescribed for all women. the format is subject to interpretation. the prophet’s wives are role models for muslim women.
    5. since men are physically stronger than women ,they are more able rulers than women.but you are right in citing example of queen Bilquis. but even she acknoledged Hazrat Sulaiman as wiser than her.

    i read your blog in dawn. your writing seems much better than rest of other people over there. continue to research and hopefully you will produce more quality stuff

  6. Following are the examples on re-interpretation.

    I hope you’ll pay attention to the following few verses translated by some well known Islamic Scholars as well as by an Astrophysicist.

    The Qura’an is full of descriptions which corresponds to them and following is the English translation of the Surah Noor:

    “God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The likeness of His light is a niche wherein is a lamp, the lamp in a glass, the glass as if it were a glittering star, kindled from a blessed tree, an olive which is neither of the East nor the West whose oil would practically shine even if no fire touched it. Light upon light. God guides to His light whomever He will” (24:35) Sura Noor
    .
    Whereas, the same verse has been translated in a more scientific and meaningful manner by a Muslim Astrophysicist who is not a man but, a woman Ayesha Abdur Rahman Al Tarjumana. She is a very good friend of my sister and I have met her in person, she gave me her signed book and I am quoting below the explanation or Tafseer if one may like to call it:

    “The oil must be the photons which do not divide into particle/anti-particle (East/West). When two electrons come near each other, one of them gives off a photon which is absorbed by the other electron. The two electrons have not touched, but the unit of electromagnetic energy is produced. Fire has not touched it. The interconnectedness of the reactions in the electromagnetic field is described by the picture of the lamp in the niche and the lamp in the glass.”

    There are also some oaths at the beginning of some of the earlier verses in the Qura’an which seem to give a ravishing description of the activity of the subatomic world. This is, of course only one of the many levels which exist in every verse of the Qura’an).

    Pay attention to the following verses I am quoting below and see how the scientific meaning is derived from it and how it helped some of the scientists who have acknowledged it as a great break-through in the development of science and technology:

    “By the scatters scattering, by those carrying a heavy burden, by those running and flowing easily, by those who subdivide a matter” (ref. 51)

    Surely one aspect of these verses is the description of the subatomic world. First, we have the particles scattering and meeting and the cascade of collision, and decay which arises as cosmic rays and other particles hit the earth’s atmosphere. This is true of high-energy collisions, and it is also true of the photo-electric effect when the photons of ultra-violet light knock electrons out of metal surfaces.

    “Those carrying a heavy burden” are the nuclear particles with their incredible mass. Almost the entire mass of the atom is condensed in the nucleus and it is fantastically dense. The photons run easily being light, and high energy particles subdivide others. Amazing isn’t it?

    The Qura’an further says:

    “By the released ones in succession, then raging violently, and those who scatter in open propagation, and by those who split into parts, and by those casting a reminder in excuse or warning.” (Qura’an 77)

    Again we have a picture of the activity of the sub-atomic world. Particles released in strong nuclear interactions have tremendous energy. Particles scatter in open propagation as they form their cascade of increasing secondary particles, and some of them split up. Once again, amazing isn’t it?

    AND AGAIN: “By those who extract completely, by those who move briskly, by those who swim along and float, by those who go ahead suddenly, by those who manage an affair”. (Qura’an 79)

    So we have a whole range of the types of interacting forces. Furthermore, it speaks of ‘heavens with all its tracks’ (Qura’an 51) This is like the picture of the activity of the patterns of behavior in the interaction of these particles. All we see are their tracks, their traces, their effects.

  7. Pingback: { Brown Pundits } » Women in the Holy Quran

  8. Salams Nabiha,

    Good post, although I’d just like to say this for now:

    Hijab is prescriped for all women. It specifically says in the Qur’an, “Tell the believing women to lower their gaze, guide their private parts and not to display their beauty except what is apparent…” Further, what about all those Hadiths that talk about Hijab?

    Also, when it comes to inheritence, it IS a prescription, not a suggestion. The Qur’an is a book of guidance for all mankind, it tells us how we should live our lives according to the commandments of Allah. The reason that women have 1/2 the share of men is because they inherit another share from their husbands.

    Anyway, new reader and I like the blog 🙂

    • Afrah, the title of this post if women & Quran- not hadith. Secondly, you quoted a verse which doesn’t state, at all, that hijab is compulsory. That verse is about modesty. In fact, you won’t find it stated there clearly at all.

      As for inheritance, that may be the practise, but there is nothing sinful about parents wanting to give their children equal inheritance if they so choose.

      • Most parents do give equal share, like mine did during their life time i.e., my sisters got equal share as us brothers. And I am very happy that they got an equal share. It is called “Hiba” or gift. According to Shariat, Hiba must be executed during their (parents, unles or whoever) life time and Hiba is not inheritance. If it is left behind in writing like a will, Islamic jurisprudence does not accept it and demands the Shariat law in which the girl does not get equal share.

        Only the civil courts accept a notarized and registered will and execute it according to the will made by the testator.

  9. Arfah

    I disagree with the notion that it is specifically mentioned in the Quran that Hijab is prescribed for all women. You may check once again in the Quran, or ask any Alim (not the orthodox type)the Quran does not specify that women should wear Hijab and/or Veil.

    The words lower your gaze is for men and women both and for women it is said to cover their bosom and do not display their body to get attention from the opposite sex. However, ALL the 4 Imams say: ‘It is not specifically mentioned in the Quran that women must wear Hijab (covering their hair) but, it is better to wear Hijab and cover their hair.’ So, all the four Imams unanimously agree that women should wear Hijab to cover their hair.

    Your point: “guide their private parts and not to display their beauty except what is apparent…” According to scholars, the face and the hands of women are very beautiful but, they are not covered.

    On inheritance; women as mothers also get 1/8th share from their children. Besides, Islam emphasize the need of respect of the highest degree from their children for their mother which is much more than it prescribes to the father. So, it would be wrong to say that the status of women in Islam is lower than that of a man.

  10. I would like to know how many of you believe in the existence of Jinns?

    Btw, Nabiha the comments numbers 11, 12 and 13 above is SPAM please delete them. I got the exact same comments from these same names on my blog. Luckily the spam filter eliminates them.

  11. Thanks for asking. 😀 As a teenager, I never believed in Jinn, bhoot, Churails whatever. When I was 18 year old in Karachi, living alone in a rented apartment – away from my parents – on numerous occasions I was encountered with some strange incidents but never knew what was that and why? For example, at night in the dark, in my bedroom a couple of times someone slapped me gently on the back of my head like, ‘yari dosti type slap’ and I opened the lights to see no one but me in the room which is locked from inside.

    Sometimes, the house keys I used to keep them on top of the table and they used to disappear and reappear exactly at the same place after a few hours. Much later, even when the landlady told me that there is a Jinn in the house who plays with her house keys and tickles her etc., I never believed her. I used to say there are NO Jinns in this world. I used to say being slapped on the back of my head was my imagination and not being able to find the keys was also my inability to focus and find them, may be I was too much tired from my studies? However, much later in my life when I had a few more experiences I tend to think about that Jinn in that house could be real? And, I also thought, why would the landlady’s keys used to disappear besides my own and why would he tickle her from the back?

    The other experiences are more intense and I will write them separately because, I don’t want this comment to be too long.

  12. During the same period i.e., when I was about 19, I made a friend in the same neighbourhood his name was Rahat and he was a very nice person, very sober, calm and composed. His older brother got married and I had attended the wedding, met her Bhabi (a very petite and a pretty girl, university graduate, also very calm and composed and used to talk in a very gentle voice) a few times. One day Rahat came to me and seemed very upset and told me in a very serious way that her Bhabi has been possessed by a Jinn. I smiled, (assuming that it could be some kinda hysteria) he said, NO… don’t smile, this is not a joke. He briefed me what happened and asked me to come home, his house was only a minute of walking distance away. I went along with him. He said, around Asar time, my bhabi took a shower and wrapped her long hair in a towel and went up on to the rooftop to dry her hair. After a while when she came down, she was yelling in a man’s voice and started to throw things like plates, glasses and cups and breaking them. Rahat and his mother came out of their rooms and were shocked. Asked her what is wrong? She yelled at them and when they came in her way to stop her, she pushed them so hard that they both fell on the ground.

    Rahat, ran to one of his uncles house nearby and his family came rushing to the scene also, some friends in the neighbourhood were standing outside their house and I remember someone said, she is possessed by a Jinn! When I entered his house and I saw her and heard her talking I could not believe my eyes and my ears that this is her soft spoken bhabi? By then some Moulvi Saab was also inside the house and was reading some verses from the Quran and I was really shocked when she stood up and pushed four men including the moulvi saab out of her room like they are kids and, each one falling on top of the other and she locked her room’s door from inside. There was a lot of ‘hungama’ over there she was yelling and cursing everyone in a man’s voice and asking everyone to go away!

    The second day, Rahat came to me again and asked me to come along with him, we both went to his house. There was a new Moulvi Saab and he seems to have some control over that so-called Jinn. He was asking questions and she was replying in a man’s voice. I remember some questions and answers, like: “Why did you possess her?” “I like her. Our Caravan was going and I saw her on the roof, she looked very pretty so I want to take her with me.” No, you cannot take her, you have to leave her here, she is married and her husband is abroad right now, so leave her alone. NO. NO. NO…..I will NOT leave her, I will take her with me. Then this Moulvi Saab started calling a name and I remember it very distinctly, he was asking IDREES BABA, IDREES BABA….. and then the girl’s face changed, her eyes which were red, furious and wide open closed for a while and the facial expressions changed the body language changed, then she said, “I am Idrees baba…” this Moulvi Saab asked her, rather asked Idress baba to help him in rescuing this girl from this “qabees jinn…. blah, blah.” The girl started reading Quranic verses like, Surah Al-Rahman and Surah Al Shams etc., in the voice of an old man and in perfect Arabic accent. I came back to my house, very confused and scared. Not scared by the Jinn but, by the condition of Rahat’s bhabi.

    To cut the long story short, Rahat told me the next day that Idrees Baba managed to convince the bad Jinn to go away by reading so many of Quranic verses that in the end he left her but, warned everyone that next time she should not be on the rooftop displaying her long hair like that.

    A few months later I met one of my uncles and narrated him this story and he said, “beta, this is all BS, don’t believe in these things, there aren’t any Jinns. And, your initial thoughts that she may have had a bout of hysteria is possible because, she is newly married and her husband lives in Muscat so, it is possible and I have heard similar stories a few times. So, don’t waste your time worrying about these things.” I told my uncle, but you know Rahat’s Bhabi is OK after that and she never ever memorized those Surahs which she was reading then and now she doesn’t remember them at all. My uncle once again told me with a “Tch” or tsk….. beta forget it. And, I shrugged it off my mind.

    In the end I am going to narrate one more experience and no more after that.

    • Thanks for such elaborate details. Very interesting stuff I will ponder over before responding properly (don’t want to make a knee-jerk response to so much food for thought). Personally, I’ve always believed we’ll find a scientific explanation for all the things we consider “supernatural” right now. However, if we can’t understand them today, most of us will still need to formulate an answer to these. I plan on keeping an open mind, but based on my opinion that we just don’t have the capacity to understand many things scientifically. I’m a big fan of quantum physics btw. There’s 11 dimension & we can only comprehend 3. Obviously there’s a lot out there, including more intelligent life IMO, which we aren’t properly aware of or even capable of understanding yet.

  13. I promise there won’t be anymore Jinn stories after this, but you have to read this one and it happened a few years ago i.e., when I was performing my Hajj. So, trust me whatever I am writing is true. And, all of the above that I have written is also true. I was a teenager then and this happened at a much more matured age and I have read in Quran that Jinns do exist. Even Shaitan is a Jinn (some people think he was a Farishta, he was NOT) and there are good Jinns and bad Jinns. I will try to be as brief as possible.

    After we performed our Tawaaf-al-Qudoom in Mecca and came out of Ahraam, we went to Jeddah to rest for 4 days before we embark upon our journey for Hajj. In Jeddah, the night we were leaving for Minah, one of the neighbours saw us (we were friends and families, total 17 getting ready to get into a small Toyota Coaster Bus) and he came to me and said, “Aap log Hajj par jaa rehay hain,…. this is one of our men his name is Abdul Qadir and if you take this poor man along, iska bhee Hajj ho jaiga and he will also help you with any of your work or chores! I said, OK, Abdul Qadir get into the bus. He was about 5-7”, small trimmed beard, brownish complexion, very average looking but, pleasant guy. He went in and sat next to the bus driver.

    At Minah he helped us in carrying our bags into the tents. It is important to describe the location of our tents. We were close to Jamarat (stoning of the shaitan) and our three tents were on the mountain side next to a supermarket. The owner of the supermarket was also the owner of our tents. It was actually a compound with 3 tents for us and 4th tent was used as a kitchen with a Tandoor outside it. There was a yard with a fence and a door so that no one from the street could come inside. The owner also made two brand new pukka toilets and showers and gave us the keys. Its a blessing to have your own toilet and shower in Minah. The street was very wide and very busy, in fact it was a two way road with a wide divider in between and there were tents on that divider. The owner gave us one of the tents for men folk to relax during the day time or to pray there. All tents were air-conditioned.

    The supermarket was like a prison, meaning it had iron bars all in the front and it was locked from inside, customers used to give money first and ask for eggs, milk, banana, pepsi whatever and there were about 8-10 workers inside and they bring your stuff in a plastic back and handover it to you with change and receipt. To reach to the supermarket from the street, you need to climb 10 steps and all the steps were very wide so, at one time there were at least 80-90 people standing in front of the supermarket all the time. I thought it was extremely inconvenient but, that is the way they control the crowd otherwise there would be mayhem and chaos. I argued with the owner that it is very harsh of him to make this arrangement as it will take at least 30-40 minutes go get things. He took me to the back of the supermarket, there was a crawling door (like pet doors) he went inside and I followed him. He asked all his workers to pay attention and announced. “This is my brother, he will come and take whatever he wants, don’t ask him any question, let him take whatever he wants to take.” He then turned to me and asked, “Happy? Now, you are a banker so keep a record of all the items you will take, and you are on Hajj so you will not cheat, I trust you.” He went away and I was quite content with the arrangement.

    The Jinn … you must be wondering where is the Jinn? Here he comes….. 😀 One hot afternoon around 2 p.m., after Zohar prayers, two of my friends Manzar (a Chartered Accountant) and Tahir (a senior banker) and I were lying in the tent which was on the street divider. On both sides there were cars zooming past, buses, people, lotsa, lotsa, noise and in front on the mountain side was the supermarket with those huge 10 steps where you will see 80-90 people perpetually standing there. Manzar said, “Javed Sahab, despite this AC it is too hot, could you please get us some Namkeen Lassi?” I said, NO WAY, I am not going out of this tent. He asked me a few times knowing that only I have access to go from the rear and be back in no time. I still said NO to him. Then he jokingly said, “Accha you call your friend Abdul Qadir and tell him to bring Namkeen Lassi.” Just to counter him, I yelled, “ABDUL QADIR” and before my voice disappeared, Abdul Qadir was inside the tent, saying: JEE SAHAB. I said, yaar teen Namkeen Lassi lao please. He said, Jee Sahab and we continued talking whatever we were talking before and in about 30 seconds Abdul Qadir was back with 3 packets of Namkeen Lassi (buttermilk) gave us and went out. I realized that he was back very soon and did not even ask for any cash. Manzar also asked the same thing to me but, we didn’t pay much attention.

    I dunno where Abdul Qadir used to sleep at night (may be in the same tent where we used to relax during the day) I never saw him lying or sitting (other than in the bus) and whenever in the crowd I thought of him he was over my shoulder. But, that never really made me think of anything.

    It was the last day at Minah, around 4 p.m., Manzar once again started nagging and teasing me, “Javed Sahab yaar Chai pilao.” I said, there is no Chai in the supermarket. He said, call your friend Abdul Qadir. Again I did the same, I yelled ABDUL QADIR, CHAI LAO !!!!!! And once again before my voice disappeared in thin air, Abdul Qadir was inside the tent and this time, he had a big copper kettle in his right hand and 3 mugs hanging in the fingers of his left hand. And, he was smiling…… not just smiling but, I could see his 32C ……. He gave one mug to Manzar and started pouring tea in his mug and I could see Manzar’s hands were shaking and his face was down, he was not looking at Abdul Qadir……. Abdul Qadir gave the rest of us tea and asked me, Saab Aur Kuch tou nai Chaiyeh? I shook my head with a NO and the moment he left the tent. Manzar started to scream, he kept the mug on the floor and was yelling, yae JINN hai, yae JINN hai and he was shivering and trembling. Tahir was stunned and I was also taken aback but, I started laughing to ease the tense situation and I said, yaar you guys are really Durr Phonk (coward) he is just a guy! They argued, then how come he came in within the fraction of a second of your calling him with a kettle and 3 mugs in his hand? And, how come he was so prepared with tea kettle in his hand and, where did he get that tea from? There is no restaurant around here? And, who would give him a kettle? Also, how come he got that Namkeen Lassi so fast?

    Once again I called ABDUL QADIR and he came inside the tent just like that and I said, “how much was the money for the Namkeen Lassi? I need to pay you for that, he said, “Saab wo sab theek hai, ho gaya, ho gaya aap fikr mat kero!” And he went out, I never saw Abdul Qadir after that because, for the return journey to Jeddah the next morning my family and I took a taxi instead of waiting for the bus as others with us wanted to spend the day and go to Haram Shareef one more time.

  14. Jinns do exist as mentioned in the Quran
    But man is the wisest of all creations and he is considered to be “Ashraf ul Makhluqaat”
    The powers granted to man have not been fully explored as yet. Latest research tells us that approximately 90% of human brain is yet to be understood. In the near future teleportation, invisibility, and control of human mind will be achieved due to scientific research (properties associated with jinns).
    Thousands of jinns were subordinate to Hazrat Sulaiman (Pbuh).
    We should acknowledge their presence but should not get over awed by their abilities as it is us who are THE BEST OF ALL CREATIONS.

  15. I don’t think we have denied the concept of human beings as “Ashraf ul Maqlooqat” which is very clear in Surah Al Tin. “Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould)” and in the following ayat it has also been said: “Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low.” That is what we are when we are up against each other. Allah has given us the intellect, “Aqal-e-Saleem” but, most of us don’t use it even a fraction of it.

    We also know that in Quran the zikr of Jinns is mentioned a few times and also about thousands of Jinns were under the subordination of Hz. Sulaiman’s. As Muslims we have to have faith in Allah, His Prophet, His Book,and when we read it believe it because, we have faith in it.

    Other than faith when we talk about the existence of Jinns in today’s world it is hard to prove it. My experiences made be believe that something strange happened but, I cannot prove that those were Jinns. Even the science cannot prove many things yet we believe in it and we have faith in today’s medicine, advancement in technology etc., etc.

    If you read my above comment number 6. in which I have quoted Ayesha Abdur Rahman At Tarjuman the Astrophysicist, she has tried to make a point by saying that photons, electrons, etc., which we cannot see by naked eye could possibly be the angels and Malaiks and she did mention about this in detail in her books. Please go through them if you have time. You can Google her by her name.

  16. your comment contradicts your own blog. If you are implying that you are not oriented towards belief in supernatural entities, then what was the rhetoric in basing your blog upon Quran. It is a book which which discusses supernatural entities, was delivered by a supernatural entity (angel) via a supernatural mechanism and is a book of God (supernatural entity).
    you can stick to your guns but your own blog testifies against your concept of supernatural beliefs.

    • All I’ve said that every view will be respected on this blog as long as it’s not spiteful or hateful. Any reasonable & valid perspective is welcome and will NOT be dismissed based on anyone’s personal beliefs. If someone wants to disagree with supernatural entities, then they are free to do so.

  17. rest assured that on my behalf no offensive or foul stuff will be posted as i appreciate the fact that you allow one to express his views. Anyway, my comment is quite lucid as your previous comment has the pronoun “I”, while here you talk about everybody agreeing or disagreeing with supernatural stuff. I wont press further on this matter.
    javed ,there are numerous episodes like the one you mentioned which i have heard or sort of seen concerning unexplainable phenomena. your statement that we need to have faith in Allah, prophets, angels, and faith in Quran as a holy book resolves all arguments. But faith is difficult to prove. just like it is difficult to prove presence of angels, it is difficult to prove presence of jinns.same is the case with many concepts in science as you pointed out.
    what iam emphasizing is that these stories of jinns overawe us to such a degree that we forget our stature in the universe. We dont focus on the fact that Prophets had supernatural powers like prophet Jesus (pbuh)used to make the dead rise, prophet Moses (pbuh) had a stick which turned into a serpent when hurled on the floor, Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh)split the moon into two parts (shaq ul qamar).Hazrat Marium gave birth to Prophet Jesus without being touched by a man. These are unique and unbelievable instances which no creation even jinns can match. We shouldnt get carried away by accounts of jinns. what man has achieved on different fronts is worth applauding and still there is a lot to come.

    • Aly – In reply to your comment that there are numerous episodes (like mine) which you have heard about. There is a difference between hearsay and experiencing it first hand.

      What I wrote above are the mysterious experiences for which I don’t find any logical or scientific explanations and reasoning to conclude or to arrive at a decisive conclusion. I said, I do believe in Jinns but, I also raised my doubts about it, not about their existence but about my experiencing them. And, despite those incidents and personal experiences which I said are interesting and intriguing, I still do not focus too much on their (Jinns) existence. Because, I have a “rozgaar” to worry about.

      “Duniya nay teri yaad say baygana ker diya,
      Tujh say bhee dil faraib hain gham rozgaar kay.

      And, I do understand the status of humans that we are the best of Allah’s creations but, there are certain things which we, (most Muslims) blindly believe in the so-called miracles. One of them you have mentioned above i.e., about “Shaq ul Qamar.”

      Even in the first 3 ayats of Surah Al Qamar, it is mentioned that there is a cleft in the moon. But, the misconception among people is, they believe that our Prophet pbuh performed a miracle by raising his index finger and splitting the moon in two parts.

      As far as I know most scholars do not agree with this notion. Whereas, in some Islamic books we see they talk about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, going up to the moon and splitting it with his index finger. This is a mistake.

      Some enthusiastic Muslims even go overboard when they say that NASA has already released pictures of the moon where it is very clearly evident that the rocky belt that circumscribes it, has a crack. They also say that, the geologists concluded that this couldn’t have been possible if the moon weren’t split and resealed once in the past.

      The problem with most of us is, we are “Neem Hakeems” and “Neem Mullahs” and ourselves we don’t do any research and we only pick up research work that NASA did or when it is mentioned in some scientific or medical journal, such as Lancet or Nature, where you may have read, “life begins from water,” or, about The Theory of Big Bang. We say it is contained in the Quran, “Fatir us samawati wa’l Aradi.” Or, “We exploded the heavens and the earth.” Or, about the helix and double helix in genetics etc., and we start bragging by telling them (the western scientists) that you may have discovered it today, but it is already contained in our Holy Quran which is 1400 years old. But, what exactly are we as Muslims have done or, doing in the advancement of science, medicine and technology? Nothing, zilch, zero.

      On the splitting of the moon, the more scientific version of it is, “there could have been a “Moonquake” just like earthquake and they call it, “The fault line of the moon.” In other words, “It’s actually a fault line formed from a moonquake in the ancient past.” Scientifically nothing more can be explained beyond that.

      I know that in Sahih Bukhari references are made towards the statements made by Sahaba-e-Akram (companions of the Prophet) like, Abdullah Bin Masud and Anas Bin Malik etc., wherein they have reportedly narrated the Shaq ul Qamar miracle was performed by the Prophet.

      Even if you go by Abdullah Bin Masud’s statement which is: “During the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle the moon was split into two parts; one part remained over the mountain, and the other part went beyond the mountain.”

      Please note even in his statement there is no mention of our Prophet raising his index finger. Also, Abdullah Bin Masud is talking about a horizontal view of the moon that, one part remained over the mountain and the other went beyond the mountain. Some even say that when the Prophet raised his index finger, the moon split vertically into two and one part started to go north and the other started to travel towards the south.

      Some people even believe that one part of the moon fell on the ground. If you study the statement of Abdullah Bin Masud, it makes you think that, the lower part of the moon when viewed horizontally was behind the mountain. There is a simple answer to this, when the Sun or the Moon is setting in a mountainous area, there comes a time when we can see the top half only and the bottom half is hidden behind the mountain, isn’t it correct?

      And, it would have been easier for people to see it more clearly if they were on the top of the mountain and see whether the other half or the bottom part of the moon actually fell on the ground as some people say?

      It is not just about the moon, the whole process of creation is very complex and mysterious. So far Man has not been able to understand many aspects of it. Such as man has not been able to comprehend about gravity. He has not been able to understand his own complex brain, mind, soul etc., or even about his own existence and the purpose of existence.

      The Sufis say, the non-existence of non-existence is existence. Abstract words are often very confusing and misleading for a normal mind, hence a common man gives up and accept it as a part of our faith and start to believe in it. They say don’t question, just have faith.

      Let me reassure you once again that I also have faith in Allah, His Prophet and His Book, and I not only understand it but, I believe in it and I do practice it. It is a common notion that, ‘faith is to believe what we do not see and, the reward of this faith is what we believe.’

      I go by Nabiha’s quest where she has emphatically asked for a re-interpretation rather than going by a blind faith. Because, life is a process and everything keeps changing, so our thinking and thought process, hence it should also change our perspective about life and things in general.

      The reason why re-interpretation is needed is because, with the advancement of science, medicine and technology our knowledge is also improving everyday and now we have a different and better perspective of seeing things than those before us.

      I am not referring to the Prophet but, our ancestors whose knowledge was limited because of their limited or, restricted environment. The Prophet clearly said after the completion of the Wahee (revelation of the Quran) that his mission is over and it is for the people to understand the Quran and practice it in light of his teachings and guidance.

      We still don’t know the meaning of “Alif, Laam, Meem,” We still don’t know what is the real meaning of “Alai ha Tissa ta Ashr.” or, “Over it are Nineteen.”? One day, may be, we should be able to understand it completely! Inshallah.

  18. On the subject of women possessed by Jinns, as a 19 year old when I saw my friend’s sister-in-law who was reportedly possessed by a bad Jinn, who eventually let her go after he was persuaded by another old Jinn (Idrees Baba). When the Moulvi who was trying to communicate with the Jinns through that girl he was reciting the verses from Quran and repeatedly asking for Idrees Baba for his help confused me a lot, I was wondering, if he is really a Jinn then why is he not asking Allah for help instead of calling for Idrees baba? Reportedly, Idrees Baba was their Jinn leader.

    Twenty years later as I was reading the Tafseer on Surah Al Jinn and the related topic, I stumbled upon this passage: “According to M’ariful Quran by Mufti Muhammad Shafi: it is the jinns who increased in wickedness, human beings would seek refuge with the Jinn leader from the mischief-maker of their nation in the hope that the Jinn leader will protect them. This resulted in the Jinns believing that they are better than the humans and this led to an increase in their wickedness and arrogance. “

    There are also some very strange things that have been written about Jinns (other than the Surah Al-Jinn) not only that they are different types of Jinns (There are three types of Jinns: one which flies in the air all of the time, another which exists as snakes and dogs, and an earthbound type which resides in one place or wanders about. [Tabari and Hakim in Mishkaak al Masaabeeh vol 2 p 883])

    The strange thing is that there are Jinns who can have sexual relations with humans? Some of the scholars have denied this as impossible because of the nature and difference in species but, a few have said it is possible.

    So, there is no total agreement from the faith aspect as well. Scientifically speaking there aren’t any Jinns in this world. But, Ayesha Abdur Rahman At Tarjumana in her book “The Sub-Atomic World in Quran” has raised some questions based on her knowledge on both subjects i.e., religion as well as Astrophysics. So, for me it is a very interesting as well as a very intriguing subject. 😀

  19. Concept of Jinns is mentioned in Quran. That is sufficient for me to believe in their existence. Concept of God and angels is also mentioned in Quran and we dont need lengthy narratives to get convinced about their existence. There is no need for Reinterpretation of Quran when it comes to these issues. Reinterpretation is necessary when it comes to laws regarding human lives (like in this blog).
    Comments 11-15 clearly amplify who raised the concept of jinns, who bombarded cyber space with SUMMARISED EVENTS about them and who is obsessed with their presence to the degree that they have sexual encounters with human beings (comment 20). I dont believe in selfcontradiction for the sake of appeasement.
    Shaqul Qamar did occur and it was a miracle of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). the mode in which the miracle occurred is a non issue here as the point about superiority of humans is proved (considering other miracles).
    I dont find any line in my comments where faith of any individual is questioned so who is being assured here? but i think there is a deficiency in comprehension skills.
    SOME PEOPLE DONT CENSOR STUPIDITY (regardless of the source)
    SOME PEOPLE DONT ARGUE WITH STUPIDITY (due to paucity of time)

    P.S My knowledge about jinns is not hearsay, I recently got 3 authentic accounts from a highly reliable OCCULT source.

  20. Refreshing to see a brief comment!
    The issue of divorce definitely needs reinterpretation as there are 2 parallel modes of divorce in vogue. one school of thought considers 3 utterances as sufficient (whether there is a gap or not) while the other theory believes that utterances must have some gap. confusion arises in many cases as it is not clear whether marriage has been annuled or not.

  21. Haven’t you heard: “Small is big and, little is much?” Sometimes Obscuru fio is essential and sometimes it is better to be brief especially when dealing with a so-called ‘all-knowing, all seeing, all powerful entity who believes in solipsism.’ That brief comment must have created a short circuit and lit up a fire and you know where? Never mind that. 😀

    You see this dramatized and sensationalized triple talaaq i.e., “Talaaq, Talaaq, Talaaq” happening mostly in movies. In today’s world, in real life it doesn’t happen that frequently especially among the educated class or even to some degree among the illiterate folks too. The Triple Talaaq is also known as “Talaq-ul-Biddat” and the word ‘Biddat’ means disapproval and the Prophet s.a.s., himself never did or recommended.

    TT (triple talaaq) is banned in some Arab Countries, also in Iran, Turkey etc., but unfortunately in India and Pakistan you still find such cases but, Pakistan is a country where many strange things happen like, the Waderas marrying their daughters to Quran Shareef, only to retain family wealth and family pride. There is also Vani and Sawra among the tribals which is such a inhumane and disgraceful act, yet it happens.

    As regards gap between the first, second and third Talaaq, it is clearly spelled out in the Quran. And, generally regarded by most Ulemas as the most sensible way in dealing with relationships.

    A person can get angry and say talaaq three times and a life long relationship is over? Islam is a way of life, it is a very logical religion people have misinterpreted it and used it as an excuse to benefit themselves or, sometimes it is sheer ignorance and lack of knowledge. Some people mix culture and traditions with religion in that case, ignorance is not bliss but, a blister in the wrong spot.

    Some people say that Hz. Umar Ibne Khattab legitimized this TT as an emergency measure. This is wrong. Hz. Umar may have never over ruled the Prophet’s decision, it is against Sunnah and he would have never done anything against Sunnah. Once again this is an excuse like some people try to legitimize ‘Mut’aa.’

    Allah advises through this verses in Quran 2:227 – 233 that the husband and wife must consult with each other in a fair manner regarding their children’s future and also that of the wife’s after the divorce.

    The verse states: “If they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them.” (Quran: 2:233) There is an Arabic word for reciprocity called, “taraadaa” and for mutual (agreement) it is “tashaawar” and it is explained in detail in the above verses (in Surah Al Baqara).

    To sum up the facts, one must read this: “Wait 4 months cooling off before divorce. [2:226-227] Those who intend to divorce their wives shall wait four months (cooling off); if they change their minds and reconcile, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful. If they go through with the divorce, then GOD is Hearer, Knower.”

    لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌرَحِيمٌ

    What else is needed to know now? Isn’t it crystal clear? “Arba’ta Ash-hoorin = Four Months.”

  22. It is very weird that some super-intelligent beings believe in the mysterious world of miracles which has no scientific evidence to back up (i.e., how the moon was split?) and they have doubts and confusion in their mind about the clear cut orders of Allah about our way of life (in this context it is divorce)which is so clearly spelled out in Surah Al Baqara also, in other chapters.

    As regards Prophets having supernatural powers (comment 19) the reality is Prophet Muhammad pbuh never said that he possess any kind of supernatural powers and he has repeatedly said that he is a human being just like us and the proof is, he walked, talked, slept, ate just like us. The only difference is, as Muslims we all know and have faith that he was “The Messenger of Allah.” And, that is because Allah has chosen him to be His messenger.

    The Shaq ul Qamar did not happen by The Prophet raising his index finger (it does not say anywhere in the Quran) the splitting of the moon is mentioned but, that must be a miracle from Allah. How it happened know one knows. The biggest miracle that happened during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad pbuh is the “Nuzool” of Quran.

    I am using the word “Nuzool” here which means to descend. That is how the Quran was descended from Allah s.w.a.t., through his Angel Jibreel to Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Whereas, the word “revealed” is not the appropriate word. Some scholars say that even ‘Satanic Verses’ can be revealed. So, we must always use the word, nuzool instead of saying revealed or revelation.

    Ps.

    Sorry once again I am bombarding “your” cyberspace. I wonder what people do in cyberspace? Do they read and write or they just come here to gaze? Just like they gaze the moon and the stars! 😀

    • there is no scientific evidence for “Qum Bi iznillah” or prophet Moosa’s turning of stick into serpent. yet I believe in this stuff because scientific evidences are not required for prophecy or miracles.
      I think your comment about “lit up a fire” reveals a lot. that is an elusive target you want to achieve. you post a comment, then you post again a comment upon your own comment after sometime (Carefully go through the series of comments). reminds me of someone who laughs over a joke 24 hours after hearin it..
      seriously, now its getting pretty pedestrian. Its getting to a college or high school level and iam getting disinterested. post whatever you want,its futile to bang your head against the wall. my intent is to have a meaningful dialogue about state of islam and here someone is hell bent upon school boy antics.silence will now be my perenial response to all forms of nonsense.
      P.S there are more serious issues to discuss then trying to score cheap points by resorting to labelization.Anyway, do as you please with your cyberspace; same rights belong to me.
      take care

      • Hi guys,

        I haven’t been monitoring your thread: just approving. I’m sorry you’re feeling offended Aly. Perhaps we could all just agree to disagree & respect each other’s opinions nonetheless?

      • Aly – The best solution to your co-called problems would be, you better stop taunting at me. First you taunt at me and when you get a retort you act like a teacher’s pet, complaining, nagging and acting like a cry baby. Even on this comment of yours I can give you a befitting tais toi kinda reply but, for Nabiha’s sake, I ignore you. All I can say is: Grow up!

      • Ok everyone cool off please. And let’s stop now so that I don’t have to unapprove comment. Still haven’t read your whole debate so no clue what’s going on. When I do, I’ll have an opinion.

  23. Mr. JAVED A. KHAN

    Could you please give me a link to the book of Aisha, I’m also a Physicist and I really want to go through her interpretation. I have never been comfortable with the traditional stuff, it is always too patriarchal for me.

  24. Nabiha I want you to watch this 5 minute video, please:

    http://youtu.be/Ocn1eTDxXkQ

    I think this is not sheer ignorance but, sheer arrogance, just look at the way this Moulvi is talking about women who are our mothers, our sisters and our wives and daughters. He is calling them “Mailee Kuchailee BV-ian and Saree Galee Aurtain,” and then he is cursing the whores and prostitutes too, for he has no right to do that but, most people curse the later. But, I’ve never heard a Moulvi cursing a common woman who could be someone’s mother, sister, wife or a daughter and they are innocent and sacred for us and by that sweeping statement he made, he did not spare the wives of the Prophet s.a.s., because they were not Hoors but someone’s wife and he did not spare any.

    If I was a non-Muslim and if I have heard this moulvi talking like this, I would have never embraced Islam. Luckily, I am a born Muslim and I was taught about the basics of Islam by my Nani and Dadi. The basics about life in general more importantly about ethics, morality, culture and traditions were taught by my parents. So, I thank Allah for guiding me to the right path through my relatives and my parents.

    This moulvi is describing Jannat as a place where there is nothing else but Hoors and sex with Hoors and that too like an orgy? Some Moulvis talk about “Doodh aur Shahed Ki Nehrain,” in Jannat as if there is nothing else in Jannat? Will there be any intellectual, philosophical, spiritual discussion in Jannat and just Hoors?

    Reportedly there will be no technology only your X-ray vision eyes that can see even the bone marrow of those Hoors despite their wearing layer of 70 different clothing. Sheesh man – I am ashamed to hear this from a so-called clergy who is so lustful about Hoors that he is calling women as, Mailee Kuchailee BV-ian aur Gandi Phandi aurtain, jin per hum dil phainktay hain!

    You MUST write something about them because these are the people who are brainwashing the innocent children and, uneducated masses and the irony is people cannot even question these Moulvis because, they are programmed to remain silent and never raise any voice against the clergymen. What a shame, what a disgrace to the nation and the religion.

    • I saw it. Horrible! I totally understand your perspective. When people hear this, how can we blame them for calling us barbaric? I definitely plan on writing about this video. I’ve done research on paradise for women in Islam as well. Will take a while to put it all together again though…

  25. ” KNOW THY SELF, KNOW GOD”
    so perhaps there is a nexus between religion and solipsism (worth exploring).
    Sorry mate,but no implosion occurred. however, a fire does light up within me when i witness the mess in which i find the muslim ummah today. It is not the absence of theory which has created chaos but deliberate, poor interpretation and implementation which has messed up islam.
    You make it sound so simple but it aint. people specially deobandis divorce their wives thrice, then go to a ahle hadees scholar and get an edict in their favor since ahle hadees dont agree with three spontaneous ejections as divorce. they count it as one no matter how many a person gives in one instance. i personally know a man(used to live in my neighbourhood) who divorced his wife quite frequently in the night in a drunken state and since he is an ahlehadees , he consulted his lineage of scholars and he was told trhat no divorce has occurred since he was drunk and he had only said this in one instance. whereas if the same matter becomes subjudice, the court will rule it as divorce.
    Iam aware of the explaination provided by you in Quran but an ordinary man will follow what hes told by scholars. If everything was so hunky dory, then we wouldnt have split into 2 groups due to issue of caliphate. there is dispute between rakats of tarveeh (8 or 20), disagreement over issue of moon sighting, etc. Its a huge list and ironically it keeps on swelling.
    This is where a modern muslim stands today. Now a simple question. Considering this panoramic view, is Islam marketable? can a blank mind be convinced when we as followers have so many disagreements.Is it due to dearth of theory? Sorry but it aint a rosy picture.

  26. “Is Islam marketable?”

    If we have Moulvis like the one above in that video who is so lustful about Hoors, who appears more like a pervert and yet he is a clergyman, then the answer is “NO.” He can sell the religion to ignorant, uneducated born Muslims. But, what is the point? They are already born Muslims. But, he and many others like him are exploiting them in the name of Hoors and “Doodh aur Shahed ki Nehrain”. There is “Hoorain and Nehrain” and nothing else in Jannat? An intelligent blank mind will instantly reject it.

    But, there are many more intelligent people (Muslim scholars) in this world who are working hard to create awareness among the people and trying to make them realize that the way Islam has been interpreted by a few is not the real Islam. Some of the Quranic verses that were meant for that period of time are not applicable in this period of time. Example the ayat in Surah Al Tauba (9:05) where it is said, “slay the polytheists wherever you find them….”

    One of my neighbours, a uni graduate told me one day that he heard Qirat on TV that in Quran it is mentioned “slay the polytheists wherever you find them” and he was so adamant that “it is clear” he said. I said, OK if it is correct then go and start slaying them. If you are not slaying then you are revolting against Allah’s orders, right? He was suddenly very perplexed.

    Then I tried to explain it to him the background and the context in which the ayat got nuzool. I said, in the same ayat it is also written, “if they repent and keep the prayer established and pay the charity, leave their way free; indeed Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

    I don’t know much about Deobandis and Barelvis but, what I know is, the Quran is crystal clear about a cooling off period of 4 months in case of a divorce. Besides, RasulAllah s.a.s. himself never did that “Talaq-ul-Biddat” so it is against Sunnah also.

    I also disagree about the celebration of 12th Rabiul Awal as Prophet’s birthday. Because, neither him nor the Khulfa-e-Rashideen or, the Ashaba-e-Akram celebrated during his life time or during their reign as Khalifas. This is something new and the celebrations are getting bigger and bigger like a ritual.

    To me it appears like “The Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations.” These people (in the West) can justify it because, they only see their parents once a year. We as Muslims are supposed to remember our Prophet everyday in every prayer also, see our parents everyday and serve them.(Khidmat kerna)

    • some modern scholars are trying to produce quality stuff but generally there is a void in leadership when it comes to spiritual, intellectual and political front in the muslim world. It looks highly unlikely that the shackles of illiteracy, corruption, ethnicity and specially sectarianism will be broken by whatever token resistance is being offered in any form.
      That’s my view; nobody is bound to agree or disagree with it.Its the quality and not the quantity that matters and muslims inspite of ruling 50 odd countries are in shambles. If one realizes, muslims have suffered irrepairable damage specially due to sectarianism.
      jang sunday magazine once showed pictures of ulema conference in tehran. theme of the conference was ilm (knowledge). in one picture, ulema were sleeping. in the other, some looked distracted. none of the pictures depicted seriousness on behalf of the scholars and that was the caption of the article.
      Ironically, what we as muslims are doing. we are just interested in accumulation of wealth, cars, properties, bank balances, parties etc.Reminds me of the pied piper’s mice who just kept on walking and dancing to the tune which apparently was the sound of the KNELL.

      • There is nothing wrong in accumulation of wealth as long as it is by halal means. Hz.Usman ibn- Affan (RA)was the richest man during his time and the Prophet s.a.s. never objected to him being rich. In fact he was not only rich but, very generous and got the title of Ghani meaning rich. Hz.Usman Ghani r.a.

        Besides, if one is rich he can use his wealth in doing a good cause for the Ummah, it is all about niyyah (intentions) and it depends on how you use your wealth? Besides, wealth gives you the power. OPEC is an example, if they did not have oil money who would have cared about them?

        Islam does not say that you must become a parasite and start living in jungles and mountains (it is the Sadhu’s, Sants, Sanyasis and Bhakts who give up all the worldly belongings and go to the Himalayas and think that they are close to God. Islam emphasizes on the need of a balance between material and spiritual life.

        I don’t see any co-relation between wealth and the Pied Piper’s mice? First of all the Hamelin story is about rats and not mice, there is a difference between a rat and a mice. In a rat’s world, even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat. 🙂

        On the subject of marketing, sometime back when I was attending a Marketing & Advertising Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in which CEO’s and Presidents of various banks and financial institutions were participating, also among other guest speakers one of them was America’s former President Jimmy Carter.

        During the conference a speaker said, “Marketing is not only about products and services alone but, it is also about the glory and grace of Mankind !” Most people applauded and praised that phrase by clapping.

        When my turn came to speak, I said: First of all it is not ‘glory and grace’, rather its a disgrace and shame to mankind. That shocked almost everyone. And I continued by saying: The first sales transaction that took place was in the Garden of Eden and the first salesperson was Satan, who successfully completed the first transaction by selling Eve the fruit from the forbidden tree (Shajr-e-Mumnooa).

        So, by that analogy sales and marketing of products and services started much before the rest of the mankind was created. Had Satan not been such a good sales person, Man would have been still living in the Garden of Eden. It was said in a very lighter vein and everyone laughed and clapped and no one got offended.

        In the real world people not only hear they also see the person and his body language and understands in what sense that comment is being made? However in the virtual world, everyone tries to judge one another simply by reading the text on the blog and form opinions, and that is why I have to add smiley faces and icons to make some of the ‘wise men’ understand that I am not serious. 😀

      • Since by your admission you confess that you are not serious, so it doesnt make sense to counter your reply which has argumentative flaws (eg equating Hazrat Usman (RA) with modern wealthy men, considering jealousy and marketing as same thing etc). Once moin akhtar (may Allah bless his soul) was once asked by naeem bukhari to describe himself . he replied ” IAM A VERY SERIOUS MAN”. I personally feel that this casual, happy go lucky attitude is toxic to the development and progress of Islamic society and it is this very attitude (tafreeh) which has led muslims to the current state.
        if two people engage in a debate with one having a serious attitude and the other being casual, meaningful dialogue never occurs. Mind you, this is not a TAUNT or a PERSONAL ATTACK, so dont feel aggrieved. It is an analysis which is confirmed by your own admission.
        On the flip side, one can argue that it is the content of the text that reflects the mindset or mood of the author rather than cosmetics. no matter how much makeup is put on a face, it cannot hide the emotions within that person. artificial cosmetic steps rarely deceive the eye or the reader in matters of text.(this not a TAUNT but a FACT).
        for dialogue to continue, one has to change. the topic here is a dead serious one!

  27. I appreciate your concern Nabiha, but dumbness doesn’t affect me. Infact I dont want your blog to look like a wrestling ring and lose its theme, and that was also one reason for the pledge of silence. However, I did feel a little disappointed when the message of sanity was responded with nonsense. It is very easy to talk about conduct of clerics, post links, etc and yet ignore yourself and allow yourself to stoop so low and behave cheaply. you talk about being respectful and disagreeing politely but tolerance is considered to be a weakness specially amongst muslims (regardless of their orientation or education)and verbal abuse is considered a legitimate tactic.
    However, Its comforting to know that there are people who care about sentiments of others.
    On my part I assure you that offensive stuff wont come from my side.

  28. Yeah Nabiha please do read it and see who started it and who has been constantly attacking and then whining and cribbing like a cry baby?

    For your ref., I will sum up into points:

    1. When I asked you how many decibels your roar can create? And, mentioned about the howler monkey and blue whale, he criticized by saying ‘are we discussing acoustics here?’ And suggested us to stay on topic. (I am sure if it was his blog he would have deleted that comment)

    2. In his next comment he went off topic, so I pointed it out but, he has justifications for his every action because, he considers himself above all.

    3. Then in almost every comment of his, he started calling me with names such as, dumb, stupid, senseless, insane, nonsense, low life, cheap, getting pedestrian, school boy antics, indirectly calling me a simpleton who laughs at a joke 24 hours after hearing it. He even threatened you that he would quit your blog if you don’t listen to him, as if you and your blog are at his mercy?

    Even when he has vowed and “pledged for silence” he keeps on attacking and getting personal. I really don’t understand his pain and problem. It is true that no one can feel someone else tooth-ache. I am being very modest here. 🙂

    I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, in fact I hate people agreeing on the blogs when they simply write, “great blog,” “good article,” “excellent post” and blah, blah. Do you think as a writer you like that? I don’t. I want someone to express his honest and sincere views and argue in a decent manner rather than praising me.

    I have been chatting on-line and blogging for years and also been writing on BBC message boards where the comments are approved straightaway and hundreds of people are chatting on-line at the same time. Because I type very fast (120 wpm) I type more, unlike some who use index fingers and write a comment of 12 lines in 3 days.

    So, what is wrong in my writing comments here? If you have a limit of words or limit on comments then please do let me know. I think a blog is meant to exchange views and the more the merrier. This is contrary to the notion of someone who thinks cyberspace must be consumed with caution. Do you have a policy to disapprove posting of video links here? Even on that he raised objections.

    I can’t be a “can-juice” in expressing my views. 😀 When In response to his criticism, I wrote a one-liner, even that bothered him and he taunted at me. If you think this comment is offensive then please delete it, I won’t mind but, you have to be impartial and fair. The problem is; when I smile 🙂 most people like it but, some people get fused.

    Hujoom-e-gham meri fitrat badal nahee sakta
    Karoon mai kya, meri aadat hai muskuranay key ! 🙂

  29. Now 2 individuals are being accused
    Nothing new as far as iam concerned, same predictable stuff. so i would stick to my no response policy.
    Nabiha’s impartiality is being questioned. it is also being suggested that she is printing my comments because she feels pressurised by my ” THREAT OF BOYCOTT”.
    I have gone through virtually all of nabiha’s blogs. I dont think pressure tactics work in her case. Secondly, she is smart enough to assess the motives behind comments and she doesnt need schooling by anyone. Neither I see any pressure being applied or any pressure being absorbed.
    I dont think anything is left to say beyond this point but its been quite DISAPPOINTING.

    • Nabiha doesn’t need a teacher’s pet and neither she needs ‘yes men’ who are simply buttering instead of sticking to the point of the debate. I don’t see any substance here except for undue criticism on others and self-appeasement which is a predictable template that proclaims, “I am above all.” This is akin to narcissism.

      What Nabiha has said about the Quran, that it has been interpreted with prejudices against women, I do agree with her to a certain extent. It is not just Nabiha but many women, including my DADI used to say: “the reason Quran’s interpretation is in favour of men is because, Allah Mia is a man! Then why is he/she not Allah BIBI?” And she used to smile.

      Actually this suffix of Mia has been added by people from the sub-continent, India / Pakistan. Otherwise the Arabs always say: Allah Subhana Wa Taala.

  30. Your first para smacks off PLAGIARISM.
    You are trying to create a diversion.
    This DADI stuff is nothing but diversion.
    The funny faces are gone which at least implies now you are serious.
    I dont mind this buttering thing; but at least defend your own charge sheet.
    Isnt it disappointing that when the talk is about Islam, you pretend to be non serious but now when its about you, the humor evaporates.
    Anyway, be your own judge and satisfy your own conscience. whether its me, nabiha or anyone, at least Iam not concerned.
    But be consistent.
    I reiterate , there are no TAUNTS. its pure analysis
    and if your reply at any point in time has elements of personal attacks, i repledge i wont counter those.
    just like here, I didnt counter butter, margarine, xmen, narcissism, etc.

  31. Once again there is no substance, not even a word on the initial subject except for taunts, sarcasm and personal attacks and shunning the opposition’s view in a dictatorial manner and placing yourself above all and yet yelling in all caps, ‘this is not a taunt or, a personal attack but a fact.’ You must be writing that famous “fact book,” which is the mother of all the facts – I am dead serious here.

    Is there a crime for people in today’s world to be wealthy? The Arab Shaikhs have so much wealth and they spend it on their people not only for their personal use, but in improving, health, education, transportation, communication etc., in their country and they have also tremendously improved the facilities for the Hajees. Obviously no one can be compared with Hz Usman Ghani, that was only an example to prove that RasulAllah s.a.s. did not object to Hz Usman’s personal wealth. If you object on the concept of acquiring wealth in today’s world is not right, then you are doing “Biddet,” which means innovation. And, innovation does not mean innovation in science and technology but, in this context it means adding something new to Sunnah. You believe in Al-Hadith but not in Sunnah. The other day while presenting your views on divorce you supported your view by saying, one of the school of thoughts (of Ulema) approve “triple talaaq’ and you have ignored my comments which I have quoted from the Quran where it is clearly mentioned in Surah Al Baqara that 4 months cooling off period is required. Instead of delving deeper into the subject, you have simply deviated from the topic and tried to shun me as usual with some trivial and cheap comments.

    Iss saadgi pe kaun na marr jaae ae Khudaa
    Lartay hain aur haath mein talwaar bhi nahi

    • thank you for giving me the title of “innovator (biddati)”
      this is not the first title bestowed upon me. people call me ‘infidel, hypocrite, blind follower, friends of shia,moulvi etc”
      I thrive upon such stuff and i dont care.
      By admitting that modern wealthy muslims are different than hazrat Usman (RA), you endorse my point.
      the explaination that you provided from holy Quran regarding talaaq is pretty common knowledge. its not a matter of ignoring your view ( i dont know how come you feel i ignore you, otherwise i wouldnt have relplied)
      the issue is of interpretation and implementation. Ill try to simplify matters by presenting an honest , simple yet important question
      How many sects are mentioned in Quran? only one deen e haneef
      how many sects muslims are divided today? care to answer
      virtually everybody knows there are no sects in Islam, then why so many divisions.
      this is a question which virtually stumps every scholar.
      now by your modus operandi , simply quoting a few verses which talk about one deen e haneef should solve all problems.
      theoratically may be, practically no way.scourge of sectarianism will remain.
      this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot of stuff.
      regarding veil, i personally feel that it is compulsory. however, there are different formats (scarf, niqaab, abaaya etc)
      just search literal meaning of word “aurat” and youll understand
      once a woman was drying her hair on the roof
      a jinn found her pretty and fell in love with her
      the woman was exorcised with the promise that she wont show her hair in public (source – read comments)
      if a jinn could fall for her, then what to expect from a human?
      the woman was strictly told not to dry her hair in open ; so what else is veil?
      look at the picture of madam Bewley posted by you
      doesnt it reflect grace , piety , soberness with the way her head is covered and the attire she’s wearing
      you consider her an authority and obviously her understanding of religion is greater than yours.
      the way she has herself covered does portray concept of veil, and it looks nice.
      she could have resorted to skimpy dressing and uncovered hair but iam sure it wouldn’t have looked decent.
      thats my view, everybody is entitled to his opinion.
      BTW, i have no plans to shun you, lets see what new title youll honor me with.

  32. Nabiha

    In the blog, under the Veiling sub-heading you have mentioned that: “Veiling is not prescribed for all women in the Quran. It was advocated for Prophet Muhammad’s wives.”

    As far as I know, may be I am wrong, Veiling is not allowed in Islam, even Hijaab (the head scarf) is also not compulsory. “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested” (Quran 33:59).

    However, all the 4 known Imams Imam Shaafee, Imam Maalik, Imam Abu Abdullah Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hambal and, Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa have different opinions and there is no unanimous decision on whether Veiling is a must or not? However, Allah s.w.a.t. has said: “‘And they should draw their veils over their bosoms.’ (24:31) There is no mention of veiling or even head scarf. And, the point you have made it clear is about MODESTY and that is prescribed for both men and women.

    In other religions, we have seen the nuns wearing headgear, the orthodox Jewish women clean shave their head upon getting married and they wear a wig when they go out (which is beyond my comprehension as to why they do that? And to whom they are deceiving?) Among the Hindus, their women used to cover their head with a chaddor or with their Saree ka Pulloo and that is being observed even today among most of the Hindus especially among the upper caste Brahmins. They invariably used to have a Zanana and Mardana section just like Muslims of yesteryear and no man (workers and servents) were allowed to go into the Zanana section without announcing, so that they cover their head and bodies.

    Coming to the last point that Veiling was advocated for Prophet Muhammad’s wives. I think this verse should clear the doubts: ” O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outergarments (jilbabs) close around them; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle. Surah al-Ahzab verse 59.

    In the above Ayat, Allah s.w.a.t. is telling the Prophet how his wives and daughters and the women of the faithful should wear their outer-garments ( Jilbabs, Khimar and Abaya ) so, why he practiced what Allah s.w.a.t. has ordered and asked his wives and daughters to practice it as well, there is no mention of veiling in the Quran. Once again it seems like it is a cultural thing and a more orthodox and conservative way of practicing religion. When it is not in Quran and neither it was advocated for the wives of the Prophet and nor did he practice i.e., Sunnah, it means his wives did not wear veiling (covering the whole face), then why make these innovations?

    In fact I heard from one of the scholars that, if a woman wearing a veil goes to her friend’s house, the husband / father has a right to ask the woman to remove her veil and show her face so that he knows who is coming to meet his wife or daughter, it could be a man disguised behind a veil. It makes sense to me.

  33. PLAGIARISM ? LOL

    Perhaps I need a Kaleidoscope to see which colours I have copied? Because, the almighty and all knowing says so and I know he is never wrong. . 411 whenever I use Quranic Quotes or any quote, I place them in inverted commas, perhaps you know what inverted commas mean? And, you also need your reading glasses! I am sick of your whining, cribbing, whinging and complaining, it seems that my very presence has been a pain in the neck 4u as if I have stepped on your taly. Since my presence is making you so uncomfortable and so insignificant, I can be generous and leave you here to feel good and all powerful in your loneliness and brag about your narcissism by looking at your own image in that pond which has dried up. Good luck and good bye, Adios Gringos et., Au revoir monsieur Louis de Funes.

    Jo garaj tay hain vo barastay nahee
    Jo bhonktay hain vo kaat tay nahee

    That is your case, you have threatened so many times but, you have no place to go. But, I am leaving you here to miss me and my smiling face. 😀

    NABIHA, you have a nice blog but, I have to stop writing here for obvious reasons. BTW, somewhere on this blog, once I saw your DADI’s photo, Mashallah she appear as a very elegant and very graceful woman and reminds me of my folks in my family. Are you from Kinnaird College? If you wish to reply, you have my email address, as i won’t be coming back to this blog anymore. Thanks for letting me air my views on your blog.

  34. finally you compare me with a dog
    no problem; blog is about islam and thats how contemptuous you became
    that was the reason i refused to accept your invitation for legslip
    I knew what would have happened over there; it was an instinctive thing .
    anyway javed good luck to you and lets hope things will improve as far as muslims are concerned
    nabiha, thanks for your hospitality and on my part i am sorry for any inconvenience caused by me to you.
    it may sound weird, but i was also going to discontinue with this blog.
    thanks for allowing me to express my views.
    lets see if our paths cross again in cyber space.
    future is full of wonder and excitement.

  35. nice post but one thing missing, that verse(2:282) which is falsely being used to prove that women<men in islam. even though that verse says in plain words that 2 women's testimony is equal to 1 man's ONLY in matters related to finance, cause in that time, women were not educated in business, etc.

  36. @javaria
    >that 2 women’s testimony is equal to 1 man’s ONLY in matters related to finance, cause in that time, women were not educated in business, etc.

    really?? i had no idea about that. quite interesting. i thought that was because women were more emotional than men, which i’ve actually heard some women agreeing to.

  37. the story about jinn is so interesting…thanks to the one who shared it with us…as i live in saudi arabia , i work here. thanks for sharing.

  38. As i read through the post, it became such a disappointing read.
    Roar ! what roar ? All i hear is the sorry hum of apologetic whispers.
    The only recourse is irrationality when we try to reconcile Islam and feminism and that you had to have ( you never had a chance), but in all the effort, the roar you promised turned into a rather humdrum exercise–such sophomoronic sopor.
    And that doesn’t make me a chauvinist. I actually believe in women, but phrase “islamic feminism” makes me laugh.
    Hush Hush I am a feminist muslim, hush hush, i lie to myself all day long 🙂

  39. Hayen!
    What personal attack ? I commented at the naivete of your post, not how you sharpen your fangs before condemning us heathens to eternal damnation.
    And I am not in PAA. Was , for a day or two as someone added me in the group and impossible as it sounds, I still am not facebook savvy.
    I was hardly anonymous. I left my email id which is my name i believe and my blog address. I am taking pains to explain that because I really take issue with you labeling me “anonymous” troll. Troll, i maybe, but I was not anonymous. And I still fail to see the indecency that irks you in my comment. I said so and will say it again. The post is an apologetic murmur, a weak attempt at reconciling two things which are irreconcilable and almost put me to sleep, in complete opposition to “watch me roar” persona you portray. Your responses to comments on the other hand show a perfect “watch me bite” mentality.

    And when did I expect a nice response? I would be an idiot to call you irrational and expect rationality from you now, wouldn’t I ?
    A critique is hard to take. I get that. But just because it was criticism doesn’t make it personal or not-nice. If anything, feminism should have taught you to take one on the chin and came back at me strongly, instead of whining, or maybe we read different Bouviers.

    We could have had a debate in another life. But i have become too weary over the years to do that with religious people. We could have had different opinions and still had respect for each other, not for each other’s views btw, but that is something you seem incapable of doing so. I may be wrong here, but bite me once more and I would stay away. I am beyond salvation and you seem to be beyond reason 🙂 Again, two irreconcilable worlds.

    • It IS a personal attack because you made all sorts of assumptions such as the fact that I agree with it. It shows bias on your part because it is a purely informative piece where I have not stated my opinion. The post doesn’t even attempt to reconcile Islam & feminism- it shows how it can be done by those who want to. You also assume I’m religious which again shows bias on your part. You are making that assumption based one ONE blog post. Totally idiotic especially since it’s not true.

      And really, you think a pen name isn’t the same as anonymous?

      Give a decent, rational critique and I’ll debate you. Frankly just like religious nuts who refuse to tolerate other views, militant atheists are just as intolerant & incapable of having a decent discussion. Always linear & filled with fallacies.

      • Ok lets start with polygamy first. Equal treatment or not, why does Quran allow men to have four wives in the first place and not vice verse. Whatever the conditions imposed on men to make it difficult, women cannot under any conditions have multiple spouses or sexual partners, right ?

        Please enlighten me, I fail to see the equal treatment here. Or am I missing something ?

        P.S
        I may be a bit intolerant, yes but linear with fallacies, now that is some insult.
        If i had to chose fallacies, religion was such a warm soothing place for me
        Also, debating in the comment section will not accomplish anything. It would hardly be a debate, but fearing another label coming from you, I guess we’ll have to make do.

      • I really don’t care about why it allows what. I think that if reform Islam wants to be compatible with feminism & human rights, they will have to do with polygamy. I’m not going to get into historical analysis here. Lots of people have written about it.

  40. So you do concede Quran is patriarchal ?
    Regardless of what you think about the future compatibility, Islam in its current state is patriarchal and anti feminist then. And since Quran is actually immutable and the basal source of Sharia, that isn’t going to change.

    I am sorry, i actually don’t know what to debate about now 🙂 You are essentially echoing me, and rebutting your own post above.

    And btw, my email does appear when you see the comment, right? I was never anonymous.

      • My mistake. I thought you quoted what you actually thought was true. If it wasn’t, there was never a need for debate anyway.

        My issues with islam actually started because of my issues with misogyny, and though its hard to believe, I was a feminist first and that is what started the doubt in the first place. Its not about faith, but about feminism, I tend to get intolerant about and in hindsight, I should have actually stayed away and read other posts before commenting solely on this one.
        i hope you do understand what bothered me about the post btw.

      • As a feminist, I DO understand why its easy to get riled up. If you read my views on feminism, you’ll see I keep religion out of it. Women’s rights belong to the secular realm.

  41. May I write here? Let me get something out of the way here. I am a feminist and, as per my definition, feminism is the struggle for equality, no more, no less. I am going to disagree here, respectfully, but given that I don’t believe in any religion, you may find it slightly disturbing. Please bear with me.

    Paradise: God can do anything. There was no need to make the Quran less than perfect by addressing only men in the beginning so as to make the religion succeed in a patriarchal society. If God wills, the minds of men can accept anything, even the most radical notions as equality between men and women tends to be.

    Divorce: Well, that’s pretty unequal treatment right there. I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate.

    Banning of certain inhumane treatments of women: I hope you don’t expect women to be grateful that practices which should not have been happening in the first place were banned in a book that is for all of humanity and for all eternity.

    Btw, you might want to look into female slavery, as well as slavery in general, a bit more. There are a lot of Quranic verses on it. Without going in to detail, may I please express my dissatisfaction with the mention of slaves throughout the Quran? Yes, you will find the argument that slavery could not be demolished altogether at that time but, again, we are talked god here. There is nothing He can’t do if he so chooses.

    Veiling: You will find a lot of people saying that Muslim women should aspire to be like the prophet’s wives. But the notion I disagree with is that the prophet’s wives had to cover up as they did in the first place. Again, the onus was on the women to veil themselves rather than for everyone else to learn how to be respectful and courteous regardless of whether the women were veiled or not.

    Inheritance: Again, you’ll find most people disagreeing that it is a suggestion because the Quran is the word of Allah. However, even if I do entertain the notion that it is a mere suggestion, I disagree with the suggestion. People are still being told how they should act and what they are being told is that women should inherit less than men. A suggestion, especially one based on the word of god, does not make it any less dangerous.

    Now, a lot of people say that this is so because women inherit from their husbands and children as well. But remember, my goal here is equality. Equality would mean that men and women inherit the same proportion from their parents and children and from each other. Besides, and do correct me if I’m wrong, you receive an inheritance from your parents before you receive it from your children or your spouse. This is the money which you use to set up a business, to invest or support yourself during the relatively earlier years of your life. There is something called time value of money. Forgive me for the insensitivity but we are talking about inheritance, a material good. Moreover, if you are lucky, your children and spouse will outlive you. In that very likely case, a woman effectively ends up inherit less than a man in her lifetime. So, on average, a woman will always inherit less than a man. Which is weird because real life indicates that there are more women in poverty than men, more women who are discriminated against when it comes to jobs and wages, more women who never get to go to school or get an education – in short, more women in the world who NEED an inheritance as compared to men.

    Divorce: You said it best. I am sure I don’t need explain how this gives a lower status to women.

    Also, while we are on the subject of slaves, you might want to look in to more verses regarding the same. Quran makes wives and slaves lawful for men. Yeah, sure, it also says you can marry them. A bit of a dilemma for the slave, isn’t it? Be forced to choose between being raped as a slave or as a wife? I thought you might disagree with non-Islamic interpretations so I went to an Islamic site for interpretation. According to http://www.quranicpath.com/misconceptions/concubines.html, the only reason slaves are mentioned separately from wives as people men can have sex with is because even when they are married, they remain slaves. I love that logic. Also, I have a great deal of trouble believing that if you murder someone’s family, she will be okay with marrying you. She might do it because she has no choice or because it accords her a bit more status and freedom, but no, she never will because she truly wants to. So affectively, in either situation, she will be sexually abused, to use the relatively minor term you have employed. (Bonus tip: To see how this works, put yourself in a position where a man slaughters your family, claims you as a slave and then, maybe, marries you – all this while, you are “lawful” to him).

    Polygamy: Just the fact that men can, even if it is impossibility (some would say it isn’t because the prophet did it and we do agree that the prophet was but a man even if he was the most perfect of men), and women can’t, makes it an unequal rule. Some people argue it is only for cases of war when there were fewer men than women. A lot of countries have more men than women so the reverse should also be allowed? God is all-knowing. Others yet argue it was only for that specific period in time and no longer applies. I say this should have clarified given how it is so open to misuse and misinterpretation.

    • I don’t have time to reply in detail. Thank you for your detailed comment. I understand where you’re coming from & you have valid points to make. I am not arguing here that I think Islam is a feminist religion. All I’m doing is providing you with basic information on why certain feminists feel it is compatible. I personally have argued for reform.

      All I’m going to say, for now, is that just because the past is tainted by patriarchy, doesn’t mean the present has to be too. Neither does eliminating religion make the world more feminist.

  42. yeh javed jo kuchh comments de raha hai sab jhoot bol raha hai isko islam ke baare main kuchh nahin maaloom laugon ko bewaqoof banaraha hai. be careful

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