Archive for the ‘Say what?’ Category


Over the past week, Muslimality has been met with harsh criticism over the recent Riaad Moosa parody fiasco. Muslimality has always maintained that critics are welcome to submit criticism & objections of pieces featured on the Muslimality blog as long as such submissions are substantiated with and accompanied by valid, authentic and academic evidence.

Our response to the Riaad Moosa fiasco was no different. The responses were and still are open to any valid criticism. Sadly, the vast majority of those who see no problem with the parody video have been unable to submit a single shred of evidence for their support of the parody. With everyone, from Supersport presenters to Saudi Embassy employees jumping on the band wagon to offer their take on the issue, Muslimality has yet to see a single response supporting the parody whilst being substantiated with simple, basic evidence from the Shari’ah. As Muslims, the actions we carry out and the choices we make are all evidenced by the Shari’ah. Our point is simple: Anyone can support the parody. This is their choice and so long as they can find a Shari’ah reason to validate their support, they are free to make open statements regarding their support and/or feelings.Likewise, any person who does not wish to support the video or wishes to speak out against it is welcome to do so as long as he/she has Shar’i proof.

One of the most common arguments which pro-parody judges have seen fit to whine about, constantly harping on about and quoting ahadeeth totally out of context and void of any authentic commentary was, “WHY DID YOU NOT ADVISE RIAAD MOOSA IN PRIVATE?YOU ARE GOING AGAINST THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM”, “YOU HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING OF HADEETH”, “YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT SUNNAH MEANS” blah blah blah. We have allocated ample time for the retraction of such ludicrous statements and now wish to set part (a very big part) of the record straight.

Upon contacting Riaad Moosa via Twitter and ASKING HIM to contact us VIA EMAIL so that we could have advised him in private despite him slurring the Sunnah in public. Riaad Moosa then asked us to place our response on HIS Facebook page. We declined and offered to publish it on our blog rather; to which he asked, “What’s the blog addy?” An excerpt of the Twitter conversation is reproduced in the picture appended to this article.

We now request the various judges, whiners and commentators who saw fit to ‘judge’ Muslimality’s response without proper research of the matter at hand to please review the conversation we have referred to and explain to us WHY our response was made in public. Strange, isn’t it? Nonetheless, even though we hate to say, “We told you so,” we care very little for amassing brownie points and proving ourselves right with such small matters such as these. The bigger issue and greater matter is that of the degradation of Shari’ah and Sunnah on a PUBLIC scale.

Once again, if there is any Shar’i evidence proving our response to be incorrect, kindly forward us such evidence and we will gladly effect amendments. Until then, save your comments and baseless theories for some other blog.

Sincerely,

The Muslimality Team

فليقولوا ما يقولوا انت من ارجو رضاه

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The good doctor, Mr Riaad Moosa has posted a response for the team here at Muslimality over on his website and Facebook page. The first thing to catch my eye when reading his piece was this line or admission asit were:

“I am not qualified to respond with Shariah proof,…”

I have quoted this to illustrate a very important aspect of Islam which many Muslims have taken for granted. You see, when you get to that point, a response of any sort should immediately cease. You are admitting that you have NO knowledge of your subject matter and yet, unbelievably you still would like people to read your ‘opinion’ (albeit a very ill-informed one by your own admission). I do not care for the intricacies of medical science. I have no qualifications in that field. Naturally, I respect whatever a professor’s opinion is on the impact of new cancer medication on a patient suffering from cancer purely because he is QUALIFIED to speak or comment on such matters.

So whether you’re a doctor or a lawyer or a chartered accountant, your opinion and your feelings matter very little in the field of Islamic academics. You could sing from the rooftops proclaiming the benefits of drinking wine or eating pork and a thousand other Muslims could support you and practise it themselves but numbers and opinions without valid, authentic Shar’i proof mean absolutely nothing really.

The necessity to mention this situation is indicative of the fact of the growing number of Muslims who resort to ‘winging – it’ when it comes to Islamic matters because they happen to read or hear somewhere that ‘Islam is easy’. It is quite unfortunate that we now have hoards of Muslims screaming ‘over-sensitivity’ when the reaction to a mockery of the Sunnah is harsh.

This is also indicative of the growing trend to take our religion from some of the most ridiculous sources. For example, Moosa mentions in his response the example of Maher Zain, Yusuf Islam etc.to illustrate that music may be permissible. For the newer generation, this may as well suffice as ‘proof’. But has it honestly come to this? We begin taking religion from laymen? Have we stopped looking at the four sources of Shari’ah? So we disregard the four sources of Shari’ah simply because there are people alive today whose actions somehow count as a proof in Shari’ah that music is permissible?

These people are not out Prophets, they are not illustrious Fuqahaa, they are not Sahaabah, they are not acting with Divine guidance. Their actions, words, opinions or comments are not and cannot be used as a proof in the Shari’ah. More of that later…

As you know, every action is judged by its intention.

It has become common to quote ahaadeeth when it suits us. Therefore, we have decided to devote as much of this article as possible to relay all the necessary ahaadeeth affecting this situation. It is unfortunate that many have read only that part of the hadeeth which you cite and now use it as a scapegoat for their actions. Do allow yourself to read the commentary to that hadeeth prior to citing it as an example for your actions.

You say that it is important to publically denounce anything thought to denounce Shariah. I accept that.

Great. Now that you accept that that is important, we can move on in this rebuttal. However, we would just like to make a few things clear. The Sunnah makes up the Shari’ah. It is one of the four sources of Shari’ah. A beard as described in the ahadeeth is a Sunnah, therefore that beard as described in the Sunnah is a part of the Shari’ah. Therefore keeping a beard as described in the Sunnah is both part of the Shari’ah and part of the Sunnah. You may consult any Aalim or Mufti to explain to you the many ahaadeeth available on the beard, the description of the beard etc. Time permitting, I will make all those ahadeeth available to you. You may find the views of Fuqaaha and the four Imaams in any authentic works of Fiqh. The most authentic and fully explanatory being those written in Arabic.

Again, we will reiterate (it seems from your response you have not adequately understood our explanation),we do not care whom you decide to parody. What was disturbing about your parody was the fact that you had chosen to relay an idea, movement or thought to the public, whether Muslim or non-Muslim i.e. that the beard should have or could have been removed in the name of freedom.

After so much persecution faced by our Muslim brothers in countries where they are not allowed to wear beards, your comment (through song, jest, mockery, parody etc. is STILL a comment nonetheless) that the shaving off of the beard will lead to freedom is done in poor taste. Would you consider acting out a parody for our sisters in France to remove the Niqaab in the name of freedom? Whether or not you used Osama bin Laden makes no difference to us. We really couldn’t care less but it was the words that you used and the message put across to the public which was highly offensive to followers of the Sunnah.

There are Muslims in this world who would die for the right to be able to practise Islam fully; Muslims who stick so dearly to the Sunnah that they defy governments and laws to be able to do this and in that they have found freedom but you claim freedom in the absence of the beard? What kind of message are you sending to the masses? Like I said, defending Osama bin Laden is not the aim, defending the Sunnah is. We are not concerned with his actions, his decisions, his innocence or lack thereof. We are concerned with the way in which you took an aspect of Osama bin Laden (i.e. his wearing of the beard) and relayed the absence of such an aspect amounting to freedom. Do you understand the difference? It is a very BIG difference.

Obviously you would have had to research your subject matter prior to writing those three lines, which you may have done but not sufficiently.

Muslims are overtly defensive and tend to have disproportionate reactions to relatively minor problems

These minor problems you speak of may be ‘minor’ to you but you have chosen to forget the thousands of Muslims who do not see the mocking, the degradation and flippancy of the beard as ‘minor’. This flippant attitude towards the Sunnah has become commonplace amongst many Muslims and such parodies only serve to fuel that sort of ideology. If you were to devote some time to learning about the Sunnah, you would probably see for yourself the importance of the Sunnah in the life of a Muslim.

There is a clear hadeeth which states:  When the two messengers of Kisra (Khusru – the Persian King) came to Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, they had long moustaches and shaved beards. Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam turned his face away in disgust and asked them, ‘Who commanded you to do this (despicable deed)?’ They replied, ‘Our Lord, (i.e. King)’ At this, Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned, ‘But my Lord has commanded me to lengthen my beard and shorten my moustache.’ (Tabaqaat ibn Sa’ad vol.1 pg.147; Taareekh Tabari vol.2 pg.267-266; Bidaaya wan Nihaaya)

So a person who encourages somebody (even though he may have passed away), in your opinion and after reading the above hadeeth, what is the status of such a person according to the hadeeth? Is he/she a person who commands others what his/her Lord has commanded otherwise? Remember that Rasulullah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam chose to turn his face away in disgust of NON-BELIEVERS, so what of Muslims then?

Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Adhere compulsorily to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly -guided Khulafa.” There are numerous examples which may be cited to illustrate the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafa. If the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafa was to wear a beard (and it was), how can you sing in your parody ‘advising’ Osama to shave it!?! Where is the disconnection from the Sunnah? Where is the connection to Al Qaeda? The beard is a part of the Sunnah of Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam and if you agree that Osama bin Laden was, in fact, a Muslim then how can you advise a Muslim to shun the Sunnah in exchange for ‘freedom’?

Every aspect and sphere of the Sunnah is conservative and it is this holy conservatism which influences Muslims who are keen to lead a life under the Umbrella of the Sunnah. Our Qur’aan is traditional, our Sunnah is traditional, the Sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum whom we revere are conservative. In fact, their conservatism was such that once Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh), reprimanding his disciples, said:

“If you had to see the Sahaabah, you will brand them as madmen and if they had to see you, they would have branded you as kaafir.”

We take great offense to the mockery and flippancy of the Sunnah. That is the way of the Muslim. In the hadeeth it states, “Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith.”

Firstly, I need to categorically state that anyone taking my silly rhymes seriously must have absolutely no sense of humour. Just remember these are jokes

Islam has never stated that laughter is haraam. Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam preferred smiling to laughter but would jest with children nonetheless. The problem arises when a joke, jest or unusual idea/image is a direct mockery of the Sunnah. The Sunnah is what Muslims do and should hold dear to them. If a non-Muslim mocks the Sunnah, it is understandable. He does not know any better, he does not possess Imaan in his heart. What of the Muslim? The one who should hold on tightly to the Sunnah? Should we be mocking the Sunnah? Should we be treating the Sunnah with such flippancy? It’s all in the name of harmless fun right? A joke is a mockery is a degradation and in this case is a degradation of the Sunnah.

It is downright offensive when (as a joke) you imitate a man clothed in Sunnah attire with a Sunnah beard dancing to music. The Prophet sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam warned against dancing and singing. Your parody is acted out by you. Wearing of Sunnah attire and engaging in dancing and singing for the sole purposes of entertainment is directly in contradiction to the Sunnah. Whoever does it, whether knowingly or unknowingly, is and will be in error. Partaking of music and dancing has been made forbidden by Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam. We explain this point in great detail later in the article with adequate proof.

You may not have intentionally meant to offend in such a way but your execution did offend, degrade and mock the followers of the Sunnah. It degraded the Sunnah to an object of barter for freedom with freedom being the more desirable of the two.

Those lines ‘why didn’t you shave, you could have been free’ are not messages to Muslim people that they should shave. It is not my amendment proposition to the Shariah. It is purely a humorous observation that Osama didn’t seem to try to disguise himself while in hiding. In my mind I’m picturing CIA agent walking past a beardless Osama because he doesn’t recognise him without the beard – hence Osama would get away. It’s just a silly funny picture. Also if Osama did shave is beard at any point to avoid capture, this in my view is not an indictment on him. He may have done so, who knows. He was on the run from the U.S. Remember, we have a very practical religion. Muslims are even allowed to eat the Haraam flesh of swine if one is starving. Are you telling me that it is Haraam to for Osama to disguise himself without a beard to avoid capture? I am not making a comment about the beard as part of the Sunnah. It’s purely a joke about an Osama disguise – and it’s funny because it is an image of Osama that is unusual. Like it’s a funny image to see Helen Zille toing toing. Like me telling you the Dalai Lama has a twitter account (true. I follow him.). It’s a funny image. I doubt many Muslim people with beards, after watching my sketch, are going, ”Let’s get the shaving gel.” Don’t make my joke more than it is.

Perhaps a good re-reading of those lines should be in order.The ‘Why didn’t’ alludes to the fact that it did not happen. Again, an illustration of how you have missed the point completely. The offence is not based on the fact that the parody is centered around Osama bn Laden. We really couldn’t care less whom you decided to base it on. The fact still remains that you used the words, ‘Why didn’t you shave? You could have been free’. In saying, ‘we have a practical religion’ does not excuse the fact that this religion and its strong elements are being mocked, stripped of its dignity and reduced to flippancy for a good laugh!?!

Please go back to the hadeeth regarding the Persian missives and the disgust Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam showed at the absence of a beard. Islam stresses the keeping of a beard and its practicality arises when we are told exactly how long the beard should and whether or not we may trim the beard. That is the practicality of Islam i.e. its practicality being for the one who chooses to learn, understand and incorporate its practicality to the letter and not just ‘wing-it’ as many of us are prone to do in this day and age.

We hardly have knowledge of the sources of Shari’ah, cannot speak the language of Allah Ta’ala, cannot speak the language of our Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam (whom we claim to be our beloved) and yet we sing the ease and practicality of Islam, a religion most of us have been born into but yet only still know the basics of!?!?

If you or anybody else would like to poke fun at Islam, do so after you have studied your subject matter properly. In this way you are guaranteed not to step on anyone’s toes or offend any…what were those words again…hmmm ahh yes ‘overtly defensive’ Muslims.

As far as having beard in the video goes, I just thought that if I am going to parody an Al Qaeda Internet video, I’m going to dress myself in a manner resembling them.

It was just your unfortunate luck that you chose to parody an organisation whose manner of dress resembled the Sunnah. Again, let me remind you of the fact that we do NOT care which organisation you choose to parody. You may illustrate them in any manner you wish but you CHOSE to bring the Sunnah into it when you copied the Sunnah dress i.e.  the Beard and the Kurta (thowb) for Osama and a burka clad person to illustrate a female voice. Again let me reiterate the implication of your decision to include the illusion of a woman in a burka: How is a woman in a burka related to the parody of Al Qaeda? Sure you may have used it to aesthetically tie in to the song you chose but that has no bearing on Al Qaeda. Therefore your parody is not centered around Al Qaeda only.

Now to the crux…If your parody included a ‘woman’ or the illusion of one by using Simmi then why choose a burka? Prior to this aayah being revealed in the Qur’aan:

Surah Ahzab Verse 59

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

The verse clearly states the command for women to cover themselves over and above what they were already using to cover themselves. So how exactly were the women dressing prior to the revelation of this verse? This should have been included in your research prior to making this video and including a man to wear the burka, dancing and singing along in your parody. If your research did not point to the fact that the burka was a salient feature of the dress of the sahaabiyaat prior to the revelation of the aayaah regarding the Jilbaab, your research sorely fell short. You also chose a black burka to further illustrate your parody. Unbeknownst to you, the Sahaabiyaat chose the colour black as in the darkness of the night, they would remain unseen, ‘Ibn Abi Haatim mentions, ‘On the authority of Umm Salmah radhiAllahu anhu, she said, ‘When this verse was revealed (yudneena alayhinna), the women of the Ansaar came out…and upon them were black clothes which they were wearing.”‘

Do bear in mind also that it was by your decision (as you have accepted full responsibility of the video) to allow a man to dress as a woman and let me remind you that according to the hadeeth, a man who imitates a woman is cursed, albeit in jest or otherwise. It is unfortunate that we allow such basic Islamic rules and laws to slide and even more imperative that people point out such things to us prior to commencing such acts in direct contradiction to the Shari’ah. The act becomes more heinous in nature because the ‘shemale’ in question chose to depict a ‘Muslim woman’ dancing and singing in your parody and this is highly reprehensible in terms of the Sunnah and an insult to every Muslim woman who has chosen to wear the burka.

Your reference to Zulu dress makes no sense unless you can prove that the Zulu people are commanded in their religion to dress a certain way. Same goes for the Amish, Jewish, Sikh etc. people. In Islam, men are commanded to lengthen their beards and trim the moustaches (refer back to the ahadeeth). In any event, this excuse does not abscond a person from encouraging or making statements which are contrary to what Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam states that Allah Ta’ala Himself has commanded.

We reiterate that these views are not of our own opinion. We only relay the opinion of the Shari’ah, Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam and in this case, the opinion of Allah Ta’ala Himself. If anybody has any view that is contradictory to this view, you are advised to take it up with your Creator as He commanded it.

Also I need to draw your attention to the fact that Abu Lahab and Abu Jahal may have been wearing something very similar to what I was wearing in the sketch as well. The Quraysh used to bury their daughters alive. They weren’t doing this wearing jeans and t-shirts.

The ‘may’ in your statement illustrates the fact that you’re unsure regarding this. As Muslims, Muslim scholars, students of Deen etc. we do not take our religion from the likes of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab. We derive our religion from the four sources of Shari’ah as you already may know. It is unfortunate that once again your research may have cut you short…Allow me to elucidate with a few ahadeeth:

Hazrat Umme Salma (RadiAllahu Anha) narrates that Nabi (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) preferred the Kurta over all other types of clothing.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RadiAllahu Anhu) reports that Nabi (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) would begin with the right side when wearing his Kurta.

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RadiAllahu Anhu) reports that lengthwise, the Kurta of Nabi (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) would be above his ankles while the sleeves would reach upto his fingers.

Hazrat Anas (RadiAllahu Anhu) says that the sleeves of the Kurta of Nabi (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) would be upto the wrists.

Shu’ba reports that he met Muhaarib Ibn Dinaar. He was riding a horse on his way to the court for a case. I asked him about this (the above) Hadith? He replied that he had heard Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu Anhu) saying that Nabi (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who wears excessively long clothes (which flow below the ankles) due to pride, Allah Ta’ala will not look towards him (with mercy) on the day of Judgement.”

These ahadeeth are for your own reference and serve to illustrate the fact that the Kurta or thowb as worn by Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam is NOT a cultural dress as is believed by many Muslims today. It is SUNNAH.

There are numerous examples of the Kurta as worn by the sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum and the Tabieen. The descriptions go into much more detail but the idea is the same. The Kurta worn by Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam is SUNNAH. Therefore a parody used in jest or mockery is done in bad taste when the parody uses a man clad in the Sunnah clothing which is proven beyond a doubt to be SUNNAH.

Your mention of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab is meaningless since: 1. You are not entirely sure what they did, in fact, actually wear. 2. You have no idea whether their dress was in accordance to the Sunnah (in which case it would still be reprehensible to mock their dress!) or not 3. It was common practise among the Arabs to wear the sleeves over the hands and wear their robes long so that they drag on the floor, hence the prohibition of allowing the trousers or clothing to be worn long 4. It is mentioned in the ahadeeth above that Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam preferred the kurta over all other types of dress. Is it possible that there may have been other types of dress available during that era? Perhaps not a jeans and a t-shirt but you would have to delve deeply into the commentary of this hadeeth and many similar ones to discern the probability and description of other types of clothing worn by the Arab men during the time of Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam.

Again, if you had simply researched the subject matter correctly, you would have come across these glaring facts.

Please feel free to supply us with your email address and we will send you copies of articles from time to time on Fiqh, Aqaa’id, Tafseer and many other Islamic sciences which Insha Allah will be of great benefit to you.

Having stated the above, I would like to once again say that I was ONLY sending up AL Qaeda. It was in no way my intention to comment, albeit indirectly, on Islam or the Nabi (SAW).

You may not have intended to do so but the illustration of facts preceding this correctly state that you HAVE commented and in  very negative way on the Sunnah of Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam by alluding to his Sunnah in your parody.

The Nikaab was used because in the original Puff Daddy “I’ll be missing you video,” Faith Evans (the Notorious BIG’s wife) sings that part. I couldn’t have used a western female outfit to parody this section. That would have also been criticised as well, and it would have been inaccurate. We decided not to use Parda as I thought people would find that too objectifying. We therefore settled on Burka and I got brother Simmi Areff to play that part because he had the best singing voice.

The use of even a man to portray a woman in a burka was unnecessary and had no bearing to the Al Qaeda themed parody. You were not forced to use or portray a man/woman with a burka and yet you still chose to include it. This already points to the fact that the parody was not only centered around Al Qaeda but had a very strong Muslim undertone to it which is quite understandable since Al Qaeda are Muslims, are they not? Or do they just choose to dress like that for the heck of it? Or is it because those are strong elements of Islamic identity which you have chosen to include in a parody using un-Islamic elements (singing – we’ll get to that, dancing,flippancy to the beard etc.)

If you say ALL forms of music is Haraam, I believe that is a debatable topic. There are numerous Muslim Musicians – Zain Bhika, Sami Yusuf, Yusuf Islam, etc.etc. I am no scholar though, so I’ll accept the fact that you believe playing any form of music is a mockery. I respect your view; although, I do not share your view. Once again, I must say, I’m just being honest about what I truly believe.

Firstly, a view is a view is a view unless you have facts to substantiate or prove your view.  Until then, it remains but a very ill-informed opinion which is a very big problem when you don’t actually have the proof to substantiate what you believe. There is no monopoly on knowledge. We are all free to learn and knowledge regarding Islam is not reserved for any person or group of people. The use of the ‘I’m no scholar’ excuse has ben used too often to excuse the facts that we are not making an adequate effort to actually understand and learn the Deen we so dearly hold close to us.

The fact that there exists numerous musicians (even if there exists a million or a billion), it doesn’t change Shari’ah. Numbers or majority doesn’t influence the swaying of Shari’ah. In the first battle of Islam, the Battle of Badr, the Muslims were in stark minority with the Kuffaar outnumbering the Muslims. Were your analogy to hold, the Muslims would have been in a sore minority and therefore been wrong in their beliefs since there were SO many to outnumber them.

Lastly, these musicians and their actions do not point to permissibility. They are not our God, they are not Ambiyaa, they are not Sahaabah, they are not even Fuqahaa! We do not take our religion, our deen from them. To even mention their names as some sort of validation regarding the permissibility of music is an insult to thousands of fuqahaa who have spent their lives in the pursuit of knowledge and bringing that knowledge to people who do not even bother to gain wisdom from that knowledge. It is a disgrace to mention them in light of the ahadeeth which are available that clearly denounce music.

Abu Umamah radhiAllahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said: “Sell not singing girls,nor buy them,nor train them, and their price is unlawful.” In accordance with this, the following Qur’anic verse was revealed:’And of men there are those who purchase frivolous conversation.”

Jaber RadhiAllahu anhu reported that the Prophet sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘ Song generates hypocrisy in the heart as water grows crops.”

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan: “And, whatever the Messenger present to you,take hold of it. And, whatever he forbids you, abstain(from it).”

Said the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam: “Verily Allah Ta’ala sent me as a mercy and as a guide unto the worlds. And Allah Azza Wa Jal commanded me with the destruction of musical instrument.”

Said the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam with regard to the signs of the Hour: “And, singing girls and musical instruments will become plentiful.”

Said the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam: “And, there is not a man who raises his voice with singing, but Allah sends two devils – one on either side of him (the singer). Both these devils strike their feet (dancing) until such time that he (singer) maintains silence.”

“Rasulullah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam prohibited two stupid voices – i) the voice of one who cries aloud in funerals, and ii) the voice of a singer.”

“People in my Ummah will consume alcohol and give it some other name. And, musical instruments and singing girls will be performing to them – Allah will curse the earth to swallow them an, of them He will transform into apes and pigs.”

“Rasulullah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam forbade the price of dogs and the income derived by a flute”

In a discussion with the Sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum , Rasulullah sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said about singing and music:- “Listening to singing and music is sin; and sitting at it is Fisq (Rebellion); and to derive pleasure from it is an act of Kufr.”

Safwaan Ibn Umayyah radhiAllahu anhu says:”We were with the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) when Amr Bin Qurrah came to the Messenger (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam). Amr Bin Qurrah said, “O Messenger of Allah!, verily Allah has decreed misfortune for me. I am of the opinion that my sustenance or food is in my Daf (drum) which I beat with my own hand. Therefore grant me permission with regard to singing which does not contain any evil (or songs which are not bad). Rasulullah (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

“I do not give you permission fo it. In my sight you have no respect nor am I happy to meet you. O Enemy of Allah! You are speaking a lie. Allah Ta’ala has ordained Halaal Rizq for you, but you have chosen what Allah has made Haram for you. If before this I had forbidden it then I would have definitely punished you. Begone from me and repent. Now hear: After I have warned you if you again indulge in it (music and singing), I will beat you painfully and spoil your looks by shaving your hair; and I will have you ejected from your family; and give the youth of Medina permission to loot your property.”

Hearing this Amr Bin Qurrah left. Allah alone knows the state of extreme shame and disgrace n which he departed. When he left, Rasulullah said: These people are the disobedient ones…”

I think there’s a bit of miscommunication here. Obviously I see a link.

The Al Qaeda members are Muslims after all. Of course there would be a LINK. But saying there’s a link and saying that because of that link, I’m indirectly parodying the other is not fair. There are links between many things, but it does not mean that the linked item can be interchanged with the other. If a table has four legs and an Arabian Stallion has four legs, it does not mean an Arabian Stallion is a table.

The link can be plainly seen by the fact that the Sunnah elements are highlighted in your video. Whether this was unavoidable or not is not the issue. Mockery, jest or anything leading to the flippancy of the Sunnah can and should be avoided. Sunnah dress is not an abstract theory. There is a definitive description of the actual Sunnah dress of Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam. If the Sunnah dress is the same dress used by a specific organisation, it does not void the fact that it is a Sunnah and will remain a Sunnah. The same goes for a beard as detailed and described in the Sunnah. It will remain a Sunnah and mockery of the beard which conforms to the Sunnah is still a mockery of the Sunnah.For more on the topic, please consult Sunan At Tirmidhi.

I do not understand. You are saying that if anyone is dressed like the Nabi (SAW), he is seen to indirectly be the Nabi (SAW). You say because I’m parodying Osama, I am parodying the Nabi(SAW). So, by that logic, if an uncle wearing Sunnah garb starts swearing at another uncle during Ramadaan, I cannot criticize him because if I criticize him I am indirectly criticizing the prophet because he is wearing the same outfit as the prophet. This is what I understand by your argument. Please clarify if I am mistaken.

The criticism of what was done is not focused on Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda alone. The criticism is centered around the use of wholly Islamic elements and the flippancy, mockery and jest thereof. You are parodying the SUNNAH by using clear SUNNAH elements in your parody and making stark references to these elements in jest. I hope you understand the difference between what you have inferred and the actual implication.

Using the Sunnah dress and a beard with a she-male in a burkha together with singing,dancing, rap etc. is a clear mockery of the Sunnah elements you chose to include in your parody.

Once again I’d like to state that I’m not ‘reaching a laughable conclusion’ as you put it. With that statement I’m just explaining that it was in no way my intention nor did I ever dream that people would say I meant to insult the Nabi (SAW).

I am not qualified to respond with Shariah proof, I therefore accept all the ‘Valid, authentic, authoritative, academic Shariah proof’ that you brought into the discussion. It’s not necessary to add any more Shariah proof. I accept everything that you have brought with love.

I am only responding to the conclusions that you draw with honesty and a need for greater understanding.

My final point I’d like to state is that you aim to be defenders of the Shariah and by implication the Sunnah, yet your entire essay is steeped in arrogance, and filled with demeaning little jibes with no intention but to belittle me. It is not written with the intention to come to a greater understanding between Muslim brothers and sisters. It is written with an air of superiority with no wish to understand where I am coming from and to advise a change in my behaviour. You have made up your mind about me without even communicating with me. You claim to be defenders of the Sunnah yet your entire piece was the opposite of humility, which I believe was a cornerstone of the character of the Nabi (SAW). I don’t need to requote the numerous unnecessary arrogant statements. You know where they are. The closest to the Nabi(SAW) are those who are close to his character. I’m not going to make a judgement on you as a person, but if your personal character is similar to the character displayed in your piece, I’m not sure that you should be the ones charged with defending the Shariah. I say this with respect and a yearning to be shown otherwise.

If you wish to – as you put it – “take me on a short journey of learning” in further notes, I welcome it.

However, since you are the defenders of the Sunnah and Shariah, please do so in the manner worthy of the Nabi (SAW) or more specifically how you said – [That’s sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam by the way].

May the Almighty grant us all greater understanding and learned people who are interested in actually building the Umma of the Nabi Mugammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam, Inshallah.

Best Regards

Dr Riaad Moosa

It is most unfortunate when there is even a need to have somebody defend the Shari’ah, especially to defend it to Muslims themselves! It is even more unfortunate when Muslims are now moving to defend such heinous actions against the Sunnah all in the name of a good laugh. Degradation of society? I would hope so rather than a degradation of love, respect and acknowledgment of the Sunnah – all of which seem to have fallen by the wayside.

On acknowledgment of the parody, we had definitely taken great offense and rightly so to the flippant attitude alluded to the Sunnah in your parody. Our aim is to prevent degradation of the Sunnah and the Shari’ah. Our allegiances lie with Allah Ta’ala alone and the aim is to protect the Deen and keep it in its Pristine and authentic form. We do not support watered down forms of Islam to appease the public. We believe in a stern, straight-forward approach as that adopted by Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam.

If there is anybody who disagrees with the ahadeeth quoted, the fatawa alluded to, this is not our own opinion. This is the opinion of the pristine Shari’ah and you are free to take up your disagreements with those reponsible for formulating the Shari’ah or alternatively, your Creator.

Sincerely,

Muslimality

فليقولوا ما يقولوا انت من ارجو رضاه
Let them say what they want to say, it is Your (Allah’s) Pleasure that I seek…

yes, a refutation to the argument will definitely be written (October 20 2010)

These are the words contained in a comment posted by the writer of said article. Bold statements,requiring an even bolder physical act; preparing,researching and penning the actual promised refutation.

Somehow it is not surprising at all that so many unqualified individuals feel bold enough to loudly announce their intentions to pen scholarly refutations. Where, pray tell are these promised literary works? How do you conveniently present half-truths,blatant lies,sloppy academic work,terribly “researched”  articles and then merely fade away into thin air when the going gets too tough?

To the reader : Please do note the date of the promised refutation and the publication date of our post today.

We have no problem with refutations being penned nor with scholarly articles being written.We have no problem with differing views.We do not claim that one person is always right.We do not believe that any non-Nabi is ma’soom.

Our problems:

1. We have a problem with unqualified individuals speaking on matters of Shariah.

2. Promises of academic refutations not being fulfilled.These promises are usually made in the heat of the moment so “save face” only to be conveniently forgotten later on.

3. We have a problem with blatant lies and half-truths being put forward as academic proof in matters of Shariah.

4. We have a problem when an individual reads a few blogs,googles a few proofs or spends a few years at campus and then considers his/herself worthy of presenting opinions and passing rulings on matters of Shariah.

THE ONLY VIEW WHICH IS VALID IN THE FIELD OF ISLAMIC KNOWLEDGE AND ACADEMIC DISCUSSION IS THAT OF A QUALIFIED AUTHORITATIVE SCHOLAR

NB: Google,Wikipedia,the Net and Campus do not make you a qualified scholar

Original article with promise of refutation: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/10/16/they-dont-have-prayer-the-media-and-eid-for-muslim-women-in-south-africa/

This week brings it with it another bout of madness. It was unfortunate that I had to wake up to the disappointing news of yet another attempt by a ‘professional’ to abuse Islam to further a lop-sided career.

Strong words, I know, but where do we draw the line of comedy. I’ve always enjoyed the occasional laugh but when does it border on being down-right offensive? I remember the throngs of Muslims waiting to pounce on the Danish cartoonist who himself thought the drawings of Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam was his exercising his right to freedom of speech and expression. In fact, many others thought it was funny, even hilarious BUT many Muslims weren’t chuffed at all. They succeeded in getting the Mail & Guardian to not publish the Danish cartoons.

So it really does come as a surprise when Muslims are being rather lenient with ‘comedian’ Riaad Moosa whose latest antics have landed him in hot water with the Muslim ‘extremist’ public. Moosa was featured on the Late Night News show (etv) singing a parody/rap/dance stunt in commemoration of the death of Osama Bin Laden. We pretty much couldn’t care less who he or any other individual parodied, however, if any aspect of anybody’s parody, speech,publicity stunt etc. bears even a slight link to any feature of Islam, salient or otherwise, students of the Shari’ah are obligated to not only point out any errors in such representation but to also publicly denounce these as defamatory and insulting to the Shari’ah.

We go on to reproduce some words from this publicity stunt:

“why didn’t you shave,

you could have been free,

you could have used a Gillette Mach 3”

The Shari’ah has a number of problems with such a ludicrous statement.

1. Such light-hearted reference to a salient feature of Islam i.e. the beard, is not only despicable, but can be authentically proven to be greatly disliked by Nabi Muhammed sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam. We do understand that you are trying to make people smile BUT, by insinuating that one should shun the beard in favour of freedom in a society which supposedly allows one and all to practise their religion is simply short-sighted and definitely in very bad taste.

Secondly, the beard may be seen by many to be a representative quality of Al Qaeda. Whether this is true or not, the beard is a salient feature of Islam. Parodying a person wearing the beard is to parody the Sunnah. Were we to assume that you parodied a person wearing the Niqaab, we would draw the same inference in light of the fact that the Niqaab is also a salient feature of Islam.

Let us take you on a short journey of learning.

2. Making people laugh is your own business and you may do it in whatever way you please except when making them laugh involves even a single aspect related to Islam. You claim to have been parodying Al Qaeda etc. We have no concern for Al Qaeda so you may parody them or any other organisation as much as you like. But let us pause for a moment; if you were parodying Al Qaeda only, why then the appearance of a burqa-clad person in the stunt. Have you not taken cognisance of the fact that this was the dress of the Ummahatul Mu’mineen? How then could you only link your stunt to Al Qaeda when this is in reality a piece of dressing which the Sahaabiyaat diligently adhered to.

3. Incorporating any form of music with the Sunnah dress is simply a mockery of Islam in general and the Sunnah specifically.

Hereunder is the response taken from Riaad Moosa’s website:

“My response  to the feedback of  Late Night News  Osama Song

The song was a parody on an Al Qaeda video. I accept that. That’s what I set out to do. I am sending up  Al Qaeda, albeit in a light way.

In fact, the lyrics of the song are generally sympathetic to Osama and critical of Obama. It is in no way my intention to make an association between our Beloved Nabi (SAW) and Osama bin Laden. I am concerned that people are doing this.

I did not say anything about Rasoolullah in the video and it is not my intention to do so. The Nabi (SAW) was the most perfect of people and for others put words in my mouth and associate the Nabi (SAW) with Al Qaeda is grossly incorrect and wrong.

The video is in no way a comment on religion. People are making too many jumps in association. If I do a parody song on Shrien Dewani in his wedding outfit it does not mean I am insulting Hinduism. I am parodying a Hindu guy who is accused of doing something hectic.

Much like the video. It is purely a parody on Al Qaeda. I accept full responsibility for parodying Al Qaeda. One cannot extrapolate anything more than this.

So please I ask that people don’t bring our beloved Prophet (PBUH) into this debate. I most certainly didn’t.

I will post a more detailed response video shortly Inshallah.”

“It is in no way my intention to make an association between our Beloved Nabi (SAW) and Osama bin Laden. I am concerned that people are doing this.” We find this laughable. With a beard, turban and Sunnah clothing, Osama Bin Laden imitated the Sunnah. How can you then make reference to him, his beard, the shaving off of his beard and not see the link between him and “our Beloved Nabi (SAW)”…[That’s sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam by the way].

In your own words, you mention the adjective ‘beloved’. Allow us to remind you of an Arabic couplet whose translation reads: “And the lover will always live in the obedience of the beloved”

How then does one parody an aspect so dearly loved by the ‘beloved’.

“I did not say anything about Rasoolullah in the video” – You did not need to mention Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam, the Sunnah represents him. Mere sight of the Sunnah infers the lifestyle of Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam whether you or anybody else states it or not.

“associate the Nabi (SAW) with Al Qaeda”- We do not care what you have to say about Al Qaeda nor are they the sources of OUR Shari’ah. Neither have we stated them to be representatives of the Sunnah. they are human beings just like everybody else. However, we have a problem with Sunnah aspects being discussed in a parody video. Let it be known that a parody is conducted purely to make people laugh. Since when do we use the Sunnah as a platform for laughter and mockery? Should you run out of jokes and/or new material, we advise you to pick on anything other than the Shari’ah.

“The video is in no way a comment on religion.”- We have no idea how you have reached such an astounding conclusion. Can one discuss a salient feature of Islam or a number of features without such discussion being considered comment on religion. Assuming your video was not to comment, what then is a purpose of a parody?

“If I do a parody song on Shrien Dewani in his wedding outfit it does not mean I am insulting Hinduism. I am parodying a Hindu guy who is accused of doing something hectic.” – This is a ridiculous analogy. The Hindu style of dressing is not the style of dressing commanded by the Creator of the Worlds. The Hindu style of dressing in the Hindu religion is not a style which the Hindu religion emphasizes as greatly as Islam emphasizes the Sunnah style. Islam COMMANDS us to follow the Sunnah diligently. Our Sunnah is NOT a cultural dress nor is it reserved for special occasions, marriages, deaths etc. It is the way we lead our lives and it is the way upon which we can only hope to die.

For your analogy to make academic sense, you would have to prove that the Hindu religion emphasizes the Hindu style of dressing as much as the Shari’ah emphasizes the Sunnah. Shrien Dewani in no way represented the Hindu religion in his dressing. Osama Bin Laden represented the Sunnah in his way of dressing (To our readers: Kindly note that we have no interest in Osama bin Laden’s political ideology, history, innocence or lack thereof as this is not the scope of this article. We will not defend him nor do we accuse him of anything due to the fact that we personally do not know anything of his motives. We are quite well informed regarding the Sunnah though and that is what we are commenting on)

Did Shrien Dewani don the Hindu religious clothing every single day? Did he adhere to it the way we adhere to the Sunnah? No? Then it is indeed quite laughable to try and draw an analogy using him as a point of reference.

Furthermore, should you have parodied Shrien Dewani wearing the Hindu dress and if we assume that Hindus had no objection to it; this has no relevance on the issue of parodying the Sunnah. Why does the supposed Hindu reaction or lack thereof have any bearing on how the followers of the Sunnah should react?

“So please I ask that people don’t bring our beloved Prophet (PBUH) into this debate. I most certainly didn’t.” – We fail to understand how you have reached such a laughable conclusion. Let us state once more:

THE BEARD, THE TURBAN, THE BURKA, THE NIQAAB, THE SUNNAH ARE FULLY REPRESENTATIVE OF NABI SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM AND WILL ENDURE AS A SALIENT FEATURE OF NOT ONLY HIS MISSION BUT HIS LIFE FOR ALL ETERNITY.

By including even a single aspect of the Sunnah in a video which was made just to kill time, it is YOU who has brought Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam into the issue.  As all comedians are wont to do, you have parodied, mocked, jeered etc. at many individuals, cultures etc. throughout your career. We will once again state, we couldn’t care less who you or any other comedian mocks at, includes in their acts etc. However, if a single aspect of Islam is represented in any way other than the Pristine manner in which it should be, we WILL stand up and voice the opinion of the Shari’ah in defence of the Shari’ah.

We await your response video with great anticipation. Due to the fact that you have taken it upon yourself to step into the domain of Islamic academic discussion by making a direct reference to the Sunnah and Shar’i principles in what can only be deemed a parody of worthless taste surpassed only by ignorance of the subject matter, we request the following:

1. Valid, authentic, authoritative, academic Shar’i proof that your actions on the Late Night News show are perfectly okay in light of the Shari’ah.

2. Clear, simple academic proof that a parody involving the shaving of the beard carried out by a Muslim is permissible in Islam.

3. Valid, academic proof that mockery of the burka falls within the confines of ‘fun’ in Islam.

A simple response to the above three questions would be highly appreciated. A request to readers: We have very little time for sad and emotional rants, ‘freedom of speech’ issues, ‘light-hearted’ banter and fun, open-minded entertainment etc. If you cannot provide us with valid, academic proof justifying the actions we have mentioned, do not even bother contacting us or commenting.

Muslims draw their knowledge of Islam from authentic sources of Shari’ah. We have ample proof that the actions of Riaad Moosa on the LAte Night News show are insulting and highly derogatory, not only to Muslims but to the Sunnah as well. Any rebuttal of this article should carry with it knowledge derived from the sources of Shari’ah. Commentators, writers, actors, famous people etc. are not a proof in Shari’ah.

Sincerely,

Muslimality

Wow! It has really been a while since I last featured a ‘Say What?’ column. Please accept my sincerest apologies dear readers. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

During the past few weeks, South African muslims have been overwhelmed with information regarding the Muslim Marriages Bill (MMB). Whether the information provided by various individuals, organisations, radio stations etc. has managed to create an in-depth understanding of the bill in the minds of Muslims living in South Africa remains to be proven as there still are many Muslims who are fence-sitting in the hope that some great mind will shed clarity, understanding and a way forward with respect to this hotly debated bill.

Those who are in favour of the bill have come out strongly in support of it as the bill is intended for recognition, enforcement, regulation etc. of Muslim Marriages. This may all sound extremely good in theory and in all fairness, why should we not have a bill which can finally regulate Muslim marriages especially those in which there are instances of spousal abuse, violence, neglect etc.?

I suppose that the aforementioned observations had led a select few to think up the ‘brilliant’ idea that is the Muslim Marriages Bill but which had quite unfortunately resulted in what is arguably the least-qualified project committee with regard to Islamic and Shar’i principles.

The main problem I have with the Muslim Marriages Bill (and this should be quite evident to anybody who has taken the time to actually read the bill) is the definition of a ‘Muslim’. It reads:

“Muslim” means a person who believes in the oneness of Allah and who believes in the
Holy Messenger Muhammad as the final prophet and who has faith in all the essentials of
Islam (Daruriyyat Al-Din)

The definition creates a problem for those who proclaim to be ‘Muslim’ but do not fit the definition of a Muslim contained in this Bill. For instance, if a Muslim man and a Muslim woman get married according to this Bill and the man or woman changes his/her beliefs from that as defined in the Bill but still considers himself/herself to be a Muslim, will the marriage be annulled? Is the Nikaah no longer valid?

The Bill cannot define who is/who is not a Muslim and it cannot judge who is/who is not a Muslim. If we allow such a bill to dictate who is and who is not a Muslim, the consequences will be disastrous. There are sects in Islam who claim to be the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah but are in actual fact quite far from it. Who will judge which sect holds the correct view? Do the modernist Muslims hold the correct view? Do the Shia Muslim hold the correct views? Do those who believe that the creation is equal to the Creator hold the correct view? If these groups are not ‘Muslim’ enough for a ‘Muslim’ Marriages Bill, something must surely be amiss.

Those who enjoy singing the same song of ‘living in a secular state’ will understand the fact that it is unfair to declare a certain individual or a certain group of individuals ‘non-Muslim’ on the basis of them not being Muslim enough for a Bill which is meant to represent them. This Bill obviously demonstrates the immense favouritism towards the Sunni-Muslim groups present in South Africa. The fact that the Bill does not adequately cater for the other smaller groups of Muslims and their beliefs is evidence enough to prove that this Bill is quite selfish it its representation of the entire Muslim public of South Africa.

Therein lies the biggest problem for our project committee and the biggest problem for the MMB. It was quite unfortunate of them to have to have chosen sides in a very public matter such as that of the MMB resulting in the Bill heavily favouring (what seems to be) Hanafi Fiqh(jurisprudence). The Bill does not explicitly include the recognition of any of the 4 accepted and recognised schools of Fiqh (jurisprudence) which is in itself questionable since the nature of the issues to arise from marriages would almost always be Fiqhi (juristic) matters.

I tuned in to one of local Radio stations last week(Radio Islam) and had the fortunate experience of listening to the Secretary General of UUCSA (United Ulama Council South Africa) rambling on about why he thought it would be a good idea to ‘engage’ with government instead of outright rejection of the Bill. UUCSA represents seven (wow…SEVEN, I didn’t even know there were that many!) of the countries Ulama bodies. Six out of these seven throw their weight behind UUCSA’s decision of engagement whilst our friends over at Jamiat KZN have adopted the stance of total rejection of the Bill(well done!).

Yes, getting back to UUCSA’s secretary-general (or is it general secretary?), he was explaining the many cases of women’s rights being abused, the cases encountered, the amount encountered etc. and the need for such a Bill to be implemented (not necessarily the current drafted Bill) and the fact that the courts are already ruling in our Muslim marriages whether we subscribe to the Bill or not.

Firstly, no bill which will trample and destroy the Shari’ah will ever be enough to protect the rights of spouses in a marriage. Even if the bill is a hundred percent in full compliance with the Shari’ah, there is no guarantee that the Bill will remain in such a state for the simple reason that in doing so, there are groups of Muslims who will be discriminated against since they will not be classified as ‘Muslim’ under such a Bill; or there will be those who get married as Muslims under the MMB but change their beliefs down the line. These Muslims will not be satisfied with a Bill which does not recognise them or their beliefs because such a Bill would be downright judgmental, discriminatory and completely unfair to those who call themselves Muslim but do not harbour the same beliefs as a Sunni Muslim!

Secondly, if a Muslim woman is unhappy with the ruling of Shari’ah (or finds it unfair), goes to a secular court in search of a more favourable alternative and ultimately receives a favourable outcome totally contrary to Shari’ah, her action has not changed the Shari’ah. Her actions and that of the court have no bearing on the Shari’ah unless she is publicly announcing to the world that the Shari’ah should be changed to allow women more rights, to allow her to divorce her husband, to fine or imprison a man for practising upon a right given to him by Allah Ta’ala etc. Beginning to sound familiar? Ah yes, this is exactly what the MMB will do, isn’t it?

When a bill is called “Muslim Marriages Bill” and its intended purpose is for Muslims, we should be very careful what we put inside that Bill. Many people assume that if certain clauses of the Bill(those UUCSA has issues with) are to be rectified, the Bill will be fully compliant with the Shari’ah. There are clear clauses in the Bill which are in direct conflict with the Qur’aan. There are clear clauses in the Bill which, if accepted by Muslims will most likely take them out of the fold of Islam.’

At this stage, there is no room for partial acceptance or rejection of the Muslim Marriages Bill. There is no room for engagement with government. There is plenty of room to scrap the Bill altogether and start over taking all necessary elements into consideration and being very specific as to which group of Muslims the bill will target.

Polygamy, I suspect, has always and will always be a hotly debated topic especially when it comes to our dear friends and brothers and sisters from the modernist fraternity of Islam. Polygamy has not fared well with them unfortunately with many citing that it has no place in a modern context of the world we find ourselves in blah blah blah. I have had the most unfortunate run-ins with the gender desktop/women’s rights mujaahidaat to know that polygamy has no place in their perfect little worlds of re-interpretation of Qur’aanic texts, gender equality, ponies and flowers(okay that last bit had no bearing on the topic so I apologise, I couldn’t resist!).

You can therefore imagine my lack of surprise when I read that this marvelous Muslim Marriages Bill proposed by the project committee and approved by Cabinet and meant to recognise Muslim marriages in a secular state had the most absurd amount of and utterly ridiculous restrictions on polygamy. A man who wishes to marry a second wife may do so with the permission of the court. If he does without the permission of the courts, he will be ‘guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R 20 000.00.”

How strange that even in Allah Ta’ala’s court a man who takes on a second wife or a third or a fourth wife is not guilty of any offence and already has Allah Ta’ala’s permission to do so. What many pro-MMB supporters have failed to realise is that by subjecting Islam and principles of Fiqh to a system which does not and cannot protect and safeguard this Divine system from Western modification or influence, you allow Islam to be changed and you allow the Shari’ah to be destroyed. The sanctity of Qur’aan is also destroyed together with the Imaan of many Muslims who will opt-in to such a Bill thinking that this Bill is in conformance to Shari’ah.

A man who wishes to take a second wife and does so is well within his rights as a Muslim and he is completely allowed to do this in accordance with the Shari’ah. Those who have a problem with such a right may take it up with Allah Ta’ala. Any women’s rights groups/gender activists who feel that multiple wives is somehow unfair, deeply misogynistic, sexist etc. I suggest that you too take it up with your Creator or alternatively you could think up your own Bill devoid of any association to Islam or Muslims.

As for those 6 out of 7 organisations who have chosen to hide under the umbrella of UUCSA, know this and know this well: Your duties are first and foremost to Islam and the Muslims of South Africa. Your allegiances do not lie with Muslim feminists, with the government of South Africa, Cabinet, the Saudi embassy, any embassy, your own whims and fancies etc. Your allegiances should lie with Allah Ta’ala who has given Muslims enough rights and ample responsibilities. You and your supporters should not attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the Muslim public in South Africa in an attempt to curry favour through blind following and undying support. Please remember that your aim/s should never be the success of your organisation or the fact that your organisation exists in the first place. The aim should be the preservation of Islam and the Shari’ah.

If you are not doing this, if you are not concerned with such an aim then the Muslims in South Africa would be better off without your organisation!

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

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After some much needed rest and relaxation, I find myself overwhelmed by interactions with individuals who are either grossly immature or are in dire need of Sharma’s personal development and self-help seminars. I simply cannot bring myself to believe that rational and intelligent adult(I am in no way implying that kids are not rational considering I know many children and teenagers who could give these ‘old bags’ some much needed advice on how to at least act mature) homo sapiens could indeed conduct themselves in so many demeaning ways.

I remember when I was a little kid that being nasty was a very ‘ugly’ thing to do (I quote my Mother). We’ve all had our bouts of nastiness to the unfortunate kid in the playground but some of us never truly grow out of it and this is really disconcerting. For instance, I’ve already had somebody try to discredit the Muslimality website by trying to pass some chain mail or the other saying that Muslimality supports Banks (FNB, in this case) because he(or she) happened upon an advert on the Muslimality Contact Form/About Us Page. I’m hoping that said reader still reads our articles so that the following explanation might help: Muslimality is hosted on wordpress.com and so, we have no direct link to the adverts being displayed when GoogleAds detects your IP address, establishes that it belongs to a South African and thereafter displays the appropriate ad for the person viewing the page.I hope this clarifies any misunderstanding on your part but please feel free to visit our site again.

You see, I hate having to do that. It makes me feel like some nursery or primary school teacher having to call the rotten apple to the front of the class and make a lesson out of him for the rest of the kids. Which brings me to my next point: Bad Mouthing. Whilst this trait is not extremely common amongst the foundation phase, it is very much evident during high school where teenagers have truly made an art out of sensationalism, slandering and large scale smear campaigns to deal with competition, outcasts or the poor little souls whom they have decided to take revenge on.

It would be most untrue of me to say that these are traits most people outgrow by the time they have reached adolescence or that these are traits practised upon only by women. This type of behaviour has become a big part of adulthood and is definitely not gender-based. It is also not restricted to exclude religion. Of late, I have come across many a smear campaign targeted at those institutions or individuals who are assumed to be ‘backward’,oppressive, misogynistic ‘chilla wallas’ etc. Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have made it possible for people all over the world to air their views to a large audience, who is only more than ready to read and believe. This is starting to sound just like high school…only worse!

I have often heard individuals who are parents to toddlers confess that when their kid decides to throw a tantrum, the most effective quick-fix is to join in the tantrum. I can only begin to imagine the horror of seeing a parent kicking and screaming next to their equally kicking and screaming 3 year old on a supermarket floor. Nursery school and foundation phase teachers often resort to ‘a few raps across knuckles with a ruler’ to return a class of rowdy kids to peace and quiet. Of course, with adults this is not possible and so one has to seek alternative methods of showing disapproval to keep the peace.

The best way to deal with matters such as these is to contact the person and have a good chat about what the issues at hand are. This does not work very well, especially in circumstances where the result infinitely outweighs the means to getting to the result. There are other options which are subject to certain conditions and are more effective.

One such instance resulted in approaching the problem with the age-old system of hierarchy. This means if a person is being considerably troublesome via any medium, you seek to solve the problem via the puppet-masters(the person/s who has considerable leeway in said troublemaker’s life e.g. employers,father,mother,grandfather,teacher etc.) but this method only results in a light rap across the knuckles and in no time, the troublemaker is on the loose yet again.

The option which I particularly favour is to face the troublemaker with the truth. The truth holds far greater value than any opinion of any person. By examining the truth of your existence, the purpose of your existence, any vile comments, lies or slander committed against you and intended to reach you will never affect you more than what any other form of useless speech is supposed to affect you. It is a truth deep within yourself, a truth meant to strengthen your core and a truth designed to keep you steadfast. It is the truth of your religion, the truth of Islam and if you are steadfast in holding on to the truth of Islam, no amount of child’s play, mockery or gossip (aimed purely at testing your resolve) will change the truth of who you are, what you are and everything you stand for as a Muslim.

Islam does not require change, It changes us…

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Muslimality is pleased to announce that we will now be taking article submissions from anyone who has a passion for writing about true Islam. If you or anybody you know would like to submit an article for publication, kindly email muslimality@gmail.com or submit your piece via our Contact Form

Muslimality reserves the right to edit your submission. Should you not receive a response from us within 7 days of submission, please consider the submission rejected.


In 2001, the Islamic identity undertook a complete transformation to represent oppression and terror. A bearded man in the Islamic dress (kurta or thaub) is now an instant bomb threat. The veil is an object of torture, oppression and imprisonment. The Islamic identity has been reduced to something vile, reprehensible and abhorrent.

What many people do not understand (Muslims included) is that the Islamic identity is an integral part of Islam. What many Muslims have forgotten in their search for a ‘unified Muslim Ummah’ is that by abandoning that which was intended to unite, it will be very difficult to remain united.

In so far as women are concerned (and herein lies the greatest obstacle), Islam is quite clear in the requirements of Hijaab. The Hijaab is not just a long, rectangular or square piece of cloth used to cover the head. When a woman practises Hijaab, she is practising an act of concealment. Islamically, this is what has always been required of her.

I have always been amused at the amount of women who usually complain with respect to the Hijaab. They usually offer the excuse that it is a man’s duty to be in control of his natural instincts and practise self-control. What is unusual for me is the finality with which it is usually said. It’s as if to say, ‘Well, that’s that then, let’s get on with it!’

Had this instruction not been Divinely decreed, I would definitely harbour the same sentiment. Who knows His creation better than the Creator? If it was in the nature of a man to be in full control of his desires, women would not be expected to conceal their most precious gift which is their beauty. As is often expected of those living in the twenty-first century, we firmly believe that ours is the most humane existence. Ours is a time wherein we have people of understanding, intelligence and sanity. Almost all traces of barbarism and savagery have been eliminated and eradicated from the world in which we live. In this lies the assumption that man has reached a stage of almost intellectual and moral perfection.

Therefore the notion of a man not being able to control his desires is seen as archaic and biblical. The so-called modernist prances about in this fantastical garden of freedom. In drawing the curtain of advancement, intelligence and seeming morality over the eyes of Muslim, the modernist Muslims have eradicated the need for a woman to practise the concealment of her beauty. Islam has become more about who you are, not the way you look.

These notions are expected, especially when a person would like find proof to fuel his/her ideologies. This is a perfect example of such ideology: ‘Islam does not require a woman to wear the veil’. There have been many literary works detailing the explanation of the requirements of Hijaab according to Islam. It is each woman’s choice to act upon whichever part of Islam she would like to put into practise. However, it is not the prerogative of each and every Muslim woman, or otherwise, to change the ruling of Islam as she/he sees fit purely because the ruling does not accommodate his/her lifestyle.

The sad reality is that it is neither in the nature of a woman to want to control her desires either and so we have the situation we’re in today. We have women all over the world who insist that the veil or the headscarf is by no means a part of Islam, but rather a concocted symbol of backwardness thought up by some misogynistic and over-bearing Islamists. For those women who have chosen to adopt this view, through contemporary reinterpretation of Qur’aanic texts, rejection and manipulation of ahaadeeth, they have found ‘evidence’ in support of this.

In recent times, many Muslim women have adopted the stance which supports the idea of ‘modest dressing’. Whilst there surely may not be anything outwardly objectionable to such a statement, the problem lies with the definition of ‘modest’. For some, wearing calf-length skirts may be modest; for others, modesty may be embodied in loose-fitting clothing; the newer generation would regard a pair of skinny jeans paired with loose-fitted mid-thigh length blouse still within the range of ‘modest’. So how exactly is the term ‘modest’ defined? Whose definition do we accept etc.?

Islam has given women the solution to ‘modest’ clothing. In Islam, the ‘jilbaab’ is the embodiment of modesty. It is the covering of a woman’s beauty. It is the protector of her chastity. This is Islam’s gift to women, a gift which has been Divinely decreed. It is the gift of the garb. A garb which protects, conceals and empowers the woman who chooses to cover herself with it.

And so it is at this other end of the spectrum where we find those who choose to become objects of concealment. They are those who do not find themselves compelled to do so but rather wanting to do so and in doing so, are fulfilling that very important part of their Deen which many women today are just unable to fulfill.

They are not oppressed; they are not prisoners; they are not backward or uneducated. They simply have not chosen to live life the way you do and in this decision, you have taken it upon yourself to lift their veils, contract their clothing and risk their modesty. This is not empowerment. It is just plain ignorance.

Muslim men have, through the years, fallen prey to this type of ideology. In labeling the Islamic dress for men as ‘cultural’, Muslim men have found their excuse for not practising on the ‘Hijaab’ that is required of them. The practises have all been restricted to certain times, ‘Holy’ days or when the occasion calls for it.

In opting to be without a beard which is fist-length, reading salaah without a hat (topi), walking around with clothing below their ankles etc. smacks of a distinct desire to not want to incorporate the practises of an Islamic identity. This may as well be a contributing factor for Muslim women favouring to abandon the idea of an Islamic dress code altogether attributing its practise to Muslim male dominance and hypocrisy.

But Muslim men also have requirements which they are required to fulfill with respect to their dressing. This is not only an area which affects women or is aimed at women alone. A man observing ‘modesty’ and concealment in his dressing is just as important as a woman observing modesty and concealment in her dressing.

Apart from the obligatory Aurah which must be concealed at all times, a man’s clothing must not be tight fitting so as to reveal the shape of his body parts e.g. tight fitting jeans, pants or shirts which accentuate muscles, physique etc. and serve to to advertise the male form, not unlike the figure-hugging clothing usually worn by women. To say that men are completely immune to vanity would be just untrue. Men have become ensnared in dressing according to what the media and fashion houses around the globe portray as ‘fashionable’. Just as many women have become enslaved by the fashion industry, so too have many men begun living their lives according to the dictates of Paris and New York Fashion Week.

It should be apparent that the idea of observing Islamic dress is very important to the Muslim, whether male or female. We should not be hiding behind the excuse of ‘terrorism’ in abandoning that which is meant to unite us. As for those who continually sing the song of unity, this would be a good place to start. If you do not act like a Muslim, behave like a Muslim and most importantly, look like a Muslim and embrace the Islamic identity in its entirety, how can you ever aim to achieve unity?

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Muslimality is pleased to announce that we will now be taking article submissions from anyone who has a passion for writing about true Islam. If you or anybody you know would like to submit an article for publication, kindly email muslimality@gmail.com or submit your piece via our Contact Form

Muslimality reserves the right to edit your submission. Should you not receive a response from us within 7 days of submission, please consider the submission rejected.

Salafism and modernism are quickly gaining momentum in and around the Islamic world. Whilst many may agree that the views held by either group would be in direct contrast with each other, I beg to differ. A new brand of Salafism has emerged, showing us that the generic off-shoot combining salafi core principles with a modern ‘Islamic’ mix may well be a force to be reckoned with.

This generic mutant force has slowly crept into the world of the orthodox Muslim and is threatening the existence of the soon-to-be-extinct traditionalist follower. How, or why you ask? Well, my thinking is that this mutant force knows that the goal is ultimately what matters. It is no easy task to break down 1400 years worth of solid Islamic grounding and so the mutant force is keen on increasing its numbers rather than a total traditionalist-madhab-following mutiny.

Salafis have always maintained that their way is that of the ‘salaf’ (i.e. the pious predecessors) but I have noticed a re-branding of sorts, a change in direction if you must, of a salafi-modernist group intent on breaking down every little piece of Islam in the name of Islam and unity. The concept is catchy, I’ll give them that. It’s something like this:

Firstly, we break down the traditionalist core. The focus is no longer on smaller, meaningless issues. Whatever is in your control is a ‘small issue’. This would include: Islamic dressing, apparel, the hijab, the beard, music etc. Whatever is not in your direct control is an issue. For example: saving the people of Palestine, Islamic unity, peace and prosperity, gender equality etc.

Secondly, we unite and conquer. It does not matter whether our belief structure differs, if you give me a platform to spread my beliefs, I will align myself with you.

Thirdly, destroy all structured forms of belief. If you can read it and understand it yourself, you do not need to follow anybody. Moulanas/Muftis/Molvis/Mullahs who force you to follow a Madhab are evil. Madressahs finding their roots via a Deobandi framework are evil. Scholars from India who cannot speak English are uneducated, dumb or silly; in fact, anything remotely Indian is backward and oppressive, misogynistic and cruel.

Some would say overactive imaginations, arrogance perhaps or maybe a severe inferiority complex resulting from the chance that perhaps someone out there knows a whole lot more than you do and of course since you know how to Google, read a couple of translated works on an Islamic Science, this naturally would qualify you to become a scholar in your own right.

In this lies the danger of a true blindness. The traditionalists have fallen asleep only to wake up in a world where Muslims enjoy the integration of halaal and haraam, where everything is subject to debate and opinion and where anything goes. Naturally, all Muslims should be worried, right? The answer is no. There are very few Muslims who find this to be a problem. In any event, why would they?

The modern salafis are serving them guilt-free Islam on silver platters; and it’s working. The effect of labeling and judging has worked in reverse and those who call for the preservation of a true Islam MUST be labeled extremists or fundamentalists, crazy and oppressive. This is the modernist-salafi core. So where does modernism fit in? This aspect is a bit tricky to explain but I do hope you’ll bear with me.

A modernist thrives on a ‘non-judgmental’ and unified approach. Confrontation is a total no-no and moderation is key. Salafis have been able to implement these aspects quite effectively into their strategies. Basically, a Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim so as far as the Salafis are concerned, there is no place for sectarianism or the following of Madhaahib in Islam. We are all Muslim and a Muslim does not judge.

Now that’s all well and good up until you come to a point where the stark reality smacks you in the face: There can be no Islam without judgment. Muslims are in a constant state of judgment. That is the purpose of our test in this world. We have to constantly re-evaluate our actions, perfect what is required of us as living and practising Muslims in the hope that we will pass the most important test we spend our whole lives preparing for. In order to pass the test, how can there not exist judgment? The Qur’aan judges, Allah Ta’ala judges, Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam passed judgment, the Shari’ah passes judgment, the Sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum passed judgment and the most noble and illustrious Scholars, Qaadhis and Jurists passed judgments.

But the notion of not being able to judge is a perfect shield for those who do not want to be judged.

The modern salafis also combine the non-judgmental approach in other areas of modern issues affecting Muslim. An apt example which comes to mind is the issue of Islamic apparel. Most modern Salafis belief that items such as a thaub are purely cultural and some even contest the validity of hijab. Other examples include religious entertainment such as the permissibility of musical instruments or the hosting of concerts/events attended by both males and females. Again, the main objective is to spread their word. These aspects tie in to modern salafi principles such as practicing moderation, keeping the ultimate goal in sight and increasing alliances.

Are we on a path to a new modern Islam? The answer is yes. The mutant salafi force emerging to break down the pillars of Islamic belief are creeping in from all angles and are picking away at the very foundations of Islam. They are emerging in their numbers and by branding the true followers of Islam as extremist fundamentalists, they serve as nothing more than a crusade against the vestiges of traditional Islamic beliefs.

May Allah guide us and protect us all

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Muslimality is pleased to announce that we will now be taking article submissions from anyone who has a passion for writing about true Islam. If you or anybody you know would like to submit an article for publication, kindly email muslimality@gmail.com or submit your piece via our Contact Form

Muslimality reserves the right to edit your submission. Should you not receive a response from us within 7 days of submission, please consider the submission rejected.

In yet another attempt by the “gender mujaahidaat brigade”, I managed to come across a somewhat dismal article regarding the trials and tribulations of South African “women of the north”. Prior to reading this article penned furiously by an extremely angry, yet strong-willed muslimah, I felt the need to take a step back and analyse the reasoning behind pursuing a crusade in the name of Islamic gender equality.

These Muslim feminists fighting their desktop gender jihads, our very own mujaahidaat as I like to call them, never fail to surprise an individual like myself. There is always something waiting in the wings; something lurking in the next blog or twitter update; or even worse, a hadith or Aayah which the gender mujaahidah genuinely believes needs immediate reinterpretation so as to free herself from the expletives of ‘frightened and injured male egos’.

Unfortunately for me, I have always had a weakness for searching for the truth and in doing so, I cannot ever truly say that my mind has never been clouded by judgment or anger but rather, I can safely say that most of the time its clouded by the truth and I think I like it that way!

In any event, I had to admit that what these Muslim women were initially saying made a little sense to my ignorant mind. That’s what ignorance does to you by the way. It does not allow your mind to think, to expand or to consume the greatness that is Islam. The result is a claustrophobic mind hanging on so tightly to a preconceived notion that often results in destructive behaviour. The same goes for prejudices we tend to harbour. It does not matter whether its racial, religious or gender-based prejudice. Prejudice is prejudice and prejudice clouds your judgment.

Herein lies my problem. The truth is out there but its the journey towards the truth that really unsettles most people. You have to forsake everything you believe in in order to grasp on to the truth of Islam. And you have to like it (if you’re a Muslim). That is the test for a Muslim. That is the sacrifice of a Muslim.

In all fairness, the Muslim feminists had what they may have genuinely thought to be a solid foolproof argument. And they could have sold it pretty convincingly to the unsuspecting public if they had gone about it in a proper manner. In choosing to state rather than debate, they faulted greatly. It is one thing putting forth an idea for discussion and debate but it is quite another when you go looking for ‘proof’ to fuel your argument and then present this ‘proof’ to the public leaving aside pertinent and detailed explanations and differing rulings and views.

To then profess scholarship under the banner of some university or Darul Uloom degree is a slap in the face for those who truly seek the truth beyond a predisposition or preconceived notion. It is insulting to those who have taken the time to learn, understand and accept the science of Islam, the importance of hierarchy and the danger which lies in allowing anything but the truth to cloud your judgment.

I had forsaken my preconceived ideas, my preconceived notions, my prejudices. I had willed myself to learn and I had made myself understand the science behind a ruling which did not allow a woman to attend the Masjid. I had understood and I had accepted for that is the life of a believing Muslim, that is the life of a true Muslimah. For those women who believe that “Muslim women will not sit back and accept a status quo that usurps their right to participation in religious life,” I urge you to empower yourself with education, true education in line with the teachings and true spirit of Islam. Education which does not promote hostility towards male counterparts but education which helps a true Muslimah submit to the will of Allah Ta’ala.

It is quite saddening when Muslim women wish to promote a feminist ideology through Islam and for Islam. This is not to say that Islam harbours any anti-feminist sentiments but rather, that where women are concerned, Islam has only always been about protecting the modesty of a woman.

It is true that the history of feminism finds its roots in westernism so many of its key aspects and beliefs simply conflict with the essence of women in Islam. The ideas being preached to Muslim women by Muslim feminists is really unnerving, simply because ‘Muslim feminism’ finds itself undefinable and too complex given the nature of the followers of this ideology and its varying degrees.

Many women in South Africa, especially in the north of South Africa, chose to stay away from attending the various Eid Gah venues as this, according to Islam, was what was expected of them. When the Muslim feminist mujaahidaat began their desktop gender jihads in South Africa during the time of Eid-ul-Fitr 2010, it was unfortunate that much of the Islamic rulings and information reaching the public was one-sided. This was expected since the Muslim feminists could not and would not explain the viewpoint of true and authentic scholars of Islam since:

  1. The scholars are men and would therefore only harbour misogynistic views
  2. The scholars kept this information away form the public, especially women, and therefore it was the duty of the Muslim feminists to expose these scholars
  3. The scholars held true to their beliefs since they could explain why and how they reached this conclusion using authentic and traditional scholarly works
  4. The scholars would not change their misogynistic views and this was not acceptable
  5. The Muslim feminists had in their possession clear-cut hadeeth as well as various view points from other Ulama around the world
  6. The Muslim feminists simply did not need to include the view held by any Fuqaaha which was contrary to their message

A number of refutations were published by various organisations and according to my knowledge, those Muslim feminists who were guilty of gross misrepresentation of facts and non-disclosure never made any attempt to retract their statements. This should have been highly unacceptable in any community, let alone a Muslim one. I, for one, was surprised that nobody ever called Quraysha Ismail Sooliman a blatant liar because that certainly was what she was to me. In omitting certain sections of the book she was translating or had translated, she managed to conveniently prove her point but she attributed statements to the writer of the book, Allaamah Zafar Ahmed Thanvi rahimahullah, which he never made. You can sugar-coat that all you like, but her article was written with the express intent to further her own agenda and, of course, after the ‘error’ was pointed out to her, she never retracted her statements!

The ruling regarding women attending the Eid Gah or the Masjid is clear. It is not permissible for a woman to leave her home in order to pray. This ruling has been discussed in detail, therefore I will not go into the intricacies of the ruling. The main reason for this ruling is due to ‘fitnah’ or ‘chaos’ or translated more loosely as ‘wrong or the possibility of wrong occuring’. No person can deny the existence of fitnah and so, due to the danger in ladies leaving their homes, the original permissibility which was granted to ladies going out for any kind of salaah at whatever time has been abrogated.

If only we lived in a perfect world where everybody did as they were told and if they truly committed acts which were better for them, we would be free of this current conflict. Sadly, this is not to be. Due to the fierce and raging battle, the Muslim feminists have proceeded to claim the right awarded to them by Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam whilst not understanding the wisdom of his words to act on that which was better for them. It is only when we live with prejudice and ignorance, do we run about, ranting on like sweet-deprived children, wanting what is due to us without seeing the benefit and wisdom behind the rulings of our knowledgeable A’immah. It is only when we remain steadfast in not wanting to understand that we continue to infect others around us with our half-truths and diseased ignorance.

When we refuse to bend our minds, perceptions and ideologies to a purer truth, we remain ensconced by a darkness no light will ever erase. It is with this understanding of the truth that a large majority of women in South Africa have remain steadfast in their belief of true Islam that the place for Ibaadat, the best place to worship Allah is in the innermost recesses of their homes. What kind of a Muslimah forsakes the words of her beloved Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam and forsakes what is better for something of a lesser value?

Of course there is not much of a fuss in staying at home and reading salaah. Surely salaah that is to be read in the innermost recess of one’s home requires no preparation for going out to the Masjid, no fanfare, no frills; it is just you and your Lord. Therefore for the woman who claims to be wanting to attend the Masjid in order to gain a higher spirituality with, a greater nearness and connection to Allah Ta’ala must surely be sorely mistaken because in remembering Allah Ta’ala and connecting with Him in the innermost recess of your home simply through salaah is an attribute afforded only to women. Therefore, I ask you, dear Muslim feminist sister, dear gender mujaahidaah, why exactly are you dragging your sisters out of their homes, out of the innermost recesses of their Ibaadat, out of their closeness, privacy and nearness to Allah Ta’ala, endangering their modesty in a world rampant with fitnah, luring them from the best place for their salaah?

Another issue I would like to point out is the climbing of the ‘gender-equality’ ladder. Where does it all stop? Sure, today it’s ladies at the Eid Gah but tomorrow? Ladies at the Masaajid? Then what? Ladies reading side by side with men? And then? Ladies leading mixed-congregations in prayer? Ladies giving adhaan? Lecturing the Jumu’ah bayaan? Will the Muslim feminists ever be truly content? Or is the idea of an Islam where a man is an Imaam, a lecturer, a masjid-goer too unbearable for the gender desktop mujaahidaat?

In the field of gender jihad, the goal posts do not ever remain fixed, they are always changing. If it’s this today, rest assured that there will always be something else tomorrow. When asked whether I thought there was a place for a kind of feminism in Islam a very long time ago, I battled an inner turmoil whilst seeking the most appropriate and correct answer. I understand it now. Islam has always been all for women’s rights, Islam has always been protective of the believing women, Islam has always had the best solutions for the female servants of Allah Ta’ala. Within itself, Islam has its own brand of feminist ideology. It is an ideology which is difficult to grasp, accept and understand by the current brand of feminists, Muslim or otherwise simply because the current feminist ideologies rely too heavily on western influence.

It is safe to say that until our feminist mujaahidaat can see it fit to become totally accepting of Islamic principles, values and ideologies and forsake western influence in matters of religion, their cause is nothing more than a means for Muslim women to regress back to the very state for which Islam was meant to save them.

Islam does not require change, Islam changes us.

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Today’s Say What? column is written in response to the article, ‘They Don’t Have Prayer: The Media and Eid for Muslim Women in South Africa’

Find it here: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/10/16/they-dont-have-prayer-the-media-and-eid-for-muslim-women-in-south-africa/

Part One of a detailed analysis of the errors of Quraysha Ismail Sooliman (5 years studies at Darul Uloom Pretoria, Freelance Journalist and Political Science Honour’s Student, University of Pretoria)

The following article is in response to a paper “compiled” by a “scholar” who has concerned herself with championing the rights for women to be able to choose whether they would like to perform salaah at masaajid or perform eid salaah at the Eid Gah. The purpose of the said paper was to “give all who choose to learn the opportunity to be exposed to as many an opinion as possible from some of the most renowned scholars.

The compiler puts forth certain statements which to the untrained eye (and mind), appear quite convincing and most authentic. However, in our article, we wish to clearly distinguish between the truth and the statements of the writer. It is unfortunate that we have discovered the writer’s affinity for plagiarism as well as an ardent copy and paste frenzy. We urge the reader to follow the links provided and verify where the writer has plagiarised. The writer has failed to check up any references, has even copied the footnote numbers and has not researched a single scholarly work.  Where she could not find references to copy, she has merely made statements without any academic proof.

However blatant misquoting, quoting out of context as well as gross inaccuracies in translation are glaringly apparent. These are all aspects which serve to greatly weaken and insult what is supposed to be an academic article written by a self-confessed “scholar”.

The writer states the following:

Abdullah ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked, “Which people are the best? “ He (peace and blessings be upon him) said,” The best people are those whose tongues are truthful and their hearts are” Makhmun”. They said, “We know the meaning of a truthful tongue, but what is a heart that is Makhmun?” He said, “It’s a heart that is pious and pure with no sin. This heart has no unfairness, no envy and doesn’t hold malice.”

Our response:

The writer has failed to provide the actual Arabic as well as the reference for the opening hadith she uses and upon which she is basing this entire article. We have sourced the hadith and reproduced it hereunder in the original Arabic.

حدثنا هشام بن عمار حدثنا يحيى بن حمزة حدثنا زيد بن واقد حدثنا مغيث بن سمي عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال قيل لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أي الناس أفضل قال كل مخموم القلب صدوق اللسان قالوا صدوق اللسان نعرفه فما مخموم القلب قال هو التقي النقي لا إثم فيه ولا بغي ولا غل ولا حسد

(Sunan ibn Majah Juz 12  Pg 261 – Hadith 4206; Musnad-ush-Shamieen Juz 8 Pg 69)

It must firstly be noted that the writer has displayed her gross lack of academic knowledge by stating the narrator to be “Abdullah ibn Umar radhiAllahu anhu, however the narrator is actually Abdullah bin Amr radhiAllahu anhu who are two distinctly different personalities.

Any student of Hadith who actually bothers to check up the actual Arabic would note this glaring discrepancy proven by the actual text which we have placed above.

Such is the result of regurgitating anything and everything one may come across. We must -state at this juncture that “Google” is by no means an academic resource when it comes to Shari’ah. The writer has copied this incorrect translation verbatim from:

http://maktabasalafiya.blogspot.com/2010/10/do-you-have-these-two-traits.html

This is one of many such websites which carry the exact same incorrect translation. The site above also offers a reference, albeit incorrect. This is indicative of the fact that they have merely copied these details from someone else. Why then has not a single one of these “scholars” bothered to correct the incorrect translation and reference? Are these “Google” & “Wikipedia” scholars?

Whilst we are all prone to error, a “scholar” makes an effort to check the source as well as translations of all proofs being quoted.

Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Amr RadiAllahu anhum are two distinctly different personalities. We say to the writer,please read Siyar A’laam in Nubalaa, Juz 3 Pg 79 for a little insight into and proof of this fact.

The writer is also advised to read Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, Al Isaabah fi Tamyeez As Sahaabah, Usdul Ghaabah for proof of the fact that ibn Umar and ibn Amr are two distinctly different personalities.

Secondly, the writer cannot offer the excuse that the same hadith appears in a different collection with the narration of ibn Umar. The following works have no record of ibn Umar narrating the hadith she claims he narrated. Should anybody find this hadith with the narration of ibn Umar, please do inform us of the reference and we will gladly review our stance on this issue.

The works which do not have any mention of ibn Umar narrating this hadith are:

  1. Saheeh Bukhari
  2. Saheeh Muslim
  3. Sunan Abi Dawud
  4. Sunan Tirmidhi
  5. Nasa’i
  6. Muatta Imaam Maalik
  7. Musnad Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal
  8. Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah
  9. Sunan Al Kubraa – Baihaqi
  10. Musannaf Abdir Razzaaq
  11. Sunan Al Kubraa – Nasa’i
  12. Mustadrak of Haakim
  13. Sunan of Daarimi
  14. Musnad of Humaidi
  15. Sunan of Darqutni
  16. Saheeh ibn Hibbaan
  17. Saheeh ibn Khuzaimah
  18. Musnad Ash Shafi’i
  19. Musnad Abdillah ibn Mubaarak
  20. Ma’rifatus Sunan

ERROR NO.1 : THE WRITER HAS BLATANTLY MIS-QUOTED A HADITH BY ATTRIBUTING THE NARRATION TO A SAHAABI NOT MENTIONED IN THE CHAIN OF NARRATION AT ALL.

Translation of the Hadith

The writer has again displayed her penchant for copying and pasting by copying the translation offered by these websites verbatim. A scholar does not merely accept translations from all & sundry, a scholar checks up the meaning of the word if he/she does not know it.

We draw your attention to the Arabic word بغي which the writer has translated (albeit copied the translation) as “unfairness”. The writer wishes to play on the emotions of the reader by inferring that the Ulama who are propagating the ruling that women not attend the Eid Salaah, are being unfair. In her plagiarised attempt at convincing the public that the Ulama are hiding facts from them, she cannot even prove the translation of the Hadith in her distorted aim to justify her own objectives. She offers no proof for this translation nor the view of any accepted authority of Hadith that unfairness is being implied by this word. Unfairness may be implied by this word in certain circumstances only. The writer in using the translation “unfairness” has departed from the opinion of master linguists of the Arabic language. We will only engage in discussion with the writer on this issue of inaccurate translation once she is able to apprise us of the explanations offered by leading scholars of Arabic. Whilst we do not wish to explain the correct explanation of this word and thereby do the work of the writer for her, we refer her to:

  1. Al Qaamoosul Muheet

a.       Juz 1 Pg 190

b.      Juz 2 Pg 236

c.       Juz 2 Pg 119

d.      Juz 2 Pg 192

e.       Juz 3 Pg 75

f.        Juz 3 Pg 397

  1. Lisaanul Arab

a.       Juz 2 Pg 12

b.      Juz 2 Pg 534

c.       Juz 3 Pg 307

d.      Juz 4 Pg 545

e.      Juz 4 Pg 539

f.        Juz 5 Pg 144

g.       Juz 6 Pg 230

h.      Juz 6 Pg 322

i.         Juz 7 Pg 165

j.        Juz 7 Pg 188

k.       Juz 7 Pg 349

l.         Juz 7 Pg 412

m.    Juz 8 Pg 84

n.      Juz  10 Pg 334

o.      Juz  10 Pg 409

p.      Juz  11 Pg 250

q.      Juz  11 Pg  265

r.        Juz  14 Pg 75

s.       Juz  14 Pg 325

  1. Tahzeebul Lughaa

a.       Juz 1 Pg 142

b.      Juz 1 Pg 227

c.       Juz 1 Pg 265

d.      Juz 1 Pg 363

e.      Juz 2 Pg 67

f.        Juz 3 Pg 104

g.       Juz 3 Pg 105

h.      Juz 3 Pg 210

i.         Juz 5 Pg 17

THE TRUE ULAMA DO NOT NEED TO HIDE ANYTHING FROM ANYONE.IT IS YOU, SISTER IN ISLAM, WHO IS GUILTY OF BEING UNFAIR BY BLATANTLY PLAGIARISING THESE “PROOFS” AND ATTEMPTING TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC BY PASSING IT OFF AS YOUR OWN RESEARCH.

This concludes Part One of the refutation of “The Conclusion: Now each has the knowledge to decide