Ramadaniyat

Yesterday, while I was visiting my parents for fotoor, I got into a conversation with my father about the diversity of Quran interpretations and how this issue became, since the death of the prophet, the main reason for the collapse of the Islamic institution. Moslems got divided into sects and each sect divided into organized entities. Each would interpret Quran to the benefit of his entity; Ikhwan, Wahabiya, Alawiya, Ithna3ashariya, etc. And if that looks innocent enough on the outside on the slogan of freedom to practice one’s faith, it sure created hatred and prejudice movements, most of which are imbedded and waiting for a sudden outburst of disgusting languages or even physical assaults. And these people are supposedly following the same religion and the same prophet!

Since the beginning of the month of Ramadan, I started watching three TV series; althahir baibers, Nizar Qabani and Molook Altawaef. But by the middle of the month I ended watching only Molook Altawaif. So our discussion (me and my dad) drifted to the waste of the Islamic empire on the hands of its greedy rulers. And I told him that watching that series reminded me how much yesterday is like today; history is repeating itself, Almorabitoon for example were no different than the fanatic organizations of today although historians polished them with sheer vibrancy. And we both agreed that the end of this nation is on the hands of its rulers and how much they allow the misuse of religion to dominate its policy.

Anyway, by the end of our conversation my dad threw at me an anecdote before going to take his usual after fotoor nap. And I thought I’d share it with you because as funny as it may seem, unfortunately; it manifests our situation today:

He said: there was this mullah who preached in the Mosque and a lot of people followed him. And although he was poor himself that he barely made his living, he managed to distribute money almost constantly on the poor who attended his mosque. This raised a lot of suspicion and some nosy people set to follow him to see where is he getting all this money from. They found out that he stole from the rich and distributed it all on the poor. When he was brought to court, he explained that he is applying the preaching of Islam to win heaven. When the judge demanded an explanation he said” Quran says that God grants a reward worth of 10 times for one good deed ( wa nati bil 7asanah 3ashr amthaliha) and God had also promised that to each misconduct there will be a punishment equivalent to it ( wa nati bel sayiah mithliha), so if you do a simple Arithmetic calculation here you’ll see that by my conduct I’m gaining nine rewards each time I steal, and that Grants me heaven.

Now you will say that this is our fate, and what can we do about it?
The answer is to think, use your heads and don’t allow anyone to lead you like goatherds lead goats.
Religion should be separated from politics; it should remain where it belongs, in the heart of man and his sacred bond to God; the Great. The Merciful. The Love.

7ijab; is it a must in Islam?

This issue has been a matter of controversy for centuries. I tried to research it so many times before to answer these question :

1- Did Islam actually set 7ijab (covering all women’s body except for the face and the hands) as a must ( (واجب )for Moslem women?
2- What are the punishments/ rewards that a woman is getting if she refuses to wear 7ijab provided that she is dressed decently?


In my quest I only found two verses in Quran which were vaguely addressing this issue:

– “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their chests and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers…” [continuing list of family members and others in front of whom women are exempt from covering] (Qur’an 24:30-31

– “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons…that they should be known and not molested.” [Chapter 33, verse 59]

First; in both verses I believe God is addressing the prophet regarding his women (omahat elmo’mineen) especially in the second verse, but let’s say for the sake of argument that the quote “believing women” is an address to all Moslem women, but where does it say that the head and the entire body should be covered except for the face and hands?
Second; to me; both verses are addressing virtue in society as a whole, and specifically asking women to be virtuous and decent with their clothing. In the first verse there was a direct address to cover the bosom and I don’t see any thing about the head or any other parts of the body.

Then where did the notion of 7ijab as is worn today come from?

The only explanation I received was what mentioned in the verse “and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear” which, in my opinion, was left short for man to contemplate as he wishes. And that’s what most Islamic preachers used for stating a rule that was not clearly mentioned in Quran. And the fact that all 3olama were men, actually until today, that explains why so much stress was exerted on women when it comes to the issue of 7ijab.

As it came to my knowledge that these preachers took their rules from tradition (7adeath), mostly from this one:

“Ayesha (R) reported that Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr (R) came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: ‘O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands.” (Abu Dawood)

And although a lot of Moslem refer to 7adeath as their base in explaining facts in Quran, I don’t see why rules should be applied as per 7adeath, especially when it’s not clearly stated in Quran, for many reasons:

First; Quran is explicit in its rules; for each and every action of all social issues was clearly explained and rules were set, moreover punishment and reward is stated for each and every action. Then why were the rules of 7ijab left to man? unless it was put by man and not by God.

Second; it is ironic that the 7adeaths that were documented in the most reliable source; AlSaheeh for example were mostly written on the tongues of people who hardly accompanied the prophet for long. For example; Abo Horayra who wrote more that 5,000 7adeaths did not accompany the prophet more than a year, while the rest like the prophet’s students (elkholafas and others) who accompanied him all his life did not write one tenth of those 7adeaths mentioned in AlSa7a7.

And let me quote Dr.Kamel AlNajar in his book “ قراءة نقدية للإسلام click here” and his logical analysis for not considering 7adeath as a credited source:

“وهناك بلا شك احاديث عديدة ملفقة ومنسوبة للنبي، باسنادٍ جيد. وحتى كتب الحديث المشهورة مثل صحيح البخاري ( توفي عام 238 هجرية)
يصعب الاعتماد عليها لانه جمعها بعد حوالي مائتين عاماً بعد وفاة الرسول ويقول المستشرق جولدزرGoldziher )
أنه لا يمكن القول ان أي حديث هو حديث صحيح قاله النبي، لان صناعة الحديث وصلت ذروتها في الدولة العباسية التي حاول خلفاؤها تبرير اغتصابهم الحكم من الامويين، فأوعزوا الى علمائهم باختراع احاديث تساندهم وتذم العلويين.[109] وقد جمع بعض رواة الحديث أكثر من ثلاثمائة ألف حديث، بعضها مناقض لبعض. وأعتمد البخاري ألفين فقط من كل هذه الاحاديث واعتبر البقية منحولة. فإذا كذب الناس في الاحاديث المنسوبة للنبي، كيف نصدق رواياتهم عن جمع القرآن؟”

My conclusion to the first question is that 7ijab is not a must (واجب) as women are lead to believe, although virtue is, God did not enforce it on women, why did man do that?
Most probably because we never had a woman preacher (3alimah) throughout the history of Islam, and if you can convince me otherwise, please feel free to do so.
As for the second question I personally did not find any directed punishment toward the refusal of wearing 7ijab (covering all but hands and face).

Sorry, I Can Only be a Friend


Fate united them together, yet it was blasphemy that congealed that unity; an oath of love they both shared for one person; a person whom God blessed with both aspects and linage. A person who had once given the oath of love to her, yet he could not resist the advantages that his qualities brought forth; there was too much fish in the see for him to settle with one, so he left her with a broken heart and a kaput ego reciting:
He left me in silence
He left me again in silence
He left me without a clue in silence

On the other hand; he was also in love with that person (her lover); his long time, summer camp friend. You could say that he is a gay; he revealed it in so many occasions, but he never directly announced it. His secret love for his lover only remained a secret when sought in his eyes. And knowing that his pseudo lover is straight, and that he did not have any hope, he never crossed the boundaries with him although he was pounded with surges of jealousy many times while witnessing the presence of another woman in his beloved’s company. But she sensed that; women have the sixth sense. And once; she even had mentioned that to her lover, but he only pushed that thought away not wanting to believe that his friend is infatuated by him, and not wanting to judge his friend’s sexual tendencies.

The lover left his girl although his soul never did, and he kept his loyalty to his friend as best friends can endow.

As much as he was happy to see her go, as much as he was sad; he yearned to know her more, partly because he wanted to discover the secret that made his beloved seek after her, and mostly because; among all the others that the lover had courted, she was the only one who felt his pain. She did not blunt it out in any occasion, but he knew that her love for that person equated his love for him, and their agonies paralleled in this trio relationship. They shared love, agony, remorse and lost hopes for a single person. And so they grew to be best of friends.

But as time elapses so do people change, these two became even closer than close until that day when he started giving her mixed messages. How is she supposed to react towards him now? Was he changing? And if he was, how could you resume your relationship with some one that you considered in the past as your own gender, and now you are expected to change your attitude towards him?


If this is a very sticky situation that you can’t find a solution for, then let me ask you a simpler one:
How would you react when you find out that your best friend is changing course and expecting more into a relationship that you want to halt at a certain limit? You don’t want to raise his/her hopes, yet you don’t want to lose his/her friendship. How can you make him/her realize that you still love him/her but in a different way without causing heartbreak especially when you know that your friend is sensitive and that he/she had his/her share of misfortune in matters of the heart?

I Forgive but Never Forget

Why did you put him in command?
Why did you me shun?
Is it because he is your son?
Or is it because he’s a man?
Not a chance, you gave me none
Desperately, you made me run


Now it’s too late
At least for him
To conquer hate
For years to come

But in spite of all that
Heart drums beat fast
Deafening my ears
When your voice I hear

It’s love mother dear
To whom I succumb

love

She: tell me about love
He: what is love?
She: a feeling
He: does it hurt?
She: very much, like a bite
He: does it excite?
She: to no limit
He: does it wake you up at night?
She: all night
He: does it make you hallucinate?
She: to lunacy
He: does it make you lonely?
She: very lonely
He: how do you know all that?
She: I don’t know

…….
…….


She: why are you so quiet?
He: words escape me, in the presence of love

Full moon was here last night

Slavery in Kuwait

In my last post, Shosho asked a very interesting question about the history of slavery in Kuwait. I tried to dig-out information on the Net but was unsuccessful. Thanks to my fellow blogger KUWAITI DEMON for the invaluable information that he provided:

Chapter 10 from H. R. P. Dickson’s “The Arab of the Desert” :

10 Slaves
In Kuwait town the ‘abd, or slave proper, who has been bought for money and is therefore owned by his master, is rare, but domestic slaves, born in captivity of slave parents who may have been in one family for several generations, are commonly to be found in well-to-do households. This state of affairs is not peculiar to Kuwait, however, for as many, if not more, domestic slaves are to be found in the best households in Basra and Baghdad, not to mention many towns in other Muslim countries. As early as 1924 the Shaikh of Kuwait decreed that the import or export of slaves for purposes of sale would be treated as a crime, and this brought about the effective end of the traffic in bought and domestic slaves who at one time were brought into Kuwait from the interior and sent from there by dhow or steamer.
The buying and selling of born domestic slaves in Kuwait is a very rare occurrence, and only takes place if the slave happens to be unhappy and asks to be sold, which he has the right to do. Very occasionally, and very secretly, a person returning overland from the Hajj pilgrimage may manage to smuggle in a newly bought slave from Mecca, but if the offender is found out he is heavily fined and the slave taken from him and freed.
Masters in Kuwait town are as a general rule kind to domestic slaves born in their families, whom they bring up much as they do their own children. These family slaves hold positions of trust, and are provided with wives and husbands, as the case may be, when they so desire. When slaves marry they go through the same ceremonies as the freeborn, the master and mistress of the slave acting the part of the parents of the bridegroom. Furthermore, the family will evince as much interest in the marriage of one of their slaves as in that of one of the family. The slaves’ children mix on terms of affection and equality with the master’s children, and the lady of the house will very often treat her slave’s progeny with more apparent affection and care than her own.
There are occasions, of course, when slaves are treated unreasonably, or even cruelly, by their masters, but in such cases they may appeal to their shaikh. The Shaikh of Kuwait always took pains to listen to any slave who came to him with complaints of ill-treatment, and if he decided that the petitioner could not safely be returned to his owner he would buy him himself, giving him ii monthly salary and encouraging him to look upon himself as an ordinary servant.
As a bought slave girl is a man’s personal property, it is not wrong in the eyes of the law for the master to take her as a concubine if he finds her attractive. This can happen only in the case of newly bought girls, however, and is practiced only among town Arabs. The custom does not exist among the badawin. Should a slave girl become pregnant by her master, the Sharia law lays down that he must immediately give the prospective mother her freedom, so that his child shall be born free. For the future, both will hold honored positions, the mother as a free woman who can no longer be carnally touched by her late master. Usually such freed women soon find husbands from among other freed slaves. The child, if a boy, remains and grows up as his father’s son but is, however, debarred from marrying a pure-bred Arab girl when he grows up. Slave-born daughters receive equivalent treatment. If an Arab woman suckles her little slave child, that child can never be sold as a slave; it is henceforth free, like her own children.
A domestic male slave’s duties in the town are legion, but all honorable. He is doorkeeper, he looks after stores, household supplies, holds positions of trust, keeps account of the home water supply, makes coffee, accompanies the ladies of the house when they go out, and look after the needs of the harem. The lot of the female domestic slave in a nice family is an easy and privileged one. She looks after her mistress and her robes and always dresses her. She is often the cook or seamstress, she goes down to the seashore and does the family washing with the younger women of the house and accompanies her mistress on her calling expeditions. Like the male slave she of ten holds positions of considerable responsibility and trust.
Slaves may rely on the protection of their master, for they know that their lord will avenge himself on any stranger who harms his slave, more than if he were his own son.
Among the badawin tribes almost every shaikh or well-to-do member of a tribe has his male slaves, whether born in the family or bought, and their ‘womenfolk have female slaves. Speaking generally, bought slaves are the rule. The slave in the desert is normally treated well, although he has, of course, to work and take his full share in drawing water for sheep and camels and in cutting brushwood for the use of the tent. Since he can stand the summer heat better than the Arab, he does a lot of the work connected with the care and tending of camels when his master and mistress are camped on water during the hot season.
In the desert during times of war, slaves are considered to be good spoil, much like camels. Normally a body of riders on a camel-lifting expedition will not carry off a single slave man found in charge of grazing camels as he would hinder rapid movement. Instead they will merely bind and leave him. It is considered lawful, if you are at enmity with another tribe, to steal slave children and make them yours, but the same unwritten law insists, however, that such children be over ten years of age. Of course, the owner will attempt to effect a rescue and will kill the stealer if he can, even if he has to wait years to do so. If in a raid a freed slave, male or female, be carried off in error, it is the duty of the raiders to return him or her as soon as the mistake is found out.
No true Arab may lawfully marry a freed slave woman as we have noted, nor will any pure-bred badawin ever demean himself by having sexual connection with any of his bought female slaves. They consider this very disgraceful, and refuse to accept the argument of certain noble and princely semi-badawin families, such as the Al Sa’adun of Iraq, that because a slave girl is your property entirely, she is yours to do with as you like without sin. The badawin calls this town sophistry, and it is one of the things that causes him to despise the town-dweller.

A Snowball in my Faith

I remember one time in high-school I asked my Islamic mythology teacher this hot question:
Did Islam prohibit Slavery as it did other sins like drinking alcohol and/or Man slaughter ?
And after some beating around the bush, with needed and unneeded arguments to get away with the answer I was seeking. She finally admitted that Islam definitely prohibited it, but INDIRECTLY. And she justified the reason behind this indirectness by saying:

Islam came at a time where the whole society was totally dependant on slaves. And it was not possible to prohibit it and collapse the whole system. That’s why it strongly encouraged freeing slaves, and threatened the ones who might abuse this right.

That was the most provocative answer I heard in my life. It opened a Pandora’s Box in my head; it busied my mind with millions of other unanswered questions and doubts.
How could this be?

If the verse “there is no God but one God” is the first sentence a Moslem recites to declare his deity to Allah; the one and only.
If it is the first vow that he takes in his shahada*.
If from that moment he is to understand that he and all others are equal before ONE God.
If his worshippers are to seal a sacred bond to the belief of equity before him.
Then how can this great Allah allow the sovereignty of man over man when he orders us not to bow but to his holiness. To his almightiness. To his ONENESS?

If God; The Equitable , who equates Arabs to none-Arabs and judges none, but each and every one’s individual deeds, then how can the JUST be unjust?

No, that just didn’t make any sense; forbidding alcohol was a very sensitive issue in that same society, yet Islam approach it in “stages”, Couldn’t then slavery be treated in the same manner?

It was then when I felt this urging need to seek the answer in Quran and 7adeath li ya6ma’n galbi**.
And in my quest for truth I found out that Islam handled the issue of slavery in a very peculiar manner wa lam ya6ma’n galbi ***

It did not prohibit it as our text books conditioned us to believe. Slavery existed for decades after Islam. It did not prohibit practicing its market. Free people were owned at times of war as Sabaya****, and Islam did not stop it. Islam even gave the owners of female slaves the right to mate as many of them as they owned. And regardless of how kind their masters were to those slaves, the fact remains that they were slaves; they didn’t have any choice.

But nevertheless, Islam did encourage freeing slaves and threatened the ones who might abuse this right. But it did not forbid owning slaves.

This is more like prescribing a Panadol for a patient that suffers from cancer.

Quran is explicit in postulating Islam as the antithesis of jahiliyya*****. It institutes legislation and determines principles of right and wrong conduct. If this is a known fact, then how come, according to Quran, drinking alcohol is considered a sin that leads to hell and Slavery is not?

Nothing can be as valuable as one’s freedom; taking a man’s freedom is like taking his life, may be even worse.

God, the mercy, the love, the just is much mightier than to allow such a brutal act, he created me a free soul, not to be enslaved by anyone but his ONENESS.

And the snowball continued to roll

* Shahada: to become a Moslem you have to recite and seal your bond to your faith by the verse: there is no God but Allah, and Mohamad is his messenger.
** li yatma’n galbi: to reassure my faith
*** lam yatma’n galbiIt: decreased my faith
**** Sabaya: in victory, the wining party were permitted to own the losing party’s men and women as slaves

***** jahiliyya: the ignorant time before Islam

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