How important are women in Islam?

How important are women in Islam?

“When a Muslim woman is born she becomes a reason her father will enter paradise and when she becomes a mother paradise is under her feet.”

This is one of my favourite quotes as it sums up how cherished we are to our families and religion.

The most common misconception I come across especially online is when people assume just because I am a female and Muslim, I am somehow treated badly and terribly oppressed. This is not the case at all, I have never been oppressed in my life nor treated badly (apart from the time my mum refused to let me go out one evening and I was grounded for having a massive strop).

Growing up as mentioned before I was never discouraged to not do anything, the only thing my parents ever said was to be sensible and be safe. I was never told I could not go out, socialise with friends or work. In fact as soon as I was 16 I applied at a small boutique to fund my shopping habit!

So what does the Quran say about women?

Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) said:

“The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife” [Abu Dawud]

A women is to be treated as God has endowed her with rights, we have the right to own and dispose of our own property and earnings (you know that saying what’s yours is mine but what’s mine is mine 😀 ).  Despite what people make out we have a right to choose our husband, this is something I will address later on in regards to my marriage.

We have the right to be educated and work, the right to inherit from our father, mother and husband. What some people do not realise is what they read and see tend to be situations which have derived from countries where the abuse of power and a corrupt government is in place. This does not mean the religion oppresses women, this means those people who are imposing such restrictions in the first place are in fact oppressing them.

This brings me to the next point, of when people tend to say to me “why don’t you go and live in a Muslim country and live there and see how you are treated”. I love travelling and I have been to many Muslim countries, the main one which I go regularly is Pakistan. This is because I have relatives out there who I try and see when I can.

I will not say when I go Pakistan everything is perfect, it is not. This is largely due to the fact I see so much poverty and this really upsets me. I love seeing the culture, spending time exploring different areas of Pakistan and it is beautiful, something which tends to be overlooked.

My grandfather was a captain in the army and my grandmother was a huge advocate for the girls in my family to be educated. She would make sure each grandchild went to the best school, college and then send them to university. My grandfather would happily support this and in their spare time once my grandfather had retired they spent their time helping out in charities and feeding the poor.

I cannot commend my grandmother enough, she passed away 5 years ago. I was astonished to see the thousands of people who came to her funeral, so many beautiful stories of how she helped people in need and would go above and beyond to anyone that needed her.

I do think if people think us Muslim women are oppressed they should have a coffee with us or spend the day with us, I cannot promise you that you will not be exhausted from all the running around though 😉 .

Speaking to People on “the other side”

Speaking to People on “the other side”

The one thing I have noticed online is we all seem to have ‘labels’ for people, for example people who defend Islam or are more challenging are seemed to be labelled ‘lefties’ and those who are ‘true patriots’ and want to have their ‘free speech’ are labelled as ‘far right’.

I do not have an issue with anyone who believe in free speech, their belief or how they choose to live. I do however have a problem with people who try to abuse the ‘free speech’ line and start insulting and abusing others.

Previously I used to get very upset and very angry when I would come across people who would be insulting Muslims and the religion, in fact not just Islam but anyone who would bully and abuse someone based on what they believe and think. I would get myself worked up and it would end up in some kind of slanging match on twitter. They would say something insulting then I would get annoyed and say something back etc.

As time went on I started to view things differently, maybe it was me getting older or the fact I was getting stuck in this horrible vicious negative circle, but I did not want to continue like this. I mean how am I challenging someone on their belief that all Muslims are bad if all I am doing is reinforcing their views by being rude back?

I started to see if maybe I could change some minds on Islam, and over my time online I have met some very very amazing individuals. Individuals who have not met any Muslims before, and had created this view on Islam based on what the media showed Muslim’s as (let’s be honest, they do not tend to show us in a great light majority of the time!). I am not the most knowledgeable person in Islam but what I do know I started to share with people who were curious and wanted to know more.

Which brings me to someone special who I came across last year, we actually clashed at first on a thread about immigration and children. However this person listened to my views and we ended up messaging about Islam and any concerns they had. We talked about how I had read the bible when I was young, as for anyone who does know me will tell you I am a huge book worm! This individual is Christian and we discussed about going to church, about mosques, about the fact even at a young age my parents did nothing but encourage me to learn about other religions. I told this person how during a religious lesson at school I started to learn about Christianity and asked my parents for a Bible to read as I loved the stories!

Although this person still has his concerns and maybe some views about Islam, they have dramatically changed as the biggest problem was they had not interacted much with Muslims before, their views had been derived from what they saw online and groups such as “For Britain” etc.

This is why I continue to do what I do (being totally random and annoying), I believe if I can change just one person’s mind that is enough for me. If anything this shows together we can overcome people’s fear and worries and show them a different side to us Muslims.

 

 

 

Growing up 💁

Growing up 💁

I am the youngest sibling and I have 3 older sisters. I guess you could say I was a tiny bit spoilt but are you really the youngest if you are not a teeny bit loved more 😉

My older sisters were more introvert growing up, I was always the extrovert. We grew up in a small village and I was always finding different things to do to keep me entertained.

The one thing our dad ever wanted from us was to respect our elders, study hard, be independent and most of all show love and care to everyone around us.

I was always a mommy’s girl and towards the end I became 50/50. All of us were encouraged to go to university and gain our degrees and then find a job which we would enjoy.

When the subject of Islam came up nothing was imposed on us, such as my mum wears a hijab and she never once told us to wear it or force us. My parents always said to us when we are ready we should, as what is the point of doing something if your heart is not in it? We were also always encouraged to learn more about our faith in whichever way we found easier.

Me and my sister older than me started a Sunday Islamic class when we were in our teens. We were curious and wanted to ask questions and I remember the person who we went to always encouraged us to be open and honest.

This was when our faith started to strengthen, we asked questions which once upon a time didn’t make sense to us but did after Bhai Usman (the teacher) told us. He taught us the basics of Islam, why we pray, why we give to charity and look after one another.

Now by all means this does not make me an expert in Islam, in fact till this day I am constantly learning. However for me the answers I get and search for are enough to keep my faith strong.

 

 

 

Online Abuse

Online Abuse

20180110_092826.pngI joined twitter in 2013, I don’t actually recall why I signed up. I think it was curiosity more then anything.

I ended up speaking to some lovely people (who I still speak to today! You guys know who you are!) These amazing genuine people who take time out of their own day to debate/advise/help people on their views towards Muslims. These individuals who are not even Muslims themselves yet probably know more about Islam then I do.

The comments I came across online were and still are shocking, I was scrolling through my phone last week and came across some screenshots of when I had this troll attacking me consistently for weeks. He would be saying atrocious things like “I will boil your head in pig fat” “watch how people rape you” and so on. This was a case which was taken to court, it turned out to be some young man in Devon! I don’t think he was very happy once confronted but hey, don’t be mean to people and not expect some kind of repercussion right?!

This made me more determined to challenge people with these extremist views, how can someone think they are superior to someone else based on the colour of their skin or religion?

I understand people can sometimes get angry and wish to express their anger but to start abusing someone purely based on their religion is disgraceful.

I think many people will understand my next topic in regards to terrorist attacks, I still do not think people such as the far right understand the concept that ISIS have attacked more Muslims, they do not care who they harm. They do not represent me or my religion a single iota, in fact I do not even know what they believe in as everything they do goes against everything I have learned.

Whenever there is news about an attack I know I suddenly get a terrible sickening feeling at the pit of my stomach, my first thought is anger that these assholes have hurt innocents again! And then praying that my family members who do wear the hijab or more traditional wear do not get any abuse. I guess we always think we can handle anything which is why our main concerns is for our loved ones.

During these times are when the real abuse will come out, you will have people saying all Muslims must pay, leave the country and are no longer welcomed. I am a British citizen and no way in any shape or form do those scum represent me or my beliefs.

This is when tensions are high which I understand, but I also believe its time like this we need to come together more. We do not want to give these scum any satisfaction, in fact together we need to overcome their hate. I know this may sound so textbook but I genuinely believe we have more love then hate in this world. This is what will be our strength.