Friday, April 27, 2007

The Prophet's Challenge

Do not show me a verse saying women have to wear the hijab.
Show me an instance where the Prophet jailed someone for not covering up.

Do not show me a hadith about how long the Prophet’s beard was,
Did the Prophet ever criminalize shaving in his laws?

There are ample examples of his kindness and his gentle smile,
Yet show me where the Prophet punished a boy for having the wrong hairstyle?

Yes, I know praying 5 times a day is mandatory.
But beating someone who doesn't is not the way of my Nabi.

And while we are at it ...

Did my Prophet cut off the breasts of a mannequin?

Did my Prophet regulate the color of the scarf?

Let’s see what the first words of Prophet Muhammad, as leader of Medina, as the head of the world’s first truly Islamic state, was.

It wasn’t a dress regulation, or a crackdown on music, or mandating the beard’s length.

Ya aiuhan nas

O people.

Ibsus Salam

Exchange the greetings of peace with one another.

Wa atimut tawaam

Feed those who are hungry.

Wa sallu bil laili wannaasu niyam

Pray in the night when the rest of the people are asleep.

Idkhulul jannata bissalaam

Surely you will enter Paradise in peace.

The reason why Iran is cracking down on head scarves, T-shirts, hairstyles etc. is not because they want to make things more 'Islamic' - it's because they failed the Prophet's Challenge of delivering basic services to the people. Food. Water. Social Programs. Education. Cost of Living.
Some commentators have suggested that the government is conducting this crackdown to distract attention from the rising cost of living in Iran and increasing tension with the international community over the nuclear issue.

36 comments:

Shoaib Muhammad said...

I'm with you on it a 100%

They like to brag on forgetting the true fundamentals of this wonderful blessed religion!!

MH said...

Talk about misplaced priorities.
"An opinion poll conducted in Tehran found 86% of people were in favour of the crackdown."
Yes, we should believe the results of an opinion poll conducted in a country where you don't even have a say about the way you dress. Have they never heard of the hadeeth where the Prophet said, "Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 69. Narrated by Anas bin Malik)?

Btw, nice blog. Insightful and hilarious :)

Zehra said...

Beautiful post, Mezba! If only the Muslim world and the self-appointed, all-knowing, fatwa-declaring maulvis did not lose sight of this, the Islamic world would be a much happier and safer place.

sorry, i haven't commented in a while but i have not missed a single post. it's always a pleasure to come back to your blog. :)

mousehunter said...

I think too that it is a distraction technique, and of course, only other muslims will see it for what it really is.

'liya said...

I love you for this post, really I do, it's beautiful.

Em said...

Salaam.
What an excellent post.

mezba said...

Shoaib: Sometimes I wonder how these leaders sleep at night when Allah has said a leader will have to answer for the needs of each of his subjects on the day of judgement!

Mh: welcome and thanx for the nice words.

A misplaced sense of priorities - Exactly!

Zehra: nice to see you back. Hope things are dandy with you. The problem with our malvis are that they are under the thumb of corrupt leaders.

Mousehunter: remember the Prophet cartoons? Suddenly they became big four months after their original publication when suddenly some of the rulers were facing some sort of criticism or whatever.

Liya and Em: Thanx.

Anonymous said...

A similar question was asked in a forum i.e. the Prophet (pbuh) did not advocate violence against a number of people who insulted him, the answer given was as follows.
The gist is that even if the Prophet (pbuh) did not himself enforce harsh laws, people were killed for insulting him and adulterers were stoned to death during his time, so that should be the case in an ideal Muslim country as well

(sorry for the lengthy quote) :

If you ask them (about this), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed” [al-Tawbah 9:64-66]
this verse clearly states that mocking Allaah, His verses and His Messenger constitutes kufr, so that applies even more so to insulting. The verse also indicates that whoever belittles the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is also a kaafir, whether he was serious or joking.

Abu Dawood (4362) narrated from ‘Ali that a Jewish woman used to insult the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and say bad things about him, so a man strangled her until she died, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ruled that no blood money was due in this case.

youngmuslimah said...

assalamualaikum,

I agree! 'There's no compulsion in religion'.
What Iran can do is create widespread awareness. Arresting women, and thrusting rules won't make things better. It makes people all the more rebellious.
The Prophet(saws) used hikmah while passing on the message. He didn't force people to cover up!
Some minister in Iran justified the rule saying 'men stare at models and ignore their own wives at home'. darn, why cant they do anything about that? If you look at the Qur'an, men are ordered to lower their gaze FIRST. Next, comes the command for women.
got loads to say, but i'll stop here.

Suroor said...

Great post! I really, really like it.

Sorry, can't argue against your points even if I was Iranian!

fathima said...

Mezba,

I saw your blog and I felt I had to comment. First of all, back when the Prophet SAW was alive the women did not dress the way the women of today dress they all wore abaya like dresses and covered their hair, even the christian and jewish women covered their hair at that time. The same for the men wearing beards believing men and non-believing men wore beards. Their personal appearance was modest and simple, only the rich and pompous wore the expensive colorful dresses(even then their dresses were not revealing)

Back then when the Prophet SAW said something the muslims immediately obeyed, no questions asked. They were extremely humble, whenever a question was asked to them either by the Prophet SAW or others they would first say Allah and his Rasul know best. Not like the muslims of today, who question everything in the quran, or better yet, they spurt out fatwas like their some kind of scholar. Real scholars spent 7 (or more years) in madrasa to learn and understand the quran. So how can someone just read the quran and explain it like they know what they are talking about. I agree that all the regulations imposed on those people are harsh and not the way of our Nabi SAW. During the Prophet SAW's time was much different from the times of today. But things are going from bad to worse. People try to justify why they don't cover or pray. Ofcourse Islam should not be forced on a person Allah does not force you to do anything, you must do things to please Allah and for his pleasure only. Covering is a commandment from Allah, don't want to,then pay the consequences. Praying 5 times a day is a commandment from Allah, don't want to do it, then pay the consequenses. These people are being punished by other PEOPLE for disobeying Allah, in this world. Imagine on the day of judgement what Allah would to them and us too( we're know better).
My purpose of writing this comment is not to bring you down, I just felt that, it looked like it was okay not to cover, pray, or grow a beard, coz' it was their right to. Allah gives you the right to obey and disobey, in my opinion its stupidity to disobey, knowing the consequences. I hope you approve of this comment so that it may be posted and if if you can post it in your main blog so others can comment as well as you.

Anonymous said...

Fathima, I believe Mezba is reminding us that nothing can be forced. You can not force a person to grow a beard, growing a beard does not make you any more religious than the next person. A gentle reminder that Islam is a very simple religion to follow and that we should not make it harder than it is, is quite beautiful.

singlemuslimah said...

Great post. I agree with you 100%. Their priorities are so misplaced.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny and sad how pple start JUDGING other human beings when at the end, all of us are to be judged. It is true that some pple are *pushing it*(going overboard on both sides),but who are we to judge, I believe that everyone has their own faults. So, before we point our fingers,we should all fix our own problems(to the pple implementing rules which they themselves do not follow,ie the leaders). sf

The Bengali Fob said...

Completely agree! BTW, right now there's a link to a news article on Yahoo titled, "Turkish protesters rally against Islamic-rooted government".

For some reason I always notice these types of titles that are so negative towards Islam.... *sigh

fathima said...

I totally agree that you can not force a person to grow a beard,etc. I just wish people would start talking about the importance of following the way of the prophet SAW In the quran it says success lies in following the quran and sunnah.By doing this Insha Allah Allah will open our hearts and there would be more understanding. By keeping quiet, and just saying don't force anyone, makes it look like its okay, when it's not. I was born and raised in America, I did not cover till I was in my early 20's. Due to lack of knowledge and ignorance.. I didn't realize it was mandatory, of course I didn't do it right away, but in time my heart opened up and I saw the beauty of it all. Allah commands us do obey him because he loves us so much and if we obey him we are protecting ourselves from the bad .

mezba said...

Anon: people were never killed for insulting the Prophet - that is a false propaganda used by those against Islam or by those who wish to stifle democratic right of freedom of speech.

Many a times the Jews in Medina used to make fun of the Muslims or the Prophet. Once when the verse was revealed the gist of which was about "whosoever giving a loan to Allah will have done a good business" when Allah was referring to Muslims donating to the mosque and to the state - the Jews were the first to make fun of it. So these are citizens of a state making fun of the Quran, of the Prophet, of our God. Did our Prophet do anything? No.

The Jewess who poisoned him. Nothing. The lady who put thorns in his path. Nothing.

All actions were taken against those who uttered a physical threat of harm against the Prophet. Even today it is illegal to threaten the President or Prime Minister of any Western country with physical harm.

If you have more cases you wish to discuss you can comment, but I won't reply if you are still under 'anon'. I need a name!

Youngmuslimah: it is funny that women are being punished because 'men can't control their lusts'. It is insulting to us men as well - treating us as if we are merely hormone driven animals with zero control over our actions. I have lived for over a decade in the west in the middle of all temptations and have been fine, thank you very much.

Suroor: thanx.

Fathima:

First of all, back when the Prophet SAW was alive the women did not dress the way the women of today dress they all wore abaya like dresses and covered their hair, even the christian and jewish women covered their hair at that time. The same for the men wearing beards believing men and non-believing men wore beards. Their personal appearance was modest and simple, only the rich and pompous wore the expensive colorful dresses(even then their dresses were not revealing)

You might be mistaken in some ways here. Those days were the Day of Ignorance where men and women went around the Kabah naked. References are extensive. Shame was absent and men and women were equally 'devious' as they are today.

when the Prophet SAW said something the muslims immediately obeyed, no questions asked.

true in the religious sense, not true otherwise. Many muslims opposed his battle plans for Badr, Umar was unhappy at the Hudaibiya treaty and so on.

When I wrote this I am not arguing about hijab or beard or anything. I just want the freedom to practice MY religion MY way. If I am wrong so be it. Who is the government of Iran to decide my hijab is wrong? The Prophet never bothered himself with any such moral or religious policing. He led by example.


Anon: yes.

Single Muslimah: yup. They failed in their main priorities (the government should govern and that means supplying daily necessities of life to people).

Bfob: I will discuss the Turkish article sometime hopefully but you can read this.

It seems the Islamic government of Turkey is actually doing things right but since it's "Islamic" the West does not want it to succeed and magnifies any mistake it makes into a huge deal.

Fathima: that's what I am saying. Nothing can be forced. The government should just do its primary duty.

Ruby said...

bravo mezba bravo! well said!

Anonymous said...

as an iranian i feel compeled to comment.

whilst i wholeheartedly agree with your post mezba, there are many things about iran and iranians that you just do not understand and which are too complicated to explain here.

although i absolutely abhore forced coverings, you must go to iran and see for yourself the way these girls dress. in iran and many arab countries, men are to put it nicely absolute perverts.
i have seen girls/women in short coats so tight you can make out their underwear; make up so thick u can poke yr fingers in; and i wont move onto hair styles. tehran has the highest incidence of nose jobs in the world. u wont get arrested for showing your 'bangs'. but u will if u dress like your having a go at the oldest profession in the world

whilst i dont agree with the governments stance, i definetly dont agree with these girls either. their intentions for dressing this way are more than clear. iran is not miami. we have had a hisory of first zorastrianism and then islam. both single god worshiping religions. we have culture. we have 'shame'. ppl there are different to the west.
when in rome..

and the most saddening thing is that if iran lifted the 'covering requirements' tomorrow- they would have chaos on their hands -a product of their own doings.

Samiha Esha said...

Nice Post...Congrats Mezba bhaia :)

youngmuslimah said...

mezba, I think anon's got a point..

I don't agree w/ the way the govt's handling the situation.
Being born and raised in a 'muslim' country, I've learned that people tend to take Islam for granted..they see it everywhere, don't have to struggle to live their life in accordance to the Qur'an/hadith/sunnah.

I've family living in the west, and most of them are better than many people here any day!

youngmuslimah said...

I forgot to mention! Forcing people to wear a 'proper hijab' doesn't help.
In India, you can see Iranian girls in short belly revealing trousers and tight tops..they can't wear them in their motherland..it's almost like being a hypocrite.

Anisa said...

you have brought tears to my eyes with your eloquence. i 100% agree with you. thank you for this post!!!

Aisha said...

Well, you've gone and done it now... you've made me cry.... *Sigh* Every word you said is true...

I love Islam... my issue is with Muslims...

a Muslim said...

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "There will emerge from the East some people who will recite the Qur'an but it will not exceed their throats and who will go out of (renounce) the religion (Islam) as an arrow passes through the game, and they will never come back to it unless the arrow, comes back to the middle of the bow (by itself) (i.e., impossible). The people asked, "What will their signs be?" He said, "Their sign will be the habit of shaving (of their beards). (Fateh Al-Bari, Page 322, Vol. 17th)
Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 651

mezba said...

Ruby, thanx.

Anon, while I agree that I don't know much about Iranian culture, however forcing a dress code and regulating Islam like the draconian way this government is doing tells me more about their failure as a government than anything else.

Samiha, thank you.

Anisa, thanx. Nice to see you back.

Aisha, there there now sis. Don't cry! It will spoil the make up and you would have to go to that spa again! lol j/k thanx for the comments.

a muslim, and your point being ...?

Sumera said...

Agree with you Mezba. And these leaders? They think they are aiding in implementing love of Islam in peoples hearts by beating them if they dont comply with dress regulations!

Ironic isnt it?

youngmuslimah said...

i'm sorry, were my comments offending?*confused*

mezba said...

Young Muslimah, I don't get your comments delivered to my mail for some reason - that's how I approve comments, I don't login to blogger unless I want to post. So I didn't see any of your comments until today.

Yes, I agree every society has the right to set a basic standard of decency. But like you (I think) I don't agree with the Iranian government. When the government abandons its main policy of being for the people, of the people or by the people, then it's no different from being a tyrant. If Iranian government was truly Islamic, they wouldn't worry about what the women were wearing and get down to the business of making sure the living standards went up.

mezba said...

Sumera, the more they force people the more the people will run away from Islam. This is the reality for students from an Islamic school. It's true in that situation and it will be true for Iran. When that government falls Iranians will have the biggest debauchery of a party.

Hayder said...

The Iranian government does not force people to act in a certain way within their homes. These laws and regulations are in place when in the public only. It even says in the Quran, "live by the law of your land". Now if you disobey the law of your land, you are going to face the consequences.

Look at Saudi Arabia. If you steal, your hands are cut off - hence, nobody steals. Now the consequence for stealing is one which could be questionned, because the Prophet never carried out such extreme actions, but nobody says anything about that.

If the government of Iran was not acting strict, there would be no difference between the people of Iran and any country in the West - fully modernised, no beards, no hijaabs - going back to the days of the Shah Of Iran - leading to haraam temptations arising on the part of men and women.

Good job Iran. Keep it up. Other countries should follow this example!

Simika said...

nice :)

mezba said...

Hayder: The Iranian government does not force people to act in a certain way within their homes.

I guess if I put a poster on a street in Tehran announcing a grand mixed-gender clothing optional party in my apartment in Tehran I won't get a visit from the religious police.

It even says in the Quran, "live by the law of your land".

Please give the reference, cause according to the law of my land I am allowed to premarital sex.

Look at Saudi Arabia. If you steal, your hands are cut off - hence, nobody steals.

Then I am sure we don't need police in Saudi Arabia then. Because, you know, no body steals.

because the Prophet never carried out such extreme actions,

The prophet DID carry out punishments such as death punishment, chopping off of hands, and so on. However, he DID NOT punish anyone for not wearing the proper scarf.
Or having long hair.
Or not going for prayers on time.
Which is all what the point of the post was.

If the government of Iran was not acting strict, there would be no difference between the people of Iran and any country in the West - fully modernised, no beards, no hijaabs - going back to the days of the Shah Of Iran - leading to haraam temptations arising on the part of men and women.

Ya, don't follow the evil west and their minimum wage laws, human rights and worker safety laws, equal treatment of men and women, equal rights for men and women, education and healthcare, feeding the hungry, taking care of the old and disabled, and running welfare programs for the poor. Those are so Un-Islamic, right?

Simika: Thanx.

Anonymous said...

To Hayder,

A pretty strong myth among many Muslims is that Saudi Arabia is the safest place on earth because of its laws.

In reality, there are non-Muslim countries safer than Saudi, and also in Saudi Sharia, stealing a gold watch (which of course is bad), is much worse than not paying employees and using the money to indulge in luxuries. The latter "criminal" will never be punished by police, as eh is "Saudi" while his employees are non-Arabs.

MM

Anonymous said...

its funny how women are always the ones who have to be 'fixed' and shown how to properly practice their religion. if a woman doesnt wear a scarf or hijab then there must be something wrong with her, she just must not have Islam in her 'heart'! what a load of bs.

mezba said...

MM: in some of these countries the wage to be paid to the labourers toiling in the hot sun is $4 PER DAY, and yet many are not paid for months.

Anon: It's also sad that we (the West) supports one such despotic power (I don't need to mention names) while ranting against another.