Just curious - how many muslims are on mumsnet?

(998 Posts)
Galvanise Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:53

Hello/Salaam,

I know mumsnet has a wide and diverse population and I tend to recognise some MN usernames as regulars. Just intrigued to know how big/small a community it may be.

Of course, I respect that there may be those who do not wish to even identify themselves for various reasons - which is fine too.

I am not asking for 'religiousness' levels or any vital stats! Nor is this a muslim-only thread or an 'no non-muslims' thread.
If you really wish to tell me that you are not a muslim, that is fine too smile

<Waves enthusiastically to all muslims and non-muslims> smile

crescentmoon Sat 01-Dec-12 08:54:25

Salam alaikum my sister.

Galvanise Sun 02-Dec-12 01:10:40

wa'alaikum Salaam

great to have 1 here! smile

I have seen you post on many 'muslim' topics crescentmoon - and great posts they are too mashallah. smile

HardlyEverHoovers Mon 03-Dec-12 06:37:52

Asalam u alikum, I'm putting my hand in the air!

JakeBullet Mon 03-Dec-12 06:57:51

I am not Muslim but I know there are people here who are <waves to the posters who posted before me>. I have spoken to others who are Muslim on some of the spiritual threads. I also belong to a Facebook multi-faith prayer group who pray for peace etc as a group, this includes several people who are Muslim. The group started after a thread on MN so we all came from here.

crescentmoon Mon 03-Dec-12 14:06:04

Jazakhallah Galvanise (fell in love with the song too after the London Olympics!) for your comment. Recently I've got to thinking I'm posting too much on threads that involve 'muslim' topics i sometimes just lurk and leave it for other sisters to post.

I reckon there are a fair few muslimahs on mumsnet but many probably post and stick to non religious topics. I'm thinking to do that myself from now on and just keep to 'light' subjects and threads!

These two verses are probably the closest to 'turning the cheek' in Islam and I've taken a lot of comfort from them recently when reading certain threads. I find myself getting less cross and just being chill like most other sisters on mn are....

"And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’ (salaam)." [The Holy Qur’an, chapter 25, verse 63]

""And when they hear vain talk, they turn away there from and say: ‘to us our deeds, and to you yours; peace (Salaams) be to you: we Seek not the ignorant.’ " [The Holy Qur’an, chapter 28, verse 55]

Il do you one better hardlyeverhoovers Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah. (peace be upon you and the mercy of God)

""When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more Courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things." [The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 4, verse 86]

Im your bog standard Sunni, orthodox, madhab following, sufi Muslim, hahaha.I really don't do much more than the 5 pillars: prayer, fasting, zakat etc I've done the 'once in a lifetime' Hajj alhamdullillah, i just need to maintain the first 4 until my soul is called back. I've been following sufi teachers for a Long while now because I felt I really wanted to explore the inner dimensions of worship and take myself up from basic level but I probably still keep away from more things than actively implement.

I don't post much on spirituality jackbullet that facebook group sounds very interesting. I wonder whic threads they started from? I've been reading a lot of Rumi recently and Feeling inspired at his words, I like knight of albions 'soul aflame' thread.

HardlyEverHoovers Mon 03-Dec-12 14:39:16

Wali kum asalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu Crescentmoon, is there anywhere to go after that?
Like your self description, would be quite similar to mine except I would add the word (failing) in front of Sufi at the moment!
I quite enjoy being unidentifiably Muslim on non-religious MN threads (as far as I know the headscarf isn't visible on here!). It makes a nice change and I don't feel I have to prove I'm normal before I start contributing. That said, my first use of MN was specifically to gain advice from Muslim women so I suppose it's the best of both worlds.

crescentmoon Mon 03-Dec-12 15:34:47

Well I go to dhikr and attend mawlid - gatherings on rememberance of the Prophet- most weeks so that's why I say I'm a bog standard Sufi. But I'm not 'those who race ahead' type of muslim!

Galvanise Tue 04-Dec-12 08:44:32

Salaam all smile

Thanks for responding people.

I also love mn for some bits of advice and opinions and perspectives too.

You dont necessarily agree with them all but gives you great insight! smile

crescentmoon Tue 04-Dec-12 15:00:16

(totally get you galvanise. I get the wisdom behind a lot of the deen's teachings reading many MN threads especially in relationships. And I have learnt how to articulate and make changes in my own life and radiate it outward in my own community based on wisdoms shared on alot of threads as well.)

How about we turn this into a general Muslim spirituality thread OP? Sharing small ayahs from the Quran, hadith of the prophet (pbuh) and prayers?

YouSayPotato Wed 05-Dec-12 10:21:24

I am!!!

Just wondering Crescentmoon what is sufism and why are u interested in it?

firefly11 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:38:49

I find Sufism really interesting. I love Rumi. But do you have to be a Muslim to be a Sufi? It seems from some Muslim forums I've read that you have to?

crescentmoon Wed 05-Dec-12 15:10:17

Salam alaikum dear yousay and firefly. I became interested in tasawwuf because i really wanted to purify my heart. Tassawuf is about calling oneself to account before you are called to account by God. It is basically:

Taqwa - God fearingness
Ikhlas - sincerity
Tawakul - reliance on God
Rahma - mercy
Tawadu - humility

I wish that I could inculcate those values sincerely within myself.
I also love the Sufis because of their humility and their love of the prophet (pbuh) and their mercy for the ummah of Muhammad (pbuh). Of course one can be a sincere Muslim without being a sufi but they have made self purification a science and a discipline by itself. I'm a long way from it but it's an aspiration of mine. Got to get the kids now!

Cuddledup Wed 05-Dec-12 18:33:03

Dear Muslim ladies,
I recently read an interesting book about women who had converted to Islam but the one question that wasn't answered was how do converts/reverts decide whether to become Sunni or Shia. SOrry I can't remember the name of the book.(It was by someone with a name like N B Roberts?) Look forward to your answers.

crescentmoon Thu 06-Dec-12 20:09:02

Was it 'From my sisters lips' by naima b Roberts cuddleup? It's a nice book. There is another one about western female converts called 'daughters of another path' by Carol L. Anway, a Christian woman who was writing about her own daughters conversion and the conversions of other American Women. That book has experiences of Women choosing Shia Islam as well as women choosing Sunni Islam. I readi t years ago so can't remember it in detail. But it's a good gift for the non muslim families of converts to read as well as converts themselves.

daughters of another path

daughters of another path full PDF

I think most women convert to Islam then decide after. It probably depends more on the views of the women they speak to. I am quite sure that tony blair's sister in law converted to Shia Islam 2 years ago whilst on a trip to Iran. Probably because she was working in Iran when she converted so naturally took the local practise as well.

Cuddledup Fri 07-Dec-12 09:04:14

Crescent thank you so much for that explanation, it makes total sense.
Yes you're right the book I read was From my sister's lips, I found it really informative and I learned so much - particularly about the role of women in Islam (though at point I got a bit annoyed with her style of writing IYKWIM)

THanks SO much for the pdf Daughters of another path I look forward to reading it. I really do appreciate you taking the trouble to send it to me.
Best wishes

crescentmoon Fri 07-Dec-12 12:54:16

thanks cuddleup. i hope other people get to read it as well, especially converts and their families. written by a non muslim mother of a female convert its an emotional book, i hope that you find the writing style better!

as for do you have to be a muslim to be a sufi firefly? theres orthodox mainstream sufism, where it is very much based on belief in One God. and theres non mainstream esoteric sufism.

Rumi bridges both. to orthodox muslims he is Mawlana Jallaluddin Ar Rumi, a Tajik Muslim, a great sufi teacher but also a scholar of the Sunni Hanafi legal school of thought. his most influential teacher imam Shamsuddin was also a scholar of the Sunni shaafiee school of law. when i read Rumi's poetry i can see alot of quranic concepts and his own explanations of very well known hadith (sayings) of the Prophet (pbuh)

www.dar-al-masnavi.org/about_rumi.html

but to a non muslim it is not so much the source of his writings but his wisdoms on love of the Divine Being and unity of the Divine Being. he doesnt talk about heaven or hell only love.

here is a video of an Israeli Jewish man, Miki Cohen, who joined the Sufi Mevlevi order in Turkey. it was the first time they allowed a non muslim man to join the whirling dervishes, and it is a very interesting video to watch.

www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2012/05/2012513114220976867.html

im not a whirling dervish kind of gal - little bit out of my comfort zone though my DH is right at home with it! but in some muslim countries Rumi's poetry is part of the curriculum. I have a dear Omani friend who grew up in school in Oman studying Rumi - i think it would be good to teach his works in weekend and after school madressahs here in the UK. i actually quote Rumi sometimes to my own children!

crescentmoon Fri 07-Dec-12 15:02:20

""Everyone prays to You from fear of the Fire;
And if You do not put them in the Fire,
This is their reward.
Or they pray to You for the Garden,
Full of fruits and flowers.
And that is their prize.
But I do not pray to You like this,
For I am not afraid of the Fire,
And I do not ask You for the Garden.
But all I want is the Essence of Your Love,
And to return to be One with You,"

Rabia Al Adawiyyah of Basra. famous female sufi

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 08-Dec-12 16:26:49

Ooh, I'm looking forward to reading that book Crescentmoon, might be a bit close to the bone, my mum is very supportive but I think it would be very emotional for me to understand the feelings she must have gone through when I converted to Islam (then started wearing a headscarf, then starting wearing 'a lot of clothes' (her words), then married a foreigner with a big beard, etc, etc,etc!).

I really like the idea of sharing quotes etc. I'm currently working my way through 'Gardens of the Righteous' hadith (sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him) collection, which I read when I'm sat next to DS's cot, waiting for him to go to sleep. I love the way that you can be reading something like that and most of it, you expect to read, you've heard it before in some form or another, but just occasionally you come across something totally new. I found a hadith about the 3 people who had spoken in infancy which I had never heard before and inshAllah (God willing) I'll share sometime when I can find it again.

For now, I thought I would share the famous hadith of Gibril (Gabriel) as it links into the posts about tasawwuf (it's so long that I'm providing a link, don't know how to do that conversion thing, sorry):
http://www.csus.edu/hum/syllabi/s2007/hrs144_hadith_gabriel.pdf

Firefly11 I'd like to respond to your question about whether you have to be Muslim to be Sufi. There are some people who use the name Sufi who are not Muslim, but if you were to ask a Muslim this question I think they would all say yes. Sufism is one aspect of Islam (as it attempts to acheive the 'ihsan' state mentioned in the hadith), so while people may benefit in some ways from taking the Sufi practises without anything else, they will not utlimately be following it in its' true form. It would be like baking bread if all you had was flour, you have one essential ingredient but without the others you would not get very far. Also Sufis like all Muslims operate within the sacred law, so if people were mixing sufi practises with other elements that were not permissible in Islam, it would be entirely meaningless from an Islamic point of view.

Cuddledup Sat 08-Dec-12 22:28:56

Crescent thank you for the link to the programme about Rumi / whirling dervish. (I watched it whilst doing a pile of ironing and found it really interesting.). My knowledge of Rumi is limited to reading "Forty Rules of Love" - great book, v readable.
I"ve started reading the book on American converts - it's interesting.
THANK YOU.

Galvanise Sun 09-Dec-12 00:39:08

Great link hardly smile

firefly11 Sun 09-Dec-12 01:12:54

crescent and hardly, thank you both for taking the time to explain. I find Rumi's words very beautiful. I had to Google whirling dervish because I wasn't sure what it was. And when I saw the Youtube video of it in Turkey somewhere, I recognised the attire as that which is rather similar to what Rumi wears in some illustrations of him. They spin round very gracefully and it's a miracle they don't feel dizzy.

I'm at a sort of period now where I am quite into the spiritual side of things. I have met many Muslims in my life and have been struck by many of them for their strong faith. It's something I lacked for most of my life and only recently it has grown stronger. I am not sure about converting though, and my husband would definitely not convert even if I do and my in laws and my parents would be very disappointed if I did. I am reading up on different things and happy to just have a personal relationship with God in my own way for now. I have always been drawn towards monotheistic religions...

Cuddledup Sun 09-Dec-12 07:58:26

Good morning friends,
Please could someone recommend me a book of Rumi's poetry / writings.
Thank you

HardlyEverHoovers Sun 09-Dec-12 13:01:51

firefly11, may God be with you in your spiritual journey, and the best advice I could give, having gone through (and am still going through) exploration and change, is to relax and enjoy it, and let your heart guide you. And remember, any decisions you make are between you and God primarily. When I converted to Islam I didn't tell anyone for quite a while, and my parents were the last to know!
I was also drawn to the monotheistic religions, despite having been brought up in an athiest household, and most of my experiences prior to Islam, being a bit of a yoga loving hippy, were more along the Buddhist lines. But I think the purity of the monotheistic religions always appealed, and Islam stood out to me as the purest.

firefly11 Mon 10-Dec-12 01:06:21

Thanks hardly. I too have been a yoga loving hippie sort, was at one point really into astrology, occultism, etc. Went through a decade-long agnostic atheist rebellious phase since I was a teen... but I think back and realised I have never been a true atheist. I was cynical and disillusioned, having had an unhappy home life growing up. I had therapy in recent years and have only slowly began to find myself again. Along came the realisation that I actually do believe in God, I was just denying God's existence all that time (have to add that none of this God business came up in my therapy in case you wonder if my therapist put these thoughts of God in my head!) I have always been a bit of a spiritual, truth seeker if you wish. I studied philosophy when I was in Uni to try and find answers to the questions I had in my head. I am still finding this recent rediscovery of God quite something to get used to. It's an uplifting feeling. I have no idea where it leads but I will just have to follow my heart and be true to myself.

firawla Mon 10-Dec-12 01:29:09

im muslim too, salam to everyone on the thread smile

BoerWarKids Mon 10-Dec-12 05:12:27

<creeps in and sits at the back>

Hi everyone smile

I'm not a muslim but, may I ask a couple of questions?

If a woman has no hair at all on her head (chemo, alopecia or just shaved off) does she still need to wear a headscarf in a mosque? Weird q, I know, but I've wondered this for years!

A few months ago, a Muslim friend on facebook posted that she was watching Olympics. Several people commented on her status along the lines of, "Oh, we don't watch TV during Ramadan!" It's like there was subtle oneupmanship about who's the most religious and observant.

I thought she was being attacked slightly and I wanted to write a comment in her defence, but didn't think it was my place? I guess my question here is; does this kind of thing happen to you and how would you deal with it?

Thank you to anyone who replies! envy

HardlyEverHoovers Mon 10-Dec-12 07:04:42

Salaam Firawla, and BoerWarKids.
Have no idea about your first q BWK, I suppose it would be yes, as the understanding of what needs to be covered comes partly from a hadith where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told a young woman that only her hands and face should show, so in that case it's not so much about covering the hair, as only showing those bits. Anyone know any different?
Regarding oneupmanship, yes I think it does exist, on a subtle and sometimes not so subtle level. I feel very fortunate to have Muslim friends who don't partake in this, we all have different levels of practise, different strengths and weaknesses, different views about some things, and accept and benefit from that. That is the true Islamic way I think.
Firefly11, wow, I think we have a lot in common, atheist rebellious stage, slightly thwarted by sneaking into religious buildings when no one was looking, philosophy stage (didn't last long, raised more questions than it answered and I met lots of weird people), yoga hippy phase (still kind of there), oh wow there is a God stage (still kind of there as well!). You're right it is liberating!

peacefuloptimist Mon 10-Dec-12 08:07:36

<creeps in with BoerWarKids and takes a seat>

Assalamalaykum.

Muslim too. Though I havent really been advertising it that much on Mumsnet as I am an occupational lurker. smile

Boer with regards to your first question. I agree with HardlyEver. I think that you would probably still have to wear it as for many muslims the first reason for wearing hijab, is that it is a command from God in the same way that praying 5 times a day is or fasting in Ramadhan is or not eating pork is.

'There are certain rulings in Islam that can change according to place, time and situation. On the other hand we have rulings which are fixed and unchangeable. The only way a change would be possible is under dire circumstances like the threat of death, harm, sickness and other things.

The hijab is identified by all the scholars [except for a few non-Orthodox scholars over the last 20 years] as a fixed obligation which cannot change unless a qualified legal scholar deems that a sister’s situation demands it. Examples of this would be the Inquisition in Spain and the recent wars in Bosnia and Rwanda. However, it should be noted that such a change is, at least most of the time, considered temporal at best as it would fall under what are known as nawazil - temporary trials whose outcomes, for the most part, are not permanent'.

My personal understanding of the reason of why you have to wear hijab is that it is less about covering hair and more about identifying yourself as a muslim. One of the reasons the Quran gives for women covering is so that they are 'known' i.e. identifiable as Muslim. You can achieve the other goal of covering, which is modesty, without wearing a headscarf, but it is the headscarf which makes it clear to others that you are not just a woman who like to dress modestly but that you are also a muslim. This is important because first of all it impacts the way people (in particular men) interact with you and secondly it impacts the way you conduct yourself. As you are now identifiable as Muslim you unwittingly also become a representative of your faith. I know for myself this makes me much more cautious about how I behave when I am out and about (for example the way I speak to people) because I dont want any indiscretions to be linked or blamed on my faith. Kind of in the same way how a conscientious police officer or a soldier when they are wearing their uniform will behave in a way that dignifies their position as they do not want to bring shame on their profession. I hope that makes sense.

With regards to your second question I think it is inevitable that you will always get this oneupmanship not just about religion but with all things that you do that people could compete with you on. I typically have three responses to it I either find it annoying, amusing or just ignore it. Islamically speaking it is very frowned upon to boast about the religious acts that you do as sincerity is an incredibly important aspect of any 'good deed'. There is a very famous hadith which states that 'Actions are judged by their intentions'. So if your intention is to show off or to make others feel inferior then we believe that God does not accept your action as you did it for other reasons rather then as a means of drawing closer to God. An action that is very small for example doing something considerate for your neighbour, if done with sincerity can be more rewardable than a big action (like donating a lot of money to charity) if you are simply doing it to show off. I hope that makes sense.

If not I am sure there are others who can give a more coherent response than I can at this time of morning after being woken up three times during the night by my recalcitrant 3 month old ds.

HardlyEverHoovers Mon 10-Dec-12 08:18:15

wali kum asalam peaceful, I certainly couldn't have given a more coherent answer than that, alhamdulillah. Were you quoting from a text int he bit you had quotation marks around? Would love to know where that is from.

peacefuloptimist Mon 10-Dec-12 08:31:58

Thanks HardlyEver. Im relieved at least one person can understand it. The quote is from a website not a text. It is from Imam Suhaib Webb's website. It was a response written to a question about whether Hijab is an obligation. It wasnt a direct answer to Boer's question but I thought it was relevant. Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. He converted to Islam in 1992 and after many years of study in reputable Islamic Institutions including Al Azhar University in Cairo he now works as an Imam in the US.

crescentmoon Mon 10-Dec-12 12:22:34

salam alaikum all,

dear cuddleup i hope you are enjoying 'daughters of another path'. is it someone in your family that has converted to Islam or do you know a convert? you will enjoy it hardly as well, i was actually given it by my best friend an english revert muslim and it gave me an insight into all the issues emotional and practical in the lives of convert sisters and their families.

as for recommendations on Rumi? the link i gave earlier under the short bio of Imam Jallaluddin Rumi actually has the full Masnavi online as well dear cuddleup.

www.dar-al-masnavi.org/about_masnavi.html

excerpt...

"The "Masnavi" is Rumi's greatest poetic work, composed during the last years of his life. He began it when he was between the ages of 54-57 [about 1258-1261]1 and continued composing its verses until he died in 1273 (with the last story remaining incomplete). It is a compendium of sufi stories, ethical teachings, and mystical teachings. It is deeply permeated with Qur'anic meanings and references. Rumi himself called the Masnavi "the roots of the roots of the roots of the (Islamic) Religion... and the explainer of the Qur'an [wa huwa uSûlu uSûlu uSûlu 'd-dîn... was kashshâf al- Qur'ân] (Masnavi, Book I, Preface)."

as for recommended books? id suggest this one to most muslims because it shows the islamic reference points - the quranic ayahs and hadith - that Rumi so often refers to in his great works.

www.amazon.co.uk/Rumi-And-Islam-Selections-Illuminations/dp/1594730024/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

crescentmoon Mon 10-Dec-12 12:40:08

its very true about sincerity peacefuloptimist. the first principle 'all actions are judged by intentions'.

the following are hadith - narrations of sayings of the prophet (pbuh) on intentions. the brackets at the end are from which hadith collections they come from. Sunni muslims categorise hadith into strong and weak based on how sound the chain of narration was from the author of the hadith collection to the prophet muhammad (pbuh) himself. so we often give references to each other as well as the sayings so that we know how probable was that statement to have been made by the prophet muhammad (pbuh).

“Verily, all actions are but driven by intention and for everyone is what he intended.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

“He who seriously considered doing a good deed but did not do it, will have one good deed recorded for him.” [Muslim]

“Certainly, Allah does not look at your shapes or wealth. But He only looks at your heart and deeds.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

“There are four types of people: one is a man whom Allah has given knowledge and wealth. He acts with respect to his wealth based on his knowledge. Another person says that if Allah had given him similar to what He gave the first man, he would have acted in the same fashion. The reward for both of them will be the same. A third person is one, whom Allah gives wealth but He does not give knowledge. Therefore, he spends money according to his desire. Another man says that if Allah had given him, what He had given that person, he would have acted in the same manner. These two will have the same burden upon them.” [Ibn Majah with a good chain]

“There are people concerning whom you do not travel any distance, nor do you spend anything, nor do you pass any valley but they are with you in that matter.” The people said, “How is that?” He said, “They have been restrained due to some excuse, but they are with us because of the good intention.” [Bukhari and Abu Dawud]

“The one who marries based on a dower that he has no intention of paying is, in fact, a fornicator. And one, who takes a loan that he has no intention of repaying is, in fact, a thief.” [Ahmad]

based on those famous hadith i got to a stage in my own deen when i was like has anything iv ever done actually been recorded for me? or am i going to stand in front of Allah and find all my deeds meant nothing just because my intentions were murky?

BoerWarKids Mon 10-Dec-12 13:48:02

HardlyEverHoovers and peacefuloptimist - thank you for your lovely, thoughtful responses smile

crescentmoon Tue 11-Dec-12 23:25:32

"O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin of mine. I ask You to forgive me all the injustices against Your servants that You have enumerated against me; for Your servants have against me many claims of violated rights and injustices to which I am held captive. O Allah, even if these evil deeds of mine are many in number, they are a paltry few in sight of Your forgiveness. O Allah, any male or female servant of Yours who has against me a claim of injustice, that I forcefully seized from him something of his land or wealth or honor or body- whether he was absent or present, or whether he or his representatives demanded from me compensation for it but neither was I able to return it to him nor did I seek to be pardoned for it- I ask that You, with Your benevolence, generosity, and abundant treasures, satisfy them on my behalf; and do not give them over me power to take away and decrease my good deeds. For indeed You possess what can satisfy them on my behalf, and I do not. And do not make a way for their bad deeds to overcome my good deeds on the day of Judgment.

So send blessings and peace, O my Lord, upon our Master Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) and upon the family of our Master Muhammad, and forgive my sin, O Best of those who forgive!"

Prayers for forgiveness by Imam Hasan Al Basri

famous Muslim scholar and ascetic..

www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/256468/al-Hasan-al-Basri

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 12-Dec-12 07:27:47

Thank you crescentmoon, what a beautiful prayer.

crescentmoon Mon 17-Dec-12 13:50:08

Jazakhallah hardly, that prayer book is really beautiful, i took it with me when i went on Hajj a few years ago and it really helped focus me on how to ask God for forgiveness. "Oh Allah give me the words to say". i will happily order it for you my dear sis if you pm me your address, and i will order it for any other sisters as well if they want to pm me their address so that i can get hassanah for it when you read it inshaallah!

this particular prayer of Imam Basri has its roots in many aunthentic hadith and ayahs. that Allah will forgive a sin against Himself but does not forgive a sin committed against others. that standing back and ignoring the rights of others is the same thing as committing an act of injustice against another.

the prayer alludes to the hadith of the holy prophet (pbuh) said we must be wary of impinging upon the honour of other people that we many impinge just as much as being wary of their property or their lives. the nabi (pbuh) also said that on the Day of Judgement all the people you ever backbited against will be able to claim your good deeds and if you do not have enough to satisfy them then Allah will also give permission for their bad deeds to be offloaded onto your scale. that is what is referred to when he says 'do not make a way for their bad deeds to overcome my good deeds on the Day of Judgement'. that is just for speaking ill of another and yet the prophet (pbuh) said be wary of that. iv bitched about so many people in my life that i could never find all of them to ask forgiveness from. what shocked me was that even a great imam like hasan al basri also feared the same thing and asked God to compensate them on his behalf.

nailak Mon 17-Dec-12 14:04:04

firefly The best advice I can give you is to sincerely ask God for guidance on to the path which is right for you

sisters walaykum salaam, I guess you all know I am Muslim lol grin but not a lot of people coming out of hiding here!

Galvanise Tue 18-Dec-12 21:59:39

Salaam all,

Nice to see more people on this thread. Still guessing that there are many many more muslims lurking around....

smile

firefly11 Wed 19-Dec-12 14:32:08

Thanks nailak and everyone else who answered my questions. I have been reading up a lot.. I guess I am more attracted to the Sufi element, but am not prepared to wear a hijab (well, not in a country where most don't) or pray 5 times a day with the whole routine of wudu. I am definitely a Deist now. My belief in the existence and omnipotence of God is certain. But maybe am not cut out for Islam after all.

nailak Wed 19-Dec-12 17:02:53

what do you believe about God?

firefly11 Wed 19-Dec-12 17:21:11

oh I believe he is omnipotent. that life is predestined. I don't believe in the existence of heaven and hell. I don't also believe wholeheartedly that religious books are words of God. they are fables to me, written by man inspired by their feelings towards God. I've been questioning my beliefs a lot recently. I don't think I can subscribe too much to any particular religion for now though there are some gems found in different religious books.

firefly11 Wed 19-Dec-12 17:25:38

I suppose what I'm saying is, this whole notion of doing things because God says so, is not quite something I get. At the mo'. I believe in the Golden Rule, have always done even as an atheist. But never based it on belief. I don't think I'll make a good religious person tbh.

amirah85 Wed 19-Dec-12 17:46:13

Another one here,assalam alaycum,I think from my name its quite obvious lol :-)

nailak Wed 19-Dec-12 20:44:04

I am sure you will make a very good religious person!

God tells us things to benefit us. He created us. He knows what is best for us. He knows our nature better then we know ourselves.

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 01:15:03

nailak Yes, God knows best and everything happens for a reason only God will know. That I can agree on... I pray God will show me the signs to help me choose the right path.

As for me being a good religious person, or the potential to become one in future... well, only time will tell smile

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 09:30:43

Do you believe God is omnipresent?

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 14:21:33

salam alaikum dear amirah and naila. naila we have been a veterans of many threads together you and i!

wanted to share this with you today...

"May this moment be blessed.
May goodness be opened and may evil be dispelled.
May our humble plea
be accepted in the Court of Honour;
may the Most Glorious God purify and fill our hearts
with the Light of His Greatest Name.
May the hearts of the lovers be opened.
May our moments and joys be resplendent
By the breath of our master Mevlana,
by the secret of Shams and Weled,
by the holy light of Muhammad,
by the generosity of Imam Ali,
and the intercession of Muhammad,
the unlettered prophet, mercy to all the worlds.
May we say Hu,Huuu…"

the Rose Prayer of the Mevlevi tariqah (Rumi's Mevlevi Order).

my own family roots are in the Qadirriya tariqah - my grandparents generation all followed the order and in my parents generation half kept to the tradition and half didnt. i think they are the most widespread sufi tariqah in the muslim world: Turkey, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Balkans, Israel and Syria, China, East and West Africa.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qadiriyya

this is an example of the Qadiri tariqah...

Qadiriyya dhikr

i dont follow the tariqah but i feel alot of softness for them because my grandparents were very devout sufis. i am more attracted to the works of Imam Al Ghazzali, iv slowly been reading through the Ihya Ulum Ud Deen. barely implementing any of it but iv become more aware of spiritual pitfalls. as i said i probably avoid far more than i carry out. (though i have a few habits i find difficult to break!)

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 14:26:09

so its just like singing nasheeds together?

what about the people who say it is bidah as the sahabah didnt do it?

i genuinely dont know much about sufiism.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 14:46:31

yeah it is like chanting nasheeds together exactly. when i go to a gathering we sit down and recite poems/ prayers/verses from the quran together in unison. even if iv been feeling 'blah' all week i leave those gatherings feeling alot of tranquility.

Hadith Qudsi 14:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said:

"Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has supernumerary angels who rove about seeking out gatherings in which Allah's name is being invoked: they sit with them and fold their wings round each other, filling in that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When [the people in the gathering] depart, [the angels] ascend and rise up to heaven." He (the Prophet - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Then Allah (mighty and sublime be He) asks them - [though] He is most knowing about them: ‘From where have you come?’ And they say: ‘We have come from some servants of Yours on Earth: they were glorifying You (Subhana llah), exalting you (Allahu akbar), witnessing that there is no god but You (La ilaha illa llah), praising You (Al-Hamdu lillah), and asking [favours] of You.’ He says: ‘And what do they ask of Me?’ They say: ‘They ask of You Your Paradise.’ He says: ‘And have they seen My Paradise?’ They say: ‘No, O Lord.’ He says: ‘And how would it be were they to have seen My Paradise!’ They say: ‘And they ask protection of You.’ He says: ‘From what do they ask protection of Me?’ They say: ‘From Your Hell-fire, O Lord.’ He says: ‘And have they seen My Hell-fire?’ They say: ‘No.’ He says: ‘And how would it be were they to have seen My Hell-fire!’ They say: ‘And they ask for Your forgiveness.’" He (the Prophet - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Then He says: ‘I have forgiven them and I have bestowed upon them what they have asked for, and I have granted them sanctuary from that from which they asked protection.’" He (the Prophet - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "They say: ‘O Lord, among then is So-and-so, a much sinning servant, who was merely passing by and sat down with them.’" He (the Prophet - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "And He says: ‘And to him [too] I have given forgiveness: he who sits with such people shall not suffer.’"

It was related by Muslim (also by al-Bukhari, at-Tirmidhi, and an-Nasa'i).

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 14:55:42

nailak yes, I believe God is omnipresent. In fact that's the first realisation that made me think God exists. I had one of those "transcendental" experiences where I just felt God was with me. But yeah it's strange because I've had it twice in my life. Once when I was about 19. And recently about 2 months ago. So I've wavered between agnostic, atheist and deist all my life. I think this time it'd be more easily sustained as I've had it twice now and am more or less convinced... I'm sure atheists will tell me there are lots of rational explanations for these experiences but I'm inclined to think there is a God now.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 15:01:16

as for firefly...

"I don't also believe wholeheartedly that religious books are words of God. they are fables to me, written by man inspired by their feelings towards God."

people thought they were fables in the 7th century too! When muhammad (pbuh) began preaching to the pagan arabs about abrahamic monotheism and reciting the verses of the Qur'an as they were revealed to him they were extremely skeptical. the pagan arabs of mecca, on hearing the stories told of the various Jewish prophets: Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Job, David, declared that these were mere folk tales and stories of old men. all of these verses are in the Quran, i think, to make us as muslims acquainted with doubt. and also a sign of the confidence of the message of Islam.

"When Our verses are recited to them, they say, “We have heard; if we wish, we can compose a discourse like this. It is nothing but the tales of the ancient people."
(chapter 8, verse 31)

"This is what has been promised to us and to our fathers before. It is nothing but the tales of the ancients.”
(chapter 23, verse 83)

"The disbelievers said, “This is nothing but a lie he (the messenger) has fabricated and some other people have helped him in it.” Thus they came up with sheer injustice and falsehood. And they said, “(These are) the tales of the ancients he (the messenger) has caused to be written, and they are read out to him at morn and eve.”
(Chapter 25, verse 4-5)

Muhammad had to preach to a hedonistic polytheistic people and they didnt believe in monotheism anyway. they considered it all folk tales and stories of old men - that was their starting point, so not even acknowledging that they could be the intepretation of what people thought about the One God.

they also derided the prophet (pbuh) for his simple living and humbleness. they said to him 'where are your special powers? where are your miracles? if you preach to us about God and these other great prophets, why isnt a grand sign sent to you?

the Quran does not ascribe divinity, independent powers, will to perform miracles or knowledge of the unseen to Muhammad (pbuh). instead it repeatedly says that muhammad is a plain warner and his duty is to convey the message. what made Muhammad (pbuh) extraordinary and his message was not any special powers.

"The disbelievers say, “Why is it that no sign has been sent down to him from his Lord?” You are but a warner; and for every people there is a guide."
(Chapter 13, verse 7)

"And they say, “Why is it that no signs (miracles) have been sent down to him from his Lord?” Say, “Signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner.” Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book that is being recited to them? Surely in it there is mercy and advice for a people who believe."
(Chapter 29, verse 50-51)

"Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner."
(Chapter 18, verse 110)

"Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which God wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.”
(Chapter 7, verse 188)

"They said, “We shall never believe in you unless you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth. Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, then you bring forth rivers from their midst in abundance. Or you cause the sky to fall upon us in pieces, as you claimed, or you bring Allah and angels before us face to face. Or you have a house made of gold. Or you ascend to the sky, and we will not believe in your ascension unless you send down to us a book we may read.” Say, “I proclaim the Purity of my Lord. I am nothing but human, a messenger.” Nothing prevented people from believing, when guidance came to them, except that they said, “Has Allah sent a man as a messenger?”
(Chapter 17, verse 90-94)

"Say, “I do not say to you that I have the treasures of God, nor do I have the knowledge of the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.”
(Chapter 6, verse 50)

"Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am nothing but a plain warner."
(Chapter 46, verse 9)

"And Muhammad is no more than a messenger like the messengers that have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to God in the least, and God will reward the grateful."
(Chapter 3, verse 144)

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 15:51:05

crescentmoon I guess I have difficulty deciding on which prophet is right. They all say different things although the belief in one God is shared by all the Abrahamic faiths. I am sort of stuck between them. And yet also cannot reconcile my lack of belief in Heaven and Hell with any of them. Well, in Judaism they don't believe in Hell so it's a bit more congruent with my beliefs. But they do believe in Heaven though it seems. I think I incline more to Judaism in terms of belief. But I won't bother with conversion to Judaism because halachically I am not Jewish. And they don't require conversion to go to Heaven anyway but I don't care much about Heaven because I don't really believe there's heaven.

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 16:00:33

I'm sorry for hijacking the thread by the way. I realise its gone quite off topic now for me to be talking about what I believe... It's really about how many Muslims there are on MN, not my beliefs. blush

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 16:08:28

I'm at this stage now where I'm still a non religious Deist but very interested in learning about different religions. But I have an interest in Islam because I know many Muslims. But not sure yet about conversion because I also have an interest in Christianity and Judaism, Bahai and Zoroastrianism...

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 16:35:59

firefly and what do you think about worship? do you think we can worship anything if God is in everything?

jzk crescent

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 16:38:41

dont apologise! threads evolve.

first figure out what you believe and read up on everything that interests you, which it sounds like you are doing, dont worry about conversion right now!

Even when the Quran was revealed, first the verses about beliefs and God were revealed, then later the commandments came.

and Islam believes all the Prophets peace be upon them were right.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 17:17:34

dear firefly i probably changed the thread first by mentioning being an aspiring sufi! i think the part im attracted to is different to the part you are attracted to.

if islam is about inhibiting and taming the nafs - the ego, then the sufi tradition is about breaking the nafs. God does not ask us to go that far but the Sufi tradition i follow says go for excellence. so i am attracted to its rigourousness - the part that says if you wish God to accept you you must approach God with both obligatory and superogatory acts of worship free of the taint of hypocrisy and showing off. but there are also muslims who follow the sufi tradition who just want to love God and love the prophet (pbuh). sufi muslims like this...

Coke Studio Alif Allah

its a traditional indopak qawwali made 21st century. if the english translation doesnt show you can click on the captions icon to read it. i like it especially this verse...

''like a doves call, with every breath, my heart echoes God's name''

but i prefer the simple nasheeds.

'the shimmering light' with translation

its great you want to learn about other religions, i am a practising muslim but i lurk alot on the threads about other religions to learn about them also as i find anyone practising a faith interesting and want to know more. not to convert but to understand other faiths.

as for Judaism, i have always perceived it as more prescriptive than Islam in many ways if you do not like the 'do what God says' part of religion. but there are many Jewish women on mumsnet. i think iv read of even one or two that have converted to judaism which i was curious about also. maybe you could start a thread asking about it so we could learn about their tradition too?

i will say to you firefly that if we are not sisters in faith we are sisters in humanity. and thats how i like to go to everybody. but your posts put up interesting questions.

even on the subject of heaven and hell, the pagan arabs also did not believe in any afterlife. they were polytheists with many Gods but did not believe in the afterlife, they believed that when they died that was it.

"They say: "Shall we indeed be returned to (our) former state of life? Even after we are crumbled bones?"
(Chapter 79, verse 10-11)

"Is it when we have died and become dust and bones, that we shall be raised again, And even our fathers of aforetime?"
(chapter 37, verse 16-17)

i made a mistake with the book of job thread not going back to show how the Quran dealt with those questions but inshaallah on this thread i will. because truly this is the core of the confidence of islamic monotheism - and the reason why Islam can ask so much of its adherents.

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 20:04:19

nailak Interesting question there. Hmm I have been wondering what the difference is, or if there is a difference between worship and prayer. It does appear to mean slightly different things to different people. I pray when I feel the need to, but not necessarily when I'm in trouble or in need of help. Sometimes I see something in nature that's so beautiful and I immediately want to say a prayer/commuicate with God, and in my prayer I thank God for that. I think of God as a loving presence. God created everything but everything has God's essence in it. I don't particularly judge things in life as fair or unfair because I think only God knows why things are here/happen and that I may probably never know those reasons only God knows.

crescentmoon I think that my idea of God as an ever present, ever knowing, powerful, loving entity is somewhat related to my non-acceptance of the concept of Hell. I just cannot get how a God like this would want to subject people to torture for eternity. I don't entirely subscribe to the Free Will argument totally. I believe we all have Free Will but only up to an extent. The rest is up to God. Its kind of like the saying, "God only helps those who help themselves" but then I also accept that sometimes, God does not appear to help us in ways we expect because we don't really know the reasons why things are the way they are. And if "help" doesn't seem forthcoming from God it could be that its for reasons we cannot fathom, but there is a reason why. Just we mere mortals can't fathom.

Most of my friends who are Muslim are Malays of Indonesian or Javanese descent, as I spent many years growing up in Singapore. They do seem to be less strict Muslims - I mean the ones I'm friends with! They aspire to be one day donning the hijab everyday, but are not yet readyfor it, so to speak. I have met in England, Muslim women who are either very strict or Tunisians who, outwardly, I couldn't tell were Muslims at all in the way they looked or dressed but they were the ones who sort of sparked my fascination for Islam in a way as they broke my stereotypes of what being Muslim meant. I have been on many internet Islam forums just reading the comments and also have seen some Muslims calling those who aren't keeping to the religion strictly as kaffirs or "sufis" and wanting to establish a Caliphate in the West or something! But I think some are very extreme... and that gives Islam a bad name to those who don't know any better. Even my Muslim friends from Singapore (well the ones who are kind of "Muslim lite") told me to stay away from "Wahabbis/Salafis" if I want to learn more about Islam. They also mentioned sometime about the "arabisation" of Islam which they don't agree with and well, honestly I don't know that much about all these divisions and sects within the Muslim world... I wouldn't know how to tell who is a "Wahabbi"?? but I am just sticking to reading the Quran, Hadiths and Seerah for now. Though I am also reading the Bible at the same time , so lots of reading going on !

I did some sort of a religion quiz on Beliefnet and it says the religion for me is Unitarian Universalist. Maybe for now that is quite correct... given I have not yet found myself believing in Heaven and Hell. Which you are correct in saying that is an important aspect of Islam which is quite central to why it can ask so much from its adherents... which I realised as I read the Quran. Which is why I feel I'm not quite ready to convert or anything... I cannot do anything just because God says so in a holy book, because I don't quite believe literally in what is being mentioned in the book. When I see Hell mentioned in the Quran or the Bible I think it just means its really bad to do what it says not to do, but I cannot believe in it literally.

Cuddledup Thu 20-Dec-12 21:02:04

Firefly thanks for asking all the questions you've posted, I've really enjoyed reading your posts and the replies. Like you I'm also on a spiritual journey but haven't reached my destination yet, but I do find Islam v interesting and attractive. I have real problems with Christianity - I just don't get the claim that Jesus is the "son of God" - but I do see him as a prophet / inspiring teacher. At the moment I occasionally go to Quaker meetings as I like the peace and sense of community.

Crescent can you recommend an online Quaran- that's easy to read. grin
thank you

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 21:20:16

www.quranexplorer.com/Quran/Default.aspx you can listen to different recitations and read different translations

worship can be anything it depends on intention, like charity, fasting greeting someone, keeping family ties, even sex is worship.

when we see something like that we say subhanAllah (glory be to Allah).
I meant that some religions who believe god is everywhere, worship as in pray to stones, statues, animals or whatever, what do you feel about that? seeing the glory and might of the Creator in the Creation is different from believing that god is actually INSIDE everything, therefore you can pray to anything and that will be praying to God.

As for free will, I believe we have free will to the extent that we perceive choice, however I believe in the qadr of Allah, and that is pre determination.

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 21:23:00

Also on ebay you can get free Quran and also IDCI has free book packs they can send you

IDCI free pack idci.co.uk/Pack-of-10-Publications-3100-d

ebay 1p Quran free postage www.ebay.co.uk/itm/THE-MEANING-OF-THE-HOLY-QURAN-IN-MODERN-ENGLISH-/170961973565?pt=Non_Fiction&hash=item27ce20b13d

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 23:57:44

nailak Thing you said about idol worship - I have a lot of experience with that! I grew up with a Thai Buddhist father (hence I was brought up for many years as a child in Singapore, because that was his birthplace) who was very religious and the thing about Thai Buddhism which seems different from the kind of Buddhism I have seen in the West is that they really do that whole idolatry thing to the max! I mean, growing up, I saw my father spend lots of money collecting all manner of statues and statuettes around the home. Eventually he had 2 shrines at home each dedicated to different gods and apart from that, hundreds more in display cases! It does seem mad.. well as a child, I always thought it was bizarre. Never subscribed to it. He bought amulet necklaces that I "must" wear in order to protect me from bad things. Well I did go along with it, just to please him. My mother had a Bible lying around in the house and I took it out to browse for interest's sake one day and accidentally left it lying around, which my Dad saw and he got real upset with me like saying he was gonna disown me if I ever became a Christian. etc. But then when I was about 15 I had decided there was no point believing in God (or Gods) because I just never felt it, and never believed in it.

I kept it secret from my Dad though because I knew he would be upset. When I was about 16 I didn't care any more and one day when he told me to pray to Buddha for some special day, maybe Vesak Day or some other religious thing, and I said I'm not doing it, because I don't believe in it. His face just went black and he said something like if you don't believe in God you will have nothing, etc.
But that was that and after that he was okay with me (did take a while though) but he never asked me to join him in prayer again.

Hmm... anyway, so fast forward to now - do I believe that you can pray to the tree or to statues? Hmm... no. I would say no. I still don't believe in that. I think God made us and in a sense, a bit of God is in everything in this world. However, I somehow believe that God is also a separate entity from all his creation and that is the God I pray to. I don't pray to trees or idols, etc.. That's just me.

Cuddledup I'm glad you found what I said of use. I was concerned I was hijacking the thread and I still do so I will perhaps refrain from commenting as much now. Islam is very interesting. I am a bit of a gadget geek so I use the Quran for Android app on my tablet to read the Quran - its a really good app, has the audio to accompany the Arabic text. And the Daily Hadiths app to read Hadiths daily. I am finding the Seerah very interesting and inspiring, and helps me understand a bit more about Islam than just reading the Quran and Hadiths. The Seerah is the life story of the prophet Muhammed. I read that online here so you may want to check it out if you're interested www.musalla.org/Articles/Seerah/index.htm I think I go through about 2 pages a night. Slowly and surely. I love hearing the Islamic prayers (you can search them on Youtube) being chanted... it truly is very soothing.

My husband's family are full on hardcore Christians. My husband himself isn't practising and hates going to churches, though he isn't atheist, he believes in God but doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell One thing I have found hard to understand about Christianity is the Trinity. I think if I can "get" that, then I may find it easier to accept Christianity. I have been reading some stuff about the Quakers and ordered the introductory pack from the Quaker Society of Friends. The book is quite a good read.

nailak Fri 21-Dec-12 10:08:48

Yes firefly, I believe it is like a painter, the painter paints the painting so his thoughts and feelings are apparent in the painting, but he himself cannot be inside it. Allah is like this. Allah cannot be inside his creation.

Therefore we cannot believe in the trinity. We believe the holy ghost refers to the Angel Gabriel. We believe that there is a measure of what is God given in the Quran in a surah called Ikhlas.

"
Say: He is Allah, the One and Only!
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him."

So we cannot believe God has a begotten son.

Here is an interesting former CHristian pastors story about understanding the trinity. youtu.be/_MA02yXK6cw just watch the bit from 23.30 where he is talking about the trinity for a few mins. The background is he is a preacher and he had a Muslim house guest, he wanted to convert the guest to Christianity.

I was brought up Hindu, so we are not that different!

crescentmoon Fri 21-Dec-12 16:41:01

Salams everyone!

im just going to write a stream of consciousness as i dont have time to find all the references but anyone who wants me to go back and give them please ask!

i think the confidence of islamic monotheism is because our belief in God isnt based on miracles or supernatural phenomena. in the times of the ancients especially amongst pagan people they wanted to SEE something or have a MAGICAL thing happen. and Allah had granted that to the other prophets peace be upon them when they were sent as messengers to their people but not for Muhammad (pbuh). instead the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was given the Quran alone. and that was to be the proof for the religion of Islam.

and the Quran made the central argument for God based not on a small still voice inside, nor on a grand big miracle, but instead tells the listener/reader to use their reason and intelligence to look around them and observe the natural world to see the signs of God. The Quran says to the reader look out at the world attentively, and with curiosity. so as a muslim it is to see the world as an epiphany and have simple wonder at the everyday miracles of life. if you read the book the Life of Pi - its out in the cinema now - and you consider the Muslim Mr Kumar - the other Mr Kumar is an atheist! - he shows that attitude.reflection on the creation of the earth, the diversity of life, in space and the universe is one of the central themes of the Quran often repeated. many verses say
'this is for those who think',
'have you not considered',
'to those who reflect'

what appeals to me about the Quran's message is that it doesnt just say 'look to the heavens and the earth', to find one's proof, the Qur'an actually specifies 'it is in the creation of the heavens and the earth...' that one will find the proof. that is a strong encouragement of science and is the reason for Islamic civilisations very early tradition of natural science....

"Verily! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember God (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners". (Chapter 3, verse 190-191)

"In the succession of the night and day, and in what God created in the heavens and the earth, there truly are signs for those who are aware of Him". (Chapter 10, verse 6)

"the creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind know not". (Chapter 40, verse 57)

(emphasis on greater. i always took this verse to mean the physical sciences were better than the life sciences!)

"Do they not look at the camels, how they are made? and at the sky, how it is raised high? And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" (Chapter 88, verse 17-20)

"And amongst his signs (of being God) is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and colors. Verily, in that are signs for those who know" (Quran 30:21).

to someone acquainted with the God of the Old testament/ new testament the God of the Quran is more impersonal. very far and distant. in that respect the Quran's argument is similar to the Deist position which puts forward belief in God as an intellectual position not a passionate relationship with ' The Father' or knowing the One whose image we were supposed to have been made. in islam we believe we are not made in God's image nor that we are His Children, both statements are beneath His Majesty. instead we are urged to use our reason and observation of nature.

the Quran says 'Do they not look at the camels, how they are made? and at the sky, how it is raised high? And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" (Chapter 88, verse 17-20)

In the 7th century AD a desert Arab would have heard that verse from the Qur'an and looked at a camel and seen the hump on its back and thought thats what made it more resilient in the desert over horses.
and they would have said 'praise God'.
now in the 21st century, i know by science just how suited the camel is to its environment, that they are incredible animals with unique physiology to other mammals. that a camel's red blood cells are oval shaped not circular like in other mammals so when the camel drinks alot of water those cells are much less likely to rupture due to the high osmotic variation. that they can drink up to 100litres at a time. that they are adapted to withstand high body temperature or water deprivation that would kill other mammals. that they do not sweat unless their body temperature reaches 41 degrees celsius. they can chew thorny desert plants and have long eyelashes, ear hairs, and sealable nostrils, to form a barrier against sand. They have wide feet to have a larger surface area so they don't sink into sand. camel antibodies are smaller than other mammals which makes them more durable and some cancer researchers want to model them for drug delivery research.

and i still say 'praise God'.

why? because the sophistication of this animal is evidence to me of the sheer wonder and the creative genius of God.

crescentmoon Sat 22-Dec-12 08:37:56

The trinity is the mystery of the Christian religion. It requires a lot of theological speculation to explain it and sustain it and so the Christian does not mind to say faith is not logical.

To a Muslim it's the opposite- we believe in God as One, Unity, so we do not have to get our heads round the trinity. Therefore we say we arrive at God as the conclusion of deductive reasoning. Muhammad (pbuh) brought down his own importance and reduced the probability of any priest class forming in Islam by making belief in God simple and something arrived at by an individual exercising their own intellect. in islam our intellect is the only thing that ennobles the children of Adam (as) and raised us up from animal. so although it starts out that the God of Islam is too unattainable, actually God becomes to us very close because we believed by ourselves, taking away the complication of verifying a miracle that occurred 2000/3000/4000 plus years ago.

The Quran was also to be accessible to anyone so that also-along with a simple theology- took away the need for a priesthood. Knowledge was supposed to be attained by an individual.

Jesus (as) was preaching to a monotheistic legalistic people and so his message was about addressing their social issues. the message of Muhammad (pbuh) was to a polytheistic hedonistic people and it was addressing a much wider swathe and audience of humanity. my ancestors turned away from paganism because Muhammad (pbuh) argued based on God the OMNIPOTENT, not God the Loving.

i play a variation of 'Rock, paper, Scissors' game with my children to explain the Omnipotence of God. i ask them 'what about if Allah was a.... mountain?' and my children will say 'but you can walk on a mountain, you can stand at the top of it' God is too Majestic for that. it was this argument of Omnipotence that turned my ancestors away from polytheism.

the pure monotheism of the Quran focuses alot on Prophet Ibrahim - Abraham - because his story of his search for God is what made the pagan arabs realise the gods they created with their hands made of dates, that they would carry into the desert with them but then used to nibble on when they were hungry, could not be anywhere near an adequate thing worthy of worship. (story of Umar ibn al Khattab )

after Ibrahim (as) turned away from idolatry the Quran says:

"When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my
Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set."
When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But
when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is
the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to God.
For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the
heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to God."
(Chapter 6, Verse 76-79)

so this story is about Ibrahim (as) reflecting quietly to himself to give an example of how the human intelligence can come to its own reasoning about God the Creator.

so why did God create humanity? the Quran says:

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?”
(Chapter 3, Verse 115)

(the royal 'We' like queen victoria 'We are not amused'.)

what is mankind's purpose then?

"[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving"
(Chapter 67, Verse 2)

in islam we believe that this life of ours is a test and our purpose in life is to do good deeds. the reason we have been given intelligence and free will, when none of the other creation of God has it, is so we show ourselves: would we incline to piety and goodness without a worldly or material benefit or reward?

"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)."
(Chapter 51, verse 56)

so like in Judaism, in Islam faith is experienced not as theological speculation but as a moral imperative, and the Quran says believe in One God and do good deeds, over and over and over and over again. this is another of the central themes in the Quran and it is simple, many individuals from many cultures understood it.

the quran was revealed verse by verse over a period of 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). by contrast the Torah was revealed to the prophet Moses (as) in one sitting on Mount Sinai.
but Muhammad (pbuh) was able to turn the arab tribes from paganism to pure monotheism within 23 years, something which took the ancient prophets over 700 years to do with the Hebrew tribes. with only the Quran and his (pbuh) own presence. in the face of very deep persecution and oppression. il post more later but would love to hear what other sisters think.

crescentmoon Sat 22-Dec-12 08:42:33

the speech of jafar ibn abi talib to King Najashi, king of the Christian kingdom of Abbysinnia...

"O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us.

He called us to worship Allah alone, and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah.

He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness, and not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women.

He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakaah, and fast in the month of Ramadan.

We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah, and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from.

Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us, to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols.

They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us, and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and in peace in your midst."

(source is al raheeq al makhtum)

Cuddledup Sat 22-Dec-12 08:47:42

Crescent thank you for all this food for thought, I shall read it and ponder.

nailak Sun 23-Dec-12 23:52:05

subhanAllah, I got a poem published in sisters mag!!! just had to share the good news! and I also got accepted to mumsnet bloggers network whoop alhamdulillah
2 birds one stone, blog and poem is here!! I am so excited! I turned the page and got a shock to see my name in print!!

muslimahdirections.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/100/

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 00:32:50

Hi crescentmoon. Just waving as a passing Christian to agree I'm not offended when you say the theology of the Trinity is a mystery of faith, which, whilst it can be taught to children, is not easily grasped by human logic alone.

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 00:39:50

If it isn't cheeky, would appreciate some advice / thoughts from the ladies here about traditional RC and veil advice

nailak Mon 24-Dec-12 00:48:32

" 2. Do you believe that the Church was wrong for two thousand years,
concerning the veil, and the feminists corrected the error by getting women to abandon it? 3. If you are a
woman who has chosen not to wear the veil, could you give a reason which would illustrate that your choice
comes from a deep and profound love of God?
Answering these questions will give you a pretty good idea as to whom you are giving your allegiance.
The veil, when it is worn for the right reasons (respect and submission), along with a beautiful dress,
compliments a woman’s femininity. So it could be said that the veil is a beautiful expression of a woman’s
femininity"

I would agree with these implications. Mary wore a veil. She is one of the 4 most importnat women in Islam.

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 15:22:19

thank you

firefly11 Mon 24-Dec-12 16:45:35

Thank you crescent , nailak and mariam for adding to this thread. I have found lots of food for thought from all this. Oh and I had a look at your blog nailak. Congrats on the published poem smile

crescentmoon Mon 24-Dec-12 17:54:41

Salam alaikum all, I've had guests this afternoon and haven't Been able to post. naila well done mashaallah tabarakallah about being in sisters magazine and getting on the mn blog roll. I love reading blogs so il add yours to my reading list!
mariammama I was so glad to read your post. I was trying to be oh so careful and I'm thankful it didn't offend! I read the first link through about catholic doctrine. The points under the existence, the nature and the attributes of God I think are in common with 80per cent of Islamic belief. But the doctrine of the triune God is the feature of Christianity- it doesn't follow linearly from the other attributes of God and to me either reduces God to His Creation or raises up His Creation to the same status as God. The shamrock example iv heard before but it lets all 3 as co equals- I cannot reconcile that with the belief as God as omnipotent.

this is Imam Al ghazzali's argument for monotheism:

Al-Ghazali argues that there can't be two gods, for “were there two gods and one of them resolved on a course of action, the second would be either obliged to aid him and [sic] thereby demonstrating that he was a subordinate being and not an all-powerful god, or would be able to oppose and resist thereby demonstrating that he was the all-powerful and the first weak and deficient, not an all-powerful god” (Ghazali, 40).

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 25-Dec-12 09:57:15

Wow, you turn your back for a few days and a thread explodes!
Have really enjoyed catching up with this thread. Asalam u alikum Nailak, it's lovely to see you here, I remember your kind advice to me from a previous thread.
Crescent, sooo lovely to read about your familys history with Sufism, what a lovely connection to have. Are your grandparents still alive and have you spoken to them much about these things?

crescentmoon Tue 25-Dec-12 12:18:56

salams hardly, my grandmother was the only grandparent i ever got to be around. she had a beautiful character, very loving and very careful of other peoples dignity and respect. she was very humble and clement, but when it came to dealing with husbands she used to quote the hadith 'the strong muslim is better than the weak muslim' wink. though i tried i found that it was difficult to apply the high ideals of sufism in my marriage grin and i went back to my grandmothers advice!

my grandparents grandparents were also murids i dont know how far it goes back. my parents broke with the qadirriya, they just wanted to keep things simple - but their siblings - who are alive - still keep some of the wirds and the traditions once a week.

the Virgin Mary - called Maryam in Arabic - is the only woman named in the Quran as well as being one of the 4 most important women in Islam.

She has a chapter in the Quran named after her as well - Surah Maryam - and many muslim pregnant women read it everyday in the months coming upto their due date so that their labour would be easy. i used to read Surah Luqman every day in my first trimester (for wisdom), Surah Yusuf every day second trimester (for beauty) and Surah Maryam every day third trimester (for an easy delivery). i read it for my relatives and friends too when i hear they are going into labour, my friend's mum used to read Surah Maryam outside the labour room when she would go into labour. do any of you have that tradition either?

Islamic views of the Virgin Mary

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 25-Dec-12 14:08:56

Nailak, I wanted to say something more about the concept of bidah you mentioned in relation to collective dhikr (remembrance of God). We know that in Islam bidah (innovation-bringing something new into the religion), is not always bad, and there are different levels of bidah, which are obligatory, lawful, recommended, offensive, and permissable, which are set out in detail in this article:
www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/bida.htm
When I first came to Islam I was taught a very simple concept, which is that if something has not been specifically mentioned in the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad (pbuh) then you should look at its' component parts, and if none of the component parts of are forbidden in Islam, the thing is OK. Also, as you mentioned, anything can be worship if done with the right intention, so singing nasheeds together (Islamic poetry)seems like it would fall under this. This has been my guide and has led me away from some Sufi groups and towards others, though I have found lovely people and some benefit in all of the experiences I've had of Sufis.
However, the hadith that Crescentmoon quoted, regarding the angels who look for gatherings of dhikr, seems to suggest that it is specifically allowed.
English words in brackets for the sake of non-Muslims reading! I hope I'm not telling my grandmother how to suck eggs, I realise from your previous posts that you are very knowledgable, but as you said you didn't know much about sufism I thought this might be worth mentioning.
Crescentmoon your first paragraph in your last post really made me laugh! Actually, my experiences of American Sufi women who I had the pleasure of meeting helped me to realise that being a Sufi woman isn't just about being calm and sweet. They were much more outspoken that women I've met here, but it was very much within keeping with the teachings of tasawwuf.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Dec-12 14:35:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Dec-12 14:37:21

otherwise, im sweetness and light to the rest of humanity grin

nailak Wed 26-Dec-12 16:24:08

Lol, you know sometimes people say things and confuse you and you don't know what to say in retaliation. So collective dhikr is a Sunnah. Many people say khatams and stuff for dead are bid ah? ( when people get together and recite Quran in honour of those who have died).

My dhs gf is a pir, they have a 'kabah' at his grave. Every year they have procession through streets, change cloth, put mounds of flower petals, have feast etc. me and dh think is bid ah, but maybe not all of it is then?

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 26-Dec-12 19:27:07

Laughing once again Crescentmoon, I don't speak the same language as my in-laws so it's quite easy to sit and smile sweetly and pretend I haven't got a clue what's going on (and I haven't most of the time).
Well Nailak,kabas at gravestones and processions certainly sound rather odd but Allahu alim!
But I thought reciting Quran for the deceased was fairly standard, have no idea of the evidence for that though.

crescentmoon Thu 27-Dec-12 10:46:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 27-Dec-12 13:23:22

There is a word in my husbands native tongue, 'miskeen' or for a woman 'miskeena', which roughly translated means 'poor thing'. It might as well be my name when I'm there. It seems to have multiple meanings, including:
'poor thing, her cats just died'
'poor thing, she's so kind'
'poor thing, she means well'
'poor thing, she hasn't got a clue'

I suspect the latter meaning is the one which is normally directed at me...

Anyway, rather off topic sorry!

mariammama Thu 27-Dec-12 15:06:04

Crescent, I think your granny and mine were cut from the same pattern wink.

Re the Trinity, the times I have doubted were based on the argument commonly known amongst Catholics as "thinking about it just gives me a headache" wink. The Al-Ghazali argument presumes the concept of 3 separate gods with different views, which would be heresy in our faith too.

The Maryam surah is lovely. We have a tradition of using prayer beads (rosary) which I think was an Islamic influence originally. The mental prayers traditionally used on Mondays and Thursdays are based on Jibreel/Gabriel coming to Mary, her visit to her cousin (Yahya/John's mother, whose husband was struck dumb), the Nativity taking place in a far-off town, Mary returning to present her son in public, and then his debates with the religious scholars.

It's interesting to read about controversy about praying for the deceased in Islam. This is something which separates Catholics/Orthodox (who do) from Evangelials/Protestants (who don't). Culturally based features added in and giving the whole practice a suspect flavour also sound familiar wink

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 27-Dec-12 20:31:27

mariammama, it's interesting to hear your comments about catholicism. I used to live in a very Catholic area (abroad). A lovely old lady used to live next door and we would sometimes both be sitting on the patio using our prayer beads at the same time!
The imagery used in Catholicism is very strong and quite alien to Muslims, for example many people had nativity scenes built into their houses (permanent, not just for Christmas!). It was interesting to see a very public faith in action, which is not very obvious in the UK these days.
The country we lived in has an Islamic past, so there was quite a bit of Islamic influence, for example a lot of Churches faced Mecca as they were previously mosques.

crescentmoon Fri 28-Dec-12 09:14:12

yes i used to live in a catholic country too hardly and i found the very public faith very interesting. we're so used to the anglican quiet type of christianity - i went to a c of e primary and that was my 'normal' view of xtianity - but there i would see people cross themselves walking past those nativity type scenes many times even while on the bus! even young people! after growing up in the UK it really surprised me.

the 'visualness' of catholicism is very alien to me - perhaps the simplicity i find in Islam a catholic would call that same quality 'austerity'.

but the 'justification by works' concept in catholicism is something that muslims readily recognise and understand - much more so than the 'justification by faith' position of the protestants.

as for praying for the deceased i think its a very new thing to disagree over. what the prophet (pbuh) prohibited was the professional type of mourning where people would scream and tear at their clothes and wail for the deceased person - all whilst their eyes are dry! they still do that in pats of libya and egypt btw. a friend told me in her country people would get paid to stand outside the deceased persons house and cry loudly just to let it be known to the neighbours and everyone that the person who died was greatly important and beloved and missed! but the quiet type of visiting and praying with the bereaved, either reading the Quran together or using the prayer beads to count the names of God is absolutely normal in orthodox islam.

we have something abit like a catholic wake when someone dies, right after the news is heard people start to visit the family of the bereaved to console them and pray with them. completely the opposite of the normal 'leave them alone to grieve quietly' that wider society has. this custom might seem intrusive but perhaps it is because of the wider british protestant influenced culture then? that continues for about 3 days, then after 40 days people meet again and read the quran and make prayers for the person who passed away. as for khatams: they are when a group of people read the quran for someone who has died and each make the intention that the reward for reciting it goes to the deceased person. they normally split the 30 parts of the Quran between them and people volunteer to read whichever hizb they can.

crescentmoon Fri 28-Dec-12 09:18:11

as for 'thinking about it gives me a headache' i laughed when i read that, thats how i feel about predestination and free will. though i came to a peace about it not through reading the works of philosophers but of neuroscientists.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 10:24:25

Very interesting, thinking about your posts, Crescent and Hardly, the faith-as-daily-life commonalities are probably why I often peek at the Islamic boards. Will go back to lurking for a bit now, but hope it's ok to pop back up when relevant. And nailak, thanks again re veil thoughts.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 28-Dec-12 13:38:23

It was also my impression that praying for the dead, and reading Quran for them, was fairly orthodox. As for the other things that Nailak mentioned I have no knowledge of those.
I wonder crescentmoon if we lived in the same Catholic country?
Mariammama enjoy your lurking and please come back any time, it's really nice to hear a different perspective.

Cuddledup Fri 28-Dec-12 20:46:14

I've just written a long post but it disappeared into the ether.... hmm.

ANyway I just wanted to say how interesting I've found what you've been posting about attitudes to death. My dear father died on Sunday and I"ve been flabbergasted at how people have assumed we should just carry on as if nothing has happened. (Ok so he was 90 and in failing health but it's still a great loss >>>)

The idea that a bereaved family sits for 3 days and receives guests/ mourners seems totally compassionate and humane. In my case it's been business as usual: Xmas, house guests, lots of running around after everyone and really all I've wanted to do is to sit quietly and talk about my dad. (However DH and his family are all atheists so it's to be expected I guess).

Crescent thank you again for your kind PM, the kindness of strangers at this difficult time is what I will remember most.

Finally I'd be v grateful if someone could point me in the direction of a web link to the Muslim attitude to death and life after death. thanks
XXX

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 29-Dec-12 08:44:33

Cuddleup, so sorry to hear of the loss of your father, and that you have not been given time and space to grieve for him. I hope now the festive period is coming to a close you will have the time and space you need to think and reflect on your fathers life and death.
I lost my grandmother last summer, she was also very old and in bad health, and in some ways we felt relieved for her that her suffering in this life was over, but that doesn't take away from the feeling of loss of someone who has always been in your life.
This link, has some good information about the Islamic view of death:
http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=640&CATE=115
It contains and answer to a question and below that there is a lovely article.

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 29-Dec-12 10:48:46

spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=640&CATE=115

Sorry, forgot to tick the box to make it into a link.

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 29-Dec-12 11:34:38

and this one contains references to a couple of good books which I think are available on Amazon:
spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=2038&CATE=145

Cuddledup Sat 29-Dec-12 14:01:58

Thank you Hardly for your kindness. The links are interesting. Thank you for your sympathy. thanks

crescentmoon Sun 30-Dec-12 09:09:27

salam alaikum all,

dear cuddleup, im so glad that i didnt overstep by pm'ing you. im so sorry that you are not getting that space to grieve for your father, i hope this next week is less fraught and busy and you have time to think.

it is important for the bereaved to have someone to talk to about the loved one who passed away, just to sit with them and hold their hand as they talk about the last few days, their plans, the last moments, etc is really helpful for them and a reminder to everyone else. as visitors leave other visitors arrive to pass their condolences. a few years ago my friend's husband died, such a good man and she loved him so much. my friends and i went to visit her and as she wept we wept as well and consoled her and talked through how transient this life is and how none of us know what will happen to us tomorrow. in fact it shouldnt just be for 3 days people feel fresh grief over a death for many weeks and months after, but the wider community should at least give that much.

crescentmoon Sun 30-Dec-12 09:13:13

Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, will say on the Day of Rising,
'Son of Adam, I was ill and you did not visit Me.' The man will say, 'O Lord, how could I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?' He will say, 'Do you not know that My slave so-and-so was ill and you did not visit him? Do you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him?
O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you did not feed Me' he will say, 'O Lord, how could I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?' He will say, 'Do you not know that My slave so-and-so asked you for food and you did not feed him? Do you not know that if you had fed him, you would have found that with Me?
O son of Adam, I asked you for water and you did not give it to Me.' He will say, 'O Lord, how could I give You water when You are the Lord of the worlds?' He will say, 'My slave so-and-so asked you for water and you did not give it to him. Do you not know that if you had given him water, you would have found that with Me?'" [Muslim]

(hadith Qudsi)

crescentmoon Sun 30-Dec-12 14:35:43

when i talk about God with muslims i use the word Allah because that is the more intimate word for me. so on this thread im using Allah more because i think it is generally sisters who are reading it. when i talk about religion with non muslims i use the word God because the word Allah seems to spook some people, though christian and jewish arabs use the word Allah as its the arabic for God.

and so because i think it is more sisters who are reading this i wanted to talk about wahhabis....

the wahhabis are the most widely known and have so much money and support behind them because that was their terms for helping the ambitions of the Saud family.in the 18th century the Sauds wanted to gain leadership of arabia from the Rashidi royal family who were supported by the ottomans. the wahhabis came along with this ultra simplistic type of islam and the sauds saw that as their chance to usurp the rashidis because the wahhabis saw any muslims who did not practise like them as apostates/ renegades. the royal rashidis were SUFIS and the wahhabis made takfir on them and on anyone who supported them.

all this bullcrap about do not rebel against your leaders, its haram to revolt etc that the wahhabi scholars write about and spread to keep the civilian population cowed is actually a complete hypocrisy if you read about how the saud royal family and the wahhabis came to prominence.

it was their unholy alliance that allowed the sauds to gain control over arabia and name it after themselves: Saudi Arabia. then they started this fictitious history that the rashidis were innovators and how there were idolators in Mecca and grave worshippers etc. to justify themselves. and - against the wider ottoman empire - they began the Arabisation of Islam. they wanted to delegitimise the Turks by saying 'we are arabian arabs we are the real inheritors of the Prophet (pbuh) and no one else is legitimate.
the Prophet (pbuh) said in his final sermon:

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action."

but the wahhabis then tried to claim authority and legitimacy because of being arabian arabs. therefore using the same argument as the Shias who they despise. centres of islamic knowledge in north and sub saharan africa: Cairo, Timbuktu, the Levant: Damascus, the Subcontinent: , the Far East and South East Asia: the Wahhabis declared that they were all practising a suboptimal form of Islam - going as far as to call them heretics.

and on the egalitarian nature of sunni islam they then sought to impose this alien structure. the first thing that gets the back up of muslims when we talk with wahhabis is this view that only arabian arabs can understand the Quran and Sunnah properly. that isnt what the prophet (pbuh) said. think how prominent the companions Salman Al Farsi (the persian), Suhaib Ar Rumi (the Roman) and Bilal al Habshi (the african) are to the story of Islam.

i started a thread a few months ago about authority in (sunni) islam but so few sisters replied - i think defuse did, that i thought perhaps its not the right time! but firefly raised it a page ago and naila you said sometimes people say things to confuse and you dont know what to say in reply.

i think this shows how much the wahhabis are at the back of everyones thoughts that the first time we hear of anything different its when a wahhabi is making a point of calling it a bidah. iv been going to classes recently and though we are all sufi sunnis sometimes the questions that are asked show that we are unsure of ourselves because the wahhabis have done such a good job of claiming quran and sunnah for themselves that we feel we are the interlopers!

the thing is, the wahhabis are schismatic. and muscular. and they find it very very very easy to criticise other muslims and make takfir on them. and mainstream muslims dont know how to deal with that effectively - we hold different opinions and believe that is okay because the prophet (pbuh) said "differences of opinion in my ummah are a mercy".

the Quran tells us that we were created from different nations and tribes so as to show the glory of God. not as a punishment on some tower of babel thing.. and that we may know each other. we have different mentalities and experiences and that is a good thing. the prophet (pbuh) gave different advice to different people depending on their intellectual ability, understanding and resolve. some he told them it is enough to love God and some he told they are not completely unless they do the night prayers!

but the wahhabis they just want to beat us down into a very small tiny box and though they claim it is the true islam it is only a specifically saudi arabised version.

so as Christianity accomodated european paganism which made it spread peacefully through europe but by the sword everywhere else, now the wahhabis wish to arabise islam which cannot work because there are too many cultures in islam that only converted when they were reassured 'you do not have to bow your neck to the arab'.

the good thing about the wahhabis is that they made us all go back to the texts. orthodox, traditional, liberal, secular, etc by constantly trying to drive our backs against the wall with a finger in our chests saying 'where is your evidence/who is your scholar? that is not authentic..' etc you know what? it backfired on them because we realised how selectively they treat the quran and hadith. on politics, on race issues, on women etc they said 'you people only follow scholars we are the only ones who read the quran and hadith ourselves' and now that we read it too we realise the closed door to ijtihad is now being blown wide open by everybody.

the quran hasnt been altered and has stayed consistent for 1400 plus years. but not the hadith. the hadith collections have had the wahhabi treatment - ostensibly to sift out which are authentic and which are not but really, to screen out any proof that the sufis, the shias, or other muslims have legitimacy. sahih bukhari published in 2012 does not contain the same hadith as sahih bukhari 1912, all under our noses too. ...

and breathe. rant over.

nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:33:34

I found this fan page for rumi v=https://www.facebook.com/JalalAdDinMuhammadRumi

I have a question though, there is a quote that says something aout when you loose all sense of self the bonds will vanish and you will return the root of your soul,

there is almost exact thing in bhagvad gita where it says when you loose all sense of ego like "I, me and mine" then you will achieve enlightenment"

How do you reconcile this? do you say parts of Hinduism are true but it has been corrupted? Dis Rumi get his ideas from Hindu spirituality?

ok off to read the thread now.

nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:33:49
nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:44:00

Do you think that we are all qualified to do ijtihad from reading translations of QUran?

I mean I dont actually know your opinion on this, but take the issue of hijab, many women read transaltion of Quran and say that it says pull your outer garment over your bossom etc, and I have pointed out Quran orders the believing women to put jilbaabs on, and the words transalted as outer garment and cloak are jilbaab and khimaar, so by reading it in translation without understanding of Arabic terminology we can come to misunderstandings and we can come to a situation where we are denying the laws of Allah, which may be a kufr. (I am not salafi, I dont make takfir, I know the dangers of it)

Are salafi and wahabi the same thing?

what is the explanantion of 73 sects and only one will reach jannah?

who is Ahl sunnah wa jammah?

Where do you draw the line between differences of opinion and bidah bidah shirk shirk?
I mean many people say bralvis and deobandis commit bidah and shirk. Are they part of the jamaah?

what is your opinion on shrines as a sufi? what is a wali of Allah? can they intercede? can we ask them to intercede?

Where is Allah?

and what do you think of HT?

nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:44:16

ok ignore the last question, this is not the right place

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 12:19:12

salam alaikum naila!

"I have a question though, there is a quote that says something aout when you loose all sense of self the bonds will vanish and you will return the root of your soul,

there is almost exact thing in bhagvad gita where it says when you loose all sense of ego like "I, me and mine" then you will achieve enlightenment"

How do you reconcile this? do you say parts of Hinduism are true but it has been corrupted? Dis Rumi get his ideas from Hindu spirituality?

ok off to read the thread now."

alot of those works of Rumi in English are translated by a Hindu scholar M G Gupta, who was an urdu poet and professor of persian literature.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._G._Gupta

he has also written extensively on hindu mysticism, heres a booklist:

www.bookfinder.com/search/?st=xl&ac=qr&src=dir&author=M.G.%20Gupta

and so when translating and commenting on the works of Rumi he has given them a slant towards Hindu vedantic mysticism. it is the translator not Rumi who uses the words of the Bhagavad Vita. on top of that, there is some doubt about the copy of the Mathnawi he translated:

"For example, the earliest manuscript of Book I contains 4,007, and Nicholson's edition has 4,003. But Gupta's Volume One of his translation consists of 4,563 verses"

taken from this page about the masnavi:

www.dar-al-masnavi.org/about_masnavi.html

i said earlier that it was better to read translations of Rumi's works by Muslims because the non muslim translators did not have the depth of training in islamic spirituality to know how to relate his works and the context. if you know the hadith of Jibreel (as), about the servant draws near with obligatory works, then superogatory works, then ends 'i become the eyes with which he sees...'. that is the context of losing all sense of the ego.

"Rumi is saying that the servant of God knows that he is only a
container for God's gifts, and not the possessor or source of those
gifts. In Nicholson's commentary, he quotes the famous 17th
century Turkish commentator on the Mathnawi, Anqaravî, as
saying that Rumi interprets the saying, "He who knows himself
knows his Lord" as meaning, "He who knows himself to be
helpless and contemptible knows his Lord to be Mighty and
Glorious" (Volume 8, 1940, p. 269). "

www.dar-al-masnavi.org/self-discovery.html

In an authentic quatrain composed by Rumi, he tells us:

I am the servant of the Qur'an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.

...

[--Rumi's Quatrain No. 1173, translated by Ibrahim Gamard and
Ravan Farhadi in 'The Quatrains of Rumi,' an unpublished
manuscript]

please have a read of the two links from dar al masnavi, it explains why Rumi amongst english speaking muslims is so much harder to understand than amongst arabic, farsi and urdu speakers etc.

as for self realisation: hinduism, buddhism, judaism, christianity, etc are alot older than Islam - the prophet muhammad (pbuh) said he was the final, not the first of the messengers. the prophets mentioned in the Quran are only a tiny fraction of those that Allah sent to mankind- thats orthodox islamic belief. consider if the trinity came about within 300 years of the death of prophet Jesus (as), and he only died 2000 years ago then how about the teachings of earlier prophets from ancient times and to other ancient peoples? consider though the pagan arabs were the sons of Ismael (as) whose father was Ibrahim (as), how little they remembered and practised? that the house of God contained idols from all over Makkah by the time of the birth of Muhammad (pbuh). so my teacher told me never to say anything against their founders because really, 'who knows?'.

so that hindu aim for self realisation is not exclusive to hinduism, rising above/breaking down the ego is the main aim in nearly all religions, they teach that attaining permanent happiness is to have complete independence and freedom from all worldly bondage. thats the peak of self improvement in religion.

Maslow described it in secular terms in his 'hierarchy of needs',

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

the peak of self improvement and self realisation in monotheism? Jesus taught to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah says, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” the prophet (peace be upon him) said “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 12:44:31

salams naila, i dont use salafi and wahhabi interchangeably, i was talking about wahhabis. though sometimes really the difference between them is like the difference between the BNP and UKIP! the troid type and dawah salafiyyah are where the lines are really really really really blurred ha.

i have salafi friends who express doubt about certain aspects of tasawuff i follow but they dont make takfir on me. they just say 'i dont follow that'.

i dont think we are all qualified to do ijtihad, thats why i follow a madhab. the wahhabis would do away with 1400 years of islamic scholarship - consigning the whole period after the 3rd generation as jahilliya.
when they say 'we are on quran and sunnah' that raises my hackles because who isnt? if you a sunni you are ahlus sunnah. between us we do alot of things that we are unsure of but when the wahhabi say it they never mean it as a religious statement but a political statement.

"Allah will always have mercy on you as long as you have mercy for your brother"

the sufis have the most for the ummah of Muhammad (pbuh), the wahhabis have the least.

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 13:05:43

Sorry to end it so abruptly dear naila will post later about your other questions.

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 13:36:06

ok, i get the bit about hinduism being older, the way i see it is if it Christianity became so corrupted in a few hundred years then in 5000 years Hinduism became more corrupted, although there is still truth in it's teachings.

The Hadith of jibreel, are you talking about ihsan? "The man said, “You have spoken the truth. Now, tell me about spiritual excellence (ihsan).”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don’t behold him, (know that) He surely sees you."

I see what you are saying, you are saying that those who dont care about the ummah, or even our neighbours and immediate community, are lacking, which is what the Prophet sas says. Now days a lot of people talk about first work on yourself and that will effect your family etc, personally I don't believe in this, I feel if you wait until you are perfect to help the community, then you will be waiting for ever!

I guess you are saying that a lot of the point of religion is some sort of social conscience and harmony, which is self actualisation?

There is a hadith about a pious man in a corrupt city and Allah ordered the city burned, the angels came back to him and said are you sure? there is a good man there, and Allah swt ordered the fire started at his house as the man didnt try to change his community and do dawah.

I think individualisation is a product of the times we live in where people are only bothered about themselves.

On a separate note, I am doing an essay about reformation, and I can see many similaraties between the xtian reformatian ideals in 16thc and the modern "Islamic revival" theologically many of the same issues are being discussed. I thought it was quite interesting!

jazakallahkhayr for answering my questions sis.

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 13:43:02

Also I agree about not being abke to ignore scholars that came after teh tayibeen, like Al Ghazzalli etc who dedicated their lives to understanding Islam, we have had 1400 years of scholarship and insight, to just chuck that all away seems strange.

what do you mean it is a political statement? to say we are on the way of the salaf? I mean obviously like you say it is a bit insulting because we all are! lol, but my husband says he is just Muslim even though we follow madhab etc he doesnt see the need to say it and differentiate himself from other muslims. He even has some shia friends and doesnt make takfir on them, when I talk to him he just asks me how many shia i know and if i have ever talked to them about their beliefs.

Another question, may sound strange but who./what is Muhamad sallalahu allayhi asalaam? I mean I have read some books talking about him being made from noor, the whole of creation being created for his sake, him sas being the first thing created and so on. I guess this question goes alongside who is Allah, as in it is an aqeedah question not a fiqh one.

To what extent can we accept differences in aqeedah?

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 21:36:29

salams Naila! so sorry about calling it the Jibreel hadith, as you said that one is the one about imaan and ihsaan. the one i meant to say was from imam nawawi's 40 hadith. it is the one "My servant does not draw near to me..." - (hadith no 38).
id love to know more about the essay you are writing. i feel iv been on autopilot for the last few years and iv come out of dc3's baby years really thirsty to learn. im finding that topic of revival/reform really interesting as well - i generally follow 'traditional' fiqh but i know theres a movement of 'minority' fiqh and another of 'modern' fiqh.

"I guess you are saying that a lot of the point of religion is some sort of social conscience and harmony, which is self actualisation?"

i think the main message of all the mursaleen was that attaining permanent happiness is to have complete independence and freedom from all worldly bondage. rising above our desires, our base selves, is the first step and then serving others is the next - all religions try and teach altruism not egoism. now different religions have different paths to freeing oneself from dunya concerns, and have different reasons why. the enlightenment of the hindus and buddhists is their goal. when we say permanent happiness we mean the Garden and seeing the face of Allah.

i dont believe you have to be perfect before you can start effecting change in the community - even if i isolated myself into a cave until the end of my days id still not reach that stage. but we always need to be wary of being 'street angels, house devils'. what i want to be is someone who is hard on herself but easy on others. Imam Al Ghazzali says 'the hypocrite looks for faults, the believer looks for excuses'. (make 72 excuses for your brother and all that).

i enjoy reading about tasawwuf(spirituality) but not aqidah (theology) - DH loves the latter but once he gets past 3 sentences i usually stop him with a 'habibi, please, you are talking too much'. wink no one was more surprised than him when i started an aqidah course this year - i used to think once you say Allah is One what more is there to say? but iv learnt theres alot more! i have noticed around other threads on religion naila that you speak about it in a clear simple way.

as for barailvis or deobandis, my local mosque growing up used to have arguments between the barailvis and the salafis - is it a testament or a detriment that they share same mosque lol? iv always had the attitude, if you have 95% in common why argue about the 5%?

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 22:37:25

but thats just it, how different can aqeedah be before we say we are different religions and we are not the same? I mean we can say we sahre 90% of aqeedah with some other monotheistic religions, and churches which are not trinitarian etc.

crescentmoon Tue 01-Jan-13 18:32:45

Gahh! I just wrote a really long reply and I lost it. Will try to post later. Happy new year anyway dear naila,hardly, mariammama,cuddleup, galvanise,amirah,firefly, etc and anyone else iv missed out!

crescentmoon Wed 02-Jan-13 18:41:05

Salams dear naila. i think aqidah is an ivory tower subject in Islam - our deen is mainly about orthopraxy and the problems in our cpmmuities are to do with practise not belief.

this is a subject that preoccupies the wahhabi though- they are extremely sectarian both on belief and on practise. when imam abdul wahhab began preaching he made his movement take on a polical dimension-called the Shias heretics and forming fighting groups began destroying shia shrines in arabia, then to the mosque of al hussein in kerbala iraq. then the sauds said in the early 1800s what about the Sufis- they are also heretics - their target werent the small fry pilgrims but the ruling arabian family who were closely allied with the Turkish sultan. the wahhabites became this weapon of ultra zealous fighters and couldnt tolerate any interpretations not their own. like the earlier khwarij sect the wahhabis believed you could kill murder slaughter anyone of a different methodology.The Sauds made lots of gains with them in arabia,then lost power, then rose again in the early 1920s with the help of the wahhabite fighters called the ikhwan. The british through lawrence of arabia gave them weapons to Harrass the ottomans and help them make their land grabs in Iraq and the levant. But the problem was even when the Sauds gained power and fighting had ceased the Wahhabi ikhwan (no relation to the muslim brotherhood of hasan al bana) couldn't stop fighting - they started killing an slaughtering ANY Muslims who they considered as not practising their form of Islam. Not just on aqidah, then onto bidah, onto practise and then onto political allegiance. And when they turned on the saud royals calling them innovators just for using telephones and cars the saudi emir and the British actually led a battle against that same ikhwan group and slaughtered them in huge numbers in 1930.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikhwan

In wanting to 'purify' Islam they didn't care if there were no Muslims left! and I wish they were a historical footnote like the khwarij but the scholars who stayed on the saud/British side still wanted to be able to preach their sectarianism until today. In their non violent form they break up communities and cause disharmony but at the extreme end - were talking extreme minority of an extreme minority- you find the modern sect 'khwarij' / 'ikhwan' manifesting itself in violent extremism.

The ordinary lay person doesn't know what the Ashari/ maturidi/ Athari/ mutazili/ anthropomorphism theological schools are. You cant say that those are suspicious cultural notions masqurading as religious.There are mostly very fine differences between them.iv found it fascinating recently learning but im not planning to be an imam it's just for my own knowledge.

When I married DH I knew he was more heavily into Sufism than me and I said I didn't mind anything except tawassul- intercession. I believed it was haram as do the majority- the wahhabis didnt teach anything new-i believe it IS part of the 'suspicious cultural practises'. And my DH agreed- he prays sometimes 'my Lord God BY your love for the Prophet' not THROUGH your love of the prophet (pbuh). and iv worked my way through that. When i personally make dua i always mention the prophet pbuh at the end-a prayer FOR him not TO him. and that was as muhammad pbuh ordered us to do. but i would still not make a division with people who do make tawassul. i know a salafi saudi sister married to a sufi man who does make tawassul and they live together happily and peacefully.the sectarian Wahhabis would say that marriage was illegitimate as the man had a different aqidah. Iv read with my own eyes fatwas on Wahhabi sites telling men to divorce their wives if they celebrate the birthday of the prophet (pbuh). the wahhabis celebrate the birthdays of the saudi kings but will call someone who celebrates the prophet's (pbuh) birthday a heretic!

will post later...

crescentmoon Wed 02-Jan-13 19:06:25

I speak about mercy for others but actually, I benefit far more from the 'ummah' concept than contribute to it. I'm coming to the end of a nomadic period of my life- I would have been all kinds of depressed if it wasn't for the simple Salams from strangers on the street, the extension of generous hospitality, the welcome to our city. I cannot complain to Allah that the Muslims let me down personally because I have benefitted from those who believe in the brotherhood of Islam.

Surah ikhlas is the template for the basic theology of our deen- that all Muslims agree. Surah Ikhlas: the chapter of Sincerity
Say He is One, the Eternal, the Absolute, He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is nothing like Him'. That's the first surah i learnt as a child and the first one i taught my children.That's what we learn as children as the basic code and the prophet pbuh said that is equal to one third of the Quran.and it suffices for alot of muslims even as adults. The six pillars of iman, we all agree on that too shia or sunni. To believe in 1.God, 2.God's angels, 3.God's books (plural: the Torah, the psalms, the gospel and the Quran), 4.God's Messengers (plural), 5.divine fate and 6.belief in the day of judgement. That is the underpinning of our theology I believe. I take them as articles
What we differ on is definition. What do those things mean exactly. But the thing is we believe in those 'headings' whatever we make of them afterwards. 'What does Allah mean by this?'.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 14:56:39

I have read this, and I think I am still digesting and pondering it.

for me aqeedah is not an ivory tower subject, it is the essence of what it means to be Muslim, it is who/what is Allah and who/what is the messenger, without truly understanding what is the creator then we cannot understand other stuff, like the importance of his laws, how we may disagree with them but Allah knows best etc, how we should love Muhammad sas better then our own family, I mean we can say these things, but we cannot have true realisation and acceptance of it without aqeedah.

I studied aqidah al tahawiyya and that is my aqeedah. tbh i dont know much in a academic sense of the differences between aqidah, i just know what i observe and my husband observes,

like the whole concept of saints interceeding and praying at shrines changes the way we view Allah, and changes everything, stuff like taweez changes the whole concept of Islam imo.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 03-Jan-13 15:11:37

Really enjoying 'listening in' on your conversation Nailak and Crescentmoon. Have learnt a lot from your discussion.
For my part, I try not to make distinctions between Muslims in my interactions with them, although personally I identify strongly with the traditional scholars. It does make me very sad in my work with new Muslims that the Salafi perspective is now 'default Islam', and once they have come accross that it is very difficult to convince them of the validity of anything else. Many people do not even realise their beliefs come Salafism, so effective are they in spreading their message.
It also makes me sad that some 'Sufis' I know would not even sit with a Salafi, have them in their house, or go to a mosque which is supposedly Salafi, I really think this is wrong, we are all Muslims and need to be united, as you said Crescentmoon, the majority of our beleifs are identical.

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:41:46

Happy New Year to everyone here toosmile By the way, am really glad you addressed the Wahhabi issue crescent as I have heard nothing but negative from my Muslim friends from Singapore. One of the things mentioned to me before was how the Saudis are selfish and won't help other Muslims in trouble. Recent example told to me was the Rohingyas in Burma. Or the issue in Palestine. My friend is more inclined to the Sufi side although she feels its out of her reach and she's not yet disciplined enough to even do the five prayers a day...she was also turned off Islam for a while because of the Wahhabis she's encountered... she is however a big fan of Turkey... whom she said stepped in to help the Rohingyas... and she feels they are an Islamic nation which holds promise..

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:50:24

In addition, she (she lives in Oz now) says that this crazy fighting in the Middle East between Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, etc... does not occur elsewhere. In her local Turkish mosque in Oz, there are Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadiyyas, etc. all peacefully coexisting and friendly with each other.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 18:35:22

I have a friend who grew up in Bahrain, she had shia friends and stuff there was never an issue, then all of a sudden issues started.

Maybe new muslims gravitiate towards salafis since they are the ones organising events and who are visible? if it wasnt for my husband i am sure i would have gone down that path.

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 18:56:32

I think it is to do with politics and greed and power hunger sometimes. I was asking my friend about this organisation IERA which has been distributing free Qurans on the streets and I saw some Youtube vids of Hamza Tzortzis .. she said they are Wahhabi funded and are like "evangelists going around villages preaching Christianity"... lol... I think they have a lot of funding because they are Saudi linked? And they actively proselytise... it seems. So yeah maybe that's why they may be responsible for drawing more converts... and more importantly, converts who only believe in that ideology.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 20:32:32

i like iera, i think abdur raheem green is fantastic, i like hamza tzortis as well, when i first came to islam these are the things i was watching, and i still sometimes watch abdur raheem, green in hyde park vids and stuff out of enjoyment, and if he is coming to a local masjid i make sure i go. I also rate his videos when he is admitting stuff i not a lot of muslims wouldnt admit, like how when he first reverted he would be in a party with a drink in his hand talking about how great islam was.

I think as muslims we are supposed to do dawah and actively proselytise, but for me this is more about my actions then preaching, it is about some of the stuff i say on threads on mumsnet, for me that is my dawah, and i am not going to stand on street corners.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 20:33:12

i think sometimes we can take the good and leave the bad

crescentmoon Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:25

Salams naila firefly hardly.

Glad that your ok with my addressing the Wahhabi issue firefly- it is much more to do with saudi imperialism (i cannot even say arab imperialism as their islam is also alien to the arab nations surrounding saudi arabia) than religion. Will write more but just to say I quite like iera too naila. As far as I know they give a basic groundwork for new Muslims to explore Islam- i know they are mostly made up of converts. my main angst with the wahhabi is that they make takfir on anyone not part of their small sect. they turn on salafis as well sometimes for not following their teachers. there are also Saudis who are not Wahhabi. Else hardly anyone would get to go to hajj or umrah to Mecca as the Wahhabis would bar all to sacrifice unity for 'purity'!
I hate what is happening to Mecca and Madinah. They would wish to strip out as much of the history of Mecca and Madinah in order to replace it with capitalism. Our generation is seeing many historical sites being demolished and rebuilt over ostensibly to take away the risk of grave/ saint worship but really, because its prime land for saudi real estate developers to build 5star hotels and shopping malls close to the Kaaba.

the independent: wanton destruction of Mecca's holy sites

Mecca for the rich

CoteDAzur Thu 03-Jan-13 22:11:31

crescent - It's interesting (for me) that you are interested in Rumi & the Mevlevi Order. I've never read his verses in English and have to say that they are unrecognizeable!

Did you know that Rumi is not his name?

On another note: I don't mean to pick a fight but this made me sad:

"she is however a big fan of Turkey... and she feels they are an Islamic nation which holds promise.."

Islamic government sad which has destroyed the secular army imprisoning hundreds of highest-ranked leaders, bullied and buried independent journalists in jail for years without a charge, annihilated the justice system such that anyone who raises their voice against them is prosecuted and often jailed with ridiculous allegations. If you are interested in how wonderful a path Turkey has been travelling on in the last 15 years or so, I can tell you all about it sad

Yes, another of this Islamic government's "achievements" is that Turkey is inching closer and closer to a full-blown Islamic republic. I suppose that is the "promise" your friend feels that Turkey holds sad

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 00:59:01

cote Wow really? Well I don't know how much she knows about Turkey.. but she is really thinking they are a great country. She is definitely not a hard core Muslim. She does not wear hijab, does not cover everything other than hands. She does stay away from pork, that sort of thing, but is very lax otherwise. As a born Muslim. I get the feeling she likes Turkey because of the secularity of it, definitely not the aspect of shutting down secular voices. Maybe she doesn't know... hmm ...

I don't know very much either. I have only been in Turkey once having stopped over on a Turkish Airways flight. If Turkey is going that way... hmm is it because the government is getting more fundamentalist or something?? I think also she's probably influenced in her opinion by the people she meets - she's probably met Turks who are like her and so... .. I'd be very interested if you have any links or stuff I may forward to her for reading. Although she may have already known?? hmm... who knows!

nailak and crescent I actually knew about Hamza whilst watching a video where he confronted Aron Ra and PZ Myers outside an atheist convention and tried to engage them in a debate. I felt he wasn't a bad person, quite likeable actually, friendly, humble... ? But I felt his arguments were a lost cause. PZ Myers was not interested in what ifs. What if there is something controlling all you see, what if God is behind it... and he tried to argue about how the Quran is God's work because some things said in there turned out to be similar to recent scientific research. And then PZ was saying, no its not similar. Its not accurate. etc.. it was a very entertaining video though to me smile I saw another vid of him handing out leaflets on the street and EDL members approached him and he was very good at his social skills... got them all to shake hands with him and leave peacefully.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:02:34

crescent btw my friend does say the same thing as you regarding the Saudis destroying ancient religious sites for commercial purposes.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:51

Me personally though, I think I'm with her in the sense that we believe in secularity in public life. And religion is a private matter. We don't like going around telling people in real life our beliefs as we feel its our business. I remember asking on a Muslim forum once if its possible to be Muslim and secular, and the overwhelming response was no. But she would tell me don't listen to what others say. People don't have to start wearing cotton jubah, grow beards and stop listening to music because they are Muslim. I can see why some other stricter Muslims would say she's not a true Muslim, etc. I'm really not interested in all that fighting and that's one reason why I am remaining non religious.

crescentmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 07:35:23

salam alaikum all,

off politics a little...

its friday - Jumma Mubarak! (blessed Friday)

did anyone catch Dr Michael Moseley on BBC breakfast this week? the one who did the Horizon programme on the benefits of fasting. you can find a few threads in the MN weight loss topic about Intermittent Fasting (IF). 5:2 or Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) that he covered in his programme. hes now written a book called The Fast Diet based on his findings and encourages fasting 2 days a week and eating normally the other days.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01387cv

he says in the clip he himself fasts "Monday and Thursday not least because the prophet Muhammad suggested those days many years ago". (2mins 20)

my DH does the sunnah fasts of Monday and Thursday but iv rarely managed to even though i know it is a strong sunnah! (ramadan takes it out of me and im glad that is the only compulsory fast)

Dr Moseley mentions the prophet (pbuh) here as well...

www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9480451/The-52-diet-can-it-help-you-lose-weight-and-live-longer.html

CoteDAzur Fri 04-Jan-13 08:47:03

firefly - The government is fundamentalist and they have been doing everything to pull Turkey in that direction. Opening thousands of "schools for imams", then passing a law that enabled all those brain-washed youngsters to enter universities and become everything other than imams. Forcing "elective" lessons on Arabic, Quran, Islam, life of Mohammad, etc. Turkey used to have the army as protector of the secular republic, but these religious nuts turned out to be more clever than the previous ones - they first attacked the army, with the full support of international community, under the guise of democracy vs military. It is sad and nobody can say where Turkey will be in another decade.

" if its possible to be Muslim and secular"

Of course it is. Islam is between a person and God, and does not necessitate religious institutions and a system of governance to support it all.

crescentmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 08:50:01

how do you mean Rumis words in english are unrecognisable cote? i only rethought about him when a friend of mine who had studied his works in arabic told me to read into him again. i was surprised to learn the Mevlevi tariq as well as all other sufi orders were banned by Ataturk. what was the thinking behind that?

as for the turkey.they just arrested a former army chief yesterday in turkey for a coup plot back from 1997

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20898101

if this was any other country than an elected government breaking the military's power over government institutions would be a good show of real reform. this wiki page has alot on the turkish 'deep state' - sounds abit conspiracy theory but there are alot of references and sources, 'a confluence of fact and conspiracy theory'. what do you say about it cote?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_state

i only looked that up this morning btw. seems like alot of axes are finally being ground and its not just the AKP's either - but i wouldnt know about trumped up or not. as with the wider world watching, i think your friend firefly like me was probably taken with the turkish akp because of their wider regional activities. i think erdogan has been steadily winning alot of supporters in the muslim world since davos in 2009 when he spoke out against the bombing of Gaza to shimon peres and the rest of those gathered. the contrast between him and the bloated corrupt ineffective corpulent arab leaders couldnt have been greater to many (can you spot my dislike?). theyve been pretty good at making a power play in the middle east- i wonder how they are as a government to their own citizens.

Hanikam Fri 04-Jan-13 09:13:59

Salaam sisters,
Good to see so many of us on mumsnet and not just on "Muslim" websites.
I converted about 15yrs ago from a Jewish secular background, Dad Jewish, Mum Christian. Dh is Muslim Bengali and we have 3 children, plus a surprise BFP a few days ago faints

Luckily, DH gets on well with my family and we try to spend Christmas with my folks and Eid with his. They still haven't forgiven him for marrying a non-Bengali though! And they never let him forget it. Oh yes, never mind the fact that I am Muslim, I am not from a Bengali background, which is even more important in their eyes. confused

His sisters are now my sisters and we have good time, supporting each other through marriage (not all arranged), child raising and difficult times in life.
Why did I become Muslim? Well it's a long story, and I feel that imaan is something that grows with you. As our Rasuul (saw) said (paraphrasing) ours is a deep religion, so enter into it little by little.

Thank you OP, hopefully we can have more threads like this and get to know each other. Any other sisters in Suffolk?

CoteDAzur Fri 04-Jan-13 09:15:16

Unrecognizable because they are very different. It's hard to explain. It is not the same "feeling" at all in English. It feels like the translation of a translation of a translation, where all feeling of the original has been lost.

"Mevlevi tariq as well as all other sufi orders were banned by Ataturk. what was the thinking behind that?"

He was transitioning a war-weary and deeply ignorant people from centuries-long autocracy to secular democracy, and one of the things he did was severing all potentially-powerful religious organizations. He also disbanded the Caliphate. And hung insurgents.

"they just arrested a former army chief yesterday in turkey for a coup plot back from 1997"

There are hundreds of army officers, including generals in jail right now because of this supposed "coup plot". Many have been in prison for years now, awaiting trial. The whole thing is a sham, a laughable plot. There are many hundreds of journalists also in jail for supposedly having participated in this "coup plot". Who has ever heard of hundreds of people, including journalists ffs, collaborating in preparing a coup? hmm

This is the government's way of jailing whoever they think is a threat to their march towards full-blown religious state. It is terrible sad

I will come back to tell you about "derin devlet" ("deep state") later. It's a beautiful day and DD wants to go ice skating smile

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:52:23

I think of a country like Iran which is supposedly ruled by religious fundamentalists but the people are secular. I've met Iranians in Asia and they eat and drink whatever they want, do whatever non-Muslims do. They apparently don't consider themselves to be Muslim as the religion is forced onto them. But then maybe that is how they are like outside of Iran. I don't know how life is inside Iran. There are many Iranian immigrants around the world so life can't be that good there.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:55:57

Well what I meant by "they don't consider themselves Muslim" is more like they don't consider themselves to be proper religious ones. I know many Muslims who do not practice and who even outwardly admit they don't really believe in God. But they will still do the whole Eid thing with their families, but they will drink alcohol, smoke, try drugs, sleep around, etc. The word "Muslim" to many born Muslims I know is like a cultural identity without the religious connotations.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 04-Jan-13 16:27:12

Salaams Hanikan nice to meet you.

nailak Fri 04-Jan-13 16:54:03

Cote, surely you not trying to say turkey will be the place where we see the return of the khilafah grin I doubt it somehow! However I thought the people were in uproar coz the pms wife wore scarf or something? Personally I don't see the issue with training imams and teachingnislamic studies in schools?

Cote i don't want to argue with u on this happy thread, but I don't get it. Does Islam not require ulama? Say a woman wants Khula or something, religious institutions are required? Or at least one judge.

Is khilafah and shariah in its entirety part of Islam? Including criminal shariah? If so then how can we follow Islam entirely without an Islamic state?

Firefly, maybe the ones who are happy to live the way dictated by the state stayed? And of course those who couldn't afford to leave. Palestinians I have met think those who have permanently settled out of Palestine are the cowards. The traitors. Maybe it is pressure like that to stay ?

And coming back to fiqh, I don't get what you are saying. Are you saying it is ok to ignore commands like growing a beard, which is wajib in hanafi fiqh, or are you disagreeing with the validity of the rulings? Are you saying musical instruments are permissible, or that it is ok to not strive to follow Islam in its entirety.?

Salaam alaykum
hainkam after 15 years, do you still feel need to say you are a revert? Surely after 15 years you are just as Muslim as anyone else, as in the sense that you are not a new Muslim anymore, it is not really relevant in day to day life anymore?

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:11:02

nailak Well I think its kind of silly to equate immigration to cowardice. Its an individual's right to decide whether they think it's worth risking their lives to continue living in a place where they can be persecuted. But that's just my opinion.

As for the terms you mentioned, what does wijab mean and all that??? Is it like religious rules? If it is then I can only speak for myself. I do not believe outward appearance like beards or not should be set in stone. This is one of the things I don't agree with in some religions which say one must dress this way or look that way. People should be free to choose. But in conduct, I believe basic principles like the Golden rule should be adhered to. I am not here to argue abour religious rules like this though. To me it's a moot point. I would never allow myself to be dictated to like that.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:13:48

Do you think a secular state is compatible with Islam nailak?

nailak Fri 04-Jan-13 17:18:03

IMO it is not about being dictated to by religion, it is about the creator who is all wise, all knowing, and if who knows us better then we know ourselves, and knows what is good for us better then we know ourselves. It is more of a case of why wouldn't you listen?

And I like being identifiable as a Muslim, I like giving and receiving salaams and so on.

nailak Fri 04-Jan-13 17:20:52

If it is secular like France no, if it is secular like uk yes, depends on the state!

Muslims always travelled to non Muslim lands, I don't see any issue with this.
The talk about khilafah is just academic, there is no islamic land. It doesn't exist. Maybe parts of Somalia and maritiana or something, I dunno.

SA3008 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:27:13

Salams all, not read the whole thread, just wanted to add myself to Muslimah MN list.
Now to find time to read actual thread....

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:44:28

nailak ahh okay I see. UK is not secular in theory though, is it? I mean I lived in Singapore as a child and teen and over there, it is secular. No praying, no RE in schools, but no bans on personal choice to wear hijabs, crosses, etc. i.e. personal religious objects.

I understand you feel strongly that the God you pray to is the true God and most importantly, you believe the Quran to be his authentic word and that it is the only authentic source out there.

Me personally though, it's not my belief. I don't think the Quran is any truer than say, the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible. I think of them as inspired words of God. I like reading these things, I even gain some useful wisdom from them, but I don't agree fully with everything ever said.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:53:28

And I still find the idea of Heaven or Hell as described in Judeo Christian religions quite hard to believe in. Well I have read many fascinating accounts of near death experiences and that has made me wonder if Heaven really exists. But Hell, I don't really believe in that. Hell can be on Earth. Like the way the poor girl in Delhi was raped on a bus. To me that is Hell. Maybe Hell is on Earth.

I had a brief encounter with a Christian woman at an Evangelist church once. They run a playgroup which my kids attended sometimes. She asked me what was my faith and all that. At the time I was atheist and told her so, and she grilled me about why I believe in it and such and such. I can't remember most of the conversation now but I do remember asking her what does she think of people who believe in other religions then? And she said she just thinks they are "mistaken" or misguided. Well clearly I am "misguided" wink

crescentmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 18:06:30

cote said:

"Islam is between a person and God, and does not necessitate religious institutions and a system of governance to support it all."

i have a friend who converted to islam. both her and her husband are white european - her husband is an atheist. he tried to be accommodating to the fact she wanted to go to circles and talks - more so than some muslim men allow their own wives - and was ok with her wanting to practise islam - he said your choice. remarkable as some muslim men do not like their wives to wear hijab. but soon they started to have tension in their marriage. when she asked an imam what she should do he told her that she could practise islam without needing to go to the mosque or circles- that her marriage was more important. he told her that islam is between a person and God and that Islam is to keep good family ties. a woman does not need to go to friday prayers or attend the mosque regularly - in that respect islam is between a person and God and does not necessitate religious instruction. so she prays, and fasts, and keeps halal and other things but she doesnt do the group thing.

this is much easier in sunni islam than shia islam because the former does not have a formal religious hierarchy or structure. so the average sunni muslim has much less contact with an imam than the average shia muslim. you can be a very religious muslim by yourself.

i myself rarely go to the mosque - it is only incidentally if there is a talk or a class that is held there. when i do go to a mosque for prayers its usually because i like the recitation of the imam there. i shop around in that respect for an imam with a beautiful form of recitation! i find it hard to concentrate in prayer if the reciter has a nasal tone - which unfortunately - Allah bless him - my husband has!

i love the deep voices of Imam Abdul basit abdussamad or sheikh menshawi when they recite the quran - i feel it gives the words the majesty they deserve.
or the melodious type of recitation of Sheikh Sudais.

during ramadan for tirawee my criteria changes to an imam who recites the fastest as my kids can only behave for so long whilst im praying! ds1 stays with DH but he starts to wonder and run around, so i pray 8 and then run home. but again, some women pray the tirawee ramadan prayer at home by themselves after their children sleep - it is the same either at home or at the mosque.

crescentmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 18:07:35

sorry i meant it does not necessitate religious institutions not intruction

crescentmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 19:19:18

tbh its pretty shocking how much turkey has changed in the last 10 years. as firefly has friends who left iran to get away from the theocracy there, i have a few turkish muslim friends who left turkey after the hijab ban of 1998. that enforcement devastated the lives of many practising muslim women who were turned out of their work places and educational institutions. my friends came to britain to study and work and they were the minority who could afford to. many others who remained in turkey had to stay at home and lose out on using their skills or education because they were told -choose faith or work but you cannot mix both.

it put my own trials with the hijab in perspective. for me my main jihad was against my vanity - fearing to appear 'fat' or 'frumpy' by wearing loose clothing. for my turkish sisters it was much more existential, they were told take off the headscarf or you cannot work/ study any more. some women were fired from their jobs even for being seen to wear hijab outside of their workplace.

effect of headscarf ban in Turkey

its sad that Ataturk saw even peaceful spiritual sufi orders as a threat and banned them. to him i would have been considered a fanatic as well then.

on a funny note, apparently loads of arab men are going to cosmetic surgeons in turkey to have beard and moustache transplants.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/26/turkey-facial-hair-implants-

excerpt from the article:

"Irfan Atik, general manager of a tourism agency that specialises in hair transplant tour packages, estimates that at least 50 Arab tourists go to Istanbul every day for the procedure. Packages cost about $2,300 (£1,400) and include medical and overnight costs incurred during the four days that the measure usually takes."

this article made me laugh alot. DH said he wished he could go and open a clinic in malaysia or indonesia - lots of potential customers there! grin

hope you had a nice day with your dd cote

nailak Fri 04-Jan-13 19:54:37

firefly to say there is hell on earth, does this mean when people suffer it is a punishment?

crescent I hardly go to masjid, but try and organise circles because I think it is important to have friends and support!

CoteDAzur Fri 04-Jan-13 20:51:43

"many practising muslim women who were turned out of their work places... many others who remained in turkey had to stay at home and lose out on using their skills or education because they were told -choose faith or work but you cannot mix both"

Err... someone's been feeding you stories. Women were not "banned" from working with headscarves - that's ludicrous.

Until these hypocritical religious nuts took office, Turkey was a truly secular state, meaning No Religion in state affairs - state-owned companies and education (which at the time was all state-owned). This included outward signs like headscarves and crosses, where applicable.

Your friends could have very well worked in the thriving private sector, in any city of their choosing.

CoteDAzur Fri 04-Jan-13 20:59:52

"UK is not secular in theory though, is it? "

UK isn't secular at all and neither does it claim to be. Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that the Church of England is represented in Parliament with over 20 bishops, collective (Christian) worship is compulsory in schools, and the monarchy is Christian.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 21:16:07

nailak I don't know if it can be called punishment. I don't subscribe to the idea of a vengeful God. I think I may have said upthread somewhere that I find it really difficult to think of God as a being that metes out punishment. I quite like the Gnostic Christian interpretation of things... that the material and mind are flawed because the creator or Demiurge that made it is a separate entity from the ultimate God.. but then again I have my own interpretations of things. Still working it out. I am more into mystical ancient stuff but yeah I also kind of wonder about the reincarnation theory as well as Greek mythology. I guess right now I am sort of closer to being a panentheist. Which is different from pantheism.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 21:27:14

cote Yes the collective worship requirement in UK state schools means it is not secular. Though it is up to the school itself to decide how they want to tackle the collective worship thing. When I was atheist, I frowned when my daughter came home telling me during assembly she was taught God will punish you if you were naughty. I mean, I could understand the school needed a way to keep kids in line. But instilling the the idea of a vengeful God into a 5 year old's mind? hmm

I don't know. I guess I prefer the Singapore model of a secular state than France's version. In Singapore, you are not banned from wearing religious items or clothing. It truly is freedom to practise whatever religion you wanted as long as you don't hurt anybody or force others to comply. And in public realms, no associations with religion whatsoever. I understand France and Turkey implemented their versions of secular states after lots of bloodshed so maybe the governments felt that erasing any trace of religion in public including headscarves would be better for the country's stability. Singapore used to be part of Malaysia before the 60s when it gained independence from Malaysia. Malaysia is a secular but Islam is the sort of national religion if you like, and other faiths are not allowed to preach there. When Singapore gained independence, they essentially got rid of the state religion thing and they got rid of the ban on allowing different faiths to proselytise to the public. But in general, Muslims in Singapore prefer not to proselytise. This whole Dawah movement from the Wahhabi movement is a more current development. It certainly wasn't there when I was growing up in the late 80s to early 90s.

CoteDAzur Fri 04-Jan-13 22:54:53

"implemented their versions of secular states after lots of bloodshed so maybe the governments felt that erasing any trace of religion in public including headscarves"

Not in public. In the state.

Public = walking down the street, in movie theatres, restaurants, work, etc.
State = only in state-owned institutions, ex: working for government.

nailak Sat 05-Jan-13 00:26:45

yeah i guess thats what i meant, if it is secular as in no religion in state then i can accept it if it is secular as in no religion in public i dont thinjkk it is compatible with islam.

firefly11 Sat 05-Jan-13 01:57:09

Ah okay... sorry, lol. So the French secular way would not be compatible with Islam then.

firefly11 Sat 05-Jan-13 01:58:39

I agree it seems harsh to ban the niqab. Some women choose to wear it. Let them wear it. I know it is seen by some as demeaning to women, but it is their choice.

crescentmoon Sat 05-Jan-13 08:08:56

"Err... someone's been feeding you stories. Women were not "banned" from working with headscarves - that's ludicrous.

Until these hypocritical religious nuts took office, Turkey was a truly secular state, meaning No Religion in state affairs - state-owned companies and education (which at the time was all state-owned). This included outward signs like headscarves and crosses, where applicable.

Your friends could have very well worked in the thriving private sector, in any city of their choosing."

i am neither feeding anyone 'stories' nor did they feed me 'stories'. 2 of my friends lost their jobs and 2 their university places. as private universities in turkey also started the enforce the headscarf ban following government unis , so did private sector companies in turkey follow the public sector in the headscarf ban. 'public sector' includes doctors, lawyers, teachers, psychologists, judges etc. there are many well educated dedicated career women in turkey who wear the hijab.

i linked to the wiki page as it had objective evidence of the effect of the headscarf ban too. the french give fines to women who wear the niqab, in 2000 in turkey a muslim uni student was sentenced to 6 months in prison for wearing a hijab to her final exams. it got commuted to a fine but that was how far the authorities were willing to take it.

crescentmoon Sat 05-Jan-13 08:21:52

tbh though naila, between you and me, i always felt more of a bond with a shia sister wearing hijab than a sunni sister who doesnt wear hijab. though i would have a different theology to the shia. i think thats because i never had any sunni friends growing up, i used to ask my parents why i had to go to school when my friends didnt for their 'special' days. i used to know the names of the 12 imams in order because my friends were shocked that i didnt know who they were so they taught me. we were only in primary school. my parents didnt even know what shias were they just thought i was learning islamic history! and we started wearing hijab at the same time and i think that bonded us as well.

i probably learnt more about the family of the prophet (pbuh) from them than i would have going to normal madressah alone. its abit sad that we dont teach about the ahlul bayt amongst our own children.

as for hanikam and SA - salams! hanikan i get what you mean about your religion meaning less to your in laws than the fact that you are not bengali. its really a problem in lots of communities - inter marriage. my own extended family would have preferred me to marry a non religious man from their background than the religious guy from another place that my DH is!

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Jan-13 09:31:15

crescent - I don't know if you have ever been to Turkey, but private companies always had women working with headscarves, especially in the more conservative central & eastern Anatolian cities. If your friends told you that is not the case, then you were fed stories that are just not true.

This was about social engineering in a Muslim republic trying to remain secular. Just like primary education was made compulsory for all children (no such thing as "home schooling" allowed) so that girls as well as boys would be sent to school, especially in rural areas where most girls were never sent to school by their families and were illiterate.

When girls have to be sent to school along with boys and they can't have headscarves, families can't segregate them from boys and they can't force them to cover up. Then they reach the age of 11, and now it is much harder to make them obey pressures to segregate and cover, even if they don't continue education. This was the old system, anyway, before the religious government recently changed it all.

I do realize that I am preaching to a very unreceptive audience smile especially since many of you are British "reverts" who can't possibly understand the problems of a largely ignorant and conservative population and the difficulties of keeping it secular.

Still, those were the difficulties Turkey had to fight against to be the only Muslim population to enjoy a secular republic.

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Jan-13 09:40:38

I don't want to go on about politics in a thread about religion, but someone asked about "deep state" and I just have to tell you the hilarious but true story of how it all came to light grin

in 1996, these people had an accident in the same car, in a place called Susurluk:
- an old head of Police
- an ultra-nationalist assassin on Interpol's red list
- a member of parliament who was the head of a powerful Kurdish clan

HOW were these people even in the same car?!?

Google Susurluk if you are interested.

crescentmoon Sat 05-Jan-13 10:41:08

Well I googled the susurluk scandal. I laughed at first then gradually grew more and more shocked the more I read about it. Not just stranger, the truth is actually crazier than fiction. More twists and turns than a Turkish soap opera!

wikis page on susurluk scandal

nailak Sat 05-Jan-13 18:05:18

being british and being a revert doesnt mean that you are white or that you havent got family and "origins" in countries that may be similar to Turkey.

I have a friend from Tunisa who told me the same thing about hijab not being allowed there previously.

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 05-Jan-13 18:40:52

Actually Cote, it is really interesting to hear the Turkish story from a different perspective. Nailak is right in that many people do have some experience and knowledge of these things, but I must admit I'm not one of them and am incredibly naive about politics, so I do appreciate hearing both sides of the coin.
I'm also realistic about the fact that I gew up in a secular, liberal household, and got to choose my Islam, rather than have it forced upon me.

nailak Sat 05-Jan-13 19:01:09

cote, why didnt you choose islam?

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Jan-13 20:08:58

nailak - I just never believed in God. Not even as a child. Some of my earliest memories are of asking people if they really believe in some invisible person who controls everything and why (preschool).

Fortunately, I was born in a secular country so I lived to tell smile

I suppose if I believed in God, I would have been Muslim. As it is, I just know a lot about Islam and know loads of Muslims, many from my immediate family.

I have to say, though, I find it very difficult to understand how British women born to liberal families give up all those liberties, cover up head to toe, accept to be segregated from men, and have arranged marriages with some guy just because he is Muslim. (I also find it hard to understand how people believe in God, so don't take it personally smile).

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Jan-13 20:09:58

HardlyEver - I'd be interested to hear your story, if you care to share it.

How does a British girl from a liberal family decide to become Muslim? I'm curious.

nailak Sat 05-Jan-13 21:00:32

cote i am long past taking anything you say personally!! lol

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kezN-Oa3Rhw

couldnt find pdf or online extracts of book but here www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3641016/That-Muslim-woman-could-be-happier-than-you....html

nailak Sat 05-Jan-13 21:01:40

I am the oppossite from u cote, I always believed in God, I always talked to God.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 09:19:15

Has your conversation with God changed at all from when you were Christian?

Is it a monologue or an actual conversation? (i.e. Do you feel like you get replies in between your lines)

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 09:23:36

nailak - I think you misunderstood me when I referred to British-born Muslim converts probably having trouble understanding the difficulties of keeping a largely ignorant population secular.

I wasn't talking about having experience with a headscarf ban.

nailak Sun 06-Jan-13 12:39:53

I was Hindu.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 13:25:13

Ok, so has your conversation changed from when you were Hindu?

Is it the same God you are talking to, do you think?

crescentmoon Sun 06-Jan-13 17:16:44

How did your parents and family take it naila- iv often thought Hindu converts to Islam face more opposition from their families than Anglo converts.

nailak Sun 06-Jan-13 17:34:33

How has it changed? Well for me it hasn't, it is the same God. I realised that I had always believed in one God and I had no issue in accepting Muhammad sas as the last messenger of God. For me it was just a realisation of what I had always believed. My concept of what is God has got clearer, instead of believing in one God with avatars I realised it was actually messengers.

My parents were fine, my dads first wife was Sikh their kids from that marriage are Sikh and Christian, my sisters first husband was Gambian muslim she met while with vso, and her current husband is catholic French, my mums dp is polish catholic, my DBS gf is Lutheran Danish. My family is multicultural. I think because in 1947 my family were in south Africa, they missed all the animosity of partition between Hindus Sikhs and Muslims, that my Hindu and Sikh friends had been ingrained with from a young age.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 17:55:01

Asalaamalaikum smile I'm a revert muslim. Watching this thread with interest.

HardlyEverHoovers Sun 06-Jan-13 18:11:59

cote, I will answer your question, when I haven't got DS crawling all over me...

firefly11 Sun 06-Jan-13 18:22:43

nailak Funny you mention your parents are from South Africa. Its great you have such an accommodating family. My South African Afrikaner inlaws won't take to having a Muslim in their family nicely that's for sure. My husband was told by his pious Catholic father from a young age to not socialise with Muslims. It wasn't said, but implied that it'd be unacceptable to marry non white. He was a rule breaker. dated a half Indian girl which his parents tolerated but it was clear they weren't pleased, talked behind her back a lot apparently. I would say I haven't received too much grief from them even though I'm a non white. But they are hardcore Christians and well, I told them I wasn't religious and tried to explain it was because I didn't want to choose between my parents' faiths - dad is Thai Buddhist, mum is a lapsed Roman Catholic. In reality my mum couldn't give a toss what I believed in, only my Dad minded, but that was my way of easing my in laws into it. They accepted it. It was fine. But yeah I would imagine if I became a Muslim they would be very disappointed. I can't imagine how. They have been nice in laws to me so far, and I would have to think really hard about upsetting this relationship.

The other way would be to keep it from them like one of my Muslim friends did - she married an Austrian guy whose family are strict Catholics, and even though her husband converted, they both would never tell their in laws for his Dad would flip. They only tell their in laws to not serve pork because of health reasons. She's not a strict Muslim and doesn't wear hijab, pray 5 times, neither does her husband. So its not too hard to hide it from her in laws when they go to Austria to stay and visit.

I am personally aware of many other family relationships and marriages where religious differences are not always so easily reconciled. I had Chinese friends in Singapore whilst growing up, who converted to Christianity as teenagers but kept it secret from their traditionally Chinese Buddhist parents, because Hell would break loose if they found out. I also had other Chinese friends who converted to Christianity but chose not to keep it secret to their Chinese Buddhist parents, and this created such a rift between them that my friends eventually moved out of the family home as soon as they can. But now one of them has reverted to Chinese Buddhism again recently so... makes you wonder if it was worth all that aggro in the first place telling it to her parents.

There's a saying "If friends want to stay friends, don't discuss religion or politics." These are very divisive issues.

HardlyEverHoovers Sun 06-Jan-13 21:45:45

"How does a British girl from a liberal family decide to become Muslim?"

I always knew that God existed, despite being told otherwise, but didn't really have the opportunity to explore this belief. I buried it for a long time, and lived with a feeling of unspecific discontent until my mid 20's. At this point I would say that my life was shallow, I was an arrogant person, I had built an identity for myself based on meaningless things. I had no limits in my life, other than 'don't hurt anyone', but as is inevitable with a morality based on flawed human intellect I hurt others and myself. In the language of the Quran, I wronged my own soul.
Through a shared interest which was unrelated to religion I met a Muslim family who I became very friendly with. They were practising Sufi-ish Muslims, and I was fascinated by them, and also really admired their dignity. It didn't take long before I started asking questions, and then ensued a period of time filled with lots of late night soul searching conversations. This was the first time in my entire life that I was having conversations which were actually reaching the depths that I had inside me, and it was an amazing time.
These people were immensely helpful (and still are) but very hesitant not to be pushy, and I went further afield to find out more information (I was also a bit embarrassed to tell them how interested I really was). Eventually someone gave me a Quran. I read it from cover to cover. At first I found it really harsh, I had never read the bible or any other religious book. But then this happened:

"Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah . That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills". (Quran 39:23)

I had to research a lot of issues I had misconceptions about before I could accept Islam and agree to live by its' rules. But having done the 'liberal' experiment I could certainly accept that their needed to be rules.

"I find it very difficult to understand how British women born to liberal families give up all those liberties, cover up head to toe, accept to be segregated from men, and have arranged marriages with some guy just because he is Muslim"

As I said, it was easy to give up liberties that I realised got me nowhere, but I should make it clear that as a Muslim woman I have worked, studied, played a role within the Muslim community, been outspoken about important issues, and have received far more respect from Muslim men than I ever did from non-Muslim men.

Covering head to toe I always found easy, I see it as a sign of dignity, not oppression.

Muslims vary in the amount of segregation they require. I rarely socialise with men, apart from an exceptional couple of families where we might all eat a meal together, and I am happy with this. But at work, in organising events for Muslims, in general life I have contact with men. Muslim women all over the world have contact with men all the time, which is fine so long as etiquette is observed.

I didn't have an arranged marriage (most converts don't as it's normally parents who arrange a marriage). My husband asked me to marry him and I said yes, completely of my own free will. And I also didn't marry him just because he was Muslim, although that was definately a necessity!

Hope this long reply answers your question Cote!

nailak Sun 06-Jan-13 23:10:52

firefly my mum alwyas had muslim friends growing up, the way south africa was is that indians were living together in one area, and going to school together, and that comprised muslims and hindus.

firefly11 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:35:19

nailak Yeah I know about the apartheid and when I go back to SA with my husband to visit his family, was always struck by how different in levels of comfort were between the richer Afrikaners like his family, and the "coloureds" and blacks. Even though its been more than a decade since the country has been given back to their own people, the difference is still very stark. There are roads where it was advisable not to have your car run out of petrol or break down in because if you did, you could be in danger... like near the townships for instance. Even some of my husband's childhood Afrikaner friends who were considered "poor" Afrikaners in comparison to the richer ones are living much better off than the blacks. My husband, unlike his family, felt it was right that the country was given back to the blacks to govern. But he also feels sad in a way that now the place he calls home and feels belonging to is no longer "his" country so to speak. Oh and he had Muslim friends when he was heavily in the party scene in the late 90s early 2000s... they were not practising Muslims or at least not strict, but he didn't care what his parents thought at that point. It was like, after years of being preached at and dragged to church, he decided to heck it and do the things his parents said not to do, lol And he went on long journeys backpacking everywhere... But he's mellowed down a lot since we had kids and is an agnostic.

firefly11 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:41:13

He met his non practising or semi practising Muslim friends in SA through his half Indian girlfriend I have to add... he even lived with her in the "coloureds" area for a while. they went to parties a lot. clubbing. So yeah I guess its probably like the areas where your parents lived, do ypu mean?

nailak Sun 06-Jan-13 23:52:34

yeah thats what i meant, but indians had different areas from coloureds.

i dont know for me it has never been possible to walk down the street and stuff while i am there. But I went in dec it is changing, there are black people who are very well off, but my family seem kind of lost like they dont know their place anymore or something, it is hard to explain or put a finger on,

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 00:56:08

When I'm there I can never go out freely. No public transport (well there is, but dangerous and high crime) and I can't drive (well I gave up after 3 fails... its too expensive... maybe next time). I am stuck relying on people chaperoning me everywhere the whole time. Yet this is a life that most Afrikaners have gotten used to. Its so weird to me. You need a car to go anywhere, or you need a friend or a friend of friend etc who has a car to go anywhere. I kinda hate it there sometimes. Feel like I'm back living with my parents again as a young child. But we don't return often. Once in a blue moon. His family comes to UK to visit though.

nailak Mon 07-Jan-13 00:58:35

^ i feel the same, could never live in a place i cant walk down the road, some areas are ok though.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Jan-13 12:11:39

Salams waynette, hope to hear your views and posts soon inshallah. hardly I really enjoyed reading your last thread jazakhallah khair.

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 13:43:10

Walikumasalaam crescent smile.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 07:15:47

what i envy about converts is that they can take the religion unencumbered with the culture of the muslims. born muslims grow up with religion and culture intertwined - we do not know what our own religion says and we add to the misconceptions or we swallow the misconceptions ourselves.

some practise the 5 pillars but not the law - so pray the daily prayers but then cheat on their spouse,

or follow the letter of the law but not the spirit - so they dont drink alcohol but smoking weed is fine as the prophet (pbuh) didnt explicitly mention THAT -

or separate their deeds from the apparently high state their heart is in - saying 'I love God in my heart' but taking bribes or committing fraud.

is this true ignorance or wilful ignorance or a result of 'take no notice of that' or 'God is merciful'.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 08:04:25

maybe i joined up two things in that last post - the debate about religion and culture with the debate about religion and moral uprightness. we mix religion and culture and separate religion from morality when we need to separate religion from culture and practise religion with morality. everybody hates hypocrites and whilst the disillusionment of christians is when they dont see 'love' the disillusionment of muslims is when they dont see 'justice'.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 08:17:12

I would say as a convert one of the hardest things for me has been the culture mixed up with islam. Bizarre things I've heard from in laws in particular and when I was pregnant I remember being advised by a sister to get one of those amulets done by a 'sheikh' ie a person that practices witchcraft. I've often found much of it hypocritical too...for example the whole headscarf thing..in my family I'm seen as the one who has gone 'astray' because I don't wear it...but yet I pray 5 times a day and follow the other pillars of islam, I educate myself islamically etc etc. But culturally as I don't cover my hair (never mind that I cover the rest of my entire body right up to neck/wrists/feet) I'm not as good a Muslim. But it's cool for people in the family to not bother with these things, ignore salah when the time comes, not bother to educate themselves on the deen. That is my biggest gripe with the culture I'm facing at the moment!!!

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 10:00:39

waynetta did you read crescents posts upthread on wahabism, i think it is quite relevant to your situation.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 10:07:21

Nailak mashaallah I did. You see what I was saying on my other threads about the local community being a strict one, actually a lot of our imams and people of knowledge here have studied in places such as Saudi, and from what I wonder were most likely Wahhabis. The views are really similar and it's why there's been lots of controversy in the masjids..some imams have been dismissed and even banned outright because of complaints and the like

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 10:26:11

what sort of complaints? the salafi marriage bandits ones?

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 10:52:48

RE your hijab issues Waynetta I really sympathise. I think that in the UK Muslim communities there is a huge emphasis on this over the above other more pressing issues. I've met women who want to convert to Islam but are hesitating because they don't feel they can wear the hijab. I really don't think that should be a consideration at that point.
I know many Muslim women who don't wear hijab for a variety of reasons, and while I personally accept it as necessary in Islam, I don't see a lack of hijab as necessarily reflective of a lack of anything else. Even modesty itself is based on many more factors than the hijab, including other clothing, the way you conduct yourself etc.
We've all seen the teenage girls with hijab, skin tight clothes, tons of makeup sat in macdonalds with a load of lads! Not that I would want to judge her either of course, we are all where we are...

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 10:54:20

Yeah I think so, lots of salafis round here. It's quite usual for the local imam to have more than one wife, though obviously people question how he can afford them. One imam stated it was ok to marry a few women and have them claim benefits as its better than a load of unmarried women going around. In another khutba it was said that men SHOULD definitely marry four women because that's what they are supposed to do. There's more that I can't even remember. I stopped attending that masjid though and changed to another one.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 11:03:39

Hardlyeverhoovers. Yes it's so true, the hijab issue seems to come before everything else, and so much of the blame for these 'lusts' is laid very comfortably on a woman. The way I see it is...and forgive me for being crude or graphic....if a guy sees my hair or my foot and immediately wants to rape me or wank himself off...is that really some issues deep inside him or is it me? I think that's an absolute no brainer. I feel sorry for the men in this world who are made out to many impressionable Muslim women to be uncontrollable sex monsters. Allah explicitly orders the men alone in surah al azhab before the second verse of covering, to LOWER their gaze and GUARD their modesty. I agree with others when the point is made : if women were covered head to toe, why would men even have to lower their gaze if there's nothing to even see?' Even my husband who believes that hijab should be worn, agrees with this point.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 11:21:49

because everyone is not muslim? in the time of the sahabah their were bare chested slave girls walking around? eyes can be attractive?

I agree exactly with hardly.

there is an issue that if a man is married to two wives it is impossible for both of them to make a joint claim with the man, so one of them has to claim tax credits etc as a single parent. unless we say only rich men can have the right to two wives? and then you can say why have two wives if you cant support them. but then what about people who have one wife and claim tax credits and hb, would we also say they shouldnt get married if they cannot afford it?

but yeah in general there is an opinion that since this is dar al harb there is no issue with fraud. personally i dont believe this is dar al harb, and the belief it is has far reaching consequences.

here are a few interesting links marriagebandits.wordpress.com/

protectmuslimsisters.com/salafi-horror-stories/

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 11:24:57
HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 11:25:20

Yes, there does seem to be a perception that a woman who doesn't cover herself only has herself to blame if a man isn't able to lower his gaze, but as you say it's just as much the responsibility of a man. I think if Muslim men treated ALL women with as much respect as they should, people would have a very different perception of Islam.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 11:27:14

i agree.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 11:50:25

hardlyeverhoovers salaams sister! I know exactly what you mean from the quote about shivering of the skin! For me, it was when I realised that it is pure arrogance to think we know all the secrets of the universe, and like you I read the Quran from cover to cover. As a biologist, I was astonished at the accuracy of some the verses relating to evolution and science. At first I thought I could only convert once I understood Islam completely and had answered all my questions. By then, I was praying, fasting and following the main tenets of the faith (except the no sex before marriage lol!)

My soon to be DH was worried about me converting because he was afraid that he would have to become strict, and concerned that he didn't have the knowledge to answer my questions. I mean, get this, he can recite the Quran by heart, but he had NO IDEA what he was reading! shock

He had never learned the meaning of the Quran beyond a few choice quotes, and had been reciting like a parrot for 15 years.
Now I now that most Muslims in the UK have been brought up like this, in more or less total ignorance of the contents of their holy book, so it's no wonder that cultural inheritance reigns supreme. To this day, I find it absurd, and reminiscent of the early church conducting all services in Latin so that only the learned few could understand.

Why is it like this in the UK? Is it the same all over the non-Arab world?
It means so-called Sheikhs have dominance because hardly anyone is in a position to question their understanding. Take the hijab issue. Hijab is a pre-Islamic custom worn by free women, partly to show they were not slaves. It is not a uniquely Islamic from of dress, it is,if you like, a cultural hangover from pre-Islamic days. Why are so many Muslims stuck on this as a fundamental expression of faith?

(Women and Gender in Islam. By Leila Ahmed. Great study on the misogynistic interpretation given to many aspects of Islam by male scholars)

Salaams to all the sisters on here, Muslim or not!
Great thread, we need some more discussion areas like this smile

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 11:59:19

I think leading scholars have a lot to answer for in terms of a woman's responsibility for a mans sexual urges. How many girls each year are flogged in Islamic countries alongside their rapists? What about the total imbecile 'guru' in India who stated that the victim of the Delhi gang rape was just as guilty as those who killed her? It's all about laying it on women and giving men in general every excuse under the sun. My suspicions are some of these 'knowledgeable' people have their own deep rooted sexual problems and perhaps a severe lack of self control. They take the easy way out and issue fatwas stating women should cover from head to toe....oh and in black, because anything else is temptation. May I also make a very sensitive point while I'm here: in Saudi and in the north of the uk as well as other areas, women and children are suffering from heat exhaustion, severe vitamin d deficiency and rickets. As well as painful pregnancies because of osteoporosis, all of it caused by these wonderful fatwas ordering women to cover themselves up and to be deprived of sunlight. My mum is a nutritional therapist and has studied this extensively, and when I wore headscarf I was put on 3000 iu of vitamin d per day. A friend of mine had such severely low levels that her son is still being monitored for rickets, her bones are very weak and her little boys teeth took a very long time come through. These 'covering' issues have massively damaging and life changing implications for the female Muslim population as well as future generations of children.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:03:53

Salaam Hani, really enjoyed reading that post of yours! Yes I am also amazed by the science in the Quran, particularly the accuracy iof description about the development of a foetus in the womb. I enjoy surah mulk because of the order to question the orbit of the planets and how the night does not outstrip the day etc. amazing stuff mashaallah. Have you ever worn hijab and do you ever debate with those who believe it is wajib?

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 12:06:32

It is such a shame for the people who know the Quran by heart but don't understand it, that must make it a burden for them, rather than the blessing it is meant to be. However we do know that there IS blessing in reciting without understanding, as the Quran is like medicine in this way. I am trying to memorise juz amma at the moment, and while I always try and read the translation of what I'm memorising, my understanding of Arabic isn't sufficient that I always know what I'm saying as I recite it. But I still feel such peace and tranqulity from it.
Also found these books fantastic, they are meant for children but also great for adults with limited Arabic:
http://www.noorart.com/school_section/Mini-Tafseer-Books

littleducks Tue 08-Jan-13 12:09:12
WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:23:29

Yes that plonker. I know he's not Muslim thankfully.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 12:44:59

Thank you for this really interesting thread.

Am not sure what I want to add at this stage specifically, just to say that my husband is Muslim although I am not, and I have lived with him in Turkey for many years, so i know lots from the perspective of living in a so called 'secular state'! Turkey is changing insidiously away from secularism which worries a great many people here.

I think I just wanted to say that my little family is an example of a Muslim and non Muslim living together in perfect harmony where our children are being brought up to be citizens of the world rather than follow any specific faith. I will be very interested to see how their feelings about faith develop, at school they are given a very one sided religious education, learning exclusively about Islam. In my husbands childhood religious education was kept strictly out of the schools but this has now changed. I could talk about the blurring of religion and politics forever!

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:53:18

Sparkling sea. Lovely to hear about your little mixed up family, and great that they get tosee both sides of the coin too. Must be interesting for you as a non Muslim to live in a Muslim country. smile

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 13:20:54

It is very interesting Waynetta living here as somewhat a 'fly on the wall'. For the most part I am accepted and my differences respected entirely. I think this is perhaps because I am 'properly foreign and different' and therefore somehow not a threat. I do witness however, the differences and prejudices between the different types of Muslims which quite frankly bemuse me. The headscarved and the non head scarved and particularly how badly the Alevi's are treated and astonishing ignorance about them. A teacher friend of mine has recently been ousted out of her job for basically being open about being Alevi, this I realise has as much to do with politics as religion but saddens me greatly.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 13:30:10

Please forgive my ignorance lol, who is alevi? Sorry to hear about your friend being dismissed that's awful. And yes headscarf vs no headscarf, just read my other threads! It must be nothing new to you sad

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 13:38:49

Sparklingsea, welcome, what an interesting position you have!
Waynetta, I understand your concerns regarding hijab, however I wear hijab and while I would never condemn anyone for not doing, I'm uncomfortable with it being painted in a negative light.
Most people in this country are vitamin D deficient, hijab or no hijab. The weather for most of the year is not suitable for uncovering much skin even if you're willing too! I think a lot of the problems are more to do with lifestyle. My husbands family live in a Muslim country and the women all wear hijab. However they spend the majority of the day outside (not in a flat, or in shopping malls etc) are tanned, strong (and I mean really strong!) and healthy. Their house is built around a courtyard, as is traditional in Islamic countries, and as a result they are able to sit in the sun without being covered up. Also, it gives a general feeling of being outdoors even in the house, as all the rooms are off the courtyard so as soon as you make up in the morning you open the bedroom door and you are effectively outside.
It's hard to have such an outdoors lifestyle here, but we really try to as a family. We go camping, cycling and walking as often as we can, and when we're in the wilderness I can roll my sleeves up! I always go out into our little garden everyday, even when it's cold, unless it's pouring with rain.
Many famiilies who were originally immigrants to this country came from lifestyles like my husband families. Yet here they are crammed into a centrally heated terraced house and don't get much exercise.
I also don't think being covered up has to mean being overheated. Wearing natural fabrics in light colours can keep you cooler than being without clothes.
I remember being in Pakistan and being told my a Christian lady that all old Muslim ladies had bad knees because they pray 5 times a day. I thought it was more likely due to all the time they spent squatting while cooking/cleaning etc! While I'm sure the issues you mention are very valid, I don't think the hijab is the only culprit.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 13:39:24

Alevi = Shia Muslims of Turkey

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 13:43:48

Yes I wondered about that comment too- we have enough misogyny of our own to deal with without having to answer for other people too. I find your stance interesting though waynette on this thread and the other. I have alot of sympathy for your issue with your in laws- lord knows I have issues with my own! And you are free to say hijab is not obligatory- I also take standpoints that iv come to decide on my own away from mainstream. There are many women who dont wear hijab, and some of those who dont also think it is not obligatory. And I agree it's not a creed issue or a pillars of Islam issue.

but the type who go on to say it is backward are generally the ones who think all religion is backward. I don't wear the niqab because I don't think it is necessary, I would also defend my position if someone tried to say it was fard on me, but I'd never put down women who wear the niqab- Fatima the daughter of Muhammad pbuh wore it if nothing else.

Hijab is very difficult to wear if you are dong it for the sake of another human being rather than for the sake of God. that is also the 'hidden idolatry' that the sufis speak of. iI have a friend who wears it when she's getting on with her husband then takes it off when she has an argument with him in a 'il show that motherfo!!!' Type of way. It's amusing but also sad because only God can recompense one for it- no man is worth it on his own. And il say that first hand on heart. And I wouldn't like to feel I have to make my husband enjoy life else he'll stop practising- the covenant is between the individual and God not the individual and their spouse or the community.

personally the Muslims i know who take that line - that hijabis are backwards- are born Muslims like myself who i call the self hating type because they would probably scour the pigment from their skin if they could. But they can't. And it wouldn't help much anyway if you look at how the Jews and the blacks were treated- the Jews same colour different faith the browns different colour same faith.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 13:47:55

Alevism is part of the shia tradition, it is estimated there are around 15 million Alevis in Turkey, the majority of Turkish Muslims are sunni and many people don't consider alevis to be proper Muslims at all. They suffer a lot of predjudice.

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 13:51:39

I think that's the discomfort Crescent with hearing the hijab critisised. While it is everyones right to their opinion the mothers of the believers are female companions of the Prophet (pbuh) wore it, so to critisise it feels like critisising them.
I also think it's a 2 way street. I've met non-hijabi wearing Muslims who make judgements on me and treat me in a certain way because I wear hijab, and yet I don't judge them. They seem to assume they have a right not to be judged, while themselves judging others.
These comments aren't directed at you waynetta, you've expressed your views here and elsewhere very fairly, these are just general comments.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 13:52:12

sparklingsea - I've been writing about Turkey's worrying move away from secularism on this thread. Every time I go back, I see that friends and relatives are increasingly scared of the direction the country is being led to. It is very sad

Reporting of this situation in international media is shockingly misleading. I have stopped reading The Times because they keep applauding Erdogan and his cronies every time they jail another general, totally missing the big picture of the many hundreds of people in jail without a charge because they are a threat to his majesty government. If The Times get it so wrong in Turkey, who can say if their analyses of other international events are not similarly erroneous?

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 13:53:26

I feel really sorry for Shias as well - the democratic revolt in Bahrain against the monarchy was put down because they were Shia. And now the Sunnis in Syria are stuck because bashar Assad the alawite and the Iranians behind them are paying the Saudis back.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:03:04

HardlyEver - Thank you for your account. It is fascinating (for me, at least).

"having done the 'liberal' experiment I could certainly accept that their needed to be rules"

It is very interesting that this disillusionment with your liberal life has lead you towards a rigidly regimented religion that controls every aspect of your life, including what you wear, how you act, etc. I remember reading about this sort of thing, I think in Eric Fromm's Escape From Freedom. (I don't mean to belittle your struggle for meaning - just wanted to tell you the name of a brilliant book on this subject if ever you are interested)

Have you found happiness in these rules? Do you think that they make people happier in general? I'm curious.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 14:03:10

I completely agree Cote- the international media is very misleading. My husband looses sleep over this whole issue, we are the lucky ones we have another country we can go to should things go too far. Another friend of our who is a Doctor lost her job in the state sector as she was open about not being a supporter of Erdogan. My elderly FIL is constantly worried about my husband being openly critical about the current goverment, he really fears reprisals. Ataturk's picture has been removed from many of the school curriculum books and replaced with Erdogan himself!

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 14:05:09

Hardly ever hoovered, I completely agree with your points and I just need to clarify that with those sorts of houses with courtyards are great with women that cover and also that it is true immigration wise the environments such as tiny houses and not much opportunity for sun can contribute highly to vitamin d deficiency. I want to also make clear I FULLY support and will defend any sister who chooses to wear headscarf, niqab or anything they like for whatever reason at all. I know I've come across very strongly on this thread but let it be known I agree with the added benefits of extra modesty and my gripe is directed at these clerics who issue fatwas without any idea of personal circumstance and no idea in hell what it's like to cover in 50 degree heat. No headscarf wearer should belittle a non wearer and vice versa. You guys all seem so relaxed about it all mashaallah. I feel like I have the freedom to express how I really feel about things, whereas in RL I just don't have it. Thankyou for that

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:11:33

"Ataturk's picture has been removed from many of the school curriculum books and replaced with Erdogan himself!"

shock

Schools were totally secular when I (like your husband) went to school in Turkey. We had 1 hour per week of religion class, which was more like "history of religions" plus a few prayers to learn in a year sort of thing. Now they have changed the entire education system, with multiple religion classes on Arabic, life of Mohammad, actual Quran classes etc. From what I hear, students who don't "choose" these get blacklisted sad

My father, who has lived through several coups d'etat, was telling me that this is the first time that he is actually worried for his safety. Previously, you were fine as long as you didn't do anything wrong. Now, it is dangerous simply not to be one of the fundamentalists sad

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 14:18:10

Well you guys are keeping me away from my thesis today!
waynetta so glad you feel that way alhamdulillah.
Cote I'm mulling over this description of Islam that you gave a rigidly regimented religion that controls every aspect of your life, including what you wear, how you act and trying to work out if I think that's true.
There certainly are guidelines for every aspect of life, even down to how you go to the toilet, as I'm sure you know. But I don't feel 'controlled' by Islam, more like there is a circle I have agreed to live within and I have lots of freedom within that circle.
The little rules (like the toilet rules, or how to eat, or what to do an say before sleeping) that govern everyday life, felt like a burden to me at first, but now I realise that they nurture a quality similar to the 'mindfulness' that Buddhists speaks of.
I can't speak for anyone else but these things make me feel happier because I feel they give me mindfulness and self control. I am also learning to gain control over my tongue (in terms of lying, backbiting etc) and ultimately my heart, and hope that in time I will no longer even think bad things about people, let alone want to say them.
As a whole, I am undoubtedly happier post Islam, and even my non-Muslim family would testify to that.
That book sounds interesting, I'll try and find it.
Hope I've answered your questions.
Can I ask you a question? I've noticed that you post a lot of religion threads, and I'm wondering what maintains your interest in it, despite having decided against religion for yourself?

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 14:20:48

A lot on religion threads, not of...

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 14:22:10

Don't get me started on the school system Cote! Next year Erdogan plans to scrap school uniforms so gone will be the lovely blue 'onluks'! Apart from believing that school uniform is a good thing where ever you are I am worried by the view that uniforms are being scrapped so girls will then be able to wear headscarves at school.

For anyone who doesn't know, girls and women are not allowed to wear headscarves in school in Turkey, or any other public building for that matter, this may well change!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:26:41

I don't mean it as a derogatory term but Islam clearly is a rigidly regimented religion that controls every aspect of your life. Who you see, who sees you (apart from your face & hands), how you act, what you wear, exactly how you pray, exactly how to wash hands & feet etc. I'm not saying that this is a terrible thing for everyone, although I wouldn't ever want to live like this myself. (And I do vividly remember my mum trying to teach me how to wash when I had my first period which was a bit of a shock)

I think it is fascinating that disillusionment with modern life, with its ample freedoms and (imperfect) equality between men & women, sometimes pushes people, especially girls, towards a system that allows limited freedom in a tightly regimented structure. This is not just you - I had previously read such statements from other British converts, back when I read UK papers.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 14:28:56

Is it any stranger than western interest in Buddhism?

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:29:01

This is actually an interesting question that philosophers have been trying to answer for some time: Do freedoms make us happier? Or are we happier when we know our "place" and are told exactly what to do?

I'm on the freedom camp. Definitely. But I know that you are definitely not alone in the other one.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 14:31:23

I think it is from knowing our purpose not knowing our place.

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 14:32:11

Hmm, I remember me and a (convert) friend talking about this sort of thing with my mum, who said she was surprised that someone like me, who had been in her words a 'rebel' should want to follow all these rules.
My friend said it was the difference between following the rules of people, or the rules of God.
It is fascinating, I know a group of teenagers who've converted, they are like the antithesis (not sure if I've spelt that right) of modern teenagers, and seem to compete with eachother as to how Islamically strict they can be, as opposed to how much make up they can wear of boys they can snog!

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 14:33:38

I meant to add dear cote to the end of my last comment!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:37:56

"wondering what maintains your interest in it, despite having decided against religion for yourself"

It is a fascinating subject. I obviously don't believe and never have, but I've seen many otherwise rational and reasonable people totally believe and exhibit self-restricting and strange behaviour to please a deity for whose existence there is not a shred of evidence. It is puzzling, to say the least smile

Through living in a Muslim country for almost 30 years, having a minimum of religious education, reading the holy books, and having some devout family members, I have quite a bit of knowledge which I like to beat people with share with others. Neither ignorant xenophobic anti-Muslims or misinformed fundamentalist Muslims are not thankful for my contributions, but I think nailak and crescent are beginning to love me, so here we are smile

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:38:26

"I meant to add dear cote to the end of my last comment"

You see? She loves me grin

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 14:39:08

I lived the life of a rebel in my early teens as is the norm in society here. I took drugs, partied, had about 5 boys at once on the go, etc etc. I personally found it was empty and soulless, and I used to have minor panic attacks late at night where I used to question why I was here. I know not every non religious person lives a wild destructive life lol but for me it's like what crescent said, I feel like I know my purpose now. I just feel satisfied and content when I wake up in the morning.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 14:39:38

sparkling what is wrong with girls being allowed to wear scarf at work and school? in UK they are. In South Africa they are. and some do and some don't. personally if my daughter as a teen wanted to wear hijab and the school did not allow it, I would take her out of school. If all schools did not allow it I would have to seriously consider moving country.

One thing I can't understand, is if you believe something is the truth, then why would you not teach your kids that truth?

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 14:41:39

yes I have grown fond of cote, sometimes we have been arguing on the same side! lol

Waynetta I was like you, clubbing every night at 18, squat parties that lasted for days at 20...

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:41:40

"the difference between following the rules of people, or the rules of God"

I find it hard to believe that God cares if I wash my hands to the elbows exactly three times and snort water up my nose. Really.

"I know a group of teenagers who've converted, they are like the antithesis of modern teenagers, and seem to compete with eachother as to how Islamically strict they can be"

Yes, competitive religious fervour. It's a very strange affliction that I am told happens often among converts. I haven't seen that sort of thing at all among Muslim friends & family.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 14:48:10

Lots of discussion about Sufism on here. Does anyone have any links to authors they would recommend? Feel myself instinctively drawn to the more spiritual rather than ritualistic side of Islam.

Any advice, JAK smile

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 14:48:58

Lol yes everybody cote the enemy of old has now started to grow on me it is true.

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 15:35:21

Your last post could have been written by me Waynetta, apart from the 5 boys at once bit, I don't think I could have had that many interested wink

I understand your mystification with why God would want us to wash in a certain way etc Cote, though I would refer you back to my mindfulness comments. I also rather like you, despite your challenging posts!

Hanikam I've always really liked www.masud.co.uk for exploring sufism and general traditional Islam. The articles of the home page are a bit more political at the moment but if you explore you will find some great articles on sufism.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 16:05:45

Would it be really rude....of me to ask how old everyone is ;). You may tell me to pee off politely. I am just curious.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 16:33:29

Nailak- on the face of it I personally don't think there is anything wrong with girls wearing a headscarf in school. When I was at a multicultural school in the Uk we just accepted as it was that there were headscarves and turbans worn by some students. The Turkish republic was established by Ataturk in 1923 and he strove for secularism where religion and state would be entirely separate and this included education. This remains today although his ideas are being threatened. When I first moved here i felt these rules were not fair on women who could not express their religion in the way they wish by covering up. I have after years of being here and having children in the education system here changed my views. I know for a fact that if girls are allowed to wear a headscarf at school there will be a many teenage girls who will have absolutely no choice in the matter as they will be forced to do so by their families. I don't feel that is right and it allows fundamentalism to creep in to more and more areas of life in Turkey. It is very difficult to articulate the situation here in Turkey unless you have some experience of it, a feeling that religion is slowly taking over. As a non Muslim person myself it is quite hard to settle that feeling. The secular state is something many Turks are very proud of. Ataturk made huge progress for women and personally I want it to stay secular.

Not many people here would have a choice in moving country so their daughters could cover up at school! Having duel citizenship and a good financial situation means that I do have a choice. I really hope it does not come to that.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 16:34:19

I am 38 Waynetta!

crescentmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 16:36:36

29 smile

firefly11 Tue 08-Jan-13 17:16:28

Thanks for the last post sparklingsea. In Singapore headscarves are not banned, but in schools they have always been. There were 4 girls who came to school with headscarves in 2002 and were suspended. I've always wondered about that, whether that unfairly prevents expression of religion. But since the girls were little (around 7 years old, I believe) I wonder if they had a personal choice in the headscarf or are doing it because their parents want them to and they want to please their parents.

I now think it's probably better to ban them in school. Singapore became secular because of race and religious riots in the 50s and 60s, and it has remained politically stable since.

I tried Googling up on the incident about the 4 girls banned from school in Singapore for wearing headscarves, and found this article where top Islamic figures in Singapore advised parents to put education above headscarves. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1804470.stm

I am all for freedom of choice where religion is concerned. I am concerned about fundamentalism creeping into a secular country (i.e. Singapore) where I'd spent nearly 20 years of my life living in, never having to worry about which religious denomination (or lack of) I belonged in. I think my Dad was open-minded (for him!) to have put under religion on my Singaporean Identity Card as "NIL" even though he'd rather I follow his religion (Thai Buddhism).

During the time I lived there, the Muslims I went to school with never put headscarves on. I'm still friends with many of them and they still don't choose to wear the headscarf even though they are out of school and hence are free to wear it if they like. There have been Islamic fundamentalist elements creeping into the country since the the turn of the millenium when I had just left Singapore to go travelling (but well, it turned out my absence from Singapore was long-term - I've been living in the UK for many years and have no immediate plans to return to Singapore yet). Al Qaeda did try to bomb some places in Singapore a few times but were botched. Like America, Singapore is controversial for detaining some of the terror suspects without trial. I don't know the answer to all this. Obviously for me, I just want my friends and family in Singapore to remain safe and not in danger from mad fundamentalists.

I think cote mentioned somewhere about homeschooling being banned in Turkey. In Singapore homeschooling isn't banned, however it is strictly regulated by authorities. Homeschooled kids must take the same Primary School Leaving Examinations as schooled kids where they will be tested in core academic subjects. If they fail, they must retake the test again. Homeschooled kids also have to be taught "Citizenship" lessons as what is being taught in schools. Oh and I've heard from Singaporean home educators that there are plans to require that home educating parents in Singapore be at least educated up to Degree level.

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 08-Jan-13 17:22:51

older than crescentmoon and younger than sparklingsea shock
you got married quite young then crescent, by western standards.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 17:29:42

"I know for a fact that if girls are allowed to wear a headscarf at school there will be a many teenage girls who will have absolutely no choice in the matter as they will be forced to do so by their families." So you have decided it is ok if women or teenage girls are forced to expose parts of their body that they don't want to, but it is not ok if women are forced to cover? obviously it is better no one is forced to do anything, but you feel it is the lesser of two evils?

The right to practice religion is a right in the un declaration of human rights, preventing women in work and uni from doing so is against this fundamental human right. Do you not think it is a bit different a state denying a right to people, in comparison with individual issues amongst communities and societies which are not condoned by the state? I mean the state has set the precedent it is ok to dictate to women what they wear!

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 17:30:20

28

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 17:45:30

I think sparkling has some good points in terms of girls being forced by their families, which inevitably does happen sometimes. I'm 23 smile

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 17:48:00

Nailak makes an equally valid point too though. Women who want to cover may be stopped, which is crazy as well. Politics and religion can be a nightmare.

firefly11 Tue 08-Jan-13 17:48:08

34

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Jan-13 17:51:34

My girls wear head scarves. A few weeks ago I was getting ready for work and my youngest was watching closely, as I got ready to leave she finally said to me 'Mummy can I borrow that sometime...' hmmshockgrin She's just turned 8.

If it's a norm in the house and children see the women and older girls wearing headscarves, that's what they want to wear too.

I would not force it on my children, religion is personal. I'm not living my childrens lives, on the other hand I could do without having my wardrobe regularly raided by an 8 year and an almost 10 year old...by the time they hit their teens I will literally have nothing to wear.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 18:40:01

I'm 41. And you ladies are babies smile I knew there was a reason why I keep patronising imparting knowledge and experience to you lot grin

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 18:42:07

What sparkling has said re Turkey. Entirely.

sparklingsea Tue 08-Jan-13 18:53:23

firefly, your post is interesting, I had no idea about the situation in Singapore. I am very interested about the ID situation, I wanted my Turkish ID left blank for religion when I took on citizenship upon marriage, that was not allowed but what upset me more was when registering my brand new baby they insisted he had to have a stated religion. My husband had a big dispute with the registrar about how could a brand new life be saddled with something on his ID card when he has a Muslim father, Christian mother and has no concept or choice in the matter. We had to choose something in the end, if Turkey ever become part of the EU they wont be able to label people by religion. It is a funny place is Turkey, so secular and forward thinking in many ways yet religion so important and contentious in other ways.

That brings me to your question nailak, As I said I personally have no problem with the headscarf but I struggle to believe that a 10/11 year old girl who may well be entering puberty really understands what wearing the headscarf really does or does not mean for them? I don't necessarily agree that a girl seeing other women in the household wearing headscarves means that they will want to too, I know of one 16 year old who has tried to kill herself as she absolutely does not want to wear it and going against her parents views and wishes is too much to cope with. I realise this is an extreme example but I just wonder how many teenagers anywhere really have a certain view on religion and faith? I know my views did not develop until I had experienced more as an adult and continue to develop. I don't for one minute think that I have go it all 'right'.
I don't know the answer really regarding headscarves in schools, I can see both sides of the debate but for my children growing up in Turkey, I want them to learn in a secular environment where religion is not even on the agenda and kept clear of fundamentalism.

firefly11 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:32:36

sparklingsea People don't usually hear about Singapore unless they have business/family there or have to deal with Singaporeans regularly (say in Universities). Singapore mainly stays out of newspaper headlines unless the government does something really outlandish and/or silly. Like banning chewing gum! Yeah chewing gum was completely banned there up until recently. There are also other things about Singapore that I would like changed. Like the death sentence for drug traffickers. Or caning as a legal punishment for prostitution.

But back to what you said about the Turkish ID card, do you mean that it is not allowed to state one has no religon on the ID card? Is it because they think children shouldn't grow up without religion? You are right. Children don't really have a choice in this matter do they? I remember seeing the cards of some of my Singaporean friends in school, and they all had a religion stated on theirs, so I did think at the time that my Dad made an unconventional choice there by putting "NIL". When I grew up I realised he made a sensible choice smile

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:46:17

Cote I do not feel like a baby trust me. I have two kids and one on the way and the body of an 80 year old it feels like. I don't mind being patronised...as long as who's doing it is older than me ;). Sparkling its really insightful reading what you have to say. And I can also see both sides of the coin. I think now it's difficult as the kids are young and also impressionable, but the reality is that regardless of all the religion stuff, they will grow older and make up their own minds. At least your kids are secure in the knowledge nothing is ever going to be forced on them, and actually that they are fortunate to have open minded parents.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 20:51:14

i have a 10 year old niece, her mother and aunts dont wear hijab, some of her sisters/cousins do. I used to live in her house with her until she was 6 so have quite a good idea of family life. father is very westernised, mother is very cultural as in it takes a while before you understand her concept of Islam and how it influences her life as it is quite deep down and not something regularly talked about etc

anyway at 9 she said she wanted to wear hijab so her mum let her. I dont know how difficult it is to understand the concept of hijab?

as a teenager me and my friends definitely had strong views and many discussions about religion and faith. so my experience of that seems to be totally opposite to yours! like i said from a child i talked to God and believed in him!

I said earlier in this thread i dont think the type of secularism where religion is not allowed in public life is compatible with Islam.

If I had the choice I would like my kids to go to a school where Islam is on the agenda. and if they cannot do that I would like the school to respect their and my beliefs and encourage the children to learn about each others beliefs.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 21:32:17

"at 9 she said she wanted to wear hijab so her mum let her"

For what conceivable purpose? She is a child and shouldn't be covering her head as she is not yet concerned with all the sexual hang-ups of her parents' religion.

Shouldn't she have another couple of years to feel the breeze in her hair? sad

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 21:52:39

It depends on the child Cote, some kids are very headstrong and have made their minds up about things from a very early age. I'm the same as nailak but brought up in an atheist/non religious household...although I would always talk to god. Even if the child decides to don the hijab at that early age for whatever reason, provided the parents aren't extremists, then she can easily take it off.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 21:57:48

I know about headstrong children. I was one smile

Still, it is entirely possible to say "That is for when you are older. It is not yet time for you to worry about covering up."

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 22:02:43

If it was my child, I would say those words- "not until you're older" because I think children should be children for as long as possible and unfortunately due to the way some Islamic clergy present hijab, impressionable young girls may immediately see themselves as sexual beings and feel responsible for men's 'lusts' lack of self control

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 22:24:55

cote to please Allah? to be recognised as a Muslim? she can feel the breeze any time she wants, no one makes her keep it on, she can put it on and off as she pleases, sometimes she doesnt wear it, but for school and stuff she does.

her elder sister didnt wear hijab untill she was in her twenties, so no one is going to force her!

i dont think in her mind it has anything to do with sex, at 9 it is to do with identity. She has not met any islamic clergy or had anything to do with them! she learns qaida from a womans house (without correct tajweed, without islamic studies, just qaida and duas).

at 9 a lot of kids have sexual feelings. i think we forget.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 22:42:02

If that's her choice then it should be respected. I'm saying if it was my daughter and she was under the impression that girls have to cover hair to stop men looking at them or wanting to do bad things to them, it's not something I would encourage at all. If this little girl in particular does it for the sake of Allah which I find really sweet at such a young age, and to be recognised as a Muslimah, she should wear hijab and enjoy it.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 23:27:02

it has to be pointed out since she is the youngest of 6 and the next one up is 10+ years older that she is very mature and grown up in her character

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 23:32:14

I don't know whether this will get many replies but I wanted to ask you sisters about your view on contraception. I mean we know Rasooloolah (saw) allowed coitus interruptus amongst his followers..and also encouraged the Ummah as a whole to have many children. So far I think we're doing ok on the 'have loads of kids' front grin but I wanted to know how you see it, if you think the pill/coil is haram, and if you think it's possible to have many kids and dedicate enough time to them all.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 09-Jan-13 00:29:21

I've worn hijab since I was 10, my parents are very relaxed.

None of my sisters wear hijab and nobody cares.

My girls sometimes wear hijab when we go out sometimes they don't.

I've never said no, it's not negatively affecting them or making them inappropriately sexually aware either.

They also wear fairy wings to tescos, and once my eldest wore her pjs to nursery because she loved them too much to take off. Nursery staff prolly thought I was bonkers and a bad mum, but were too polite to say so.

Within reason, I think my children should be allowed a degree of autonomy in their lives.
I can't be bothered to fight them over every little thing, especially things I do myself.

As for contraception, I believe it's totally up to the individual.

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 00:35:07

I believe it is permissable to space out children while breast feeding or so you can dedicate time to their education etc, and you can raise then properly.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 07:41:36

"to be recognised as a Muslim?"

Is there any chance that people might think she is a slave girl?

"to please Allah? "

If children wearing the hijab would please Allah, he would have asked them to wear it. Afaik children are to be children, innocent of all these concerns and it is not until a girl has her period (and her body changes?) that she is saddled with men's lust issues to cover up.

It's the slippery slope into absurdity of competitive religious fervour: Allah is pleased if women cover their heads and bosoms > I'll please him more if I wear a veil > I'll please him much more if I wear the burqa hmm

Allah is pleased if women wear the hijab > so children can also wear to please him > Then what? Should the hijab be a part of babies' one-piece suits? Would that please Allah?

If not, then why should a child's hijab please Allah?

Children should be encouraged to live in a carefree way. Especially if this is the only time in their lives when they will get to feel the breeze in their air while they bicycle or put on a bathing suit and swim in the pool sad

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 07:57:13

90% of western advertising is to men's lust - its a powerful thing capitalism runs on it.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 08:11:04

Cote - it's definitely not the only time a kid will get to swim in a pool, feel the breeze in their hair or put on a bathing suit. Unless the parents are mad in the head somehow. Me and dh specifically have our holidays in private villas that come with a pool, so fine for me personally if I want to strip off and sunbathe or swim. Likewise my Turkish friends and their mum book women's only holidays in turkey/Cyprus where they have women's only beach areas and resorts, so nobody's exactly missing out. This is not the case for every woman, particularly those who cover completely, but thankfully many of us have the option of putting on a bathing suit and enjoying the sun and swimming. I will say this year in summer, since I'm pregnant, it'll be a relief to enjoy the breeze in my hair, as I haven't felt that in a few years now. I have to say as someone who wore batty riders and tight vest tops in hot weather, I would choose my nice light kaftans and linen trousers over those any day. I found the tighter the clothes and the more skin that was shown, the hotter I was. Not to mention wearing a bikini and being self conscious about cellulite or my boobs falling out of my top lol.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 08:11:17

as for contraception waynetta let me get my kids off to school then we'll get down to it, its actually really amazing how liberal the 4 madhabs are on it though most muslim cultures frown on contraception and dig those facts downnn.

i think the natural secularism in islam is between religion and science, not religion and politics.

"Once Prophet Muhammad came across some people doing artificial pollination of palm trees. Due to some reason he disliked the idea and commented that it would be better not to do any pollination at all. However for the following year the harvest was poor. When he came to know about this Prophet Muhammad admitted his limitation of knowledge regarding secular affairs and said: “If a question relates to your worldly matters you would know better about it, but if it relates to your religion then to me it belongs.”"

muslim scholars took from that religious knowledge is separate to physical knowledge where full freedom was given to enquiry into physical phenomena. another hadith i think that shows this is when the companion asked the prophet (pbuh) about what Allah looks like. he (pbuh) said: "ponder on the creation, not the Creator". references il look for if anyone wants.

its not that political secularism is unnatural to Islam - or democracy - the prophet (pbuh) left the decision of the next leader upto the community themselves instead of appointing his own successor on purpose when asked. and the muslims who migrated to abysinnia and chose to remain there even after mecca was won also showed that one can live in another land under different laws to islam - but Ataturk was hostile even to peaceful tariqqahs - sufi orders - of Islam that do not enter politics - it wasnt just about dismantling the political entity of the caliphate.

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 09-Jan-13 08:12:16

RE the headscarf issue. I think people feel differently about children wearing headscarves because they view the headscarf itself so differently. To women who wear it it's just not a big deal, it's just another item of clothing, and something that little girls (and boys, my DS puts mine on regularly and looks very cute) associate with being grown up.
There's no argument of course that little girls do not need it, but if it's something that you hope they will take on as they grow up (and as Nailak said, it's perfectly normal to teach your children the same way of life as you - that's what everybody does) this is a good opportunity to teach them about it and give them positive associations with it.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 08:19:10

I want my daughter, whether she wears headscarf or not, to have positive association with it and respect her sisters in islam whatever they choose to wear. I don't like the attitude some have with regards to covering as they tell their children things that either have no evidence or they teach them to look down upon those who don't cover to their standard. Once when I was at a family friends house, the little daughter aged only about 7 told me confidently that a girl would have all her hair burn up in hellfire if she did not wear a headscarf. I was pretty shocked about it, even though I wore scarf at the time, and actually in that same family the eldest daughter has removed her scarf, much to the despair of her parents and siblings. It's once again too much emphasis on the external rather than the internal, such as praying regularly and giving charity etc.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 08:20:31

Come on then....views on contraception!!!! And having a ton of kids!!!!

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 09:26:51

cote she goes swimming with school and rides a bicycle, like i said no one forces it on her, most of the time she wears it sometimes she doesnt.

identity is more then being a slave girl or not, and many people see hijab as part of their identity. what is wrong with this?

to be recognised as a muslim is also more then being known to be a slave or not!

I don't think that babies should wear hijab, however to say a mature ten year old is same as a baby is ridiculous.

i am not sure about the religious competition you talk about. i understand what you are saying. but i dont think we can say because some peope use it as a competition others shouldnt wear it. there are also thousands of girls in the uk which dont wear abayah or those who wear abayah and not niqaab and are comfortable with that, so how does this fit in to your theory about being competitive? all those skinny jean hijabis, who wear hijab for identity and not modesty, are they competitive?

any way has anyone seen Lauren Booths fb status? here

"Lauren Booth
My daughters were verbally attacked Monday at a Health Club in North London. Trying to stay modest they were changing in the toilets when a woman in her 30's began banging on the doors telling them to hurry up. I quietly said the girls were 'just trying to be modest, sorry for any inconvenience.' When they came out in their hijabs the woman said; 'oh it would YOU lot. Modest? You can't be effing modest when you are blowing up buildings!' She yelled in their faces (I was around the corner at the time). Both girls cried. We have involved the police who are taking this seriously, I am pleased to say. May Allah SWT bless all our young sisters living in European and American states whose efforts to stay modest draw hatred and ridicule fro the ignorant and the hate filled. Ameen."

I can't help thinking if this was an aibu, the answer would be yabu hidden disabilities etc...

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 09:41:36

My understanding was that wearing the hijab would mean not actually taking it off in (mixed) public from then on. What is the point of wearing the hijab one day then swimming with the boys with possibly male lifeguards/teachers looking on? Genuine question.

"to say a mature ten year old is same as a baby is ridiculous"

I didn't say that and you know I didn't. Everyone knows they are not the same.

What I said was to point at the reduction to absurdity that comes with the slippery slope of assuming doing more and earlier of what is asked will please Allah even more. Headscarfs please Allah so burqa should please him even more! So if I wear a burqa rather than a headscarf, I'll be his most favourite. hmm

"all those skinny jean hijabis, who wear hijab for identity"

I didn't realise that's what they were doing. Do they know they look ridiculous? As in, totally missed the point of the hijab?

I don't know Lauren Booth is but shock at that FB status!

Having said that, what is wrong with changing in the girls' changing room? Are Muslim girls supposed to hide their bodies from other girls, too, now?

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 09:59:36

cote, the point is she wants to wear it. as you have pointed out there is no requirement for her to wear it so she can wear it and not wear it as she wants. as i have said she has no concept of her as a sexualised being so the concept of it being wrong to be infront of boys swimming without hijab and etc is not something that she considers. You said children shouldnt be sexualised, well she isnt.

As for what is the point, the point is identity. At ten she also wears skinny jeans with hijab.

This reduction to absurdity, how does it explain the thousands of women that dont engage in this? people like myself who are quite happy wearing coloured hijabs and abayahs, and dont feel the need or inclination to wear niqaab, people like waynetta? and we are not the exception?

awrah between women is between navel and the knees.
Lauren Booth is Tony Blairs sis in law who works for press tv

fuzzywuzzy Wed 09-Jan-13 10:01:42

I'm not going to modify my dress because someone else may consider it a judgement on themselves.

If people worried about the feelings of others thro their sartorial choices, we'd all be wearing exactly the same colour, cut and material outfit.

Hijab is defintiely not a measure of piety amongst the circles I move in, my girls wear hijab because they are girls and the accessories appeal to them and they think its pretty and like spending ages on getting it perfectly wrapped.
I wear it for religious reasons and also frankly its easy.

Contraceptionwise, surely its totally personal, having loads of kids can take a toll on a persons health. It's up to the individual.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 12:10:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 12:19:41

"This reduction to absurdity, how does it explain the thousands of women that dont engage in this?"

Why do you think it should? I'm pointing at the absurdity that some people find themselves in when they start going down the path of "Allah will like me more if I cover more than he asked". Like, "Quran says headscarf but I'll wear a burqa so I'll be his favourite".

And I said that because you gave "pleasing Allah" as a reason why a child would wear the hijab. Obviously not all Muslim parents think thus (thankfully) but some do and it is as absurd as wearing the burqa to please Allah even more than a hijab would.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 12:21:58

I'm still wondering why her girls couldn't change with the other girls in the girls' changing room.

Are they supposed to hide their bodies from other girls, too?

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 12:53:49

the hadith that often gets spoken of to make women feel guilty about wanting family planning is the one when the prophet (pbuh) says: 'marry and have children so i will be proud of your numbers on the Day of Judgement'. the Quran says having children is a blessing and is one of the adornments of this life. so alot of muslim cultures felt that having fewer children in the family by preventing children was wrong and not allowed in Islam. but this is where the line is between culture and religion, because in islamic religious texts and also from the legal experts, there is actually very little problem with contraception.

so the backdrop of having children is bringing them up well and if possible, looking after them even after one's death by leaving them 'wealthy'. that is also from the tradition of the prophet (pbuh) though the wahhabis dont like to teach that because they want to win the low status poor man vote (salafi marriage bandits indeed) - except when it comes to their own daughters when they stipulate sky high dowries so only rich men can marry them. anyway, i digress...

hadith: 'the best gift for a person is good upbringing' (Hakim, Al Mustadrak, vol.4:199 and 399)
hadith: 'to leave your heirs rich is better than leaving them dependent upon peoples charity' (Sunan Ibn Majah, 1953, vol. 2:904)
hadith: 'the right of a child upon his parents is to be given a decent family background, the choice of a good name, good breeding, education, and training in sports...' hadith in Al Baihaqi and At Tabarani, and another hadith with the extension 'and if possible wealthy' based on one hadith narrated by Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, in Al Bukhari.

prophet (pbuh) said: 'it is a great misery to have too many children without the means to support them' (Al Hakim on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar)
another hadith 'too many children are the other face of poverty, and fewer children are the other face of comfort' (Al Qudai, Musnad Ash Shihab)

so far this is just hadith to justify family planning and the balance to the other hadith on having lots of children.

here are rulings which are fascinating because they show that classical scholars had views that were pro family planning and are still relevant today.

so heres where we get technical. coitus interruptus - azl - is what the prophet (pbuh) said was allowed which is the pulling out method. 'there is nothing in that, whatever is destined will occur' (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah). the companion Jabir who reported it said 'this happened at the time the Quran was being revealed and had it been haram the Quran would have forbidden it.' at his time men used to have anal intercourse with their wives to prevent pregnancy and the prophet (pbuh) forbade that and allowed the former. Abu Hurairah quoted Umar ibn Al Khattab who said the prophet (pbuh) said 'azl is not allowed without the consent of the wife' as the wife has the right to her own progeny. hanafi school - only with wife's permission but scholars agreed that in bad times she doesnt need to give it e.g famine, maliki school - some scholars said the wife has a right to financial compensation in lieu of her consent, shaafiee school - majority said azl does not have any conditions, hanbali school - wife must give permission if the DH does not want children unless the circumstances are that they live in a time of war. these are legal opinions hundreds of years old but relevant.

so if the pull out method to prevent sperm reaching the vagina is allowed then condoms which are a surer form of contraception are also allowed by analogy. there is no islamic reason why it should not be used.

blocking the neck of the womb: in the time of Ibn Taymiyya - a Hanbali scholar- he acknowledged that women used to put in a rag as a barrier soaked in vinegar to prevent sperm in the vagina navigating up the vaginal canal. he noted it in his majari al habal. Ibn Nujaim a hanafi scholar - lived in 1592!! - made a fatawa that women can block the mouth of the uterus in order not to beget children with their husbands consent. ibn Abidin, another Hanafi scholar - died in 1836 - said blocking the neck of the womb is permissible even without the permission of the husband.
so whats the modern variety of blocking the neck of the womb: the diaphragm, cervical cap or the female condom is halal by analogy as the device may be different but they all have the same method of preventing contraception.

so what about taking hormonal methods to prevent conception? again, more surer methods to prevent conception - it is a simple deduction to assume that this is also halal from the other legal opinions. with the permission of your spouse or not? depends which one you follow. can the fatawa about whether men need consent or not apply to women? it would make much more sense to think so.

as for surgical methods of preventing conception? you would be surprised to learn that, contrary to urban myth, there is actually no single text in the Quran or hadith that prohibits permanent sterilisation without acceptable justification. so physical, psychological, mental are acceptable reasons - scholars would all agree. is family planning another one of them? depends if it falls under physical, psychological and mental. shouldnt be too hard to have it under that though.

this is just about contraception btw, as to abortion, well, iv found alot of hadith and fatawa, the latter hundreds of years old, that really show the early muslims considered it acceptable under certain circumstances.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 12:56:41

sorry not hadith showing it is acceptable but fatawa..

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 13:53:48

How much importance do you all place on fatawa?

SamaMum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:13

I am Muslim alhamdulillah! Not that I judge any body else who choose to follow other faiths. I have friends of all kinds and religious inclinations.
I am mother to two sons, I am a writer, published an anthology on amazon: For the People, By the People. I run my own online jewellery business Sama Collections. I am also working on my first novel- its in the final stages!
I like to read Rumi's works but not inclined towards Sufism etc.
Ah! That is a long intro.
Would love to hear what others do!
Sabah

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 14:10:13

firefly- in answer to the Turkish ID question, no we were not allowed to state NIL or leave the religion section blank. I don't know why, no one at the registry seemed to know why either! The rule was the rule! I do remember being asked on getting my citizenship what my Turkish name was going to be, they seemed a little bemused but accepting when I explained I had a perfectly good name that my parents gave me. In my mind my religion should be completely irrelevant to my citizenship, for myself we put Christian in the end which felt wrong as I am non practicing. For my children we literally tossed a coin and so Islam is stated, it bothers me as they are not being brought up anything.

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:26:07

sparklingsea I wonder what they'd say if someone put under religion "Satanism". LOL... No actually, it is odd yeah. Even more odd that the people at the registry can't explain why. I mean, maybe there is an assumption somewhere that children should not grow up without a religion. But we cannot know for sure if they say they don't know either.

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 16:54:49

cote awrah between women is from navel and knees, but some say from neck to knees.

as for fatwa I read them to try and understand things, like reading explanations from sheikhs, but fatwas are legal judgements that are often specific to situations alot of the time not a one size fits all situation?

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 17:08:07

I see fatwas the same way as nailak, and the majority do go on personal circumstances. Also depends on which sheikh is advising because what with the different madhab, things can be poles apart. I do stay away islam q and a (the website) in general though as I've read things before that are more hardline opinions rather than opinions backed up with authentic evidence. If I have to know something I will research it first and if I don't understand or need more information, I'll phone the local imam.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 17:24:48

Wanted to give my views on having lots of kids/contraception....I'm of the opinion that crescent moon stated above and the evidence above is why. I have chosen with dh to have only three children (inshallah) because we don't feel we can cope sufficiently with or dedicate enough time to more. I don't deal with pregnancy well and generally hate it apart from the scans and the baby kicking, and my labours are always very very long and extremely intense. There's no way I want to keep inflicting pregnancy and childbirth on my body over and over again and islamically I think that's absolutely acceptable and fine to do. This may be controversial to say and it is NOT a generalisation, so let me clarify that now..but some families with a lot of kids really seem to struggle. I've seen a number of families all with eight children each and the kids have had behaviour problems, been in major trouble with the law, older ones have too much responsibility on them from a young age, the mothers are haggard looking and run ragged physically and mentally, and the homes are chaos and without structure. This is what I've personally observed and the Islamic education of these kids has suffered very badly along with living in poverty and surviving off of benefits,word of a lie. I'm well aware there are amazing families who have a ton of kids and are more than able to bring them up and give them all quality time, but I couldn't do it and even if I could I wouldn't want to anyway. Time with my dh and enjoying being physically fit and well rather than sick with the pregnancies is really important to me. Plus our house is tiny and our three will all be sharing a bedroom until we can afford to move elsewhere. And those are my views smile

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 17:54:51

salam alaikum dear sama pull up a chair and join in. iv checked out your jewellery collection really love the bangles. waynette, i have the exact same view. i researched this topic extensively because DH and i had very big difference of opinion when it came to number of children - he always wanted 6 and after i had ds3 we sat down and had a big discussion about it. i know personally of families where the sisters have alot of children, and the houses are pristine, the children are well mannered and mother takes them from school to madressah and classes over the weekend etc. the brother works and takes care of his family, they live near extended family to help them children all do chores mashaallah tabarakallah iv seen them. but i couldnt manage that and tbh im only just holding it together with 3! and i told DH that i couldnt give my children the time and education i wanted to, and take them to the things i always dreamt of as a child i wanted to do, and let them be financially ok in a way i havent been able to if we had more than 3. and DH finally agreed after i got him to read these opinions through. so i dont just believe in spacing out ones children but also that once you've had your max thats it you can close up shop lol. plus i believe that if we want to bring our children up islamically we cant just say 'no' to things without giving them alternatives - that isnt going to work with little people today! not the iron fist method of discipline, nor the shame on you, etc

my dd wanted to go to ballet like one of her friends and DH was like 'no way' and i distracted her by saying lets go to little dragons instead (martial arts). and she really enjoys that and i praise her and tell her how strong and mighty she is to put her off dance. but those lessons cost money, and we wouldnt be able to do that if DH and i had too many kids to just get through survival with. etc

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:04:31

Crescentmoon - why would your DH say 'no way' to ballet? How old is your DD? Am curious.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:08:54

Crescent. Lol it's nice to know you share some same ideas as me!! You have to be careful in certain circles as saying you don't want a ton of kids doesn't always get the best reaction. I think you and dh are wise in encouraging your dd to do martial arts, that's a hell of a lot more beneficial in terms of fitness and self defence! Asalaamalaikum Sabah! Need to check your jewellery out inshallah, welcome to the thread. I'm also a writer but finding it really hard to get established, also working on writing a novel too. Would love to hear some of your personal views smile

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 18:13:38

id say the same too sparklingsea. she turns 6 soon so distraction is pretty easy, and she likes kung fu panda just as much as she likes princesses. i think ballet would make her focus too much on her femininity whereas martial arts would make her focus on her strength. and the prophet (pbuh) encouraged sports for children - as in the hadith - and i feel like we are reviving a sunnah.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 18:26:56

It's really sad that your 6-year-old DD can't go to ballet because her dad thinks it's too feminine. Or is it because her stocking-clad legs will be on display? sad

We have this conversation from time to time about how restrictive Islam is for a woman and you & others go "Oh no, we are free as birds tra lala" but restrictions start early on. By the time you get to puberty, it feels natural to live this restricted life because you have been groomed for it from early childhood sad

juule Wed 09-Jan-13 18:30:31

By sport, do you mean competitive sport?

There are boys/men who do ballet too.
Ballet also develops strength

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:53

I would like to add that many girls who start ballet from an early age become fixated on it and are bitterly disappointed when they reach their teens and ate told by teachers and examiners that they are not the desirable build needed to go professional. This in itself can lead to low self esteem and eating disorders to name but a few. Martial arts, swimming, horse riding and archery are all better in everything than things like ballet and disco dancing. Speaking from personal experience theris a lot of bitchiness and unhealthy competition in dance troupes so that's another good reason why I don't think it's great.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 18:32:51

"awrah between women is from navel and knees, but some say from neck to knees"

I have never heard of this. What is the source of this particular restriction? I don't remember seeing any mention of women covering up in front of each other in the Quran.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:35:10

By the way, my sis did ballet and I did horse riding when we were younger, and I was the one with stamina and thighs of steel wink

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 18:35:26

you would have problem with anything dear cote if it was for the sake of religion. if i did it in the name of anything else it would be teaching her to be a human being. i feel im doing best for her by encouraging her to be active in a different way - we've moved beyond the generation of keep girls at home dont let them play out.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:37:20

The awrah is in Hadith Cote. Does anyone know the isnaad? Is it hassan/daeef/sahih? I observe it in front of other women personally.

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:39:11

Why does ballet automatically make people think of princesses? I ask as someone who trained in ballet until I was 18 and not being at all pink or princessy! In terms of fitness and strength you need to be incredibly fit and strong although I realise at 6 it is more about having fun! I wish I could be as strong as I was in my late teens again!! Even 20 years later people remark on my posture and anyone in the know can see ballet training a mile off. Off topic somewhat but feel rather passionate about ballet and the joy it gave me when i did it. Dare I say for me it is almost quite spiritual, I felt totally whole whilst dancing, even now I do a lot of pilates and that is quite meditative for me.
I asked because of my interest in ballet but also think isn't childhood the time when you can be free to try out different things?

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:40:42

many girls do ballet just because they love it!

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:42:21

why would you want to restrict that?

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:47:01

Sparkling sea Of course ballet has its many benefits and nobody on here has said we see it as princessy etc, but there are other pastimes and sports that are as much if not better and more beneficial. Whilst you loved dancing, I adored horse riding and karate and tbh never had any desire to do ballet in particular. It's what you're brought up with and come into contact with, and it's the parents job to encourage their child to follow what they think would benefit them. I remember wanting desperately to train as a geisha..no kidding..until my mum gently reminded me i was not Japanese and the training takes years/having to sleep with neck on wooden block due to intricate hairstyle etc. I joined karate after that.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:47:44

Sparkling sea Of course ballet has its many benefits and nobody on here has said we see it as princessy etc, but there are other pastimes and sports that are as much if not better and more beneficial. Whilst you loved dancing, I adored horse riding and karate and tbh never had any desire to do ballet in particular. It's what you're brought up with and come into contact with, and it's the parents job to encourage their child to follow what they think would benefit them. I remember wanting desperately to train as a geisha..no kidding..until my mum gently reminded me i was not Japanese and the training takes years/having to sleep with neck on wooden block due to intricate hairstyle etc. I joined karate after that.

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 18:48:18

Lol sorry for posting twice

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:50:02

I'm sorry, I seem to recall reading somewhere that ballet is actually the hardest sport out there. It is not princessy. I know many ballet dancers personally, having used to be trained in it. They are far from princessy.

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:54:53

To be honest if people choose not to do ballet because what ballet entails is against their religious beliefs, that's fine. Which I believe ballet would be since it involves wearing tight revealing clothes, showing your hair, dancing in front of an audience which includes male and females, and in many cases, having to dance with males too. I can't imagine many strict Muslims would do ballet to be honest. And even if they did, it would be hard to accomodate them. Many ballet schools don't segregate their students into boy-only or girl-only classes.

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:56:44

'she likes kung fu panda as much as she likes princesses. I think ballet would make her focus too much on her femininity'

Of course it is about what you are exposed to but I can not imagine worrying about my 6 year old and how ballet would make her focus on her femininity. That is just so odd to me.

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 18:59:11

I could understand the concerns from a religious point of view about a 12 year old in a tight leotard but a 6 years old?? I am staggered!

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 19:08:17

Nobody said anywhere they are concerned about a six year old in a leotard sparkling sea. I think you are taking it a bit far lol. Obviously ballet for the reasons firefly stated above are why practising Muslims don't generally go for it. And actually at six years old, depending on how you are brought up to view yourself as a female, what sort of people you train with at ballet, it can make you focus on things, not even femininity, and that can have an effect on you. Like I previously mentioned, girls can be devastated having their dreams shattered when they are explicitly told they are not the ideal physical build for ballet, and with that can come dire consequences. Facts are, there are many great hobbies out there not just ballet.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 19:09:39

There are alot of Muslim female role models in sports including Olympic sports. Women who take part in competitive sports. Women I didn't see growing up. Including Arab women who come from a culture of women don't do anything active so I feel in bringing something in for my daughter that I didn't have growing up. Both because I'm not cultural and also because I can afford it. Which my parents couldn't because they had 5 kids.

I'd prefer to steer dd towards things she can do with her brothers and to tomboyish things. That's fine if you don't agree. i wish I could spring for horse riding waynette but I can afford little dragons for ds1. And dd bug not that!

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 19:12:50

Horse riding is sooo expensive I know. I haven't been for years due to being pregnant in such short spaces of time but I'm dying to go!! I want to make sure dd does it though in particular because ds isn't interested and loves football, so may have to get a part time job to pay for lessons.

sparklingsea Wed 09-Jan-13 19:19:20

I think it was the line, DH says 'no way' that caught my attention. I may have mis interpreted what that was meant to convey. I can't imagine my DH having an extreme reaction to anything that my children wanted to try out. There is of course no reason why a girl should do ballet what so ever, i was just surprised that if a child expresses and interest in something that you should say 'no way' which made me ask the question. Along with being very biased towards ballet!

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 19:29:07

"if i did it in the name of anything else it would be teaching her to be a human being"

Assuming you have the means, which other reason to refuse ballet lessons to your 6 yr old would teach her "to be a human being"? Sorry but totally confused as to what you mean here.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 19:32:02

"why would you want to restrict that?"

Possibly because they know that if they allow ballet now, then they will have a tough time getting her to quit it in a few years when she reaches puberty.

littleducks Wed 09-Jan-13 20:03:14

I wrote a detailed post about my views on contraception but it doesnt appeared to have come up confused and the thread has moved on.

We don't dance, not men or women (I know from previous threads this is one of the reasons Cote classes us as 'fundamentalists'). So I wouldnt send either of my kids to ballet. DH thought gymnastics would be good but I was 'no way' not because of leotards but because I worry about the strain on young muscles and intense training. Similar to ballet (there are often threads on here) where there are concerns about the environment and pressure with girls developing eating disorders and being highly able only for there feet to be wrecked by their thirties due to pointe work.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 20:11:19

sparkling - re names and that "religion" box in Turkish IDs:

There is actually a law that says all babies have to have Turkish names for their IDs. That is probably why that guy was surprised to issue an ID with a foreign (unpronounceable, unrecognisable) name. This is partly cultural/traditional - I'm sure you know by now that given names in Turkey are all meaningful words (often used in everyday speech) and are recognized as names. No made-up names, no creative spelling to be original. Even babies from multicultural families need at least one Turkish name.

The exception to this is Jewish or Christian families, who name their kids whatever they like. This is probably why they insisted on writing down your religion. Families spell these names phonetically, like Turkish words. So David becomes Deyvid, Rosie becomes Rozi, for example. I know a guy called Roje. It took me many years to realise that he is of French origin, and his parents meant to call him Roger.

I wouldn't worry about that "religion" box. That part of my ID says "Islam" and we all know how successful that turned out to be smile. What is funnier, my DCs' TR ID cards also say "Islam".

All this is because Turkey is not used to immigrants, people from different cultures and traditions. With such a difficult language and unattractive socio-economic standing, it's mostly been left to people born there who find all this perfectly normal. Maybe now it will change.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 20:27:35

littleducks - I don't remember classifying you as anything, but if you observe a literal view of your holy book, of any religion, than you are a fundamentalist. Simply because that is the meaning of the word.

I was saying the same things just today on Waynetta's hijab thread.

I'm sorry if you feel that "fundamentalist" is a derogatory word.

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 20:40:39

sooo, has anyone ever been to a Somalian wedding?

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 20:50:12

we're just trying to figure out how to put the fun in FUNdamentalist here naila, talk away sisters back on tomorrow! nite.

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 20:52:22

As you know Somalis do traditionally wear khimaar, and it is not abnormal to see their girls at 3 and 4 in hijab regularly. couldnt find any vids of women at wedding apart from ones which seem to be paid dancing girls but i did find this which shows what a wedding is like, except in uk the women are blinged out in cocktail dresses and the teens look like they are going clubbing, and the older women wear this traditional see through material dress.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGY3OXehpZ4

i went to a barawa wedding, was the best wedding i have ever been to, soo much fun!

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 20:53:01

x post cote did i just manage it??? lol

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 20:58:41

that was a joke by the way - fun in fundamentalist get it?

i dontthink any weddings are better than yemenis - il raise you blinged out cocktail dresses and add trashy on top of that. my bellydancing teacher told me when she performs at somali weddings she wears a baladi dress but when she performs at yemeni weddings they ask her to wear the proper bellydancing costume lol. i love going to haflas too

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 20:59:44

Nope have you? Been to Asian weddings. Not keen on them tbh. English weddings (without the alcohol and free mixing) are the way to go for me wink good wholesome food, beautiful scenery generally in picturesque locations such as mansions and castles and no faffing about. I find with other cultures I've been to its been sooo much waiting around, mendhi customs, rukhsati which is a bit morbid IMO and food that is either majorly greasy or just totally over spiced. And I love a bit of spice! What was everyone's wedding like? I didn't have a walimah just a nikah. And what's everyone's opinion on registry weddings?

littleducks Wed 09-Jan-13 21:15:30

No, I don't find it derogatory after you explained it on the other thread. I don't think as myself as that strict (nobody ever does I suppose)

nailak Thu 10-Jan-13 00:11:32

my wedding, we had it in in laws house and then had food.

sparklingsea Thu 10-Jan-13 05:05:40

Thank you for that Cote, re Turkish ID, the religion box and names. Memnum oldum by the way!

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 08:20:14

i had a very big wedding - the cultural type, lots of people i didnt know, my parents invited friends of friends and neighbours and their 'cousins who were visiting from london' etc guests numbered in the hundreds. it was easy for my parents to be hospitable because it was DH and his family paying for the wedding. and there were still people who were offended with us that they were not invited. ditto when my brother got married, and my sisters etc. but i think weddings are changing alot now with 'no invitation card no entry' but can you blame them? my cousin recently got married and the cheapest venue with food everything thrown in was £35 a head and that was on a tuesday afternoon.

i went to an anglo english wedding last year. beautiful grounds - dont want to out myself here but gorgeous lake, huge old trees, beautiful grade listed building, beautiful food - that very pretty european way of arranging food on a plate - beautiful reception etc BUT only 50 guests! DH and me figured that wedding easily cost over £20000. i enjoyed it though i could only eat the posh french potatoes but i thought to myself i would have preferred people to the scenery! i think the smallest muslim wedding iv ever been to had 150 guests and iv been to many many weddings!

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 08:34:56

Wow crescent lol, sounds crazy with all those people!! The English tend to invite nearest and dearest generally, which actually is the best way to go IMO as I've been to these weddings where the bride and groom barely know the people they're paying for to eat lol. Do you think its worth getting married legally as well as nikah?

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 10-Jan-13 08:54:51

My walima (nikah was done 3 months prior in a mosque, with whovever happened to be there!) was just DHs family and mine (maybe about 30 people all in all), outside on top of a mountain (mountains have always featured in our relationship for some reason). Was dreading it as I had no idea what to expect but it was lovely, the only problem was when I had to mount a horse in my huge dress. Also my mum cried with happiness when she saw where it was and how lovely it looked and that was nice as I thought it would all be really alien to her. On the downside my DH was so late that my mum thought he'd changed his mind!

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 09:03:36

i think the cultural weddings have some basis in the sunnah, especially the parts about inviting people who are not close to you (at all!).

www.purematrimony.com/blog/2012/07/the-sunnah-and-manner-of-attending-weddings/

about the walimah...


yes id definitely say to get married legally as well as nikah.

UK muslim marriages are not recognised

the nikah is supposed to be a legal contract but in UK law a ceremony in the mosque does not count as a legal contract. it becomes just a public thing that is saying in front of God and the community that you are entering into marriage together. and thats a good thing. but a couple need to get married legally else its the woman not the man who loses out on rights

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 09:05:06

whoops link didnt work. please read it contains a cautionary tale.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8493660.stm

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 09:05:33

for the love of... sorry!

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8493660.stm

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 09:25:28

hardly that's lovely mashaallah- funny about your DH being so late. We always go to weddings late, leaving home maybe half an hour after the invite says it starts and thats just as the guests. That would drive wedding planner mad!
Here's the jahilliya part of Muslim culture- a bride isn't supposed to look happy on her wedding day crazy right? My Bengali and Pakistani friends told me its the same in their culture! At my wedding I was told off for smiling too much, I was to look sad and not eat any of the wedding food placed In front of me. I was supposed to be so distraught at leaving my parents house that I should not have been able to eat a thing! I still kick myself that I didn't get to eat the delicious rice and lamb at my own wedding because of that!

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 09:29:36

Can ANYONE help me convince dh that we should marry legally??!! Anyone??!! Hardly. Your wedding sounds amazing mashaallah! Yep crescent that's normal in Pakistani or Asian weddings for the bride to look sad.worstbpart is the rukhsati at the end of the wedding where the bride cries and is led away by her husband to signal her new life with him. My mil was very unimpressed with this ceremony when my sil and bil married lol.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 09:34:04

Crescent did you hear about that story where a Muslim revert woman got married and unfortunately died a while after her wedding, and because her and the husband weren't legally married, her body rights were passed on to her family and against islam, they actually went and had her cremated. My mils friend told me this and I felt so shocked

sparklingsea Thu 10-Jan-13 09:35:12

Waynetta, what are your husband's reasons for not wanting you to legalize your marriage?

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 09:48:12

Well he says we've been married for years now, have kids, basically what's the point? We don't own our house and have no joint assets either so he says why do it if there's no financial obligations. We don't have joint account or anything and have our own jobs. Tbh I don't think he has read up on the benefits of legal marriage, he says because we are already man and wife in the eyes of god that's the most important thing.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 09:49:21

I would like to do it though, as I don't like to be seen as a cohabiting couple...plus since I never had a wedding party..what better excuse is there than registry lol

sparklingsea Thu 10-Jan-13 11:08:40

Waynetta- I want to tell you a cautionary tale of something that happened to my sister. She was engaged when her fiance died. Because they weren't married she was not legally his next of kin. The circumstances of his death meant that his next of kin (which was his mother) made the decision with Doctors to turn of his life support. My sister was not involved with this decision AT ALL. This was devastating to her. Grief can make otherwise good people behave in unexpected and strange ways. The day he died his family came to their home and started to remove 'his' belongings from their joint home. Even though between my sister and her fiance they had talked about what they/he wanted upon death, by not being the next of kin she had virtually no say in the matter. I would hate to see anyone go through the torment she went through for the sake of a legal document. Could you present that scenario to your husband?

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 12:22:24

iv not heard of that particular case waynetta but iv heard a variation of those in the article. thats why i had a civil marriage - but it was very small and very boring. DH took the day off work and booked a dentist appointment for the afternoon! we went along in the morning with just 2 of his friends as witnesses - we were too broke after the walima for anything bigger! - and then he went to his appointment and left me there. it was only for the legal aspect, we already lived together and were married it was just the final part. so i have my marriage cert from the mosque and i have my marriage cert from the registry office.

alot of younger muslim couples are having this problem because they saw the nikah as a permission to 'date'. iv got a non muslim friend whose husband asked her to go to the mosque to have a nikah with him - saying 'dont worry its not official just something i need to do to feel right about this'.

its okay to begin with when the two individuals in the relationship are of equal status or bargaining power, in the BBC article the sister in the last couple was as unsure whether to go for a civil ceremony as her husband - but to leave it as that with no legal force of power is going back to the jahilliya.

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 12:23:45

when i say he left me there it was left me there to do some grocery shopping lol while he went to get his tooth taken out!

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 15:49:34

Sparkling. That is absolutely horrific. I haven't heard anything as awful as that in a long time sad. Will def be mentioning this to dh. Thankyou for your perspective. Crescent. I agree in the sense that leaving a marriage without any legal power is like going back to jahiliyah, it's just so many dont think its needed. It obviously is as I'm starting to find out. Problem is also mil in a way, as she thinks its totally unnecessary, but if I had her support hubs might pay a bit more attention.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 10-Jan-13 16:49:35

Is your mother in law legally married to her husband?
If she is then she has no say in stopping you getting the same legal footing in your relationship.

This may sound mercenary, but in the event of a split, you would have better financial recourse legally than if you split without being married.

I'd be wanting my name on property, pensions & all parties should have proper wills drawn up naming you as next of kin etc.

nailak Thu 10-Jan-13 16:49:45

For me I do not think it is needed, because of financial situation etc, everything is bought and paid with out of my account and everything including dhs wages goes in to my account. He doesn't have a bank account.

Polygyny is one of the reasons I don't want registry.

nailak Thu 10-Jan-13 16:51:48

Can you explain the financial recourse? I wouldn't want spousal maintenance as it is not from Islam. But child support is the same married or not?

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 18:24:08

Nailak are you a co wife or is your dh planning in marrying again? I have quite a few friends who are co wives and I think this is one of the reasons they are not legally married. My dh isn't interested in marrying again although we did have a convo about it. He says its not for him so I said fair enough. I do think registry is good especially depending on what job the dh has. Mine is in a profession with a substantial pension when he retires, and unless I marry him legally I will prob have no rights to that...which doesn't matter unless he dies, god forbid. That's what freaks me out. I'm going to have to weigh it all up before broaching the subject with him.

littleducks Thu 10-Jan-13 19:54:44

We are not legally married either. I don't want to be (so very different from your situation) I think dh would prefer to but is overall not too bothered. I tick 'married' on the vast majority of forms as I see myself as that. My MIL was surprised when she found out and wanted to us to do it to ensure she could see kids if dh dies, unfortunatley in uk law grandparents hve no visitation rights (so i guess she better keep being nice to me wink)

I prefer that we could get divorced cheaply and quickly (not that I am planning on it!)

Both our families were at our wedding and view us as married, we are listed as each other NOK and beneficeries of wills. I don't think we would have any problems with that kind of thing.

The only thing we would not get is the benefit you receive if your married partner dies (widows allowance?) but I dont really want that and we have made financial arrangements instead.

Don't forget if we were married and divorced it could go either way-I could end up 'loosing' money to dh as much as he could 'gain' money from me. We keep our finances pretty seperate to be honest and I dont want to change that, as islamically my money is mine.

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 21:06:31

gosh its really hard isnt it. the whole obligation of nikah is so that its not you the woman who insists upon it but Allah when the man tries to whisper the sweet nothings in your ear 'who cares as long as we have each other...!'. but the onus is on you again in the UK even after the nikah is done as the islamic marriage contract performed in the UK isnt recognised under UK law. you need the registry marriage too, don't let him say 'as long as we have each other' then what happens when you dont want each other anymore?

the prophet (pbuh) said: "We have not seen anything better than marriage for those who are in love" (Sunan Ibn Majah, no. 1847)

thats for the romantic side of marriage. but marriage isnt only about love or if the man dies or being able to make decisions on life support etc. though it is very important because as sparklingsea said about her sister, his family have a legal right to his wealth before you and your children. so that is the reason why one shouldn't rely on her inlaws to make sure the DH has a registry marriage especially as they benefit whereas you dont if he dies!

the nikah is most effective when getting or being divorced. its supposed to be about moving away from relying upon a man's religiosity or taqwa at a moment when there is alot of stress and strain - the hardest time to hold onto high morals when there is no legal obligation to do so. thats why its all external not internal between the couple. you know if you get divorced and he doesnt want to do things the islamic way then there is no recourse to the law? nor the mosque, the imam cant help - only be lecturing and shaming the man and some men are shameless. and the mosque cant help - no power to compel. if the husband changes the locks and tells you 'get out of my house' and just wants his wife and kids to disappear then what? one would be in the same situation as a woman cohabiting with her DP for years. ok naila and littleducks dont mind at having that same legal status but its not just about protecting rich or poor women.

nailak Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:25

but you dont need registry marriage to sort out inheritance? you can use a will?

or joint account?

in my situation all his money goes in to my account so i dont think inlaws will be entitled to money in my account! lol

and there are no assets, maybe a few debts though!

personally i think i have said before, if i booked ghe registry my husband would come, he says that he is not interested in marrying again, however, we never know what is in our future, there may be a time where he is able to and for whatever reason, be it a widow, divorcee or whatever he wants to marry again, and I do not want to close that option to him if in the future he marries from abroad.

if my husband changes the locks and told me to get out i would call the landlord and get him evicted, and call the hb and get them to stop paying lol

some men are shameless, but i dont believe my husband is.
At the end of the day a husband who does that will be held accountable for it before Allah, and that is more important then the law of the land.
Rizq is in the hands of Allah as well. What will come to you will come to you no matter what.

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 22:32:38

inshaallah you will all have long happy marriages ameen lol. BUT, just in case, i think it would be good for you all to know this.

not just divorce is allowed in the Quran for men and women but the Quran is the only Holy book that says women should have a right to spousal maintenance naila. the first time i read it i checked out different translations than sat back and said 'could a man born in 6th century Arabia have come up with that by himself?'.

Chapter 4, Verse 241...
"And for divorced women is a provision according to what is acceptable - a duty upon the righteous."
(Sahih International translation)
"And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2)."
(Muhsin Khan translation)
"For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off(evil)."
(Pickthall translation)
"For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous."
(Yusuf Ali translation)

now the verse says according to what is acceptable. this isnt the only place that mentions spousal maintenance in the Quran. in alot of peoples minds we think that if the man serves up his divorce verbally or in writing the marriage ends right then and there. 'Talaq, Talaq, Talaq' and the divorced woman has to leave the house. but actually the couple have to wait 3 months after that for the iddah period - 3 months long to see if the woman is pregnant - and the Quran says do not force the woman to leave her house or the modern 'close the house down'...

"O Prophet! when you (Muslims) divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed time, and calculate the number of the days prescribed, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, your Lord. Do not drive them out of their houses, nor should they themselves go forth, unless they commit an open indecency; and these are the limits of Allah, and whoever goes beyond the limits of Allah, he indeed does injustice to his own soul. You do not know that Allah may after that bring about reunion."
Chapter 67 (Surah Talaq/ CHapter of Divorce), Verse 1

that would give you 3 months breathing space to decide what to do, reconcile or figure out your next steps. that would be invaluable whether you are in a desert/rural environment just as much as an urban environment.

"If you divorce the women, once they fulfill their interim (three menstruations), you shall allow them to live in the same home amicably, or let them leave amicably. Do not force them to stay against their will, as a revenge. Anyone who does this wrongs his own soul. Do not take GOD's revelations in vain. Remember GOD's blessings upon you, and that He sent down to you the scripture and wisdom to enlighten you. You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is aware of all things."
Chapter 2, Verse 231

so even after the iddah - the 3 month waiting period to see whether the wife is pregnant or not the advice is to either let them live in the same home peacefully or let them leave peacefully. Allah then says 'do not force them to stay against their will as a revenge' - so, 67:1 says do not force them to leave in the first 3 months after divorce, and 2:231 says do not force them to stay against their will after the iddah if they want to leave.

"So when they have reached their prescribed time, then retain them with kindness or separate them with kindness, and call to witness two men of justice from among you, and give upright testimony for Allah. With that is admonished he who believes in Allah and the latter day; and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will make for him an outlet."
(Chapter 65, Verse 2)

so retain them in kindness or separate with kindness at the end of the divorce period. and the importance of witnesses - some women dont even know whats happening the man just says im leaving i want a divorce and then theres no witness or signing of anything between them. completely against how the Quran says divorce should be conducted but if women dont know they cant argue for their rights. please look up these verses yourselves, even if they rarely get applied at least have it for your own satisfaction!

what happens if a couple get divorced and find out the wife is actually pregnant? well, the Holy Quran says...

"....And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.
That is the command of Allah , which He has sent down to you; and whoever fears Allah - He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward.
Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman.
Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease."
(Chapter 65, Verse 4-7)

so verses 4-6 are saying if a woman is actually pregnant than the waiting divorce period is until she gives birth and the man has to financially support her and house her during that time. and if she wants to breastfeed the infant the Quran says to the man to pay her for that as they are not married or pay a nursemaid.
and in all of these verses the message during the divorce verses is do not oppress the woman during or after the iddah. and Allah does not say 'whoever LOVES Allah' instead it is 'whoever FEARS Allah'. i always feel when the quran says 'fear God' it is to do with those rights and responsibilities that require self accounting and caution.
then verse 7 - let a rich man spend from his wealth to support the divorced woman, and a poor man spend of his means to support the divorced woman. and "Allah does not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent to which He has granted it" - so spousal maintenance proportional to earnings.

if Allah forbid DH and i ever divorced i wouldnt have a problem going to the british courts for divorce an spousal maintenance because i feel i would have the best chance of accessing the rights the Quran would have for me but alot of my brothers wouldnt give or be able to vouch for me.

though, wallahi it was DH who actually told me about these verses anyway and i figured it was a sign of his earnestness that he wanted me to know he'd give me my rights. thankfully, i still have the civil marriage cert anyway grin

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 22:47:33

salams littleducks, totally get you on "as islamically my money is mine." iv read of a saudi divorce case recently - daily mail where else lol? - where the wife has had to pay alimony to the husband as he took her to court in the UK. never thought that would happen, i would have thought he'd be too proud to take his ex's money and i bet she was fuming knowing islamically a poor man cannot claim his rich wifes cash during or after marriage!

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 10-Jan-13 22:50:38

How lovely Saudi is hmm I will be going there for my Hajj inshallah and Umrah, but will never in a billion years wish to make hijrah there. Corruption, greed, extremism and misogyny at its worst.

littleducks Thu 10-Jan-13 23:42:04

I am not recommending to anyone not to have a civil marriage and I think that everyone should be aware of the differences.

For me personally, with full knowledge of the consequences, the best choice was not to. I was married young and I did want to be able to exit relatively simply if I needed to.

My lifestyle is different in a couple of ways. For instance we rent and both names our on the tenancy agreements, if dh tried to kick me out I would have the same legal recourse to return as if we were married. We have financial arragements and wills in case one or both of us dies etc.

You hear all the time about on her about men not paying child support etc. if he was to ignore his islamic duties to support his children he would be far more likely to ignore his legal duties!

We dont have a joint account and never will. Although we do internet transfers and share money day to day, if ever something happened I want to be financially seperate, it sounds awful but I want to maintain the independence to have a 'running away fund.' Dh could never walk out and clear out our accounts!

Obviously my situation is different from women who don't work, didn't know to request a large enough mahr to protect themselves, are reliant on their dh's income or are immigrants and so don't have family here to support them etc.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:53:46

I got spousal maintenance as its repaying money ex stole from me.

Basically my legal divorce is giving me what I am Islamically entitled too, well not everything but I'm not asking for lots, I figure he can answer for his actions later.
Islamically I'm entitled to a lot more financially then I asked for in the courts.

Had I not been legally married my children and I would be financially in deep trouble.

I'd always get any marriage legally done in future and would want the same for my children, it ensures one is able to obtain ones legal rights in the event of death or divorce.

I've heard of pretty horrendous things happening to women who've not married legally.

nailak Thu 10-Jan-13 23:57:50

i am sure you have read of horrendous things happening to those who have married legally as well!! I certainly have!

fuzzywuzzy Fri 11-Jan-13 00:09:23

Legal marriages give you financial security if the worst happens.

I've not heard awful things about women divorcing they have legal back up to get what they and their children are owed.

In an Islamic country if my nikah was a legal and binding contract I would be fine, women have a lot of rights they'd have legal recourse to get what is their right thro the courts Islamically ( well that's the theory).

Having been thro the worst case scenario, I personally would not want it for myself.

Besides isn't the nikah contract supposed to be just that, a legally binding contract stipulating the conditions of marriage?

If I ever marry, I'll have my nikah contract drawn up as a pre-nup. So it is recognised as legally binding here too.

nailak Fri 11-Jan-13 00:15:19

i know women who were legally married and dont get a penny from their ex husbands, women who were legally married and had to run away from their husbands and live in b and bs with their kids and stuff, and leave all their stuff behind. Being legally married did not help them.

In fact it hindered them in some cases. When they go to the bank and say my husband has intercepted my post and taken my card and pin, i didnt even know he ordered it through online banking, please stop the online banking etc, they dont take it seriously and carry on the online banking, say its their fault for giving out the pin and dont treat it as fraud as it is their husband,

financial abuse happens within legally registered marriages. If this is occuring the man doesnt suddenly stop being financially abusive when the marriage ends. Men like this would rather leave work and work illegally cash in hand and stuff then give their wives money.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 11-Jan-13 07:24:16

Nailak, if you're a joint signatory on a bank account the banks regard it the same, your husband can run up thousans in over drafts and debts and you are jointly liable.
I had my joint bank accounts frozen.

Never ever give out your pin to anyone, if you want someone to be able to access your bank account have them on your account as a second card holder, altho I'd check first to ensure you could cancel it if you so chose later on.

The most heart breaking story I heard was a woman asking me what she was entitled to as her husband turned her and her children out and her name wasn't on the property they lived in.
I told her to get legal advice.

It's personal to me, I would not live under marital conditions with a man in a country where my marriage was not legally recognised.

I know where it works very well, a friend is a second wife, and has her own property and life, her husband comes and goes and she likes it that way. He has no claims over her and her finances. Altho he did say in the event of a divorce he would take the child they have together.
I doubt very much he would have a leg to stand on to do that as she is the main carer.

crescentmoon Fri 11-Jan-13 09:02:56

i think ducks in your case you both have equal input into and out of the marriage.

Obviously my situation is different from women who don't work, didn't know to request a large enough mahr to protect themselves, are reliant on their dh's income or are immigrants and so don't have family here to support them etc.

tbh had i decided things with DH on my own i probably would not have, but it was my parents who insisted and whilst the legal side wasnt on the nikah contract it was an understanding between us all. my dad especially, setting aside all the other crap we've been through, was very firm on sorting things out for me and my sisters when we got married. saved us looking grasping or cynical! we all had relatively large mahrs, gold - that was more something my mum insisted on - and got married legally. DH was so afraid of my dad back then that it was really for his sake rather than my own lol.

recently though a couple i had really looked upto got divorced and i was unsettled by it more than i let on to DH or anybody else. id thought they were rock solid and had tried to emulate them. it also made me realise how vulnerable i was having been a trailing spouse and giving up work after dc2. the current account is in DHs name which is where his salary and all bills and payments go through but the savings are all in my name which i wanted as my own guarantee of security and DH to be as vulnerable. we have far more in savings than in the current account - actually enough for a 20% deposit on a normal mortgage but DH and i still havent bought as we are trying to save for a sharia compliant mortgage - which will probably take another 8-10 years unless i start working too. for that we've saved fanatically some years - when DH gets paid i usually pay straight into 'committee' so that we dont spend it and its an outgoing. it takes a long time and when we get our big lump sum i pay it straight into the savings account and hold it there.

alot of couples we know our age have the same problem as us, have good household incomes yet still renting because they dont want to take the conventional mortgage and it is frustrating. its another reason i want to work this year too to speed things along too.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 09:59:52

What do you think is the difference between a traditional mortgage and a sharia-compliant one?

I know that one is based on interest and the other isn't, but I used to work in finance and it is a well-known thing that the "equity payments" of the sharia-compliant mortgages are trail very closely the interest payments of traditional mortgages. My understanding is that they are actually pretty much the same thing, and it is just the marketing (i.e. what they tell the customer) that is different.

I'm happy to be corrected, though, as it's not a subject I've looked into in the past 10 years.

WaynettaSlobsLover Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:50

That's the reason me and dh decided not to get a shariah compliant mortgage. After doing our research it seems as if its basically the same thing..just sounds different. As my family in particular own a lot of property as do dh's in his native country, we figured we wil always have a roof over our heads whatever happens lol but that we didn't want to enter a 'grey' area where supposed Islamic mortgages are the answer. Would appreciate more info from crescent if possible in case ive also missed something

nailak Fri 11-Jan-13 11:25:15

fuzzy in the situation i was talking about it was not a joint bank account. the husband intercepted her post to get online banking details and ordered new card and pin and intercepted them, then put her account in to overdraft. The bank said there is nothing they can do and she should have protected her pin basically. I went with her a few times. the lawyer that womens aid gave said same thing. they were legally married. she still ended up in a bed and breakfast with her 3 kids when she left him.
she had no money to access to her paperwork, didnt even know her ni number, her husband had all her documents and she had to pay for b and b as she had no proof of identity etc, we had to collect money for her and do shopping for her and stuff.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 11-Jan-13 13:02:38

Juma Mabarek everyone.
We had our Islamic marriage contract stamped by an official authority in the country where we got married, which wasn't an Islamic country but the Muslims there were organised enough to have some kind of system.
We also had a civil marriage there, which is recognised here. We thought it was OK to have my parents as witnesses, who were visiting at the time. It wasn't, so my husband literally went outside and got 2 people of the street!

Well, all the talk about Turkey has been fascinating, and I finally have something to add, from a site I was on which contained lots of coffee trivia:

"In the 16th century, Turkish women could divorce their husbands if the man failed to keep his family's pot filled with coffee"

Now I would really like that law, as I have on occasion sent my husband to the opposite side of the city to pick up the particular type of coffee that they only sell in one small Arab shop!

I was thinking as this thread has gone through so many mutations, maybe it would be nice to have a general Muslim prayer and chat thread, like the Christian ones I've seen? Non-Muslims welcome as well of course.

WaynettaSlobsLover Fri 11-Jan-13 15:00:09

Jummah Mubarak ladies smile