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Just curious - how many muslims are on mumsnet?

(1000 Posts)
Galvanise Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:53


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

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>


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.


"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.

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..

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....


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.

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).

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