To Muslim Women in Mosques, Eid Mubarak!

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Eid Mubarak, world! Tomorrow, Monday, is Eid-ul-Adha – the “festival of sacrifice.” How unfortunate that too many of us interpret that in the literal sense. Ever paused to wonder if maybe it’s sacrificing our egos for a better, more just home, community, world, instead?

The following is for Muslim women, Muslim mothers, mother-like figures, and guardians on whom the community places the responsibility of not just generally taking care of but also managing children in mosques during Eid prayer and sermon while men do the hard work of, well, enjoying their child-free zones and being angry at us for taking care of their children.

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Why are women so picky when it comes to marriage/relationships?

This is disturbing, so don’t read further if you will be triggered.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy, feminism, gender, human rights, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, Just stop, let's talk privilege, Sexual abuse, social justice, society, stop using the word shame, violence in this world, why we need feminism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why women’s existence is a miracle.

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If you haven’t yet realized, women are a miracle. And I’m not referring to their ability to give birth, to give life, to have miraculous bodies that can do wonders that humans still haven’t understood fully or even remotely begun to appreciate and value.

I’m referring to the fact that despite the millennia  of violence, exploitation, oppression, hurt, injustices that we’ve gone through, we are still alive.

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Happy 7th Birthday, Kashmala Jaaney!

Dear Kashmala, my beloved Kashmala, my janan, zama da zrra armaan, zama da zrra sara, pa taa qurban! How my heart is overjoyed because you exist, because I have you, because this world has you.

Blessed be the day you were born, janana. Blessed be this day. How fortunate I am to be your aunt.

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give Muslim feminists their due credit for changing your life.

validation by men

Being a woman

Recently, more and more, I have been observing the change that Muslim communities have undergone in terms of their perceptions of Islam’s views on gender – and all of of that is because of the hard work of Muslim women (at least some of whom identify as feminists) who don’t get any credit for bringing these changes at all. It’s infuriating, it’s exhausting, and it’s frustrating being in a position where you keep seeing that and keep being silenced. And when you point it out, there’s an outright rejection of this fact. I actually just got back from an event where I was discussing Qur’anic verse 4:34 with a man at the table (the man doesn’t believe dharaba means “to beat/hit”), and I pointed out the contribution of women scholars like Amina Wadud, and this man had an expression on his face that was a clear: “Um. No.” But he didn’t say no. He was just silent and shaking his head slowly left and right as if to desperately want to say no but also knowing that I knew what I was talking about and probably not wanting to be proven wrong at the moment. It was just his expression that was so dismissive of the idea of Muslim feminists bringing such meaningful change into a Muslim community.

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Menstruation, Ramadhan, and the Muslim Woman: beyond the whole “it’s a break from prayer/fasting!”

This post was inspired in part by a vibrant discussion on Facebook at this FITNA group. (FITNA = Feminist Islamic Troublemakers of North America). Both the  discussion and the group are public intentionally, and we invite readers and participants in the group from all over the world.

If it were mere exemption, if it were a mercy, if it were a break, you would still have that option to OPT OUT of the exemption if you wanted; you’d have the option to say, “Aww, I really appreciate this! But, hey, since it’s Ramadhan, and Ramadhan comes only once a year, I’m going to go ahead and continue praying and fasting and everything. But I’ll take you up on the exemption thingie when it’s not Ramadhan, especially during the first couple of days of my period. Those days are the worst, ugh. I’m totally willing to just chill in my bed, wrapping my body around myself while I’m suffering from pain, thanking God that I don’t have to get up and do wudhu and pray. Although, come to think of it, the more merciful thing to do here would be to NOT declare my prayer invalid while I’m menstruating.”

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Posted in being human, Death to patriarchy, gender, Islamic feminism, Just stop, let's talk privilege, menstruation | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Islam, Homosexuality (and Pederasty!): What does Islam REALLY say about homosexuality?

Okay, folks. First, let’s get the relevant terms cleared up:

LGBTQIA+: stands for lesbian (homosexual), gay (homosexual), bisexual, transgender and transsexual, queer, intersex, asexual. The + means that it includes other non-binary (that is, not “women or men”) categories, too.
homosexuality: attraction to someone of the same sex
bisexuality: attraction to someone of either their own sex or the “opposite” sex (or just not to the “opposite” sex).
intersex: born with genitals that are not considered normal or standard for males or females

For more key terms, please click here.

1512589_10202812191926244_1217221556_nNow, way too many people are writing and talking about this LGBTQ topic, and few have any idea of what they’re actually saying, other than the very brave popular mainstream idea that “homosexuality is a sin in Islam,” and they’ll do everything to emphasize this without any critical questions that beg to be asked. We have folks with no knowledge of gender and sexuality studies talking about this authoritatively, or scholars of hadith writing about “homosexuality in Islam” without being honest enough to decline the invite to write and instead recommend actual scholars of gender/sexuality and Islam who can speak on the topic authoritatively; we have imaams – actual imaams, y’all, to whom actual LGBTQ+ Muslims are likely to go with their concerns, with questions about Islam and their identity and God – saying nonsense like “the Qur’an is very CLEARLY against homosexuality,” which is a very dishonest comment because the Qur’an is not at all “clearly” against homosexuality; if it were that clear, there’d be no conversation to be had; if it were that  clear, we wouldn’t be told what particular verses “mean” when they say thing X or Y. It’s always funny – no, actually, depressing and unacceptable – to me when people who DON’T belong to a specific community tells that the community that it’s not real, that it’s haram. That’s how privilege works.

But we havee many important questions to ask with regards to this one simple but destructive statement: “Homosexuality is a sin in Islam.”

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On the Orlando Mass Shooting – and a note to Muslims who condemn homosexuality

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From a vigil for the Orland victims❤ (The poster was supposed to be above my head, ha!)

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about the mass shooting at the Orlando club, and I can’t put any words together. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s confusion – I will never understand, and I hope I never understand, why and how anyone can take another person’s life, let alone the lives of over 50 people. May God grant them all eternal Peace, may God be their Companion, aameen. For their families and friends and other loved ones, I can’t … I can’t think of what consoling words to share with them. I’m heartbroken that they have lost people they loved. I wish them strength and peace as they cope with these unbearable losses. God be with them, too, aameen.

There are several major issues that are deeply connected to this massacre. I wish I had the time to go into a lot of detail about each one, but I want to at least introduce them here. Maybe I’ll discuss them each in more detail another time, inshaAllah.

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Posted in being human, Books, Death to patriarchy, human rights, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, let's talk privilege, social justice, violence in this world | 5 Comments

The Patriarchy of Not Taking Women’s (Menstrual) Pain Seriously

“Woman is a pain that never goes away.” – Menander

Ramadhan mubarak, everyone!❤ I wish everyone a beautiful month that inspires compassion, love, and gratitude in all of us. I’ll be writing more Ramadhan-related posts this month – or I’ll try anyway, inshaAllah – but this particular topic has been bothering me for some time now and it’s been long over-due – and it keeps coming up in conversations with my women friends – so here it goes.

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Posted in being human, Death to patriarchy, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, let's talk privilege, menstruation, society, why we need feminism | 6 Comments

On Conditional Love in Patriarchies. and death to patriarchy.

I pray no one, especially women, can relate to this. But if you do, … if you do, my heart goes out to you. May you one day soon be blessed with unconditional love because there’s nothing more beautiful, because you’re worthy of unconditional love, because you deserve to be loved according to your idea of love.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy | 3 Comments