MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Girls in stylish athletic wear walk the runway as the sounds of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry blare from speakers. The crowd claps and cheers as the young models strike poses with basketballs, lacrosse sticks and boxing gloves. Finally, the big reveal: the Lady Warriors community traveling basketball team takes the stage in their cardinal red uniforms. This is no ordinary fashion show. The models are East African, primarily Muslim girls living in Minnesota who designed their own culturally sensitive sportswear that lets them move freely without worrying about tripping on a long, flowing dress or having a head scarf come undone at a crucial point. “The girls for years have been telling us, ‘We would like clothing. We would like clothing,’” said Chelsey Thul, a lecturer in kinesiology at the University of Minnesota who helped lead the two-year project. The uniforms’ roots stretch back further, to the day in 2008 when then-college student Fatimah Hussein founded a girls-only sports program that now includes the Lady Warriors and began claiming gym time at a community center in the heart of Minneapolis’ Somali neighborhood. The girls quickly learned that traditional dress and basketball don’t mix well, said Thul, who was a volunteer research consultant to the program. The answer, Thul said, was a functional yet modest uniform “so they could do that between-the-legs dribble, make that three-pointer, and not have clothing be a barrier.” She worked with Hussein, girls from her sports league, the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the university, coaches and community members on the project. Sertac Sehlikoglu, a social anthropologist working on leisure, sports and the Muslim communities at the University of Cambridge, noted that Iran has been developing culturally appropriate female sportswear for years. She agreed with the Minnesota project’s organizers that the girls’ designs could catch on in other cities with large Muslim populations. The U.S. “has been an important actor in triggering global trends, if not leading them, and thus I believe that would have a positive impact,” Sehlikoglu said in an email. Starting in 2013, the girls attended female sporting events to see how uniforms worked. University designers helped the girls get their ideas on paper. The project culminated in the fashion show this June at the university. The girls came up with two designs. One teal-and-black uniform with stripes — good for all sports including swimming — features leggings and a knee-length tunic. Both the everyday active wear and the basketball team’s bright red outfit include a tight black headpiece. Arms, legs, hair and neck are all covered. Style was important, said Amira Ali, 12, who helped with the design. “I want to look good,” she said. ___ Online: Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports: http://www.girlswinmn.com ___ Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffBaenen Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. http://thegrio.com/2015/07/04/uniforms-muslim-girls-basketball/
The debate over whether Muslims should embrace “gay” marriage exposes the widening gap between culture and revelation.
Which flag is more Islamic?
How was that even a question?
Islam vs. “Muslims”
We’ve all heard- or made- the common excuse that there’s a difference between Islam and Muslims. Islam is the revealed way of life exemplified and legislated by Allah, His Messenger Muhammad (sA’a&s) and his companions (the Sahaaba).
Muslims are people who may or may not fall short in deed, but also, more importantly, in thought. Everyone’s ready to denounce murder and suicide as unIslamic- “Those people are not Muslims”- but those aren’t the only things people claiming to be Muslims do- and think- wrong.
Support for same-sex marriage, and same-sex relations in general- in the (supposedly) Muslim community is another example, and there are in fact many examples.
Let’s discuss it. Let’s also discuss the Islamic take on marriage, which obviously includes polygyny (multiple wives, polygamy actually means multiple spouses, which technically includes multiple husbands or wives).
The question, then, is “Can people oppose an Islamic practice and support a forbidden one, and still be Muslims?”
Why Do More “Muslims” Support Same-Sex Marriage than Polygyny?
Muslim (not Islamic) discussion on polygyny:
- “The Qur-an says you have to be just to all your wives, but you can never be just, so you can only have one wife, even though the Qur-an says you can have more than one wife.” (So Allah allowed and forbid something?)
- “Yes, the Sahaaba married more than one wife, but you are not like them.” (Is that a requirement?)
- “Ma sha Allah, be happy with what you have.” (Then why go to college or work?)
- “This is considered sinful in my culture.” (Is your culture a source of Shari’a?)
- “You brothers are too focused on sex.” (Polygyny isn’t about sex.)
- “If a man has two wives, he’s cheating on both of them. (Rasuulu-llaah was cheating on his wives? A’oothu bi-llaah!)
Muslim (not Islamic) discussion on same-sex marriage:
- “We have to be tolerant.” (What else should we tolerate? Thieves? Cheating spouses?)
- “How can we ask for rights for Palestinians if we don’t give rights to LBGTQI?” (Do LBGTQIs protest for others’ rights as a core tenet of their agenda?)
- “Islam means peace.” (Actually, it doesn’t. Check your Arabic.)
- “Islam is perfectly compatible with Western values.” (Which ones? Genocide? Capitalism?)
- “You can’t help who you love.” (Even if that includes more than one woman?)
- “The Qur-an didn’t specifically anal sex as a sin.” (The Hadiths do.)
- “It’s not our business.”
- “Islam teaches love.” (It teaches men and women to love each other.)
The Myth of the Cultural Muslim
What is Islam? Who is a Muslim?
Islam, according to the ‘Hadith of Jibreel’ is:
- The testimony that there is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger
- Charity from one’s wealth
- Fasting in Ramadan
- Hajj if one is able.
A Muslim is a person who makes said testimony, prays, gives, fasts and journeys accordingly, no more, no less. The label ‘Muslim’ is a descriptor, of a person who meets these conditions.
It’s not a descriptor of a culture, of a background, or a language group. It doesn’t matter who your grandparents (said they) were. It doesn’t matter if you’re from a country where the majority of the people claim to be Muslims. The only thing that matters is whether you meet the conditions. That alone qualifies you for the label.
In other words, Islam makes the Muslim, the Muslim does not make Islam.
We’ve got it all in reverse. We think that “I’m a Muslm, so whatever I say or do is Islam. It has to be, because I’m a Muslim.” This argument is not only backwards but circular.
Everything can be Islam. We are the ones who say “kun, fa ya kun, Be! and it becomes”. I say that this is Islam, and it is.
A’uuthu bi-llaah, this is shirk (polytheism, the other deity being ourselves in this case.
“And He (Allah) shares not his legislation with anyone” (Qur-an, Sura al-Kahf (18):26)
This is the position we put ourselves in when we oppose what Allah’s legislation, forbidding what He allows, and allowing what He forbids.
If you actually believe that anal sex, transvestism/gender reassignment/sex change and same-sex relationships are acceptable, read and respond to this.
Is this Islam?
- In the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia, males regularly hold hands, cuddle and fondle each other openly, especially at nighttime. The same behavior is rightly forbidden between males and females.
- In Pakistan, transvestites/cross-dressers brazenly demand charity and crash weddings.
- In Bahrain, men pay men, who are imported for this purpose, body-to-body oil massages legally, and obviously for sexual acts as well.
- In the Arabian Peninsula, children regularly perform sex acts on the campuses of segregated schools, with teachers often joining in as well.
- In Iran, 60% of rape victims are male, and an estimated 1/3 of males have sex with other males.
- In Afghanistan, effeminate dancing boys are a feature of male-only gatherings, and have been for centuries, a practice also common in the Ottoman
- In general, it is easier to find a partner of the same sex than a spouse, due to high dowry prices, and caste, skin color, tribal and class considerations.
- The homo-erotic (and, at times, alcoholic) poetry of Persian poets is celebrated and commemorated, even as vulgar hip-hop and rock music lyrics are rightly condemned.
Is this Islam?
A cultural Muslim is not a Muslim. He or she is a member of his or her culture. In fact, Islam exists because of culture- it’s there to solve it. Here is what “Muslim” culture really is:
- White Supremacy– “White”- more properly pale- skin is better. People who wear it are superior. We bleach our skin, make movie stars out of people who look nothing like the general population, and seek pale-skinned mates. We mock and hate dark-skinned people. Western culture and everything about it is superior. We pride ourselves on how well we can conform. When “white” people said beards were backward, we said beards were never part of Islam. When “white” hipsters made beards popular, we said beards were always part of Islam. We’re ashamed to say we’re Muslim until “white” people re-discover our contributions to their ‘civilization’. Let’s face it, half the reason we support gay marriage is because “white” people told us it is good.
- Homosexual tendencies– Homosexuality, pederasty, transvestism and hermaphrodism were mainstays of Persian, South Asian, Turkic and Southeast Asian cultures, and remained so after Islam arrived. The reasons many Muslims can connect with and relate to homosexuality now, is because they never really stopped. The only thing different about western culture is the invention of the “gay” identity- the lifestyle centered around one’s sexual preferences.
This is all well and good, as long as we don’t pretend that since we are claiming to be Muslims, everything we do is Islam. If you feel no shame, do whatever you wish. Those in the right are always in the minority, those who will say to the (supposed) Muslims who sell alcohol, deal in ribaa (usury, interest), support homosexuality, forbid polygyny, and put race, caste, skin color and wealth before piety and character:
“Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression. These, our people, have taken besides Him deities. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?” (Qur-an, Sura al-Kahf (18): 14-15.
For those in the minority, take heart. This deen (paradigm) came as a stranger, and it will leave as a stranger. So take glad tidings of Allah’s pleasure if you feel like a stranger.
And peace be upon those who follow the guidance…
Dark-skinned women- of all races- are portrayed as ugly, dumb, miserable & as sexual objects.
And what are the implications?
Did you watch the above video? If you didn’t, go back and watch it, it’s important…
Black women are ugly, dumb and only good for sex. White women are beautiful, smart, and suitable mates. The closer you are to either end determines what you are. Those are the rules. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this from Whites, not because I think they are racist, but because historically, groups always find ways to make other groups accept their dominance. But from Blacks?
Take another look. It’s not race-ism. It’s shade-ism. It’s the most widespread form of black-on-black crime.
This is not a Black thing. Oh, no. A lot of people understand. I have lived in Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and have spent significant time in Pakistan and Thailand. I have watched the television broadcast in these countries and also from India. So I can tell you that this commercial is very typical.
Here’s a list of Black celebrities who have (apparently) bleached their skins: Click Here
I remember reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahamsa Yogananda, the very influential guru who brought yoga to the United States. He was from Bengal (modern day Bangladesh, but a part of British India at the time.) In his book, he gloated, even using quotation marks, at the facts that there were Indians (in Kashmir) who were as white as Europeans. Why didn’t he mention, nevermind with excitement, that there were (many more) Indians who were as Black as Africans?
Many Arabs are light-skinned, but some, like many Europeans, have skin that is pinkish, rather than very light brown, light-brown, blue, hazel or green eyes, and straight brown even blond hair rather than wavy or curly black hair. I have an Egyptian friend who said that a light-skinned Egyptian girl can expect to marry a lawyer or doctor even if she’s only finished high school.
I had another Egyptian friend who used to tell me- with a smile on his face- that there were Egyptians (of either Turkish or Greek origin) who looked just like Europeans. I’m proud to remember that he was just as glad to say that there were very dark-skinned people, too.
Another guy, a Jordanian colleague, bragged about how his children were born with white skin and golden hair, to the extent that Americans thought they were White. I’m rooting (no pun intended, Aussies & Brits) for my next child to be very dark. And I will brag about him or her with just as much genuine enthusiasm.
Brazilians swear they aren’t racist, but they had to pass laws, recently, establishing a quota of dark-skinned characters on television.
Therein lies the racism. White is considered pure, or normal. Anything other than white is considered impure and abnormal. Everybody was so happy when Obama won, because he became America’s first Black president. Everybody who calls Obama Black is racist. His mother was White. So there is just as much reason to call him America’s 43rd White president, but nobody does. Why? Think of 2 glasses of water. You leave one alone, but you put a drop, just one drop, of poison in the water. What do you call the first one? Water. What do you call the second one? Poison. It is only 1/1000 poison, but you identify it by that. You identify it by the polluting substance. That is why Obama has to be called Black instead of White. That is why people whose families have been in France for generations are called “a Frenchman of Tunisian descent”, or “a Frenchwoman of Senegalese descent”.
Now, here is a slideshow proving dark-skinned women are beautiful, but before you watch it, realize that that’s not the point. This whole blog’s missing the point: Women do not have to be beautiful. They can choose to be whomever or whatver they like. They are here to make the best of themselves, not as decorations.
We- men and women- too often look at the female world as a carousel, a gallery, where each passing woman is critiqued, measured and valued, based on her looks.
The true beauty of women- and men- is form the inside: their character and their actions.
Until now, the discussion has been about “shade-ism”, intra-racial racism and discrimination against dark-skinned women in the media. But let’s not forget that there is racism, too. The following examples will make an undeniable case for a “soft” genocide of non-whites, perpetuation of self-hatred and promotion of miscegenation (breeding blackness out) in the media. It will focus on American media, and you will be shocked. Let’s do a few case studies.
Jennifer Lopez, Puerto Rican-American Actress, Businesswoman, Dancer & Recording Artist
Anaconda (1997)– Movie director with white boyfriend
The Cell (2000)- Hint of romance with white man who saves her during an experiment
The Wedding Planner (2001)- White love interest
Angel Eyes (2001)– Policewoman with abusive father and estranged family who falls in love with White do-gooder
Maid in Manhattan (2002)– Poor hotel maid and single mother who falls in love with wealthy White hotel guest, then life improves
An Unfinished Life (2005)- Widower of White husband, who leaves abusive White boyfriend to stay with White father-in-law. Begins relationship with White policeman in town. Daughter fully European-looking and played by White actress.
Monster-in-Law (2005)- Temporary worker who gets engaged to White surgeon and has problems with White mother-in-law to be
Janet Jackson, African-American Recording Artist & Actress
White singer Justin Timberlake stalks and repeatedly humps her from behind, then after singing lyrics “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song”, tears open her shirt, revealing her breast to the world
Eva Mendes, Cuban-American Actress, Model, Singer & Homeware Designer
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)– Undercover agent with White love interest
Cleaner (2007)- Widower of White husband, who had abortion after being impregnated from adulterous affair with White police officer
The Women (2008)- Perfume salesgirl in relationship with wealthy White financier
Last Night (2010)- Has adulterous relationship with married White colleague
Halle Berry, African-American (Bi-Racial) Actress
Swordfish (2001)– Thrown out of a trailer by White man by getting kicked in the backside; White love interest; displays breasts; lynched by White men and shot, while hanging, by White man
Monster’s Ball (2001)- Mother of morbidly obese son. Cheats on her imprisoned husband with one of his white prison guards (negress has relationship with master while husband is powerless, hmmm…), including extremely graphic sex scene, for which she became the first black woman to win an Oscar for black actress (?!). Of all the outstanding performances Berry and other Black women have put forth, what does this teach us?
2002 Academy Awards Ceremony– Berry presented the Best Actor, who forcibly kissed her on the mouth in front of the world, including her husband
To be fair, these actresses have all played other roles, with love interests and children of different races. But we can’t overlook the prevalence of the following images:
1) White Man’s Whore– a sexual object, a thing of pleasure, unsuitable for a real relationship. This is outright dehumanization. This is from the Darwinian eugenic idea that Black and brown people are sub-human. (“All men are created equal” in the American Constitution clearly didn’t apply to Africans- implying that they weren’t men, for example.) Even now, the implication is that a Black woman is less worthy of dignity, and less capable of it, than a White one. Therefore, you are subconsciously led to believe, she is less human. Ever wondered why you can see naked black women in National Geographic, but a naked white woman is considered pornography, and thus taboo? Another historical precedent for this is American laws and customs before and after slavery barring relationships between Black men and White women, but rape and relationships between White men and Black women were never regulated.
2) White Man’s Burden– In need of salvation from poverty and misery by a White man, no prospects within own community. Again, the implication is that of a sub-human or uncivilized savage who is in need of White civilization. Europeans have long used this to justify their exploitation of non-white peoples: “In exchange for their wealth, dignity and sexual availability, we give them, well, us. Yes, this is a favor, actually…”
This last one is a dramatization of actual projects to decrease non-White populations, and increase White populations. Yes, there have been efforts to “breed (rape) the black or brown out” for centuries. In Australia it was an government policy only last century (read this). Yes in your lifetime. And in this century “population control” programs- from forced or covert sterilization to forced abortions- overwhelmingly “favor” non-whites and/or dark-skinned people (read this). Which population are they trying to control?
Bottom line: I’m not against interracial marriage.
I’m not against White people.
I don’t resent light-skinned people.
Do you know why I do this?
Because my marriage is interracial.
Because my wife is as Aryan as any German.
Because one of my daughters is nearly white, and the other is brown.
Because I have my mother send me dark-skinned dolls from America all the way to Saudi Arabia, and my wife’s friends ask: “Why does she have dolls like that?” I do it exactly because I know they wouldn’t ask that if the doll had yellow hair and blue eyes.
Because the guard in my building was a Black Sudani. The family downstairs used to scare their daughter by saying “If you don’t stop, we’ll bring kaloo uncle, black uncle. You don’t want kaloo uncle to come, do you?” My daughter is friends with that little girl. Either she learns from them that something’s wrong with me, and herself, or they learn from us.
Because I don’t want my children, or any child, of any color, to think twice before picking up a brown crayon.
Because I want my children to feel proud that between their cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents, there’s every shade from pink to ebony, or not to care at all.
I do it because I am proud that my sisters decided to stop burning their scalps and hair to make it something it wasn’t and start appreciating what it is. They stopped trying to look White, not because European is bad, but because African is just as good.
Stop looking to beauty for self-worth. Value the ‘who’, not the ‘what’. Be someone, not something.
If you don’t like the way you look, change it, from within. Your true beauty is inside.
Never hate your self. Never have to hate someone else to love your self.
Look for reasons to love your self, not in the mirror, but in your soul. If you can’t find any, make some.
Sometimes the best way to deal with an issue is to be able to laugh at it. Enjoy this last one (please excuse the title):
Am I More Than a Color?– “Unless…Colorism…is addressed… we cannot, as a people, progress” (Alice Walker)
NappySol– a little bit of Jazz, Hip-Hop & Natural Hair
Black History Month: The Future– “Whoever controls the images, controls your self-esteem, self-respect, and self-development.” (Dr. Leonard Jeffries)
The Feminization of Black Men is Soft Genocide in Action– (Emasculization + Effeminization – Education = Domination)
And among His (Allaah’s) Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. (Qur-aan 30.22)
O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that they are better than them.
Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the they are better than them.
And do not find faults in others,
nor be sarcastic to each other,
nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames- evil is a bad name after faith-
and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust. (Qur-aan 49.11)
O mankind! We created you from a single male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know one another.
Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. (Qur-aan 49.13)
“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.” (Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon, Ahmad, volume 5, page 411)
“Allaah has taken away from you the pride of the Period of Ignorance and its pride in forefathers. (A man is either) a pious believer or a miserable evildoer. You are the sons of Adam and Adam came from dust. Let men give up their pride in their people- for they are just coals from Hell- or they will become more insignificant before Allaah than the dung beetle that rolls up filth with its nose” (Prophet Muhammad in Abuu Daawuud, alAdab, page 111)
Discussions about hijab are almost always political or sexual. But what about its spirituality? After all, it is part of a religion…
Could you please elaborate on the spiritual aspects of hijab for a relatively new Muslimah?
I admit that I myself am woefully ignorant of many of the spiritual aspects of hijab that you mentioned.
From my experience, even in conversations with other Muslims, the issue of hijab is almost always raised within a context of sexuality, not spirituality. My primary reason for wearing it, as many women in the article said, is that “when I wear my headscarf or chador, people relate to me as an individual, not an object; I feel respected.”
There is a lot to talk about regarding the spiritual side of modesty, so I’ll try to keep it brief.
1. Modesty is an expression for one’s love for Allah and seeking his forgiveness.
In the Quran, 3.31, Allah instructs the Prophet to tell us “If you love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins.”
One of the greatest traits of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was his remarkable level of modesty. By following his example, we establish our love for Allah and open ourselves to receiving His love and forgiveness.
2. We draw nearer to Allah through ascending through levels of modesty.
When we talk about modesty, we must understand that there are levels.
A. There is the obligatory level, which is the most beloved to Allah, because all of the other levels build upon that level.
Allah says in a hadith Qudsi: “The most beloved thing to Me that a person can do to draw nearer to me is doing that which I have made obligatory upon him.” (Hadeeth Qudsi 25)
The obligatory level consists of being modest in public by concealing one’s ‘Awra (the legally-defined private areas of the body) and refraining from all forms of sexual deviance.
B. One higher level of modesty consists of being modest in private, in your own household with your family and even with yourself.
The Prophet’s modesty at home was at such a high level that, although they had healthy marital relationships, his wives didn’t look at his private parts. nor did he expose himself in such a way. This is narrated in a hadith of ‘Aisha: “I never looked at the Prophet’s private parts and never saw them.”
C. Then, the levels of modesty continue to strengthen until we become modest with the Jinn and the angels.
This modesty can strengthen so much that, as one scholar said, “the unseen will become like the seen,” such that you become so aware of the angels’ presence that it will be as if you see them plainly.
A person can become so conscious of his modesty with the angels that the angels will become shy of him! This is a level the companion Uthman b. ‘Affan reached.
The Prophet encourages us to observe this level of modesty in a hadith: The Prophet said, “Didn’t I forbid you from nakedness? Didn’t I forbid you from nakedness? There are beings [angels] that never leave you in the day or night, except when you are engaged with your spouse or when you are using the bathroom, so lo, be modest with them, and lo, be honorable with them.”
We are even advised to be modest with the jinn as well, even though we generally don’t see them. This is achieved by creating a spiritual veil between us and them when taking our clothes off by saying, “bismillah aladhi la ilaha illa hu”, as indicated in hadith. The translation of it is: “In the Name of whom there is no god other than Him.”
D. And finally, and most importantly, the highest level is being in a constant station of modesty with Allah at all times, even when we are asleep, and even in our dreams.
This level is affirmed in a hadith, when, one day, the Prophet told the people to cover their ‘Awrah (legally-defined private areas of the body) from everyone except their spouses, they asked, “what if we are alone, o Messenger?” He replied, ‘Allah is more deserving of your modesty than the people.”
3. The more modesty and shyness we have with Allah, the more shyness Allah will have with us.
He will refrain from punishing us because of this. We know this because the Prophet mentioned a man who was shy with Allah, and hence Allah was shy with him. And Allah’s shyness is manifested by saving us from his punishment and answering dua.
4. Hence, modesty and faith are linked.
As believers, we cannot increase our faith without increasing our modesty. If one increases the other increases.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Modesty and faith are linked, if one of them increases the other will increase.”
Similarly, if our modesty decreases our faith will decrease. Hence the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Modesty and faith are linked, once one of them is taken away, the other will follow.”
Modesty is such an important part of Islam that Islam is almost defined by it. Hence, the hadith, “Every religion has a outstanding attribute, and the attribute of Islam is modesty.”
5. In light of this, it must be said that the hijab is only one part of the multi-dimentional state of modesty.
Moreover, hijab is only a partial, yet fundamental, part of the spiritual station of modesty. In a broad sense, modesty encompasses our speech, our eyes, our movements, even our thoughts, as well as our dress. Yet, we must note here that without practicing physical modesty, spiritual modesty can not increase. Hence, outward modesty is vital to one’s spiritual growth.
This is why the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever doesn’t have modesty with Allah in public will not have modesty with Allah in private.”
And regarding the topic of the hijab, it is said that the Prophet said, “A woman that removes her veil outside of her home has removed the veil [of modesty] between her and Allah.”
So the hijab, in all of its components, is a vital part of a woman’s relationship with Allah. It serves as a doorway that leads to many spiritual openings and secrets. In fact, it plays such a profound role in a woman’s relationship with Allah that Allah explicitly mentions that the Virgin Mary’s adorning of the hijab was a prelude for the immediate arrival of Prophet Jesus, peace and blessings be upon them both:
Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
She took up a Hijab (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear God.”
He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.
These are just some of the spiritual aspects of modesty. As with all spiritual stations, they can only truly be realized by experience. Words can’t do justice to these realities.
Wow! thank you so much for this much needed clarification! This is one of the best explanations of hijab that I have received since taking my shahadah. I now seek to increase my understanding of spiritual modesty. Allah knows best!
(Hadeeth references were not provided, but are familiar to the blogger.)
Hijab ain’t holdin’ these sistahs back!
Medni Kadyrova, the wife of the Head of Chechen Republic, has displayed her Islamic fashion collection in Dubai.
“My designs are inspired by natural beauty and grace of Arab women, to whom I dedicate my collection,” Kadyrova said. Veiled Chechen models displayed over 70 full-covering couture dresses on Saturday evening. The show was crowned with a display of wedding dresses. It was the first appearance of the Firdaws label outside Chechnya since its foundation in 2009. Medni Kadyrova said it was “the first step towards the organization of many others in the region,” AFP reports. The label can now only be bought in Grozny; however the fashion house plans to expand to other countries including the UAE. The Lady Chechnya collection is a reflection of the Islamic values and dress code imposed on the Chechen Republic by its leader, 35-year old Ramzan Kadyrov. The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic came to power in 2004 and since then has been actively promoting Islamic values in the region encouraging women to wear veils and men to take multiple wives. Source
Arms and heads covered; tight trousers and skirts above the ankle a no-no. For many, this may not sound like a typical fashion glossy, and Ala – a new Turkish monthly for Muslim women who wear a veil – is not typical, but it is extremely successful.
The first issue of this so-called Vogue of the veiled hit the newsstands last summer, AFP reports. And it seems to have a market – after just a few months, it started selling just as many copies as Turkish Elle.
The mag was launched by two Turkish businessmen, both Muslims. Meaning “the most beautiful of the beautiful”, the name Ala is meant to show that the veil and Islamic traditions are “perfectly compatible with style and femininity,” AFP reports.
“We realized that there was a gap to be filled for conservative Muslim women in Turkey who have a different worldview,” one of the founders, Ibrahim Burak Birer said.
Targeting working Muslim women, Ala offers a much-in-demand mix of Islamic values and high fashion. These ladies respect the Islamic tradition, yet don’t mind sporting a Burberry trench or Chanel purse with 10-centimeter heels.
“Until now, most fashion magazines have offered a lifestyle centered on being sexy, being skinny and eating sushi. But not all women dress like those girls from Sex and the City,” Birer said.
Ala has already drawn around 30,000 subscribers since its launch.
ATLANTA – An Atlanta Muslim woman would be allowed to compete in international weightlifting tournaments while observing the modest dress of her faith as the sport’s world governing body modified its rules to accommodate her Muslim beliefs, the CNN reported on Thursday, June 30.
“Weightlifting is an Olympic Sport open for all athletes to participate without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin in accordance with the principles of the Olympic Charter and values,” Tamas Ajan, IWF president, said in a statement released Wednesday announcing the change.
The change of rules was first prompted by an American Muslim woman, Kulsoom Abdullah, who wanted to participate in the tournaments in the United States, including one coming up in July.
But USA Weightlifting informed her that those events are governed by IWF rules, which at that time precluded her dressing in keeping with her beliefs.
Abdullah, who holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering, is not an Olympic athlete, but enjoys lifting weights.
She can deadlift 245 pounds (111 kg) and get up 105 pounds (47.5 kg) in the snatch, in which the competitor lifts the barbell from the floor to over her head in a single motion.
Abdullah generally wears loose, long pants past the ankles, a long-sleeve, fitted shirt with a loose T-shirt over it, and a hijab covering her hair.
The outfits, officially called “costumes”, worn at competitions must be collarless and must not cover the elbows or knees, according to the IWF’s technical and competition rules.
Under the new modification, Abdullah would be allowed to make her dream come true and compete in American and international weightlifting tournaments.
“This rule modification has been considered in the spirit of fairness, equality and inclusion,” Ajan added.
Abdullah hailed the decision as a great victory, hoping it will increase Muslim women participation in sports.
“I am hopeful for more participation in sports for women,” she said in a statement cited by the Daily Times on Friday, July 1.
Gaining the approval of the IWF, she dreams of extending the new rules to the Olympics.
“I have a positive outlook on getting costume details finalized for Olympics Lifting competitions,” she said.
“Additionally, I hope other sporting organizations will follow example to allow greater inclusion and participation in their respective sport.”
Abdullah cited the recent ruling by FIFA that the Islamic dress of the Iranian women football team broke its rules, which ban the manifestation of religious symbols.
The FIFA ruling dashed dreams of young Iranian women to play in the 2012 London Olympics.
“One example is FIFA’s disqualification of the Iranian women’s team.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which raised Abdullah’s case to the US Olympic Committee (USOC), applauded the IWF’s ruling to modify its policy on competitor apparel to allow modest Islamic attire.
A day after the IWF decision, Abdullah filed to compete in the national weightlifting championships coming in July 15-17 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“We welcome her participation in our most prestigious domestic event,” USA Weightlifting CEO John Duff said, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.