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BLURRED LINES: WOMEN, “CELEBRITY” SHAYKHS, AND SPIRITUAL ABUSE

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 06:15
(salam)

(bism1)


BLURRED LINES: WOMEN, “CELEBRITY” SHAYKHS, AND SPIRITUAL ABUSE


By Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
muslimmatters.org/2015/05/27/blurred-lines-women-celebrit...


“You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly–if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do.” (The Qur'an, 4:135)

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), God bless and grant his peace, said, “Religion is good counsel. We [Sahaba] asked, 'To whom?' He, peace be upon him, replied, 'To Allah and His Book, and His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the masses.'” (Muslim)

“It is said that a man from the Children of Israel acquired much knowledge from books that would fill up eighty vaults. But that knowledge was of no benefit to him. Allah, the Exalted, revealed to the prophet of that time to tell that person, 'Even if you were study more books to further your knowledge that would still be of no benefit to you as you do not act upon three things: (1) do not fall in love with this world for this world is not the permanent abode for the faithful believers (lit. mu'minin), (2) do not befriend Satan for he is not a friend of the faithful believers, and (3) do not trouble any of Allah's creation because such is not the nature of any faithful believer.'” [1]

Disclaimer: The following article represents my views and my views alone. None of what follows should be attributed to the people or organizations with whom I currently work or with whom I have worked in the past. While names and identifying information have been left out, the following accounts are based on verifiable events.


While I welcome comments and questions on this subject, I will not respond to speculation about the identities of the individuals involved in these scenarios. This essay is also not about any particular approach to Islam, school of thought, or minhaj. It is about human behavior.

contd..
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 06:19
بسم الله الرحمن اللرحيم


In the Name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy[2]


People are often curious about my role as a female teacher and speaker in the male-dominated field of “traditional Islam.” [3] “What does a woman scholar-in-residence do?” I am often asked. To the non-Muslim questioner, my role is seen as a bit of a curiosity, especially given the stock, standard media image of the oppressed Muslim woman. To the Muslim questioner, the question goes deeper.

For some women, I am a potential role model for their daughters and a mentor to them. For some men, I represent the rare woman in the circles associated with traditional Islam who is willing to speak in public. I am simultaneously called upon to speak for the women in the audience, while defending the Shar'i (Islamic legal) basis for my presence on stage. Event organizers, typically quite gracious, believe that I contribute to the diverse perspectives they hope to offer to audience members. Often the only woman in a lineup that is otherwise exclusively male, I represent, supposedly, a continuation of the tradition of the scholarly Muslim woman.


At first glance, it may appear as if I am successfully negotiating the gender politics of the American Muslim conference. It is really offstage, however, that the tensions between my public role and private reality collide. While I enjoy learning from and interacting with the teachers, callers, and Shuyukh who attend the conferences, events, and retreats that constitute the American Islamic socio-intellectual scene, I have experienced moments that have given me pause. These are the moments in which the lines between the public world of the “celebrity” Shaykh and his private life become blurred, and the women who inhabit both worlds reach out to me for clarity.

When I first started writing Islamic advice columns, I was completely unprepared for the deluge of questions I would receive from men and women around the world. A laid back former colleague told me the job would not be difficult. “You'll just be the Muslim version of Dear Abby,” he chuckled. Unless Abby has started fielding questions on Shari'ah law, however, I have come to disagree with his assessment.

Over the years, thousands of questions have poured in on every conceivable topic: theology, Qur'anic exegesis, hadith studies, human rights, environmentalism, disability, marriage and family law, sexuality, gender relations, Islamic ritual law, history, politics…the list goes on. I quickly realized that the Muslim (internet) public was consuming and demanding answers at a faster rate than I or any other writer could provide.

Perhaps dissatisfied with the limitations of online Islamic answers and quasi-fatawa, prospective students of knowledge—which included women in large percentages—began signing up for classes with their favorite teachers and scholars. They also flocked to retreats, intensives, and conferences, looking for the personal connection that was missing from online forums.

This combination of electronic delivery of Islamic content and personal interaction with scholars and teachers at onsite venues has led to a revolution in “classical” Islamic learning. [4] Suddenly, students did not have to spend thousands of dollars and experience the culture shock of living overseas. They could access sacred texts from the comfort of their home computers—and, increasingly, their smartphones—and even communicate with the teacher in real time using Skype, chat, and other instant messaging applications.

In an instant, the distance between student and teacher shrank and the boundaries of decorum that circumscribed the public interactions of males and females shifted and relaxed. The blurring of lines sparked by this technological revolution has resulted in the creation of fan pages for 'ulama, “friending” unrelated men and women on Facebook, following favorite teacher profiles on social media, and casually messaging heretofore inaccessible people at all times of day and night.

Continued here
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 08:38
I have to disagree with certain aspects of this article as an American. This is another typical 1-sided American propaganda.

American Sisters don't live in a village in Pakistan where they are unaware of the dynamics of sexuality, rather in America wome play on their femininity to gain advantage. It is mainstream in America for women to use their appeal to get advantage and it is also the case in American Islam. Some of the conversations, emails, queries are innuendos and highly suspect.

You can't tell me that women who are liberated, free and independent can be manipulated like flies by a random Shaykh.

I have no doubts about the powers of Hazrats but girls who are brought up in Pardah all their lives falling for a Shaykh to Reverts and free women in America falling are issues which are worlds apart!

Another "O my God! Pretty Damsel in Distress" vulnerable piece by Muslim Matters.

If she wanted to do this properly then she should have written part 2 first which she is now promising but she knows that it wouldn't have gotten traction and sensationalism.

Dr76 Saheb lives in UAE so he is clearly clueless about American women....In Kaafir world it is common for an American woman to get pregnant just to get her man and it happens very often in Muslim world.

I have seen every side of this from my Non-practising to Salafi to Tableeghi days and in America you can't blame the Hazrats on this issue.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 09:27
Reading the original article.
Could this lady write it in a shorter form?
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Got your point Khan Sahab.
You have addressed the crux of her observations though it might not be very satisfactory to her.
But there is still that nagging point that is left out.
Me too have secondary knowledge about UK and US.
Now who can wipe the floor better than you with those celebrity Shuyukh?
I am most humbly requesting you to take up this task.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 09:54
Muadh_Khan wrote:
from my Non-practising to Salafi to Tableeghi days


Assalamu Alaikum w w.
Please do share your experience during these transitions when you have some time.. JAZAKALLAH
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 09:56
^^^ Not you experience relating to this article but what caused these changes??
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 16:01

Maripat Saheb,

Americans are genuinely nice and courteous people but they suffer from 3 worst diseases:

  1. They are about 30 years behind the rest of the world when It comes to openness and culture. Watch Rick Santorum (2016 Presidential candidate) on youtube calling Obama a “Nig…” in 2012 as he catches his words! The hate is so intense and this word is so commonplace that it just comes out of his mouth in a press conference! Rest of the world cannot imagine something so backwards and hate filled. For the rest of the world feminism died in 1970’s but for American women it is still around (so it is in India)! The manifestation of this is American (Muslims women) falling over themselves for equality, no other place on Earth has women Muadhins and women Imams.
  2. They have a smug superior attitude that their ways and culture is the best and everything else thereby is inferior. The manifestation of this is Asian kids telling their Mothers not to wear Shalwar/Qameez outdoors as they feel inferior about their culture. Take a look at Hamza Yusuf, Yasir Qadhi, Nauman Ali Khan and look at how they dress and talk! In India/Pakistan you have hangovers from British Colonialism; look at Dr Zakir Naik why do you think he wears a suit and a Tie?
  3. The 3rd and most fatal disease is trying to be “American” and this disease is so severe that roughly 25% of Muslim population in America becomes apostate within a generation!

The Americans intensely hate (British Muslims) to the extent that British Muslims are abused in Jummuah Khutbahs (YES) and British Muslims openly despise American Muslims. When Yasmin Mogahed tried to bring her “equal treatment Islam” to UK our Sisters denounced her (not my blog despite thousands of hits! British Sisters went to Facebook and gave her a piece of their minds. The organisation behind her couldn’t penetrate UK despite the best of PR and publicity.

Yasir Qadhi has taken a Journey in the last few years (exactly like Hamza Yusuf) where he has dissociated himself from his teachers and called for “American Islam”; watch his Interviews.

MuslimMatters let no opportunity go by without attacking “Sunnah Islam” in the guise of attacking “Indian” culture and this is one of their tactics. Segregation of sexes is part of Islam and MuslimMatters (and others) are clearly on the path of dismantling it.

This article is then backed by islamicate (which is a Modernist British site) who 2 weeks ago bashed Muslims of UK so David Cameron is passing draconian laws and it’s the fault of British Muslims! Its like blaming Indian Muslims that they were unable to stop Babri Masjid? How stupid is this thining. Notice how 2 Sisters (married to Ulama) publicly come out and defend their husbands and blame the women (but the Author has nothing to offer) for this problem except for Part 2.

We disagree with Hazrat-Worship BUT we want to take our Islam from Ulama & Mashaykh and not from a woman on youtube!

We just say for Hazrats to return to the Tareeqa of our Akabir, MuslimMatters want to dismantle traditional Islam and give us youtube and facebook Islam.  MuslimMatters offers nothing but a meek apologetic Islam which is American at its soul and not Madani and Shaykh Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi (RA) warned against this in “From the Depth of the Heart in America”

We (Muslims) make NO APOLOGY for saying:

  • Women belong to their homes
  • Men should have Beards
  • Women should have Niqab and Proper Hijabs
  • Men/Women should be segregated

MuslimMatters can take their Policies, put them in pipe and smoke it!!!

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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 17:39
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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(salam)

Masha Allah.. that was quite insightful colonel sahab.. i always wondered what Muslimmatters was made up of.. at times they seemed to break the salafi myths.. at times bland posts which did not grossly swerve away from traditional Islam.. may be they have their own cocktail of writers.. wallahu alam..

As far as my understanding of American or British Muslim cultures goes.. then ur right.. its next to nil..

duas..

wa Assalam..




.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 17:57
dr76 wrote:
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Dr Saheb,

There is immense pressure on us (Muslims) to change our tune and to dilute the Sunnah.

Americans have an additional factor that they think everything should be "American" including Islam. You will hear this homegrown Islam mantra again and again and again by Yasir Qadhi and others. They say that Islam in India is also homegrown over centuries.

Problem is that Islam in India and Malaysia is homegrown under Muslim rule and in that historical context. Islam in America will be homegrown under US Congress and under Hollywood context!
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 19:09
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

one of the reasons why Deeni progress in America has lagged behind the growth of Islam in other Western countries is because of this whole idea of "American exceptionalism". somehow Islam practiced in America is supposed to be unique or different to how it should really be practiced according to the laws of Deen.

Like my cousin said:

When in Rome, do as Rasulullah (saw) did...

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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 20:25
Sulaiman84 wrote:
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Absolutely right Hafiz Saheb...I am tired of "We are in America..."

To be honest it stems from pride i.e. we are different (read superior)!
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 28th May 2015 21:07
Two quotes I read recently and they combine perfectly.

Quote:
Pride in one's own country's history is acceptable. Pride in assuming being from that country is an accomplishment is stupid.


Re: Stupidity (quote is in validation of this world, not hereafter)

Quote:
When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for others.
It is the same when you are stupid.


And man do they make it difficult for others
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 29th May 2015 03:26
Our teachers always taught us to talk in a reserved manner with the Ulema.. You can share things with aalimas but with Aalims.. you have to stay reserved and formal. Once someone I know asked a question regarding something and didn't receive reply so said apologies.. This was the habit of the lady.. the shaykh said.. being a female you should remain formal. Not even saying Jazakumullahukhairan..

So, basically the women need to be taught that you talk as less as possible. When this gets instilled then even on a little humorous thing little" lol" or "hahah" said by the Hadhrat would make the lady angry.
Teach your girls no talking with any stranger in informal manner. period.

(Muaaf the edit pls)
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 29th May 2015 15:42
I remember being part of MuslimMatter creative team as a writer in it's initial baby stage. Alhamdulillah, dropped out after a few weeks of inactivity.
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 29th May 2015 16:58
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Wonderful piece Colonel Sahab.
The likes hits themselves tell us how acutely we needed this input.
My impression is that the SF generation is by now mature in the sense that it not only understands
what Deoband explanation Islam is but also reasonably firm on it.
Hence we do not have those long hair splitting discussions of SF, IA or other fora.
I suppose this generation is ready to step into real world as and when she decides.
In this regard both raw factual input like the one you have provided above as well as some well thought out strategy is called for. I suupose MS should develop that.
Let us keep talking and let us prepare for ground action.
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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My impression is that we can politely refuse to bow and also tell people like Yasir Qadhi as well as Hamza Yusuf that Islam is non-negotiable.
Kindly start thinking seriously to use the mike.
take your time but do it.
Sulaiman84 wrote:
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That is what my impression was.
America is so special that even Islam must mold itself to suit America.


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