Saturday, 1 May 2010

O Muslim Women of Knowledge!

O Muslim Women of legacy
O Women of knowledge, honour and dignity
The books on the shelves lay
Pleading to their Lord out of disarray
The term ‘liberation’ lies in decay
For you the shelves cry out each day
The world awaits your way
To pick up the heritage lost, forgotten and withered away…
They define Islaam’s Scholars as Misogynist
Yet they have not enjoyed our history nor lived within its midst
So come with me and explore the lists
Hearts throbbing, their presence is truly to be missed…

When will you come forth to brighten the gloom?
Amidst the so-called ‘progressive’ doom,
Where are you O Women who carried knowledge within your hearts?
And did not play with it like darts…
Come again! Rise again! And once again rule the hearts.

O Women of Knowledge
O beautiful lakes from which only good flowed
Your examples are alive and within the dark glow
Causing Muslims to love your way
And search for your example today
Many sought knowledge within your presence, zealous
Within Masjids that truly needed to be spacious…

For you many stood from around the globe in a line
To gain knowledge which you did refine and define
Sahih Al Bukhari, Muslim and others full of light
Are waiting for the female scholars once again to come and hold them tight
Where is the knowledge that made men come
Even if they possessed knowledge of great Height?
Sincerely seeking knowledge for Allah alone,
To whom belongs all might,
- Humbly, meekly and standing in front of their Muslim Sister out of sight…

The Niqaab was your shield
And did not cause you to yield
You spread the Words of the deen
So they flocked from all corners so keen

Your voices you did not decorate and manipulate
Today, scarcely to be found
Are characters so sound
And such sincere knowledge spreading wide and far,
Without tape recorders, internet or even the microphone!
For the pursuit of knowledge you did not travel alone
But with your mahrams or within the paradise of your homes

We ask Allah to forgive us
Since we are truly witnessing times which are tough
The enemies of Islaam are becoming even more rough
Making excuses to target Muslim Women and to have a laugh
Because we have forgotten our legacies
We have fallen into jeopardy
Becoming targets for this kind of monopoly

Let’s seek knowledge and defend our stance
Using knowledge as our lance
So as they watch and dance
The legacies of our female scholars we bring back,
Imitate… and enhance. 



khadijah said...

Asalaam Alaykum sis,
First, thanks for passing by my blog, and adding me:)
and very nice blog !!!!!!!

Xenia said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "O Muslim Women of Knowledge!":

You and women like you are unbelieveable! Please do not call yourself Greek since you can't accept a lifestyle so diametrically opposed to European one and call yourself European.
Thank you so much for spitting in the face of man women who fought for the total freedom and equality we have in Europe today. We can wear whatever we want, we need not portection from cloth since our men aren't animals, we do not have to be married, we do not get stoned for adultery and we are free! Look what became of you! You are a housewife and a baby machine with two kids. I'd rather kill myself than lead your life! And I hope your husband isn't Turkish because if he is your ascestors will turn in their graves. You know how many Greeks got killed and raped during Ottoman Empire and how many children were sent to be soldiers? You disgust me

All Euro converts to Islam should be sent to their husband's countires of roigin together with them and then we'll see how much you like living in countires where domestic violence is legal!


I am going to publish your comment only in aid of exposing the ignorance and misconception that surrounds Islam. I do not know from where you have obtained the limited knowledge you exhibit about anything really so I will answer you as follows:
Islam is a Universal Religion and Its Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was sent as a Mercy to the whole world and not only his nation as other prophets (pbuh) did, eg as Moses (as) and Jesus (as) were sent to the Jews and so on.
So I can be Greek and I can be Muslim. Ethnicity does not come into it unless you are kind of Facist which might explain your behaviour and your writings. If you need to know more about Islam refer to authentic sources and not heresy.
If you are disgusted because I believe in One God Only with No Partners this is your choice.I choose to worship my Creator Alone and in absence of clergy, icons, and any kind of influence of external pressures and comments such as yours.
The story of Turks and Greeks is often used a ammunition against Greek Muslims.
Listen to this :
They Turks were oppressors who happened to be Muslims.
Do not judge a Religion on the behaviour of its followers but read the Holy Scriptures.
You are misinformed about Islam and domestic violence and this is another matter . I will publish an article on this shortly.
Islam allows a pure and honest life within the perimeters of marriage. No Illegal relationships, illegitimate children, abandoned women and children who do not know who their father is.
As with regards to the Islamic Way of dressing, in a scenario of two women one in a mini skimpy dress next to nothing skirt and a well covered woman who has more chances to get rapped???
I am only going to give this answer and I am not going to get involved in debate. So if you post again as anonymous I will not publish.

nidurali said...

Sarira said...

Asalamu aliaum wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo,

Xenia, I liked your post, mashaAllah.

Anonymous, it really is not polite to enter someone’s blog (which is basically someone’s home on the net) and reply in such a manner. Xenia’s post specifically addresses “O, Muslim Women of Knowledge”. Despite not being a Muslim, you chose to read her post. It is only fair then, since she didn’t post this on your blog or ask you to read it, to treat her respectfully and direct your concerns in a mature manner.
Anyways, Xenia’s post is a simple poem that celebrates the great legacy of Muslim women and women in Muslim history.

Unfortunately, you read it as if Xenia ‘spat’ on the men and women who fought for the total equality you have today. She didn’t do that; she only recognized that long long ago, Islam already did that for us - Islam came and it championed women’s rights. 1,400 years ago, Islam came and said that women are not inferior to men- they are their pairs…

The Creator of heavens and earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves ...Qur'an 42:1 1

He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)...(Qur'an 7:189)

And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): 'Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another... (3:195; cf 9:71;33:35-36;66:19-21

You wonder why Xenia, a Greek woman, is ‘promoting Islam’? I’ll tell you why.

1400 years ago+ Islam gave women the right to ask for divorce (if there is reason for it). It gave women the right to own land and property, the right to be business women, the rights to inheritance (in many cases, the women inherits equal to or more than the men, depending on the relation and other factors), the right to choose who they wanted to marry and to refuse suitors.

It also gave women the right… an education!
Did you know that the first degree granting university ever built in the entire world was built by two Muslim sisters in the 9th century (in 859)? Princess Fatima al-Firhi and her sister built the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University in Morocco long before Western women were even given the right to enter a university- in fact, long before the debate in Europe was settled on whether or not women were humans!

Sarira said...

Not only did Islam give women these rights and much more, but Islam also clears Hawaa (or Eve) from being the sole sinner of the first sin (there is no concept of Original Sin in Islam). That is, the Qur’an makes it very clear that both Adam and Hawaa were tempted and that both were forgiven after they repented.

Why is this so amazing? Well, we can understand it more when we compare what ‘the Europeans’ were saying only 500 hundred years ago and less than that. Whereas the Qur’an declared women as partners of men, Europeans were still answering the question ‘what is a woman’. Take a look: (all of this is quoted from the book “Women in European History”, pgs 2-3, by Gisela Bock, which can be found here:

“On the Dignity of Man (De dignitate hominis, 1486), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola spoke of men. God was speaking to Adam alone.
“The Church fathers had made Eve responsible for the Fall, and identified women with sexuality and sin. To Tertullian they were ‘the devil’s gateway’. [In fact], Tertulian and Chyrstomoas had answered the question ‘What is a woman?’ with a long series of vices (‘enemy of friendship, necessary evil, temptation by nature…”
For Thomas Aquinas, woman remained as a ‘deficient’ or ‘misbegotten male’.”
Sin could only be avoided, according to St. Jerome, through chaste living, since a man’s love for a woman, who embodies evil and temptation, could not be reconciled with love of God and threatened the salvation of man. Salvation seeking men had to had to protect themselves from women; salvation-seeking women, from themselves.

In 1595, Disputatio nova contra mulieres qua probatur eas homines non essa, was first published in Germany, anonymously and in Latin. The work …answered the question whether women are human, in the negative. It too appeared in several languages, was reprinted, copied and excerpted into the eighteenth century.

Perhaps the best clue to the state of women’s status at the time is Mary Astell’s quote in 1706:
“If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born as slaves”?

Sarira said...

Now, Anonymous, you talk about having the freedom to wear whatever you want in Europe. Is this really true? Haven’t you heard of the bans on the burqas? Have you heard of the recent case of Najwa, the 16 year old Spanish girl who was expelled from her school for wearing a scarf? Is that freedom of wearing whatever you want? OR is it only ‘freedom of wearing what you want’ when ‘what you wear reveals your skin’? Like it or not (and we know ‘not’ for you), fact of the matter is that there are European converts to Islam and they cannot ‘dress’ as ‘freely’ as you describe.

On the other hand- I dare you to go visit Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Muslim country and then tell me that there isn’t freedom to wear whatever you want. You see women in tank tops, short skirts, etc. and women also covered from head to toe.

You talk about the Ottoman Rule-
If we were to follow your logic, the question is- do you know anything about the colonialist practices of the Europeans?

Ask the Native Americans what they think of the colonists.

Ask the people of Africa what they think of the European colonists.

Ask them what they thought of Belgian, French, etc. rule.

You might say- that was a long time ago. For argument’s sake, let’s not go too far back. Let’s go the 1900’s. Ask the Indonesians how they appreciated the Dutch making them second class citizens in their own country (this started before the 1900’s but continued on…). Ask them how much they enjoyed the “Dutch Ethical Policy” and what it really was. Ask them about the Linggajati Agreement and how the Dutch broke that agreement, took over 2/3rds of Java, and the oil fields of Sumatra. The Dutch didn’t leave on their own, my friend. They only left in 1949 after pressure from the international community.

Ask the Ethiopians what they want to tell Italy. Although Ethiopia defeated Italy’s attempts at colonizing it, it’s important to remember what the Italians did to the Ethiopians in their invasions of the country. Italian soldiers bombed Red Cross ambulances and hospitals, and targeted Ethiopian intellectuals and priests. The atrocities included beheadings, burning down houses, and disembowelling pregnant women. The Blackshirts also targeted educated Ethiopians, especially those who occupied administrative positions, and other religious figures. Let’s not forget the massacre of February, 19–21, 1937. (You don’t believe me?

Ask Thailand why it called itself Thailand. Do you know why? Because they are proud that they never had to bow down to the European colonizers as the other countries did. That’s right. Thailand means “The Land of the Free”.

Unfortunately, much of the world cannot say the same as Thailand. (Ask the Libyans, Algerians, etc.)

I will not dignify you with a response regarding ‘the baby making machine’. That does not deserve a response except where would you be without your ‘mother’- a baby making machine?

Let me know if you have any more questions, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Jaziki Allah khair for the poem.

As for Anonymous:
You seem to be very offended that Xenia is proud to be Muslim and proud of her Muslim heritage. As a Muslim woman, I’d like to share just some of the reasons we are proud. The reality is that many of the principles the world still has yet to adopt, Islam established over 1,400 years ago. More importantly, aren’t these the very same principles European countries are founded on?

*Religious Freedom:
The Quran says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error” (Chapter 2, Ayah 256)

*Equality of the races:
-Allah says “O Mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Chapter 49, Verse 13)
- Prophet Mohammed said “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 a black nor a black has any superiority over a white except by piety and good action.”

*Equality of the sexes:
-Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the their actions. (Qur'an 16:97,
- Prophet Mohammed said “Men and women are siblings”.

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both so follow not [personal inclination], lest you not be judged” (Chapter 4, Verse 135)

*The importance of seeking knowledge: (Scholars agree that this is not limited to religious knowledge)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his path to Paradise made easy by God…” - Riyadh us-Saleheen, 245
He also said: "God, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 422

Anonymous said...

*Animal Rights;
Narated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking on a road, he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." – [Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, #38] & [Muslim Book 26, Chapter 39, # 5577]
The Prophet ordered that camels not be overburdened and he forbade sacrificing animals in front of each other. He also forbade killing animals for sport. Moreover, he was so concerned with animal rights that he warned farmers to trim their nails lest they accidently scratch their cows’ udders while milking them!

*Environmental Rights:
The Prophet said: If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 8:41)
He was also very concerned with water conservation, warning his followers not to waste any water even if they were next to flowing rivers.

*Principles of Engaging in a War:
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, and do not transgress; for Allah loveth not transgressors." (Surah 2, Verse 190).
The Prophet said: Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people,'' and he mentioned priests, nuns and rabbis. And he said, "Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemies."

Now, don’t you think we actually have a lot more in common?

As for your very rude comments about Xenia being a "baby maker". Honestly, your comments show lack of respect for women and human life. I sincerely feel sorry for your mother; is that how you look at her: a baby maker with nothing else to offer?

I thank Allah for Islam which has elavated the status of women and mothers in particular.

In fact, a man once came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God, who among the people is the most worthy of my good company? The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Your mother’. The man said,’ Then who else?’ The Prophet said,’ Your mother’. The man said, ‘Then who else?’ The Prophet said, ‘Your mother’. The man asked, ‘Then who else?’ Only then did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say, Your father. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Furthermore, recognizing how painful labor is, the Prophet revealed that at the very first contraction a woman experiences, all of her sins are erased. Also, the Prophet said that any woman who dies while in labor is considered a martyr.

Islam thinks so highly of mothers that Muslims are told they can never repay their mothers, no matter what good they may do.

It's extremely sad that you can't recognize and celebrate motherhood. On the other hand, I take it from your comments that you don't have children. It's probably for the best.

Xenia said...

Asalam Alaykum sis Sarira and Mariam

Wonderful responses and a fantastic opportunity for all of us to learn. Alhamdulillah that I have a loving family in my brothers and Sisters in Islam.

Jazak Allah Kheir :)