Are you ready?

Writers! Are you ready for the 23rd or do you think we all need an extension? I do that all the time as a teacher so don’t mind it at all 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Are you ready?

  1. Lat says:

    I’ve not even started wrtting yet! 🙂

  2. I call for an extension…pretty please 😀

  3. Becky says:

    Like I said on FB as well, I’ve been having a very very busy past couple of weeks, so I’d be really really grateful for an extension.

  4. Metis says:

    New submission date for the online conference on Islamic Feminism – April 15. Is that OK with the writers?

  5. Sumera says:

    ^Yep, should be ok with me 🙂

  6. Helene says:

    I’ve read that an important part of Islam is male responsibility for his wife’s salvation. I’ve read that the husband, in the afterlife, is responsible for the eternal status of his wife, and must account for her performance during earthly life, as well as his own.

    If anyone hasn’t started their paper yet, and feels that they have insight into this topic, I as a non-Muslim, but someone who is interested in people and religion, would like to read it. How about under the rubric “Gender and God”?

    Many thanks, one and all,

    H

    • Metis says:

      Helene, I love the topic! I think it is one of the greatest misconceptions about Islam that a woman’s salvation is dependent on her behaviour with her husband. Khlaed Abou Fadl deals excellently with such ahadith and attempts to prove them as weak.

      • Serenity says:

        Ohhhh – I see what Helene meant now. I thought she meant like the husband is responsible for her even in the afterlife 😐

        But, yeah, that’s true – many Muslims (and everyone I grew up with) believes that. I once made a comment about obedience to husbands and how sickening and selfish I find it, and my eldest sister, who’s married, told me, “Stop it, for God’s sake! There’s a hadith in which the Prophet said that God told him that if He had so willed, He’d have made woman (literally) bow down to her husband in respect. But He chose not to make that a commandment on women. AND there are a lotta other hadiths that tell us that a woman’s entry into paradise is entirely dependent on whether or not her husband is pleased with her at the time of her death.” And, of course, who can forget that ever-famous one: When a woman refuses to have sex with her husband as per his demand/desire, the wife is cursed all night long by angels, and if she is to die during the night, she is damned to hell eternally and forever and beyond, and none can save her.

        I can’t imagine why any female raised to believe this stuff to be true and divine would STILL get married. 😀 But that’s just me!

    • Serenity says:

      Very interesting, Helene! Can you refer us to the book/article where you read that? I have never heard that before, but it’d be great to look into it.

  7. Serenity says:

    I might be able to participate then! Yayyy!! Almost all other deadlines will have been met by then! 😀 Gracias tantosssssssss!

  8. Helene says:

    I was exposed to the idea that the male is responsible for his wife’s salvation when I first started reading about Islam, and followed the online public lectures given by sister Aminah Assilmi. She is an American revert, who would be about 65 today, tragically killed in an auto accident in 2010. Parts of her story are readily available online, but in short, she began as a Southern Baptist, who, in seeking to convert Muslims to Christianity, became a Muslim herself. She was a public figure throughout her adult life.

    She is outspoken about the rights of women, and states that women should have the right to choose their own husband, should have property rights, and should be treated with Godly respect, same as men.

    I have pasted below an url for a recording of one of her lectures found on Youtube. I do not think this is the recording wherein I viewed and heard her to say, in specific detail, that the man is held accountable, in the afterlife for his wife’s choices and behaviors in this life. She states categorically, and with considerable feeling and conviction, that God gave this role to the man, and that it is the man who in the end makes all earthly decisions, as he is ultimately accountable.

    There is an unmistakable light in her eyes, and she speaks without anger, and with a one pointed passion and compassion, so much so, that no one can listen to her without being affected.

    To me, being human, means being in direct accountability to God. The core belief that a woman is accountable to the man, and the man is accountable to God, is one that I would really like to see addressed, and I wish she were still alive to explain this belief more. (I am specifically interested in the assertion that this is religious canon. The age old, world wide, cultural practices, heard and seen justified a million times , are, well, nothing new.)

    If this url leads you nowhere, please just Google her name, that is how I was found her.

  9. Helene says:

    Thank you Metis for the reference to Khlaed Abou Fadl, which I intend to follow up on. And I am really sorry that in pasting in that url, an entire video got inserted! It looks terrible in such a beautiful screen full of print, but I didn’t know that was going to happen!

    • Metis says:

      No worries, Helene. Thank you for the video link. I didn’t know about Assilmi and I enjoyed listening to her speak. It is in this video that she briefly refers to the idea that men have more responsibility. But she doesn’t explain it which makes me wonder if it was just something she had heard and not really thought about that she thought would sound good.

      I’m a little confused now – were you referring to what Assilmi says that men are responsible for the salvation of women or were you referring to the belief of some that a woman will enter heaven if her husband is pleased with her? I thought you were talking about the latter but after watching this video I’m not sure I understood your question correctly.

      Thanks once again for this great discussion!

  10. Seema Rehan says:

    This is off-topic but I just watched the video Helene linked in her comment and I’m shocked. People who attend such lectures can’t they see the contradiction? This woman is talking about the importance of education in general but claims that Islam teaches that women should be educated. All of Muhammad’s wives were “highly educated” and he paid so much importance to their education that he remained illiterate!

    Islam gives women the right to choose their husband, like Aisha chose Muhammad or like Saffia chose him or like Mariya? When she talks about divorce in Islam does she even consider the difference between the man’s right to verbally proclaim a divorce and the woman’s right (!) to plead for it from a judge? Muhammad as the judge for a woman “granted her a divorce” from her husband whereas men have been divorcing their wives verbally without intervention from anyone for 1400 years. She is talking about an Islamic Utopia that exists in theory not in practice. In practice I was not granted a divorce by the judge for years. I wish my husband had divorced me and let me go in three months! I wanted an “irrevocable” divorce. It is insulting to a woman to be divorced once and then stay in limbo to know whether her honorable husband will divorce her again or will decide to have sex with her and thereby take her back. It is always easy to talk from a pedestal! Live in a Muslim society and then try to preach about true women’s liberation.

    If women and men are garments for each other then why do men have to answer for their wives conduct?

    • Metis says:

      Seema, I have noticed one thing that people say certain things in public that they may not think about in the same way when alone. Religious Utopia, like you call it, is one of those things that people refer to in public and like Helene said, it happens in every religion’s discussion. Assilmi refers to sunnah but in sunnah there are also examples of the Prophet divorcing women in one go. The religious injunctions that we have today have filtered down through centuries of modifications so the Islamic Utopia that she refers to is also a result of that filtration.

      Also let me tell you that all this talk of women in Islam and status of women in Islam and Islam as a true liberator of women is post-19th Century talk. You will not find any early scholar or pre-19th Century Muslim or even the Prophet ever claiming that Islam came to raise the status of women and liberate them from some supposed chains. It is us who are far removed from historical studies who don’t know that women owned property in societies predating Islam but early Muslims and the Prophet knew all this. The Spartan women, the Persian women, Queen of Sheeba and the wives of Pharaohs, as well as common Jewish and Christian women referred to in Proverbs 31 all owned and maintained their property and businesses. I don’t think Islam or the Prophet should be blamed for making those assertions because it is not the religion but the post-19th Century Muslims who have been making those claims.

      Regarding “men and women as garments for each other verse”, I personally hold the opinion that the word ‘libaas’ (garment) in the verse is highly misinterpreted and used out of the context. The context of the verse is the permission to men to have sex with their wives in Ramadan after the fast is broken. Without pause the verse continues to state that:

      “It Is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day’s] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them.” (2:187).

      In the context the word ‘garment’ refers to the legality of having sex with one’s marriage partner. It simply means that it is legal to have sex with your wives during Ramadan after breaking your fast. Women also should not prohibit themselves from having sex with their husbands. It is legal for both men and women.

      Hope I have made some sense.

      • Serenity says:

        QUOTE: “Regarding “men and women as garments for each other verse”, I personally hold the opinion that the word ‘libaas’ (garment) in the verse is highly misinterpreted and used out of the context. The context of the verse is the permission to men to have sex with their wives in Ramadan after the fast is broken. Without pause the verse continues to state that:

        “It Is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day’s] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them.” (2:187).”

        Indeed!
        I heard Scott Kugle say the same thing in a lecture once! People have completely misinterpreted the idea of “garment” here, because, if read in context, as you’ve noted, it doesn’t at all mean what we’re told! It has to do with sex only – nothing to do with the supporters, lovers, friends, etc., etc. of each other who “cover” each other’s shame or this and that.

        • Metis says:

          Oh, Kugle has already said it?! Every time I think I have come up with something novel I find out someone has already said it! That is so disappointing 🙂

          No really, thanks for telling me about Kugel. It makes me comfortable that maybe I was not wrong.

    • Serenity says:

      BRAVO! A thousand times “Like,” Seema!! Thank you for this!

  11. Helene says:

    Seema,
    Your comment is not off topic at all. I can’t tell you how much it would mean to me to hear from women, who experience God in the act of _thinking_, and wish to share their thoughts with others.

    I agree. Many public figures, of all religions, are talking about Utopia. As far as I can tell, they assert that those who follow the edicts, will experience the Utopia they are describing in the afterlife. However, while their vision of Utopia, may be drawn from religions texts, it is in fact formed by what gives us pleasure, satisfaction, and meaningful fulfillment in our daily lives, right?

    I find it interesting that the fundamentalist factions, of all religions, believe that the psychological function of thinking is a betrayal of God. These true believers have developed cultural injunctions which penalize thinking, especially where women are concerned.

    That is my definition of what it means to be a feminist. It has nothing to do with how you dress. It is a person who, among other things, is not afraid to think, believes that God gave her an intellect, and uses it.

  12. Helene says:

    Thank you Metis, that was quite helpful.

    I’d like to respond to your point, about people being one way in public, and another way in private. I found a video, of Sheikh Hamzuh Yusef, speaking to a circle of Saudi women. (I’m posting the url to the blog I found it on, and I just hope it doesn’t insert another video. Also, the blog has some automatic music that can be turned off. )

    I was so impressed by what I saw and heard, that I tracked the other videos of the Sheikh available online. And I discovered that he is extremely chameleonlike. He is a different personality, depending upon the group he is talking to. Talking to women, he said and behaved in ways that women respond well too. And it worked with me. But I didn’t realize that what I saw, was a very, very, small piece of his presentation….

    http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/2011/03/sheikh-hamza-yusuf-video-with-women-in.html

  13. almostclever says:

    Metis I apologize, I think it would be fake of me to post as a Muslim feminist, when I no longer feel that label fits me. Please accept my apologies but I will not be participating.

    • Metis says:

      I understand, almostclever. However, you are still most welcome to post anything on Islamic Feminism from past experience and build-up knowledge on the subject – if you want. No pressure 🙂

  14. […] of the readers of Metis asked all of us if it is an important part of Islam that a man is responsible for his wife’s salvation. She had […]

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