International Men’s Day

PIERS MORGAN’S ADVICE ON INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY: Don’t let hypocritical radical feminists turn men into a bunch of neutered, grovelling, blubbering doormats, ladies – or we’ll ALL live to regret it

I have a confession. I am a man. The worst? I’m actually proud to be a man and I like being masculine

I have a confession to make.

This isn’t easy, and I’ve taken a long time to summons up the strength to do it.

I’m aware that just by admitting to what I’m about to admit, I will subject myself to all manner of global shame and ridicule.

I’ll be taunted, abused, shunned and reviled.

But as Sir Winston Churchill once so rightly said: ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’

OK, here goes…

I am a man.

Yes, on International Men’s Day 2018, I am hereby identifying as the biological sex that I was born to.

This alone is enough to risk making me a social pariah these days, but that’s not even the worst of it.

I’m a man who’s actually proud of being a man, and who also likes being MASCULINE.

Sorry.

I realise this is a horrendous thing to say, and I can only offer my insincere apologies to all the radical feminists now exploding with rage as they read my shocking statement.

If there’s one thing they loathe even more than the M-word, it’s the longer M-word.

But why?

Masculinity simply means ‘having qualities or appearances traditionally associated with men.’

That’s it, nothing more sinister.

Yet thanks to women of radical feminist persuasion who’ve gleefully hijacked the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to serve their own man-hating purpose, masculinity has become the most controversial, detestable word in the English lexicon.

And it’s now impossible to be ‘masculine’ without also being accused of ‘toxic masculinity’.

Radical feminists (here’s Madonna in her shirt touting her ‘radical’ position) have hijacked the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to serve their own man-hating purpose, masculinity has become the most controversial, detestable word in the English lexicon

Even Prince Charming whisking Cinderella off from captive hell to a life of happiness is an evil that must be expunged from society – led by furious Keira Knightley and her ultra-feminist knights in PC armour.

‘Cinderella waits for a rich guy to rescue her,’ she sneered. ‘Don’t. Rescue yourself! Obviously!’

Fine empowering words until you remember that the Prince gallantly saved Cinderella from abuse and slavery and they genuinely loved each other.

Then it doesn’t seem quite so ‘obvious’, does it?

One of the very worst of the many terrible things about radical feminism is the scourge of pathetic male virtue-signallers that urge them on.

As an obvious (or so I thought..) tongue-in-cheek joke this morning, I tweeted: ‘Happy #InternationalMensDay! Stay strong lads, we’re not illegal – yet.’

Most people reacted in the way I would react if someone else had tweeted that – by laughing.

Others weren’t so amused, bombarding me with hateful abuse about my supposed ‘toxic masculinity’.

A man named Box Brown, who has a verified Twitter account and claims to be a New York Times best-selling cartoonist, replied simply: ‘Die.’

How laughably hypocritical; this angry little clown races to attack what he presumably perceives to be my aggressive maleness, yet does so by saying he wants me dead.

Hypocrisy is sadly a prevalent theme with much of modern feminism.

The likes of Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski have both built hugely lucrative careers out of stripping off in the supposed name of ‘feminist empowerment’.

Hypocrisy is sadly a prevalent theme with much of modern feminism. Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski have built lucrative careers out of stripping off for ‘feminist empowerment’

When in fact what they’re really doing is selling nudity and sex.

I have no problem with that – just don’t pretend it benefits any other woman or is anything that Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes would have ever done.

They were too busy risking their lives to win women the right to vote than to have time to writhe naked in spaghetti and ludicrously claim they were doing so to liberate womankind.

When I say this kind of thing, women ask me to cite an example of what I consider real feminist empowerment.

So let me give you one from yesterday when a 17-year old German girl driver named Sophia Flörsch was competing in her first Formula 3 World Cup race at the Macau Grand Prix.

The race featured male and female drivers, and she qualified purely on merit.

On the fourth lap, she struck another driver’s car as she approached a bend at 175mph.

The collision caused Sophia’s car to spin out of control and catapult several hundred yards through the air into a wall.

It’s the most horrifying car crash I have ever seen, and everyone who watches it would presume she must have died.

But Sophia lived, despite fracturing her spine.

And within a few hours, she tweeted: ‘Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery tomorrow morning. Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon.’

No fuss, no playing the victim.

Can you even imagine the scale of self-pitying hell that would be unleashed on the unsuspecting public if any of the Kardashians had a minor 25mph car prang today in which they broke a diamond-encrusted toenail?

Sophia has an incredible talent for driving a car, and incredible courage too. She is a rising star in a male-dominated sport determined to prove she can mix it with the men and I applaud her for it.

THAT is true feminist empowerment – not flipping the bird in topless selfies to millions of impressionable young girls.

While I joke about International Men’s Day, of course I understand and appreciate there is a very serious side to it too.

The stats tell the grim story: 76% of suicides are men, 85% of homeless people are men, 70% of homicide victims are men, men serve 64% longer in prison and are 3.4x more likely to be imprisoned than women when both committed the same crime.

So it’s not all a patriarchal bed of roses being a man.

But I fully accept that women have historically been treated unfairly in terms of equality, and that many women continue to be treated unfairly.

I also fully accept that women have been subjected to far more harassment, sexual abuse and domestic violence than men.

That is where the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have performed a valuable public service in highlighting and exposing genuinely bad, unacceptable and in some cases criminal behaviour.

In fact, I don’t know any of my male friends who wouldn’t agree with that.

However, what I refuse to accept is that all masculinity is therefore now automatically a bad thing or that being a man is suddenly something to be ashamed about.

Nor do I believe that most women actually want the kind of neutered, emasculated, papoose-clad, permanently apologising doormats that radical feminists are trying to make us become.

Let me therefore offer some friendly advice from a man who loves women:

Men like me don’t want to hear that universities (and one in Wales, UK actually did this,.) have banned the word ‘mankind’ because it’s offensive to women, not least because ‘women’ itself contains the word ‘men’.

We don’t want to be told we can’t appreciate a female star’s beauty because it’s offensive to feminists, then see feminists like Ellen de Generes openly objectifying famous men’s bodies at awards shows – to no complaint.

We don’t want to be informed that James Bond has to stop hitting on women because it’s now deemed politically incorrect, especially as none of the women he ever hits on seem to be anything but ecstatically thrilled about it.

We don’t want to be disapprovingly frowned at for opening doors for women or standing up for them on trains or when they walk into a room, or paying the bill for dinner if we want to. Chivalry is a good, not oppressive thing.

We want to pride ourselves on being a protective modern day hunter and provider, in whatever capacity that manifests itself to the benefit of a woman or family – without promptly being labelled a ‘dinosaur’ or ‘caveman’.

We’d like to preserve the right not to be seen blubbing in public every five minutes just to prove we’re in touch with our emotional side.

In short, we’d just like to still enjoy being men if that’s OK?

Just as we’d like women to enjoy being women.. and yes, for gender-fluids to enjoy being men AND women if that makes them happy.

The best conversation I’ve had about all this was with the singer Annie Lennox who said it was ‘important to bring men with you’ on the feminist journey.

‘But,’ she cautioned, ‘the debate has to be less hostile to men for that to happen.’

Exactly.

You probably didn’t know that today is International Men’s Day. After all, it doesn’t receive much publicity, despite having been celebrated on this day since 1991. International Women’s Day is a different matter. That you will have heard of, and may well have taken part in. We all agree that we need to celebrate and promote women.

But, by the same token, we need to celebrate men. Even just a little. And, today is the best time to question our reluctance. I invite you, for example, to ask yourself the last time you read an article praising men. No, not an article praising one man (like an explorer, carer, sportsman or teacher), nor an article about a group of men, such as a team of rescuers or medics.

I’m talking about men as a whole. Cast your mind back. You can’t remember, can you? Indeed, have you ever read such an article?

And yet you’ll be familiar with articles praising women. According to recent media reports, women are better than men at working under pressure, taking financial responsibility, teaching, managing people, caring, driving, showing stamina, raising money, being surgeons, being doctors and being engineers. And those are just the ones I found through a quick Internet search.

In summary, women are better at lots of things. But men, it appears, are better at, well, nothing. No wonder there’s a crisis of masculinity.

Some might say that there darn well should be a crisis of masculinity, given the horrendous revelations of sexual harassment and assault over the last year. Why should we give men any credit at all, given what we’ve learned?

It’s an understandable view. Sexual harassment is horrible and unforgiveable. If anyone harassed or assaulted a woman or girl in my family, the red mist would descend more quickly than you could say ‘metoo’. But how many men are guilty? One in five? One in ten? A small minority, certainly. Yet, we seem to be blaming men in general.

According to the narrative, men can only be the baddies. Last month there was even a debate about whether hate crimes against men should be recognised. Just think about that: we accept because it is obviously right to do so, that misogyny is disgusting. Yet we are ready to pontificate about whether hate crimes against men are even worthy of our attention.

And while we are right, of course, to strive for equality between men and women at the top, where men still dominate, we should also cast an eye lower down, where there are twice as many homeless men as women, ten times more male than female prisoners, and three times more men than women who commit suicide. Oh, and a million children are growing up without their fathers.

In her speech in Downing Street upon becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May said her priority would be to help the disadvantaged, pointing out that “If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university”. Two years on, nothing has changed.

Yet, we still think the male gender is always the nasty gender.

Consider the men you know – family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.  Most of them, like most women, have great qualities. Up and down the Britain, millions of them care for their families, are loyal to their friends, work hard and behave as decent citizens. They are not an abusive, privileged elite. They are good people with noteworthy qualities.

So, let’s recognise them. Today’s their day.

10 Ways to be the Ideal Muslim Husband

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

images (3)Zainab bint Younus, Canada

MARITAL ADVICE LISTS are common to find in Muslim literature and lectures, yet the information is almost always targeted towards women. However, we all know that it takes two to tango – and so here is a list aimed at Muslim husbands in the hopes that they, too, will benefit and be able to improve their relationships.

1. Have taqwa and isân

Know that you are responsible for your end of the marriage, regardless of how the other party treats you. Fulfill your wife’s rights without demanding yours first, and know that you seek Allah’s Pleasure over anyone else’s. Do your job with excellence, and don’t make it conditional. Isân is not merely to worship in the ritual sense, but to conduct oneself in general with an awareness that Allah is Al-Raqîb (the Ever-Watchful), and to fulfill one’s duties in the best of manners.

Then he (Jibrîl) said, “Inform me about isân.” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” (Muslim)

2. Respect her

Remember that Allah describes marriage as a bond of love and mercy – love ebbs and flows, but mercy and respect must always be there, even – especially – in times of conflict. Unfortunately, we tend to present respect as a quality that men need (“men need respect, women need affection”). The truth is, however, that one can love someone without respecting them… and this is very, very dangerous. To have mercy and respect one’s wife is to never assume that she exists merely as an extension of you or to serve your needs. To respect her is to honor her, to defend her from harm and others’ accusations, and to have husn al-ann of her.

In cases of disagreement, this respect translates as not forcing your own opinion upon her when there is Islamically acceptable room for differences of opinion.

It should go without saying, but unfortunately it bears repeating nonetheless – respecting your wife means never, ever, abusing her, physically or otherwise.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”  [Sûrat Al-Rûm, 30:21]

Even in times of conflict, Allah tells us to behave in the most respectful and gracious of manners:

And do not forget graciousness between you.  [Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:237]

Abû Mûsa Al-Ashʿari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I asked the Messenger of Allah: “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”  [1]

3.  Be emotionally intelligent

Empathy, being attuned to the other person’s preferences, learning to understand their personality and responding appropriately without expecting to change them into something they’re not… supporting and respecting each other as both individuals and as a team. The Prophet ﷺ was an emotionally intelligent husband, who knew the differences in his wives’ personalities and interacted with them in a manner best suited to each woman. He comforted Ṣufiyyah when she wept; he had spirited discussions with ʿÂishah (May Allah be pleased with her) and he encouraged Ḥafṣah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) for knowledge.

In a famous narration known as the Hadith of Abu Zarʿ(May Allah be pleased with him) [2]  ʿAishah told the Prophet ﷺ the story of eleven women who sat together and described their husbands’ qualities and behaviours. The eleventh woman, Umm Zarʿ, described Abû Zarʿas a man who was extremely generous to his wife, showering her with gifts; who went out of his way to please her; who never rebuked her or verbally abused her; who made sure that she was comfortable and satisfied. To Umm Zarʿ, there was no greater husband than Abû Zarʿ- and the Prophet ﷺ himself told ʿÂishah, I am to you as Abû Zarʿwas to Umm Zarʿ, except that I will never divorce you.

4.  Be a True Qawwâm

Know that being a qawwâm is a matter of being a good leader – not authoritarian or a dictator, but someone who inspires love and respect, who treats others with dignity and respect… The popular book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great resource for understanding what good leadership is. There are several excellent Islamic resources discussing leadership lessons from the life of the Prophet ﷺ.  [3]  [4]   Strive to embody the Sunnah in your character, not just in how many rakʿahs a day you pray.

ʿÂishah RA described the Prophet thus: “His character was the Quran.” [5] Be the type of husband that a wife describes in such a manner.

Remember that as a qawwâm, you are responsible and accountable for the well-being of your household and those under your care.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amîr (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock…”  [6]

5.  Be friends before you become spouses

That might sound odd (or not) – but we often put so much pressure on ourselves to fulfill a role (husband/wife), that we forget to get to know each other as friends first. Every marriage will go through ups and downs, intimately and otherwise… and you’ll be surprised to realize how much having a solid, sincere friendship can pull you through the hard times.

One example of RasûlAllah’s “friendship” with his wives is his relationship with Sawdah bint Zamʿah RA. She was the first woman whom he married after the death of Khadijah, and although she was considered to be elderly and not as beautiful as the other women whom he would later marry, their relationship was one of camaraderie, confidence, and laughter.  [7]

6.  Don’t be embarrassed or ignorant of female biology

Learn about it – from menstruation to female sexuality to pregnancy and everything else. You need to know this stuff – it will impact your life significantly, intimately and otherwise. Don’t laugh it off or act as though it’s not worth your time and attention. Women’s health is sorely misunderstood, and having a disinterested (or worse, disgusted) husband can make things even more difficult for women.

The Prophet ﷺ did not shy away from these matters, either as a husband or as a Messenger of Allah. Instead, he constantly enjoined men to be aware of and sensitive to their wives’ needs – just as he was with his wives.

Narrated Umm Salamah RA:

While I was laying with the Prophet ﷺ under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “nifâs” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.   [8]

7.  Be responsible

Being “a good Muslim husband” doesn’t just mean fulfilling the basic rights as a husband and leaving it at that. Being a good Muslim husband means that you are on the ball as a responsible adult – whether it’s paying the bills, taking out the trash, cleaning a mess in the house, or being an engaged father (not ‘babysitting’). Doing these things is not a “kindness to the wife,” or “helping out at home.” It’s not “extra credit” and deserving of lavish praise. It is part and parcel of being a grown man responsible for his surroundings, his family, and himself. Do these things out of mindfulness that Allah will never waste your efforts for His Sake.

Narrated Al-Aswad RA:

I asked ʿÂishah what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Bukhâri)

ʿÂishah RA reported:

I was asked, “What did the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, do in his house?” I said, “The Prophet was a man among men. He would remove fleas from his clothes, milk his sheep, and serve himself.” (Musnad Ahmad 25662)

8.  Don’t pursue your nawâfil at the expense of your wife’s farâi

One issue that many men fall into is that in their zeal to engage more in ʿibâda, they end up burdening their wives even more – to the extent that she is barely able to pray her five alawât with khushûʿ. Both spouses should encourage and facilitate opportunities for each other to strengthen as Muslims, but mothers of young children especially need their husbands to step up so that they can have the necessary time they need to reconnect with Allah and flourish spiritually. (And no, that doesn’t just mean five minutes here and there.)

Ramadan is a time when this becomes more obvious than ever – for example, many men will go to alat Al-arâwî while leaving their wives to deal with the children, in addition to having cooked ifâr beforehand. On a daily basis, though, go out of your way to facilitate your wife’s ʿibâda and spiritual connection.

Narrated Abû Juḥaifah RA:

The Prophet ﷺ made a bond of brotherhood between Salmân Al-Fârisi RA and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA. Salmân RA paid a visit to Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA and found Umm Al-Dardâ’ RA dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, “Your brother Abû Al-Dardâ’ R is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world.”

In the meantime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came and prepared a meal for Salmân RA. Salmân RA requested Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA to eat (with him), but Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA said, “I am fasting.” Salmân RA said, “I am not going to eat unless you eat.”

So, Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA ate (with Salmân). When it was night and (a part of the night had passed), Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salmân RA told him to sleep and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA slept.

After sometime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA again got up but Salmân RA told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salmân RA told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.

Salmân RA told Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA, “Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you.”

Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came to the Prophet ﷺ and narrated the whole story. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Salmân RA has spoken the truth.”   [9]

9.  Learn conflict resolution skills

One big reason that couples end up going to Shuyûkh for counseling is because they simply haven’t learned how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. It’s not even about one specific issue or another; it’s about learning how to deal with whatever issues arise, in the most respectful and appropriate manner possible.  [10]

The Quran and Sunnah urge positive reconciliation between believers, and especially between husbands and wives.

“And live with them honourably. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:19]

“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever with what you do, Acquainted.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:128]

10. Love your wife for who she is

Not because she’s the person who cooks for you or does your laundry. Not because she’s the mother of your child(ren). Not because you’ve settled into routine and you feel comfortable having her around and she knows how to work the coffee maker and where the family’s paperwork is filed. Love her for her. Her personality traits, her talents, her hobbies, the things about her that make her unique.

Notice them, appreciate them, compliment them. Let her know that you don’t just see her as wife or mother, but as an individual on her own. Know that long before she married you, indeed long before she was born to her own parents, she was created as a separate soul – a human being whose primary identity is as a slave of Allah.

And most importantly – let her know that you love her, with all the pride and openness that RasûlAllah ﷺ demonstrated when he was asked, “Who do you love most?” and he responded, simply and beautifully, “ʿÂishah.”   [11]

There are of course numerous other pieces of advice that can be dispensed on the topic – everything from giving gifts to resolving in-law issues to arranging date-nights and so on. However, more important than specific behaviours are the principles behind them – and it these principles which have been highlighted.

In short, Muslim men should strive to match the standards set by RasûlAllah ﷺ when he said:

“The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”   [12]

————————–

[1] http://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/2

[2] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/123

[3] http://muslimmatters.org/2014/10/28/lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-muhammad-saw/ and http://muslimmatters.org/2014/11/04/21-lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-part-2/

[4] https://theislamicworkplace.com/2006/11/15/the-leadership-process-of-muhammad-s-from-hadith/

[5] http://sunnah.com/urn/2203080

[6] http://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/1

[7] http://thesalafifeminist.blogspot.ca/2014/08/his-laughter-her-love.html

[8] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/6/5

[9] http://sahaba.net/salman-farisi-rights/

[10] https://aljumuah.com/cooling-the-fires-of-marriage-part-1-an-approach-to-conflict-resolution/

[11] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/384

[12] Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Mâjah, 1977; classed as saî by al-Albaani in Saî al-Tirmidhi

ZAINAB BINT YOUNUS

Zainab bint Younus is a Canadian Muslimah who has been active in grassroots da’wah and writing about Islam and the Ummah for the last nine years. She was first published in al-Ameen Newspaper (Vancouver, Canada) at the age of 14, became a co-founder, editor, and writer for MuslimMatters.org at 16; and began writing regularly for SISTERS Magazine at the age of 19 until today. She also blogs regularly at The Salafi Feminist

Do Women Need Feminism?

by Zara Huda Faris

http://zarafaris.com/2013/03/27/mdi-transcript-do-women-need-feminism-opening-presentation/

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This is the official MDI Transcript of the opening presentation of Zara Huda Faris’ (Muslim Researcher and Speaker for MDI), which was delivered at the debate with Natalie Bennett (UK Green Party Leader), ‘Do Women Need Feminism’, held on 28 February 2013.
It is claimed that women need feminism because there are women who suffer injustice – but this ignores that nearly all human beings will suffer injustice at some point in their lives at the hands of other men or women – and justice for only one group of society, to the exclusion of another, is like a bird with only one wing – it just does not fly.
Men have a fundamental need for justice just the same as women do – and whilst the very word „feminism‟ discriminates, the word „justice‟ does not. Justice means giving people what they deserve or merit but, as we will see, feminism and justice are not synonymous.
Feminism is a highly ambiguous term, straitjacketing instead of liberating, it is the call for gender privilege masquerading as equality. In essence, feminism denies the human reality, it is unclear, and not a cause for justice.
Feminism is unjust
To begin. Feminists advocate that women have traditionally been dehumanised by a male dominated society, which they call the patriarchy; and that it has always been better to be a man. But this one-sided claim snubs the privileges that women have often enjoyed simply for being women.
The dynamics of society, at the most basic level, show that it has actually always been better to be a woman. Biologically, every woman counts in reproduction and perpetuating life itself – giving each woman an intrinsic worth, regardless of what she does. It only takes one man, however, for many women to have children. Historically, this gave rise to the idea amongst human societies that men are largely disposable, whilst every woman is indispensable.
This is why, instinctively, we prioritise safety and comfort for women rather than men; why women are rescued first in any emergency or disaster, and get the first seats in lifeboats; why men tend to work longer hours, risking life and limb in the more dirty and dangerous jobs like being coal miners, oil drillers, foot soldiers, construction workers, rubbish collectors, and the male relative acting as the unpaid bodyguard in the home. To quote one activist, „women are human beings whilst men are human doings.‟i This privilege is not appreciated by feminists because, as pro-feminist Michael Kimmel once said, „privilege is invisible to those who have it‟.
When it comes to violent crime, the reality is that the more violent the crime, the more likely the victim is to be a man. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered than women in the UK.ii When it comes to domestic violence, the Guardian reported that men are the victims more than 40% of the time – excluding unreported cases – and men are half as likely to tell anyone about it in the first place.iii When it comes to the provision of refuges, there are 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men. As for male rape victims within UK prisons, there‟s a collective state of denial – it‟s just not taken seriously.iv v Men are held to a higher standard of self-defence, so they often suffer in silence, reluctant to be re-victimised by an unsympathetic legal system or disbelieving treatment from professionals.
Yet feminists generally remain egregiously quiet about male suffering as a result of social roles. Whilst feminists seek “liberation” from the “shackles” of the traditional female role, the man is still expected to continue his traditional, disposable role. This one-sided narrative of feminism is not the way forward.
For feminists, “equality” is merely a facade to favour women, often at the expense of others. Like when former Equality Minister, Harriet Harman (a feminist) publicly requested employers to discriminate against white men and hire women instead if both candidates were equally qualified.vi Or when former Equality Minister, Patricia Hewitt, (also a feminist), was found guilty of breaching the Sex Discrimination Act by “overlooking a strong male candidate for a job in favour of a weaker female applicant”.vii
Feminists claim to seek “equality”, and call for a 40% minimum female quota on management boards, but conspicuously do not call for a 40% female quota for soldiers, prison guards, lumberjacks, miners, body guards, or construction workers – why is that? Why not campaign for an end to the „women and children first policy‟ for lifeboat rescue – why not make it first come, first served? Why not have women and men compete side by side at the Olympics – as equals? Of course, the reason feminists will not advocate this is because they are not really after equality, but the means to achieve gender privilege.
Another shocking example is the feminist campaign for closing women‟s prisons. The Fawcett Society, the UK‟s leading feminist campaign for closing the inequality gap between women and men, campaigned that female prisons did not suit women‟s needs.
So, as recommended in a report by Baroness Corstonviii, they should be closed and replaced with what is in effect, women‟s social clubs, where female offenders get to spend time with each other “organising their own shopping, budgets and cooking”, and then go home to their children at the end of each day.
The Corston Report also stated that „Women and men are different. Equal treatment of men and women does not result in equal outcomes‟, going on to claim that “women are governed by hormones and a monthly cycle, which affects their moods and emotions. […] these biological factors have a direct bearing on the way in which women experience stressful events during their lives.”

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If a man were to say that about treating women differently in the workplace, he‟d be called a misogynist. Strangely, feminists are completely happy to say women are „governed by hormones‟ and cite „biological factors‟ when it comes to obtaining privileges for women.
So, for feminists, male criminals are to be punished to the full extent of the law while female criminals should get comfort and help. Why is female suffering and injustice more important than male suffering and injustice? Surely justice does not discriminate. But as we can see, feminism does! Feminists are not asking for equal treatment – but special treatment – gender privilege.
Women do not need gender privilege and therefore they do not need feminism. In reality, they, along with men, need justice – a comprehensive justice for all.
Feminism is unclear
Secondly, women need clear solutions – but feminism is unclear and evasive. Feminism comes in many different factions: conservative, liberal, socialist, post-modern, ecofeminism, and so on – with no shared value system or moral guidance, feminists do not agree on anything but the name – and will happily contradict themselves if need be. For example, feminists have no clear position for the sexual objectification of women – some feminists advocate androgynising the female appearance and others campaign for safer breast implants without adequately challenging why women feel compelled to get them in the first place.
Because feminism cannot deal with complexities, it promotes the idea of individualism instead – that women should be “empowered” through “redefining their own expectations” – and feminists are always on hand to dictate that women should make men the benchmark for these expectations. Instead of freeing women from male expectation, feminists expect free women to be male.
Feminism denies the human reality
Finally, I argue that feminism denies human reality – it straitjackets women, and does not understand or accommodate the natural proclivities of the genders.
Virtually all species, from bees to primates have different gender roles, with different biological abilities across the sexes. Yet feminists insist that any gender difference between humans is invented and there is nothing biological about men or women that should inform their social roles. Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated, however, the role of testosterone in building muscle, in increasing competitiveness, confidence and risk taking – making men better suited to the more hazardous and competitive roles of society. Because of testosterone, men naturally tend to be faster, bigger, possess more stamina and are physically stronger. So teaching a girl that she can naturally compete equally with men in everything is misleading.

One absurd example of this is when feminists, attempting to achieve equal outcomes between the sexes, had the strenuous physical tests for UK firefighters lowered and the standards relaxed in order to accommodate more female firefighters.ix
The standards you can now expect from professionals in burning buildings (and boardrooms – as I mentioned earlier), whether male or female, is now much lower than before because of feminists. It seems feminists are implicitly agreeing with Plato who said that women should be treated equally to men, except that not so much should be expected of them – leading feminists in their absurd quest for „equal outcomes‟ between the sexes, to campaign for mediocrity in the workplace rather than meritocracy.x
Feminists argue that the division of labor in traditional families constrains women’s opportunities and that women are discriminated against in getting jobs and wages, and that there exists a wage gap between the genders. However, these arguments collapse upon further scrutiny, because if employers could get away with paying a woman less for the exact same task that they could pay a man – why would they not just hire women? Furthermore, statistics cited by feminists as evidence of the wage gap, lump full-time hours in with overtime hours (of which women tend to choose to do far less than men)xi. They also average earnings from disparate jobs, like primary school teachers with investment bankers, sales engineers with chemical engineers, HR executives with finance executives. So they do not compare like for like jobs.
Nor are women discouraged from entering higher-paying fields. They outperform men at university,xii but are more likely to choose languages, arts and social sciences (which pay less), whilst men are more likely to choose engineering, technology, math and sciences (which pay more).
The division of labour once children are born, also means mothers tend to intensify their home commitments, and fathers tend to heavily intensify their work commitments. Men seem to make this trade-off more than women – perhaps because men feel more obligated to work than women do. The reality is that the statistics do not reflect discrimination but choices. If there is a „glass ceiling‟, it seems that women are the main architects of it, because they get to trade-off higher paying jobs for more flexible hours to combine work and family life, which means they not only get the benefit of the father‟s wage, but also a better work life balance for herself. Is not  that more important than arbitrarily chasing the highest paying jobs?
Feminists do not want to be thought of as sexual objects, but seem happy to be valued according to their economic worth. Both assessments are materialistic, and neither should dictate the worth of a man or woman.
The wage gap is telling in that feminists cannot deny the impact of motherhood on the woman‟s life choices – that men and women cannot live lives completely autonomous from one another – that men and women actually need each other to make a whole.
So that‟s the wage gap – but if feminists are so keen on equality, what about their silence on the cancer research gap, the education gap, the violent crime gap, the death on the job gap, the suicide gap,xiii the life expectancy gap – all of which discriminate against men?

In idolising the male and trying to create an androgynous sexuality where men and women are virtually identical except for their anatomy, feminists have perpetuated a misogynistic self-loathing for the traditional female role – motherhood, and female tenderness is now viewed as a weakness. The strength of men which can be used to lead wars just as it can be used to be fierce protectors, is often kept in check by the compassion and temperance of women. But when women abandon these qualities, and want the same aggression that they perceive in men, what will be left?
When feminists are insisting on taking over the male role, is it any surprise that men are shirking the responsibilities which they once did with pride, diligence and self-less duty? If feminists want to ‘have-it-all’, they will most likely end up having to ‘do-it-all’, often at the expense of their own wellbeing, and most importantly, at the expense of our children.
Islam
In Islam, men and women and their actions are equal in the eyes of God, God says in the Qur‟an “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; one of you is as the other” (The Holy Qur‟an 3:195).  Islam primarily addresses men and women the same because men and women, by and large, share the same human characteristics – men and women are addressed separately only in relation to the few areas where men and women differ.
The Islamic system is not based on selfish individualism but a God-centred world view promoting mutual reciprocity. In Islam, women do not serve men, nor do men serve women. Rather, we serve God by helping each other and giving to each other based on human needs, with the understanding that humans are not all the same.
Islam guards the female from the moment she enters the world, by rebuking and prohibiting the practice of female infanticide as one of the gravest crimes to be committed. Such a religion can only go on to challenge the ill-treatment of women, and secure her wellbeing, at every stage of her life. Through property rights, marriage contracts, political participation, inheritance laws, and dress code, it advocates complimentarity with men and not competition. Marriage is the bedrock of family life and the fundamental unit of Islamic society, giving us rights and duties to one another. As a wife, she has the right to be provided for, including her own living space, and is guaranteed financial safeguards should her marriage not work out.
Yet Islam does not straitjacket women – it allows women to enter the workplace – but not out of the necessity of the struggle to support herself, but out of choice, to be pursued at her leisure. In Islam, nobody has a right over her earnings. However, Islam mandates that a man‟s earnings must be used to provide for the women of the household irrespective of whether they work or not. Furthermore, as a mother, the woman is given preference for respect from her children over their father. Such is the esteemed role she plays as the heart and soul of the family and, by extension, society.
Islam provides a clear, natural and just solution to ensuring justice for all humans, and has no need for feminism‟s vain attempts to reinvent the wheel that Islam set in motion over 1400 years ago.

In Islam, power is not a virtue – it is a burden and responsibility. Instead of seeking to empower ourselves, we should empower justice. In Islam, women are liberated from the servitude of men, and liberated from the expectations of other women. It is virtue, which all human beings, regardless of gender, career or social role, can equally strive for. In the end, true self-worth and contentment does not come through submission to any aspect of creation but rather, by submission to the Creator Himself and all that He Commands.
Zara Huda Faris- 28 February 2013
i Man Woman & Myth – http://www.manwomanmyth.com
ii Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Crime in England &Wales – 2009/10, p.51
iii The Guardian, 5 September 2010 – More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence
iv The Guardian, 17 March 2010 – Rape is not just a women‟s issue – UK charity Mankind suggests that three in 20 men are victims of sexual violence – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/17/stern-review-male-rape (See also article on prison ombudsman – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/may/02/male-rape-prison-jail-howard-league)
v It was also noted in a Home Office publication in 1999 that some studies of rape-case attrition had deliberately and inexplicably excluded cases of male rape. See: „Policing Male Rape and Sexual Assault‟ by Philip N. S. Rumney, Journal of Criminal Law (2008), Volume 72, Issue 1, February, (JCL 72 (67)).
vi http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7474801.stm
vii http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/female-champion-hewitt-discriminated-against-man-510584.html
viii The Corston Report, March 2007 – http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/corston-report-march-2007.pdf
ix http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375381/Fire-service-strength-fitness-tests-relaxed-allow-women-firefighters.html. The tests were originally designed to identify candidates that could carry a certain weight over a certain distance and do other tasks involving upper body strength. Recently, however, the tests were hugely relaxed in order to accommodate more female firefighters. The ‘ladder lifting’ tests that all new recruits have to go through were made easier, and strenuous ‘beep test’ runs were scrapped. Women can also repeat fitness tests if they fail, without having to go back to the beginning.
x Plato‟s Republic (457a10)
xi Office for National Statistics – 2011 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (SOC 2000) – 23 November 2011
xii http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16530012 – More women than men were studying for degrees in 2010/11 (57%). 66% of degrees awarded to women were either firsts or 2:1. The figure was 61% for men.
xiii There were 4,552 male suicides in 2011 and 1,493 female suicides. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-unitedkingdom/2011/stb-suicide-bulletin.html

 

“And the male is not like the female.” (Surah Imran)

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

QUESTION: Is there a mention of the equality of women in the Qur’an?

ANSWER:

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

This word – equality – which many thinkers in both the east and the west advocate in various fields of life is a word which is based on deviation and a lack of understanding, especially when the speaker attributes this idea of equality to the Qur’an and to Islam.

One of the things that people misunderstand is when they say that “Islam is the religion of equality”. What they should say is that Islam is the religion of justice.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Here we should note that there are some people who speak of equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality implies no differentiation between the two. Because of this unjust call for equality, they started to ask, what is the difference between male and female?’ So they made males and females the same, and then the communists said, ‘What difference is there between ruler and subject? No one has any authority over anyone else, not even fathers and sons; the father has no authority over his son,’ and so on.

But if we say justice, which means giving each one that to which he or she is entitled, this misunderstanding no longer applies, and the word used is correct. Hence it does not say in the Qur’aan that Allaah enjoins equality, rather it says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allah enjoins Al‑‘Adl (i.e. justice)”

[al-Nahl 16:90]

“and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice”

[al-Nisa’ 4:58]

Those who say that Islam is the religion of equality are lying against Islam. Rather Islam is the religion of justice which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different.

No one who knows the religion of Islam would say that it is the religion of equality.  Rather what shows you that this principle is false is the fact that most of what is mentioned in the Qur’aan denies equality, as in the following verses:

‘Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?”

[al-Zumar 39:9]

‘Say: Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light?’

[al-Ra’d 13:16]

‘Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later’

[al-Hadeed 57:10]

‘Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allaah with their wealth and their live’

[al-Nisa’ 4:95]

Not one single letter in the Qur’an enjoins equality, rather it enjoins justice. You will also find that the word justice is acceptable to people, for I feel that if I am better than this man in terms of knowledge, or wealth, or piety, or in doing good, I would not like for him to be equal to me.

Every man knows that he find it unacceptable if we say that the male is equal to the female.”

Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah, 1/180-181

Based on this, Islam does not regard men and women as equal in matters where regarding them as equal would result in injustice to one of them, because equality that is inappropriate is a severe form of injustice.

The Qur’an commands women to wear clothes that are different from those worn by men, because of the differences in the ways each sex is tempted by the other. The temptation posed by men is less than the temptation posed by women, so the clothes that women should wear are different than the clothes that men wear. It makes no sense to tell women to expose the parts of the body that men are allowed to expose, because of the differences in the temptation posed by a woman’s body and a man’s body – as we shall explain.

Secondly:

There are matters in which men and women are treated differently in Islamic sharee’ah, such as:

1 – Qiwaamah (being in charge of the household)

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”

[al-Nisa’ 4:34]

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Allah says ‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women’ meaning that the man is in charge of the woman, i.e., he is the leader and head of the household, the one who disciplines her if she goes astray.

‘because Allah has made one of them to excel the other’ i.e., because men are superior to women and are  better than women. Hence Prophethood was given only to men, as was the position of khaleefah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘No people shall ever prosper who appoint a woman as their ruler.’ This was narrated by al-Bukhaari from the hadeeth of ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakrah from his father. The same applies to the position of qadhi (judge), etc.

‘and because they spend (to support them) from their means’ refers to the mahr and the spending on women’s maintenance that Allah has enjoined upon men in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So a man is inherently better than a woman, and he is superior to her because he spends on her. So it is appropriate that he should be in charge of her, as Allah says, ‘but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them’ [al-Baqarah 2:228].

‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah RA said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas RA: ‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women’ means that men are the leaders of women and they should obey them in areas where Allah has enjoined obedience. Obedience may mean treating his family kindly and protecting his wealth.”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/490)

2 – Testimony or bearing witness. The Qur’an states that the testimony of one man is equivalent to the testimony of two women.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her”

[al-Baqarah 2:282]

Ibn Katheer RH said:

Two women are to take the place of one man because women are lacking in reason, as Muslim narrated in his Saheeh… from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O women, give in charity and seek forgiveness a great deal, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.” A wise woman among them said, “Why is it, O Messenger of Allah, that we are the majority of the people of Hell?” He said, “Because you curse too much, and you are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you.” The woman asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what is wrong with our common sense and our religion?” He said: “Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadhan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion.”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/336)

There may be some women who are wiser than some men, but this is not the usual rule and such women are not in the majority. Sharee’ah is based on what is general and most common.

The fact that women are lacking in reason does not mean that they are crazy, rather their reason is often overtaken by their emotions, and this happens to women more often than it happens to men. No one would deny this except one who is arrogant.

3 – A woman inherits half of what a man inherits.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females”

[al-Nisa’ 4:11]

Al-Qurtubi RH said:

Because Allah knows better than they do what is in their best interests, He made the division of inheritance based on differentiation, because He knows what is in their best interests.

Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 5/164

For example, a man is obliged to spend more than a woman, so it is appropriate that he should have a larger share of inheritance than a woman.

4 – Clothing:

A woman’s ‘awrah includes her entire body. The least that can be said is that she should not uncover anything except her face and hands, and it was said that she should not even uncover that.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Ahzaab 33:59]

The ‘awrah of a man is the area from the navel to the knees.

It was said to ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, “Tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and what you saw of him, and do not tell us about anyone else, even if he was trustworthy.” He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, ‘The area between the navel and the knee is ‘awrah.’”

Narrated by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (6418)

Other examples include the following, which is not a comprehensive list.

There are other differences between the sexes, including the following:

  • A man can marry four women, but a woman can only have one husband.
  • A man has the right to issue a divorce and it is valid if he does so, but a woman does not have the right to issue a divorce.
  • A man may marry a woman from among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), but a Muslim woman may not marry anyone but a Muslim.
  • A man may travel without his wife or any of his mahrams, but a woman may not travel unless she is accompanied by a mahram.
  • Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman’s prayer in her house is more beloved to Allah.
  • A woman may wear silk and gold, but a man must not wear them.

Everything that we have mentioned is based on the difference between men and women, because the male is not like the female. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And the male is not like the female”

[Aal ‘Imran 3:36]

The male is different from the female in many ways, in his strength, in his body, in his toughness and roughness, whereas women are soft and gentle.

And men are different in intellectual terms, for men are known for their strength of understanding and their memory as compared to women. Women are weaker than men in memory and forget more than men do. This is well known, for most of the reputable scholars in the world are men. There are some women who are more intelligent and have better memories than some men, but this does not cancel out the general rule. Most cases are as we have described above.

With regard to emotions, men speak of them when they get angry or when they are happy, but women are affected by the slightest emotional effects, so their tears flow at the slightest emotional provocation.

Jihad is obligatory for men, but jihad in the sense of fighting is not obligatory for women. This is the mercy of Allah towards them, and consideration for their nature.

In conclusion we may say that the rulings for men are not like the rulings for women.

Thirdly:

Islam regards men and women as equally obliged with regard to many acts of worship and interactions with others. For example, women do wudoo’ just as men do, they do ghusl as men do, they pray as men do, and they fast as men do, except when they are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth. Women pay zakaah as men pay zakaah, and they do Hajj as men do, except for a few differences in the rulings. It is permissible and acceptable to buy from a woman, and if a woman gives charity, that is permissible. It is permissible for a woman to set free the slaves that she owns, and there are many other similar cases because women are the twin halves of men, as it says in the hadeeth:

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about a man who finds some wetness (on his clothes) but did not have an erotic dream, and he said, “He should do ghusl.” He was asked about a man who had an erotic dream but did not find any wetness, and he said, “He does not have to do ghusl.” Umm Salamah said, “O Messenger of Allah, if a woman sees that, does she have to do ghusl?” He said, “Yes, for women are the twin halves of men.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 113; Ahmad, 25663.

Conclusion:

Women are like men in some aspects and they differ from them in others. Most of the rulings of Islam apply to men and women equally. In cases where a distinction is made between the sexes, the Muslim regards that as a mercy from Allah and a sign of His knowledge of His creation, but the arrogant kaafir sees it as oppression and injustice, so he stubbornly insists on claiming that men and women are the same. So let him tell us how a man can carry a foetus and breastfeed it?  He stubbornly ignores the weakness of women and how they bleed during their monthly period, and he stubbornly beat his head against the rock of reality. But the Muslim is still at peace with his faith, surrendering to the command of Allaah.

“Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All‑Aware (of everything)”

[al-Mulk 67:14 – interpretation of the meaning]

And Allah knows best.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (Hafdhahullh).