Monday, May 21, 2007

Prejudice

I was over at PM's spot and she had a post about modesty and it came to my attention that I had prejudices. Normally I try to believe that I don't have prejudices, but it became painfully evident that I do. Specifically Muslim on Muslim prejudices. So I will list them and see whether or not any of them are really warranted or not.

My Prejudices.

1. I don't trust Muslims that don't pray.
2. I wouldn't have a wife that doesn't wear hijab because she wants to.
3. I think women who don't wear hijab have a Deen flaw. I can accept them but about as much as I accept Muslims that don't pray.
4. I have a problem with Muslims that allow their downfalls to come out into the open without regard of any consequences.
5. I have issue with Muslims that don't adhere to the outward requirements of Islam, Salaat, fasting, Drinking, eating pork, hijaab.
6. Those people that hoard all the food at Iftar during Ramadan.
7. Salafis that are so strict it conflicts with common sense.
8. People that bend the Deen to justify doing their own thang. I.E Men who cheat on their wives and choose to justify it with plural marriage.
9. People who through gross ignorance debate that they are on the Haqq.
10. Muslims who turn from Islam.
11. Muslims cower to mild external pressure.

I'm sure there are others this is a good start though, but I have to see which ones are valid and which ones are irrational. No I think I'll let some of you comment on them and then I'll try to defend my position. I think that will allow me to come to a more realistic position.

9 comments:

  1. Assalamu Aleikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuhu,

    Brother, do you know mental muslimah? I saw she was on your blogroll. Do you know her personally? Just curious. She is a friend of mine as well.

    BTW, I miss her posts. She is one cool lady, masha'Allah.

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  2. No I don't know her personally. I used to always go by her blog and read her perspective on things. I'm kind of getting back into my blog swing now so I'm catching up. She is cool and funny Masha Allah.

    When it comes to sisters I don't usually know any of them. I know of a lot of sisters but I hardly ever get to meet any sisters, even sisters that live close to me that my wife knows. So my wife will like drop names in conversation and I will be like Oh okay, but have no idea who she is talking about.

    You know Islam is one of those religions where if you get along better with the opposite sex then you are just out of luck, cause I find it easier to form talking relationships with women more so than men. I normally don't talk period unless I'm trying to sound all important, like now I suppose, and with men we never say much anyway unless you have one of those kind of guys that never shuts up, but those kind of guys are usually very annoying.

    I don't fully know what that last blurb was all about but no I don't talk to sisters at all unless it is in a sanitized environment like the web. Which sometimes isn't all that sanitized depending on the topics of conversation.

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  3. I have all the same prejudices......especially accepting muslims who don't wear hijab.....considering I live in Egypt...I am just blown away by those kinds of ppl......

    Funny how on the internet I am much more accepting of them.......

    "I normally don't talk period unless I'm trying to sound all important, like now I suppose, and with men we never say much anyway unless you have one of those kind of guys that never shuts up, but those kind of guys are usually very annoying."

    Yes....VERY ANNOYING! LOL! (shut up already!)

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  4. My only thoughts are with 5, 3, and 11.

    Number 11; just because pressure seems mild to you, doesn't mean it is mild to them. Some folks are horrible at standing up for themselves. And sometimes it is more efficient to just step back, let folks get over it, and continue on with your day and stuff. (Life's short, pick your battles, and keep your eye on the prize.)

    Number 3 is difficult for me to articulate. Basically, I understand the hadith about covering, but the Quran does not say that women should cover their hair, only dress (and behave) modestly. And in today's world (outside muslim countries) wearing hijab does nothing but attract attention. Why can't a woman who wears her hair in a bun (or tied up) with a high necked blouse be considered modestly dressed? And finally, I assume that you have a problem with sisters who wear a scarf with skin tight jeans and shirts?? Seems like that would bother you more than some sisters uncovered hair.

    Number 5; following the outward signs of Islam is fine, but internal is just as (or more) important to me. For instance, bet a certain "public enemy no. 1" hasn't missed a prayer, fasts, hasn't eaten pork or drunk alcohol in years (if ever), and his beard is uncut, but would you characterize him as a good muslim? How bout the brother at the mosque who seems to be publically totally in tune with the dean and is beating on his wife "cause the Quran allows it?" (do I need more examples??) Outward behavior "lip service" is worthless, imho. Sure, following outward requirements is great, but if the internal is corrupt, does it matter? Or are you saying that outward behavior reflects inner "virtues?"

    Otherwise, I kind of snorted when I reread 2 and 3... Won't marry a sister who doesn't wear hijab willingly, but won't trust a sister who chooses not to?... External vs. the internal again; does/can a piece of cloth define someone? Hmmm...

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  5. Hooo!
    Man, was I harsh yesterday. Apologies, and I'm sending myself to the corner.

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  6. Well Rain I can see some of your points. On the cower one since I've been at this training the only thing that I've compromised is praying on time, which is pretty bad and I hate myself for it, but it is a setting that I just don't feel comfortable in. So in essence I would be prejudiced at myself at this point. I suppose in reality you can only be prejudiced at a distance so that you have some form of comfort.

    We all need to strive to be stronger no one emulates weakness on purpose. We all look up to people that are strong in all fields whether it is Islam or sports. I don't think that it is odd, but natural. It only becomes wrong when the weak are persecuted for their weaknesses.

    On the Hijab thing let me ask you are all of the states and steps of prayer in the Quran? No the ruling about the Hijab is the same thing. The prophet explained what Hijab was and that makes it mandatory. The Burka and Shadoor isn't mandatory but a product of custom. The Hijab is. Islam came to cover three realms man to Allah, Man to Man and Man to himself. The outward aspects of Islam fall under the Man to Man category along with honesty, theft, government etc whatever affects the society as a whole. Now you maybe asking what does a piece of cloth have to do with the fabric of society? Well honestly that is something you have to take up with our Creator.

    I'll articulate this more when I get home at my desktop.

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  7. Ok I'm at my laptop now and I can read your response and type at the same time.

    On number 11; what is mild pressure. Now that I'm away from that training environment that I was at I don't have a problem making my prayers. I have other issues that I wish that I would tighten up on and that is just part of striving. There is always another level that we can try to attain. When you come into the contact of people of knowledge and you see how they conduct themselves and then when you look at yourself you can see that yes I'm supposed to be doing that but... What is the but? The but is that next level of discipline. I would watch Sheik Hamza and Imam Zaid and when they came into instances where women would offer them their hand for that friendly hand shake they would gracefully decline. Now that for some is a very difficult thing to do especially if you are a salesman or a business man. It gets awkward, but the ability to do it is discipline. It is easy to shrug it off to customs, but it is something that we as Muslims aren't supposed to do. So I see where you are coming from there and you have a point. Because when it starts to feel really awkward I shake that hand and I know that I would never shake the hand of a Muslima in Hijab or that I knew was a Muslima. This is one that I'm sure all "regular" Muslims fall short on in one way or another.

    I suppose what I was really thinking of were the ones that shrug every bit of Islamic Identity in gross fear of what could possibly happen. Uncle Toms so to speak. Completely spineless without backbone, but who doesn't dislike that type of person.

    The Hadith. Our Deen does not exist without Hadith and proper interpretation of Hadith does not exist without knowledge of Hadith. The hadith concerning Hijab is pretty clear. The face and hands are all that should show on a woman. How you cover that is up to you ultimately. Even if it is a ski mask as long as the hair is covered technically you are straight. Now what happens when people start to logically deconstruct the Deen you basically get people that roll off the road and keep on going. In the end you will have people doing whatever they want to and will swear up and down that they are Islamically correct. I would have much more respect with someone who states what is right and says I just don't have the strength to follow it than someone who wants to save face and claim that it is not a requirement. If you don't wear Hijab ultimately it is between you and Allah unless you live in a Hijab mandated country and then it really wouldn't be a problem. Here in the West though your entire Deen is relegated to a personal matter. So it will be between you and Allah. If you feel comfortable with that decision then good for you, but if you feel uneasiness in your heart about it pray for strength. Thats the best that I can say about that one. Well actually I can go on and on but I think I've said enough without pounding the horse to small fragments of matter.

    Number 5: Muslims are in Uniform. We are expected to act a certain way and uphold certain standards. Just like a police officer on the street. You don't expect him to light up a fat blunt and arrest the local teens for doing the same? Same with the external effects of Islam. The Quran makes it perfectly clear that we do not know what lies in a persons heart. Yes personal commitment does make a difference, but ultimately you can only judge what you see. A person can play a loving character on tv for years and in real life they are the greatest asshole you have ever seen. Happens all the time, but for all of those people that never meet them in real life they still hold a flawless representation. If the policeman or the respected tv personality were to openly crash that image, who wouldn't be upset? Same with Islam.

    You basically have the outward representation which is the outward things that everyone sees, and the inward representation which only those close to that person sees. The Prophet warned about this in a Hadith where the Sahabah sang the praises of this man and he asked have you done business with him and some other questions to which everyone replied in the negative and basically he said you do not know him.

    I think that everyone is great putting on a facade, I know I am, initially I come off as a great conversationalist, but I'm not, actually I don't like to talk much at all, but that is not something that you would see until you got close to me to experience my inward representation.

    2 and 3 Like I said no I won't marry a sister that doesn't wear Hijab, Why because I want a level of representation, it is a reflection of me, my family my life style, ego, social/religious status you name it everyone does it. I'm more than sure there is a whole class of people that you would refuse to date as reflected by their outward appearances, to include possibly handicapped, mentally disabled, crack heads, wife-beaters etc. Whatever it is that turns you off (hopefully no offense to mentally disabled or handicapped people, honestly) Girls that smoke is another one I can't stand cigarette smoke. So one of the questions I asked my wife do you now or have you ever smoked? NO, Check. I can't stand cigarette smoke or any kind for that matter.

    Won't trust them? Not in any matter concerning Deen. If you went to a financial specialist and he gave you a ton of advice and then exclaimed that he's filing for bankruptcy for the third time in his life how credible is that person going to be? Not very. Since Marriage is half of a persons Deen that persons credibility in the Deen is important. If my wife doesn't cover or pray I'm exposed half of my Deen is compromised. So when I speak of trust this is what I'm talking about. She may be a great person, she may be trustworthy, but in the realm of what really matters can I depend on her? No I don't feel that I can. Does a piece of cloth define someone? No it doesn't but it lends credibility to who they say they are. Pierre Cardin doesn't shop for his clothes at Wal-Mart if he did we would all question his fashion ability. The police don't go around in Big Burger outfits, Muslim women shouldn't go around without Hijab.

    Now if you are asking if she doesn't wear Hijab does that make her less of a woman? The answer is no it doesn't, it doesn't devalue her as a person at all. Does it have anything to do with her personal relationship with Allah? No that relationship is between Him and her, Does it devalue her knowledge, hmm not really, but generally the more knowledge you have the more responsibility you have and the less you slip on the external things concerning Islam.

    There you go a whole $1.80 of my opinion, and no I don't think that you were harsh at all.

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  8. Well, I'd say that was a buck eighty well spent. I don't necessarily disagree with anything you said... Dang, I have a bunch to say but can't seem to string two words together right now. Guess I'll just masticate on your ponderings awhile and see where I end up.

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  9. I accept your points. But my priority does not go to the outwardly signs you mentioned. I would prioritise how they behave in public, whether they are trustworthy, if their family is happy with them.

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