Opinion Editorials, March 2005, To see today's opinion articles, click here: www.aljazeerah.info

 

 

From rebels to leaders: The Fitna of Women Leading Men in Prayers

By Abid Ullah Jan

Al-Jazeerah, March 19, 2005


 

Today, Dr. Amina Abdul Wadud is going to lead some Muslims in Jumma prayers. The <> rebels of literature have, thus, successfully transformed into leaders of the reality.

According to a 5th century greet playwright, Euripide: "Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves." We were pointing out to the leaves and roots of the tree which is bearing fruit of Amina Wadud’s fitna (mischief), but no one cared because many of us couldn’t think the “progressive” Muslims would cross limits to this extent.

What we are witnessing today is the fruit of the tree that we have been ignoring at our peril for a long time. Now we need to find out the sources, the leaves and the roots, of other such trees that are providing nourishment to other fruits of fitna for the near future.

We need not judge Amina Wadud only by what she is doing this Friday. We need to judge her by the pending issues on the agenda of her sponsors and supporters. To us, they have crossed all limits. To them, they have just taken the first step towards transforming Islam into a “progressive” and “moderate” form according to the wishes of the enemies of Islam.

Islamic perspective
Although there is enough information available to show how Amina Wadud has crossed all limits from the Islamic perspective, it is necessary to give a quick summary before discussing the real actors, their motives and the burgeoning fitna that we have to face in the near future.

Embracing Islam means Muslims have to submit themselves to the Will of Allah, obey the Qur’an and follow the Sunnah. In this perspective, there is absolutely nothing in the Qur’an or the life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) which can change the invalidity and impermissibility of women leading men in prayers, regardless of the wisdom behind it.

Those who are jumping on the bandwagon of this innovation have utterly failed so far to come up with a single – repeat single – reference from the life of Prophet Mohammed or his companions and successive generation where a woman has led men in obligatory prayers.

Wadud’s camp cites in online statements Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) permission to a woman called Um Warraq to lead her family in prayers. However, what they fail to mention is that she led the people of her house in a prayer at one occasion only, where an old man is said to have made a call (azan) for prayers. There is still disagreement if he also followed her in prayers. Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa consider this an exception, which cannot become a rule.

Even if proved correct, Umm Warraqa’s case has to do with inside-home prayers involving women or family male members in the extreme, but has nothing to do with Friday and other obligatory prayers in public.

There is an authentic saying of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) whereby he clearly instructs: “establish prayers the way you have seen me.” And it is abundantly clear that throughout his life time neither did he, nor his companions pray behind a woman in private or public.

Even after the life of Prophet Mohammed PBUH, all the seven jurists of Madina, the four schools of thought and all the successive generations followed the same rule. According to a saying of Prophet Mohammed PBUH, reported by Imam Muslim: “the best rows for men are the first and the worst are the last. The best rows for women are the last and the worst the first.” So when the first row is the worst for a woman, imagine her standing before and leading all rows in prayers.

Attending the Friday prayer is not even fard (obligatory) on women in the first place. Throughout Muslim history it has never been heard of a woman leading Friday’s prayer.

The roots of this innovation
Before discussing the real ideas on the minds of the promoter of those Muslims who have accepted to get prostituted in the name of progressive Islam, let us have a look at Amina Wadud who has agreed to be used by these progressive opportunists. Their opportunism led them to act like pimps and use others for their self interest.

Amina Wadud’s record suggests that she was not that naïve either. She was already in negation of the basic tenants of Islam anyway.

According to an analysis by Dr. Kaukab Siddique, Amina Wadud made the following public statements and she has not claimed that she was misreported:

1. She claimed that she can decide which texts of the Qur'an are acceptable within the realm of "civilization" and which are not. For instance, she finds that the cutting off of the hand of a thief is not acceptable for a civilized person like her. For a Muslim, there can only be acceptance of Allah's word. There can't be any rejection. The Qur'an is open to interpretation and the Prophet, PBUH, and his Companions (r.a.) implemented the Qur'an according to the needs of society. However, Dr. Wadud. was not talking of interpretation but of acceptance and rejection.

2. She claimed that "same sex" marriages are okay. However, in Islam there is absolutely no place for "same sex" marriages and homosexuality. We know that America is a free society and people here can indulge in all kinds of sexuality, from group sex to hard porn techniques, [polygamy alone being forbidden] without any serious problem. That does not mean that a follower of Islam should succumb to these pressures and start proving how "progressive" she is by turning HARAM into HALAL.

3. There is no place for racism and nationalism in Islam, although Islam does not stop us from helping our own communities and nations. Dr. W. made a deliberate attempt to divide Arabs from Africans. She took out her hair, showed it to her audience and claimed that her Arab audience did not respect her because she is a "nigger" [her word]. This was a deliberate provocation which Bush and all the enemies of Islam would love.

Now, it is necessary to have a look at the opportunists who, like pimps, are prostituting Muslims in the name of progressive Islam. They are all those who are giving themselves labels of progressive and liberal Muslims in groups such as PMUofNA and MWU.

To please their masters and serve their interest, these groups are neglecting to take into any real consideration the powerful phenomenon of religion as a legitimate and legitimizing force in society. Particularly Islam and the message of the Qur’an is no more than a joke for them as we will see in the examples given below.

They have been tarring Islam as inherently oppressive and treat it with a throw the baby out with the bathwater attitude to the pleasure of people such as Friedman and Pipes who are enjoying the “war within Islam” which they have been so earnestly promoting for a long time. It is time for them to sit back, relax and watch Muslims pitted against each other with one group engaged in setting record by doing what the world has not witnessed from day one of Prophet Mohammed PBUH calling people to Islam, and other groups helpless watching the new fitna consolidating its roots.

The “progressive” Muslims want their audience to believe that millions of Muslim women want to be emancipated and that believing in the totality of the Qur’an is something that makes Muslims “Islamists,” “extremist,” “radical” and ultimately “terrorists.”

The promoters of people like Amina Wadud are those, who in turn have praised Daniel Pipes[1] and raised and/or donated more than a million dollars to the Bush presidential campaign.

Here we need to keep an important factor in mind. Some of these progressives may claim that they have nothing to do with religion. That they have just involved themselves politically. However, they are on the advisory boards of these progressive groups with other individuals who are either seriously working on religious issues, creating rifts among Muslims to the satisfaction of Islamophobes, or who have dedicated themselves to working both at political and religious levels. Amina Wadud is one of the advisory board members of a progressive group, whose members are working on different fronts.

Some of these group members declare that Bush has brought "<>liberation to Iraq, not war." While their colleagues promote people like Amina Wadud and have among them yet others who have campaigned for the enforcement of the ban on hijab (head scarf) in French public schools. Such a ban, others believe, is as reactionary as forcing women to wear it.[2]

These progressives have people like Ziyad Asali among them who, at a UN/NGO conference on September 2002, <>publicly denied the right of return to Palestinian exiles and refugees.

They also have persons like Kamal Nawash, former <> self-proclaimed apostate,[3] among them who promotes on his web site that Shari’ah is against the Qur’an and there is no place for it in the modern world.[4] Nawash promotes <>secularism and secular laws by disseminating view, such as: “Modern laws are based on human rights. Sharia however is based on perceived duties to God. In Sharia there is hardly any distinction between crime and sin. Social obligations are fused and confused with worship of the Creator.”[5]

To understand the agenda of those who promote people like Amina Wadud and to predict the unfolding fitna in the future, one needs to have a visit to <>Sex and the Umma section at Muslimwakeup.com.

Yesterday, they had “rebels in the mosque” in literature. Today, those rebels turned into “leaders” in the mosque in reality. Tomorrow there would be some Amin Murdood, proposing what the “progressive” Muslims are now promoting at the same and similar web sites, beginning with making outright fun of in the Qur’an.

For a summary of the seeds (messages) they are sowing for the future fitna, note the following:
1. Teen pregnancy, out-of-wedlock births is not a moral or religious problem at all.
This could be up for enforcement and practical implementation tomorrow. See how Randa Jarrar opens her story, <>Lost in Freakin' Yonkers, with a pregnant Egyptian teen, sitting in the apartment of her all-the-while-drunk Afro-American boy friend, planning to masturbate when she receives a call for converting her boy friend to Islam. See: <>Lost in Freakin' Yonkers for further details of the attempt at setting up norms for progressive Muslims.

2. Accordingly promoting homosexuality or sex toys is not a religious or moral problem at all.
Amina Wadud’s statement given at the beginning testifies to this line of thought. The progressives pimps attempt to establish that Muslims need to correct their perceptions. In the same story by Randa Jarrer (Lost in Freakin’ Yonkers) another Arab leaves a note to her father saying : “Mona (Munir) said it was the perfect thing to do, that it was what she did when she came out to her father as a gay man and told him she was going to be a full-time transvestite.” Another article by Jack Fertig asks: <>Muslims and Gay Marriage: Is a Loving Commitment Between Two People Such a Bad Thing? See:<>Muslims and Gay Marriage: Is a Loving Commitment Between Two People Such a Bad Thing? for details about attempts at <>promoting homosexuality.

3. The progressive pimps further want to prostitute Muslims into believing that “fundamentalist” and conservative Muslims have made a taboo out of extra-marital sex.

Accordingly, the progressive opportunists have to de-stigmatize extra-marital sex. In a piece, the following dialogue between a Muslim boy and girl in the US show that extra-marital sex has only become a stigma due to the misconceptions about hymen. Muslim girls can avail this pleasure if these misconceptions are removed. “She says, ‘sorry if this is a dumb question, but if you were to, to…’ and she couldn’t even get the words out so I’m like ‘finger you?’ and she goes ‘yeah… would that break the hymen?’” “Wow,” I replied, not knowing how else to react.

“Yeah, bro. I couldn’t believe it. So I told her that most girls lose their hymens years before that’s even an issue. And she had no idea! I was like, shit, you can lose your hymen when you’re eight years old riding a bike. She looked at me like I just blew her mind.” See: <>Yusef and Lynn by Michael Muhammad Knight, as strange name in itself. The theme of his story also revolves around the theme that you can be a Muslim as well able to have whatever kind of name you may like, have boy and girl friends, have extra-marital sex and have any kind of dress regardless of the nudity point of view.

4. According to the progressive opportunists, making a mockery of the sayings of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) should not be a problem at all otherwise we would not be “moderate” Muslims (by the standards of Daniel Pipes) because it will hold us from critical inquiry into “the origins of Islam” and the Qur’an.
Mohja Kahf’s story “Lost Pages from Sahih Al-Bukhari” begins with a Qura’nic verse and goes on to mock it till the end. In the story by Randa Jarrar, “Lost in Freakin’ Yonkers,” the main character curses the Qur’an. A Muslim teenage girl who is about to have an out of wedlock baby from an Afro-American thief and alcoholic man says, this is the book “that provides Guilt big enough to make me want to marry this ape with several mental illnesses he does not plan on curing any time soon.” Which means having sex without marriage is perfectly OK, but if the Qur’an tells her to marry him, he then becomes an “ape.” For further evidence see the opening lines of Mohaja Kahf’s story <>Exquisite Parts:

5. Regarding promotion of making fun even of the style and tone of the Ahadiths book one has to read the beginning of a write up by Mohja Kahf: “<>Lost Pages from Sahih al-Bukhari’s Chapter on Menstruation.

It starts with a Verse from the Qur’an, followed by making a mockery of the same verse throughout the story. It starts as follows:

“They ask thee concerning menses. Say: They are a hurt. So withdraw from women in menses and do not go near to them until they purify. When they purify, go to them as God has commanded you. Verily God loveth the returners and the purifiers. (Quran, al-Baqara 222)

“On the authority of Rizvana Bano, narrated by her niece Tamequa Jackson, that her great-grandmother who was a Companion of the Woman Who Loved Her Period, Bibi Moina the Truthteller (MGEH—may God empower her), said:

“Behold, my period comes. I start feeling soft and melted and sexy a night or two before, and want to be held tenderly and protectively and made love to mightily, and then I want to be covered gently and left to sleep a bonus sleep that is off the clock, no babies crying no kids homework no dishes no phone calls let my partner take care of everything for a few hours. And that is how I know it is coming, and it feels like an old, familiar friend whose face I love. For behold, I love my period. (She said this latter three times.)

“And verily the people said: Here comes bint khaltek, your cousin on your mother’s side, Um Kulsoum, that time of the month, Aunt Flow. On the rag. Ya muftra, ya mum, ya shakhakhet dam. Has the moon been sighted yet? “

Similarly, another story by Mohja Kahf, “Lustrious Companions” also starts with a verse from the Holy Qur’an followed by this crap: “’Do we get dick in heaven?’ my best friend’s Aunt Maryam whispers to me during the ladies’ Quran study halaqa at the Jersey City Mosque. We are doing ‘The Merciful,’ the chapter of the Quran where all the sexy virgin babes are promised to men in paradise. ‘Men get pussy. Do we get dick?’ Maryam says. I snort laughing, but turn it into a coughing fit and cover it with the scalloped edge of my headscarf.”[6]

Just like the roots of today’s fitna of a women leading men in Jumma prayers lie in the adventures of “progressive” and “liberal” Muslims’ and their groundwork in the past,[7] so are many other seeds out there waiting to germinate into full grown trees giving us fruits of the same kind on a regular and permanent basis. The future fitna based on the factors mentioned above would be far deep and sinister. Muslims were supposed to be on guard. If we were not, they need to get serious think how to effectively counter it.

The best way is to speak up and put the right knowledge and teachings of Islam before Muslims to save them from getting prostituted by such pimps.

Besides, it is extremely important to reach out to non-Muslims and present them the real face of Islam and the <>wisdom behind such critical issues because they are being deceived by the benighted opportunists in the garb of “moderates.” Attractive slogans, such as liberalism and moderation and human rights, etc., are their main tools. In the end, the day is not far away for all of us to realize that behind all that glitters, there is no Gold.


References:
[1] http://muslimsforbush.com/
[2] http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/674/op2.htm
[3] Symposium: The Islamic Reformation
[4] Can Sharia (Islamic Law) work in the 21st Century?
[5] Ibid free Muslims
[6] Lustrous Companions
[7] Going Where I Know I Belong: A Rebel in the Mosque        

 

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