.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Note: the Arabic letter ا is equivalent for the English, ‘a’. While reading this article: try not to confuse ‘ا’ for ‘I’!]
One of ا’s passions is that she simply abhors what she refers to as “hostile architecture”.
“Nothing makes me angrier. I can’t think of anything [that makes her angrier].
“‘Hostile architecture’ is: public architecture that is designed to be purposefully and intentionally anti-homeless.
“So: they’re putting divisions in public benches, making bus stop benches extremely uncomfortable, or just taking them away altogether, putting spikes under overpasses, and just, doing a lot of extremely hostile things so that homeless people, who don’t have a home, also don’t have anywhere to sleep, on the street.”
“The way that society is going about it is disgusting.”
- “Homelessness is not a concerted effort of the United States government.
“Because, at the end of the day, the root of homelessness in America is not a matter of… people who don’t wanna work, or people who’ve lost it all. Majority of people who are homeless in the United States are homeless children who were never adopted. Children who age out of the foster care system.
“Once you turn eighteen, or twenty-one in some states, you no longer qualify as a child, which means you’re no longer eligible for government benefits as a ‘foster child’, or as an ‘orphan’. And there are no strong transitional programmes for eighteen-year-olds who never get adopted.
“And, for a lot of people, being eighteen: they’re still in high school. But, how is it one can become ‘independent and established in society’, when… in the middle of their senior year, they’re instantly homeless? With nowhere to go, nobody to turn to. And no resources.”
ا is a wife and a mother; she runs her own (very successful, Maa Shaa Allah ) blog, which is entitled, ‘The Hebrew Housewife’. She also runs a podcast: the ‘Watered Womanhood’ podcast.
On her blog, ا shares “kosher-living insights,” as well as religious tips and Scripture-based posts, and resources that pertain to the art of homemaking.
Honour through Homemaking.
ا maintains and acts according to the belief that a woman brings honour to herself, her husband, her family, and most importantly, her connection with her Creator, by being a ‘keeper at home’.
According to her YouTube channel’s description:
“I adore being a housewife, and I want you to love your role in your home, too!”
“Join me as I uncover the joys of Set Apart Homemaking and the act of worship that is being a present wife.”
A Niqābi who is not Muslim.
ا lives in America, in Texas [Texas is, as my friend Jade had Googled to find: almost three times as large as the whole UK…].
And ا is also… an Israelite Niqābi.
‘Israelite’: meaning, having descended from one of the Children of Isrā’il (whose name is a theophoric one, and which means ‘Prince of God’).
Niqābi: ا observes physical modesty, and also covers her face in public.
From the first upload on her YouTube channel:
“So… Am I Muslim? No! I am not a Muslim. I love Muslims, especially Muslim women. I think they’re really sweet. And I really like the community of Islam, you know…
“Within my past [five] years, of covering, I have looked like a Muslim woman, and that’s everybody’s initial question, is: ‘Are you Muslim?‘
“Before I even started wearing this [the Niqāb]. Just, [I] always, had my hair covered. They would always say, ‘As-Salaamu ‘alaikum’ to me, and, ‘Salaam’. And I would just be like, ‘Shalom’.“
“I’m not Muslim. But I do find Islam intriguing, as it is an Abrahamic faith. Which means that a lot of the content that is in the Qur’an is a mirror image of what’s in the Bible.“
On the topic of Islam, ا continues: “A lot of our views are fundamentally the same. Like, the dietary laws… They’re not exactly the same, but they’re very similar. The lineages and the bloodlines: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets, with the addition of the Prophet Muhammad [(SAW)].”
[When expressed in Arabic, Abraham = Ibraheem (AS). Isaac = Is’Haaq (AS). Jacob = Ya’qub (AS). And so on. ‘(AS)’ stands for the Arabic for, upon him be Peace.
Some random facts: I went to the same primary school as an Ibraheem; I have a second cousin by the same name. My friend Zena’s beloved little cousin is named after this Prophet too.
My cousin Tahmid’s other name is Is’Haaq. My neighbour’s little nephew is named Is’Haaq too.
I have a second cousin called Ya’qub, and my little cousin Siyana has two or three friends at her Islamic nursery named after this particular Prophet of Allah also.]
Adhering to the Most High’s Commands.
ا says, of herself:
“I’m a Hebrew woman of Jacobean descent. I serve the Most Supreme [whom she refers to, sometimes as The Most High, and sometimes as] Yah, El.”
“I follow Torah, I keep the Ten Commandments given by Yah…”
And she worships “the One True God who will ever be Worthy of worship.”
“Allah (SWT) has given us a choice. To serve who we wanna serve.” She talks about how she was “reading the Qur’an the other day,” and how we are told that we can choose. There is to be no compulsion in our religion [Qur’an, (2:256)]. Belief, or unbelief. Good, or evil: we make choices.
“The essence of my faith is that we are Israelites, who […] are the descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel [Ya’qub (AS), Isrā’il], also known as Israel’s twelve sons. Jacob [Ya’qub (AS)], a patriarch in the Bible, his name was changed, to Israel,” which means ‘Prince of God ‘.
[‘Jewish’ people are named thusly because one of Ya’qub (AS)’s sons was called, according to the Bible: Judah, and they are thought to be his descendants.]
In terms of modesty, ا adheres to the belief that women of faith cover ourselves out of respect: for our Lord, for ourselves, and for fellow men. It’s a sign of obedience to Allah and of a connection with Him, our Beloved Rabb, as well as an aid to such things as protection, humility, and the preservation of your (intrinsic, God-gifted) beauty.
ا continues: “And I’m not saying that if you don’t cover, then the connection [with God]’s not there, but with a covering, your humility makes you more aware, and more present in the connection.”
“That’s really all that it took for me, [five] years ago, to begin my journey of modesty.”
Some Women of the Book cover their hair (following such blessed women as Mary, Maryam (AS)); some, like ‘A’iyshah (RA), Muhammad (SAW)’s wife, and like Rebecca from the Bible, cover their faces before non-familiar men too.
As Muslims, we cover before those whom Allah has told us to cover before. And we also cover when we pray.
Being a Wife and Homemaker, and a Writer.
“I’m a wife.“
“It’s my vocation. It’s my life. I love being a homemaker, I love being a wife. It’s something very near and dear to my heart.
“I am a mother, I have one daughter. I hope to have many more [In Shaa Allah !] and…
“I believe God has given me the gift of writing, and I’m gonna continue to pursue it, and try to honour the Most High , with writing, as much as I can.”
ا talks about allowing Allah to guide one’s writing, as well as (our particular) conversation, to where He wants it to go.
She also speaks about how she has tried out different pursuits other than writing: things like art, sports, beauty (cosmetology). But she says that writing feels, to her, like something that Allah (SWT) opened the doors for, for her. It’s not that she hadn’t been good at the other things, but when He Writes what is best for you… these things are good, and we find ourselves magnetically drawn to them, Subhaan Allah …
We had spoken, in our online conversation (with a five-hour time difference) about this… ‘Divine ease’ that comes about when Allah chooses things for us. And where He Guides, we… follow.
Al-FattaH — He Opens doors.
‘Working 9 to 5’.
Women in ‘work’. I mentioned to ا my understanding of the history of women in paid labour. Historically, it seems as though women would be connected to their homes, and would also have their own businesses sometimes, do some paid work, help out with and run some things toward trade. Not to romanticise a past that I have not… been a part of, but: it seems to me as though work, back then, for male and for female, had been with the objective of coming back and benefitting the family (which then naturally comes back and benefits each individual within it).
But are women, now, widely being expected to ‘strap up their boots’ and become ‘career women’? Are we meant to see the family as being less important, and only secondary to our ‘personal’ career-based aims and pursuits? [Do children, for example, only ‘get in the way’ of things, for us?
In reality: we accept children are such huge blessings. The joy of the entire world, contained in adorable, special little humans. Blessings.]
And: are some families, now, in a state of imbalance, and being headed by… two rather masculine parental presences?
[Note: I understand that personal circumstances vary. And, for example, I greatly respect single mothers/fathers who find they have had to step up and assume the dual roles of paternal protector/provider/presider, and maternal nurturer/nourisher/healer…]
“Modern families are really being led by masculine women, and the men have taken on the feminine role. Because they don’t have authority in their homes. They don’t get respect in their homes. They’re not leading their homes. They’re not making provisions for their homes.
“And, they get to a point where… they get so comfortable with having a two-[earner] income, that… once the mother, you know, they finally have children, and she begins displaying signs of fatigue, you know, being ‘done‘ with the workplace, being overworked by corporations: they can’t quit. They can’t even turn around and say, ‘You know what? This was a mistake. We need to do something better that works for our family, such as potentially… My wife staying home.
“But, in a lot of these cases, you’ll find that, number one, both of them are several thousand dollars in debt. And number two, sometimes, the wife is the one making more money, and they’re just thinking, maybe the husband should be the one to turn around and quit his job, and stay home with the children.“
ا has had some experience of having entered into the more ‘corporate’ sort of lifestyle. She agrees that, for her, it had led to her feeling exhausted, and spiritually depleted.
“I got into it [that more ‘corporate’ sort of lifestyle] for maybe a year, and then I quickly was like, ‘God, I have seen what You have done for other people, and I know You can do it for me‘, ’cause this ain’t it. This is not the life for me.“
[Same. I’ve found myself existing at a point where ‘work’ had supposedly been ‘so important’ that it seemed to have been ‘more important’ than… my sleep, my familial relationships. My general health. My spiritual health…
For a while, I’d felt empty and exhausted, and so very depleted, as a result of ‘work’. So much so that I’d begun to look forward, really, to only two things at the end of these ‘work days’: 1. Eating. And, 2. Sleeping. So out of balance, I think.
Am I expected to continually ‘live’ such a life, and ‘endure’ it because I’m meant to be a ‘strong woman’, and then… pass on those same ‘values’ to my daughters, if I have them? For whom? For what? Because it sure does not seem truly ‘good’ for… me… (or, indeed, for my loved ones)]
The ‘disassembling of the nuclear family’.
“The disassembling of the nuclear family unit has been a primary objective of Western society [i.e. the ‘Post-Judeo-Christian’ way of doing things] since the 1950s, after the end of World War Two, when there were a lot of women whose husbands went to war, and didn’t come back. Or, came back from the war, and couldn’t work.
“And, so, being able to be a ‘strong and independent woman’ wasn’t even about ‘rebelling against men’. It was more so about: ‘We’re gonna die if we don’t’.
“And now it has shifted and evolved into: it’s a ‘power move’. It’s a ‘symbol of my womanhood‘. It means that I’m ‘just as capable‘ as a man…“
“Women have become so… masculine, that many of the men are just like… ‘Wow, I don’t have to provide, I don’t have to be a father, I don’t have to take responsibility of any sort. There’s no one holding me accountable for it. People don’t expect more of me, so why should I even do it? Why should I even try?‘
“And I think that feeds women even more, to be like, you know: ‘I know a man isn’t gonna do it, so… I need to do it.“
And if men are increasingly being ‘feminised’, while women are being ‘masculinised’, then… We find ourselves in a state of disorder, of chaos. When things are ‘in the wrong place’ and unbalanced, our natures may seek to reset the balance, but in less favourable ways. Women, overworked, overstressed, and becoming more ‘masculine’, may even begin to resent and become abusive toward their husbands, and towards their own young, for example. Men may feel a sense of… a lack of purpose and drive, a profound sense of restlessness. A sort of learned… helplessness.
When fundamental, inner gender-based yearnings and needs are left unmet, or worse still, utterly violated.
Let men be men, and (thus,) women be women.
When we allow men to be men, (without shaming them for… being different to women, in how they have been Created. Masculinity is not an inherently ‘toxic’ thing) and respect them and care for them as they should be respected and cared for: men are… able to be men. Men seem to be driven, for example, by such things as being able to provide, and do certain things that are more suited for them to do, in general.
And, also, when men are men, and allow women to be women (e.g. by not ‘expecting’ us to be overworked. By stepping up and finding the honour in providing for women, as men. By loving us, too) … we women are able to ‘lean in’ to our womanhood more: more balanced than in disrepair, and mismatch, and chaos. To be more feminine, as ourselves: when we feel safe and secure enough to do so, you know?
Men have this inner masculine essence, which is from Allah . And women: we have ours, in a different way, too. For relative harmony and balance: these ought to be honoured, respectively, and not denied and trampled on.
“The truth of the matter is that, in cultures where the men are extremely protective of their women, and make strong provision for their women, and their women don’t work, their women do, quote-unquote, ‘what a woman is supposed to do’…
“Those men do those things not just because it is expected of them, and it’s the honourable thing to do… But they do it because the women there do respect them. The women there do give them honour.”
“And I was on this [particular] Muslim homemaker blog […]. She had written a blog post about things that a Muslim wife should do for her Muslim husband.
“And the last three things on the list were: respect, respect, and respect.
“And she had stated that it was a woman’s obligation, in marriage, just as much as it’s a man’s obligation to make provision for his wife.
“I think that a lot of Western women are demanding that provision, but are not willing to offer that same respect [to their husbands].”
- The male is not like the female [Qur’an, (3:36)], and this is how Allah has Written it to be.
When human beings try to reject and deny the order that Allah has prescribed for us:
“Chaos is the most fitting word for it [what we see happening around us]. Because God’s Design is for order. It’s to remove chaos. It’s to keep things peaceful and easily-flowing.
“And if we take the time to examine all various kingdoms… You know, because humans are supposedly, according to the ‘science’, even though I disagree, we’re classified as being a part of the ‘animal kingdom’… If you look in all kingdoms, there is an order. There is a hierarchy. There is a leader. There is a head…
“There is an entity that gives the orders, and there is an entity that has to take orders. And it’s for the sake of accomplishing things.
“And I think, when people get so hung up on ‘why God made women this way and men this way’, they forget that it’s because we have a Higher Calling that is beyond ‘men and women‘, and this is just the way things have been ordered, so that we can accomplish that Purpose.”
We are told by Allah that men are “Qawwāmoon” above women; Allah has made our male counterparts to excel us in degree: they are to be in charge of us, in terms of authority, and thus in terms of responsibility, also. Protectors, providers, and presiders (to use some nice ‘plosive alliteration‘ [Plosive: ‘b’ and ‘p’ sounds…] there).
If we want for our families, our communities, and our selves to be balanced and healthy: we need to follow our Rabb‘s Commands. To come to know of our responsibilities and our rights, and to seek to uphold them, out of fear and reverence for our Lord, and in obedience to Him
For me: I think I had just found myself kind of steeped in the whole ‘modernist, feminist, liberalist’ mentality for a while. At state-funded schools, such doctrines are practically inevitable to find oneself immersed in these days, it seems.
And, after years of coming to consider myself in such a light, Allah , who is Al-LaTeef (the Subtle, and the Subtly Generous One), had Guided me to walk… through the masjid: I’d been intending to get to the street on the other side. On the way, I’d happened upon a particular pamphlet: about family. And at ‘school’: I don’t think the value of family had been emphasised to me, over time, so much.
‘Personal ‘achievements” and self-‘progression’ first and foremost, maybe.
I’m very happy that my Creator has reminded me about what is truly important, and a priority, for me, in this little life of mine.
Always: AlHamduli Llah for Islam!
Idealising Men / Women.
As aforementioned, Allah has not Created the man and the woman to be the same. And, sometimes, perhaps as a result of us not being the same as our gender opposites:
We may come to idealise the other, in our minds. Men, how they are portrayed, in say: romantic movies. Women, how they are portrayed, idealistically, across various media.
Idealisation is actually, we find: a form of dehumanisation. Are we allowing the other to be… human?
ا talks about the idealisation of women throughout history. Some communities and civilisations even (wrongfully, of course) started… worshipping feminine figures.
“We have gotten to a point where women are so […] idealised that her choosing to simply be a human, and follow her human nature, is considered her ‘failing’ as a woman, because being a woman is ‘no longer’ being a human: it’s being […] ‘above the Earth’.”
“It’s being ‘so many more things than a human.”
“And if a woman decides that, ‘look, I can’t be that idea of a woman in your head,’ right, this idealisation […] of a woman that you have in your head, who is ‘always beautiful’, who is ‘always feminine’, who is ‘always in shape‘, or who is just, educated, or any of these other things that you visualise when you see ‘The Perfect Woman‘: I think that’s where the ‘failure’ [the idea that ‘women are always failing’] comes from, the idea that women can’t be simply human beings, and must ‘excel‘.”
Women, and men, are not ‘abstract entities’ on which various fantasies and lofty expectations can simply be projected, and then simply expected to be ‘perfectly satisfied‘: we find we cannot, realistically, expect human beings to be anything other than… human.
For women: to bring and bear life (Maa Shaa Allah ) and to be highly educated and qualified, and to ‘always’ be very physically attractive, and to take care of herself and her health and beauty, holistically; manage and run a home, children, family, guests, ‘faultlessly’…
Hence, this seemingly widespread impression, this notion, the phenomenon: that…
‘Women are always ‘failing”.
[In actuality: it depends on what one’s criteria and determinants for success, are].
In marriage, ا maintains that: instead of excessively scorning the other for being human, falling short, making mistakes: we should instead accept that…
“We are two humans that live in a broken world, and we are bound to hurt each other [sometimes]. But we are also bound to have mercy.
“To move forward.“
The Marriage Survey.
Although I am currently twenty-one years old and not married, Allah also Directed me to… take part in running a ‘Marriage Matchmaking’ page, on a particular app. I find the various aspects of… humanity quite fascinating, Maa Shaa Allah , including the whole topic of attraction, and marriage.
I decided to open up a survey, also, on the topic, to some of the people who are members of this group. The survey has had twenty respondents, and some of them are male; some of them are female. Some of them are married; some of them have never been married before, and some of them were previously married (so, either divorced or widowed).
According to these particular respondents, the most desirable traits in a spouse include:
- Kindness, compassion, emotional intelligence. “Soft heart”
- Loyalty, commitment
- Being religiously-oriented
- “Most importantly do not try and change the person or expect them to change for you.”
- Knows how to cook
- Knowledge, understanding, education. “Mentally” (and not just sexually) “active”.
- One person said, “shyness”
- Good hygiene
- Nice hair
- Passionate about their own things.
Next, what might men, in particular, be seeking in a wife? Respondents to this particular survey had said [with some repeated answers]:
- Loving, kind, sweet, sympathetic
- Pretty / beautiful
- Sexually active (and attractive)
- Genuine; not marrying ‘for money’
- Not complaining all the time
- Home-oriented; good at cooking and home management
- Religious, Deen
- Beautiful personality
- Attentive to his needs
On the other side, then: what might women be seeking from men, in marriage? The respondents to this survey had answered:
- Kind, “soft hearted”
- Wealthy. To be the breadwinner. Financial stability.
- Caring romantic
- Able to lead the family
- Religious, Deen
- Able to support the family in terms of religion, and in their other endeavours
- Confident, secure
- Sexually capable
- “Has humour”
- Give their wives attention, continually
- Knows his duty as a husband
- Knows the Deen, knowledgable about the Qur’an; able to teach these things, as well as Salāh, to their kids, if they have them
- Protector and provider
- “Strong but also gentle and kind”
ا’s first name, she says, is a Hebrew name, and her second name is: Hawaiian.
“Altogether, my name means: the joy of Heaven is the Abundant Favour of God .”
“I grew up a Baptist. A Christian Baptist. And baptism is also still a part of our faith. But I was a Christian.
“I have always had these encounters with the Most High , and these encounters with His Word. You know, because at the end of the day, [irrespective of] what religion you have, you can’t avoid God .”
Reader Warning: themes of sexual abuse.
“I got into a really dark space, you know, ’cause as a young girl, I was promiscuous. I was on birth control, which has a whole other subset of consequences on your hormones, just your body, your mental health.
“I have experiences with being sexually abused. Molested as a child. Which I think really took a toll on me.”
And then: ا had turned to the Most High .
She also recalls a particular experience, from back when she had been around eight to ten years old: when she had been holding her “baby doll”, and “I was singing some Gospel music, because this is what I saw women at Church doing.
“And I really, truly felt the Holy Spirit [I guess, in Islamic terms: the feeling that Allah is near, always] come over me while I was singing the song. And, as a child, I put my doll down, and I went to my room, and I just cried, and cried, and cried.
“And I just said, ‘God, please forgive me. God, I repent. God, I’m so sorry.'”
“And, my life has really never been the same, since that point.”
Since then, in ا’s life, she says:
“Even if I have turned away from Allah, He has never, you know, left my side.”
“Many years later, when I would become a teenage mother, I had the exact same experience, you know, being a mother, and wanting to set a better example, and wanting to give my daughter so much more than this world could ever offer… really inspired me to turn around, and be like, ‘You know what? There has to be more. There has to be more than this… rat-race. There has to be more than this life. There has to be more than this Earth.
“I am after the Truth of God. And I remember, I just opened up my Bible, and I was like, ‘God, I’m gonna get to the bottom of this.’ Because I need to see for myself. I wanna find out if You’re real, and if You’re true.”
“‘I at least need to see for myself, before I turn away.’ And it was the best decision that I ever made. And: I’m never going back.” [She laughs a little, out of joy, Maa Shaa Allah ]
For both… me, and for ا, Allah didn’t let us be lost forever. He Guided us, AlHamduli Llah .
“And I love when the Qur’an says that, like: You were lost, and He Guided you.” [Surah Duha].
Our first mother (Hawā, Eve) had been made from our first father (Ādam (AS))’s rib. Allah did not Intend for Ādam (AS) to be alone in this world: in Hawā, he had been Given a mate, a companion, a complementary helper.
Someone to love, take care of, and be taken care of by: a wife.
[The rib: literally, close to, and keeper of, the heart. From a man’s side.]
And home, after all, is where the heart is. I so love the idea of being the keeper of a beautiful home, the heart of it, In Shaa Allah . A (not-really-always-‘perfect’-but-still, a sort of) sanctuary…
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ
“And [women,] be attached within your homes, and do not [loudly] display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.“
— Qur’an, (33:33).
Although things can, and do, go wrong sometimes, there are good, God-fearing men (and women) out there, who value religion, family, and community. Whom one can really trust and lean on, in marriage. In which the best of values will strive to be upheld, and in which spouses are truly loved, respected, and valued.
And I know that healthy marriages (not ‘perfect‘ marriages, since these are not quite possible in Dunya…) are fundamentally integral to nurturing healthy families, and thus communities. Healthy families for wider spiritual, mental, moral health…
[Recently, my best friend went to do someone’s Mendhi (Henna) for a wedding ceremony. And my friend had met some of the lady’s neighbours, who are ethnically Sudanese and partly from Saudi, apparently, there.
The children, said my friend, had just been so respectful and kind, Allah hummabārik.
One of them had also (humbly) spoken highly of his father, and often, beautiful character in children is a reflection of beautiful characters within their parents.
Goodness is passed on, and also leads to more goodness, since the figurative beautiful scent coming from such people… goes on to benefit their neighbours, their communities. And even strangers who come to their neighbours’ home to apply Mendhi, perhaps. The fragrant and readily transferrable scents of beautiful things… And then, these very beautiful characters… many of them go on to head families of their own, Maa Shaa Allah …]
To draw on some more of ا’s wise words, Maa Shaa Allah , we as Women of Faith and the Book do not need to “follow the ‘world‘.” We are not here for ‘decoration’, for example, and we have noble Purpose here.
[And I’m glad I’m a woman, AlHamduli Llah . Also glad that I don’t have to be… a man.]
A point about language.
According to the Bible, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”
What we speak, what we say: we can destruct and corrupt and destroy. Or: we can love, and reflect light, and heal.
“Speak a good word, or remain silent.” (Sahih Muslim, and Bukhāri).
The full Hadīth [Hadīth: reported saying of our Prophet, (SAW)], actually, is as follows:
“Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbour. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.”
Further, from Bukhāri:
“Indeed a servant will speak a word pleasing to God that he thinks to be insignificant, but because of it God raises him by many degrees.”
And, from the Holy and Beloved, Noble Qur’an :
“Worship God and associate nothing with Him, and show kindness to parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, the near neighbour, the distant neighbour, the companion at your side, the traveller, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, God does not like those who are conceited and boastful.”
— Qur’an, (4:36).
Religion, in ‘modernity’.
We talk about how some aspects of ‘modernity’, like certain TV shows and so forth, seem to deliberately… make fun of the Abrahamic traditions. There seems to be some sort of agenda, and we have got to protect our hearts.
‘Modern’ media might seek to ‘glamorise’ sin and life away from religion [religion: maintaining a connection with our Creator], make it seem so ‘shiny’ and ‘appealing’. Fill our heads, at times, with harmful expectations and ‘understandings’ of things.
Why might some women be very cynical, when it comes to marriage?
“The truth is that, unfortunately, many of these women who have this ideology [that they would be okay with being a ‘girlfriend’, but not with being a wife], it’s not just because they ‘hate men‘ or that they ‘hate marriage‘. They have watched their own mothers be… committed to marriage, and committed to their vows, and committed to God , and…
“Perhaps those women were abused. Perhaps those women weren’t happy. Perhaps those women felt stuck…
“And, so, for these [particular] young women, marriage is not a symbol of love, it’s not a symbol of life and joy: it’s a symbol of imprisonment.”
But I think that being with someone who truly loves and fears Allah … They would not want to dishonour you. A wife is a spiritual gift to her husband, and vice versa.
Allah tells husbands, in the Qur’an, to live with their wives in kindness.
Some advice that ا would lend, to wives. Some general things she has learned.
“I think, first of all, my greatest advice that I have found, and the greatest advice that I can give, and offer a wife: is that, first of all, to remember that your husband is a human. And that, he has a head, also.”
“And, my second piece of advice is: to practise silence. Especially in the moments where you want to open your mouth the most. Just be silent. Not just because it’s respectful and honourable and women should be ‘shame-faced’, or meek, but because: Allah could be trying to speak to you.
“If you would be so patient. If you would just slow down, you know, and see that you’re in a spiritual battle. And, opening your mouth may not be the wisest thing to do.”
Reader Warning: If you are under the age of… fourteen, let’s say… stop reading, please! [Looking at you, S, my love (my little cousin who reads this blog, I think, sometimes). Stop reading, and we can maybe talk about it together away from here]
“And then, my third piece of advice is to… Don’t be so caught up in the work of being a mother and a wife, that you can no longer enjoy your marriage. Because so many marriages fall apart after kids come into the picture, because you’re ‘no longer best friends‘, you no longer spend quality time, wives don’t wanna be sexy for their husbands anymore.
“Don’t forget that you were a wife before you were a mother, and before you were a family woman. Continue to enjoy your husband.“
Allah has literally made our spouses lawful and good for us to enjoy: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Be yourself, and hopefully, the best versions of you: with them.
“And,” continues ا. “The funny thing is, premarital fornication is higher than it’s ever been, today. Yet, according to the statistics, less and less married people are having sex. But, Allah only Ordained sex for marriage. So, why is it that ‘everybody except married couples are having sex‘?”
‘Modernity’ normalises shamelessness. Adultery, disloyalty, fornication, pornography.
The Satanic path is: perceiving as being ‘attractive’ all the stuff of moral corruption, while failing to see what is truly good, and beautiful. Marriage being one of these very good, and beautiful, things that Allah has Gifted us.
Islam teaches us to preserve what is Good, and Beautiful, through certain restrictions. To lower our gazes [Qur’an, (21:30 and :31)], for example (and not look lustfully at people with whom we aren’t married). To not even shake hands with the opposite gender. To not sit with a non-familiar man, alone, in a room. To not have ‘guy friends’, or (i.e., opposite gender) ‘female friends’.
Next: on the topic of being ‘just friends’ with the opposite gender:
“I think that it can start that way, but ultimately, it’s always gonna evolve, 100% of the time. For one reason or another. Even if those people are ‘not attracted to each other’, or [‘don’t’] ‘have feelings for one another’, simply because of our sexual nature as human beings. It will evolve.”
Naturally, we register that, for example, they are a man, and you are a woman (or, vice versa). When men claim they have ‘just-friends’ who are women, or the other way around: men do not interact with their ‘female friends’ in the same way they do with their male friends. Likewise, with women, and ‘guy friends’. Because, especially perhaps after reaching puberty: we always naturally register sexual differences, and attraction.
“I think that modern women’s self-esteem is [now] so low, that they [become] just terrified of demanding more.
“They’re terrified of actually demanding what God has already Said is theirs. To be protected, and to have provision.
“To the point where, now, ‘I don’t even have to be your ‘girlfriend‘ for you to get what you want, from me. All you have to do is say, “Yeah, we’re ‘friends’.” All you have to do is be nice to me.“
[And, perhaps, also: vice versa, for some men, and how women can ‘get what they want’, from them…]
To conclude, then, In Shaa Allah :
- Being obedient to and connected with Allah is tremendously significant. Being a family member, a neighbour, a friend: so very significant. Marriage, and motherhood, most certainly, are sacred and significant too. Our worth and value as women is not tied to such things as: how sexually attractive strangers on the streets will consider us to be.
- Every day, we make choices.
We find that we can find ourselves through such True, and Good, and Beautiful, things as: religion, family, gender roles, community.
ا says: “Honestly, those values are the only way that our generation will survive, and our world will ever see the Light.
- “You’ll never have order and chaos, [coexisting,] ever.”
“And, I believe that the disposal of those values is exactly why… so many modern mothers are struggling, with devastating mental health. Because, there is no community. There is no sense of communal living. There is no village, to raise the child.
“Even married mothers: it’s just ‘me, and the child‘.”
These days, people are lonely. Existentially hurting. Postnatal depression. Burnout. And the rest.
The antidote to, the antithesis of, darkness: Light. Allah Helps those on Earth who… help others on Earth.
And then I told ا about that time I got ‘cancelled‘ by someone from school. For liking posts on Twitter about the ‘is/ought‘ distinction, in relation to homosexuality. The concept that just because a feeling is felt, according to Morality, it need not be realised. I was somewhat aggressively rebuked, and later… blocked. So I guess we disagree on something.
Artificial-masked ‘Liberalism’. Not my friend, I find.
Says ا: “They’re extremely self-interested, and their only agenda is for self-pleasure. On an individual basis.”
“It’s all about ‘self‘.“
[I also learned, from this particular conversation with ا, that ‘DoorDash’ is an American version of Deliveroo/Uber Eats.]
Ultimately, in any set of circumstances we may find ourselves within:
Our worth comes from Him, Most High, Alone.