I've had enough of the sensationalist, exoticised, demeaning portrayals of Muslim women seen all throughout the media, and this is my way of countering all the nonsense.
This is not an attempt at 'breaking stereotypes' or trying to enlighten people, if you're ignorant enough to believe that Muslim women are oppressed and subjugated by Islam then that's your own problem.
This is my way of giving recognition to all the women who inspire me, and hopefully sending out some positive vibes.
What is equally if not more noteworthy is that Hagar’s exhaustive search for help in walking seven times between Safa and Marwah later become “rites” of God, or sha‘a’ir, as indicated in the Qur’an. That is, sha‘a’ir that were originated by Hagar in an act of motherly and religious devotion become constitutive parts of what would later be revealed as one of the five pillars of Islam, name the major pilgrimage (hajj), as well as part of the minor pilgrimage (‘umrah). What better way to accept the sacrifice of a faithful servant than to deem that servant’s acts of sacrifice as rituals designed to heighten God consciousness in the believers?
In sum, Hagar symbolizes the strength and courage of God’s chosen agents, here in the role of both matriarch and messenger in God’s sacred history. Her maternal strength, her courage, constancy, and self-initiation as messenger – all derived from taqwa – provided her with the necessary qualities not only fulfill her sacred mission but also to become an aspect of the mission itself. In her suffering for God’s cause, Hagar had to endure distress and danger that have typically marked the careers of God’s chosen historical agents. Like God’s prophets, moreover, Hagar persevered, and thus her name and memory came to be part of Islam’s sacred history and ritual.
“Hagar: A Historical Model for Gender Jihad” by Hibba Abugideiri in Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
I love the part which highlights that activism and self-integration are part of taqwa itself. Grab this book if you can!
(Source: , via zuleikha-deactivated20121202)
Dr Akram Nadwi is soon to publish his 40-volume collection on Muslim women scholars. In 2007, Mehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee analysed the lost legacy of women scholars and its impact on today’s world in emel’s feature on The Lost Female Scholars of Islam.
At the time Eileen Collins became the first woman to command the space shuttle, some Muslims were debating the right of women to drive a car on the road. This disparity in the level of public discourse on the rights of women and role of women confront Muslim societies.New findings by a scholar at Oxford on the historical role of women may help Muslims forge a new perspective but still remain true to the Prophetic traditions. Mehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee report.
from celery seed to aloes wood. She loved him
so much she concealed his name in many phrases,
the inner meanings known only to her.
When she said,
The wax is softening near the fire, she meant,
My love is wanting me.
If she said, Look, the moon is up,
or The willow has new leaves, or The coriander seeds
have caught fire, or The king is in a good mood today,
or Isn’t that lucky, or The furniture needs dusting, or
The water carrier is here, or This bread needs more salt,
or The clouds seem to be moving against the wind,
or My head hurts, or My headache’s better,
anything she praises it’s Joseph’s touch she means.
Any complaint, it’s his being away.
When she’s hungry, it’s for him. Thirsty, his name
is a sherbet. Cold, he’s a fur. This is what
the Friend can do when one is in such love.
Zuleikha felt in the name Joseph.
When one is united to the core of another,
to speak of that is to breathe the name Hu,
empty of self and filled with love.
Trans. Coleman Barks. From Rumi: The Book of Love
She’s such a minor player in the Qur’an, but I love her so much! And I love the role that she plays in tradition with regard to worldly longing for another person as it relates to the spiritual desire for God.