This was written to show how laid back some children are. How ungrateful children can be sometimes. I am sure many parents can relate to this.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Teenage Years: Most Difficult for the Parents
“Stop trying to control my life!”
“I hate you!”
by Zara Huda Faris
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.”
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.
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 – 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)).
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
What is the definition of the evil eye?
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]
Is the hadeeth (narration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saheeh (authentic) in which it says that “One third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye”? If a person thinks that someone is envying him, what should the Muslim do and say? If the person who put the evil eye on someone washes himself, will the water he used bring healing to his victim? And should he drink the water or wash himself with it?
The Arabic word al-‘ayn (translated as the evil eye) refers to when a person harms another with his eye. It starts when the person likes a thing, then his evil feelings affect it, by means of his repeated looking at the object of his jealousy. Allah commanded His prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), to seek refuge with Him from the envier, as He said (interpretation of the meaning):
“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]
Everyone who puts the evil eye on another is envious, but not every envier puts the evil eye on another. The word haasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word ‘ain (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allah from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The evil eye is like an arrow that comes from the soul of the one who envies and the one who puts the evil eye on another towards the one who is envied and on whom the evil eye is put; sometimes it hits him and sometimes it misses. If the target is exposed and unprotected, it will affect him, but if the target is cautious and armed, the arrow will have no effect and may even come back on the one who launched it. Adapted from Zaad al-Ma’aad.
There are ahadeeth (reports) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which speak of the effects of the evil eye. For example, it is narrated in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to tell me to recite ruqyah (incantation) for protection against the evil eye.
Muslim, Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.”
Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi narrated that Asma bint ‘Umays said: “O Messenger of Allah, the children of J’afar have been afflicted by the evil eye, shall we recite ruqyah for them?” He said, “Yes, for if anything were to overtake the divine decree it would be the evil eye.”
Abu Dawud narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The person who had put the evil eye on another would be ordered to do wudu, then the person who had been afflicted would wash himself (with that water).
Imam Ahmad, Malik, al-Nasai and Ibn Hibban narrated from Sahl ibn Haneef that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out and travelled with him towards Makkah, until they were in the mountain pass of al-Kharar in al-Jahfah. There Sahl ibn Haneef did ghusl (bathed), and he was a handsome white-skinned man with beautiful skin. ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah, one of Banu ‘Adiyy ibn K’ab looked at him whilst he was doing ghusl and said: “I have never seen such beautiful skin as this, not even the skin of a virgin,” and Sahl fell to the ground. They went to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, can you do anything for Sahl, because by Allah he cannot raise his head.” He said, “Do you accuse anyone with regard to him?” They said, “‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah looked at him.” So the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called ‘Amir and rebuked him strongly. He said, “Why would one of you kill his brother? If you see something that you like, then pray for blessing for him.” Then he said to him, “Wash yourself for him.” So he washed his face, hands, forearms, knees and the sides of his feet, and inside his izaar (lower garment) in the vessel. Then that water was poured over him, and a man poured it over his head and back from behind. He did that to him, then Sahl got up and joined the people and there was nothing wrong with him. Classed as saheeh (authentic).
The majority of scholars are of the view that people can indeed be afflicted by the evil eye, because of the ahadeeth (reports) quoted above and others, and because of the corroborating reports and other evidence.
With regard to the hadeeth that you mention, “One-third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye,” we do not know how sound it is, but the author of Nayl al-Awtar said that al-Bazzar narrated with a hasan isnad (sound chain of narrators) from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of those who die among my ummah (followers) die because of the will and decree of Allah, and then because of the evil eye.”
The Muslim has to protect himself against the devils among the evil jinn and mankind, by having strong faith in Allah and by putting his trust in Him and seeking refuge with Him and beseeching Him, reciting the prayers for protection narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), reciting al-Mu’awwadhatayn [the last two surahs of the Quran], Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Fatihah, and ayat al-Kursi.
Du’as for protection include the following:
A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created).
A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min ghadabihi wa ‘iqabihi, wa min sharri ‘ibadihi wa min hamazat al-shayateeni wa an yahduroon (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from His wrath and punishment, from the evil of His slaves and from the evil promptings of the devils and from their presence).
And one may recite the words of Allah:
“Hasbi Allahu la ilaha illa huwa, ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa huwa Rabb ul-‘arsh il-‘azeem
(Allaah is sufficient for me. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne).”
[9:129 – interpretation of the meaning]
And there are other similar du’as that are prescribed in sharee’ah (Islamic law). This is what was meant by Imam ibn al-Qayyim RH in the words quoted at the beginning of this answer.
If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should be ordered to wash himself for his brother. So a vessel of water should be brought, and he should put his hand in it and rinse out his mouth into the vessel. Then he should wash his face in the vessel, then put his left hand into the vessel and wash his right knee, then put his right hand in the vessel and wash his left knee. Then he should wash inside his garment. Then the water should be poured over the head of the one on whom he put the evil eye, pouring it from behind in one go. Then he will be healed, by Allah’s leave.
Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked:
Can the evil eye afflict a person? How is it treated? Does being on one’s guard against it contradict putting one’s trust in Allah?
Our opinion concerning the evil eye is that it is real and is proven both by Islamic teachings and by real-life experiences. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred).” [68:51]
Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.” (Muslim). Al-Nasai and Ibn Majah narrated that ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing … and he quoted the hadeeth.
Reality confirms this and it cannot be denied. In the event that you are afflicted by the evil eye, you should use the treatments recommended in sharee’ah, which are:
1 – Reciting ruqyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There is no ruqyah except in the case of the evil eye or fever.” al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. Jibril (peace be upon him) used to do ruqyah for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and say, “Bismillahi arqeeka min kulli shayin yudheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin hasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillahi arqeek (In the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you).”
2 – Asking the person who has put the evil eye on another to wash, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah to do in the hadeeth quoted above. Then the water should be poured over the one who has been afflicted.
With regard to taking his waste, such as his urine and stool, there is no basis for doing so; the same applies to taking any of his belongings. Rather what is narrated is that which is mentioned above, washing his limbs and washing inside his garment, or likewise washing inside his headgear and garments. And Allah knows best.
There is nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil eye before it happens, and this does not contradict the idea of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah). In fact this is tawakkul, because tawakkul means putting one’s trust in Allah whilst also implementing the means that have been permitted or enjoined. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn and say: U’eedhukuma bi kalimat Allah al-tammati min kulli shaytanin wa hammah wa min kulli ‘aynin lammah (I seek refuge for you both in the perfect words of Allah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every evil eye).’” Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. And he would say, “Thus Ibrahim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek refuge with Allah for Ishaq and Ismail, peace be upon them both.” [al-Bukhari].
Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen RH.
And Allah knows best.