Monthly Archives: February 2013

How would Islam look if it was run by women?

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My uncle is very well learnt on the Quran, so one day at a family function he said to me, maybe if you read the Quran you wouldn’t look like such a letter box! I was mortified, I respected this man so much but when he said that my defences were up. 

Now obviously his comment made me think twice about my appearance and why I dress the way I do, so.  He also made some other points which was along the lines of this, islam has been narrated now by a bunch of men who are in a position to impose their interpretation of Islam, which is why we have what we do.

Of course I thought, if Islam was a product which was manufactured by two organisations, one run by women and the other by men, the end product would look very different.  And if we look at the way the Muslim woman is dressed today, is this not just the man’s interpretation of how a it should be. 

Hijaab is a set of conditions which also applies to men, and lowering of the gaze is one of them.  If a woman is dressed from head to toe with bearly nothing showing, then of course it will be easier on the man.  However if the woman was before him with her face uncovered the man has to deal with his nafs (desire) and lower his gaze.

At the time of Prophet Muhammed SAW we had women in the workplace, giving talks and even been scholars. So the management of Islam was healthly, however over time men have now taken over and the womans perspective has become very quiet in volume. 

Going back to the advice of my uncle I now have a copy of the Quran written in English which I commit to reading everyday.  I’ve gone back to relying on the words of Allah to guide me to what is good for me and keep me away from what is bad.  May Allah aid us to protect ourselves from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, Ameen.

Do Muslim men need teaching on how to romance their wives???

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Whilst sitting at my friends, my blogger finger started to twich when her partner came into the room and said, ‘There you go Baby’,  He placed a lovely hot chocolate with cream and said to me, ‘are you sure I can’t get you anything’.  I looked at my friend after he’d gone and said, ‘wow you got it good’. 

Now we all know that ultimatley if there was any man we’re striving to get our husbands to emulate its Prophet Muhammed SAW.  So lets see, did the prophet Muhammed SAW know how to treat his wives.  HE MOST CERTAINLY did, lets break it down.

He SAW would:

  • Pull out his miswak and clean his teeth before he entered his household
  • Comb his beard before he entered his household
  • Make sure he smelt good before he entered his household
  • enter the house with a smile
  • sow his own clothes
  • serve himself AND HIS FAMILY

So bringing my blog to a close DEAR BROTHERS, ain’t nothing wrong with you asking your wife if she wants a hot drink or even better to make her dinner.  And also monitor your appearance, do you look good, smell good.  Men often leave the house smelling good and looking good and come back with there sweaty tired selves. NOT COOL

My sisters/girlfriends do talk, and you find that the woman who is looked after best makes room to look her best.  Feeling loved, does wonders for one’s motivation to let your husband come home with a smile because he is pleased with what he see’s.

 

 

 

Rather than look for mistakes in others look at yourself

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You ever met that person that gets way to excited or vexated when you do something wrong.  You think to yourself sit down and relax!

There are some people that God has blessed with the ability to connect with other people.  This is truly a God given gift, so why oh why would anyone be so quick to bring someone like this down.

As far as I’m concerned if you love your Lord and you can see that this person has the ability to connect with an abundance of people, then why not aid them to continue with what they do. 

Before I started blogging i hesitated as I thought what if I say something and it is wrong.  And of course its happened a couple of times, and to those who did correct me, I love you dearly.  Not only did you build my confidence to continue, but you gave me the correct knowledge so I was able to rectify what i’d previously did in error.

There is a hadith that states, ‘beware of slaughter houses’.  This statement always sends shivers down my spine because it is a reminder that we must be very careful who we take knowledge from, otherwise we’re like lambs being led for slaughter.

We are advised to take someone aside and correct them privatley.  There is so much wisdom in this.  However if the person does not take heed different action must be taken.

And finally practice what you preech.  It is hard to respect the opinion of someone who is quick to correct you but, however they do not take heed of this advice themselves.

‘Truly you do not belive until you love for your brother what you love for yourself’

I would not like to be corrected publicly so I make an effort not do it myself

 

 

Monitoring your hijaab, are you fashionable or Sexy?

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There is a thin line to be drawn when it comes to dressing fashionable and looking sexy.  Some women could model a bin bag and make it look great lol this is true.  But lets face it, it comes down to our own interpretaion as to what paraimeters we can visit when excersing our Hijaab, only you can find the answers.

Now due to my recent experience of working in schools, I had to hang my big black gown up and enter the world of fashion and hijaab.  It was impossible for me to wear a big black gown as I often was in environments where I was the only Muslim.  And I can imagine the secondary school children would love to hurl the list of Batman and ninja jokes.  So here’s what I learnt.

Hijaab is a set of conditions, main ones been:

  • not to show the shape of your body
  • not to wear thin or see through material
  • to cover everything except the hands and face
  • not to dress like men
  • not to stand out (no luminous green)

Once i’d established the conditions of hijaab, I had to then apply this to my wardrobe.  Firstly I had to establish what was fashion and what was sexy,  I noticed that when I was too fashionable I would get attention not only from females but males too,  I believe the purpose of hijaab it to get from A to B and to be left alone, not to stand out. 

Secondly I found that my presence with a touch of fashion or style was not only a confidence booster to the young muslims around me who seen a confident Muslim Woman, but it was also dawah (an invitation to Islam) for non Muslims, who would often start asking about the head covering and how necessary it was.

I hear so much about people recently being disgusted at the behaviour of niqaabi’s (women who cover their face) and young muslim girls (who wear make up and tight clothing).  Its a shame because this reputation has tarnished the image of the Muslim women, and almost taken away her ability to use her style of dress to reflect her level of devotion for her Lord.

Beneath the Veil

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How do I begin to explain why I would want to cover my face, when some people don’t even come to grasps with women choosing to cover their hair!  But I’ll give it a bash.

I remember when I lived in London, my neighbour and I would often pop over to each others and have a cuppa.  She said, ‘I don’t understand, you’re not fat you’re not ugly, so why do you hide under all of that why?’.  I then said to her, ‘ok Marlena, I don’t understand why every morning you wake up, do your hair, put make up on and wear your finest clothes, just to walk your children to school everyday, and now its late in the evening and you’re sitting on the sofa with your pyjamas on, no make up and hair undone and your husband will be here in approximatley 30 minutes, who do you love more, the people or your husband?’

She knew immediatley what I was implying, and that the effort should be made for her husband and not for the public to say wow don’t she look great. 

Now when I had this convo, I was infact very single, so it baffled her even more as she questioned how I would find someone to marry if no one could see me.  The answer to that question is in another blog lol, but the short of it is… Allah commands good for his servants, and Allah SWT has commanded the woman to dress modestly so that she be known as a Muslim and to protect her honour.

I’ve seen on so many occasions a woman dressed half naked with her boyfriend, and he has his chest high like look at what I have. 

If a woman chooses to place high regard to her appearance then I can only advise her that she is setting herself up for a big fall.  A man should marry you not soley cause you excite him but because you are an intelligent and loving woman who will one day raise his children and that is priceless. 

Women are living in times where you must look like a barbie doll in order to be considered beautiful.  Fake hair, fake lashes, fake tan, fake nails and I haven’t even started to discuss the cosmetic surgery side of things.  My point is, western society puts the western woman under tremendous pressure to attain a superwoman status.  In islam it is simple, the man goes out to work and the woman stays at home to raise the children and keep the house looking wonderful, and if SHE wishes she may get educated and work, HER CHOICE!

So ultimatley what i’m saying is the veil for me was about having the opportunity to gain extra reward in the way I dressed.  Just like you can get extra reward for praying more, fasting more, giving more charity and any other additional acts of worship

 

 

Why i walked away from an international recording deal!

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Siting in a recording studio between my record company and sound production team we started discussing the marketing of me as an artist and my sound.  It was this discussion that made me realise exactly what I was part of.  What was being established in this meeting is what sound and look was going to capture the hearts of a majority.  First on the list was RnB, ‘No chance, Beyonce has got this genre on lock down’ someone said.  We then started going through the possibilities.  Someone suggested ‘Crunk, like Ciara, she’s opened up a whole new areana’.  I immediatley objected, ‘Hell no, I ain’t having a bunch of people head banging to my music’. 

At this point my heart became very unsettled.  It was almost like I had a vision, I seen loads of young girls wanting to dress like me and sound like me.  I was beginning to recognise Its not just about getting people to buy your music and enjoy listening to an artist.  What usually happens is when people fall in love with your music, they also fall in love with everything and anything that artist becomes a part of.

I was not fully practising Islam at this point, but definatley went home with a weight on my heart.   You see from an early age singing was a past time for me that got me a lot of attention, and my art was refined by the content and delivery and style.  Soon I became a master of the arts and would love the feeling of walking onto a stage and not only capturing peoples attention, but keeping it.  Everyone was under my control.

The point being that whether you are listening to a popstar or nasheed artist, there is a danger of you falling so deeply in love with the artist that you start to wanna dress like the artist, and recollect lines from their music to help you through life.  Allah has already provided mankind with a message and in the most beautiful of manners.  I now devote my time to encouraging people to spend their time listening and learning the words of Quran rather than this Music. 

By the grace of Allah, I never ended up signing the internation record deal that was offered to me.  Praise be to Allah. I still address an audience, but in a manner that pleases my lord.

 

authoobillah! not auzoobillah

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Why oh why do we have a generation of Muslims who are teaching Quran in an incorrect way.  When I started practicing Islam it didn’t take much convincing for me to understand that if the Quran was revealed in Arabic then it should be learnt in the same way.

If that be the case then why do I see a large majority of Pakistani muslims saying:

  • alif baa thee saa instead of alif baa taa thaa

I ran 2 madrasahs for a couple of years, and often came across a lot of students who wanted to unlearn what they had been taught.

Its a shame because it often resulted in them relearning from juz amma.

And of course there is al fatiha where the children have to unlearn ‘sirathula zina’ instead of ‘siratula theena’, This dua is vital to our guidance on the straight path rather than asking to be guided to the path of ‘zina’ if prounounced incorrectly.

My point is we have to acknowledge the Quran was revealed in arabic, so why learn it in any other way???