Monthly Archives: September 2013

Protect me from myself!

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Protect me from myself!

Protect me from myself!

In order for me to present an argument that preserves the right of a woman to exercise what is her interpretation of something considered to be a religious act of worship, that reflects devotion to her Lord. I would ask us to examine the following scenario’s.

Let us imagine there are two females. One wants to be a lap dancer in a club where she gets paid to take off her clothes. The other wants to extend her modesty as far as possible by covering herself completely only showing her eyes.

Both acts are determined by one of two. The lap dancer’s choice is to please herself (do what she wants), where as the other female wants to please her Lord (as an act of Worship).

Limitations on what both females do are controlled by one determining factor and that is Law. Law as we may understand has two functions. To protect us from ourselves and those around us.

It seems we are living in a country that is constantly evolving in their attitudes and beliefs. And if we look back only 20 years ago, an immoral or loose woman was considered to be someone who wore a skirt above her knees. Today these very same values seem almost invisible whilst we are immersed in a new culture that glorifies peoples right to do as they please.

I would like to present an example that I believe demonstrates that society’s thinking is being manipulated if an awareness is not present. In 2002, Bill Gates launched what he called, “The tablet PC edition”. Unfortunately it didn’t take off, but why? Is it because society’s ability to arrive at an understanding of how this tablet could have a place in our society had not been addressed. 10 years later, technological developments such as smart phones built an understanding of the benefits and functions of the tablet in a society that is now busy and accepting social networking as a part of everyday life.

My point is 10 years ago, people did not recognise or understand the ‘tablets’ place in our society. I believe the same is happening here. The veil is part of a set of attitudes and beliefs that demonstrate a level of devotion and gratitude to the Lord.

It seems today’s culture is leaving behind the concept of pleasing other than god, and anyone who chooses that party is set up to fail. We only need to look at the array of celebrities who have had emotional break downs despite having it all!

Success for a Muslim is abiding to the laws that God has lay down, whereas success it seems, for those who do not believe in God, is accomplishing everything ‘the self” desires.
Which brings us back to our two females. If allowing men to objectify her and treat her as though she is nothing but something to be looked at and paid for is not considered to be wrong to the lap dancer, then so be it. The law says she is fit to do so.

As is the case with the woman who chooses to cover herself, limiting a man’s ability to objectify her and only take from her what is necessary (a conversation). Both of them are protected by laws.

The laws of the land are made by judicial bodies and government predominately consisting of men. And how convenient it is that lap-dancing clubs have been given a green light, not only to exist in our society but to promote their business by advertising on bill boards.

I have certainty that man cannot be trusted, I therefore put my trust in my Lord Allah, to protect me from mankind and even myself. And at times where I may be doubtful as to why I’ve been commanded from doing something I enjoy. I exercise my faith that after hardship comes ease and My Lord knows best. My reward will be paradise, where I’ll be re-united with lost ones and loved ones who all put their faith in Allah.

Spirituality is difficult to convey as it is not something that can be physically grasped, but it if were I could only explain it like this. When you ask me ‘why do you cover your face’? I can present to you a drawing of an apple, but this wouldn’t be good enough. So I could give you a photo of an apple, again this wouldn’t be good enough. I could then place in your hand an apple and ask you to hold it. This wouldn’t be good enough. I could finally ask you to bite into the apple and digest it, this is a holistic experience that has led me to the belief I hold today. You are not just taking away a drawing of an apple.

Majority of Muslim women have explored and developed a thorough understanding of what the veil means to them, Which is why I urge people to consider what they are a part of. Even someone who doesn’t believe in God has the ability of making the right choice if they examine who they are and what they are part of.

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Feed me to the lions or give me a stage?

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Feed me to the lions or give me a stage?

Fed up with what seemed like an ambush I did what I thought best! And the result seems to have left spiritual repercussions greater than I had ever anticipated.

Within the space of a week, offers were thrown at me left, right and centre to express my woes about something I considered to be a valuable spiritual experience that many saw little or any worth in at all!

I knew that up until now the people around me and my own interpretation had put me in a seat of complacency practising a belief that enabled me to bath in a pool of faith and certainty.

Fast forward and I sit here wondering if the circus master relished at my decision to share this belief, as I entered the circus ring.

I have much respect for the people I’ve met along the way who seem to have seen my sincerity and offered me a cushioned seat in a hope of offering me a little rest-bite in the ring, to contemplate my next move.

Did I get it all wrong? Are the public like a lion waiting to eat me alive or are there people out there who are ready and willing to understand my truth. Clearly my answer is only one that time will unravel.

When is it right for us to ‘get involved’?

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get involved

After a day of interviews discussing the Marmite subject of the face veil, one topic that remained unquestioned or in need of attending is the matter of when we should ‘get involved’.

Some raised the concern about protecting women who are forced to wear the face veil due to family pressures. This is something many in Britain may have witnessed including myself. But having embarked upon the understanding of wearing the face veil myself due to a progressive understanding of why, I choose to highlight the misfortune of people acting on something they do not fully understand.

I remember the first few days I decided to start wearing the ‘niqaab’. I had a warmness in my heart as it represented an honourable act of worship that I could practice as an act of gratitude to my Lord.

Within a short space of time I soon learnt that others did not feel the same and this included other Muslims. Walking down the Road became a strong choice for me as I had comments and whispers hurled in my direction. However I was joyous to practice a part of my faith ‘because I chose to’, and sincerely felt that people should respect that as we have to with other things we may not feel comfortable with.

Fast forward a couple of years I began to learn that some niqaab’s did not share the same motivations as me in covering their face. Some were indeed told too and I can recall about 5 cases like that in the 5 years I’ve been practising. Whilst others came from different professional backgrounds and countries and impressed me with their determination to practise some which we can.

Its a shame some feel they can label the face veil as not obligatory, yet they do not examine the basis of ‘Islam’ in which people choose to wear the veil. Rather they highlight that their experiences should be enough to remove an act of worship that a FEW minority of Muslims wish to practise.

There is no doubt that where any form abuse is detected intervention is vital to protect the person from something they make clear they do not want. ‘Forced marriages’ is often an abuse which is tagged to Islam. But as society’s willingness to broaden and understand this topic evolves, so does our approach.

‘Freedom of Choice’ is about safeguarding humans from any compulsion, and if we do so we are as bad as those who force people to do what they don’t want to do. Not taking precaution as to how we protect people from things we consider not to be religious means you are talking away something from those that do based on one interpretation. Being Just is not something everyone is capable of which is why we should monitor who this responsibility is given to, safe guarding the humans ‘Freedom of Choice’

Twerking added to the Oxford Dictionary!

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Twerking added to the Oxford Dictionary!

I tried my best not to react to this new craze, but how can I not. It’s everywhere, like its ok to dance in this manner. But before I begin, “What is Twerking”, one may ask.

“Twerking is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, “wobble” and “jiggle.”[1] According to the Oxford Dictionary Online to twerk is “to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance”

It seems since Miley Cyrus decided to…Twerk on Robin Thicke, its been everywhere. And whether I like it or not I’ve had to have a discussion about it with my son who came across a bunch of men doing the dance on Vine videos.

It is is really upsetting to see that things have come to this! And the scary thing, is young girls and boys are quick to copy this promiscuous behaviour.

And lets us quickly reflect on some of the lyrics Miley Cyrus was getting excited about whilst ‘Twerking’ on Robin Thicke’s song.

“Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me

[Bridge: Robin Thicke]
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?”

The attitudes and beliefs of this industry of music is robbing the children of their innocence. Don’t let your children be one of them!

I could say more but I rest my case!

My journey to Islam

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My journey to Islam

As most of my followers are non-Muslim I felt it would be great if I could do a blog expressing a little insight as to why I’m Muslim. People often say, “Why do you cover, you’ve got such lovely hair” and the comments continue. So here it is, a little but deep account of how questioning got me to where I am.

My experience with finding the truth in brief is after exploring African Spirituality, Buddhism, and anything else spiritually enlightening, I finally came across Islam.

Although raised in a Muslim family they were not practising therefore when I embarked upon what Islam really is, I was overwhelmed with what I could only witness as perfection.

HOWEVER

I didn’t want to cover my hair and commit to the other restriction we commonly here imposed on Muslim women, I couldn’t relate as at the time I was a professional recording artist. So I ran a mile and continued seeking for….. the truth.

Eventually one night my emotional well being was at its lowest. And what happened to me that night can only be described as spiritual intervention. The truth arrived and I couldn’t walk away from it.

That night my soul felt like someone left outside in the cold on a dark wet night, standing there all bruised and tired from life. It was like someone opened the doors to their home. They invited me in bathed me, fed me, tended to my wounds and then gave me shelter and a comfy bed to rest.

Upon leaving I asked, “how can I repay you?” my Lord said worship me!

That is where my journey began with Islam. Not only seeking knowledge but RIGHT knowledge. We can seek knowledge but upon we receiving it we find it does not benefit us. We must therefore evaluate what knowledge will benefit us by ensuring its source is reliable.

Some knowledge may be a waste of time therefore when learning about Islam respected brothers and sisters, make sure you start by seeking knowledge in the right places.

May Allah Guide you to the Straight path Ameen

http://www.islam-guide.com
http://www.islamqa.com