Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah dear brothers and sisters as salaam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and welcome to another iron feed podcast episode.
Today at hamdulillah I have with me all the way from California
or southern Muslim man muslimah pr Mel
stava is a Muslim chaplain and scholar. She graduated from the University of California San Diego, with a double major in religious studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
As an undergraduate, she served at their varying leadership roles for the Muslim Student Association. She completed the bachelors program in Sharia from her University in Cairo and also completed graduate work at the American University in Cairo. In Islamic Studies. She is co founder and scholar in residence at Safra Center for Research and Education. So as salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato Miko Salaam Alaikum America, it's an honor to be here with you. And hamdulillah You know, I've been looking at some of your talks online and over the years, I've heard about you, you know, martial law and I always wanted to connect with, with yourself and, you know,
with my sisters in America, so Alhamdulillah we've got this opportunity
today to do that.
How is your dinner California,
Likewise, the work that you do is very impactful, and Adam feed. So Pamela, we actually I used to always wonder who who's behind Adam feed who's behind and finance parallel, so wonderful to meet you in even if it's virtually end to end to meet the sister behind the
this project, this wonderful community project, Michelle hunkler, we are we are a team of people and Mashallah, you know, lots of talented people involved behind the scenes. So
I feel honored to be part of, you know, this project, because, you know, we try to bring positive inspiration to Muslims all around the world. So, just like a Heron, I'm glad that you that you've also benefited and noticed our work just like,
from the law.
It's interesting that, you know, in the current climate of a pandemic, how the programs that are being offered virtually and over the internet, have now become so much more significant. And so, work of the work event feed, you know, is, is truly a blessing for our community. And I think that that's something that,
again, before the pandemic, it was there, and it was beneficial, but like, during the time, the time that people can actually gather, it's these types of projects that are really helping the communities.
You know, heartbeat, collective heartbeat, keep pumping, you know, in the right direction. And
our organization Actually, I currently work for the magis. So, my husband and I founded a community institution, a really, I would call it like a community, space, and more, I guess we could, the best word to describe it would be an intentional community third space project.
But the measure this literally means like a place to sit so people can sit really close together, and learn and grow and, you know, have good companionship and all of that. And until after the pandemic started, you know, we did, we were completely puzzled, because the whole idea was local, sit next to each other, know each other, you know, intimately as a community, support each other as brothers and sisters in person have live relationships, and it was almost anti social media, you know, in the sense of, or
it was really like, go back to the way things used to be where people would physically go out to a program and drop their kids off at the babysitting. And you know, that was really emphasizing that in the pandemic hit. And we had to, we had to overnight, transition everything virtually.
that was a that was a big,
just challenge for us. But we realized we couldn't resist like this is now the way that we have to be both local and global.
It's a lesson we learned the hard way.
Supposedly, yeah, I think everyone is having to adapt, right? Like whatever plans anyone had,
you know, they've had to rethink them. But I've seen people being quite inventive and quite, like, innovative, you know, in their approaches to I guess, overcoming the challenges of
So, tell us, also in California, like in general, how has it been, like,
the effects of the pandemic? And, you know, what's the current situation? Are you still in a lockdown? Yeah, we're actually, we went back to the most restrictive phase of the lockdown. So we're currently in purple. Like there's different colors and purples, the most severe. And so that means that's the stay at home order, which was, which is how the lockdown started. And then it eased off, it transitioned and restaurants were open again, and people can eat outside.
You know, and now it's the opposite, where
things that were even slightly, you know, accessible, are shut down again. And so I want to say that the numbers are currently the highest they've ever been,
in terms of the numbers of people who are testing positive with COVID-19. And the, the ice use are almost at full capacity. So
it's, in that sense, it's,
it is worse than actually, I mean, that they're describing in terms of numbers and percentages. And on top of that people have COVID fatigue. So as we're in the beginning, people were ready to try their best. At this point, a lot of people are,
sort of easing off or I want to say they're tired of keeping masters on things like that. So it's, uh,
you know, it's a, it's back at the next three weeks are expected to be probably one of the worst. I mean, according to the CDC, the one of the worst health
situations in America, and in particular, California is bigger. I mean, it hits California, in a way that's more severe than maybe other parts of the country because of the major metropolitan cities.
concentrations of people in small areas.
Even though it's a vast, huge state, it's like where the city is, you know, like, if you go to LA, for example, LA is just really on a whole nother level of lockdown. I think they even have curfew, and they have like ages of people that can be out. So it's um,
yeah, it's, it's, it's on, it is on in Southern California.
Because we just came out of the second lockdown, and it was a lighter kind of lockdown. So school is still open, and no, educational settings was still open. But, and you could go and get takeaway, for example, but restaurants and sitting together was not was not allowed. And, and like you said, I think, I don't know if it's COVID fatigue, or if people are just confused with the rules. Now, you know,
there's something like that happening here as well.
So So I wanted to
ask you, because you were a chaplain for, you know, universities, and I guess that gave you
a unique insight into what's going on in universities and with students. I guess currently, a lot of students are studying from home. A lot of universities have just gone online, right?
But I'm sure you know, soon inshallah, when things start getting back to normal campuses are going to start opening up.
I know my own campus has opened up a little bit like the library's open, you can book spaces and things like that, but not fully.
And I wonder, like, in your experience, and in your time as a chaplain, um,
what would you say are the like, the biggest issues that are the most common issues that would come your way, you know, from students?
You know, what are the biggest issues that students are facing?
handle Ah, one of the things that we were able to do in chaplaincy was have office hours with the students like where they could book private one on one appointments. So that was, that was a really nice experience, because a lot of times when you're doing like a public halaqa, the q&a that you get in a big gathering is very different than allowing all those students to then sit with you one on one and hear them out one on one. So on a one on one level, I think, interestingly,
if I could, if I could say like the top three things that students are dealing with,
would be marriage, and wanting to get married, but finding every kind of obstacle in their way as it relates to marriage both for brothers and sisters.
So that's number one. Definitely. obstacles, confusion, lack of support, lack of direction,
even family sort of
a while they are even considering marriage, well, they're an undergrad. That's the first one. The second one is.
The second one is actually interesting as palla. Now that you're asking about it, it's, it's the turmoil that students are going through in college as they're trying to navigate this, like phase of transition, transitioning into adulthood. And so they have all this added responsibility, all of and they have to make decisions about everything that's going to impact the rest of their lives in terms of their education. And when they get to that phase, basically anything that's that has been unresolved in terms of family trauma, right? What they've gone through in their own immediate families, relationships with their mothers, with their fathers, siblings, horses, in their family,
mental health issues they may have been struggling with, you know, before, but now it really, when they're trying to navigate college, it, you know, the added stress of that, like, really enhances some of those challenges. So I want to say that there is
there's a need for,
for for a level of therapy and healing on a very just basic human emotional level.
And then third, and this is interesting, because this is this comes last, in my experience of sitting one on one. Now these, these are not questions that would ever come out in a big q&a session, if you're a chaplain, and you're doing a Hannukah, and you're doing chapter of the Quran Tafseer or, or, you know, any other topic of in terms of a study circle, the q&a will always be related to the topic. But again, when you set it, when you set aside one on one time with the students, then that's very, very different. And so the third thing that I think comes up for students is, is everything related to the practice of their Islam in the modern times, and the
understanding of their Islam in the modern times. So there are now they're in college, and they're experiencing, for example, for many students, like an MSA, right, a Muslim Student Association. And there's an organized body of young people who are trying to do beneficial things like Islam Awareness Week, and our tables and things like that.
as they are working with one another, to try to, you know,
put on these events and work towards these efforts. They come across differences of opinion within their MSA. And then they discover differences of opinion amongst the students themselves and perspectives. And so that really challenges them to to wonder. Okay, so how do we really think about this question x, or Y, or Z, and now they really want to know, because they have to not just know it for themselves, but they're trying to do something for Islam. So they want to actually learn about it well enough so that they can
speak on its behalf or organize a program correctly around that topic.
Or even, like, reflect on themselves in terms of how they need to grow, to better embody whatever that subject matter might be. So um, so that's like a, you know, if I want to say the third and last thing that comes up, at least in office hours would be, but it's but it's still the most important, like, it's the top three would be, how do we understand our religion? How do we understand it right now with all of the current challenges that they are facing, and again, on a very individual level in their immediate context.
I remember once I was doing a private, more private study circle with sisters around the topic of sincerity, just sincerity of loss. And
one of the things that came up, I don't know if you can hear my kids in the background, please forgive me. But
um, so we were talking about a class, this is a very bit as a private circle, and one sister opened up, and she said,
What am I supposed to do when my parents go to mixed weddings? And where there's where there's dancing, and we should, you know, this is a hijab wearing like, sister from the masjid that, you know, you would, I'm not trying to make that as like a as like a label or something. But I'm saying that she is someone who not just like in America, for example, in the climate of Islamophobia, and bigotry. To wear hijab in this time is a lot harder than it was even when I was a kid, right? So like this is, I've had the courage to,
to wear a hijab in such a difficult climate to, you know, she's attended the weekend school Islamic school type thing. She's grown up in the masjid. But what she's telling me is that outside of the mosque outside of the messages, her family goes to these meetings.
weddings where they have like dancing and partying and things like that. And her parents don't ever dance, they're like more, they're the more religious type that did not do that,
you know, in a mixed setting, but they will stand on the side and clap and then they'll tell their kids to come and do the same. And so I that question completely, like, shocked me, because I'm like, we're talking about like, having sincerity with a lot. And I realized that it's completely connected, right? The topic of sincerity when you get into a loss, and a person looks into their heart and wonders, like when do I ever choose someone other than Allah? Right? Or, and feel pressure to choose someone other than Allah?
Interestingly, a lot of times the competition stuff roll, I don't use that term, but the,
for a lot of students is their own parents.
Could you could you just repeat that? Because
he said, unfortunately, is it unfortunately for,
for a lot of students, when they are reflecting on,
you know, how do they truly be sincere to Allah and who or what ever is a pressure on their heart, you know, in terms of something that they would choose to do, that's other than what Allah wants.
For, for a number of students, it was actually their parents.
So and that's, and that's a, so he, on one hand, will teach like better than anything, right? Do everything your parents want you to do and all that. But it's like, we don't realize that
where families are. And
that there are,
I want to say
that we that we can't assume we just absolutely cannot assume that we understand
how difficult it is for young people, in terms of the different pressures they face, that, that young people when you're teaching them a concept in the dean, even in terms of tobacco, in terms of relying on a law in terms of hoping in him in terms of doing things in the way that he's most pleased with whatever it is. And
there's, there's an openness that young people have for that, they really want to genuinely learn. Sorry, there's my I have a two and a half year old and a seven year old, and they happen to be right behind behind that door behind me. So you might be able to.
we have a the young people have this openness to
learning about growing and practicing their religion, they truly do. And it's very beautiful, too. I love working with college students, where they find
challenges is when they want to go and actually practice it, they may find their first hurdle being found in their own home
to that practice. So whether and there's so many different examples of this, but but it's like we can talk about from whether it's a risk, the idea of how do you seek to have a healthy income? How do you work towards that? How do you put your reliance on the law and know that the sustenance is actually from him.
And, you know, like, basically have a high morale, while you're waiting for certain openings, whether it's a job they're applying for, versus like, they'll go home, and they'll just get hammered by their parents about how come we don't have a job yet, you know, and so the parents aren't realizing they've applied to 20 places, you know, they've done their, they're trying to tie the camel the best they can, but they'll still get it at home for something that they really shouldn't.
You know, be it's not in their hands, right? It's a low opens for them the door to that interview, or to that job, same similarly, there'll be sisters who will come and home and their, their, their mother will actually be mad at them that, you know, how come you're not engaged yet? How can we haven't found a brother to marry yet? What's wrong with you?
As if that's somehow in her hands? You know, of course, there's a way for sisters obviously to if they see a brother that they're interested in to consider to be the one that initiates the consideration process, but that's not really what the mother was talking about when she said that to her. Um, and so it's interesting because I'm quite surprised about that.
I'm quite surprised about that, because
in my experience in the UK, parents usually trying to keep
you know, getting their children to postpone marriage till after university, you know, to keep them focused, you know, on track and I think that tends to be what they do to the boys. Definitely for the boys for the young men.
We are, they are pressured to not even think about it.
Whereas on the sisters, they are pressured to hurry up and find someone, you know, you should be engaged by eight this or that. So it's a very odd situation. And I think I think it's probably something that is a contributor to the marriage crisis, where you have
varying expectations for people who actually share a similar.
They're the same cohort or the same social
generation, and the men are being told to delay and the women are being told Hurry up.
So, I mean, these are some things that I mean, in terms of dealing with young people in college they're dealing with and then the last and final one is really understanding their religion. Because of all of the challenges and some of those challenges come from within the university classroom. There are liberal traditions in terms of
I really want to call it traditions, because it's fairly new, but there are
the genealogy of some of
the trends in liberal education goes back to atheism, secularism, obviously, and
and I want to say something that is almost, I mean, that people would like to call it scientific.
you know, science can describe, but it cannot provide meaning for, right. So
where I feel like the university
can, can provide a hindrance for young people in terms of their just overall the growth of their minds is
that there's beneficial, there's absolutely beneficial education, obviously, in terms of going to college, but there's also a lot of non beneficial.
And I would even say incorrect education, that people get in college, and they get tested on it. And they have to turn in exams and write papers on it. And that's something that you think is also a test for college students. I mean, my Bible mentioned that I was a religious studies major, and Middle Eastern Studies major. So you know, I'm taking a class on something like, I was taking a class on Islam, and want to, and I remember, it was like an 18 year old student sitting in my university classroom, taking a class on Islam.
And the professor was saying things I had never heard of in my entire life. And he would have like, the first part of the sentence would be something I recognized. And then the last part of the sentence would be something I had, I was completely unrecognizable to me, I had never heard in my entire life. So at some point, in the classroom, when I told the class, you know, everybody wants to get a good grade on the exam, then you have to write what the teacher says. But if anyone here really wants to learn about Islam, please come to my messenger, this IMAX center of San Diego on Sundays.
We have an intro to Islam class for people who are who are actually curious about this topic. And
people in the class thought it was a really
bold thing, because without 18, I didn't, you know, and I also didn't know much about the background behind like, the agenda of the teaching of religion and a university. So it's a really like, Hey, I know, this is a class. But there's another way to understand religion, and this is not it, this is not the place for it.
One of the
one of the things that I remember if it was feeling bullied, you know, at an academic level, you know, as a, as a practicing Muslim Student in university, and but the one that it was good because that here's something that was completely outrageous, I'd have to go research it and look it up and be like, Where do they come with come up with this, because half of it sounds true, but then somehow, they took an observation and they, through the analysis and conclusion they went to, they went somewhere completely different. And I think that really helped. Because
if that happens, and you and a student really does follow up on what's being said, and really does do the research, it will only strengthen their faith. There was never something said in class that follow up and try to study it deeply and understand it for myself that I don't afterwards feel like so panela they don't know my team. So panela they got this so wrong. And I would even say that happened. That happened even at AUC
master's program in Islamic Studies in AUC. So this is in each American esteem in Korea. Yeah. So the blessing there was I was going to go outside at the same time, and don't you see, so, you know, in terms of like taking both course loads at the same time. And the the master's program there sometimes the teacher would say something about like the Hanafi school. And it was I was in a place right back
like a branch issue and film that is so minute that you have to really know where to go to
Yeah. And then we'd be able to do that and realize like it was Miss translated, it was misunderstood. They took a mistranslation and made a conclusion of a mis translation and made a made a theory of a miss translation, and the whole thing was wrong, the whole understanding of what that topic was in the Hanafi school was completely wrong. And so and so when people are learning religion,
especially their Dean, you know, you can, you can go to Western universities for degrees, but know that you will always have to fact check, like, every single thing that you cannot take it as is you have to go back and do your own, have your own due diligence.
And, and allow that research to lead you to better learning and to even correcting. So. Yeah, so it's interesting that you say that, because when I, I studied in Egypt, as well, and then when I came back,
you know, and I had the opportunity to go to university here, I had, I could have gone done Islamic Studies at university.
But because I hadn't graduated, I really wanted to complete a classical Islamic Studies program, rather than just enter into, you know, Western University and study Islam, because
I knew and I had this kind of, I'd already had a taste of it, that it could possibly do me more harm than good.
And I know that it's not as black and white is that, but
usually I do try to encourage brothers and sisters who want to study Western Islamic Studies,
to either alongside that, or before they enter that kind of domain, to really have the, you know, have spent their time with classical scholars
with good Islamic mentors and have studied their Deen, you know, to a certain extent, before entering that space, because I've noticed that I'm actually doing Islamic law. Right. So this is like from the law department, rather than the Middle East or Islamic Studies Department,
the Middle East and law and Islamic law. So it's very much taking the traditional and classical understandings of the Sharia and studying that as well. But then bringing it to the modern day, and how it's been applied in the Muslim world today. So,
which is really interesting, you know, human rights, Islamic law, Islamic finance. So, you know, these kind of subjects very, very interesting. But like you said, I remember one of my first lectures that I went to the lady, she was introducing Islamic law to this class of
a lot of non Muslims and, and also young Muslims who maybe had not studied Islam before, you know, and one of the first things she said, and I, I just can't imagine why she said this, okay. And she was talking about scholarship and Islamic scholarship, and she said, you know, you can only be a scholar if you're a man in Islam, right.
And she said, You know, one of the prerequisites of being a scholar is to be a man. And, you know, I'm sitting there, and I kind of, couldn't let that one go, you know,
passport of non Muslim women, and, and, you know, our young sisters, right?
Because it was just so blatantly inaccurate. And I think maybe she was talking about Iran. I don't know, because she had more of a kind of Iranian law background, I think. But I had to put my hand up and, you know, interject. And I even just said to her, well, that can't be true, because I'm an Islamic scholar.
Like, I literally had to say that
even though I don't like saying that in public, you know, in that setting, I felt like no, for the for the Islam of Islam. I need to say that because I'm not just talking theory here. You know, I've read it on that qualification to call it that to a certain level.
And, you know, afterwards with the youngest students, they all came up to me and they really thanked me for doing that.
Because a simple little thing. Yeah.
He, when things like that get, let go of in the class,
you collective, I would say bullying, but I think bullying is the right word because people can't understand how it feels. But when you're already kind of cheated as, you know, a backward, religious outsider. When people say things like that about your religion in a, in a setting that's supposed to be kind of authoritative, right?
And you're a young person, and you're not feeling very confident, it like hits you, it hits you hard.
So I felt like as an older student, and as somebody who wasn't a bit more confident, maybe it was kind of my
Speak up, you know, when it's necessary. And I said to the students, listen, you guys knew that that wasn't right. And you're all coming to me afterwards and saying, you know, well, you need to interject, because one of the great things about Western universities is, at least in the UK, the culture is that you're allowed to put your hand up, you're allowed to question and you're allowed to kind of challenge what the professor's said, which is actually a quite a good thing
in western universities.
And I think it's time that we empowered students, even in their essays, right? Because there are different ways of presenting information. And if you have the evidence, and if you come excellent at writing essays and writing a good argument, can put forward Islamic narrative or the Orthodox narrative, you know, with evidence in the same way, and you will get great grades. Yes, I'm trying to do that myself. And I'm working so far and 100. handler? No, I agree. And I think that there's also from the differences between professors and professors. So I personally found that if I went and did the due diligence of looking it up, factchecking, bringing back like a body of research to
show that what what is actually there is different than what they said in class, then the teacher would accept it later on, I'd actually say that in class in front of everyone, and the teacher would,
would agree with it or approve what I've said, I've even read it on the test, and the teacher would give me the, you know, full marks for that. But it was, but it did depend on the teacher. So there were teachers who didn't want to hear it.
And didn't want even to like, give me an inch in that regard. And there were others that were really open and open to learning more and recognizing the limitation of their own access. So
yeah, I think what you said about, you know, how when, if you actually engage with the, with the readings with the materials, okay, instead of being afraid of them, because I think at first, you know, as a Muslim, especially as a practicing Muslim, or religious, Muslim, orthodox, Muslim, whatever you want to call it, when you read some of that stuff, it's like, I'm like, like, you know, do I even want to go down there, you know, do I even want to look there.
But if you are willing to engage, and you have, and you go and do your, like you said, due diligence, go and do the proper research, even go and talk to Allah, right, like sometimes writing an essay, I will find up to you. And I'll have a one to one with them about that topic, to get the, I would say, orthodox understanding, or the classical understanding, in a better way. So that I can bring that to inform my work, right.
And I think by engaging, it doesn't make us weaker, it can make us stronger.
And some of the best kind of
academics today, you know, they have taken the works of Orientalism the past,
things that seemed to be set in stone, right, and have challenged it and have, you know, successfully been able to
kind of bring about a paradigm shift. But they had to engage with the material right in order to, to be able to do that.
add to going back to the deepest challenges that young people might face in the university, as as it relates to the other side of the coin. So it's like on one hand, there's meet what you're what you're learning in school, with a critical lens and an empowered lens. Like I'm not going to take everything that is being said to me, as as totally like you know as truth just because it's in a university class.
All right, well, I will use my own framework as a Muslim, I will use my own religion my own [???]ty I my own guidance like this based on God given revelation, right in a in a divinely sent Prophet, you know, so I sell them. And that will be my moral compass in understanding everything in the world around me, even what I'm learning in a university classroom. So that's, that's like one side of it, you can take it to the other side to where it's
the what people are getting from their homes, and from what's being done inside their home.
very abusive, and, you know, for young people to know that just because their mother or father said, in Islam, they have a right to do XYZ, that's actually very abusive to them, doesn't mean their parents actually have that, right. Like, they also should feel empowered within their homes as because they're first and foremost a servant of God. And once they know what God has legislated for themselves, there is no one who can tell them, or pressure them or force them or into, into something that is basically harmful in the name of religion, whether it's academic religion, or even the so called religion that's taught in homes. So I'll give you an example.
There was a sister who told me that the reason she became a feminist is because her dad told her that in Islam, women are not allowed to be educated. a pastor pastor pass the bare minimum of what they need to just basically be alive, you know, in terms of
like how to read and write. And
so her dad didn't intend to send her to college. And she put herself through college.
And it wasn't that he wasn't saying, oh, financially, I don't have the means to he was more than willing.
Or brothers for going to college. But here's a woman you don't need to say he's willing to fund. Did you say he's willing to fund her brothers? Yes. Yes. Okay. But not her because he said, in his, you're not supposed to get educated any more than this, like this is. And so it's definitely she learned in her home, right as clinical. This is her father who goes to the messier than preys on federated prayer and prayer, and he's there and his family's in the messenger, then they hear otherwise, all the time, in the message, they hear other ones with the sound that they practice in their home, is through a particular lens, that is oppressive to her. Right. And so she felt she had
to go to feminism, to get her God given rights as a woman. And it's like, what my message to her was, you didn't have to look outside your own religion, what your dad was doing was actually against the religion. So but you need to study your own religion so that you can come back and say to your own father in a nice and kind way, that no,
there's a this what you're saying is not is not true. It's not valid. And these are, you know, the evidences for that in our own faith tradition, in our own religion. Women have a right towards education, and our own religion.
There's not supposed to be a separation between the way that the good treatment that a father has towards his sons and his daughters.
there's a narration of the Prophet Mohammed's outside of them about the rewards of the one who does not prefer their sons or their daughters. Right. And so we have that there, you know, almost any issue where a woman is struggling in her social life or her family life in her community life, you find divine or prophetic guidance
that would help her get out of that, you know, calamity or that pressure that is, is put against her in an undue manner. But you know, in the words of Xena both has it, she said, women have to study Islam, because it is through Islam, that Allah has guaranteed her all her rights. So what, what a lot of Muslim women may do is just take for granted everything they hear and assume and assume like what I have heard, whether it's in a university classroom, or at home with their parents, or wherever they hear it, they'll just assume if someone is speaking in the name of Islam, right, then it must be true. And so it challenges them and it challenges their faith until they study their
religion, and then they know what's true. And I know that that's,
you know, studying Islam is not something you do overnight. It's, you know, it does take a lot. You know, when someone's a scholar, the great scholars that we know who have 30 years plus of research and study under their under their belt, the senior elderly ones, and
they have a nuance that someone who's only studied for example,
Doesn't have. And so sometimes some of the most severe voices will come from those who actually haven't studied very much. Right? So a young man who will be going become an Imam, you'll memorize the Quran, he may do a year at an institute, and then he'll come back and he'll answer questions in the community in absolute terms. Right? Can I do this? Yes. Can I do that? No. And he won't say
there's more than one opinion on this topic. the opinion of this method is this, the opinion of the scholar is this there's that there's a difference on this issue. And so a lot of the nuance that's actually there in the [???]tier is not reflected in in shallow research. So the benefit of someone studying is they will arrive to nuance and there is often like the the the subject matters of HMR. Like there's a book Pinilla in Egypt from the
that we have bought, and it was like all of the matters that are in Mali, right, that the scholars that there's absolute consensus on, it was so small as one of our thinnest books, right? other books are like eight volume nine volumes, then would you violate, like, absolute scholarly consensus was a very small book.
And then everything else has nuanced shades of differences and meaning and options. And so the Shelia has a Rama embedded into it, a mercy that's embedded into it, and that a proper scholarly method for the qualified person is required. Right. So they talked about the, the shrewton, which the head, right, what are the conditions of someone being much the head, and they may talk about,
like the the different souls that have been followed in the, in the past in terms of all sorts of different men that have have different muscle,
the foundations of those who are the same, but they may have some differences and nuance. So there's there needs to be a correct methodology. And it has to be a qualified person. But the answer is, can be very, very different for the same topic. And so for anyone to speak in the name of Islam and an absolute manner, and say something like a blanket statement,
whether again, it's in the university classroom, or it's in a Muslim home, that has to be challenged, that has to be challenged, and it can be challenged in a nice way, you can't in a polite way, it can be challenged with young people seeking out scholars and imams to come and talk to their parents about different things, but I don't think it needs it. I think that this is such an important issue. Because if we don't,
and you know, encourage young people
to, to have the courage and feeling of safety to study their own religion themselves.
The solutions that they're looking for in their lives, for the answers for guidance, right, General directions, as their moral compass, they will find it somewhere else.
And it will often have some parts of it, that thing that they're looking at will will, you know, provide some healing for them, but will also take them off the mark. Right. So, um, in terms of the wholesale agenda of the feminist movement is, is an entirely different thing. Right. So a person is just looking to not be oppressed in their own home, to be treated spiritually equal to their brothers, right? To be having the rights that God has already given them, they should not
feel like they need to go to any other system, whether it's communism, or socialism or any ism in the world, you know, to give them what God has already
So that, I think that that is, that's something that is a community to help young people with even right now, in terms of social justice, there's, you know, we were involved in social justice work when I was in college before it was cool. Before it was the thing to do before it was all over the news. And they have, you know, Pepsi commercials about it, like social justice was,
has causes and, you know, collective community efforts have always ended up in there. And I just want to emphasize before it was cool, okay, because right now, it's really cool to be involved in social social justice. And there's like, because it's cool. There's a culture to it. And there's a culture that's developed in both through popular media through the efforts of social justice activists as well as,
as theories and isms.
Right now, university is critical justice theory, right? Sorry, critical race theory, critical gender theory. And
so young people are studying these things in the university. And then they're thinking, Okay, I want to apply this to my life. And, again, when you take any ism wholesale, right as as some kind of compass you're really missing the mark as a Muslim. You know, things have vaping too.
Like knowledge has a filter for us. Right? And that is our own faith.
And, you know, there's we talked about like social justice, what about epistemic justice? You know, what is the the root of knowledge? Why are some
sources of knowledge privileged over other sources of knowledge in the university, the liberal atheist agenda is privileged over the religious based,
you know, sources of knowledge or even traditional knowledge of peoples who, you know, you know, like, who have existed and they have their own methodologies, right, Chinese medicine has only now become accepted, but it was considered what in the past, right and, or, or the traditions of natives peoples like there is there is even in the university as talking about social justice or, you know, critical race theory, critical gender theory, there's any quality in it, that it's embedded in it, if as soon as it says that a religious foundation as a source of knowledge, is somehow less equal to what they are teaching. Right? That is automatically
imposing a form of inequality, in terms of in terms of the sources of knowledge itself. So for young people who are taking classes on critical gender theory, or feminism,
or it doesn't have to be those things, it can be economics, it can be
any topic really,
to have a filter, and to know that I need to look at this and take what is beneficial, because there is beneficial, it doesn't exist for no reason, there's definitely benefit that can be taken from there and,
you know, appreciated, understood and used in our own work towards towards good causes, but not to take it wholesale, and to be very acutely aware of where does this message go against my tradition, both in terms of its form and its substance? Right, because sometimes something looks good on the outside, but it's spiritually completely wrong. Right.
There are and I could go on for longer than I should. But this is something that I think,
again, there's a now it's cool to be involved in social justice. It's, it's,
it's popular, and it has its own culture. And it's easy to get permeated with that, you know, that we talked about call out culture or canceled culture, right? That's part of the current social justice, like
climate, social justice, work climate, how much of that is within Islam? We do correct things. Absolutely. We believe in Islam. Right. We believe in honestly, how, and, and all of that. But is the methodology that we are seeing in the public arena? Is that the methodology of our Deen? Or does it completely go against the methodology of our Deen and you will, and people will be able to know that unless they have enough requisite knowledge of their own thing.
To see that. So young people again, in college, we're learning things, I think
they should be encouraged not just young people, adults, organizational leaders, like there is a we want what we produce for the world, the contribution that we make, to be coming from a place of Isaiah, like you mentioned, that, you know, we are confident in our Prophet Mohammed Salah, we are we are confident that Allah Subhana Allah has given us a guidance for all time. And that this is the core root of what we will rely on, what we will turn to what we will reflect on in order to meet the challenges of the day.
It is the it is the moral compass. It is the filter for everything else. And I think that when we do it the other way around. I remember
once being asked, I wanted if I can go help someone go through the CETA and find all like examples in the CETA that can help teach a particular topic in a class they were teaching.
And, and I told them, I said, I understand like this idea of let me find examples of this. So I can teach this topic is one way of doing it. But I'm like if you were to really approach it holistically, you would study the CETA as a whole do what is the principles it is teaching us? Not how do I associate stories with my own preconceived ideas? Don't let me study it for what it's giving me. Let me extract some principles rather than impose upon it. The messaging I'm trying to get out of it for the purpose I'm trying to serve in whatever capacity I have, you know, civil rights or, or, or otherwise.
And so, yeah, I think that we need to have greater confidence in our own religious religion, our own scholarly tradition and
help people to have access to it the average person increasing their access to literacy, basic Islamic literacy,
basic understandings and also differences of opinion.
these are not these are not hard, you know, but they are foundational issues that when they are
when they're not offered to young people's kind of love, like they they will struggle for years about about something that really
could have been resolved much earlier on in their lives had the right foundations been provided for them and the right empowerment like you have.
You have the not only the right, but like, welcomed me to study it. You know, this religion welcomes your,
your gaze, you know, welcomes your study, it welcomes you to come and learn.
You know, just listening to you reminded me of
something one of my friends, sisters are a forest who's done quite a lot of work on them. You know, Islam and feminism. One of the things she says is, you know,
socialism, for example, okay, or capitalism, communism, these are solutions, right, put forward to the problem of the economy.
And we as Muslims, we would never say, Islam is capitalist, Islamic economic system, for example, or the Islamic economic solutions are capitalist or that they are communist. We might say, you know, okay, this this thing, this idea from capitalism, yeah, Islam would agree with that. And this idea from communism, or from socialism, or some would find that congruent with its worldview. And but we would posit that Islam has its own economic system, economic vision. And similarly, I think if, you know, one of the ways that we can explain to sisters who, quite innocently and quite, you know, we've kind of good intentions might want to adopt feminism as a, you know, as a cause, we could say,
something similar to them. But just as you know, communism is one answer to the problem of the economy or capitalism, capitalism is one answer to the problem of the economy. And we as Muslims would not adopt either of them wholesale.
Similarly, feminism is one
could say, actually, it's all sorts of responses to the problem of or the question of women's rights.
You know, we as Muslims, we have our own framework for addressing the problems, you know, that have the problem of oppression, basically, oppression from women are pushing towards men. And so when you take an ideology wholesale, as you're saying, you know, if you were to take that ideology, wholesale, you need to be really careful, because you need to look through what the premise of the ideology is, right, what the premises are, to the arguments, that that ideology, presents, what the backgrounds of the ideologues who have helped to formulate that ideology. So whether, you know, those ideologues have been consistent over the years, you know, who their own thought
one of those kinds of things, you know, needs to be scrutinized. So, although I would say two brothers and sisters out there who, you know, might have Islam might have been presented to them in the incorrect way, etc. And they might have been attracted to other kinds of other ideal ideologies or systems of thought. I would say, the onus is also on you, you know, as the most to do your own research, right? If you're a student, you are being primed to do research. So,
you know, I don't think there's much excuse nowadays, like, you know, I'm trying to be a bit tough on the students out there and say that, you know, Mashallah, there are scholars there are traditional,
you know, online and on site, Institute's all over the West now. Her University has an online program, you know, so in terms of people who want to go and do a traditional like, Pamela that wasn't there when I was when I was doing undergrad. I think it appeared it started like the last year when I was when I was finishing and didn't have an online undergraduate Islamic Studies ship, you know, program. It wasn't that what we did was specifically [???]tier but um,
But still that they had a comprehensive program was the stomach studies there, they're the degree in that is a little bit different than the [???]tier program. But still it does have a lot it has. It has Islamic law it has.
You know, it has, but it has just less of every set kind of different component, whereas God has an entirely Islamic law. So the, I mean, just, that's it for one of the oldest universities in the history of the world, not just the history of Islam, one of the oldest universities in the history of the world,
online undergraduate degree program, you know, so,
you know, going back to the subject of feminism, and its pull on the Muslim community and Muslim women during this time.
One of the things that I've heard Muslim women say,
we're so tired of hearing talks and lectures about women in Islam, and their rights, and how they're treated so well. Because in our lives, we don't see any of that. Like, there are talks about the rights of marriage and the rights of inheritance and her economic rights in marriage. And the shooter that her husband is supposed to have with her like in terms of consulting her on issues, and how she is supposed to,
you know, be honored in different life phases in different ways. And like in terms of the beautiful narrations we have, from the Prophet, Mohammed Salah. And so they're just they don't want to hear it. Yeah, the reason they don't want to hear it is because the de facto practice in their families and their cultures, sometimes even in their messages, is completely different than what is taught at the women in Islam lecture. Right? Or class. So they'll go to a master that does not allow women at all, and that's happened to me, I literally tried to pray. And they told me to go to storage room of the bookstore. While there was a massive machine next to it with no one in it, this happened in the
UK, not in some country, this happened also in a Muslim country, when I was living in Egypt, um, there are definitely massages that allow women, but then there's massages that don't. So there are these women who will say, I don't want to hear any more talks about women in Islam, because in our lives, people aren't practicing it, it's like, we want to show everyone that Islam, you know, really honors women,
as a as almost a marketing tool. But what we really need to do is make sure that and, and, and have methods of really holding our institutions accountable, first and foremost, because the public institutions,
that that they set the standard for a lot of people. And then and then also going back and addressing what's happening in Muslim families, and what's happening to Muslim women on a very real level, you know, we have, unfortunately, we have the same, I shouldn't say the same, but we also have issues of domestic abuse in the Muslim community, right, we have issues of
psychological abuse, emotional abuse, we have divorced women who have come out of very traumatic marriages. And a lot of these women will afterwards remove their hijab. And it's not because they don't love Allah. But they don't love the version of Islam that was forced upon them in a very traumatic marital experience. And so it's almost like they're trying to be like, I'm Muslim, but I'm not practicing your Islam. You know, that Islam that beat me up that Islam that silence to me that Islam that marginalized me and made me feel like I was not that it wasn't worth anything, you know, and so, um, so some of the responses that we see in the Muslim community, when in terms of turning
like a movement, like feminism, for example, is because there's a lot of real pain, that theory alone, our discussion of our philosophical religious framework alone is not going to bring the healing that is needed for these women. And so we really do need to change the culture,
the the rules, the systems, and we need to get into actually bringing up the standard of the way that women are treated, you know, in our own community, according to our own methodology, and according to our own framework, we have to do if we put work in that realm, I think we're gonna see a lot less people talking about other theorists, you know, and other projects and other movements and other we're not doing the work. We're not where we need to do better at
at being able to stand for what's principled and right, based on our own
thing reminds me of this. had these
were all my personal hubbub, you know, he was making a speech and he said, you know, don't be excessive in giving diaries. You know, don't
Hi, diaries, women, okay, because he felt that diaries were getting a bit out of hand, right? And one of this hobby out or what, I don't know, if it was as a hobby, it could have been the next generation, a Muslim woman, she stood up and said,
it's not so Omar for Allah says, you know, and then she quoted the eye of the Quran that you know, you can give them even if you give them a great amount, you know, it's okay. So, Omar said, so when Omar had this, so in other words, she used the deen she used the knowledge, right? She used knowledge in order to
influence comma, or to correct Omar. And he, you know, he even said, you know, indeed, the woman has spoken woman is right, and I'm wrong, right.
And liberation means that everyone, everyone is more knowledgeable.
I think one of the things about from that had the, I've really always felt is, it kind of reminds me that as a Muslim woman, and as a Muslim, anytime I see something that needs changing, or an incorrect understanding that maybe a community or part of the community have adopted,
I feel that the best way to try to change that is not to reject that community, and then go outside and have you know, adopt a framework that is alien to the dean, or to Islam, but instead to enter and engage, just as this lady did, you know, when there was something that she felt was that she knew was incorrect.
She woke up, but she used knowledge. And she did it in a acceptable ways to use the, I would say the, the kind of the route that was available to her
in order to bring about change. And I do think that, like,
myself, just being engaging with Muslim scholars, engaging with leaders of Masada, then different communities
in a very positive way with wisdom, personally, I feel that will bring about more kind of progress and change that
doing anything to kind of sudden and radical because, and the reason for that is, although there are things like for example, you know, the massage and not allowing women and stuff like that, by now, those things should have changed, right.
Still, there are some kind of, I would say historical reasons, you know, context that we kind of need to understand to appreciate why those things are the way they are. Not that that excuses. That, okay, but it just kind of explains why. Yeah, yeah, explain what happened,
and why certain things are the way they are. And that could kind of talk to us, maybe what we need to focus on in order to, to change things as well.
Yeah. to, to bring about change from within takes, takes a lot more want to say energy, and
an effort, there's a lot more effort like to bring it about from within. I do want to add, though, that there are women I know who have
been really traumatized from putting in, let's say a decade's worth of work or years of their life into trying to bring about some kind of benefit in a Muslim community institution. And
because I cousin right now, I do community chaplaincy, right? I do. I have office hours through The Mentalist I get one on one appointments now from hamdulillah. Like, not just college students, but wherever anyone I mean, even like, in especially in the age of the pandemic, from different countries, they just we do it through the what's up phone number. So some of the stories I'm hearing through the global Muslim community,
about from women in particular, is is about experiences where they actually did try to go in and change an institution or work towards the betterment of one and they, they feel so drained. And this is not unique to women. I've heard this from actually men as well. Male instructors, teachers, moms, will go into an institution put their heart and energy and just pour. They're the best of what they have to offer into trying to better institution for the Muslim community, only to be really badly burned afterwards.
And by burned I mean, completely ostracized, seen as a troublemaker, not allowed to enter meeting
He's not allowed to, like, enter spaces that they used to hold the keys for
things where they were just basically like,
being perceived as an, again, going with good intentions with beautiful conduct. But somehow authorities in charge really feeling like, I don't want to change things the way this person is asking me to. And when I see this person, they're kind of a threat. So we're just going to ostracize them, collectively, just treat them like they're not there. walk past them, it's more than one. And so that's one example. The other example is the opposite, where they'll fire like the local email, they'll give him a terrible review. And the community loves the email and the community, like he's literally poured his life into, into their teaching their children and whatnot. But so the point is,
is that like, I do want to say, Yes, we should, we should the the ideal situation is to go in and work for the betterment of institutions. But on the other hand, there is just like, there are a tyrant oppressors and the Muslim world, right? We do have tyrant oppressors in the boards of massages and Muslim institutions we do. There they we have people who love authority, and they love
holding these positions for the purpose of their own selves, or whatever it is. And one of the proofs of that, that things are missing. It's not just that they may have a quote unquote, difference of opinion, because you can still honor someone with a difference of opinion, you can still welcome someone, when you don't agree with them, you can still give them a place to be and to feel accepted within the community, when you don't, when you don't agree with their ideas. But when someone is
I want to say when people are treated badly, okay, like, literally yelled at.
So I know sisters who will have spent a lot of their time and energy invested in the Muslim community, trying to better them trying to help, you know, even fundraise for them trying to really help with edit from within to, from a place of really goodwill of not only trying to maybe shift some of the practices that are harmful towards the community to be more beneficial, especially practices that are harmful towards women. And then they'll they will have like poured their heart and energy into these institutions and unfortunately, been mistreated. In the process very, very egregiously mistreated. And then those same women will go into a any kind of organization in the
community, like in the wider community that is a non Muslim organization, right? Maybe it's an interfaith organization, maybe it's chaplaincy out of university with other you know, people or it's civil rights, right. But it's a it's a, it's, again, not a Muslim organization. It's a general organization that deals with
I want to say, a nonprofit that deals with the well being in the community. And they will find automatically that they are respected, honored, and automatically elevated to the highest levels of leadership within that organization.
I know a sister who,
you know, Netflix, like the or, you know, the company, the company, Netflix, saw credentials and saw her capacity and they asked her to apply for their opening as a vice president of the company, the entire company of Netflix, and this is a Muslim sister who
Mashallah is, has been involved in a number of Muslim organizations in her rightful place in her qualifications, and her knowledge and her experience. And her wisdom is to be the head of that organization. Like, hands down, whenever I've seen her work. I'm like, I've just been humbled.
But when she's, again, not that she even is seeking authority, she's not some kind of like, she's always been the servant of these other organizations. She's helped so many different massages and institutions,
you know, be able to collect the funds they need to exist, but that sister will be used for fundraising. But when she says, when she hasn't suggestion for your program that's like this. Maybe we need to do something like that. That's going to be of service to the community and help women or help the condition of our sisters. In those situations, it's more like,
Thanks, but no thanks. Right and often a condescending, because she's a woman,
a condescending tone. And she's told me what some Do you know, do you know what?
What was that? Because I had, I said, you know why I'm laughing. Because I've experienced this myself. You know,
I've experienced this myself and
it is disheartening is, you know, especially when, I don't know if you've experienced this and you know, I hope that this conversation is beneficial for brothers and sisters who are listening and especially, maybe brothers who might be running organizations or
volved in organizations,
one of the things I've noticed is that sometimes maybe it's because the brothers you know, the organization's are quite new, or they're quite unsure about how sisters should fit in, I'm not sure.
But I sometimes get the feeling that
although they recognize that the brothers come in all different qualities and different with different backgrounds and different strengths and different personalities, there tends to be this treatment of sisters as a monolith, you know, like,
sisters will be great volunteers or sisters will be great fundraising said, or, you know, for a very kind of neat recall, to decorate the beautiful hall where the events going to take place and to clean it up.
And obviously, that's not to belittle those wrongs. No, but just as brothers have different personalities and different roles, a different kind of strengths.
Sisters are the same, right? Like,
then it's perfectly possible to be a sister who is more qualified to, you know, be in a thinking role. And director of sample
who isn't suited to, you know, managing or being there on an operation level, for example, right. And yet, unfortunately, I I've experienced this as well, but statistics are sometimes,
you know, pigeonholed into particular roles and, and I fear that Muslim organizations are losing out on talent, you know,
are they really are these women out? I have,
you know, they have worked in other organizations, other institutions outside looking outside the Muslim community. And then only when they've achieved some kind of prominence in these other organizations, then the Muslim community notices, we have a practicing Muslim sister who's working in you know, I won't say the name of the organization and then all invited to speak and it was like she was there all alone, right. She was in your community all along, you had to wait till a non Muslim institution honored her, recognized her, rewarded her and awarded her before you could give her a voice within the community. I still remember when I was at Angelina Jolie came to a major
message in America. I don't know if you heard about that in the UK, but it was it was a brouhaha in the sense that
she they had an event and she came into almost a major messier than it was attended by the media and it was attended by the community. And she comes in to the masala right to the front of the masala with other speakers and whatnot. And she addresses also community and there were so many women who it wasn't that they had a problem with Angelina Jolie, per se, but they will but they said basically like
you brought in a Hollywood actress to come and speak to our community from in front of the masala and we have never had a woman do this in our own Masjid, who is a knowledgeable teacher or scholar or Daya or even someone from the youth program was going to share a bone, you know what I mean?
Like you had to
I want to say you organize this event around
the prominence of a non Muslim Female Speaker. And again, they don't have a problem with the fact that she is non Muslim or that he's female with a cute this is like the first time it's happening for many massages.
This major event in the in the Muslim community. So it's very insulting, it's very insulting. And that tokenisation is a very real, like, we need to have women invited as speakers to events. So the token Female Speaker or the token females, you know, just so that people don't get mad at that particular event. And then giving them a very very minimal
tiny space within the program in almost dictating the entirety of the talk to them in the toxic
leader These are real things and it's like we can talk about women's
our practice, just show people that, you know, we're like Do we really honor and value the woman's voice? And I want to say that like yes we have in Islam when you think about like spiritual patriarchy the Prophet Mohammed Al Salam is like a father figure for this oma so I believe in that, you know, but I also believe in spiritual matriarchy as well. And I believe that we have both. We have our mother Khadija, and I shall dwell on her and, you know, the, the the mothers of the believers as these voices have guidance for us in our lives, and their example of letting my salon and the poor and the great women of Paradise the great Sahaba that we know about so we do have
We have both spiritual patriarchy and spiritual matriarchy. And I wouldn't say, I don't I don't actually talk so much about.
And this is a controversial thing to say I say I don't. I say like, yeah, you know, we have spiritual equality. But I believe on a social level, I believe in privilege.
I believe in privilege. And everyone's like, what, what are you talking about? Like, I believe that men are privileged in certain ways, and women are privileged in certain ways. And what tends to happen is met in the Muslim community is Muslim men are claiming their privilege. And Muslim women do not claim their God given privilege. And if we actually did claim our privilege in the same way, and this is I'm not talking about, you know, come You know, inventing anything, I'm talking about God given privilege, Allah has privileged in ways in certain ways,
we would actually see that complimentary balance, we would actually see a space where both genders are really honored. To give you an example, we often, aside from the fact that there's inheritance abuse, there's economic abuse, there's women who work and their money is automatically assumed within as being part of the household. And she actually has a right and an imperative to have her own bank account, and to choose how she spends her money. Like that. That's, that's something that widely in America is not the norm. Her income is often if I know very few cases, I should say where her income is not separate, and according to how she chooses to spend it. And that's it, that's a
very fundamental principle no chef will disagree with, right, that if her being used to support the family, it's Subbu. And it's by her choice, not by being forced, the actual obligation is on the husband. So there's that.
That's the first one. The second thing is this idea that after Allah and His Messenger, who do you honor, your mother, your mother, your mother, right now, in our, the architecture of our Muslim institutions? Where are the mothers? What is their place, we're going to try to honor our mothers as a community, do they have the dungeon? Do they have the room that's in the back that's downstairs that's smelly next to the closet and all those storage boxes. And that's where they can keep the kids, you know, does the architecture of our mess should even consider where mothers with small children are going to be
playing in the building of something it's like after Allah and His Messenger, your mother. Okay, so now I need to think as an organizational leader, how is my space going to honor and welcome mothers, and SubhanAllah. The amazing thing is that if you if community institutions really prioritize, the well being, and the welcome and the ease of access for mothers in that institution, like making it such that our mother can just be like, Oh, this place I can just go to even though I have kids, I have responsibilities. But this is a place I can be involved in, when mothers are taken care of the entire community is taken care of. That's the blessing of actually following the guidance when
mothers are given the capacity to be included in the space of an institution, they naturally Subhanallah it's like a blessing, I want to say it's almost like the reward of of following the prophetic guidance.
They are, they often end up just out of because of the nature of the mother, they end up taking care of everything, they will volunteer, and they will cook to no end, they will call up all friends and have them cook, you know, and we'll have free food for
the mothers are brought about mother's network. Some institutions recognize the value of the Women's Network, the mother's network. But again, I want to say more than just
like giving them that honor, think about how we how would we honor our own mother in our own home, we would listen to their advice, right? If she has something to guide us in if there's something that she wants to correct us in with, you know, apply the quality of bitter weighting that we've tried to practice individually on a social and institutional level.
Where's the place of our elders?
Always old women who cannot go up the stairs to the second floor to the muscle lot are in this tiny corner of the men's muscle love leaving like this left out group of what you know. That's how we treat our mothers.
And if we flipped it subpanel if we really flip the paradigm, we would see I think, a lot of blessing. Not just like success as an institution, but we see Buttercup we see blessing because we're practicing these values. And this is like specialized privilege, right? honoring the elderly. They deserve a special honor honoring scholars, they deserve a special honor. Honoring mothers they deserve like a professor amirite saying that three times, right. These are
this idea of Nasrullah nessman, asila home put
proper places. And when we don't do that, there is low, that's when oppression happens.
You know, and even even stuff that even a simple thing, like for example, I remember there was a, there was an institute and the, the brothers would enter through the main entrance, and they would immediately be in the warm, you know, like entrance so they would have an easy kind of access to the classrooms, right. And the sisters, all in our drill bars are long, you know, long globe buyers that everything would have to go up these stairs, okay, outdoor stairs made of metal, that were very kind of dangerous, you could slip anytime, and you're going two or three flights in order to avoid
clashing with the brothers right in order to avoid that. So Pamela, I remember thinking to myself, you know, no, this isn't the right thing, you know, when the sisters if you really care about women? And also if you really believe that Jani, you know, original color, Mona Lisa, men also, you know, they're supposed to be the protectors, the caretakers of the women, and you know, women intrinsically have a certain level of sensitivity, etc, etc, then you should be giving the ease of access, right? The comfortable access to the sisters, right? And making the brothers go up all those stairs, and, you know, in that kind of dangerous, and trends, etc, right? So, it's really strange,
why certain things that seem so obvious or not, are not implemented, you know,
I don't know what the,
I don't know what the reason for that is, it could be because I've seen a tendency in my mom's generation, for example, this is a people from the indo Pakistani kind of background, I've seen a tendency to,
for women to always kind of
make the men comfortable, you know,
for that to be a given, you know, the men are comfortable.
the women, you know, that's, that's the cultural norm, I would say, you know, my mom literally would be the last to eat,
she would make sure the men have all eaten and, you know, and then she would take care of herself. So there is that kind of,
I think it could be a remnant of that culture, you know, of women kind of,
maybe even just doing it themselves, or it just being a culture that passed down that, you know, the men go first, the men get the most comfortable that when really when you look at, you know, Subhanallah when you look at the Sierra, or the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam?
You know, it's the opposite. Yeah.
And I think chivalry, the idea of chivalry, of,
you know, the protective nature of, you know, the believing men and women are earlier of one another, right? In the sense that they they call to what is good, and they forbid, what is evil, right. And this is a verse of the Quran. And this idea of believing men and women being earlier of one another, this is like a protective
love for the sake of Allah. Right? That that is that exists between our brothers and sisters. So I, on one hand, I want to say like the gesture of the the wife or the mother, to nurture and to, to, like to love the different members of her household and to honor them is is rewarded. But I want to say that it is two ways that it should never just be that the that on one hand,
this, you know, let's say the mother is
like letting her kids eat first or letting her husband even eat her feet for us that's coming out of like, the goodness of her heart, right? And we should be rewarded for that. But what's the what's the right response? Right, the right response is like, No, no, you You did all this let me you, you can eat for us, like offering it back to her. Why don't you sit down? And you know, you? And if she says no, no, no, because it's a lot of times I know as like a as a, as someone who's prepared food for my family. Like I when I see everybody settled in eating uncomfortable, that's when I can relax and eat my own food, right? And it's like, I can't actually enjoy mine and everybody else have
already settled. So that's, that's there. But then some things apparel as an example, that like my husband, God bless him and protect him and protect him from any kind of hazard whatsoever. But something he'll do is he'll wash the dishes afterwards. Like if I'm
doing that in the kitchen or whatever, during the preparation, then he will actually wash all the dishes.
And so, you know, I feel blessed by that, you know, but it's it's this idea.
idea of taking care of each other. And he doesn't do the dishes because I asked him to, he doesn't do them because he just sees them in the sink. He already knows I've worked, you know, in that day, and then he washes them all. hamdulillah. And so that's like, I mean, we jokingly say that he's washed more dishes in his life than I did, then I have.
So but there's this idea of taking care of each other. That's also that's like coming from a place like goodwill. And,
you know, there's a, there's just when we have like goodwill experiences with each other as a community as like, I'm talking here is an example of marriage, right? But you can see that in the larger community in terms of just brothers and sisters really caring for each other and putting the other side first or having a thought but in particular, the prophet SAW said and he said, like, could have been Belka worried, like women are,
deserve a certain privilege. Again, women have a
level of like, ladies first type of technology that you can transmit, it can translate
with the god, I think it's
been translated as fragile vessels.
Like, precious like precious, precious,
like vessels like like a, like a chandelier is made of glass, right? So you don't like you're not rough with it, or else it'll break. And doesn't mean that women are
not strong, the idea is that they're very precious, and that they have a different
like natural sort of,
state or, or nature, and that they are to be treated with an extra level of gentleness
and even care, right, then a man would treat another man.
We don't have a gender spectrum, we have a gender binary. And so the female is not like the male, the male is not like the female. And, you know, we are to treat people, women in particular with a very special added care.
And that's the like you said, sometimes it's the opposite of that as an add, like, it's one thing in a family setting where the mother is wanting to take care of everyone and make sure everyone's
but on an institutional level, it's a completely different thing, like women and children
are the you take care of those who are
the most vulnerable or weak, like you take care of the elderly, those who are sick, you take care of women and children, those are who those are the first category. So because an institution reflects
reflects morals, values and principles, right for the entire community, even down to who can lead prayer, who is the most worthy of being the Imam and a prayer congregation, we have found that we have an understanding of you don't just put anyone in the prayer, the person who has this more knowledge of assignment law has more alkalete we have the concepts of
first. And when it comes to at an institutional level,
we honored elderly First, we honor our mothers First, we honor and we take care of those who are the youngest and we weakest, I know I won't use the term weak, but like children, for example, their needs first, and and then the men go second. That's just and that's not to say that men are quote, unquote, less important, but it's like the, the the leader, or the one who has the the the role of kurama he is his job is to actually make sure that everyone else is cared for. Right.
So and to be fair, I was gonna say, to be fair, like, some of the, like, some of the biggest supporters of I've had in various stages of my studies, and, you know, even within organizations have often been, you know, brothers who are
awake to these issues, right. And
and that's why we see such a difference. I think we see such a major difference right now, the way that our Muslim organizations are versus when I was a kid. When I was a little girl, I, I saw a completely different example of what Muslim American institutions look like and felt like versus today. And I think that was not possible without the support of the brothers also, who helped to support and encourage that change. So this idea, again, going back to the idea of men and women being earlier of one another, being caretakers of one another every time sisters feel a supportive experience from a Muslim male, community member or community leader, that is a win for our
community. And similarly every time brothers feel that support from sisters is also a win, but it should be both ways. Right? The verse in the Quran is the believing men and believing women
I only have one another. And we do need both sides to really
take that role on of being these protective.
I want to say, supporters, protectors and supporters of each other, I wrote something as simple I remember once I was going to mesh it to pray, and the women's section of the muscle is just behind the men's section. So it's just one floor, it's an open muscle. But when I looked through the window of the door, I saw that they were men sitting all in the women's area of that of the muscle, so I didn't know where to go. And so I was gonna just they have a second muscle upstairs. And rather than having the men move out of the women's area, I was just gonna go pray upstairs, there was a brother, who saw that I looked in the window, and I and I, and who saw that the other brothers were sitting
in the space that I that was that was allotted for women. And he came, he came out, he said, sister, did you want to come pray here? And I said, Yes. And he said, Wait a second. And then he went back in and he talked to the brothers, and you have them all move out of the way. And then it came in and prayed. And I remember there's that one gesture, felt like I don't know, the brother, I don't know his name. I don't know if I'll ever see him again. But I remember the gesture, I remember how it felt to be treated as his sister in Islam, you know what I'm saying. And that's the beautiful sort of conduct that we're trying to encourage
institutions, it's, it's those gestures to, to open that space up to that I don't have to ask that you're noticing that you're caring that you're that you recognize that there's something that's wrong here and that you will step in
and make a difference. So May Allah subhanaw taala help our community I think that inshallah, as we, like you said, the institution's today are doing so much better. No female teacher, I know, not a single female teacher, I know was not, has not have is not someone who can, who can say they got where they got without having had very significant, important and meaningful support from Muslim male brothers and brothers or leaders or scholars in their lives. So we're trying to talk about like, a war of the sexes embrace a battle of the sexes, but more of like,
this idea of doing the slot, right, we want to do a slot of, of any area in our community that we feel, you know, that we're finding an imbalance in, right.
And I think also teaching sisters
that, you know, teaching sisters that it's okay to, to push back, you know, when you see something, don't assume this is the religion, don't assume this is the way things have to be, don't miss when you hear something in the university or at home.
Allah subhanaw, taala gave you agency, give you ability give you
you know, if you don't understand something, to ask to search to push and to, to work for things to become better inshallah?
Absolutely. And to finish the kind of topic of
on feminism as well, I just wanted to add that, you know, one of the things I like to say to sisters is that, you know, if you look at the, if you just look at the history of feminism, and also the situation today, with, you know, the feminist movement, there's a huge amount of confusion, especially today, like as to what, you know, what, even the very principles and the kind of
the causes that feminism will support are, you know, and one of the things that we have to realize is that any ideology that is man made, or that has been formulated in the minds of fallible human beings,
there's always going to be, you know, at some point, there's going to be problems, and it's especially I remember when I was researching the 60s, and like the second wave of feminism, etc. One of the things that you'll find is that the whole movement against motherhood, okay, the whole movement against the concept of there being a maternal instinct, or that children need their mothers, for example.
That was very much instigated by the feminist movement. And
that's just one example. Right? And then years later, it was found that, you know, that had caused so much harm, you know, women had stopped breastfeeding, for example,
you know, children were being put into daycare from, from when they were babies, you know, from morning till night. And these things, were having a real effect on the next generation and then, you know, governments like, you know, the UK
The government has a whole campaign on, for example, breastfeeding or, you know, trying to kind of
go back and say, No, no, no, actually, mothers are important, you know,
a child, any carer is not just interchangeable for a child, you know, the mother has a special role as a special. And so, you know, and, and the reason why I mentioned that is because, you know, that anti motherhood sentiment was very much a feminist cause in the 60s, and yet, later on, you know, it was found that actually, it did more harm than good. And similarly, in our times, you know, the whole kind of erasure of gender, right? The whole kind of idea that there's no difference between men and women. That was again, close to identify with whatever gender you feel like that day. That's, that's it? I mean, I don't know for sure. Yeah, that's where it's heading. This idea. Even
even feminists today, you know, are divided, right? Like, there are feminists who are very much against this whole, the kind of modern transgender thing, because they say, Well, this is just men encroaching onto women's, any, you know, women's. Right. And, and, and then on the other hand, there are others, other feminists who are saying, Yeah, but there's no difference between the men and women, right. And that was kind of a principle that feminism really promoted, right? And famous feminists promoted in, especially in the 60s and 70s. So
in a kind of strange kind of way, the gender confusion that has come about today, was in in some way, linked to feminism of the past. Because we say there's no difference between men and women. And
then what you do is you open the doors for this kind of, you know, confusion, right. And this is one of the interesting things about that, like how there's every wave, there's a teaching a practice part of the agenda that has proven over it, like at the time everyone adopts it, and then years later, they look back and say that was really harmful, we're gonna try to undo that, but the damage has already been done.
And you're gonna we're going through this now with what what you mentioned in terms of getting rid of the gender area and about gender as a spectrum. And the idea of sexuality in feminism is really interesting, because
in some of the studies that talk about, like, when they were, again, they're literally coming up with what, like on a, on a philosophical level, on a completely philosophical level, what does equal, what does equality for the sexes mean? So some said that what it means is that there's no superiority and a sexual relationship between men and women. Right, that was one of the
some in, you know, like,
what they said was that in every,
you know, there's still security in terms of that elbow and still experiences sexual superiority, because, as a father, a woman who has a father still has to answer to the authority of a father, okay. And so she's up somehow that I mean, think about that, not only motherhood, but fatherhood itself, don't she, because she has to obey a male figure in her life, then, then that's not then she doesn't have full equality, she still doesn't have full sexual equality. So in that grand what they actually said was the only way to have full sexual equality between the male and the female is to get it. I mean, forgive me because this is vulgar, but to get rid of the taboo of incest,
because they felt that it is only through the actual act, the sexual act, that the genders feel sexually equal.
This is absurd. This is right, like, like people sitting in a room trying to come up with sexual equality based on whatever who else is sitting in the room with them honestly, like, right, there's this.
D? Yeah, gosh, how are these people brought up? So I'm gonna, so this is this there in terms of when we talk about the genealogy of different movements and thoughts that exist.
Are they different isms different ideologies, we have to look at what was said in their conferences, what was being discussed. Today, for example, they'll talk about intersectional feminism and how, you know, it's a feminism that represents so many different identities. And there are religious feminists, there are Muslim feminists are Christian feminists and
in some ways, an appropriation of women's rights of other religions already.
Provide an offer into an a movement that actually does not consult with them. You know, so we talk about like cultural appropriation. Right. To me the idea of most feminism or quote unquote, Islamic feminism is a form of appropriation, why religion only gives me all I need, right? I don't need your feminism label to be added to my given rights. I already have, as long as I'm happy, like, Allah gave me what I need. Thank you, yeah, Allah, I want to share that with the world.
Like the world to understand what he has given me. And I'm in no need of another movement, to somehow give me a level of authority, or give me a level of,
you know, acceptance, I don't need your seal of approval, right? I that. If I believe in my religion, I do not need your movements, seal of approval, your movement needs mine, your movement needs to look at what we're doing, not the other way around.
Absolutely. And also, I think it can't be kind of, we can't understate the fact that
some of the feminist ideologies or beliefs can literally lead to disbelief, right.
So even, for example, this whole idea that as if, you know, the men should be completely detached from men, right? Because that's basically what it is, you know, when we say that, I mean, when when feminists find the idea of the male being responsible for the female, you know, having that kind of role of being a protector, when they find that problematic? Well, where is that going to end? Right? Because our profits are men, right? You know,
our money, the most authoritative voice in our DNA is the voice of a human being is the voice of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, right? And he was our patriarch, if we want to use that word, right, he literally
is the male figure, the Messenger of Allah, who came to give us guidance, and tell us how to live our lives, right. And he told us what their powerful men and women is to gender. So if we are to reject, you know, or if we are to adopt some of the language of feminism, and we were to adopt some of these ideas, right, it will literally lead us to reject some of the most fundamental
or at least be very careful, oh, you know, about how we, I want to say that there's,
there's this need, whenever people are trying to prove themselves in a completely different paradigm, they're giving that paradigm of authority over their own practice, and the authority tells me this is right and wrong within it. So what you will find is, people sort of filtering their own identity, filtering their own practice of religion to fit what this other group is going to approve of. And we've talked about this, like, you know, as a community, we've reflected on the effect of colonialism in the Muslim world, and the effect of post colonialism in the Muslim world and all of and this idea of needing to prove themselves and fitting in to the notion that we're somehow not
backwards, or not, as, you know, the savages as the, as the colonial powers, painted us out to be the Orientals presented us to be. So this, it's really coming from a very defensive and inferior place of I need to prove myself to this power that is better than me, is more important than me, there's more valuable than me.
In so doing, right, you've, you, you know, people have given them more authority, more power. And,
you know, it's like, this, this, this whole need this inferiority complex. I want to say that but on the other hand, I just want to add this, I think it's important.
Our Muslim women that I've met, who identify themselves as, as feminists, okay, they say that they are [???]ty, are based feminist. So, and that's like a term that they use because they feel like it helps them to connect better to other women in their society, other women in the country and to cause people to broaden their scope of what they think feminism can look like, and all of that, right. And that's, that's a particular approach that exists. And I know those women and I know those women practice their Deen in a very Mashallah like, exemplary manner. Right? It's just, it's an approach that I want to say that I would personally disagree with, as, as a as a methodology, but I
don't want to say that it is how long like that they do. I don't want to say is how long because there there can possibly be space for that. For
manifestation that is based on the [???]tier. And there, you know, this idea of no shadow for this to life. That's what they're basing it on. I don't think it's correct. I think it's like, I don't think it's, it's, you know, it's possible for someone to be correct, it's possible for someone to make an MC had, and it could be incorrect. I personally don't feel it's correct. And I'm not, you know, a senior scholar of any sorts, someone who's studied in the past and a very humble level of knowledge and still trying to grow. So, but I want to say that we, we should recognize that that voice is also a strength in the community. And even if we don't always agree with them,
that it doesn't mean that they don't have a valid place within the discussion within the
I want to say the broader scope of the subject matter itself.
podcast with someone who's that view, and sort of do a little bit of back and forth that debate per se, you can do a debate, I'm actually open to debate but the idea of being like, let's, let's, let's tease this out a little further. Again, I don't feel like it's the correct pitch the head at all. But I do believe it's an HD head that some women have taken in our times that are SCA scholars in their own rights, much more senior than myself. So I say that just to say that it's possible to, to care about this Deen and about being authentic to the scene to the practice of the scene and still,
and still not necessarily agree with what I'm saying?
Yeah, I also think that
sisters who might do that with good intention,
I do think they should reconsider. Because, like I said, if you're if you're adopting the, the label of feminism, and then redefining it completely, right, and adding your own definition to it,
rather than what feminists thought, or, you know, the feminist movement, or the various feminist groups,
consider it to be and have defined it to be then, in a way, it's not feminism anymore. Anyway, right? You're, you're redefining anyway, so then why use that word.
But if you're not then like,
like you said, you're at risk of like, basically scrutinizing the world through a lens of a manmade worldview, which is literally based on trial and error. Yeah. That's literally what it is. And
also, the feminist will never accept you, you call yourself a Sharia based feminist. And I
don't know how that goes down in the meetings, you know, the Sharia based feminists, I don't know, my, my honestly, my worst interactions with
people regarding hijab, for example, in terms of presentations about, like, the women in Islam that I've done in different capacities in different places, has actually been with feminists. Like, it was a feminist, who came to me and told me, when I see you wearing that, I feel like just ripping it off your head. I've never had a single human being say that, to me. It was an old white lady
at a nursing home, and I was doing a presentation. And she was saying it in a polite way. She was saying, like, you know, she heard the presentation, she said, that's my first instinct. But then I heard you talk. And then I realized it didn't mean what I thought it meant. But the point is, is that,
that the, even in interactions, like I've been in settings, I've been on panels, of different topics, were feminist organizations and leaders were there. And,
and the interaction was always like, this, this condescending We are the authority, you are the one who has to prove yourself in my space, even if the space wasn't theirs to begin with. Right? So this is just one form of authoritative oppression replacing one form of authoritative oppression with another. And this is ideological colonization, right? Yeah. It no longer like no longer physical. Mm hmm. Yeah. And so kind of like, you know, we, we, as Muslims, as you mentioned, already, we're here to
an alternative vision to the world right to people are living their lives,
not to adopt other people's visions, you know, that I've literally been
only been here for a few decades people have formulated a trial and error based you know,
not tried and tested, etc, etc, you know, we have something superior so
to, to kind of subject what is superior to what is inferior
is an act of self harm, right? Absolutely.
Yeah, so Charla I do hope that
You know, our community does wake up to oppression and difficulties and all in all its forms, you know. And that we realized that we do have the framework, we have the framework, we just need, I think the people who are willing to
work through the problems, you know, the difficult problems slowly but surely. And as, as women, I feel like one of the greatest things that we can do to bring about change is to instill the right attitudes in the next generation, right? The next generation of men and women are literally in our hands. And so you know, that those things like chivalry, those things like
masculinity, you know, this even that is because becomes something taboo to talk about, like this idea of a healthy masculinity, that we do believe in masculinity as a concept as an ethic. And because of, you know, there's a discussion on toxic masculinity. And while that is real, the discussion on toxic masculinity should not eliminate the idea of masculinity altogether. And that's kind of where I think things tend to happen in heavily charged social justice driven
sort of frameworks, where things become all or nothing. So they won't outwardly say we don't believe in masculinity, but by the way that toxic masculinity is discussed and studied.
It's very hard to believe and talk about what is healthy masculinity look like? Like we had an event as the measures called reclaiming masculinity. And it had like, a picture of the sandal the Prophet Mohammed's I still don't like the form of it to be like, He's our example of what healthy masculinity looks like. And we had a panel of only male speakers. And we did that on purpose. Because we're trying to say that it's, and we had people contact us and say, why don't you have any female speakers? About masculinity? I told them, I'm like, would we want male speakers? If we were talking about femininity at an event? Or would you want Muslim women who have studied to be the ones
to actually represent this topic and to talk about it. But what was interesting that I noticed on this particular event is that of all the men who spoke and my husband was one of them, that I felt that they, I felt in the event, they felt stifled to actually express themselves.
When toxic masculinity is discussed, it's often it often feels like it's actually masculinity that's being that's being criticized, right. And so even,
you know, aspects of what it is to be a man that actually are things that society needs in the men, right?
Obviously, they don't, we don't need, we don't want to encourage the
inappropriate use of those characteristics, right. But in and of themselves, those characteristics such as,
you know, courage, courage, the willingness to face danger,
even aggression, right? They have a place you actually have no civilization has survived without harnessing the masculinity of men and using it in a positive way. Right. And it really shows you that
yes, Pamela, that we're internalizing the subliminal messaging, I think, you know, from the media.
And there's a professor Leonard Sachs, he's written a book called why gender matters.
And he talks about the harm that's done when you know, and masculinity is basically raised. And, you know, what happened in classrooms is, because boys and girls, we're all teachers were told that there's no real difference between boys and girls. And the real difference between men, female boys, who boys were taught in a way that was not really appropriate for their age, and then labeled as being hyperactive, you know, having ADHD etc, etc. Simply because at the same age, girls were able to sit still and do work and you know, sit at a table, etc. Whereas, the boys, their development was different and they need they had different needs. But because there was this one size fits all
approach, right, that natural boisterousness or kind of the active nature of the boys was being stifled, suppressed, almost erased, right? Well, they were being labeled and being expelled.
Yeah, like a negative relationship in association with learning for the rest of their lives. That's the thing that the studies show that
Like you treat the boy different at age five and six in a classroom, and then seven through high school, right, unless there's a drastic change or some some kind of meaningful event in this person's life, they actually have a negative
response to learning and schoolwork in comparison to the female students. And how many Muslim families know of young men who are struggling in school right now, whether it's elementary, middle school, or high school, and how many of them have considered that maybe the model is what's wrong, and it's not your it's not actually your son. It's the system that has privileged or work towards the psychology
of a female. And, and so that's why your daughters can handle it and can do so well. And your sons who are also brilliant and smart, intelligent when they apply themselves, you see how well they do, but they struggle in school for X number of reasons, maybe the system itself and a long time ago, they actually had separate schools for boys and girls.
In the UK, the best schools and the schools that the Royals, you know, the Royals will send their kids to or the upper classes or like the elite schools in the UK are still, you know, segregated by gender. And the, for example, you know, the top school here is called Eaton, the one where, basically, the sons of the prime ministers have all kind of come from, and the sons, the Royals, etc.
That's really interesting, because there's a study that show that segregated by gender schooling actually does help boys even more than it helps girls.
Right? And they have a whole system's right, for bringing out the best in men and boys. And like, that's literally, I would say, what the British Empire was built on, you know?
So Anyway, I digress. Were you such a wonderful person to talk to especially, it's thought I could rehearse till tomorrow, just going through one after another? The different,
especially on this particular topic comes in. So
yeah, so I hope that we've discussed it in a nuanced way, you know, it's not to say, there's no issues in our community, there are, but we want to approach them in the right way. We don't want to make the same mistakes that the wider society has actually made, and sometimes had to backtrack, and actually is currently I would say, suffering as a result of right.
Just like an affair, and so did you ever think there's gonna be a time when the label woman would ever be questioned?
We're living in that time. Right.
And I mean, I would say that, you know, when Lisa Decker calusa, right, that verse in the Quran in the mail was not like the female, you know, that. I just think that that's enough to help people to reflect on and be proud of that, be proud of that difference. Right, that distinctness is what makes us special, and the fact that our Dean doesn't want us to be independent. Now, when I say that, I mean, doesn't want to separate us and tear us away from the men in our lives, right? He wants a man to keep an eye on women, and it wants men to protect us and to be in our business if you like, you know, you know, in a positive way, right? And that's actually for our own
benefit because when societies that have literally ripped
father's away from daughters, and given that messaging that you know, actually when you get to a certain age, nobody else has any kind of responsibility over you or responsibility to take care of you or think about you
look what's happened in the 80s Look, look at the kind of the suffering of women and girls
we look even into the history of our religion in terms of every great and strong female figure had a strong male figure as support as well of course they had a relationship with a little bit like though the you know, many amount of hasulam work a fella has a career right like the profits immediate one who helped in her in her caregiving and in raising her. When you think about eyeshadow on her like she came into she is this strong figure in Islamic history but she was, you know, the wife of the Prophet Mohammed Salim who it was her while he was alive, he was the one who supported her and I want to say
I nurtured her strength, not took away from it.
Other strong women in our history the Soviet like you find that there are in any actually a major female scholar that I've studied that her life, I have
supportive male figure. And an important in usually a father type of father type figure, you know, this idea that behind every strong man, or behind every great man is a great woman. Well, behind every great woman is also a great man.
I want to say a very great man. And
for female teachers and scholars,
they know who they're who helped them get where they are, you know.
And they even even if they aren't even women who are not in the public eye or prominent, you know, in that kind of way.
Every woman I know, who excels and who thrives, you know, whether it's as a mother or as a teacher, or, you know, in their own community, etc.
You know, they have that kind of bedrock of huge fatherly support,
or mentors, you know, male mentors, male figures in their life, who, who really
have meant something to them, encourage them.
May Allah bless them from the law.
Is there any kind of last message that you'd like to give to brothers and sisters out there, related to what we've spoken about today?
I think, I think I would say to our brothers and sisters, that
we don't, as a community suffer from just Islamophobia, in the greater context of whatever, maybe non Muslim society that we live in. But I think that there is also a stem of phobia within our community. I think that a lot of young people, because of difficult life experiences, maybe practices or teachings that were they were raised with, or even said that they went to where they had negative experiences, or heard things that that that harm them in some way. They're almost afraid to study the religion because of what their past experience has been with it. And what I want to say is that, that that fear of studying Islam and fear of finding out what God wants and fear of
like just growing in the knowledge of faith, that that's an internal Islamophobia that we can only overcome if we have a start off with a really good opinion of Allah, that the God that the one Allah, the only the only God that exists in the whole world and everything in it, that he is good, that he is perfect, and that he does not want to harm his creation, he does not want to hurt his creation, and he does not want to legislate that which would be harmful or oppressive or painful. He has no reason
as the creator of all that exists to to seek to have a gender hurt or harmed over another gender, or a race hurt or harmed over another race, or an economic class hurt or harmed over another economic class. Those harms and hurts that exists in the Muslim community and sometimes are justified in the language of religion cannot be ascribed to God. And we can't truly know what God wants, in a way that like fills our souls with that contentment unless we go and we study his religion, with a heart that's not full of fear, but one that's full of God, I just want to know what you want from us, you know, like submission and peaceful surrender. And, again, a good opinion that Allah subhanaw taala
only wants what's best for all of us, he only wants what's best for every single one of his creation down to the tiniest ant on this earth. And that is who Allah is. And if we look at his beautiful names, his 99 names
and his attributes, if we if we connect to him
in a positive way, and in a way that we, we put aside if we can, I know that a lot of people have been traumatized, but we try to put aside that trauma and say, the answer to my trauma, the healing to my trauma is learning this religion. And I want to say to find sources of learning that are going to be authentic, and that are going to be nuanced. And the higher you go up in scholarship, the better it will be. So learning from someone who has only studied one year is not the same as learning at the foot of a very senior elderly scholar who has a specialization in the topic. And you know, if anyone needs help finding the right resources to learn from there's a lot of online
programs right now in the world. And there's a lot of individuals who are accessible for help and for navigating particular issues that may be getting in the way of your own religious growth and spiritual growth and also learning. So my message is
To not approach a Lhasa Pena with Otto with Islamophobia.
But Allah subhanaw taala with a love for him, and the love for what he would decree in the world for us as a way of life.
Does that I
really appreciate your advice.
And inshallah with that, I'm going to wrap up this podcast episode
desikan love Heron. Dear brothers and sisters,
please do share this video with others, you know, share this podcast episode and leave a comment. Let us know you know, was there something that you heard that really stood out for you? Is there something that maybe you have a question about? Do share those questions and comments, you know under this video in Sharla, and you can listen to this video, you can listen to this podcast episode as an audio wherever you access your podcasts. So there are multiple ways for you to continue to enjoy the home feed podcast.
inshallah, with that I'm going to and subhanak aloha morbihan Deke ash Heather Laila heyland stuff it'll go to Bali. Salam Alikum
walaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Thank you so much.