Umm Jamaal ud-Din – What is Femininity in Islam

Umm Jamaal ud-Din
AI: Summary © The "monarchic culture" of men and women is discussed, including disrespect, men and women being "monarchically image" of each other, and the importance of prioritizing one's social obligations and balancing their priorities. The shift in social political fabric has impacted men, particularly in their roles, and women should be strong and strong in their roles to avoid negative statements. The importance of learning from female role models and not blaming the shift is emphasized.
AI: Transcript ©
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hamdulillah number one, a sign of bonus though foodborne to lay studying the cinnamon in the b&m Mohammed. Finally you saw the edge mine on my heading of healthcare. How far what are you gonna debate? What have you learned about it about data? What Zucco daddy and Supernature dinette, never sufficient with your sisters and brothers Salam aleikum wa COVID cattle. I wanted to first of all Sage's up, and we're here to UNSW for inviting me along. This very important conversation, as Shama mentioned in his talk, it is a very polarizing topic, it's not something that you find easy when you're invited to talk about it, you kind of don't know what angle to go from, because there's so

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much conversation about this topic.

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What I can say, and I just want to also mention, too,

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that, you know, handling when Fabula

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besides my role in the community, I'm also a mother of five children. And I've raised three fine young men and Hamdulillah. And to also, you know, daughters Masha Allah to brag a lot, all of my children have pretty much reached adulthood. Now, some of you may know my oldest son, Jim and a dean, he's also chef Hamdulillah. So I have a good understanding very good understanding of how, you know, the problems that young people today as well are going through.

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And one thing I can say that the conversation that's happening, especially online, is one that faces a lot of pressure on both males and females, because, you know, basically now it's not like already young people already had a lot of,

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you know, already they they're worried about, you know, you're so self critical about yourself, Am I good enough, all of these things, but now the conversation is, you know, if you're not masculine enough, or you're not feminine enough,

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according to the Vanguard's, those who have placed themselves to be the Vanguard's of what defines femininity and masculinity, pretty much you're not even considered to be Islamic enough anymore, you know, you're not Muslim enough. So that's, that's a bit of a problem. All right, for a lot of people, because now it's even comes down to your data, your own Islam, if you don't seem to live up to those expectations.

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But I want to pretty much talk a bit more on the conversation of what sisters are going through in particular, because I mean, I'm a teacher of sisters, I have 100, I teach probably hundreds of sisters, mashallah to Brooklyn, our community, young women from the ages of 18. Right up to

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grandmothers probably, you know, and, you know, so one thing I can say, for many women today is I think that they feel very confused about what defines femininity in Islam, like that is something that a lot of women are struggling with, like, they're just trying to work out what is right and wrong, because they're trying so hard, a lot of them but they just got no clue because it's, there's just so many conversations around this topic. I mean, let's just look at the different conversations we have, right? So we first of all, have the age old narrative of the orientalist for example, that, you know, you're constantly being told that the Muslim woman, she's weak, she's oppressed, she's

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subjected all of this kind of narrative, that that's the first thing we used to live with for a long time, we had to come out and keep proving and speaking back against that narrative for a very long time, even up until now, you'll still get people with this, right?

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Then you have, we've got the feminist camp, right? Where, you know,

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a woman is not really much different to being a man. Okay, so, therefore, for a woman, she should toughen up, she should be completely independent and free of being in need of the men in her life altogether. Right. That's, that's the, that narrative. So she's got that as well.

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And then also, we cannot deny also the existence of what we call cultural misogyny. That, you know, some women have to deal with in their families, right? Where, unfortunately, there's, you know, in that particular family, the respect for men, it's not something promoted. Right. And women are often taught or that, you know, what they've been told all the way up, the way they've been brought up, is that, you know, she shouldn't have a voice should not let her have an opinion. You know, really, she hasn't got

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just basically she should know her place. And, you know, regardless of how poorly she's being treated, regardless of how disrespectfully that she's being treated and spoken to. So some women do have to deal with this. We have to acknowledge this right? And this is not something of course, exclusive to the Muslim community. This is something you find around the world. I mean, in Australia, let's just reflect on this for a moment in Australia, the so called advanced country. We have so far ahead this year. We only

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have been hot. Well, we've just gone halfway. We've just had 48 Women who have been killed by domestic violence, for example, you understand? So that's, so we're not talking it only like so, because people love like the assembler folks love to, you know, try to always paint your standards. This is the oppressive religion and all of that. But I think we need to be a lot more honest about our conversations and realize that disrespect to women happens in all cultures in all societies, it's not going to stand to just say that it's something that is then can we that's absolutely we know is completely false. But to say that disrespect can't happen in a Muslim family, yes, it can

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happen. And we have to acknowledge that and it happens in all kinds of families. But it's then came to eradicate that, right.

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Besides that pressure, and besides that narrative, or that pressure, we've also got the extra pressure that's now being primarily, you know, dealt with in the various polemics that take place on social media. One of the things I've seen recently, you know, as well is like, if you happen to seek higher education, we'll have a job, you must be a feminist, I mean, so that's another pressure I feel a lot of the young girls are facing as well.

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Or that you're not feeling enough. If you were, for example, setting higher education or you happen to have a job, okay, so that's also a dangerous narrative to be teaching, especially young men, it's very dangerous like myself, when I got married, let me say, I've been hands on married for 33 years to my husband Mela, protect him. I can tell you right now that I was already at university, I was working full time although don't once I let me just put the disclaimer in there just so you feel happy. But once I did get married and have children, I made my children my Korea. But I want to say here, which I think is very important people to understand. I think we need to have this as part of

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the conversation. My personal belief is the most important thing in regards to a woman or a girl is that she is dedicated to her Deen. That is the most important thing. And let me tell you that if a woman is dedicated to her Deen, and she's educated, she can take those children to levels that you cannot imagine inshallah being the late toddlers, I don't think it's about her being at university. That's not the problem. Let me tell you, I knew many, many women. Back going back 30 or more years ago, I've been very humbled for 33 years about I run about 33 years now. Okay, I knew many women back 30 years ago, they didn't have education, they didn't have a higher education, for example,

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they were just put your coat stay at home mothers. And yet, let me tell you that we're not focusing on children at all, they were just focusing on cleaning their house cooking the food, and the children didn't get any pertinent pay any attention to the children. So it's not a guarantee that because you understand it's not a guarantee that you're gonna marry like, because that's what's being promoted right now that don't go for the educated woman go for the woman who is I don't know, tradition, or something like that. Let me tell all those traditional women, they may not have like, recently, I heard about a story of a young brother, the sister said that my husband wants me to

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homeschool our children. She said, I don't know how to because I haven't finished you 12.

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I mean, like getting stands, this is a problem with this narrative. It's been preached, telling people, that women who go to university or something like that, that, you know, they're not going to be a good mother or wife or something like that. I personally believe it can be the complete opposite. But it depends on the level of the dean of the system. Okay, if she's got good Dean, whether she's, whether she's got that educational channel or that education, as long as you've got the dean, she will be ensured that a dedicated wife and mother be lucky to Allah. So that's what I wanted to put out there. Because, unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of platforms. To hear the

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other side of the story, we often are not invited to the platforms. That's why I appreciate being invited here because I think we need to hear the other side of the story. And I have a lived experience here, right? I'm talking about as someone who's been married handler, 33 years, I dedicated my life to my children. If anyone knows my children, you will know a handle on what I did and handler MC Malik set, you know, you know, for my children handler. So let's go to this. Now, how do we solve this problem? Exactly what shakaama was saying before, as long as we turn to men made theologies right to base our beliefs around gender, gender, we are never going to find true

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settlement or harmony, whether as individuals nor as society that's not the answer. Right. So it's only by anchoring ourselves with the justice with the balance that ally slam came

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at. It's Dan came with, you know, that individuals and societies are going to find true contentment and peace so we have to be aware of this like people are lost their people are confused.

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They don't know their path. And again, specifically, I'm speaking here about our sisters who are confused about what defines femininity. But really, I think a lot of brothers are even confused about this topic, what defines femininity, because, like I said earlier, what's being preached out there in cyberspace is it's kind of becoming very scrutiny us, of what defines femininity. And I think it's actually very dangerous, exactly what Chicama said, I feel it's very disruptive for our households.

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So the most important thing to I want to also mention here, too, is that turning to one extreme, in response to the other extreme, is never going to solve our problems. Right? It only creates further polarization and damage to the relationship between men and women about man, I can already see it dripping down, I can already see it what's happening on the ground due to these conversations. Right. So for sisters, you know, turning to feminism in response to cultural misogyny. That's not the answer, right? It's not the answer. Similarly, brothers, turning to the red pill, you know, ideology. That's not the way to solve the threat of feminism.

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And now, what I'm seeing is, there are people who are now turning, what is it that what is in fact, the you, oh, Christian Puritan ideas on gender. And they're trying to promote that as if that is the golden standard for, you know, basically being a woman in Islam and stuff like that. And I know that because I'm from a Christian background. And I can see what they're trying to do. Like, like I said, one of these, one of the one of the ideas is, you know, basically, if your women go to university, they're going to turn out to be feminists, and they're not going to be good wives. And I've already spoken about what is my view on that, and you know, what I've seen, it's part of law. So, we have to

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come back to Islam, the only way to solve these problems extract exactly what I was saying. The only way to solve these problems is is coming back to Islam because Islam is what gives us the balance is that is what gives us the balance. And that's exactly why this religion is called Daniel wasabia. Right? This is the dean of adversity. This is the dean of moderation. This is the dean of anti dad

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of balance. And Allahu Akbar could dial in the Quran he says, because early kedron Knakal or metal WhatsApp or Lita poodles, you have other Nursey were pulled out was sudwala a comb Shahida that

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this is how we have made you an owner

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of your waterfall that you are the owner that is like the balanced Ummah, you know, you're in the middle, the the the owner of moderation, right? Why the tech who had their other nests, that you will be witnesses over the rest of the nations where Cornell was sudo, Aleikum Shahida and the messenger of allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam will be a witness over you. So last time I made us as the OMA they said we should be at the forefront of these conversations and we should be setting the balanced example to the rest of humanity. Right we need to show them the light in these matters not be followers of these ideologies, then that means you know we are lacking in Yanni Subhanallah like

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you can understand that if you know and you've been you're supposed to have the hub so why do you need to follow these different ideologies which are all button

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the balance that we spent a lot a lot of Allah has given us the balance in the in the Quran, in particular one of the ABS which is very showing you that balance is how

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the believing men and women are not supposed to be enemies to each other but are supposed to have bad feelings towards each other having suspicious thoughts you know about each other they're supposed to be working together

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to uphold the hawk and uphold and my Wolf and forbid the muka and forbid oppression. Right? So a lot done in the France is well me No No Well, me now to bow to whom LDL about right that the believing men and believing women are Oubliette to another they are friends and protectors of each other, not enemies. Right? So this is the balance that Allah Subhana Allah has given us in the Quran we have to all come back to this and unite. While it does seem will be heavily Lehi Jamia Wallah, well let's let the public right come together and cling to the rope of Allah subhanaw taala and do not be divided. Do not be divided between genders or nations or nationalities or anything like that right?

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So let's come to talk about how does a woman know her role as a Muslim? In today's society, right. So first of all, I want to also say this we have to unfortunately, this is the way it is these days.

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We have to first of all put it clearly out there that Islam acknowledges that there are differences between the genders. Right, Allahu Allahu Tabata Allah the Quran says, well, he says, Becca, who can own

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that the female or the male is not like the female. Right? They have differences.

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Now, what's interesting about the shut er, you know, if you come and study the shut er will last puntata interesting thing is that, generally the Sharia is speaking to both men and women. Right? The Yeah, to the Quran in general speak to both men and women. So where the genders are the same, you find the Sharia treats them the same. So that's why Allahu Allah orders men to fast. He orders women to fast he orders men to pray, he orders women to pray, for example, right. But where there's differences between the genders, you see the Sharia treats, treats agendas differently. So for example,

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Allah Subhana Allah orders the Muslim male to go to Juma prayer.

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Right, but it's not. It's not compulsory on the Muslim woman to go for Juma prayer right. Also, the five prayers are highly emphasized in the masjid for the Muslim male. That burden is not placed on the Muslim female due to her unique role that she plays that would be a burden for the woman due to her nature and her unique role that she has to keep getting up and going to the masjid five times or you know,

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and similarly even Hajj both the genders are commanded to perform hajj, but look at the reward Allahu Taala gives the woman for Hajj that Allah the hajj for the woman is considered her jihad. Like Aisha radi Allah one on her asked the Messenger of Allah so longer said about she wants to go to for jihad, you know, she wants to strive for al Qaeda just like the men, right? So she asked the Rasul source and I'm worried that she had for women, and he said Ali in the jihad lauki total catastrophe, that upon them is a jihad that is no fighting in it, what is it and had you well rubra and hatch, where umbrella coin for hygiene going for Umrah This is the jihad of women. So this is we

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have to understand what this this is the brothers that the Justice This is from the justice of Islam.

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He you know Allah Tala does not you know, there are certain features or certain parts of the Sharia, where Allah subhanaw taala deals between the genders in a different way due to their unique nature. This is where the genders differ with each other in these particular areas. And that's why also a lot of data in the Quran says Allah Allah moment Holika will who will love to you for hobby? Doesn't Allah Who to Allah know best? That which he has created? Were who were lovely for hobby or and he is the most subtle and the most aware subhanaw taala.

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case that's the first thing right so the second thing is the way for us to know the role and character of the Muslim ummah. The primary way for us to know is by turning to the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah, right number one, and then by observing the character and the mannerisms of the Sahaba Yes, and knowing the stories and various personalities, that's how you can tap into understanding with and then two lies in the sight of Allah Islam.

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Now, one thing I want to mention here too, is that whatever is clearly commanded for or prohibited in the Quran, authentic sunnah is what the Muslim ummah needs to strive to adhere to, or refrain from. Right.

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Whatever the should he has remained silent upon. This is where there can be some us and where we have some we have Maxim's we have Maxim's for example, Elijah will have come up right that where there's no clear text, no clean off nos, in the Quran, sunnah. This is where they can be some new ones. If you know society, this societal changes that take place.

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Let's get some examples of this. So let's look at some clear cut links that define femininity and even masculinity for example, right. So, in one narration, the prophets are longer some said Lana was Sudha la he said a lot of Salam, Al Bucha shall be had TBD

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Jelly Bean Anissa. So the messenger of allah sallallahu sallam, he cursed

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women who tried to resemble men, right? They tried to resemble men. Well, water shall be Hina be Nyssa e MIDI drive. And those those men who tried to resemble women.

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So from this, we can know,

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that it's forbidden for a woman to purpose to imitate a man, you know, in a man's you things are unique to a man, you know, to dress like a man like things that's known to be from the dress, unique dress of a man, or the mannerisms of a man, you know, things like that acting like a man, this is something that it's not allowed for the woman to try to imitate a man, right? And Sunni, also the male themselves, they're not allowed to imitate things that is considered to be exclusive, you know, exclusive mannerism of a female or, you know, dress of a female, something like that.

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So, this is something that, you know, find this from these, this clear ruling.

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This is giving us a type of framework for defining femininity and masculinity.

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Another example, is the command for women to wear the hijab, and not to display their beauty in public like women enjoy. Hey, Leah.

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And from that also is for her, you know, to adopt the novel character and her Yeah, right here is for males too, but in particular, it's something that adorns the Muslim ummah. So what are we talking about? We're talking about her. Yeah, I mean, this is a whole subject in itself. But, you know, the way that the Muslim interacts with men, you know, placing appropriate boundaries, not to act like in an obscene manner that goes against the mannerisms of a believing woman of a believing woman, right? So to have that, uphold your character, uphold your law, uphold your hierarchy that almost sounds protected, you know, for you, as it must be my job that Donek of that.

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So that's, that's include a couple links in the Quran and Sunnah. From that this is how we anchor ourselves and know how to be how to be feminine, from these as from these a hadith.

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And then Okay, so we have the clear cut links, and then we have, we need to realize that the Sharia law, Sharia law recognizes changes in rule. It recognizes changes in customs and culture.

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As long as that customer culture is not in contradiction, not in contradiction to a click command, or prohibition, it shouldn't, shouldn't be in something that's in contradiction to a command or prohibition.

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So we have to realize what's happened, what's happened over the last 100 years, there's been a massive shift in the social political fabric of the world, right? So social culture has shifted with the advancements made in society and technology, this has happened worldwide.

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Now, this, this shift, and this is not just something in the West, and that's why people actually I don't want to be too blunt, but people need to get out their bubbles. And go travel a bit. Okay, go live in Malaysia for awhile, believe in Egypt for a while go native in Saudi Arabia, because I live in Saudi Arabia, I studied in Saudi Arabia. Okay, I stayed there for a couple of years. And, you know, and so I know, I have coastal contexts and to now live in Saudi Arabia. So we have to realize that this shift has happened worldwide. And this has had an impact on gender roles worldwide, not just in the West.

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And, you know, and so this is something we have to be careful with that, you know,

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we you know, because I find that what's happened in the conversation is sometimes people are blaming the social shift that's happened, that blaming it and like what I do here, unfortunately, we've spoken about that. But what I do hear is that, oh, it's because the women are all adopting feminism. That's why, but actually, that's not what's actually happened. If you actually study the papers, because I, in my master's, a few columns, Allah, one of the things we have to study is, for example, what are some of the, you know, what are some of the ASVAB? Or what are some of the reasons that we're seeing increased divorce in the Muslim world? The papers I studied from a not in the West,

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they're written in Arabic, and they're talking about the Middle East. In particular, what are the what are the what are the reasons? That's only one of the reasons many, many reasons I can't go into that now? But all I'm saying to you is we have to realize that if

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If you get out of your bubble, get out of the west and go to other countries, you will see the social fabric has changed of all countries. It's just we're living in a much more complicated time. Now we have to accept that right? Now, how does it? How does a Muslim I interact with this because this is the big thing for us. Because, like most a lot of women nowadays, obviously, as time has gone by increasing amount of sisters are going into university, and POS and potentially they're getting into jobs.

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So how do you navigate that? I mean, I'm talking to a room here with you which, you know, most assistants here, that's exactly the parks if they're going down, right. So you as a mostly mark, despite, you know, handling, you've you've gone through this education Hamdulillah. And, you know, in the future, you're planning to do some sort of form of obviously employment in one way or another. But you have to not lose focus of striving to fulfill your obligations as a Muslim or like your obligations as a Muslim, they have to come first in your life, right? Just like worship idols giving the talk to the males, that even though you know, they've got their what they want to do in

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their life and stuff like that. But you still have to consider you have to put Yanni you have to put your priorities in order, the way that Allah soprano has given us the order of your priorities, that needs to be your priorities. Okay? When you do that, that's what anchors you. The problem is, if we cease to, to fulfill our social obligations, that Allah has given us, and he would have given priority, like I told you, we're not when I first for example, when I first

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got married, I mean, I was, you know, I was at uni, I told you, I was at uni, I had work, and then when I got married, and you know, handling them, and finally now I had my first son, and like it was a big change, actually, because, you know, used to being at uni and used to, you know, being at work. But then I said, I said to my source panel, this is my new career. This is my new career. And I made 100 mil except I made bring up my children my career. And I'm not saying let me just also 100 disclaimers these days. I'm not saying that a woman cannot do some other work on the side or some other study, do you think I didn't study I studied all those years I was studying and raising my

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children. Right. And, you know, eventually I did do part time work as well. And what I'm seeing for the majority of sisters, I'm not seeing most sisters going into corporate world, when we're talking about women working, the vast majority of sisters I see are not doing nine to five corporate jobs, they're opening up home businesses, you know, they're working from home, they're finding careers that they can give back to the you know, the ALMA that can give back to the Muslim community. And they're trying to balance that between their life as as a wife and mother. And, you know,

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and also having a bit of a job on the site. And I you know, that if as long as that's the way that she's going, and she's not putting her, you know, Korea or her her job above her first and foremost priorities, that he shall have been in that there's no harm in that as long as of course, the job is permissible. But that's the same with brothers, they have to also be focused on choosing permissible type of professions as well, and, you know, permissible jobs. So that's what I would say about that how to, what I'm saying here is because that's the trick now, the difficulty is finding your path. In the modern world, what the context we live in today is very different than the context that the

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Sahaba yet we're living in. And we should also one more thing I want to say one more thing, I want to save you too, let's not keep let's not also forget my distances and brothers, that in the past, it was a privilege to not work. For a woman, it was a privilege. Usually it was only the noble classes that didn't have to work. Other women used to work, they used to go clean people's houses, that would be out in the fields, you know, go and go to other societies go into Africa, Africa. Women don't just sit at home, they get out they have to work, they have to do things. Egypt's got to Egypt, the women, most women are working, they've got education, they're working, they have to work,

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they have no choice. They have to survive. Indonesia, but go to countries around the world. You see women are working all over the place. It's not about the working, it's about the priorities. Right. That's what I would argue the most. Now, the third thing I would like to say also about being feminine,

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that being feminine does not mean we have to become weak and voiceless. Right. And the best way to work out the way of the Muslim ummah is to simply look at all the examples that Allahu Allah has given us from female role models throughout history. I want you all to sit for a minute and just ponder on all the various role models that Allah has given us throughout the history of Islam.

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You know, even the women mentioned in the Quran, you know, any of the store

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race, but there's not one of them, that you'll see that they are like a pinnacle of strength

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and bravery, and unwavering in men, right because of their connection to Allahu taala. If you have that strong connection to Allah subhanaw taala that's what gives you the strength, right? The strong connection to Allah subhanaw taala the man and of course knowledge as well those things are very vital for the woman, the Muslim ummah to be strong. Right? So, and even if you look at the, you know, in the Sunnah, or you can you know, even

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in the history of Islam, you'll find that women would speak up and ask questions, and sometimes they will even openly refute statements made by solid Sahaba no one said to them, don't speak don't speak up because you're a woman, you should be silent, you should never speak up, you know?

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You know, if you look at the time of during the Khalifa Bahmani Allahu anhu, when he stood one time on the main bar, and he wants to restrict the amount of Maha that can be given to the woman. And when he left the minbar you know, the woman a woman approached him and said, Yeah, I mean, more urine needed. What mean? Have you heard that a lot of Baghdad in the Quran says, Tatum EDA will knock in borough, Philadelphia, I don't mean who che did it you hear a lot about Allah in the Quran said and if you had given her a pin bar in a mount in maha then don't take anything from it. And not confer is a huge amount.

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So it's it's reported in one narration, it's reported that on my regular one was sick, very a woman has arrived at the truth while Omar has has arrived, right because he had that humidities panela.

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So brothers and sisters, the best way for us to learn the meaning of fertility in Islam, and what defines the personality of the Muslim ummah is primarily from looking at the examples Allah Tala has given us in the history of Islam.

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You know, in fact, like I said, like I said before, there's not one example if you think about all those women like Hadid Radi Allahu anha, Aisha Radi Allahu Allah Who selama Habiba, right. All of those believing women, you'll find all of them were like a pillars of strength and your pain.

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So that's why if you're asking what is the ideal lucema? Someone's asking me or asking the question, what is the ideal Muslimah will say to her, you know, she's the one who holds tightly onto her aesthetic principles. She holds tightly onto her aesthetic manners and morals. She's the one who stands steadfast in holding on to her modesty and Dean, despite whatever pressures she faces from society, or social media or Islamophobia. And she's the one who raises her voice in calling for an MAO roof, in calling for what is enjoined by Allah and His Messenger, and for ad hoc for the truth, right and for justice, and also, she's the one who's strong in denouncing, what is

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mocha? What is the mocha? You know, what is evil? And what is oppression? As the Prophet saw a lot of sunset and what means are we hired on what have Allah mean by that the strong man is

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better and more loved to Allah azza wa jal than the weak men. So this is a type of ideal lucema that we need to be reviving in our Alma be in the Lehi to Allah and we hope that in the future be in Allah, with the right knowledge, and with the right, you know, training and Tobia of our future generations of sisters, that this is what we're going to see. But in the Lehi, Tyler, bid the best examples in sha Allah has allowed us and made us the best of the best of nations. Quantum Hydra, omitting or reject the NAS, you were the best of nations that arose that Allah rose from amongst mankind. So we ask along to Allah, to keep us all firm and to guide us to the right path. And the

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only way for us to go forward in relation to all of these polemics is to come back to the clear path of the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu sallam, and not to deviate away from it and realize that any other path is a path of the law, a path of misguidance a path a shape on is calling people down. And we will never find true upon that Nina will never find true, you know, peace and tranquility and harmony. Were there as individuals or societies as long as we take those parts of Bala male protect us all and protect our families. And we ask the last panel to protect our homes and keep you know these false ideas

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ologies out of our homes and out of you know away from the next generations well hold on already Heather was thoughtful Allah will he will come was the pinnacle of your hammock national Allah ilaha illa and nest of Fluka will have to be like that

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