THE VIRAL VIDEO OF A LADY IMAM: WHAT ISLAM SAYS
We would observe that a video has been going viral recently even though it is an old video that is long forgotten. The video where a woman; Amina Wadud but who I would rather call Mary Teasley ( her former name) led a Jum’at prayer. This issue is being revisited because the enemies of Islam have come again and few ignorant Muslims are helping by resending the video clip.
Amina Wadud, formerly Mary Teasley is a woman who had lost all hope as a woman. She wanted to be a man, I supposed. She converted to Islam in 1972 and since has been troubling herself with issues concerning Gender equality. In August 1994, she delivered a Friday khutbah on “Islam as Engaged Surrender” at the Claremont main road mosque in Cape Town, South Africa and since then there had been outrage even in Virginia Commonwealth University where she had been honoured with awards. She lost recognition since then in the University. A decade later, precisely on 18th of March 2005 she led a Friday prayer for a congregation of about 60 women and 40 men standing together, next to each other. The call to prayer was also done by another woman; Suheyla El-Attar…(too funny).
What should be noted by sensitive persons is that Amina Wadud has a mission and that mission is clear. She is sponsored by the US and of course she is not alone. There are several others who go around preaching gender equality under the disguise of Islam. Adam Barlas and Asra Nomani ( who is Wadud’s mentor ) are some others that should be disregarded in our Deen. They are tools of the US but their mission have been defeated though. You can imagine a Jum’at prayer that is hosted by Christians at their Episcopal cathedral and the leadership of such congregation claims Islamic scholarship, what a funny prayer!
Are Muslim women marginalized? What has brought about equality?!
Muslim women are standards themselves. They do not need another standard to be standard. Therefore they are not to be measured by any other standard. This is the mistake some Americans mostly are making. Why would you want to measure yourself as a woman with a standard? The problem is every time you do – as a woman – you will be doing injustice to yourself. This is because the thought will always bring self awareness which brings inferiority complex. A woman can never be a man, and a man can never be a woman. This is so clear. The 21st-century philosophy would bring nothing other than doom. It brings shame and demean the right thinking of a woman. What is in an argument that says “Man is not better than woman” when it is not even an argument in the first place. Islam has highly placed women. So elevated is their position. A position that is so admirable. The US with the argument of GENDER EQUALITY is only trying to rip off the admirable position Islam has placed women. An entire chapter is revealed to the best of mankind concerning woman and no such is seen for men. Before Islam, women were regarded as properties, it was the coming of Islam that gave them freedom. Who are the feminists that want to change that now, people who do not even know what elevated position is. Muslim women command respect and their entirety depicts wisdom and nobility.
What some often forget is that Allaah has honoured women by giving them value in relation to Himself —not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases “God” from the scene, there is no standard left but men. Thereby creating an everlasting psychological problem for those who would buy the idea.
It is a pathetic case that a Western feminist find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man—the standard.
When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man married, she wanted to marry too ( I meant lesbianism) and so on. And now, they are bringing it even deeper towards religion. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it.
What she didn’t realize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness, not their sameness. And on March 18, few of these outcasts rejoiced when Mary Teasley made the very same mistake of copying the “Standard”.
For 1,400 years, there has been a consensus of scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way.
Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading Prayer is not better just because it is leading.
Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet have asked `A’ishah ( RA) or Khadijah ( RA) , or Fatimah (RA) —the greatest women of all time—to lead?
These women were promised heaven and yet they never led prayer.
But now, for the first time in 1,400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “that’s not fair.” We think so, although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind him.
On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And the Creator has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does, he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?
When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied “your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. and most Muslim children are aware of this. Isn’t that sexist? No matter what a man does, he will never be able to have the status of a mother. Beneath his feet will not lie heaven.
And yet even when Allaah honours us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it or even notice it. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, “inferior”.
Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother is a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.
As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too.
If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to Allaah so we want to lead prayer too.
Somewhere along the line, we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with Allaah and it determines piety.
A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has her creator as a standard. Allaah is He who has given her value; she doesn’t need a man here.
May Allaah bless Yasmin who said to a questioner “In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases, we even gave up what was higher only to be like men. Fifty years ago, we saw men leaving the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we saw men doing it, so we wanted to do it too. Somehow, we considered it women’s liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine.
We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society— just because a man did it.”
She continued “Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men.”
Then she concluded by saying “We watched as our children became strangers, and soon recognized the privilege we’d given up.”
And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full time.
And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93 percent of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to “financial obligations.”
These “obligations” are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.
It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize the privilege given to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Which woman with a healthy thinking would choose to strain herself when her God has made her living simplified.
Yasmin concluded by saying “Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not, and in all honesty, don’t want to be—a man.
The responses of Yasmin Mogahed to the questioner liberated many. She is an Islamic woman advocate who reasons straight. Yasmin is a Muslim psychologist who is unconfused.
“As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men and value the beauty in our own God given distinctiveness”- Yasmin Mogahed
“…If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet, I choose heaven.”- Yasmin Mogahed
” American feminists are trying to rip the Muslim women off their God-given elevated position by promoting feminism and clamoring gender equality not knowing the Muslim women have discovered their uniqueness in their height.” – Ajisafe Ashim
Ajisafe Niceman ( A researcher and Mujaahid)
Yasmin Mogahed ( A psychologist and consultant )
- By: Ajisafe Ashim @ knowislam.com.ng