27 December 2011

A Christian Hijabi Goth

Never thought I'd write those words in the same sentence.. Actually, when I thought I'd seen it all in the hijab world I came across this very interesting video about a Christian goth explaining why she wears the hijab.

Well that's me subscribed! Check out her other videos here.

10 December 2011

Understanding Predestination & Free Will

Believing in predestination (qadar) and free will is one of the six articles of faith and possibly the concept that our fallible brains find the most difficult to understand.  Here is a pretty good explanation of how qadar and free will work together:

Uploaded by YouTuber khalifahklothing

I have found that the best way to understand this subject is to make sure you fully understand some basic Islamic concepts:

1. Your existence is to worship Allah (SWT), no more no less.

2. What differs you from animals and angels is your right to choose to worship Allah (SWT), or not.

3. Without Allah's Will, your right to choose would not and cannot exisit.

4. You are given the choice because Allah (SWT) willed for you to have it and He willed for you to have it because He decreed for the creation of a being who has the ability to freely accept or reject it's Creator. Angels accept their creator through knowledge but do not do so freely and have no animalistic desires to fight against. Animals have no higher levels of knowledge or logic but worship Allah (SWT) innately without choice and without being required to fight their animalistic desires. Only man and jinn have been given BOTH logic and desires. We have a God-given right to choose which one we follow.

5. In this life, we choose and Allah (SWT) allows our choice to come about. He knows what choices we will make and He allows us to make them. In short, we actively and freely MAKE our choices in life based on our desires and intentions, by which we will be judged.

6. Allah (SWT) loves those who choose to do good and worship Him and Him alone - some people use this for the argument "if God wants us to do good why couldn't He just make us do good and why is there evil in the world?" The answer is simple: Allah (SWT) has created angels who do nothing BUT worship Him. The purpose of our creation is to choose to worship Allah (SWT) and do good deeds, but how can you choose to do good without first rejecting the opposite, evil? Without evil there would BE no good because "good" would just be the norm and if good was the norm, there would be no choice at all i.e. we would be angels.

I hope that this sort of helps if you were having difficulties understanding this concept. If anyone has any useful information about this subject please post it in the comments.

08 December 2011

Statement Scarf*

I have always thought that the "rule" of having to have a "statement" piece in your outfit to make it work is generally not true. Outfits can look good with no statement pieces in them at all. Anyway, that's besides the point because the following look does contain a statement item - the scarf. Wearing a statement scarf is something I have not been keen on doing recently but if you dress it with simple clothes it can look really nice and not too try-hard. 
Aztec Scarf

*A "statement scarf" is not necessarily a scarf that's sparkly/shiny/glittery/tassely/mirrored.. that's just a social-suicide scarf.

25 November 2011

Pink & Gold

An unmistakably beautiful combination. I absolutely love the look in this photo so I obviously had to copy it instead of doing microbiology (bleuurrghh..) :P

Pink & Gold

22 November 2011

Avoiding Zina Of The Heart

I have had many discussions with Muslims about whether or not having a crush is haram, and have heard all sorts of opinions. But I think we can safely say that it is not haram since you have little control over your feelings; what you do about it on the other hand, may well be...
Abu Hurayah reported that Allah's Messenger (S) said:
"A son of Adam's share of zina has been predestined for him, and he will inevitably fulfill that. Thus the eyes commit zina by looking, the ears commit zina by listening, the tongue commits zina by speaking, the mouth commits zina by talking/kissing, the hands commits zina by acting (or touching) the foot commits zina by walking (toward the sin) the soul wishes and desires and the private part confirms all of that"

[Bukhari and Muslim]

According to this hadith, zina, to some extent is inevitable for man. Islam has told us that the best way to control zina of the heart is to lower the gaze.. prevention being better than cure and all that..
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc).

[Qur'aan, 24: 30-31]

Simple problem, simple solution. But who really does it?

19 November 2011

Smart Hijab Style

Here's a smart outfit idea for you. It can also easily be worn causally with jeans or with the right change of accessories.
Smart Dressing

16 November 2011

The Gamboo3a: Love it or Shove it?

I shan't be diplomatic about this.. I hate them. I literally can't stand those tacky flower clips that hijabis seem to have gone crazy over.

Besides making it look like you have a really abnormal body fat distribution, the thing which I really don't get about the gamboo3a is that it is fairly pointless whichever way you choose to look at it. I mean I presume that women are wearing them in order to tell people - men in particular - that they have masses of luscious hair underneath their scarves. But nobody in their right mind thinks it's hair and men don't find it attractive. They find it weird, like everybody else.

I have never seen a girl make a gamboo3a look good, and I have seen many hijabis use them. It just makes them look 1. really disproportionate and 2. like they are begging for attention, because I for one notice the abnormally huge bun before anything else.

I am not going to get into a religious "Camel hump" debate about this, I personally wouldn't sit hear calling it haram, because by saying that you are basically stating that it is a punishable act. I really don't know about that.  

Perhaps I am totally wrong and behind the times and maybe I have completely lost touch with what it means to be stylish and the gamboo3a is actually a fashion breakthrough. And maybe electric cars will actually catch on and Saudi Arabia will make it to the cup final. Maybe.

09 November 2011

Idle Words

"It is better to sit alone than in bad company; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words."

Prophet Muhammed (S) - [Bukhari]

06 November 2011

Happy Eid - Eid Sa'eed - Eid Mubarek

...I didn't know which one to put.
I hope that everybody's Hajj was accepted and that we can all go next year insha'Allah :)

Enjoy your day!

05 November 2011

Chiffon Dress

An autumn/winter outfit idea from yours truly :) I really like the dress but would give the belt a miss to keep it loose.

Every item is under $50.


30 October 2011

Arguing In Islam


The Prophet (S) said:

"Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind."

[Narrated by Muslim and Bukhari]

I guarantee a house in the outskirts of Jannah (Paradise) for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a house in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even when joking or for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”

[Narrated by Imam Abu Dawud]

When I read these I felt sickened with myself.

Who am I to dictate who does what on their blog when I didn't create my eyes, hands or brain, without which I could do nothing let alone make some outfit on Polyvore and then complain because my pride can't handle that somebody else is taking credit for it? 

I forgot that my goal in writing this blog was for Allah (SWT) and to better myself as a Muslim, not to inflate my ego.

I am sorry that I tried to stir up fitnah just to get my own back on somebody who had damaged my pride.

I get why there is such reward for controlling oneself in an argument. The more I live the more I seem to realise how much of a slave I am to my own weaknesses and that when it comes down to the important things in life, I know next to nothing.

I am sorry to have wasted your time and my blog space - which could have been filled with something positive and pleasing to Allah (SWT) - on useless gossip.

27 October 2011

A Simple Hijab Look From YouTuber 'makeuphijabs'

From 'makeuphijabs' YouTube user. I would personally give the fake bun thing a miss, and also the broach but I like the general headscarf style.

20 October 2011

Justice Served?

Apparently Gaddafi's last words were pleas for mercy. I am not sure if he was granted this by being barbarically killed - some say martyred - and spared the degradation of a public trial, or if he deserved his bloody end. Of course the only justice he will ever receive in full is from his Creator.

I also find filming the killing of a human being nauseating at best and at worst, desensitizing. And was there a need to drag his mangled body through the streets? In Islam we must respect the dead, whoever they are. I must admit I found the actions of my fellow Arab Muslims today quite disappointing.

That said I am glad that the Libyans can now look to the future with hope. I wish them all the very best.

16 October 2011

Oh brother, cover up.

I am growing a little weary of our Muslim male counterparts and their declining modesty. I would just like to say that Muslim men, just like us, have a duty to adhere to their own hijab, but I fear that the concept of "the male hijab" is quickly fading. Although I doubt that many males are avid readers of 'Stylish Muslimah', I have decided to make a post about what the male hijab actually consists of and if it makes even one 'brother' think twice about purchasing a top three sizes too small, I shall be content.

I will try to make this as short and painless as possible.

Although Islam dictates that men should cover from the belly button down to, and including, the knees, this is the BARE minimum and is not acceptable attire in a mixed environment when there are clothes available to cover up the top half of the body.

This is illustrated in many ahadith, including:

1. The Prophet (S) said: The best shroud is a lower garment and one which covers the whole body, and the best sacrifice is a horned ram.

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 1.357, Narrated Said bin Al Harith

2. I asked Jabir bin 'Abdullah about praying in a single garment. He said, "I traveled with the Prophet during some of his journeys, and I came to him at night for some purpose and I found him praying. At that time, I was wearing a single garment with which I covered my shoulders and prayed by his side. When he finished the prayer, he asked, 'O Jabir! What has brought you here?' I told him what I wanted. When I finished, he asked, 'O Jabir! What is this garment which I have seen and with which you covered your shoulders?' I replied, 'It is a (tight) garment.' He said, 'If the garment is large enough, wrap it round the body (covering the shoulders) and if it is tight then use it as an Izar (tie it around your waist only.)' "
Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.693, Narrated Uqba bin Amir

The above ahadith illustrate an important message about appropriate attire for Muslim men:

Covering the whole body in loose clothing is better than only covering the bottom half, but covering the whole body in tight clothing is worse than just covering the bottom half in loose clothing. In short, tight clothing that reveals the figure is not acceptable attire for a Muslim man. If he has gone out of his way to wear tight clothing for the purposes of attracting women, he is disobeying the commands of Allah (SWT).

Male attire should also be plain and simple:

1. The Prophet (S) once prayed wearing a garment having marks. He looked at its marks. When he saluted, he said: Take this garment of mine to AbuJahm, for it turned my attention just now in my prayer, and bring a simple garment without marks.

2. Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (R.A): The Prophet (S) said: “Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity, Allaah will dress him in a garment like it on the Day of Resurrection.” According to another version, “…then set it ablaze.” And according to a third version, “will dress him in a garment of humiliation.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4029
You may be surprised to find that there are generally six main critera for hijab, five of which apply to both men and women. The only one that differs is the extent to which each sex has to cover.

Clothing for both males and females should be:

1. Loose enough to cover the figure
2. Thick enough so that it is not transparent
3. Simple and not purposfully attractive to the opposite sex
4. Not resembing clothing of the opposite sex
5. Not resembling clothing of people of other religions e.g. having religious symbols etc 
(6. Worn by a humble Muslim who lowers their gaze and does not strut around hoping that they are the best thing since sliced bread.)

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” - [Quran 24:30]

08 October 2011

Friday Khutba

The take home message really stuck in my mind from yesterday's khutba at university. It was that your beliefs mean nothing and have no significance in the hereafter if you do not allow them to manifest into actions.

It's so simple and so true, yet it can be so decidedly difficult to live by.

04 October 2011

Is it just me..

..who thinks that those Bloomingdale bags appear to be describing their owner rather than the actual bag..? I don't know why, it just gets me every time :D

01 October 2011

Simply Zeena Review

I recently came across a new Islamic clothing website, simplyzeena.com, that sells some really cute modest items. They sent me a lovely long hoodie to review. This is going to be a 100% honest review of the service, quality and value for money of the top and site in general.

Being 100% cotton the hoodie is very soft and comfortable. It reaches just above the knee (I am 5'6'') and what I really like about it is that it is not tight around the hips (though I did get a size up), which is a problem with long hoodies on the high street even if you do get a bigger size.

Here are some pics I took:

The colour is really versatile so it goes with practically any headscarf. I am currently liking the floral look so I paired it with floral scarf ^-^

What is great about this top is that is it long and loose enough to wear layer-free :D

Value for money: Considering the price of cotton as been steadily increasing I think $40 for this is a steal. The other items on the site are priced similarly. Overall, the top is good quality so I would be happy to pay that price on the high street.

Shipping: I have bought many things from the US before and this site definitely shipped the fastest. I was so surprised to see that it arrived in under a week.  They are a new Islamic company so show them your support and check them out! :D

27 September 2011

How To Control Your Anger

"Anger begins with madness and ends with regret"

 Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib (R)


As we know, anger often leads us to do or say things we wouldn't in a normal situation and this can lead to irreparable damage. As Muslims we know that anger is a deception of Shaytan (Satan) and is used by him and his allies to lead mankind astray. Islam teaches us certain things that we can do in order to successfully control our anger and keep the devil at bay.

I have been reading about the steps we can take in order to conquer anger and decided to do a post condensing them into a short, readable guide. All information is from either the Quran or reliable ahadith.

If you start to feel angry about something, take a step back and do the following: 

1. Seek refuge in Allah (SWT) by saying:

"Audhu bilAllah min shur ash shaydhaan al rajeem" (I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan). This is what the Prophet (S) used to advise.

The Qur'an says: "And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaitan, then seek refuge in Allah, He is hearing and knowing." [7:200]

2. Change your physical position:

If you are standing, sit down (preferably on the ground, but this is obviously not always possible).

The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down so his anger will go away; if it does not go away, let him lie down."

3. Don't "discuss" your disagreements when angry:

It is counter-productive. It may be difficult to hold your tongue but remember that you cannot take back a word once it has been spoken.

The Prophet (S) said: "If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent."

4. Do Wudu (ablution):

5. Remember...
...that whatever happened is because Allah (SWT) allowed for it to happen. He knows best and as He has said in the Quran, you may hate something that is good for you and love something that is harmful to you.

25 September 2011

Voting Rights For Saudi Women

King Abdullah says women will be allowed to run as candidates in municipal polls and will even have a right to vote.

Well it's a start...

23 September 2011

Brown.. Yum

I'm not usually matchy matchy when it comes to colours in an outfit but is there a finer marriage than brown and cream?!
All items in this look are under $50 each :)

22 September 2011

Reader's Look: Edibe

A fashionista from Melbourne, you may have seen her blog (Hijabi and the City) which showcases many of her wonderful looks. Here are a few of my favorites:

I cannot fault this floral skirt look - tis a dream :D

Excellent monochrome styling - liking the jacket and skirt combo.

Check out the 3 ways that she has styled this same skirt, I especially like the second look:

As an 'extra long cardigan' enthusiast, I am loving this casual, played down outfit.

Love it all! What do you think of her style? For more looks check out her blog. And if you would like to be featured, email me!

18 September 2011

Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 Review

A while back I said that I was thinking about getting the LV Damier Speedy 35 bag in the Ebene colour. I ended up buying it for my birthday in April and have just sold it on eBay. As it is such an expensive purchase I thought I would review it for anybody thinking of buying one.

Customer service:

Going into a Louis Vuitton shop always makes me feel a little unworthy, everyone else in there seems to know exactly what they are doing but I go in there and feel so out of place :/ So if you're like me, don't fret - you're not alone.

Anyway, buying a bag from there is fine, usually the sales assistant is helpful but that really depends on the shop you go to. I have heard that LV sales assistants are known to be quite mean in some stores. I bought mine from the shop on Bond Street and the SA in there was nice enough.
As far as I have heard Louis Vuitton has a very bad reputation for returning and exchanging items. All you have to do is a Google search and sites with lots of complaints about their bad service will come up.

After using my bag for two days and looking after it extremely well I noticed some damage to the leather piping, this was pretty disappointing for a bag of £455 so I took it back. I was seen by the same SA who I had bought the bag from two days before, she said that there was nothing that could be done because I must have damaged it myself - I hadn't even put the bag on the floor once. The receipt says you can return for any reason within 7 days of purchase but neither she nor her manager was having any of it.

I wasn't giving up that easily, so I tried another store in central London and told the SA there the same story. He took it straight away and said that it would be sent to Paris to "evaluate the damage". After about a week I got a call from the shop and they said that a new one was ready for me to pick up.

Be really careful when you purchase an LV bag because the level of service you get will be down to the SA that serves you. So many people have said this in Internet reviews and my story illustrates that.

Below is the exact colour and size that I got:

The bag is basically just one big space; there is a small, relatively useless pouch inside but apart from that it is quite difficult to organise or find anything in the Speedy especially the 35, which is the largest available in the Damier range and just fits A4.

Make sure that that if you do buy one you are completely sure of the size of the bag that you want because you'll find it neigh impossible to return after about a week. Looking back, I would have bought the 30 so that it looks a bit little less bulky and doesn't fit as much, so won't weigh as much. Just so you know, the numbers stand for the width of the bag in centimetres.  

If you want the Speedy because it is a classic LV look then go for it, if you want it for it's functionality and individual style, I would say you can get a much nicer bag for the same price or less.

Value for money:
These bags go up in price every year. I bought mine for £455 in April and it has now gone up to £465. I recently sold it on eBay for £405 which I think is pretty good. Some people say that the bag is not worth it because it is not made of leather, however these bags are always desirable and you would not find it difficult to sell after 2 or 3 years of usage, or even more.

I think that the Damier Ebene Speedy is better value for money, one because it looks nicer and two, because it doesn't get dirty and the leather handles don't darken over time like the Monogram bag does.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this bag if you want something practical or something that is not widely replicated. In my opinion, the only good thing about the speedy is that it is a classic style that looks good and you can also get a good chunk of your money back if you decided to sell the bag.

15 September 2011

Hijab Autumn Look

I love big slouchy knitted cardigans, they are great for Autumn weather (as long as it doesn't rain that is..).

Autumn Look by stylishmuslimah

13 September 2011

When & Why I Started Wearing Hijab

I thought that as I have posted other people's hijab stories I should write mine, as part of the hijabi beginner posts.

I think I should start with a slightly difficult confession. And that is, for the first half of the period that I owned and wrote this blog, giving people advice on how to and how not to wear their hijabs, I didn't wear it myself. I started this blog in September 2008 but did not step out of the house attired in hijab until Eid of September 2009. This post was the first that I ever wrote during which I actually wore the hijab; I remember even now how happy I felt that I could finally post about my style - before then, I would never mention my own clothing or "my hijab", I simply allowed people to assume the apparently obvious.

I would not blame you at this point for thinking that I am a hypocrite, after all why should somebody who doesn't do something themselves dish out advice to people on how to do that very same thing? Well, I will try to explain my reasoning behind the blog and to do that I will need to take you back a few years...

I grew up in a very "white" area. All of my friends, neighbours and teachers were English and I was completely closed off from Muslims for most of my life. Although growing up I never ate non-halal food and I fasted in Ramadan, I didn't give Islam much thought, I was just the normal token foreign kid who pretended to celebrate Christmas.. :(

I remember when I was 9 my dad asking me when I am going to wear the headscarf, not wanting to disappoint I said I would when I started secondary school (aged 11). This, however came and went and I was relieved that he didn't bring it up again for a while.

At 12 years old, I travelled with my family to do Umrah for the first, unforgettable time. There are two things about that trip that I cannot forget - one, the overwhelming and unexplainable feeling of fear I got the day before we headed out and two, the beautiful sense of calmness I got the very first time I set my eyes on the Ka'ba. I have been to Makkah many times since then but I have not experienced those two feelings to the extent I did the first time. It was then that my interest first grew in Islam, I remember coming back declaring that from now on I was going to pray everyday.

That lasted a week.

From then on we started going nearly every year and I loved every trip. The only thing I hated about the Umrahs was coming back, for two reasons. One, is the obvious and two, is that I hated the guilt I got when the airplane touched down in Heathrow and I would slip of my headscarf and abaya to reveal jeans and a top. Oh my dad's face..

Throughout secondary school, I never admitted that I was Muslim even though I avoided the main haram things. I didn't want people to make fun of me - I remember back then, getting called an "Arab" was considered offensive, hence I laid low.

There was one girl in the year above me who one day came in with a headscarf on. She was 14 and the only one in the entire school. It's strange but even though I am a Muslim myself, I automatically looked at her in a different way, like she was suddenly so much more "foreign" than she had been before. I avoided her.

I can't remember the exact age at which I started praying - I think it was 15 or 16. I do remember, however, that it was around this time that I started feeling very guilty about not wearing hijab. Nevertheless, I put this to the back of my mind when I met the one and only girl who wore a headscarf in my secondary school, at college. She had taken it off after two years telling me that she found it too difficult. I felt better at somebody elses short coming in something I found so difficult to do that I started college at 16 and soon became a fashion-obsessed student.

Although I didn't wear a headscarf in college, I did cover everything but my hands, face and hair. You wouldn't have caught me in shorts but you wouldn't have caught me in wide leg jeans either. I also prayed, I never admitted it though. I remember once some Indian guy in Biology started making a joke about how hilarious it would be if I "prayed on a mat". I point blank denied it.

..I went home that day and prayed.. on a mat.

In the meantime, whenever we would go to Makkah I would renew my faith in Islam and Allah (SWT). I made a pact with myself that I would wear the hijab when I started university. No ifs or buts this time: I was determined to do it.

You may ask at this point that if I wanted to wear it so badly why didn't I just go for it? The answer is, I don't know, I just couldn't. I was too scared of what people would think. Thinking back now I squirm, but I remember I was even uncomfortable going out with my own mum because of what people might say about her hijab.

Anyway, 2 years of college came and went and I decided that I wasn't ready for university yet, so I deferred my entry and worked for a year. I reasoned with myself that my pact had not taken age into consideration - I was to wear it when I went to university. After all, my dress had greatly improved, I prayed, fasted, read the Quran, increased my knowledge in Islam (and hijab) and avoided haram. I would spend another year hijab-less.

It was at the start of this gap year and during Ramadan that I started the blog. I had been making hijab outfits on Polyvore, thinking about what I would wear when I became a 'hijabi'. I started buying really modest clothing and saving them for university. I couldn't wait to be a proper hijabi. The blog started as a way to showcase my Polyvore looks, no more no less. But then I got really into it and thought why can't I give people advice? I had read and researched plenty about the hijab and I loved fashion so I didn't see why I couldn't write about it just because I didn't wear a headscarf, I figured that I adhered to hijab in other ways.

Sometimes I considered telling my readers the truth, but I thought that if I did they would stop reading and think I was a fraud, as well as this I had started getting messages from people saying that reading my blog had made it easier for them to wear the hijab so I thought why ruin it?

It's funny because during that particular Ramadan my dad told me to wear a headscarf while I was fasting. I cringed, I loathed it. I would wear it when he was there only and would take it off in the car before we even got home. I so wanted to wear it, but not on somebody elses terms and not at that time or place.

Fast forward a year and we finally moved to an area with a slightly more mixed population. It was two weeks before I started university and the end of Ramadan '09. We decided to go out for Eid and I knew we would be going to the mosque as well. At 19, I decided there and then that that was the right time. I remember my exact outfit - a cream mac, wide leg jeans and a red headscarf. I said nothing, I just went downstairs like normal. It was the weirdest, happiest feeling. I had finally done it.

Almost 2 years later and I don't regret my decision one bit. It's odd how as you get older other people's opinions of you don't matter as much - I didn't care what people thought anymore. I am glad I didn't put it on sooner and I'm glad I didn't keep putting it off either.

Perhaps I did "long it out" more than necessary but I think if I hadn't, I would have probably just taken it off after a while.

My advice to anyone thinking of hijab is don't just use either your heart or your head. Use your logic and reasoning and research to be sure in your mind that the hijab is a mandatory requirement in Islam. If after this you still really don't want to wear it, focus on your other aspects of your religion for a while (especially prayer). I'm not encouraging people not to wear it, just not to wear it and then take it off due to weak Eman or knowledge.

06 September 2011

Praying.. or not, as the case may be.

Regarding salah, I used to be quite jealous of men and considered it a huge injustice that they don't have obligatory breaks in their prayers.

But I realised recently that there is a silver lining to this cloud, and that is although mens' prayers are more constant than womens', they don't get to experience the sweetness of returning to salah - nothing beats that first prayer back :)

05 September 2011

Waterfall Cardigan & Maxi Skirt Combo

Waterfall Cardigan

In my opinion, the best cardigan for a maxi skirt is a flowy waterfall style one. Give it a try, I think you'll like it :D

02 September 2011

Oh The Irony...

I recently came across the results of a survey which found that 69% of the people asked believe that Islam encourages the oppression of women.

If there is one thing I absolutly cannot stand it is when people hold uneducated opinions - or more accuratly, guesses - about Islam.

Let's forget about opinion here and just look at the facts so that we can set the record straight. Islam brought women their rights during a time that in other countries women were being bought and sold as cattle.

We Muslim women gained ownership over our money and were able to inherit while women around the world were themselves being inherited. 

We were given the right to education and work, and the right over our husbands' to provide for us regardless of whether or not we choose to work and regardless of how and when we spend our money.

Muslim men are commanded to treat women with kindness and respect and not to take them as objects. Islam is the only religion to limit the number of wives a man can have, putting heavy conditions on the man, making it very difficult to marry more than one woman (in a time when men would marry hundreds as and when they pleased).

Unlike other religions, Muslim women could choose their husbands' and were given the right to initiate a divorce. We are not seen as commodities with an expiry date, rather have an elevated and respected status in Islam as mothers, wives and daughters and important contributors to society.

Women are NEVER degraded in the Quran and are described as equal to men. The words "male" and "female" are mentioned the same number of times in the Quran - 23 times each. The Prophet (SAW) mentioned the mother three times before mentioning the father once, when asked about the importance of parents.

Unfortunately though, in this society most people are under the impression that being "equal" to a man means being the "same" as a man. It is for this reason that if a woman doesn't work, she is considered backward, oppressed and lower than a man because she is not acting like a man.

The reality is that if women had been told to work so that the government could tax another 50% of the population instead of being told that they were being liberated, far fewer women would have jumped on the feminist bandwagon.They would have used their logic to deduce that men and women are ALREADY equal and it is totally ridiculous to gain equality with somebody simply by 'acting' like them. If I acted like my pet hamster would it make me equal to it..?
I am genuinely so very thankful that I am a Muslim woman because I do not need to prove myself to men or to "gain" equality from anybody - I already have it, in it's most perfect form from my Creator (SWT). And it was given to me 1300 years before the women who did this survey.

And there's the irony.