24 March 2013


I have wanted a Chanel flap bag for the longest time. I probably need to come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to have one and just stop including them in my outfits :'(

07 March 2013

My utterly superficial wishlist continued

I am curently feeling sorry for myself because I am ill in bed with a cold :( To make myself feel better I thought it'd be a good idea to make a post of all the things that I can't afford and/or am not allowed to buy.
Prada Saffiano. I love this leather! But it's so expensive I just can't bring myself to buying it. I was thinking though, I might ditch my pride and just buy a fake, what do you guys think? That's really cheap isn't it?
Mercedes 2012 A-Class. I would have never thought in a million years that I would even like let alone want an A-Class; I always thought the fat, ugly 1997 model and all the generations that proceeded it would go down in history for being Mercedes' biggest screwup of all time. But they have well and truly redeemed themselves with this baby and I'm not surprised either - it was designed by the same guy who designed the SLS AMG supercar... I am so in love.

A camel. No I'm not joking. I want a one-humped camel to my name, they're just so cute. I've sort of been obsessed ever since I rode one as a kid. Their milk is not too bad either. Look at the baby's face!!
Miu Miu iPad case. Yep, it is beautiful, and it probably will protect my iPad from breaking but at £380 I figured that I should give it a miss and just buy a spare backup iPad with the money instead...
And last but not least on my list:
I'd have made the list longer but I'm only half awake, in fact it's quite amazing that I'm still typing in an actual language. Anyway, my list is never-ending so I'll continue it another day. Night!

03 March 2013

Explained - "Top 10 Quran quotes every woman must see"

I recently came across this list of ten "controversial" quran iyat that supposedly shows how Islam oppresses women. The list is called "Top 10 quran quotes every woman must see" and contains verses that have actually been cut and also some misinterpreted. As this list has been reposted on so many sites and nobody seems to have defended them, I decided to do some research and put up an explanation to all these iyat.

10. "Your women are a tilth for you so go to your tilth as you will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that you will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers." [Surat Al-Baqarah:223]

In the list is it made out as though this means that women are objects for men to use however they like. The reality is that this iya was sent down to clear up a specific confusion that some people had over babies coming out with squints if a couple were to conceive in a particular way (the hadith can be read here [hadith number 3363]). The iya was simply telling them that their beliefs were unfounded and a couple can conceive however they like. It is important to note that this iya is talking about conception, which is why the word "tilth" has been used: it is making reference to the sowing of seeds. I do not see it as derogatory to women, quite the opposite actually; is it not important for a farmer to put care and attention into growing his crops?

9. "Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise." [Surat Al-Baqarah:228]

Found it funny that in the list only the bold part of the iya was mentioned and they had added the words 'in status' at the end, which isn't actually part of the iya. Anyway, onto the explanation:

The general consensus amongst scholars is that the highlighted part of the iya is basically saying two things:

1. Allah (swt) gave a husband and wife similar rights over each other in responsibility...

2. ... but He (swt) gave the man a greater degree of responsibility over the woman than that of woman over the man. It follows that the rights owned to the wife are nonnegotiable, whereas the husband has to give up certain rights.

Al-Tabari in his Tafsir narrated from Ibn `Abbas: "The daraja ('degree') mentioned by Allah (swt) here is the forfeiting, on the man's part, of some his wife's obligations towards him and his indulgence towards her, while he is fully obligated to fulfil all his obligations towards her, because the verse came right after {And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them}.

"The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives." - Prophet Muhammed (s)

8. Allah directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases Is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether Your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.." [Surat Al-Nisa:11]

Again, only the bold part of this iya was mentioned in the list, deliberately deceiving in my opinion.
Explanation: In Islam, the son is responsible for a family, while a daughter is taken care of by her husband and even if she does work she is not obliged to give her husband any money even though he is obliged to provide for her. For this reason, it is only fair that men would get a larger share of inheritance.
Having said this, Allah (swt) commands in Surat Al Baqarah:180 that a will should be left to conform with the specific circumstances of the deceased. For example, if the son is rich and the daughter is poor, one may leave a will giving the daughter everything, or twice as much as the son. What is explained in the iya above is a recommendation of how the money should be spilt IF a will has not been left.

7. "O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men, then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon." [Surat Al-Baqarah:282]
I have discussed this iya with Muslims before and some of them explain it by saying that women are more emotional and therefore forget things more than men. I find that really patronising and undoubtedly wrong.

The Qur’an has taught that the witness of a woman is just as valid as that of a man, and made no distinction regarding the sex of a witness in every single reference except this one – granting two female witnesses in legal cases where women had little knowledge or expertise. The intention of this concession was to prevent women being tricked or cheated by unscrupulous men who could take advantage of their inexperience in business matters - in those days men heavily dominated in businesses and women were generally not involved in such things.
In every other kind of case, there is no reason why the witness of a woman should not be just as reliable as evidence as that of a man, and no distinction of either sex is made anywhere else in the Quran where witnesses are mention. E.g: "Those who accuse a chaste woman of fornication and do not produce four witnesses to support their allegation, shall be flogged with eighty lashes and their testimony shall not be accepted ever after, for they are the ones who are wicked transgressors."The text implies any four witnesses, who could be of either sex.

Ridiculous places like Saudi Arabia and their "1 male witness=2 females" have got it so, so, SO wrong.

6. And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorces her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge. [Surat Al-Baqarah:230]

I don't understand why this is supposed to be oppressive to women. It's just discouraging men from proclaiming a divorce every time they get angry, and then changing their minds once they've calmed down. Let's face it, if you remarry and divorce 3 times, you probably shouldn't be together anyway. This iya is logical, and the only person it would 'oppress' is a fickle husband.

5. "And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except 'ma malakat aymanukum'. This is the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise."
The phrase "ma malakat aymanukum", is often interpreted as "those who your right hand possess", which apparently lets men have sex with slaves outside of wedlock. I have never believed this interpretation, it goes against all logic. So what I found when doing some research into the iya was very interesting and far more logical:
Explanation: The Arabic word "aymanukum" is plural for "yameenukum", which can mean either "your right hand", or "your oath". There are are many iyas in the Quran, where this exact same word appears, and is correctly translated as meaning: 'your oath'.

Here are two examples, although there are many more:

1. "And do not make Allah the subject of your OATHS (aymanukum). Be righteous and secure and reconcile among the people; and Allah is Hearer, Knower. Allah will not call you to account for your OATHS (aymanukum); but He will call you to account for what has entered your hearts... [2:224]

2. "And do not use your OATHS (aymanukum) as a means of deception between you, that a foot will slip after it has been made firm, and you will taste the evil of turning away from the path of Allah, and you will have a great retribution" [16:94]

"Ma malakt aymanukum" in the context of this iya is thought to actually refer to believing women who are married to disbelievers and escape their husbands, seeking to marry faithful men. The faithful swear an oath to take these women under their wing, because they no longer have anyone to care for them. Technically these women are now "committed by oath". This is an example of "ma malakat aymanukum". The faithful men can marry these women provided that the woman returns the dowry to her previous husband.
The phrase does NOT mean "slaves that your right hands possess"
"And for each We have made inheritors for what was left behind by the parents and the relatives. And THOSE BOUND BY YOUR OATHS ('allazheena a'akidat aymanukum') you shall give them their portion. Allah is a witness over all things" [4:33]

The bottom line is that the ayah 4:24 is setting believing men a restriction: they are not permitted to marry certain women. Among these restricted women, are all married women except those committed to you by OATHS.

4. "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or 'ma malakat aymanukum', that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." [Surat Al-Nisa:3]
1. Allah (swt) allowed polygamy only for helping the orphans as more women were needed to take care of the increasing number orphans from both sides after every battle. It was a real necessity of the time.
2. Men must be fair to their wives or else to never marry more than one
3. Notice how the iya starts and finishes with a reference to making sure justice is done to all those involved.
4. This law was in no way instilled for the gratification of men. It was so orphans would be provided for and looked after. Although it is legal today in Muslim countries, there is no longer a need for it like there was at the time.

3. And you will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [towards one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
According to the list, this verse shows that men can, and I quote, "simply get rid of an undesirable wife". Sorry, how? All this iya does is make it even more difficult for men to take more than one wife.

2. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (their husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) 'idribuhunna'; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)."

This verse is often used by non-Muslims (and sometimes Muslims) to prove that Islam allows hitting of the wife as a "last resort". Muslims tend to say that the hitting must be very light, light enough not to leave a mark; some saying it should be done with a toothpick... The thought of having a husband that hit me with a toothpick as a last resort for my ill-conduct actually cracks me up. Anyway...
Explanation: The Arabic word used in verse 4:34 above is "idribuhunna", which is derived from "daraba", which means "beat". The thing with all of the Arabic words that are derived from the word "daraba" is that they don't necessarily mean "hit". The word "idribuhunna" for instance, could very well mean to "leave".
Allah (swt) used the word "darabtum", which is derived from the word "daraba" in the SAME surah to mean "go abroad" for the sake of Allah Almighty:

"O ye who believe! When ye go abroad (darabtum) In the cause of Allah, Investigate carefully, And say not to anyone Who offers you a salutation: 'Thou art none of a Believer!' Coveting the perishable good Of this life: with Allah Are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves Before, till Allah conferred On you His favours: therefore Carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware Of all that ye do." [4:94]
The word is also used in another iya to mean "give" in the phrase "give an example". So "daraba" can mean "beat", "travel/leave" or "give".
I am inclined to believe that the term "daraba" in this iya means "to leave" the wife altogether. It's more logical, first you talk to her, if that doesn't work you refuse to share her bed and if that doesn't work, you leave her altogether (or hit her with a toothpick, you decide).

1. "The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated. As for pregnant women, their waiting period shall be until the delivery of their burden. Allah will create ease for him who fears Allah."
Apparently the bold part of the iya means that premenstrual girls are allowed to get married in Islam. This is a controversial subject so I'm just going to stick to the basics. The most logical interpretation of this iya is that "those who have not menstruated yet" is referring to the women that are still waiting for their period simply because it hasn't come yet; there are many different health reasons why a woman's period can be late or missed altogether. In Islam, a large part of marriage is about producing offspring, why then would Muslim men marry girls that cannot bear children? The answer is, they wouldn't.
I really hope that this was helpful and cleared up some of the many misunderstandings about women in Islam.
"And of His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought" [30:21]