Spiritual Abuse, Sexist Stereotypes and Soho Islamic Centre • The Muslim Women TImes


Imagine being kicked and shoved with a drive of anger for merely asking to enter a mosque?

Strange, startling, maybe nonsensical.

Well, I solely want it wasn’t primarily based on reality.

On a beautiful night, within the bustling centre of London, at Soho Islamic Centre, my buddy and I skilled what we’ve determined to name a hate crime; a hate crime in opposition to ladies. And no, earlier than you begin, this isn’t a feminist rant, I might say it’s a purely humane perspective. We have been shouted at, shoved, kicked and the door was slammed in our faces just because we have been ladies.

Men would by no means have been subjected to this therapy for asking to look at Maghrib. The unhappy reality was that this was merely a manifestation of widespread sexist and misogynist concepts inside Muslim communities.

This was not the primary time I’d been rejected from the mosque, and neither was it the primary time we’d heard of this boring story.

“No, you cannot pray here,”

“Go, pray at home”.

Yet, it was the primary time it was achieved with bodily violence to anybody in my circle, not to mention me. And it was the primary time it was recorded.

What might convey an individual to assault a stranger?

We’ve definitely heard of bodily assaults on visibly Muslim ladies within the West, whether or not it’s their hijab being grabbed or somebody pushing them off the sting of a practice platform. Yet, you’d suppose that at the least, Muslim males would have their ‘sisters’ backs.

Clearly, our presence on the doorstep of this mosque triggered anger in these males; rage and disgust that reside deep of their emotional psyche concerning the place of girls in Islam. These feelings solely furthered their entitlement to aggressivity and superiority over ladies.

Looking into the hadith generally cited for this; “The best place for a woman to pray (salah) is in the innermost part of her home”, it’s simple to grasp that males, as seen in historical past, wish to reappropriate issues to swimsuit their agenda. Yet, as Rumaysa, a certified instructor with an ijazaat in Hadith explains in her essay, the context of this Hadith relies on a advice by the Prophet (PBUH). His reply was a thoughtful and clever response to ladies who fearful about taking good care of their kids at residence. It gave them the choice to remain residence and acquire the identical quantity of rewards, with out the concern of sinning for not attending the mosque.

It was not meant to be an order or a command, however an choice. Yet, as we all know, many women and men take this actually. Including the ladies who don’t attend Eid prayers or go to Jummah. It’s a tragic actuality. The actuality was that my buddy and I weren’t near residence and wanted to hope.

Rather than the Muslim neighborhood uniting in energetic protest, the divisive reactions got here right down to “whys”; ‘We need the full context’, ‘Were women trying to ‘force’ their method right into a mosque?’ ‘Why didn’t they pray at residence?’ and ‘Why didn’t they take heed to the boys?’

The query ought to have been ‘why were two women rejected from performing an obligatory prayer?’ We all know who will probably be questioned on the Day of Judgement.

It goes with out saying for these with widespread sense that the patriarchal corruption of Islam is a illness that so many refuse to see as a result of, to them, it’s the established order. Incidents like these are digested as remoted as it’s simpler to separate them from the broader concern they’re a part of.

Spiritual and non secular abuse; a time period that solely got here into my vocabulary in recent times, defined a lot of what we, as little women and girls, expertise when studying our Deen. Men can’t declare that their perspective of faith is totally right. Yet, simply as Muslims declare racism doesn’t exist of their communities, so would they are saying that sexism can also be non-existent.

While we all know that Islam and the Quran don’t promote injustice, Muslims appear to overlook that they aren’t representatives of Islam and the Quran, however merely imperfect people. Hence, they overlook that their brains are influenced by society, tradition and a unconscious narrative of centuries of sexism and racism. They additionally overlook that more often than not, they learn translations of Arabic in languages that don’t seize the pure miracle of the Quran however seize problematic misconceptions and interpretations of the goal language.

Returning to the crux of the issue, ladies are seen as soiled, seductresses, backbiters, intellectually lower than, unworthy of coming into mosques, unhealthy drivers, and the checklist goes on. All these stereotypes result in entitlement and justification of bodily violence, emotional manipulation and even religious abuse in each the private and non-private spheres.

And whereas rationally, these concepts might be typically weaned out, emotionally, the way in which ladies are handled throughout the Muslim world, the way in which sons see their fathers dominate their moms, the way in which students and imams regurgitate age-old concepts of girls’s positions in life are all issues that not solely want unlearning however clear accessible actions and data offering a extra truthful and nuanced perspective of the place of girls.   

These stereotypes aren’t solely projections of male insecurities and poisonous masculinity, they’re additionally rooted in unjust patriarchal historic and cultural interpretations of Islam.

  • We’ve all heard the view that girls are impure when menstruating when in actuality we’re given the identical rewards as if we have been nonetheless praying, fasting and worshipping because it “is a matter Allah has decreed for all the daughters of Adam (Sahih al-Bukhari)” and we aren’t accountable for it.”

So, no matter your Islamic religious habits are, you continue to get rewarded for them. No surprise males are offended and jealous, they don’t have this luxurious.

  • We’ve additionally heard that girls are a Fitnah to males, however as an alternative of wanting on the place of girls, doesn’t that simply spotlight the inherent weak point of males?

Surah An-Nisa Surah 4:28 states that: Allah intends to make issues simple on you. And man has been created weak.

  • We’ve heard the Hadith that there will probably be extra ladies in Hellfire, however have we heard the evaluation that it’s ladies with particular qualities and that there’ll equally be extra ladies in Jannah?

He talked about that Abū Hurayrah cited this ḥadīth to determine that, compared to males, most girls will probably be in paradise. Fatḥ al-Bārī 6:325.

  • This Ayah in Baqarah, Ch:2: V.283 “if two men are not available, then one man and two women, of such as you like as witnesses, so that if either of the two women should be in danger of forgetting, the other may refresh her memory” is usually used to justify {that a} girl is barely price half a person intellectually. Yet once more, this highlights an appropriation of the faith. This verse solely utilized to monetary issues and never spiritual, private or some other social points. Furthermore, the testimony given by the ladies is given as one full testimony, not two separate accounts and was set out as a method of help for ladies in an unfair patriarchal society.

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I’ve solely begun to scratch the floor however all these stereotypes allow the abuse and degradation of girls. Centuries of repeating one-sided and false interpretations of Ayahs and Hadiths have brainwashed women and men into pondering that girls are inferior and therefore might be handled in disgusting methods.

This is a global drawback that enables all kinds of abuse, not simply barring entries from mosques. We don’t need your pity, we want your anger, we want your drive for Justice.

Assia Hamdi is the Spotlight and Newsletter Editor for The Muslim Women Times. She is a graduate of History and Arabic at SOAS University of London. She can also be a lover of journey, writing, spirituality and meals.


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