All Kinds of Sticks to Beat Islam and Muslims with
All kinds of people in the West ceaselessly scream themselves hoarse about how Islam discriminates against women. And a lot of "good" Muslims spend a lot of time and energy trying to prove these people wrong, without realizing that this woman thing is just another stick that these folks use to beat Islam and Muslims with.
This is how it works: You prove one particular claim of theirs to be false, these people in the West will then be ready with a thousand other claims and issues to confront Muslims with.
The fact is, ever since the advent of Islam in this world, enemies of Islam never ran out of issues over which to attack Islam. And they were wrong every time.
On any given day, there are tens of thousands of the West's best brains busily engaged in designing and cataloging all kinds of sticks with which to beat Islam and Muslims. And they have abundant resources at their disposal to do it.
Women in Islam: More Pay for Less Work
Here is an example of a special concession that God Almighty grants women - as opposed to men - in Islam.
At a time when parts of the West are still having trouble finding a formula for giving women equal pay for equal work, Islam gives women more pay for less work.
That is right. You read me right the first time: more pay for less work. And only for women. And Islam has been doing that for the past 1400 years.
Here is how:
Adult Muslim females must do their Salaah five times a day without fail - just like their male counterparts. And they, like their male counterparts, must make up whatever prayers they miss for whatever reason.
But that is only until the women hit their regular monthly time. When that happens, women are completely excused from doing even a single Salaah for the entire period.
Nor are they required to make up any of the "prayers" they missed during all those five, or six, or seven, or whatever number of days.
What all this means is this: starting from puberty, every adult Muslim woman receives a full month's pay for putting in three week's work.
If those in the West who make a living by denigrating Islam think they have a better formula for rewarding females and raising their status in society, and before God, let them put that formula on the table.
Yet another Concession from God Almighty
Everyone knows this about Islamic way of performing "prayers": make sure you stand up when you do your Salaah.
But what if you were too feeble to stand up? Or too sick or too old? What do you do then?
Well, can you at least sit and do your "prayers" while sitting down? Or maybe you can lie down and "pray," huh?
The idea is to get the prayers done, no matter how you do them, so long as your choice of options is sincerely undertaken and those options are not specifically forbidden by God Almighty or his Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And so long as you can convince God Almighty and his angels who are watching and recording your every move that your excuse for not standing up is a genuine one.
Islam: What an Amazing System of Accommodations
So, God Almighty's mercy and love for his creation packed his system of Islam with all kinds of options and "outs" that his slaves could use whenever they had their back against the wall.
Thus, Islam, far from being a fanatical system of thought, belief or behavior, is a most amazing, superhuman and spectacular system of accommodations, adjustments, concessions and "loopholes," whose purpose is peace on earth, and in human life and in human societies, that only the most fanatical, greedy, selfish, prejudiced and closed-minded people can hate, fear or fight.
As if the mere existence of these concessions was not enough, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, actually encouraged the believers to take advantage of God's concessions - Rukhas, he called them.
Allah likes it, he said, that you should take advantage of the concessions he has given you.
Islam Means Doing Things the Easy Way
Islam is, said the prophet of Allah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, doing things the nice and easy way. The statement "Easy Does It" is actually an almost direct translation of the words of the Hadith: Addeenu yusr.
Make things easy, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, issued orders to his administrators and appointees in the regions and provinces, and don't make things difficult and burdensome.
Whenever the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was given a choice between two alternatives, said Hazrat 'Aisha, Radiyallau 'Anha, he invariably chose the easier alternative.
What a Deen! And what a Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Home-Grown Islam of Some Ultra-Enthusiasts
But that was then.
That was the Islam that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, brought, delivered, taught, explained, modeled - and personally supervised.
It was an Islam whose simplicity and convenience swept the world within the blinking of historic time, starting out with the fierce children of the deserts of Arabia who were in many ways the lowest denomination of philosophical sophistication and religious scholasticism.
Now, after 1400 years, some ultra-enthusiasts among Muslims would like to have their own home-grown variety of super-Islam to practice and to project. One takes issue with them at one's own peril.
Is Voting an Islamic Requirement?
At a conference in Britain, a Muslim young woman once asked me if voting - as in elections - was Halal. That is, was it permitted in Islam?
That is the kind of education, training, orientation and leadership some young people in Britain have had. And there are others just like them in other places in the world.
I replied that voting and elections were not only Halal - permissible that is - but they may in fact be an Islamic requirement of some kind.
I asked: How else do you put the right people in positions power?
And the young woman - May Allah bless her - and her friend ran out of the conference hall crying.
No English for British Congregation Leaders
But bear in mind that 21st Century Britain is still a place where many Islamic communities and mosques import their prayer leaders directly from native-speaking "back home."
It seems to make no difference to anyone that many of these gentlemen barely speak English or that they have virtually no understanding of the culture and environment in which they have been so suddenly thrust without any proper training or orientation.
As a result, Jum'ah Khutbahs - those amazing and compulsory weekly open-air-university lectures that the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, instituted for the benefit of the entire world nearly 1400 years ago - are often delivered in Urdu in communities where all too many youth can barely understand the Urdu language.
I once asked a more enlightened Muslim leader in Britain: How do you sleep at night with something like this going on in your communities?
"Oh, I sleep all right!" He said.
He may as well have been speaking for the Muslim community as a whole. The sleeping part I mean.
Understanding the True Nature of Islam
So, there are some folks among Muslims who seem to be given to a bit of grandstanding in matters of "religion." Knowingly or unknowingly, they seem to project a Holier-than-Thou image in comparison to most mainstream Muslims.
Two things seem to mask the true nature of this seeming social one-upmanship or "religious" grandstanding:
- One, a basic misunderstanding of Islam and its true nature and spirit.
- Two, an effort to use Islam for addressing personal needs and insecurities, and as a means of political expression, and not quite knowing how to handle it.
You can always add a general lack of common sense as a third element to this mix, for in all situations in life, common sense is an essential recommendation of Islam.