Flex The Male Muscles, Shrink Your Faith

Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem

      This posting really should be in my other experience group "I Think Women are Loved by God", but I need support from the Muslim readers.  I recently saw a job opening in an international Muslim organization.  It's like a Muslim UN of some sort and so I applied online for a job that would require me to research on poor and developing Muslim countries as well as Muslim minorities in non-Muslim states.  My first reaction was "Yeah, I'm so ready for this!"

It's like a dream job.  To be able to not only help my fellow brothers and sisters who struggle to make a better life, but more importantly this is my chance to help Muslim women.  Days since I applied online, I would see the women who rummaged through the garbage in my neighborhood and thought "Wow...I could really help these women one day."  Everytime a woman came begging and knocking on my car's window on the street, I thought this is a problem that we can exert ourselves on.  I've thought of living a simple life and stop chasing glitter and high-profile jobs so that I can purify my heart from the love of this world, and concentrate on the Next Life - but I realize with education and position, you can make a difference that others might thank you for.

     I reveled in this dreamy state, and prayed to God while I go around the Ka'bah that He may grant me the miracle of landing this job.  God help me in myriad ways - I discovered that one female friend worked in the actual department I am applying for, another female friend agreed to send my resume straight to the recruiting officer, and just two weeks previously I happen to bump and get introduced to one of the big managers of the place.  But, it doesn't mean much necessarily.

     So, in order not to be so hopeful on this "dream", I tried to stop thinking of this job.  Afterall I'm not that qualified.  Not that experienced.  Just extremely passionate!  I prayed the Istikharah prayer, in which I pray that God make it happen if it's good for my life in this world and the next, and if it is not good for me, to keep it away from me and make me content with whatever happens.  Now, I'm ready to forget about it and concentrate on the present.

      So this morning, my girlfriend met me and told me that the job environment is not good for women anyway.  It seems that she's saying "just forget it".  Now she's telling me that she's one of the recruiters in another department, and she was told by her superiors not to hire women!!   What?  She says they (the men) don't treat women colleagues fairly. 

How dare them?

This is an international islamic organization.  The cause of Muslim women is one of the major issues of development.  A woman is the one at the center of her family.  Apparently, in some societies women are not much of anything.  In some poor countries, women are merely the childminders and cooks, but in some rich and backward Muslim countries, women just delivered the children into this world.  Period.  Some other women do the "mothering" and the child grows up having not an ounce of respect for neither moms!  The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, would not have tolerated such a thing - for he had the utmost respect, love and compassion for all women.  His caretaker since birth was an African woman named Barakah, and he treated her like a mother should be treated till the end of his life.  He had such love for his wife Khadijah, that even after her death, he would send food every now and then to Khadijah's best friend - just like Khadijah used to do when she was alive.

         How do these so-called Muslim men of today treat the women in their midst?  

I like to interpret dreams and events that come my way,  and  I see it necessary to do so after an Istikharah prayer.  This one definitely needs to be interpreted and reacted to.  The only problem is - what's obvious is that  the job is getting elusive -   but what occurs inside of me is a sudden build up of anger.  Now, I really have to have that job!  I've got to do everything in my power to get myself in THERE!

How dare them?

 And we wonder why there's so much problems?!

Fear Allah O Muslims!  Remember the Prophet's warnings during his Last Sermon on the Plain of Arafah (Last Hajj).  The Prophet warned Muslims of only a few things - not to be attached to worldly desires and to beware of ill-treatment towards women. 

O Allah forgive our brothers in Islam for their weaknesses.  Provide them a gentle reminder so they may awaken from their illusion of grandiose before they really destroy us all.  I pray that you give us the strength to do and say what's right under all circumstances, and to stand up for the poor and oppressed for the sake of God, and not to be swayed by the love of money, fame and power.  Protect us from the evil of Your creations,  O God of Mankind.

 

Whatever You will to happen is the best of consequences.  I submit my will to You.

"Rabbana aatina min ladunka rahmatan wa hayyik lana min amrina rashada.

O Our Lord, Provide for us from your Mercy and facilitate our affairs."  (Qur'an: Al-Kahf: v. 10)

 

Postscript: I am tempted to delete this story.  It's just one of those moments when I was seized by ego - of wanting to do something "important".  What I feel at the moment, is I should relish in whatever situation God puts me in - even if it means I'm just doing laundry, cleaning and mopping and homeschooling kids all day.  There will be time when God wants us to do something big, and when this time comes there is no denying it nor will there be a chance to make a detour.  Just take Benazir Bhutto as an example - God seized her soul while she was set on doing good.  Lucky are those who God guides to great achievements while the hearts have been purified from vile ego and desires for fame and power.  Only God knows if Benazir and others like her, sacrifice and persevere for the sake of God and justice, or for the sake of justice and fame.  May God accept from her and us, grant us purity and closeness to Him. April 2010

nourradiance nourradiance
36-40, F
8 Responses Mar 14, 2010

Salamisislam,<br />
<br />
MashaAllah...you have a strong opinion, and May God bless you with the opportunity to correct many evil in our world. I'm still homeschooling my kids, and enjoying the re-learning opportunity with them. My friend at that bank, seems to envy my position. She's going to put in a request to work from home, at least part of the time. Please make du'a for her as well.

Don't be upset Allah has given women a special place in our religion and we know it. I am more dissappointed in women who believe that men are better than us. For women who wish to have a boy and get upset when they have a girl. Why ? We will all face God and we will all be judged the same. Inshallah you will be blessed with a better job.

Assalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah,<br />
Amman, it's a great idea brother. Anything done for the sake of God is praiseworthy.<br />
I'd just caution though that we shouldn't encourage people to accept all our answers as if we know. We should encourage them to seek out answers from reliable scholars, but we are merely some incomplete links - at least I am. :)<br />
<br />
Hajja dear,<br />
I had similar experience praying on the airplane, and I wrote about that already in "Women's Prayer vs. Men's Prayer'. Women can't push their way in this type of conservative male environment, but certainly the men need to educate one another and make them realize that they are coming between a woman and her Lord, by not providing a decent place for her to pray. A prayer should be performed while facing the qibla (Makkah), and standing so we can perform all of its rites - so if anything is missing without a valid excuse (sickness, old age), we might have to perform this prayer again. This is something we need to clarify from scholars. I would just try to avoid praying in that circumstance habitually. I have prayed in front of non-Muslims under a tree next to a cemetary in Gettysburg, in a park in Manhattan and a stairway of a college - but I am not allowed to pray in a Bangladeshi or Pakistani masjid. I heard stories of ladies who went on charity mission to Afghanistan etc. and can't find a place in a mosque to pray. What do they think women are? <br />
May Allah save us from the old generations and this type of negative influence.(They have some good too, mashaAllah)

Asalamu-Alaycum dear NR,<br />
You speak with such passion and that is good. Your passion and strength to help these women through such difficulties is wonderful and I admireyou for standing up for what is right and just Islamically. Sadly and too often in some Islamic countries a woman is just not heard or valued at all. Their rights Islamically are not even granted! <br />
I found on my journey back to Islam and the love of allah a very difficult one at times and still do because of culture being confused with religion. <br />
My husbands origins are of Pakistani decent so as you can imagine there are a lot of divides because of culture going back to probably when Pakistan was part of India and they participated in similar religious practices to thoseof Hindu and Sikh beliefs.<br />
I found myself questioning so many things that i did not understand that they would do since i could not find anything in quran and sunnah to support some pratices. One practice which is very common is to perform Hathums. A kind of rememberance of loved ones who have passed away. This would be done mostly on a Thur and would involve foodbeing cooked for family and no one could eat until small quantities had been place in small dishes accompanied with a glass of milk. Dua's were then made over the food and then everyone could eat. I did some research into this and found a very close similarity to a practicedone by Hindu's. <br />
There have been so many otherthings and quite strange practices also all of which are innovasions. <br />
One thing that upsets me is how some of the older men do not consider it rightfor a women to have a place in the mosque. In my town there are two mosques and both do not provde a room for women to perform their prayer. Feeling uncomfortable asking for a space for me to pray has left me sitting in the car outside the mosque to perform my prayer whilst my husband and son entered to perform theirs! <br />
There is however a prayer room in the university which i am welcome.<br />
May Allah bless and guide us all in our Islamic endevours Ameen<br />
<br />
Hajja

salam alaikum sister. i agree with your story and thinking to establish a group where we could show or teach to make differentiate between culture thing and religion.<br />
<br />
take care. fi aman Allah<br />
<br />
May Allah swt bless us to establish a place where we could really show the world what true Islam IS.

Salam there. Sorry for haven't had the chance to respond sooner.<br />
Woodczar,<br />
Culture mixed-in with religion is exactly the point I'm trying to convey. It is such a daunting to task to clear this problem, yet it is so urgent because many women suffer each day due to this problem.<br />
<br />
Hajja,<br />
Your suggestion is a reflection of a sincere heart. I should pursue such a project. In fact a few friends already started something like this every Friday. I should contact them and contribute my time and the kids can help out. Still, the problems with certain Muslim countries cannot be ignored. The problems are largely ignored because religious women are not the ones in the forefront in conservative societies. Even in the Islamic organizations I mentioned, or any place where women have begun to join the workforce here, the women who do join are not necessarily strong practicing Muslims. They either lack knowledge or the desire to conform to Islamic practices especially in their dresscodes and manners with the opposite sex - this results in more aggravation from the men who work there, who want an Islamic enviroment for work. At the same time, men who are not very Islamic in perspective, tend to take advantage of the presence of women in the workforce by harassing them openly or discreetly. But then, this problem also occurs in liberal states. In conservative societies, this puts a stop at women's participation in society, even though women are more sensitive to issues that affect downtrodden families such as in cases for widowed women, divorced women, raped women, women with AIDS etc. <br />
May God help us!

Asalamu-alaykum my dearest NR, <br />
<br />
It is such a difficult situation when they (the men) are controlling and pulling all the strings.<br />
exactly how dare they prevent women from having these opportunities.<br />
My dear sister, you made istikhara and allah will continue to guide you. Why don't you try volunteer work for a while if you are able to financially. I know you are a strong willed person and this will not deter you in your endevour. You have so much to give maybe you could start a charitable organisation yourself with the help of other sisters and offer help to the poor women you talk about by providing regular food and clothing especially to the children. I know a lot relies on donation but Inshallah you could do this.<br />
May Allah bless and guide you in all that you do and reward you in the hereafter, Ameen<br />
lv hajja

It is distressing when religion is mixed up with culture, isn't it? You are absolutely right. It is not Islam, but the culture that mistreats women. Indeed, the Prophet (saw) would have never tolerated such a thing.