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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

July 1st Remember Marwa al-Sherbini on World Hijab Day


If you haven't heard of this case by now (which is entirely possible due to subjectivity of the global media), it's one of heartbreak and injustice. As the story goes, Marwa al-Sherbini was a pharmacist who lived in Germany with her husband and three-year-old son. Last year, she was at the park with her son and was verbally abused by a Russian living in Germany (Alex W.). She asked him to give up a swing for her son, to which he responded by calling her an "Islamist", a "terrorist", and a profanity.

Following the incident, al-Sherbini sued and won against her attacker. On July 1, 2009, however, another hearing in the case took place. Just as Mrs. al-Sherbini was going to testify against Alex W., he lunged at her and stabbed her 18 times in front of her family. Yes, you read that correctly, 18 times. Her husband Elwi Okaz attempted to protect her in vain and ended up accidentally being shot by a security guard in the midst of the chaos. Many German courts, including that in Dresden where the attack occurred, have no security checks at their entrance.

The outrage in her native Egypt was profound and brought together people from completely different sides of the Egyptian social spectrum. The case has united Egyptian bloggers, who typically cannot agree on anything. Her funeral was attended by members of parliament, a representative on behalf of Egypt's Coptic Christians, a minister, and thousands of working class citizens. Her story became known as that of the Hijab Martyr.

Was Marwa al-Sherbini brutally murdered because she wore the Islamic Hijab? We may never truly know, but given the social and political climate in Europe, there's a very good chance the constant dehumanization of Muslims was a factor. The recent electoral gains of fanatical Far Right groups in Europe who campaigned on the basis that Islam was "backward" and had no place in Europe testify to this. More recently, Muslim women all over the West were put at ease knowing that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was on a mission to liberate us by banning the Burqa.

Many Muslim pundits have asked the "What if it was an X person killed by a Muslim instead?" question. That question is pointless, and it will not bring any justice to Marwa al-Sherbini. Her story is unique and compelling in itself that we do not need to bring other in cases. The media coverage initially was relatively disappointing and would have been much more intense given different circumstances. However, that doesn't mean we should obsess over the attention given to the case and forget the actual issue at hand. I'm going to out on a limb and say that Alex W. was a xenophobe who probably was more or less an isolated case, even though the political climate in Europe stands to produce countless other Alex W's.

Marwa al-Sherbini's message is that of humanity and perseverance. She wasn't about to let one fanatical maniac prevent her or her family from achieving their dreams and hopes. The countless Muslims who have come to praise her cause are disregarding what she stood up for by making blatant and sometimes racist comments about Germans or non-Muslims in the west. Her husband was visited in the hospital by Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Jewish Council in Germany. His statements about the situation did more justice to the case than those of Muslims who chanted "Death to Germany", among other slogans.

"You don't have to be Muslim to oppose anti-Muslim behavior, and you don't have to be Jewish to oppose anti-Semitism," said Kramer. "We must stand together against such inhumanity."

On July 11, a public memorial organized by local civil rights groups was held at Dresden City Hall to honor Marwa al-Sherbini. It was attended by over 1000 people, including state officials and many Germans who were appalled by the events. Tobias Weidlich, 29 who was joined by his two young daughters, expressed his shock, "The brutality and horror of this crime is unbelievable," he said. A placard held at the memorial read "Racism Kills".

Indeed, Marwa al-Sherbini took a stand against racism. Moreover, the actions of Alex W. and those who take part in racist attacks seek to instill a fear in the victims and in society, a fear so intimidating that it will stop us from addressing such problems. Alex W.'s attack wasn't just against Muslims, but against all decent and civilized people, and the response shown at the memorial proved that intolerance will not triumph.

The question now remains: how do we as a society ensure that Marwa al-Sherbini's son grows up in a world free of the hatred that stole his mother from him?


May Allah bless Sister Marwa and give her family ease during their time of hardship. May he reward her for her actions and for her martyrdom. Ameen.

Is this story new to you or have you heard about it before now? Why do you think it has not been broad casted around the world? Do you think this story would be more popular if it happened to a non-Muslim woman? Leave your comment and tell us what you think.


Asalaamu alaikum
Najwa & Nadira





Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saudi Women Will Breastfeed Men If Not Allowed to Drive!?!?

In the Los Angeles times, there is an article about Muslimahs taking a stand on not having the ability to drive by saying they will breastfeed their drivers!!! I absolutely have to share this with you all so let us know what you think!


Many were stunned when Saudi cleric Sheik Abdel
Mohsen Obeikan recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, calling on women to give breast milk to their male colleagues or men they come into regular contact with so as to avoid illicit mixing between the sexes.

But a group of Saudi women has taken the controversial decree a step further in a new campaign to gain the right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom, media reports say.

If they're not granted the right to drive, the women are threatening to breastfeed their drivers to establish a symbolic maternal bond.

"Is this is all that is left to us to do: to give our breasts to the foreign drivers?" a Saudi woman named Fatima Shammary was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

Obeikan argued in his decree that if the women give their drivers their breast milk, the chauffeurs would be able to mingle with all members of the family without having to worry about violating Islamic law. Some Islamic scholars frown on the mixing of unmarried men and women. Islamic tradition, or hadith, stipulates that breastfeeding establishes a maternal bond, even if a woman breastfeeds a child who is not her own.

Drawing from the cleric's advocacy, the women have reportedly chosen a slogan for their campaign that translates to, "We either be allowed to drive or breastfeed foreigners."

The current driving ban applies to all women in Saudi Arabia, regardless of their nationality, and it's been a topic of heated public debate in recent years.

The ban on driving was unofficial at first but was introduced as official legislation after 47 Saudi women drove cars through the streets of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in 1990 in an attempt to challenge authorities.

The incident brought harsh consequences for the women, who were jailed for a day and had their passports confiscated. Many of them were said to have been forced to leave their jobs after the driving protest.

Still, every now and then, reports of Saudi women driving in defiance of the ban emerge in the media.

Two years ago, 125 women in Saudi Arabia signed a petition that called on the Saudi interior minister to lift the ban.

One of the Saudi female signatories, Wajeha Huwaider, posted a video of herself driving on YouTube in a direct appeal to the Saudi authorities to allow women to drive.

"For women to drive is not a political issue," Wajeha said as she sat behind the wheel. "It is not a religious issue. It is a social issue, and we know that many women of our society are capable of driving cars. We also know that many families will allow their women to drive."

-- Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times


So, what do YOU think about this? Do you think this is a bad idea? A good idea? Would you care if you had to have a driver instead of drive yourself? Would you enjoy the idea of having a driver? Leave your comment and let us know!
Asalaamu alaikum
Najwa & Nadira


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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keeping Your Marriage Fresh With the "Five Senses Rule"


"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."

(Quran: Ar-Rum 21)

1. Sight- Always beautify yourself. Make sure your clothing is nice, your hair is done and your makeup looks just right (if you wear it).

2. Hearing- Always greet your hubby with a sweet voice and leave any bad news for later. Never speak in a loud, boisterous manner. Don't try to engage is gossip or trivial conversations. Keep positive, Islamic conversations going and things that your hubby has interest in. Leave the other stuff for your girlfriends.

3. Touch- Make sure your body, your bedsheets are nice to the touch. This could mean shaving your legs or using a nice moisturizer. Using downy softener sheets or changing to Egyptian cotton or satin.

4. Smell- Never have a bad smell in the house. While you cook, be sure to open the windows and afterwards be sure to light a candle, burn oils or incense, or spray a room freshener. Also, change your clothes if you have been cooking meat or onions. Make sure you keep up your hygiene and make a habit of brushing your teeth and spraying perfume on the back of your neck, behind your ears and any other place you can think of before bed. ;-)

5. Taste- Try new recipes for variety and master the dishes he enjoys the most. Be sure that dinner is always ready before he makes it home. No man likes to come home on an empty stomach only to find nothing waiting for him on the stove.
what things would YOU add to this? what do YOU do to keep your hubby happy???


Asalaamu alaikum
Nadira & Najwa

Ask M2M: Muslimah Judge???

This weeks Ask M2M is from Shereece.

Q: I was recently told by a friend of mine that Islamically women can't be judges in a court of law. If this is true what is the reasoning behind it? And what are the rulings regarding the Law Enforcement field? Is it permissible (Islamically) for Muslimahs to be attorneys, judges, police officers etc?

A: Shukran for the question Shereece. The most important part of you question is asking from the Islamic ruling on it. This would mean that your question would be based upon Sharia (Islamic law). Sharia is not a legal system like any other present day system. You would not have seen a judge, plaintiff, jury, etc. during the time of the Prophet(saw). Whether they were male/female. Most Islamic countries do not have Sharia in place and practice other forms of legal systems where religion and state are separate.

Some say that it is forbidden based on the following hadith.

It was narrated that Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allaah (saw) heard that the people of Persia had appointed the daughter of Chosroes as their ruler, he said: “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of their affairs.” Bukhaari (4425).

Because of this some say that women are not not allowed to be judges/hold positions of power. However, Muslimahs have held many positions of power and influence throughout history to date. To name a few Muslim women who have held or are currently in positions of power.

Sheikha Luban Al-Qasimi, minister of the economy in the United Arab Emirates*

In March 2007, the Supreme Judicial Council of Egypt, the country's highest court, chose 31 women to be judges, 30 of whom now work at courts around Egypt.*

Ifat Nawaz, lawyer/president of Muslim association of Lawyers(UK)**

&

Councillor Salma Yaqoob, Birmingham City Council(UK)**

* Forbes Muslim Women in Charge
**Muslim Women Power List 2009

-As always, we are not scholars and Allah knows best.


Insha' Allah if you have a question send it to mail@muslimah2muslimah.com with the subject Ask M2M



Asalaamu alaikum
Nadira & Najwa


3rd Journey of Faith Conference 2010

The 3rd Journey of Faith Islamic Conference will take place July 2nd through July 4th in Toronto, Canada. This conference is going to insha' Allah have many speakers some of which include: Dr. Zakir Naik, Yusef Estes and a young hafiz Fariz Naik.

***Each and every lecture session is designed with the following questions in mind.

* Does the topic make an emotional appeal?
* Is it knowledge based?
* Does it motivate the audience to take proactive steps?
* How much of the lecture content will the audience retain?
* Is the topic relevant to the audience?

& much more...

Insha-Allah, the speakers will take you on a journey which will leave you in tears and in contemplation & excitement to start fresh with Allah; to start fresh with this new found love for our Creator & to Reconnect you with his book. ***

This is also a excellent chance for any non Muslim interested in learning about Islam. If you are going and have a non-Muslim friend, co-worker, etc. this would be a perfect conference to invite them to. For more info send emails to guestservices@journeyconference.com.


To purchase your tickets and find out more information about the conference click the link Journey of Faith.

Asalaamu alaikum
Nadira & Najwa