Saturday, 23 October 2010

Having gheerah is not enough

I've wanted to do a post on this topic for quite a while but kept putting it off. Something happened today that made me want to write about it right away- A question posed to me by a non muslim friend- “Do the rules in Islam apply only to women? Why is it that Muslim men do stuff they wouldn't let their women do? “ Many of you have probably been asked this question numerous times, and of course there are several things that need to be covered when respondidng to such a question, but I thought I would cover one just one cause for people to think such things about islam.

While it's wrong to generalise and put all muslim men in that category, it's true that most have double standards ; they have plenty of female friends, go out with them, spend hours chatting /talking to them but would never let their womenfolk be involved in such activities.

I know that there are plenty of brothers today Masha’Allah who try their best to abide by the qur'an and the sunnah but it's a fact that it's mostly men who have this attitude. Society is probably to blame for that. I'm not saying women don't do the same thing; many do, but somehow in most societies a man behaving in such a matter is considered to be ‘normal’ and therefore acceptable. This makes even the religious brothers think thay can do what they want because they know they can get away with it and find the ‘perfect’ woman.

It's not that we don't appreciate the fact that our men are protective. . After all, "The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…" (Surah An-Nisaa, Ayah 34) In fact we should be proud to have such men in our lives, given that today most have lost their sense of gheerah - a very important concept in Islam. Gheerah is an Arabic word which means 'jealousy' or 'protectiveness' in a good way, but while there are matters in which men and women are treated differently in Islamic sharee’ah, certain rules apply to both, whether regarding modesty or behavior.

The Quran says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..." (Qur'an 24:30-31)

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (2:226)

Some think they can change themselves once they are married; I really don't know how that is supposed to work. If you can't keep away now from this fitna now, likelihood is that you'll miss it even later on and it can affect your marriage. Moreover, it's just wrong to want a perfect spouse when you're not even trying to change. Wouldn't a righteous man/woman also want someone who is religiously-committed? Sinning and then repenting is a different story, but continuing to do something when you know it's wrong and then expecting your wife to not do what's not allowed for you either is unacceptable. This does not mean a woman can choose to rebel against him and say she can do whatever he does.

Others keep telling themselves they have 'time to change' but what if you're not going to wake up tomorrow? What if you never get that chance to change? What excuse are you going to give when you're questioned about it? Most will read this and find a way to justify what they do.

There comes a point where you must start being true to yourself. Most of those who are involved in such acts do know that they are wrong. It’s sad that most of them are sisters and brother who have a good knowledge of what Islam expects of us and how we are expected to behave. There's no excuse for playing around when you're in your teens, but once you start actively looking for a spouse it's time we become what we want our spouse to be.

This is a reminder to myself first. With so much fitna around it's never easy staying on the right path, but as muslims we also need to always be conscious of how we represent our religion. We must change. We need to stop worrying about how people will react when they start noticing these changes and remember that pleasing Allah should be our priority. It will take time, but with the power of dua and some self-restraint it won’t be too difficult.


  1. Salaamu Alaikum Sister,
    Thank you for this post! Alhamdullilah, my husband and I do NOT talk to anyone is of the opposite gender (unless mahram of course). Thank god he has not lost his Gheerah, and I DEFINITELY have not. I'm a very jealous person when it comes to any woman that islamically he is not allowed to be speaking with. But mashallah he takes it well. lol. And also, it is a reason why our marriage has blessed I believe (or rather it is the blessing of our marriage alhamdullilah) because we don't play any stupid games to get each other jealous. So many times I have my friends (who don't practice) talk about their boy friends and how they are in a fight with them because they are flirting with other girls...I just want to shake them and be like ok, dump him, you are not going to end up with him, you are seriously kidding yourself..argh. But really, they need to work on themselves and their deen, its not the non-muslim guys fault.

  2. Assalaamu'alaikum sis. This post is very well written, mashaAllah. A very good reminder indeed!

  3. Assalaamu'alaikum,fantastic article.Very articulately conveyed. Certainly a topic that needs urgent addressing.
    The wisdom of our Shariah is sometimes beyond our comprehension SubhanAllah and it takes time to sink in. Its such a wholistic concept that we need to look at the bigger picture to get a better understanding of it.

    The layman may wonder why Islam makes such a big deal about even just talking with women but our shariah is so deep that not only does it outright prohibit but also prevents the roads that lead to the prohibitted.One stare can lead to much mischeif and SubhanAllah muslim men are adviced to lower their gaze whilst the rest of world is hooked on to the love at first sight delure.They then ponder how they have so much of vice in their society after neglecting God and taking to secularism ! Single parents,unfathered children,adultery,divorce,rape,crime !!!

    The point im trying to make here is that the highlighted behaviour of modern muslim men and their doublestandards is directly related to how we have failed to build the very basic unit of society (the family) on islamic principles and rules.

    Although this problem might seem as an extrinsic social problem this is IMO more of intrinsic family problem and got to do with how kids are brought up and what type of society they are exposed to.

    We get desensitised to mingling with the opposite sex when we have attended mixed schools right throughout,when we have grown up watching 'friends' and when 'love' is fantasized by everything and everyone around us !

  4. So although the result is the doublestandard man the problem begins with the negligent father AND mother ! How often do we see mothers and fathers giving too much freedom to the boy because well 'boys will be boys'and the girl is given more responsibility at home. It is the sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) to help out at home and even throw the garbage! We need to start by addressing by our homes first and do everything first to restore Islam in our homes Inshllah , it is best for us and society in general. Otherwise i think it will be like curing the syptoms without the disease.

    The issue about the marriage and the change it brings out or supposed to , inshllah will talk about that in the future if time permits inshllah.In the meantime JazakAllah for the post and keep them coming

  5. I really enjoyed this post! I believe a certain amount of jealousy is healthy and that there shouldn't be double standards because someone is bound to get hurt in the end.

    "Some think they can change themselves once they are married; I really don't know how that is supposed to work. If you can't keep away now from this fitna now, likelihood is that you'll miss it even later on and it can affect your marriage."

    So true! Very good point.

  6. Salam alaikum sister. Im not on blogger but i do follow your blog.

    I remember when I had male friends I thought it really odd when a religious guy asked if I wanted to meet up, even if he was decent. You bring up some very good points in this post Mashallah. I would never marry a man who i knew was too friendly with women because I dont have close male friends, unless of course he had to speak to some at work for example, that too with limits.

    It's unfair for them to expect a righteous girl while they are involved in all kinds of things. I wonder if they ever feel guilty. The problem with men is that they think it's fine as long as they don't have a gf and haold their hand, etc. Flirting online for example is just as bad.

    You should blog more often :)

  7. salamunalaikum sis.

    Mashallah! An insightful and reflective post.

    I agree with all that you have said here.

    How we deal with others is how we will be dealt with.

  8. I am touched.thanks for a nice piece of reminder.May allah reward you.

  9. Love this post. Puts things into prespective. Thank U.

  10. MashAllah an excellent post.

    I particlularly loved this line... 'Others keep telling themselves they have 'time to change' but what if you're not going to wake up tomorrow?'

    So true!

  11. Gustaf Nordenskiold, swe12 January 2011 at 12:21

    Destroy heterosexual values, politics, religions, trading. Make queertheory the dominant rule of the world, we the gay brotherhod are your leaders - tell that to your kids. Force heteros to tell their kids about us - have sex in front of them. There is no gods only the queer-theory, help the homosexuals to reach power within the religions and to put down religious dominans. Jesus and the prophet is gay and sodomistic - they like dogs ;-). Buy services and products from the gay brotherhod only. Concentrate the money (power) to the gay network, drain heterosexual economy - never buy from a heterosexual man. Eradicate heterosexuals economicaly an socialy - have no contacts and business with them. If someone ask about this, say no in thousends different ways - we dont want to inform the heterosexual enemy. Spred this word to political correct individs an other gays.