Things That Are Supposed to Make Me a Bad Muslim

In no particular order:

Telling the imam he is wrong
Praying on the men’s side of the barrier
Wearing “alluring perfume”
Refusing to eat mermaids
Showing off that I’m menstruating
Matching my bra straps with my lipgloss (overheard me saying this&actually came to lecture)
Not wearing hi’jab
Not putting hi’jab at the top of the list
Singing/listening to music (you know they’re just jealous I’m a soprano)
Saying that Umar needed anger management classes
Saying that Umar was kind of an asshole
Hating on Umar, beloved caliph
Lack of womanly patience in face of abuse
Telling the truth
Falling in love
Snapping at Muslims who put down other faiths to excuse their own sexism
Being a woman
Being a feminist
Being a good Muslim

35 thoughts on “Things That Are Supposed to Make Me a Bad Muslim

  1. Man, I fall under most of these. Guess that means I'm a failure as a Muslim. :(Seriously though, it's ridiculous. Thinking that it's virtuous to put up with abuse and doing otherwise is unIslamic? Thinking that hijab is the most important thing in a Muslim woman's life? Give me a break, people.

  2. Assalamu alaikum I am uncomfortable with your disrespect to Hadrat Umar (RA) but but agree with the rest.I don't consider myself better than the Sahaba.

  3. You know I don't hate Umar. I just think he was very engrossed in his community, which made him very arrogant, patriarchal, and sexist. Although Islam tried to break this character down, and succeeded at points, but at others he was too far gone. example patriarchy.but parallel to that there are other good things about meh.And you forgot to mention the parrots.

  4. @ zeina, I actually don't hate him, I just think he was an ass.@ ahmad, who said anything about being better? Funny how it's you who went there. No human being is entitled to unconditional respect.

  5. @ ahmad, considering herself better than him would actually defeat the point she is trying to make in much of her other posts repeatedly (if you follow them)Namely, who the hell are we to talk about other people's faith and assume the arrogance of being better than them? (@Nahida correct me if I'm mistaken)But that doesn't mean the Sahaba are under a blanket of immunity against criticism. They're great and everything. But dude.

  6. Hi, Anonymous. I generally don't publish anonymous comments (unless there is a reason like safety precautions or personal subjects) because back when I did I'd end up with like 50 different people going by anonymous and it would be impossible to address them. If you could make up a name that would be great.I'm surprised you haven't heard of him being an ass, because he is quite famous for his violent temper. He took to screaming a lot at his wife and daughter, and before he was Muslim was actually physically violent–Umm Salama (not his daughter) told him off once when he began shamelessly interfering in her marriage and ordering her about, and the Prophet himself had to order him to stop yelling at Hafsa (his daughter.)Basically everything zeina said.

  7. Salaam Alaikum,One could argue that Umar RA is an example of someone with quite unIslamic qualities really having to struggle to use them for the benefit of others. If you look at the qualities most praised in the Prophet Muhammed pbuh, his mercy, wisdom, patience etc, Umar had none of those but was still a worthy companion. I like that the sahaba and the Mothers of the Belivers were all different, it means we can all be good Muslims in our own way too.

  8. Yes, that's how I see it as well. My spite mostly comes from everyone's reluctance to constructively criticize companions of the Prophet while the Prophet's own wives are often the subjects of very harsh, unproductive gossip. This isn't about respect: it's about validating patriarchy. It is problematic that they are viewed as being above criticism, and that somehow the truth, however affectionately stated, is considered disrespectful. They are not sacred or holy–to imply so would be unIslamic. And honestly, the fact that they were companions of the Prophet despite their very human flaws says more about the Prophet's kind nature than it says about them being visions of ideal perfection.

  9. @ Safiya: You know, I never thought about it like that. I dislike some of the accounts that I hear about Umar (ra) having a hot temper and other unfavorable characteristics (especially when compared to the much more gentle Prophet (saw) ), but he also has very praiseworthy traits. He's only human, so it can't be expected for someone to be perfect. And you're right, the diversity of the sahaba (including the Ahl ul-Bayt and the Mothers of the Believers) is a good case for being more tolerant of our fellow Muslims in this day and age.I'm really learning a lot from this blog, Masha'Allah.

  10. But still I have uncomfortable with your disrespect of him.But still I have uncomfortable with your disrespect of him.As someone said:All the sahaaba (the companions of the Prophet sallAllahu alaihi wassallam) were the muriid (the followers). Only Umar (radiAllahoanhu) was the muraad (the desired one).[This refers to the incident when the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassallam specially prayed to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to make Umar Radiallahuanhu enter into the fold of Islam.]Also there is another Hadith of the Prophet of the Prophet of saying if there had been a Prophet after him it would have been Umar (radiAllahoanhu) Personally I feel that just like Allah has both Jamali and Jalali attributes , Umar (RA) was a representation of Jalali attributes while Abu Bakr (RA) was of Jamali attributes. Both are needed to balance each other.

  11. You seem to confuse respect with validation. He was abusive and intolerable and I am not going to validate this. Did you miss everything I said? If you're this uncomfortable you're free to not stick around.He was the muraad for no reason other than the fact that he had power which the Muslims, at the time an oppressed minority, could use on their side. It was purely political. I've heard these things before, you're not making some kind of amazing breakthrough.

  12. Unbelievable. People are allowed to say things like, "A'isha was a jealous brat and the Prophet only loved her virginity" but Nahida can't say "Umar was kind of an ass because he was abusive"?!

  13. "Also there is another Hadith of the Prophet of the Prophet of saying if there had been a Prophet after him it would have been Umar (radiAllahoanhu) "Sorry to disappoint you, but that's a fabrication.

  14. I will not engage in the risen discussions by other commentators but my question is:despite the bits of sarcasm, provocation and ridicule – aren't you being abit harsh and judgemental on Muslims? We are all products of our heritage, experience, knowledge and abilities.

  15. We are all products of our heritage, experience, knowledge and abilities.And that's not excuse to act like an asshat and infringe the rights of others.To be honest, I use the immunity card for a lot of the things I write: if a non-Muslim said some of these things I would probably be outraged. But I'm Muslim, and as far as I'm concerned, I am coming from an understanding perspective.I don't think it's at all accurate to say I'm being harsh based on one post–however, in regards to the rest of the blog: when Muslims slut-shame women who are raped, when Muslims rape women to "make them straight," when Muslims keep women from voting or driving or both and forced behind barriers, hurting the feelings of misogynists is the least of my concerns.This post was meant to be slightly humorous. My humor may be stinging here, and in this space in general, but it's not something I'm apologizing for, and I assure you I know very well that there are vastly different types of people and that these criticizing posts aren't intended for ALL Muslims.

  16. I also agree with much of this post but am uncomfortable with Nahida's disrespect towards Hazrat Umar (rta)…to have such a negative view of him and not acknowledge how his attitude and temperament changed over the years is very unfair. He may well have been the brash angry even violent young man but embracing Islam and gaining more maturity and perspective changed him for the better for sure. It is well known how humble he was as caliph, how he walked into into Jerusalem while leading his servant on his horse, how seriously he took his responsibilities when he said :'If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates, Umar will be responsible for dereliction of duty.'Not to mention his great many successes in public administration/military expeditions. His fair treatment of non-Muslims, remember he refused to pray at the Holy Church of the Sepulchre because he feared Muslims may take it from the Christians and turn it into the mosque at some later date.And if he was such a patriarchal man why would he appoint a woman, Shifa bint Abdullah, as overseer of the market of Medina. Not to mention concede a public argument to a women on the issue of limiting 'mahr'. I really feel Umar (rta) was example of a man who left his chauvinism and patriarchal nature when striving for the benefit of the Ummah and truly following the deen which is all about social justice. Please try to learn more about all the Sahaba (rta)and their development as Muslims, I know they are not above constructive criticism but simply calling one (such a beloved one) an 'ass' is not humour or constructive just offensive to your own intellect and iman.

  17. I never denied the good things he did; you are free to feel as you do, but please cross lecturing me about how much I know/need to learn off your schedule–I know much better than you do the capacity and current state of my own knowledge, and (again) you may perceive and evaluate the state of your own faith. As far as the faith of others, I will decide what is offensive to my own intellect and iman.

  18. Nahida:The line was no excuse but rather a point that the purpose of some issues might not always be what pops up in one’s own mind. We do have a choice, we either think people mean harm and bad, or we don’t. It’s no secret neither, that many of the listed statements could be turned either way and in any case, putting incorrect purposes on others lips will be a burden on one’s own shoulders. To make this a case of misogynists vs. the world does undermine the whole joke-part of it.

  19. I've got a brilliant idea! How about everyone who's uncomfortable with disrespecting religious figures go lecture some fundamentalists about how their actions are spitting in the face of Islam itself?to have such a negative view of him and not acknowledge how his attitude and temperament changed over the years is very unfair.Nahida does not need to acknowledge this. She doesn't need to kiss up to people to apologetically ensure that she's not being a threat to patriarchal portrayals of religious figures. Men criticize the women in the Prophet's (SAW) life all the time and their steadfast devotion is Islam is never questioned. This is only reflective of the severe mistrust we have toward women.

  20. Vakyrie:I don't care what the purposes of some issues are, namely because men would tell me that the "purpose" of their policing me is not to police me but "make sure I'm following the right path." And that is total BS. Intention is a lot, but it isn't magical. The reality is that it's harmful behavior, it's a way of unlawfully controlling women, and I'm calling it out.

  21. Nahida:You perfectly well know this is not a male-exclusive issue – this includes when it comes to the tellers and the receivers. If you say this is a personal experience of yours then its something up to you and those that have told you to juggle. But I don’t see any defense as valid when it comes to many points there as they are so unnatural, which makes me believe that many times provocation consumes purpose – something that hits the credibility of the post.

  22. Valkyrie:Of course it isn't a male-exclusive issue–did I say ANYWHERE in the post that it's male-exclusive, that would prompt you to say the credibility is hit? I pointed it out as an example in the comments, because we do live in a global patriarchy, and not a vacuum. Also, this particular post isn't meant to be "credible"–it is indeed my experience. I'm not sure you're aware of this, but this IS a personal blog. I am in fact not here for other people, I don't do the things I listed here to be provocative–that in fact, is the point. I'm living my life and wearing what I want and others view it as provocative.

  23. You know, not everything a woman does has a "purpose." That was my interpretation of this post. Nahida does things, and people relate it to her faith when it's about her community. Like now.Stop assuming that she's some kind of walking symbol.

  24. Nahida:I would help if you read what is written instead of bursting out in frenzy – my claim was provocations consuming purposes hit credibility. It becomes an oxymoron when you state that it’s not intended to be credible. My whole point from the beginning was that I saw parts that were a bit harsh in my eyes, and you claim it’s a personal list that shouldn´t be taken seriously. This goes in a turn – individuals think you become a bad Muslim by being (without any internal discussion of definition) – a woman? A good Muslim? Telling the truth? Falling in love? I sure hope the people whom have claimed these have a solid explanation in judgment day.I am sure you are aware that you don’t owe me any explanation and you could have disregarded my comments. Neither am I forcing you answering my questions and points. My view and hope was that you probably saw something in interest to discuss and for your readers to participate in. Was I wrong?KelsShels:“Defense” as in by those that have made and/or stand by many of the claims. Further, I am not here to attack, I am only seeking clarifications. No one is perfect but some have a harder time admitting that to themselves – not to mention other people – than others. May Allah rewards you for what Allah sees as fitting.

  25. my claim was provocations consuming purposes hit credibility.In which case, I don't see how it's relevant to the post, as provocation is not consuming purpose since a purpose in the actions themselves does not exist. My purpose in doing the things listed isn't to make a statement; I am simply expressing myself without infringing on anyone's rights, unlike those who wish to police me–that was the purpose of this post (the post, not the things I do) which is to point out how bizarre this policing is.

  26. May I ask what exactly you found harsh? From your protest at Nahida's non-implication that these are male-exclusive behaviors, it appears that you have a problem with reality.

  27. My whole point from the beginning was that I saw parts that were a bit harsh in my eyes, and you claim it’s a personal list that shouldn´t be taken seriously. This goes in a turn – individuals think you become a bad Muslim by beingActually, this does not go in turn. When Nahida writes posts about others' reactions to her behaviors, it is not the same as when they infringe on her rights with their shaming. To claim so is a huge simplification.

  28. And if he was such a patriarchal man why would he appoint a woman, Shifa bint Abdullah, as overseer of the market of Medina.does appointing women give men a free pass at everything else now? lots of countries have female presidents that doesn't mean they aren't patriarchal…

  29. Sigh. People need to realize that ALL historical figures are human. Human and hence imperfect. Created as such. Pointing out misogyny should never be turned around into shaming the person who is merely stating the truth. This is a symptom of patriarchal collective amnesia.


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