Muslim Activists Push Toxic Feminism: The War Against Motherhood

Many Muslim young women living in the modern world are lost when it comes to the marriage versus career question. They wander along with no real guidance, following in the footsteps of their non-Muslim counterparts and falling face-first into the same disastrous outcomes.

Some of us parrot gimmicky feminist one-liners and then, years later, wonder why we are so alone and miserable. At that point, some even blame Muslim men for not “stepping up” and marrying sisters with big careers and accuse those men of being cowards who are “intimidated” by and “can’t handle” such “strong, empowered, independent Muslim women!”

This sad state needs to be addressed, especially as some Muslim female voices on social media spread confusion and bad ideas without much substantive push-back.

Note that this essay is not meant to demonize women who do have halal careers. My own mother was a practicing physician for many years and I myself graduated from Harvard University and planned to enter the workforce and “change the world” in those naive college days. I am not blaming my working sisters (some of whom really have no choice due to their financial situation), but I do blame an overarching system that puts women in these difficult positions of defining their self worth according to their careers or lack thereof.

I myself have struggled with this question: Is being a wife and a mother all that I’m good for? It took me years to realize that this question itself is toxic because what could be better than being a wife and mother? What could be more challenging? What could be more fulfilling? What could be more impactful than nurturing a strong, loving family and household which serves as the building block of a healthy Muslim community and Ummah?

It is feminism that has told us that women need to “be more,” that women need to “fulfill their potential,” implying that women somehow gain something by spending their precious hours, days, weeks, years pursuing money and titles and leadership rather than spending them on a husband and children. In actuality, women gain very little and lose much. It is the entire modernist system that has created this situation and this mindset. We are victims of it, but it is up to us to call it out for what it is and to not perpetuate it to future generations.

Unfortunately, some Muslims are doing exactly this: perpetuating this toxic mentality.

Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Marry Me?!

Last week, a Muslim lawyer and activist, Zahra Billoo, wrote a Facebook post bemoaning the difficult time she’s had trying to find a husband due to her demanding career. Strangely, she put the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Muslim men and secondarily on the shoulders of the entire Muslim community!

It is instructive to look at her post more closely as it is revealing of an attitude toward marriage and gender roles spreading throughout the Muslim community like a plague.

She shares a story about how, while eating at a restaurant, a Muslim father recognizes her and says that he wants his daughter to grow up to be just like Billoo. Billoo says that this is a common sentiment she hears, even from marriage suitors who have rejected her. One suitor in particular told her:

“I want my daughter to grow up to be like you but I don’t think I have what it takes to support your work as a spouse and I don’t want you to change for me.”

Billoo finds this extremely hypocritical. Frankly, I agree with her, but not for the same reason.

It is quite ignorant for a father to want his daughter to pursue a career path that will make it difficult for her to get married, difficult to form a stable family, difficult to live according to the Sunna. Why would any loving, competent father want his daughter to end up in the position of these female activists?

But Billoo and others suffering from the feminist mindset think that it is men’s fault for not wanting to marry a dedicated, overworked career woman. But why? Why can’t men prioritize what they want from a wife? Why is it surprising that the majority of men don’t want to share their wives with a demanding career? Why is it surprising that the majority of Muslim men want wives who will prioritize Islamic gender roles like motherhood?

Shouldn’t men have a choice in what they value in a wife? Women today certainly reserve the right to be choosy with whom they marry. No one criticizes women for this. No one shames women for not wanting to marry certain types of men (men who make less money, have less than glamorous jobs, etc.). No one is telling Muslim women to “Woman up!” and marry “economically disadvantaged” men, for example. No one is writing dramatic Facebook posts about raising their daughters to marry broke, penniless men.

The confusion is that, just because modern feminism values the empowered woman sacrificing her life for her career ambitions, that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to value it. In fact, we shouldn’t value this. And, as Billoo has discovered, Muslim men don’t value it either. And why should they?

Modern feminists (non-Muslim and increasingly Muslim) aggressively push women to pursue a life dedicated to career at the expense of all else. “Be empowered!” they chant. “Be independent!” Go to the Women’s March (wearing genitalia hats on your head) and become an outspoken activist to change the world! Slay the patriarchy! Men are evil (or at least toxic and selfish) and will enslave you, so don’t obey any husband–get a job where you can obey your boss instead! Become a wage slave. This is freedom. You will be happy. Anything a man can do, YOU can do! Why can a man get a job and a high-powered career but not you?

This is what feminism values, but it is not what Islam values. In fact, the opposite.

So what is wrong with wanting a wife who is dedicated to her husband, children, and domestic life more than her career?

The Value of a Home-Cooked Meal

Billoo further says:

“People are willing to support [female activists] from a distance, support it in concept, but not quite so eager to support it in their homes, at the expense of their comfort or a daily home cooked hot meal.”

Of course no one wants to support this!

Is it unreasonable for a husband to expect some comfort and a home-cooked hot meal at the end of a long day’s work? Is it bad or sexist or oppressive for him to have such a hope for marriage?

Even women themselves have to ask themselves: Is it worth it? Every day online we hear from another high-powered, executive careerwoman in her late 30s, 40s, and 50s who never got married, never had kids, expressing remorse for her feminist choices. “Why did I sacrifice the best years of my life for a job? Why did I squander time I could have spent nourishing a loving family? Now I physically can’t have children and men who do want children, who do want a big happy family, don’t want me. And who can blame them.”

Is this the sad future anyone wants for his or her daughter?

It is outrageous that one of the things that brings the most happiness and fulfillment to women in this life — namely, having children, nourishing them, loving them — is depicted as secondary at best. Women are told they are better off sacrificing their most fertile years of their youth pursuing anything other than being a wife and mother. This is disastrous and now Muslim figures are complicit in pushing this toxic message.

The Male Is Not Like the Female (No Matter How Much You Wish Otherwise)

The masculization of women is another prong of feminist thought. Billoo says:

“The path that Allah chose for me requires that I work long hours, putting my life and body on the line, to protect my community.”

We must ask ourselves: Is it a woman’s role in Islam to “work long hours” at a job outside her home and away from family, and to put her life and her body “on the line”? Where in Islam is a Muslim woman asked to do this? Where in Islam is this praiseworthy?

In Islam, men are in fact charged with both of these exact tasks: working to provide and protect. It is to men, not women, that the difficult task falls of putting their lives and their bodies on the line in the protection of their families, their communities, and the larger Ummah of Muslims. Women certainly should protect their children and family in dire situations and emergencies, but this is not the role in which Allah has placed Muslim women at large, in general. It IS the role in which Allah has placed Muslim men.

There are masculine virtues and feminine virtues (as well as masculine weaknesses and feminine weaknesses). Thanks to feminism, however, there is a strong, concerted effort to androgenize all attributes and qualities, and to deny the existence of uniquely masculine or feminine traits. We increasingly witness the erosion of gender, the war waged on masculinity (which is equated with toxicity) and on femininity (which is equated with weakness).

The Islamic system is in stark contrast to all this. Islam has a strong and healthy conception of gender differences and gender roles. Islam greatly values marriage and family, and outlines defined roles of the wife and of the husband therein. Each person has certain rights and responsibilities; these differ based on gender. The husband is the leader of the family, stewarding his wife and children in the best way toward piety, high morals and deen (he is responsible before Allah for this, which is a fearsome task).

The wife is his helpmate and devoted partner, respecting his authority and cooperating with him in their joint mission to raise a righteous Muslim family. The husband is a leader–but with that role comes heavy responsibilities: he must protect, fully provide for, religiously educate, attend to the needs of his wife and children without abusing them or neglecting them in any way. These are the responsibilities of a Muslim husband and the rights of the Muslim wife. The responsibilities of a Muslim wife–which are the rights of the husband–are being a cooperative mate who strives to please her husband and obey him and to protect his home, his children, and herself in his absence. This is an efficient and effective division of labor, in which each gender plays a specific set of roles that capitalize on that gender’s innate strengths.

The wisdom of the Islamic, Divinely-ordained system is clearly superior to the dysfunctional mess feminism has to offer, if only we reflect.

Billoo continues:

“I didn’t say this to the man at the restaurant, but I will say it here in hopes that others who are raising their daughters to be activists and leaders will read it. That’s not enough. You need to also raise your sons to amplify, celebrate, uplift, and support the women who are on the frontlines. We can’t do this work without our communities and families.”

What?

Why is a collective ideal for the Muslim community to raise its daughters to be “activists and leaders”? What in Islam encourages women to be on the “front lines” of any battle? Does Islam encourage or condone the kind of activism and leadership in which a woman is hyper-focused on her career, that involves frequent traveling (without a mahram), not being home, being pulled away from her family, standing in front of and mixing with other male activists, shouting and marching in the streets, fighting like a warrior, etc? As much as others are willing to overlook these clear and, at times, egregious violations of Islamic modesty and gender values, we have to uphold our principles.

Spare Us the Inaccurate, Cliched References

One of the habits of Muslim activists these days is to try to justify these violations by appealing to the example of the Sahaba. Billoo notes:

“I am inspired by the mothers of the believers, the female companions of the Prophet (pbuh), generations of women Islamic movement leaders, and my sisters who fight alongside me. Supporting, protecting, uplifting, and even loving these women is part of our faith practice. We need to teach that to Muslim men and the sons they are raising.”

Please don’t bring the Sahabiyyat into this mess. Which Muslim man in the time of the Prophet, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, married a woman who worked long hours, marched in the streets, and overall did not conform to Islamic gender roles in a marriage?

For a person to imply that the mothers of the believers and the female companions of the Prophet, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, were “activists and leaders,” in the sense that Billoo refers to, is dishonest. It’s simply a projection of the values of our current time onto them, superimposing the modernist secular feminist ideals so popular today (like “women’s liberation,” “female empowerment,” being a “social justice activist,” etc.) onto the time of the Messenger and His blessed generation. To back-project such things into our Islamic history is irresponsible and misleading.

Were the mothers of the believers, may Allah be pleased with them all, leaving their homes and their families to travel and speak to crowds of men and women mixed together, while dressed as we are today? Did they travel without their mahram to do such things? Were they on any front line of any battle, in particular after the command of hijab was revealed?

The answer to all these questions is no.

We sometimes have this unfortunate tendency, as modern Western Muslims influenced by feminist talking points, to ignore the reality that the vast majority of Muslim women historically were primarily wives and mothers, not “leaders,” “activists,” and “social justice protesters.” Most of them also were not scholars and there was nowhere this push to fill some kind of quota for female scholars.

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about how Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, was essentially a “Fortune 500 CEO,” and how Aisha, may Allah pleased with her, was a teacher of men.

Yes, Khadijah was a wealthy woman, but her wealth was inherited from her deceased husbands and she did not actually run the business or travel or trade herself–she employed men to do all of that. Furthermore, she dedicated herself fully and wholeheartedly to her blessed husband, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and bore him six children and raised a family. She was her husband’s helpmate and supporter, before and after nubuwwa. She was so careful of his needs and comfort that she cooked home-cooked meals and had them sent up to him while he was spending time reflecting inside Ghar Hira’. Not exactly the model of a high-powered business exec some today portray her as.

Yes, Aisha was a wealth of knowledge and she transmitted about one third of recorded ahadith, but she transmitted knowledge while being fully concealed behind a barrier to preserve her modesty.

Nothing these pious, upright Sahabiyyat did even slightly resembled the kinds of things that some activists and promoters of “Muslim women’s leadership” today may imagine or like for them to have done in their mental image of them as “strong, empowered, independent Muslimahs!” We need to stop back-projecting whims and desires.

Why don’t Muslim activists emphasize the other wives of the Prophet, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, most of whom did not have much personal wealth, did not teach, and spent most of their outside of worship on cooking for the Prophet and his guests, taking care of his children, and maintaining his household? Are these not also the mothers of the believers? (Which is not to say Aisha didn’t also cook and take care of the household needs of the Prophet.)

Why don’t activists and feminists emphasize figures like Maryam?

Maryam, `alayha as-salam, the mother of Isa, `alayhi as-salam, is one of the most pious women ever created and the only woman ever to be mentioned by name in the Quran. In Surat Ali Imran, Allah says: “And when the angels said, “O Maryam, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you over all the women of the worlds.” She is a role model for all women; the role she is blessed with and honored through is her role as a mother. In Islam, the emphasis and weight is placed a woman’s role in motherhood and family, not on her roles as employed worker, businesswoman, soldier, or whatever we see today.

So, why is marrying female leaders “part of our faith practice” as Billoo and others assert?

These kinds of unsubstantiated claims distort reality and hinder the understanding of many Muslims.

In the End…

In the modern Western secular-feminist paradigm, all the above will elicit gasps of horror. Muslim feminists and social justice activists insist that men and women are the same and equal in every way and there are no roles for either gender, and come to think of it, gender itself is a made-up concoction of the patriarchy, nothing more than a delusion! Certainly, within feminism, marriage and family are seen as irrelevant at best, and as oppressive and tantamount to rape at worst. Being a wife and running a household is derisively called “domestic drudgery.” Motherhood is looked at with disdain or pity, nowhere near as important as “real work” that comes with a paycheck every two weeks.

What is alarming is how Muslim activist figures like Billoo and others push these feminist values as if they were Islamic, when in reality, they are anything but.

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58 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with many ( majority ) of young , educated Muslim women today is that they think Islamic principles are very flexible to accommodate every deviancy, every aberration to achieve career oriented self-realization. As rightly said in the article, they lose out on their most productive years in the pursuit of career which is nothing but wild-goose chase.

    • With all due respect, the problem you are noting is very prevalent amongst Muslim brothers as well as sisters.

      In the west, how many Muslim run corner stores sell alcohol? How many Muslim run restaurants sell halal meat and also alcohol? How many Muslims will gender mix with colleagues at work all day but then frown upon the same practice at home or in other social circles?

      I think you get my point

  2. Ma sha Allah sister! This is a great write up. But behind the rise of muslim feminism there are thousand stories of women oppression by their husbands. Unfortunately in many muslim families (I’m not talking about the west) nowadays when women are staying home are valued less and actually very few men want a home maker. When women are earning money (for no financial need) they are praised. These are spreading feminism and creating the issues you have discussed. In my opinion a woman needs more acceptability than man from their parents and families. They try to earn to get the appreciation and more acceptability, become carrierist and some fall into prey of this toxic feminism.
    Please write something so that men realize how they are demeaning the role of a mother and spreading femisim.
    Jazak allahu khairan.

  3. People criticize my philosophy of promoting 4 marriages, they say this is invalid because men: women ratio are mostly equal or men are in more numbers as compared to women. Now as they say if the preference of 4 marriages is to be promoted than it can be only valid when the natural growth ratio set by God should be somewhere along the line of 1 men: 4 women which has not happened so far in the history of this world. The ratio of women has never grown so much that there are like 400 women in a tribe and only 100 men (naturally and discounting effect of war etc.).
    Understand the meaning of this philosophy, the encouragement is there so that (speaking in terms of economics) the supply vs demand ratio skews in favor of demand. Now take an example, a village has 1000 men and also 1000 women. Now every man will try to marry 4 wives, now women have the option, it’s not like a man want to make a women his 4th and she is forced to say yes to this proposal. The women will now analyze that I have received proposals from a man who is looking for 2nd… looking for 3rd … looking for 4th and also proposal from men who hasn’t previously been married. Now she would be mad to reject to virgin never married man in favor of becoming let’s say the 3rd wife of a man … right? We don’t ask women to become the 3rd wife of a man, we tell her if there is a virgin then give preference to him rather than man who is previously married. Now given this when according to this rule when a women is not going to give preference to an already married man then when will a polygamous marriage even take place?
    So it happens that sometimes the proposal of the never-married is so low quality (in terms of ability of sustain the current lifestyle of the women She has at parents’ house or taking care of her etc.), the women says to herself that I would rather marry the man with 3 wives rather than become the 1st wife of this virgin and ruin my life because in men the prevalence of bad qualities has always been higher that women. We can classify bad qualities such as men usually fall into drugs and drinking, they have a highest probability of committing murder, theft, robbery and landing themselves in prison. Can you give your sister/daughter to such a person? Also joblessness is a bad quality of a man and definitely not a bad quality if a women a women is jobless. Now there is a guy with shady character doing a first marriage and another man who is of good character, good background and respected in the community and looking for a 3rd wife. You (wali or the women) will give preference to the latter rather than the former.
    What is the benefit of this, the women will have an easier time in selecting proposals and finding the right guy. Not that in that society a man will be able to marry 4 women. He can’t … maybe a few will be able to marry 4, a few 3, a few 2, 1 and the remaining will be left alone. Obviously why are they alone? They had some quality in them that so many women rejected their proposal and didn’t even consider becoming his first wife
    So see now, my philosophy of encouraging marrying of 4 wives is directed towards men, I don’t tell women that hey if you should get married as a 2nd wife of a man rather than prefer being the one and only. And to men I say you keep on trying (in a respectable manner). If you manage to find someone who agrees to become your 2nd wife then it means you have some qualities that other men in the marriage pool didn’t have that the women left so many never-married proposal to become your 2nd wife.
    So now if men are more, equal or less than women in a society it doesn’t matter anymore because this philosophy is from Quran and Sunna. It’s not like Allah and his Rasool said something and it was fixed for a particular time period. This philosophy is valid this Day of Judgment. And the purpose of this philosophy is not that men will be able to marry 4 rather it is that in terms of supply the demand is greater and it is a principle of economics when the demand exceed the supply then the value of supply because more. And when demand is low and supply is high like how it is now and a major issue of women now a days. Men are not committing and the few that are doing at later stage in life (30’s 40s’s) and as I have a seen a high school qualified man who didn’t study further marrying a Ph.D. women. Why? … Because the women are not getting any proposal and parents get worried our daughters are getting older. So they have to drop their standards and accept the only proposal they get. Since supply is high men also get to be super picky only going for the brightest and most beautiful
    End

  4. Great article, however there are certain jobs that Muslim women need to occupy such as OB GYN and teachers (in women only circle) or basically any scenario that asks for gender segregation. These jobs require time investment and marriage with the expectation of being at home would prove detrimental to the goal of having many Muslim women in jobs that help the ummah as a whole (not soul sucking corporate jobs)
    If polygamywas prevalent in society this issue would not occur men would easily be able to marry women who priorities homemaking over a career and also be able to take care of high powered career women. These women would essentially be have to be part-time wife’s which would help them focus on their career. Zina rates within the muslim community will also fall and men will be more responsible as they have 2 households to take care of

    • Well, you’ve convinced me! I agree that there are certain jobs that women are suited for. I don’t think Umm Khalid was trying to imply that no women should ever work or have a job. Also there are some women who naturally do not desire getting married and having children. The focus of the essay as I understood it is prioritizing career above all else to the detriment of family and deen.

  5. Personally i’d rather stay alone untill the day i’ll meet my lord than marry a career woman or a woman that works fulltime. I’ve seen these marriages up close and it’s nothing but terrible and a constant source of high stress. Both spouses are always exhausted, the wife subconsciously resents the husband and the husband feels emasculated/castrated because he’s financially dependant on his wife.

    Because of the disharmonious nature of these homes the children typically are very dysfuntional. Particularly the boys. It starts in their childhood with extreme shyness. They grow up to be highly passive and socially awkward. I always noticed this about boys with career mothers. They just didn’t do well in life….stunted development.

    With the daughters it’s either a hit of miss: they learn from their mother’s mistake and do the exact opposite i.e. they get married young and become stay at home moms or they become the aunty with the good career but no husband or children. The aunty everybody secretly feels sorry for, and depite the high powered career is seen as a failure. What’s the point of much money and a good career without a family you can share it with and children who will inherit the fruits of your labor?

    Having a small halal job on the side shouldn’t be a problem. The problem occurs when the job is prioritized above the family i.e. it becomes the woman’s defining characteristic. When she does that she masculinizes herself. This repels men. Only effeminate (mukhanat) men and latent homosexuals are attracted to this. Which means you’re setting yourself up for failure.

      • Disgusting, filthy glaikit again.

        Look at your pathetic, poor English through which you make an ass of yourself. Self worshipping asshole.

  6. “The path that Allah chose for me requires that i work long hours, putting my life and body on the line, to protect my community.”

    Such savior complex. Allah didn’t choose that for you. You did that yourself. That style of talking she adopted from evangelical Christians. They often talk in this fashion: God chose for me, God planned for me, The Lord guided me towards….followed by something doubtful or outright problematic. The underlining reasoning is simple: eschewing personal responsibility.

    • Exactly, very well said. And if you are a martyr, then don’t lose your good deeds by making your misery public to everyone. Subhanallah, Allah really brings the true intentions of people to light. They might not be bad people, but even unintentionally making these harmful (toxic) claims publicly is harmful to the ummah. They really should open the eyes of people. If she was one a righteous mission, then one wouldn’t need to complain, your reward is with Allah. Really gives away the intentions here, which are clearly not selfless.
      Umm Khalid did an excellent job of analyzing this statement.

  7. No one wants to marry me so this is a “community” problem, and everyone ought to bend themselves, their families, and even the deen itself, over backwards to accommodate my hurt feelings. After all, if my feelings are hurt it must mean eo ipso that there is some inherent injustice that has caused it. Obviously? Right?

    Female solipsism at its finest.

  8. I have long supported the articles on this site, but this one didn’t work for me, and it kind of confirms some suspicions I have had about this site for a long time.

    First of all, there is very little empathy at all shown here towards Zahra, who posted this Facebook post after perhaps having a possible engagement broken. It’s a frustrating time for someone and they may not be using the choicest of words to express how they feel. But there is no advice given to Zahra here at all. Instead it reads as an attack on her.

    Second of all, the Noble Prophet of Islam made an effort to marry women who were otherwise less desirable at the time. Widows and older women were among his wives. Some are noted for their actions of caring for the poor and indigent before marriage. Well, caring for the poor and indigent cuts into homemaking time. It requires travelling outside the home. And Zahra’s work is quite similar. She does legal advocacy on a reduced cost basis for Muslims as a service. And she needs a husband who can support her because she isn’t living well probably on a regional director’s non profit salary. We may not agree with all of her stances, but she does do service for the community, and she looks at the example of the Noble Prophet of Islam and his Holy Family and the Sahaaba and she sees people who married women not because they would be desirable in the standards of the day (i.e. excel in homemaking) but because they had good hearts and served the people. And she is wondering where that sunnah is today among the Muslim men around her…

    Homemaking is a skill and its value has been lost to us because of modernism and capitalism. Some scholars (Khamenei for example) even argued that women can demand payment from husbands for their homemaking work (that’s how much it is valued). But that doesn’t mean we should be single track minded in our desire to find the best of the best homemaker. It is a sunnah to marry people others may not want to marry. It is a sunnah to support (through marriage) women who do charity. It is also a sunnah for men to do housework. The Noble Prophet of Islam was noted as doing housework and cooking and cleaning and not simply leaving it to his wives. This was also a noted practice of Ali ibn Abu Talib.

    I guess you lost me on this one. But I love most of the articles on this site and will return as I find it usually unafraid of speaking truth in a confusing world. I hope you will see the light on this post though, it bothered me greatly.

    • You’re comparing apples to oranges. First of all some of the wives of the Prophet were less desirable without fault of their own; often by becoming widows at an advanced age. Secondly they accepted polygamy. Most of these modern women will never accept to be a co-wife and their undesirability is completely by their own doing. They are undesirable by making themselves unavailable through prioritizing career, unnecessarily delaying marriage by prioritizing higher education and career and lastely by having unrealistic and awkward expectations of their future husband. What’s the point of marrying a woman who’s away from home 10 hours of more per day?

      Ps. as Ahle Sunnah we don’t recognize Khamenei as an authority in religious matters. His opinion is completely worthless. If the wife is a homemaker she’s already getting paid. Who do you think is making rent, buying her food and putting clothes on her back?

      • These women aren’t necessarily innately undesirable. It’s their behaviour that is making them undesirable. And ultimately making them unfit to be wives and mothers. Most men when looking for as spouse look for wively qualities not a coworker.

      • Polygamy is largely absent from many Muslim cultures. And read the Quran about polygamy, it was about doing justice to the ORPHANS. Yet you Haqiqatjou followers will never understand this for some reason.

      • I know. That’s why many muslim countries have a major problem with singledom and spinsterhood. I my country of origin you have 6 million single women…many unwillingly single. Our neighboring countries have de exact same problem – or worse. This situation has created a vacuum where moral decay can fester. Illigitimacy and youth crime is rapidly on the rise. Polygamy serves many positive purposes. It provides women, who otherrwise wouldn’t be able to secure a husband, with a family, it forces men to act responsibly and it increases the ummah in size. Competing with co-wives also forces the women not to take their husband for granted. In other words it forces all involved to act right.

    • Maybe Umm Khalid will respond with her thoughts to your comment later, but I just want to note that if we are going to talk about the Prophet peace be upon him marrying “less desirable” women, we should also emphasize that those were polygamous marriages.

      • Bro Daniel, what are your thoughts on polygamy? An increasing number of Muslims especially youth are considering it as unpractical and unfeasible.

      • Sufi August 13, 2019 at 10:00 am

        Practising polygamy according to the Sunnah would largely eliminate many social problems: adultery and illigitimacy to name but two such problems. Polygamy when done right is the pinnacle of practicality – that’s the whole point of the institution.

      • The argument of ‘less-desirable’ women is a disgusting Shii attempt at discrediting the sacred and extremely virtuous Ummahaatul Mu’minin. Shiis should rather focus on bringing their basic beliefs in line with the Qur’an.

  9. There is a shared underlying trend across most of these comments that defend Zahra and they fall into one of the following categories:
    1) She is a victim, we shouldn’t criticize her ()
    2) The muslim men are are to blame
    3) Muslim woman can work, as OBGYN or other female oriented careers. Therefore, this article is no applicable.

    The answer to these are as follow:
    1) if Zahra in her fit of personal despair can make such eloquent “call to arms” publicly on a social media platform for the community to change, she is open for public scrutiny and questioning from that same community.
    2) There are so many answers to this. To keep it simple, the responsibility of a woman to behave within Islamic moral and religious bounds does not change as a consequence of her circumstance. it is not a moving target, regardless of how men behave. The presence of fahsha doesn’t make it halal for us, it is still haram regardless, and you will be punished just like anyone else. You won’t be asked about how men behaved, you will be asked about your actions, so focus on them and submit to the deen of Allah as communicated through the life of the Prophet (SAW), which is why we are called muslims. If there one feels consternation at this, then pray to guidance and strength from Allah.
    3) That is not the point of the article. This is akin to someone who eats pork saying, “Pork is halal if you are in a dessert.” This only applies to less than 1% of the muslim population, and the people who raise this point are most definitely one of them, so what is the intent of raising this point, sincerely ask yourself this?

    The above points seem to be shared across every platform when Islamic gender roles are mentioned. Whether intentional or not, they derail the argument from the subject matter that woman should be homemakers and this in our deen. If you want to answer this question, finding concrete prevalent evidence from the deen, and justify your opinion. Most importantly, do a deep dive and see why this bothers you, and ask Allah for guidance, and then be open to the truth.

  10. A brilliant and well articulated write-up. No less is expected from a knowledgeable Muslimah. You have addressed the issue excellently. I hope Zahra and other female activists or would-be activists find this write-up and read it critically.

    • Pretty rich coming from you who targets, abuses, harasses, and trolls people only because they choose to follow their religion and not promote LGBT crap.

      In fact you’re quite the anti-feminist alpha drag queen who wants to dictate to women what to think for themselves.

      Any woman who doesn’t toe your line is a “concubine”. The only real liberated women are those who subscribe to your cacophonous ramblings.

      Find something better to do with your time than lurking around people you hate so much.

      • I dont promote LGBT. Never have. But of course, low IQ haqiqatjou followers will never understand.

        Daniel, his followers, and now his wife all have the pattern of harassing and abusing others in the name of Islam. Me firing back doesnt make you the victim.

        Yes, any woman who supports Haqiqatjou wants to do it for the attention. She wants to show off in the name of Islam. This is what you call a concubine.

      • OY HOY PAA JI BAAND KAR LOO!

        Paa ji thanks to bagwan you are here to teach these followers of Daniel real Islam the one not from Arabia. You are right looks like angel made mistake looking for Gods Prophet in Arabia should have come to your pind and found you paa ji. Then we would all be following this non Arabi Islam that you are a Wahe Guru of and we would all be soooo progressive and sooo mujra pro khusra and hijras dancing to Ibrar ul Haq paa ji… junoon paa ji… playing guitar with tajweed paa ji… bangrah on eid paa ji.. so much real islam all over right paa ji? Please BAAND KAR LO PAA JI this fake Islam of Daniel, Arabs, Iranians, Turks and Afghanis right paa ji?

        This fake Islam that Daniel promotes makes kuffar and Modi afraid of Muslims right paa ji? It scares the mushriks, kuffar, murtads so much they stay far away from us…we need soft bubbly heera maandi islam ruhh hafza islam muree beer islam mujra islaam we need tarek fateh islam. irshad manji islam. reza aslan islam. salman rushdie islam. maajid nawaz islam. right paa ali ji?

        jaayyy hoooo paaaa ji Ali ka Islam paindabaaadd!!!

    • You were flabbergasted at Daniel’s calling out on the LGBT support by “Muslim” politicians, and then you say you don’t support LGBT.

      I didn’t see any harassment or abuse in the post above. She was strict from an ideological perspective and rebutting Billoo’s ideology, but didn’t abuse her, or harass or insult her.

      As I said, you and your like can’t stand being rebuked.

      Refuting your rubbish ideologies is “bad adab” because it hits your raw nerves. You are too dumb to understand that taking a principled stance and refuting someone or their false ideology is not abuse.

      This is nothing new with people of falsehood (ahl al-baatil), though. Kafirs and heretics throughout the history of mankind have considered refutations of their rubbish philosophies as attacks. Doesn’t matter if it was the kafirs who were exasperated at the Prophet Abraham peace be upon him refuting their polytheism, or the exasperated heretics who agonized imams like Abu Hanifa or Malik or Ahmad bin Hanbal, Allah yarhamuhum, only because they refuted heresy and bidah, or in this case common ordinary Muslims who wish to see simple common sense as well as apply Islamic injunctions to their lives and propagate them to other Muslims too.

      Actually that “concubine” slur was thrown by you on the comments area of another post at another sister who disagreed with your bullshit and didn’t say what you wanted to be said by women, and agreed with what Daniel said.

      On the one hand you’re supposedly a champion of women’s rights to break away from traditional Muslim societal roles. On the other hand, any woman who refutes your rubbish ideology, is just an attention-grabber in the name of Islam. You don’t realize it but you’re the perfect symbolism of your own hate – a “man” telling women what they should think or say!

      That, and your vocabulary and thought process is quite limited – “low IQ”, “swines”, “Haqiqatjou followers”, “Haqiqatjou worshipers”, etc. It’s all getting way too boring now. You’re simply not worth the webspace you occupy! Go drive off a cliff or something!

  11. Lots of good points in here, especially regarding the disproportionate focus on traditionally masculine traits over feminine ones.

    However, quite a few potential loopholes too in my opinion.

    The author states:

    “The husband is a leader–but with that role comes heavy responsibilities: he must protect, fully provide for, religiously educate, attend to the needs of his wife and children without abusing them or neglecting them in any way.”

    This here is my biggest gripe with the mainstream reading of Islamic gender roles. Why would one adult rely on another for so much? How is this wise? Moreover, just what qualifies the husband for this level of authority?

    The greatest holders of authority in the family – parents – qualify for such a status owing to their investment in rearing their child from infancy, as made apparent in the relevant verse. However, the husband is granted the same level of authority, seemingly without any qualifiers. In fact, the Quranic command is to be gentle with one’s parents rather than to obey them per se – yet husbands are somehow entitled to more than this…!

    Again, WHY would one adult grant so much unnecessary authority to another, especially in tasks that she could just as well accomplish herself? Sure, a division of labour is best but this goes beyond merely labour and into one’s own personhood: in actively submitting to their husbands, women are thus expected to surrender their will and only allowed to decisively exercise it when the husband oversteps religious boundaries. This leaves vast room for men to exercise their will over their wives but very little for women to do the same.

    Again, parents earned their authority – what qualifies husbands for the same?

    Since this idea is so integral to Islamic tradition, I do wonder whether I’m just missing something so would really love a properly thought-out answer rather than the generic ‘because God said so’ that pervades Daniel’s fanbase.

    The author also makes other fallacious remarks such as, criticism of women travelling without a mahram when modernity (police force/legal institutions) has rendered this practice virtually obsolete and thankfully so.

    Also strange is her apparent assertion that since lady Khadijah (as) never roamed around for business, it’s somehow baseless for modern career-women to use her as inspiration – the author seems oblivious to the stark differences between 7th century tribal Arabian society and 21st century Western (and even many non-Western) societies.

    A further oddity is her scorn at the idea of women marching ‘in front of men’ as though the Hijab was not designed with the express purpose of facilitating women’s presence *around men*. Of course this can’t be used to justify what is inherently forbidden (idle free mixing is wrong with or without physical hijab) but it certainly can in matters of justified public participation which vary greatly across cultures and contexts and can and will include women marching alongside men.

    Those are my thoughts so far. Look forward to any responses others may have and pray God guides us all to His truth alone.

    • The Quran mentions obeying your wali-ul-amr – see surat an-Nisaa verse 59. In case you’re married your wali is your husband. If not your wali is your father. The islamic concept of ta3a/طاعة is not blindly following orders. It’s fulfilling requests and orders that are in line with the deen. If your husband or father orders you to take of your hijab then that request should not be fulfilled.

      https://quran.com/4/59

      If a person doesn’t have the qualities and capabilities to be your wali why would you marry them in the first place?

      Side note: surat an-Nisaa (the women) is the chapter that mentions the word ta3a/طاعة the most of any chapter in the Quran.

      Are marches islamically correct to begin with?

      No, the purpose of the hijab was not to facilitate women’s presence around men. The purpose is to protect women from the gaze of men and to solidify their public indentity as muslims.

      “The author also makes other fallacious remarks such as, criticism of women travelling without a mahram when modernity (police force/legal institutions) has rendered this practice virtually obsolete and thankfully so.”

      Where did you get this from? If anything mahaarim are needed today more than in any other period in history. Because we life in an age of hyper mobility, lack of shame and weak imaan and complete moral corruption the need today is stronger than ever.

      • Did you know hijab was historically absent from the Mughal Empire? And no Islamic scholar from this region even bothered to correct women. The reason being hijab is arab culture and it has proven not to lower any gaze from perverts.

      • Here is how you SHUT DOWN Ali the lying braying mule:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purdah

        What an insufferable sewage worm repeating nonsensical bites without doing any historical research on the matter. I don’t blame this rabid dog since this idea that many things among Muslims societies of today (who have been Muslim for over 1000 years) is Arab cultural imposition: women wearing mini skirts in Iran and Afghanistan etc. is a typical liberal and Islamophobic tactic to divide the rank and file of Muslims by flaming ethnic nationalism.

        Meanwhile ignoring the fact that IT WAS FORCED IMPOSITION OF LIBERAL SECULAR VALUES by sold out cucked leaders (after being enlightened through sodomizing each other in secret fraternities – wasn’t the 3rd eye that opened – it was their rectums) on these societies that gave rise to Islamic revolutions in these nations once the masses in the towns and villages found out what was being introduced in the urban centers through pogroms.

        Hijab was not only implemented for Muslim women in the region, it also influenced non-Muslim communities under various Islamic rulers including the Mughuls.

        But the braying mule Ali will lie like caved in coward who is intellectually colonized by his “dogs allowed Indians are not” masters.

        You also see that these people will use ethnic nationalism to divide people while claiming to be inclusive of all if it serves them. The same way they’ll sleep with capitalists, conservatives, and even jihaadis if it serves them. Zero consistency. Which is expected from man made garbage.

        This = “THIS IS ARAB CULTURE NOT ISLAM” is just that. Dividing Muslims by creating and encouraging ethnic tensions. Meanwhile the naked, drunk mushrik Arabs of 7th century Arabia look at these clowns like WTF DUDE our culture????

    • This troll named “Ali” is an insult to the name.
      The person is probably a crazy-ass with an obsession to troll Muslims. This asshole calls Muslim women ” concubines”. How pathetic!!!!. This shit-for-brains idiot has no idea of Islam or its history. The disgustingly filthy creature just spouts shit from his abhorrent and faeces-filled brain….

      • Yeah, he’s quite the troll. And his attack on the hijab and drawing relevance from the Mughal Empire (highly indulgent, and not Islamic under all kings all the time, btw) is incredibly sub-moronic.

        As a matter of principle, yes the Shariah doesn’t specifically endorse any specific product or deisgn of clothing. But to suggest there are no binding rules and proper guidelines for men’s or women’s clothing is pure stupidity. To say that hijab is not part of the Shariah is just as stupid as stupid gets, while this moron is deludwed into thinking he’s actually smart.

    • To answer your point on the following “This here is my biggest gripe with the mainstream reading of Islamic gender roles. Why would one adult rely on another for so much? How is this wise? Moreover, just what qualifies the husband for this level of authority?”

      Someone starting a family is the beginning of a new household, a successful one inshallah. When a woman is a part of her parent’s household, she is a part of their household. She isn’t building anything new per se, the household has already been established. When you marry a man, you are agreeing to start a brand new household, think of it as being the founder of a company. Now naturally, when you have two founders, even with the best of similarities, there will be disagreement, who will resolve this disagreement? You can’t constantly have a third party inter mediating for your family on the smallest of disagreement in decision making. Now the question arises, who will make the ultimate decision, and to alleviate the burden of that question, Allah has assigned that role to the husband. Like a company, you need one CEO, he might not necessarily be the smartest person, but Allah has assigned that role to him. Guiding his heart to make the right decision, which doesn’t necessarily come down to intellect alone, is Allah’s responsibility. A woman serves as the role of an adviser, she can be much smarter than her husband, but she has to realize the role that Allah has assigned to her. It isn’t a matter of WHO is better suited, but WHO made the decision to assign one person (the husband) to make that decision, which is Allah (SWA). This isn’t a classical opinion, this is the opinion which has been a mainstay throughout Islamic history.

      Now, if there is a man who proposes to you, and you don’t believe you can have any faith in his decision making, then you shouldn’t marry him.

      Now some practical/real life advice. This is something that you need to live, and it and experience yourself. Sister, I guarantee you one thing, that if you give your husband room to make the decision, and trust him and advise him, but give him the opportunity to exercise his role, you will notice that he will love you, respect you, and even obey you, take care of you, and cherish you like none other. You will occupy his heart and have his affection in return. Give it a sincere effort, and be patient, and you will see for yourself that you will experience a much healthier, happier relationship. Isn’t that the goal of successful marriage after all, to be happy and satisfied? If you feel that trying to force a western, contemporary notion of power balance in a relationship will get you there, then by all mean go for it. I will tell you from experience from multiple couples I have seen around me, both family and friends across the practicing/non-practicing spectrum, that it ends in misery. And these are individuals who are doing well financial, have material comfort, successful careers, yet failed marriages that end in divorce. Something has to be the cause.
      If happiness, satisfaction, and a feeling of being special in the eyes of your husband is what you are seeking in a relationship, then inshallah embodying the role of a wife according to Islam is guaranteed to get you there, as well as attain nearness to Allah as you trusted Him (SWA) and carried out your role.
      May Allah help the men and women of this ummah.

  12. “I do wonder whether I’m just missing something so would really love a properly thought-out answer rather than the generic ‘because God said so’ that pervades Daniel’s fanbase.”

    You’re missing a lot of things, not just some fundamental knowledge of many Islamic topics, but also basic reasoning and critical thinking skills.

    I’m sure the author can answer your objections herself in another essay (you have packed so many fallacies, erroneous reasonings, and false analogies in your comment that a detailed and comprehensive reply to your objections would require another essay rather than a lengthy comment in this comments section). I hope the sister does it and address your objections woman to woman.

    My question to you is –

    Why (or how) is “because Allah said so” or “because the Prophet peace be upon him said so” an inadmissible or inadequate evidence for you?

    • There’s definitely a feminist tinge in the comment made by person named Huda. Especially so, when the phrase “God said so” is used in the pejorative sense and dismissed in belittling way, it’s reeks of profound feminist mindset…

  13. I agree with the author’s argument that feminists have neglected feminine virtues in favor of masculine virtues for women. But I think its too simplistic to blame feminism for the problems that educated Muslim women face in finding a spouse. The reality is that men cannot support a wife and children on a single income even if they want to. Many men and their families do look for women who are going to continue working after marriage for wives. Women who want to stay home and take of the house after marriage do get passed over by men looking for wives. I don’t know how common it is but it does happen. In any case, most girls (perhaps Zahra as well?) were raised by immigrant parents who told them that they had to do well in school. When I say do well in school, I mean really well like get A’s in everything or you’ll bring shame to the family, then get into an IVY League school and become a doctor! After all that hard work and 20+ years of this immigrant mentality, is it reasonable to expect a girl to just stop, give up, and settle for a life of making chapatis, and minding her children while her husband gets to actually use his education? Moreover, it’s not only feminists who devalue feminity. Many Muslims do too, because of culture. Sons sometimes get preferrential treatment within families. Girls are expected to serve tea, participate in housework, and be quiet. Boys can stay out late, no questions asked, even if they are probably doing haram. Then there is the silence about all things sexual including the biological clock, and how it’s healthy to be attracted to your spouse within marriage. Moreover, many girls grow up noticing that their father sits around like a raja and asks the mother to do something while she is obviously busy with an altogether different task like making dinner. Muslim men and women (at least in Pakistani culture) don’t value women’s work, or female sensuality. They expect girls to excel in their studies but then want them to become housewives to men who appear mediocre to the gril in terms of looks, career ambition, or personality. Its not reasonable to expect girls raised with these mixed messages to just want to become housewives. Moreover, we really do need lawyers to defend our rights to wear hijab at work, the rights of immigrants and refugees in our community, and prisoners at Guantenamo Bay. This kind of work requires long hours of work with very low pay yet the community does depend on the services of people like Zahra. People are typically not encouraged to do this kind of work by thier families. They are encouraged to go into careers that make money like engineering or medicine. Men who do this kind of work probably do get rejected by girls families too. Why shoud a father consider a Muslim activist husband for his daughter? His experience in Pakistan or Egypt or wherever would have taught him that such a career is not a god way to support a family, and often puts th wife and family in serious danger. A father looking for a groom for his daughter will want someone who has a stable job that won’t get disrupted by bad government or by the economy so he’ll want a doctor or engineer for her. There are lots of reasons why so many Muslim women stay single. Most of these reasons wouldn’t go away if women decided, after decades of the mixed messaging that they recieved, to suddenly content themselves with housework and babies.

    • All cultures come with their good and bad. Important tot distinguish between respective culture and islam. Many cultures still have remnants of pre-islamic times. The anti-female parts of Pakistani culture have their origin in Hinduism, Arab culture often still has pagan aspects to it, Turkish culture still has shamanistic aspects and Iranian culture is still dyed in zoroastrianism.

      Definitely do agree with the fact that many muslim parents give their daughters mixed signals when growing up. They basically push the girl to put all her eggs in the education and career basket and than wonder why she is still alone at 30 or 35.

      Feminism isn’t completely to blame for this state of affairs but it still is an ideological cancer hostile to islam and everything it stands for. Incorporating this filthy and completely immoral ideology into the mix will only complicate the situation further.

  14. Is it me or are your posts getting longer and longer Akhski? Seriously needs a TLDR.

    I joke I joke.

    Hope yall paying attention to the happenings. Looks like the time for inanimate objects to speak is near hahahahahaha LOL subhanAllah.

    EID MUBARAK to everyone.

  15. I have just one question, and the question is: If you are in support that a woman should focus more on her family (husband and children) than on any career, so if her husband dies tomorrow and leave her and the kids with nothing, what will become of her and her kids by then? Or not even death alone, what if the husband just starts misbehaving one day and refuse to provide for her and her kids again, where will the woman start from?

    • Any and all money a women earn in their life, their husband has no right upon. They are also given a mahr upon marriage which is meant to support them in the unfortunate circumstance you mention until they can reach another place to be taken care of (remarriage or a job to take care of kids, etc)

      Women can earn money. This post is not against that. Should it be *such* a focus that one becomes unmarriageable quite late in one’s youth or that one neglects their family? No.

      It is also not compulsory for a wife to do housework. The Noble Prophet of Islam did many household chores himself. And the result of this is that some scholars believe a woman can ask for payment for household chores from the husband (which she would then keep and not have to spend on the household).

      What Umm Khalid is saying is that our focus has become on our careers so much so that when a man thinks “Hmm, I earn enough to be comfortable, and she won’t add much to the home, so why marry her?” then somehow they are wrong and not the person who has few qualities to attract a husband with.

    • It’s very simple Binta:

      1) As Muslims, our objective is & should be – Deen and Akhirah

      2) A well-practicing, well-functioning and well-developed (and hopefully happy) family is one of the most basic and necessary means WE USE with the good niyyah to attain that objective. (Among other means like political tools, education, wealth, etc.)

      3) A career (something used to earn wealth and status in society) is one of the sub-means WE USE, again with a good niyyah, to sustain the family from our perspective as humans (Allah is Ar-Razzaq), which in turn is another means towards the end objective of Deen and Akhirah.

      This applies to men as well as women and is always workable, because it follows a logical structure.

      Now, the point of this whole discussion is about the Islami-feminist narrative in a career-oriented context (not talking about other contexts like abortion promotion and other issues) that pushes wrong priorities onto Muslim women.

      1) Objective – career-indulgence and self-satisfaction at all costs

      2) USE deen to justify that objective by bringing in fallacious, wrong, fabricated, or out of context evidences from it.

      3) Build a well-practicing, well-functioning and well-developed (and hopefully happy) family – wrapped around these deeni justifications you have USED in order to attain the end objective of self-gratification at all costs.

      People who follow the second mindset will always face frustrations in their family lives or a lacking in their deen, regardless if they are men or women.

      As long as the priorities are right, there’s nothing wrong with working. No one advocated for a total ban on women’s work. That has never been the case throughout Islamic history.

  16. How career oriented is too career oriented? Most jobs require B.A.’s and increasingly M.A.’s as well. Prosepective employers often ask for previous work experience when hiring people. Why souldn’t they consider who dropped out of the workforce for 10 years so she could stay home and look after the children, when they can hire a career oriented woman instead? There are families who will reject girls for marriage b/c the girls wanted to stay home after marriage. Guys will object that they can’t afford to have their wife stay home and so they will hypocritically want a woman who works as long as she’s not career oriented. It is unfair and unreasonable for a guy to want to a working wife but complain that she’s too carerr oriented. It will cost a dual income couple $233.610 to raise two children up to age 17. Factors like sending kids to private Islamic school, having more than two kids, college education, and possible debt from the couple’s own college/wedding expenses were not included so the costs will have to be higher for a single income family. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cost-of-raising-a-child-parents-save-up/ A couple that is serious about wanting the wife to stay home needs to sit down before the wedding and discuss how a husband will support that, and what kind of lifestyle changes needed to support that. If this does no ahappen, their could be divorce just like ina dual earner couple b/c the husband may resent the financial that he inucred by getting married. He may feel trapped. The wife amy feel b/c after a while, taking the work needed to take care of a house and children can be overwhelming, and after going through the same routines every day, she could get bored and frustrated and tired b/c she does not feel the sense of fulfillment and joy that was advertised. When one compares studying human anatomy or English literature or history to doing chores like chaning nappies, washing dishes, cooking, scrubbing floor, and trying to end the tantrums of children who are picky eaters then many women are oing to choose their studies. They worked hard in their studies like their parents told them to, and they saw how the mothers who stayed at home were treated by their fathers. In the past, women got over this problem by having more children, overloving their sons, and then by becoming mothers-in-laws and treating the son’s wife like a servant. The boys saw the same behavior and may emulate it without even realizing it. I know that Islam does not require a woman to cook or clean after marriage but the author is criticizing Zahra for not choosing a life where she does cook and clean for a husband: “Is it unreasonable for a husband to expect some comfort and a home-cooked hot meal at the end of a long day’s work? Is it bad or sexist or oppressive for him to have such a hope for marriage?” Besides, a man will probably work even more to support since it fell entirely to him. He will expect a nice home cooked meal when he gets home. Not cooking would only cause more resentment, and ad to the already common perception among many men that women who stay at home don’t really do anything. In short, America’s work culture doesn’t support women who stay home, nor does the lifestyle support a single income unless the man is upper class, secular feminists don’t value homemaking, and neither do Muslim immigrants..

    • You’re conflating between having a job and pursuing a career. A job is something you do so you can maintain yourself and your family. A career is mainly an ego boost. It’s meant to pump up your social standing and is prioritized above all other things in life. The primary purpose of a career isn’t the money (although nice) it is status. To keep it short….it’s meant to show off.

      Many people with careers aren’t even really making great money. Or they are but spending it all on an unnecessarily expensive lifestyle (plus student loan debt).

      Life is as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. Nobody is forcing you to bury yourself in debt to get married of get an education. Being responsible and resourceful will allow you to stretch out a dollar.

    • ayesha August 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm’
      “How career oriented is too career oriented? Most jobs require B.A.’s and increasingly M.A.’s as well.”

      True, but this is because too many people are pursuing a college education. They have flooded the job market with it. College has become a dime a dozen….there is nothing special about it anymore. Everyone who’s breathing and poses half a brain has one.

      Supply and demand. Once supply exceeds demand the power is in the hands of the employer. By participating in this rat race you’re exhausting yourself for increasing less to show for. Not only that, you’re paying up front to be able to participate.

      It’s a perverse system but quite easy to understand.

      • Yeah. It’s the whole ‘live to eat’ vs ‘eat to live’ thing.

        Career/work is a tool to support family and deen. Family and deen are not tools to build a career.

        The whole corporate rat race scene is detested even by many men. Just google anything on escaping the rat race.

        This isn’t about discussing work life balance..

        The feminist narrative is about eroding Islamically sanctioned gender and family roles and eventually Islam itself. Careerism is just one dimension of it.

    • A few good concerns you have raised, some that I wanted to answer.
      1) “There are families who will reject girls for marriage b/c the girls wanted to stay home after marriage.”
      -There are also those who reject girls based on the fact that they want to work. The fact that a man wants to shift his burden of responsibility onto his wife, should be a red flag in and of itself, and this is someone who should be avoided.

      2) “Factors like sending kids to private Islamic school, having more than two kids, college education, and possible debt from the couple’s own college/wedding expenses were not included so the costs will have to be higher for a single income family. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cost-of-raising-a-child-parents-save-up/
      -Allah, the ultimate Creator, Sustainer, Provider, has spoken on this ” And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” 24:32
      As far as having children and their cost of upkeep Allah has taken personal responsibility of this as well “And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” 17:31. And He also says “Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.” 17:30 I trust several people in my life, but when my creator takes personal responsibility, I stop worrying because He is much better to rely on than a corporation that I work for today, but don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

      3) “If this does not happen, their could be divorce just like ina dual earner couple b/c the husband may resent the financial that he inucred by getting married. He may feel trapped.”
      Surprisingly, divorce rates are much higher in dual earning, highly educated muslim couples than they are in uneducated ones, lower earning ones. They tend to be less ridden by debt, and see the marriage as a means to enjoy one another’s company while practicing the deen of Allah, a goal which ambitious and just as hard to accomplish as establishing a successful career. If two people come together with these intentions, they are much more likely to be able to weather the economic ups and downs that life has to throw at them.

      4) “When one compares studying human anatomy or English literature or history to doing chores like chaning nappies, washing dishes, cooking, scrubbing floor, and trying to end the tantrums of children who are picky eaters then many women are oing to choose their studies.”
      Let’s move beyond theory. Walk up to any random woman you see on the street who has children and a happy, successful marriage and she will tell you that taking care of children and her family is the best thing she has done. If there is any guilt, it is because of what others think of her (societal pressure), but ask her what “she” wants, and she will tell you that although this is far harder than her corporate career, it is much more fulfilling, rewarding, and something she loves to do. These are women who were previously in highly successful, venerable roles, such as lawyers and management consultants, creme de la creme, jobs which most ivy league students dream of getting, and those outside have next to zero chance of getting anywhere close to an interview for much less having their resume looked at. The only regret they have is not being able to do this earlier, because A) they were burdened with student debt OR B) they were surrounded by failed second, third, fourth, marriages, so they never thought this was something worth pursuing. But once they tasted a successful marriage themselves, they never looked back. Allah saves us from all this meandering, soul searching by assigning the woman this role automatically. No need to take on crushing student debt, work for the next 10 years paying it off, and then realizing that somewhere somehow, you were cheated. By then its too late. Be honest and sincere, trust in Allah, and you will have peace.

      Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

  17. Sister Ayesha,

    There are too many issues mentioned in your comment, some of which require entire books to be written on, and have had entire books written on them, both by religious scholars as well as non-scholarly worldly experts like psychologists, self-help coaches and so on.

    The mantra is very simple –

    If the rest of our lives revolve around deen, it’s all good. (And building a family and maintaining and upholding Islamic family values are a part of deen)

    If deen revolves around the various different aspects of life, then it’s bound to cause serious issues.

    The second thing is, that it’s not physics for there to be a standard formula. Every person’s life and circumstances are different. Don’t look for a one size fits all formula. The message here is that sacrificing Islamic ideals and family values for the sake of career will always hurt. The opposite case of making certain compromises on work/career for the sake of deen and family values might only cause some temporary inconvenience some times and places, but won’t hurt as bad.

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