Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pink blanket

It was a little bit chilly this morning... and apparently "Engineering Open House" means "Engineering Buildings with Open Doors." Of course the lab I work at on Saturday mornings is in an engineering building, and someone propped the doors open this morning--possibly because they didn't have a key, but who knows really the logic behind it. My "desk" is in the lab, and I had to go out and get the blanket from my car (just in case, I keep one in there) and bring it in and have been snuggled up in it at my desk for the last two hours. A number of kids have come in looking for the IE department, and despite the signage I have to tell them--4th floor.

I should be doing homework but I got an email this morning from "islamictube" or whatever that is, with a bunch of "islamic" videos. I've watched three of them--one was a clip from the View with Rosie telling Elizabeth in no uncertain terms that our government is just a little bit creepy and deceitful and that media (including the station broadcasting their show) is not exactly trustworthy. Wasn't too bad, really. Then I watched... and this is the one that set me off... a "khutbah" of sorts called "Islamic Tender Love and Care - Wives Listen Up!" It was too funny... and when I say too funny... anyone nearby had to be gawking at this hijabi in a blanket laughing out loud(seriously) at her laptop. I am not going to give the link here because I'm sure he had the best intentions... his so-called advice might actually annoy a number of women if only because of the approach.

He didn't say anything I'd never heard before, except for describing how different peoples would describe women and their relationship to Shaytaan. (Japanese, English, Polish, French, Chinese and so on, but Muslims say "you are a treasure.") Meh. Perhaps the bloke hasn't realized yet that "Muslim" is not a nationality. And what he went on about later, women being crowns or like people walking on their hands instead of their feet... sheer nonsense. "They used to kill you before Islam sister" was a particularly interesting gem, as if we (as women) are now indebted to Islam because without it we just deserve to be buried alive. I have to say, it might be preferable than the kind of relationship he wanted to describe (i.e., women, be slaves to your husbands and make sujood to them because of their value.) Wah.

But the really precious part... and this I must share... he kept talking about "racing." Sisters, race to do this, or race to do that. I'm imagining that it sounds more sensible in Arabic and the goofiness of the English "translation" was lost on the speaker. But one thing he wanted sisters to race towards was... being a HOOR in JANNAH. Sisters, you should race to be a HOOR in Jannah. Race to be a HOOR, the most beautiful women in Paradise. Now... if you're sitting there wondering what is so funny about that... say it out loud!! A smack-worthy comment if ever I heard one (though he had to tell us foolish females that it isn't nice to hit a man. Ahem, duh.)

Moreover, what really bothered me on a more serious note was the idea that women want nothing but to be beautiful in Paradise, and that hour-al-ein are more beautiful than the women of this life who were granted Jannah. It's quite possible I'm incorrect so I welcome a correction, but here's how things have been to explained to me. One, there is more in store in Paradise for women than their own beauty (and I really don't think most women obsess about beauty nearly so much as men do. At least, I don't.) So acting as if being a good wife will give you the best reward and that is beauty... well, that's not the reward I am shooting for, nor one that preoccupies my thinking, that's for sure. Next, that the women created just for Paradise are not more beautiful than the women who lived on earth. Not that I care, but it seems quite silly to reward a group of people who never suffered on earth more than the group that suffered, and struggled and praised Allah swt despite any hardship. So I was thinking that women would have a higher status than the HOORs anyway. So somebody is confused. What I think is that somebody (ahem, the speaker) does not have any clue how to speak to women.

So what does that mean? Well, obviously it means that men have too long been in charge of affairs they don't know anything about--women's affairs. It is irritating at best to have someone who doesn't understand women at all trying to issue rulings about particular issues, but also unfortunate. Women are overdue to step up and add their voices and experience to the pool of scholarship which at present is overwhelmed with testosterone instead of knowledge.


Aliocha said...

"So acting as if being a good wife will give you the best reward and that is beauty... well, that's not the reward I am shooting for, nor one that preoccupies my thinking, that's for sure."

This raises a good question: what is the reward that you ARE shooting for?

What is a hoor, what is Jannah, and what does swt mean?
(I am sorry if I am irritating with these dictionary-type questions, but I really don't know, I hope this need will go away as I manage to dive into the specific Islam-related vocabulary)

Thank you once again!

Anonymous said...

A Woman in Jannah from this world will be much more beautiful than the hoors of Jannah. There are hadiths that tell about this that the wife in Jannah will lighten up the whole jannah when she will come forth towards her husband from this world. The other hoors will be nothing compared to her. May Allah sw guide as all. Ameen! :)