Sunday, March 20, 2005

Muslim Men and the Virtues of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

Salaam Alaikum,

There has been a lot of talk lately about the modesty of women in Islam. If you go to any Islamic online bookstore or website where the subtitle is “Women’s Issues,” there is usually articles and books about hijab and women's dress. I don’t think that there is anything necessarily wrong with that. However, I find the emphasis on women’s modesty and men’s modesty out of balance. When it comes to the emphasis on obligations, there is always more pressure on women than men.

It is this un-Islamic double-standard which has led to a lot heartache disappointment for women in this umma. For example, the Qur’an addresses both men and women on modesty, chastity, abstinence. Men and women, according to the word of Allah (subhannahu wa ta'ala) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), are to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage. But what do we actually see happening in our communities? Masha’Allah, there are plenty of Muslim men who follow this commandment but what about the ones that don’t? They get a slap on the wrist. Boys will be boys. But if a young Muslima were to commit the same act, we would be so forgiving? Why is there more onus of the woman than the man? It is the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was shyer than a virgin in her bridal chamber. Why is there such criticism for women who don’t wear hijab but not a peep for the Muslim man who abuses drugs, patronizes prostitutes or drinks alcohol. With such unfair double standard, is there really any wonder as to why some women, who don’t know the difference between Islam and culture, rebel and often attack Islam as unfair?

Unfortunately, some Muslims and many raised in the West influenced by radical feminism, seek balance by copying the worst behavior of some men rather than holding them accountable and raising them to a higher standard of behavior. It’s the current message of sexual freedom. "Women can be just as sexually active as men," they said. They didn’t see the consequences of this experiment since it’s women who are often abandoned. It’s women and their unborn children suffering from AIDS. And it is usually women who are suffering from poverty and neglect.

When we decide to raise our children with the same standards, the same measuring stick, then will we see real fairness and equality in our community. Until we admonish our sons to lower their gaze, watch their language, dress appropriately and be gentlemen, the vision of Islamic equity will continue to be no more than a pipe dream. So let’s tell our sons how nice it is to wait until they are married and how the most of beloved of creation wore a beard. We can teach them that a beautiful, committed relationship with a Muslim woman is so much more rewarding and pleasing to Allah (subhannahu wa ta'ala) than a fly by night fling with a college friend. Let’s teach them about the mainly virtues of the Prophet (peace be upon him)—a man who only spoke when he had to but each word was profound. He was gentle with his wives and children but the fiercest of warriors on the battlefield. And though he was the Prophet (peace be upon him) of God, he never ignored the plight of the poor and suffering. He was a real man who would never betray a friend’s trust, slander a woman or hesitate to bring comfort those who needed it. Let’s all aspire, male and female, to cultivate the Sunnah, and hold each one accountable, male and female, equally to its fulfillment.


Blogger media mongol said...

waleikum assalam
Very well said. I think a lot has to do with cultures. In India, boys get too much slack, it's always the girl who is blamed for any misstep. people forget you can't clap with one hand.
It's also sad that boys who are well-behaved get picked on as mama's boys.
You're right, we have to strive to instill an equal sense of modesty and dignity in our children.

6:05 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...


I always wondered about that. Why are good guys given such a hard time when they try to do the right thing. I am waiting for the day when nobility, manhood and gentility come back in style. :)

11:44 AM  

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