Debunking the Male Bias Myth of Islam

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Masha’Allah, great lecture by Sh. Yasir Qadhi.

 

 

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2 responses to “Debunking the Male Bias Myth of Islam

  1. Great lecture, but I am not sure I agree with him on a few points.

    Around minute 23, he talks about how women in other cultures have “caught up” and want to surpass men. What does he mean by surpass men? I am not sure I see that phenomenon, all I see is women asking for equality under the law. Why do women continually get paid less than their male counterparts for example, are they asking for more than men? why shouldn’t they be paid equally? I am not sure its about surpassing but about an even field. He also states that western women looked down on their Muslim counterparts. I think that is an unfair generalization, there are those who sympathize and empathize by what they consider a patriarchal society in the Muslim world and what to help women break free from it. Although he goes onto explain that western women do not understand Islam and thus perceive it as such, I think that is an overstatement.

    Going off that, I think the very point that we have only begun to defend woman’s rights in Islam in the last hundred or so years is because the western society in a sense is more open to ideas and has room to adjust. Granted it took then hundreds of years to catch up to Muslim women in terms of rights, there Enlightenment ideologies allowed space for such developments. Yes, it can evolve for better or worse, as we are seeing today, things have gotten worse, but still it is much more open to change. I also wonder the type of exposure western culture had to Islam in previous centuries, and how much the ordinary person knew until the last hundred years. Maybe they would have criticized if they had known more.

    Around minute 25, he begins to talk about the defeatist approach of trying to appease another culture. I don’t necessarily agree, Islam is a religion for all times, as I understand, and thus it does have all the answers for these times as it did 1400 years ago. So when people ask these questions, we don’t just try and hand out the Shahada and say “there is your answer”, even if a person becomes Muslim, they can have these legitimate questions. I don’t perceive this religion as some sort of big groupthink idea. But that there is wisdom in all of it, and that it is actually a good thing for you, improving your worldly life and your hereafter.

    Around the 34th mark, he speaks about the revolving door of good and bad in western culture. His example of homosexuality fails a bit because its oversimplifying the issue. The idea of changing good and bad isn’t uniform. In the case of homosexuality, just because it is allowed, doesn’t necessarily mean that the society deems it as “good”, it just allows it, or tolerates it.

    About the issue of authority. I think most people realize that in western culture you have to obey the law, that you can’t do whatever you want. Law is decided by a quasi-democratic man-made process. You can argue that these laws, because they are man-made, people are more likely to disobey them, but none the less, this isn’t a free-for-all society.

    I always have trouble with giving the argument that, because there is a creator, he ordains how I live my life. A lot of defenders of religion think that by proving God they have proved their respective religion. Some of my non-Muslims bring up this point….Even if there was a Creator of this universe, how does that necessitate a religion. Some Deitest for example, suppose

  2. sorry my whole comment didnt make it. so here it is again, sorry its long and strewn out.

    Great lecture, but I am not sure I agree with him on a few points.

    Around minute 23, he talks about how women in other cultures have “caught up” and want to surpass men. What does he mean by surpass men? I am not sure I see that phenomenon, all I see is women asking for equality under the law. Why do women continually get paid less than their male counterparts for example, are they asking for more than men? why shouldn’t they be paid equally? I am not sure its about surpassing but about an even field. He also states that western women looked down on their Muslim counterparts. I think that is an unfair generalization, there are those who sympathize and empathize by what they consider a patriarchal society in the Muslim world and what to help women break free from it. Although he goes onto explain that western women do not understand Islam and thus perceive it as such, I think that is an overstatement.

    Going off that, I think the very point that we have only begun to defend woman’s rights in Islam in the last hundred or so years is because the western society in a sense is more open to ideas and has room to adjust. Granted it took then hundreds of years to catch up to Muslim women in terms of rights, there Enlightenment ideologies allowed space for such developments. Yes, it can evolve for better or worse, as we are seeing today, things have gotten worse, but still it is much more open to change. I also wonder the type of exposure western culture had to Islam in previous centuries, and how much the ordinary person knew until the last hundred years. Maybe they would have criticized if they had known more.

    Around minute 25, he begins to talk about the defeatist approach of trying to appease another culture. I don’t necessarily agree, Islam is a religion for all times, as I understand it, and thus it does have all the answers for these times as it did 1400 years ago. So when people ask these questions, we don’t just try and hand out the Shahada and say “there is your answer”, even if a person becomes Muslim, they can have these legitimate questions. I don’t perceive this religion as some sort of big groupthink idea. But that there is wisdom in all of it, and that it is actually a good thing for you, improving your worldly life and your hereafter.

    Around the 34 minute mark, he speaks about the revolving door of good and bad in western culture. His example of homosexuality fails a bit because its oversimplifying the issue. The idea of changing good and bad isn’t uniform. In the case of homosexuality, just because it is allowed, doesn’t necessarily mean that the society deems it as “good”, it just allows it, or tolerates it.

    About the issue of authority. I think most people realize that in western culture you have to obey the law that you can’t do whatever you want. Law is decided by a quasi-democratic man-made process. You can argue that these laws, because they are man-made, more likely to be disobeyed, but none the less, this isn’t a free-for-all society.

    I always have trouble with giving the argument that, because there is a creator, he ordains how I live my life. A lot of defenders of religion think that by proving God they have proved their respective religion. Some of my non-Muslims bring up this point….Even if there was a Creator of this universe, how does that necessitate a religion? Some deist for example, believe that God created the Universe, then left it to its machinations, not involving himself in the life of humans and other creatures. I was thinking that when Qadhi was saying that because I have a Creator, I must worship him.

    Minute 36th, I love the point he brings up about taqwa as being the judge of respect, not anything else. What a beautiful part of this din! I also love how he explains its not about rights, but about roles, not one role better or worse. Maybe semantics but definitely explains it much better and I think is much truer to what Allah intended.

    Minute 40. He talks about the Olympics and then says, because men don’t compete against women, why should they in the job world? I don’t think that is a fair comparison. Yes, men and women have different physical abilities, but there are jobs that can be done just as well as by women. Women can be better writers then men, better at business, better and manufacturing, lots of things that do not involve physical work.

    Minute 42. Really great point about trying to appease other cultures and how that will cause us to change our own values. The women leading prayer is a great example.

    Minute 54. Not sure I buy the idea that by saying I believe in one God that I am in some sort of impenetrable fortress. Yes its true if you are arguing among religions but once you move out of that sphere, the concept of God is also challenged. With evolution and biophysics, the idea of God is no longer an idea that is irrefutable in our society. Yes, questioning the existence of God wasn’t a normal occurrence, but it has become that now so we can not forget that angle. The point does work when we are talking within the sphere of religions though.

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