“We have certainly created man in the best of stature.” (95:4) Sex, Image and Society — where does society’s widespread expectations of body image, sexuality and wealth fit in with an American Muslim’s identity, modesty and purpose? Recorded at the 51st Annual MSA National Continental Conference in Detroit, MI on Saturday, August 30, 2014.
How many of us can honestly say we prefer sitting with our family over our friends? Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy talks about the importance of happiness within the family home using anecdotes from his own experiences in this lecture.
Countless Muslims are using the search engines of the Internet to search for a spouse. However, a quick perusal of Muslim matrimonial websites reveals how basic Islamic principles are ignored. A person’s income, race, and color – or worse yet, skin tone – are often greater considerations than a person’s piety. The pictures that accompany many “profiles” are indecent. How safe are these sites, especially for women? Why are Muslims using “virtual meat markets” to find a potential spouse? How can our communities facilitate young people’s search for a spouse? What does our religion have to say about contacting perfect strangers of the opposite sex for “love and friendship”? How can we better address the real crisis that lies beneath “Light-skinned Muslimah seeking Muslim doctor to share life with”?
Sheikh Abdal Hakim offers some thoughts on gender in Islam. He begins, with characteristic catholicity, by discussing the career of Valentine de Sainte Point, an early French feminist and Futurist who in later life rejected what she perceived as the dehumanising trajectory of Western culture and converted to Islam, in which she found a more integrated and integrative understanding of human nature.
From that, the sheikh moves on discuss some aspects of the Islamic understanding of gender and sexuality, and how in this respect, as in others, the message of the Qu’ran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) acted as a rectification to misinterpretations of previous revelation; in this case, the rejection and excoriation of human sexuality often manifested by Christianity. The Prophet, by contrast, as ‘mankind perfected’, embraced this aspect of his humanity as he did every other, according to the Divine Guidance. His role as exemplar was thereby extended to women partly through his marriages, which provided multiple models of exemplary female behaviour. The sheikh finishes by discussing this in relation to the Prophet’s wives (may God be pleased with them) and Qur’anic examples of ideal women.
Yasmin talks about the concept of love in Islam, how love for Allah triumphs over anything else. She also touches upon Brotherhood / Sisterhood familial love, maintaining Gender relations the permissible way, how to determine who is the right partner and when to make that call.
Facebook is an extremely popular website that many people around the world use. For Muslims it can be a tool for good but a tool for bad. How can we use it and maintain the good from Facebook? AbdelRahman Murphy discusses this in this lecture.