From Slavery of Men to Freedom, and “Real Woman’s Liberation”

Author:  Souladvisor


Ok, I know that the Muslim world always screams that Islam gave woman freedom before the West, but in reality they can point to us, and show us how the majority of our woman are truly oppressed.  The only woman you see with a sense of liberation are those of our woman who ‘dare’, and are willing to throw away Islamic teachings, along with their hajob, and take their positions in society along side the men of the world; such a sad price to pay for liberation, and in reality such a false sense of liberation too.


So are they speaking the truth when they show us our oppressed women?  Is there any reality to their claims that a woman has to leave their hajob to become successful?  Form what we see today, there is some truth to their claims, but there should not be any reality to the currant suffering we find faced by our women throughout the Muslim World.  Nowhere within Islamic teachings do we find such oppressive, extreme views of the suppression of woman.  The Hajob in no way suppresses a woman, yet is that which puts her finally on man’s level, and acknowledged for that which she should be acknowledged for, which is her intellect.


I grew up in the west, and not as an immigrant, nor as one whose grandparents had come to settle there.  I grew up as one whose great, great, great, great, great grandparents may have come from elsewhere, but there were too many generations in-between to maintain any type of outside heritage, language, or views.   I was raised within the “norm” of religious backing, and knew not, nor cared to know what Muslims practiced or believed in.  To me they were the equivalent of Buddhist, taking a man as their God, or so I had been taught.


As any girl in the West subconsciously thinks, the truth behind the success of a woman had been drilled into my mind from the very beginning; from the short mini skirt of Mini Mouse, to the supple and slim body of Olive Oil.  Later of course re-enforced with the likes of the movies I watched with Marilyn Monroe, and then in my early teens, with Madonna.  Wow, everywhere you looked there was a sex symbol that captured the hearts of men and could easily drive them to kill, if only momentarily they entertained the illusion of possession of the same. The likes of the “Gold Rush” again now seen for the flesh of a woman.  Let us of course not forget the influence of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, nor the Princess and the Pea. 


Clever I was, and indeed I was not going to be one of the loosers: not to mention the human ego, which is fed as a fire, and gets bigger and stronger until it is out of control.  Just think about it; I didn’t even need a degree.  All I needed to do was to enhance what I already had.  So simple!  How did I know when I was succeeding? Well, I just walked down the street, and I knew.  Whistle after whistle…proposal, after proposal…in my own small world I had achieved the likes of the Movie Stars.  Cars would stop as I walked down the street, men would stare, from Mercedes to Toyota; I could have my pick!  I was on my way to the top, or was I?


I finished school yes, and there too I succeeded, but my main focus was always on my looks.  I never sat alone…I never sat out of a dance, and I never thought that the day would come where I would see things in a different light.  Personality wise, I could have described myself easily as an extrovert, a butterfly of dynamic nature, not to fall in a net, yet always in view ahead tantalizing.


I climbed to the top in my profession, and although beauty was my name, I still thought that my intellect made my dreams reality, and this was the true source of my achievements.  I was the best!  I could have anything I wanted, and did.  Surprised at my lack of modesty?  Do not be, many are those who shared and still have these thoughts, although they may not announce them to you.


Reality only hit after I embraced Islam.  Yeh, you read it right!  Reality of everything came as hard as crashing into a glass wall, and that only happened after I embraced Islam.  Here are the basics of it all.  I worked predominately with men, and my work was spotless.  I mean it; raise after raise, and promotion after promotion.  I was on the top of the world and couldn’t imagine I was about to loose it all.


Like I said, I had embraced Islam, and as you would expect the “Love of Allah” started to bloom and grow within my heart.  I got to the point where I suffered from jealousy at the thought that Allah would prefer another servant to me, and I hated to think that my love would not be met with the equivalent of it.  Yes, I desired more then anything that would Allah love me!  The inner changes took hold, and the outer changes seemed second nature. 


Oh, the changes were in no way over night.  Step by step, sometimes crawling, sometimes walking, and sometimes running, I began to change.  After saying La Ilaaha Ilah Allah, the first thing I knew I needed to do was learn how to pray.  Modesty just seemed logical to me with that pre-requisite, and first the skirt hems got longer and longer, then the sleeves got longer and longer, and then what I couldn’t do with the hems of the skirts I did with tights (long colored socks).  Of course full makeup, and stylish hairstyles were a part of the apparel, yet my body became less and less a point of focus.


I knew about hajob, but that was only for prayer.  I didn’t think it a matter of importance, and knew as always that I was in charge of my life and feelings, and I could control what I did without that “stupid thing” on my head!  Putting the five pillars in my life was my goal.  Isn’t this the main points stressed within the Holy Quran?  Yes, verse after verse the likes of the following verse contained my “goals”.


Allah, the Exalted says:

{"Those who turn (to Allaah) in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of Allaah; that bow down and prostrate themselves (in prayer); that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limits set by Allaah - so proclaim the glad tidings to the believers."} [9:112]


Then the tables turned on me; my un-regrettable fate, and my first Ramadan was finally here.  And as Allah, the Exalted says: {...that He may test you, which of you is best in deeds...} [11:7] was now becoming reality.


You cannot imagine the joy I felt.  I finally felt my life had true meaning.  Allah created me to worship Him, and my “love of self” grew weak as my “love for Him”, with His Supremacy, and Exaltedness, grew strong, and my ego began to diminish.  It was Him who I wished to please.  No longer did anything more then that matter to me.  My love for Him kept me in reflection, and my love for Him was that which I did not care to be successful in the world if my fate would be, to be among the loosers in the next life.  That is one thing that I didn’t loose; my desire to be the best I could be.  I was living now with my voyage to salvation before me, from now to the grave, and this is all that had real meaning for me.  I placed myself between my fear of Allah not accepting me and loving me, and my hope that I could please Him, and He would love me. 


The Hadith Qudsi that rang in my mind over and over again was:  Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Allah says: ' When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running”.
And this was my path to achieving what I needed!  Yes, what I needed.  What “I desired” became small, because what “I needed” was salvation, success in the hereafter, and for my Love to Love me!


Anyway, as I was saying it was Ramadan.  My clothes had almost become a proper hajob, and I went my final step, or so I thought it would be my final step, in my appearance.  I pulled my hair back in a bun, and kept my face clean of makeup.  I didn’t want any mistake in my fast, which would later be a cause of it not being accepted by Allah.


During the middle of Ramadan was the time for my evaluation and my annual raise at work.  My work was still ‘picture perfect’, and clients would still line up and ask for me by name.  I had it in the bag!  Now I was going to have both worlds, or so I thought; a full raise and the promotion I had previously discussed with my Manager.  He walked in the room…cigarettes were lit…. coffee was made, and now to hear all the good things I had been waiting for.


He read to me the scores on the chart of my successful performance, which I already knew about.  He read to me from the chart of the clientele who would specify me as their personal trustee.  That of course, I already knew also.  Then he paused for a moment and said that he had a bit of bad news.  I couldn’t imagine what it was.  He continued with a squeak in his voice and could not look me in the eye any more.  He continued with the fact that the promotion I had been promised, had gone to one of my colleague.  She and I had everything in common, so I could see why they chose her, and then he went on to say that my raise was only going to be 2% of my annual wages in comparison to the 15% that I always claimed. 


My head was spinning, or the room was spinning, or my fast had taken toll…Why I asked…Why, why?  I couldn’t comprehend any of this.  He said that all of this is due to “your currant appearance”.  I do not know what has happened to you, he said, but if you expect to go forward in this corporation you better think of the changes you have made in your appearance.  “What”, I said?  My appearance…but my work is spotless, I retorted!  He then said, that the board of directors feels that your appearance does not fit the proper image we wish to set before our cliental. 


I just sat there as he got up and walked out of the room. 'Could this be happening', I asked myself?  What did my looks have to do with my work?  At that time my life changed.  I realized I was a slave of man.  I realized that my appearance was my success alone.  And I realized how easily those who had what I had could replace me.  I realized that they just wanted me as a picture, like a woman in a magazine, before them.  They couldn’t possess me, but to look was enough for them. 


Well, they could not own me.  Allah already had taken hold of my heart.  Elhumdullilah.  I wasn’t a slave of the creation no more.  I was a slave of the Creator.  They would not use me anymore.  They would not find pleasure in my appearance any more.  If they wanted to benefit from me, it would be for my intellect alone.


Islam gave me my freedom, and gave me respect, and gave me dignity, and allowed me to become a means of appreciation for my mind, knowledge, and thoughts alone.  I became free of men’s lust.  I became free of them using me to promote their corporation.  I became free from their secret pleasure with me, and them steeling my ideas for presentation in turn to move me forward, with me not realizing they were still always keeping me behind them. I became free of all their false illusions of success. 


I was free…I was now free…I was finally free!


Allah, the Exalted, says:


"Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Jannah, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).'' (3:185)



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