The Refuge of the Blogosphere: Minister Save a Sister and Recover a Brother

What has been the benefit of the Muslim Blogosphere?


Some of you think that the blogosphere has had no benefit at all. Some of you would have preferred to keep the people in denial about these festering wounds lying just beneath the surface. If you just pretend that you don’t see it, then it will be fine.

They would rather not have us focus on promoting a positive vision that not only includes moral and religious upbringing, but also cultural and economic ones. Some feel that it would have been better for us to remain an uncultured and mindless flock that can be led here and there under authoritarian leadership. Talking about our dirty little secrets is open for all of the kufar to see I am told and it makes Muslims feel bad to read about them with no solutions being provided.

We can’t be allowed to develop of tradition of systematic thought and problem solving. They would prefer to have us continue to seek refuge in separatism rather than engage in any kind of strategic planning. We were taught to feel good about ignorance, in laziness, in not being involved in the wider community and in not being (secularly) educated. The less educated and the worse job you had, then the MORE righteous you were seen. The better educated you were the less credibility you had with the brothers and if you had a good job you must be imitating the kufar.

When we had the epidemic of bizzare and often disastrous “stranger marriages” that were taking place throughout the country were silently running through the community like an out of control forest fire (with “Imam Ikes” taking advantage of this situation and getting married numerous times) it was not the minbar, but the blogosphere that called this practice into question.

Others of you think that people like Tariq Nelson and I are exaggerating or go looking for the next spectacular story to use as fodder on the blog, but this is not the case. Trust me, if Tariq and I wanted to do that, we COULD as we get these stories all the time and there are many stories that we know of that are much more tragic that we have never written about.

As I was reading Izzy’s post a few weeks ago, I wondered: if there was no blogosphere, how many sisters would have otherwise gotten caught in one of those stranger marriages and right now be getting beaten every night or stuck with a couple of kids from a travelling imam who gives her no support? How many sisters after reading about the abuse out there have had second thoughts about marrying that stranger and decided to get to know something about him instead of being rushed into the marriage by the Imam or the sisters who are chastising her for not being down enough and getitng married after 2 minutes like they did? How many brothers would feel alone out there with no one to turn to, but then see that they are not alone. The things that I have been reading, and brother Tariq have been writing, are not something we came up with overnight; rather they are thoughts we have been thinking about for years but had no one to share them with and felt even if we did no one would understand us.

Honestly, I am glad to hear about sisters thinking twice about the quickie marriage and I am glad that I may have something to do with that. I sincerely only wish that more Imams would give this kind of advice to the sisters. This needs to spread like wildfire across the country.

I personally know a young brother that got into a joyless stranger marriage with a sister he went overseas to marry and now he regrets it. I ran into him one night while getting some gas. He was the cashier. I asked him how things were going and he told me “I should have listened to Tariq”. Not only that, but he says that if he were not Muslim then he would kill himself. I feel for that brother and I write for brothers like that.

Brothers like this feel like they have no one to turn to. If they go to the masjid, they will get blasted out and told to ignore what they see with their lying eyes. They have to continue to tell themselves that all things from their past – often including their family – are evil and must be left behind. The blogosphere called this into question.

The blogosphere is the place for the people that have been left behind. The place for those made to feel that it is something wrong with THEM. For those left wandering and hoping that one day someone will address their issues, but the minbar seems to move further and further away.

This is where things still need to change. We have to bring these issues to the conferences and the minbars. It can’t remain here on the blogosphere. The blogosphere has to be a catalyst for change and not be the change itself.

However, without the blogs, these issues would still be taboo and no where near making its way into the masjid. Now I honestly believe that this discourse is on its way. Thanks to the blogosphere, these things can no longer be ignored

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32 thoughts on “The Refuge of the Blogosphere: Minister Save a Sister and Recover a Brother

  1. Bang on. Seriously, you and brother Tariq have articulated what a lot of people have been muttering amongst themselves about.

    Put is this way, before I became Muslim, I’d never met anyone who had been divorced more than once.
    There are Muslims who have been divorced three, four, even more times.
    We have a problem.

  2. If not for the Blogs..i would still be alone and lost.Being able to interact with others who understood where I was coming from and having true sisterhood and brotherhood was enough to remind me that Islam is real and breathing…as well as theoretical.

  3. I’m not disagreeing with you or the amin chorus, akhi, but I come as a warner ;)

    Sometimes we are more concerned with speaking or minds than what comes out of them. All the Anbiya (peace and the mercy and blessings of the One and Only be upon them) warned against unnecessary babble, talking about someone behind their back instead of taking your beef directly to them, concerning oneself more with others faults than one’s own, etc.

    Guard against your blog becoming a blah blah blahg.

  4. Astaghfirullah…I should have said “Many” instead of “all.” I don’t know what all 124,000 Anbiya (peace and the mercy and blessings of the One and Only be upon them) taught. Allahu ‘alim.

  5. The blogosphere is a refuge for marginalized voices/people. I just wonder if our efforts are truly reaching others & forcing them to think – or whether our efforts are limited to a small ‘amin chorus’ by likeminded refuge-seekers.

  6. Peace,
    The blogosphere is very effective if its intentions behind it are for authentic sharing of ideas and concerns. I happened to fall upon this one about 6 months ago,praise be to G-d and have benefitted since. As for all those who are concerned about falsehoods brains getting knocked out by issues being exposed on this website, you are conciously or unconciously on the path of those who drive common sense loving, decent hearted people away from not only Al-Islam but “Religion” or G-d conciousness in general.Death to retarted,manipulated,baby food religious ideas.

  7. Salaam alaikum,

    Well, brother, alhamdulillah, that we do have the blogosphere for talking about issues that are primarily avoided on the minbar. As far as for ISNA and CAIR, I think groups like that are exhausted and have too many issue to deal with. Besides, for a successful non-profit, they must stick to their mission statement so race relations among Muslims and marital dysfunction will probably not be on the agenda. We expected too much out of them already. It’s up to us to form meetings in our local communities on these issues or, like your blog, produce that website/e-zine/mag that will tick everybody off but will also make them say, “Hmm, he’s got a point.” Don’t worry and pray to God to guide your direction to all activities that will pay off in this world and the next. Your blogging is helping you to get your name out and to improve your writing so there is benefit in it–even if it isn’t the blessing you weren’t currently expecting. Thanks for the plug!

  8. Some people say Muslim blogs are an easy way to hide. Its hard to see any Muslim contributions in America except in blogs. Its like they don’t exist. Everybody went on hiding after 9-11. Very few people stood up for their faith when they saw it attacked. Because secretely they do believe in what many accused Islam of being. For a long time many Muslims were fed what Abbasid Islam gave them and internalized it. Often they would white wash it in public. Now that Islam is being scrutinized many chickened out.

    Its now for us to clean the damage. Us Koranist who have to remind non Muslim day in and day out that what Sunni/Shia follow is not the Koran. Yet some of those sectarianist have the audacity to attack us and call us heathens and deviants and infidels. Yet they rarely defend Islam. Prefering to stifle any criticism by invoking “Islamophobia”. Its time the Islamist end their 15 minutes of fame. Its time Syed Qutb, Ibn Taymiya and Hassan Banna get burried. Its time to re-evaluate the so called “hadith” and its supporters like Imam Malik and Imam Al-Shafi. Its time we grow up and start taking our religion seriously and start following the Quran for a change. Or else we are destined to be isolated, despised and ashamed of ourselves.

  9. As-salamu’alaykum,

    This is an interesting and important article, Umar, thanks. Experiences I’ve had the past couple of weeks with brothers from my own community have left me bewildered and almost turned me into a misanthrope.

    “…engage in any kind of strategic planning”

    I take part in this sort of thing a lot but b/c of my day job, I sometimes struggle to meet deadlines and have to outsource some of the work -the last 2 w/ends, I interviewed a couple of guys, both of them came highly recommended and both of them turned out to be disgusting human beings.

    The first, a married father of four, asked me to marry him as soon as we met, bombarded me with emails and phonecalls until I said, “That’s quite enough now, thank you and goodbye”

    The second, a married father of only a few weeks old baby (his first) and sent to me by someone I hold in high regard, ignored all my interview questions, all he wanted to know was why I’m still single. The following day, he sent me 24 text messages most of them sent from his bedroom as he informed me.

    These men haven’t an ounce of respect for their wives and I feel so sorry for the wives. The 2nd guy told me he needed to marry b/c his wife having so recently had the baby can’t do it and all he can get from her is (I can’t believe I’m going to write this here) ‘a hand job’. I said I hadn’t heard that and wasn’t he aware it’s haraam to talk about what goes on in the bedroom? Anyway, it’s been a real nightmare for me, and to think I was offering to pay them £500 per day for the work for 10 days?

    Their total lack of decorum has left me dumbfounded and seething with anger and I won’t be in a hurry to talk to another brother again.

  10. There is a danger in the blogosphere. Ideas are shared, sanctioned; the blogger, may develop a fan-club, like popular tv journalist. All he says is regarded a words dropping from an oracle. The danger here is that not enough ideas are adversarial. A consensus of opnion is not much of an opinion. We need more salafis here; more sufis;more anti-feminist. We need the agnostics and the free-thinkers. Then we have moved on to more debatable things. Umar’s ‘Jihad’, however, has been enlightening (but we seek our own ‘tanwir’, not just views that Voltaire spoke during the ‘Enlightenment’). In short, we need an ‘awakening’.

  11. Salaams one and all,

    I, for one, think that Umar (and Tariq) are both doing useful and valuable work. Ma sha Allah.

    Umar has his own unique way of addressing things and although I don’t always agree with what he says, I can certainly appreciate the honesty, sincerity and bravery he puts in to his writing.

    May Allah strengthen Umar in his (writing) jihad. I, for one, value and appreciate his work.

    Abdur Rahman

  12. As-salaamu-alaikum,
    The great thing about blogs is that we all have a chance to have our voices heard.
    For me, “stranger” and “rushed” marriages is one of my pet peeves so I’m doing cartwheels at the news that that trend may be slowing down or stopping.

  13. Saggal,

    Not all brothers are like that any more than all sisters are just looking for green cards or for men to support their Coach buying shopping sprees.

    I am happily married, have two lovely boys, dont want a another wife or a different one and would be happy to work for you making 500 pounds a day ($1,000) for ten days!

    LOL!

  14. Hum……I posted yet it didnt go through. I guess I will re-do it.

    Saggal,

    Not all men are like that, any more than all sisters are looking for green cards and sugar daddies who will support Coach buying shopping sprees.

    I am happily married with two lovely boys. I do not want another wife or a different one. I would be happy to work for 500 pounds ($1,000) a day for ten days.

    LOL!

  15. Peace

    Keep up the good work Brother Umar Land Brother Tariq N.

    I half to admit some of Brother Tariq things drive me insane but I can’t hate some one speaking the truth.

    Peace

  16. Salaam ‘Alaikum

    The next step is how do we translate the enthusiasm, awareness, and ideas beyond a cyber-discussion and into real life? Are things changing in our communities? Are bloggers helping that happen? I will think about this… I have more to say, but it might be a lot (enough for a post, not to take up all your comments area…)

  17. ASA… just one comment akhi Umar… I believe that Tariq and your works usually have different styles and different focus; it’s not fair to either of you to present them as equivalent.

    Also the comments are much better moderated and more content-focused on Tariq’s, which spares the readers from reading 3rd grade-level back and forth argumentations, filthy language and other undesirables. Perhaps you should consider controlling the comments a little bit more as well as being a little more discerning in what you write… I understand that it is important to your style to “keep it real”, but there is a fine line between that and exposing one’s sins. No point in getting hits at the expense of your deeds… I am sure you understand that better than me.

    Take care… wasalam

  18. AMAD,

    WAS,

    We are in America akh, if you want a censored press you can read the Turkish or the Pakistani press.

    Keeping it real is not my style it is who I am and I know that exposing the frauds and phonies may cause me to take heat but so be it and I know “the kufar are reading brother“ but believe me these problems are no secret. I also expose myself brother but I pray there is some benefit in that. Tariq and I have different styles but for the most part we are on the same page.

    I also do not write for hits, this has been leveled by Muslims who are up tight about sex or other topics or who are jealous they are not getting hits and they need to check their selves.

    Maybe they should try having some original thoughts and writings and not sounding like the boring imam of a boring Masjid who just learned how to blog and still only touches “safe“ topics.

    Umm Zaid,

    I agree with you 100% and I look forward to reading your post.

  19. Salaams,

    @Abu Sinan

    “I would be happy to work for 500 pounds ($1,000) a day for ten days.”

    So would I.

    Just imagine the number of wives the second guy could potentially end up with based on his ‘reasons’ to want to marry…

    Could say more on this topic but am off to the land of the rising sun, or will be if I can find my passport in time.

    Sorry to be off topic, but does anyone know good Japanese writers they can recommend? I used to read Haruki Murakami, ‘Norwegian Wood’ is great and ‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ made me laugh a lot. I also love ‘The Remains of the Day’ but otherwise not a big fan of Ishiguro (he is british?). On long haul flights, for some strange reason, i’m always reading the same book, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.

  20. Saggal,
    I also love Murakami, but I’m more into Yukio Mishima. If you haven’t read any of his work, “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea” is a pretty good place to start.

    Also, if you like the Latin magical realism thing like Marquez is known to do, I really liked “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” by Luis Alberto Urrea.

  21. Keeping it real is not my style it is who I am and I know that exposing the frauds and phonies may cause me to take heat but so be it and I know “the kufar are reading brother“ but believe me these problems are no secret.

    salam bro… I wasn’t referring to talking about sex or other social issues… in fact that’s something we have been doing too, though with a slightly different focus. I was talking about personal sins such as describing women that we are “checking out”, etc. I know we are not perfect, and we all sin, but we have been instructed to hide our sins…

    take care.

  22. Saggal, Abu sinan and others

    All these books you praise about I have never heard. But I was wondering do any Muslims out there maybe besides me and small minority of us read GRAPIC NOVELS? you know the Frank Miller types and all.

  23. I thik that these blogs are the first step. Sometimes things are said that you didn’t know someone else was thinking.
    For any kind of change to happen, it takes courage. Even the relatively small courage it would take to possibly irritate your friends and associates and have them thinking you are nuts.
    But if we take the chance, we might be surprised to find that they are thinking the same things we are.

  24. You “Koranist”, funniest term I ever read is “Abbasid Islam”! What planet did you come from? Must be the Shia’s sister planet, for sure, because they always talk about the “Umayyid Islam”!

    Denying the Sunnah kicks you out of Islam. You have no right, thus, to use the name of the Prophet whom you deny his very sunnah, you bloody idiot!!! Allah has promised to preserve Islam, and that means both the Quran and the “hikmah” (the hadiths of the Prophet, as they’re described in the Quran itself you claim to follow). And when Allah makes a promise, He (swt) fulfills it, and part of fulfilling it is creating the causes (persons and events) that actualize it. Not necessarily ‘miracles’, but persons and events which are extraordinary and spectacular in their own right. Allah has cultivated among the Prophet those Companions and wives who recorded his sunnahs and narrated it to others, he gave them (as Arabs back then) the sharp mind able to memorize the matn (content of the hadith) and its chain of narrators. He gave them the gheerah and the love of martyrdom to convey the Prophet’s words no matter what the price was (being persecuted by an Abbasid or Umayyid ruler, like you and other heretics like you like to think).

    In sum, your claims are absolutely unfounded. Islam, being the last Message from Allah to His creatures, will be kept unadulterated and uncorrupted. Of course there will be those (like you) who will try to corrupt it, but our Prophet told us in those hadiths you reject that there will never cease to be a group of Muslims who will take it upon themselves in every age and era to protect this religion from people like you. Today, these people are only Sunnis, and specifically the Salafis / “Wahhabis”, but they are not those who bow to the Saudi apostates or stay silent about American carnage in Iraq and Zionist one in Palestine. It’s the “Wahhabis” who continue to give from their blood to water the tree of Islam, the next Caliphate (according to hadiths you also reject); they are the ones who carry the banner of Shari’ah, who hate the hypocrites and love the true believers.

    Die from vexing, for they will continue to be, and so will you. It’s our test in this dunya, and our trial: will we stand against people like you and unveil their schemes against the religion of Allah, or will we succumb and give in to popular Kufr and Riddah these days?

    Alhamdulillah on the ni3mah of Islam and following the clear Quran and authentic Sunnah according to the understanding of the Salaf of this Ummah. And may God’s curse be upon all those like you.

  25. To Hussam takfiri Hariri
    Hey, it even rhymes. Takfiri, Hariri.

    The word sunna predates the rise of Islam and is well attested in pre-Islamic sources. The word sunna was likely to be applied to Muhammad even during his lifetime (p8).

    The Quran never mentions sunna-al-nabi (sunna of the Prophet). The application of the term sunna is likely to be post-Quranic, especially when applied exclusively to Muhammad.

    Early muslims did not give precedence of Muhammad’s sunna over other sunnas, such as the sunna of the early caliphs or early companions. The sunna term was not exclusive to Muhammad. There were no rigid distinctions about sources of religious law, i.e. it wasn’t concrete that Muhammad’s sunna could be used as a source of law.

    Shafi was born in 204 AH (193 years after Prophet Muhammad’s death). He was the first to argue the Prophet’s sunna as a source of law, identified to authentic prophetic hadith, and give it an equal footing to The Quran. Different attitudes to sunna existed during Shafi, al-kalam (a particular group or school of thought) rejected hadith altogether in favour of The Quran alone. Shafi’s view was also oppossed early by schools of jurisprudence in Hijaz, Iraq and Syria, who applied the term sunna to Muhammad, his companions and the early caliphs as well.

    After Shafi, it is rare to find the term sunna applied to other than Muhammad. Al-kalam argued the sunna of Muhammad should never be allowed to rule on The Quran and described the science of hadith (as in the methods used to collect hadith) as arbitrary. Evidence of this was the hadith was filled with contradictory, blasphemous and absurd traditions. [top]

    Challenges to the view of the organic relationship between The Quran and sunna are not completely unprecedented in the history of Islamic thought. Some of the opponents of Shafi argued that The Quran explains everything (e.g. 16:89) and needs no supplement, this was because one of Shafi’s central arguments was the need to clarify The Quran. This opposing viewpoint was snuffed out after the triumph of the traditionist view. However and it was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that the argument was seriously revived. One of the reasons Daniel Brown gives for the defeat of the opponents of Shafi was that they could not deny the authority of the Prophet. If for example, you found a hadith that was truly authentic then there is no way you can deny it because as it states in The Quran the Prophet was a very good example. Also, Shafi emphasised that to obey the Prophet was to obey God. Under this pressure, the opponents of Shafi were defeated.

    http://www.irfi.org/general/history_of_hadiths.htm

  26. However he was only able to defeat them in theory, but not on practice. This is because his triumph was partly to do with the Abbasid backing. What Daniel Brown failed to say is that these hadiths themselves gives almost absolute authority to the ruler. No doubt useful in acquiring political support. As it is still today as we can see with Al Azhar and the Wahhabi clerics.

  27. Shafi died in 204 …LOL not born O Koranist

    Shafi was not the first to argue the sunnah as the source of the law, names don’t matter, what if it was called something else before the time of Shafi’i .

    Sunnis follow the Sunnah of the prophet which was transmitted to us through one or more of the companions and the righteous Khalifs

    There was no group called Al-Kalam, which literaly means the Speech ..lol
    may be you are referring to Ahlul Kalam ?

    What a load of nonsense, Mohamed,

    Since you don’t believe in the superiority of Islam nor exclusivity of heaven for the Muslims, you should go become a jew, christian or whatever and spare us your ignorant comments on Islam

  28. Sudanese Thinker,my comments about you is this: try to do dzikir while seeing the nature around you,sink to a Teta or Delta brainwave,while accepting the reality outside of you,this got better results rather than joking. Maybe your a person with characters like tolerants,loyal to your friends,”you could take the punch”,and your weak points are: your rarely enthusiastic,hesitant to get involved,your normally sarcastic.

    There seems to be that people who done a lot of onani and masturbation,are those that using a fatwa as a scapegoat. Let me tell you that khilafiyyah is still happen about this,Syeikh Al Utsaimin,Al Albani,I don’t know who else,they said that doing masturbation(men and women)is violating the ayat in surah al Mukminun,to hafizh your sexual organs,except to your wife.

    Now everybody who do not want a baby,you better make your own self suffer,not your baby,so abort it before 40 days pregnancy. You’ll have lighter sin. And if men blame their wifes for the less fertile condition they are in,these husbands must not do fat diets,cause it effects your sperm productivity. To be more fertile is to make your wife feel orgasm,before you ejaculated,and when the wife’s orgasm occurs,lift your wife’s feet up straight or bend,so that you could ejaculate more deeply.

    Nabi Muhammad may blessings and peace from Allah be upon him said that the WORST CREATURES are those who after done jima’ with their spouse,they reveal their spouse’s secret when doing jima’.” This means also those who reveal how it was done,to another people.

    I’m satisfied with a lot of people become Muallaf,and I will say to them “After you came back to Allah,we’re both worshipping huwa,that your mistakes are all being replaced by huwa with tsawab and fadhl. So,you may marry with the virgin ones,cause you’re not considered as been doing adultery that gonna affects with whom you should marry. If you want to become a Da’i,then you could still leave in Indonesia or Malaysia or Brunei Darussalam. There are too many villages in Indonesia that still not even know how to do shalat or how to apply Al Qur’an in life,and it’s not far from it,the condition in the cities here”

    Walk on. Truly yours. May peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings from huwa be upon you.

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