Working Class Muslim Families Series Part 6: Marriage

There is no thriving Muslim community anywhere in the world or a future for Islam in America without strong marriages that bind our community together. It is the job first and foremost of the married Muslim couple (and Muslim marriage is exclusively heterosexual and every child is given only one mother and one father) to raise the next generation of Muslims who can carry on the dawah of al-Islam to the next generations.

Yet, despite the fact that we all agree marriage is important, and almost all  will agree that there is a marriage crisis in the Muslim community,  there has not been a serious discussion on how to fix these problems ( if they can be fixed while living in a non-Muslim society hostile to the values of Islam).

There is widespread disagreement in the Muslim community on ideals of when and how to get married and you will find a deep dived between various immigrant Muslim communities and indigenous American-Muslims, working-class and non working-class.

I was recently at the blog of Hijabman, and no disrespect to him because he is a nice guy, but I have to say I was thoroughly depressed after leaving. I will not go into detail about the things that depressed me because the opposition to the Sunnah and the promotion of secular ideologies such as feminism and gay rights are known on that site, so that is not what had me down. What had me down was reading an article on the marriage crisis by a Muslim sister. The article in and of itself was also not what got to me although there as plenty in it that was upsetting in its own right. No, what got me down was that in reading this there was a crystallization of the fact, that no matter how figures such as Rami Nashashibi and Azhar Usman try and bridge the gap, we as working-class indigenous Muslims simply live on a different  planet than the vast-majority of second-generation immigrant Muslims.

The way that marriage is discussed with the second-generation is not the way it is discussed within the working-class Muslim community and the problems and desires discussed are alien to most of us. A lot of these Muslims, who are mostly Desi, come from very common experiences no matter where in America they may have grown up. The children of immigrant professionals, reared in middle to upper class suburbs surrounded by white non-Muslims, somewhat rebellious to their parents, educated in non-Muslim schools, Islamically educated in ISNA-style masjids, can all vibe with one another and write blogs to discuss their common issues and even publish magazines geared towards this experience. But, while they may be able to relate to the concerns discussed in these publications, these issues mean very little to your average working-class American-Muslim.

Quite simply we are not struggling with trying to find a Punjabi or Palestinian Muslim to marry to please our parents. We are also not being encouraged by anyone to marry our cousins. Our men, men like me, were reared in areas where men acted like men and we didn’t see men “getting in touch with their feminine side” so working-class Muslim men in America are not struggling to assert their masculinity and nor are they turning off some women by their softness (maybe by their hardness). The serious working-class American Muslims, male or female, are also not even contemplating marrying a non-Muslim. As Dawud Adeeb once said in a lecture I attended “I have never met a Muslim serious about their deen who has decided to marry a kafir”.

The working-class American-Muslim girl is not struggling with her attraction to her Jewish or atheist classmate; because she has not bought into some romance novel version of love. She knows that more than being about some cheesy notion of an intoxicating love marriage is about a partnership and group submission to Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.s.) and that will bring about a love that will not fade with time. Most working-class American-Muslim girls will recognize that the kafir sitting in the class with her may be bright, witty, and handsome; but if he is the agent that Shaytan will use to lead her into the hellfire all of those qualities are worthless.

 

The grounded and rooted American-Muslim girl has this mentality. Obviously there are some American-Muslim girls who do not think like this; but almost always these are girls with other problems in their lives. Their lives snowball out of control and it culminates in their laying up with a kafir. I know indigenous Muslim girls like this and they will admit what they have done and also admit that it is haram and most will feel shame. This contrasts them to many of the second-generation immigrant sisters. They will lay up with a kafir and then try and change Islam to suit their sins. Will write eloquently written articles trying to justify their acts and completely ignore what Allah and His Messenger (s.a.s.) have said.

The second-generation boys of course have their own set of problems. Like their sisters they have also been trained to marry “one of their own” and like their sisters they also may desire a kafir that they go to school with. I do not know how the parents can expect otherwise when they raise their boys in non-Muslim suburbia and send them to white schools for their education. They will grow up and think and act like those they have grown up with (only possibly with an inferiority complex or hatred of their culture).

If the boy is at a non-Muslim high school, where your average girl today is wearing clothes reserved for hookers 20 years ago, can anyone be surprised that his natural sexual desire will be aroused by those he sees? If he goes to college single with a minimal level of Islam while his parents expect him to remain celebate in this hyper-sexualized society they are dreaming. If he is not having sex it is because he cannot get any; not because the desire is not there. Just as the non-Muslim girl raised in this society has the desire to lay-up with kufar so does the Muslim young man and he is doing so at a higher-rate with less of a struggle with his parents; but I doubt Islamically the children will have any more deen than those of the Muslima marrying outside of the deen.

What separates the second-generation Muslims and the working-class Muslim in marriage is the age of marriage and masculinity. There are other issues but these two issues are the most fundamental to the difference. Quite simply the working-class Muslim gets married younger (before college or while at college if the Muslim is in college at all) and the working-class American-Muslim men do not face the problems of a lack of masculinity that makes them unsuitable to be a leader and the head of their households. Many second-generation immigrant Muslims have this problem because they are not masculine enough to fulfill the role as the leader of a traditionally Muslim house after having been raised in upper-class suburbia where masculinity is taboo and coming from cultures that may struggle with issues of assertive maleness anyway. Young Muslim males reared in this way and with these cultural influences will more than likely find a better fit being hen-pecked by a secularized woman  not the leader and protector of a Muslim home.

So, as I talk about marriage and the working-class American-Muslim I am not going to even begin from the standpoint of marriage after college within the ethnic group that most immigrant Muslim communities will. Nor  am I going to even give haram concecpts the time of day. I am going to look at it how the vast-majority of working-class American Muslims do.

Before we can talk about the issue of marriage, or how to go about finding a spouse for your child, we must first address the madness that we have in our own house with regards to marriage as working-class Muslims and the male to female imbalance. In order to be on the same page as me, or even in the same book, you have to look at this issue from the viewpoint of Quran and Sunnah and not the norms of a modern secular society dedicated to rebellion against what has been brought by the Prophets (peace be upon them).

In the indigenous Muslim community in America, and this applies to all economic levels, there are problems that ail the males that make many of them, and in some communities most, undesirable as husbands ( these problems can include criminality, incarceration, chemical-dependency, irresponsibility, and brothers behaving in a predatory manner towards sisters)  . At the same time the vast-majority of our sisters are fully functional and suitable to be married. If the ratio is two or three to one of sisters to good brothers in a city this means that a lot of sisters are going to stay single or exercise other options.

From what I am seeing the options that many are choosing are engaging in less than traditional marriages (especially on the East Coast), remaining bitter after being burned a time or two and not wanting to make any move (and possibly stepping out when the need arises), or are remaining single because they have either set their expectations too high or are overly idealistic and not living in the real world.

The non-traditional Muslim marriage is occurring almost exclusively with African-American Muslim sisters (but I believe it will become something practiced throughout the community in the future). These marriages normally occur with professional career women who feel they do not have time for a man, sisters with kids who do not want a man to interfere with their home life, or sisters who have little interest in men aside from their sexual desires.

The basic proposition is they marry a man for the sole purpose of having halal sex and the men are not expected to financially provide for them or live with them. I know of several brothers and sisters involved in these kinds of marriages and I myself have been approached a few times by sisters interested in this sort of marriage (and I had to take the offer seriously).

While this sort of marriage is certainly not haram, and it may even be advisable for a few sisters in very particular situations, I cannot help but to think these sisters are playing themselves short and missing out on the full blessings of marriage which extend beyond the bedroom. There is also the question of the children. If this sister has kids does she tell them she is married? If she does not what does this say about how she views her marriage? If she does tell the children how will they look at their mother? Will the teenage children see her as married or see her as someone with a halal “f#%* buddy”? What message do the young boys get from this kind of arrangement? That marriage is all sex and fun and no bills and hard work? How about the children born to such a union? If the children are not going to be living with the father in the home, or at least spending a good deal of time with him will the children not miss out on the benefits of having a man in the home to guide them? Who will show the boys how to be men?

Those sisters who are bitter and possibly stepping out by and large have been let down by the community. Almost all of them have been married before and they left those marriages so jaded that they don’t want to even think about getting married again. Many of these sisters have been married multiple times. One such example is a sister in Philadelphia. When I was single and looking for a wife I was talking to a sister in Philly and she told me she had a friend who was looking to get married. She told me her friend had been divorced three times and was not looking to get burned again and I said I fully understood. Then she told me how old this thrice divorced young sister was- 16! Does anyone think this sister will not be jaded and have some serious attitude problems in ten years?  Do you think she will not be bitter towards Muslim men if she even still Muslim?  There is another sister who my wife knows, who is a second-generation working-class American-Muslim as was her husband, who was hog-tied and beaten by her husband and had to be hospitalized. How eager do you think she for a traditional marriage?

While these sisters are bitter, and may hate men (Muslim men in particular), their sexual desires do not go away. The sisters I am speaking of, have either grown up in America as non-Muslims or are second or third generation Muslims descended from converts, most are black, and all grew up in a very sexually impure society. These are not some immigrant sisters from Muslim societies that American brothers married to often complain about as being sexually cold, or the old frumpy white catholic women who viewed sex as evil, or women who view sex as a chore they must endure once a month. By and large these are women who like sex and enjoy sex and when they are not in the situation in which hey can have halal sex they will not only be bitter but they make act on temptations to engage in haram sexual activity. It is our duty as a community to protect these sisters from having to exercise bad options.

The sisters opting not to get married are also a growing phenomena. I will exclude from this group the post 9-11 politically correct Muslimas who took shahadah to be a part of an oppressed minority and have never had an understanding of, or relationship to, the Sunnah. The sisters I am talking may have been born Muslim, or they may be recently converted, and they are serious about the deen.

These sisters disproportionately are volunteers in Muslim organizations, employees of masjids or Muslim organizations, writers for Muslim publications, bloggers, educated and have a voice. Their influence over the community, given their numbers, is larger than that of other groups with a bigger population and this is because unlike the married sisters these women have the time to volunteer and write.

There is diversity amongst these activist-oriented sisters but they tend to be idealistic and liberal-minded. Not liberal in the sense that they are radical-leftists; but in the sense that Islam is a feel good religion to them and people should not be judged. This, of course, is in contrast to much of the teachings of Islam, as Sheikh Ali al-Timimi once said “we have been given the Quran and Sunnah to judge other humans by”. That means that there are the righteous and there are the evil and no everyone just can’t get along. It means that there are Muslims and there are kufar and that there is no politically correct way to call someone a kafir. The activism of these sisters is good; but their political correctness intellectually impairs them, retards their growth as Muslims, and may even lead to religious deviation. This political correctness was something they got from their secular education and from this society and is not compatible with the world-view of Islam. In order to change the world you have to judge the world and then reform it based on the principals of Islam; but if you believe in cultural-relativism and do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings how can you achieve this task? Purchase the nine volumes of Sahih al-Bukhari, please tell me how politically correct the Messenger of Allah (s.a.s.) was in his condemnation of un-Islamic cultures and peoples?

How does the PC nature of these sisters lead to them being single? Well, I am not saying it is the only factor, but it is a factor. Quite simply, there are not enough brothers who share their world-view and the lifestyle that often goes along with it. A sister in this category recently remarked to a friend of mine that she was having a hard time finding African-American Muslim males into “green issues”. We both laughed because we knew you are just not going to find that many working-class or black Muslim males into these issues; but I told him to ask her “are you having a hard time finding gay white males into green issues?”  The idealism of these sisters tells them that their should be Muslim males similar to them, and there are a few, but there just are not enough to go around.

Furthermore, these sisters hold a world-view not so different than similar women in secular political movements. They believe that by their work or activism they can do something for the community exceeding what married Muslim sisters can do. This type of belief can only exists with sisters who do not have a knowledge of or love for the Sunnah. These sisters are long on the book knowledge of the modern secular world; but short on having any kind of a real understanding of Islamic knowledge.

If they knew this deen they would no that there is no job they can do, organization they can support, book they can write, or activity they can engage in that will be rewarding in this life and the next and better for the Muslim community than getting married and having children. Yet, these sisters have such unreasonable expectations, and PC views towards men and their roles as a husband, that many will never get married and you are going to see a lot of these female activists in the Muslim community never get married or have children.

So, where does that leave the working-class Muslim family and our children? It leaves us with a situation where we have to be very cautions with our children. The question becomes when do we want our children to be married, how do you help them select someone to marry, and what do we do to put them in the best situation.

The ulalma have stated that waiting to get married until after college is unwise. However, most  of us here who have been in the community for any length of time know that waiting till that late of an age is almost suicidal to the Islam of the young Muslim. The ISNA crowd has practiced this model with their children to disastrous results and few working-class American-Muslims I talk to want to emulate them in this area. The question for us is not whether your children should be married young; it is how young should they be and how do you help find them someone to marry?

For legal purposes in America we should not allow our children to get married until after the age of consent laws in each state. But, if we have made hijrah or are living in areas heavily populated by Muslims, we will know other Muslim families and from the youngest age have our eyes on those we may think would be good for our children to marry. We can help bring them together or, in such a community, young Muslims with hormones raging will find the ones that interest them and come to you with someone they have found.

Once a suitable partner is found the Muslim families should not “playa hate’ and make the marriage process hard; but should speed it up if both parties are suitable for marriage. In my opinion, the best time for this to occur is in the teenage years from the age of 16 to 19 depending on which state or country you live in (21 at the latest).

Allah has put a natural sexual desire within humans and this is a good thing. Our children are living in a world full of moral and secular perversion and are not immune to the world around them. It is best if we help and facilitate the halal fulfillment of their natural sexual desires as opposed to being a force that drives them to the haram.

There have been Muslim communities who have practiced this type of marriage for years and in America all of them have been indigenous and working-class (and black). Groups that have practiced include Salafis, the community of Jamil al-Amin, the Muslims of America, and many other Muslims across America with a love for the Sunnah and a disdain for the social norms of this society.

Sometimes such arrangements have worked; but many times they have failed miserably. The failures have often occurred when the marriage was allowed for sexual reasons but the young couple were not taught other things such as responsibility.

If a teenage couple gets married and both of them remain living with their parents and they visit each other on the weekends, yes they are having halal sex, but the boy may not be learning some important things about supporting a family. If he is able to have sex and not pay any bills and live at home and be a little boy with his parents and then act like a man in between the sheets when he is with his wife he may get the lesson that Muslim women are cheap and as a man all he has to do is penetrate.

The parents may accept this when he is a teenager and think once he is grown he will start behaving responsibly and want to move out and get a home for wife and children and be a righteous husband. But, I know of situations where the guy never leaves his parents home, the girl gets pregnant and stays with her mother, and all the marriage is becomes sex with no responsibility. This just becomes another nuance in the prevalence of lazy good for nothing men in the American-Muslim community who may claim to be “students of knowledge” or “working in the path”.

I am for early marriage; but it must be done right. If the boy wants to get married, he has to get a job, and his money has to go towards the bills. He saves his money and when the couple is of age they move and get their own place. This takes care of their sexual desires and teaches them responsibility.

We should raise our Muslim children thinking about marriage and them bringing us Muslim grandchildren from day-one and that is why it is important to raise children in an area geographically conducive to this goal.

Yet, even with the best effort, and the hard work of many, there will always be more good girls than boys. The warrior spirit within the boy can lead him to greatness or it can lead him to be a crack-dealer. The big ideas of the young man can lead him to be brilliant or a deadbeat playing video games on his mothers couch.

At this time and for the foreseeable future there will be many more good sisters out there than brothers. This means that without the Islamic institution of polygamy practiced in the American-Muslim community  many sisters will remain single.

Because Muslims today are influenced by the social norms and secular thought of the society they have grown to look at polygamy with distaste and as something vulgar. It is not just progressive Muslims who attack polygamy; but even those who label themselves “traditional” and who are on the defensive are bashful.

Well, I am not bashful, far from being vulgar polygamy is a beautiful thing. The Muslim brother engaged in polygamy, if he does it responsibly and according to the Sunnah, is not engaged in something vulgar but is engaged in something noble. The sister who is a co-wife is not oppressed, backwards, or inferior to the sister who is not a co-wife; rather she is an ambassador of the Sunnah and her level of faith has been increased by being in such a union.

The concept of step-fathers and step-mothers is un-Islamic;  so Muslim brothers marrying sisters with children do not become their fathers, but they can become role-models and their tutors to manhood. Because there are not enough good brothers around, if polygamy is not practiced, many Muslim boys and girls will grow up without father figures, if the mothers reject polygamy as an option and brothers abdicate their responsibility to the community.

Without polygamy being practiced on a widespread level I do not see a solution to the male-female imbalance in our community. Those who reject polygamy off hand need to ask themselves what is informing their opinion? Something Islamic or something secular? Do they fear Allah or do they fear rejection from this society?

Brothers should not look at polygamy as sexual adventurism, although it cannot be denied there are sexual benefits for the brother, but rather should see this as a responsibility that he has to shoulder because other brothers are not doing their job. The sister has needs and without those upright brothers taking care of her needs what is she left to do?

Sisters should not look at their good husbands and want to hoard them from the community. This is a form of oppression to your sisters. You know that there are more good sisters than brothers and that many Muslim children are in bad situations because their mothers need a man in their life to fulfill their needs; so instead of practicing jealousy and possessiveness why don’t you practice love for your sisters and their children and wanting for them what you want for yourself?

Polygamy is a test for the Muslim in America. If you reject polygamy outright it tells me something about your level of eeman and your relationship to the Sunnah and if you responsibly engage in it then a message is also given. There was a time when I said that maybe polygamy was not a good idea in America; but that was before the gay-marriage movement and gays marrying one another in unsanctioned ceremonies throughout America. If they are allowed to engage in what is evil and was reprehensible to the Prophets (s.a.s.) should we not have the courage to practice what was brought by them for the sake of our children and community?

Polygamy should be practiced in a responsible way only with responsible brothers. I am not promoting the brothers with no jobs and two wives on welfare or who are working to support his lazy butt while he is “studying”.

13 thoughts on “Working Class Muslim Families Series Part 6: Marriage

  1. To question a woman’s emaan if she refuses polygamy in my opinion amounts to emotional blackmail and exploitation of the Sunnah. The society is not polygamy friendly and she could be concerned that her husband will spend less time in raising their children or that financially he will put less into their development and education. It does not make her selfish or weak in emaan. If working class Muslims as you have previously mentioned are struggling economically and there is a lack of stable families, then emphasis should be put in improving those areas and not putting a strain on the marriage by requiring a man to run two or three households.

    16-19 year old boys should not be working to support wives and children but should be studying hard and aiming to graduate from universities. Teach them delayed gratification, responsibility, abstinence for the sake of Allah etc.

  2. After reading that article, all I can say to myself is “AL-HAMDULILLAH, AL-HAMDULILLAH, AL HAMDULILLAH”…that my marraige has lasted 13 years. It make me feel like we belong in a Muslim Museum of Rarities and Antiquities, or something.

    All joking aside, your article was really upsetting. I always knew the Muslim marraige situation was dire, but you covered every single bad senario out there….my head is spinning. I have 3 girls and I do not look forward to the days of marraige possibilities…way too scary. I disagree on the age of marraige that you stated. Even 16 year old from “overseas” are often not mature enough to handle the seriousness of a commitment as monumentous as marraige. I have seen young girls (16-up) get married in this community and 5 years later, with 3 kids…they are hollowed out and miserable. Most of them cannot even relate to their own children because they feel that their own growth was interrupted on some level and that severely interferes with their abilites to raise their own kids. Now do I have a solution about what to do about teens and their sexual desires…er, not really, sorry. But to marry immature older teens off is a disaster waiting to happen. I would prefer to pre-empt a disaster than to be complicit. Once again, I base this on personal experience that within 13 years in the Muslim community, I have never met a 18 year old, much less a 16 year old that is seriously equipped for marriage in any way. We have to find a balance between our “Utopian” Islamic vision and the reality on the ground. I do not agree that letting them play house by night is a good idea either. Maybe this is my secular American upbringing speaking here, but men just cannot get married without a job and their own form of shelter. I don’t care if it’s a tent in Central Park. The idea of a man not having those 2 basic fundamentals before he is married is just unfathomable to me.

    Polygamy? What would a Muslim article about marraige be without POLYGAMY! Heh, heh, Brother. I think you might have realized a little too late that that would be a topic fitting for it’s own seperate post altogether.

    I will reserve my comments for now because I have a feeling that some other sisters might jump in and take the helm on this one.

    Anyways, good article. It was very interesting and thought-provoking, all around.

  3. Umar, I don’t mean any disrespect, but the more your write about this subject, the more insecure you come off as. I agree with many of your underlying arguments, but parts of this post read more like a rant than a reasoned analysis. Your condescending rhetoric and belittling, overbroad generalizations make it seem like your views are driven more by personal resentment or a chip on your shoulder than critical thought. You do make some insightful observations, but you lose credibility with many of your readers when they have to dig through anti-immigrant innuendo and inaccurate generalizations to get to them. And that’s unfortunate.

    Also, the prevalence of what you politely refer to as “non-traditional marriages” amongst working-class Muslims seems to contradict the masculine/non-masculine dichotomy you set up between such communities and their immigrant-dominated suburban counterparts. Where I come from, taking care of your family is a source of honor for a man, an obligation that he should take pride in. For fulfilling this role, a man is entitled to the respect and obedience of his household. In my mind, this idea is central to traditional notions of masculinity, and that’s how it is in many of the suburban immigrant communities and cultures that you love to castigate as feminine or “soft”. The idea of an arrangement that allows a man to reap all of the benefits of marriage without assuming any of the responsibilities for an indefinite period of time belies the strong sense of traditional masculinity you claim is so prominent in working class Muslim communities and absent from immigrant Muslim communities. Now, I agree that the opposite model, that of young men delaying marriage until they complete their education, is problematic for all of the reasons you mentioned. But it comes from the very traditional idea that a married man should be capable of supporting his wife financially, not any new age notions about marriage or gender relations as you seem to imply.

    I don’t have a problem with polygamy per se (and I agree with your point about the hypocrisy of liberal arguments in favor of gay marriage), but the reality is that polygamy is illegal in every jurisdiction in this country. Thus, a second, third, or fourth wife would have no status under the law, making it impossible for a man to treat his wives equally (which is an explicit Quranic requirement). In order for a Muslim man in this country to practice polygamy and meet his Islamic obligations, none of the marriages can be made official under the law. And I wouldn’t recommend that any Muslim woman enter into a marriage in which her rights are not protected. Maybe someday, somewhere we’ll be able to change the law. But for now, we have to live with things as they are, not as we want them to be.

  4. Great Post Umar,

    One of the few Muslim posters I can genuinely enjoy reading. Your right on about the disconnect between Muslims like you and the second-generation Muslims (i.e. South Asians or Arabs).

    I’ll just comment on this part:

    “If a teenage couple gets married and both of them remain living with their parents and they visit each other on the weekends, yes they are having halal sex, but the boy may not be learning some important things about supporting a family. If he is able to have sex and not pay any bills and live at home and be a little boy with his parents and then act like a man in between the sheets when he is with his wife he may get the lesson that Muslim women are cheap and as a man all he has to do is penetrate.”

    I agree that there are certain things that Muslim “boys” will learn by actually living with a woman and taking responsibility as opposed to being the weekend husband.

    Many Muslim families think they are “solving” a problem of getting the boy & girl out of the temptation of sex but these families are avoiding the larger problem (in my opinion) of creating expectations of very high standards of living for these newly weds.

    Let the married newlyweds live together in a small 1 bedroom or studio and work partime to support themselves while attending college, as opposed to living at home while their parents pay for their college tuition and all living expenses until they get the “office job” that they deserve after college and can afford to move in together.

    This only builds up married couples to expect a very high standard of living where they have a nice large apartment (maybe even house) with 2 cars, and eat out often and shop often as well.

    When that doesn’t happen as in our current recession like economy – when then? Will their marriage start to have problems? I think so.

  5. Br.Umar this was a good series as usual

    I have to disagree with you on this issue about polygyny solving all the problems of the muslims in the west. I am not against polygyny nor am I a progressive muslim actually i used to call myself a salafi and having been in Pologyny before i see the problems it creates that a monogamous marriage does not.

    Who would get the man’s social security?
    What about all the kids who are slighted from that time they didnt get with their fathers because he is jumping from bed to bed? Those children grow up with resentment.

    If someone is financially well off why does it automatically have to be used to get more wives.Why not continue to put your family in better predicament?

    I am single and if I had to choose to be in polygyny or be single I will take being single.
    I was absolutely miserable being in polygyny. I was always second guessing myself, my ability to please my husband, my husbands love for me.I just felt so insecure, lonely, jealous.I dont see why I have to settle for that while he is living it up. I was just all around unhappy and it interfered with me worshipping Allaah because it consumed me, it was all I could concentrate. No matter how much dua I made how qiyam al layl I made it was always on my mind.Never again.

  6. When kids in Damascus and Cairo are infected with the western lifestyle, how can we expect children in this country to adhere to Islam?

    I’d say that if their are any 2nd generation immigrant kids that are still Muslim, than that is an achievement within itself which is owed only to Allah.

    Their is a vocal minority of 2nd gen kids that try to reconcile Islam with liberalism, and a larger majority which would rather ignore the situation.

    If you go to your local uni and talk to some 2nd gen kids there, their answer about homosexuality and abortion will differ depending on who asks them. If they are asked by a Muslim or a conservative, than they will reject those practices, but if they are speaking to a white liberal kid than they will try to sidestep or find some common ground.

    In regards to “progressive” 2nd gen girls, the blame squarely lays on their parents for pressuring them so hard into going to uni and becoming a career women. You would be startled at the number at the number of Muslim girls trying to study Medicine. Making money should not be the #1 goal in life, and immigrant parents need to change their ways.

  7. That’s a big dose. Polygamy, is a foregone conclusion. The numbers SIMPLY DO NOT ADD UP. There are far more (functional) BAM females than males (and many immigrants aren’t interested in marrying BAM). The “problem” with polygamy is that there are far too few working models to draw from. I’ve known quite a few Brothers who have done it–i’ve known none in which the marriage lasted 5 years (2 years would be considered a “long” time).

    (One thing about the situation, it shows all the more the truthfulness of the Prophet–for he said that one of the Judgment Day Signs is that there would be more women than men, and that the man would be responsible for 50 women.)

    Another point is that we have to understand the trends and what is driving this global economy. The way this program is set up (secular humanism) is to encourage sexual immorality and to DISCOURAGE marriage. Folks need to understand this–and we need to develop a counter to these trends. The economy is set up, in part, to make it difficult for young people to marry. The whole education system is jacked–there is no reason for a person to have to sit in highschool until he is 18, when he could learn what the average highschool student knows by the time he is 15. Much the same can be said about college. One can easily learn in 2 years of intensive study (and a good highschool education), what the average college student learns in 4. (That of course, means leaving out all the social indoctrination courses.) By seventeen, the young man would have his college degree and be prepared to get a “real” job. the Sister, in most cases could stop her education after high school.

    Regarding the maturity factor, that is a problem with the parents and how they raise their children. And part of the immaturity factor is due to living in an urban environment wherein, the youth usually have little in the way of real responsibility. In this regard, i prefer the Booker T. Washington model–that is raising kids in non-urban (and certainly non-suburban) environment–i mean we gotta keep it country. The Muslims boys need to work outdoors–work with their hands, and learn responsibility that comes with country living. (Also, living in such an environment, and keeping the mind and body busy, goes a long way in keeping the nafs down–as opposed to living in the ghetto with a whole lot of idle time and nekkid skanks walkng around.)

    Furthermore, i think that urban living in the era of globalism is going to be a DISASTER for marginally educated black folks–black males in particular (and then even more difficult for black male Muslims who are concerned about making halaal money). There will be NO JOBS–or means for supporting oneself (much less a family) for poorly educated people–who wish to make “livable wages” (according to American standards). Furthermore, with the increasing Mexican (and then Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigration), the manual labor jobs are going to be GONE.

    African-American Muslims need to think long and hard about how they want to live in America. I agree with Umar, the suburban thing is baaaad–real bad. But i am NO FAN of the ghetto, either. Having worked and taught there for most of the 90’s (in da`wah and an Islamic school) and seeing that many of the former students are locked up and others unaccounted for, the inner city scenario is also a non-option. But none of these issues can be fixed until African-American Muslims make a more commited effort to acquiring traditional Islamic knowledge, for acting without it means to act in ignorance and blindness of what Allah ordered and forbade.

    With Allah is the success.

    http://swarthmoor.wordpress.com/

  8. I agree w/ swarthmoor. Our society, and parenting in the west does not encourage maturity. And we could toughen up the education system quite a bit- as he/she mentioned.
    One of my favorite things about immigrant men, even non-practicing ones, has been that they have been conditioned to accept marriage and it’s responsibilities (I know this is a rather broad statement). This is a good thing, and puts them ahead, in a way, of non-muslim men in this country.
    I truly wish there were more honorable, working class or more skilled, men out there, even for the non-muslims ladies.
    If we could make them more Mature and streamline the education/career thing, then I think it would really help—again something like this would really help secular society as well. Not sure how we got such a prolonged childhood, and lack of responsibility towards family.

  9. polygamy….man you must be spokin crack!….every developed country in the world is in a recession…most men can’t even afford to care for the wife and children they are currently responsible for.

  10. Bint Ahmad,

    Well, we all know that the times are going to get more dire before they get better. This is what the Prophet told us. Regarding monogamy, the numbers SIMPLY DO NOT ADD UP. THE PROPHET SAID that the numbers would not add up–he said the women would come to greatly outnumber the men. I know you don’t what the Prophet said, so we need to prepare ourselves and our children for this unfolding reality.

    Let’s talk black America (in general) for a minute: black women in college out number black men nearly 2:1 (and i would assume the disparity in graduation rates is even higher). You have 800,000-1,000,000 black men locked up on any given day. Many black men “in the world” are former convicts–with no job skills, no social skills, and a prison mentality. Many of the black American Muslims (BAM) males are infected by this black kaafir gutter culture. There are not enough black men to go around for black women; many black men prefer non-black (American) women, and the immigrant interest BAM women isn’t enough to make up for the disparity. We (as Muslims) DEFINITELY don’t want to be breeding illegits at a 70% clip (90% in the hood), like the kaafir side of the tribe.

    Regarding the recession, again, folks need to think looooong and hard about how they are going to live in America. If you want to be an obedient Muslim earning halaal money (and i don’t only mean not being a dope dealer–A LOT of corporate jobs involve haraam transactions–and obviously slinging animal carcasses, swine, 40’s, and lotto tickets at the corner store doesn’t constitute a halaal job), you (we) need to have a strategy. Quite frankly, in terms of our living arrangements, we are going to have to look at the Mexican (immigrant) model. Extended familes (and for converts, groups of non-related Muslims) are going to have to pool their resources, live together, and sacrifice. This ain’t what people spent $100,000 for on their college (mis)education, but this is going to be the reality for the vast majority of folks in this country.

    Globalism is in FULL EFFECT and the standard of living in this country is NECESSARILY GOING TO GO DOWN. This ain’t a “recession”–this is an indication of a permanent trend. The good blue collar jobs have already left. The auto manufacturers are on the brink–and if they don’t collapse (or bolt) this time, they will in the future. The Latino immigrants (to whom we should be focussing our da`wah efforts) are going to continue to take the low end labor jobs. What does that leave the folks with highschool degrees (or less than that)? Jobs (haraam) at the Burger King or Dollar Mania or Walmart?!?

    Bint Ahmad, this is the lay of the land. Muslim families–in far less affluent societies–have always practiced polygyny. It is not healthy for any community (concerned about moral rectitude) to have a bunch of single women walking around. It leads to A LOT OF FITNAH–just go to the hood if you doubt me. Now the issue for us (Muslims) is how do we build sustainable communities that DEAL WITH OUR ISSUES? Well, first, we need to change our mind set–and purge our minds of this selfish-individualistic-secular humanist-PC-Frankfurt School kaafir crap that we have absorbed thru the media and “education” indoctrinational process. When we look at things objectively–and from the POV of the Sunnah–we lucidly see that the Religion is the solution. Now, we just have to adjust our attitudes and outlooks so that the conform with what the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) came with. THIS is the challenge for Muslims living in America (and it ain’t an economy in “recession”).

    With Allah is the success.

    http://swarthmoor.wordpress.com/

  11. Type-o–the last sentence in the first paragraph should read:

    I know you don’t DOUBT what the Prophet said, so we need to prepare ourselves and our children for this unfolding reality.

  12. “They believe that by their work or activism they can do something for the community exceeding what married Muslim sisters can do. This type of belief can only exists with sisters who do not have a knowledge of or love for the Sunnah.”

    I think this criticism is perhaps excessive. After all, one need only look to the classical tradition to find opinions that could, by the same ticket, be condemned as bereft of “knowledge of or love for the Sunnah.” According to the Shafi`is, for instance, if one finds that marriage may impede her pursuit of knowledge or activism, then, all things being equal, it is better for her not to marry. While others, such as the Hanafis, disagreed, the issue comes down to whether the societal or religious aspect of marriage is emphasized: if marriage is seen as primarily a social contract and could impede one’s worship, devoting one’s time to seeking knowledge or serving the community might be a better option; but if it is seen itself as primarily an act of worship, then marriage is a higher priority. And God knows best.

  13. Nice to see Sawthmoor wrapping up the issues. Umar’s distictions are clear to those who have ‘tasted’ the 2nd generation thing while living the working class ‘thing’.

    The Booker T thing can only work with patronage. Few can bite the hand that feed them. And patience, as we know, is a kind of bravery.

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