Quranic Gold (Surah 4 : Ayah 1)

Let me start off by saying that Asma Barlas is a genius. If her views on Islam were more well known, oh, we would be talking about a revolution!

Coming from outside the faith, as a recent convert to Islam (but nah, we are all born Muslim 😉 ), her book “Believing Women In Islam” hit me in my soul!

So, here are my thoughts on verse 4:1, the opening verse of chapter 4 of the Koran, after having read Asma’s book.
(I had read this verse many times before, but I had never understood just how powerful it was)

Revere Your God
Who created you from a single self
Created, of similar nature,
its mate and from them twain
scattered like seeds
countless men and women,
Revere God,
through Whom ye demand
your ​mutual rights
And r​evere the wombs that bore you,​ for God ever watches over you. (Qur’an 4:1)

As we can see, God created humankind from a single “Self”, and then created of like nature, its mate. It is not specified who came first, and who came second. This is extremely important, because it does not let the man put himself above the woman by claiming that he came first. Another important and beautiful thing to note form this verse, as stated by Asma in the book, is that God extends the concept of “Taqwa” (God­Consciousness/Reverence) to the “wombs that bore you”. These are, in other words, mothers, and mothers are women.

Therefore, how beautiful is it that God calls upon mankind to have “Taqwa” for our mothers, and so essentially, to have “Taqwa” for women? This does not mean that we should put women on the same level as God, since the Islamic concept of divine unity (Tawhid) rejects equating anything with God, but I believe that it means that God is recognising himself as the creator, and the woman as the pro­creator.

Moving forward, the word womb (rahim)​ has been derived from the same linguistic root as the word rahma w​hich means mercy and which is God’s intrinsic quality. “My Mercy encompasses all things” (7:156), are the words of the Qur’an. Also, every one of the Qurans Surahs (Chapters) open with “In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful”, and mercy is one of Gods divine attributes. Therefore, the relationship between God and the woman in the Qur’an shows that women should be respected, not only on a human level, but on perhaps the highest spiritual level.

When Malala Yousafzai once said in an interview that she thought that women were more powerful than men because God had given them the power to create life and give birth, (Yea, she said it, without any mercy lol) she was referring to this Quranic concept, even if perhaps she was not aware of it. In any case, this verse alone is enough to, at least from an islamic perspective, liberate women from the chains of oppression worldwide, (if only us men could understand it in it’s deepest sense) and more specifically, a country with very conservative Islamic views and interpretations like Saudi Arabia where women are not even allowed to drive. But again, these kinds of interpretations and reflections are being brought forward by women, in this case, by sister Asma, and that is why it is very important that they have an equal chance in engaging with their sacred texts.

Thank you for reading, and I now leave you with these words : Go and buy the book and help to support one of Islam’s greatest scholars while at the same time learning some beautiful, beautiful things.

A burning heart…..

My heart just burns……

When even one word would be enough to avoid death, when even one gesture would be enough to alter sorrows painful cries, when even one prayer would be enough to turn endless darkness into eternal light, when even one conversation would have brought out blooming flowers from a barren land that had long ago given up on life.

The one word : One! Would he have killed them if he knew that God was one, and as such, since God created all human beings, he was one with the very people that he pulled the trigger of searing hate on? Mankind is one, states the Koran.
“Mankind is a single nation.” (2:213)

The one gesture : Affection! Would he have killed them if he knew that the Koran states that one must do good to “the neighbor who is near to you, and the neighbor who is a stranger”? Would he hate Islam so much if he knew that all Muslims would have to do good to him if he was either one of these two categories of neighbors? One must do good to all, says the Koran.
“Whoever submits himself completely to Allah, and does good to others, he shall have his reward from his Lord.” (2:112)

The one prayer : Peace! Would he have killed them if he knew that everyday, after each prayer, they twice said “Peace and blessings of God be upon you”? That means that they said the word “Peace” at least 34 times a day.

The one conversation : Patience! Would he have killed them if he knew that muslims are supposed to endure with patience the abuse others throw their way with regards to their faith? So that even the people who, in their own words, “Hate religion”, can be turned into warm friends?

“Repel evil with what is best, when lo! He who once was your worst enemy will be like a warm friend.” (41:34)

I write this because I am heart broken that these three beautiful young human beings and muslims are no longer with us, and that they were killed in such a cruel manner. They are gone, they can never come back, and they were killed for absolutely nothing.

Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, hatred leads to violence, violence leads to murder, and murder is death! This is the process that took place in the man that took their lives. But there is one thing that can alter this process completely, and that is knowledge.

How much more hate must we endure as muslims before we decided to change the situation, once and for all?

As our Prophet (pbuh) said, our Ummah is like one body! If one part is in pain, the whole body is in pain! How much more must our body suffer?

The more we educate others about our faith, the more the hate towards us will decrease, and many lives will be saved!

I finish with these words from Muhammad (pbuh) – “The ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr”. Why? Because once you educate the world, you no longer have to die to defend the world from ignorance.

May 23 year old Deah, 21 year old Yusor, and 19 year old Razan, find peace in the next life!

From Allah do we come, and to Allah do we return.

Ameen.