My answers to your questions for Feb.2008
Comment 1: Posted on 2/6/08
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""The Wall of Hate"":
Sister MonaKeep writing! It is one of the ways of fighting injustice and inshallah you will be rewarded for it. I fully share your frustration with what is happening to the muslims across the world. The injustices that are being done, not only from without, but perhaps even worse from within, are tearing at the already weak rope. How can any Muslim be apathetic to what is going on? It seems that we should be ashamed of ourselves because we do not practice what we preach. Other groups are acting more like muslims than us. Praying and fasting are only some of the duties of muslims, but not enough importance is being given to helping each other and ending the suffering of the opressed. Thanks again. Salaam.Abdul Baqi
Asalamu Alaikum Brother Abdul Baqi,
Jazak Allah khiar for your comment on my blog. It is very much appreciated. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was a man that complete in all aspects of life. How can someone claim to be truly practicing Islam if they themselves care nothing of the world around them? As Muslims, it is our duty and obligation to make the world that we live in a better place. Like you said praying and fasting are not our only duties. These duties condition our hearts to be soft and loving for the world and people around us. Islam is a full package and I am so happy that you helped me get this point across to our readers. The Muslim American Society (MAS) is a great organization that leads in service, outreach, political and above all spiritual attributes of the human spirit. If you are interested there are many links on the side of this blog that might help you make a difference. We must first change and better ourselves before the world can change.
Your Sister in Islam,
Comment 2: Posted on 2/16/08
Philippa has left a new comment on your post ""The Wall of Hate"":
Please may I ask you a question?For my Russian oral exam I have chosen to speak on the topic: 'I believe that people should be free to wear religeous symbols'.I have been thinking of counter arguments so that I can practice rebuffing them and I have got one which I am not sure how to put down. It would be great if you could help me with this, for my own understanding as much as for the exam!I understand that hijab is not, as it is often seen by some people in the West, a symbol of oppression but rather a wonderful freedom. Muslim women who chose to wear the hijab often find it liberating, and one of the reasons for this is that they find it allows them to be treated as a person, rather than an object of beauty or lust. However, my question is, why should women have to wear a hijab in order to be respected by men?Thank you for your time and help!
I hope you are doing well with your research for your oral exam. The hijaab or the covering of the hair and in this case the covering of the entire body does not only function as a protection and a means of respect from men. We wear this covering because first and foremost God ordered us to. The benefits of wearing the hijaab are almost innumerable. Not only does it command respect from the people around us, but it also demands that we respect ourselves. A Muslim woman (just as any woman should be) is like a jewel. When you have a precious jewel at a jewelry store you don’t see it on display for any and all hands to touch and feel it. The beauty of any woman should be as such. That jewel is in a safe and protected place where only the closest to it can see and truly appreciate its true beauty.
Sometimes you will find Muslim women that wear the hijaab/covering and have no real understanding why they do it. She might have started to wear it because of peer pressure or because of culture, these girls have a hard time wearing the outer garment. You also have to understand that hijaab is not only the symbolic covering but also what is inside the person that counts. I have met so many girls that have not started to wear the hijaab yet and are a lot more modest than others that might wear it. There is no compulsion in Islam (there are several verses in the Quran that will tell you this, one of which can be found in Chapter 2 verse 256), so when we do something it should be done 100% from our hearts.
I would also like you to draw your attention to Mary the mother of Jesus (Peace be upon her and him). Think of the way she is depicted throughout history. She is wearing a veil and her body is covered. Think of why this is. She too believed in the same God that we do. She too submitted her life to God (literally translating to being Muslim because the term Muslim means to submit fully to God). I hope this answer was thorough enough, if you need more information please let me know!
I am a college student who is looking into the training of Muslims so they can defend their faith. Are there certain classes? Certain Surah’s in the Qur’an? I would like to figure this out. The reason why I am asking this is I am looking at how other religions defend their faith, specifically Christianity. I am seeing what Christianity can learn from the Islamic faith and the dedication that goes on. If you could please send me a brief response that would be much appreciated! Thanks so much,
Dear M Simms,
From your question it seems like you might be soul searching and trying to make sense of the world around you. I think that it's great that you are doing this because many people like to see the differences we have, when in reality we have more in common with each other than you would expect. However, I am not exactly sure what you are in search for. You are asking for me to give you resources on Muslims defending our faith, but defending it from what? There are many controversial issues that people try to pose against Islam, can you please be more specific? Thanks.
Hi, I couldn't find a place to contact you, so I hope you see this. and don't know if you know but you are the first entry when i google "ask a muslim." my question has to do with piggy banks. i am trying to start a nonprofit organization that is related to investment and i'm trying to come up with a symbol/logo will appeal to as broad an audience as possible. I know pigs are considered unclean in Islam (and other religions). Does this extend to piggy banks? Is their a similar concept/symbol that resonates with Muslims? Something that would indicate savings or investment? Thanks for your help.
I appreciate your question. Pigs are considered impure in Islam. By impure I mean we cannot consume, wear or handle anything that comes from this animal. As far as piggy banks are concerned, I feel that the almost universal symbol of a piggy bank is something everyone will relate to, but some (like in the case of Europe back in 2005) might find it offensive. I am a person that loves creativity, if you use maybe a teddy bear or something that portrays caring as well as saving I think you might be better off. The main recognizable feature of a piggy bank is the money slit placed at the top of the bank…so as long as that is there, I don’t think you should have a problem with getting the image across. Good luck and thank you for your considerate question. Most people wouldn’t think twice about the issue.
Comment 5: Posted on 2/28/08
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Coming Soon...":
Hi Mona. I need to ask you a question.I am a Japanese girl and my belief is Christianity.Recently I met another christian girl who is rather familiar with Islamism. And when we were talking about religions on internet, she mentioned the name of Prophet Muhammad and added something like "may peace be upon him". Though I already knew Muslims have this custom, I felt uneasy to see a non-muslim writing this without having a faith in him. I told her not to use the term if she has no Islamic belief herself, because I thought her expression may confuse people what her real belief is, and also might upset some of Muslims. But her answer was, it may not cause any problem. She thinks it is quite normal thing for non-believers to use the term in order to show respect for Islam. Now, can you tell me how do you feel if you hear a Christian saying 'May peace be upon him' each time after mentioning your Prophet's name?
Thank you for your question. Mohammed (Peace be upon him) was a not only a great Messenger, but he was also a great man. During his life, he was known as the Trustworthy and the Truthful. Everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike attributed these traits to him. For your friend to say his name and say“may peace be a upon him”is a wonderful sign of respect for a great person. I think she is just showing respect and that in no way should mislead or upset anyone. I’m really happy you asked. If you are interested in learning more about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH – which also means peace be upon him) I think you should read a biography on his life. You never know, you might end up also say “may peace be upon him” J As a side note, as Muslims we follow the religion of Islam, not Islamism. The reason why I am telling you this is because if you try to do research about Islam online or in books and you type or search “Islamism” or “Mohammedism” you will hit a trove of rubbish. If you search “Islam” or “Mohammed” or even “Mohammed peace be upon him” you will find things written by scholars of the faith. Be wary of where you get your information about anything. Your question has opened up my eyes to the other side…thanks again. If you would like further resources please don’t hesitate to ask! Have a great day!
Ps. We also say “may peace be upon them all” when referring to all the Messengers and Prophets of God. So when we speak of Jesus and Moses, we also say peace be upon them.