islamic topics

Untangling Islam from Cultural and Social Issues

One story actively being discussed these days is about a Muslim man in Canada who allegedly killed his daughter for not wearing hijab – or so is the media reporting. Obviously, these reports are also helping the agenda of those who wish to defame Islam and Muslims in general. As expected, this news made it to the headline news of major media networks, once again putting Muslims in a spotlight that they didn’t wish to be in.

For example, in describing the incident, Canada’s National Post writes the following –

“Radical Muslim men consider themselves ultimately responsible for the conduct of the womenfolk. This outlook is rooted in a medieval ethos that treats women as nonpersons……..If their (Muslim women’s) conduct is seen as contravening this austere religious outlook, they are invariably subjected to abuse (by radical Muslim men)”.

Most Muslims know that the incident has nothing to do with Islamic teachings but as it always happens, damage control measures usually have to be kicked in including clarifying any misconceptions that may arise in such cases. Similarly, in this case, Muslim leaders reminded everyone again about the sanctity of human life and the un-Islamic nature of the incident.

Though extreme in nature, such a case and others not as extreme, highlight symptoms of a phenomenon when Islam bears the brunt of the misguided acts of a certain people. In almost all such cases, Islam takes the hit simply because Muslims are the perpetrators of such acts.

This kind of a behavior has roots in ignorance, cultural norms, social issues, and misinterpretation of religious teachings.

It is perfectly understandable and natural for people of a community where they speak the same language while practicing a religion to gradually start confusing cultural practices with religious teachings. But this is where Muslims have to be wary of any practices which go against the spirit of Islamic teachings.

So, there is nothing Islamic or Muslim about denying women the education they seek, hurting anyone innocent, being a vigilante, the many wedding cultural practices prevalent in Muslim countries, Arabic belly dancing, etc. Just because some Muslims do it doesn’t make those practices Islamic.

And finally, while Muslims take great pride in tolerance, kind behavior and good heartedness practiced towards everyone, such noble attitudes should never be used to cover up real issues and problems that may exist in certain Muslim households. For example, if a husband or a father happens to be an alcoholic who has a habit of physically abusing his family, the respect and regard for the father or the husband should not in anyway restrict one to seek help to rectify the situation. Seeking help should start by involving responsible close relatives and then slowly and gradually expanding outwards depending on the criticality of the situation.

Some media reports are also suggesting that the reason for the girl to have lost her life could have been due to domestic violence and may not have anything to do with her wearing hijab.

Whatever the truth behind the story, it’s a heart wrenching way to remind us for the need to reflect and think about these issues before communities and families experience such a grave loss.

Do you know of any cases where cultural norms or social issues are confused as being Islamic? Share your thoughts by going to the end of the page.

                                           —- IqraSense.com Blogger

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3 comments… add one
  • Dr Farzana

    Muslims should thoroughly investigate such case ,specially discussing it with her wife and also by discussing it with other family members and neighbours. Many a time they are just an accidents which are then used to defame Islam. Asking a daughter to wear hijab is not a sin but many Muslims living in west enjoy their priority when they are young and later when they learn that they were on the wrong path ,they want their children to become saint at younger age. It is true that the time of death is uncertain so at any age we Muslims should refrain from committing sin but at times we have to remember the 256th verse of Qur’an in Sura Baqara which says- “LET THEIR BE NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION- THE TRUTH STANDS OUT CLEAR FROM ERROR…….”.I keep on telling my children the incident of prophet Nooh when he kept on calling his son to climb up in his boat while he kept on refusing ,until a wave separated him from his son and he cried in distress reminding Allah of His promise of saving his family. Allah replied him by saying that he who did’nt follow your path is not yours. Children have to walk their own path . We can do our best to try to guide them but ;let’s remember-NO COMPULSION. May Allah guide us and our children aright! Aameen.

  • Nikhat

    I totally agree that what individuals do should be their own accountability. An individual’s actions does not reflect the religion’s teachings. But sadly non-muslims are fond of blowing up non-issues and turning them into issues to defame Islam.
    Nice blog.

  • Bela Khan

    Assalam O Alikum
    May Peace Be on all of u

    All what western Media does … they take out black sheeps from our society and project them as Examples….blow things out of propotion…
    Islam is very clear in its commandments…..Every one will be answer-able for his/her own deeds..

    The Holy Quran says

    “Whoever works righteousness, he benefits his own soul, and whoever works evil, it is against his own soul.” (41:46)

    If the daughter doesnt wear Hijab the only thing a father can do is to enlighten her…

    as its mentioned in Quran

    “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (2:256)

    whatever the man did has nothing to do with islam rather its a PSYCHO CASE which should immediately be dealth with to avoid more nuisance…….

    I think people now are smart enough to figure what our media is up to……

    May Allah empower us to project the true picture of ISLAM- Peace…….

    BELA KHAN

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