Advice: Praying for a fresh start


Love, InshAllah

Dear Love InshAllah, 

There’s something that I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about, but I need to talk to someone about this. It’s about our views of purity, and whether we can start our lives fresh if something terrible happens. In our society, we’re told from the time we’re little girls we should save ourselves for our husbands. I want to get married and have a family, and raise my children in a safe, caring environment. I only wish I was so lucky. From the time I was 12, a relative started to abuse me. It started gradually, but it became sexual. Over the next few years, I didn’t say anything. I knew if I did my family would fall apart. Alhamdulillah I was finally able to stop him. I went to college far away from my whole family. I haven’t dated at all in college. I’m waiting…

View original post 1,355 more words


Musings of a Cultural Relativist: Community Development, Gender Mainstreaming, the ‘New World Order’ and Refugee Women at Risk


Musings of a Cultural Relativist:  Community Development, Gender Mainstreaming, the ‘New World Order’ and Refugee Women at Risk

written by Zahra Summayah

Prophet Muhammad (saw):
“The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives.” [Narrated in Mosnad Ahmad, #7354, and Al-Tirmizi, #1162]

Community development in a globalized neo liberal corporate consumer capitalist plutocratic world order – is it really a time for theorizing about ‘sexual orientation of middle aged Western white women’? Truly how is a Middle Class, White Western ‘Radical Secular Feminist’ ideologue going to help a starving and embattled Palestinian Muslim woman, who is being bombed by Israel with profits earned from the consumption of a Starbucks ‘skinny latte’ of a Western Feminist Ideologue? Extreme imagery aside, the point of the analogy is to question how the particular interests and privileged position of Western Secular Feminists could inform the necessary justice needs of women from non-Western, Non-Secular societies and why should the Western Secular Feminist agenda be the standard by which National and international Development bodies address the social justice issues of women in the Developing world? It also makes me wonder surely the plight of the Palestinian Muslim woman is far more to do with unjust macro level international politics and economics than whether she is a woman of Faith, wife and mother. And surely when these external injustices wreak havoc on accepted normative gender roles and functions, the solution would not be to destroy the gender roles and functions but rather to remove the external unjust pressures?

This was going to be a reflection on cultural relativism and Gender Mainstreaming, it was going to be a paper examining my dis-ease with the GAD (Gender and Development) ideology – particularly when expressed from a radical feminist perspective that appears to disparage the ‘traditional’; Conservative and/or Faith Based’ lives of Non Western women. Lyons (1999) argues that Third World women are silenced by Western feminist discourses; that Western women and men continue to maintain the authoritative voice within the discourses of gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming is not a value-free concept and is inherently political because it aims at provoking social change. The proposed empowerment and opening up of opportunities for women is underpinned by an often indirectly stated Western feminist agenda. These ideological imperative becomes obvious when attempting to debate gender mainstreaming in other cultures. Gender, as a cultural construct, differs from one culture to the next, and as such the status of women can only be advanced through gender mainstreaming strategies that are adapted to each specific culture and place, addressing the concerns and aspirations of locally active agents of change. If this is not the case then one may be forgiven for wondering if gender mainstreaming is truly about assisting women in developing countries, or more about promoting a Western, white feminist middle-class consciousness? (Lyons, T et al, 2004)

I was then going to outline Normative Islamic Gender Equity as defined in the Quran and deeds of the Prophet (saw). When researching that I did come to see that Secular Feminists and Islamic Gender Equity advocates are more similar than different as far as the just treatment of women. According to Badawi (2011) a gap between normative Islam and the actual practice of Muslims exists regarding ‘Gender Equality’ and is a cause of concern for both Muslim and Non-Muslim reformers. However, the disagreement between Muslim and Non –Muslim advocates of social justice pertains to the most effective frame of reference and specificity of implementation. International bodies and women’s rights organizations tend to consider documents and resolutions passed in conferences as the ultimate basis and standard expected of all diverse peoples, cultures and religions. Committed Muslims, however believe in the ultimate supremacy of what they accept as God’s divine revelation (the Quran and authentic Hadith). To tell Muslims that one’s religious convictions should be subservient to “superior” man-made (or woman-made) standards or to secular humanism, is neither acceptable nor practical. Even if pressures, economic and otherwise, are used to bring about compliance with such resolutions or documents, the resulting changes are not likely to be deep-rooted and lasting. For Muslims, divine injunctions and guidance are not subject to a “voting” procedure or to human election, editing, or whimsical modifications. They constitute, rather, a complete way of living within Islam’s spiritual, moral, social, political and legal parameters. Imposed cultural imperialism will not succeed in addressing the gaps in social and gender justice between normative Islamic teachings and actual Muslim practice.
But at the end of the day, sitting here about to write, with the documentary ‘End of Poverty’ (2009) on in the background, I find myself questioning this gendered ‘Tower of Babel’ that has White Western Secular Feminist perspectives informing the UN and Development agencies about the lives of Non-Western, Non- Secular women; and insisting their well-being will only be found in dismantling their social meaning and practices. I question the arrogance of such a position and more to it I question the futility of gnawing at the edges of the real source of suffering for all people, in all places – Globalized Corporate Capitalism and Pseudo-Democracy. It is like the elephant in the room and all these theorizers are blinkered and describing this elephant from different sides. Say from their limited gendered lens perspective of Feminists; for instance. I recall after having completed ‘Politics of International Aid’ with Jeni Whalen feeling completely despondent and demoralized about working in a ‘Corporatized’ Community Development field, a field where the welfare of others is a political football of Western Donor Countries – whose political and economic practices impoverished populations in the first place. I look at how conflict (often foreign instigated for Corporate agendas) and impoverishment (by a globalized neo liberal economic order) all lead to the breaking down of traditional community supports, how it demoralizes men who then fail in their role of protector and provider but instead become abusers of women. Eric Toussaint (2010) posits in his speech to the General Assembly session of the United Nations, assessing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for targeting poverty that policies imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on Developing countries deprive them of all forms of basic protection, placing them in a vulnerable position. The outcome of such policies was manifold, for instance they led to a reduction in land areas normally used for subsistence crops; resulted in specialization in one or two export products in the absence of price control mechanisms. Economic liberalisation led to the abandonment of self-sufficient grain production and the reduction of their reserves, to the weakening of economies due to an extreme dependence on global markets and to a sharp reduction in social spending budgets. Finally the suppression of subsidies for basic foodstuffs and the opening of markets led to unfair competition between local small producers and the multinationals. The outcome of which, was the world food crisis of 2007/2008.
According to Kanji and Menon-Sen (2001), the deregulation of labour markets, fragmentation of production processes,        de-industrialisation and new areas of export specialisation have all generated an increased demand for low-paid, flexible female labour. As a consequence of economic liberalisation, market oriented growth and the feminization of the labour market; men in Developing countries have faced difficulties in fulfilling their gender-ascribed ‘breadwinner’ roles. The reaction to these difficulties has been marked with increased levels of depression and suicide, violence and abandonment of their families. In richer countries, the declining achievement of boys at school has become a public policy concern, as has male violence, alcohol and drug abuse. In poorer countries, there is not enough research into these problems or public resources to address them. The longer-term consequences of this ‘crisis in masculinity’ and whether more healthy and equitable gender relations can be forged are largely unexplored questions. For Muslim men particularly, this potential behavioural response is in opposition to their social normative teachings of Islam and demonstration of the Prophet (saw) that commands ‘the best of men are those best to their wives’. As such, I posit it is not the presence of differential gender norms at issue, particularly when those norms promote social justice. Rather, the problem is when such norms are denied expression as is the case with the enforcement of economic liberalism and other foreign social and political policies. Indeed it feels like we are on a sinking ‘Neoliberal Corporate Consumer Capitalist’ ship, and as such re-arranging the deck chairs of gender roles, seems about as effective as mopping up the water on a submerged deck. No doubt, there is an importance in understanding for each community what the differential roles and functions are for men and women, and thus understand how a conflict or environmental disaster may be impacting them and thereby putting undue pressure on individuals and families. By taking a novel approach of actually consulting with community members as to their needs and wants, and facilitating them in getting their needs met, it would be hoped that the normally functional gender roles would return to pre trauma status. Of course, if the community wishes to amend their gendered roles and functions, that is their business and to be done according to their chosen ideology and mechanisms.

Implications for the Women at Risk (WaR) Consultations

The Congolese women in their interviews proudly spoke of their roles and skills as good homemakers – they spoke of husbands they loved and missed and missing the protection and support they had – they mentioned wanting to be married again. They mentioned the isolation of this ‘individualistic’ society. They spoke of having to do EVERYTHING now – still look after kids and work to put food on the table and without any of the big family/social structure to help. If their countries were not suffering conflict and poverty and the dislocation from that – I am sensed they would not have rushed to this Secular Western way of doing things. But stayed in their homes that they owned and raising their families. My observation was that their trauma was a result of the conflict and subsequent poverty in their homeland that negatively impacted their relational roles and functions. Roles and Functions they took great pride in expressing to us during their interviews. As far as the impact of a Secular Feminist GAD ideology on the research lens, I was a concerned by a tone of dismissal of the validity of their expressed desires to be with their husbands and/or married again. I may have misunderstood, but I perceived, debriefing after the WaR Community Consult, that this expressed desire was being viewed as a kind of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – whereby these women were romanticizing their ‘abusers’. It was as if it were impossible to conceive any of these women had loving and supportive marriages despite all the external injustices, or worse still that marriage as a ‘Patriarchal’ institution provides no real meaning or joy.

I could be wrong, and indeed when you look at the statistics of abuse of women and girls in this field, it would not be inconceivable to see all women as victims of ‘bastard men’. But the truth is, not all men are bastards and by even a small probability some of these women could well have had loving and supportive marriages and indeed truly miss their husbands and the support had in the ‘Patriarchal’ institution of marriage. I suppose the lesson I take from this is no matter the theoretical framework it is important to not view others by a limited set of preconceived notions, even if they are backed up by statistically significant evidence in the field. These women are all individuals, and thus must be addressed as such.


So then I come full circle and wonder about the legitimacy of Community Development in this current Global Political and Economic climate. Where the rogue elephant in the room that is the Global Neoliberal Corporate Capitalist world order; is on the rampage and in need of being destroyed. I do then wonder where I can work in this field, or even if I can; we have gone way beyond micro level fixes when the macro level is gangrenous and in need of amputation.
I think calling things patriarchal and the like is meaningless – the truth is the ‘us and them’ is the 99% of humanity against the 1% of neo liberal corporate warmongers. Yes of course due to the differences biological and social between men and women, there can be differential impact of this Globalized economic and political terrorism, that as part of a holistic remedy needs to be acknowledged and worked with. BUT the remedy is NOT in my mind, neutralizing those differences. The solution is dismantling the World Order and its mechanisms, that Development and Humanitarian Aid are situated in and complicit with. Of course the $64 million question is how to dismantle the current world order.


Badawi, J (2011) Gender Equity in Islam: The Ideal and The Reality, World Assembly of Muslim Youth
Available link:

Kanji, N and Menon-Sen, K (2001) What does the Feminisation of Labour Mean for Sustainable Livelihoods? World Summit on Sustainable Development Opinion, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED),
Available link:

Lyons, T et al, 2004. ‘Developing gender mainstreaming and ‘gender respect’’, Development Bulletin, no. 64, pp. 37-41
Available link:

Toussaint, E (2010) Neoliberal solution to poverty? International Socialist Organization
Available link:

This is how the Secular West views women: Miss Representation (warning trailer contains images of immodest women – Astaghfirullah!)

  • About 25% of girls will experience teen dating violence.
  • The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youth 18 or younger more than tripled from 1997 to 2007.
  • Among youth 18 and younger, liposuctions nearly quadrupled between 1997 and 2007 and breast augmentations increased nearly six-fold in the same 10-year period.
  • 65% of American women and girls report disordered eating behaviors.
    These film makers suggest the solution is to fix media by removing the gender differential roles of men and women – have an androgenous, uni-sex society where both men and women are equally participating in the traditionally esteemed activities of ‘men’ – making money and fighting wars for the profits of Corporations.What these Secular Feminist film makers do NOT do – is esteem the singular ability of women that of motherhood – still denigrating the inner nature of women for caring. In ISLAM women can do both – participate in society in roles of business and leadership BUT not at the expense of being a mother and wife.  In Islam a woman can work, earn and grow her own independent wealth, she does not have to pay for one dollar of the upkeep of the household, even if she is richer than the husband. What she owns before and during the marriage stays with her in divorce. She does all this AND MAINTAINS HER DIGNITY IN HIJABSO PLEASE TELL ME HOW IRANIAN WOMEN ARE BEING OPPRESSED?SADLY MUSLIM MEN ARE INCREASINGLY CONSUMING THESE VILE IMAGES OF WOMEN IN ALL FORMS OF MEDIA, MUSIC, GAMING AND EVEN PORNOGRAPHY – COMMITTING ZINA OF THE SENSES AND DISGRACING THEMSELVES, WOMEN AND ISLAM BY BEHAVING LIKE THE WORST OF KAFIR MEN!AS THE PROPHET SAID: BEFORE YOU LOOK LUSTFULLY AT A WOMAN KNOW THAT SHE IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER, WIFE, SISTER, MOTHER, AUNT – AND THEN THINK OF YOUR OWN FEMALE RELATIVES BEING LOOKED AT LUSTFULLY. YOU WOULD NOT WANT IT (IF YOU WERE A MAN OF DEEN) – ISLAM IS FOR JUSTICE SO DO NOT TREAT OTHERS UNJUSTLY.

Status of Women in Imam Khomeini’s View


Status of Women in Imam Khomeini’s View

A woman is a divine being who, in the revolutionary school of Imam Khomeini – which represents pure Islam –, is promised freedom and human qualities more than men. Throughout history and under the ruling of profanity and polytheism of the old and new trends, women have always been led into enslavement. The pure materialistic and even abject portrayals of women in various historical times have manifested themselves in the worst possible form at the current time.

The outcomes of the plots designed and implemented by devilish functionaries have turned the divine aspects of women upside down. The victory of the Islamic revolution of Iran with Imam Khomeini’s leadership offered a different viewpoint toward women. A glance at the situation of women before and after the Islamic revolution clearly shows that the previous criteria and measures entangled the individuality of women to the extent that consumed their traits as facilitating tools to fulfill men’s unlawful desires; whereas, after the triumph of the revolution, a lot of stress has been placed on maintaining the nobility and development of women.

An extensive look at history shows that various social communities imposed a lot of cruelty and injustice on women one way or the other. According to Imam Khomeini, the historical oppressed situation of women is categorized into two eras: “the Age of Ignorance” and “the Pahlavi era.” At both times, the plight of women had been greater than men or, in some occasions, incomparable to them. “During the reign of Reza Khan which was the beginning of Pahlavi’s Age of Ignorance, he –as the protégé of the West- made a huge effort to corrupt the culture and history of Iran. The women were subjected to his despotism more than men; in the beginning, women voluntarily and later under compelling circumstances were captivated through deceptive models the government offered. They took advantage of women by fulfilling their satanic purposes and unlawful needs. It is obvious that the women who opposed even slightly to the current opinions and situations imposed by the governors of the time would be bothered eventually due to the despotic nature of the government, and they would be deprived of their natural rights on the pretense of defending the freedom. On the other hand, based on this approach, the social presence of women was summarized into the commercial use of the presence of women in the society.”

Women had two positive and influential roles in the victory of the Islamic revolution; the first role was their direct and positive participation in the fight itself, and their second role which had a greater impact was their ability to show patience, cooperation, and endurance against the hardships of the struggle. Many women in the Islamic revolution encouraged their husbands, and in the revolution, the fighters’ wives were the ones who stood firm against the problems. In the last couple of years of the fight for revolution, the role of women in the triumph of the Islamic revolution and the great upheaval of the people were noticed all of a sudden, and women initiated the first heroic demonstration and displayed their active and notable participation in the highly perilous combat zones.

In general, the value of mankind in the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini is defined through “humanity” which is emphasized by the Qur’an, too. The status and individuality of human beings as well as their rights of freedom have a structure which has been provided by the Islamic teachings and the brilliant commandments of Qur’an. Outside these holy borders, the human status of mankind is manipulated by the carnal desires of dishonest people, and it will not have a genuine definition and content anymore. Ayah 43 of surah Ale Imran reads: “O Maryam! Keep to obedience to your Lord and humble yourself, and bow down with those who bow.”

According to the great leader of the revolution, Fatimah and Zainab (peace be upon them) are two appropriate role models whom Muslim women should follow in every arena, since they are the two women in whom the human identity is manifested. They are the honor of the family of revelation and shine over the summit of Islam. Fatimah is a woman whose virtues are at the same level as the infinite virtues of the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants.

The woman whom many –with various viewpoints – have talked about but their words fell short on praising her. The lady of the World of Islam is a holy and spiritual woman and a true human being. She is the true face of humanity and the women. She is a divine and heavenly being who has appeared as a woman; a woman who has gathered all the characteristics of prophets within herself. She is the one who has commenced her spiritual journey from nature, and through the power of God and the training of the Prophet Muhammad, she has reached such a stance that no one can compete with her. This woman has been the purpose of the creation and the interpretation of “hayya ala khair al-amal” is referring to “doing good to her and her children”.

Regarding the status and greatness of women in Islam, Imam Khomeini has stated: “The prosperity and wretchedness of mankind depends on women since they are the educators of the human beings; women shape real human beings through their proper training, and all the happiness and good deeds originate from women.” He also adds: “If brave women are taken away from nations, the nations will succumb to defeat and decadence.”

The ten-year superb leadership of Imam Khomeini caused the accessibility to his opinions to go beyond pure theories, and both the theories and the practical examples became available to everyone. This advantage makes Imam Khomeini’s thoughts superior to the thoughts of the other Muslim thinkers and connoisseurs. In a quick glance, the sublime measures of the social life of women can be identified in his point of view. It is quite surprising to see that the status of women is placed higher than men in this faith related arena.
In the Islamic point of view which emphasizes on the potential of women to develop themselves, participation of women in the social and political matters is not prohibited and it is a sign of maturity and faith; however, the participation of women requires some formalities. As Imam Khomeini has stated: “Today, women should perform their social and religious duties and maintain public modesty and accomplish political-social activities with respect to public modesty.”

Motherhood is the primary stance of women in the society and is responsible for the survival of the human societies. At this stand, women are considered at the same level with the prophets. This concept, unfortunately, has lost its true value in the material standpoint. The insight of Imam Khomeini examines the heart of the matters and explains them to common people with a simple rhetoric. In his point of view, women are in charge of the purification and constructiveness of the society.

The corruption of human societies –the western societies in particular- and lack of solidity in families, as well as not abiding with the moral principles, stem from ignoring the motherhood responsibilities. The happiness and the wretchedness of nations and countries have profound and genuine ties with the presence of women. A woman can be the origin of the happiness for a society and the blessings of her being can establish the endurance of a society. The opposite of this situation is true as well. Based on Imam Khomeini’s view, the fundamental role of women in the survival of societies has been greater than the role of men and he has expressed it beautifully in the following statements: “Men are producers of nations and women more so; and the appropriate structures of countries are built through the capable power of women.”

Contrary to some opinions, Hijab, or Islamic cover, protects women from inappropriate gazes and prevents their human personality and worth from being treated like a tradable good in the society. Under the protection of Hijab, the nobility and individuality of women is preserved. Imam Khomeini expresses his opinion in regards to Hijab and its role in the society: “Of course, the type of Hijab that Islam requires you to observe is to protect your values. What God has commanded, either for men or women, is to protect their true values from the satanic temptations which might be implemented on them by the expansionists. Hijab is for reviving these values.”

With regards to the role of women in the society, Imam Khomeini has said: “In the Islamic government, women along with men can actively contribute to the erection of an Islamic society as human beings and not as objects. Neither women are allowed to lessen themselves to a low stance nor do men have the right to think of them in that context.”


The Word or the Sword!


The Word or the Sword!

Freedom, justice, humanity, virtue are the words associated with Karbala and uprising of Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his dearest sister Lady Zeinab (A.S.). Karbala is standing till these days upon two strong pillars: the uprising of Imam Hussein (A.S.) and the resistance of Zeinab(A.S.) against tyrant of the time.

Zeinab (A.S.) is like a shining sun in the history of Islam, a brave woman whose life teaches the women how to play a significant role in the destiny of their own and that of the society. After the martyrdom of her brother and her two sons, she said:

“O my Lord! Accept our humble sacrifice to you.” But this is not the end of her devotion for the sake of Islam. Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions were martyred, but Lady Zeinab (A.S.) didn’t give up, she stood up against oppression as strong as her brother.

She gathered all the women and children and cared for them. She was their guardian and protector, when they were enslaved by the accursed Yazid and taken from town to town.

Lady Zeinab’s sublime Speech in the court of Yazid is a brilliant historical document of freedom and humanity in Islam. Here you can read some parts of Lady Zeinab’s speech in the court of Yazid as an example of outstanding speech. In her speech, she exposed Yazid’s treachery and revealed the true personality of Imam Hussein (A.S.).

Lady Zeinab’s mission contained certain stages: The first is, when she arrived in Kufa to make the people who betrayed Imam Hussein feel ashamed and miserable. The second stage of her mission was executed in the court of Ibn Ziyad. And the next stage of Zeinab’s mission was to destroy Yazid by her eloquent speech. After she saw Yazid disrespecting the head of her brother with a cane. She stood and said: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and blessings on my grandfather, the Chief of divine prophets.

O Yazid, Allah says, and his word is true, that: ﴾Then the fate of those who committed misdeeds was that they denied the signs of Allah and they used to deride them. [30:10]﴿

O Yazid, do you believe that you have succeeded in closing the sky and the earth for us and that we have become your captives, just because we have been brought before you in a row and that you have secured control over us? Do you believe that we have been afflicted with insult and dishonor by Allah and that you have been given honor and respect by Him? You have become boastful of this apparent victory that you have secured and you have started feeling jubilant and proud over this prestige and honor. You think that you have achieved worldly good, which your affairs have become stabilized and our faith has fallen into your hands. Wait for a while. Do not be so joyful.

Have you forgotten Allah’s saying: ﴾Let the faithless not suppose that the respite that We grant them is good for their souls: We give them respite only that they may increase in sin, and there is a humiliating punishment forthem. (3:178)﴿

O son of freed slaves, is this your justice that you keep your own daughters and slave maids veiled, while the daughters of the Prophet of Allah are being paraded from place to place exposed. You have dishonored us by unveiling our heads. Your men take us from town to town, where all sorts of people, whether they be residents of the hills or of riversides have been
looking at us. The near as well as the remote ones, the poor as well as the rich, the low as well as the high – all casting their glances at us while our position is such that there is no male relative of ours to render us help or support.

O Yazid, whatever you have done proves your revolt against Allah and your denial of His Prophet and of the Book and Sunnah that the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hh) brought from Allah. Your deeds should not cause amazement, because one whose ancestors chewed the livers of the martyrs, whose flesh grew up on virtuous people, who fought against the Chief of divine prophets, who mobilized parties for fighting against him and drew swords against him, should conspicuously excel all in unbelief, sinfulness, excesses, and enmity against Allah and His Prophet (pbuh&hh). Remember that the evil deeds and sinful actions that you have committed are the result of disbelief and old rancor you bear because of your ancestors who were killed in Badr.

One who cast his glance of enmity, malice and rancor upon us does not lag behind in practicing enmity against us. He proves his disbelief, declares it with his tongue and jubilantly proclaims: ’I have killed the sons of the Prophet of Allah and made his progeny captive,’ and wishes that his ancestors had lived to see his achievement and to have exclaimed, “O Yazid, may your hands not lose their strength, you have wreaked good vengeance on our behalf.”

O Yazid, you are striking the lips of Imam Hussein with your stick in front of this crowd, while these very lips used to be kissed by the Prophet of Allah. By killing Hussein ibn Ali (A..S) you have gained nearness to the state of your unbelieving ancestors. You proclaim your deed with pride, and if they were to see you, they would approve of your action and pray that Allah may not paralyze your arms. O Yazid! If you had heart enough to take account of your nefarious deeds, you yourself would surely wish your arms to be paralyzed and severed from your elbow, and you would wish that your parents had not given birth to you, because you would know that Allah has become displeased with you. Allah, Grant us our rights. Avenge us on those who have oppressed us.

O Yazid! You did what you wished, but remember that you have cut your own skin and your own flesh to pieces. Soon you will be brought before the Holy Prophet. You will be overburdened, with the weight of your sins committed by shedding the blood of his progeny and by dishonoring his family. The place to which you will be taken will be before all the members of his family. The oppressed will be avenged and the oppressors will be punished.

O Yazid ! It does not seem for you to swell with joy after slaying the Prophet’s progeny. ﴾Reckon not those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead; nay, they are alive and are provided sustenance from their Lord; rejoicing in what Allah has given them out of His grace…(3:169-170).﴿

Allah is sufficient to deal with you. The Messenger of Allah is your antagonist and Hazrat Jibra’il (Gabriel) is our support and help against you. Those who have made you the head of state and burdened the Muslims with your leadership will soon find out what awaits them. The end of all tyrants is agony.

O Yazid. I speak not to you, thus to warn you of the severe chastisement, for you so that you should be regretful, for you are one of those whose hearts are hardened, whose souls are rebellious and whose bodies are busy in Allah’s disobedience, while they are under the curse of the Prophet of Allah. You are from among those in whose heart Shaytan (Satan) has made his abode and has been breeding young ones.

How amazing it is that the virtuous people, sons of the divine prophets and vicegerents are killed at the hands of liberated slaves, evil-doers and sinners. Our blood is shed by their hands and our flesh serves as food for them. We feel grieved for those whose bodies are lying enshrouded and unburied in the battlefield, wounded with arrows.

O Yazid, if you consider our defeat as your achievement, then you will have to pay its price. Allah commits not injustice to His servants. Our reliance is on Allah. He alone is our Relief Protection, and in Him alone do we repose our hope.

You may contrive and try however much you can. By Him, Who honored us with Revelation, the Book and Prophet hood, you cannot achieve our status, nor reach our position, nor can you affect our mention, nor remove from yourself that shame and dishonor that is now your lot, because of perpetrating tyranny and oppression on us. Your word now is weak and your days are counted.

Beware of the day when the announcer would announce the curse of Allah on the oppressors and the unjust.

Praise be to Allah Who gave good end to His friends and granted them success in their aims, and thereafter called them back to His Mercy, Pleasure and Bliss, while you hurled yourself into evil and mischief by committing injustice against them. We pray to Allah to favor us with full recompense through them and grant us the good of caliphate and Imamate. Surely Allah is Kind and the Most Merciful over His creatures.”

As you see, the origin of the reform movement was Hussein (A.S.), while its preservation belongs to Zeinab (A.S.). So, who could decide that which one is mightier? The Word or the Sword?

But may be it is better to say that history witnesses that “The Word and the Sword have completed each other.”

In order to get familiar with the invaluable role of the women in Imam Hussein’s movement, you could get familiar with those women who sacrificed their best, their son, husband and their own lives for freedom and justice to be presented by Islam.

* Certain ‘Ashura-Affiliated Women. Source:

Islam, Women and Sex: Do We Overdo Things?


Of course, Islam emphasizes decency and chastity, forbids excessive and unnecessary mingling between men and women, and it prescribes a decent dress code for both men and women. But to interpret everything in Islam from a sexual point of view and to think that men-women relation was all and only about sex was a sign of ignorance. To treat women in such a way that they could not even express themselves or choose what color of dress they could wear,even while following the Islamic dress code, was a sign of danger and extremism.