Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Copyright 2011, S. E.Jihad Levine
All Rights Reserved

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أُرِيتُ النَّارَ فَإِذَا أَكْثَرُ أَهْلِهَا النِّسَاءُ يَكْفُرْنَ قِيلَ أَيَكْفُرْنَ بِاللَّهِ قَالَ يَكْفُرْنَ الْعَشِيرَ وَيَكْفُرْنَ الْإِحْسَانَ لَوْ أَحْسَنْتَ إِلَى إِحْدَاهُنَّ الدَّهْرَ ثُمَّ رَأَتْ مِنْكَ شَيْئًا قَالَتْ مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْكَ خَيْرًا قَطُّ
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 28)

I never thought it would happen to me; I've been so careful up to this point. But last week, I found myself up to my eyeballs in Facebook fitna. 

I use my real name on Facebook. It helps me to maintain my integrity. Because you know once something's out there on the Internet with your name, it will ALWAYS be there.  Using my real name helps to keep me honest.  It's so easy to be a cyber idiot when you write under the cloak of "Anonymous," "Muslimah38," "Umm Jessica," or whatever - I think you get the point.

So I received a message from a Muslim sister who is the wife of a brother I have "known" a long time through blogging and various groups.  The message was not public, but was sent to a select group of "friends" who the sister stated she has had the "honor" to know over the years.  I only "friended" her because I know her husband.

Anyhow, the sister goes into a long venomous diatribe about her husband, who she is in the process of getting a divorce from, and provides intimate details about their marriage which shocked me.

Believe me, I understand the emotional pain of the divorce process.  But this stuff was vicious and much more information that I needed to know about their marital problems.  Then her "friends" left all kind of equally deprecating comments about the husband.  I was really blown away.  All that coming from Muslim women.

I thought about it carefully over a few days because I wanted to be tactful and before I replied with naseeha.  I figured I should reply, and that she wanted a reply, or some kind of feedback or support.  After all, why would she include me, her "honored" Facebook friend in her message?  This was my comment:

"As with any test, we should remember Allaah t'ala in all of our affairs.  How we respond to tests and trials determines the reward.  Maybe Allaah is doing you a favor, Sis _______, or vice versa.  Don't be ungrateful to Him by spreading your private marital business on FB, even though it's a note to a select few.  Some of these 'friends' you may not even known very well or know personally.  I know this is difficult for you, but please - maintain your dignity as a Muslim woman and mother.  You are a queen and deserve self-respect.  As to the rest of you, unless you know _______ or _______ personally, I would refrain from character attacks against them.  We can love and support Sis _______ without stooping that low.  Sis _______, I am not judging you; I feel for you, wa'ala.  I do.  Please accept this naseeha in the spirit it is being given :)"

She replied that I should feel free to use the un-friend button on my Facebook profile.

Then the fitna started flying!

Her "friends," Muslim women at that, started to attack me in their comments.  I guess I was not supposed to give the sister honest Islaamic feedback, but rather I was supposed to jump on the band wagon and start running down her husband.

I was told that I am judgmental.  And who am I, a revert at that, to give feedback, acting like I know everything.

And especially a revert like me with a Jewish name.  Was I really a Muslim?  I didn't even have a "real" (read Arab) Muslim name.

I was told that I am over zealous in my practice of faith and have crossed the line in "giving instructions" to others on how they should or should not behave. 

"Hypocritical nonsense."  "Condescending attitude ..."

Another Muslim sister said I should take a hike out of the USA to a place where I better fit in.

And finally - the sister who wrote that I made her want to puke.

All these sisters ... why didn't one of them remind the sister of Allaah (swt).

Why is it when you remind some sisters about Allaah (swt) they jump all over you and accuse you of being judgmental, or worse yet, attack you?

Intellectually, I know it's because they may feel guilty, etc., and deep down they may know you're right.  They may feel embarrassed and become defensive.  So they strike out at you.  It's not always easy to be patience in the face of adversity. 

But then sometimes you just want to say "fuck it."  FUCK IT!!!

And your want your sisters to hold you, raise their voices with you, join you in a chorous, screaming from the highest hilltop, so the whole world can hear: "FUCK IT!  FUCK HIM!"

So, please, tell me.  Please.  Was I a condescending ass?  Do I owe the sister an apology?  Was I right and they were wrong?  Do I need to use the un-friend button?

Or do I need to join the chorous?


The Beach Bedouin said...

Assalamu alaikum sister,

I think you are completely right in your opinion. But I think it would have been better to approach her via private message.

I think it is really a bottom drawer to let these private things openly just on facebook : /

This post made me think of a beautifull hutba I have heard someday at Jummah concerning divorce and the islamic rules of behaviour.
The imam explained the ayah where Allah swt. is describing the spouses as garments being for each other. And when you get divorce you are losing your garment and you are left naked in front of your ex. What means this person you shared your life with know almost everything about you and thereby has this power over you. So we should care much, not to reveal anything of the person and let him/her be naked infront of others. Subhanallah!

In this case I can only regive the hadith, that if you do not have anything beneficial to say, rather to stay silent.

Unfortunately people do not reflect and as you told before, when someone is in pain, it is easy to lose control.

I think your advice will make her even think about it and inshaallah she will learn from it, even she has reacted this way.
Truth hurts sometimes...

madrasimuslimah said...

assalamu alaikum sis,
I agree with Bosnishmuslimah.

"Why is it when you remind some sisters about Allaah (swt) they jump all over you and accuse you of being judgmental, or worse yet, attack you?"

I have experienced this myself, I know how hard it feels when people we want to help sincerely react that way.

madrasimuslimah said...

Being muslim I think we should try to focus on and learn our lessons from Quran and Sunnah.These sisters should remember that
“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by their strength, but the strong is the one who controls themselves while in anger.”

Tauqeer said...

I don't think you did anything wrong.

Although I did not like F word on your blog.

nachida said...

Wow. I probably would have been of those girls who would act that way (though i would never question your muslimness) but after reading your response it really struck home. No, you were right, and I think you did it with such tact (that lacks in others who try to give advice) that it moved at least me to re-evaluate what I say on FB.

Thanks for this post.

mezba said...

Salaams sister,

I agree with all three options - 1) staying silent 2) giving the reply you have given, public, but visible only to original group and 3) giving a private message.

Personally I would prefer option 3 as option 2 puts everyone on the defensive. However, sometimes, after lashing out as your 'friends' have done, they may have a twinge of regret and rethink their actions.

I like the private reminder option as then the recipient does not have to defend himself or herself in front of others.

mezba said...

PS. what a great title - Fitnabook!

AlabasterMuslim said...

I can understand someone becoming defensive, its a natural instinct. I don't agree with how all the sisters reacted however. You called her a queen, called her to Allah Subhana wa'tala. But remember she could also very well be incredibly depressed and not acting herself. As for those other sisters, they have no reason.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

You need some new friends!

Come play with me instead! :)

I don't care what your name is.

I sometimes use the F-word but I really try not to and together we can encourage each other to keep clean even amidst Fitnah.

I laughed at some of the post and grimaced at other parts. All in all, I feel like I've been there/done that---and very recently in fact!

Many sisters ask others for "support" which means they want you to continue feeding into their attention-getting ways. I might have been one of these ladies during the break up of my marriage. It's a VERY SAD time and no person can ever help us during this time. It's an "Allah Only" moment but we resist turning to Him because then we have to stop being mad and allow ourselves to be weak.

I really WOW really love what Bosnish recounted from that khotbah she heard. I might reprint that (with credit) on my blog. It's so simple and true.

As for your words to the sister: it didn't work. It didn't work. You wrote (and Allahu alim whether or not your intentions were pure). You were read AND you were hated. That sucks! It's really sad to spend your time and energy and be dissed left and right. Maybe you didn't say it all the way you should have. Maybe! I don't know. Think if you could have done something better. Think! If you could have done something better and you wish to appologize to a person or a group then do so without delay. If you feel that you gave your all and no appologies, then pray to God to forgive you anything which you're unaware of AND MOVE ON. Move on with a jaunty step from those people who don't understand you. There are many, many more who are waiting to be your friend :)

Love and Light!

HijabRockers said...

You did nothing wrong InshaAllah. I believe that the way u comment on the note for all the 'involved' parties to read was correct. Coz they all did it (talking about husbands, talking a bit nasty etc). They need to be told about it together in hope that someone else might realize the mistake and concur with ur naseeha, publicly. But the problem is they looked at it as if u're talking ONLY about the sister that wrote about her problem.

Don't worry sis. InshaAllah u have spoken about the truth and Allah will help to give hedayat to them. We could only give naseeha, but its up to Allah to grant the hedayat.