Eid al-Adha: working through the aftermath

I’m still recovering from Eid. Rather odd, I know. Eid was on October 26, which is what—three weeks ago, now?

But Eid al-Adha (Korban Bairami, Eid l-Kbir, Hari Raya Haji, Baqar Eid, Eid-e Qorban…) was a transformative experience for me this year. Which was completely unexpected, because even when I was a very conservative Muslim, Eid al-Adha was my least favorite holiday.

Abraham and his son, on their way to perform the sacrifice… but who is missing from this story?
(Ferdinand von Olivier, “Abraham and Isaac” http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olivier-abraham-isaac.jpg)

Why that was so, I never really knew, because I could never allow myself the freedom to be honest about what I was thinking or feeling, especially if that threatened to take me into any kind of doctrinally or socially questionable territory. Early on after converting, I quickly learned that openly expressing discomfort with any ritual practices would lead to me being classified as someone that other sisters would be warned to stay far away from. And I and my convert friends were trying so hard to be model Muslimas, so rather than ask ourselves why we weren’t really feeling the Eid spirit, we threw our energies into trying to make it something we could somehow connect to—or at least, that our kids would enjoy.

As we tried to connect to Eid, we retold the story of Hajar as a model of a pious woman who suffered adversity, but relied on God alone, and in the end, her faith was abundantly rewarded. By focusing on her actions, her faith, and the hajj ritual that required every pilgrim to retrace her steps between the two hills, we could avoid dealing with the many troubling questions that the story raised for us that we couldn’t quite suppress.

After all, here was an African female slave who had been forced to bear children on behalf of an infertile free woman, Sara. There was no suggestion in any retelling of the story we were aware of that Hajar’s consent to either sex with her mistress’s husband or child-bearing was thought to matter in the least. Meaning, it hadn’t mattered to Abraham, nor to Sara, nor even to later audiences down through the centuries. Including the communities that we belonged to.

And then, Abraham left Hajar and Ismail in the desert, in a deserted valley, with only a few provisions that they had brought with them, saying it was God’s will. Again, her consent was hardly an issue. Had she wanted to come to the valley, even? Clearly, she hadn’t expected to be left to fend for herself with her child.

Against all odds, Ismail and Hajar survived. And then, years later, Abraham came back and reclaimed his son.

When he saw himself sacrificing his son* in a dream, then he told his son this. His son’s response was that Abraham should do as God commands. At the last moment, the sacrifice was averted by divine intervention—God instructed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead. But where (we wondered) was the boy’s mother? Did Abraham ever consult her? Did Abraham even tell her what he was going to do?? How did she respond after the sheep had been sacrificed instead?

Again, this was a topic that seldom interested the Muslim communities that we were involved in. Most people didn’t even seem to notice that the boy’s mother had apparently been left out of the story. Eid sermons never failed to discuss Abraham’s sacrifice, pointing out how very very difficult it would be for any father to have to even consider sacrificing a son, and drawing the analogy between sacrificing a son and sacrificing the most precious thing that you have. I even had a Qur’an tape in which the reciter’s voice broke when he recited the verses that speak of Abraham breaking the news to his son, and the (male) audience’s weeping could also be heard in the background.

We gratefully seized upon the suggestion that we picked up somewhere-or-other (and based on who knows what evidence) that the boy’s mother had died by this time. That way, we didn’t have to ask why her consent was so irrelevant to the story, much less what the larger implications of that were.

But somehow, in the back of my mind was the question: If the story had been about a woman (Abrahama, say) and her heart-rending decision whether to sacrifice her daughter, would a holiday have been based on it??

We did our best to focus on Hajar’s strong faith, and how it was eventually rewarded. After all, it was thanks to her frantic yet faith-filled search for water for her dying child that the Zamzam well sprang up, making survival as well as the founding of Mecca possible. And some state that when Hajar died, she was buried (along with Ismail) next to the Ka’ba. Clearly, her faith had been pleasing to God. That was all that mattered, we tried to tell ourselves. To sacrifice, to struggle, to try with all our might to fit into the mold of the pious Muslima who always accepts what God has decreed.

Yet, try as we might to get some spiritual sustenance out of Eid al-Adha, it could not escape even our notice that of all the holidays celebrated in our insular, conservative community, this one had the least space for women and small children. Just like the Abraham story as it was told to us, oddly enough—Eid too was really a celebration of patriarchy and male bonding.

After the Eid prayer (which always featured a sermon praising Abraham’s sacrifice, as well as stressing the necessity of physically slaughtering animals rather than, say, giving the money you would have spent on buying an animal to the poor instead), the men and older boys would drive off to a farm to slaughter sheep (and occasionally a cow or two). At least, those who could afford it. The social pressure on men to slaughter was pretty strong, so only those who were really poor would not do so.

Meanwhile, the wives, daughters and little boys would go home, and wait for the men and older boys to come back with the meat, which usually happened in the very late afternoon or evening. Then, the women would have to clean the meat, cook some, and cut up and divide up the rest into freezer bags. Some would go in the freezer, to be cooked and eaten later, but the rest would be given to poorer members of the community in charity.

I don’t recall anyone ever seriously raising the question of whether a woman could also sacrifice an animal. Slaughtering in that community was a man’s thing—and it was promoted as a test of masculinity. Brothers would tell stories about it like some other men tell fish stories. Boys looked forward to going to the farm with their fathers, watching and learning how it was done. They were also quite aware that they were the ones having the most fun on Eid, while their sisters had to stay at home with little to do but wait, and watch (or help) their mothers cook.

We tried to make Eid more interesting for the girls as well as the boys deemed too small to go to the slaughter by putting up hand-made decorations, decorating sheep-shaped cookies, and doing crafts with them. Still, it seemed almost like rebellion when I heard of some sisters (not in our community) who decided to spend Eid day at Chuck-e-Cheese with their kids instead of waiting at home. I thought it was really daring of them, and gave it a try, but… well, I guess the kids had fun, which was the main thing. Anything not to think about why Eid left such a sour taste in my mouth….

Once I finally left my marriage, as well as that community, and moved many miles away, then Muslim holidays suddenly became optional. Not only optional, but difficult to observe, unless they happened to fall on weekends. But even when they were on weekends, did I really want to take the trouble to drive a fair ways to join a community that I didn’t even know in order to celebrate them? I had certainly had my fill of sitting behind the men, unable to even participate in the takbirat. I didn’t want to subject my daughters to that sort of thing any more. Nor did I see why I should put up with that—on a holiday, for goodness sake—when I wouldn’t have ever accepted to be treated like that at work, or in any other situation.

And what did Eid al-Adha have to do with me, now? My ex had never had the means to slaughter an animal, and I didn’t have the means to do it either, with my very low salary and kids to feed. Eid al-Adha was memories of waiting with my best friend and her kids for her husband and our older boys to come back from the slaughter ground, frozen meat parcels bestowed upon my family in charity after the slaughter was done…. The whole thing seemed like a somewhat well-meaning farce best forgotten. I never wanted to hear another sermon about Abraham’s sacrifice, either.

Gradually, as my distance from Muslim holidays of all sorts (and Eid al-Adha most of all) widened, I was able to look back and see what it was that had bothered me so much about that Eid in particular as it had been celebrated in my community: From start to finish, it had really been all about power.

Celebrating power, privilege, and patriarchal entitlement.

Celebrating a vision of an “ideal” order in which men have the god-given “right” to dispose of women’s and children’s lives (and the lives of all living things, come to that) as they deem appropriate, with their “superior” knowledge of what God supposedly wants.

An “ideal” order in which women’s perspectives or subjectivities are barely even acknowledged, because after all, a truly pious woman will follow where her god-fearing husband leads. She serenely surrenders control of her body and her life to him, obediently serving him in the kitchen and the bedroom, bearing him as many children as he wants, and carefully raising them to be good Muslims—usually, in accordance with his vision of what the latter entails.

An “ideal” order in which “sacrifice” is touted as an ideal, but it means significantly different things for men and women—through sacrifice, men grow and develop into leaders, while for women, sacrifice means silence and self-abnegation, waiting for men to decide and then following along, while shrinking ever smaller to fit into someone else’s notion of proper female piety.

An “ideal” order in which there are rich and there are poor, and the wealthier patronizingly bestow charity on the poorer—who of course know their place, are properly grateful, and don’t ask searching questions about why their situation is as it is.

And the thing was, these “ideals” weren’t just theoretical in the community I had lived in. They were put into practice. Not only in the way that we celebrated Eid, but in general. Eid was simply a ritual that affirmed that this was the way God wanted things to be, and that questioning this meant rebelling against God.

So, of all the Muslim holidays that I had ever celebrated, I had thought that Eid al-Adha was the one that would probably never be a part of my life again. What would be the point, after breaking free from an abusive marriage and an extremely limiting community? What would it do, other than trigger memories that I wanted to forget?

But I reckoned without one thing. (cont.)

* As the story was usually told to us, the boy who was to be sacrificed was Ismail. However, some Muslim scholars of the past identified the boy as Ishaq (Isaac, as in the Bible). But this debate had little to do with how we experienced Eid al-Adha—whether the mother whose perspective on the sacrifice was Sara or Hajar did not change the message that we got from the story about our roles as wives and mothers in that community.

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  1. #1 by Anonymous// on November 18, 2012 - 8:56 am

    And why was consent never an issue here? Because it’s a characteristically modern concern, as you well know. And female consent- when it comes to marital sex- doesn’t exactly characterise Western law on the subject, either, or didn’t until very, very recently. Not to be an apologist, since I don’t see anything here in need of a defence (those who have problems with male privilege per se have problems with God IMO)- but if North Carolina took until 1993 to criminalise ‘marital rape’- surely that tells you something interesting about the construction of the category ‘rape’ and the concern with female agency on which it’s premissed.

    • #2 by xcwn on November 20, 2012 - 1:25 am

      Misogyny, refusal to recognize marital rape as an unconscionable violation, the elision of patriarchy with God’s will… you would have fitted in so well in my former conservative Muslim community (that turned out to be a cult).

      But unfortunately, we as converts didn’t have that much of a problem with the lack of sexual consent in Hajar’s story. Partly because we simply refused to think too deeply about concubinage (it would have led to too many questions we felt we couldn’t answer), and partly because in our community, it was women’s conformity and obedience that were valued, not their freedom to make decisions, even about their own bodies. And, the retellings and reflections written by Muslim women on the story of Hajar that we had access to ignored that aspect of it. It was only once I started to get out of that very conservative Muslim bubble that I was able to begin to critically reflect on concubinage and the theological questions it raises—and also, to connect all of the dots that translating the story into modern North American contexts implies.

      What we had much more of a problem with was the idea that a mother and her infant could be abandoned, and then, that a father could unilaterally decide to kill a child, with the mother’s views not even being worth consideration.

    • #3 by Just Another Silly Goose on November 20, 2012 - 2:21 pm

      Institutionalized misogyny is not a reasonable excuse for the lack of consent, even if you (as you apparently do) subscribe to the idea that women are second-class human beings. As for “characteristically modern concerns”, I’m sure you live your life centered around any number of them, such as freedom of religious expression and the freedom to be anonymous on the Internet. Furthermore, your argument that because it took North Carolina until 1993 to recognize the validity of martial rape (and is your premise that NC is a progressive state? Because it isn’t and wasn’t. Your example is a state that still uses a flag designed when NC seceded from the Union) tells us less about the construction of the category of “rape” and female agency and more about you, that you chose it as a basis on which to argue that female agency and female consent are essentially modern constructs that lack basis in reality.

      How nice for you, to be male and to believe that God is also male (Lord knows I hope you aren’t a woman making this argument). To assign a gender to God, a biological feature to a supposed limitless being who exists above and beyond human comprehension, presupposes that there must be a female God in existence, somewhere. How can God be identifiably male if there is no female with which to compare Him? Why would an omniscient, omnipotent Being lower Itself to human limitations of gender? What does it say about you, that you insist that God is male, that this explains and excuses patriarchy, and that women are second-class creatures (lacking agency, the right to consent, and the ability to live without the necessary guidance of a man) primarily because God is male and prefers men?

  2. #4 by Anonymous// on November 21, 2012 - 12:15 am

    I don’t care much for your former community, however I will flag up the fact that the ideology of gender equality is the historical aberration here, both within and without the Muslim world, and so it surely needs to justify itself and not the other way around.

    As for the story of Ibrahim (as), what a typical failure to see the wood for the trees. The take home lesson is faith and trust in God, hence millions of people now make pilgrimage to what would have otherwise been a barren and featureless valley. Unilateralism? That is a strange way to describe revelation but, hey, whatever floats your boat.

    To ‘silly goose’, I could have used the UK as an example instead- the relevant date is 1990. Or I could have pointed to liberal American states where the date isn’t greatly earlier either. Indisputable point being, obviously, that ‘marital rape’ as a legal category is largely an invention of the culture wars, that is, at most not much older than our authoress xcwn (sorry). Speaking of culture wars, anonymity is hardly a modern thing, since modernity represents the reversal of the axis of individuation, said Foucault.

    As for myself, I never held that God is a man by any means, only that in the life of this world women should be subordinate to men, or to put it more accurately, wives to their husbands. That doesn’t make me a very original thinker, goosey- sorry to disappoint- just a slightly less lazy one than you with your obtuse American brand of feminism. I wish you’d just gone and bought a big car instead.

    • #5 by ki sarita on December 21, 2012 - 2:27 pm

      The “but someone else does it too, therefore it is right” is not very convincing. After all, couldn’t the idolworhsippers have told that to mohammad? “You’re the aberration here, this is a very modern thing.”

    • #6 by Vicky on December 22, 2012 - 4:25 pm

      The fact that marital rape is a relatively new legal category doesn’t detract from its inherent immorality. Something doesn’t have to be recognised as a crime for it to be gravely wrong – for thousands of years slavery was seen as perfectly acceptable. The change in slaves’ legal status did not mean that slavery had only just become unacceptable; it had been wrong all along, whether or not anybody cared to admit it.

      Married rape victims whose rapist is their husband still struggle to obtain justice in court due to the lingering unsavoury belief that if you are married, your husband somehow owns you and has a right to your body. A rape crisis group in Scotland recently organised a poster campaign, ‘This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me’, which showed a woman in her wedding dress. Recognition of this fact has nothing to do with ‘culture wars’, but of a fledgling understanding that wives aren’t commodities at their husbands’ disposal.

      “As for myself, I never held that God is a man by any means, only that in the life of this world women should be subordinate to men, or to put it more accurately, wives to their husbands.”

      Which is essentially to say that you believe God to be a man, even if you don’t articulate it in precisely those terms. Who other than a (particularly misogynistic) man would decide that men need ‘subordinates’ to bow and scrape before them? Who else would take satisfaction in the idea of one-half of humanity being subjugated, seeing this as an ideal plan for this life? And who other than a person who didn’t have to live with this set-up (i.e. a man) would insist that women aren’t harmed or made unhappy by it?

      Your clarification is interesting. One aspect of patriarchal religious teaching that has always been a source of huge discomfort to me is the emphasis on the necessity of marriage. I know unmarried Muslim women who are perfectly happy as they are but who are somehow made to feel less-than for not accepting the first person who comes along. Marriage in a patriarchal religious society is a means of cementing male control over women. Women who, like me, aren’t married and don’t ever want to get married are an aberration – there must either be something wrong with us mentally or physically, or we must be sleeping with anything that moves. Either way, we must be tamed as soon as possible and placed firmly under our husband’s thumb, because to have us running around independently is just unthinkable. So to support the subordination of wives is to support the subordination of all women, because in worldviews like yours, there is nothing else for us to be. No thanks.

      • #7 by rosalindawijks on April 12, 2015 - 3:20 pm

        As an islamic feminist, I can only agree with you.

  3. #8 by xcwn on November 26, 2012 - 8:03 pm

    Anonymous/–Your vision of Islam is its own caricature. How sad.

    Depressing question for those of us recovering from neo-traditionalism to consider: Do neo-traditionalist views of the world corrupt otherwise good people, or do they simply make visible what corruption was already present in certain believers?

  4. #9 by mary on December 1, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    I think both. I’ve met some middle-aged men who were born Muslim but in their young to middle adulthood adopted progressive and more secular views, later to come full circle to fundamentalist Islam. In getting to know these men I have come to see them as having limite success in coming to terms with adulthood, hence, the black-and-white, rigid roles of traditional Islam are attractive to them. They are comforted to find religious validation for their misogyny and social failure. “Hey, the problem ain’t me, it’s that woman who doesn’t know her place is below me and that she is inferior to me. I feel so much better now, especially when I’ve got God backing me up.” Since when is being subordinate to a man a requirement for being a good wife or a good anything? I love Anonymous’ snark, by the way. It just shows the contempt he holds for women and the bankruptcy of his argument.

    • #10 by xcwn on December 2, 2012 - 5:58 pm

      Mary—Whether Muslim or not, people tend to become more conservative as they age. 🙂
      But yes, I have met some middle-aged men like that too—male converts as well as born Muslim men. The Cult had quite a few men like that. The success that they weren’t able to achieve in the wider society was compensated for by railing against the wider society’s supposed immorality and ungodly reverence for such wrong-headed notions as gender equality. Oh yes, and making sure that “their women” were kept in their “proper place.”

  5. #11 by mary on December 22, 2012 - 7:33 am

    I just had a question for Anonymous – if Muslim men are so convinced that subordination of women is correct, sunnah, halal, why do you knock yourselves out to convince the world that Islam respects women? One of my favorite convoluted pieces of silliness, for example, is the common justification given for the reason a woman’s testimony is considered half as reliable as a man’s.

  6. #12 by ki sarita on December 22, 2012 - 7:18 pm

    I cannot accept the idea of men who were born outside the fundamentalist patriarchal system and chose it by their own volition. Men who return- well they’re going back to what’s familiar to them. Men who joined it- well perhaps they, like the women were misled in the beginning. But when they started to encounter this injustice, the fact that they stayed speaks very poorly about their character to begin with.

  7. #13 by Anonymous// on December 22, 2012 - 8:31 pm

    Who says I ever tried to knock myself out convincing myself of anything? Who is the ‘you’ referred to in the question? Aren’t you making a few unwarranted assumptions about me here? I do believe Islam grants women (as well as other groups) justice (and respect, and what have you)- but the more important question is, surely, what justice (etc) is. From my perspective, justice entails giving each their proper due (da’ ash-shay’ fi mawdi’i- putting a thing in its proper place). It has nothing to do with treating people ‘equally’. Incidentally, it’s absurd to argue that feminism is the ‘radical idea that women are human beings’. We all agree that children, non-Muslims and slaves are human beings and, say, not duck-billed platypi, but that doesn’t mean granting them the same degree of legal agency as we grant free, adult, Muslim males. Anyway, since what really matters from a believing perspective is where people end up when they die, the truly significant equality is the kind whereby a slave might enter paradise but not their master (or a wife and not her husband, a child and not their parent), and so on. As for the life of this world, it is justly full of hierarchies and privilege of various kinds. People have to get over the idea that privilege is an evil in itself. I hope that helps you to see where I’m coming from.

  8. #14 by Anonymous// on December 22, 2012 - 10:34 pm

    ‘The fact that marital rape is a relatively new legal category doesn’t detract from its inherent immorality.’

    Can you demonstrate that ‘marital rape’ is immoral? In answer to your statement, no, but if its ‘inherent’ immorality is a matter of popular prejudice that only became ‘self-evident’ in the last two decades, what grounds are you standing on, exactly? Why should I accept your claim?

    ‘Something doesn’t have to be recognised as a crime for it to be gravely wrong’

    Correct, and by the same token the popular notion that something is wrong, in and of itself, counts for very little.

    ‘Recognition of this fact has nothing to do with ‘culture wars’, but of a fledgling understanding that wives aren’t commodities at their husbands’ disposal.’

    Wives aren’t commodities per se, since if they were one would be able to buy and sell them, whereas obviously they have enjoy some sort of legal personhood and so on. However, what one does ‘purchase’ in marriage as a male is a right to sexual access. Please refer to Kecia Ali’s work for an explanation.

    ‘Which is essentially to say that you believe God to be a man’

    I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to recognise the difference between the propositions that: a. women should obey their husbands and that b. God is a man. You can appreciate that a. doesn’t necessarily entail b.

    ‘One aspect of patriarchal religious teaching that has always been a source of huge discomfort to me is the emphasis on the necessity of marriage.’

    Well, I never held that marriage is necessary for everyone and I certainly don’t want to get married myself.

  9. #15 by Anonymous// on December 22, 2012 - 10:38 pm

    “The “but someone else does it too, therefore it is right” is not very convincing.”

    When the person referred to is a paragon of morality and *the* source of moral valuations then yes, yes it is.

    “After all, couldn’t the idolworhsippers have told that to mohammad? “You’re the aberration here, this is a very modern thing.”

    Funny you say that, since that’s precisely the argument they made.

  10. #16 by Anonymous// on December 22, 2012 - 10:40 pm

    On that point, Golziher has a good essay in the first volume of Muslim Studies (on Islam as a departure from Jahiliya).

  11. #17 by nmr on December 24, 2012 - 9:34 pm

    Came across this footnote when I was reading something and thought of your post:

    “(Abraham) is implicitly credited with substituting the ritual violence inflicted on humans with the institution of animal sacrifice- a basic civilizational achievement, according to Rene Girard, ‘La violence et le Sacre”. A the same time, it may be considered a powerful symbolic expression of masculine domination, see Bourdieu, “Masculine Domination”. From an anthropological perspective, the Abrahamic sacrificial heritage, which to this day obliges the Muslim pilgrim to sacrifice a ram or similar sacrificial animal at the culminative point of his pilgrimage, appear strikingly gender-specific, cf. Combs-Schilling “Sacred Performances” p 239 :”The ram is of course male- important to the building of the myth’s implicit assumption of male dominance of communal, cosmic, and transcendent things. The culture constructs a sacrificial intercourse and birth that overcomes the limitations of male-female intercourse and female birth and makes it an all-male event.”

    The Combs-Schilling reference:
    M.E. Combs-Schilling, “Sacred Performances: Islam, Sexuality and Sacrifice” New York, 1989.
    Don’t know how hard it would be to find this book. I have references for the other two books mentioned, but I think they are only available in French.

  12. #18 by mary on December 27, 2012 - 10:59 am

    @anonymous – As for your refusal to acknowledge the hideousness of marital rape and how damaging it is to the victim, I offer this for your perusal: http://www.legalmomentum.org/our-work/njep/judges-tell-what-i-wish-i.pdf

    From page 6:

    8. Marital and intimate partner rape victims suffer particularly severe psychological
    injury because of the betrayal of trust by the person they should most be able to trust, and
    the fact that the rapes are usually repeated.
    There is a myth that intimate partner rape victims are not harmed because they are used to having
    consensual sex with the perpetrator. Extensive research with marital and intimate partner rape
    victims documents that this is completely untrue. The harm is profound.

  13. #19 by ki sarita on December 30, 2012 - 6:25 am

    that’s called tautological thinking anon, which no honest critically thinking person accepts.

  14. #20 by charmedshiva on December 30, 2012 - 9:08 am

    I read that Hajar was the servant/slave of Sara, but since Sara couldn’t bear children, she offered her servant Hajar to Abraham so he could have kids. Later Sara had problems (seems sort of like jealousy) with Hajar and so that’s why Hajar escaped and fell into the troubles of travel. Martin Lings seems to suggest Hajar was a ‘second wife’ but other sources say she was a concubine.

    • #21 by xcwn on December 31, 2012 - 2:26 pm

      Charmedshiva—Hajar was a slave, not a second wife. The suggestion that she was a second wife is a good example of how even die-hard neo-traditionalists have a way of sugar-coating aspects of the “Tradition” for modern audiences.

  15. #22 by fhmbasardien on April 6, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    I hear you sister and it’s such a pity that Islam is portrayed to be a “male – dominated” religion. I quote:
    “The debasement of women during the long course of history has not been the product of Divine Revelation, but of society. Man, to a large degree, has been the instrument in the general degradation of women. It is also “man” who has corrupted or silenced aspects of the teachings of Divine Revelation to justify this degradation.” – see The Honour of Women in Islam by Yusuf da Costa; ISBN: 0-620-33998-5
    Did you ever ponder why there are THREE jamaraats instead of two at Mina when the pilgrims do their pelting?
    It was because there were three devils involved with three members of that family: the father (Abraham), the son (Ismail) and the mother (Sarah).
    Allah was sooooo merciful to Sarah that it is stated that the water of the spring of zamzam will flow till Qiyamah.
    This is just a titbit of what males fear you’ll discover should you research your religion.
    Why is it that males in our society don’t marry women who are well-learned regarding the religion? They are afraid of being put on their place regarding how women should be treated. Pretty simple.
    Islam have never stood in the way of obtaining education for women.; that’s a male thing (keep them in the dark).
    Why do you think women always have to go upstairs in a mosque to pray? Pretty simple really (make it as difficult as possible to for them so they don’t want to come any more).
    With regard to who must slaughter? I quote: “The person called upon to slaughter for a new born is the one obliged to support the child” – Reliance of the Traveller by Nuh Ha Mim Keller; ISBN 0-9638342-2-3
    Some food for thought.
    Like I said at the start – a real pity.
    By the way I’m a male.
    And I am extremely sorry for what my male brothers (in religion) have caused you.
    May Allah Almighty grant you strength to persevere in His religion.
    Ultimately, we will return to Him.

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