Freedom from the Forbidden

All things gender and Islam. No bigotry is allowed in this feminist territory. #DeathToPatriarchy

being human

the Qur’an does not prohibit women’s marriage to people of the book – and other facts about interfaith marriage in Islam

Pre-post: This is for those who believe that Muslim men are allowed to marry People of the Book while women are prohibited; because that means that the whole “shirk” of the People of the Book becomes relevant only when we’re talking about women but not when we’re talking about men (I address this below). If you believe it’s prohibited for BOTH genders, this isn’t for you.  According to most (Sunni) […]

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re the myth that male sex drive is uncontrollable and stronger than female sex drive

This may get a little … vulgar? uncomfortable? immodest? etc. And very long.  But here’s the idea: 1) there’s a popular myth going around that male sexuality is uncontrollable, and that’s why they get to do the things they wanna do (i.e., “nature” is exploited just to validate male  irresponsibility), 2) this myth has powerful and destructive consequences for women and society at large, 3) this myth is linked to […]

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a song for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pekhawara Afghanan che khapa na krre by Naghma

With Pakistan evicting some 600,000 Afghan refugees by the end of this year alone, this song, sung by Naghma in 2011 (I think?), is so real and relevant it’s heartbreaking. Song is at the bottom of the lyrics. The Pashto is in Green (one of my favorite colors, yay!). Immense thanks to T. A. S. for helping with translation of a couple of lines/words I was struggling with.

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Menstruation, Ramadhan, and the Muslim Woman: beyond the whole “it’s a break from prayer/fasting!”

This post was inspired in part by a vibrant discussion on Facebook at this FITNA group. (FITNA = Feminist Islamic Troublemakers of North America). Both the  discussion and the group are public intentionally, and we invite readers and participants in the group from all over the world. If it were mere exemption, if it were a mercy, if it were a break, you would still have that option to OPT OUT of the exemption if […]

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On the Orlando Mass Shooting – and a note to Muslims who condemn homosexuality

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about the mass shooting at the Orlando club, and I can’t put any words together. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s confusion – I will never understand, and I hope I never understand, why and how anyone can take another person’s life, let alone the lives of over 50 people. May God grant them all eternal Peace, may God be their Companion, aameen. For their families […]

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The Patriarchy of Not Taking Women’s (Menstrual) Pain Seriously

“Woman is a pain that never goes away.” – Menander Ramadhan mubarak, everyone! ❤ I wish everyone a beautiful month that inspires compassion, love, and gratitude in all of us. I’ll be writing more Ramadhan-related posts this month – or I’ll try anyway, inshaAllah – but this particular topic has been bothering me for some time now and it’s been long over-due – and it keeps coming up in conversations […]

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Call for Contributors: Women-Identified Sexualities and Islam

Anyone who works on or studies gender-/sexuality-related topics with a focus on Islam might be interested in contributing to the following edited volume. Please consider sending submissions and/or share with friends. Deadline for abstracts: March 15, 2016 Deadline for complete papers (7500+ words): May 1st 2016 Tentative Title: Women-Identified (lesbian and trans) Sexualities and Islam Editor: Huma Ahmed-Ghosh (ghosh@mail.sdsu.edu – please contact Dr. Ahmed-Ghosh with questions) The following call is […]

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Terms of Endearment in Pashto

Below are the many different ways to address the person you love – in Pashto. Needless to say, I’m missing many words, so please free to suggest more. These are the ones I use with my nephews and niece. Yes, they’re not necessarily or only for someone you love romantically. They can apply to anyone. My personal favorite one to use with my (girl) friends is “jaanaan”; my personal favorites […]

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On Pashto Names, “Ruining proper Islamic” Names, and Self-Hatred

On refusing to give your kids names in your language and instead giving them Arabic ones (nothing against this – I’ve a point; read on, please) because of the way your language is structured and your “pagan/haram/backward” language turns “proper, beautiful Islamic” (read: Arabic) names into wrong ones. Because ignorance and self-hatred and politics and minority statuses and so on. There’s a complicated history of the status of Pashto (and […]

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