Is Your Islam Intersectional? When Hoda Katebi gives you life.

How do you react when you’re in prison and call home and your wife tells you that Hoda Katebi liked your post about her on the page she (your wife) created and manages for you?

Backstory:

My wife sent me an article called Notes From A Muslim Feminist out of BUST Magazine by Hoda Katebi. the article was a breath of fresh air. in a world congested by pollution I took a deep breath. I called my wife the first chance I got, and asked her to post the following image and quote, to my Instagram:

“Meet @hodakatebi …unapologetic and wit the business!!! Read her work Joojoo Azad.com and in BUST Magazine at bust.com”

Yes, it’s JUST a “like,” and YES I’m “Fanning out.”…oh, you must have missed the part where I said I was in prison.

So as a lot of you know, I have been in prison for 15 years. And like many in my position, I was attracted to Islam. But like too many of us, I had a narrow view of Islam. I had no idea, and no in-depth understanding of Islam’s underlying principles (Maqasid). Simply said, my perspective was one dimensional; certain societal norms I took as universals. Patriarchy being one of them. That is, until I became aware of the teachings and works of religious leaders, organizers, and social activist like Suhaib Webb @suhaib.webb , Linda Sarsour @lsarsour , Yasmin Mogahed @yasminmogahed ,and most recently, Hoda Katebi @hodakatabi who inspired me to question things I took at face value.

I always knew Islam’s general outlook towards Women’s Rights in the examples of the financial independence of Lady Khadija (alayha salaam), the spirit of being outspoken in her daughter Fatima Zahra (alayha salaam). How it was the revelation of the Qur’an that prohibited Infanticide, which was common custom in the Arabian peninsula prior to the revelation of the Qur’an. But what about LGBT rights, Feminism, Intersectionality??? What is Islam’s true outlook about patriarchy or toxic masculinity, and what is our responsibility? These are topics I plan to discuss in upcoming blogs because I believe they’re extremely important.

But I would like to end with this:

Allah (ta ‘Ala) says in the 4th chapter, 75th verse of the Qur’an:

“Why do you not fight in the way of Allah on behalf of the oppressed from among the men women and children…?”

And the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) said in a hadith recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad, on the authority of Anas ibn Malik: 

“Beware of the du’a (prayer) of the oppressed, even if he (Or she) is a unbeliever, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.”

So, as we approach this holy month of Ramadan, we should reflect on the following question:

“Is your Islam intersectional?”

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