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March 18, 2005

The “Prayer” That Shocked the World

For those of you who haven’t heard by now, today, Friday March 18th, 2005, marks a “historical” day as certain Muslims have decided that prior scholars did not know what they were talking about, and that the Companions (including the wives of the Prophet) were backwards in their views on women… and have thus decided, through their own interpretations (well, basically the interpretation of one Amina Wadud), that women can lead the Friday prayer. And they’ve decided to do something about it.

http://www.muslimwakeup.com/events/archives/2005/03/friday_prayer_l.php

Originally, when I first heard about this ‘event’, I was planning on writing a huge tirade on how wrong this is. But I think I would simply be reinventing the wheel if I were to do that. Moreover, our scholars have decided that the best way to deal with this kind of attention-hungry group within our community is to simply ignore them. So I’ve canned the idea of the original post, and instead decided to post a spoof article about the event.

(EDIT: Saturday, 10:50 AM) Originally, I had posted two articles: the first written by another person, the second one (the Fakhruddin Butt one), written by myself. I got several concerns about the first one as people thought I was comparing women to goats… though I fail to see that train of logic, I’ve taken down the original first article.

Excerpts From Our Field Reporter
By: Fakhruddin Butt

I’ve been making a lot of progress as a reporter in the past few months, turning in late submissions, articles written in Klingon, and reports about the superiority of Dominick’s shopping carts over the ones used in Jewel. For some reason, my editor hasn’t appreciated my innovative approach to journalism… or so I thought. I guess he realized what a great asset I am around here when he assigned me to cover the first-ever female-led Friday prayer that was to take place in New York City. Such an important event demanded only the finest reporter… that’s why they sent F. Butt to get the job done.

When I first arrived at the secret location, I was impressed by the impressive security measures that were in place. The prayer service was being held in a tent in Amina Wadud’s backyard, and I had to pass through a complete full-body search, a search of my bags, dodging the well-timed sprinklers so as to get into the tent without getting wet, and getting dirty looks from the numerous female security guards that were everywhere, looking extremely threatening in their purple and black jumpsuits. As I made my way inside the tent, I was impressed to see the diversity of all the attendants there. These people truly embodied a level of brotherhood and sisterhood that I had never seen before: it was nice to see males and females sitting next to one another, shaking hands, and hugging each other. At all of the other fundamentalist mosques that I had been to before, I would hear khutbahs about the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam… but would get dirty looks if I ever tried to hug my Muslim sisters to show them how much I cared for them. I had finally found a home here. Since there was some time before the event began, I decided to talk to some of my fellow pioneers and get their thoughts on this blessed event.

I saw a desi Muslim sister so I figured I should start with her. I actually had a hard time figuring our her nationality, since she had dyed her hair blonde and wore blue contacts, so I first thought she was a sunburned American blonde girl. She said her name was Amanda, but then saw me raise my hairy eyebrow. She looked around furtively, then leaned closer and whispered in my ear, “My real name is Aminah… if you tell anyone, I’ll hurt you.” I backed off and said, “Nice to meet you, Aminah, I’m Fakhruddin Butt”. I asked her why she was here, and she told me that she was fed up with all the backward Muslim men out there. She said she was 35 and while dozens of proposals had come, when the prospective groom actually met her, he left rather quickly. She believed that most Muslims are brainwashed about religion. “Take my parents for example, they like, totally want me to, like, be a fundamentalist and like wear long sleeves… and my dad said that at least when I pray, I should cover my hair!” She ran her fingers through her bleached hair and said, “Like, God gave me this hair, why would He like want me not to show it to like others so they can appreciate His blessings? This Friday prayer will show those fundamentalists that Islam is flexible.” I asked her what she meant by that, and she replied, “Like Dr. Wadud, who’s studied Islam for like forever, said, that if you read the Qur’an and find a verse you dont like, it’s like totally cool to disagree with it. Take the whole Hajj thing for example. Like, there is no way I’m going to a desert that’s filled with fundamentalists… can you imagine what that lack of moisture is going to do to my hair?” Wow, I guess I had never thought of that.

I then met a young couple who were seated on the floor together. I introduced myself, and the wife replied, “wa `alaykum as salaam! We’re Ms. and Mr. Mahveen Khan.” I was puzzled and I asked the husband if his name was Mahveen, which is a female name. He was about to reply when his wife cleared her throat and gave him a stern look. He put his head down in shame like a schoolboy in trouble, and the wife replied, “No, my name is Mahveen. I think it’s chauvinistic for a couple to be called Mr. and Mrs. man’s full name… and I also think it’s degrading to women to use Mrs., so you can call us Ms. and Mr. Mahveen Khan.” We chatted for a few minutes, and I noticed the husband was quiet the whole time. Everytime I asked a question, Mahveen would elbow her husband and proceed to speak for him. I was quite surprised by this, but the conversation was quite interesting, as I learnt that Mahveen was a high-profile defense attorney in the Boston area. I asked her husband what he does, and Mahveen again interjected and said, “oh, he looks after my house, cooks and cleans and does my laundry. He’s not very good, but I make do with what God decreed for me.” A little later, Mahveen got up to get something to drink. Her husband looked until she was out of sight and whispered to me, “Please, my name is Hisham…help me, get me out of here. I don’t want to be here. I proposed to her because she was a wealthy and intelligent woman and thought we would have a healthy marriage… little did I know, as I found out after the walima, that she had carefully worded the nikkah contract such that I had to give her my Y chromosome as part of the mahr (dowry). Please help me”. I looked at him helplessly as he began to cry. He turned his back to me and lifted up his shirt. I told him that I saw nothing on his back and he said, “How can you not see the whip marks? I’m whupped”. I couldn’t do anything for him, so I left him as he cried away his misery and last remnants of manhood.

I needed to find someone happier. I soon found another young female, and struck up a conversation with her. As with my previous friends, I asked her what brought her to such an event. She piously and adamantly stated that it was a Qur’anic right for women to lead mixed-gender prayer. I hadn’t heard that before, so I asked her what chapter or verse I could find this information. She then quickly pointed to something behind me, and I turned around to look. When I looked back, she was gone.

It was time for the prayer to start, and I saw two young men sitting in the back, dressed in black suits and dark sunglasses. I thought they were security, so I sat down next to them and asked how security had been so far, given the secretive nature of such an event. The bigger one, who referred to himself as “Nasah”, pushed me to the side and told me to get out of the way. I asked the other one, who referred to himself as “Itla”, what was going on, and he whispered to me, “dude, shut up, we’re not security… get the hell outta the way so we can scope out these fine babes here.” The khutbah started just then, but I don’t remember what it was about since I was trying to see what Itla was talking about… maybe it was where I was seated, but I could not find these babes to scope out.

It was now time for the prayer. The momentous occasion had finally come, and Dr. Wadud moved from the pulpit to the niche where the male Imam traditionally stands. For millennia, males had dominated this physical space, but with the gentle steps of Dr. Wadud, she was reclaiming what was rightfully a space that belonged to both genders. Someone then held up a sign that read, “One small step for Dr. Wadud… one giant leap for Shaytan”. The purple jumpsuits were all over this guy and kicked him out immediately. What ignorance, people like this should be shot.

With that little disturbance out of the way, Dr. Wadud began making the prayer intention. Anxiety and tension was high in the air and the jumpsuits were looking around intently, trying to cut off and prevent any last-minute troublemakers. There weren’t any, so the prayer began, and the jumpsuits joined in, thinking that the trouble had ended. As we recited the thana quietly, I braced myself with joy and anticipation to hear the recitation of Dr. Wadud. As she began to recite the first verse of Surah al-Fatiha, a group of four or five taliban-looking fellows started to correct her. We were shocked! She was reciting the Surah correctly! Why were they correcting her? As Dr. Wadud attempted to continue to fight through the corrections, the fellows in the front only intensified their corrections. It took Dr. Wadud 10 minutes to get through al-Fatiha, and as she started her next passage, the young ruffians jumped out of prayer, grabbed their sandals and began waving them in the air. They ran around the room several times in circles, shouting “Rick James Zindabad!” and “Mawlana Saleem owns you, bit*hes!”, before escaping out of the tent, never to be seen. I was later told a prayer-cap that had fallen from the head of one of the hooligans was recovered, and inscribed on the cap was “Institute of Islamic Education, Elgin, IL. http://www.iieonline.org”. My mind shuddered to think what kind of backwardness must be taught at such a place.

After the prayer concluded, we all shook hands, hugged, and kissed one another as we realized what an accomplishment we had achieved. Many pictures were taken, and someone began passing out letters of support from Bill O’Reilly that said, “I wish all Muslims could be like you.” Ann Coulter was also present and said, “I wish they would nuke all Muslims except you people.” Everyone present posed for pictures with Ms. Coulter.

As I made my way out, I heard a group of women standing in the corner talking amongst themselves. I sensed they were upset, so I went over and said, “salaam ladies, yeah, I was pretty mad at those guys that kept correcting Dr. Wadud, but it’s ok, we’ve done, we’ve taken part in such a historic event!” One of the women sneered at me and said, “Oh shut up.” She looked over to her neighbor and said, “That was such a lousy performance of a khutbah. I could have done a much better job. They should’ve let me lead the prayer. You know what girls… let’s go make our own mixed-gender prayer in protest of this one… and can you believe that Wadud wore a dotted scarf! come on… dotted scarves are soooo 1990’s!”. They then stomped off in a huff.

I reached the area where I had left my shoes, and as I was putting them on, I caught the delicious aroma of biryani from somewhere. I followed the scent and found several aunties making biryani in huge bagonas and selling it. The sign on the table read, “Progressive Muslim Biryani… $10”. I went to a buy a plate and I asked one of the aunties, what was “progressive” about this biryani since it smelled and looked like regular biryani. She took my money, smiled, and said, “Beta, ve are chaarging you ten dollar vhereas all these gaonwalai (villager) masjids only charge fiwe dollar.” Her daughter, clad in jeans and a tanktop that read “This is what a progressive Muslim looks like”, chimed in, “yeah, cause like you know, the movement isnt like free you know…”

Wow. What a day. As I walked out, I saw a man crying uncontrollably. I went over and asked him what was the matter. He looked at me and said that he’s usually very sad on Fridays, but today was the happiest Friday for him in his whole life, and these were tears of joy and happiness. I asked him his name, and he reached into his pocket and handed me a white business card. I looked down at it and saw nothing on the card so I flipped it over. The card simply read: “Silbi”.

When I looked up at the crying man, he vanished with a flash of smoke.

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24 Comments
  1. well done.  submit it to muslimwakeup

  2. Simply Genius. It appears Silbi’s work here is done, he just had to whisper the idea, and people got together and united and made his dream a reality. I wonder what the next project is that he’s brainstorming and who’s resumes he is pouring over before he decides to approach them with a lucrative offer of employment.  (I pray that none of our resume’s have managed to strike his interest.)
    I do not blame the leader though as much as the people. The swiftness and ease with which her call was heard and the amount of people who have seen the light in her words is a sign that this was much more a grass roots project by Silbi and that he had probably worked for quite a while to make the situation perfectly ripe and ready for his friend.  Just like an apple, when sufficiently ripe, needs not more than a subtle nudge to separate from its branch, so is the same for people when they have been ripened by the whispers of deceit.
    -Mohd

  3. Anonymous permalink

    hahaha….”but then saw me raise my hairy eyebrow.” LOL my nigga…genius…u never cease to amaze me…although…you KNOW i own the rights to fakhruddin butt…you should’ve asked or accredited him to me…but its ok…shayk-ud-deen has done it yet again…tut tut…
    nigger-ul-haq

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Asalaamu  Alaykum,
     “I had to give her my Y chromosome as part of the mahr (dowry).” now that’s feminazism.

  5. Anonymous permalink

    hell yea baby — long live IIE –ypsirk

  6. very nice mashAllah. i wonder how it went down?

  7. i though maybe it i read this it’s entirety, that i would be less shocked that you compared women to goats. 

  8. i didnt write the goat article. like i said, a grad student at UofC did. i only wrote the second article.

  9. i guess that makes it okay now.

  10. Assalaam,
    Not cool brother.  Disagreeing is one thing but insults and the like…i thought that was unbecoming of someone like you.  Guess not.  And Allah Knows Best.

  11. about your comment on anikin5’s site:i apologize, i didn’t intend to imply that you (kr) are arrogant.  just as aamair was contrasting your xanga with saqibsaab’s, i was contrastring your statement (k r 1 5 6: i OWN saqib) to saqibsaab’s (“I am nothing compared to Kamran”).  i didn’t mean anything by it.i’m not on xanga to create animosity, so i’m sorry if i said something wrong.

  12. Asalaam Alaikum,
    Hmm…  I have to admit “Mawlana Saleem owns you, bit*hes!” is genius, but comparing women to goats… *scratches head*
    Yup, I wonder how it went down, also, I noticed that Amina Wadud is old enough to where she doesn’t even have to wear hijab (Quran) “and there is no harm on them if they lay aside there outer garments, provided they do not make a wanton display of their beauty”  in reference to older women, not sure what ayah, but if you like I can find it.  WoRd uP
    Keep it real nigga.
    Asalaam Alaikum.

  13. itla and nasah holding down the housse!!!

  14. to servant of Allah: goat story gone. muslims arent ready for that level of onion.com humor.
    as for the ayah youre talking about, its from surah al-noor (24:60). amina wadud herself wore a hijab and jilbab for the occasion (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/18/muslim.prayer.ap/index.html)  , so it’s not like she herself is a non-hijabi. i would be flabbergasted to see if someone is using that train of logic to relate that provision to interpret that women can lead mixed gender prayers.

  15. Anonymous permalink

    you listened.. I wish I could give more than 2 eprops 🙂

  16. Anonymous permalink

    haha ITLA AND NASAH FOR LIFE DAMNIT…those are true niggas…for LIFE…
    and is kinda amusing how this “jumma” was held in a church…things that make you go hmmmmmm…

  17. On the grill of ma low riderGuns on both sidesRight above the gold wires
    Good post.

  18. “…can you imagine what that lack of moisture is going to do to my hair?”
    Hahahaahahahahaahhaha!

  19. I couldn’t stand the goat article, but the one you left up is hilarious.

  20. Anonymous permalink

    freaking hilarious kr, good job…………..this is exactly the type of reaction amina wadud should get, insults and people making fun of her. We should compile a book entitled “101 Amina Wadud Jokes” for fundamentalist gatherings.

  21. goats are people too.
    just like women.

  22. Anonymous permalink

    LOLOL
    I finally read this post. Freaking genius. Good job KR
    Silbi, itla and nasah …. heheh

  23. Anonymous permalink

    P.S I got owned in this post… and I dont liiiike it

  24. Reading your blog,I feel your blog is good,and your article is ok.Next time I will come ,hope your new post.I put attention to information of Five Fingers Shoes.I think they will be the most popular sport shoes.

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