Between my shadow and my soul

Not in My Ummah's Name

In the midst of all this chaos, I read a book about another war. Or layers of wars. A story written by a man who writes as if he has felt what it is like to be a woman. And I feel the outrage of remembering being in tenth grade and asking our Usuludeen teacher, of whom I have much respect, is there an Islamic country on the earth? And he shook his head, with his blue eyes looking at us solemnly and said, "The Taliban in Afghanistan come closest". At the time, though, we all had some inexplicable respect for them. Did we not know? Were there no media reports before 9/11? And after 9/11 the way everyone wore Bin Laden t shirts. As if one wrong justified another. We should have stood up then, as Muslims, not allowed Muslims to oppress other Muslims in the name of our Faith. Like some Jews do now.

Our wantan, is now known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
These are the laws that we will enforce and you will obey:

  • * All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.
  • * All men will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist below the chin. If you do not abide by this, you will be beaten.
  • * All boys will wear turbans. Boys in grade one through six will wear black turbans, higher grades will wear white. All boys will wear Islamic clothes. Shirt collars will be buttoned.
  • * Singing is forbidden.
  • * Dancing is forbidden.
  • * Playing cards, playing chess, gambling, and kite flying are forbidden.
  • * Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden.
  • * If you keep parakeets, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed.
  • * If you steal, your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again, your foot will be cut off.
  • * If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed.

Attention women:

  • * You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.
  • * You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.
  • * Cosmetics are forbidden.
  • * Jewelry is forbidden.
  • * You will not wear charming clothes.
  • * You will not speak unless spoken to.
  • * You will not make eye contact with men.
  • * You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten.
  • * You will not paint your nails, if you do, you will lose a finger.
  • * Girls are forbidden from attending school. All schools for girls will be closed immediately.
  • * Women are forbidden from working.
  • * If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death.

Listen. Listen well. Obey. Allah-u-akbar.

Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Great Britain: Bloomsbury, 2007), 245-246.

11 shared ideas:

UJ January 22, 2009 at 12:14 AM  

My question is did all the people who respected/ all the people who continue to respect and admire the Taliban know all of this?

I think i'm going to print this and show it to all the friends and family members who continue to believe we should aspire to be like the Taliban and ask them if this is the life they would like to lead

neverBlink January 22, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

It's sad really, because I think the Taliban really means well. They think they are doing it for the betterment of Islam.
Unfortunately, this form of enforcement can only lead to a nation of muslims who hate Islam.
Faith has to come from within. It's an oppression to force it upon anyone.

Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

:( Maryam still haunts me. Your post echoes teh question I've been asking for a few years now. How did we suport what the Taliban did. I believe things started out with the Mujahideen very differently to how they ended up. In my job get to meet the Maryam's that have survived. They make me sit up and be greatful for my life and they inspire me to be all that I can and they fill my heart with respect for what women are and what women can be.

Khaled Hosseini broke my heart with a Kite Runner but A thousand splendid suns, shattered my heart. It has never been the same again.

Thank you for writing this

Saaleha Bamjee-Mayet January 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

I'm not sure if you've read Tazeen's post on what's happening in Swat:

and here

Sadly, this won't be something your email boxes will be flooded with.

Dew_drops January 22, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

I remember reading this in a TSS last year in India and feeling very disturbed because people stil tell me how great the Taliban are and how idealistic they are. My question is, where did Khaled Hosseni get this from? Is this available in a set memorandum of theirs or something? (My media tutor taught me well:p)It would be good to know.

Nooj January 22, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

UJ- the answer is, they probably didn't. They saw a government that did not care about the West's interests and unlike Dubai and Egypt etc were not allowing rampant consumerism, materialism and the other vices that accompanied them

neverblink- sigh. on one hand you are right. on the other, they did it for power. to control minds and actions. the Prophet SAW respected women. it was Moulana Shoayb :)

yes Emmy the Maryams are the ones who will lead us into Jannah iA. I like the idea of "respect for what women are and what women can be". Your job sounds tough. And yet at least you are exposed to the reality, the things we hide away from, to stop us having nightmares. I am happy that you are there for them.

SBM- :(. I didn't. Definitely worthy of as much protest as Gaza...

Dew- whats a TSS? I watched a video of his on youtube where he said he got his information from women in kabul. I didn't question it because I remember news stories saying the same, but it's confirmed by whats written @ and Yeah Mj's put that in us all :P

KimyaShafinaaz January 23, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

This was a necessary post; Even Hosseini's Kite Runner is depressingly tragic and shows the Taliban in a rather bigoted role. It's definitely important to check the credibility of the author's research and sources... not withstanding the country's history of war and treatment of civilians, esp women.

Dew_drops January 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

Sorry Nooj I meant a thousand splendid sunsets. Yes, I learnt that from mj,and also alot from my three years of media studies. I always think it would be great if we could actually go and see whats happenning for ourselves (inshAllah) - I've become so cynical/unsure - call it what you want, that I don't believe anything I read or hear anymore - good or bad.

KiLLa January 24, 2009 at 12:48 AM  

Imagine if SA had these laws instilled..

i might touch a nerve or 2 here but apparenty many SOUTH AFRICAN ppl think the beard IS NOT mandatory.. Can someone clear this as i read a post (by a slum chick) stating that it is 'disgusting' and a 'turn-off'. To my knowledge it is compulsory..

P.S - Dew Drops.. I need an invite for ur blog.. Or is it not for my eyes.. (sorry this is the only way to get hold of u)

word veri - liffes

Nooj January 24, 2009 at 5:31 AM  

shafs- that is true. I think the Taliban in a way were a glimmer of hope for afghans taking over their own country. i really should research them better, but the whole women not being educated thing gets me angry because it goes against what is explicitly said in the qur'an and authentic ahadeeth

dew- yeah i've become like that too. i feel even if my view is not objective, which it never can be, at leats it is filtered through my OWN perceptions. however we do need the media and we shouldn't give up hope on them, like riyaad minty says in his latest blog about the word jihad for gaza

killa- wow thanks so much for this comment. i regarded beards as sunnah until your comment made me read up on it. so far this is the most comprehensive answer- but i'm still checking it out- any one else has any other answers?

It is important at the outset to know that: (a) keeping a full-length beard is an sunna that is established from both the practice and command of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that (b) keeping a beard is a distinctive mark of Muslim men, especially the scholars and the righteous among them, and that (c) there is scholarly agreement that to completely shave off the beard without any excuse is blameworthy. I know of no Muslim scholar of any of the four schools—whether an early scholar or a late scholar—or of any other school who ever said that it is unconditionally permissible to shave one’s beard.

All of the above is all based on the following rigorously authenticated hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) that command us to grow full beards in order to be different from the Magians and the polytheists.

Imam Bukhari narrated from Nafi` from Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he said, “Be different from the polytheists: let your beards grow full and shorten your moustaches.”

Imam Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Crop your moustaches and leave your beards alone [in order to] be different from the Magians.””

Imam Muslim also narrates a hadith via the Lady `A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Ten things are from the natural human disposition (fitra) …” One of the ten things that he mentioned was growing a full beard.

M Junaid February 5, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

just re reading this post again, and one line stands out

"We should have stood up then, as Muslims, not allowed Muslims to oppress other Muslims in the name of our Faith. Like some Jews do now"

Ive had the pleasure of meeting Rabbi Weiss from the Neturei Karta, and I wonder how tolerant we as Muslims will be if one of our own rises up and challenges the status quo or the current hegemonic discourses that pervade our own society?

would we be as accepting if it was self reflective?

For more on this group of ' Rogue ' Rabbis as well as some shameless branding on behalf of me - click here ;)

Concerning Beards - Muslim men should keep a beard