I received this mail a few days back.
Please read it through at least once.
And then, please let me know what YOU think of it.
Being a muslim woman myself, I have a fair idea of what any other muslim woman would say about it.
But I want YOUR point of view. If you are a non-muslim reading this (even if you are reading it months after I’ve posted this article) then please give me your opinion of the text below. You might think of being politically correct, but that is not what I want. I want your complete honesty. If you choose to be anonymous, so be it.
Take a few seconds and think of what exactly comes to your mind after reading this .
A Letter to the West
By Yasmin Mogahed
July 3, 2005
Growing up, you read me the Ugly Duckling. And for years I believed that was
me. I am a woman-that ugly duckling among men. For so long you taught me I
was nothing more than a bad copy of the standard.
I couldn’t run as fast or lift as much. I didn’t make the same money and I
cried too often. I grew up in a man’s world where I didn’t belong.
And when I couldn’t be him, I wanted only to please him. I put on your
makeup and wore your short skirts. I gave my life, my body, my dignity, for
the cause of being pretty. I knew that no matter what I did, I was worthy
only to the degree that I could please and be beautiful for my master.
And so I spent my life on the cover of Cosmo and gave my body for you to sell.
I was a slave, but you taught me I was free. I was your object, but you
swore it was success. You taught me that my purpose in life was to be on
display, to attract and be beautiful for men. You had me believe that my
body was created to market your cars. And you raised me to think I was an ugly duckling.
But you lied.
Islam tells me I’m a swan. I’m different-it’s meant to be that way. And my
body, my soul, were created for something more.
God says in the Qur’an: “O mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a
male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know
one another (not that you may despise each other).
Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is the one who is most righteous”
So I am honored. But it is not by my relationship to men. My value as a
woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like
me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness
and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what the fashion
magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.
And so God tells me to cover myself, to hide my beauty, and to tell the
world that I’m not here to please men with my body; I’m here to please God.
God elevates the dignity of a woman’s body by commanding that it be
respected and covered, shown only to the deserving-only to the man I marry.
So to those who wish to “liberate” me, I have only one thing to say:
Thanks, but no thanks.
I’m not here to be on display.
And my body is not for public consumption.
I will not be reduced to an object or a pair of legs to sell shoes.
I’m a soul, a mind, a servant of God.
My worth is defined by the beauty of my soul, my heart, my moral character.
So I won’t worship your beauty standards, and I don’t submit to your fashion sense.
My submission is to something higher.With my veil I put my faith on display-rather than my beauty.
My value as a human is defined by my relationship with God, not by my looks. So I cover the irrelevant.
And when you look at me, you don’t see a body. You view me only for what I am: a servant of my Creator.
So you see, as a Muslim woman, I’ve been liberated from a silent kind of
bondage. I don’t answer to the slaves of God on earth.I answer to their King.
As an after thought, I realized, that the religion here is incidental. The focus of the mail is on women and our dependency on men to realize our self-worth.
I can see the same sentiments being expressed by a Sadhvi who has embraced Diksha, or any Nun spending her life in the service of God.
Only difference here is that Islam does not believe in women giving up their desires in the name of God. So we don’t believe in celibacy. It goes against the human nature. A muslim woman is free to marry, have children and have a normal life. It does not affect her relationship with God.
Anyhow, there must be a zillion thoughts rushing through your mind right now. Some may agree with the above text, some may not.
In either case, I would seriously like to know what actually irritates you or which part of the text you seemingly agree with.
I’d like to repeat once more, please be honest with your reply. We cheat no one , but ourselves with our words.
And I’m seriously looking forward to hearing your opinions. Maybe it’ll help me understand myself better. Or maybe it won’t
Who knows ?!!