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February 18, 2004
With Muslims Like These, Who Needs Kaafirs? - Part 2

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

Glory be to Allah (SWT), who wills the most peculiar of coincidences.

Last weekend was the weekend of the partition. I spent most of the weekend talking to brothers about what effect the partition had on the turnout for the last meeting - apparently, it was low compared to previous meetings. The only possible reasons that the partition might have been a reason for deterring people is because they are either a) intimidated by it or b) extremely eager to look to the other side of the room. Such is the attitude of Muslims.

A few days before the meeting, I was informed that there was a group of men who had questions about Islam. A few brothers and I agreed to meet with them to answer their questions. When we finally arrived at their dorm, they first informed us that they were told that we might feel uncomfortable around women, so they asked us to wait outside until she left. But, instead, in an act that could only be described as incredibly Islamic, they arranged for her to stay in a separate room while we talked.

Eventually, however, she did come out and talk to us since she had questions. She asked about the rules of interaction in Islam, and we told her the hard truth that those who oppose the partition fail to accept - that there are realities of human sexuality and there are ways that Islam deals with them, namely, interaction limited to necessity.

Now, one popular point of view is that the partition, which is wholly Islamic, is actually unIslamic if it impedes on da'wah. In fact, some argue, to stick to Islam completely, especially with regards to interaction between men and women, repels people from Islam.

In light of this, what was the outcome of that night?

After a long night of discussion, it was a little past midnight and I needed my sleep. One of the brothers was kind enough to give me a ride home, and he returned to the dorm. I called another one of the brothers the next morning to see what was the end result of our da'wah, after a kaafir woman was so respectful of our deen that she stayed in another room while we discussed Islam, a step that might make Islam look like an extremist's religion, in some opinions.

One brother embraced Islam.

So, what is a da'ee to do? What can a da'ee possibly do when they tell people that Islam is this, and they respect it, then they see something else? The brothers who were with me told the woman everything, and a brother still became Muslim. Now, this brother probably expects Islam in its purest form at Muslim gatherings, lectures, and meetings. He certainly doesn't expect a separated gathering in a lecture hall on-campus. Can we afford to confuse this brother by saying that we want to compromise on our deen because it is bad for da'wah? Shouldn't Muslims of any level of iman try to at least be considerate of what they're teaching others about Islam?

What do we do when a non-Muslim respects Islam more than Muslims?

of and relating to...
Wajahat Gilani said


I don’t know if I agree with the idea that not having a partition would be compromising our deen, but I don’t understand why the partition is such a big deal. I really don’t see why having one would cause muslims not to come to ISRU. Can someone who opposes the partition, please explain to me why you are against it?

Wajahat Gilani

on February 18, 2004 9:32 AM
saima said

SubhanAllah, May Allah use all of us as tools to spread His deen.

some sisters in the past have had bad experiences with ISRU because they held high expectations of it. some have expected an open and warming nature of other sisters... some have expected others to be open to their hearts instead of their outward appearance... etc. some experiences, looks and awkward silences have caused some sisters to not come. there was a time when there were cliques, intended or unintended.

we have to open our eyes and look as to what is going on around us. which sister or brother that you have never seen before is sitting alone at a meeting? smile at them (brother to brother and sister to sister :-) ).

a change in ourselves will result in a change in our community.

i dont know as to why there is a "partition-problem", but from experience there will always be a problem. there will always be excuses; there will always be issues. when we realize what are priorities are for life and the Hereafter that is when we will stop making issues and excuses and respect Islam for what it is.

on February 18, 2004 5:36 PM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'Alaikum,

Two reasons why we finally decided on the partition were:
a) We saw brothers coming in- not listening to the lecture, rather just pointing at sisters - explaining who's who....
b) We asked a lot of ppl (scholars & speakers) and they all said that at the time of the prophet, women used to sit at the back and thus it was pretty segregated.
Obviously making isru sis sit behind the bros would be "oppression" - so partition was the last option.

2 reasons why people are a/g the partition are:
a) Its anti - dawah
b) how will we get married!

The first reason is debatable - scholars/speakers had different opinions, Allaho Alam - Allah guides whomever He wills.
As far as the marriage issue is concerned, as muslims we believe its already written who we are getting married to, so there is no reason we have to worry about it. And if you do have to "find" someone, why during a speech at an isru meeting!

I personally believe attendance has gone down due to the cliques rather than the partition. In the past the cliques were bigger, now they are smaller but still there. At the same time- new people should also make an effort to introduce themselves...

May Allah grant us all Hidaya. Ameen

on February 18, 2004 10:41 PM
Nadia said

Assalam u alaikum,
hehe@Br.Tanweer's summary of reasons "for and against" the partition. I loved the post."As far as marriage is concerned,as muslims we believe that it is already written who we are getting married to,so there is no reason why we have to worry about it". This goes out for everyone who has been worried about this issue. May Allah give all of the patience and forbearance to obey His volition. Ameen

on February 19, 2004 8:34 AM
Talal said

"2 reasons why people are a/g the partition are:
a) Its anti - dawah
b) how will we get married!"

I seriously doubt reason a) is much on people's mind. That people can't control themselves enough to be separated from the opposite sex for two hours a week is nothing short of sadness(the word pathetic seems extremely apt as well).

on February 19, 2004 12:20 PM
Wajahat Gilani said


It would be nice to hear from a person who is "actually against" the partition on their reasonings why. don't worry about what the other hidaya writers will think, they are quite huggable and loveable once you get to know them.

Wajahat Gilani

on February 19, 2004 1:30 PM
Ameer Ar-Rutgereen aka Ali Ibn Masood said

Asalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

First, I want to commend Hassan for bringing up this issue in a nice way on Hidaya. The Shura and I obviously have to be receptive to complaints and comments, especially those having valid reasons and logic. And we love to hear from everyone no matter what medium that is from.

However, I do think that a lot of times, people just like to complain. This was the case during the time of all the Khulafaa. People used to come and complain and they would listen. They just have to get it off their chest. But, at a certain point, that energy needs to be refocused into something positive.

Specifically, the people who complain that ISRU "fell off" or that numbers have dropped:

a) don't come come to meetings to know the reality

b) are only seeing half-the picture (literally) b/c the divider makes the room look small when in fact the other side is packed with people sitting on the floor.

c) aren't active good members themselves-- A good story about Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA): a group of people came to Ali (RA) and said that "what happened to the ummah?; we were expanding and there was no fitnah during the time of Abu Bakr and Umar. And now you have become the Ameer and fitnah is rampant" So he replied by saying : "Yes that is because during Abu Bakr's and Umar's Caliphate, look who were the followers. I was. Now look at our situation now; who are my followers; YOU!"-- Something to this effect. This is not an exact quote, but I am relaying from memory what was related to me by our noble brother Tanweer (Hafizahullah, may Allah grant him patience and grant Shifaa to his fther). Ask him for the reference.

These brothers and sisters should really be asked what is it that they propose TO DO and what have they BEEN DOING to get more people to ISRU. Are they making Da'wah to Allah throughout the week to get people to come to be with the muslims and learn or are they sabotaging ISRU with their tongues and saying things like the following:

a) ISRU is boring (anyone who fails to understand the weightiness of the knowledge being acquired will not understand it with all its nuances and will probably fail to implement it)

b) ISRU feels uncomfortable (an issue that we al must address, but this is a double-edged sword)-- ie. they should be asked what they are doing to make it comfortable (getting non-muslims to come, other non-regulars, family members, bringing gifts for the muslims, smiling a lot)

c)ISRU is too religous (no comment on this one-- I mean we are the ISLAMIC society)

If people actually hyped up ISRU and made a buzz about the meetings, more people would come. Instead of being apologetic, we should be proactive. Every member of ISRU should be involved in getting more members to ISRU by telling their friends and by defending ISRU and the Shura even if we are wrong. But please, it is your duty to advise us if we are wrong.

Also this is the Deen of Allah which Allah perfected. Thank Allah that he made you his Slave and that he guided you to Islam, to the Sunnah, to be with other Muslims who remember Him

This is confirmed in Allah's saying:
"O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority". [an-Nisaa (4):59]

The Messenger: "There are three things towards which the heart of a Muslim never shows hatred or rancour:
1. Making ones action sincerely for the sake of Allaah,
2. Giving obedience to the rulers (wulatul-amr) and
3. Sticking to the group (jamaa'ah) for verily, their supplication encompasses those who are behind them (i.e. those whom they rule over)." [This hadeeth has been reported from a group among the Companions and see Sunan at-Tirmidhee (no. 2657), al-Musnad (4/80, 82 183]

Fudayl bin 'Iyaad (d. 187H) said, "If I had a supplication that would be answered, I would not make it except for the leader (imaam) because when the leader becomes righteous, the towns and servants become safe and secure."

Tameem ad-Daaree (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said:

“The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, (three times), “The Religion is naseehah (sincerity and sincere advice).” We said, “To whom?” He said, “To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.” [Related by Muslim (no. 55)]

Imaam an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah – said: Sincerity to the Leaders is to help them upon the truth. To obey them in it. To order them with it. To remind and advise them with kindness and gentleness. To remind them of that which they are heedless and neglectful of. To help them fulfill those rights of the Muslims that have not reached them yet. Not to rebel against them. To enamour the hearts of the people with obedience to them. Imaam al-Khattaabee - rahimahullaah – says, “From sincerity to them is Prayer behind them, Jihaad along with them, to give the zakaat (charity) to them, and not to rebel against them with the sword when injustice or bad treatment appears from them. And that they are not praised with false praises, and that du’aa (supplication) is made for their righteousness.” All of this is based upon the fact that what is meant by the leader of the Muslims is the Caliph, and other than him from the administrators who take charge of the affairs of the Muslims. Imaam al-Khattaabee also quotes it, then says, “And it has also been taken to refer to the Imaams – who are the scholars of the Religion. And that sincerity to them includes accepting accepting what they report, following them as regards rulings, and to have good thoughts about them.” [Sharh Saheeh Muslim (2/38)]

Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751H) - may Allaah have mercy upon him - said: “…The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) legislated for his ummah, the obligation of rejecting the evil so that by its rejection, the goodness that Allaah and His Messenger love is obtained. And when rejecting the evil leads to what is more evil and more hated by Allaah and His Messenger then it is not allowed to reject it - even if Allaah hates it and detests those who perform it (the evil). And this is like rejection [inkaar] against the kings, and the ones in authority by coming out against them [with arms etc. to fight them] - for verily, that is the basis and foundation of every evil (sharr) and every tribulation (fitnah) till the end of time. And the Companions asked permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for killing the leaders [Umaraa’] who delay the prayer from its proper time, saying: “Shall we not kill them.” So he said: “No, so long as they establish the prayer”, and he also said: “Whoever sees something from his leader [ameer] something that he dislikes then let him be patient and let him not raise his hand [away] from the leader’s obedience.” And whoever reflects upon the greatest and smallest trials that have befallen Islaam, then he will see that they are due to the negligence and wastage of this principle and the lack of patience upon [witnessing] evil. So he seeks bring about its end and as a result of this, a greater evil is brought about. And the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw the greatest of evils in Makkah and he was not able to change them. In fact even when Allaah opened up for the Muslims Makkah [i.e. gave the Muslims victory over it] and when it became daar ul-Islaam he was resolved to changing the Ka’abah and returning it to the foundations that Ibraaheem (alaihis-salaam) had built it upon - but even though he had the capacity to do that, he was prevented from it by the fear that something greater would occurr due to the lack of tolerance of the Quraish, since they were new to Islaam and had recently left disbelief - and for this reason he did not grant permission for rejecting against the leaders [Umaraa’] with the use of one’s hand [i.e. with force] due to the greatness of what results afterwards on account of it…” [Ibn al-Qayyim in ‘I’laam ul-Muwaqqi’een an Rabbil-Aalameen.’]

on February 20, 2004 11:08 AM
Gillette said

to wajahat

"I don’t know if I agree with the idea that not having a partition would be compromising our deen..."

The partition won't be waajib until an unwed match-made-in-ISRU has a kid.

to tanweer & nadia

"...as muslims we believe it[']s already written who we are getting married to, so there is no reason we have to worry about it."

I was pretty sure everything was written. It's already written whether or not I pray. Do I just wait for it to happen?

My point wasn't necessarily to criticize or defend the partition. Rather, I'm trying to present evidence that the partition doesn't impede on da'wah. Compromise for the sake of da'wah is Islamically recognized - the brothers and I eventually did talk to the kaafir woman. But, more often than not, the desire to compromise doesn't come from a sensitivity to the concerns of the called, but from a distrust in Allah (SWT).

This distrust in Allah (SWT) comes into play again when people think they have to do something unIslamic (try-before-you-buy spouse-hunting) to do something Islamic (getting married).

on February 20, 2004 7:10 PM
Rami said


If alot of people in ISRU seem to have a problem with the separation wall maybe it's worth having a discussion/forum with all the attendees for 20mins of so at the next meeting. If that doesn't solve anything.

As for leadership and following the Imam..I agree 100%. I learned that lesson firsthand, but that's a story in itself. Yet....remember the story of Solomon(SAW) and the ants, you can loook it up yourself (27:18-19)...I just want to give you the tafsir by Yusuf Ali:

"The ant being in his thoughts, we may suppose that he means particularly in prayer that he may not even unwittingly tread on humble beings in his preoccupations with the great things of the world"

Just constructive criticism. Remember...you're the Imam...and therefore responsible for all those under you. And so even though since there is nothing haram or Mukruah in having a divider, and even though I may be oppesed to it, I would myself say OK if the Imam of ISRU thinks it's in the best interest of the community. Yet, as the leader, you have to make sure you really give every one your attention who has something to say. The greatest thing about Islamic governance...if only the people in America could see...is that even since the days of Rasull Allah(SAWS) and the Righteous Caliphas it was extremely easy for one to complain or to ask something directly to Amir Al-muslimeen. The head of state was so easily reached...which is why that person, even though he himself would be admonished, was able to make that criticism.

Sorry for the longeveity. May Allah Guide us Insha Allah.

on February 20, 2004 9:58 PM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'Alaikum,
to tanweer & nadia

"...as muslims we believe it[']s already written who we are getting married to, so there is no reason we have to worry about it."
I never knew that there is a list of things we can do to find a perfect spouse. If you know, please educate us.
Even when we hear committe heads, shura members being engaged - It was Allah(swt) who created such a circumstance and brought people together. No one joins the committee or the shura hoping to get hooked up. I hope not! - So remember "it just happens". Ofcourse if you notice that you'r done with undergrad, grad, med school, law school- entered your 30s and it "still didn't happen" :) - then option 2 is that there is always some grandma in the family who's an expert in making matches.Just call her up and give her your bio..

And now to the real topic:

Alhamdulillah it was really nice to hear about the brother embracing Islam, without you guys compromising... However one such incident is not evidence that this is the only correct way. As i said we asked scholars and speakers and no one said that not having a partition is compromising, infact it is the right thing to do. For example last semester we had a very successful event (Ramadan night) where the President, Deans and other people came. Would you have had a partition there too??

PS: Please ask Allah(swt) to grant shifaa to all our brothers and sisters.Ameen

on February 21, 2004 12:01 AM
Gillette said

"For example last semester we had a very successful event (Ramadan night) where the President, Deans and other people came."

I don't recall someone actually calling these people to Islam. Sure, we were educating them, but I'm sure we know a lot of people who know a lot about Islam - and even venerate it - without necessarily accepting it.

"Would you have had a partition there too??"


on February 21, 2004 10:06 AM
Wajahat Gilani said


Just to add to Ali's point, aside from my freshman year, ISRU always has fluctuations in its attendance from meeting to meeting. I'm sure if you were to get Islam to speak in a meeting, divider or not, you'll get a packed house.

Wajahat Gilani

on February 21, 2004 11:35 AM
Abdullaah Somebody said

Salaamu Alaykum,
I think the Partitian was/is an excellent idea.
I think it is not anti-da'wah, because this is the way our culture and way of life is whether people like it or not and we are not the ones to give hidaayah to muslims or non-muslims, hidaayah is only from Allaah SWT.
that being said,
I think the reasons against partitian were hilarious.
the second reason: How will we get married?
well if you have arranged marriages like 90% of the ummah( except in American and European nations) then you dont have to go "looking"
and it is already written for you as it was said by some brothers and sisters.
I think partitian is Islaamic because I dont know about you people's community , most women do not cover their faces and this is like a cover for them. I can understand that only behavior of the people can alienate other Muslims not the restrictions and culture.
Even Jewish orthodox have separated weddings,
why would non-muslims have problem with our separated gatherings and Muslims need to learn to live like Muslims, put in the hijaab between men and women. Create an environment that encourages hijaab( and the partitian does create such environment). I dont mean to offend people here but this is our culture and we shouldnot and cannot change it to please people bit we should change our attitudes, throw out the cliques or clicks and be welcoming to all our brothers and sisters, remember it is only through Allaah's mercy you are guided and you do not know your end. There is no Islaam without Ikhlaaq, enter into Islaam fully and seriously.
Wasalaamu Alaykum

on April 24, 2004 1:29 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabaraktu,

Where is part one?

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabaraktu

on September 23, 2004 10:57 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Wraahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I am still waiting for part one of this article. We must have a prequel.

Waslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on March 26, 2005 1:38 AM
gillette said

it was lost to the hidaya crash.

on March 26, 2005 3:53 PM
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