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September 15, 2004
Spin the Bottle

by Talal Sarwani

Spin the Bottle originally appeared in the September 2004 issue of MSA LINK, the official newsletter of MSA National. It is reprinted here with their permission.

Marriage. Love. Women. Men. These are the most oft-discussed topics among the young Muslims and Muslimahs of the world. Endless hours are spent in the pondering of these concepts, yet it is becoming all too clear that this time is going to complete waste.
"Sigh, I rrreaaally need to complete half my deen".
"I'm tellin' you it's not lust, it's L-O-V-E".
"Duuude, she's tiiiight".
"Girl, he's like, soo hottt".

Christmas in July and The Fitna of the Muslimah

Around the time the Muslim male begins to obsess over getting married, he has an epiphany on what kind of women truly become pleasing to his eyes. Every college in the US (and Canada) has some main campus street, which for the sake of this article we'll call University Road, or as it has come to be known, "Uni Rd". The thing about Uni Rd. is that it's the busiest place on Earth when summer rolls around. A very charitable bunch of women decide to put on a show for the guys on campus. A kind of show that makes you forget that the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is on at eight o'clock tonight. Anyway, the Muslim male would find this sight quite inviting, and would come up with the oddest excuses to make sure he was out there on Uni Rd.
"I'm allergic to the air on Busch Campus, I think I need to go to Uni Rd."
The Muslim Male would also seek ingenius ways of praising said sights, “Uni Rd. was astaghfirAllah amazing today.”
This is Phase I of the modern Muslim male's thinking of what he seeks in life, "Ho, ho, ho".

Phase II signals that the sudden realization has been made, and the Muslim male begins his hunt for what he really really wants to end up with in life, the Muslim female, the much sought after MUSLIMAH.

One day not too long ago, I stood in a special shopping mall which was filled with hundreds of young, single, Muslimahs. A Muslim male involved in Phase II would just about go ga-ga-crazy at the sight in front of me. All 'abayas, hijabs, niqabs, and even these fashionable dealies that cover the entire face(not boring old veils). The reason a Phase II'er would go crazy is that there's a problem he encounters if not careful. Christmas in July may not seem appealing anymore, but the danger is now that the same feeling of lust begins to apply to the Muhajjabaat of the world. It is the hijab 'n' niqab that become appealing to the Phase II'er who is not truly sincere in what he is searching for. This is an unfortunate and incredibly sad truth that needs to end, but that end will only come when both the male and female heed the advice of the Qur'an and Sunnah, not the advice of Maxim and Cosmopolitan.

And then there were Muslimahs...

Is the Phase II man alone in blame for finding the Muhajjabah infatuating? I'm here to say no, and what I'm writing about here is a sort of warning of what is sure to come if trends continue as they are. It's already begun here in the US(and Canada) with the fashionistas' attack on the head scarf. What is meant to keep one safe from wandering eyes and well within the realm of modesty is being turned into a fashion accessory. "I have to wear it, so let me flair it". Designs now range from Hawaiian-inspired to a range of colors surpassing that of a rainbow, with matching accessories from sweaters to bags. If one is to give in to these fashionable whims, then at least adhere to the gospel of Vogue, which has always stated that Black is always "in", and to top it all off, Black is thinning! The Phase II man lives for the "Coordinated Muhajjabah".

That's not so bad, you may be thinking. Let me give you a picture of what's happening elsewhere in the world, and began just as things are going right now. Back to that special mall I was at. In it where a bunch of shops with the sole purpose of selling clothes to the modern Muslimah; let's call it Dar Al-'Abayat. In this place of selling the cloth of modesty, in shops staffed only with very lucky men, the breaking of the hijab's back has begun. You want an 'abaya? Just how tight do you want it to fit? Tight enough to leave nothing to the Phase II'er's imagination? Done. Want to add some "flair", sequins and embroidery in a dizzying pattern that is sure to hypnotize he who will watch? Done. To be sure, those lucky men were measuring up the Muslimahs from shoulder-to-waist, head-to-toe, and in other combinations, selling the modern Muslimahs their undeniably irresistable new wardrobe. Heck, I was convinced to open my own boutique as soon as the cash flows in.

Unspun: The Losers will lose

Why is all this happening and what does it all mean? The answer to the former is found in the old theory of supply and demand. The Muslim male is intent to be a loser and look for beauty, beauty, beauty, wealth, then deen. Just kidding, deen's not in the equation. The Muslimahs aren't finding men(whether right or wrong) so to satisfy the demand of losers, the supply begins to appear. What it means though, is that more and more, divorce is becoming an old story in so-called Muslim societies. Allah(subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows what it takes for us to be successful in a life of Nikah-hood, so when we go contrary to the advice of what to look for in a spouse, we will LOSE. What happens next? While single, the Phase II man will chase after young brincesses, but when it comes to marriage, she simply is not fit for the home. This of course leads to a situation that this Ummah cannot afford, a sadly large number of women who waste their lives chasing after losers, only to one day find themselves written off and into the life of a spinster. This all may sound alien and inconceivable, but I tell you this only because I've seen it with my own eyes. It's not here yet, but know that such a time will come unless we turn back to the Qur'an and Sunnah, get ourselves married to the best of spouses, and never again write an article on Marriage, Love, or Women.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 27:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.

of and relating to...
Faisal Akhtar said

...never again write an article on Marriage, Love, or Women."

Hahaha Lol. That is the joke of the centurey.

PS-who is the author?

on September 15, 2004 3:13 PM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Mashallah excellent article.It might be funny but the sad truth is that it is so true.May ALLAH guide us all.Ameen.

Was Salaam

on September 15, 2004 5:07 PM
Gillette said

(Requisite part of praise for article) Mashallah, great article.

(filler to make it look like i really did like the article)

word to the "never again write an article on Marriage, Love, or Women."

(sorry, not much filler, but i liked the article, although i read a draft before it was sent to the MSA Link people)

on September 15, 2004 5:27 PM
Justoju said

Fo sheezy about the jilbabs. It is becoming harder and harder to find unfitted unshaped jilbabs in the market. I was speaking with a friend of mine about this a year ago and we concocted quite a few conspiracy theories.

And I never knew men found embroidery to be tantalizing. Its just thread brothers. SubhanAllah, the male nafs never fails to surprise me.

"never again write an article on Marriage, Love, or Women. "

Why not? The average female who is conscious of it finds the male predicament quite amusing actually (not to mention flattering in a twisted insecure kind of way)...Very sad...very true...yet very very amusing to many women.

Amazing the amount of fitna that can be found in a single beautiful woman. I think the root cause is that we live in a society that puts an immense emphasis on the empowerment of women...which often results in most women's almost insecure obsession with 'feeling' empowered. Because muslim women might not always feel like they are being given as much power as they 'believe' their western counterparts have within their family's and social circles, they might feel that the best way to feel 'in control' is through a man's libido. A woman's control of a man's gaze equals power to many females. I remember taking a feminist class a while ago in which we discussed this.

I think a real turning point for a Muslim woman is when she realizes that it is plain out mean and cruel to even unintentionally be the cause of the ruin of a poor bother's progress and deen. I mean, I would be ticked off if some guy came and screwed up what little islam and ikhlas I got going on in my life. There must be rahmah. When practicing women start to identify the male struggles in the deen with their own struggles to please Allah, AND understand that they too will be rewarded for every brother whose gaze they could have tainted but didnt...THEN there will be great progress.

But shoot, I dont know what can be done about phase 1 sisters...They would either need to come to some philosophical conclusions that one's body and beauty are not for looksies (which can be concluded without religion...a whole wing of feminists have come to this conclusion), or become really religious, or just get really ugly.

on September 15, 2004 8:23 PM
Justoju said

OR guys could work a tad bit harder on avoiding beautiful women watering holes, and work on the whole lowering of the gaze issue. Women can only do so much to help you out fellas. If she's got everything covered except her face and hands, is wearing somber colors, and is not trying to call attention to herself, and you STILL cant keep yourself from staring maybe you need to stop blaming her and start working on your own selves. No one is going to pick you up and carry you into Jannah, you have to do at least 'some' of the work yourself.

on September 15, 2004 8:28 PM
Justoju (3 is sunnah) said

oh and great article.

on September 15, 2004 9:13 PM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

AS Salaamu Alaikum

"I think a real turning point for a Muslim woman is when she realizes that it is plain out mean and cruel to even unintentionally be the cause of the ruin of a poor bother's progress and deen. I mean, I would be ticked off if some guy came and screwed up what little islam and ikhlas I got going on in my life. There must be rahmah. When practicing women start to identify the male struggles in the deen with their own struggles to please Allah, AND understand that they too will be rewarded for every brother whose gaze they could have tainted but didnt...THEN there will be great progress."

Wonderfully said..

May ALLAH garnt us all purity of heart


on September 17, 2004 1:32 PM
Ibtisam said

Very true and inspiring article. THe problem today is people get influenced too much. I got influenced by a lot of my muslim friends, alot of the muslim girls made things "cool" versus others. That is why I had a hard time accepting a proposal of someone I did not know and never spoke to in my life. Not like I spoke to men anyway but I was caught up in the notion that someone will like me when they see me at the MSA or in a Muslim conference etc and then propose and I will get married and live happily ever after. And this notion came inside of me after oh about 7 or 8 years after I turned a teenager. when I was younger, I felt I was more religious and more closer to pleasing Allaah SWT. I rememeber as a 13 yr old, Muslim girls use to make fun of my hijaab becaus it was long and unfashinable. They would say dont wear your hijaab like that and also about my jilbaab. Your jilbaab is too big and loose on you etc. My role models were the immigrant Aunties that came with their husbands from Muslim countries who were studying here, they would be wearing HUGE abayahs and khimaars and I was always trying to outdo in that category. Trying to wear niqaab. But when I got to college and more and more sisters were seen that were fashionable, trendy, beautiful in hijaab. Slowly, shaitan bothered me," you know you wont get married this way. You think someone is going to get impressed by your religious committment and your desire to wear long 30 to 60 inch scarves, WRONG! you better just relax and go into the fashion just so someone will like you, you know wear a better scarf, shorter, more color coordinated, etc"
this was shaitan's whisper. Fortunately for me, I did change slightly one or two days on campus I would be dressed "in fashion" but not the other days and I just never had great ikhlaaq to begin with the brothers and would drive anyone who was interested in me away with my stern attitude and stuff. So alhamdulillaah, it worked out. Your article reminded me how I use to be a good ol person and then thanks to sisters and then also the brothers I got caught up in pleasing other people. Now that I am married alhamdulillaah, none of that fashion following frenzy mattered and I am back to my old unfashionable self.
Great read.
The divorce rate has to do with little patience in people. Yes marrying early some people might regret it alot but if you do get married early then you should compromise and be patient. Amercian boys and girls(especially) dont know how to do that. I am learning from my husband ma shaa Allaah what patience and compromise is( he does most of that lol!).

on September 17, 2004 4:59 PM
curious said

as salaamu alaikum

hmmm masha Allah insightful article.I have a question though,i thought I'd ask it here since this site seems 2 be more 'open'( in a good way) about the harsh realities Muslim youth face.No use hiding issues under the carpet really:

I wear Niqab and I always wonder - wot goes through the mind of an average muslim male when he sees a Muslim female in Niqaab?Is Niqaab enough to protect a women from attracting men?After all what is there 2 look at if everything except the eyes and hands are covered and the clothes are loose? that is , except embroidery ( i had no idea guys paid attention to that 2!).

Of course if the Niqabi doesn't lower HER OWN gaze he might think she's interested in him and his imagination might fly.But what's he doin looking at her anyway!

Would appreciate feedback on this

was salaam

on September 18, 2004 2:13 PM
Amr ibn Muhammed Gharib said

masha Allaah

"and never again write an article on Marriage, Love, or Women."

I think you should include that we shouldnt talk too much bout it either. ;)

on September 21, 2004 10:12 AM
Talal said

Just a bit of insight...

Not EVERY person fits into the categories above...

There is the Phase III MAN. We're few and far between, but we're around :D

on September 21, 2004 4:53 PM
Justoju said

I think there needs to be an article on the phase III man. And since Br. Talal (#452) is self-admittedly one of the few living specimens of this nearly extinct breed, perhaps he should write it. And soon, before (Allah forbid) something happens to him and we lose another one.

on September 22, 2004 2:52 AM
Talal said

Oops.. that 'we' was a Freudian slip methinks.

How sad it shall be to end the Washing Machine Trilogy. But it has to be done... inshaAllah before 'something' happens to me.

It's coming folks, so hold on to your Imaan.

on September 22, 2004 4:27 PM
Basel said

its very sad, and makes me boil that some ppl quote only the first part:
"A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion.", and they make up their own second part:
"So go ahead, marry her for her beauty"

this can apply to both phase I and phase II men

on October 2, 2004 7:04 AM
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