Safiyah

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog πŸ™‚

I’m a 20 year-old Belgian girl who converted to Islam in August 2010. My Islamic name is Safiyah. Although I see Islam as my religion, I’m open-minded towards other cultures and religions, and I can’t stand intolerance.
I guess you could say I’m a Muslim feminist. I believe that the base of Islam is women-friendly, and that we can have a change from within, without necessarily following the standards the West holds for us. You will not hear me say that covering and wearing the veil is oppression, or that every woman should be obliged to go out working. For me the key is choice. A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions in life.
I’m currently studying Arabic and Islam at a Belgian university, and although it’s stressful at times, I’m enjoying my studies.
I’m engaged to someone who lives in Medina, Saudi Arabia, and it has been a very enriching and wonderful experience so far.
I like to listen to Classical music, meditate, watch movies, read books, write stories, learn about other cultures, talk and have fun with my friends, and find my voice by writing this blog.
I’m a vegetarian and very concerned with animal rights. I think they are the loveliest creatures in the world, mashaAllah. πŸ™‚
I find it hard to define myself, so I’ll stop here πŸ˜‰

Love,

Safiyah.

4 Responses to “Safiyah”

  1. Alicia August 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Salaam Alaikum GR,
    I saw your posts on Saudiwoman. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your your insights. My husband always questions me when I engage someone like A’idah and I point to responses like yours. A’idah may get nothing from it, but others might!
    I’m an American convert harassing the blogosphere while I wait for my baby to be born! InshaAllah, 10 more days!
    Please keep writing and growing!
    Ramadan Kareem!
    Alicia

  2. goldenraindrop August 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    W aleykum assalaam Alicia πŸ™‚

    You’re welcome, I’m glad I was of help to you! I think it’s important to show the positive sides of Islam, when someone is so determined to highlight all the cultural aspects which often have nothing to do with Islam in the first place.
    Ooooh, a baby, mashaAllah! That’s great news! πŸ™‚ May Allah bless you and family, and keep you happy and healthy!
    Ramadan Kareem for you too!

  3. Alicia September 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Salaam,
    Still waiting!! :{
    I have a question for you as you are studying Islam and Arabic at University. I have asked some scholars here in the US but there appears to be little on this topic. I was struck by the verses of the Quran that describe Jenna as a paradise where believers would be given beautiful women to marry. Obviously, this is aimed at men only and seems contrary to other verses that describe paradise as being for both men and women (the obvious joke being Paradise for women doesn’t have spouses!). I wondered if you have run across anything in your studies that comments on this as I wonder why God would speak of paradise in such a gender-conscious way if it is for both men and women?
    Any assistance, if available, is appreciated,
    Salaam,
    Alecia

  4. goldenraindrop September 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Salaam Alicia!

    I hope your waiting will be over soon.
    I found a text about the subject, but it’s in Dutch (my native language) but I’ll try to translate a part of it for you as good as possible, and I hope it will help.

    Women will have something exceptional in Paradise

    A lot of scholars say that the word “Hoor” that’s used in the Quran only refers to something feminine, because it’s adressed to men. But there is a hadith, where someone asks a similar question: if a man gets a hoor, a beautiful pure virgin, in Paradise, what do the women get? The answer was that women will get something that the heart has not yet desired, the ear has not yet heard and the eyes have not yet seen, meaning that women will get something truly exceptional in Paradise.

    I know my response is a bit short, but I will try to look into it more when I have more time, and let you know the results.

    I did find a general text about Paradise in English, which might interest you too, especially since it doesn’t make a distinction between men and women.

    Pleasures of Paradise

    By M. Abdulsalam

    Every kind of beauty and blessing exists in Paradise and will be revealed with a perfection never seen or known before.

    The reality of Paradise is something that people will never be able to understand until they actually enter it, but God has shown us glimpses of it in the Quran.
    He has described it as a place essentially different from the life of this world, both in the very nature and purpose of life, as well as the types of delights which people will enjoy therein.

    The Quran tells people about Paradise, which God offers to them, describes its great blessings, and proclaims its beauties to everyone.

    It informs people that Paradise is one of two ways of life prepared for them in the afterworld, and that every good thing will be theirs in Paradise to a degree that surpasses our present ability to imagine.

    It also shows that Paradise is a place where all blessings have been created perfectly and where people will be offered everything their souls and hearts will desire, and that people will be far removed from want and need, anxiety or sadness, sorrow and regret.

    Every kind of beauty and blessing exists in Paradise and will be revealed with a perfection never seen or known before. God has prepared such blessings there as a gift, and these will be offered only to people with whom He is pleased.

    But what is the nature of these delights in Paradise, and how will it be different from the delights of this world? We will try to highlight a few of these differences.

    Pure Delight

    While people in this world experience some delight, they also face much toil and suffering. If one was to scrutinize the life which they live, they will find that the amount of hardship they face is much more than the ease and comfort.

    As for the life of the Hereafter, there will be no hardship nor suffering in it, and people will live therein in pure joy and delight. All the causes of sorrow, pain and suffering which people experience in this life will be absent in the Hereafter. Let’s take a look at some of these causes.

    Wealth

    When one thinks of success in this life, they usually conjure the image of big houses, fine jewelry and clothing, and expensive cars; financial stability is seen to be the key to a happy life.

    To most people, success is inseparably related to wealth, even though this is the furthest from the truth. How many times have we seen the wealthiest of people living such miserable lives, that it sometimes even leads them to commit suicide!

    Wealth is something which humans in their very nature desire at any cost, and this desire has been created for a great and wise purpose. When this desire is not satiated, it causes some extent of grief in a person.

    For this reason, God has promised the inhabitants of Paradise that they will have all that they imagined as far as wealth and belongings are concerned, both for those who were extremely poor, experiencing even hunger and thirst, to those well-to-do but who desired even more.

    God gives us a glimpse of this when he says in the Quran what mean,

    [there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that the eyes could delight in] (Az-Zukhruf 43:71)

    [Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth (good deeds) in days past!] (Al-Haqqah 69:24)

    [They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade. They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good [is] the recompense! How beautiful a couch [is there] to recline on!] (Al-Kahf 18:31)

    Disease and Death

    Another cause of pain and suffering in this life is the death of a loved one or disease, which are both non-existent in Paradise. None will feel any sickness or pain in Paradise.

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), said about the people of Paradise:

    “They will never fall ill, blow their noses or spit.” (Al-Bukhari)

    None will die in Paradise. All shall live eternally enjoying the pleasures therein. The Prophet Muhammad said that a caller will call out in Paradise when people enter it and say:

    “Indeed may you be healthy and never be sick again, may you live and never die again, may you be young and never grow feeble again, may you enjoy, and never feel sorrow and regret again.” (Muslim)

    Social Relationships

    As for the remorse felt due to a rift in personal relationships, people will never hear any evil or hurting comments or speech in Paradise. They will only hear good words and words of peace. God says in the Quran what means,

    [They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin. But only the saying of: Peace! Peace!] (Al-Waqi`ah 56:25-26)

    There will be no enmity between people nor ill-feelings:

    [And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world )…] (Al-A`raf 7:43)

    The Prophet Muhammad said:

    “There will be no hatred or resentment among them, their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify God, morning and evening.” (Al-Bukhari)

    People will have the best of companions in the Hereafter, who were also the best people in the world:

    [And whoever obeys God and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom God has bestowed favor – of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions!] (An-Nisaa’ 4:69)

    The hearts of the people of Paradise will be pure, their speech will be good and their deeds will be righteous. There will be no hurtful, upsetting, offensive or provocative talk there, for Paradise is free of all worthless words and deeds.

    If we were to discuss all the causes for anguish in this life, we would surely find its absence or opposite to be true in Paradise.

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