Written Vs. Not Written Stuff: Spiritual Abuse and Opposing Education For Muslim Women and Girls – Part II

In part I, my co-author spoke to length about the mis-education of the Muslim woman when education has always been an Islamic right for both men and women.

Any subject that is mainly taught in secular schools these days has deep roots in the Muslim world.

The faith element has simply been ripped out of it like it has been done with Rumi’s poetry. And guess what, it became popular; it’s bittersweet.

Now, if you don’t believe me let me cite the names of such Muslim scholars who have shaped the world as we know it.

Al-Shifa bint Abdullah was a doctor and a teacher during the time of the Prophet Muhammad  ﷺ. She presented ruqayah to Rasool  ﷺ.  and sought his permission to continue to practice it after she accepted Islam. She was educated and during the time of the Calif Umar رضي الله عنه‎  she was in charge of the finances of the Islamic state.

Mariam Al-Ijiliya also known as Mariam Al-Astrolabi was a chief astrolabe from a reputable family of engineer and Muslim scientists.

Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a rich Muslim merchant created the first University in the whole wild world.

Last and not least, Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi whose name has been used to coin the word algorithm made unprecedented contributions to mathematics, geography, astronomy and cartography. His works even extend to algebra and trigonometry. 

Among many Muslim men, these exceptional women cited above weren’t denied education as we commonly see today. If you see that men fear educated women, it’s because they know that an educated woman is not a fool and will not accept a lousy and abusive husband. If a man is confident that he depicts the qualities of a Muslim man like the Prophet Muhammad  he won’t opposed education because he has nothing to fear. People demand more if their plight is not to the standard. People only demand change when they believe that they have been oppressed or when they believed they are receiving less than par in equal treatment.

This is Muslim Legacy. This is Islamic Legacy. So why is this knowledge kept away from many Muslim girls and women in this world that is sadly dominated by patriarchs? It boils down to insecurity and control.

In order to continue to make my point, I will explain what spiritual abuse is. All the issues mentioned by Saadia Haq in part I are simply and plainly examples of spiritual abuse and I will explain why.

Spiritual abuse is the act of using coercion techniques whether veiled or covert to gain control of someone. In other words, the abuser gets away with murder by manipulating the intended target. Spiritually abusive leaders use a number of ways to achieve such a result.

First, you will notice that they have a misleading view of respect. They demand total allegiance and loyalty. For them, women must never raise their voices at their husbands. Women must always respect their husbands otherwise, they will go to hell. They brainwash women’s minds daily with that nonsense. They use religion for their own hidden agendas to control women. Now, when a woman runs away from such a marriage, can you blame her? Of course we can’t, she wasn’t taught the real and merciful Islam. She was only given a one-sided view of the faith. One day, Caliph Umarرضي الله عنه‎  received a visit from a man. He found the caliph arguing with his wife so he decided to leave. The caliph رضي الله عنه‎  stopped and inquired why the visitor was leaving. The visitor replied something along the lines of, “I came here to ask advice on how to treat my wife, and I come here to see that you can’t even control yours.” The caliphرضي الله عنه‎  also replied with something similar to this, “She cleans up after me and does all the work around the house. Why shouldn’t I put up with her arguments?”

See, many Muslim men think that Muslim women need to be silent at all times. They think that women should have no backbones and should be only doormats. Here is a clear example that women are allowed to speak their mind and that respect is earned and not granted because you’re from the privileged gender!

Spiritual abusers are also obsessed with madhabs. If you don’t follow their particular madhab or sheikhs, you have been led astray. They LOOOOVE TO BE EXCLUSIVE. If your friends and people you know are not in that circle, drop them. They will make you lose your special exclusivity.

Spiritual abusive leaders or some Muslim spouses will threaten and shame you, too. If they don’t call you a bad mother, you’re a bad woman. If you are not those, you are most likely a really bad Muslim. In many cases, you’re all that; a bad mom, a bad wife, a bad Muslim. And if you challenge their fatwas and their skewed aqeedah, you have become really bad and will burn in hell. They declare you a kafir!

Another thing you will notice with spiritual abusers is that they are narcissistic. The world revolves around them. They talk smack about you openly and covertly. If you want to defend yourself, they will turn anyone who will listen against you. They love dependence and fear independent and strong minded people. They hate thinkers who will challenge their views and pick flaws in their views and ideas. They are also greedy; ISIS for instance. If your brand of Islam is not right, you must be corrupt, do as I say but not what I’m doing. They fear abandonment. Why fear abandonment if you truly believe? A true believer knows only to rely on Allah alone that’s why.

To end, the only way to combat spiritual abuse is getting a well-rounded education; Islamic and secular. Women, fight back to get all the education you need!

Papatia Feauxzar

Papatia Feauxzar is a practicing Accountant. She focused on personal finance in graduate school. She has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). Around the year, Feauxzar expatiate on personal finance and romance tips here and on her blogs. She is also the Online Editor of Hayati Magazine and the author of the first Ivorian Cookbook in English. Also a poet, you can read three of her pieces in "WOKE & LOUD: A Faith-Based Medley of Muslim Poetry & Spoken Word" published by Inked Resistance. Visit her at www.djarabikitabs.com or www.fofkys.com .

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