Islam : The Cult of Virginity
Islam, the pillow that suffocates the joy out of your life. An archaic ideology that thrives on oppression. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s excellent book, the caged virgin is the inspiration for this post. Whilst reading it, one phrase stuck in my mind. A cult of virginity. But that is essentially Islam. A cult that confuses the word ‘modesty’ to mean obscure every part of your face under a black tent.
In my experience what I’ve learnt is when people are deprived of something, they tend to abuse it too much after. Certainly this is the case with this Muslim woman here : http://awdnews.com/top-news/qatari-princess-shaikha-salwa-s-sexual-scandal-with-seven-men-financial-times-reports .
Islam heavily restricts sexual activity in both genders. 24:2 of the Qua’ran declares:
The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
The purpose of Allah making it public is to reinforce the idea of disgrace and shame, and to put the person who committed the act of ‘illegal sex’ in the first place to never commit it again. As in all religions, women are even more burdened by Islam’s demands to maintain chastity. 33:59 of the Qua’ran declares
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
24:31 declares : And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.
55. It is no sin on them (the Prophet’s wives, if they appear unveiled) before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own (believing) women, or their (female) slaves, and keep your duty to Allah. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Witness over everything.
It seems ironic that a man who had 11 wives at a single time, a 6 year old child bride, and various sex slaves to order women to cover completely or issue lashes or stoning for premarital sex and stoning. One also wonders if Muhammad having sex with his slave girl in his wife Hafsa’a own bed when she was out visiting her father Umar amounts to some sort of infidelity. But he’s the prophet, so you know. Everything’s okay.
Women have been the subject of FGM in Islamic countries, some as young as 5 years old. It is not mentioned as being prohibited in any Islamic texts, therefore it is up to the scholars to make their opinions and issue fatwas regarding that. In schools of Islamic Sunni school of thought :
* The Shafi’i school considers female circumcision to be wajib (obligatory).
* The Hanbali school considers female circumcision to be makrumah (honorable) and strongly encouraged, to obligatory.
* The Maliki school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (optional) and preferred.
* The Hanafi school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (preferred).
All this so virginity can be preserved. Totally archaic. To prevent desires being met, women and men are segregated, women are wrapped in engulfing veils, kept in the house, some suffer FGM. If any party acts on their desires, the punishment is a public humiliation and the ultimate pain of 100 lashes by a whip. Additionally, the threat of Allah’s anger in the hereafter, and the deterrent of everlasting punishment in hellfire acts pretty well. The same with adulterers, that they are barbarically stoned to death in such a callous, barbaric manner. Muhammad was kind enough to let us know what happens to adulterers after death:
It is a major sin, and the one who does it is warned of a painful torment. In an important hadeeth – the hadeeth of the Mi’raaj – the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “We went on and we came to something like a tannoor oven.” I [the narrator] think that he said, that in it there were shouting and voices. “We looked inside and we saw naked men and women, towards whom flames were coming from the bottom of the oven. When the flames reached them they made a noise. I said to them [the two angels], ‘Who are these people?’ … They said to me, ‘We will tell you… the naked men and women in the structure like a tannoor oven are the adulterers and adulteresses.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in Baab Ithm al-Zunaat, no. 7047).
(Bear in mind, Muhammad claims he rode a small flying donkey up to space, that drinking camel urine is an excellent remedy, that Satan sleeps in your nose at night, that a stone ran away with clothes on its back, that Satan farts when he hears the call to prayer, and he also married a child. Don’t take this Hadith with any but a pinch of salt)
Is it any wonder some Muslim girls feel that intelligence, character and personality do not matter, compared to their virginity and ‘modesty’? A normal Muslim girl will be far more distressed if she shows her hair to an unrelated male by accident than failing a test.
It also provides the basis of superiority evident in my community and family. I’m ashamed to admit, I used to judge fellow Muslim women if they didn’t wear hijab or if they wore western clothes. I would think, do they have no modesty or sense of decency? They are Muslims, subhanallah. We used to cling to our hijabs tighter than our lives. I remember being very distressed when unrelated males saw my hair. I would be very fearful, and veil immediately. I really hated it.
A fellow Ex Muslim, Hafsa, (Love you, girl ❤️💙😘💚) agrees: After, I kinda became religious, I stayed away from men. Even in buses, I try not to sit with men and when I had to, I sat in a way none of their body parts touched me. It was religion. And the purity thing. I just kinda wanted my husband to be the first one to touch me. So to be pure and a virgin I kept away from men.
I realised there is so much more to a woman than her sexual status. Virgin or not. I’m still a virgin, but I prize my personality and the strength of my character and intelligence.