Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Friday, July 27, 2012

Seeing women as objects

There is a recent study done by Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, on how women are more likely to be seen as objects/tool compared to men.

(Ref: Gervais, S. J., Vescio, T. K., Förster, J., Maass, A. and Suitner, C. (2012), Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1890 )

Here is what I gather from the study report. (if you want to search the study just copy and paste the whole ref above).

1. The study confirms that women are more likely to be seen as objects/tool compared to men - because perceivers tend to focus on 'sexual parts' of a woman, such as chest and hip.

2. Men is more likely to be perceived as a person, even in those situation.

2. They mention that the effect of this objectification is graver for women than for men. (but of course).

3. When women are seen as 'sexual' objects, the cognitive function of the perceiver is reduced (meaning, less feelings & intellect involved, and the focus is more on 'using' ).Hmm.. so when women sometimes feel like they are being 'used' perhaps they actually ARE being used, unconsciously by the men.

In my conclusion, if we want to avoid being perceived unconsciously as an object rather than a human being - then we should not display our body (as a tool) to attract others.  In other words, dress modestly and cover (not wrap) those parts well - don't even reveal the shapes.  

And in such studies, again we see how Allah SWT knows best.  And we see how God loves us and wants to protect the dignity of a women.

"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's father, their sons, their husband's sons, or their sisters' sons or their women or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.  And O ye Believers, turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss."
An-Noor 24:31 (translation by Yusuf Ali).

May Allah safeguard us all. Aamiin.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to ask for true guidance?

When a person feels lost, amidst the confusing claims and acts of people around them. Perhaps people who claim to be pious, but they see so much that does not make sense, they should seek help for true guidance, from God.

When you pray asking for true guidance, you need to pray earnestly and sincerely to the One God who Created you.
Direct, between you and God. No intermediaries.

Once you pray to others (thing or person), e.g. thinking or saying things like 'Jesus, if you're there, please show me and guide me' - then Syaitan, the avowed enemy, will gladly come to ensure that you proceed to believe what you were thinking. And it is easy for him to appear as whatever would move the person.

Another important thing we need to have is a concept of God, the Supreme.
He is UNLIKE any of His creations. (Means He is not like a man, a tree, an animal etc). Astaghfirullah.
God is far greater and superior to any of His creations. And He created the Universe. Subhanallah.

God gave us a brain for a reason. To use our intellect, to think and ponder about His existence, to be reflecting upon the creations around us and the creation that is us.

May we be guided. Aamiin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Right of Allah upon His slaves

It is narrated that Mu'adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
I was riding behind the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) on a
donkey and he said to me "O Mu'adh, do you know what is the right of Allah on his slaves and
what is the right of the slaves upon Allah?" I responded: "Allah and His Messenger know best."
He continued, "The Right of Allah upon His slaves is to worship Him Alone and never to
associate anything with him. The right of slaves upon Him is not to punish any person who does
not associate anything with Him." I said: "O Allah's Messenger, may I not give the glad tidings to
the people?" He replied: "No. Do not inform them lest they rely on (this promise and lapse in
their service to Him)1.” [The above Hadith is mentioned in two Sahih Books (Al-Bukhari and

If we think this is an easy way out for us to enter Heaven, we need to stop and ponder. What does it mean to "worship Allah Alone and never to associate anything with him"?

The obvious one is of course not to assign Allah SWT, partners, or representation, or intermediary - for which we have no authority to. Our communication with Allah SWT is direct. There is no need for any other person or thing as intermediary whatsoever. And the fact that Allah SWT does not allow us to do that is being repeated over and over and over again from the old prophets to Prophet Muhammad SAW, and also very often reminded in the Qur'an.

If we are not worshipping or depending on any other person (imam, sheikh, medium ) or things (grave, makam, limau, broomstick etc), THEN, alhamdulillah - we've saved ourself from clear shirk. But what about the subtle and unknowing worship of other things?

Definition of WORSHIP (from Merriam-Webster)
1 chiefly British : a person of importance —used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)
2 : reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence
3 : a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
4 : extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem [worship of the dollar]

Do you think you can spend 23 hours a day, forgetting about even the existence of Allah SWT, 1 hour (in total) for praying the 5 solats and you're done? If this is so, what happens to the other 23 hours. What do we worship in the other 23 hours?

If in the other, okay minus 8hrs of sleep, that leaves 15 hours of your waking hours - you spend your time and money and energy on glorifying or attaining something that you feel is of more importance to you - e.g. material goods, money, status, position, fame, your own desires - then, is this is what you may be worshipping.

Hast thou (Muhammad SAW) seen him who chooseth for his god his own lust? Wouldst thou then be guardian over him?
Al Quran, Al Furqan, 25:43

Does it mean we have to pray 24 hours a day? NO, of course not. The Mercy of Allah SWT is that, our daily usual act can be an act of 'worship' just because we are doing it for the sake of Allah SWT alone. E.g. When we go to work, to get halal income, to feed the family for the sake of Allah SWT - that is an act in the worship of Allah SWT. We decide not to lie or cheat our friend for fear of Allah SWT alone, that is an act in the worship of Allah SWT.. Intending to sleep early in order that we can wake up for Fajr/Subuh prayers, that is an act in the worship of Allah SWT.

We act that way or do the things you do, because we revere, respect, fear and devote to Allah SWT - that is worship.
To put it simply - if we are God-Conscious most of the time, in our every word and act - then, that's because we worship Allah SWT.

We need to take a look at our lives, what our priorities are, and is Allah SWT in mind and as the ultimate reason, when we plan to do the things we want to do, when we plan our lives?

Surely, everything on us is just a test, to see who is best in taqwa. The good life comes later in Hereafter (if we are saved). Aamiin.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mystery of the Great Pyramid was no mystery in the Qur'an

Time after time, new findings are proving that the Qur'an contains miraculous information. Information many of which are only proven in this age and time. What makes those findings more credible and interesting is that the ones finding these new 'discoveries' are the Westerners, as such they cannot claim it's just Muslims trying to give credit to the Qur'an.

So apparently in about 2007, some scientist and researchers discovered that the stones of the pyramid were not carved stones, as it was thought for many many hundreds years before. The idea that those stones were carved, was even portrayed in one of the Western movies. NOW, they found that the 'stones' were actually 'made'. Meaning in those times, people were already making cement. And for a long time, they thought the Romans were the first one to invent cements for buildings.

This comes as a very big surprise for scientists. Some others are still unable to accept the fact, for they have been holding on to the idea that it was indeed carved limestone - even though they are unable to explain, how the people of those times could have carried these carved stones weighing tonnes, up to the top of the pyramid.

Details of findings and research here.
Live Science
New York Times

Meanwhile in the Qur'an unchanged from 1400 years ago, it is mentioned:

Moses said, "My Lord knows best who it is that comes with guidance from Him and whose end will be best in the Hereafter; certain it is that the wrong-doers will not proper."

Pharoah said "O Chiefs! no god do I know for you but myself; therefore O Haman! light me a (kiln to bake bricks) out of clay, and build me a lofty palace, that I may mount up to the god of Moses; but as far as I am concerned, I think (Moses) is a liar!"

And he was arrogant and insolent in the land beyond reason, - He and his hosts; they thought that they would not have to return to Us!

Al Qasas 28:37-39