Don’t Play Shaytaan’s Blame Game

// July 10th, 2009 // Blog

I attended the much hyped (my own doing) “Emasculated Muslim Men and the Feminist Hijabi” debate this evening. I actually bumped into my good blog buddy, Sumera, prior to the start of the event; so I know that I wasn't the only intrigued blogger in the audience.

Anyway, I don't have much to say about it all. Partly because I was asked to film it, so I was too busy paying attention to my camera, to soak in much of anything. I can tell you that it was a very mature, rational discussion, māshā’Allāh; there wasn't really any kind of 'debate' as such, as all the speakers pretty much agreed with one another (even though the panel consisted of Muslims and a non-Muslim, men and women – “Yey!” for social harmony).

However, one tidbit that made a lasting impression, was offered by the entertaining, yet informative, Imam Shahnawaz Haque (Psychotherapist, Teacher and Khatib), in response to an audience member asking why all the attention was being placed on the deficiencies of men – what about women's deficiencies?

The imam reminded us not to play the 'blame game', but instead to take responsibility for our own actions; to look inward and improve ourselves before complaining about the faults of our spouse. To illustrate this, he referred to the following Qur'anic stories:

28 Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape;
29 “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”
30 So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together:
31 Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.
32 ((Allāh)) said: “O Iblis! what is your reason for not being among those who prostrated themselves?”
33 (Iblis) said: “I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.”
34 ((Allāh)) said: “Then get thee out from here; for thou art rejected, accursed.
35 “And the curse shall be on thee till the day of Judgment.”
36 (Iblis) said: “O my Lord! give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are raised.”
37 ((Allāh)) said: “Respite is granted thee
38 “Till the Day of the Time appointed.”
39 (Iblis) said: “O my Lord! because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong,-
40 “Except Thy servants among them, sincere and purified (by Thy Grace).”

Surah 15: Al Hijr

19 “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”
20 Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: “Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever.”
21 And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser.
22 So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: “Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?”
23 They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.”

Surah 7: Al-Araf

Pay attention to the words in bold, as here lies a key difference between Iblis, the accursed, and our blessed ancestors, Adam and Eve (peace be upon them both): when Iblis messed up, he – out of sheer arrogance and ingratitude – blamed Allāh, subhanahu wa ta'ala, for his own disobedience – and only a moment after Allāh granted his request for respite! However, when Adam and Eve realized the error of their ways, they immediately took responsibility for their own incorrect action, and humbly begged Allāh for forgiveness.

So, whose footsteps are we going to follow? The one who has been cursed until the Day of Resurrection, or those whom Allāh forgave, and raised in status, to be the best of creation?

I had never heard this explanation before, and it really brightened my day to have such well-known ayaat presented to me in a refreshingly new light. I pray that the lesson therein remains with me always… āmīn!

I'll be extracting the audio from the event's footage, and sending it to the organizers soon, inshā’Allāh. I'll let you know if/when they decide to publish it.

10 Responses to “Don’t Play Shaytaan’s Blame Game”

  1. shaz says:

    thanks for posting about it.

  2. iMuslim says:

    No problem sweets. But I have to say, your comment sounds rather spam-like, Shaz. haha… ;)

  3. shaz says:

    yeah true… haha, well i didn’t really have anything else to say, just thanks. :)

  4. Sumera says:

    I found the talk quite good, but even moreso the comment by a sister who stated that women back in the day were almost conditioned to be as they were due to their circumstances, and these have now changed. It was an important point, which I feel the panel didnt quite grasp.
    Aside from that Shahnawaz was engaging and his approach was simplistic yet effective. Quite smart to notice the title (men = plural, hijabi = singular)!
    Nice to meet you there, sorry didnt stay long, had to dash at 8 – husband was feeling peckish :p

  5. hfm says:

    Sounds interesting, I think it’s become a social norm that women complain about the flaws of their husband’s and fail to look within and see their own imperfections.

  6. Salaams!

    Firstly, thanks for the share! It is always useful to have the actual knowledge behind the “theories”.

    I have learnt this as I have grown older that we tend to generally focus on others’ faults and forget to look at ourself. Like hfm also says, that social norms kick in and cloud our vision further. However, as educated* people it should be OUR initiative to identify what is right and what incorrect.

    *(I wanted to say adults, but I have seen adults being the root cause of the problem off late (maybe I am noticing it more), and the younger generation correcting them far too often.)

    Excellent post, and thanks for the share! :)

  7. loolt says:


    I thought it was very mature… but also felt that the male deficincies were being pawned off as womens fault in a way.

  8. loolt says:

    oh and does this mean the video will be appearing on your blog?

  9. […] also has a post on this event link Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Feminist […]

  10. iMuslim says:

    Salaam all

    I have sent the audio to the organizers, and asked them to publish it on their website (Islamic Circles). Hopefully soon, insha’Allah. :)

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