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Niqabi SuperHero: Sooraya Qadir, X-Woman

Zainab (AnonyMouse)

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dust.jpgAs a Muslim comic book geek reader, I’m always on the lookout for a good graphic novel that has awesome pictures, cool characters, and a rockingly awesomely exciting storyline – and you can’t go wrong with X-Men! And it just gets better with the introduction of Sooraya Qadir (code name: Dust), possibly the first practicing Muslimah in the Marvel Comics Universe.

I first came across the munaqqabah mutant when avidly devouring the graphic novel collection of The New X-Men: Hellions. I was stunned and delighted to discover the existence of a character who is not only a strong, intelligent young woman but is a practicing Muslimah to boot – who makes it clear to readers why she chooses to observe correct hijaab.

hellions2.jpg

dusthijab.jpg (Source)

Here’s a bit more info about my new favourite superhero (Wiki bio):

Dust is an adolescent Sunni Muslim girl who possesses the mutant power to turn herself into a sand-like substance. Born in Afghanistan, Sooraya is kidnapped by a slave-trading ring after she is separated from her mother. While one of her slavers tries to remove her niqāb, she instinctively lashes out with her powers and flays them all alive with her dust form before passing out. She is subsequently discovered and rescued by Wolverine and Fantomex. Wolverine takes her to the X-Corps base in India. Sooraya hides herself from the X-Men stationed there by turning into sand and spreading herself around the complex. Phoenix senses Sooraya’s presence and telepathically convinces her to reveal herself to everyone present. Sooraya reforms and announces her presence by speaking a single word: Turaab (Arabic for dust).

More here at her official Marvel database page.

If you’re as nerdy as I am, then no doubt you find it pretty darn cool… but of course there’s always that doubt that springs up immediately after you get excited about how there’s finally some positive representation of Muslims in the media (as fictional as it may be!) – how long it will be before the desire to make “Dust” more sexy overtakes any desire for editors to keep up with her proper hijab? How long before the commercial need to sell femininity, as is the case with all other female superheroes with exaggerated figures to make them more desiring for teen boys, will cause Dust’s abaaya to be a figure-hugging uniform? In the world of reel-bad Arabs, it may be a small consolation to see at least an attempt to sell the hijab in a positive manner, but how sincere and long-lasting will the effort be?

Some artists depict Sooraya’s abaya incorrectly, having it tightly cinched around her waist and breasts, which questionably disregards the purpose of wearing an abaya.

dustprofile.jpg

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a young Canadian Muslimah, originally from the West Coast of Canada. She writes about whatever concerns her about the state of the Muslim Ummah, drawing upon her experiences and observations within her own local community. You may contact her at anonymouse@muslimmatters.org She is is no longer a writer for MuslimMatters.org.

131 Comments

131 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    June 24, 2008 at 4:05 AM

    That’s pretty crazy! Frankly I stopped following X-Men after the writers created all those parallel universes with Cable etc and it just got too ridiculous for me, but that was a long time ago lol. Who are the artists and writers for this series?

  2. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    June 24, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    If a mod could add this on to my previous post lol:

    http://www.marvel.com/universe/Dust

  3. Avatar

    Specs

    June 24, 2008 at 7:37 AM

    Hooray! I love the new heroine… especially her dialogue about why she wears the niqab!

  4. Avatar

    MR

    June 24, 2008 at 8:03 AM

    I can see her hair! AstagfirAllahj!

    jk..hahah

  5. Avatar

    Faraz

    June 24, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    I remember reading about this very recently; I think there was an article on Digg about the religion of comic book characters and that’s where I found it. There’s actually a pretty extensive list of Muslim characters (see here), but “Dust” is probably one of the most “visible” ones being attached to one of Marvel’s flagship franchises.

    Unfortunately, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before she “falls in love” with some X-Boy and feels conflicted between her traditional Muslim values and the lure of “Western Liberation”.

  6. Avatar

    Shirtman

    June 24, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    X-men, how much cooler can we get..

  7. Avatar

    Samina

    June 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    i remember reading about this couple weeks ago and i felt it was kinda degrading. Muslim women are now being made into the comic world now…just another thing we need the kids to look up to. we’re still putting negative ideas into children’s mind and the media is still using it against us…and like what faraz said…its only matter of time before the western liberation will arise in the comic. wa allahu alim.

  8. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    June 24, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    ^ Thats true. If these writers don’t do it… others will.

  9. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    June 24, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    LOL, they draw her niqaab like she’s cobra commander or something.

    Siraaj

  10. Avatar

    Asim

    June 24, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Putting aside this particular comic-book character for a moment, the bigger issue that Muslims should be aware of is the Islamic prohibition on depictions of living things via pictures. Even if one follows the scholarly opinion that certain types of images, such as videos and digital photographs (that have not been printed on paper but exist only on a monitor screen), do not fall into the category of prohibited images, one still cannot justify comic books that have hand-drawn images of humans in them.

    Brothers and sisters, this is not a small matter, and it should not be taken lightly. No doubt we live in an era when we are constantly bombarded with images and pictures from all directions, but this should not mean that we give up hating these images in our hearts and trying to avoid them as much as possible. It may not be in our control to eliminate all such images from our houses, but it is certainly within our control to not go out and purposely buy comic books whose main content is prohibited images of humans.

    Wassalamu alaikum.

  11. Avatar

    aH

    June 24, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Apparently there’s a new X-Men cartoon coming out this year. I loved the original and am probably too old for this one but it seems the Ninjabi’s gone mainstream. Although I doubt she’s one of the main characters, she does make an appearance at the near the end of this trailer.

    http://www.marvel.com/news/moviestories.3499.EXCLUSIVE~colon~_Wolverine_and_the_X-Men_Trailer

    I once heard a speech at a University MSA Welcoming dinner that described Muslims as X-Men! Essentially how we’re all different and looked as at mutants, but in reality we have something that the rest of the people (non muslims) don’t have. These aren’t abilities or powers, but the Quran and Sunnah and as Muslims we have a responsibility to use these tools to better our society.

    Ok so its a little cheesy but the funny thing is even 8 years on I still remember that talk by the then MSA president.

  12. Avatar

    Aminah Mohamed

    June 24, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    I don’t like it at all. I think they’re making Muslim women look bad. They trying to change our childrens mind by creating this thing. She’s niqaabi but look at the clothes she’s wearing. I can’t believe them. I never liked comics and I wouldn’t want my kids to like them.

    She’s waering niqaab but her body shape showing. I totally agree with you Samina when you say it’s only matter of time. I think she’ll take off her niqaab and fall in love with some x boy soon. So we have to stand up to them and show that this is not ok. Wa Allahu ta’ala alim

    Wa Alaykum Salam Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu

    Amina Mohamed

  13. Avatar

    Ibnkhalil

    June 24, 2008 at 6:42 PM

    lolz I like the title. Niqaabi superhero.

  14. Avatar

    Khadija

    June 24, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    mixed feelings

    it’s kind of cute
    but also kind of strange and totally unnecessary

    i definitely dislike it more than i like it

  15. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 24, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    May Allah reward Asim and Aminah Mohammed immensely. What has happened to the Ummah of Muhammad (saw)?

    This is just a small piece of advice to the author: Be careful what you promote as regards Allahs deen because it is something that you will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgement. It is haram to depict images of living things in the religion of islam and what I gather from this article is that you are promoting and encouraging this idea.

    And in my humble opinion this is just another manifestation of the Hadith of Rasulullah (saw) when he said we wud follow the Jews and Christians inch by inch until if they entered a lizard hole, we would also follow suit. Why we need to represent a muslim woman as a mutant who changes into sand, blah, blah, blah, is totally beyond me and it just makes me cringe thinking about it.

    Wallahu ta’aala a’lam

  16. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 24, 2008 at 11:10 PM

    P.S: When I say images, I mean hand drawn images. As for virtual images I am aware there is a difference of opinion among the Ulama. But as for hand drawn images there is absolutely no difference of opinion on the matter and indeed it is a serious matter.

    I think the Shuyuk on this forum need to come in on this issue with some advice as they are also representatives of the forum and hence also carry some responsibility as to what is depicted on the site.

  17. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    June 25, 2008 at 1:21 AM

    Relax everyone!!
    May I ask the ones who are objecting if they have kids? If so, may I ask how old they are? :)

    My 10 year old daughter had planned for the longest time that when she grows older she will make a DIGITAL muslim female comic character (with hijab ofcourse) who, along with her brother (to have a mahram with her), will fight the bad guys! I cannot reveal too much details about this because my daughter does not want anyone to take her idea!!!

    As for the kind of clothes this girl is wearing, i agree that i was uncomfortable too. Her curves shows through the jilbab and to be honest her niqab looks more attractive the way they have it on her! (gosh i need to get one of these!! :) ) But at least her clothing is far better then some of those other comic characters…
    What will happen in future cannot be foretold. IF the liberation arises in the comic, I am 101% sure that the author will condemn it, inshaAllah.

    I was never a comic fan, never read them but my children always wanted to. Where did they learn about it…from other kids at the masjid. And as much as I tried to keep them off it, i must admit that i am not as against it as i used to be before…with no tv, x-box, ps1 or 2, or V at home, they have no where to turn but books…and subhanAllah they are running out of books to read… at least the adventurous books…And
    In all honesty, i would rather have them read these comic books then allowing them to read books like Harry Potter!

    As for the images, please tell me where can we find books with no images. A simple arthur book is full of pictures…so should we ban our kids from reading books? I am able to keep my children’s clothes images-free so far, but books??!!

    I don’t think the author is promoting images…it just happens so that no matter which book/comic she refers to, it will always have images. She is just ‘informing’ her readers about what’s happening in the comic world with a new female-super heroine… right mouse? :)

  18. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    June 25, 2008 at 1:22 AM

    jazakumallahu khayr to everyone for their comments. I feel though that some are taking this for a lot more than what it is. It was meant as a light piece just showing something in our present pop culture that has some depiction of Islam. i find it no different than highlighting a depiction of a muslim in a movie or tv show. people will obviously come across it and some are interested in discussing it.

    while there’s no dispute about hand drawn images and the hadith quoted, please also bear in mind when giving the naseehah that the author of this post is also not the one who actually drew them, so please be a bit more prudent before accusing someone of imitating the kuffar as that is not a light accusation. she is simply highlighting something that is “muslim” and for some, “socially relevant”

    again, i understand the context of the criticism, however, please don’t make this posting into something that it’s not. in any case, we do appreciate the feedback, jazakumallahu kahyran, and we are constantly striving to do what we can to improve.

  19. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    June 25, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    Not does this posting contain hand drawn images, this posting reflects the mentality of the “supposed” halal alternative to entertainment because apparently, the author believes:

    Ah well… for now I’m just glad that we’ve got Muslimaat represent in the comic book world – boo yah!

    How pathetic has our ummah become when we just have to make some squeaky noises, “islamify” and put a twist in finding any possible way to look at these useless things in an “optimistic” manner.

    Maybe we can have a posting here in the future on how belly dancers also wear niqab with gyrating hips.

    Or…

    How beards are truly the fitrah because perhaps Brad Pitt has returned to his nature for oh a short time by sporting a “salafi” beard?

    Or…

    Maybe how the niqab can be a makeshift protection for one’s عرض or honor.

    Truly truly a very immature and unnecessary post. May Allah forgive us ALL. Ameen

  20. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    June 25, 2008 at 1:41 AM

    come on.. brad pitt is just copying the salafi basketball players:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2008/02/23/rolled-up-couture/

  21. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 25, 2008 at 3:59 AM

    Assalamu alaikum
    Ibnabeeomar

    Yes I understand the author did not draw them, and I never said she did. I am pointing out the fact that by writing the article and exclamating with boo yah or whatever at the end is a form of encouraging and condoning the whole thing. Or is it now ok to encourage people to listen to music as long as we did not produce it or because somewhere in the lyrics there is a depiction of a muslimah? Well image making as pointed out in the Sunnah is worse than taking that for Allah will not even look at the image makers on Judgement day. So what about those who present it as ok. That was my criticism and as I pointed out it is advice and is left for anyone to heed to it or disregard it.

    Wassalaam

  22. Avatar

    Aminah Muhammad

    June 25, 2008 at 6:17 AM

    Salama Alaykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu Umm Reem,

    I don’t have kids but insha’Allah when Allah gives kids I don’t plan on exposing my kids to this kind of filth…. Another thing I wanted to point out is Muslims women were told to dress modestly for a reason so how can you say her niqaab was put on her in a way that makes her attractive and say you need to get one of those?

    The hijab of the Muslim women is to cover her in way that doesn’t make her attractive to the opposite gender. If she is wearing attractive clothing wearing it is niqaab or her dress it should only be behind closed doors with her husband and no one else to see. If every Muslim dresses in way that makes her attractive then THAT IS NOT A HIJAB…

    Another thing I wanted to point out is that you said you can’t stop your kids from reading books with images but you can stop your kids from reading comic books because most the comic books are filled with filth. That is why most of the kids in this country that grow up watching cartoon network everyday and read comic books are not that smart in my opinion.

    I think all Muslims should get rid of their tvs because that is where it starts. If the your kids watch tv then I feel for you. I think we Muslims shouldn’t even have tv at all. And if you will you should have Islamic chanels only because that can help your kids learn the Arabic language….

    Insha’Allah when Allah gives me kids someday that is my plan no tv, no comic books, and no cartoon…

  23. Avatar

    Aalia

    June 25, 2008 at 6:37 AM

    Asalaam `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakato!

    Hey sister Aminah Muhammad, I’m ahead of you on that one, hehe ;-) We got rid of our t.v. a few months after our son was born and trust me, it’s totally awesome! No more fear of our baby seeing half-naked women during commericals, or stupid music, etc. Also, I have had time to do things now since I stopped watching my afternoon shows, alhamdulillah!

    Meanwhile, in regards to the post, I think Anonymouse was showing the light side of something she found interesting. I know she knows that the `abaya is too tight because I heard her discuss this very topic in person. And don’t get me started on the whole fiqi issue of drawing images or else I might go on and on and on and on…

    Salaam `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakato!

  24. Avatar

    Aminah Muhammad

    June 25, 2008 at 7:01 AM

    Salam sister Aalia I am glad you got rid of your tv… I myself use to have one and it use to be very distracting to me and my family. Now alhumdulilaah it is much better. It is easy to do my quraan memorization after fajr because I don’t have that box sitting in my living room.

    And you know a lot of people might say I have a tv for lectures and etc but as long as you have it in your home it is bad enough because we’re humen and for most part shaytaan takes over and makes us do things we shouldn’t. And I believe the tv itself is ibliis sitting in your home.

    And yeah about her abaya don’t get me started. I don’t know about you but the abaya’s that I’ve been seeing are not abayas because they’re very stylish and they have this western look to it. I usually wear Egyptian qimar on top of my abaya alhumdulilah. I believe the darker the better. Muslim women shouldn’t wear colorful clothing. I believe the muslim women looks beautiful with the darker colors.

    Oh yeah lets not get into the whole fiqi issue of drawing images because if we do Allah knows how long I can go on.

    Salaam `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakato!

  25. Avatar

    Asim

    June 25, 2008 at 7:08 AM

    Umm Reem,

    Your point about pictures being present in all children’s books is well taken. My child is too young to begin reading (less than a year old), so I have not had to deal with this issue myself. It is indeed a problem that is not easy to get around in this day and age. A solution I have in mind is to teach him from the start the simple concept that images are a bad thing, and to teach him to blot out faces in his story books with a thick marker. I am not sure how practical that will be, but we will Insha-Allah see.

    As for comic books, since they revolve around images (and very realistic, life-like images at that, not “stylized” ones as in some young children’s books), I don’t see any way except to avoid them completely. The reader simply cannot follow the story-line in a comic book without looking at the images, which is not the case in a story book that has mostly text with a few illustrations thrown in here and there.

    It would be interesting to hear from any parents who have managed to find a solution to this issue successfully.

    Wassalam.

  26. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    June 25, 2008 at 8:56 AM

    Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

    Sister Aminah, BarikAllahu fiki, the point about attractive jilbab and me wanting to buy the one was a joke, see the smiley next to my statement!
    May Allah make u successful in your plans on raising you kids, but quite honestly you don’t sound any different then me when i did NOT have any kids…practicality of the situation is way different!

    Br. Asim: Believe me I was one of those parents who used to sit with my toddler and cross out the faces from the books. For three years my daughter used to take her marker and cross out all the faces from her story books…but it wasn’t practical because you cannot imagine where, when and how many faces you come across in a day…books, newspaper, catalogue, magazine, boxes, diapers…even Islamic books…(u will only be able to understand what i’m saying if u hold a marker and start effacing the faces everyday with a chilid!). I am not saying it is “impossible”, I am just saying it is not practical, wAllahu ‘alam. We definitely couldn’t cross out the faces from the library books!

    Here is what we do now, we read the books and we collect them all in the bookshelf which is in the garage (we pretend garage is not a “part” of the house!). But I must admit, although we try hard but I am sure we still end up leaving pictures somewhere around the house that go unnoticed…because they are EVERYWHERE.
    My kids are very particular about getting rid of pictures from their room before falling asleep because they want the ‘angels’ around. Right or wrong at least they take the books/toys out of the room and collect them all in the garage at night or hide it in the drawers or under the pillows!

    I, too, would like to hear from any parents who have found a solution to this!

  27. Avatar

    IbnAbbas

    June 25, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    I think the author didn’t mean it in that way and it was only a light note of something she came across. Having said that, I don’t think it’s a good idea to get too much into these western comical stuffs coz you may only find one or two decent funny stories but most of which I would definitely keep away from kids…

    We look for a solution but the question is: “is there really a big need of such books for our kids?” Don’t we have loads of other much safer and better alternatives to be used?

    Only if our kind shayyokhs, no matter how little, could contribute on such articles?

  28. Avatar

    iMuslim

    June 25, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Something I’ve wondered about is the permissibility of the animated feature film, Muhammad: The Last Prophet?

    I think I remember it receiving an “okay” from Al-Azhar, or some other respectable religious authority… was this allowed because it would remain on-screen, and would not be printed?

  29. Avatar

    Josie/Jihad

    June 25, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Assalamu alaykom… i would like to extend my salam to all and wish Allah to show us the right path inshaAllah. Indeed, being a reverted Muslim can know what are the difference of what benefits once individual to gain the SUCCESS in this “dunya”. Al hamdulillah each and everyone has their own opinion and Allah knows best what is our intention

    . So, inshaAllah each and everyone of us must take a good care of what will be the result of all these. Wish u all the best in this life and the Hereafter. Jazak Allah wa khayran…salam w/alaykom

  30. Avatar

    Shirtman

    June 25, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Maybe we should change the website to MuslimComplainers,
    Seriously, we get a french fry worth of representation in a very successful comic book (understatement) and we still criticize. You expect them to be 100 % in their efforts when Muslims themselves aren’t? What are you expecting Bismillah on the cover? Please let us be thankful that we have something good happen. What about calling Marvel and thanking them? BTW when ESPN had their Islam condemns terrorism on their website with M. Ali, K.A. Jabbar and so forth, I called them and thanked them. This is what we need.

    SM

  31. Avatar

    Shirtman

    June 25, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    IBN-

    That is not Brad Pitt, but yes, it is stylish now to show some ankle :)

  32. Avatar

    abu ameerah

    June 25, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    @ Synkronyzer:

    LOL … you gave it! I liked the gyrating hips part … it just has a special meaning for me….lol

    (Okay MM Admin … I now await comment deletion, thanks)

  33. Amad

    Amad

    June 25, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Frankly, I am a bit surprised by some of the reaction. In the world of “reel bad Arabs“, as mentioned in the post, I find it refreshing that someone is putting a positive spin to Muslim ensemble.

    We have a tendency to conflate stuff sometimes. This post isn’t about an Islamic text book, it isn’t about tasweer and the rulings around it (Muslims did not create the images), it isn’t about parenting with regards to comic books and TV.. this post is about something ALREADY created and out there and what message it is sending. In a perfect world, where Muslims and Islamic ensembles are not maligned and twisted to be associated with terrorism, we probably could argue of how we don’t accept this imagery. But brothers and sisters, we should think in relative terms on some of these issues. I mean how many non-Muslim kids reading these comics will actually feel better about niqab and jilbab, so that they don’t laugh or get scared of the sisters in niqab… Such sort of positive imagery in a kid’s mind will last a long time and cannot but help. I mean there is something positive to be said about that. We need to sometimes reserve our criticism, and look at the picture from the “others” point of view. And overall, this has positive connotations and we should appreciate that, regardless of our disagreement with the form of presentation. What would we say if this niqabi woman was a terrorist in a comic or the key villain? Wouldn’t we be offended and disappointed and raise an outcry about it? So, conversely, when the woman is a positive figure, we can at least appreciate what it offers (not to buy it for our kids).

    P.S. Btw, we don’t need the shuyookh involved when so many of those commenting here are capable of passing fatwa :)

  34. Avatar

    Atif

    June 25, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    The real question is how does she turn into sand? Karamat?
    Or Black Magic?
    I’m leaning towards the latter, which is clearly kufr…
    So how can this character be a good representation when she communicates with the jinn?
    (Let’s see where the comments go now :) )

  35. Avatar

    Hassan

    June 25, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    Mere khiyaal main Sooraya Qadir (Dust) kai liye acha sa rishta dekh kar haath peele kara daine chayiyain.

  36. Avatar

    Shirtman

    June 25, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Atif:

    Dude, there are Mutants, they are genetically engineered to have powers, this is Comic Books 101 man!

    Science Fiction, please do not make it into kufr and what not…

    What am I going to do with you guys (sigh) ;)

    • Avatar

      cerole

      January 29, 2010 at 5:32 PM

      hey, i don’t think they even know that. yes its sci-fi & comic books 101 true.

  37. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    June 25, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    I’m really quite surprised that people are taking this so seriously – as IbnAbeeOmar and Amad pointed out, comics books (and particularly the X-Men) are a part of the culture here, especially for kids… and aren’t we all usually on a look-out for Muslim presence in the mass media and culture? If it’s something critical of Muslims, we get mad about it (not so much about the fiqhi issues, but just because it shows us in a negative light or because of it’s overall stupidity – remember Little Mosque on the Prairie and Aliens in America?) – but now we’re going to criticize positive representation, too?

    If it was a Muslim who not only came up with the character but wrote the entire X-Men series too, then I could totally understand the criticisms – but this has no Muslims involved in it whatsoever! (Aside from the actual fictional character.) My interest and curiousity is always piqued whenever I see/ hear/ read of Muslims in mainstream culture, and so like I said in the post, I got pretty excited when I saw someone who looked like the cartoon version of me in a place I least expected. It may be something small and petty, but kinda cool nonetheless (fiqhi issues aside)… and it’s not like I’m telling anyone to either read the comics, or buy them, or whatever.

    BTW, I wonder if most people even read the the second half of the post, where I wonder about the future of sister Sooraya (<--- joke alert!) and criticize the incorrect illustration of her hijaab. *Sighs* Maybe I should go back to putting up disclaimers - the one for this post being that just because I'm excited about an (almost) halal comic book character, doesn't mean that I 100% support everything related to her, or everything in the X-Men series, or even everything in comics books in general. I hope that clarifies things, insha'Allah.

  38. Avatar

    R_Oni

    June 25, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum

    lol, poor AnonyMouse. I for one think it’s pretty cool that we have a “devout” sister represented in X-Men. This is a feat that does deserve a “boo yah!”. Fiqhi issues aside, this is clearly a better alternative. Muslims will always be depicted in some way in the Western media and we find that until now these have generally been the options: 1.) pathetic apologetics who don’t really practise the Sunnah and find themselves always trying to “defend” Islam with what isn’t Islam (you, the ” ‘wide-eyed virgins’ means “grapes” type) 2.) or those who react harshly to every little thing they deem “anti-Islamic” (Danish cartoons come to mind) and 3.) The brainwashed victims of Islam upon whom the religion has been forced, and thus need to be saved by the West. All three suck (the last two much more than the first). So wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a revamped version of number three? You know, someone actually practicing the religion properly, and also appreciating the wisdom’s being the Islam, and even more, someone who practices Islam for herself and not for her parents…considering Sooraya’s conversation with her mom, I’d say Marvel is closer than any other western media outlet has been.

  39. Avatar

    R_Oni

    June 25, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    “…and also appreciating the wisdom’s being the Islam…”

    meant “wisdom’s behind Islam…” lol.

    Wa Allahu ‘Alim

  40. Avatar

    Zaynab

    June 25, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    I think everyone is missing a major benefit here: this is the first form of da’wah aimed specifically at nerds, a heretofore severely overlooked group! Nerds need Islam too ;)

    And as someone mentioned before, I’ve always felt somewhat of a kinship with the X-Men and their struggles. Strangers, outsiders in their own communities, misrepresented by the media when all they want to do is good! And lets not forget that they must struggle to fight against the harm done by a small group of their brethren.

    hehe, all jokes I promise :)

    That being said, I’m all for a positive representation of Muslims in pop culture, and whatever issues one may have can’t we agree that it’s nice to see a Muslim “good-guy”.

    May Allah forgive us and guide us all. Ameen.

  41. Avatar

    Ihssan

    June 25, 2008 at 10:58 PM

    We get too much negative media coverage…we dont get enough good…and then when we something that is slightly comical and catered towards the kiddies Muslims still arent happy. Lighten up people!

    SubhanAllah, some people are never content.

  42. Avatar

    coolred38

    June 26, 2008 at 2:35 AM

    Would it be better if her superpower was invisibility…then nobody would even know she was there…which seems to be what Muslims secretly want…invisible Muslim women that have no impact on the world around them(such as visually, orally, by smell etc)….sheesh people…get down off those high horses before theres a stampede.

  43. Avatar

    Ammar Diwan

    June 26, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    coolred38: It seems you have OCD about bashing Islamic concepts after every new post that is made on here. It’s obvious you aren’t sincerely looking for information about Islam and have already made up your mind about it. If you have nothing good to say, consider taking a hike ;)

  44. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    June 26, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    OK I changed my mind. Comic books and religion overlap many ways. The Zionist state has many comic book superheroes and this is linked to their morale. It’s a way for people to cope often. The closest thing we Muslims have is the story of Mullah Nasruddin.

    X-Men was originally based of off the struggles of Black Americans. Although the 2 sides in X-men used violence what it really represented was the dichotomy between followers of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

    MLK=Prof. Xavier and the X-men
    Malcolm X=Magneto

    THAT was the original inspiration for the X-men comic books and this is an example of how comic books reflect the climate of society–they are often a political commentary as well. If you read the comic book on 9/11 that came out you will see Captain America protecting Muslims against Americans committing Islamophobia. Other instances of this include the recent Civil War comic book series where the gov’t enforces a policy of tagging ALL superheroes. This is another commentary on US politics–representing the Patriot Act and the conflict there. In that series the superheroes turn on each other and battle each other. Ironman, Spiderman takes the side of the gov’t and works with supervillians to take down Captain America (who is OPPOSING the US gov’t) which is another social commentary. In the end, Captain America is assassinated and the metaphor becomes clear that the writers are hinting to the death of the American dream in today’s world.

    Other instances of religious reference pop-up most notably in DC comics. Superman is the archetype of GOD or the son of God and this is even reflected in the Smallville series where you see there is a secret society dedicated to the worship of Superman. Interestingly, their is a CURSE associated with all the actors involved in the Superman series–namely that anyone who plays the role of Superman (i.e. the son of God role) is cursed. I blogged about this a while back: http://muslimology.wordpress.com/2007/10/02/religion-and-comics-books/

  45. Avatar

    Zohal jan

    June 26, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Breathe people! A/W
    X-men is about human evolution and the powers each person within different races/religions/cultures acquires as a result of a collective or individual consciousness. Islamic law aside because most readers and writers of comic books don’t care at all about that. It tingles my childish side to see a muslimah –How exciting! — but no real practicing Muslim is really honestly going to care deep down within.
    Salaam means ‘peace’. Keep the peace.

  46. Avatar

    Kimmy

    June 26, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Forgive a Jew her irrelevancy — is it only bad to have drawn the image, or can digitized depictions (like photos) or naturalized phenomena (like snowmen) be allowed?

    In the spirit of admitting my prejudices so that I may look out for them more — I feel more comfortable around “loudmouth” Islamic women wearing headscarves than quiet ones. I am perhaps concerned about how much repression and coersion of women exists in Islam (or, perhaps more correctly, in the Islamic World).

    I know orthodox Jews who practice the “no graven images” thing, and I quite frankly think it is silly. Then again, I’ve never been a literalist, so I think I would make a very bad muslim! ;-)

  47. Avatar

    anon

    June 26, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    To Ammar Diwan:

    Based on some of coolred38’s other comments I think its pretty obvious she (i think) is a muslim. And she’s not bashing islamic concepts. It seems to me she’s bashing the stupidity of some of the muslim whiners on this site who literally have nothing good to say about anything.
    Case in point being this. They complain that they are represented negatively in the media and than when they are represented in the media in a positive light they complain that they are being represented. “Shirtman” really said it best to all you whiny complainers.

  48. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    June 26, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    P.S. Btw, we don’t need the shuyookh involved when so many of those commenting here are capable of passing fatwa :)

    Oh wow, unfortunately, I do not recognize any scholars in these commentators; none from Azhar, none from Deoband school of thought, none from Darul Uloom, none from Zaytuna, none from Al Maghrib, none Al Maghriq, none from Ummul Qura, None from Medina, none from Imam Saud, none from Islamic University of Malaysia and so on and so forth.

    Could you please clarify your scholarly opinion Amad (God sanctify your soul and increase you in heavenly ordained knowledge) and shed some light on these so called closeted scholars that we might benefit from? :)

    …On another note, I found plenty of muftoon and qudaat from the contributing authors dressing up this post Qaradawi style.

    toodles :)

  49. Avatar

    coolred38

    June 26, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    I am a Muslim….thanks for asking. I love Islam…Muslims I can take or leave depending on what they happen to be saying or doing at that moment…whiners I hate…period.

  50. Avatar

    Khadija

    June 26, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    I loved coolred’s comment on ivisibility.it was great…

    :)

  51. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    June 26, 2008 at 6:14 PM

    Sheikh Chao, what exactly is your beef with this post? Do you find anything seriously wrong with it, something that contradicts the Shari’ah? If so, then I will take this post down ASAP.
    However, if you simply think it’s “irrelevant and immature” then I suggest that you just don’t waste time on it – or anything else you deem irrelevant and immature – any further.

  52. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    June 26, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Oh yes, may I also add Amad, I very much appreciate the fact that you are very optimistic. However I would also suggest the positive spin in these things:

    1. Disney’s Aladdin – “…and whoever has a hijrah to seek out a woman to marry her then his hijrah is for that.”
    2. Ali Baba’s “jihad” in smoking out the nutter thieves and their finances from their caves and amount of patience he had in facing the thieves after the password was changed.
    3. Any Hollywood portrayal of Islam – A. The Siege: At least we’re getting coverage of Islam on a major film. B. The Kingdom of Heaven – At least the Muslims picked up the cross from the ground showing respect to Christianity. C. Iron Man – The proper Islamic way in destroying Muslim Al-Qaeda style terrorists in their holes by commanding the good and forbidding the evil and how translating for them could also lead to ones destruction. D. Rambo 3 – Helping our brethren in Afghanistan. E. The Thirteenth Warrior – Antonio Banderas’ character, likely of Arab origin, is portrayed as an intelligent and courageous traveler who aids a group of Scandinavian adventurers in a battle with a tribe of cannibalistic raiders. F. Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade Indiana Jones’ trusted friend Sallah, an Egyptian Arab, helps him with his quest and even saves his life on occasion. G. Morgan Freeman’s character Azeem in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves helps and fights with Robin throughout the movie eventually saving his life at the end, even saying that he was fighting the sheriff even though he was not an Englishman.

    Alhamdulillah, I am glad that I think that I finally understand why it’s important to be optimistic!! :)

  53. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    June 26, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    @ Anonymouse
    Please don’t address me by “shaykh” or my name but rather by ExEx Blogger.
    Sister, no one here has a personal vendetta against you. So stop assuming the worst of me which you don’t want to know. If you truly want the shariah perspective of this post, please consult the mashayikh on this matter.

    Fortunately your reminders are very well timed. I thank you for reminding me not to waste my time. Jazakumuallahu Khairan.

    You are right, I will never ever bother you on your writings ever again and my opinion doesn’t count and apparently naseehah from other commentators regarding your post doesn’t matter either. I sincerely apologize if you feel your honor, family, writings have been infringed upon by any of my comments. I am just ‘too brazen’ because I speak for many people that feel disenchanted with posts like these. Again, I shall keep my opinion to myself and never comment on your posts because you are upset. Again, I am sorry. On a positive note, please read this hadeeth and comprehend its meaning and not take it personally. May Allah reward you.

    The Prophet peace be upon him said:

    عن ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال إن بين يدي الساعة….طهور القلم

    On the authority of Ibn Masood the Prophet said: From the signs of the day of Judgment…the appearance of the pen.

    This hadeeth is narrated in Musnad Imam Ahmad 5/333-334 Imam Ahmad Shakir said in his commentary this hadeeth chain is saheeh.

    In another hadeeth found in Musnad At-Tayalisi 2/112 and in Nasaai Book of Transactions Chapter on Trading 7/244:

    The Prophet said, “From the signs of the day of judgement…huge number of business people and the spread of information.”

    Imam Tuwayjiri said: The chain is saheeh according to the conditions of Imam Bukhari and Muslim – Ithaaf Al-Jamaah 1/428

    Explanation of first Hadeeth found in explanation of Hadeeth by Imam Ahmad Shakir 5/334:

    “The meaning of this hadeeth wallahu Alam – the appearance of writings and writers and authors.”

    The question is, “What kind of authors?”
    Also in It-Haaf Al-Jamaah 1/428 – “…Ignorance has spread around people and true beneficial knowledge has waned. True knowledge is the Quran and sunnah and acting on it and the the immense writing of “things” today has not availed the people of our times.

  54. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    June 26, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    WOOPS mistake the ط should be ظ

    woopsie daisey!!! :)

  55. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    June 26, 2008 at 7:15 PM

    I don’t think I’m worth enough to merit a personal vendetta, so no fear of that.
    Nor do I think that I assume the worst of or from you; if I have, then may Allah forgive me.

    Your opinion, and that of other commentators, is indeed considered – that’s one of the reasons there’s a comments section, after all – but “considered” doesn’t necessarily mean “accepted.” Even so, I respect what you all have to say.

    Brazen is one thing; openly mocking and unconstructively critical are another. Advice and opinions are much more likely to be accepted if they aren’t dished out harshly.
    Refrain from commenting on my posts if you wish; as for me, I welcome all comments (and suggestions) as long as they’re civil.

    May Allah forgive me for my faults and my errors, and help me improve in every way.

  56. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    June 27, 2008 at 12:03 AM

    How pathetic has our ummah become when we just have to make some squeaky noises, “islamify” and put a twist in finding any possible way to look at these useless things in an “optimistic” manner.

    Squeaky noises and islamify aside, I understand where you’re coming from in the examples you quoted above – can you please clarify how those examples relate to this specific case? I see what appears to be a distaste for rejoicing any sort of Muslim pop culture because of an inferiority complex (or maybe I’m just reading in my own thoughts), but I’m not seeing it with this particular character. Why should this one be the same as the rest you’ve cited?

    Siraaj

  57. Avatar

    Seeker7

    June 27, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    She looks like she’s doing a gang sign in the first picture….”WEST SIDEEEEEE”

  58. Avatar

    Fewthoughts

    June 27, 2008 at 1:57 AM

    Iblis works in the most clandestine way possible. So some mention a niqaabi woman in this comic book is a good PR effort on behalf of our muslim sisters. How positive it is, only time will tell or perhaps we conduct a focus group survey.

    Now about the imagery created from this character. Muslims or anyone else for that matter have all the right to be critical or “whiners” as some self-righteous flamers put it, just as many in past exercised similar “whining” when WB tried to give classic Looney tune characters a malefic makeover. They introduced something that didn’t go too well with the parents, and even bunch of kids. Finally the makers of lunatics made concessions with a more friendlier design. Remember many parents hated it because for one, the characters simply had ” menacing eyes”.

    The whole point of this comic book thing seems ridiculous to me, and I agree that we shouldn’t over-react but direct our concerns to the writer or the individual behind the comic book character. BUT YES DO MAKE AN EFFORT TO “WHINE”. It’s your bloody right, for your children sake. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. You may not be able to do much, but at least they should know WE CARE about how they intend to portray us now or even later.

  59. Pingback: Talk Islam

  60. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 27, 2008 at 2:57 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazaakallahu khairan fewthoughts. With all that has been said, all I have to say is if practising ‘al amr bil ma’ruf wa nahyi anil munkar’ is now termed as ‘whining’ by muslims then I guess I am proud to be a ‘whiner’ because Allah LOVES the ‘whiners’. It seems now that what Allah loves and what He hates has now become irrelevant to some of us just as long as we get some teeny, weeny publicity from the kuffar.
    Talk about INFERIORITY COMPLEX. We muslims are seriously suffering from a chronic strain in my humble opinion. Why are there no comics depicted the true image that Allah has chosen for the Muslimah? Not some crimefighting mutant, but a loving wife, and mother whose importance goes without saying for indeed she is the back bone of any society. That is how we muslims should want our women to be depicted and WE SHOULD BE BLOODY HELL PROUD OF IT.
    Instead whatever the kuffar come up with we say ‘HEY LOOK AT US, WE ALSO HAVE IT IN ISLAM’. To the point now we use phrases like Islamic Music aka Nasheed’, ‘Islamic Democracy aka Shura’, etc. I bet very soon we will be saying we also have ‘Islamic prostitution’ (excuse my language, couldnt think of anything else) also known as nikkah’. Anything and everything just so we are ‘accepted’ by those whom Allah has described as worst than cattle in the Qur’an.
    What I know is that the Rasul (saw) warned us severely about imitating these people and I plan on doing that to the letter and I REFUSE to apologise for MY DEEN for it needs non whatsoever.

    But again my apologies for ‘whining’.

  61. Avatar

    coolred38

    June 27, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    There is a difference between finding solutions to problems…and just whining about them. Muslim women in the world are viewed as victims of Islam…they are beaten….forced to marry…forced to divorce…if divorced treated as a used product not worthy of remarriage or worthy of having her children remain with her…not allowed to study…drive….choose how many children they have…choose whether they are one wife or one of several…subjected to horrific cuttings to reduce sexual tendencies…blamed for all sexual conduct that happens to them as well as by them….are forced to cover from head to toe so Muslim men dont get sexual urges they have no desire to control…basically they are reduced to walking fitna…

    While most of that is culture…many many Muslims believe its Islam…many others know its not but pretend it it…and pretty much the whole non Muslim world absolutely believe its God sanctioned…my question is…what do you do about THAT? Rather than WHINE about a cartoon character that migh come off as “gasp” sexy or showing some hair for Gods sake…go and whine about all that other stuff that actually means something to Muslim women…and then do more then whine…get up off your sanctimonious back sides and do something proactive about it…whiners are just so much noise …like a fly or mosquito….no purpose other than to annoy. Muslim women dont need Muslims whining on their behalf…they need Muslims actually doing something to change the practice Muslims pass off as Islamic that causes the rest of the world to believe Islam is a woman hating religion.

    So yes…I hate whiners…whiners are useless to the ummah….if your a whiner then this refers to you…if your not…then dont worry about it.

  62. Avatar

    Khadija

    June 27, 2008 at 8:25 AM

    Thank you coolred

    you forgot one –> not allowed to obtain a divorce

    Hardly anyone whines about the daily strife that many Muslim women must go through just because they are women…but a cartoon character comes out…

    I would love to hear some whining about the fact that Saudi adult women’s legal status is the same or less of that of a minor
    etc etc.

  63. Avatar

    anon

    June 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    How can you complain about muslim women being represented as oppressed and forced to stay indoors and than complain that in this case she is not indoors and basically unoppressed? Why don’t you just admit that you’d rather not have muslims represented in the media, books, movies, etc at all. Honestly, you all seem rather picky. Why should the media cater to your every whim and desire. If you want that than go start your own media company, go write your own children’s books. But that would actually require more than complaining wouldn’t it.

    And ummafnaan, comic books tend to be geared towards children. I know of no child in his/her right mind who would want to sit and read about a muslim women tending her children and washing dishes. Let me guess what her superpower would be… The amazing ability to get grease off of any pot or pan with one flick of her gloved hand. Or how about the mystifying ability to get her crying baby to shutup with one blink of her eye (obviously, it would have to be the eye because everything else has been niqabified (properly might I add). Not like the mockery Anonymouse posted above.
    Wow, talk about the excitement

  64. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Look anon or whatever the hell you call yourself. it seems you do not understand the point of the converstaion going on between MUSLIMS. So pls do like a mutant and disappear I am definately not interested in conversing with the likes of you. Muslim children do not read comics. I don’t give a hoot what u let your children read. I repeat this is about MUSLIM children.

  65. Avatar

    Muhammad

    June 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    @ ummafnaan
    Thanks for keeping it real and very well said!

  66. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    June 27, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    So from those disagreeing with this blog post, your perspective is that any positive feedback from Muslims on positive portrayals of Muslims in the media is indicative of an inferiority complex and selling out? Does that sum up your position?

    Siraaj

  67. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    June 27, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Muslim children do not read comics.

    Sister, I strongly disagree. Many Muslim kids DO read comic books, just as many of them watch TV, play videogames, etc. It’s part of the entertainment in the culture here. We may disapprove of it, but we cannot out-and-out deny it – it’s a fact.

  68. Avatar

    nathan dayspring

    June 27, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Sometimes the abbaya is drawn too tightly, but if you really want to ‘get your knickers in a twist’ detractors should read the Hosue of M series. In it Sooraya is shown as a hedonistic flirt – and she doesn’t wear an abbaya.

    All riled up yet ?

    The comic book form is an art. There is no debating with the hadeeth of the Rasul about the drawn images of animate objects. However – you’re looking at the marriage of work between an artist and a writer that are trying to convey a message. Oftentimes Sooraya is drawn doing dhikr, giving dawah, being the moral backbone of her team – just an ordinary person. She’s the first modern character that is an openly practicing Muslim. Critics should do their research and relax a little before they critically analyze multi-layered issues. Yes the Quran and sunnah are our paradigm for viewing the world – but there are higher principles within that framework we should not lose cite of.

    And in the ‘House of M’ series the world is all screwed up and characters are shown to be the exact opposite of their ‘real’ selves. Sooraya makes her comic book bretheren proud.

  69. Avatar

    Lastthoughts

    June 27, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Anon, there isn’t such a thing as “every” whim and desire. Even if you are trying to make a point, it’s distasteful to claim Muslims have overwhelming demands. Quite honestly, it’s misleading. As a minority, these issues matter for Muslims. We are going to continue to increase in number, and as such will require a more accurate representation and a friendlier environment facilitated for our next generation.

    Others,
    I don’t worry too much what non-muslims think on what is right and what is wrong about Islam. Information is out there for self-study. And of course some are entrusted with a functioning brain to apply common sense. For the other statistically unreliable figure “many” that view muslim women as victims, then I think it’s fair to say that let’s rid of the injustices women in America face before we try to solve the world’s problems. Let’s clean our trash right here in our backyard before projecting moral/legal superiority over these other countries.

    The whining about “women’s right” is a non-sequitur to this topic. I agree women are suffering, but that fact shouldn’t deter us from raising other concerns against issues that also pose potential problems.

    A good place to start reading about how rights are protected look here——– http://www.nationmaster.com/

  70. Avatar

    Lastthoughts 2.0

    June 27, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    One more thing.

    We should be a little more scientific when making claims or speaking for “all” muslim children or “many” muslim children in the U.S or the West. While I think anecdotal evidence is natural part of most communications, it’s not reliable, and doesn’t help form good understanding of issues, particularly when talking about a sample or a population. We should study this more numerically, and this will help us better understand, and plan for improving our state of affairs.

  71. Avatar

    MR

    June 27, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    I’m surprised ExEx Blogger follows Brad Pitt around.

  72. Avatar

    Nusaybah

    June 27, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    I wonder if Soorya will ever say “Only Allah can help you.”

  73. Avatar

    gohar

    June 27, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Please ban people like coolred and anon from this forum. Disagreement if welcome, but these two are just nauseating. Allowing them to continue will just degrade the quality of debate on this forum. Instead of intelligent comment to discuss new issues, the forum will just end up spending its time trying to counter the random garbage that they keep emitting.

  74. Avatar

    gohar

    June 27, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    Compare the intelligent viewpoint of someone like nathan dayhill for example with what these two people have offered. Its ike night and day.

  75. Avatar

    ibn fellah

    June 27, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Something tells me I shouldn’t be surprised at all by this post. Funny how the author is persistent and consistent in being utterly incoherent in her arguments and thoughts in most of her posts. She mentions this as a viable alternative in the context of how Muslims are seen in the western public and intellectual conscious. But wow I think she doesn’t realize that she’s way too dumb to pass off as someone intellectual. Did most people simply miss the following:

    Born in Afghanistan, Sooraya is kidnapped by a slave-trading ring after she is separated from her mother. While one of her slavers tries to remove her niqāb, she instinctively lashes out with her powers and flays them all alive with her dust form before passing out. She is subsequently discovered and rescued by Wolverine and Fantomex.

    Ah another typical example of good ole eurocentrism. Poor Sooraya is saved from the ‘eastern’ ‘Muslim’ ‘slave trading’ ‘savages’, by the white European (American in this case) male who is selfless and out there to civilize the world. Add to that her image of a seductive buxom woman behind a “VEIL”, further affirms and establishes the repertoire of Muslims and Arabs as backward heathens who keep women in harems and oppress them. A very good alternative indeed. (Perhaps we should also have something similar to ummah and sex section of MWU on MM). Either the author is too dumb to realize how serious is promoting such neo-orientalist meta-narrative or she’s actually in agreement with it. Given her history I’d be inclined towards the second option. I’ve seen how MM has been coming up with such substandard intellectually inept material recently, I’ve lost a lot of respect.

    I am just ‘too brazen’ because I speak for many people that feel disenchanted with posts like these.

    Thank you. MM doesn’t really sound representative anymore.

    (*keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for my comment to be edited*)

  76. Avatar

    gohar

    June 27, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Khadija:

    I remember sharing some tafseer with some mosque friends once and this guy from our town started dissing us for spending time talking about little things when there were muslims being killed around the world. A week earlier, though, when one of us was talking gossip about some footballer and his wife he didn’t say a single thing to us. How comes? Why do some people get angry when Allah’s name is mentioned, but stay quiet when He is totally forgotten?

    And, come on, if the topic had to do with the struggle of women in muslim countries then such comments would be forthcoming and plentiful, but since the topic has to with a comic book isn’t it entirely reasonable that people comment on its legalities?

  77. Avatar

    gohar

    June 27, 2008 at 7:53 PM

    Ibn fellah, the author is still young. Even though your criticisms of the comic are valid, your way too rude in condemning her. Arn’t you happy that one of your sisters thinks positively of, and is excited about, a woman being in hijaab/niqaab.

  78. Avatar

    SuperMuslim

    June 27, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    man, i’m just waiting for the edition where SuperNiqabi goes around teaching Muslims adab =P

  79. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    June 27, 2008 at 11:01 PM

    she doesn’t realize that she’s way too dumb to pass off as someone intellectual.
    I don’t consider myself an intellectual, nor do I try to pass myself off as one.

    Either the author is too dumb to realize how serious is promoting such neo-orientalist meta-narrative or she’s actually in agreement with it.
    No, I am not oblivious to the orientalism that exists in the comics or any other media. Nor am I in agreement with it. However, as I and others have been trying to point out throughout this thread, it’s nice to see that there is at least an improvement in the formula.

  80. Avatar

    ummafnaan

    June 28, 2008 at 12:16 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    I think Ibnfella is spot on in his analysis apart from the author being dumb part. That isn’t islamic brother to call our fellow muslims with offensive names.

    Anonymouse said:

    Sister, I strongly disagree. Many Muslim kids DO read comic books, just as many of them watch TV, play videogames, etc. It’s part of the entertainment in the culture here. We may disapprove of it, but we cannot out-and-out deny it – it’s a fact.

    Sis when I say muslim kids don’t read comics, its like saying muslims don’t drink. Although there are societies where drinking is the norm for the muslims, its a minority in a minority. But we don’t go around saying muslims drink now do we? I am speaking generally. I do not live in the west. So I have no idea what goes on in the muslim communities there. But I have interacted with a lot of western muslims both personally and professionally and the norm for them as they have informed me is that yes this filth, with TV, VIDEO GAMES, etc are everywhere in the west but they try and keep their children away from it for the sake of their Akhira. Refer to the quotes from sisters like UmmReem above.

    Secondly I do not believe that the targeted audience here are the muslim children, as again I said, they are a minority, in a minority in the west for now. The point that I want you to understand is that even though you live in the west and feel that these issues are part and parcel of everyday life does not mean you accept them and indulge in them. Muslims are supposed to be living as Ghurabaa on this earth; in this life; and especially in the west, Because 80% of their way of life contradicts islam. And Allah tells us clearly in the Qur’an that ‘Among them there are sincere-hearted believers, BUT A MAJORITY OF THEM ARE PERVERTED TRANSGRESSORS’.

    And as sure as I am that I am going to die someday, that is how sure I am that, AS U POINTED OUT ALSO, the character of Sooraya will slowly morph from ‘the oppressed Niqabi-wearing Afghani, to the liberated cat-suit wearing modernist (the coccooned caterpillar has become a beautiful butterfly)’. That is the blatant truth about these people and I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them. It was on this same site that I read that a majorityof the parents in a certain school went crazy because their kids were ‘exposed’ to a 45 min Islam 101 talk by sincere muslims. But then its ok if it is an unbeliever that tries to portray ‘the muslim woman identity’. I don’t know about you but something smells ify. Or has it reached the point where they are the ones who dictate, to us who we are? Why is it that they never give the true muslims (I mean not progressives like Irshad Manji etc) a platform to tell the masses what islam is truly about?

    Ah well. This is where I bow out cos the situation seems hopeless and arguments are disliked in the Deen. I guess maybe MuslimMatters is more representative of the ‘Western Muslims’ cause this article and quite a few others as Ibn fellah pointed out sure doesn’t represent me or the countless number of muslims I know.

    Wallahu A’alam

  81. Avatar

    ibn fellah

    June 28, 2008 at 4:03 AM

    No, I am not oblivious to the orientalism that exists in the comics or any other media. Nor am I in agreement with it. However, as I and others have been trying to point out throughout this thread, it’s nice to see that there is at least an improvement in the formula.

    Trying to point out? Ahh yes by promoting it. Perhaps the era of salafi orientalism has dawned upon us.

    Comment edited – watch your language please.

  82. Avatar

    Heather

    June 28, 2008 at 5:25 AM

    Asalamu alaikum everyone,
    I don’t know the comic being discussed, but I would like to make a general comment. Whether we like it or not, the issue of images of humans is a matter about which there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. Incidentally, I was a Muslim for a long time before I even became aware of this difference of opinion, because I’d seem so many story books for Muslim children that have illustrations of animals and humans, not to mention educational cartoons on Islamic TV channels, and I’d always assumed these pictures were drawn by Muslims.

    I haven’t copied and pasted anything, but I’m sure that most of you are aware of fatwas that state that drawings of humans and animals are permissible if certain conditions are fulfilled. I think there is a lot of confusion over this issue among grass-roots Muslims and I would welcome it if some of the scholars here could comment on the wider issue, namely that of how ordinary Muslims, who are not remotely qualified to verify and research the contexts of the relevant ahadith, let alone judge between scholars, should handle conflicting fatwas and differences of opinions, especially if we dislike one of the opinions in question. Wasalaam.

  83. Avatar

    Muhammad

    June 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Can someone please outline the criteria for becoming an ‘Author’ on this site?!?! or atleast point me in the direction where I can read WHY some of these individuals were chosen as Authors.

    ibn fellah i would have to agree with your current assessment of MM. I think the site deserves a name change to Modern American Muslim Affairs, MAMA.

  84. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    June 28, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Something tells me I shouldn’t be surprised at all by this post. Funny how the author is persistent and consistent in being utterly incoherent in her arguments and thoughts in most of her posts. She mentions this as a viable alternative in the context of how Muslims are seen in the western public and intellectual conscious. But wow I think she doesn’t realize that she’s way too dumb to pass off as someone intellectual. Did most people simply miss the following:

    Ah another typical example of good ole eurocentrism. Poor Sooraya is saved from the ‘eastern’ ‘Muslim’ ’slave trading’ ’savages’, by the white European (American in this case) male who is selfless and out there to civilize the world. Add to that her image of a seductive buxom woman behind a “VEIL”, further affirms and establishes the repertoire of Muslims and Arabs as backward heathens who keep women in harems and oppress them. A very good alternative indeed. (Perhaps we should also have something similar to ummah and sex section of MWU on MM). Either the author is too dumb to realize how serious is promoting such neo-orientalist meta-narrative or she’s actually in agreement with it. Given her history I’d be inclined towards the second option. I’ve seen how MM has been coming up with such substandard intellectually inept material recently, I’ve lost a lot of respect.

    Sadly, there are not enough $10 words to legitimize the ad hominem attacks and genetic fallacies found in this post.

    As a former comic book afficionado, I find myself in an odd position as, on the one hand, there is much that is reprehensible and distasteful in the medium of comic books, while on the other hand, I have a better understanding of the writers, artists, editors, and publishers thought process when putting a comic book out and cannot help but point out the mistaken conclusions of certain comments on this thread.

    Take the origin statement which was quoted by Ibn Fellah – because the characters Wolverine and Fantomex are Sooraya’s would-be rescuers, it means we are trying to show America good, Taliban / Muslims bad. Or more generally, white people good. That is a possibility.

    OR

    It could also be that since Wolverine (who is Canadian, for the record) is the most popular and best-selling comic book character for Marvel (or close to the top), it makes monetary sense to team him up with a character (Fantomex) whose ethnic origin is to this day in question as part of a story in which a new character is introduced (Sooraya aka Dust).

    Problems, problems.

    But then, what’s up with drawing her as a busty niqaabi? Here’s my guess folks, and it’s just a guess, but maybe, just maybe, Marvel’s writers are guilty of the same ignorance many of our own Muslim sisters are guilty of – not understanding the full concept of hijaab, and what entails modesty. My other guess – showing a busty woman sells books, niqaabi or otherwise.

    I personally believe the portrayal of the character (don’t ask me about drawings) is a huge step in the right direction. Why? Because the character is portrayed as having chosen to wear the hijaab and jilbaab on her own, and not because she is forced to. There’s not even a male figure in her life enforcing this. In pop media, and neo-con media in particular, the hijaab by itself is considered a device of male oppression, and the niqaab, don’t even go there. In one story, the character goes as far as debating the issue with another member who held such a perspective.

    That Marvel was willing to create a character that would anger the likes of those who make a big deal out of Rachel Ray wearing something that looks like a kaffiyeh, to me, says that even if they didn’t get it all right (busty niqaabi), and even if in general we don’t like the medium itself, there appears to be a well-intentioned effort to portray a conservative Muslim woman who really can be representative, at least in her perspective and thought process, of other practicing, conservative Muslim women. For that, I can definitely understand a “boo-yah!”

    This is far different from what we’ve seen in the past, where the only positive portrayals of Muslims were those who were either sell-outs, faasiqs, or completely oblivious to Islam itself (see Little Mosque on the Prairie for more details).

    To all who disagree with myself, or the author, my humble request (and you are under no obligation whatsoever to comply) is that any discussions or disagreement be done with the proper etiquettes and manners befitting us as Muslims.

  85. Avatar

    Siraaj

    June 28, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Why is it that they never give the true muslims (I mean not progressives like Irshad Manji etc) a platform to tell the masses what islam is truly about?

    That’s an assumption – it may just as well be that they did ask Muslims about this for character research and are representing accordingly.

    Siraaj

  86. Avatar

    ibn fellah

    June 28, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    oh man I got ripped ny siraaj. I must admit my ignorance of comic book characters so I’ll say I may have been wrong in assuming that wolverin was American but that’s not a big deal because he belongs to the same europoean cultural tradition As for the rest I stand by my original sentiments because hte neo-orientalist narrative doesn’t have to be consciously ‘orientalist’. It has to do with the culture and society and its outlook into which westerners are socialized. It’s very much normal for themto act in a certain manner with certain stereotypes. Orientalist approach is second nature to them and it can be seen in most discourses involving the east especially the orient even at a minimal level. Such is the case of this comic. Whether you agree or not that’s not my problem.

    Btw, I wonder Siraaj bhai what made you respond to my comment as siraaj muhammed linking to your now non-existent blog instead of as an ‘author’?

  87. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    June 28, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    Salaam alaykum Ibn Fellah,

    Yes, I was acknowledging the Eurocentric remark above in my, “Or more generally, white people good,” remark.

    My point is not that you are wrong and I am right. You very well could be right, in this instance, and I could be wrong, but the point is that your discussion of neo-orientalist narrative is flawed because you’ve attributed a characteristic to this discussion based on a synopsis of a story you have yet to read (or other stories, which you have not read). What sort of analysis is this?

    Have a read again up above at the comic in which the character speaks with her mother – does that sound like a neo-orientalist perspective to you? It doesn’t to me, and this is why your discussion of this point, to me, is more a genetic fallacy rather than a concrete and well-constructed discussion of the matter.

    As for the switching back and forth between names, the default settings on my browser (IE 6) are that I am not logged on and that the site pointed to is diversatility.wordpress.org (a mistaken address). If you change the .org to .com, you will find strangersoasis.com with nary a new post in quite a while. I logged in after posting my comment to you because I wanted to add something to my comment above.

    Siraaj

  88. Avatar

    ibn fellah

    June 28, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    wa alaikumussalam ,

    I think it would be unfair of you to ask me to entirely educate myself about comics and comic books in order to form a conclusion. I based whatever I said on three premises:

    a) The wiki description.

    b) The context of previous posts that anonymouse has made.

    c) I’m not the only one who criticized her.

    You have a point but you missed my point or perhaps understood it in a way different from how I intended it:

    It has to do with the culture and society and its outlook into which westerners are socialized. It’s very much normal for themto act in a certain manner with certain stereotypes. Orientalist approach is second nature to them and it can be seen in most discourses involving the east especially the orient even at a minimal level.

    this is the crux of my arguement.

  89. Avatar

    Siraaj

    June 28, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Salaam alaykum Ibn Fellah,

    And I wouldn’t want you to educate yourself on the nuances of comic books either (an utter waste of time, believe me). I would simply say that rather than speaking so definitively as if what you’ve stated is the case because it has happened previously, it would be better (since you acknowledge not knowing much about comic books) if this is presented as a possibility rather than the conclusion.

    You’ll note that in my first response, I’ve presented alternative possibilities which may or may not be true, or may even be true in concert with what you’ve presented. Your problem was that without evidence, understanding, or context, came to your conclusion on a wiki description, anonymouse’s acknowledgement of the general phenomenon of orientalist influence (and not specifically for this character’s origin and construction), and other posters (whose understanding may or may not be strong).

    No one is denying orientalist influence in writing and comics in general. But specifically in this case, I find some room for doubt, and so I’d say, rather than go off and attack someone (there are some comments in the moderators bin which I wish I hadn’t read) in pure ad hominem fashion, it may be better to have a civilized discussion and exchange of views where the parties agree to disagree if they are not seeing eye-to-eye on a matter. Constructive rather than destructive criticism insha’Allah.

    Siraaj

  90. Avatar

    Hahahahahah

    June 28, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    These comics are generally sleazy and popular only with the unemployed mind. They are not a good medium to portray 1% of Islam. What’s next? may be do a cover shot of hijabi muslim in some sleazy magazine and call that refreshing.

    I don’t think producers are concerned about portraying +ve or -ve about anything that doesn’t profit them. It’s pure economics.

    Comment edited for vulgar language.

  91. Avatar

    ibn fellah

    June 28, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    assalamu alaikum again,

    I think the possibilty can quite easily tip over to conclusion based on a subsidiary evidence so to say….and that isn’t directly related to the comic and I have alluded to it before. And that is the general tendency of the author to post certain type of material which makes one think the author has a certain type of thinking.

    I think there are some people one cannot agree to disagree with as a matter of principle. Anyway this will probably will me last comment here lest I further insult MMs immaculate experts and their expertise.

    Cheers.

  92. Avatar

    Siraaj

    June 28, 2008 at 6:19 PM

    I think there are some people one cannot agree to disagree with as a matter of principle

    That’s an interesting thought – disagreeing to disagree :D

    Siraaj

  93. Avatar

    Qas

    June 28, 2008 at 6:55 PM

    “MMs immaculate experts and their expertise.”…sigh…no one here has ever even referred to themselves as “experts”.

  94. Avatar

    Asim

    June 29, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Wow you guys seriously gotta chill. It’s just an article about a comic book niqaabi..nothing else lol

  95. Avatar

    amad

    June 29, 2008 at 6:40 PM

    I do find it interesting that while many find coolred’s comments annoying (and I share the annoyance for the most part too), the response from the “other side” is nothing to be proud of either. Instead of engaging in mockery, name-calling, dismissive behavior, I believe substantive arguments can be made with evidences and reasoning. Just screaming out that our kids don’t read comic books for instance, and then comparing it to drinking (wow!) just points to a failure of logical discussion, and a lack of a major reality check.

    Also, why is that some people want to hang MM up a tree every time they don’t like a particular post?? Aren’t there ENOUGH posts on MM that we can agree with in order for us to overlook the posts that we DON’T agree with? I mean some of the commentary here reminds me of masjid politics… as soon as one thing doesn’t go some peoples’ way, they are ready to boycott everything! Can we calm our reactive selfs?

    On a related note, I have to say that anyone who thinks that we represent some progressive thought, or some “White-House Muslim” thought, or RAND thought, needs to just go through our old posts and be honest to themselves, and then fear Allah for such slander (which has been made on MM forums before, so much for “censorship” accusations, and on other forums). In fact, we have written against the dangers of such thought many times. Just because our focus is on matters that we find important, or have the ability to discuss, doesn’t mean that we are the only experts on those matters or that we are always correct. That is how blogs work— you write something and people discuss it. But DISCUSS doesn’t mean bickering childishly. It is especially sad to see people who actually have Islamic knowledge show no semblance of good manners… do they feel that “loud’ bantering makes their message any stronger?

    If you really feel that we are not worth your time, then by all means, please find an alternative means to keep yourself busy. But, please be careful of what you say in your anger. Your words are recorded for sure on these pages, but they are also recorded in you book of deeds. And surely, some of what you (and I) say may be something that we would like so much to take back in the future. It has happened to me a lot of times, why do you wish to make the same mistake??

    So, THINK before TYPING. And then THINK AGAIN before SUBMITTING.

    P.S. ExEx sahib… my comment about enough Shayookh/fatawa was meant to be in jest. I was surprised that it wasn’t taken as such so I wanted to make sure to clarify it.

  96. Avatar

    Kimmy

    June 30, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Orientalist or not… I remember reading
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_the_Wind

    I remember reading about fasting all day long, for an entire month.

    As a child, it seemed like a very interesting culture.

    Not everything needs to be as bad as Narnia.

  97. Avatar

    coolred38

    June 30, 2008 at 6:59 PM

    “I do find it interesting that while many find coolred’s comments annoying (and I share the annoyance for the most part too),….”

    From the 96 odd comments posted here…MINE are apparently the only annoying ones..what exactly did I say that was so much more annoying then the 90+ other comments? I find it very difficult to have any sort of discussion with my fellow Muslims…as you said…either you agree with us or masjid politics take over…or in this case blogging politics. Its a good thing I have patience to bear such petty and non productive comments…otherwise Muslims who claim to have all the perfect answers and no others are accepted might actually be taken serious some day…and thats when Islam will officially be a religion made by men…and not God…so I’ll keep doing my small part to make sure that doesnt happen…and God knows best….

    and if a comic book can cause such mayhem among us…what have we got to worry about…hmmmm?

  98. Avatar

    amad

    June 30, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    What I find annoying coolred is your ability to conflate everything so conveniently. Also, yes Muslims have problems but we have Tawheed, which supersedes all cultures and all religions. So, yes we have problems, but it is not necessary to rub it in all the time. Not only is that not productive, it becomes part of the problem and not part of the solution. Remember, you can never correct “bad” behavior (in your books) by barfing all over it :)

  99. Avatar

    coolred38

    July 1, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    “What I find annoying coolred is your ability to conflate everything so conveniently…” my ability to conflate everything…you have got to be kidding. Maybe you should go back and re read…then figure out whose doing the conflating. But…to each his own…opinion.

    Your are right though…we do have Tawheed..but .its not a question of whether we have it or not…its whether we observe it properly.

  100. Avatar

    aamer khan

    July 2, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    although i do not share the author’s excitement over this issue, i must say that many of the comments against the article were rude and inappropriate and clearly portray the commentors ignorance of not only american culture but of islamic aadaab.

    cmon guys, lighten up. don’t go to hell by using evil words in reference to a COMIC BOOK.

    @ anonymouse: “I promise a house in the echelon’s of paradise for those who leave off arguing even though they are correct.” – Hadith. Your reward for taking the abuse patiently is with Allah. As long as you remain silent, those who curse you will be cursed by the angels.

  101. Avatar

    Ali Colak

    July 4, 2008 at 11:24 PM

    Assalamu Alaykum

    May Allah guide all of us.

    In there comments, many have remarked concerning how far the ummah of rassulullah saws have gone. I think that is made obvious by how a light-hearted post has been turned into a battling ring. Though I may agree with the fiqhi opinions stated, (such as the impermissibility of pictures),, and can understand the brothers and sisters who wish to command the good and forbid the evil. However, this is neither the way, nor the place to do it. The criticisms that were mentioned, were probably known by every one who read the article, and who (unlike my self) were able to see the picture. Let’S try to be a bit more polite with our next comments toards the sister and towards each other, before this post is closed for comments like the one on Yak Abed al-Haramain was closed recently, and before I could ask were to find it, to!

    Sister AnonyMouse, Thank you for a light hearted poast. I never thought that I would hear of a Muslim Super Hero in any type of comic, especially not a practicing Muslim. The thought alone makes me smile.

    Ali

    P.S. In agreement with at least one earlier poast, if the comments on this poast are going to continue, it may be advisable to get the people of knowledge in.

    P.P.S. Is the e added to Anonymous, ment to immitate french, were e is ended to the end of an adjective to make it feminin. I have little knowledge concerning the the demography or geography of Canada.

  102. Avatar

    Ali Colak

    July 4, 2008 at 11:26 PM

    Sorry about any gramatical errors. Sometimes I get so excited that I don’t pay close attention to what I am writing.

  103. Avatar

    Gohar

    July 5, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    A good comic book is the ridiculous quran-only website, and its sort. It’s full of nutters. I bet coolred would feel right at home there.

  104. Avatar

    Aalia

    July 6, 2008 at 12:15 AM

    Asalaam `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakato

    I’m partial to both sides, but like I stated in my comment waaaay earlier in the comment section, I know Anonymouse in RL and trust me, she is not one to tread lightly on issues regarding fiqh or Sunnah. I see this post as a side-liner made in the spirit of lightheartedness. Anoymouse isn’t even here to defend herself (not that she needs to in a case like this LoL). Meanwhile, since I don’t have an ounce of knowledge compared to the years of studying by the`ulema, I can’t say anything about drawing images without feeling guilty afterwords (I don’t wanna be responsible for possibly giving misinformation). So I’ll keep my thoughts on the matter quiet, teehee:-D

    P.S. Ali Colak, I think the name “Anonymouse” was derived from a cute splooshing of the word Anonymous & mouse. I’m just guessing because I have seen the Blog description and it was like, “Anonymous–Musings of a Muslim mouse”.

  105. Avatar

    jo

    July 6, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    as salamu alaikum,

    what about the sister who wrestles for TNA wearing a niqaab, Raisha Saeed? Is that also a good thing like this comic book character??!

    http://video.google.co.uk/videosearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=tna%20Raisha%20Saeed%20&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv#

  106. Avatar

    Aalia

    July 6, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Wa`alaikum asalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakato Jo,

    I have heard of “Raisha Saeed” only once before, but I didn’t do any research on her. After watching that video link you posted, I thought to myself, “that is so0o not a Syrian accent, more like a WANNABE Arab accent!”. So I looked her up and Wikipedia and as I suspected, she is Melissa Anderson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raisha_Saeed

    You can’t compare these two characters because Sooraya Qadir is just a cartoon character. “Raisha Saeed” is actually a fake munaqabaat, so which seems worse to you?

  107. Avatar

    coolred38

    July 6, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    Gohar

    While Im not an advocate of “Quran-only” as you say…I do believe the Quran should always and will always take precedent over hadith…I do find it interesting how you can make those two words sound like a slur of some kind…similar to calling someone a homo or pedophile….hmmmm?

  108. Avatar

    Gohar

    July 7, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Actually, i wanted to delete that comment after i had posted it, since i had made my dislike of your initial comments in this thread clear already. Although insults are initiated and reciprocated by both sides, its not the road i want to take. But perhaps MM will open up a quran-only thread allowing everyone to discuss its merits in the near future. I had some lingering doubts regarding hadeeth before i looked at their articles, but came out thoroughly disgusted with them and their beliefs.

  109. Avatar

    Khadija

    July 7, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    i never understood what was wrong with coolred’s comments in the first place….if you don’t agree then you don’t period why go personally attacking?
    geezzz
    i

  110. Avatar

    Muslim

    July 8, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    Assalamu ‘alaikum

    1. This is degrading to Muslim women and Islamic values, as many of the posters have mentioned.

    We don’t need some clowns drawing cartoon Muslim women in their comics, thank you.
    Especially since this comic includes drawing which is CLEARLY haram, as clear as a window just wiped with windex. Amongst the other problems.

    2. I have to admit I laughed at brother Gohar’s comment about the Qur’an-only website. Truly a comic book indeed. I don’t know which one you are talking about but they are all stupid, just different shades of stupid. That stuff lowers your iman to the ground when you read it.

    3. If anyone is having doubts about hadith and accepting them and how authentic they really are, then this is a very simple problem and – inshaAllah – it has a very simple solution.
    The Problem: You have no knowledge whatsoever about the science of hadith and how amazing and precise it actually is, and how many men (the true meaning of the word) put effort upon effort – by the Will of Allah and with tawfeeq from Him of course – to contribute to this science so that it is what it is today.

    The Solution: Find out more about this intricate science and how it really works. It is not just “hey I heard some guy tellin me a hadith lol” “oh ya? ok just put it in that book right there, wait…are you sure you heard it?” “er, I think so…” “okay, sahih then.”
    No, there is much, much more involved in this science. That is why when you have a little bit of knowledge of hadith (and I do not claim to in any way, I am simply a layman), you are able to confidently say that a hadith is pretty much 99.999% certain.

    Sorry for going off topic, I ask the mods not to delete this post as I hope it will be of benefit to those who might be turning to the comic book Qur’an-aloner websites.

  111. Avatar

    Umm Layth

    July 12, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    as salamu ‘alaykum

    According to a an egyptian arabic teacher of a friend of mine, the proper word when calling someone ‘a niqabi wearer’ is muntaqibah. Munaqqabah actually refers to a woman with holes punched in her face, and according to her ustadha the word mutanaqqibah is also incorrect.

  112. Avatar

    Umm Layth

    July 12, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    and Allahu ‘Alam really.I just thought I’d share that since I saw it used above and I recently came across it.

  113. Avatar

    COMIC_&_ANIME

    July 27, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    I liked the idea, but I am not comfortable of what artists and designers do (and am one of them, but not against my beliefs), What I am trying to say is that I am afraid of is….you don’t know what people say or do on such things….Whatever.

    One more thing…Why do the world think that Muslims only live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India….I mean where did the following cities gone:-

    Saudia
    Imarites
    Qatar
    Bahrain
    Iraq
    Kwait
    Lebanon
    Syria
    Palastine NOT Israel
    Yemen
    Oman
    Egypt
    Sudan
    Libya
    Tunisia
    Algeria
    Morocco
    Muritania
    Somalia

    These countries has over 90% of Muslims of their populations, with few exceptions.

    I wish they can be considered more in movies and other types of media.

    Peace be upon you, and god watch over you all.

  114. Avatar

    Muslimah

    September 13, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    Salam alikum.

    Ok I have read down about 10 peoples comments and they are geting more and more angry-ish. Ok so it may not be your cup of tea but who cairs! Most of the people that will be reading the comics will be non-muslims, and as it stands most do not look that nicely on muslims. So any good that can be done through this is good. I like to read comics, even Harry Potter! there just storys people not real life. And what is the “observe correct hijaab” that was written. You dont need to put on a niqab to be in correct hijaab. A head scarf and lose fiting close that cover evrything but hands and face is what I have always been told. Try to look at the haff glass full and not empty people. Anger will not help enything. Well have a nice day. Bye

  115. Avatar

    Nilufer

    November 23, 2008 at 10:10 PM

    Salam Alaykom,

    I have mixed feelings about Muslims/Muslimahs being potrayed in comic books, mostly because either the character is portrayed wrong or in a less than proper condition, but on the other side, they are trying. And it’s not like these characters are the enemy right? I am the cheif designer for game design firm that my friends and I are starting up and I do freelance. Yes, I draw people. Yes, I know that it is against the “rules” but please… I do not do this thinking “HAHAHA… I am creating/so on..” but i feel that with the correct imput based on this generation, wouldn’t it a good way to make children pay attention and educate people on Islam? Maybe I am wrong, but how else do you reach children who are more intersted in their X-box then their Quran Studies?

    Salam Alaykom
    Nilufer

  116. Avatar

    sister in Islam

    December 12, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    ummafnaan said:
    Look anon or whatever the hell you call yourself. it seems you do not understand the point of the converstaion going on between MUSLIMS. So pls do like a mutant and disappear I am definately not interested in conversing with the likes of you. Muslim children do not read comics. I don’t give a hoot what u let your children read. I repeat this is about MUSLIM children.

    -June 27th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I was going through some of the comments on this thread and I saw this from UmmAfnan. Her language is totally unacceptable and I thought I would point it out so you can edit it insha Allah. It amazes me that someone who is so staunchly against TV, comic books and filth, would use this type of language with their fellow Muslims.

    Al Hasan al Basri said, “He who has no MANNERS, has no KNOWLEDGE; he who has no patience has no Religion (Deen); and he who has no God consciousness has no closeness to Allah.”

    And please my fellow Muslims, treat each other kindly on these forums. What kind of an impression are we giving to all the Non Muslims who might happen to roam around here and read these kinds of attacks??? The same thing happens on YouTube ALL the time! Muslims get mad, use profanity with the Non Muslims and then you have the Non Muslims responding with “Is this what your Islam and Quran teaches you? Is this the love and peace of your religion that you go around preaching?”

    We should ALL be ashamed of ourselves. And know that whatever you leave behind on forums, blogs, cyber-space MIGHT just be considered a form of Sadaqa Jariyyah since you’re leaving it behind even after you long pass away.

    We’re in need of a little more Adaab than a whole lot of knowledge. :(

  117. Avatar

    khawla

    December 12, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Wow! next time we can promote Harry Potter took a friendship with a Muslim girl called Shamsiah and she has the power to flick her niqab to turn the sun to rise from the west whenever she undress?. Only in the name of comic so the kids may have some fun?

    I remember a story of our previous scholar who’s father had refused him to go study maths or something. His dad said to him: “Go memorize Qur’an then come ask me”. He memorized the entire Qur’an and went to ask his dad again. He dad asked him to go lead the prayer in Taraweeh and he did. Then, he got to study what he wanted.

  118. Avatar

    ComplexitySimplified

    February 15, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    This post raises a number of questions – It would be good for the author to answer these questions with daleel if she knows the answers or if the author does not know the answers then it may have been much better and preferabble not putting up this post until she was aware of the answers.

    Secondly, I am surprised none of the resident Shuyookhs who appear to be provide MM with legitimacy/patronage and fan-base etc have not commented or given advice on the issue here.

    The questions are (it would be masha’Allah great have the answers to these from the MM Shuyooks with dalee and/or the author and those that support this posting):

    1) Permissibility of reading comics. Is it permissible/halal?


    a) If answer is no –
    then the whole basis of the post is not supported by Islam and should never have been posted/promoted in its present form on this site (author proclaiming to be a fan/follower on the look out for good graphic novels with awesome pictures etc and promoting the arrival of character that occasionally appears in tight fitting abaya and niqab). – The author should remove it and apologise and make tawbah for it and write a retraction and publicise that so that other Muslim and non-Muslim who have visited and less knowledgadble do not go away believing this to be a halal action. [Just because Muslims do things that are sinful and they are done generally e.g. watch movies etc – doesn’t i make it OK to publicise individually ones sins

    b) If the answer is yes – then there are a number of follow up questions:

    2) Is it permissible to read and promote comics that have characters that dress inappropriately, drawn to extentuate their masculinity/feminity, who engage in non-halal relations and interactions (even if it is as ‘innocent’ as free-mixing or bf/gf relations), characters that have ‘magical’ powers, characters that can do things and who know the unseen etc?


    a) If the answer is no
    – then this article should not have been posted or promoted – the author should remove it and apologise and make tawbah for it and write a retraction and publicise that so that other Muslim and non-Muslim who have visited and less knowledgadble do not go away believing this to be a halal action. [Just because Muslims do things that are sinful and they are done generally e.g. watch movies etc – doesn’t i make it OK to publicise individually ones sins

    b) If the answer is yes – then there are a number of follow up questions (these question are perhaps more trivial)

    3) Is it permissible or a lets just say a ‘good thing’ to support and condone a muslimah comic book character that free-mixes, travels around without a mahram (though be it she claims to be a victim of slave-trading (most of whom are sold for sexual service), has magical powers, wears scanty abaya and niqab (some of the time) etc etc….. this is perhaps where there is room for difference of opinions – assuming answers to previous 2 questions were positive.

    a) if the answer is no – then perhaps this post needs to be re-written as critique rather than as one that promotes (though to be fair, the author is aware of the dangers of the character being further sexualised in the story and questions this).

    b) if the answer to 2 or 3 is yes – then I don’t know where or whom you take your Islamic knowledge from and what you base what is halal and what is haram upon. I would be truly shocked and really learn something if the MM shuyooks were to respond positively to 1,2 or 3.

    Or do they, like many others here, consider this as a whining comment and I should instead focus on bigger issues and let the question of halal or haram etc to not feature when it comes to matters of light entertainment like reading comics or MM for that matter?

    Also I wonder whether MM editorial policy is to allow any and all to post what they like as authors or is there a an editorial check on whether articles posted here are Islamically sound? (If so who does the Islamic checking? I don’t think the Islamic check has been done for this particular article)

    And Allah Knows best.

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  120. Avatar

    ali

    May 19, 2009 at 10:59 PM

    You guys are making a big deal about nothing. Perhaps the clothes she wears is wrong.
    We complain about how the media makes us always look bad. Now there’s a good muslim girl part of the x men and now you all are complaining, especially about petty foolish things. I was quite happy that i found her and i thank the x men writers for creating her.

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    Adil Imtiaz

    July 23, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    Asalaam-Alaikum all,

    It seems that the Ummah is yet again divided between two groups: those who take every hadith in a literal sense without studying the context or purpose (e.g, should dress be above ankles for men, or not!) and those who try to understand Ahadith by studying the life of the prophet (SAW) and why he approved or disapproved of things (that is, which interpetation is closer to the spirit of Islam, and the reason why the Quran came to mankind in the first place?) We have many respected shiekhs (old and new) who have passed on their own interpretations of authentic Ahadith, but they are also human and prone to bias and errors. Some might claim that those who look for context are trying to find an “easy” way out or trying to satisfy their “nafs.” I strongly disagree. Islam is for mankind, not just Muslims. It has a universal message, not customized for a specific group (wahabi, salafi, whatever!) The above posts are glaring examples of why the Ummah has declined over the ages. Stopping evil and encouraging good? yes that is what Allah SWT asks from us Muslims, but who’s defining what’s haram and halal? Everyone is familiar with the Ahadith, but I am sorry to say that there are differences in opinion on the issue of ART/TV etc, so it boils down feeling comfortable with a certain school of thought. Islam made everyting Halaal for us, apart from some exceptions which are very clear, but the realm of art/media is anything but Black and White, as some on this thread seem to claim. It has been said that the tongue can lead to hell or heaven, depending on how it will be used, that does not make the medium (tongue) Haram. What is haram in the Quran is “laghw”, that is, indecent talk, nonsense, anything that misleads…it does not mean poetry, TV, Microwave, helicopters, nightly news or whatever! The point is, it is how the message is delivered, and what it is… Every action will be judged based on niyah and method. In the prophet’s time, poetry was the like today’s internet. News and propaganda was done via poetry. The prophet SAW encouraged his companions to write poetry to counter the propaganda of the enemy. There is no disagreement as far as making 3 dimensional figures (sculptures) is concerned, but sketching and painting is not a black and white issue. Books and comics are popular mediums among the youth. Instead of complaining, why not provide our youth with a real alternative, use technology and creativity. Not every kid would want to read text only books. We need to invigorate our imaginations (like our brothers in Islam’s Golden and scientific age). Very few people can draw, and it is a gift from Allah SWT. Jihad is also to use your skills to spread the message in beautiful and creative ways….not just text books or speeches…..

    Once Lady Aisha (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) was playing with a toy horse with wings, and the prophet of Allah smiled, he did not say “Astagfurilah! This is HARAM!”, similarly, there was a wedding in one of the nearby tribes, and the Prophet had inquired why the people of Medina hadn’t sent a singer to the ceremony, as they were fond of songs.

    When Islam came, Arabia was engulfed in the worship of idols and images, and it was necessary to prohibit image making (especially scultping) to end this practice. But today, idol worshipping has been replaced by self- worshipping (one’s nafs), obsession with money and luxury. Atheists are pushing their agenda (Darwinism, Feminism, Capitalism) in every corner of the world, thanks to mass media, comics and so on….the solution is not to hide in a cave and turn everything off! No sir, the way of the prophet was to counter these attacks! In the battle of Khandaq, a trench was dug to repel the enemy, a persian strategy (some people today would have said, Astagfirullah! What? copy the Kufar?). The Muslim world should focus on media and the ARTS and take our youth back. Remember, we have to spread the message to any beautiful way possible…This is technology,available to who ever wants to use it. If we won’t they certainly will….

    I refrained from cutting and pasting any fatwas or ahadith, because we are all very familiar with them. No matter which school of thought you agree with, we should respect each other’s opinion and not label anyone “kufar” or anything “Haram”, for that in itself is a major sin before Allah SWT. The companions were instructed to respect differing opinions.

    Once the prophet SAW had instructed his army to wait for him at a destination and not to pray Asr until his arrival. When the prophet could not reach in time, and ASR time was running out, a group decided to pray, and the other decided to wait. At the end the prophet said that both groups were correct.

    Please think about this, the companions had the Prophet SAW himself to clarify matters and end differences.
    What about us?? Yes, we have the sunnah and Ahadith, but who’s interpretation do we say is the absolute truth?? Each group boldely claims “We are following the Sunnah!”
    In the end it’s between you and Allah SWT. As an Ummah, we should stay focused on the main goal and not quibble over such differences, and refrain from labeling people and things, even if you “think” you know Ahadith and Shiekhs….May Allah SWT forgive me if I have said anything wrong. We should always ask guidance from Allah SWT and not depend on any sheikh or one interpretation….

  122. Avatar

    Firdausa

    January 19, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    I love this ,mashallah keep it up

  123. Avatar

    cerole

    January 29, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    well “DUST” has been around, since 2002 thats when marvel put her out. plus i just found out about her a few days ago.

  124. Avatar

    Summer Lewis

    May 4, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Looks like this “Robin Hood” movie would be a great movie to watch just like the movie about King Arthur.-.-

  125. Pingback: Sooray Qadir (Dust), Superhero bercadar dari dunia Marvel « Jurnal si Bugot

  126. Avatar

    Melissa

    August 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I came here from tumblr and Dust seems like a pretty co to me.ol superhero

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  128. Pingback: New TV series combats images of Muslim women and superwomen | The Chicago Monitor

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#Life

Self-Revelations: Discovering Your Limits in India | The Motherland: Part II

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Prelude | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII

The “The Motherland” series will go over the benefits and challenges of studying Islam overseas in India, institutions of learning there in, and Nihal Khan’s journey of studying at Nadwatul ‘Ulama in the 2014-2015 academic calendar year. The subsequent articles in this series will detail his experiences and reflections from his travels and studies in India.

. . .

Knowing Your Limits

As soon as I situated myself in Lucknow, I began discovering my physical, emotional, and psychological limits. Experiencing the bitter cold winters of Lucknow and her brutal summers really showed me how my body adjusted without a heater or air conditioner in each season respectively. I also unfortunately encountered the Indian health care system much sooner than I had expected.

Rae Baraily (not to be confused with Baraily): The hometown and resting place of Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi, the great writer and last rector of Nadwatul ‘Ulama.

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Physical

In my first three months in Lucknow, I lost between twenty-five to thirty pounds (11-13 kg) from just adjusting to the food, water, and weather. Americans are bound to lose weight simply by the nature of how people eat in India. Portions are smaller, organic food is more abundant. Oh, and not to mention the water. As soon as I settled into Nadwa (the shorter name for Nadwatul ‘Ulama), I started to drink the tap water of India. I had the typical daily (okay, twice) diarrhea for about three weeks, until one morning I woke up and threw up like I have never thrown up in my life. I felt my stomach was going to come out of my throat.

After that I was in bed for a week or so. But finally after recovering, drinking water from the tap became very easy for me–as did eating street food. As one of my friends said, “You now have a stomach of steel.” I knew I was going to be in India for a long time and decided that it would be most convenient to start getting used to living as others do over there. Getting bottled water was just too complicated after seeing ‘cold taps’ available for drinking right next to your hostel.

The food situation was also quite tricky. After several failed attempts at having food delivered to me from outside tiffin services, I gave up and starting eating out for almost every meal. That became taxing as temperatures were increasing and the cost of meals was adding up. I successfully started eating food from the madrasa cafeteria which happened to taste quite pleasant. I received rice, bread, and lentils twice a day with a different curry dish each time. I still go out, usually once a day, to a local cafe just to unwind and get some comfort food. I spend a decent amount of time studying and eating at the Tramp Tree Café in Hazratganj (the Times Square of Lucknow) which is owned by India’s first MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria.

Mazahir al-Uloom in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The school where India’s most senior teacher of hadith resides, Shaykh Yunus Saharanpuri.

saharanpur

Emotional/Psychological

When you think things cannot get any more ridiculous, leave it to the interactions of an American student with his Indian environment to prove him wrong. The biggest arena where this was tested was in my interactions with administration,and  students and teachers alike at Nadwa. The most powerful incident which challenged my status quo was when I needed to get a measly managerial task completed, and instead of someone doing their job and getting done what needed to get done, I was introduced to the rather accepted and overbearing culture of purposeful procrastination. It was one of those things which would make me angry, while also upsetting me to the extent of wanting to shed tears, but I would stop myself as there was absolutely no functional premise for me to do so. Crying would not get me anywhere. This was a big deal as many of these tasks need to be completed in succession to be able to either sit in classes, complete registration, get permission to travel during the school year, etc. When this situation would unfold repeatedly, those intense feelings would not come back as strongly as they did the first time. I realized that my level of patience had gone up at that point. I had collected myself emotionally, and was now able to cognitively begin to analyze the environment that I was living in and its effect upon me. I will end up speaking more about this aspect in regards to interactions with students and teachers in the section below.

The Phrase “It’s Really Hot Today” Redefined

Getting used to the climate in Lucknow was not as easy as I had imagined it to be. From May to August the heat is unbearable. The average temperature just in May was 110 degrees Fahrenheit with a 125 degree real feel. It only gets worse in June through August when the humidity sets in. Though the monsoon season also starts around this time sending cool rains to moisten and cool the air, this year the storms arrived very late.weather

Things cool down between September to mid-December where it’s between 80-90 degrees usually. Then from mid-December to January the temperature drops to 40 to below freezing for many days.  Now though that does not sound too cold, you need to remember that there is no system of heating in most households and motor vehicles–so staying warm can be quite a challenge! Finally, from February to April the temperature is once again mild in the mid 80s during the day.

A goat climbing a car in New Delhi.

goat on car

What Will You See in the Rest of this Series?

Within this series on MuslimMatters, readers will be shown how life in India is for an American, experiences with health care, law enforcement, locals, Islamic institutions, what students of knowledge should consider before thinking about studying overseas, and lastly reflections and recommendations on the institutions I have visited.

. . .

Check out Part III of this series –> Health Care in India: Scooters, Breaking Bones, and Surgery | The Motherland

 

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#Culture

The Most Amazing Masjid Complex Built in the Western Hemisphere

Hena Zuberi

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By Hena Zuberi

After a 5-year wait, the Diyanet Center of America, also known as the Turkish American Community Center, is ready for worshipers and for visitors of all faiths.

A true majestic wonder- it is something made from a hundred million prayers. May Allah bless this gift to the people of the United States from the Turkish nation.

 

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The photography is by Salam Aref of New Dream Designs, an upcoming architect, artist and designer based in Maryland.

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The center of the masjid is designated as the sacred sanctuary

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The Mihrab is made of marble and gold leaf technique which was applied by artisans from Turkey. The upper part of the side of the mihrab is decorated with tiles imported from Turkey. On the pediment of the mihrab is a figure of the tree of life which symbolizes the 99 names of God.

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The ornate, marble mimbar is used for special occasions such as the Eid salah. It was designed and made in Turkey

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The kursi, where the imam gives dars, is composed entirely of wood and was made in Turkey. The kündekari technique of woodworking (the tongue-and-groove paneling of polygons and stars set in a strap work skeleton), which is the traditional art of wood decoration, and inlaid with mother-of-pearl. As the characteristic of kundekari technique, no nails, screws, glue, or fasteners were used in the panels

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Over the area of the sanctuary, there is a main dome on each side of which are five small domes. In order to provide  light inside the mosque, there are windows around the rim of the main dome. This dome is adorned with Arabic calligraphy, one of the traditional decorative arts of Islam. The large and small domes are supported by arches, in conformity with traditional architecture. Four marble columns were brought in from the Turkish provinces of Istanbul, Eskişehir, Afyonkarahisar, and Tokat, which are famous for marble.

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An intricately carved rehal holding a large Quran

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The central dome is inscribed with Surah al Ikhlas.

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A tree of life motif is centered, complete with the 99 names of Allah.

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“The Million Dollar Door”

The door of the main masjid is a brilliant piece of art made with the Kündekâri technique, This woodworking technique was developed in Anatolia during the era of the Seljuks. “Masters involved in the art of kündekâri, known as kündekârs, state that the starting point of this art is patience. They also complain about the lack of patience and interest among the younger generations concerning this traditional art form. In practice, say the masters, if you overlook a deviation even on the order of millimeters, you will lose control and fail to assemble the kündekâri. The technique produces pieces that are known to last for seven to eight centuries easily if not subjected to the negative effects of such things as earthquakes, fire, and excessive humidity.” From AnadoluJet magazine.

The mosque has six wood doors which open to three areas of the sanctuary and three areas of the courtyard.

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The central courtyard is anchored by a marble fountain. Copper taps are used keep an old world aesthetic.

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The windows in the outdoor courtyard

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This is the only masjid in America that has two minarets

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The mahfil, the area reserved for women covers about 1300 square feet. The ceiling
of the mahfil is covered with five small-scale domes. The domes are decorated with geometric designs.

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Chandeliers in the domes of the main hall of the masjid

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A 220-seat auditorium is a part of the multi-purpose cultural center. This includes a  conference room equipped with an advanced sound system and simultaneous translation rooms.

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Tiles adorning the cultural center at DCA

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#Culture

#Mecca_Live on Snapchat- Showcasing Laylat Al-Qadr on Social Media

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by Asad Yazdani

Snapchat – an already popular app – has been gaining a lot more attention and praise lately. An app that allows people to share pictures and videos of what you are currently doing with all your friends, Snapchat (in August of 2014) added a new feature called “Live” to their already existing “Our Story” feature.

With this feature, Snapchat users who are in a certain area or attending a certain event are able to submit their snaps to the event’s Live Snapchat Story, where many photos and videos are picked to be showcased to the rest of the world for a period of twenty-four hours after they are first put up.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsLh6i6kHIo[/youtube]

Snapchat is taking the world by storm by utilizing this feature across the globe, from LA to Japan, and more recently, from Makkah. Muslims from around the world have gathered to perform Umrah, the voluntary pilgrimage, during an incredibly sacred time in which it is believed that the Quran was revealed – the last ten days of Ramadan. This event, known as “Laylat Al-Qadr,” was broadcast during the Mecca Live Snapchat Story.
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Naturally, this has many Muslims around the world and especially on social media very happy and excited:

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A common theme being represented by the response is that of the beautiful unity of human beings from all walks of life that is being shown:

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The Mecca Live Snapchat Story is also giving many Muslims a chance to educate people of other faiths about Islam:

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Beyond just that response, however, many self-proclaimed non-Muslims are weighing in with their opinions also. And, given the recent state of representation of Muslims in the media, we seem to be getting an overall positive response:

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Even politicians are weighing in on this Live Snapchat Story:

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Representing Texas’ 18th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Representing Texas’ 18th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives

We are seeing that technology – especially social media – is slowly finding its way into our daily lives. This Mecca Live Snapchat story is truly showing the world the true power of social media as not just a platform for people to share pictures of their lunch or videos of their cats, but rather to show the true nature of a group of people who have been maligned by bad press all over the world, who have had their religion hijacked by extremists– a nature that one does not find by simply going online and doing a search on Google.

May Allah bless those who worked hard to get this story in motion and may He invite us all to this holy city one day.

Ameen.

Asad Yazdani is an American Muslim of Pakistani descent. Currently studying Engineering in San Diego, he hopes to find a way to incorporate his studies into bettering the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world one day, inshAllah.

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