Further to the inexact response
of Sister Yasmin Mogahed to Shaykh Daniel's initial article
on the subject which has been spread throughout the internet and her facebooks fans we feel the need to clarify the position of all Ulama/teachers at Cordoba Academy led by Shaykh Mohammed Daniel.Sister Yasmin posted this in response to the above ruling:"Islam came to liberate us-not to become a weapon we use to bully others. Perhaps those who feel compelled to publicly condemn female speakers, and even use specific names, may benefit from Shaykh Akram Nadawi's 50+ volume series on nearly 9000 Muslim women teachers of our tradition who taught both men and women--most without niqab"Shaykh Mohammed Daniel responds with this:
As salam mu alaikum wa rahmat Ullah
Thank you for posting your response to my statement regarding the issue of female lecturers lecturing males and the vices that it may contain. I do not write this response to your statement with the intention of entering into polemics, but so that we may collectively come to the truth as one of this Ummah's greatest teachers Imam al-Shafi'ee (RA) famously said:
ما ناظرني أحد فباليت أظهرت الحجة على لسانه أو على لساني
I have not debated a person except that it bothers me not, whether the proof is established on their tongue or on mine.
Your statement: "a weapon we use to bully others"
Know well, may Allah preserve and strengthen you, that the context of my statement was not one of "a weapon we use to bully others" as you stated in your response, but it was actually in response to the question of a confused revert sister who had become despondent at the lack of address of this issue. (see here) I also felt that it could negatively affect her matrimonial life. Furthermore, I did not want to invoke the wrath of Allah upon myself, by ignoring the plea of this noble sister and engaging in the obscurantism of the sacred sciences.
Your statement,"Perhaps those who feel compelled to publicly condemn female speakers …"
Respectable sister, may Allah guide you and me to the truth, this is not an accurate representation of my statement as I did not condemn female speakers per se, rather I was addressing the issue of female speakers addressing men as I said clearly in the opening lines of my statement.
"I would like to provide you with a non exhaustive list of the vices that occur when such lectures are conducted to a mixed gender audience"
In fact, had you read my statement attentively, you would have come across the following passages in which I clearly encouraged female speakers/scholarship by saying:
As our deen is Nasiha, I feel that my answer on this topic would be incomplete if I do not offer some at this juncture. I would like to offer all sisters the advice that they should contemplate their actions and search for and weigh the positives and negative elements of what they are doing in lecturing men. Looking at Muslim population statistics, the number of women in the Ummah is more than that of men and therefore the need for sisters is great. I recommend that sisters should specialize in issues that their fellow sisters would feel more comfortable discussing with them as there is a genuine need for this in the Ummah and leave the lecturing of men to the same gender. This would be a far more effective use of human resources in the Ummah.
"Finally, those of you whom have studied with me, know that I am always encouraging female scholarship in Islam by giving examples of great female scholars of the past in the hope that I can motivate my sisters to be more perceptive in their pursuit of the Sacred Sciences, so let not any person say that I am stepping on women's rights or anything of the sort."
Your statement: "and even use specific names…"
Virtuous sister, this too is an inaccurate account of what I wrote and I can only assume that you were genuinely too busy to read my statement or felt that it was not of importance to you.
In the precursor to my statement on the subject, I clearly showed my intention to generalize the issue by stating:
"In order for me to answer this question and address the specifics of it, I would need to know more information about the nature of these lectures and how they are to be conducted as well as other information that will come in the context of my answer. As this information is not available to me now, my answer will provide general guidelines about the topic."
Furthermore, when the post was submitted it contained your full name in the title which I had removed as well as having a reminder posted that stated.
"The title was changed to remove names but the first post cannot be changed in this forum. In future, we ask that names are not used if the question can be made general." In a later post, I also stated this.
"Secondly, the Ulama have given preference to not mentioning the name of the individual if it is possible when asking for a ruling which is something we realize."
It should thus be clear from the above that I made a sincere effort not to use 'specific names' openly even if it is my prerogative to use specific names based on what the scholars have said in this regard. In fact, a little known fact that can be found in the books of the muhaditheen, (you stated Dr Akram's book) is that they would have special sessions in which they would permissibly backbite. You may ask yourself why then did I go to such an effort? The answer is in the saying of the great sage and scholar al-Fudail ibn Iyadh when he said:
المؤمن يستر وينصح والفاجر يهتك ويُعيِّر
"The Mumin conceals and advises and the persistent evil doer disgraces and condemns."Now at the beginning of your facebook post you stated "Islam came to liberate us…"
May I kindly ask you, to be more careful when making such statements or quotations of people from the past because you are a very gifted sister with a strong following and your statements can be misconstrued or deliberately manipulated to promote objectives that I am quite sure you do not seek to promote. The object pronoun 'us' in your post was it referring to women, Muslims or humans? [ii] I am sure you can appreciate the connotation and what I am trying to say. Your statement …may benefit from Shaykh Akram Nadawi's 50+ volume series on nearly 9000 Muslim women teachers of our tradition who taught both men and women--most without niqab
Despite being a very beneficial statement for the promotion of the book, it does little to come to the truth of the matter for numerous reasons including the fact that the book, to the best of my knowledge, has not been published yet, so I am unable to refer to it. Have you read the book and did you manage to gather the exact number of young women who travelled around without a mahram, teaching mixed-gender gatherings of lay people without a screen or face veil (niqab)? (even though I never mentioned niqab in my statement and respect the sisters who do not wear niqab as one may read here
) If you could you kindly enlighten me to your findings so that I may be guided to the truth and retract my statement if need be. If you do not have the answer, could you kindly ask Dr Akram Nadwi [iii] or your sister Dalia Mogahed [iv] who are both scholars (as in wiki links provided below) to provide precise proofs to support your practice.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Servant of Allah
________________________________________ The scholars have stated that it is a major sin for a person who possesses knowledge to withhold it from those who request it of them and they base this on the following proofs:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُولَـئِكَ يَلعَنُهُمُ اللّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ
Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book,-on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse. (al-Baqarah 159-160)
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ
And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made! (ale-Imran 187)
In an authentic hadith that can be found in numerous books including the Sunan of Abu Dawood and Jami of Imam al-Tirmidhi we find the following: “Whomsoever is questioned about a matter of knowledge and withholds it will be branded with a brand of fire on the Day of Judgment.”
[ii] Could it be the statement of the famous Sahabi Ribee (RA) when he said:
الله ابتعثنا والله جاء بنا لنخرج من شاء من عبادة العباد إلى عبادة الله، ومن ضيق الدنيا إلى سعتها , ومن جور الأديان إلى عدل الإسلام
[iii] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Akram_Nadwi
[iv] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalia_Mogahed