The Status of Women in Islam

I saw a video on Facebook — a woman in a black jilbab (so you can only see her eyes) is showing flash cards to explain how women are inferior to men in Islam. I’m not going to post the video here because I don’t want to give it more views.

I don’t know why she feels a need to hide her face. She is not saying anything many Islamophobes are not already saying. It is yet another video quoting Quran verses out of context.

According to her, verse 2:228 says that a woman is inferior and of less value than a man. Verse 4:34 puts men in charge of women. Verse 2:282 says that a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. Verse 4:11 allocate to a man twice as much inheritance as a woman

Let’s look at these Quran verses in its proper context.

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِن كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ – 2:228

Translation:
Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

This verse is about what a woman should do after a divorce. She is to wait for 3 menstrual cycles to be certain that she is not pregnant with a child of her ex-husband. After this waiting period is over and she is not pregnant, she is free to marry another man, if she wishes to do so.

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The Lost Symbol

Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist, received a call from his former mentor and close friend, Peter Solomon, early one morning. Could he please give a lecture that evening to replace a speaker who was suddenly taken ill? Langdon couldn’t possible deny the request of a dear old friend. So he boarded the private jet Solomon had waiting for him to Washington.

When he arrived at the National Statutory Hall, it was empty. There was no one there, no audience. It turned out that the person Langdon spoke with earlier that morning was not Solomon’s personal assistant. He spoke to a maniac who had kidnapped Solomon and now Langdon had to do his bidding if he wanted to save his friend’s life.

Langdon’s quest was to find the Mason’s ancient pyramid and solve a series of riddles to uncover a long lost treasure, a secret ancient wisdom, buried somewhere in Washington. The Masons had been guarding the secret for generations, waiting for the moment mankind is able to comprehend the powerful knowledge that will take human civilization to a new level.

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Gone Tomorrow

Out of habit, Jack Reacher observed and checked out his fellow passengers on a train in the New York subway. One woman checked all eleven bullet points of a suicide bomber checklist.

But something was not right. It was 2 a.m. Suicide bombers always try to do the most damage. There weren’t many people on the train and in the stations at that hour. Regardless, Reacher had to do something to prevent a disaster. He approached the woman to try to calm her down and reason with her. She pulled a gun and shot herself in the head.

At the police station, two government agents who refused to identify themselves asked Reacher what that woman told him and if she gave him anything. When Reacher left the police station, four men in expensive suits were waiting and asked him the same questions, and threatened him of a possibly fatal consequence if he didn’t cooperate.

That was enough to get Reacher to start digging for the truth.

As always, Lee Child doesn’t disappoint. This is another hard-to-put-down book. Get it from this store or that store.

Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

People who voice their concerns regarding vaccine safety and efficacy are dismissed, supposedly because their concerns are not grounded in science. I want to ascertain if this is indeed the case. I started by looking at if there are any researches to determine causal a link between vaccines and autism.

When autism was first described in 1943, its incidence is 4 to 5 per 10,000 children. Now, it is 1 per 10 in US and 1 per 64 in UK. A 10-fold increase in incidence in US was reported in 2001, with 1/120 in 1990 compared to 1/2500 in 1970s (Ratajczak, 2011).

Thimerosal is a preservative that has been used in the manufacturing of vaccines since the 1930s. It contains 49.6% mercury by weight and breaks down in the body into ethyl-mercury and thiosalicylate. From 1930s to early 2000s, many childhood vaccines administered in US contained thimerosal.

Between 1999 and 2001, many vaccines recommended for children under 6 years old were made available in thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced formulations. However, exposures to thimerosal through pediatric vaccines still occur in the US and worldwide. Thimerosal remains an important vaccine preservative in resource-poor countries because it allows the use of multi-use vials, which reduces vaccine cost.

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Homst Recipe, Bangi Gateway

I went to Homst Recipe at Bangi Gateway for lunch. I ordered fried siakap in tamarind gravy, ginger lala and ying yang kailan.

The siakap (fish) was fresh and deep fried. The tamarind sauce was yummy. There was nothing left on the plate but bones by the time we finished eating.

homst-recipe

The ginger lala was delicious, but nothing special about it.

The way the kailan was cooked was indeed unique — this was the first time I encountered one cooked this way. The kailan was thinly sliced and fried crispy. It’s amazing. My guess is the chef dipped the kailan in very hot oil for maybe a minute.

The bill for two people was RM113.90 and worth every sen!

My verdict: 4stars

Perlis Bike Run

Zakat is a type of tax Muslims pay on their income and assets (e.g., gold, silver, livestock, crops) at a rate of 2.5% per annum. Zakat money is distributed to the poor and those in need. Asnaf is the term used to refer to people who are eligible to receive zakat.

Perlis is a state in the north of Peninsular Malaysia. The Bike Run is a project by MAIPS to proactively seek asnaf to distribute zakat to them.

Please watch this documentary. The Bike Run is one of the most heartwarming and beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s humanity and humility at its best.

Mandela: The Authorised Biography

Did you know that Nelson Mandela was royalty? He was the great grandson of King Ngubengcuka.

Before Mandela’s father passed away, he asked his friend, the Regent of the Tembu people, to take care of Mandela and provide him with a good education. The Regent kept his word and saw to it that Mandela received a good education. The Regent and his family treated Mandela as one of their own. But when the Regent tried to arrange a marriage between him and a young woman he didn’t quite like, Mandela and his cousin fled to Johannesburg.

In his youth, Mandela showed little interest in politics. When he joined ANC and became increasingly active in politics, it caused a rift between him and his first wife, Evelyn. She eventually left him due to her resentment of his political activities.

ANC organised protests and demonstrations to oppose the apartheid government, which was met by violence with the authorities who wanted to crush the dissenting voice. Mandela was not keen on armed struggle. He would like to use peaceful means to bring down the apartheid government, but when ANC was banned, Mandela and and many of his friends were forced to go underground and some fled abroad. After peaceful means were exhausted, Mandela had no choice but to agree to an armed struggle.

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