What Is Honor?

Honor. This word drives me insane. Do we even know what honor means? From what place exactly does the word “honor” originate and is it objective? Honor has been used way too many times as an excuse to suffocate girls from the right to life. Honor has been exploited for personal, selfish gains, across all cultures and societies. Honor is a pretty word to blanket over your disgusting patriarchy and entitlement. Honor is a social construct. Honor is a lie.

Recently, I’ve had the misfortune to witness men feel the undeniable need to address topics about Muslim women (surprise, surprise). They have taken it upon themselves, never having lived a single second as a woman in today’s world, to discuss heavy subjects pertaining to women such as hijab, virginity, and feminism. Would they ever think for a minute to maybe have at least just one Muslim woman on their panel? Never. They have an agenda and it would never include uplifting their fellow sisters in Islam in a productive way. I highly doubt our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sat around a table disgracing women for doing x,y,z. Honor is not a gender exclusive concept within in Islam. Society and culture has molded honor to weigh only on the shoulders of women because it’s convenient for those in power. Maybe women only carry ‘honor’ just so men can get away with acting like complete fools without being reprimanded, because no one has taught them that they have any ‘honor’ to uphold in the first place.

“Honor is a lie.”

Do you think it’s honorable to abuse women with words and actions? Do you wear a figurative glistening crown every time a woman pays at the expense of your incompetence, your ignorance, your privilege? Not only do they have the audacity to publicly demolish women in Islam and generalize the most important part of this Ummah, but they expect us women to stay silent and then get upset if we speak up for ourselves. You are wrong, my brother. I will not stand for my sisters being ambushed by another man. I will not stand for some random, ignorant, self-righteous man to demoralize the passions, intelligence, and lives of my sisters. I will not stand for any man who tries to strip my sisters of their sense of worth by any means.

It seems as though Muslim women can’t do anything without being scrutinized and evaluated in the most demeaning of ways. If we aren’t pursuing careers within the typical STEM related fields, then we’re a disgrace, a dishonor, regardless of how successful and satisfied we are. This is not Islam. This is a culture of patriarchy and control. I’m sorry to all the Muslim women who have revolutionized the fashion industry, who paved the way for other Muslim women to feel comfortable dressing modestly. I’m sorry no one understand the very real struggles of misrepresentation and lack of proper representation. I’m sorry to all the Muslim women who pursue careers in beauty, business, or writing, but are seen as “materialistic” and low of imaan (faith). I’m sorry that these men feel the need to shut down your creativity, your talent. I’m sorry that you’re told to not pursue your dreams and passions because it’s “not right,” under non-factual, and highly opinionated means. I’m sorry you’re encouraged not to follow your dreams and passions like it has anything to do with your imaan. I’m sorry that your knowledge and your passion aren’t seen as good enough. I’m sorry that your platform, be it art, be it designing, be it fashion, be it poetry, isn’t worthy of acknowledgement. I’m sorry that your hobbies and interests like “make-up and hijab tutorials,” are spoken from their mouths like dirt. I’m sorry that you are stripped of titles such as serious, strong, sophisticated. I’m sorry that you can’t carry your art and honor hand in hand.

Honor. This word drives me insane.

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