Equality of the Hearts(title by Lama Mansour)

سارة سعيد كردي

It is a story of a truly empowered woman who does not know Nike, Puma, a woman who does not race, box, play any martial arts, nor does crossfit. She is greater than mountains and she resembles everything that is human. An amazing soul, a beautiful mind, and the perseverance that would withstand any storm. She lost a loving husband, two children, and was left alone to raise a family on her own. Her story is the story that we no longer honor or see because it is not sexy enough. The majority of women, and in that matter, men, share her humanity. She is real. The women and men like her around the world are real. Yet, when we honor women on Women’s day, we honor only what we label today as “hot and sexy,” something that is news worthy. We honor the women that the corporate machine tell us to honor. Why? Because we need to buy, we need to consume, we need to be enslaved. I am not against buying, and God knows I am guilty of consumerism but let’s not forget to honor the right people. To honor the real heroes. Do not honor and glorify the salesman or in fact the adman (I am guilty as charged).

نورة عبيد
This is not the name given to her by her father and mother. A story of love, compassion from an enslaved woman that lived in my house. She was sold into slavery with her two sons. They were separated from their father, sold in the slave market. She was everything except a slave! They grew up in our house until Saudi Arabia abolished slavery but she remained with us and her sons were raised along side her. They both died young, leaving an old graceful woman behind. You expect her to be angry, bitter, but she was my first lesson in forgiveness and gratitude. As a teenager, I fought with kids and when I was defeated, I was angry and insulted them. She tells me stories at night whilst I indulge in craft cheese with Samooli bread and tea, she tells me not to insult anyone and not be angry. Always leave them for God.
الله يرحمك يا خالة نورة
One beautiful day to remember all the women in the world. It’s not about our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers or wives or the women in our lives…It is about women. But what is that make women so great to honor?! I do not have the answer. But one thing I know, I do not want the corporations that enslave men, women, and children in their factories to honor women. I do not want companies that sell poisonous food and drinks to honor women. I do not accept their version of honoring women. I do not accept the women that submit to modern slavery by choice. I refuse they symbolize the honor of women! Or men that enslave themselves to the corporate machine. It seems to me that we are seeing an increase in brand-sponsored women empowerment that convinces women to buy $400 shoes that were made by men, women and children who are in dreadful factory conditions in poor countries around the world. There is only one objective, to make money and lots of it. Do not be deceived in thinking these brands care for humanity. If they did, their factories wouldn’t be in India, China, Bangladesh, and in every poor country around the globe, exploiting the poor to increase and “maximize” share holders return! It is fine. It is how the world functions today, but see the lie. Do not be fooled. Buy their products because it does serve a purpose but don’t sell yourself. 

السيدة مريم بنت عمران 

السيدة خديجة بنت خويلد عليهما السلام
It makes me nervous to even write these two names. The Virgin Mary, the only woman honored by name in the Quran, honored and praised by God. She is honored for what? For her piety, modesty, dignity, and faith. She was honored by being the mother of God’s Spirit, the beautiful, peace loving Prophet Peace Be Upon Him Eissa, Jesus. Then comes Khadija. This glorious woman! I have seen her name used to honor women and what an honor it is. She truly honors all the women in the world. But what are we truly honoring? We are honoring a woman who was a selfless partner, a gentle soul, a great visionary, and a loving wife and mother. She was a genius trades woman and a powerful mind. But, what made her name eternal is her support for the Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. She was selfless in his support. She saw HIM before anyone. We honor her mind, her support, her vision, and her selflessnesses. We honor her for Fatima! Empowerment is a long process that requires patience, perseverance, great amount of faith, dignity, honor, and piety. Honoring women and men should not be about how they are in shape, but about how they shape the world. It’s working on the mind and soul before the body.
I am for all kinds of honoring of women and men. We should honor greatness no matter where it comes from. Humans are attracted to greatness. This is why we love sports and music because we can see what the human mind can do. The focus, the passion, the challenge to advance the human race forward. For those who think honoring women is by calling for equality between the sexes, I say; we are not equal. Men and women are not equal. We will always be different. Biology dictates it, the survival of the human race demands it. If you look externally, you will see the inequality from a mile away, but if you look closely and internally, you will see equality. I call for equality of the hearts, not equality of body parts. At the end, this is how we are equal before the eyes of God.

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

والتقوى محلها القلب والقلب لا يرى، ولا فرق بين قلب المرأة والرجل 

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