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The Lost Art of Manhood – Embracing Islamic Masculinity in a World Gone Soft

There is one thing that took a serious hit with the rise of woke culture. Masculinity. 

The idea of masculinity is not the same as it was a few decades ago. A lot of hard work has gone into tainting this concept. As a result, society is now almost repulsed by masculinity and anyone exhibiting or supporting it.

This repulsion to the concept of what we may call actual masculinity gave way to the dawn of soft masculinity and led to men letting go of their male characteristics and some going as far as adopting female traits to fit into the weird modern society: think WWE wrestler John Cena in a mini skirt, stockings, and black high heels. 

The drive to putrefy masculinity and its repercussions have not remained limited to the Western world. This idea that masculinity is in and of itself toxic has seeped into modern Islamic society, overshadowing the concept of the ‘real man’ that we find in the Quran and Sunnah. 

The fear of social rejection combined with an upbringing imbibed with unnecessary pampering has led to society having more soft males than real men. 

We see many Muslim men, husbands, fathers, and brothers kneeling to the dictation of the West and compromising on their values, sometimes even giving up on their innate gheerah (protective jealousy) just for social acceptance and approval. 

These domestic authority figures no longer exercise their God-given powers to ensure discipline and abidance to God’s law. The result is widespread corruption and social injustice. 

There’s no denying that some men in our society over-exercise their rights and exploit their God-given authority. However, we need to acknowledge the other extreme as well, where men are completely blind to what their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives are up to. 

And even if they are not blind and feel their innate gheerah burning on seeing their women folk transgressing the bounds set by Allah (SWT), these men have now become too powerless to act and do anything. 

Both of these extremes are dangerous as they lead to an unhealthy environment at home and within society at large. And so, we need to find a solution. 

We have a concept of masculinity in Islam, adopted and preached by our beloved Prophet (SAW), the Sahaba, and the pious predecessors. 

What is Islamic Masculinity? 

Islamic masculinity is when a Muslim man stood up and fought with a Jew who had snatched the hijab off a Muslim sister and torn her dress. This man gave up his life trying to defend the honour of his sister in deen (religion) because that’s what gheerah is. 

Masculinity is Ali (RA) sleeping in the Prophet (SAW)’s bed as he escaped Makkah to migrate to Madina, knowing there was a massive crowd right outside, armed and ready to kill the person inside. 

Masculinity is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) staying back and helping Aisha (RA) find her necklace, even as the convoy is headed for a battle. 

Masculinity is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) kissing his grandsons and carrying them on his back.

Masculinity is strength in times of weakness and bravery in times of fear. 

Masculinity is forbearance in the face of anger. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: 

‘The strong man is not the one who can overpower others. Rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari – 6114]. 

Masculinity is, as Allah (SWT) defines in the Quran, the concept of “real men”. 

“Rijaal (true men) who are not distracted, either by commerce or profit, from remembering God, keeping up the prayer, and paying the prescribed alms, fearing a day when hearts and eyes will turn over.” [Quran 24:37]

Men are responsible for everyone below them. And this responsibility requires them to ensure their safety in this world and the next. As quoted in Sahi al-Bukhari: 

All of you are shepherding guardians and are responsible for your flock. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects, a man is a steward of his family, the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. 

[Sahih al-Bukhari – 893]. 

Does a shepherd turn a blind eye, or is he too afraid of being mocked by society when the flock he is responsible for is headed towards a pit of fire? Of course not. What does he do? He acts. Does everything he can to stop them from a bad end. 

The same should be true for real, masculine men that our society desperately needs. They should panic seeing the people he is responsible for heading towards a bad end and do all they can before it’s too late. 

They should also adopt as many Prophetic traits as possible and exercise their manly rights and God-given authority with love, mercy, and kindness, as Allah (SWT) says about behaving kindly with your wife in the Quran:

“Treat them fairly” [Quran 4:19]

In addition, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said: 

“Allah is Kind and loves kindness, and He rewards for kindness in a way that He does not reward for harshness.” [Sahih Muslim – 2593].

Amidst the fading concept of chivalry and dwindling masculinity, with the rise of androgynous dressing and feminine men, society needs to understand and adopt the concept of Islamic masculinity. An idea that men are brave, chivalrous and protective of their women folks while also being kind, compassionate and just. 

Mothers need to nurture their sons, so they grow and become “real men” filled with gheerah and bravery. Women, in general, need to understand and respect the responsibilities Allah (SWT) has given to both genders and work accordingly. 

This is the only solution for the rising indecency, broken family system, and many other menaces prevalent in modern society. 

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