The Uncaged soul of Tulukachi a Sultry ExoticE Sex Apeal

Mumtaz was born to Abdul Saleem Askari and Shadi Habib Agha in Mumbai, India, on 31 July 1947. She entered Hindi cinema at age 12. She started as an extra in films in the early 1960s like Boxer, Samson, Tarzan, and King Kong. In the 1960s, she starred in as many as 16 action films with freestyle wrestler Dara Singh and was labelled as a stunt film heroine. Dara Singh-Mumtaz pair had 10 of the 16 films as box office hits.

She first gained attention in a supporting role as a vamp in the A grade color hit film Mere Sanam (1965). She gained major attention when she played one of Dilip Kumar’s leading ladies in Ram Aur Shyam (1967). The film became one of the top hits of the year, and she received her first Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She supported Sharmila Tagore in several films in the late 1960s, such as for Saawan Ki Ghata, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, and Mere Humdum Mere Dost. She had a memorable song and dance number “Aaj Kal Tere Mere” with her co-star Shammi Kapoor in the hit film Brahmachari (1968). It took Raj Khosla’s blockbuster Do Raaste (1969) starring Rajesh Khanna to finally make Mumtaz a full-fledged star. When earlier, she had played a small role as Rajendra Kumar’s sister in Gehra Daag, now she was elevated to playing his leading lady in Tangewala. Shashi Kapoor who had earlier refused to work with her in Saccha Jootha because she was a “stunt film heroine” now wanted her to be his heroine in Chor Machaye Shor.
Mumtaz acted in 108 films in a career that spanned just 15 years till 1977. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for one of her favorite films Khilona in 1970. Mumtaz acted with Dharmendra, Feroz Khan, Sanjeev Kumar and Biswajeet but her pairing opposite Rajesh Khanna was the most popular with the audience and critics alike. Mumtaz had 8 super hits opposite Rajesh Khanna as the solo lead hero in the period 1969-1975.
In 1996 she received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. In June 2008, she was honored for her “Achievement in Indian Cinema” by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) in Bangkok.
Mumtaz married Mayur Madhvani on 29 May 1974; they have two daughters, Natasha and Tanya. Mumtaz has acknowledged she successfully battled cancer.

 TULUKACHI HAVE A CERTAIN ALLURE TO THEM, A SULTRY EXOTIC SEX APPEAL YOU GET THEM IN PRIVATE, THEY LET LOOSE. HOT, SEXY

who said Indian Muslim woman are dull? My secret locked, a tale untold,The only key, within your hand,Too sacred for them to behold,Too pure for them to understand A secret locked” is supposed to mean, a Muslim woman’s beauty, which she has kept under her physical hijab, “A tale untold” is supposed to mean her personality which she has kept reserved with her inner hijab which is her sense of modesty a tale untold,The only key, within your hand,Too sacred for them to behold,Too pure for them to understand.Tonight I tell that tale to you,An open book for you to read,Your book, I yearn to read it too,And share each breath, your every need.Gone the lonesome years, weeks, days,For now our hearts have taken flight,You look at me with longing gaze,And I, at you with shy delight.Love me; love all that I am,Cherish me as precious treasure,Teach me with gentle guiding handEndlessly seeking His pleasure.


All that talk about first impression and lasting ones… well, that’s not all jazz you know. Whoever said it sure knew what they meant. And guess what, if you want to seduce someone, you’ve got to do more than just dress and speak the role, you have a secret yet powerful tool at easy disposal, your eyes. Making the right eye contact and giving the right signals via your eyes to the person you are interested in means about 50 per cent of your work done. The truth is that most of the communication that occurs between two people who are interested in each other is wordless, it’s all about the looks.


Indian Muslim women have a certain allure to them, a sultry exotic sex appeal. You just know that once you get them in private, they let loose. Hot, sexy
Even the experts will vouch for this. In fact, communication and body language counsellors opine that the basic components of eye behaviour are easy to master once a person knows how they work. So, if you want to ensure that you always use your eyes fluently and with dazzling effect, here are four simple steps you need to follow.
Desi girl friend exposed in International Airport

All that talk about first impression and lasting ones… well, that’s not all jazz you know. Whoever said it sure knew what they meant. And guess what, if you want to seduce someone, you’ve got to do more than just dress and speak the role, you have a secret yet powerful tool at easy disposal, your eyes. Making the right eye contact and giving the right signals via your eyes to the person you are interested in means about 50 per cent of your work done. The truth is that most of the communication that occurs between two people who are interested in each other is wordless, it’s all about the looks.

Even the experts will vouch for this. In fact, communication and body language counsellors opine that the basic components of eye behaviour are easy to master once a person knows how they work. So, if you want to ensure that you always use your eyes fluently and with dazzling effect, here are four simple steps you need to follow.

All sex activities of the Kadars of Cochin are some what different since, they are confined to excursions into the forest during day time. The restrictions therefore mould not only sex-habits as such, but determine also the daily routine of all married people (Ehrenfels 1952:202 and Coon 1972:158). Further, their ordinary marital sex life is also quite interesting. A husband of women would ask his wife to go, and collect firewood in the forest, either in the morning or, late afternoon. She, naturally, will accept it as the appropriate way The wife will take this as just the correct form of approach to which she will generally respond willingly, unless contemplating divorce or expecting menstruation very soon. If the two have expressed their intention to “collect firewood”, no other Kadan with the least common sense and decency in him would ever dream of accompanying them, though Kadar go for real collection expeditions generally in somewhat bigger groups to the forest. Very small babies will be taken along, by the mother, and put under a thick shrub or bamboo bush, before she lies down to unite with her husband. A certain risk for the baby is here undoubtedly involved, for jackal, hyaena, panther and tiger are more likely to snatch away a baby lying alone at some distance from its parents, than to attack these themselves but, the Kadars yet to express a fear about it (Ehrenfels 1952:203). The Kadars also believe that houses, leaf-shelters or, caves are too small, and too over crowded, and too open as to allow any enjoyable intimacy. Moreover, sexual intercourse must not take place in the presence of children (Ehrenfels 1952:203). The Native American tribe, Hopi insists that sex should take place indoors while, the Witotos, another Native American tribe insists that sex should take place outside their dwelling unit.
Even frequency of intercourse is related to cultural norms.

Some tribals, specially the Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh, have sexual intercourse in day time since, they feel that intercourse at night lead to the birth of blind child. Also, they have sex in deep forest area as, they believe that their home is not a hygienic place to have sex (Haimendorf 1943). The Maasai of Eastern Africa are of the opinion that sex in day time can be fatal (Rouse 2002:11).
The pastoral Maasai, inhabit the savannah borderland between Kenya and Tanzania in Africa permitted their young males to have sex with immature girls. Talle (2007:351), in an article, has reported that: “This license has its rationale within a cultural logic and structural framing of hierarchically organized age and gender categories that give precedence to male seniority and male power (Jacobs 1965; Galaty 1977; Spencer 1988). This article argues that sexual prohibitions and licenses-the one implicating the other-may be fruitfully analyzed as part of ‘serious games’ (Ortner 1996), where subjects are positioned in shifting contexts of equality and inequality, power and hierarchy. Throughout their life cycles and in their practical lives, Maasai subjects participate in several sexual ‘games’, which are deeply social practices drawing people into wide and intense webs of interaction and sociality. Sexual relations, moreover, cannot be analyzed in isolation from other social relations or from the realm of economics or politics (Caplan 1987; Ortner and Whitehead 1981; Herdt 1999)”.

An Overview of the Tribal Sexuality
The most common pattern noted in the literature is to permit joking within the same generation, sometimes with alternate generations and only rarely between contiguous generations. Radcliffe-Brown regards the joking relationship as a technique of resolving problems inherent in the social structure and an alternative to extreme respect or avoidance. He says that: “a relation between two persons in which one is by custom permitted, and in some instances required, to tease or make fun of the other, who in turn is required to take no offence”. He further says that: “the joking relationship between affinal relatives close in age is that sexuality is spoken about or expressed in gestures which seems to anticipate a future sex relationship” (Radcliffe-Brown 1952:90-104). While the ethnographic literature frequently makes mention of joking, sexual license, or obligations between specified members of a society, among the Luguru of Tanganyika all three of these behavior patterns are to be found in a relationship. For example, “a man may jokingly grab a woman’s cloth and attempt to disrobe her, and a good-natured tug-of-war or wrestling may result. A woman may deride a man about his lack of sexual prowess, and imply that he is sterile or impotent. He may respond with an invitation to accompany her in order to demonstrate his virility. The fact that a man is married does not prohibit him from indulging in a jesting conversation with sexual overtones, particularly with unmarried woman. However, it is considered bad form for a man to make suggestive or obscene remarks to a married woman, unless her husband is present” (Christensen 1963:1316).


An Overview of the Tribal Sexuality
The most common pattern noted in the literature is to permit joking within the same generation, sometimes with alternate generations and only rarely between contiguous generations. Radcliffe-Brown regards the joking relationship as a technique of resolving problems inherent in the social structure and an alternative to extreme respect or avoidance. He says that: “a relation between two persons in which one is by custom permitted, and in some instances required, to tease or make fun of the other, who in turn is required to take no offence”. He further says that: “the joking relationship between affinal relatives close in age is that sexuality is spoken about or expressed in gestures which seems to anticipate a future sex relationship” (Radcliffe-Brown 1952:90-104). While the ethnographic literature frequently makes mention of joking, sexual license, or obligations between specified members of a society, among the Luguru of Tanganyika all three of these behavior patterns are to be found in a relationship. For example, “a man may jokingly grab a woman’s cloth and attempt to disrobe her, and a good-natured tug-of-war or wrestling may result. A woman may deride a man about his lack of sexual prowess, and imply that he is sterile or impotent. He may respond with an invitation to accompany her in order to demonstrate his virility. The fact that a man is married does not prohibit him from indulging in a jesting conversation with sexual overtones, particularly with unmarried woman. However, it is considered bad form for a man to make suggestive or obscene remarks to a married woman, unless her husband is present” (Christensen 1963:1316).Different people feel differently about the place of their sexual intercourse. One of the reasons for the origin of youth dormitories in tribal societies (Ex. The Muria Ghonds of Madhya Pradesh) is that the parents do not want to be witnessed by their children during their sexual intercourse at home. While the Muria Ghonds juveniles have their sexual urge fulfilled in the youth dormitories. After the weaning has effected, The Muduvars, and the Malai Malasars children sleep in bachelor or, young maiden halls respectively, and thus, the parents are undisturbed during nights in their houses (Ehrenfels 1952:203).

Similar cases reveal the peculiar sex behaviour and the status of women, where whom being deemed as sex objects or, symbols. Thus, Linton (1939:138, 164-165) wrote that the Marquesan woman was mainly a sexual object; she had to concentrate on the development of sexual techniques and the maintenance of certain sexual attributes, which leave little time for the tenderness that must be given to children. He further claimed that the Marquesan women did not nurse offspring but spoon fed them in a rather cruel fashion, so as not to ruin the appearance of their breasts.
The male circumcision is not unpopular but, treated as a cross-cultural oddity is a venerable Western tradition. Scholars, anthropologists in particular, have looked it as a cultural practice (Ex. Ashley-Montagu 1937, Singer and DeSole 1967, Firth 1936, Rubel et al. 1971, Hogbin 1970, Lewis 1980, Ucko 1969, Brewster 1919, Brown 1921, and Spencer and Gillen 1899), and most of them believed that such practices were fraught with the ethnocentric perils of revulsion, admiration, and exoticism. Female circumcision, partial or, total cutting away of the external female genitalia, has been practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, generally as one element of a rite of passage preparing young girls for womanhood and marriage. Often performed without anesthetic under septic conditions by lay practitioners with little or no knowledge of human anatomy or medicine, female circumcision can cause death or permanent health problems as well as severe pain. Despite these grave risks, its practitioners look it as an integral part of their cultural and ethnic identity, and some perceive it as a religious obligation. Female circumcision is currently practiced in at least 28 countries across the centre of Africa north of equator; it is not found in southern Africa or in the Arabic-speaking nations of North Africa, with the exception of Egypt. Female circumcision occurs among Muslims, Christians, animists and one Jewish sect, although no religion requires it (Althaus 1997). However, Gordon (1991) had documented cases of female circumcision and genital operations in Egypt and Sudan. What these concerns might be brings us to he most venerated explanation for mutilation operations – the rites of passage. In this constriction, the operation serves as a marker of the movement from child to adult, in which the similarity between male and female is removed, permitting a ritual differentiation of the sexes (Vann Gennep 1960 (1908):72).

There are three types of genital excision, although practices vary widely. In the first type, clitoridectomy, part or the entire clitoris is amputed, while in the second (often referred to as excision), both the clitoris and the labia minora are removed. Inflation, the third type, is the most severe. After excision of the clitoris and the labia minora, the labia majora are cut or scraped away to create raw surfaces, which are held in contact until they heal either by stitching the edges of the wound or by tying the legs together. As the wound heals, scar tissues joins the labia and covers the urethra and most of the vaginal orifice, leaving an opening that may be as small as a match stick for the passage of urine and menstrual blood (Reddy and Chandrasekaran 2002:155). While the practice of male circumcision is acclaimed as more hygienic, female circumcision (Althaus 1997) is creating lot of problems like frequent urinary infections, severe pain during sexual intercourse, and maternal mortality for females, for instance two African tribes namely, Potok, and Yoruba who have the habit of clitoridectomy (www.buzzle.com). Thus, Beidelman (1968) rightly said: “a man’s sexuality (as perpetuator of a lineage, but also as a husband and father within a household) and a woman’s fertility (as wife and mother to a lineage, but also as wife and mother in her own household) carry very wide and complex implications”.


In view of this, Beidelman (1968) also reported that: “A Nuer woman observes prohibitions after her marriage. She may start to wear a goatskin or sheepskin apron but she is not obliged to do so until she gives birth to her first child. Evans-Pritchard states in published correspondence to Fischer: Till marriage girls are naked. After marriage they wear a special little skirt, but may take it off when they please till they have had a child. After the birth of a child only their husbands see them naked in the privacy of a hut when the spouses sleep together”. After the birth of a child no woman goes naked in public again (Fischer 1964:63 and Evans-Pritchard I940:30)”. The same author wrote another sex-behaviour of Nuer women during initiation: “They drink beer and leap about behind the bullocks and there is a lot of horseplay. The women folk seize the penises of members of their husband’s age-set, the father of an initiated boy especially being subject to this treatment. They tie cord to the penises of the men and pull them while the men retaliate by tugging at the skin aprons of the wives of their age-mates. A man of the age-set of the father of an initiate will lift up the apron of his wife (the boy’s mother) and will utter a ceremonial cry into her vagina” Beidelman (1968).

The Nuer has rules of food abstinence between feuding groups, and between affines. It associates certain forms of sexuality with the ingestion of food, a symbolic connection made in a great many societies (Beidelman 1968). This relation is clearly shown by Evans-Pritchard: A youth is particularly careful not to be seen eating by unrelated girls: ‘If he is not making love to them, he may do so some time or to one of their relatives.’ When I asked whether it would matter if your sisters saw you eating, the reply was, ‘Do you make love to your sisters?’ Food must never be mentioned in the presence of girls, and a man will endure severe hunger rather than let them know that he has not eaten for a long time. It is a strict rule of Nuer society that the sexes, unless they are close kin, avoid each other in the matter of food. Nuer does not go near persons of the other sex when they are eating. A man may mention food but not sexual matters before kinswomen, and he may mention sexual matters but not food before unrelated girls (1951:55; 1947:117). Even before a young man has started to look for a bride he will not generally eat with most senior men, unless they are kin, because one of them might become his father-in-law. Once he has asked for a girl’s hand in marriage he may in no circumstances eat in her home, and the prohibition continues, sometimes greatly to his discomfort, until two or three children have been born, when it is relaxed by a formal ceremony if the parties are on good terms with one another.

Anthony David Weiner (pronounced /ˈwiːnər/; born September 4, 1964 in New York City, New York, United States) is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 9th congressional district, which includes parts of southern Brooklyn and south and central Queens. Weiner is a Democrat, and has held the office since 1999.
Weiner was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1998 mid-term elections, filling the seat previously occupied by Democrat Charles Schumer who successfully ran for the U.S. Senate that year. Weiner defeated his Republican opponent, Louis Telano, by a margin of 66 percent to 23 percent. He was re-elected handily in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 never receiving less than 59% of the vote.
In the House, he is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of New York City in the 2005 Mayoral election. Weiner graduated from State University of New York at Plattsburgh (SUNY), was an aide to former U.S. Representative Schumer (1985–91), and was a member of the New York City Council (1992–98)
When Huma Abedin, aide to Hilary Clinton, married Anthony Weiner, New York Congressman, it sent tongues wagging in the Muslim community. She did the unthinkable, the ultimate taboo for a good Muslim girl from a good Muslim family – she married a Jew… and he did not convert. O-M-G. The question that makes even the most open-minded Imams squirm was revived – Can a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man? The answer in all the major schools of thought has traditionally been a resounding NO. Absolutely, not. Not ever. Haraam, sister.

The response only begs the next question, but why? It is not prohibited in the Qur’an. Few modern scholars feel comfortable forbidding it for that reason. Yet, few are actually willing to articulate this in an official forum. Dr. Abou El Fadl is an example of a scholar who has openly and candidly addressed the issue of Muslim women marrying “men of the Book.” In his response he explains his dislike of the issue and his tendency to avoid answering the question. He describes the traditional thought and then goes on to mention that he, personally, finds the evidence regarding the prohibition to be weak and does not feel comfortable telling a woman she cannot marry a kitabiyya [People of the Book.]
I am not a scholar, but Dr. Fadl’s response echoes the sentiments I have heard from other scholars as well. As such, the bases for this opinion are two ayats [Qu’ran verses], the opinions of scholars I have questioned, and my own research. This opinion does not apply to marriages where one converts to another’s faith. Additionally, for the purposes of this discussion I recognize that we live in a patriarchal society and I am not contesting the traditional roles ascribed to men and women as per our cultural patriarchy.
What God Says: Qur’anic Law
The Qur’an addresses marriage to non-Muslims in two instances :
1. “And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.” [Qur’an 2:221]
2. “And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers.” [Qur’an 5:5]
There are several absolute truths we can establish from these two ayats. The first is that a differentiation is made between non-Muslim “People of the Book” (those of the Judeo-Christian faith) and non-Muslim polytheists. This distinction determines that both men and women are not permitted to marry anyone who associates another god with God. That is pretty straightforward and not to be contested. The next point is that men are permitted to marry chaste Muslim, Jewish or Christian women when certain duties are upheld. We generally accept this at face value as our right to marry. We also accept from this that though Muslim women are not directly addressed, if Muslim men are given permission to marry Muslim women then naturally, Muslim women can marry Muslim men. The Qur’an does not provide further guidance on whether Muslim women can marry men “of the Book.”
The Issue
This leads us to the issue at hand – can we assume that the reverse is true for Muslim women marrying Judeo-Christian men?
• If not, can we forbid Muslim women from marrying a Christian or Jewish man?
• If yes, what does that mean in our patriarchal structure?
What People Say: Traditional Thought
Traditionally, the answer has been no, the reverse situation cannot be assumed for Muslim women. The argument is that if men are expressly given permission to marry women of the Book then women must also be given express permission in order to do the same. All major schools of thought accept this ruling. Many provide justifications as to why this traditional view has been upheld. The justification for this view fall primarily along these lines: 1) preservation of the Ummah [Muslim Community], 2) the father establishes religion for his children, 3) loss of certain rights as a Muslim woman, 4) implications on family law.
1) Preservation of the Ummah
Since we live in a patriarchal system there is a need to maintain a certain order under that system. The family lineage is passed through the father so if Muslim women marry outside the Muslim community this would, somehow, impede the growth of the Ummah as a whole.
2) Religion stems from the father
Children are most often recognized by their father’s name, culture, traditions, customs, beliefs, etc. In most customs, a woman marries into a family, not the other way around. In many instances the woman will even move into the husband’s family home. In such scenarios, not only is the father’s beliefs and legacy passed on in a symbolic sense, the father’s family and culture also exert a great influence over the children. This view that religion stems from the father is also used to support the notion that Muslim men may marry a kitabiyya, while Muslim women cannot.
3) Loss of rights
Islam ensures certain rights to women, which in an interfaith marriage cannot be guaranteed because the husband is under no obligation to ensure these rights are protected. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freely practice her faith, the right to a mehr , the right to keep her name after marriage, the right to retain her earnings, the right to have her husband provide for her and their children, etc. Again, this is not thought to be an issue for Muslim men marrying outside of the faith because, the patriarchal household is accepted as the norm. Thus, as part of his duties, a Muslim husband is expected to provide for his family, uphold the rights of his wife and not prevent her from practicing her faith. He is also prohibited from forcing his wife to be Muslim. The fear, however, is that a non-Muslim husband heading a household would not be obliged to do the same, placing the woman at a disadvantage.
4) Implications on family law
Islamic law provides guidance regarding various topics within family law. This is of particular significance in regards to interfaith marriages as it includes matters of divorce, child custody, and inheritance. A concern for some scholars is that if Muslim women marry outside the faith, not only would they lose their God-given rights, but also, Islamic family law would not be able to address the issues that may arise.
Come On, Really…?
The notion that the Ummah is somehow preserved through the offspring of Muslim men is culturally archaic. The spread of Islam has been through its message, and its growth is maintained through the belief of its followers. A man’s family name, traditions and faith are passed to his children only in a symbolic sense. Their decision to follow or not follow his ways stem from a number of factors, and is ultimately governed by their personal choice. There are further inconsistencies in the reasoning given by those who purport this rule in light of patriarchal tradition. If we maintain that men are the head of households and carry on family legacy, then we also support the notion that women are the primary caretakers and nurturers. Thus, religion and culture are more likely to be passed through the mother. This is especially true of the common nuclear family in America, where the children are solely under the care and supervision of the mother, not the father’s extended family. It simply does not make sense that a practicing Muslim mother would not raise her children as Muslims. It makes even less sense that a non-Muslim mother could be expected to raise her children as Muslim.
The aforementioned justifications speak to an Islamically ideal situation – a marriage between a Muslim man and Muslim woman where both care for and respect each other and live in wedded bliss for the sake of Allah in a Muslim majority country with his upstanding Muslim family. It assumes that by marrying a kitabiyya a Muslim woman is forgoing this wedded bliss. It also assumes that if she marries a Muslim man she will be in an Islamically ideal situation. Both assumptions are just not realistic.
If a Muslim woman finds a practicing man of God who respects her better than the Muslim men around her and with whom she connects with better as well, why should anyone stop her from marrying him? Even if we are to presume that all the single available Muslim men of America are Islamically ideal men and a Muslim woman would be crazy to reject all these potential Muslim suitors – if she chooses to marry a kitabiyya, she does not lose any wifely rights in this country, at least. The beauty of Islam is that it guaranteed a minimum standard for women at a time when there was no standard. We are fortunate enough to live in a society where these basic rights and more are upheld by law.
The concern that a shift in traditional thought will have implications in Islamic law is understandable, but should not be considered a threat to our Islamic traditions. Islamic law is not divine and it is not set in stone. It is a man-made interpretation of divine doctrine and tradition. It is a living body of law and should be treated as such. Implying that the fear of readdressing Islamic family law is enough to forbid all Muslim women from marrying outside the faith is just lazy. A body of law requires constant thought and analysis in order to develop. There are many Islamic scholars who recognize the need for development in Islamic legal theory, and are uncomfortable upholding traditions that are not prescribed in the Qur’an, yet few are willing to voice that opinion. When it comes to the rights of women we need to remember that Islam provided a floor, not a ceiling, and we must be careful of twisting something into haraam that is not expressly prohibited.
Soooo…
Ideally, most of us want and expect to marry a Muslim. It simplifies a lot of complications in our minds regarding marriage and family. But the reality is that in our society we have an increased chance of meeting and marrying a non-Muslim. Huma’s choice may have made the news. But men do it all the time. We accept their decision, as it is their choice, their right. We don’t analyze all the possible outcomes it may or may not have on the future of his children and the Ummah. So why are we prohibiting women from observing the same right when it is not prohibited in the Qur’an? And why are we prohibiting it with outdated justifications?
At most, the traditional justifications provide evidence that marrying kitabiyya is discouraged, not that it is forbidden. The choice is left to the believer.
Renowned scholar Tariq Ramadan said it best. When asked how he would react if one of his children married a non-Muslim, he replied:
“I would naturally prefer someone to share the principles of being a Muslim. But it’s their choice. Look, by then, I will have done what I have had to do [as a father]. I have transmitted my principles to them. So I say to them, know who you are and your values. When you know this, then you are free. “
Allah knows best.
Growing up as a Pakistani-South African Muslim in suburbia New Jersey, Nadia Mohammad spent much of her childhood thinking she was Desi until she moved to Pakistan and learned she was American. Returning to the U.S. with this new perspective and a defiance of social stereotypes she delved into the world of South Asian and Muslim American media and activism. A lawyer in Chicago, she continues to believe in the values of justice and equality with cupcakes for all. 
I remember when I first learned about Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s unique love affair. They had been a couple for 11 years but never married. They shared children, but lived in separate apartments that faced each other across Central Park. He on the East Side and she on the West; they’d wave towels out their windows as they talked over the phone.
It was weird. Cool, but weird.
Then the other shoe dropped. It was weird all right. The couple had stopped having sex, Allen had taken up with Farrow’s adopted daughter, and accusations of child abuse and molestation were flying. Suddenly, all those raised eyebrows about their unorthodox relationship seemed justified.
My boyfriend of four years and I are no Woody and Mia — we’re just a couple of average divorcees living in the heartland. But we get our fair share of wide-eyed, questioning looks when we describe our arrangement.
Bryan and I don’t want to get married, ever. “That’s how you feel now,” people say. “Things change.” Things do change when people get married, often for the worse.
Then there’s our schedule. We see each other every Tuesday and Saturday. People ask what happens if we want to see each other on a Thursday or Friday. I tell them this is all we can manage right now without overburdening our exes and neglecting our children.
Then they ask if our kids get along. I tell them our kids barely know each other. That’s what really throws them.
The assumption is that divorced people need to introduce their children early on and forge a positive relationship, so that when it’s time to get married, the two families are as happy and harmonious as the Brady Bunch.
But we’re never going to get married.
So twice a week we get together and enjoy the best parts of a relationship without ever having to confront the problems that inevitably arise when a couple shares a home, a bank account and children. It has none of the drudgery of the nightly routine. There’s no negotiating about who will relax with the dishes and who will wrestle the kids to bed. Gone is the invisible scorecard of disappointments and slights.
Instead we embrace and talk and look at each other with an intensity that can only come with a certain amount of deprivation. We know we have limited time and we need to make the most of it. Why would I trade that feeling of euphoria for the inevitable malaise of marriage?
But about a year into the relationship I started having doubts. As my hero Carrie Bradshaw might have put it: “I had to wonder … did the love between Bryan and me depend on not seeing each other too often? Would our relationship fall apart if he stuck around on Sunday morning instead of leaving after breakfast?”
I began asking Bryan all those questions that exposed my deep-seated insecurities about our arrangement. “Don’t you want to see me more often?” I asked. “Why don’t we spend more time with each other’s families?” I wondered aloud. And then one Sunday morning came the real doozy: “What is this? What are we doing?” I’ll never forget the look on his face, a look that went from surprise to confusion to disappointment in the span of seconds. We both knew exactly what we were doing. We were breaking the rules and building a relationship without caring what anyone else thought. We had an understanding, a tacit agreement, and I had broken it.
But I couldn’t help questioning the validity of what we had. Perhaps our love really did amount to something less than all those couples who were married or living together and sharing the triumphs and tribulations of everyday life. It was as if other couples had reached the summit of Mt. Everest the proper way, through hard work and braving the elements, and were therefore better able to rejoice in their accomplishment and more deserving of the incredible view. Bryan and I, on the other hand, had been airlifted to the top. Yes, the view was the same, but our journey there was manufactured.
Everything about our culture seems to center around marriage. It’s the happy ending to almost every book, movie and TV show–including the bold, brash, rule-breaking “Sex and the City.” For six seasons those women dated, drank and did it, all in a quest for love and happily ever after. In the final episode they found it, even Carrie, whose on-again-off-again boyfriend Big tracked her down in Paris to declare his everlasting love. When they embraced on that Parisian bridge, when Big told Carrie she was “the one,” I cried. I cried because I believed in their happily ever after. And I cried because I knew Big wasn’t about to tell Carrie that they should keep their separate apartments and just get together every Tuesday and Saturday. They weren’t going to settle for anything less than marriage.
Carrie was famous for her constant questioning, for beginning every column with: “I had to wonder.” But with marriage, the questions could finally stop.
Marriage is the ultimate answer to all those nagging questions. “Don’t you want to see me more often?” “Yes, I want to see you every single day!” “Don’t you want to spend more time with my family?” “Of course, I want to BE your family!” “What is this? What are we doing?” “We’re getting married and living happily ever after!”
It’s all so perfect. Until, of course, you get divorced. Divorced people understand that marriage is no guarantee of anything. Until, of course, they forget.
Many divorced people forget the fragility of marital bliss and remarry with the same certainty and optimism they had the first time. I didn’t want to forget, and my decision not to remarry was my way of ensuring I never would. But that didn’t mean I was immune to the pressures of society constantly telling me that marriage was the one thing that would make my life complete.
I needed to just accept that I was being radical — constructing a relationship that threw convention to the wind. But it was hard. I was no Mia Farrow — the bohemian actress once married to Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn — living on the Upper West Side with her cats, canaries and chinchillas and caring for a brood of kids adopted from all corners of the world. I was just a single mom of two living on a suburban block in a mid-sized Midwestern town. There was nothing radical about me.
I first thought my relationship with Bryan was the perfect formula. Then it felt like a sham. Now I see it’s just the best we can do — for now. Yes, there are moments of loneliness, reminders of all that I don’t have. But there are many more moments of profound contentment and joy, and the feeling that I might have hit on a formula that is — if not perfect — pretty great.
I believe there’s nothing wrong with us preserving our relationship by blocking out the very things that had led to the demise of our previous marriages and were straining the unions of so many people we knew. And there’s nothing wrong with not wanting our time together to become routine. We want this to last. And if it does, maybe someday the planets will align to allow us a little more time and flexibility — perhaps a Thursday or a Friday or two.
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