After reading this article about 5 frightening Muslim phobias it made me think of writing my own list. It seems that there's more than one irrational fear prevalent in some Muslim communities, some of them more amusing than harmful but others are downright unislamic and do nothing but give Muslims a bad reputation! So, without further ado, here is my list of Muslim phobias:
Anuptophobia - Fear of Staying Single
Andro/Gynophobia - Fear of the Opposite Sex
Bidaphobia - Fear of Innovation
article the other day which made me laugh - scholars declare that breathing modern air could be bidah and haram since it's not the same air the prophet (saw) breathed and is thus an innovation! Although this is clearly a joke some Muslims really do go too far with this and proclaim that everything from quranic calligraphy to singing nasheeds for children is bidah.
Some even extend the innovation concept from acts of worship to all other acts in our daily lives (including anything modern in general) - using electricity, cars, aeroplanes, modern medicine... Ok yes all these things are bidah technically, but they are not haram - those are only the ones which go against or somehow alter the command of God... such as terrorism for example... seems pretty straight forward to me!
Homophobia - Needs no Explanation!
On a more serious note these irrational perspectives are extremely unhelpful to any Muslims who experience homosexual feelings, and to non-muslim homosexuals whose private lives are really none of our business. Islam promotes tolerance and kindness not harsh judgements and prejudice.
Karifophobia - Fear of Non-Muslims
Some even say we shouldn't associate with people who aren't Muslim, we shouldn't be friends with them and only talk to them when absolutely necessary. It is better to avoid them as much as we can, in fact, it is better to just emigrate to a Muslim country as soon as possible!
Thank God the prophet (pbuh) didn't have that attitude or there wouldn't be any Muslims!!
Jinnophobia - Fear of Genies
The stories always start with something that happened to my best friend's cousin, or my aunty's hairdresser... or my dad's friend's niece.... when she was taking a shower and suddenly felt something touching her back....!! (maybe it was the shower curtain..?? no?) or somebody was driving at night and suddenly a person was standing right in front of their car and nearly made them crash!! (maybe it was an actual person...?).
Sometimes it gets more dramatic or just downright strange; people becoming possessed and attacking others or themselves, people turning into horses legs, jinn riding bikes, eating ladu, hiding in trees, hiding in dogs, in snakes, in bathrooms... the bathroom thing still scares me to this day, I daren't look in the mirror if it gets past a certain time in case there's a jinn behind me... in fact... I'm going to stop writing this post right now as apparently just thinking about them attracts them to come to you..... this stuff isn't made up you know!! (ok so most of it is... but there's some truth in it and the scary thing is... you never quite know which parts are true....!!)
Jujuphobia - fear of black magic
Juju, or black magic, goes hand in hand with jinn, especially people using jinn to do black magic... can't get much scarier than that! Now as with jinn, there is some basis for black magic in Islam as far as I am aware, for example we shouldn't participate in it ourselves and there are cases of it actually working. However, some Muslims become paranoid they blame every ailment and misfortune on black magic! Have a headache? Someone must be sticking pins in your voodoo doll. Stomach upset? Someone must have hidden some potion in your food in revenge after you broke off your engagement to their son. Late for work? Well it's not your fault that you neighbour called upon a jinn to delay you....! One should also be extremely careful when accepting gifts. Unless it's from an immediate and trustworthy family member it's better to be on the safe side and throw it away, you know, just in case they cursed it with a magical spell to make you late for work for ever....!!
Ommetaphobia - fear of eyes
Questionophobia - fear of questions
Ask a question such as 'does God exist?' 'how do we know', 'why do we pray', 'do we have to fast', 'how do we know Islam is the right religion and not another one?' and you will be faced with a look of panic and stern reprimand to do as you're told and stop asking stupid questions! It's as though these people are worried that they won't be able to find a satisfactory answer and that the questioner will decide not to be Muslim anymore if they look into it too much! Yet why should anyone follow something they don't understand or really believe in?? That's just stupid, why did God give us brains if we're not meant to use them? Adnan Ibrahim has a good video about this here.
Zoophobia - fear of animals
The teaching that dogs are impure has lead to Muslims becoming fearful of them and wishing to avoid them at all costs, seemingly forgetting all about Qitmir; that dogs are perfectly acceptable companions for hunting, guarding etc; that not all schools of thought consider them unclean; that at the very least their fur is not unclean, so no you don't need to dry-clean your cost 7 times if a dog brushes past you (I actually heard of someone doing this!) and that dogs are mentioned in a positive way in the Quran not a negative one.
Ask many Muslims and they will inevitably have a had a 'bad childhood experience' when a dog chased or tried to bite them. Well I was almost bitten by a dog as a child, I'm allergic to them and I have been chased by a lion...!!! Ok so it was just a cub but I was terrified at the time! But the point is I'm perfectly fine and I still like them so I feel that these are just excuses! To me this is rather sad as dogs can be such amazing creatures mashaAllah.
However what I find even worse is how some Muslims seem to extend their hatred of dogs to all other animals as well. Ok so pigs are forbidden to eat (so you can kind of see why Muslims seem to hate them in general even though I don't personally see how some Muslims jump from 'we shouldn't eat them' to 'they should all die', which is what a Muslims guy actually once said to me during a visit to a zoo) - I mean, do they think all other animals that we don't eat should also die?? what about Humans...?! Maybe we should all become cannibals to avoid the issue... but, I digress....) and snakes can apparently be possessed by jinn as I mentioned (and Voldemort apparently) but what about cats for example? I was so upset to see cats in Masjid-al-Haram, of all places, being beaten with shoes, or a tiny kitten at Mount Arafat running in terror from two boys with sticks. There are even well known hadith about the companions of the prophet being kind to cats (one of them was even nicknamed the kitten man! may God be pleased with him).... yet they are still treated badly. Sorry dogs, you've got no chance!
How could anyone want this to die??
p.s. I just came across this book, looks really nice. I might get it for my lb - animal stories of the Quran