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Parent Category: Library
Category: Opinion and Analysis

Umm Abdillah, Radio Islam Programming | 2015.11.02 | 19 Muharram 1437

 

November is Gentlemen’s Month on Radio Islam. Our on air focus aims to engender timeless values of an Islamic masculinity, with specific focus on “Futuwwa”, what is known as Islamic Chivalry or being a Gentleman of Honour.

 

What is Futuwwa, or Islamic Chivalry?

 

Futuwwa is an Arabic word that encompasses a treasure trove of meanings depending on the period in history and context in which it is used. Most sources describe al-futuwwa as “code of conduct” young men (under 40) are inculcated with and adhere to.

 

The Arabic word “futuwwa” is derived from fata’ (youthful or a young man). This word has been used in the Quran to describe Ebrahim (as); Yusha, the servant of Musa (as) and the youngsters of the cave who stood up to a tyrannical king. Futuwwa has become a symbol of rebellion against all evil and the endeavour towards sincere servant-hood to Allah Almighty.

 

“They were young men who had believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance. And We strengthened their hearts, when they rose up and declared: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and Earth; we will not call upon any god beside Him, or then we had spoken an outrage.” Al Quran (18:14)

 

We have heard a youth talk of them (the idols); he is called Abraham.” Al Quran (21:60)

 

The Quranic verses above express the position and influence of one who has achieved perfect futuwwa in his or her community, one who has sought to guide humanity to truth.

 

Abu al Husayn al Warraq al Nishapuri has said: Futuwwah has five qualities: fulfilling contracts (integrity), trustworthiness, thankfulness, patience, and contentment.

 

Others have mentioned that futuwwa is to be forgiving when one is able to punish, preserving mildness and acting mildly and gently when one is angry, wishing one’s enemies well and doing good to them, and being considerate of others’ well-being and happiness first - even when one is needy.

 

Why November?

 

The idea behind Gentlemen’s month on Radio Islam is to capitalise on the global attention on men via the “Movember” campaign. This is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as depression in men, prostate and testicular cancers and other male-centric health issues. The goal of “Movember” is to change the face of men's health. As we are asked to shorten mustache and lengthen beards in the Islamic faith, this campaign doesn’t isn’t Islamic friendly, hence our creative adaptation.

 

Last year we ran the “BEARD BRO” beard campaign on Radio Islam as its equivalent. It was a popular and successful campaign, that encouraged the growth of beards and “beard pride” as a sunnah practise.

 

What about the Women?

 

While some may feel this campaign and the former highly successful #BeardBro campaign signals out men, Radio Islam’s “Gentlemen’s Month” campaign is aimed at women too. Women are jointly responsible to raise a better generation of sons and boys. As the saying goes: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

 

Programming

 

We have decided to focus the first two weeks of November on Futuwwa, and the 2nd half on male heath issues.

 

Daily programming discussions will resonate discussions on the qualities of Futuwwa, i.e. how to be a gentleman of honour physically, emotionally and in physical mannerisms. This theme will run through on our weekly panel discussions, over our airwaves as promotional content, and through our book reviews too.

 

For the latter two weeks the Gentlemen’s month focus moves on to male cancer. Topics will include male cancer detection, prevention, coping, and support. We will also endevour to raise awareness about male fitness and male depression. Insha Allah.

 

The hashtag to follow on social media is #riGentlemen.

 

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