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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A summary of my research on Yasmeen Ghauri

Why did I do a research on Yasmeen Ghauri?

The phenomenon of Muslims (particularly women) marrying non-Muslims and even leaving Islam has been of interest to me, as I do not understand what compels them to do so. If the secular countries are only one-hundredth as tolerant as they claims to be, Muslims should be happy enough living there. Should they fall in love with a non-Muslim, they can marry in a civil court.

One reason maybe that the basic concepts of Islam have not been sufficiently clear to those Muslims who have chosen to leave the faith, or maybe they prefer satisfaction of their earthly desires more than what will transpire on the Day of Judgement.

I have never bothered to read about or see fashion shows, but then I learnt about a Canadian girl (born of a Pakistani father and a German mother). The father was an Imam. This girl became a supermodel, and a household name in Europe. I decided to do some research. I read some more on Yasmeen Ghauri, and saw some videos. I think now I know, understand and appreciate her point of view better, although there are still points that need to be cleared.

She was born in 1971, and her parents divorced in 1980. Her mother accused her father of giving time to the mosque rather than the family. Her father denies this, and says he always catered to his daughter's wisehs, taking her to Los Angeles and Disneyland when she expressd a desire to do so. She continued to live with her father, who took her for Hajj when she was 13. She had inherited her body frame and curves from her mother, and her skin color (coffee) from her father. At school she was the only Muslim (and also the only colored girl). As a resullt she suffered racial slurs (Paki, Paki), and withdrew to herslef, eventually setting into friendships with older people in her neighborhood.

At 17, while working at a McDonald's, she was "discovered by a photographer who brought her to this hairdresser. The hair dresser asked er if she would like to become a model. At that time she described herself as a rebel, wearing all black, and even painting her toenails black. One can understand that there would be friction between her and her father. She perhaps wanted to fit in and be accepted by the society she was living in, while the father was worried about her Aakhira. A modeling career for her was rejected by both her parents, as the atmosphere was "unsanitary and evil". She, however, went ahead, and describes as funny when her father met her agent and asked him that his daughter should not appear nude or something. What she said is not clear to me on the video. She most probably wanted to do what the other girls were doing.

She worked for three years as a model while living in her father's house, who was deeply unhappy, for her and also because the community had begun to question his ability to lead if he could keep his daughter from going astray. She eventually moved to New York and signed a contract with a renowned Modeling Agency. Despite the fact that she had moved away from her father's home as a result of intense disagreement over her career, she used to phone him at least twice a week. Apparently she told her father not to speak anything about her to any one, but herself made a few remarks to the TV, and the father then also spoke a little.

She does have some good qualities. She earned a lot, but was sensible with her money. She is humble and down to Earth. She looked after her mother while modeling, although the information is dated when she initially moved to New York at age 20. She reads ten books a month, or maybe used to read. So her brain must be stimulated. In her interviews she comes out very confidant. She dropped out of a top fashion house show in 1996 to pursue a degree in business administration, not an easy subject. She must have been thinking of what she would do after retirement, if she weren't married. She says at the time of her modeling days that all this modeling work will not last for ever, so she has to make as much money as possible. That is why she has worked not only on runways, but also in advertisements and promotions. She also said this modeling career will be behind her, and she will have a family she is devoted to.

Baring her body, although not comletely nue to start with, was sinful enough, but she went a step further, and had a boyfriend for many years, who became the father of her daughter, born out of wedlock. This, too, is understandable, as the pressure of the society and one's own nafs is to have a partner. In the absence of regulations, one will have sex before or outside marriage. There is loneliness, too, for which one wiil substitute the intimacy sex brings. Alcohol also lowers one's controls, and she had started taking alcohol. Mixed dancing whets up an appetite for sex, and she had started that, too, for she primarily went into modeling because she wanted to enjoy life. She was abandoned by the community, and she found friends among the non-Muslims.

The Muslim community rejects girls who take to such careers. There would be very few, perhaps nil, Muslim men who would have approached her for dating and marriage. She married Ralph Bernstein, a Jewish lawyer, after she had her daughter with him. She helps in fund-raising for breast cancer and saving the German Black Forest. I googled to find out if she is now going by her husband's surname, and sure enough, she is. This year she donated $ 2300 to the Democratic Party. There are other fund-raising events with her name as Yasmeen Bernstein. So she is indeed looking after her family and the circle she has joined. Looks like she is keeping herself and her family away from the limelight. She also said that she does what she believes in.

Her father has also said that she would question him on why they had to live different lives - one at home, one at school, and one at Sunday Islamic school.
All very secular, or maybe Jewish, millionaire class living. Nothing about returning to Islam. In fact if she continues like this, she may become a Jew. Looks like all her current friends are Jews. Maybe she already is.
In her interviews, she comes out as a very self-assured person, who has consciously taken this route. The interviews happened a long time ago, and in it she said on religion that I am a Muslim and Islam expects its adherents to be modest, not to show skin, not to drink dance, etc., everything that I am doing now". Then she says her father told her "I am putting him in jeopardy. I am going to Hell - all very dramatic." Then she says she is a normal person, and wants to lead a normal life. She is also reported to have said that although her family was middle class, she longed for things that the other children had and did. This is in contrast to the happy-go-lucky attitude she displayed in her career as a model. Obviously, she wanted money and a good sensual life.
From this it comes out is that she has rejected Islam. She does not say that she has left Islam, but she admits what she was doing at that time is not allowed in Islam. What she says about the differences with her father shows misunderstanding, if not contempt. She thinks inside he is proud of her. What nonsense. The father refutes that thinking. She also thinks this is dramatic when her father says she is putting him in jeopardy (she was, the community gave him hell), and that she is going to Hell.

Thus she is somewhat contemptuous or dismissive of the punishments in the Hereafter.

I pray she returns to Islam.


Anonymous said...

Who is more sinful : she who lives her life and raises a family and seeks anonymity for over 12 years now, or you who stalks her on the internet and talk her down? What would Allah REALLY believe??

Anonymous said...

I am a man of jewish descent married to Pakistani woman. i love my wife and we enjoy a loving and healthy relationship together. For intelligent, educated people, organized religion is not mandatory to lead a moral and just life. Whether you label yourself as jewish or muslim is of no consequence, the only thing that matters is what is inside your heart.

. said...

Anonymous 1: Who is more sinful? The final judgment rests with God on the final day. But this post was not about making a comparison. It is about those who give in to wordly pleasures and pursuits when these are prohibited in their religion.

Anonymous 2: How do we know your story is true. If you have God's love inside your heart, how can you disregard His commandments. If you do give in to temptation, at least the recognition that you have sinned, and repentance from the sin, should be there.

Anonymous said...

you're so judgemental. you act so self-righteous. in your self-righteousness, you generate lots of anger, hatred and bitterness within yourself and other Muslims. that's not really what Islam is about, i hope?

but i have to say that i'm so glad i'm not Muslim. i'm a woman and i love my freedom. if there is an Allah, he blessed me in creating me a non-Muslim. thank you Allah (if you really are out there)

Anonymous said...

You have some incorrect information about her. She never left Islam, the belief has always stayed with her, and her daughter was born after their marriage.. Marrying a jew doesn't make you jew..... I dont know why you made Yasmeen Ghauri look so bad in this story of yours.. thats so typical muslim behaviour.

. said...

anon 3. Me, judgemental? No. Me: generating anger within myself, no. Only sorry that she chose this world over the eternal one. Unfortunately most on mankind (or womankind, if you want to call it that) chooses the same.

anon 4. If she hasn't left Islam, so much or the better. I hope you are right.

Anonymous said...

You sound so Judgmental and self-righteous, interesting.

You think what you view the world as IS THE CORRECT way to see it. No one in the world has a right to be Judge of what is WRONG and NOT. Let GOD do his work and humans do their own. Yasmin might go to heaven and you to hell and similarly she might go to hell and you heaven as well. Let GOD decide HIS matters.

Very poor way of doing any research

. said...

Yes both options are possible, and this as well that both of us go to Heaven, or Hell, if we do not repent. I have my share of sins, and she has hers, but my sins do not include open defiance of Allah's Laws, and just in case, I do repent publicly here of my sins.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Yasmeen Ghauri married more than just a "Jewish lawyer". Ralph Bernstein is one half of the infamous Bernstein Brothers, NY real estate developers (Americas Partners), and who are building and who have built tourism and resort projects in Israel. Yasmeen is being supported by the blood of Palestinians !

Anonymous said...

I am a muslim and as a muslim we are not suppose to judge anyone...God is there to judge.. and it does not matter if Yasmeen Ghouri is muslim or a jew or athiest, it won't change her creator so please spread love and harmony among different faiths and let muslim women be free and have choice.

. said...

As a Muslim our mission is to try to get into Heaven, and to help others escape eternal Hell. As I have said above, I have my share of sins, and truly repent for them. I hope that Yasmeen has also seen that after death there is no escape from Allah's Judgement, and that she has made repentance, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Muslim and as Muslims, we are expected not to "save" others from hell. Only God can do that. I came across this site searching about yasmeen ghauri. Growing up she was the face of south Asians in a sea filled with white models. I'd say she did us proud. She quit after making enough money and invested in getting ilmu.

You really should stop judging and stop trying to "save" others.

a sa said...

If you are a Muslim, then you know your duty is to bring the Truth to everyone. If Allah wills and they accept, well and good, if they do not, you will have done your duty. But not telling people where Hell and Heaven lie, you are shirking your duty, and will be held to account for this.

Anonymous said...

The author was not at all hating on her! The author was telling us about her and her view on Islam. He never said anything bad abt her. In fact, it cleared out some misunderstandings about her. Me as a pakistani-muslim girl, was so curious abt why she choose modeling. This gave me some answers. Thats it. We are not judging anyone.

Anonymous said...

It's her life, leave her alone.

Anonymous said...

Um, her father, a Muslim, dated at least one woman of another religion and background, and possibly engaging in mixed dancing. Her mother, and her side of the family, was a non-Muslim and dated someone of a different religion and background and mixed dancing. So, um, why expect any different from her?

Anonymous said...

Why would you do a research on her?
Is this jealousy for her lifestyle or smth like it?
Celebs have their own life different that others. But on everyday basis I see how people pray and then steal money from people, close people. I see how people gossip at local msjeed

Anonymous said...

Why would you do research on her?
Is it a jealousy for her lifestyle?
I am a Muslim and I see how people after in my community steal money from the friends. Lie to business partners, backbite and jealous of each other. And these are practicing Muslims. Obviously if she felt so lonely and detached in her teens there were no people in her community who would befriend her, but there are always people who want to dig under you and backbite.
As a Muslim I would say "Allah knows better of the reasons of her life choices".

Anonymous said...

I am a Muslim an can see how some believing and practicing Muslims in my community steal, backbite, lie gossip. Some of them dont care when it comes to their benefit.
Don't be so judgemental. There is saying " don't lough or judge smb's past, you don't know your future"

Anonymous said...

Could all the muslims please shut up now! The world has had enough of whatever! Im still trying to figure out, something about toeing the line in order to get somewhere better really? Do they have 4 seasons up there? How bout chocolate? Swimming? Roses? Sunsets? Perfume? Warm fresh bread? Do they ? Really? Youre sure bout that? Perhaps if all the women in Islamic countries had freedom from persecution they could lift your nations out of poverty which is where this obsessive devotion comes from.

Anonymous said...

Having worked for a charity which was not muslim , I noticed that those of the Muslim faith are the most generous and giving, yet their treatment and judgement of women is backward.
I dont understand it at all, having always lived as an equal in my country Australia a rich country because all its citizens can work and achieve, women included.I fail to understand why Islam holds itself back by not accepting equality between the sexes, its the only faith in the world that does not get this vitaly important issue, in the west women are doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers factory workers, business owners Nasa has even said women are better astronauts because of bone density that why some have even captained missions into space, move into this century foryour own good.Stop obsessing about why a woman left the faith and married someone she loved, face it she could have married a rockstar or celebrity but shes made a choice to be a mother and live a quiet life.MOVE ON !

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%.Live and let live. Stop judging others and start judging oneself. She has to survive and she has to be happy in her life so let her continue to live the way she chooses. Mind your own business!!! Yes, I am a Muslim female and I believe in doing good for others by not judging them.

. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
. said...

her mother became a Muslim and was very much against her being a model.

whether her parents "dated " before marriage is not known to me. they divorced because of difference of opinion about giving time to the family. her father tried to bring her up as a good Muslim while also giving her the best a middle class father could give.

why shouldn't I do a research on her. she was a public figure. she set an example. it is my duty to expose that it is a bad example.

yes, may Allah have mercy on all of us, forgive us our trespasses, and grant us His jannahi

Islam does not prevent muslims - men or women - from
or enjoying themselves. everything has to be within the limits of permissibility. the west has laws which change with time. the west's morality changes with time, too. we Muslims have a different view of laws. some can be changed, some cannot!

doing good also entails showing where the paths of various celebrities are leading.

Anonymous said...

Any religion that apposes free will, is doomed.When gallileo said 500 years ago the earth was round and travelled round the sun.The church in Rome sentenced him to death as a it was seen as defying God, all I see in the Muslim world is men running amuck in the streets , little princes that they all believe they are, well the chickens are coming home to roost, gone are the days when Islamic scholars created complex mathematics, designed great buildings , were masters of trade , poets and artisans, please read the prophet by Khalil Ghibran , a masterpiece and all about free will.
Right now Islamic fundamentalists are all about revenge and hatred and its starting to sway the good muslims , to me her father was a true Imam he allowed his daughter free will and it changed his life and the global ideal of western beauty into something more.It was her calling from birth to do so.

Anonymous said...

She didnt do anything wrong she follwed her heart as she felt tied down to something that was not her. She went into modelling and did extremely well got married had a baby every one stop being jugmental. Even in the quaran they say do good give to charity thats what she is doing so she is on the right path and not straying im a muslim married to a african muslim you cant help who you fall in love with.

Esteban said...

We cannot tell 100% what is in the hearts of people. That is for God to decide. What we can see is the actions they show the world. When a person breaks the law of man they are taken to court and judged based on evidence. Muslims judge Yasmeen by her outward action based on the Qur'an. She is opening sinning. Is she going to paradise is she going to hell. Honestly that is for her to worry about. Can we advise her? Sure we can in a nice and kind manner.

I used to adore her when I was a non-muslim. I would have married her in a heartbeat. LOL. Now I pray that she returns to Islam.

If Yasmeen Ghauri ever reads this, Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullhi wa barakatu.

Allah is the perpetual forgiver.

tropikaldawl said...

The following comment in your post seems unfounded. "Obviously, she wanted money and a good sensual life."
You say it as if it is a defining characteristic of "normal life" and what "other children did".
If you really try to place yourself in her shoes, your view would not be so narrow-minded.
There is something to be said about being allowed to explore your own freedom and pursuing your own career and life, when the alternative is living someone else's life or remaining unhappy and knowing you have passed on opportunities in life. Also keep in mind that she is half German. She grew up with a very different dynamic and reality of what is acceptable and normal to begin with than many traditional Muslims. Surely, when she entered modeling, she was still young, and therefore still growing up and learning from the world around her. To me, she sounds like she has kept quite a lot of her values despite having been part of the modeling world.
I am a minority myself from the same hometown.