Posts Tagged ‘ islam ’

The equation of testimony 1 man=2 women!

Justice in Islam is genderless. Still some people claim Islam to be a sexist religion, in favor of men. One may find many such followers, but never will one find Allah’s words biased!!

 

 

Recently, I received a comment “No matter how better you say it, women in Islam are second class citizens, especially when it comes to the ‘”rule of witness, 2 women=1 man.” Is that the way it is??

 

 

The Qur’anic verse known as “verse of indebtedness” in which Allah prescribes writing debt contracts as a precautionary measure is: (O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing. Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.) (Al-Baqarah 2:282)

 

 

No reference is made to the inferiority or superiority of one gender’s witness or the other’s. The only reason given is to corroborate the female’s witness and prevent unintended errors in the perception of the business deal. The Arabic term used in this passage, tadhilla, literally means “loses the way,” “gets confused,” or “errs.” But are females the only gender that may err and need corroboration of their testimony? Definitely not, and that is why the general rule of testimony in Islamic law is to have two witnesses, even when they are both male.

 

 

First, when generally considered, in some instances of bearing witness to certain civil contracts, two men are required or one man and two women. Again, this is no indication of the woman being inferior to man. It is a measure of securing the rights of the contracting parties, because woman as a rule, is not as experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the Law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. If a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people. In fact, it gives woman a role to play in civil life and helps to establish justice. At any rate, lack of experience in civil life does not necessarily mean that women are inferior to man in her status. Every human being lacks one thing or another, yet no one questions their human status (2:282).

 

 

The key difference between men and women is their physiology. Women give birth and men don’t, women must rest for a lengthy period after child birth while men don’t, women as mothers must suckle their children while men don’t, women have menstrual cycles which incapacitate there movement somewhat while men don’t. These differences exist as a matter of physical fact and have nothing to do with intelligence or will.

 

 

This precious Quran speaks of nothing but fairness and equality for both men and women, yet it is the evil wishes of those who have corrupted the religion to turn it into a book that serves their own purposes and desires.

 

 

Other than ‘future financial transactions’ listed in 2:282, the testimony of 1 woman = 1 man as can be seen:

·     “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.” (Verse 4:15)

·     “And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations), – flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-” (Verse 24:4)

In-fact, there is even one instance where the testimony of a woman OVERRIDES that of a man!

·     “And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own, – their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth; And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie; And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.” (Verses 24:6-9)

 

 

It must be added that unlike pure acts of worship, which must be observed exactly as taught by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, testimony is a means to an end, ascertaining justice as a major objective of Islamic law. Therefore, it is the duty of a fair judge to be guided by this objective when assessing the worth and credibility of a given testimony, regardless of the gender of the witness. A witness of a female graduate of a business school is certainly far more worthy than the witness of an illiterate person with no business education or experience!

 

References:

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1119503544348&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar

http://www.free-minds.org/women/beating.htm

 

 

Is this what Islamic polygamy is all about?

Can a poor Muslim man practice polyamy? Well, that isn’t a million dollar question. But looking around, I see that it is mainly poor people (especially from third world countries) who are into these types of relationships. I don’t mind how people choose to live, because it is their business, and not mine, as to dictate how they should live. But I hate it when they take the name of religion to justify what they do. Many Muslims shout at the top of their voice,” It’s my right to marry 4 wives”. Is that how Islam talks about polygamy? Marry 4 women, and move around producing tons of kids…Hell NO, This is not the essence of polygamy in Islam. [Having said this doesn't imply that rich people can practice polygamy as they like.

   

Polygamy has been thought of a way of undermining woman's emotions and identity, and it is ranked among the discrimination of human rights under Gender discrimination by most women organizations. But, polygamy surprisingly is practice by educated people, even high ranking officials in some of these third world countries. So uprooting such a cultural moral issue will take time, and more civil human rights bills to be passed internationally. Women have fallen victim of the man's demands and have given in to the practice, fearing divorce, which is considered a weakness if a woman leaves the marriage on her own.

 

One would have expected that polygamous men should be financially stable and be able to cater for the needs of his wives and children but this notion has since changed as there are several reasons being attributed to polygamy. A local and typical African man may be polygamous so as to acquire more wealth through the use of his numerous wives and kids on his farms hence the more proceeds from the farm produce sold the more the man acquire wealth. Further researches conducted into why men of third world countries marry more than 1 wife is to boost their ego. In a typical local and traditional African setting for instance, more respect is given to men who have many wives and many children, they are respected for being very agile and virile and such men are considered as stronger than those who have just 1 wife.

 

When asked about stance on polygamy, amazingly, many Muslims (men and women too!) claim that "men have extra desires which a single woman alone can't satisfy”. Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn't find any biologically and scientifically evidence for this argument.Secondly, they argue that if the woman is ill or barren, it is better to take another wife, than committing forcination...Sadly, I have seen that for some people (both men and women) marriage is more of physical attahment than the emotional attachment it ought to be...I see marriage as a life long institution where man and woman share love,compassion,trust and many more virtues.Agreed that the urge for love making is natural.But we aren't animals with no self-control.If a muslims justify taking more and more wives 'for fear of committing forcination' I must sadly say that you should not have issues with non-muslims who don't have the RIGHT for polygamy,moving around and do all rapes and harassments,simply becasue they(men) can't get satisfied by one wife. Where are we going?

 

A widely popular argument in favor of polygamy is that 'there are more women than men"(Dr Zakir Naik is the main propagator of this argument) from my research, I find that in most societies (as of 2007), men are in excess.See link. Another argument for polygamy is that rather than let women lead sinful life it is better that one takes them as co-wives. It is not correct to say that prostitution is because of more women in society than men. Prostitution happens because of several other reasons like uneven distribution of wealth, migration of men to other countries or to urban areas in search of livelihood and extreme poverty in women's families, loose morals and many more. By practicing poygamy, I don't think we can eradicate, because it is a problem of different dimension.

 

 The Qur'an And Polygamy

 

Islam has emphasized that one can take a co-wife only if he satisfies the material and moral requirements. Preservation of cordiality, stability, and purity in the family life can be seen clearly in the Quranic doctrines as well as in the tradition of the prophet (pbuh).

 

Allah Almighty states in the Qur'an what means,

 

  • Marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one] (An-Nisaa’ 4:3)

 

 

The most common interpretation of this Qur’anic verse is that despite the clear indication that a man has the right to marry up to four wives; equity is a condition that has to be established. However, since equity is a condition that is almost impossible to achieve, the supposed polygamous right is obsolete. Indeed, polygamy is very restricted in the Quran, and it is the abuse of this supposed right by many men in different societies that gave it its bad reputation.

 

 

I am not discussing the verses as there are many online resources available in that regard. The main conditions related are 

 

  • First wife should not have an objection. One can’t ring the door bell and tell his wife”Hai honey, here is my new honey”
  •  Equal treatment for all wives. It is implied that he provided houses of equal status, and provide all material and moral needs.
  •  Finally, one should not take more than 4 wives. (This is most understood when read under the context of history or social conditions prevailing during the time when Quran was revealed)

  

I never think that Allah went wrong by allowing polygamy. Again in war times, when tens of thousands of men die leaving widows and orphans unattended, there is always a need of polygamy to help those ladies and save the whole society from a state of moral chaos, which would result from all these numbers of single women. But social and economical conditions vary from what it was then what it is now. Women should be given education and thus choice to live the way they wish to. It is not that men have RIGHT for polygamy. At the end of the day, no one can claim to own absolute truth or wisdom, and Allah Almighty will judge each human being (with mercy of course) based on their intentions and actions.

 

P.S:

·        Polygamy is practiced in many societies and not among Muslims alone as it is usually perceived.

·       Polygamy in itself is not bad, but its abuse is worse. 

 

 

Read more

 Wife must first agree to polygamy, Indonesia court.

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/04/2050406.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worship in space!

Ever wondered about how a muslim would pray and fast while being on outer space?Well,I know that this is  an ‘already-discussed’ topic, but still I’d like to have a post on this topic and try to collect as many resources as possible..

 

When a Muslim says his daily prayers, he ought to face Mecca, specifically the Ka’aba, the holiest place in Islam (“Turn then thy face towards the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces towards it ….” Quran, Al-Baqarah, 2:149). That’s where the trouble comes in. From International space station, orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, the qibla (an Arabic word meaning the direction a Muslim should pray toward Mecca) changes from second to second. During some parts of the space station’s orbit, the qibla can move nearly 180 degrees during the course of a single prayer. What do we do now??

 

A Muslim is obliged to pray five times a day (before sunrise, at midday, in late afternoon, after sunset, and at night).A spaceship traveling 17,400 miles per hour orbits the earth 16 times in a day. Does that mean praying 80 times in 24 hours?

 

Malaysia‘s space agency, Angkasa, convened a conference of 150 Islamic scientists and scholars to wrestle with these questions. The resulting document (link provided below), “A Guideline of Performing Ibadah (worship) at the International Space Station (ISS)”, was approved by Malaysia’s National Fatwa Council. According to the report, determining the qibla should be “based on what is possible” for the astronaut, and can be prioritized this way: 1) the Ka’aba, 2) the projection of Ka’aba, 3) the Earth, 4) any direction.

Dr. Kamal Abdali, a Muslim cartographer, “Prayer is not supposed to be a gymnastic exercise. One is supposed to concentrate on the prayer rather the exact orientation.” He points out that in a train or plane, it’s customary to start in the qibla direction but then continue the prayer without worrying about possible changes in position. Now that sounds reasonable to me.

 

People have found ways to celebrate other religions above Earth. Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died in the shuttle Columbia accident, was not a religious Jew, but he ate some Kosher food aboard the shuttle and observed the Jewish Sabbath. But rather than observing Sabbath every seventh sundown, Ramon followed the timings on Earth.

 

A Guideline of Performing Ibadah at the International Space Station (ISS)

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/files/a_guideline_ibadah_at_iss.doc

 

Read more

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1010/p16s02-stss.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/oct/10/religion.spaceexploration

http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2007/09/mecca_in_orbit

 

“Why do muslim women have to beg for their rights?”

“My question is: Why should a woman beg for her rights? When God has bestowed rights on women, why cannot men give those rights gracefully to women?”

 

Last day, I happened to come across an article on indianmuslims.in.This very question from the author made me think over the very broad yet a heartfelt issue. Before I move forward, I want to make it evident that I never talk for feminism, but for femininity.

 

As the author says, the typical mindset of people relating Islam and Muslim women to “oppressed behind the veil”,”polygamists”,”shout ‘Talaq talaq talaq’ and divorce your wife”,”extremists”,”women inherit only half of what men recieve”..and so goes the list. To a greater extent, I would not blame them for having such an opinion on Islam.Well,how many muslims came forward and talked to them?We just keep pointing fingers,”They are wrong”.I would like to think it the other way,”Are we right?”.

 

Islam is a religion, in which there is no place for priesthood.Well, is that the way it is as of now? Today,we have lot of Mullahs and Kathibs issuing random fatwa’s on even the silliest of matters.(not to mention some gross fatwa’s like that of adult breastfeeding).When I say this, I give them all due respect they deserve. They have dedicated their life on studying Islam and its teachings. But thatz it. They are not dictators who can tell me how I should do this and that. Allah has blessed me with something called BRAIN, with some chambers in it for LOGIC and REASONING.I wonder why most of the Muslims today find it very uneasy to read the Quran and hadiths, understand it and act accordingly, rather than referring to fatwa’s every now and then. If we were to act and live as puppets, do you think it was difficult for Allah to make the world revolve around just like software which has a set of instructions designed to meet a pre-determined purpose.Instead, I believe it is the other way round. We human beings are to use our knowledge and wisdom and live as we perceive what is before and after us.

 

I just said all this just to imply that the current scenario of Muslim women as of today happened just because of so-called priesthood. Islam was the religion that gave status to women than just being a piece of flesh. But as of today I perceive Islam as a religion that treats women just as a piece of flesh, take for instance, she should cover from head to toe lest, even a small part of skin or hair will lead to men lusting them and finally will get them raped.UH???Is this what Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) was talking about??

 

Just for instance, I would like to refer to this article which talks about a new marriage contract in India

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=3692

“Because of widespread illiteracy, women are simply not aware of the rights that Islam has provided them with,” says Ambar. “Divorce, for instance, is a long, drawn-out process. Yet the practice of triple ‘talaq,’ where men can divorce their wives by pronouncing talaq at one go, has ruined the lives of many women who have been left by their husbands, sometimes for the flimsiest of reasons like putting extra salt in the food.”

 

Why is this still happening? Is it the way Islam talks about divorce, rant Talaq 3 times and move on as you like.Well,see that priesthood-less Islam talks about divorce.

 

Divorce must be resorted to only in exceptional circumstances. The laws relating to divorce together with the relevant verses from the Quran are given below:

·       Appoint an arbitrator

[4:35] If a couple fears separation, you shall appoint an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family; if they decide to reconcile, GOD will help them get together. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

·       Wait 4 months cooling off before divorce

[2:226-227] Those who intend to divorce their wives shall wait four months (cooling off); if they change their minds and reconcile, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful. If they go through with the divorce, then GOD is Hearer, Knower.

·       If the estranged couple chooses separation they must go through with it equitably. There must be two equitable witnesses witness the divorce before GOD

[65:2] Once the interim is fulfilled, you may reconcile with them equitably, or go through with the separation equitably. You shall have two equitable witnesses witness the divorce before GOD. This is to enlighten those who believe in GOD and the Last Day. Anyone who reverences GOD, He will create an exit for him.

·       and after the divorce, the women should be provided for

“For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) On a reasonable (scale). This is a duty On the righteous. (The Noble Quran, 2:241)”

Well, is that how it is being followed!!

WE have lot of hadiths twisted and crushed to suit many perverted men’s reqiurements.Can anybody tell me where in Quran Allah says you can sent email or SMS, with a rant “Talaq talaq talaq, I divorced you honey, Bye”[p.s: I am not a Quran-only gal.I believe in authentic hadiths]

 

“It bans dowry customs and marriages between minors–women under 18 and men under 21–and calls for compulsory payment of “meher,” or dower to the wife by the husband.”


Dowry system in India began in Hindu culture as an alternative to provide for daughters, as they did not have any share in inheritance of property.Well, doesn’t Islam provide laws for sharing property among daughters? The law of “Half-of-what men receive”, is applicable only if the father pass away without leaving a will.Otherwise,he can distribute his properties however he likes among his kids.Interestingly,THE Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 ,has addressed these issues of inheritence.But will the dowry system vanish in any near centuries to come?Muslims have been religiously following this culture by proudly demanding/offering money and gold and pay Rs 501/- as mehar for the sake of fulfilling the Islamic law.Indeed,they are very religious!!

 

Now, let us move to the interesting part of the article I referred to.

“The All India Muslim Personal Law Board and its Shia counterpart have dismissed the contract as “useless and a publicity stunt.”   This is where the magic hands of priesthood works.”The All India Muslim Personal Law Board allowed triple talaq and divorce by e-mail, for example, and did not prohibit polygamy. The Shia law board’s version prohibits triple talaq but also allows “muttah,” or temporary, marriages for men and has no provisions for marital payments to women. “

 

I agree about ‘not prohibiting polygamy’.We can’t make something haram what Allah made halal.But alternatively,we can get rid of polygamy by empowering women by educating them and providing a mean of generating revenue so that they’ll never feel weak and can provide for family and kids even in case of mishappenings.But what about ‘allowing divorce by e-mail,triple talaq’,’mutah-aka-prostitution’ and like?Let us not debate over endless fairy tales on hadiths that allow mutah.Clearly,it has been prohibited by Prophet(pbuh).

 

Women can demand for including the provision of “not getting a second wife” in their marriage contract.Also,hardly any muslim woman know that she has the right to divorce,”Khula,” the wife’s right to seek divorce from her husband, allowed under specific grounds. These include the husband being involved with other women, missing for more than four years, being mentally unsound or having HIV/AIDS.

 

 

It is indeed really sad that the women are forced to remain in dark ages, when it comes to education and having a career. I agree that a woman is a mother, a wife, a daughter and much more. But then again, there is something beyond too, being productive, contributing to the society in her own small ways, making a difference to the world and say “I care for you too”…

 

I am aware that somewhere along the post, I lost focus and started being on emotional side. But I prefer not to edit. because this is what my thoughts are all about..

 

Good day!!

 

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