“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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    • telcontarrulz
    • August 12th, 2008

    That was a very interesting post, very informative. It’s sad that most religions are hijacked by men to suit their own needs.

    • ibrahim
    • August 12th, 2008

    nimmy i am proud of what your doing and i agree that the muslim world is really corrupt right now
    and you know my views about this stuff its disgusting for me to see women treated like crap in out societies

    salam

    • Nimmy
    • August 12th, 2008

    Thank you so much telcontarrulz and Ibrahim 🙂

    • Sridhar
    • August 12th, 2008

    Hello,

    Your statement “Dowry system in India began in Hindu culture as an atlernative to provide for daughters,as they did not have any share in inheritence of property” is wrong.

    The did have property rights. When a father died the daughter was to be given 1/4 of the share given to every brother. If she had no brothers, she got all of it.

    Please refer to “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Hinduism#Property_rights”.

    However, both the Hindu and the Islamic rights fall short of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) adopted by the UN General Assembly and ratified by 58 nations.

    • Sudie
    • August 12th, 2008

    There is no problem with any religion but lots with its followers. Conservatism just finds an excuse with religion and this stems from a complex mix of hypocrisy, mental blocks, fear of change and insecurity.
    Just ignore them and play it cool. Its only your inhibitions that can stop you.

    • Sac
    • August 13th, 2008

    Hi,

    Very nice post. a breath of fresh air. how can God not like honesty?

    Sachin

    • Milind Kher
    • August 13th, 2008

    Nimmy, what you have researched and written is amazing. You must keep up the good word.

    Hoewever, I must respectfully differ from you on Mutah. It does not need a hadith to prove it. There is Quranic evidence
    Verse 4:24. The tafsir to this can fill an entire chapter.

    Anyway, we need not get into it as Mutah nowadays is very rare

    • Nimmy
    • August 13th, 2008

    @Sridhar,I am really sorry if I went wrong in providing facts.I got such an information while reading articles on dowry in India.I apologize.

    @Milind,I hope I answered .

    “@Milind Kher,I guess you are a shia and hence with all due respect,I choose to disagree with you.We have different set of hadiths and interpretation.Only God knows who is right and wrong ,because all of us claim to be the only group among 72 sectors,who are eligible for heaven.I have had endless debates with shias on this topic.They bring enough and more related references ,but then again,it is a matter of faith,so I choose to disagree.No offence meant.”To you be your Way, and to me mine. ” Please keep visitng the blog.Salam”

    Please read my comment on indianmuslim.in

    @Sudie,” Its only your inhibitions that can stop you”,very well said.But then again,I don’t want to become a rebel or something.People around us should give some support,then alone the change becomes a positive one,isn’t it??

    @Sac,thanks for the comment.Please keep visiting the blog.I hope to put up some good posts.

    • Sridhar
    • August 13th, 2008

    Nimmy,

    You don’t have to worry about offending me, it doesn’t! I am agnostic. Though, as a pre-caution, I would just say that to view Dharmic religions as “rule/law” based like the Abrahamic ones, is fundamentally flawed.

    Much of the flak they face is because of an obscure codifcation by a king called Manu.

    The key to understanding Dharmic religions is their philosophies in understanding the relationship with a monistic power (or its absence), the existent of which I personally doubt (but don’t deny or affirm) and human kind.

    I personally believe that in a few years time religion itself would be meaningless and human kind will stand by its sheer creative power and reason.

    • ahmad khan
    • August 14th, 2008

    By the way
    nimmy are you a Aligarh Muslim University alumnus ?
    Have you studied from the Engg college there ?

    • Nimmy
    • August 14th, 2008

    @Ahmad Khan,Sorry,No,Im not from ALIGARH..Thanks for visiting..

    • Milind Kher
    • August 14th, 2008

    Nimmy,

    Unfortunately, the jurisprudents today are not very insynch with what is happening around in the world.

    Therefore, they are not really able to see contemporary issues in the correct light, with the concomitant result of giving an Islamic perspective that may not be really accurate.

    We need evolved and contemporary people to acquire in depth religious knowledge for people to take this seriously.

    • Nimmy
    • August 14th, 2008

    @Milind,Very true..I agree with that.

    • magicofdawn
    • August 14th, 2008

    I like what you are trying to do, but you will have a very hard time since the quran is very anti-woman. Please don’t say it’s not. No matter how many times a Muslim woman says allah gave us the right to vote or Muhammad stopped the burying of infant girls, it doesn’t change the fact that allah also said women are deficient. He said that a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. Muhammad said women make up the majority of Hell. Women have to be covered is in the quran. The details are in the ahadith when Muhammad and others said a woman should be covered except her eyes and hands (he pointed to them).

    allah gave husbands the right to beat their wives. It doesn’t say lightly, that’s added so islam would not look as bad. The Arabic does not have lightly. There is a hadith talking about a woman with a green bruise. Muhammad did nothing to stop it. There is also Sahih Muslim hadith that says Muhammad hit Aisha in the chest.

    How can you blame Muslim men for treating women badly when your “prophet” did the same thing? Your god did the same thing!!

    Teach the truth about islam so people will leave and THEN women will have rights.

  1. Enlightening post to be frank. Never knew all these stuff.

  2. Amazingly well researched, very informative, love the passion with which you have written it. Congratulations!
    I feel all religions have been twisted to suit men and patriarchy. Writing such articles can create awareness not only amongst Muslims but also Hindus, about Islam. I think the best solution would be to create a Model Nikahnama (contract) for Indian Muslim women where the woman demands that her husband will not remarry without divorcing her first, where he won’t have the right to use triple talaq, a reasonable percentage of his assets should go to her if there is a divorce, also she should get the custody of any children they have (unless there is a reason for not doing so), he will not drink alcohol or beat her…I fear if she asks for all this on her own she will never find a groom, but if it is a Model Nikahnama, then it will have to be followed by all Indian Muslims. Britain has done it, why can’t India?
    Once again accept my congratulations.

  3. Linking this post to a post I have written today, about Prenuptial Contracts. Do let me know if you have any objections, I will remove the link.

    • Nimmy
    • August 14th, 2008

    @Indianhomemaker,thank you so much for your nice words.I feel good my time benefits atleast one person..You may link to this post..In fact im honoured:-) keep visiting..Good day!

    • Sreekumar
    • August 14th, 2008

    Helo Nimmy,
    A nice blog. Like all fundamentalists in all religion and political ideologies I see an attempt to justify and re-interpret existing practices and to beutify them up with a nice silky garb… But truth should be truth. I believe that a person in this world should be reasonably free to adopt lifestyle with lots of choices according to his or her inner feelings. That is real human rights.

    Coming to practices like polygamy in Islam I feel, is not a bad thing. As a liberal minded modern thinking person who believes against institutions weilding so much power to regulate individuals and the world, I am of the opinion that polygamy, polyandry and polyamory must be permitted to those who like them, provided this does not create any nuisance to others. A man with sick wife with no one to look after her has to seek the help of another woman to look after her and his children (and his needs as a human being). This is reversely true. I prefer polyamory because it is accepting that one’s partner is not his/her own property and is a human being with feelings.

    Please visit my blog: http://joyfulworld.wordpress.com
    Sreekumar

    • thewordofme
    • August 15th, 2008

    To bad that Muslim religion is keeping women down all over the world. Although Islam is the worst, other religions do it too.

    I think if I were a woman in a Muslim country…I would commit suicide, as I would never be free, like God wants. It is totally a human thing to keep women in subjugation…not Godly.

    I wish you well

    • Milind Kher
    • August 15th, 2008

    Magicofdawn

    The Quran needs to be understood with a proper tafsir. When it advocates men beating women, do you know that this “beating” is supposed to be done with a miswak (toothbrush)?

    The hadith on covering everything except eyes and hands by women is wrong. It is contrary to the Quran, and all ahadith contrary to the Quran are null and void.

    It is very important to be able to read the right books to acquire the right perspective about Islam.

    • Blake
    • August 15th, 2008

    Well put!

    One thing that I think is very important, is that Islam does not force women to be treated this way… Arabic culture does.

  4. Well written, Nimmy. A few of my friends still follow wearing purdahs, though they are highly educated.

    I read the same situations faced by Muslim women in Khaled Hosseini’s-A Thousand Splendid Suns.

    • Mohammed
    • August 15th, 2008

    Nimmy,

    What about the fact that Prophet Mohammed married a 9 year old girl when he was 56…?

    How do you explain that?

    And you have the guts to say,

    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.

    Whats the point of all this if 56 year old men can marry 9 year old girls..

    • Arjun
    • August 18th, 2008

    Hi Nimmy,

    Great blogging…..I find lots of emotions in that blog.. :-)Even though I found most of you views acceptable I have to disagree certain things particularly this

    I agree about ‘not prohibiting polyamy’.We can’t make something haram what Allah made halal.

    My concern is not about polygamy, but statement after that…Which ever religion it is,when the society feel its wrong it has to be changed…….

    Keep blogging…

    Arjun

  5. #25 Mohammed,

    Leave the past and do not apply the so called ‘modern’ standards. The prophet has got rid of the practice, the ‘modern’ post economics society in India practices now. It would be better if Nimmy barrs this fellow from wasting our time and space. If Mohamed’s sister or even mother want to be a second wife of an individual, is he going to resist that just because he thinks polygamy is not fashionable. I have one wife and would like her to be the mother of my children till they are on themselves. It is misfortune when you lose a parent and more so in case of the mother. Donot pose to be a Muslim and stop this ‘Black Journalism’ of ToI brand.

    • BEV
    • August 19th, 2008

    Nimmi,

    I did some studying of Islam way back in school and it really was the only religion which tried to give women equal rights – even Catholicism does not, for all that it tries to protray itself as an angelic religion. And in Islam, marriage is a contract to which the woman has the right to agree or disagree – yet how many women know or can use this, as even parents often try to cow down their female children? And under Islamic law, a husband can take an additional wife only if the first one/ other existing wives do not object, and only if he can continue to maintain the existing wives in the same manner as before. Again, it’s sad how mullahs of Islam and priests of Hinduism twist and bend the existing laws of their religion to perpetuate male rights.

  6. Salam!

    Amazing!. I have always wondered how to put my thoughts in writing, you have done it so easily. May be a difference of lavel of education and upbringing. You have rarely mistaken here.

    However I disagree with your observation related to Hijab.

    ….”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(puh) was talking about??”

    Beard, Hijab, Jihad, Talaq are the most misunderstood terms in Islam. Of course Hijab is not meant to restrain any women. As long as rape is concerned any women can be a victim. If One disagree with certain practices, he/she should avoid in saying what Allah means & does not mean by it.

    For example, I dont grow beard (I am clean shaved). I never try to prove that where Allah says so, Or our beloved Nabi (saws) made it cumpulsory to grow a beard. I dont like for me so I dont keep. At the same time whoever keep the beard I dont make fun of them. One must know that the Prophet has beard & Quran say, obey Allah & his Messenger. This is enough for the people with high taqwa to keep the beard.

    The same is true for Hijab. In this regard there is a Verse in qura’an, how one interpret it, is a different matter. But If any girl does not like to do it.. ok. No one should force her. The girl too should avoid to prove what Alllah & his Nabi means and does not mean by Hijab. There are women who just cover their head & that is enough for them. There are women who dress modestly (salwar kameez) that is enough for them. There are women who cover themselves fully that is their choise. Neither we should force them to remvoe it nor we should force anyone to wear it. Making fun of such coverd women is, I believe not proper.

    Best regards

    • Nimmy
    • August 20th, 2008

    @Mohammed,I prefer not to answer your rant,simply bcoz you are not seeking an answer.But still i’ll have a post on your regard:)

    @Arjun,I believe that Allah does everything for a reason.As you said,polygamy had been practised earlier during times of war.I agree,we don’t need it today.But how do we know we won’t see a war tomorrow??God has set nature perfectly.But we humans have made our own modifications as to make life on earth hell:)

    @Naqqadd,no worries brother.People who applpy today’s moral rules to that of 1400yrs ago are self explanatorily stupid..They will feel good when their grandkid’s children will ask “Sheesh,i can’t imagine my grand grand parents got married at 25.its too young to enjoy life and have career”.

    @BEV,thank you so much for an open mind.

    @Ejaz,thank you so much for visiting my blog.I wonder where in my post did i talk bad about hijabis!!In fact people like me are often looked down at and experience racism from hijabis,no matter how pious and modest we are:)
    I agree with you,its a matter of choice.There is no compulsion in religion!

    Pls do visit agian..Salam and good day to all

  7. came here through IHM’s blog and agree with her opinion. good work. we need more voices of reason like you.

    also wanted to introduce to a blog of an ex-muslim lady who now writes her opinion on quran … maybe u should have a look. kafir girl .. google her. perhaps you know already. 🙂

    • Nimmy
    • August 23rd, 2008

    @Roop Rai,Thank you for visiting:)

    and thanks again for introducing a new blog..I never knew:)

  8. According to me Islam has given much rights to women.
    But it is the fault of the society that they are not giving those rights to the women. So, Women should fight for their rights but not beg.
    —————————
    marry
    Blazeinfotech

    • Nimmy
    • September 3rd, 2008

    @Marry,you are very right..Thanks for visiting..Do visit again..Good day

  9. ”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.

    Though I wish what you were writing here is true and people all over the world who follow Islam tooth and nail follow it and adhere to it.

    HIV/AIDS originated sometime around the 1970-80s , I don’t see how the HIV business could have come in Quran.

    What exactly was your reference for that quote?

  10. very informative article.. i didn’t know many things mentioned here

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