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