Saudi Arabia/Muslim World: Sadullah Khan on the Role of Men and Women in an Islamic Marriage

 

Sadullah Khan explains below the respective roles of the man and woman in a marriage and how to resolve any issues that may come up.  It is an interesting read and worthy of discussion.

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The Verse of Abuse Or the Abused Verse

By: Sadullah Khan
IslamiCity* –

“Men shall take full care of women with the bounties Allah has bestowed on them, and what they may spend out of their possession; as Allah has eschewed each with certain qualities in relation to the other. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which Allah has ordained to be guarded.

As for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then distance yourself in bed, and then tap them; but if they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Surely, Allah is indeed the Most High, the Greatest.” – Qur’an 4:34

Role of family

The role of family in the overall social structure of Islam is great and if we fail to grasp its importance, the whole edifice will collapse.

In Islam there is no family without union or marriage and there is no marriage without rules and discipline. The family in Islam is a unit in which two independent persons unite and share life together. The husband’s dignity is an integral part of his wife’s dignity. Accordingly, neither of them is better than the other. To unite and share, there must be mutual love and compassion Ð a genuine feeling which; unless translated into action and behavior, would be mere illusion.

Women’s rights in the family

From the very outset, Islam has been a liberating religion that uplifted the status of women and gave them rights that were considered revolutionary 1400 years ago. In spite of this founding spirit, Muslim practices today often oppress women and deny them the equality and human dignity granted in the Qur’an. The family should be the first essential area in which women’s rights have to be secured.

The question that arises is that if Islam liberated women centuries ago, then why is it that maltreatment of wives is not a rare occurrence among Muslim people? Most likely, I suspect, it comes from misinterpretations of a Qur’anic verse and of some ahadith.

The institution of marriage 

When Allah mentions marriage or the relationship between husband and wife in the Qur’an, He describes it as one of love, mercy, and harmony between two human beings who have entered into a mutual contract. For example, “And among His wonders is that; He created fro you mates out of your own kind, so that you may incline toward them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think.” (Q 20:21) And, “It is He who has created you out of one entity, so that one might incline (with love) towards the other.” (Q 7:189)

Expression of love

According to the Qur’an, the relationship between husband and wife should be one of love, mercy and mutual understanding. Allah also commands men to treat their wives, “And consort with your wives in a goodly manner, for if you dislike something about them, it may be well that you dislike something which Allah might yet make a source of abundant good.” (Q 4:19)

The Qur’an speaks of the intimate and close relationship of the two spouses in these words: “They are like garments unto you as you are like garments unto them” (Q 2:187). This verse; by using the simile of garments, has explained two basic facts. First, dress is considered to be one of the most fundamental needs of human beings in all stages of life. Second, dress covers the nakedness of human beings and hides those parts which are to be kept hidden. Every person has his weakness and frailty and does not want them to be disclosed to others.

The two sexes working together, not only cover each other’s weakness and frailty, but also enhance each other’s capabilities and help each other make up their deficiencies. Men are told to be generous and liberal in their treatment of women under all circumstances, especially when the relations between the two are not very amicable. Surah al-Baqarah refers to this in these words: “And do not forget liberality between yourselves” (Q 2:237). Even in divorce, men are enjoined to be just and fair (Ma’ruf) to their wives. We read these words also in Surah al-Baqarah: “When you divorce women, and they fulfill the term of their waiting (“iddah), either take them back honorably on equitable terms or set them free with kindness and goodness.” (Q 2:229)

So, it is through the institution of marriage that true expression is given to what the Qur’an refers to as “love and mercy” (Q 30:21) between men and women; that men and women are like each other’s garments (Q 2:187), that “be you male or female, you are members of one another” (Q 3:195), and that “men and women are protectors, one of another.” (Q 9:71)
Clarifying the terms Darajah, Qawwamun, and Faddala

Darajah, (step, degree or level) is something that is earned; acquired with responsibility.

When a level is granted to male or female on the basis of their good deeds or piety, there is no discrimination. This is demonstrated by the following Qur’anic concepts: “Unto men a fortune from what they have earned and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned” (Q 4:32). “Whoever works righteously; man or woman, and has faith: verily to him/her will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure. And We will bestow on such their rewards, according to the best of their actions” (Q 4:124). So when it comes to who has greater advantage with Allah in terms of deeds, there is no level or degree given to the male or female over the other.

The darajah for men over women occurs in the Qur’anic verse thus, “…And (Walahunna) women shall have right similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable. But men have a degree (of advantage) over them. Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (Q 2:228)

This verse occurs among a series of verses referring to the required period of separation before claiming a divorce. The degree of advantage refers to man’s being able to individually initiate divorce, whereas a woman can seek divorce only after intervention of an authority. So the advantage is limited to the circumstances of divorce only. Why this advantage? Most likely, because it is he who is duty- bound to support to the wife and unborn baby, and the previous verses are referring to the possibility that during separation the woman may be expecting, and if so, the man needs to give due consideration to taking her back because of his responsibility towards the unborn child. Hence, he has the responsibility/ decision about validating the divorce or taking his wife back. Yet, in Muslim cultures, an unrestricted value attachŽ to this concept of “advantage” and men generalize it to all aspects of life, claiming superiority over women.

This form of unrestricted value for all circumstances contradicts the equity established in the Qur’an, “that each ‘nafs’ (man or woman) is responsible for what it earns” (Q 4:32).

The Qu’ran has emphasized the female’s rights (Q 2:228) with the words “wa lahunna” in order to neutralize the possible impression that could be created by the previous sentence of enhancing the position of men over women. Truly, it is the wondrous and miraculous expression of the Qur’an that enables it to maintain the delicacy of the problem and at the same time solve the most complicated issues in a very noble and subtle way.

Thus, in a superb manner, the Qur’an has untied the knot of this problem by saying that while men have a degree of darajat (advantage) in holding the key to divorce; in the enjoyment of human rights, both men and women stand equal.

Qawwamun does not convey the sense of governorship or rule over women, but rather signifies men’s role as maintainers of women, because they support and meet their material needs from their wealth. The Shari’ah has entrusted the responsibility of women’s material needs to men, who are held liable for meeting all the economic needs of the family, while women are held responsible for looking after the children, their nourishment, education, training, etc. this division of the work of the household between husband and wife is based on their respective natural abilities. Fulfilling these responsibilities are the primary duties, though not exclusive, yet allowing free and full participation in all social, political and ethical activities with due propriety.

Now the concept of “Fadl”, the verse reads; “Men shall take full care of women with the bounties Allah has bestowed on them, and what they may spend out of their possession; as Allah has eschewed each with certain qualities in relation to the other. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which Allah has ordained to be guarded.

As for those women whole ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then distance yourself in bed, and then tap them; but if they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Surely, Allah is indeed the most High, the Greatest.” (Q 4:34)

This verse is often quoted for justifying the ruthless dominance of patriarchal males demanding obedience from their wives- to the point of disciplining them through physical punishment!

But let us analyze it with Qur’anic wisdom. Firstly, the “fadl” or preference is related to responsibility, so there is reciprocity between this privilege and responsibility. The fact is that it is through Allah’s benevolence that he gets this “fadl” should make a man God- conscious. So, if he is given this authority or preferential responsibility, it is accompanied by a heavy mandate and obligation. He cannot abuse the “fadl”. The purpose of this “fadl” could be attributed to the fact that a family functions harmoniously when there is leadership and authority in it, manifested through fulfilling duty and mutual co- operation.

It is wrong to conclude from this that as men (or women) have some “advantage” in one respect, they are therefore superior to the other. The right attitude should be for each sex to think that it is deficient in certain aspects, which can only be complimented by the collaboration and co-operation of the other as essential for its perfection and healthy growth. In other words, it should never fancy such ideas as its own excellence, but should consider itself dependent upon the other for its own perfection. The Qur’an has beautifully described this relationship of the two sexes in these words: “And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Surely in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Q 31:21)

The issue of NUSHUZ

Verse 4:34 has commonly been used to Justify Wife beating. How can this can be explained?

NUSHUZ could be defined as animosity, hostility, rebellion, ill- treatment, discord, violation of marital duties on the part of either husband or wife. In this context, a wife’s “ill-will” implies a deliberate, persistent breach of her marital obligations.

The verse of Surah Nisa’ has attracted great attention from both within the Beliving community and without: “As regards those women on whose part you fear defiance and ill- conduct, admonish them (first), (next) separate in bed, (and last) tap them (if they still persist in their defiance); but if they cooperate and pay you heed, do not look for excuses to harm them. Note well that there is Allah above you all.” (Q 4:34)

In the context of the above verse the most appropriate meaning for nushuz is marital discord (ill- will, animosity etc.) The process suggested is necessary, otherwise it is inviting the likelihood of divorce without any reconciliation procedure, and this will contravene the Qur’anic guidance. The separation could be temporary or permanent depending on the reconciliation procedure, and this fits in very well with the divorce procedure outlined in the Qur’an. Therefore the more accurate understanding of the above verse would be: (4:34) “…As for those women whose animosity or ill- will you have reason to fear, discuss the mater with them, then separate in bed, then tap; and if they pay you heed, do not seek a way against them.”

The verse following the above verse gives further weight to the above translation. (4:35) “And if you fear a breach between them (the man and the wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment, Allah will make them one of mind. Lo! Allah is Ever Knower, Aware.”

An added weight to the meaning outlined above is given by verse (4: 128), where in the case of man the same word, nushuz, is also used. Note too that as ill- treatment emanating here is from the husband, a process of reconciliation is encouraged!

“If a wife fears ill- treatment (nushuz) or desertion (i’raad) on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best…” (Q 4:128)

In the same surah, we read, “Whoever among you; men or women, are guilty of this crime (impropriety/ obscenity), punish them both; then if they both repent and reform themselves, leave them alone, for Allah is Most Generous in accepting repentance, and Merciful in forgiving sins.” (4:16)

As previously mentioned, women could only be taken to task when they were guilty of open obscenity. The verse (Q 4:16) clearly states that whoever commits open licentiousness, man or woman, must be punished. It may here be mentioned that this open obscenity or licentiousness (nushuz) means obscenity short of adultery and fornication.

If a wife fears that her husband is going to be excessive, there is the same process for the wife too. She can advise him first. Psychological pressure of withdrawing closeness and intimacy? But why is there no reference to physical pressure, like a symbolic slap or the like? The wife is not required to slap her husband, guarding against the possibility of physical retaliation and its dire consequences. But she has use of an injunction, which is better than that; to sit down with respected members of the community, (if need be with a judge), and draw up a contract with the man, which says: You have done this or that- if you do it again, these will be the consequences. In other words, she is getting the community behind her.

Three steps for regaining marital harmony or an amicable settlement

We note that in the event that there is disruption of marital harmony, the Qur’an suggests three steps for regaining harmony. In order of preference, they are:

(Step 1) Wa’z (admonition, consultation and discussion). This is the preferred method suggested for regaining marital harmony and is the same mechanism discussed in the Qur’an for the coordination of affairs between all groups of people. Consultation can be between the parties (as in 4:34) or between the two parties with the help of arbiters or hakim (4:35, 4:128). Wa’z or admonition implies advising and reminding one of the consequence of one’s actions; this in a way that softens the heart of the listener (16:125) and making him/ her incline favorably to your words.

(Step 2) Wahjur (to separate in bed; time and space boycott, at least one night). If consultation does not lead to marital harmony, the second suggestion is of time-out, a phrase to denote a separation in time and/ or space between two people. This is a form of psychological pressure. Note that it is avoidance in the house or in front of the family, children and so forth.

The purpose of that act is to solve the problem well- known not to belittle the woman or uncover the secrets that are going on. However, it is a reaction to her act of nushuz and recalcitrance by avoiding her and turning away from her in hope that this will lead to reciprocity and togetherness. It can be for an intermediate cooling off period only, or could presumably continue indefinitely, which in the context of marriage could only mean divorce.

(Step 3) Daraba (a gentle strike or tap: an expression of physical pressure) If the first two methods are used in their preferred order to the fullest extent, the need for the third method of a strike would not be reached.
The Multi- meaning word “Daraba”

The problem of abuse comes from the word “Idribuhunne” which is usually translated as “beat them”. The root of this word is “Daraba”. If one consults an Arabic dictionary you would find a long list of meanings ascribed to this word!

The list is one of the longest lists in the whole Arabic dictionaries and has so many different meanings. In the Qur’an, depending on the context, one can ascribe different meanings to it, i.e:

To travel to get out: 3:1564:10138:4473:201:273

To strike: 2:607:1608:1220:7724:3126:6337:9347:04

To beat: 8:5047:27

To set up: 43:5857:13

To give (examples): 14:24-4516:75, 76, 11218:32, 4524:3530:28, 5836:7839:27, 29;43:1759:2166:10-11

To take away, to ignore: 43:5

To condemn: 2:61

To seal, to draw over: 18:11

To cover: 24:31

To explain: 13:17

Thus, in the Qu’ran alone we witness the verb “Daraba” having at least ten different meanings. “Daraba” has also other meaning which are not mentioned in the Qur’an. For example in the Arabic language, you do not print money– you “Daraba” money, you do not multiply numbers– you “Daraba” numbers, you do not cease the work-you “Daraba” the work –

Webster’s Dictionary gives fourteen meanings to the verb “strike”: hit (against); ignite; (of snake) bite; (of plants) (cause to) take root; attack; hook (fish); sound (time) as bell in clock; affect; arrive at, come upon; enter mind of; discover (gold, oil etc.); dismantle; remove; make (coin); cease work as protest or to make demands. The same dictionary gives eight meanings to the verb “beat”: strike repeatedly; overcome; surpass; stir vigorously with striking action; flag (wings); make, wear (path); throb; sail against wind.

When we encounter a multi-meaning word, we select the proper meaning according to the context, form and common sense.

Why the “Daraba”?

Why has the Qur’an included the method of a “strike”? The Qu’ran always emphasizes doing good and abstaining from evil. If the Qur’an is looked at as an integrated and cohesive text, situations can be identified where the Qur’an calls for the prohibition of certain things in stages. For example, whereas early revelations discourage the use of intoxicants (2:219, 4:43), the final revelation on this matter clearly condemns and prohibits them (5:93-94).

This is where there is a need to understand the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed. It is known that in the pre-Islamic period known as the Age of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah), there were gross practices of physical and emotional abuse of females such as female infanticide (killing of babies) and the custom of inheriting the wives of deceased relatives against the will of the women. Verse 4:34, which refers to a strike/tap, was revealed early in the Medinan period at a time when cruelty and violence against women were still rampant. Seen within this context the strike is a restriction on existing practice, and not a recommendation. As Muslim society in Madinah developed towards an ideal state, the final verse in the Qur’an on male Ð female relationship (9:71) regards women and men as being each other’s protecting friends and guardians (‘awliyya) which emphasizes their cooperation in living together as partners.

In addition, this spirit can be used in viewing the Hadith and classical commentaries by Muslim jurists on the strike or daraba. Ahadith on striking in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayr mubarrih) are reported by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Daud, Nasa’ie and Ibn Majah. The authorities stress that if a strike is resorted to, it should be merely symbolic such as a strike with a toothbrush or folded handkerchief (Tabari and Razi). Imam Shaf’ie is of the opinion that striking should preferably be avoided completely.

It can thus be concluded that the call for the (single) strike is a restriction and not a recommendation; as when the first two steps are practiced effectively, there is no need for a third step.

Obedience misconstrued

The Qur’an does not order women to slavishly obey their husbands. It says good women are qanitat (have qunut). Qunut is used for both women and men (3:17, 33:35) and non-humans (39:9, 2:117). Qunut does not refer to the obedience of a wife to a husband or of any human to another. It refers to the spirit of humility before Allah. When the verse goes on to say “if they obey you,” the Qur’an uses the term ta’a, which means for one human to follow the orders of another, referring not just to women obeying men, but men following orders as well (4:59). Ta’a is not used here in the command form for women, rather the Qur’an places a firm admonishment on the men: “If they (female) pay you heed (male)” the males commanded “not to seek a way against (the women)”. “If they obey you” does not mean that women have an obligation to slavishly obey men. Nor does it mean that if a woman disobeys, a husband can beat her. The focus is on the responsibility of men to treat women fairly, especially when women follow their suggestions.

Most of the women beaten nowadays are not beaten because the first two conditions have been met with, but are in fact beaten because of the husband’s anger over some petty issue. Such behavior is not that of a sincere Muslim and obviously has no sanction in the Qur’an whatsoever.

It is evident from many authentic traditions that the Prophet himself intensely detested the idea of beating one’s wife, and said on more than one occasion, “Could anyone of you beat his wife as if she is a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?” (Bukhari and Muslim). According to another tradition, he forbade the beating of any woman with the words, “Never beat God’s handmaidens” (Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah Ibn Abbas; and Bayhaqi on the authority of Umm Kulthum).

Next to piety, the believer finds nothing better for him than a virtuous wife. If he bids her good, she obeys. If he looks at her she gives him pleasure. If she gives him a promise, she fulfills it. If he is absent from her, she guards herself and his property (Ibn Majah).

This hadith states that the wife should obey her husband, but to what extent? Obviously, she cannot disobey her husband in anything that is haram. Not only that, but the obedience of the wife is in those duties listed above, viz. …with regard to cohabitation, domestic matters, guarding his property, and not allowing others to violate her/his dignity or their belongings.

In summary, there is the following hadith from the Prophet on the rights of a wife. A person asked the Messenger of Allah, “What right does the wife of one among us have over him?” His answer was, “It is that you shall give her food, you shall not slap her on the face, nor revile her, nor leave her alone except within the house” (Ahmad, Abu Da’ud, Ibn Majah). This implies provision, residence, respect and security.

Appreciation 

Some husbands get upset when their wives refuse to do this or that around the house. This has subjected many wives to physical mistreatment. But the following incident clearly shows that it is not the duty of the wife to tend after the house, and therefore, it can in no way justify any sort of retort on the part of the husband. In fact, the following quote would make it seem that many women nowadays should be the one’s complaining as they are forced to do work that they are not truly totally responsible for:

It is reported that a man once came to ‘Umar, the second Caliph, with the intention of bringing to his notice certain complaints he had against his wife. When he reached the door of ‘Umar’s house, he heard the Caliph’s wife railing against him. Hearing this he went back as he though that the Caliph himself was in the same predicament and could therefore hardly be expected to set matters right for him. ‘Umar coming out of his house, saw the person going back. So he called him back and inquired as to the purpose, which had brought him to his house. He said that he had come to him with some complaints against his wife, but turned back on finding that the Caliph himself was subject to the same treatment from his wife. ‘Umar said to him that he patiently bore the excess of his wife because she had certain rights over him. “Is it not true that she cooks my food, washes my clothes and suckles my children, thus relieving me of the necessity of employing a cook, a washerman and a nurse, although she is not in the slightest degree responsible for this? Not only that, I enjoy peace of mind on account of her and I am protected from committing the sin of adultery. In view of these advantages, I put up with her excesses. You should also do the same.

Having clarified some of the misconceptions, countered some distortions, we acknowledge, of course, that not all men or women are following the teachings of the Qur’an in their relationships. Rather than looking at the verse holistically, they only focus on it with a bias to their advantage and abuse it. Men exploit and women rebel. Where men have done so, and women have remained ignorant, injustices have taken place even to the point of physical abuse. Some women, in their ignorance on the issue, have taken this as their Islamic plight. So, for their own benefit, women need to acquire knowledge from the Qur’an, become more aware, rally around it and assert themselves for fairness and justice.

Men should also understand the Qur’an with a fair and just mind without cultural filters and communicate with each other about it so that they can strive together for betterment in their spiritual path.

Prophetic Example

The Hadith, which we must realize is a record of the sayings and doings of the Prophet , and the second source of Muslim law and practice, records the Prophet as saying: “The best of you is he who is best to his wife.” Aishah (RA) narrates that the holy Prophet never hit a servant or a woman.

The demeanor of the Messenger toward women, his attitude toward conflict resolution among couples, his exemplary treatment of his wives, his practice of gender- neutral consultation, his abhorrence of violence towards women, his love for all and his persistent efforts to alleviate the human condition; all bring us to the conclusion that he wanted to usher in freedom, dignity and equality; making everyone conscious of only one God- the God of all human beings, not a chauvinistic God.

The Qur’an does not discriminate between the two sexes in any way that undermines their full worth as equal human beings, nor does it give either of them; men or women, priority or superiority over the other in any manner whatsoever, neither does in endorse spouse abuse nor does it encourage spouse battering. Just as men have rights over women, likewise women have rights over men. Just as women have certain duties and obligations, likewise men have certain duties and obligations.

Research has shown that oppressive interpretations of the Qur’an are influenced mostly by cultural practices and values which regard women as inferior and subordinate to men. It is not Islam that oppress women, but human beings that have failed to understand Allah’s directives.

The honor or superiority of any person cannot be established on the basis of color, race, nationality, gender or family. It must be judged on the basis of his or her piety, conduct and excellence of character, which must be good and virtuous in word and deed. The more a person is good and virtuous in word and action, the greater is his/her excellence; “Surely, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the pious, the most righteous” (49:13).
This excerpt was taken from Dimensions of the Qur’an, Volume 1; by Sa’dullah Khan.

 

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70 Responses

  1. “Men shall take full care of women with the bounties Allah has bestowed on them, and what they may spend out of their possession; as Allah has eschewed each with certain qualities in relation to the other. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which Allah has ordained to be guarded.

    “As for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then distance yourself in bed, and then tap them; but if they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Surely, Allah is indeed the Most High, the Greatest.” – Qur’an 4:34

    SLAVERY BY ANY OTHER NAME.

    THIS SHOULD BE REINTERPRETED TO READ: IF TWO PEOPLE LIKE EACH OTHER, THEY CAN RENT A FLAT, LIVE IN IT AS LONG AS THEY NEED OTHER FOR SEX, MAKE BABIES AND FOR OTHER CONVENIENCE. WHEN THOSE EXCHANGES OF SERVICES GET OLD, PART WAYS. OR AS THEY SAY IN MADAGASCAR, HIT THE ROAD JACK.

    CALL ME KAFIR.

  2. Well written!

  3. Correction: LIVE IN IT AS LONG AS THEY NEED EACH OTHER FOR…

  4. @All
    It is a wonderful and complete article. It is well explaied and well said.
    I fully agree with it.
    The writer has given the correct references too, but in the case beating wife he has quoted 38:44 , more could have been said how God( ALLAH) Himslf has suggested to His prophet (AYUB,as) how to beat his wife.
    Otherwise the words are well chosen, chizelled and well placed. God bless the writer.

  5. Sami,

    I did not know that god talk to the prophet about the wife beating. Did God suggest guidelines, conditions, reasons or what? Can you educate me about this important topic? Thanks.

  6. Very nice topic and certainly, hopefully, clarified the many misunderstood aspects of marriage in Islam. Thanks AB.

  7. I have heard a Palestinian Muslim interpret ‘daraba’ as ‘separate’ – so, for example, ceasing to live together under the same roof. In other words, a further degree of separation than not sleeping together, but one less extreme than divorce. Frankly, that interpretation makes more sense to me than any of the others.

  8. Dr Aliyami,

    What sami is referring to is Verse 38:41-44 in which prophet Job (Ayyub) was permitted to beat his wife:

    And remember Our servant Ayyub, when he called upon his Lord: The Shaitan has afflicted me with toil and torment. Urge with your foot; here is a cool washing-place and a drink. And We gave him his family and the like of them with them, as a mercy from Us, and as a reminder to those possessed of understanding. And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with It and do not break your oath; surely We found him patient; most excellent the servant! Surely he was frequent in returning (to Allah).

  9. I find it tiresome to blame some interpretation of Islam for the state of women in the Muslim world. It is only the lessening of influence of religion in the West that opened up women’s rights. Islam is fruit of the same tree that Christianity comes from and until religion has a bit less influence in the Muslim world women will still be oppressed.

  10. Very nice rose glasses article. Mr Khan pained what is called the Happy Path in system testing. A religion which provides laws (as in Shariia in Islam) should be measured by how its laws operate in issues of conflict not in happy situations. When things are going well in a marriage there is really no need for rules. Let’s see how Islamic rules act when there are issues in the marriage:

    1) A man is the head of the house and his decisions are final in every situation he chooses.
    2) A man can divorce the wife easily – she has to go to extremes in proving he is not a good husband (a wife is not granted divorce in most cases)
    3) A man can beat his wife – even the article hinted at that by mentioning that a husband should not hit her face
    4) A woman does not get more 3 months of support after a divorce. The man gets all the marital assets he wants to keep (home, cars, businesses, etc.)
    5) A woman does not get custody of children after a certain age if the man refuses to let her have it. Just like in the case of divorce she will have to go through extremes to proof that he is not a fit parent.
    ……
    etc.

    Simply Islam does not provides equality between married couples. This article is just a piece of apologetics that leaves many details out.

  11. @Jerry M,

    I agree. Muslim apologists always try to blame every thing like misinterpretations, culture, straying away from the religion, the jinni who ate their homework etc., but they never look at the most obvious place which is the dogma of the religion.

  12. I can’t get over the allowance for hitting your wife even if it’s with a toothbrush. It seems to make women out to be children. Even my Syrian Muslim friend admits men tend to be more naughty than women.

  13. it’s a good article, and it clarifies a lot of misrepresented facts.
    if muslims follow this even 50% it would erase many misconceptions about islam 🙂
    however we are formed culturally and those impressions are hard to break.
    I think as human beings we must take the good and leave the bad. of anything not just religion. we must follow good examples and try not to copy the abusers so much , it really takes just a bit of thought , don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself. 🙂

    having said that , i’d never agree to a sharia divorce, i would want equal 50% -50% split if we were ever to go our separate ways and an equal say int he childrens upbringing. none of that 3 months and you’re on the street BS or go live with your parents deal..for me but apart from that i think it’s a great way for people to understand marriage and live by.

  14. I fully agree with susane430. As far as I am aware of, there are no similar religious teachings in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other major religions of the world. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

    Moreover, Muslims in general may not bat an eye towards this wife-beating philosophy, because it is too deeply ingrained into their religion/culture to be noticed; but I have to wonder how this edict works in the good old U.S.A, where spousal abuse is a crime and can land a man/husband in jail.

    I would like to remind all women, that if your Muslim husband/boyfriend whatever, EVER lays a hand on you – even one time – if you are ever abused …. and if you are in the U.S., please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at ndvh.org 1-800-799-SAFE. You do not have to live like that; you deserve better!

  15. A few observations….

    The earliest English language versions of the Quran translate ‘Daraba’ as “scourge”, that is to whip to the extent of removing skin. So, “scourge” has become “tap”. With every new translation of the Quran, the text becomes nicer and nicer… gone is the brutal harshness of the older translations. Pretty soon “Idribuhunne” will be translated as “give her flowers”.

    Almost all translations now add a temporal element missing in the Arabic. So now it is “first”, “then” and “last of all”. It seems that Muslims are correcting Allah’s essay, improving it.
    Nowhere does it consider the possibility that the wife may be right. I know the idea is silly and almost unconceivable, but maybe once or twice in their lives a woman can be right.

    As to the demeanor of the Messenger, Mr. Khan quotes many hadith but ignores the ones that tell of his messenger hitting his wife (“He hit me and caused me pain”), of saying to never ask a man why he beat his wife, of Aisha saying that she had “never seen women so abused as the wives of the faithful”, and so on. Selective quoting is dishonest and shows intellectual bankruptcy. As to the Prophet’s “abhorrence of violence towards women”, I am sure that Asma bint Marwan would be delighted to know this.

    That line about “When Allah mentions marriage or the relationship between husband and wife in the Qur’an, He describes it as one of love, mercy, and harmony between two human beings who have entered into a mutual contract” is classic. Two? Perhaps it should read as follows…”When Allah mentions marriage or the relationship between husband and wife in the Qur’an, He describes it as one of love, mercy, and harmony between two, three, four or five human beings who have entered into a nonreciprocal, semi-mutual contract? Yeah, but the original lines sounds better and that is all that is important.

    Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Khan actually reads what he writes… as in “It is that you shall give her food, you shall not slap her on the face, nor revile her, nor leave her alone except within the house”. So slapping her on the back, legs or shoulders is fine, and makes sure she never goes out alone (ie, make her a prisoner in her house). Yes, nothing shows love, mercy, and harmony like not trusting a wife leave her house by herself.

    BTW, what is this about “not beating a wife as would one beat a slave”. WTF! So brutally beating a slave is fine and dandy? Of course Mr. Khan is just looking for nice verses about wife relationships, without any consideration of the moral implications.

    Perhaps Mr. Khan could explain to me how a non-Muslim can be “judged on the basis of his or her piety, conduct and excellence of character” when they are a priori qualified in the Quran as “lower than animals”. Oh yes, the Muslims, even the wife beaters, are the “best of peoples”.

    Yep, it is all a big misunderstanding…. It is culture, it is translations, it is ignorance, it is never Islam.

  16. The Muslim Feminists Facebook page shared this link earlier in the week about domestic violence in Islam. I found it incredibly disgusting and really hope it’s bogus.

    http://muslimspice.com/domestic-violence-fact-or-fiction#.UQHXDWdbuXk

  17. I prefer my father’s teachings: ”If somebody hits you you hit back.
    Hard.

    A lot shorter and a lot better.

  18. Jay – you’ve been missed!!

    On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 8:08 PM, American Bedu

  19. Wife beating is never justified, not by Islam nor normal sane society. As Radha pointed out, this article has really cleared up a lot of misinformation when it comes to Islamic marriage. I wonder though is anyone aware that wife beating is actually condone in the Bible? Wife beating is always mistakenly associated with Islam when in reality it has no justification whether in the Quran nor the hadith.On the other hand, since ndvh asked, the bible mentions many times about wife beating. In fact according to Christianity, a man who has raped a woman which is technically a form of violence is to marry her.

  20. @mrsB

    There is a lot of garbage in the Bible (particularly the old testament) what is good about Christian society is that it has mostly evolved beyond using scripture in setting standards of punishments. The inability to abandon outmoded ideas just because they are in ancient texts is barbaric.

  21. Mrs. B.

    Yes we know wife beating, slavery, rape, murder, racism, gender apartheid, etc. is condoned in the Bible. Why do you think we keep telling you that it is bunk and it is all Abrahamic religion not just Islam. They are all crappola.

    So let me ask you is it okay to say that my religions sanctioning of murder, rape, wife beating etc. is okay because that religion says it is okay too so therefore mine is fine as well. I know it is wrong but so is theirs so that makes my wrong okay. (So tired of this game.)

  22. That’s what the Saudi system’s apologists do. They find excuses to negate criticism of anything in Saudi Arabia including poverty, gender segregation, discrimination against religious minorities, maltreatment of poverty stricken and abused Asian (not Westerners) expatriates and the list goes on.

    They argue that the reason non-Muslims are not allowed to practice their religious rituals in Saudi Arabia is because it’s the birth place of Islam even though the Saudis are not allowed to celebrate the prophet’s birth day because the system decided that’s un-islamic.

    The apologists attribute gender segregation and marginalization of women on religion and tradition when in fact the reasons are more of political and economic nature.

    And when someone criticizes Islam and Arab tradition for staggering social illnesses the apologists accuse them of islamophobia, anti-Arabs and /or racism.

    The current US ambassador, Colonel Smith, is quoted (in New Yorker) to have said recently that criticizing the Saudi regime for its discriminatory policy against women and violation of human rights is counterproductive.

  23. Bigstick don’t shove your emotions on me. I never said violence is ok. Ndvh was wondering if this was in Christianity etc so I told him it was. Jerry M, if you did some further research you would realize that wife beating is only ‘acceptable’ in under-educated Muslim community whereas in communities whereby education and social awareness are elevated, domestic violence is a punishable crime. Maybe the reason why you’re defending Christianity is because it’s in the West whereas Islam is in the East so you’re not seeing the progress we are making here or you refuse to see it due to a superiority complex.

  24. @mrsB,

    “Wife beating is always mistakenly associated with Islam when in reality it has no justification whether in the Quran nor the hadith.”

    Are you serious?

    Here is the Qura’an 4:34

    “Men are in charge of women by what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those from whom you fear arrogance – advise them; if they persist forsake them in bed; and , strike them. But if they obey you , seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.”

    A man can beat his wife as a final resort if she disobeys. By the way do not try the usual misinterpretation excuse path as all the major books of tafsir agree on the interpretation.

    As far as Hadith is concerned there are at least 6 I know of and they come from all the major Hadith collectors (Bukhari, Muslim, Al Tibiri, etc.) I am not going to post them here to save space, you can google them easily.

    While you are at it, you should also search on youtube on the topic and you will find many Clerics using the same hadith and the Qura’an verse above to justify beating of women.

    Regarding the bible issues, no one argues that the bible treats women well. As others told you, the old testament is a very violent book and I am glad no civilized country treat it as a reference for laws. When Muslims stop referring to the Qura’an as a source for developing laws Muslim countries may achieve a higher level of civility.

  25. Yes Moq I am really serious. The Prophet never strike his wife nor did he ever preached it. That verse you used doesn’t justify your argument. Daraba has many meanings and you know that. The problem comes from the word “Idribuhunne” which we used to translate as “beat them”. The root of this word is “DaRaBa”. If you look at any Arabic dictionary you will find a long list of meanings ascribed to this word. That list is one of the longest lists in all the Arabic dictionary. It can be said that “DaRaBa” is the number-one multi-meaning word in Arabic. It has so many different meanings, we can find numerous different meanings ascribed to it in the Quran.
    * To travel, to get out: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 2:273
    * To strike: 2:60,73; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:4
    * To beat: 8:50; 47:27
    * To set up: 43:58; 57:13
    * To give (examples): 14:24,45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:28,58; 36:78; 39:27,29; 43:17; 59:21; 66:10,11
    * To take away, to ignore: 43:5
    * To condemn: 2:61
    * To seal, to draw over: 18:11
    * To cover: 24:31
    * To explain: 13:17As you see, in the Quran alone we can witness the verb “DaRaBa” having at least ten different meanings. “DaRaBa” has also other meanings which are not mentioned in the Quran. For example, in the Arabic language, you do not print money–you “DaRaBa” money, you do not multiply numbers–you “DaRaBa” numbers, you do not cease the work–you “DaRaBa” the work. In Turkish we have many verbs similar to DaRaBa, such as “tutmak”, “calmak”, “vurmak” etc. In English we have two verbs which are almost equivalent to “DaRaBa”. These are “strike” and “beat”.Webster”s Dictionary gives fourteen meanings to the verb “strike”: hit (against); ignite; (of snake) bite; (of plants) (cause to) take root; attack; hook (fish); sound (time) as bell in clock etc.; affect; arrive at, come upon; enter mind of; discover (gold, oil etc.); dismantle, remove; make (coin); cease work as protest or to make demands. The same dictionary gives eight meanings to the verb “beat”: strike repeatedly; overcome; surpass; stir vigorously with striking action; flap (wings); make, wear (path); throb; sail against wind.In the beginning of this article (underlined) I deliberately used “beat” in three different meanings in a single statement just to show the variety of meanings in a single word. In English, when we order someone to “beat it” we mean “get out”. Similarly in Arabic, when we order someone with the commend form of “DaRaBa”, that is “iDRiB”, we mean “get out”.

  26. I got these info from Quran-Islam.org

    “Verse 4:34 of the Quran orders believers to beat their wives; so, Islam is a male dominant religion.” Many of us have heard this criticism from Christians, atheists, agnostics, etc. Personally, every time I read 4:34, I felt that something was wrong. How does God, the Most Wise order us to beat our women? What kind of solution is that? It is in contrast to the verses in which God describes marriage:
    “Among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquillity and contentment with each other. He places in your heart love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are signs for people who think.” (30:21)

  27. I won’t deny Moq that there are clerics who condone this act. Guess what? Unlike Christianity Islam doesn’t have priesthood so if we see our clerics preaching falsehood, we ignore him. There is one verse in the Quran that most Muslims hold on to and that is “Most Exalted is God, the only true King. Do not rush into (understanding) the Quran before it is revealed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase my knowledge”. I know as an atheist it is very difficult for you to digest that Islamic marriage is not as you believe it to be, but alhamdulillah Allah knows best. I hardly believe a husband beats up his wife while thinking about God. If it makes you feel better than continue with your thinking. I am going to go with this article. This Mr Khan is actually doing a good thing educating Muslims about the proper manners in marriage instead of the usual garbage uneducated cleric spouts. If anything you should be applauding him.

  28. Hey Carol, Thanks. I haven’t forgotten you and Carolina in May. Just been busy. Currently in HongKong running a baby care center of one. It is nice to see the gang here, expressing the usual opinions. Yes, there may be some differences of opinion, but if we were ever to get together in a room, there wouldn’t be much need to mop up blood afterwards.

    Speaking of marriage, I dedicate this to You and MrsB….

    Or let me try to embed it…

    Jay

  29. This is the first time I heard that Muslims ignore their clerics.
    I bet Salman Rushdie would love to know this.
    How wonderful for all those little girls sold to old pedophiles for sex that although Islam supports their miserable destiny, all Muslims really ignore that.

    It’s a relief to see how the Abrahamic religions have protected women’s rights through the ages. I suppose this is the reason that wherever Abrahamic religions have a lot of influence women are free to dress how they like, go where they like, study what they like, decide on their future. Everywhere on the planet where the Abrahamic religions rule we see women who have full control over their bodily integrity, we see women are cherished and respected, and no man dares to harass/rape them, no woman is sold to a man, or used as barter to serve the rest of her life as a sex and household slave.

    MrsB. What Moq tried to tell you is that in all civilized modern ”Christian” countries, (mine is really an Atheist country, Praise the FSM) this is exactly what Christians do: ignore the nasty bits from the Bible and live their life according to our far more advanced morality. They are free to do so because the Church has lost it’s power here.

    The difference with Islam is that its apologists do the same when talking to non-Muslims, but when it comes to reality they follow the religions in all it’s evil dictates.
    The moment Islamic countries treat Islam the way ”Christian” countries treat Christianity, Islamic countries will join the civilized world.

    For now that is not the case and Islamic men are free to continue to beating their wives to a pulp. With the support of the religion and the clerics of their religion. Some of which even preach from the pulpit that it is a man’s duty to give his wife a regular trashing. You know that. The videos are out there.

  30. The Muslim Spice link I shared above has some guy defending domestic violence with the hadith. He says it happened in Muhammad’s time and Muhammad did it so it’s fine for today. Really the article is about Muslim women going to the police when their husbands do what is prescribed in Islam…and he makes the case that it’s not only with a toothbrush. That’s why I found the article so disgusting. I’ve never heard someone make the case for domestic violence.

  31. I read the article, it also suggest that women who complain about domestic violence are making it up.

  32. Every religion has these issues. thats because int hose days that’s the way it was. so no point debating that. what we need to do now is key, We live in todays’ age not 2000yrs ago and hence we should adapt to todays morals.. this doesnt mean ignoring entire books where there are many good thngs too. why are we so vlinded that we can take all ot nothing, why cannot we read something, learn and apply just the parts that are fair and right??? are we that stupid??

    every civilization and culture has burdens and good and bad and terrible. east as well as west has been up to no good at various times, have been exemplery at various times.

    e.g is in my opinion india ,long ago before the british came by women were free, free ot choose, population was not at all repressed and quite happy with their freedom, ( see those temple carvings???) . then came the british and their victorian morality and poof now we have a repressed india which thinks this is the way to go. of course i love the british for their railways and the education system they left behind ,but we could have done without their victorian ideas. we can blame the mughals for this idiotic behavior, more repressing and bringing their brand of treatment of women and covering and BS and india now follows that too . but al lthat’s moot, so what if they were idiots we don’t have to follow idiots, god gave us a thinking brain, we just choose to not use it.

    you cant blame west, east, religions, religious books etc., if people don’t have basic morals and common sense, no one thing is perfect so following anything blindly in my opinion is wrong and will lead to bad things happening . as i said we as humans the supposedly superior species are not so stupid or are we???

    you don’t need a book/man/priest/guide whatever to tell you not to beat your wife, unless you like to be beat up ( with a toothbrush !!!!) . it’s not even a discussion worth having.

  33. What I took away from Mr. Khan’s “nasty” article was Allah’s and Mohammed’s ground rules for “truth” about islamic wife beating. That is:

    Man is the absolute master in the Muslim household and beating your wife is definitely allowed in Islam. It should not be as severe as beating your slave. That is all!

    You can beat your wife (lovingly!) pretty good! Make it count, but take care not to break her bones! If you do, she may be able to leave and get a divorce. Therefore, bruising, blue marks, red marks, etc., are all okay! In fact, it is preferred to use a stick or a whip to beat your wife with (easier than using your hand, that’s for sure.). This is what I deduced from an honest reading of the articles by Mr. Khan and Koran and Hadith about wife beating.

    It is a misconception and blatant lie that Mohammad was perfect. No man or woman is perfect. Everybody has to perfectionize himself/ herself and has to prove himself fit for salvation.

    Muslims tell so many lies to cover up all internal contradictions, scientific errors and historical blunders in Koran. Any sane person can become sick of Muslim apologists’ deception and lies of ‘out of context,’ ‘bad translation’, ‘there is no clerical heirarchy in Islam’ and ‘arabic Koran cannot be translated’ to hide and conceal the contradictions in the Koran.

    An ever-loving God/Prophet would not instruct such rubbish. Muslim women, you the subject of this matter, rise up and stand for your rights. Its amazing and pathetic at the same time that this is happening in the 21st century. It shouldn’t be.

    What more can I say? The Islamic teachings on women are EVIL. For that matter, it is hard not see Evil in, no matter what Koranic subject, you research.

  34. What I took away from Mr. Khan’s “nasty” article was Allah’s and Mohammed’s ground rules for “truth” about islamic wife beating. That is:

    Man is the absolute master in the Muslim household and beating your wife is definitely allowed in Islam. It should not be as severe as beating your slave. That is all!

    You can beat your wife (lovingly!) pretty good! Make it count, but take care not to break her bones! If you do, she may be able to leave and get a divorce. Therefore, bruising, blue marks, red marks, etc., are all okay! In fact, it is preferred to use a stick or a whip to beat your wife with (easier than using your hand, that’s for sure.). This is what I deduced from an honest reading of the articles by Mr. Khan and Koran and Hadith about wife beating.

    It is a misconception and blatant lie that Mohammad was perfect. No man or woman is perfect. Everybody has to perfectionize himself/ herself and has to prove himself fit for salvation.

    Muslims tell so many lies to cover up all internal contradictions, scientific errors and historical blunders in Koran. Any sane person can become sick of Muslim apologists’ deception and lies of ‘out of context,’ ‘bad translation’, ‘there is no clerical heirarchy in Islam’ and ‘arabic Koran cannot be translated’ to hide and conceal the contradictions in the Koran.

    An ever-loving God/Prophet would not instruct such rubbish. Muslim women, you the subject of this matter, rise up and stand for your rights. Its amazing and pathetic at the same time that this is happening in the 21st century. It shouldn’t be.

    What more can I say? The Islamic teachings on women are EVIL. For that matter, it is hard not see Evil in, no matter what Koranic subject, you research.

    Shadow accounts are not allowed on American Bedu
    Commentators who use shadow accounts will be blocked.
    Moderator

  35. Let’s go and work on issues and projects that are doable and when achieved, women will determine their destinies and relations with men and gods.

    http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/the-days-of-decrees-and-habitual-tokenism-are-gone/

  36. Mrs. B .. you are correct about the bible and wife beating, etc. etc. etc.

    The difference here is that people who read and follow the bible grew a brain and some reason and dumped what happened centuries ago when they realized it was wrong. Those who follow the bible do not take it literally when it comes to the old testament and even stuff in the new. Muslims are taught to never grow up, never question and above all never change what is wrong with the religion. That’s how I see it anyway.

  37. While we are on this topic, I am right now in the process of trying to find some organization, entity or individual in the Jeddah area that can help a woman who is being domestically abused. Please email me directly if you can provide an entity that can assist and/or give her a safe shelter. admin@americanbedu.com

  38. @mrsB,

    Your long copy and paste article is a bunch of intellectual acrobatics, that can only pass for none Arabic speakers who are gullible and have the predisposition to believe that Islam would allow beating of wives.

    Yes words may have many meanings depending on the context. The word “Adrubohm” as used in the verse, refers to the plural for woman, means striking/beating. There is no other way to read it differently when you are speaking about people. The context of the verse is also of escalation of punishment that leads into beating. It certainly did not mean “send them on a trip” or multiply them by an integer as some of your translations of the word mean.

    The context of the use is very clear. This is why no legitimate scholar throughout the history of Islam translated it different.

    Regarding me feeling better, actually I do not. I know women who are abused by husbands and I wish it is different. Perhaps, you should look at yourself and determine, if you are trying to feel good about this subject by resorting to such contortionist linguistic argument.

    This matters, because Muslims always stick their heads in the sand and never confront legitimate problems. That results in the problems never being addressed. You certainly can make great strides in improving conditions for women, by developing secular laws and avoid nonsensical arguments about Islam having a just system. Which in turn implies applying Shariia rules that allow abuse of women.

  39. Mrs. B:
    Bigstick don’t shove your emotions on me. I never said violence is ok. Ndvh was wondering if this was in Christianity etc so I told him it was. Jerry M, if you did some further research you would realize that wife beating is only ‘acceptable’ in under-educated Muslim community whereas in communities whereby education and social awareness are elevated, domestic violence is a punishable crime. Maybe the reason why you’re defending Christianity is because it’s in the West whereas Islam is in the East so you’re not seeing the progress we are making here or you refuse to see it due to a superiority complex.”

    First you reply never addressed Ndvh. Next Jerry is not defending Christianity …..nothing can do that as it is pathetic……….Jerry is stating that people have evolve away from Christian teachings. Next, there is no emotions being shoved on you…….it is a fact that was presented. Next Chrisitian was shoved on the west from the east in fact all Abrahamic religions pushed into the west not the other way around. Could be this is why the East is always in turmoil…..Abrahamic hate religions.

  40. Moq, it’s only an intellectual acrobat because you want to believe so. You want to decide the heretic clerics as ‘legitimate’ while the ones that actually call for peace are only apologists. Like so many of you here, you thrive and get excited when a radical imam incites violence as this furthers your cause to showcase the ‘evil’ of Islam but when a good imam like Mr Khan here preaches, you pass it of as an apologists attempt. Perhaps it didn’t occur to you that it is maybe better to have.more of these kind of Muslim representatives? Or your only mission and solution is to destroy Islam altogether and only then you will find solace. Like it or not, we need more people like Mr Khan who clears the horrible stigma associated with Islam and Muslims and stop highlighting and giving the heretics a field day. Bigstick you were emotional, that’s why you were blinded to see that I actually did mention Ndvh in answering his query.

  41. No just blind. Still the statement stands.

  42. Wendy you are incorrect to imply that Muslims are taught to be ignorant. My father has always taught me to know my rights as a wife, to always have a back up in case of a death or divorce, to value myself.

    Bigstick as long as you realized your own flaw..the statement has collapse.

  43. Susan fortunately not a lot of people take that guy seriously, only mysoginistic guys regardless of religion do. If you’re going to post links like that than why not post quotes by Pat Robertson who actually is allowed to run free in the Western media. quotes such as ‘ugly women are the reason of failed marriage’ and ‘you could become a Muslim and beat your wife’. You see heretics are everywhere regardless of beliefs and that includes atheists. The crazy Ayan Hirsi insists persistently that Islam should be destroyed. When asked to clarify if she meant radical Islam she insist Islam period! So when good people who actually promotes good virtues as in line with their beliefs it should be awarded not ridiculed. More ‘legitimate’ clerics denounce wife beating even when referring to the Quran. Google Yusuf Estes, Muhammad Yusuf Nazia, and many more.but do they get any publicity?Certainly not the cup of tea for these folks here as in intervenes with their mission.

    This comment was in spam, sorry for the delay.
    Moderator

  44. @mrsB,

    “You want to decide the heretic clerics as ‘legitimate’ while the ones that actually call for peace are only apologists.?”

    – Mr. Khan is wrong, because he takes liberties with something as black and white as the meaning of word. He turns strike into tap. i.e. he is changing the word of your God. You are the one who should be upset at such modifications to your holy book.

    – I do not think Mr. Khan is worse than other clerics, but I do think he is knowingly deceiving people about Islam. That is harmful if his writings are used to convert people to the religion based on lies.

    – Do you realize that you just called about 99% of current Islamic clerics and practically all Islamic scholars as heretics. Learn about your religion. Calling another Muslim a heretic falsely is a great sin. You should consider repenting.

    – I have no mission except telling the truth. I wish I can wave a magic wand and make Islam a religion that respects women as it will impact many people’s lives positively. However, that is not possible as these issues are at the core of the teachings.

    mrsB, I think you should reconsider how you present your arguments here. In an effort to make a bad argument based on twisting of the words of your own holy books, you are again resorting to name calling and accusations of others. It is also leading you to committing a major sin according to your own religion’s teachings.

  45. I will agree to disagree especially the part where you, at your own liberty, pull out a statistic of 99% clerics are heretic. I have made a long comment about the many many clerics who didn’t get as much attention from the media and you who oppose wife beating based on the Quran but as usual it got lost. As for Mr Khan lying, I beg to differ.

  46. Mrs. B – I am saying that Muslims and Islam hold onto things from centuries ago that are outdated and very wrong. Non Muslims understand that the bible was written a very long time ago so it should not be taken literally in this day and age. Muslims can’t seem to understand that the world moves forward, people grow up and question things and discard what is ridiculous or harmful.

  47. Revisiting and re-interpreting (reforming) Muslim textbooks will be first and foremost in the best interests of Muslims (especially women). Defending and holding into the indefensible is self-defeating prophecy which harms the defenders more than the critics, by far.

    Here is an incomplete proposal to consider:

    Invite nonsectarian and incorruptible religious and secular men and women from all brands and sects of Islam and ask them to meet in a non-Muslim territory, read the Muslim text books and re-interpret them correctly and present their unquestionable findings to governments for implementation. Whoever rules or governs Saudi Arabia should accept the new versions of Muslim textbooks first. Interpreters should be empowered to write irrefutable universal codified laws based on their research and conclusions and in compliance with all international declarations on human rights.

    Additionally, all Muslim judicial systems must be based on the researchers and interpreters written codified laws. Also, a non-religious and independent overseer (watchdog) committee should be established and empowered to ensure compliance with all the newly established order. Non-compliant Muslim regimes should be considered offenders and sent to the International Court in The Hague.

    This is just a simple and doable idea, especially if Muslim women insist on it. Most Muslim men, especially Muftis and other clerics, will fight it to the end.

  48. Susanne…. Finally got around to reading your “MuslimSpice” link. That is pretty much the way it is. Many years ago I took the time to wade thru the ahadith and most of the early histories I could get my hands on (literally – Tabari was some 30 big volumes, each about 2+ inches thick). It is fascinating stuff, but the simple fact is that most of it is about Mohammed’s unprovoked wars on his neighbors (and the unending domestic problems and follower rivalries).

    What I find so disgusting is that Muslims are totally unable to be honest about even the simple things. Notice the abysm between Khan’s article above (“Aishah narrates that the holy Prophet never hit a servant or a woman.”) and the many contrary references in the MuslimSpice article. Say what you want about the immorality of the MS text, at least it is honest about what the Quran and hadith say.

    This is why there is no hope for peace or coexistence with Muslims. If they cannot be honest about simple, clear issues, why should I believe them when they say they want peace? They pretend that the hate and violence in the Quran against non-Muslims is just a ‘misunderstanding’. Maybe they are sincere, maybe not.

    The future will not be nice.

    Ali, I would love to be a spectator when you get all those people together.

  49. The intensifying “Clash of Civilizations” seems to be gaining momentum.

    We wrote an elaborate proposal to bring scholars from different Muslim countries to Washington to explore ways and draw strategies to reform Muslim textbooks in 2009. The project failed because we could not raise funds to bring credible people to begin what promised to be the most wrenching topic to tackle. It’s still a project that is worth pursuing.

  50. Unto you your religion, unto me my religion.

    I know this is difficult for fanatics as the only way they see fit is if Islam is annihilated in all its existence but this kind of coercion can only stand on American Bedu but in the real world it would not be tolerated even an ounce, either by Muslims or not. http://www.mygripeanthing.com/at-anti-islam-protest-in-sweden-violence-erupts

  51. Muawiyah al Qarshi said I went to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Abu Dawud Book 11, Number 2139

    Read more: http://www.systemoflife.com/answering-islamophobes/abul-kasem/223-muhammad-recommended-wife-beating-and-also-beat-wife-ayesha#ixzz2J8gCv1In

  52. Jay kaktuz said “This is why there is no hope for peace or coexistence with Muslims. ”
    And that my friends is what civilized people defined as a true xenophobic, Islamophobic, person that in most societies would be denounced but on this forum he is missed and rejoiced. From his own mouth, he actually admitted that he cannot coexist with Muslims, period! Muslims here all rallied against violence against wife and others but he is actully admant to not coexist with Muslims.

  53. With due respect, beliefs cannot be annihilated, but people can. Real believers can only feel beliefs, they cannot see them, they cannot touch them and they cannot kill them.

    I grew up into believing that Islam is superior and its adherents are the purest of the pure. I only discovered what I was forced into believing was a grossly tainted picture when I lived in non-Muslim countries.
    I did years of investigation, observation and soul searching before I realized and accepted the fact that adherents of other beliefs are more pure than most Muslims can or will ever be.

    For example, I am free to believe or not to believe where I live now. I can embrace any religion and not get behead or, if I were very lucky, get disowned and ostracized in most, if not all Arab and Muslim countries.

    I would like to ask all Muslim discussants in or reader of this blog the following question. What parts of Muslim textbooks can the US implement that will improve on people’s freedom of choices, women’s and religious minorities’ rights, freedom of worship, government checks and balances, freedom of speech and expression, accountability, transparency, rule of law and the right to choose public servants, just to name a few?

    A group of highly respected Arab and Muslim scholars, of all stripes, were commissioned by the UN to research and write a report about Arabs (The UN Arab Human Development Report 2003) and the results were bleak. Muslims can benefit from taking look at what was written and re-written 14 and half centuries ago. Christians and Jews did and look how far ahead of Arabs and Muslims they are. Facts cannot be denied and failures cannot be remedied by denying them or by blaming others.

  54. Mrs. B:

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Wife_Beating_in_Islam

    Here is another litany of wife beating statements in hadith/quran.

    What is pathetic is you defend a religion that cannot be defended except through lies to yourself or denying what is obvious. But the brainwashed and indoctrinated have a hard to given up on what they have been feed to believe even in the face of the undenialable and written facts.

    Here is the thing; if it was a religion for all time then it wouldn;t have so much problem fitting in this time but only in a barbaric murdering, raping, deceptive, slave inducing backward time.

  55. Jay, I absolutely loved your video!

    Ali, I thought your plan of sanitizing Ilsam was just a plan, I had no idea you are actually really going for it! Very courageous.

  56. Bigstick, I feel really sorry for Muslims who ahve superior morality than their books. What can a Muslim do but close their eyes and hope the books really meant something different?
    The Hadith claim Mohammed had sex with a 9 year old girl, so now all Muslim men can buy and have sex with little girls. The Quran and hadith tell of Muslim men beating their wives and this invisible skydaddy thins it’s ok, so now all Muslim men can beat their wives to a pulp.
    The Quran and hadith completely ignore the fact taht a woman may be more moral, more intelligent and more right than a man , worse, it explicitly states that women are inferior to men in intelligence and religion.

    The books of Islam are so wrong and immoral on so many subjects, but they are dictated by some invisible ghost as a message from the invisible skydaddy, and to even think they are not right is a grave sin in religion. To say so could end up in your being accused of apostasy and you being killed. This crime against humanity is also ordained by the religion.
    How are good moral people who are stuck in Islam to deal with this problem?
    The only recourse they have is to privately convince themselves that the words really mean something else.
    And in itself that is fine.

    But it is not fine if you use this distorted sugarcoated version of Islam to convince new converts.
    Muslims should be honest and give the real facts to new converts, if they are so stupid to still want to convert then they at least know what they sign up for.

  57. I take it back, I am not fine by morally superior Muslims ignoring their holy books and just make up different meanings for words and leave it at that.

    Al these nice moral people, the so called ”moderates” are the basis, the power basis for the extremists and the atrocities done in your religion (insert religion of your choice)

    Your weak stance against the immoral teachings of your religion gives the extremists the power and the right to implement the evil stuff from your religion, killing of apostates, pedophilic marriage, wife beating, ”honor” killings, these crimes against humanity are made possible, and are supported by the ”moderate” majority.
    I put majority between quote marks because when you support these crimes you are, in reality, not moderate, you are as culpable as the 80 year old who rapes an 8 year old, you are as guilty as the Yemeni man who raped his 13 year old ”wife” to death, you are guilty for the death of all these little girls who die in childbirth. You are as guilty as ayatollah Khomeini for ordering the death of a novelist form another country living in another country, you are as guilty as the men who flew planes into the world trade towers, you are as guilty as the fathers and brothers who murder their daughters and sister for no reason at all, you are guilty because you are silent, and you are the power base and the support for these atrocities.

    Moderate Muslims can change the world for the better by standing up against evil, Ali made a good plan, endorse that plan, vocally and financially, and free yourselves from the guilt you now bear for (child)rape, murder and torture all over the world.

  58. MrsB. Like Popeye, I am what I am. I am pretty easy going. The only reason I can co-exist with Muslims is because I live in a country where Muslims can’t impose their values yet. If I lived in any Muslim country I would be dead, in jail, or alive and a coward (silent about my beliefs and convictions). I don’t want to live anywhere where I cant say what I think. I want people like you also to be able to express your opinions and believe what you want to believe — just don’t try to shut me up.

    No I don’t beat up Muslims for fun. I don’t hate them, but I don’t trust them either because they have a tendency to say things that I know are not true. It seems that the good Muslims like you can’t control the bad Muslims. It seems that so many Muslims like you spend too much time telling us infidels how nice and lovely Islam is when, in fact, you should be spreading the word to other Muslims.

    Mrs B. Look around you. Read the papers. How many killed this past week in Pakistan and Iraque? What is happening in Algeria and Mali? How many killed in Egypt yesterday? Where does this hate and violence come from? Could it perhaps be related to your religion? Is it not just Muslims doing what the Quran tells them to do in 9:111?

    This is not theology, it is red blood on the streets and human tears being shed for nothing. Doesn’t this tell you something?

    Finally, Whatever you are, MrsB, I must admit that you are a fighter. I like that. I dislike wishy-washy people but that is not you. You have gumption.

    You take care. Jay

  59. AA, thank you for noticing that video. It was one of the coolest things I’d seen in a while. What great voices! Too bad the filming wasn’t professional, but even so it was great.

    The comments were good reading also.

    Oh yes, one day more….. one day more… If only. How many of us would give anything for one day more with people we loved and lost, with people we did not appreciate, with people we took for granted and then they were gone..

  60. Jay, yes. One day more with the ones we loved and who have gone…

  61. Mrs. B, I detest many of Pat Robertson’s sayings, yet I didn’t think to quote him on this thread. I’d just read the Muslim Spice article this week so it was still on my mind when this discussion came up. My first comment was about men hitting their wives with toothbrushes (which I said I don’t like), and Jay mentioned the hadith that told of domestic violence in Muhammad’s time. My point was that there are men EVEN TODAY who justify DV with the hadith, with the life of your prophet and his men. We need to realize not everyone is as kind as you and most Muslims I know. Thankfully I believe you to be the majority, but still for people to write such things is troubling because some people believe it’s OK. Did you read about the 18 year old in the UK who thought having sex with a 13 year old was OK because he learned it in an Islamic school? When people go to school and learn domestic violence or sex with underage girls is OK that is not good.

  62. @mrsB,

    Regarding the Hadith you sited from Abu Dawud, you really did not do your research. In the same collection of Hadith, actually just 2 Hadiths later, Abu Dawud #2141. here is how the story unfolded:

    “Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab: Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad’s family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.”

    And Abu Dawud #2142:

    “Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.”

    Here is a link to the reference and it also gives good drop downs to the collections of Hadiths from Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, and Malik.

    http://www.guidedways.com/book_display-book-11-translator-3-start-30-number-2109.htm

    I think you know your religion only superficially and rely on apologists sites to support your arguments instead of relying on the actual sources. You accuse others of this superficial judgment, when the fact is you are not highly knowledgeable of your own religion. When people confront you with facts, you rely on the tried and true method of calling others islamophobes as a substitute for actually making an argument.

    So you understand correctly, I for one do not mind Islam as long it is practiced without interference in 3 areas:

    – Laws: Laws give us common morals and as long as Muslims claim that they have superior morality and their Shariia laws should be implemented, we will appose their arguments and present evidence against it. If you cannot handle facts then I suggest you should avoid debating such topics.

    – Science: We owe much of or progress to scientific discoveries. Some of us will rely on it to save our lives from diseases. We will argue against the tainting of science by the religious minded.

    – Politics: We all see the results of religions taking over political power. We will not let the religious push religions into the discussion in secular democracies. Further, we will continue to argue against theocratic rule across the world until they are no more and people are freed from such tyrannical rule.

    The problem is Islam is not just a “benign” worship of a deity, it interferes in all 3 areas. I also appose Christians when they try to pass their believes into the same areas.

  63. Believe me Susanne I am the first person to blow up in anger when I read about atrocities against women and children. I wish I have the power to destroy the abusers. Just yesterday I read in the news of a girl kidnapped and raped and murdered and what do you think I feel? Absolute anger. But I don’t many to be discriminated against just because Im Muslim. I don’t want to be looked differently just because I swore there is no God but God. That I have to be regarded with suspicion just because some terrorist blew up a building. Do you know how crazy is that? Jay I am aware of those Pakistani news, so tired of them to even care anymore. You know what I don’t really blame you for your abhorrent to Muslims, we haven’t been so positively portrayed of late. Hah what can I say?I am tired of all the turmoil and fights. What do you suggest? Stop Muslim from their freedom to practice and believe in their faith?

  64. I second what is stated by Moq.

    Mrs. B:

    I have no use for Pat Robinson or any evangelical christian preacher as one, they are lining their pockets and could care less for anything else which is so obvious and two, they can’t even get their own information correct from the book itself either. Now the difference is, is that I can voice my opinions against them, show them where what they preach deviates from the books, and I don’t have to put up with their insane belief in my lifestyle at this time so long as I keep them from injected their influence into politics. Thankfully, every year that passes in the USA the less religious it becomes which gives me some hope but there are still an exceptionally large amount of delusional people in this country who want to force others to abide by their immoral hate doctrine, aka: bible.

  65. you rely on the tried and true method of calling others islamophobes as a substitute for actually making an argument.

    Actually Moq I was not making any argument when calling Jay an Islamophobe,merely stating facts based on his comment that I quote above and he doesn’t seem to disagree with that. Lastly about your 3 aspects that you wish Islam won’t interfere ie Law, Science and Politics is not something I wish to argue at this moment. All I can say is thank God for the many scientific discoveries that has helped to make the human lives more advanced and I as a Muslim have no problem with that.

  66. You asked me what Islamophobe meant before Moq and I found according to British Runnymede Trust
    defined Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, [the] fear and dislike of all Muslims,” stating that it also refers to the practice ofdiscriminating
     against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. The concept also encompasses the opinions that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology
     rather than a religion <— A lot of commentors on AB has viewed their opinion as such. Another definition of Islamophobe is according to Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, "Islamophobia" connotes a social anxiety
     about Islam and Muslims.

    Moq actually I have no problem with your comments as of late. Unlike Aafke who obviously does not know the line between secular criticism of Islam and downright prejudice against Muslim (Muslim men especially) by making blatant insults about them all over the blog with total disregard whether it insults our fathers, or brothers or husbands who are Muslims but good people who don't deserve the things Aafke accuses them.

  67. How can I refrain from just criticism of evil?
    I read the beginning of the hadith as well, it actually starts with Mohammed wives being slapped around.

    And how about his one?
    As for Ali he said “Women are plentiful, and you can easily change one for another. Ask the slave girl; she will tell you the truth.” So the Apostle called Burayra to ask her and Ali got up and gave her a violent beating, saying, ‘Tell the Apostle the truth.’”

    All evils in one short hadith, women can be enslaved, they are plentiful (worthless) and easily exchanged, and they can be beaten violently by men.

    Life must have been hell for women in Islam right from the beginning.

    You know mrs Bawazir, I do understand why you refuse to look at your own holy books. These discussions force me to look things up, and read hadith I did not know before, and the more I learn about Islam the more disgusted I get.
    If you were to look at your own religion with an open mind, and compared the teachings with your own conscience, you would be disgusted too. So you make sure you never do that, because by doing so you would stop believing.

    I am sorry you are taking this all so personal, and that it is making you unhappy. You are making a mistake in being so aggressive towards me. I have a very strong sense of justice and so naturally I cannot remain calm when I read such evil teachings in your religion. Especially as I see this evil continued wherever Islam is in power today.

    I understand your refusal to look at your religion with an honest and open mind, you should understand my love for rationality, justice and truth.

  68. @Mrs Bawazir
    I have read the comments of Aafke-Art quoting some Hadith. I would advise to stop further on the subject. They are learned.

  69. Sami, so you agree with me? I am glad you understand. So as my quotes are learned they will put people into danger of becoming critical towards Islam (which equals apostacy and should be punished by death) and that should be avoided.

    Excellent, thank you.
    We seem to be agreeing more and more. The only part I still differ with you is your comment that Saudi women are less pure than other women. That was very unfair of you.

  70. Its about time Saudi Arabian men covered their bodies and hair with the black abaya. Why so uncovered and immodest??Careful the women may not be able to control themselves….NOT

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