Who says I can’t be a Muslim feminist?

Published: January 31, 2012

There are echoes of Islam and feminism in each other; though Islam is about submission to God, an important facet of that is submission to what’s just. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

People, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, often tell me that I can’t be both a Muslim and a feminist.

At a recent book reading in Oregon, for example, a male audience member asked me, “How does that even work?”. These questions demonstrate some of the rigid misconceptions individuals have about Islam and feminism; many people think that they’re mutually exclusive categories. In fact, as a Muslim feminist, I have found them to have more in common than people realise, especially when it comes to social justice.

Ethos – the fundamental spirit that guides my faith– is more important to me than edicts, or strict dogma, and so when religious questions arise, I defer to big-picture themes. One of Islam’s major themes is that of equity and justice. The Quran details equitable divorce proceedings, fair treatment of orphans and just conduct when it comes to prisoners of war — situations that differ in details and circumstances in our modern times, but which are often fraught with unfairness and injustice. When I read the Holy Book, the themes of justice and dignity for humanity stand out to me.

These themes are the same ideals I take from feminism. Some assume that feminism is concerned only with the protection and advancement of women. But as a bi-racial Muslim woman, I can’t ignore the ways that different socially constructed categories, such as gender and race, interact and interrelate. My feminism is concerned with the dignity and rights of every person. Regardless of gender, race, religion, ability, or anything else, we all deserve to have control over our own destinies, earn equal compensation for our work and have the same chances at happiness and success.

For these reasons, I don’t see contradictions between Islam and feminism at the big-picture level. There are echoes of Islam and feminism in each other; though Islam is about submission to God, an important facet of that is submission to what’s just. Thus, both Islam and feminism guide my outlook and my work.

In 2007, I founded Muslimah Media Watch, a website dedicated to critiquing global media images of Muslim women. I also write for Racialicious, which looks at pop culture and race, and an alumnus of the American Muslim Civil Leadership Institute, which works with civic leaders in the American Muslim community. I use my writing and editing skills as a way to advocate for what I believe is right.

There’s a wealth of scholarship on Islam and feminism. Margot Badran, an author and academic, has published extensively on Muslim women and Islamic feminism. In an article for Egypt’s Al Ahram Online, she wrote:

Islamic feminism, which derives its understanding and mandate from the Qur’an, seeks rights and justice for women, and for men, in the totality of their existence…. Islamic feminism advocates women’s rights, gender equality, and social justice using Islamic discourse as its paramount discourse, though not necessarily its only one.

Academics aren’t the only ones blending Islam and feminism in their lives and viewpoints. Dr Amina Wadud is an Islamic scholar who has written several books on Islam from a feminist perspective, as well as an activist who works to break rigid roles for women in the mosque by leading prayer.

Sisters in Islam, a non-profit group of Muslim women in Malaysia, advocates within legal and media frameworks for women’s and children’s legal and social rights within Malaysia. A student-owned independent network, Mideast Youth, embarks on projects using digital media that fight for the rights of marginalised groups in predominantly Muslim countries to “amplify diverse and progressive voices advocating for change throughout the Middle East and North Africa”. These people and organisations understand that egalitarian scholarship and ideas are essential to battling different types of oppression on the ground.

Writing and engaging with the media through Muslimah Media Watch has been my biggest step in blending my Islam and feminism. There are plenty of different ways to be Muslim and feminist: people write, rally around causes and live out feminist interpretations of the Quran. But one thing is for sure: Islam and feminism are not mutually exclusive.

This post was originally published on commongroundnews.org. Follow Fetemeh @fatemehf .

Fatemeh Fakhraie

Fatemeh Fakhraie

Founder of MuslimahMediaWatch.org and an author. You can follow her at fatemehfakhraie.com or @fatemehf.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • leila rage

    Very well said! and very true!
    But I beg to differ on one of your points:

    Islam is about justice and EQUALITY not equity.Recommend

  • Mj

    You can be, through sufficient mental gymnastics, whilst trying to ignore the misogyny inherent in the primary texts. As a male who believes in gender egalitarianism -or equalism, were it a term- I hope your efforts bear positive results with minimal cognitive dissonance. I would however advise those working for equality to denounce those who justify their misogyny using the texts instead of sugar coating the concerns raised by those having ‘misconceptions’. Even better would be to promote gender equality using sound and reasonable arguments, otherwise both sides will bring up their own interpretations to justify their respective stances, which ultimately is a futile exercise and essentially a zero-sum game.

    Ps. Feel free to look up Stockholm Syndrome. Recommend

  • Red

    IMHO, the two words simply do not go together. I am looking into Muslim feminists purely as a matter of interest. The only way it works is that one is a Muslim and one is also a feminist, the two spheres are held separately and religion is not used as the sole ground to argue for women rights. I’d say the same if a Christian or Jewish feminist movement sprung up. It might make it kosher for other people and it might make it easier for women in Muslim countries to argue for rights if they seem not to be opposing religion but, taken in that vein, it is but a strategy, a means to an end. Whatever helps. But no, you’d be hard pressed to convince me that any religion and rights as they are understood, even in the limited form of the UDHR, go together. At best, at BEST, it would be a highly uncomfortable existence. Recommend

  • Milestogo

    Do you know Arabic?Recommend

  • V

    “equitable divorce proceedings, fair treatment of orphans and just conduct when it comes to prisoners of war”

    Absolutely! Orphans get their parents surnames and even a legal share in their property…Prisoners of war (especially women and children) were returned to their lands and people, never was there a woman who was used sexually or as a slave…and women still get maintenance and inheritance even she herself asks for a divorce…a woman is never allowed to be insecure about the threat of another woman sharing her husband. Am I right in my understanding?Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq

    Sisters in Islam, a non-profit group of Muslim women in Malaysia, advocates within legal and media frameworks for women’s and children’s legal and social rights within Malaysia.

    Fatemeh,

    I frequently visit Malaysia and other countries in the region and I am familiar with Sisters in Islam and I am acquainted with a few of their members personally. I neither consider them Muslims nor Feminists. They are a select club whose membership is only open to glamorous ladies (if that is what passes for glamor in Malaysia). They have an inferiority complex towards whites (a few of them are married to whites) and naturally they do have predisposition towards Pashtun women with aryan features. My female relatives should have more details but let me assure you, that from what I have heard, there is nothing Islamic about this group.

    I am more of a secularist and a liberal, but I don’t mix debauchery with Islam. Recommend

  • Qumran

    Good to know. Please write for http://www.islam-watch.org to spread the awareness globally.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    “Feminist” is a term that many people love to throw around these days, because it makes them appear progressive and doesn’t require any real credentials to prove.

    Quran very specifically calls men “superior to women”, and makes many distinctions based on gender. For instance, our country’s law of evidence act is based on the Quranic claim that a woman’s testimony in court is worth half that of a man.

    I won’t argue here that Islam is unfair to the female gender (at several places, women are actually given more power and rights than men), but you’d have to come up with an extremely convoluted interpretation to make it compatible with feminism, which believes in no distinctions between the treatment and opportunities provided to men and women. No more, no less.Recommend

  • A well wisher

    You can choose to be a Muslim and feminist, but the problem is that you will not live long. I am sorry to say that, but that is a fact if you live in an Islamic country teeming with radical religious fanatics.Recommend

  • omerulz

    “Islam and feminism are not mutually exclusive”

    Totally agree with the author.Recommend

  • John B

    “Women are your Tilth . Do unto them as you please”

    Glad you are a feminist but you cannot be both a Muslim and feminist, if you are truly following the Quran, Sunnah and Hadith. All of your feminist ideals are centuries of secular philosophy and all the equality and justice and compassion you are advocating applies only to Muslim women within the confines of what is proscribed in Islam,which again is pale compared to what the secularists advocate.

    Women’s word in Islam is worth only half as that of men. I did not say this. Even the women of early arabia found it illogical and confronted the question and they got the reply from the prophet that their word is worth only half.

    Check with your Imam in case if you have any doubt. Women should be behind hijab(curtain, screen, etc.) Period. That is what Quran and Hadith says. Muslim feminism is an an oxymoron. Recommend

  • Confused

    Well done! I couldn’t find any Islamic references in this article clearing those misconceptions, but you seem confident enough so you must be right! Also, I like the fact that your definition of feminism is also the standard dictionary definition as well, just adds to the credibility.
    Oh and of course, we get all those interesting links and history of your work to spend hours surfing and find the relevant information from.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    Another example of an ET article where the commentators are better informed than the author!
    I must say, comments section at ET makes it superior to rest of the South East Asian news websites.

    @John B:

    Women’s word in Islam is worth only
    half as that of men

    Actually it’s a quarter. One male witness is equal to four female witnesses.Recommend

  • anon

    you cant call yourself a feminist others would call you a feminist based on your actions.no you cant be both muslim and feministRecommend

  • perplexed

    Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 34:
    34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard (their modesty and chastity, the honor and property of their husband, etc.)

    by no means does it imply that men are in any way superior to women. What it states is that its a man’s duty to protect and provide for his women. now if some one wants to interpret it as superiority than thats their restricted thinking. Else Allah SWT would have clearly mentioned it the QuranRecommend

  • Modazul

    @JohnB @ LoneLiberalPK
    A woman’s testimony is only half of a man’s only when it comes to verbal evidence regarding financial cases. This is because in the olden days women didn’t involve much with business and financial contracts so thats why their testimony became half. But if a woman has solid written proof about a financial contract (which is now needed both by men/women in this age) then there is no problem in regarding her testimony as full.
    Men have been given a superior status in the sense that men are obliged to support both families, his mother father etc and his other family: his wife/kids etc that’s why they have been given a higher status because they earn for both. Whereas in Islam a woman is not obliged to spend on her family. If she earns, it’s only for herself and she isn’t obliged to spend on her family and a husband has no right of share over it.
    A woman and a man are both Ordered to dress up modestly and women are told to cover their bosom and their hair because these features are attractive in a woman and not in a man. Plus, it leaves woman to harassment. Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @John B: “Women are your Tilth . Do unto them as you please”
    Interpretation 1 – Women are ..just as it is stated. The tilth. Only good for producing babies and nothing good. A Man is allowed to treat the way he wishes.

    Interpretation 2 – A tilth is the most precious thing for a farmer. He would do every possible act to protect it because this is the only area from where he can get protection and produce. If he misbehaves with his tilth.. he loses everything. As Quran puts it, ‘They are your garments and ye are their garments.’ and that ‘spouses dwell in tranquility and there is love and mercy between them’.

    Which interpretation would you choose as a reader of Quran?Recommend

  • Munir Ahmad Saeed

    Sisters in Islam, only work for t,he rights of Muslim women versus mulsim men (read bumiputras – of Malay descent only). they do not support the rights of Chinese, Christian or Indian women. I am sure that fails to qualify for being feminists.Recommend

  • Maria S

    Imam Ghazali is arguably the most influential person in Islam after the prophet and the second and fourth caliphs has to say the following about women:

    When Eve (disobeyed Almighty God and) ate fruit which He had forbidden to her from the tree in Paradise, [30] the Lord, be He praised, punished women with eighteen things:

    (i) menstruation;
    (ii) childbirth;
    (iii) separation from mother and father and marriage to a stranger;
    (iv) pregnancy (through him);
    (v) not having control over her own person;
    (vi) (having) a lesser share in inheritance; [31]
    (vii) her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce; [32]
    (viii) its being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have (only) one husband; [33]
    (ix) the fact that she must stay secluded in the house;
    (x) the fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house;
    (xi) (the fact that) two women’s testimony (has to be) set against the testimony of one man; [34]
    (xii) the fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative;
    (xiii) the fact that men take part in Friday and Feast Day prayers and funerals while women do not; [35]
    (xiv) disqualification for rulership and judgeship; [36]
    (xv) the fact that merit has one thousand components, (only) one of which is (attributable) to women, while nine hundred and ninety nine are (attributable) to men;
    (xvi) the fact that if women are profligate they will be given (only) half as much torment as (the rest of) the (Muslim) community at the Resurrection Day;
    (xvii) the fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period [37] of four months and ten days (before remarrying);
    (xviii) the fact that if their husbands divorce them they must observe a waiting period of three months or three menstruations (before remarrying).

    Source: http://mianwaheed.blogspot.com/2012/01/imam-ghazali-on-women.htmlRecommend

  • Hatu

    I think that muslim and feminist are oxymoron. Yes, they can exist in a person who believes that burks is for women’s “own good”. A muslim feminist would have to do alot of cherry picking of quranic verses and hadiths. Recommend

  • @ Loneliberal PK

    Dear man. What interested me was your statement “The Quran clearly says that men are superior to women”. I know the ayat you are referring to. But to make you think a bit more about your statement, can you recall the ayat? Just open up the Quran and look for it. The Arabic word that you translated as “superior”, does it even mean superior in the context in which it was used? Have the majority of scholars throughout Islamic history understood that Arabic word to mean “superior”, or is that your own call based on whatever translation you might have read? Think about all of these things.

    Your second point, on the testimony of women being considered half that of a men’s in financial matters (I know you forgot to write the words in Italics, but it’s okay). A lot of people will look at this statement, as you knew they would, and would think that Islam considers women less intelligent or learned than men. Of course there can be no other reason for it right? So why then, in the case of Hadith transmission, the transmission of the words and actions of the Prophet (pbuh), which forms a source of Islamic law, a woman’s testimony is exactly equal to a man’s testimony? (It’s okay if you didn’t know this either.) Clearly, lack of intellect or knowledge, or some twisted sense of inferiority, are not the factors in play here.

    This was just to give you guys some extra information, for the formation of your opinions. Anyone wishing to differ publicly should engage the above argument, not me personally please =)Recommend

  • Qumran

    Everyone, see what http://www.islam-watch.org says about this topic, before you jump into the debate.Recommend

  • Qumran

    @leila rage: Did u read http://www.islam-watch.org?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Islam or any other religion looked at from the view of the ‘bigger picture’ is always beautiful.
    Your drawing of conclusions from this perspective may be good for you but it’s in the detail that problems arise and then its your interpretation against the others and it is here that wisdom and common sense takes flight and problems arise. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Modazul,

    Is that a defence? That discrimination is okay if corresponds only to financial court cases and none other? Some might say that what’s wrong is wrong, no matter how little and infrequent.

    Besides, nobody reads the scripture and says, “This verse was okay for the people in the 7th century, but we don’t have to believe in it anymore.” Especially when there’s no specific mention that the command is restricted to a certain point in time, and is normally considered to be universal and timeless.

    By the way, women even back then were not as dumb as you think when it came to finance. Consider Hazrat Khadija, who was a very successful businesswoman.
    .
    @ Loneliberal

    Please consider using a different name so readers don’t confuse your posts as mine.

    The verse I’m referring to is 4:34. The milder translations use words like “men are in charge of women, because Allah had made one of them to excel the other” (Pickthall). That is also against the essence of feminism, which stands for equal rights and opportunities for men and women – not greater, not lesser, but equal.

    Regarding your other argument, read my response to Modazul above.Recommend

  • furqan

    @leila rage:
    improve your education against islam…it is about equity :)Recommend

  • Mj

    Anyone care to explain these hadith which have been troubling me?

    First
    Second
    Third
    Fourth
    Fifth
    Sixth
    SeventhRecommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    PostMan.

    Interpretation 2 is just as reprehensible as it still implies the farmer’s ownership of the “tilth”. The woman is not a man’s property, and he cannot “do unto her as he pleases”.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    Beautifully written but many interpretations of the Qur’an are quiet demeaning and sidetracking women in different aspects of life. So what if men and women are differed medically? They have full right to live the life they want to and need none to show them what’s right. If one believes in God, one should also believe that He’ll show the purpose and importance of life inside self.Recommend

  • Hindu Indian

    @Maria S:
    I am really amused to read your statement, as far as i know no one from my family tree was a Christian or a Muslim but somehow the women in my family had to go through menstrual cycles and pregnancy, isnt it wrong considering that “your Eve” ate the fruit and my female relatives suffer the consequences :) :) :)Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Loneliberal PK: The focus is not the ’tilth’ but the relationship between the two. When Quran calls them ‘each other garments’, does it mean they are considered wardrobe items?Recommend

  • Qumran

    @PostMan:
    Yes, to be used and discarded.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Postman,

    I can make a similar interpretation of the claim that a woman is a man’s shoe (aurat mard ke paon ki jooti hai). I love my shoes. Shoes are very important to me. I wouldn’t be able to leave my house without my shoes on, so this is not necessarily an offensive comparison.

    Remember the convoluted interpretations I talked about in my first post? Yours is one of them. I’m afraid referring to woman as a man’s tilth which he can plough as he pleases, doesn’t resonate with feminism by any stretch of imagination.Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Loneliberal PK: When you say ‘aurat mard ke paon ki jooti hai’, your following statement is wrong because they are contradictory. No you don’t love your shoes and they are not important to you.

    When Quran says that a man and a woman are like garments to each other in case of being spouses and that their relationship is filled with love, mercy and peace.. then tilth will make perfect sense. Recommend

  • Abhi

    You can be a muslim and a feminist. After all Jinnah and Butto were muslims too but used to drink alcohol.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Hindu Indian:
    The point is that menstruation and pregnancy cannot be viewed as divine punishments. If viewed so, it would mean that men are dearer to god compared to women an therefore unequal
    ;) ;) ;) Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @PostMan:

    A tilth is the most precious thing for
    a farmer. He would do every possible
    act to protect it because this is the
    only area from where he can get
    protection and produce. If he
    misbehaves with his tilth.. he loses
    everything.

    By the same measure, shall an infertile tilth be abandoned without a second thought?Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Many times when i talked to some American born black/whites there first question allways is
    why u guys get four Mariages then i answer them how it is and mejority of muslims have one
    wife only then second question allways i heard from them women are slave to you guys they
    cant worked they dont go to school they born dozen babies and allways obey husband wishes
    i just asked them have u ever been to muslim country they says no then i tell thems we dont
    live in Jesus time ok first go visit our lands dont just watch FOX and others free media under
    the govt banners. and when i ask the question how many women in christian world get marrys
    and how many children dont know there fathers with out DNA test how much women get abused by the hands of boyfriend not husbands and by the hands of bosses and then i suggest them books written by miss karan armstrong and yousaf estes. Recommend

  • John B

    @Modazul: @PostMan:
    All of you who are arguing about the “Tilth” should read the context of its revelation. Men asked what was the best position (method, mode,or route) to have intercourse with the women and hence the “Tilth” was given as an analogy. The interpretation 1 will be clearer even to elementary mind and the verse was told in that context only.

    The interpretation 2 is based on different verse said in different context and in different time and can be interpreted any way one would like. It is like interpreting “Since Women have such a power to stop the prayer to god as that of dog or donkey, they are indeed held in high esteem even over god’s power in hearing the prayers offered by men, even though they were cursed by god”. Even the illiterate women of Arabia of that time found it demeaning to compare them to dog or donkey and confronted it but their voices were muted in the name of god.

    It should be understood that at the time of Islam in 632 AD women had little rights , except for the nobles, in mamy parts of the world and the contexts of Hadith and Sunnah is understandable to non Islamic minds. However, such is not the case with those who follow the Quranic revelations ,Hadith and Sunnah as none of them is inviolable.

    It takes too much of an imagination and borrowing from other theological and secular writings to assert equality of women in Islam. As the world becomes smaller, women in Islam understand their dichotomous position and are trying to make sense of their position within their Islamic life and are confronted with these uneasy questions. Stay inside and reform the notion, one will be accused of blasphemy; come out and fight, one will be accused of apostate; in either case, the outcome is not good in Islamic societies, even after 1500 years.

    The greatest obstacle for women’s progress in Muslim societies is the men who derive their divinely power in the religion ( broadly speaking). Recommend

  • abhi

    @postman
    haven’t you met anybody who love their shoes? and shoes are important, try getting out of your home in sunny afternoon and you will know how important they are.Recommend

  • britan pakistani

    @Maria S:
    (viii) its being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have (only) one husband; [33]
    If women have right to do 5 husbands than when she became a mother …Who is the real father of there kids … ur argument is all fake sorry no time to explain one by one but u should try answers himself all is clean and equal in IslamRecommend

  • Corclla

    Interesting article.
    But seriously, Islam and femenism donot deserve to be in the same sentence. The religion is basically what every man wants.
    4 wives who no other na mahram has ever seen (unless divorced), Sex slaves. Virgins in Paradise. You name it.
    The whole thing is custom made for men.Recommend

  • sudhir

    @Red:
    oh good one at that.She is definitely suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.Recommend

  • Abbas ali

    Who says you can’t be an oxymoronRecommend

  • John B

    @Corclla:
    Correctly said. What an ideal set up for men, if only I can let go of my conscious. Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Yuri Kondratyuk: ‘By the same measure, shall an infertile tilth be abandoned without a second thought?’

    No. But you are being advised to take care of a very precious resource :) how about taking care of an abandoned tilth and enjoy the blessings more? :) and by blessings I don’t necessarily mean popping out 13 kids :)

    @abhi: uh. Bro. Read it again :)

    @John B: ’tilth’ being used to depict the route of sexual intercourse is also discussed with regards to these verses. I had asked you what interpretation would you chose if you were a adherent to this scripture?Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    britan pakistani,

    Ever heard of a paternity test? Come join us in the 21st century.Recommend

  • faraz
  • Thoughtful

    Based on the exaggerated assumption that my fellow readers who are commenting on this article really do wish to form informed, learned opinions, I wanted to share an article with all of you. You can agree or disagree with it of course, but do think about it a bit. The arguments made are well supported by sound reasoning and scientific evidence, and I recommend it to all people interested in gender equality.

    If I was to assign a title to it, it would be “Re-thinking Gender Equality”, but the author has, in good humour, titled it “Boys will be boys”. The author is Head of the Islamic Studies department at the University of Cambridge, so yes, please do take him seriously :P

    http://masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/boys.htm

    Cheers :DRecommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Thoughtful,

    Reading that essay is like having an smart-looking trojan horse deliver a bolus of religious zealotry and misogynism directly into your brain tissue. Ostensibly, not even Cambridge professors are immune to the ignorance these ideologies inspire.

    He’s clueless about the way evolution works, and more alarmingly, refuses to learn. His argument is that since it is incompatible with Keller’s (and his) version of Islam, it must be false! It just has to be! His point about “microevolution” was the same derisory nonsense you get to hear from a high-school drop-out creationist.

    Feminism is not about denying the biological differences between a man and a woman. It’s about allowing both equal opportunities, because these differences are never absolutely universal. I’m a guy, but I’m sure the female wrestler “Sensational” Sherry can beat me at arm wrestling.

    I’m sorry, Abdul Hakim, but I’m not reverting to the 7th century’s sociobehavioural model. I prefer to stay in the present and evolve with the changing time. Sorry to disappoint you.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @PostMan:

    No. But you are being advised to take
    care of a very precious resource :)
    how about taking care of an abandoned
    tilth and enjoy the blessings more? :)
    and by blessings I don’t necessarily
    mean popping out 13 kids :)

    You missed my point. The tilth is always passive and has to owned to be relevant. It doesn’t have a will of it’s own. It has to be taken care of since it isn’t capable of protecting itself.Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Yuri Kondratyuk: oh come one man.. why are you stuck with the object in that reference? Ok. What is wrong with being ‘each others garments’? Garments don’t have a will of their own, they too are passive and they have to be owned to be relevant. Are you going to focus on the relationship or the object being referred to?Recommend

  • alicia

    Islam and feminism or at least modern feminism do not go hand in hand.

    Or what about child custody and divorce?
    Women like the author have good life styles and live in westren countries. They cannot get the problems of a young muslim woman in a muslim country.Recommend

  • Corclla

    @PostMan:

    Are you going to focus on the relationship or the object being referred to?

    Judging by the context the verse was “revealed” in. The verse was a green signal to the men saying that they can “use” their women in whatever way that they want. Just like a farmer uses his tilth in which ever way he wants and whenever he wants.

    “Your wives are as a tilth unto you;
    so approach your tilth when or how ye
    will;”
    [al-Baqarah 2:223].

    Did i miss something?
    Im sorry buddy, I know you tried really hard to make such a degrading, dehumanizing verse sound as better as possible, But you simply failed.
    Its not your fault though.Recommend

  • Corclla

    @Modazul:

    A woman and a man are both Ordered to
    dress up modestly and women are told
    to cover their bosom and their hair
    because these features are attractive
    in a woman and not in a man. Plus, it
    leaves woman to harassment.

    So you think woman are harassed because of them showing their skin and hair (Ie. Its their responsibility?).
    I have seen hijaabi women getting harassed and rape still happens in Muslim countries (what do you propose now? Women should stay at home all the time?).
    The thing is. Everyone tells women to cover but no-one tells men to not harass (and rape).
    If a man HAS to harass. He will. Be it a veiled woman or a unveiled woman.
    The problem comes in when the responsibility is placed on the woman. Its just like saying. If you go out for a walk alone and you get robbed, Its your fault. You “tempted” the robber.
    Sick twisted analogy. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    I agree with Corclla, Some things just can’t be sugar-coated.Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Corclla: I am not trying to prove here anything. You obviously know the context and ‘why’ it was revealed. Good for you. At the end of the day, its you what you make out of it :)Recommend

  • Raja

    For those of us who are neither feminists nor muslim, the comments seem to indicate this: When it suits people, the Holy Quran should be taken literally as sacrosance; when it does not, it needs to be interpreted appropriately and the hidden meaning should be taken. This is something that we do not follow.

    Are Quranic principles & practices ahead of other Abrahamic religions? I am quite willing to accept that – for the simple reason that any law or doctorine would try to remove the ‘negatives’ of its predecessors. But by the same logic, any law or doctorine developed in the 21st century is bound to be more ‘modern’ and better suited to current thoughts, practices, etc. than those created 1400 years back.

    All religions seek righteousness amongst individuals and egalitarianism in the society. That’s all that matters. It is the spirit that counts, not the letter. While it may sound blasphemous to some, God would prefer a righteous atheist to an ordinary believer. If we cannot accept this, (S)He would be very disappointed with us, for we would not have understood his teachingsRecommend

  • Talat Haque

    The comments section is very interesting !!!
    One day in the future ……… in some restaurant at the edge of the universe there will be gender equality …………. equality of all human beings ………. I believe in the power of evolution ……. takes time, but we’ll get there!Recommend

  • Talat Haque

    the comment section is very interesting!!!!
    Someday in the future ………… in a restaurant at the edge of the universe we will have found gender equality ……….. equality of all human beings ……….. I believe in the power of evolution …………. it takes time ………… but we will get there!Recommend

  • Thoughtful

    @ Loneliberal PK

    Ah I see my friend has the same issue he claims to see in Abdul Hakim. That is, because Abdul Hakim’s arguments and conclusions are so very different from Mr. Loneliberal PK’s, Mr. Loneliberal PK simply dismisses the work of a person much better read and much better educated than Loneliberal PK. Dr. Nayeem Aftab sahab (yes, I’m talking to you Mr. Loneliberal PK), could you kindly please reveal to us ignorant masses the details of your education? Just so that we’re able to take your criticism of Abdul Hakim’s academic work as something serious.

    Furthermore, just some sincere advice, I’d recommend you to take a course in logic if you find some time. Or just get a good book on logic. You’ll find that using labels and titles for people and arguments, rather than attacking the logic or rationale of the arguments, is considered a fatal flaw in any person claiming to be logical and rational. Here are the many labels you wrote mentioned for Abdul Hakim and his work “smart-looking trojan horse, religious zealotry, misogynism, ignorance, clueless, refuses to learn, same derisory nonsense you hear from a high-school drop-out creationist”.
    Interestingly, even with all these labels and titles, you never once actively engaged his arguments, attempting to point out logical flaws or scientific inconsistencies in them. For example, you say his argument is that because evolution is incompatible with his version of Islam, it must be false. Here’s some work for you. Prove to us observers that he makes that argument. Prove to us that that argument alone is the summary of all he wrote. And its very simple to do that. Identify the evidence and reasoning he has employed, and see what conclusion flows from them using simple logic. Than compare that conclusion with the one he writes, and see if he drew a conclusion based on fallacious reasoning (i.e. reasoning which violates the rules of logically sound arguments). Blow his arguments away, not with a foul mouth (pardon me, but you are offensive at times), but with sound critique of both his scientific facts, and the soundness of his arguments. Do it, and show us you’re really as clever and learned as you like to think you are =). Recommend

  • I

    @A well wisher:
    What a daft comment
    if that was the case theyd all have been wiped out nowRecommend

  • John B

    @PostMan:
    I am glad you begin to understand,”It is you who make out of it”. The question is what part of the revelation you would like to discard, and what would you like to follow, and what part of revelation is new and was not known to others. The questions I ask confronted the early Islamic scholars and will be self evident for those who actually study the Islamic writings also.

    If you make a column of old and new knowledge acquired through the revelations, Sunnah or Hadith the tally will be surprising to you.

    Unfortunately in the context of the article, the prophet claimed he had seen more women in hell fire (because of their crooked ways) than unbelievers. He also advised men that women are like crooked ribs and if you straighten them they will break and if you want to gain any benefit out of them use them while they are crooked. So, where does the garment revelation fit in here.

    Compare the above with the following, written about two thousand years earlier, in Indian philosophy:

    “Women are worthy of worship. They are the fate of the household, the lamp of enlightenment for all in the household. They bring solace to the family and are an integral part of dharmic life. Even heaven is under the control of women. The gods reside in those households where women are worshipped and in households where women are slighted all efforts at improvement go in vain.” Manusmriti 3-56

    Or compare the above to Paul’s writings to Galatians seven centuries earlier:

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    It is granted even today in non Islamic societies women have not accorded the equality as that of men, but the non Islamic societies in many parts of the world have made considerable progress in the last century and such progress can be seen in the overwhelming participation of women in societal functions along with men.

    Can any one honestly say Islamic societies have made that progress? Despite overwhelming women students in the universities, they disappear from public life once they are married. And their freedom of movement and thoughts are imprisoned by Islamic way of life by men. The handful of women who made it through did it on their own or by shunning certain verses’ implicit and explicit meaning and by the help of their enlightened spouses.

    Religious philosophy makes up the societal philosophy all over the world, either it is west or east. Strict adherence to islamic principles does not allow that freedom to women and this is the argument between Literalists and Contextualists (Fundamentalists vs Moderates). The islamic creed to profess as a muslim, unfortunately, is in Literalists favor.

    You cannot cherry pick the verse to suit your delight.

    Now, there are certain admirable qualities of Islamic men towards the women whom they meet in public life.(Taliban excluded). They generally are respectful, polite in addressing compared to their non Islamic peers. Unfortunately, such characters fall short in the end when collective societal maturity towards women are looked at, and the society derives its justification from religious philosophy. Recommend

  • A well wisher

    The author, like most Muslims, either hasn’t read the Islamic scriptures in depth in a critical and intellectual manner, or she is like those Muslims who deliberately clutch at straws trying to “interpret” the “context” and prove that every obviously anti-human and anti-women verse is actually very pro-human using circuitous and spurious arguments.

    Feminism and “true” Muslim woman are oxymoron. Apparently, the author lives in a western country where she will face no consequences that she would have faced if she lived in an Islamic country.Recommend

  • Thoughtful

    Dear Loneliberal PK.

    I wrote a response to your earlier post, all within the guidelines for comments established by newspapers internationally, but ET for some reason decided not to post it. Some day, if we meet on a truly liberal and free platform, we can have a good discussion and perhaps lunch together.

    Disappointed in ET and signing out,
    ThoughtfulRecommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Thoughtful,

    I could’ve written a much more specific review, but considering the length of this essay, it’s not possible to discuss it all here.

    And please stop trying to use his title of Cambridge professor like it makes his word a divine ordinance that cannot be challenged. I can quote dozens of other notable professors and academics who absolutely disagree with Murad’s stance, and give brilliant arguments themselves. I’m a medial doctor myself, who has studied feminism extensively, so I’m not as unqualified as you’d like to assume.

    Due to the limited space I have here, I only pointed out a few things that were factually incorrect and not just poorly argued. The most glaring fault was his dismissal of natural selection, which according to the last gallup poll is believed by 98.85% of all biologists (including the most prominent ones). In terms of evolution, I’m sure you’d understand if I take the word of these biologists more seriously than the words of an Islamic studies professor?

    Also, microevolution is merely macroevolution at a smaller scale. They’re the same. Arguing that the former is true but latter isn’t, is as “derisory” as stating that gravity affects Pakistan, but not the rest of the world. It’s the same principle all the way around.

    You posted the article expecting full approval, but discovered that not everybody is as easily convinced. The lack of unconditional agreement has “disappointed” you so you decide to flee and post this essay where people would be more willing to accept it flatly without any dissent. Make sure you remind them too that the author is a Cambridge professor, therefore unchallengeable.Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @John B: ”It is you who make out of it”

    This is the reason I asked you, twice, what would you choose if you were an adherent of the scripture. What would you make out of it my brother? Would go for a compassionate verve or a bull in a tilth regarding that verse?

    It is very interesting you know. Quite funny as well. You, Yuri and LoneliberalPK – are nice souls trying to make us understand what the verses really mean – and they are very mean according you guys. You all worry, rightly, that if I were to follow such scripture, I would end up on the wrong front – in this case, will abuse womenfolk.

    I, on the other hand, the adherent to this scripture, am saying that the scripture is telling me to be nice to womenfolk. You guys are insisting, that since the verses are wrong so I have to be wrong.

    Take the case of this blog author. She says she is a muslim and considers herself a feminist. She wants to maintain her faith and be a productive member of the society. BUT she is wrong. Why? because Islam and feminism are ‘oxymorons’. So she can’t be a valuable member of the society because she is an adherent of Islam.

    In essence, you would not care whether I am a productive member of the society but more interested to trash my faith. Not very different from religious bigots who say that only religion provides the moral guidelines conveniently forgetting that best law abiding societies are secular.

    So wishing you peace my friend. Happy discussion.Recommend

  • http://www.quranreading.com/ Learn Quran Online

    Islam presents an ideal model for all mankind. Because it gives the concept of equality among the Muslim (men&women). And justification also exists on the basis of equality.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @John B:

    in households where women are slighted
    all efforts at improvement go in
    vain.” Manusmriti 3-56

    Pretty much explains the present day Islamic world.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Mj
    @Loneliberal PK
    @John B
    @Yuri Kondratyuk
    @PostMan
    @Maria S
    @Corclla
    @faraz
    @Thoughtful and
    @Raja

    Thanks to all of you for making this comment page delightfully informative.
    Thanks to ET and the moderator as well. Recommend

  • Asad

    I see that ET is publishing the anti Islamic comments and not publishing the comments defending and explaining the real spirit of Islam and women’s rights in Islam.Recommend

  • Asad

    some saying of Holy Prophet (saw) for the non muslims out there to better understand women’s rights in Islam.

    women are allowed to work in Islam (what greater example can be than that of Hazrat Khadija Ra who did business). Women are also given half as much as men in inheritance, while women do not have to spend a cent of their money on the family. Maintaining a family and spending on it is solely the Man’s responsibility.

    I hope this comment, which is not improper in any way, is allowed by ET moderators if they have any respect for freedom of speech and giving a fair chance to both parties in a debate. Many previous comments of mine were not published.Recommend

  • Corclla

    @PostMan:

    I, on the other hand, the adherent to this scripture, am saying that the scripture is telling me to be nice to womenfolk. You guys are insisting, that since the verses are wrong so I have to be wrong.

    Yes the verse does tell you to be nice to womenfolk…. If you read it with your eyes closed that is.Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com hariharmani

    @lonelyliberal pk ,I really enjoy your enlightened rational logical,reasoned response.It is people like you which gives me hope some day reformation will see the light of sun in Islamic world.The world of Islam does not take criticism very well,that is why good people like the columnist,try so hard to make Islam and feminism compatible.It is a sincere effort but erroneous.I’m very careful,and mindful that ‘TE’ is a Pakistani out fits,as such they have limits.Untill that day come,where freedom,liberty and free speech and expression is unqualified and absolute,we have to wait,how long,you guys have waited 1400 years,another century won’t kill you.Thanks any way,I used to wonder about you,I know little bit more.I have immense respect.Fair well.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Corclla

    Your mind is closed to understand the truth. Both husband and wife are each other’s garments. There is no master slave issue here.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Corclla & others

    Read the following link http://arabnews.com/variety/islam/article559269.eceRecommend

  • Dee Cee

    @Thoughtful: The summary fo the essay is that the new science proves that men and women are biologically different. Classical feminism ignored this and wanted de jure equality. De jure equality of sexes is leading to de facto superiority of the male and exploitation of women. Islam recognizes the difference and puts in place a system that offers as much equality as is possible because of teh biological differences.

    I am not a Quranic scholar, so I won’t say anything about what Holy Quran says. I will like to point out a few things about the article. FIRSTLY, it smacks of a little bad faith, using currently available data to justify what has been prescribed long ago. You may say that Allah (SAW) in his infinite knowledge knew all of this and hence prescribed whatever it has been prescribed. That, however, makes Him (SAW) an unjust tease who waited for so many centuries to reveal the real reason often through people who do not believe in Him (SAW). SECONDLY, the logic of biological differences should be used only in positive manner and never in a restrictive manner. I am sure feminists would never complain where women are given more rights according to Islam. There is no logical connect between women being biologically different and them having less rights. Please note that in certain Islamic jurisprudence women’s right are NOT different (mirroring the biological difference), but they are LESS of the same right. Also, biological difference is a can of worms. Would you prefer Caucasians having different/more rights than Africans? The author of the article is using the Nazi biological logic of identifying the herrenvolk, only that it is men. The Hindu caste system could use the same logic as well. THIRDLY, the author assumes that “single parentage”, “fashion”, and “pornography” are automatically and unqualifiedly evil. He uses these labels to denigrate the modern experiment with equality of sexes. I will just ask the author to present some examples of the victims of “single parentage”, “fashion”, and “pornography” who would want to accept the supposedly more equitable framework of religion. The answer would be very few. Single female parents would complain, but if they had to stay under the yoke of men, they wouldn’t have remained single. Complaints are there, but despite the complaints their numbers are growing. Unless you claim that single female parents were brainwashed to be single, I would assume they made rational choices for themselves. Just that with more rights, come more responsibility. Funny you will notice that more and more women are giving up the biological security in search of rights. The victims of fashion, do not usually take up the shuttlecork burqa. They simply allow themselves to get fatter and wear less fashionable clothes. As for pornography, as the author points out, it is providing employment to more and more people. The author has simply pointed out some tension areas in modern living and incorrectly tried to link them with biological differences via equality. The rule of equality doesn’t produce single parents, bulimic fashionistas, and much-used porn actors. The rule of equality provide ideological framework to prevent abuse in all these cases. Would you rather prefer an ideological framework that starts by assuming a differece that has always been used to justify the superiority of the male? Allow me to make a value judgment on you. Sorry if I cause offense. You got swayed by the Cambridge credentials, the citations, and the ease of flow in the argument in the article. Perhaps, you wanted to believe. However, the ethical locus standi of the artical is questionable even if all the studies cited are true primarily because the author assumes equality is what happens (as in men choosing science subjects, guns, competition more) instead of what it should be. Even if male children choose guns as toys, the ideological framework of equality allows women the same rights. A religious framework might want to cement the practice of boys choosing guns and would want to keep it out of women’s hands completely. In fact, that’s what has happened with ALL religion based gender rules. TO KEEP IT SHORT, I HAVE ENGAGED WITH THE ARTICLE YOU CITED AND I FIND IT LOGICALLY INACCURATE AND HYPOCRITICAL.Recommend

  • Asiya

    This is just a regular question-not meant to be attacking etc.
    If some readers think Islam is all about equality, then why are men allowed to marry multiple women but not the other way around? I know back in those days it was for other reasons such as offering financial support etc but why would that be considered valid in today’s times when most women can support themselves easily?Recommend

  • Thoughtful

    @ Cynical

    Thank you for the appreciation. The fact seems to be lost on quite a few readers, though, that discussions and hearing out alternate opinions, however much we disagree with them, is always informative and fruitful =)

    @ Loneliberal PK

    Oh come now Doctor Sahab. You honestly believe an academic of Abdul Hakim’s stature would put out a piece of academic writing that dicusses concepts of biology with no research on and knowledge of those concepts? You’d think the biology professors at Cambridge would rip him apart, and he’d be kicked out before the night is over, no? Oh but no no no, academic integrity is personified only by our beloved Doctor Sahab, Dr. Loneliberal PK :D

    As for your “accusation” (it is an accusation Doctor Sahab, and considering a person as knowledgable and qualified as you presume yourself to be, some manners would actually have been appreciated) that I posted the article expecting full approval, that accusation is entirely false, good sir. I posted the article here to give people some alternate arguments and theories, to help them think more about the topic. The arguments made in the article were ones I had never come across earlier, and I thought it would be good for others to think about them too, whether they agree with the ideas or not is entirely upto them. The reason for mentioning him as a senior academic at Cambridge is obvious … He is a well-educated man, situated at one of the best universities of the world, and hence it is easier for us educated men and women to understand his work (again, whether we agree with it or not is another issue entirely).

    I would expect a good man to say that he misunderstood my intention of posting the article, and that it was good having this discussion anyway because discussions can never hurt anyone. See? It’s easy to say that much.

    That said, if you really would honestly like to argue the scientific inconsistencies in his work, here’s Mr. Abdul Hakim’s email address: [email protected]

    And of course, your other accusation *sigh. About me fleeing. Tch tch. Bad manners Doctor Sahab. There really is a very simple explanation. Trouble was that ET held back my comment for about a full day before finally posting it, which made me think they’d deliberately stopped the comment from being posted and I was extremely disappointed. But then they did post it and all was good.Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com hariharmani

    @Dee Cee: Simply brilliant.Recommend

  • John B

    To all commentators and the moderator:

    I find total absence of Muslim women participation in this discussion and it would be only fair if they participate in this discussion. I refuse to believe that Muslim women are not reading this blog, since I see their participations in other blogs.

    Please post your thoughts and let the “bigot” and “pious” men know where you stand. Signing off for good, to leave the space for others. Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Thoughtful bhai, for lord’s sake, please don’t quote people’s academic qualifications. You can’t be unaware of the kind of people who often populate the departments of humanities/religions/religious studies/schools of divinity etc in Western universities.

    Biology/science professors won’t be caught dead debating things or discussing science with most of these fellows. That’s why innumerable ‘challenges’ thrown by these religious/humanities “academics” to scientists offering to discuss scientific issues go un-responded. These departments live in practically different worlds. There institutional funding, methodologies, tenure trackings etc are entirely different.

    But here is another argument why academic qualification is a non-issue. Most of the world follows carpenters, traders, milkmen etc. Ideas and thinking about life, living, society and hereafter need no degree certifications.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Thoughtful,

    “You honestly believe an academic of Abdul Hakim’s stature would put out a piece of academic writing that dicusses concepts of biology with no research on and knowledge of those concepts?”

    Seeing is believing..

    He may have researched Keller’s version, or other warped conceptions of evolution, but not the actual scientific version. The concept of “microevolution” was practically invented by Christian creationists, through which they allow themselves to accept the part of evolution that doesn’t defy their beliefs, while being able to reject the part that does. (as I called it, gravity-works-for-Pakistan-but-nowhere-else-in-the-universe approach to cherry-picking science) In the actual scientific circles, no such distinctions are normally made.

    I can tell you this with confidence, because as a medical doctor and an evolutionary biology enthusiast, I’ve studied evolution ad nauseum, a process responsible for antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria (among other things). Biology is my vocation, and at least here I can say that I’m more qualified to comment on this phenomenon than an Islamic studies professor.
    .
    It is advisable to discuss the content, not the writer. Arguing that since the Cambridge professor believes in point X, then so should you, is essentially argumentum ad verecundiam. Otherwise it’s fairly easy to lose ourselves in a pointless reference-war where you post articles by your favourite authors, and I post articles by the equally qualified writers of my own choice.

    .Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Thank you, Hariharmani.Recommend

  • Sikander

    I’m interested to know why the anti-Muslim trolls like to recommend themselves, over and over again? Noticed a persons’ recommend count go up about 15 in a matter of seconds. pretty pathetic.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    @Sikander,

    Maybe if you write a comment that’s worth something (perhaps something a little more refined than “anti-Muslim trolls”), you can get plenty of recommends too. It’s rather lousy thinking that just because you don’t like a comment, nobody else does.Recommend

  • not a feminist

    This was an empty article considering the fact that the author kept saying that Islam and feminist talk about the same thing but never mentioned those ‘same things’. I do not see her point of view any clearly from a little kid who has just been aware of the word ‘feminism’. And this is coming from someone (me) who is a woman herself. Recommend

  • liall

    Haha what a confused author. Islam promotes beating wives and it allows a man to marry more than 1 girl could be 2,3 or 4. Prophet had 8 wives. Perhaps you need to know what Feminist really means and then write a blog lolRecommend

  • Reeba

    There is no gender equality in any of the Abrahamic religious texts. Rules are based on traditional women’s role in the society. In older centuaries, most women were illiterate and had no active role in the community other than raising children and looking after their family. So their words or opinions were not considered important. As times changed, Christian and Jewish women came out of this bondage as both religions went through a reformation and religious texts are not taken literally anymore but based on its context. Muslim women will have to struggle for a much longer time as reformation has not happened in Islam and will take many many more years and probably a revolution.Recommend

  • Struck

    @ liall

    *points up … That’s a lie, liall. “Islam promotes beating wives”. I know the situation you’re talking about, but let’s first hear your take on it. So go on, tell us where “Islam promotes beating wives”. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Struck:
    References;
    Quran (4:34) and Quran (38:44)Recommend

  • a r modak

    feminism is a modern word-
    a political one meant to give females clout in their dealing with men!
    so, while men, and previous patriachal societies are to be blamed for a lack of parity
    realistically, women, today, are too preoccupied with what their western counterparts have got to say about them.
    so, not to be outdone, they “toe the line” -thus compromising much……..
    the almighty has guaranteed women jannah————why?
    simply beacuse of their sacrifices-motherhood, childcare, care of husband, etc.

    the modern day woman wants to start a relationship with a man on a “one to one” basis-thus putting the man on a back foot!-in the process messing up good relationships!
    whats wrong with compromise, or the woman just realising that the relationship needs
    the man to be “the Man”-simple-is there a loss of pride, vanity, respect, when one does this?
    love means respect——-so whats wrong with respecting your “khaawand”???? (husband)Recommend

  • shanze

    @John B:
    You really need to get your facts straight John its Islam that gave women the right of inheritance and to vote. It is Islam that says paradise lies under the feet of a mother. It is Islam that gives out the right to sister, daughter, mother and a wife. I really dont understand the self assumed concept of Muslim women being the “oppressed one” when in reality its the other way around!

    Women’s word in Islam is worth only half as that of men. I did not say this. Even the women of early arabia found it illogical and confronted the question and they got the reply from the prophet that their word is worth only half >>> I really dont understand why do people not do the detailed study and take the phrase as it is like a lay man. There is so much logic in this phrase of the Holy Quran that an ordinary mind fails to grasp specially read the chapter that is dedicated entirely to women known as Sura Nisa and you will know what rights women have in Islam and how privileged are they and what are the logics behind the so called “restrictions”. And please don’t just write things for the heck of it please study properly before posting any comments. Have a nice day :)Recommend

  • shanze

    @Maria S:

    where do you come up with all this illogical answers? The things that you mentioned have nothing to do with eve eating the fruit. It was pre determined that Allah will make the world and they will come down here. For your record the women leaving her parents is a cultural norm and has nothing to do with Islam. For rest of your claims see the below!

    (v) not having control over her own person; >>> what do you mean by that?

    (vi) (having) a lesser share in inheritance; [31] >>> only as a sister. As a mother she gets the equal share

    (vii) her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce; [32] >>> you are wrong here again there is a margin in nikah nama called ” the delegated right of divorce” once you tick that you can divorce a man by sending him the notification. You can annul the marriage. You can seek divorce by the process of khula

    (viii) its being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have (only) one husband; [33] >>>> it was a custom in Arab to have lots of wife the number has been reduced to four… it is also important for inheritance and parentage purpose

    (ix) the fact that she must stay secluded in the house; >>> very wrong again the wife of Rasulallah S.a.w Hazrat Khadiha R.A was a business woman. There is no such thing like seclusion in the house..please get your facts straight!

    (x) the fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house; >>>> she can wear whatever she wants to that’s her choice entirely.

    (xi) (the fact that) two women’s testimony (has to be) set against the testimony of one man; [34] >>> its sole purpose is that a woman alone will have to go to courts and she might get intimated by the whole atmosphere. Women in older times were shy and having two witnesses was more for a companionship rather than this so called “punishment” :P

    (xii) the fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative;>> this rule only applies to far off areas where there might be loitering, unfavorable circumstances, its not for entrapping her its merely for protecting her.

    (xiii) the fact that men take part in Friday and Feast Day prayers and funerals while women do not; [35] >>> you are so wrong again the women are allowed to do so infact its preferable for women to go along with men on Feast day prayers there are examples of women doing that in the era of our beloved Prophet s.a.w.

    (xv) the fact that merit has one thousand components, (only) one of which is (attributable) to women, while nine hundred and ninety nine are (attributable) to men; >>> please mention the source..its unauthentic!

    (xvi) the fact that if women are profligate they will be given (only) half as much torment as (the rest of) the (Muslim) community at the Resurrection Day; >>> never read it anywhere…where did you get this from? your journal?

    (xvii) the fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period [37] of four months and ten days (before remarrying); >>> as mentioned above its only for the determination of parenthood

    (xviii) the fact that if their husbands divorce them they must observe a waiting period of three months or three menstruations (before remarrying). >>> same as above

    I often wonder why do people believe whatever they read its important to do a thorough research before writing anything that you are not even sure of. Please dont misguide people cuz of your lack of knowledge or lack of understanding!Recommend

  • http://citizensfirstasnau.blogspot.com.au/ markjuliansmith
  • http://gmail wiliamson

    We all know what racism is – that some men think that because they are racially “superior” they have the right, to kill or enslave the “inferior”. There are also some men who have exactly the same view towards women. The core essence of feminism is self-protection against male sexual fascism.Recommend

  • http://gmail wiliamson

    We all know what racism is – that some men think they are racially “superior” and that gives them the right to kill or enslave the inferior. There are some men who think exactly the same way towards women. The core value of feminism is self-protection.Recommend