Issues Trouble Followers of Islam قضايا تزعج المسلمين في التطبيق
Professor of Sociology
Eleven Issues trouble Muslims as follower of Islam. Islam is described as not just a religion but as a complete One”. Lack of unity of Ulama’ “Theocratic authority” of religion in giving answers (Fatawa) for social and spiritual questions these days, brings much of Muslim practices under scrutiny unless these issues interpreted in the light of social “Masalih” benefits. As far as the Ijma’ (all the Muslim communities meeting in one place) is impossible, and the door of “’Ijtihad” reasoning of a situation to give an opinion about, is closed 1000 years ago, Muslims became far away from the spirit of Islam as a religion. In so doing, Islam became different from one Muslim community or government to the other community. While all Muslims agree on certain “Ibadat” (Worhips) like prayers, giving alms, fasting, and performing pilgrimage, they differ in practice of these “Ibadat,”, especially on Shahada, (witness that God is the greatest Only One, and Muhammad is His Messenger, Some Muslims in some areas want to confess the first part of Shahada, and deny the second part concerning the Prophet (Muhammad). In other words, they accept that Allah (God) is the greatest, but no need to say that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah, which they think it negates universality of Islam, and because there are many Prophets sent by the same God. And if Muhammad was the ONLY one to be the messenger of God, then other messengers are secondary to Muhammad. While Qur’an makes it clear that Prophets are equal, (La Nufarriqu bayna Ahadin Min Rusulihi, wa Qaalu Sami’na wa Ata’na, Ghufranaka Rabbana wa ‘Ilayka al-Massir” simply meaning: We do not separate the Prophets in rank, they all said, We heard God and Obeyed, O God, grant us Your blessing and forgiveness, and we all are going back to You” Because Allah sent others in the same message as well as He sent Muhammad. In terms of Muslim sects, Sunni is different from Shi’a in belief and practice in many ways, some Sunni sects in many areas as I observed personally in many Middle Eastern countries, consider Shi’a as disbelievers (mostly Iranian non-Arab) which constitute 5% to 7% of Muslims worldwide, and live mostly in Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. The accusation come in return from Shi’a to Sunni sects.
I will not get into legality of these disputes among Muslims, because the issues under study are different where beliefs are mixed with doubt of legality and illegality “Halal and Hram” among Muslims these days, where certain issues are practiced differently in the Arab and Muslim world and invite criticism of Muslim and non-Muslim intellectuals and free thinkers. These issues are: 1) the meaning of Islam, 2) the belief in non-proved stories of Prophets and religious events which cannot be scientifically proved, 3) the laws of gender equality, 4) superiority of men over women, 5) wife battering, 6) men beat women, 7) polygamy, and men having concubines, 8) divorce rights, 9) equal legal testimony, 10) inheritance inequality issues, and finally, 11) women being less intelligent than men.
- Muslim believe in Islam as “Taslim” to surrender one’s affairs or “submission” to God, which negates freethinking: You cannot think independently and submit your intelligence and your will to someone else at the same time. A prerequisite of freethinking and rational thinking is doubt. Belief is the antithesis to doubt. This word does not drive from Salama (Safety or security) which means health or Salam which is a wish for good health or peace.
In all religions, including Islam, people cannot think independently and submit their intelligence and their will to someone else at the same time. A prerequisite of freethinking and rational thinking is doubt. While belief is the antithesis to doubt.
- Muslims believe in unbelieved , unfactual events in history: Such as the beliefs in Miraj, in Jinns, in splitting the moon , in Moses parting of the sea for his people (the Jews), in Prophet Younus swallowed by the whale and remained alive, in Noah’s Ark etc. etc. All these beliefs are contrary to science and human logic. Belief means accepting something without evidence. According to Oxford Dictionary belief is: “The feeling that something is real and true”. Thus belief is based on feeling not facts. And feelings can be wrong. How factual are the beliefs in Miraj, in Jinns, in splitting the moon , Moses parting of the sea, Prophet Younus in the belly of the fish, Noah’s ark etc etc. All these beliefs are contrary to science and human logic.
- Muslims believe in Men’s Superiority over Women: The verse that you presented in favour of this common misunderstanding is a very usual one, and you have also quoted the worst translation possible (I am not blaming you here; I know this translation is the same in some translated editions of Quran, and this should not be very surprising either; after all these translations were mainly done by psychopath mullahs in the times of overwhelming male dominance. Does this not, however, surprise you that this is supposedly the verse of the same Quran which says that women have the same rights unto men, as men have unto them (2:228) and depicts the relation of wife and husband as each other’s attire (2:187); a symbol of trust, protection, honour and closeness. Let us see what this verse actually means: First, please note that here the verse is not about Husband and Wife, but men (rijaal) and women (nisa), regardless of their relation with each other, which could even be that of mother and son; this verse is not about their social status but the distribution of social responsibilities among the two genders according to their capabilities (I shall explain this point in detail later). For a concrete assessment, let us see what Arabic dictionary has to say here; The first part of the verse is “Alrrijalu qawwamoona Al-alnnisa’i”; one meaning of the term Qawwamu Ilayha in the dictionary (Taaj-ul-Uroos; considered by many, the most authentic Arabic dictionary) is “one who maintains or provides food or living” — another meaning says, the one who protects or guards (which is obviously an inferior status according to our social norms) — our dear mullah did not like either of these meanings and picked up the third meaning that you presented in your translation. In the second part it says, “bima faddala Allahu baAAdahum Ala baAAdin” which simply means, “because some are made better at some things than the other”. This is a reality that nobody can deny. We all experience that men and women have varying capabilities; there are things in life where (generally) men excel and there are things where women typically do a whole lot better than men (we all have seen how daft men seem at times when trying to step in women’s territory) — it is undeniable that men and women have different physical and psychological attributes and capabilities, and while both can accomplish a lot, there are things which they (generally) naturally adopt and there are things which they have to learn and very often struggle. From this perspective, men are more suitable for some jobs as women are for others. This is a very pivotal point and should be understood very well that this is the basis of a division of responsibilities, which is very important for an effective accomplishment of different tasks (from both angles, the natural capabilities and unique ownership, which are two most important traits to be considered for any kind of management) … and different responsibilities never means different grades, levels or status … prime responsibilities of each gender are equally important and none should be considered inferior to the other (According to Quran men and women complete each other, each making up for others’ deficiencies); I am stressing at this point only because this forms the basis of many arguments I am going to make later. Anyhow, after this explanation the verse continues to say that Therefore they (men, are supposed/assigned to) spend from their means, and consequently women will be able to grow their capabilities (fassalihaat) and save their energies (Qanitaat) for their prime responsibility, and be able to guard / take care of that what Allah bestowed upon them. This is the translation of the part of the verse you quoted; putting it all together, the verse says, “the responsibility for maintaining the family/women is vested in men because some are more capable at some responsibilities than others and hence men will provide living to women off their earnings and consequently women will be able to nurture their supreme capabilities, save their energies, and guard their potentialities bestowed upon them by Allah (in order to fulfill their primary responsibilities in the most effective manner)“.
One point I want to make at this stage is that Quran does not prohibit men or women from entering each other’s territory, e.g. it is not forbidden upon women to work and earn, neither it is for men to participate in the domestic activities, however, they should not sacrifice or hurt their prime responsibilities while doing so, and they should remain the owners/managers/supervisors of their individual areas of responsibility as well, for better focus, effective execution and also fair/clearer accountability. Pardon me for not being able to continue any further as its already quite late. I shall try to discuss the rest of the topics pretty soon ; the remaining topics are more straightforward and will not require much probe into the translation of different words; Many of those understandings are in direct contradiction with Quran in my opinion.
- Men can have sexual relations with their wives and their concubines: Qur’an- 23:5 “Blessed are the believers…who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave girls for these are lawful to them)… What is your take on keeping sex slaves my girl-friends. Would it be possible in modern world.
- Muslims believe in Men’s Superiority Over Women: Qur’an- 4:34 “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. what about the women who support the family. This is a modern problem and can these women claim superiority over men? Then would all the laws be flipped in favor of women. Is maintenance and economy the backbone of this rule of superiority?
- Muslims believe that Men are allowed to beat their disobedient women: Qur’an- 4:34 “As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to their beds apart (stop having sexual relations with them), and beat them.” Would you scrap the laws relating to wife battering then? Is woman allowed to beat her husband if she finds that her husband is being disobedient.
- The Issues of Divorce and Polygamy: Mulims believe that man has the right to divorce his wife, while a woman cannot with or without cause, and to seek divorce she needs the husband consent. This law is simply prevent women from getting some rights to get rid of a man without a Muftee observance. Such rule creates conflict or disharmony between husband and wife where according to Qur’an to take the issue of Divorce to a council of arbiters having members from both sides; their first aim should be to effect a settlement between the couple, a failure to do which results in divorce — simple! The rest of the details, regarding iddat (to be sure of pregnancy) and the limit of the number of divorces etc. are given in Baqara (Chapter 2) and Talaaq Suras (Chapter 65), however, those details are beyond the scope of your These verses make it very clear that the involvement of a council is required as soon as there is even a fear of breach and hence the divorces pronounced in private and without a formal procedure are not supported by Quran; rather they are an outright violation of the Quranic guidelines. Please also note that the involvement of the council is not at the discretion of husband alone, and its only conditioned to the vulnerability of the relation rather than who calls for it. Now coming to the permission of polygamy in Islam; you would be surprised to know that it relates to one of the most misunderstood, if not violated and ignored instructions of Quran — maybe this was a bit too much for the luxuries Arabs were used to enjoy. There is one and only one verse in Quran that allows multiple marriages, and it says: “IF you fear that you will not be able to do justice with orphans-with no guardian, then you are allowed to marry the women of your choice, two or three or four.” (Qur’an 4:3) You will not find anywhere else a verse allowing polygamy, and this one does not require any comments. It is very obvious that this permission is only for a situation where there are a number of women and female children left alone in the society and there are no usual means to support them the way it is supposed to be. This could be one of the situations when many of the Muslim men had died in wars leaving behind their wives and children, most of whom had never worked for an earning and had no means of maintenance; in such an emergency situation where it starts turning into a social crisis, it sounds only fair to me that men are allowed to take responsibility of multiple women, and through a marriage agreement, that, to some extent, guarantees the protection of women’s rights, ensures their share in the property etc. and adds many other responsibilities to the man in interest of those ladies (the concern about such women is also discussed elsewhere in Quran e.g. 4:127). The stated condition is the only situation when multiple marriages are allowed and in usual circumstances, there is no Quranic evidence of any permission for polygamy in Islam, and doing so is a direct contradiction of Quran. Therefore, to accept polygamy is becoming cultural than Qur’anic rule. The above verse continues to restrain this permission further by saying that even in such emergency situations, if you are not confident that you will be able to do justice among all your wives, then you are not allowed to volunteer. Polygamy which is equally complained about in Islam: The claim that in Islam, “Women can be divorced by their husbands with or without cause, but she can only seek divorce from her husband with her husband’s consent”. This is not true. How come that marriage/Nikah requires the willful consent of both, man and the wife, plus the presence of two witnesses from both sides, as in case of any other agreement, but the termination of the same agreement is possible only by the will of male partner and without requiring any witnesses or arbiters? The straight forward answer is that Quran did not say that. Without going into the significance of marriage and the concept of Divorce in Islam, the procedure of divorce as ordained in Quran, Sura 4 verse 35: reads: “And if you fear a breach between the two (Husband and Wife), then appoint an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from hers.” And “If they both desire settlement, Allah will effect reconciliation between them; Varily, Allah is knowing and apprised of everything.” How come this is not practiced in Islam, and the man can divorce his wife by phone or even by email while the wife c Has no right to do so, unless she asks for something invented lately and called al-Khulu’ (Divorce by the Judge Force) through the court order.
- Muslims believe that Man has Double of a Woman’s share in inheritance which negates God’s Justice in dealing with human beings (Adam’s and Eve Offsprings: Qur’an 4:11, 176- “A man shall inherit twice as much as a female”. Following verse 11, the next verse details percentages of who receives what. Again, men come out on top. Some say that men inherit more than women because the male is the bread winner ,what if the woman is a bread winner what if the women is to be supported by her male relatives. But there are circumstances possible where the sister would be in more need of finances than the brother. What if the sister is married to a poor man and has many children, and her brother is wealthy? Why does Islamic law denie women an equal share in the inheritance? Why does the woman have to trust her male relative’s discretion? What if he squanders the money? In this case, women are at a disadvantage.
<!– google_ad_client = “pub-6254916237007897”; google_hints = “Education,Issues Trouble Followers of Islam, Allah, Quran, S”; google_ad_width = 200; google_ad_height = 90; google_ad_format = “200x90_0ads_al”; google_ad_channel =”8182885728″; google_color_border = “FFFFFF”; google_color_bg = “FFFFFF”; google_color_link = “0000FF”; google_color_url = “000000”; google_color_text = “000000”; //–> window.google_render_ad(); 9. Women are less intelligent than men: “Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah’s apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s apostle?” He replied, “You curse frequently are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you”. The women asked, “O Allah’s apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in your intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said: “This is the deficiency in your religion.” (Bukhari, volume 1, #301, and vol. 3, #826: )
- In Legal Testemony a man’s testimony equals two women’s testimony: Qur’an- 2:282 “…and call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witness as you approve of, that if one women errs the other will remind her.” Just imagine this rule being implemented…Was man created without committing errors? Such as forgetting or making errs.
11. Men Rule Women and Manage their Family Affairs: as indicated in 4:34. It is the role of a man as ‘qawwam’ or manager. In the Hans-Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary, p .800: ‘Qawwam’ means: manager, director, superintendent, caretaker, keeper, custodian, guardian”. Islamic men do indeed manage their women. there is another part of 4:34…. “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient………Then if they (the women) obey you (the men), take no further action against them.” In today’s world how will you implement this rule.Dear Islamists… I need to be educated on this issue.