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Why TALAQ is easy but KHULA is almost impossible in the Muslim society?

Why TALAQ is easy but KHULA is almost impossible in the Muslim society?

SHARIAH  on the disintegrating family life is stagnant in most muslim societies where women are ignorant and few men in the family law system have manipulated the word of Allah and His Rasool to suit their personal, present needs in this dunya without fear or repercussions of the Hereafter.

We bring you a discussion by scholars on the difficulties facing muslim women in muslim societies in finding justice against cruelty in the home and legal recourse to end it. IT IS LONG…………just like the misery of a women stuck in a cruel marriage can be long and unending.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED!

A report from Saudi Arabia.
May 15:
Photo: A seminar in Jeddah organized by the Socio-Reforms Society addressed by Advocate Osman Shaheed and Aleem Khan Falaki.
A successful seminar was held on “Why Talaq is easy, but Khula is almost impossible in Muslim Society?” one of the most burning issues at present in the Muslim society. It was attended by a large number of men and women at Shadab Hall of Jeddah on 10th May, 2013 after the Friday Prayers. The speakers reviewed the status of the real Islamic guidance, present norms and the Indian constitution on divorce rules. Qari Mohammed Abbas Khan recited Quran at the start of the seminar.
ISLAM IS THE FORERUNNER OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER JUSTICE
Aleem Khan Falaki, who is leading the socio reforms movement, emphasized that no other religion has descended or formulated rules about human rights, women’s rights and equitable social justice as clearly and justly as Islam.
But, unfortunately, every community interpreted these rules according to its own convenience. In particular, the rules related to women have been drafted and being interpreted with full patriarchal manifestation.We bow down our heads with shame when we see Muslim women crowding police stations, Qazi’s offices, courts and advocates begging justice.

It is perceived that the man is at liberty to utter the words of TALAQ and darken the future of the woman and children and that TALAQ is applicable instantly. However, if the woman wants to leave her husband, she has to face humiliation for months and years.

In the husband-wife disputes, both are equally responsible, but it is the woman who is punished mostly. If the man has the right to dislike some acts of the woman, the woman too, being an equal human being, has the right to get reluctant due to some unpleasant acts of the man. This is not justice that the woman must bear with every unpleasant act of the man and the man gets the right to treat her like a servant and punish her for every act that is unpleasant to him and threaten to terminate her from the job.
DALAIL (PROOFS BY HADITH) OF GENDER JUSTICE IN ISLAM (and many more)
There are many traditions as well as incidents in the life history of the Prophet Mohammed , (may peace be upon him) that shed the light on the gender justice and clearly reflect that there was equality in the cases of Talaq and Khula.

Hadith#1. A woman came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and complained that her husband, an Ansari, slapped on her cheek so intensely that her cheek got red. The Prophet (Pbuh) did the justice, called her husband and asked his wife to slap him with the same intensity as he did to her.

 Hadith #2. In another incident, a lady companion asked the Prophet (Pbuh) for Khula from her husband. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked the reason. She kept silent. He asked if her husband’s character was questionable to which she answered that there was nothing wrong with his character as he was pious and God fearing. Still she pressed for the Khula and the Prophet (Pbuh) did not insist her to reveal the reason and awarded Khula to her. 

Hadith narrative: Caliph Umar, r.a. We find a saying of Hadhrat Omer, r.a.,  that: “If the man divorces he must present the reason to the QAZI, but if a woman wants a Khula and she is not willing to present the reason, the QAZI must not insist and should award her the Khula. 

THE DOUBLE STANDARDS ABHORRED BY ISLAM
There are other incidents too in the history which reveal that the woman got the justice equal to men. But, in the contemporary Muslim Personal laws constituted by different communities, the man has been provided every convenience to divorce the woman.

As a result, the status of the woman has been totally marginalized. She becomes like a slave or an employee whose existence depends upon the consent of the employer. He can divorce her even if he is drunk, in anger, jokingly or sick. The divorce is applicable immediately even if he gives TALAQE GHALEEZA, TALAQE BID’AT.
Even his representative can divorce her on his behalf. She is separated instantly. He and only he has the right to have mercy on her and come back but she is not given such a right. The man is free and can go to have second or third marriage if he wants and there are no restrictions upon him from the law. She is compelled to wander around to prove he was right or wrong.
The woman does have the right to terminate the Nikah on certain conditions, but all the conditions are conditional to the husband’s consent on separation. Unless he signs to give his consent, the Khula is not considered valid.
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In the Indian Muslim Personal Law, there are 42 clauses in favor of Talaq and only 4 in favor of Khula.
WHERE DOES THE OBSTRUCTION TO KHULA COME FROM?
Ironically, all the four clauses carry the condition of husband’s consent on the Khula. It is nothing different from the Hindu beliefs that “Jisghar men dolijaaewahan se dolauthhe”, or “shaadiatootbandhanhai” , or “Shaadizindgi men ekbaarhotihai”.
Although, the Hindu society is giving up this practice, but the Muslim society is still holding these beliefs firmly on the pretext of Shariya law. They practice the same Hindu beliefs and go on taking revenge from the woman.
It does not mean that the woman is totally innocent. In most of the disputes, it is the woman and her family who bring the couple close to a breakup. But, again, the question is that if the man does not find interest in her, he has the right to leave her. Why does not she have the same right? Why is she roped around the neck? Why is she compelled to enforce Anti-dowry case, Police complaints, goons etc to terminate marriage?
DISTRACTORS TO THE SUBJECT
Aleem Falki added that he was talking about those women who are victims of men’s revenge and suffering. There are hundreds of cases in which women harass the innocent husbands. It is not always that woman is only innocent. But, that is a different topic and be debated in another such forum. Since some pseudo-intellectuals raise the unrelated topics and divert the topic, rather kill the topic and therefore, he requested to adhere to the topic.He then raised the situation where thousands of men adopt the revengeful policy of hanging women and elaborated on it.
The present Indian Muslim personal Law was drafted in 1937. It was called Mohammaden Law or Indian Shariyat Act. Article 224 of the Indian constitution guarantee application of these laws as far as muslim personal affairs are concerned.
PUTTING FIQH IN PERSPECTIVE

It is to be borne in the mind that the Fiqh is not equal to holy Quran. The scholars of different time extract and expand the laws of Shariya according to the situation present during a particular time. It is inevitable that these laws can be amended, changed or scrapped, if the new circumstances emerge. It is the need of the hour to keep the laws competent to the prevailing circumstances.

THE PROBLEMS WITH OLD FIQH:

Maulana Minnatullah Rahmani, the founding member of Muslim Personal Board as well as the writer of several books on this issue wrote in his book “Muslim Peronal Law” that the Masa’el are of two types:
One, those issues which were never experienced by the predecessor scholars and therefore the fiqh is silent on those issues.
Second, those issues which have to be deliberated afresh under the changing situations. The time when the present laws were drafted, has changed completely. The time when these laws were drafted, the man was a real “Qawwam” (Protector or care taker of the woman) according to the Quran. He was not the receiver of the dowry or Tilak or dinners from the woman. The woman was not aware of the modern education, job or outside world. The anti-Islamic literature was not taught to her in the name of woman’s rights, feminism, equality and gender justice.
RATIONALIZATION THE DISOBEDIENCE OF ALLAH
Today, the man has inverted or rather subverted the teachings of Quran and Shariya completely. Now, he does not pay ‘Mahr’, but instead, collects dowry from the woman not only in the form of net cash, but also demands property, automobile etc. He grabs the salary, inheritance and belongings of the wife. He is engaged in illegitimate relations too.
DIVORCE RATE AND TO LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF ISLAMIC COUNSELING
The divorce ratio is increasing alarmingly. In Kuwait it is 37%, Qatar 33% and Saudi Arabia 21%. In India and Pakistan, although it is 4-5% but the ratio of the strained relation or disturbed marriages is over 60%. In other words, every third house is affected by the hatred, court or police cases. The scholars (ulema) are not able to carry counseling because the subject of the counseling, although emphasized much in the traditions, yet, it has been totally neglected in the syllabus of the Madarsa.
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SOLUTION:
Aleem Khan Falaki presented the evidences from the writings of Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Allama Iqbal and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi directing towards establishing Shariya courts. If impossible, they advised for establishing local committees of minimum 5 respectable local persons to go and work as arbiter. They warned that if the woman will not get justice, she will revolt and will go to the extent of marrying even with non-Muslims.
LARGE HOLES IN THE “NIKAH NAMA” (MARRIAGE AGREEMENT)
Aleem Khan Falaki pointed out that the “Nikahnama” (the marriage agreement) itself is faulty. The word “AQD” implies an agreement by the two parties on whatever is taken or given. Since there was never a dowry, except Mahr in those days, so there was nothing to write from the woman’s side what she is giving. Therefore, the Nikahnama had the mentioning of only the Mehr’s amount.
But, the time has changed now. The woman is compelled in the name of the system to give a lot. Since the Muslim Personal Law permits the woman to take back all those gifts given at the time of marriage, there should be a clear mentioning of all those gifts she is taking with her to the house of her husband.
But,the man today does not agree to sign the receipt of these items as he is too clever and knows that there are hundreds of parents who can pay huge dowry without taking a receipt. So the woman is totally helpless.
The Muslim Personal Law Board must take action and draft a new Nikahnama. It should also define clearly what is considered as gift.
The present day’s dowry system is totally Haraam as it is a bribe, begging, blackmailing and violation of Quranic instructions as well as the way of the Prophet (Pbuh).
] WORDS FROM THE LEGAL COUNSEL OF INDIA ON MUSLIM MATTERS
Maslehuddin Ahmed presented an introduction of the honorable guest, Advocate Osman Shaheed. Maslehuddin Ahmed is well known in Jeddah for his religious as well as community services. Maslehuddin stated that the Adv. Shaheed is not only a successful and well known advocate in Hyderabad but also a kind hearted person who has served hundreds of helpless people for their education, marriages of poor girls etc. He had been the Prosecutor General of Andhra Pradesh High Court for 6 years.
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Mr.Osman Shaheedexpressed deep concern over the present lawlessness among Muslims in the matters of Khula and Talaq. He stated that even the Muslim lawyers in the courts deliberately misquote holy Quran to win fake cases of Talaq for their clients. He emphasized that the holy Quran is the “Mother of all the charters” and all the present charters of national and international humanitarian institutions are extracted from Quran. He asserted that the real worship of Allah is in having justice in the relations. He quoted several examples from the Prophet’s(Pbuh) life as to how he treated his wives.
] THE SOLUTION TO THE WOES OF INDIAN MUSLIM WOMEN
Regarding the Khula/Talaq situation, he offered a solution, which was highly appreciated by the audience, that there is a possibility of solving these issues without involving courts and police. The Indian constitution itself grants the right to solve disputes in accordance with Shariya. He said there was no need to establish the separate Muslim Shariya courts as whenever such attempts were made in the past, the communal Hindu parties like RSS and BJP started the propaganda that the Muslims were trying to create another Pakistan.
] APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATORS (AS MENTIONED IN SURAH NISA)
He said that according to the Indian constitution, the two parties i.e husband and wife, could appoint a person of their choice who is called an “Arbitrator”. No special qualification is required to be an arbitrator. Anyone, who is approved by both parties can become an arbitrator. Both the parties must submit an “Affidavit” in the court that they will honor the decision of the arbitrator even if he goes against their wish. Whatever the Arbitrator will decide, that decision will be endorsed by the court as “Order of Law”. The parties can get an “Execution order” too from the court to implement the decision of the Arbitrator. Since Mr. Osman Shaheed himself is running an Arbitration office which is serving people free of cost, he gave his telephone number to the audience to take his free legal services in this regard.
]
ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ARBITRATION OFFICE (CALLED OMBUDSMEN IN THE US)
Aleem Khan Falaki suggested that an Arbitration office be established with a list of arbitrators consisting of scholars and Mufties belonging to various schools of thought. The conflicting parties can choose the scholars according to their Maslak and beliefs. Let the people get their disputes solved in our own offices instead of non-Shariya courts.
FOR DETAILS GO THE WEBSITE GIVEN BELOW
The two and half hour’s seminar concluded with the questions and answers session. The prominent personalities of Jeddah participated in this seminar. Among them were Shameem Kausar, Syed Khaja Viqaruddin, Engr. Sayeeduddin, Engr. Khalid, Dr. Sayeed Haroon and Hafez Sheikh Hussain.
Report by : Dr. Sayeed Haroon

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HOW SHOULD I LOVE MY MOTHER?

elderly-muslimah-reading-quran

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How should I love my mother? As Allah has commanded me:

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا ۖ وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖإِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿١٥

Allah – the Most High – said:

[46:15] Yusuf Ali

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, “O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam.”
Hadith:
A man came to Allah’s Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother”. The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment then the father. 
Related by al-Bukhari (no.59710 and Muslim (7/2), from Abu Hurayrah radialliaahu’anhu

 

**** Photo courtesy: http://islamicartdb.com/elderly-muslim-lady-reading-quran/

Is Shariah [Islamic law] Hurtful to Women in Pakistan?

Is Shariah [Islamic law] Hurtful to Women in Pakistan?There is a raging debate regarding Shariah Law in the USA, many States have banned Shariah Law,  perhaps invalidating many of the legal methods of marrying and divorcing according to Islam.

In Pakistan there has been a flurry of imprisonment for women reporting rape, despite the fact that the punishment of rape is clear in the Hadith, conversely these women have been imprisoned, making the victim a criminal. A prominent Muslim Scholar and activist was interviewed regarding this topic:

From the Archives of interviews in New Trend Publications with Islamic Scholars in Pakistan regarding Muslim women in Pakistan

[Islamabad, Pakistan: On September 7, 2006 (Unfortunately nothing much has changed for the better in six years) New Trend Staff Writer interviewed Syed Munawwar Hasan, Secretary General of Jamaat e Islamic and key coordinator of the Islamic coalition MMA.]

New Trend: Western news sources as well as secularist Pakistani sources are saying, particularly on the Internet, that women in Pakistan are being victimized under Sharia by way of the Hudood Ordinance. Why is the Islamic coalition supporting the Hudood ordinance, which is oppressing women?

Syed Munawar Hasan: It’s not surprising that western media and their supporters are trying to propagandize against Sharia [Islamic Law]. What did you expect them to say?

NT: It’s being said that in Pakistan if a woman is raped, she has to bring 4 witnesses otherwise she will be accused of adultery under the Hudood Ordinance

SMH: Punishment for adultery requires 4 witnesses (ref 1-5) She can’t be punished if 4 witnesses’ are not there. That goes against those who are making up these stories.

NT: But is it not true that there are women in Pakistani prisons who complained of rape and were then imprisoned under Hudood Ordinance?

SMH: That’s what the Islamic movement is saying, that the fact of women being in prison shows that Sharia is NOT being implemented. Police, like the rest of our government, is extremely corrupt. People go to police for help and instead of getting help and justice end up in serious trouble. None of these women should be in prison.

NT: But this situation still doesn’t make sense to me. Maulana Fazlur Rahman is quoted as saying that women should be subjected to the punishment for adultery if they do not bring witnesses to their being raped. How can you support Fazlur Rahman?

SMH: We must clarify to your readers in America about the realities of the Islamic struggle in Pakistan. The government here wanted to strike a blow at Sharia [Islamic Law] in the name of “giving women their rights.” The real purpose was to please America.

We challenged the government’s moves. [Islamic women representatives in the assemblies {parliament} stood up and tore up the bill presented by the government against Sharia.]

Yesterday we held a big rally in Rawalpindi to support the Hudood Ordinance. The government is now in a bind having been exposed in its sneak attack on Islamic Law.

Sharia is the biggest defender of women’s rights. If policemen misuse the Law, it means that the implementation should be corrected, not that the Law is wrong.

End Interview on this subject.

References:

From the Holy Quran:

1.  If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. 

(  سورة النساء  , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #15)

2. And as for the two of you, who are guilty thereof, punish them both. And if they repent and improve, then let them be. Lo! Allah is ever relenting, Merciful.

An Nisa, Chapter 4 verse 16

3. O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do. 

سورة النساء  , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #135)

4. And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations), – flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors; – 

(  سورة النور  , An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #4)

5.  Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars! 

(  سورة النور  , An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #13)

 

CAN WOMEN LEAD CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS?

Here is one of the references regarding Aisha RA leading congregational prayer in the times of Prophet Muhammad pbuh:

Imam Muhammad [b. Hassan al-Shaybani] says in Kitab al-Athaar:

Abu Hanifah informed us who narrates from Hammad b. Abi Sulayman from Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai that :

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) used to lead the prayers for the women in the month of Ramadhan and would stand in between them.

Taken from:

Muhammad al-Shaybani, Kitab al-Athaar, (p.44) Chapter on the Woman Leading the prayer… Karachi: Idarat al-Qur’an wa al-`Ulum al-Islamiyyah.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN ISLAM?

courtesy: In india , hyderabad children in hijab learn martial arts http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com/page/37

The role of women in Islam beyond a wife and mother is a mystery to most Muslims.

The diversity of the roles that Muslim women played in supporting, and actively spreading the message of Islam is truly unique in the history of women’s movements.

Nowhere have women from any faith, country, and socioeconomic and racial background consistently made such a mark on history as Muslim women have in the time of the Prophet pbuh.

We as Muslims follow, and do as the Prophet did. Muslim women revere and copy what the wives of the Prophet did as well as follow the Sahabiat and the Tabaeen women.

The role of women in the Islamic movement led by Muhammad Mustafa, pbuh is a living example for all Muslim women to follow, from the most fragile (physically) to the most intelligent and or strong.

 Large segments of the Qur’an were revealed with reference to Islamic women.

Let’s look at the key moments in the mission of Muhammad, pbuh which illustrate the multifaceted roles that Muslim women had in impacting society:

1. The revelation of the Qur’an in the cave of Hira. The Prophet, pbuh, went to his wife, Khadija, r.a. Not only did she comfort him, she advised him and supported him. For the rest of her life, she placed her funds and resources at his disposal especially when the unbelievers blocked him at every step.

2. Would people be willing to sacrifice their lives for Islam? The answer came from Sumayya, r.a., the slave woman who was the first martyr of Islam. This was in Makka before Jihad became mandatory. She defied the slave master though she was poor and helpless.

3. During the Hijra, central to Islamic history, Asma, r.a. climbed the mountain every day and brought food to the Prophet, pbuh, while he was concealed in the cave of Thawr, at great risk to her own life and dignity. She brought up her son Abdullah [ibn Zubair] as one of the greatest opponents of kingship. She herself defied the Umayyad tyrant.

4.One of the closest companions of Muhammad, pbuh, was his youthful wife Aisha, r.a., who did more for the rights of women than any other woman in history.

Chapter 24 of the Qur’an is about her and condemns male attitudes towards women.

  • Through her the Prophet, pbuh, undermined the Jewish bigotry against menstruating women.
  •  Tayammum, which makes prayer possible when water is not available was revealed with reference to an incident related to Aisha, r.a. [Chapter 4 verse 43].
  •  Later she led an army including prominent Islamic leaders to punish the murderers of Usman, r.a. Aisha, r.a., was a woman leading men!

5. At the battle of Uhud, a woman, Umm Ummarah, r.a., saved the Prophet’s (pbuh) life when he had been left almost alone by men who were being attacked by Khalid [at that time not a Muslim]. She took part in many battles and was honored by the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, r.a.

6. At the treaty of Hudaibiya, the Muslims were stunned by what seemed an unequal agreement. The Prophet  (pbuh) was advised by Umm Salama, r.a., and he accepted her advice, which completely changed the situation.

7.  Umm Waraqah, r.a., memorized the Qur’an and led women in congregational prayers in the Prophet’s mosque, again demonstrating that the Qur’an is not the monopoly of men.

8. The Prophet, pbuh, died in the arms of Aisha, r.a., and she bore witness that he did not appoint anyone to be the ruler of the Muslims after him. Thus the great majority of Muslims on the basis of one woman’s witness rejected the concept of hereditary rule.

Most people do not realize that the powerful Persian and Roman empires with huge military forces collapsed in front of small Islamic armies commanded by Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman, Allah be pleased with them.

These empires were based on slavery and the subjugation of women. Their people knew that Islam would liberate them; hence they did not have the heart to fight the Islamics.

Historical review of the multifaceted roles of Muslim women becomes mandatory for the understanding of the Quran and Hadith as a large part of it has to do with women and their relationship to society and men.

It is a great disservice to the female gender to restrict their  growth and development in the Deen of Islam to wife and mother only.

The roles of the Sahabiat and the women of Islam are a lighted torch for all Muslim women to follow and for all others to seek guidance from.

 

INTERESTED IN READING ABOUT THE PROPHET PBUH FEMALE COMPANIONS?

PLEASE CLICK HERE…………..

AND HERE………..

What is the worldview of Islam on sexuality in all creation? (Part two of two)

 PART II : WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT PAIRS?

The Family As The Nucleus Of The Islamic Civilization: It is essential to gain a perspective of the stature of the family in Islam and how does a healthy family evolve in society.

Islam is quite clear on the issue of sexuality in all of creation. Here are some questions that need reflection: to read part one click here……..

How are pairs defined in the Quran? Allah Subhanawataala says:

That it is He who granted Death and Life; that He did create in pairs

(zaujain)—male and female. (53:45)

The Quran 53:45, quoted above, makes very clear the fact that Zaujain are a male and a female.  Thus the azwajum mutahharatun mentioned in the

Quran (see 2:25) as the spouses of the believers in Paradise are not females as incorrectly understood by male-oriented scholars.

Those azwaj are pure companions, a wife for a man, and a husband for a woman.

Thus the first part of our discussion shows that the Quran sees sexual

relations in terms of pairs (azwaj).  These pairs are a male and a female who need each other and are incomplete without each other.

Our quotes from the Quran make clear that those writers who translate azwaj as wives are mistaken.

THE BASIS OF MARRIAGE.  The next step is to see the basis of marriage in Islam.  This basis is faith or iman.  Marriage is a permanent relationship between a man and a woman who want to follow the Guidance from Allah.  If marriage is to be an Islamic marriage, the couple must give each other the same respect, which Muslims are taught to give each other.

Muslims, man and woman, are not physically or spiritually or mentally inferior to each other, though in specific cases an individual man or a woman may have certain strengths or weaknesses.  As Muslims they are equal partners in the Islamic struggle as evident from the Quran:

  For Muslim men and women—for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who engage much in the remembrance of Allah—for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Quran 33:35)

Here Allah has categorized all aspects of a Muslim’s life, from its most hidden spiritual aspects to its most obvious outward ones and pointed out the togetherness and equality of Muslim men and women in all of them.  Women are not deficient or left out of any aspect of Islam.

These men and women, when joined in marriage, do not, as a natural result of their togetherness in all Islamic activities, enter a contract between a superior male and an inferior female.

The basis of the existence of these people is the guidance they seek from Allah and their efforts to live as Muslims. This belief or iman is to be placed above considerations of race, social class, and nationality.  In fact, in Islam belief and marriage together change the social structure, as we shall discuss at a later point.

We should remember that Islam came into a society, which was much more oppressive than any one which exists today.  Women were treated as chattel and were sometimes inherited.  Girls were often victims of legalized infanticide.  Slavery was rampant and many of the slaves were women.  Islam did not compromise with that oppression and broke the chains of slavery within the souls of men.

Today’s society has its own slaves and its oppressed people. 

Today women are oppressed in devious ways and are exploited by society to enrich the exploiters.  Let us see how Islam can free them.

The central belief of Islam, that we were created by Allah (the One God) and are answerable to Him and should seek guidance from Him, makes Islamic marriage strong and goal oriented.  The belief is important, whether it is a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. Allah Subhanawataala says in the Quran:

Wed not women who associate (others with God) till they believe!  For, surely, a believing slave girl is better than one who associates (others with God) though she pleases you; and give not your daughters in marriage to associators till they believe, for, surely a believing slave is better than an associator (mushrik) though he pleases you.  These invite you unto the fire and Allah invites unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by; His Grace, and expounds thus His revelation to mankind that perhaps ye may remember.  (Surah Baqarah:2:221)

Imagine the revolutionary changes which would take place in a society where men would cross race and class lines to marry their “inferiors” (slaves), or one in which women of “noble” families would marry “slaves” or other oppressed people on the basis of shared belief.

This belief, as the basis of marriage, is connected with good conduct and a strict sexual morality. Allah Subhanawataala says in the Quran:

The adulterer shall not marry but an adulteress or a female who associates (Others with God), and the adulteress none shall marry but an adulterer or a male associator  (mushrik).  All that is forbidden unto believers.  (24:3)

Thus Islamic marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman who have a sense of spiritual direction in life. They live not to please themselves but to please their Creator.  Such are the men and women who are taught to pray by Allah:

SUPPLICATION: Our Lord!  Grant us “coolness of our eyes” (joy) in our s spouses and in our offspring

Ameen.

Allah knows best!

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