Women in Islam: Respected or Oppressed?

by Hasan on June 19, 2011 · 198 comments

in Religion

Majority of the critiques on the position of women in Islam as well as the opinions of the general public on this matter suffer from a significant flaw.  These debates take place in a wrong frame of reference i.e., the comparisons are made based on the 20th century expectations and standards.  However, an objective discussion must take into account the historical contexts because if you compare the status of women based on today’s standards, even many of the improvements in those times would seem horrendous injustices.

In order to understand how Islam improved women’s lives, we would need to see how women were treated in the Arab society before Islam as well as the status of women in the two major religions before Islam, i.e. Judaism and Christianity.  This comparison is not being made to put any faith down; it is just to help understand the historical context.

Women before Islam

In the Arab society before Islam, women were treated as property rather than as human beings.  Save a few exceptions, most women were subjugated in almost all aspects of life such as inheritance, education, property and marriage.  Female infanticide was a common practice and men felt great shame if they had a female child.  When a man died and had sons from other marriages, the oldest of them could take the wife of his father as his own.  This snapshot of the situation clearly shows the status of women in the pre-Islam Arabia.

Status of Women in the Judaic and Christian Traditions

Lets us see what Judaic and Christian texts say about women.

No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman…..Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19, 24)

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner,” said St. Paul (Timothy 2:11-14).

Other people like St. Tertullian had a similar opinion, “Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil’s gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the divine law: You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die.”

“What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” To the woman he (God) said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam he (God) said, “Because you listen to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,( Genesis 3:6-17)

“let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law, and if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for woman to speak in the church.” (Corinthians 14:34-35)

Two Major Areas of Criticism

Veil/Hijab

One of the things about Islam that draws the most criticism is the modesty of Muslim women.  Western media and literature have made women believe that their liberation depends upon shedding clothing and foregoing modesty.  The male dominated world of media and consent manufacturing has ingrained this belief in women that more skin they expose better are their chances of success.  Let’s stop for a minute and think it through.  When a woman exposes herself who does it really benefit?  Is it not the men who very conveniently fulfill their voyeuristic desires through the exposed women?  We try to keep everything of value behind closed doors and under wraps so that no one sees it and gets any ideas.  Our cash, jewelry, important documents and everything else that has some value is protected from prying eyes.  Yet when it comes to women, men don’t mind letting them display it all for everybody.  They have made women a commodity that sells and built multibillion dollar industries like pornography industry that is primarily for the pleasure of men.

In contrast, Islam considers women very valuable and worthy of high respect.  Women are asked to cover themselves so that they are not bothered by men.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested” (33:59).

The image of Muslim women wrapped in burka and with their face covered by a veil has been a topic of contempt and ridicule for a long time.  However, the concept of veil is an ancient tradition and not something Islam invented.  Ancient Jewish traditions put a lot of emphasis on veil.  Dr. Menachem M. Brayer states in his book, ‘The Jewish woman in Rabbinic literature’ that Jewish women went in public with their heads and most of the face covered.  He further elaborates that uncovered hair was considered nudity in the Jewish tradition.

Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church, you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers…,” wrote St. Tertullian in ‘On the Veiling of Virgins’.

It is important to note that modesty is not required only from Muslim women, Muslim men are also instructed to follow suit, “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty……And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms....” (24:30, 31)

Polygyny

Polygyny, according to Webster’s dictionary, is the practice of having two or more wives at the same time.  The term commonly used in this context is Polygamy which means the same but applies to both men and women.  Therefore, when discussing Islam, the correct term is Polygyny which is considered to be one of the most hotly debated charges against Islam.  However, it would be interesting to note that it is an ancient tradition which has been practiced for centuries before Islam.  It wasn’t until a few centuries ago that Polygyny became a ‘sin’.  Monogamy was never a condition in any of the major religions.  Before Islam there was practically no limitation on the number of wives a man could have.  Islam limited the number of wives to four and also placed conditions of fairness, justice and equal treatment that must be fulfilled.  “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one” (4:3)

The husband is required to be fair and just to his wives and treat them equally well.  “He who has two wives and is not just between them, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides fallen.” (2133 Abu Dawood & 1141Tirmidhi)

In many parts of the world, women have outnumbered men throughout history due to various reasons like wars and other feuds etc.  Polygyny addresses the problem of these women as it provides them a legal and secure future with a man.  There are other reasons such as if the wife is incapable of having children and the husband desires to have children, marrying another woman can help the man continue his lineage.

Infidelity has plagued the western society, according to Atwood & Schwartz, 2002 – Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 50-60% of married men engage in extramarital sex during their marriage.  This is not a shocking revelation, is it?  It’s because infidelity has been accepted as a fact of life in the western society.  Wouldn’t the mistresses be better off if men were urged to marry them rather than using them?

One of the staunchest opponents of Islam in our times, Billy Graham, said, “Christianity cannot compromise on the question of polygamy. If present-day Christianity cannot do so, it is to its own detriment. Islam has permitted polygamy as a solution to social ills and has allowed a certain degree of latitude to human nature but only within the strictly defined framework of the law. Christian countries make a great show of monogamy, but actually they practice polygamy. No one is unaware of the part mistresses play in Western society. In this respect Islam is a fundamentally honest religion, and permits a Muslim to marry a second wife if he must, but strictly forbids all clandestine amatory associations in order to safeguard the moral probity of the community.”

 

{ 198 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabiha August 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Paula and Angela, I was just going through these comments again, and I notice the tone is often discouraging to women.

Unfortunately, some of the male commentators have an issue with the female gender; women in general. To them, this world is about scoring points over women, and they will interpret the Holy Qur’an to suit their own prejudices.

One commentator you need to watch out for is Amir. For example, regarding a woman’s position in the world, he wrote:

“…just as they [men] are also favoured over women in that only men can be Messengers, Prophets, caliphs, kings, governors and judges, and go out for jihad, etc., and men have been made qawwaamoon (protectors and maintainers) of women, taking care of them, working to provide them with the means of living, exposing themselves to danger, travelling about in the land and exposing themselves to all sorts of trials in order to take care of their wives”.

In brief, he says that the fact that only men have been appointed to become holy messengers and only men have been appointed in the Holy Book to become kings, judges etc is evidence that Allah favours men over women.

First, this man has committed a sin by making an assumption about the holy teachings. Second, nowhere in the Holy Book does it say that Allah favours men over women. Male or female, we are all Allah’s creation.

Male or female, we all start out in our mothers’ wombs as tiny embryos, and it takes both genders the same amount of time (approximately 40 weeks) to develop into a healthy baby, ready to be born. Male or female, when it’s time to be born, we all have to make the journey through our mothers’ birth canal. Male or female, upon entry into this world, we all need the same nourishment to survive infancy.

When it’s time to leave this world, male or female, we all have to experience the sensation of our souls leaving our bodies.

During the time between birth and death, both genders have their own purposes to fulfill. Our different biological functions determine our social and psychological strengths and weaknesses.

With our worldly knowledge of biological science and social psychology, we can see for ourselves why it would be easier and more practical for men to take on some of the roles mentioned in Amir’s quote. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ALLAH FAVOURS MEN OVER WOMEN.

The continuation of the human race is dependent on women submitting themselves to pregnancy and childbirth, and all the physical and social restrictions that entails. When a woman becomes a mother, paradise lies under her feet.

In Islam, it has been ordered that you respect both your parents, but you respect your mother THREE TIMES more than your father.

Who, in nature as well as in Islam, has more authority over another human being than a mother over her child?

Yes, husbands have authority over the wife, but paradise does NOT lie under his feet. He can easily forfeit his rights if he does not maintain and protect her. But a mother’s authority over her children is dependent merely on her going through pregnancy and childbirth (the rest of motherhood is desirable but not compulsory).

Taking this into account, it can be argued that WOMEN have been favoured over men.

Regarding women and polyandry (multiple husbands or one husband and multiple lovers), Amir makes illogical and irrational arguments (which I will not go into on here). His arguments are to imply men’s superiority over women. They have no scientific basis whatsoever.

I would urge any woman wanting to understand Islam to ignore such statements and arguments. As I mentioned earlier, some men see this world as a place to score points over women, and they’ll have you believe our Creator has favoured one over the other. Please, please do not believe them. If in doubt, check out the science behind any such argument, for it is accepted amongst senior scholars that Islam has discovered 1400 years ago what science is only discovering now.

I am glad you both brought up the topic of women’s dress code. I think I forgot to mention that covering the face IS NOT from Islam. It is a culture that evolved from women having to protect themselves from stares from dirty old men in the streets. Nowadays, it is form of control men have thrust upon women.

To submit to our Creator, one should never burden the soul. If it restricts general mobility or breathing then it is definitely a man-made law.

I hope I’ve helped in some way.

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Sabiha August 6, 2012 at 4:33 am

Angela and Paula, I totally understand where you’re coming from regarding women’s dress code in Islam.

I’d like to help you understand the issue better.

The issue of women covering themselves fully is intended to be a mark of society’s protection towards them and also as a mark of their own self-respect. The reasons for this stand IN FAVOUR of women.

The sight of any part of a woman’s body is enough to sexually arouse men. This sexual arousal in men can put women in danger of a physical and sexual assault. This danger is not necessarily direct. A man aroused by the sight of a woman will not necessarily attack her there and then. He may restrain his urges, but if he continues to be aroused then he may seek out porn and/or prostitutes. I will not go into detail, but women and girls suffer immensely at the hands of traffickers, pimps etc to satisfy the demands of the porn and sex industry.

If sexually aroused men are unable to access porn or prostitutes, they may go seeking sex out in the streets. This would put innocent, ordinary women and girls in danger, since these men cannot and do not distinguish between good girls and bad girls. An ordinary woman can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and end up a victim because a sexually aroused man needed a sexual fix.

This is not just my opinion. You may have read the books by world famous biologists and biological scientists. If not, I can give you some names and you can look them up.

One might say, “Hey, western men see scantily clad women in the streets all the time, yet they manage to restrain themselves”.

They may manage to restrain themselves, but they are also desensitised to these images of women. The sight of smooth skin and feminine curves no longer excite them the way it once would have done when women remained covered. This desensitisation will, no doubt, affect their marital relationships.

In the Holy Qur’an, women are told to cover themselves. In the same tone, men are told to lower their gaze.

This lowering of the gaze (amongst other psychological benefits) prevents men’s brains becoming desensitised to images of women, and in effect, they are better able to enjoy the pleasures of their marital relationships.

In the UK, USA, and I’m sure much of Western Europe, barely a week goes by without there being another story of a sexual attack on a woman by a man. In these parts of the world, women and girls are encouraged to expose skin and physical contours. If you’ve got it, flaunt it… so the saying goes. Indeed, it has been commented in UK national newspapers that mainstream women’s fashion was once the dress code for prostitutes and call girls. And yet today, if a beautiful woman chooses NOT to expose her skin or her physical contours, she is said to be dressed “frumpy”, “dowdy”, or boring. The word ‘conservative’ is used as a polite alternative.

Faced with this social pressure to dress sexy, the onus is then on women and girls to watch out for their own safety. Is the dress too short, does it show too much leg? Is the blouse too low, does it show too much cleavage? Is the outfit too sexy, will it encourage unwanted attention?

These are issues a woman does not worry about if she lives in a society that prohibits the exposure of women’s bodies.

This prohibition on exposing women’s feminine beauty also means that women do not compete against each other on something as superficial as physical beauty, which in all fairness, is temporary anyway.
Paula, you talk about women having a choice on what to wear. Women can still have a choice on what to wear while following an Islamic dress code; maxi skirt or trousers, cardigan or pashmina..?

You also mention the lack of vitamin D from lack of sun exposure. This would never be an issue in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, or Latin America. In these parts of the world, anyone can get more than a sufficient amount of vitamin D just by hanging their laundry on the washing line, or just sitting about in their own gardens for a few minutes. Full coverage is only required in public places, not in private gardens or roof terraces. Also, darker skinned people are at a far less risk of vitamin D deficiency due to the extra melanin in their skin.

White skinned Europeans (and their descendants who migrated to North America, including the USA) need not be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. They are well within Islamic laws if they choose to absorb sunshine in their own private gardens or balconies.

Angela, you make a very good point about the men dressing in white while women are dressed in black. I do not know how this practice evolved, but it is certainly suspicious.

It is worth remembering that the burka is not mentioned in the holy Quran. It is cultural garment that evolved as a way to overcome the complexity of having to cover oneself when leaving the house. No matter how a woman is dressed in her own home, when she wants to leave the house, all she needs to do is put on one simple garment and a headscarf.

Muslim scholars are still undecided amongst themselves about whether a woman is permitted to expose her face. In my experience, there are two schools of thought regarding the veil. One is that women should cover their faces in public, as the face can distract men (a groundless reason, in my opinion), and the other is that a woman need not cover her face (unless she chooses to) because the face is what identifies her, distinguishes her from other women.

Personally, I’d say that since it is not ordered in the holy book that a woman cover her face, then she should definitely NOT cover it on health and psychological grounds.

The veil restricts breathing and sight, and can leave one vulnerable to infections and allergies from inhaling dust from the fabric. Clearly, this can only be a man-made law, created to keep women in submission.

Scholars have already established that our creator does not wish us to burden our souls with unnecessary laws, for unnecessary laws can distract us from the necessary ones.

I am deeply sorry that I do not have sources for my claims. If anyone can see any flaw in anything I’ve mentioned, then please enlighten us all with your knowledge.

Angela and Paula, I do hope this has helped you understand the issues of purdah (covering oneself, maintaining modesty etc). I am not suggesting that women (Muslim or otherwise) follow the Islamic dress code strictly, but I do believe the principles behind purdah are universal and all societies can benefit from them.

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Angela July 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I totally agree with what Paula’s saying. And here’s another thing to note. Has no one noticed the men get to wear white (a color that reflects the sun and keeps you cool) but the women have to wear black (a color that absorbs heat and makes you hotter). I’m not saying this was intential, but it is ridiculous, especially in today’s day and age where we should know better. So anyone that boasts health benefits to covering a person head to toe in the color black, in the middle of the desert, and also restricting their breathing by covering their mouth and nose as well, is quite frankly, very ignorant or truly insane!

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paula July 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

In your article you talk about requiring women to cover themselves as a sign of respect. If they had a choice–that would indicate respect. I won’t argue that point. What I would like you to address is the long term health effects of covering women and a lack of Vitamin D. Don’t argue about reducing the risk of cancer due to the sun exposure because statistically, the probability of skin cancer is negligible compared with the many diseases that come with Vitamin D deficiency.

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sabiha July 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Amir,

I meant the Holy Qur’an may have something condoning polyandry – not forbidding it.

When I said equal treatment of two people is not possible, I meant equal emotional treatment.

Equal financial or practical treatment of two people is possible; that can be measured.

But equal emotional treatment is NOT possible; and that cannot be measured. That’s what I meant when I said equal treatment of two people is not possible.

But as I mentioned in an earlier comment, equal [financial or practical] treatment would still serve an [emotional] injustice to one person. I also gave you an example.

How do the scholars interpret the Holy Qur’an? If something doesn’t make sense, you guess what it might mean, in line with the stance so far. Then you research the topic further and further until you are absolutely sure. I did the first part, guessed what something meant, in line with the stance of the Holy Qur’an as I know it. I just don’t have the time or resources to research the topic.

In any case, I fully understand what you mean about not attempting to interpret the Qur’an without being 100% sure, and I will refrain from doing so in future.

Again, please no arguments. If you don’t agree, just ignore.

Thank you for the link. I have actually seen this guy on YouTube before. I will watch this piece when I have a moment.

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sabiha July 26, 2011 at 2:50 am

Amir,

What did I say that insulted and embarrassed you? I’m sorry if I did. Please forgive me. I just wanted to explain my point objectively. I didn’t mean anything personal.

As human beings, man or woman, we are made with a brain, and a heart. The brain thinks logic, and the heart feels emotion.

Emotion is only stirred when the heart is touched. For example, some people get emotional when reciting verses from the Holy Qur’an or other religious book. They think of death and feel emotional about the afterlife.

If you feel anger, that is an emotion. And as I’ve just mentioned, emotion is only stirred when the heart is touched.

If something I said caused you to feel emotional, then my response is dual. I feel grand and proud that my words could have such an impact. But I also feel ashamed and remorseful that I caused insult and embarrassment.

I have never denied my emotions. I don’t believe I have ever exposed my emotions on the comment thread. We are only talking about the issue because you said my comments were emotionally driven. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to prove to you otherwise.

I’ve been trying to prove that my comments are objective, not emotionally driven.

Did you know, it is said that within a home, the man is considered the brain (head of the household), while the woman is considered the heart (heart of the home)? A human being needs both brain and heart to function. You cannot survive on just one and not the other. In the same way, a home needs a ‘head of the household’ and ‘heart of the home’.

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sabiha July 26, 2011 at 2:49 am

Amir,

You don’t understand how female sexual diversity can mean genetic diversity? Maybe it was presumptuous of me to think you had read about biology and biological science.

You say I am not being clear. Well, I thought I explained it in my previous comment. I didn’t want to go into graphic detail as I thought the topic was inappropriate on here. There could be innocent minds reading this blog, and I would not want to take away their innocence.

“I’m afraid that this ‘protective jealousy’ I’m mentioning is a little more than that. I can’t really explain it myself; to understand it further you would have to be man”.

Actually, I do understand, but I won’t argue with you on this topic.

“There is NOTHING – and I repeat – nothing in the Quran that is hidden or kept secret from anyone. If this Quran is indeed a guide, why would Allah keep something as a secret from us? That doesn’t make sense”.

Maybe I used the wrong vocabulary. ‘Omission’ was not the right word. What I really meant was that something may be in the Qur’an that our scholars have not yet interpreted. For example, dinosaurs are evident in science; therefore they must be in the Holy Qur’an also. Our scholars simply haven’t come across it yet (or maybe they have, you would know more than I do). That’s what I meant about polyandry. If it is natural, it must be in the Holy Qur’an, just that our scholars haven’t come across it yet.

However, I want to avoid the issue of polyandry, as I can understand why it is so controversial.

You are being repetitive with the issue of equal treatment of wives. I have explained on this comment thread before, but for your benefit, I will repeat.

The mere concept of equal treatment in polygyny is in itself patronizing, for equal treatment is not the issue.

Imagine if a wife with two husbands said to her first husband;

“I will treat you both equally. When you come home from work, I will greet you the way I greet him, I will beautify myself for you the way I beautify myself for him. At meal times, I will cook for you the way I cook for him. When you are ill, I will nurse you the way I nurse him. At night, I will share your bed the way I share his”.

Do you think equal treatment would make the first husband feel any better?

Ask any psychologist, there is no way in the world a person can treat two human beings equally. Whether it is two wives, two husbands, two parents, two siblings, two colleagues, two friends, two neighbours… whatever.

Two people have two personalities. Two sets of strengths and two sets of weaknesses. As a human being, one cannot apply themselves equally to two beings. Your brain, your mind, your heart, will naturally be inclined more towards one than the other.

I would say the same thing about a man with two wives and a woman with two husbands. There is no way they can treat two people equally.

If the Holy Qur’an mentions equal treatment, then my limited knowledge says it must mean equal ‘financial treatment’ or equal ‘practical treatment’. There is no other way to calculate equality.

I honestly, honestly do not want to get into an argument about this. If you don’t agree, please forgive me.

I have checked out the YouTube site and it really is amazing. My faith is strong, I never needed convincing, but this was really, really amazing.

I checked out the second site, but it would take forever for me to click on each topic and read about them. However, I will keep the link for future reference.

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Amir July 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Well, you see I have my forte, and you have yours. Mine being religion and yours being biological science.

And as for the mentioning of things in the Quran, you are right. It may very possibly mean that our scholars have already encountered a verse that forbids polyandry yet they might have not realized it. In fact, there are some verses in the Quran that are just too much for our incompetent minds for us to comprehend, at least compared to our creator. Such examples could be surahs that start with Alif-Lam-Mim or Ha-Mim etc.

“And there is none comparable unto Him” Surah 112:4

“Your brain, your mind, your heart, will naturally be inclined more towards one than the other.” I think I won’t agree with this, but I’m not willing to open up another discussion so I won’t address this issue.

“If the Holy Qur’an mentions equal treatment, then my limited knowledge says it must mean equal ‘financial treatment’ or equal ‘practical treatment’. There is no other way to calculate equality.”

Please, Please, Please. I ask from you one little thing; do not try to interpret the Quran unless you are 100% sure that you are right. Seek knowledge about the topic and your opinion will be open for the whole world :D

As for the links I showed you, aren’t they amazing? I’m glad to hear that your faith is strong enough as to not need convincing :) Although I would agree with you about the website, it has so many topics one wants to check out, but it would take a whole week to look at them all :P

If you wish I have another cool video – actually its a series of videos – from one guy called Abdur Raheem Green. This guy who converted to Islam tells us historical, scientific, and even biological proof that Islam is the truth. Of course, I know you don’t need more convincing, but you know it’s very interesting to watch these things, at least for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOwA0v026wY <– it starts here, though this is only the introduction. Its a series of 16 very interesting episodes. Each one being about 20 minutes long. But its worth the time, I promise!

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Amir July 25, 2011 at 4:10 am

There are a few points you brought up that caught my attention. Firstly, you said,

“Female sexual variety means genetic diversity, so the human race has a stronger chance of surviving through the generations. Therefore, the female brain is programmed to be willing to mate with more than one man throughout her lifetime.”

I don’t know if this is actually true. How could female sexual variety mean genetic diversity? Secondly, how does this make the female brain willing to mate with more than one man throughout her lifetime? You are not being clear.

Also you mentioned,

“This “protective jealousy” you keep mentioning is about paternity. Men don’t want the wife getting pregnant with another man’s baby. But if you look into biological science, you’ll find paternity is not an issue when it comes to survival.”

Well, you are close, but I’m afraid that this ‘protective jealousy’ I’m mentioning is a little more than that. I can’t really explain it myself; to understand it further you would have to be man.

Furthermore, you mentioned the following,

“As for the natural inclination for sexual variety in women, Islam has not forbidden polyandry. It can be argued that omission of this topic in The Holy Book is a protection of men’s delicate egos (paternity issues). But omission is not the same as condemnation.”

Lets try to avoid mentioning polyandry until we know exactly what we’re saying. I (personally) haven’t come across an ayah (a verse) in the Quran that forbids it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s permissible. The reason why I’m not in favor of polyandry is because I have been taught by my superiors (the sheikhs) at the mosque that it is not permissible. And I am well aware, that they know more than me. The second sentence of your comment is very insulting, not only to me, but also to Islam. There is NOTHING – and I repeat – nothing in the Quran that is hidden or kept secret from anyone. If this Quran is indeed a guide, why would Allah keep something as a secret from us? That doesn’t make sense.

Also,

“That’s why women feel emotionally abandoned when the husbands sleeps with another woman, because he would have formed a ‘pair bond’ (even if temporary) with the other woman. The bond she felt was sacred has been broken. Her children either have no father, or a less-available father.”

Remember, Allah says that if it is feared for this to happen, then only one wife should suffice for the husband. Let’s not complicate ourselves! Let me tell you something. If I had the chance to marry more than one wife, then I (personally) wouldn’t marry more than one. Do you know why? Because I fear of the punishment Allah would give me in the hereafter.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has two wives and inclines more towards one of them than the other, will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.” (narrated by al-Nisaa’i, ‘Ushrat al-Nisaa’, 3881; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaa’i, no. 3682). So it is extremely important to treat both wives as fairly as possible. So Allaah commands that a man should restrict himself to one wife, if he knows that he cannot be just.

And last but not least,

“As I mentioned earlier, this is a scientific explanation, and I understand religious zealots (such as yourself) do not take too kindly to scientific explanations. I am not expecting you to agree with me, but if you argue with science, you will lose any credibility you ever had in my eyes”

This, I also find kind of insulting. When has the true religion ever rejected science? When have I ever rejected science? I fear you are just jumping to conclusions too quickly. The Quran is a guide from Allah, yet it may happen that it contains more science than anything that claims itself of being ‘scientific’. Check out this verse and tell me if it’s not more scientific than anything else that calls itself ‘scientific’ at least during the time of the prophet.

“And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are (its) expander.” surah 51:47

But wait, there is MUCH more. Here check out this really cool video on youtube and this website. If you really love science check them out both, and then come back to me and tell me about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpZbZDdfBCM&playnext=1&list=PLD16602647A657657

http://www.harunyahya.com/en.m_book_index.php <– this website is really good

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sabiha July 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

@Brother Amir

I have used examples of women feeling human emotions – emotions also experienced by men. But my comments have not been emotionally driven. There’s a difference.

If you read up on human biology, you’ll find scientific proof and reasoning on why neither men nor women are designed to be monogamous.

Male promiscuity means more births, so the human race can continue. But if the males don’t make a commitment to (marry) to protect and provide for the women they impregnate, then the resulting births will also result in infant deaths. This has happened in past generations where, for lack of physical nourishment and other social issues, unmarried women would either have stillbirths, or the baby would die soon after birth.

Male sexual variety means more births, but in order to ensure survival of those births, males must commit to (marry) the women they impregnate.

Female promiscuity means genetic diversity. If all the woman’s babies had the same father, they would all have the same genes, and therefore the same immunity. Homogenous societies are at greater risk of dying out, since they do not possess the immunity to fight off all the infections and diseases that will befall the human race.

Female sexual variety means genetic diversity, so the human race has a stronger chance of surviving through the generations. Therefore, the female brain is programmed to be willing to mate with more than one man throughout her lifetime.

The difference between male and female promiscuity is that female promiscuity has had to be more sophisticated. Women go through the pregnancy and childbirth, therefore, their willingness to mate has always been dependent on the man’s commitment. Even in western societies, where lack of morality means sex is no longer sacred, women still hold out longer before submitting themselves. That’s because the female brain is programmed to judge the male’s commitment to her because sex can potentially result in her getting pregnant, going through childbirth etc.

This “protective jealousy” you keep mentioning is about paternity. Men don’t want the wife getting pregnant with another man’s baby. But if you look into biological science, you’ll find paternity is not an issue when it comes to survival.

When a woman is pregnant, the baby receives nourishment from the mother’s placenta. When the time arrives, the mother goes into labour, gives birth, and her body produces milk for the baby to survive on.

As the baby suckles, the mother’s body heals from the hard labour of giving birth, and also an emotional bond forms between mother and baby. This bond is what makes a mother perform sacrifices for her baby i.e. going without sleep, compromising on her social life etc.

This biological explanation I have given you, do you think any of that would be compromised if the baby’s DNA was not from the mother’s husband? No it would not.

Whoever’s DNA the baby carries, it would still get the same nourishment from the mother’s placenta, it would still make the same journey during childbirth, it would still receive the same milk from mother’s breast, and the same emotional bond would form between the mother and baby.

So you see, female monogamy was never a pre-requisite for human survival. It is only about protecting the husband’s genetic contribution to the next generation. The mother’s genetic contribution is never at risk, for she is the baby carrier.

Men possess a sexual jealousy for this very reason. A man’s brain is programmed to prevent another man’s genes passing through his wife. That’s why men are sensitive about the wife being associated with another man. This is what you call “protective jealousy”.

I have already explained, human survival does not depend on female monogamy. Human survival is only dependant on the mother being physically healthy, so the baby can receive nourishment while in the placenta, and a father figure who will protect and provide for that mother.

Let me make clear; I AM NOT ADVOCATING ADULTERY IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM. I am merely saying it happens. Both men and women are expected to be monogamous after marriage, but we all know that’s not the reality. Most people are aware of male adultery. Well, most of the time, the woman involved is also married.

The reason we don’t hear it often from the woman’s side is because her brain is designed to be coy about it, in collaboration with her biology i.e. the egg and sperm meet inside her body (to form an embryo), the embryo attaches itself inside her body, and the baby develops inside her body.

Because of the social decay amongst the human race, religion came (the final message being Islam), and provided rules regarding sexual conduct. Men are programmed to want sex, so the human race can continue. But the survival of the human race is dependent on the mother being protected and provided for. So marriage was made a pre-requisite to obtaining this physical pleasure that men so desire. This was to ensure the woman and any children born out of that union were protected and provided for.

It can be argued that Islam allows for the natural inclination towards sexual variety in men by allowing up to four wives.

As for the natural inclination for sexual variety in women, Islam has not forbidden polyandry. It can be argued that omission of this topic in The Holy Book is a protection of men’s delicate egos (paternity issues). But omission is not the same as condemnation.

Women do not possess a sexual jealousy the way men do, because the husband’s sexual conduct with another woman does not compromise her biology. Remember, she is the baby carrier.

But the marital union of a man and a woman forms what biologists call, “The pair bond”. This is where the brains of both men and women develop an emotional bond which in turn helps them be better parents when they have children. And research has proven again and again that psychologically and socially, children of married parents stand a far greater advantage in life over children of unmarried parents.

There is debate over the psychological and social conditions of children of divorced parents.

That’s why women feel emotionally abandoned when the husbands sleeps with another woman, because he would have formed a ‘pair bond’ (even if temporary) with the other woman. The bond she felt was sacred has been broken. Her children either have no father, or a less-available father.

That’s also why men feel sexual jealousy when the wife sleeps with another man. Potentially, she could carry his baby, his genes.

So, in a way, you are right. Men and women are not the same. He feels sexual jealousy, she feels emotionally abandoned. Both do not want the other to form a ‘pair bond’ with another.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a scientific explanation, and I understand religious zealots (such as yourself) do not take too kindly to scientific explanations. I am not expecting you to agree with me, but if you argue with science, you will lose any credibility you ever had in my eyes (so I guess you won’t be losing much)

If I have ever not responded to your questions, it has been to maintain my own credibility.

Please forgive me if I have ever sounded boastful. That was never my intention.

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Amir July 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I’m sorry, it is I who should apologize for not interpreting your comment correctly. As for what you said, yes, you’re right; people who take the religion of Allah and twist it as they please to gain whatever it is they want, will be punished by Allah.

I am also a westerner, yet I have – Alhamdulilah – reached a level of Islamic intelect which helps me comprehend Islamic laws rather easily. And I hope that I – Inshallah – reach a farther level of comprehension. That is why we must be extremely cautious to not misinterpret the religion before we are 100% sure of what we are preaching to others.

“(O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart–of each of these it will be asked.” Surah 17:36

So lets be careful with what we say and lets observe our duty towards Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving.” Surah 17:44

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Amir July 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Angela, whether you are a Muslim or not it is not your right to say, “it is in Islam’s best interest to refer to men as superior or to women as inferior.” If Allah decrees something then it is NOT in our interest to doubt that there is great wisdom behind what Allah decrees! Or are you trying to say that you know more than our Creator?

And Allah says, “Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All‑Aware (of everything)” Al-Mulk (67:14)

However, I agree with you that Allah created us in pairs, the female and the male.

“And We have created you in pairs,” Surah An-Naba 78:8

And again, you are right when you say, “I believe much of the West mistakenly views Islam as being oppressive and cruel to women because of what they see in Muslim culture” Unfortunately, it is true. And this brings us back to what I stated earlier, that our Ummah has become very bad. Muslims don’t fear their Lord anymore, and breaking the divine laws has become so easy today.

I also agree with you that Men should not act as dictatorial tyrants towards their women. This is a sin hated by Allah, because He has said,

“…But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good.” An-Nisa 15:19

I have also heard from some women their jealousy towards what men have been given as rights and obligations. Beware! envy is not good at all,

“And covet not the thing in which Allah hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allah of His bounty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things.” Surah An-Nisa 15:32

So overall, lets not envy one another for what Allah has given to each gender, rather lets ask of His bounty remain fearful towards Him. Lets be just with one another and give credit where it is do. Lets treat our women with justice and care, for we have been commanded to deal with them justly and protect them from whatever harm threatens them.

“And Allah is Witness over all things.” Surah 58:6

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Angela Todd July 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Amir,
I apologize for my previous comment sounding haughty and blasphemous. Allow me to clarify.
When I say it is not in Islam’s best interest to say these things, I’m not in any way referring to the Quran or Islam itself, I’m referring to the people that take what God has decreed and then twist it for their own benefit, man or woman.
I see some men abuse their power as leader under the impression that being the leader means they can do whatever they want to their wife and there will be no consequences. At the same time I see some women abuse their status in all cultures, including mine, by refusing to contribute to the house and expecting all things to be done for them instead of being a part of the union. There are many things people say and do that I feel is not in the best interest of Islam. Being a westerner I know firsthand the public opinion of the religion. It is regarded as dangerous, tyrannical, abusive, and threatening. It wasn’t until I encountered followers of Islam (my students) that I realized it is none of those things. As you’ve mentioned, and others have mentioned previously, if you want people to interpret the faith correctly, Muslims must first follow it correctly.

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sabiha July 22, 2011 at 5:22 am

Anyone talking about male superiority in Islam; read Angela Todd’s comment.

No one would object to the man being the leader of the household, but he has to earn that position. The assumption that it’s a God-given right for a husband to have authority in the home is what leads to domestic abuse.

A woman does not want authority over her husband. A woman wants to be loved, protected, and provided for, by him.

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sabiha July 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

@Hasan

That ‘someone’ would be me.

I didn’t say, “I will not accept” a certain opinion because it was the MALE INTERPRETAION of Islam, I was merely pointing out that another sister was speaking out against the male interpretation of God’s message.

What is so wrong with mentioning the fact that Islam (as with Judaism and Christianity) is interpreted by males? Is this fact disputable?

I was referring to a hypothetical female interpretation of God’s message. We all know there isn’t one.

Yes, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (SAW) falls within the male species. Is he not male?

When he clearly mentioned that it is the man’s right to divorce, he was speaking as a man. I don’t need a God-given right to say that, I’m stating a fact.

And it was me again, who said that in past generations, women were economically and financially dependent on men, therefore divorce could not have been an option.

My Islamic knowledge is very limited; I think I admitted that very early on.

I wasn’t speaking on religious grounds, just merely pointing out that regardless of religion; women had no power to divorce men because of their economical situation. I didn’t mean to offend you.

You have since pointed out that economy and wealth were not factors in granted only men the right to divorce.

I have never said Islam should allow anything. Please don’t misquote me. It is immoral and unethical.

If I have said women should have the right to divorce, I meant for the Islamic states to give women the right to divorce. I was not referring to any holy books.

No one needs to study Islam (or any religion) thoroughly to comment on the fate of its followers who don’t obey the rules.

Whatever statements anyone makes on this blog, do remember it is your words that inspired us. You cannot blog on a religious issue and not expect controversy. That would be extremely naive.

Perhaps, in future, this will make you careful about how you portray women in a blog with the title, ‘Women In Islam’.

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sabiha July 22, 2011 at 4:32 am

@Angela Todd

Every word you’ve said, I second that. I couldn’t put it better myself.

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sabiha July 22, 2011 at 4:29 am

@Owais Ahmed

In response to your quote, “So if you are not a Muslim, then also you cannot be against polygyny [as other religions have allowed it too]”.

Actually, non-Muslims (as with some Muslims) can be against polygyny. If there is the risk of your wife having an adulterous affair, the legal cost of divorce, the risk of family breakdown, then all these factors combined can make a man object to polygyny.

By the same token, non-Muslims (as with some Muslims) are not necessarily against polyandry (not necessarily legal marriage).

I do not believe Sister Ayesha was calling polygyny a sin. I believe she was saying it should be banned by the state. She also meant polyandry. She was saying both forms of polygamy should be banned by the state.

You said, “Sorry, I can’t agree with it [calling polygyny a sin]”. Well, no one asked for your approval. And she wasn’t calling it a sin. She was asking for it to be banned by the state.

True, polygyny was widely practiced before Islam. Islam restricted the number of wives a man could have.

Both men AND women are told to fear Allah, to fear the afterlife, but even with the fear of afterlife a man can have up to four wives.

With the fear of afterlife, a woman cannot have more than one legal husband. You have to agree women are required to compromise more in this life for the fear of afterlife.

It is arguable if a wife’s objection can prevent a man taking on a second wife in Islamic states. It is not always the case.

Even if a man fears the afterlife, and he takes on only two wives and he treats them both equally, the first wife still suffers a severe injustice.

Even if she is financially treated the same as the other wife, she no longer has sole access and ownership to her husband’s body and heart.

There are no laws in Islam to protect her broken heart.

If polygyny was banned by the state, and men were sufficiently punished for taking on a second wife, then the first wife could at least console herself that he is being punished for breaking her heart.

There are married men who are impotent or infertile. They condone their wives’ sexual infidelity on the condition that no one knows of their impotence/infertility, and that the marital home remains intact.

In Islamic states, this practice would not be acceptable. Yet no injustice has been suffered. Not by the husband, as he condones his wife’s sexual infidelity; and not the lovers, for they know she is a happily married woman and would never leave her husband.

A man can break his wife’s heart, and still be within the boundaries of Islam, yet even when a woman has not broken her husband’s heart, she has fallen outside the boundaries of Islam.

It seems that the ‘fear of the afterlife’ is used to control women.

In states where polygyny is banned, both men and women engage in extra-marital affairs. Official figures say between 40%-70% of married men, and 30%-60% of married women in Europe and the USA engage in adulterous affairs.

But both husbands and wives can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery. No one is applauded for it, and no one is stoned to death for it.

In states where polygyny is permitted, men stay within the law for extra-marital affairs, and women are severely punished – in Islamic states they are stoned to death.

What is wrong with ‘living life to the fullest’? You can remain faithfully religious and still ‘live life to the fullest’.

You are right; no law can force a person to be good if they themselves are not of that mentality. But I have witnessed ‘devoutly religious’ people who pray 5 times a day or more, fast more than the required 30 days in Ramadan, some of them did Hajj even, yet use religion to manipulate family members. They make reckless decisions for their family members under the authority of religion. They talk of the afterlife and assume they are superior because they worship so much.

Religious people can fully abide by their religion, yet cause pain and suffering within the family.

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Amir July 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Sabiha, your arguement has broken my heart in half. After reading this comment I have come to the conclusion that you are just angry with all this. Your comments are not rational, while at the same time they are emotionally driven fueled by envy towards males.

“Both men AND women are told to fear Allah, to fear the afterlife, but even with the fear of afterlife a man can have up to four wives.” What in the world are you trying to say?!? Pardon me if I misunderstood your comment, but are you saying that its not fair that a man can have up to 4 wives while a women can’t? Please if I’m wrong then correct me. If this is what you’re trying to say then you are more full of ignorance than I thought!

“Even if a man fears the afterlife, and he takes on only two wives and he treats them both equally, the first wife still suffers a severe injustice.” Are you trying to imply that Allah’s law does not work properely?? Allah gave the man the right to marry up to 4 women so long as he treats them all equally. If this is not the case, then he is allowed to marry only one!

“And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. THUS IT IS MORE LIKELY THAT YE WILL NOT DO INJUSTICE.” 15:3

Please, do not be proud and boastful, for Allah loves not such people! Rather we must all say “We here and obey” once a command is given, instead of trying to argue against it.

“Even if she is financially treated the same as the other wife, she no longer has sole access and ownership to her husband’s body and heart.” Is this jealousy I hear?? If Allah gave men permission to marry more than one woman, then you can’t argue against it! Even less if you argue with envy rather than with logic. Most men are created with this thing we call ‘protective jealousy’ were we try our best to protect our women from anything that makes us jealous. For example, it would make a man jealous to see his beloved wife shaking hands with another person or even being looked at! However, if a women has more than one husband, can you already start to imagine how much chaos there would be in the household??

“If polygyny was banned by the state, and men were sufficiently punished for taking on a second wife, then the first wife could at least console herself that he is being punished for breaking her heart.” So now you move on to revenge? What kind of wife would like to see her husband get punished UNFAIRLY for something that was approved by Allah and the Rasool (S.A.W)?!? I will tell you; an angry and jealous one. And Allah is Knower, Wise.

“A man can break his wife’s heart, and still be within the boundaries of Islam, yet even when a woman has not broken her husband’s heart, she has fallen outside the boundaries of Islam.” So now you are lying??? This is not true at all. Breaking a women’s heart is not acceptable. Have you ever heard of the Rasool (S.A.W) break any of his wife’s hearts? Have you ever heard the Prophet say that it’s OK to break a women’s heart??? …..”But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good.” 15:19 Stop inventing false accusations!!!

“In states where polygyny is permitted, men stay within the law for extra-marital affairs, and women are severely punished – in Islamic states they are stoned to death.” … The punishment in case of adultery is not stoning rather it is one hundred stripes which goes to both men and women in Islam. However, if there is a case were only the women is punished for adultery then that is going against Allah’s law, and for them is a punishment in the hereafter.

“The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) one hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.”

But please! don’t get me wrong. This actually ties back to what I stated earlier; that the misinterpretation of sharia law and the Quran reflect how bad of an Ummah we’ve become! We must gain more knowledge before speaking about the deen. I actualy read a comment of yours that says “My Islamic knowledge is very limited…” In that case, don’t talk about Islam unless you possess knowledge enough to preach correctly!!!

As to what you said, “What is wrong with ‘living life to the fullest’?” we have to be careful not to engage in this world’s affiars to much for it is only a test and a matter of distraction from what really matters; the afterlife. Yes, it’s okay to have fun once in a while in this life, but don’t let it distract you from what is really important, YOUR RELIGION! Many people who savour this life to the fullest almost always end up strangled and obsessed with the life of this world, while the life of the next is much better and ever-lasting.

“Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husband-man, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw, And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.” 57:20

Be mindful and keep your duty to Allah, may He be Exalted.

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sabiha July 24, 2011 at 12:20 am

@Brother Amir

I am not angry with anyone or anything. My comments have always been backed with facts and logic, and therefore, rational. They have never been emotionally driven.

I have never harboured feelings of envy towards males. That is a misunderstanding on your part. I have commented on how men’s rights and privileges sometimes infringe on women’s rights and privileges. That is not the same as envy.

My comments that you’ve quoted have been taken out of context. If you read my whole comment, then those quotes will make logical sense.

Out of the whole contribution I’ve made on this blog, you seem to have focused on polygyny and polyandry the most.

POLYGYNY AND POLYANDRY
I can understand why you wouldn’t agree with my comments regarding polygyny and polyandry. But it would be unfair for you to use religion to justify your reasoning, because on this issue, religion is biased in your favour.

The mere concept of equal treatment in polygyny is in itself patronizing, for equal treatment is not the issue.

Imagine if a wife with two husbands said to her first husband;

“I will treat you both equally. When you come home from work, I will greet you the way I greet him, I will beautify myself for you the way I beautify myself for him. At meal times, I will cook for you the way I cook for him. When you are ill, I will nurse you the way I nurse him. At night, I will share your bed the way I share his”.

Do you think equal treatment would make the first husband feel any better?

You use the term Allah’s law often in your comments. Imagine if Allah’s law said women are legally allowed to have up to four husbands, but men only allowed one (fraternal polyandry). Would men not feel jealous? Would you still preach “Allah’s law” then?

You call me jealous because I say it’s unfair for a man to be allowed up to four wives while a woman is only allowed one husband (no lovers). Then you say, “men are created with this thing we call ‘protective jealousy’”.

So you condone male jealousy on the basis of biology, yet you condemn female jealousy regardless of biology.

You use the term, “Allah’s law” quite often in your comments. You wouldn’t need to use religion to justify your opinions, if your opinions were logical and rational to begin with.

Just because my knowledge on Islam is limited, does not mean I can’t comment on it from a social perspective. In fact, my comments could have inspired you to revive your own knowledge on Islam.

One last thing; you say my comments are emotionally driven. Well, check out the first thing you said in response to my last comment. You said, “Sabiha, your argument has broken my heart in half”.

Who is the emotionally driven one?

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sabiha July 24, 2011 at 1:50 am

@Brother Amir

[“Sabiha, your argument has broken my heart in half”.

Who is the emotionally driven one?]

In reference to my last statement, I would like to say how deeply sorry I am if I have caused any form of emotional distress. Please accept my apology.

From the very beginning, in all your responses to my comments, I have sensed some emotion. (I have also noticed irrationality and arrogance, but I’ll put that aside for now).

I have always used scientific ground when arguing about human behaviour, and never used emotion when making scientific arguments. Consequently, I’ve not been responded to with emotion before.

For you to say that your heart was broken is evidence that you are a soft-hearted person. And soft-heartedness is synonymous with Islam. Please correct me if I’m wrong, for your knowledge is broader than mine.

If I have offended you with my comments, please disregard them, for they are not aimed at men who are compassionate and gentle (synonymous with soft-heartedness).

I feel misunderstood on this comment thread. I would like to clarify my views.

I believe in marriage. I believe it is a divine and sacred institution with mutual benefits. Two souls can come together, satisfy each other’s needs, and reside in harmony. Any children born out of such a union will have the advantage of love and commitment from both parents in their upbringing.

Polygamy, of both types, undermines this institution. It can only ever lead to heartbreak (if the original marital union was sincere and genuine to begin with).

If I could make one – just one – request, it would be that you understand my perspective, even though you may not agree with it.

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Amir July 24, 2011 at 3:34 am

“I am not angry with anyone or anything. My comments have always been backed with facts and logic, and therefore, rational. They have never been emotionally driven.”

Throughout this whole thread, you have not come up with even one fact to back up any of your comments that adress me, so how could a comment be rational if its not supported by facts? Think again, and this time bring your proof forth, if you are indeed truthful. You also say your comments aren’t emotionally driven, check this out:

“If polygyny was banned by the state, and men were sufficiently punished for taking on a second wife, then the first wife could at least console herself that he is being punished for breaking her heart.” I don’t know you, but this to me, seems emotionally driven.

You talk about why are men able to marry up to 4 women while women aren’t allowed to marry up to 4 men. You complain about the unfairness between rights and then you go and say its not envy! Perhaps I am misinterpreting your point again; if so, then forgive me.

“My comments that you’ve quoted have been taken out of context. If you read my whole comment, then those quotes will make logical sense.” I’m sorry, I did read them altogether, and yet I haven’t found anything logical about it, perhaps because its not backed up with any facts?

“But it would be unfair for you to use religion to justify your reasoning, because on this issue, religion is biased in your favour.” Yes, exactly, that is why I’m using religion against you; because it’s in my favour! Its unfair because you have nothing to back up your arguements. Simple as that.

“You use the term Allah’s law often in your comments. Imagine if Allah’s law said women are legally allowed to have up to four husbands, but men only allowed one (fraternal polyandry). Would men not feel jealous? Would you still preach “Allah’s law” then?” Sabiha, seven words for you: MEN AND WOMEN ARE NOT BIOLOGICALLY EQUAL. Men were created with ‘protective jealousy’ to protect and maintain their women! Women on the other side, don’t have this ‘protective jealousy’ that was granted to men. You can’t compare a man’s emotions with a women’s. They are not the same. And yes, I would still DEFINITELY preach Alla’s law. Because as a Muslim I ‘hear and obey’.

“So you condone male jealousy on the basis of biology, yet you condemn female jealousy regardless of biology.” Again, ‘protective jealousy’ and ‘jealousy’ are not the same! So you can’t compare these two, and neither can you compare a man’s biological features with a woman’s.

“You use the term, “Allah’s law” quite often in your comments. You wouldn’t need to use religion to justify your opinions, if your opinions were logical and rational to begin with.” It is obvious you do not pay attention to my comments. When have I ever said, ‘in my opinion….’ This is the exact same reason why I use ‘Allah’s law’ quite often. Because I’m using religion against you. Who said I was using my opinion to argue?

“Who is the emotionally driven one?” you ask? It is noticable that you lack in debate knowledge. Let me explain: In a debate your main purpose is ALWAYS to try and persuade the audience of the points you’re making. In this situation my audience is the people that read this thread and you. Because I can’t physically see my audience, nor do I know them, I am forced to use not one, but multiple tools of persuasion. To be more specific, there are two most commonly used tools when it comes to debates such as these. 1. appeal to logic. With this tool you can persaude many who are logic thinkers that like facts. 2. appeal to emotion. You use this tool to persuade those who are usually emotionally driven. At first, I tried persuading you with logic; I used facts and quotes, yet you still rejected them. So then I was forced to use not only logic but also emotion to persuade you. Take a VERY close look at how I constructed my arguement above. Mark my words, it is no weird coincidence that I use both emotion and logic. And no, you are wrong, I am not usually emotional; rather I am a person that talks mostly about logic and facts. Read my comment again, and this time try to notice the different tools of persausion I use. Oh, and by the way, why haven’t you answered my other rebutles yet? Are you running out of ideas?

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sabiha July 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Brother Amir

The tone of your comment is aggressive and arrogant, and usually I do not respond to those characteristics. But I have noticed that although I’ve commented on a few topics on this blog, you seem to have only focused on my views on human sexual behaviour. That’s very telling of your mentality. It shows you are emotionally vulnerable, and I guess that’s what humbles me.

Also, I would like to point out how ridiculous you sound with your argument. I’d suggest you read it again, but I don’t think you will ever see your views objectively, so no point.

Your argument lacks credibility because they are all opinions. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t use the words “in my opinion”. Unless something is factual i.e. indisputable, then it is an opinion.

Religion is disputable. No one has ever seen God in the sky. That’s why it’s called faith. We have faith that a superior being is in charge of this world who will reward the good and punish the bad.

I will now attempt to give you a scientific explanation of male and female sexual behaviour, but I understand religious zealots (such as yourself) do not take to kindly to scientific explanations. If you want to argue with my scientific biological explanation, then please don’t count on my response.

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Amir July 25, 2011 at 4:32 am

Dear sabiha, the only reason why I have focused on the points you’ve given about human sexual behavior is because I do not agree with them. That’s why this argument between you and I is called a debate. You say my tone of voice sounded aggressive. Well, yours sounds insulting and embarrassing.. You are right though, I do get kind of annoyed rather easily, and thus, leading me to get mad. But hey, weren’t we all created with emotions?

However, are you going to deny that your emotions do not fly about once in a while? I sense emotions in some of the comments you make. I’d recommend you read them again, but I don’t think you will ever see your views objectively, so no point. :)

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Angela Todd July 22, 2011 at 3:02 am

I don’t think it is in Islam’s best interest to refer to men as superior or to women as inferior. I’m happy to have man be the leader in my life if he is an upright and righteous man who has earned that position. I will follow him anywhere he goes if he is a man that seeks God. I don’t believe this is an injustice to women or in any way oppressive when God makes men leaders. However, men need to earn that right. A man that needs to claim his superiority as a divine right is missing the message. And is a man complete without his female companion? I think not. God created us to be partners. I believe much of the West mistakenly views Islam as being oppressive and cruel to women because of what they see in Muslim culture:
women being punished for being victims of rape (as discussed in earlier posts)
women being denied the right to make decisions for themselves and being held captive under male guardianship (which I have been told repeatedly is not a part of Islam, but a part of the culture)
I teach English to dozens of men and women from the Middle East, specifically from Saudi Arabia, and what I see are many women too afraid of appearing dishonorable to speak up for their basic God-given rights, and numerous young men that feel angry and insecure. I watch them take out their insecurities on women. They talk about women as if their nothing more than convenient property who’s only purpose in life is to breed when prompted and spread her legs when commanded. When people stop misrepresenting the faith maybe Westerners will find the concept of God making men the leaders in the family a little less threatening. And when I see boys start acting like men, and the men in the Middle East start protecting their women as commanded instead of lording over them like dictatorial tyrants I will have no objection to their roles as leaders.

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Hasan July 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

Dear All,

I have tried to restrain myself from posting any further but some extremely disturbing statements are now being made on this thread which I really feel need to be addressed.

Firstly, I would like to remind myself and everyone else here of the statement of Allah (SWT) in Surah Hujurat:

“O you who believe do not put yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger,
And Fear Allah, for Allah is He who Hears and Knows all things”.

Secondly, the very famous Hadith of the Rasool (Sallalu Alaihi Wasallam) which means:

“The one who interprets the Qur’an without knowledge, let him prepare his place in the hellfire” (Tirmidhi)

Thirdly, when issues such as those being discussed here arise, I am reminded of the incident of Imam Malik, one of the most knowledgeable scholars in the history of Islam. A man came to him after many days journey to ask him several important questions about the Deen. The man asked Imam Malik almost 40 questions. Imam Malik answered 4 of the questions, and for the remaining 36 he simply said “La Adri” (I don’t know). The man responded disbelievingly that what should he go back and tell his people about the remaining 36 questions?

The great scholar of Islam Imam Malik responded, “Tell your people that Malik says ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know”.

Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the Sahabah of the Rasool (Sallalu Alaihi Wasallam), whenever they were asked a difficult question about the Deen would always try and tell the questioner to go to another Sahabi. They avoided answering as much as possible. Why? Because they could picture themselves standing between Heaven and Hell and were fearful that the wrong answer might cause them to enter the Hellfire.

This was the great humility, awe and respect with which these magnificent scholars treated Islam. They did not think that it was their God given right to interpret the Qur’an how and as they felt, rather they felt the full enormity of the burden of knowledge that had been placed upon them and they were constantly in fear of saying something wrong.

Are we above these individuals?? Do we have more knowledge? Have we been guaranteed Paradise that we are so bold as to make statements such as “this should be allowed in Islam and this should not??”

This is not some game we are playing of who gets to win the most points, we are discussing the most serious of all matters… And one Day all of us will stand before Allah (SWT) and be questioned for each letter that we are typing on this post.

Someone actually went to the extent of saying that they will not accept a certain opinion because this is the the MALE INTERPRETATION of Islam as opposed to the FEMALE INTERPRETATION!

What about the opinion of Muhammad ibn Abdullah (SAW)?? Does that fall within the male interpretation??

When he clearly has mentioned that it is the man who holds the right to divorce… What God-given right have we to say that this is the male interpretation??

Someone else I think said that the right to divorce was only given to the man because the women were too weak financially.

Has this person really studied the Seerah?? Have they really studied Islam deeply?? Did they never read about the many female companions who were much wealthier than their own husbands.. To the extent that a few even gave Zakaah to their own husbands??

When did the Prophet grant these women the right to divorce despite the fact that they were financially stronger than their husbands?

Let me be clear, I didn’t bring up the above point in order to get into another petty argument. My point is that such statement bring to light how ignorant we all really are about this Deen of ours yet we are bold enough to make statements such as “Women should have the right to divorce” and Islam should allow this and this is the male interpretation of Islam.

There are numerous other statements that have been made here which clearly indicate that the individuals making them have not studied Islam with the care and detail with which it should be studied, and this certainly is not the correct forum to try and correct each and every such statement.

All I am saying is have fear with what you say. When the Sahabah and scholars (both male and female) were so humble when making statements about the Deen… Why are we trying to be so knowledgeable and above those great men?

May Allah guide us all. Ameen!

Wassalaam.

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Amir July 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Salamu alaikum brother Hasan,

Thank you very much for clarifying this terrible mess that has occured. I 100% agree with you; comments such as “THE MALE INTERPRETATION” and “He would not favour one over the other” have been flying about, without that least bit of thought. Its true. Talking about Islam without knowledge is a sin hated by Allah, May He be Exalted.

It is incredible how our Ummah has become!!! But Allah has promised Muhammad (PBUH) that this Ummah, would never be destroyed! So brothers and sisters, lets make an effort to strengthen our faith and fear towards Allah, and lets make of ourselves prime examples of the real slave that Allah so much loves. The kind that submits with humility and fear, just like our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“Therefor (O Muhammad) Praise the name of thy Lord, the Tremendous”

- Al Waqia (56:96)

Salaam

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sabiha July 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm

@Sister Ayesha

Point well made, regarding comparisons with other religions, polygamy, and divorce.

If Islam is to be presented as the true religion, then it should not be stood parallel to other ‘weaker’ religions. If Islam is to be presented as the true religion, it should be presented on its own merits alone. Putting it next to a ‘weaker’ religion signifies its own weaknesses.

Therefore, anyone who does that [put Islam parallel to other religions] does not believe it to be strong enough on its own merits. This practice is a form of ‘shirk’.

I fully understand your views on polygamy and divorce. Regarding those two issues, I have already presented my views in my previous comment to Brother Owais Ahmed.

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sabiha July 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm

@Brother Owais Ahmed

In your argument for male polygamy, you say it has been allowed in the Jewish and Christian religions, not just Islam, therefore it must be divine law.

Two issues I’d like to point out.

1st. As a man, you cannot possible have an objective view to polygyny, since it is in your favour.

2nd. I believe Sister Ayesha is speaking out against the MALE INTERPRETAION of the God’s message.
The FEMALE INTERPRETION of God’s holy message would consider the needs of women too. For example, if polygyny is to be allowed, then unregistered polyandry too (to protect the first husband’s feelings).

Regarding divorce, it is not solely a man’s right. Women should have the legal right to divorce an unsuitable husband. In the era the Holy Qur’an was revealed, this was not possible as women were economically and financially dependent on husbands. Today this is no longer the case. Therefore, to keep in line with women’s changing economic statuses, they should have the legal right to divorce an unsuitable husband. What if he is psychologically or physically abusive? Should she accept that sort of husband? Would a man accept that sort of wife?

Our divine Creator would not favour one gender over the other, for we are both his creations. Any law that says otherwise is NOT divine law. It is man-made.

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owais ahmed July 20, 2011 at 4:14 am

@Sabiha : I think you misunderstood my point.By polygamy i didnt meant only polygyny. Polygamy involves polyandry as much as it involves polygyny.

I just had a point that not only ISLAM but other religions also allows more then one partners( polygyny is definetely allowed, as far as polyandry is concerned lets just agree to your view)

So if you are not a muslim, then also you cannot be against polygyny.
I just wanted to know that, if sister Ayesha meant that what is wriitten in ISLAM and other religion(for those who are not convinced by islamic views) is completely irrational and unlogical?

If she favours that she and human race can decide their own good and call pogyny(which is definetely allowed) a sin then i am sorry i dont agree with it.

Next i would like to tell all of you that at that time most of the men had many many wives(more then 4 which is restriction placed by islam).

No religion restricts number of wives a man can have. Its ISLAM that limited wives to four.

And ISLAM is based on “Fear of after life”. Today since people dont have fear of afterlife, thus they can easily manipulate laws to their advantage.

Regarding polygyny it is clearly said by our Prophet

“That if a men has fear that he would not be able to do justice to his wives (more then one) then he should not marry more then once”.

Also it is said

“Men who wil do injustice between his wives i.e favour one over the other , will be sent to hellfire”.

Here injustice involves wife’s objection,is she has.

Now If i say men have more risk of being punished by GOD then women in this case ?
Obviously punishment in afterlife is far far greater then what we get here in this world.
I being a muslim understanding this fact would think many times to have many wives myself. If all muslim thinks this way (and thats how they are supposed to think ) there cant be injustice to any women.

Today unfortunately the fear of afterlife is not there in our life ,rather in name of modernisation the concept of “Live the moment and enjoy it to fullest ” has came in our lives.

Now if a human doesn’t have fear about afterlife ,i cant imagine a world a better place.
No matter how many laws you create they are not going to be effective.You can not force a human to be of good character by just making laws if he is of that kind of mentality which is prevailing now, no matter what the laws are.

I am sorry to say that even if we abolish pogyny in our society ( which can be done because it doesnt violate Sharia) then also the conditions will not improve. I say this not because i feel so or I am biased ,I said so because in my land polygamy is banned and here people just hide the fact that they have many wives or just indulge in adultery.\

IMPORTANTLY This fact is for both men and women-

FEAR Allah and After life . No matter what you go through in your life its the afterlife which have great importance. Life is a test which will lead to paradise.
The sooner human race starts thikin this way not only the problem of women but all problems of society will be solved .

Clearly this doesnt mean you should get suppressed and accept torture.

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sabiha July 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

@Brother Owais Ahmed

OK, fair enough. You say men do get punished for the crime of rape, but the media portrays a biased view against Islam, so we don’t hear about them. But why punish the victim of rape? Surely she has suffered enough already?

You say victims of rape are punished so no woman makes a false accusation against an innocent man. Three points wrong with that statement.

1st. No man accused of rape is 100% innocent. For the woman to accuse the man of rape, there would have to be proof of the two of them were alone together in a room. Under Islamic law, a man and a woman are forbidden to be alone in a room. If it is unavoidable, for whatever reason, then all the windows and doors must be open. The room should be visible to outsiders. This is to protect the woman from harm, and also to protect the man from a false accusation.

So if it is proven a man and a woman were alone in a room together, they should be punished equally for this crime.

2nd. if the victim of rape is punished to deter false accusations against innocent men, then why is she still punished when the rape has been proven?

3rd. Even if a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape, the punishment is too harsh by humane standards. Oh wait, Islam advocates torture, does it not? Check out the following links.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7098480.stm

http://ruhsa.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/punishment-for-gang-rape-victim-saudi-style/

http://trueslant.com/nealungerleider/2010/01/21/saudi-arabia-to-lash-filipino-rape-victim-100-times/

You say that writers who report on the fate of rape victims in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East are very likely to be western, that’s because very likely, western people’s view of Sharia Law is objective. Yes, some of them may be biased and simply use their dislike of Sharia Law to mask their dislike of a foreign religion. But in my personal experience, their arguments against Sharia have always been logical and to do with humane issues.

You say anyone speaking against Islam is from the west. Well, I am ethnic and I am Muslim, and I speak against the MALE INTERPRETATION of Islam. I view Saudi’s MALE INTERPRETATION of Sharia Law as inhumane and torturous. No, I have NOT been corrupted by the west. My views are objective.

Also, have you not considered the reason no one from Saudi Arabia speaks against Islam, is that they could face the death penalty for doing so? That’s because their views may be considered as apostasy?

Brother, you are wrong. As you’ll see in my 3rd link, far too often we hear of rape crimes not being reported because victims know what their fate will be if they do report it. Even though rape is punishable by death by Sharia Law, there is NOT one case I can find on Google where the rapist was sentenced to death, and the victim walked away ‘unpunished’.

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owais ahmed July 20, 2011 at 4:38 am

@Sabiha : First of all I am pleased to hear that you said

“Saudi’s MALE INTERPRETATION of Sharia Law as inhumane and torturous”.

Clearly it meant that the way law is twisted is wrong and not the actual law. This is also a point in first of the link you gave,where the lawyer says that its a case of misinterpretation of SHARIA.

Secondly , i think I mentioned the same thing you wrote ,that if u google you wont find a single case of rape where men is punished.This is enough to prove that media is biased.

If it was so, wont all the men try to rape a girl in Saudia knowing they wont get punished?
I hope you can answer that.

I know many times the case of rapes are not reported whether in Saudia or USA or any country for various social and cultural reasons.

In Saudia may be the percentage of such cases are more but still you cant say that Saudia has least rape offenders just because of this reason .

I mentioned before in my reply that a guy would think 1000 times before even abusing a women let alone raping her in Saudia,for punishment is death .

Any guy would consider raping in US then Saudia far easier and safe, for in US most sex offenders get away with few years of prison.

As far as complicated procedure of SHARIA is concerned regarding rape i think you people should see the procedure of USA or UK regarding rapes. In almost all countries proving rape or murder is a very difficult job and a slightest of doubt leads to the accused being walked freely.

Ask any of the legal experts they would tell you that proving a rape or murder is one of the most difficult task and gettin an accused called innocent is not very difficult in such cases.

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owais ahmed July 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

@Ayesh : I cannot understand what exactly are you trying to say,Are you tryin to say that you or any human for that matter can provide a better law than what is told by our GOD’s messenger. Leave aside ISLAM even bible also allows polygamy.

God inspired Moses to make legal provision for polygamy by mandating inheritance rights when a man was married to more than one wife, Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

These are some of the polygamists mentioned in the Bible.
Lamech – Genesis 4:19

Esau – Genesis 26:34 & 28:9

Abraham – Genesis 16:3, 25:1-6

Jacob – Genesis 29:23-29 & 30:4-9

Gideon – Judges 8:30

Abijah – 1 Chronicles 13:21

David – 2 Samuel 5:13 & 1 Chronicles 3:1-9

Solomon – 1 Kings 11:1-3

So not only in ISLAM is polygamy allowed but also in Bible their is mention of polygamy.

So if you are trying to say that all religions are crap and you should follow human made rules then i am sorry i dont agree with you.
However intelligent and clever a human is ,he cannot think anyway near to GOD’s messenger.

We should apply our wits and brains in ensuring that clerics and other religious leaders dont change the religious facts and use them in their favour, rather than making our own rules and think that it is better then what has been DIVINE law.

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Ayesha July 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

why we compare Islam with other religion.
dont tell us what is there in other religion and not in Islam.
instead tell whether it is good or bad.
Polygoni should be completely stopped. because at any time a men cannot justify two or more wifes. If he is marrying to more than one he is not doing justice to the first.
even if the women in not able to give him child or any such reason.
does Islam allow women to marry another man if her husband has such problem.
Talaq is also should be stopped, as it is misused and women does not have such right. does this mean that women dont have senses to decide whether she should give talaq or not.
women has only way to ask for Khula (permission to take seperation)
where in men has right to seperation

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm

@Brother Hasan

You say, that, “A woman does not think twice about staying up all night looking after a crying baby, because this is part of her maternal instinct to sacrifice herself for her child. A man cannot do this. He will usually (eventually) get upset. Furthermore, women by nature tend to be more emotional, while men tend to be more rational”.

There is no biological link why a woman should ‘stay up all night’ to look after the baby. That is not part of her biology. Biology is the pregnancy, childbirth, and the breastfeeding. Those things only a mother can do, no one else.

‘Staying up all night’, as you put it, anyone can do; the mother, the father, or even a grandmother. It just so happens that modern families don’t have extended family members to help with childrearing, the husband has to get up early for work, and so the wife, out of love and concern for her husband, gets up to see to the baby.

This has nothing to do with biology, or maternal instinct. I would kindly ask that you do not make assumptions regarding the division of family tasks. You clearly have no idea.

Also, language like, “tend to be more emotional”, and “tend to be more rational” is too weak when you are trying to promote the divine message. I am not disputing your claims, just saying that by your own wording, you appear unconvinced by your own claims.

One last point; you mentioned that you live in Pakistan. I notice your English is very good. Whatever the reason, whether you went to a good school or whether you spent you childhood in an English speaking country, your English is as good as native speakers, and for that, I congratulate you. Your family must be proud.

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm

@Brother Amir

Regarding polyandry, I am a little confused by your response. You say, “This is one of the things that have been given exclusively to men and not to women, one of the things in which they have been given something more than women, just as they are also favoured over women in that only men can be Messengers, Prophets, caliphs, kings, governors and judges, and go out for jihad, etc.”

I sense a strong element of narcissism in the essence of your comment. Also, you talk as if by giving men these privileges, our Creator has forsaken women. No believing person, whether man or woman, can ever accept that. We are all created by Him, and He would not favour one over the other.

Such a weak argument, it is not even worth commenting any further.

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Amir July 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

@Sister Sabiha,

I am astounded by your arrogance and stubborness. I have never said that our Lord has forsaken women, neither was I trying to imply that. If My own words can’t convince you that Allah HAS indeed favoured one of the two sexes over the other, then I will use OUR Creator’s words so that you may take heed.

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to EXCEL the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”

-Al Nisa (4:34)

I would be very shocked if you still reject this reality. If one excels then that means he is superior!! However, that DOES NOT mean that Allah has forsaken women, rather we should all believe that there is great wisdom behind Allah’s decree.

“Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All‑Aware (of everything)”

-Al Mulk (67:14)

Women are like men in some aspects and they differ from them in others. Most of the rulings of Islam apply to men and women equally. In cases where a distinction is made between the sexes, the Muslim regards that as a mercy from Allaah and a sign of His knowledge of His creation, but the arrogant kaafir sees it as oppression and injustice, so he stubbornly insists on claiming that men and women are the same. So let him tell us how a man can carry a foetus and breastfeed it? He stubbornly ignores the weakness of women and how they bleed during their monthly period, and he stubbornly beat his head against the rock of reality. But the Muslim is still at peace with his faith, surrendering to the command of Allaah.

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm

@Sister Miriam

How does one measure the knowledge and wisdom of a scholar? Through listening to his lectures, or by reading his books.

I have only heard a short piece of his lecture on polyandry, and even with my limited knowledge, I can conclude that his arguments are, at best, very weak, and at worst, misleading and false.

This is not “just the play of our minds”. This is a conclusion based on the evidence in question – the short lecture on Polyandry.

I cannot comment on whether Dr Zakir Naik is more knowledgeable than us, as I haven’t heard enough of his lectures to make that judgement.

You made your point very well about the clause, ‘and forbidden to you are ‘married women’ except the ones whom your right hands possesses’. My only argument to your explanation would be that those circumstances don’t or wouldn’t apply in today’s society, but the clause remains in the Holy Qur’an. So I think the meaning to that clause is far broader than we anticipate.

When I mentioned ‘evolutionary facts’, I think you misunderstood me. I was talking about biological facts that were determined by scientists and psychologists, NOT the evolution of human beings.

Anyway, thank you for your patience. You obviously went to some trouble looking into the meaning of that clause, so for that, I’m appreciative.

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm

@Brother Hasan,

Re: Part 1
It seems you have not fully read my response to your previous comment. You went on about the issue even further and further, even after I had said, “I would not argue with you that none of them [pious women in Islamic history] had more than one husband at a time”.

You are right, amongst Muslims, Islam is regarded as a way of life. The Hadith provides guidance on every aspect of a person’s life, but no guidance for a woman with more than one husband. You are also right in saying that if a Muslim woman were to practice polyandry she would be completely on her own.

But so what? There is no guidance on a woman having more than one husband, doesn’t prove that it wasn’t/ isn’t practiced.

At this point, I’d like to clarify that by ‘husband’, I mean a man that a woman is having marital relations with, but not necessarily with a legal document that registers their union. It would be regarded as adultery under strict Islamic law, but I will come back to that point later on, please bear with me.

Back to my original point; there is no guidance on women having more than one husband, but there is also no record of a married woman yearning for the affections of another man. Yet that still happens.

Are we to believe that upon marriage, a woman forsakes her dreams of romance and seduction? She already has a husband for that, yes, but what if he works long hours, or is away for weeks/months at a time? What if the husband simply isn’t the romantic type? Or, what if he has another wife and is with her? Is the first wife expected to just stand back and accept it?

It simply isn’t enough to say, ‘Polyandry was never practiced in the past, there is no record of it, therefore, is must be forbidden’.

Do remember, that for the act of adultery, women are stoned to death in Islamic countries. If we are to say these women’s lives are worth living (I DON’T), then we must be sure that she has committed a sin beyond comprehension.

My argument is, if polyandry was recognised as a solution to a woman’s natural biological tendencies, or at least if it was condoned, then we would not hear of sexually liberated women losing their lives.

Earlier I mentioned that by the term ‘husband’, I mean any man that a woman is having marital relations with, but not necessarily having obtained a legal document to register their union. Let me explain…

Men and women are both psychologically designed to protect their own biological interests. A man’s biological interest is his wife’s fidelity, for if she is unfaithful, she could bear another man’s child, and that in turn restricts his reproductive potential.

Therefore, men are psychologically designed to be jealous, possessive, and territorial.

A woman’s biological interests are her husband’s fidelity and also his resources, for if he is unfaithful, another child could be born out of that union, and his resources would be used to feed and maintain that other child and the other woman (and therefore, less resources will be available for herself and her children).

But the difference between men and women’s behaviour is this; due to the economic status of women in previous generations and in some parts of the world today, if a man took on second wife, the first wife had no power to object as she was already economically and financially dependent on him. If she had children she was in an even weaker position. If the husband went against her wishes, there were no serious consequences for him.

Therefore, a ‘cheated’ wife had no option but to resign and surrender to her husband being with another woman, however painful it might’ve been for her.

However, if a woman took on a second husband, the first husband had the power to object as he has economic and financial authority over her. If she disobeyed him, she lost that protection.

A man never had to resign or surrender to his wife being with another man. All he had to do was threaten violence towards her, and taking away his protection over her. Also, in some countries, there was the threat of death by stoning.

So, in collaboration with men’s jealous nature, and the economic and financial power men had/have over women, along with the fear of death by stoning, women are psychologically designed to be coy and secretive.

That’s why, a woman wanting to be with and have marital relations with, a man other than her husband, was unable to officially marry due to the threat of desertion by current husband, and in some countries, the fear of death by stoning.

Let me put it to you another way; if women were naturally monogamous, then why have men been designed to be jealous, possessive, and territorial? Men were designed that way to protect their biological interests.

Along the generations, because humans had no idea how to behave fairly when it came to marital relations, religion was passed on to us by The Divine Creator, with Islam being the final message.

Scholars have concluded that our Creator has granted polygyny for the human race, but no mention of polyandry. Men and women are both creations of God, so, would our divine Creator overlook the needs of one gender? Only the faithless would even entertain that concept.

Could it be that polyandry has not been openly permitted because of men’s jealous nature? Remember, men have to be jealous to protect their biological interests.

Although not openly permitted, polyandry hasn’t been clearly forbidden either, so any woman engaging in marital relationships with more than one man is only accountable to God and God alone.

Men have divine permission to marry two, three, or four times. No need for adultery. Therefore, death by stoning for adultery should only apply to men.

Women, although not forbidden by the divine Creator, have no permission socially or culturally to marry even two, never mind four. Therefore, death by stoning for adultery should never apply to women. Sometimes, a woman’s biological needs can only be fulfilled by an adulterous union.

Re: Part 2
Again, you have not read my previous comment fully. There is only ever one head of the household. In fraternal polyandry, the eldest brother/husband is the head of the household. Paternity is not an issue because any child born to the wife is still genetically linked. All the husbands will be either ‘father’ or ‘uncle’ to the child. In non-fraternal polyandry, it is more than likely (my knowledge is limited) the first husband is head of the household, but even so, all husbands contribute in decision making.

All this ‘head of the household’ issue does not apply if the husbands reside in different households anyway.

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Carmen July 16, 2011 at 12:06 am

Hasan:

I know you are trying your best to be objective. But your “maleness” showed up very much so in your answer to Sabiha. I am not being critical I am just pointing it out. We all grew up on Earth with a male dominated atmosphere that is pervasive even in the USA. So, I understand that if you are male and have the upper hand and want to be fair, you are still biased because YOU ARE MALE. Assigning stereotypical roles to men and women is wrong. Society has sooooo many issues. But to get back to your original article about a woman covering, which is what all of the comments should have been about. Let me say this, if a woman is free to choose then she should wear whatever she wants to. That said I have a huge issue with the ball being in the woman’s court. It gives men freedom to be animals. Regardless of how a woman dresses a man is suppossed to look down and not commit “zina” with his eyes. So, let women dress as they please and place the burden on men to walk with their eyes looking at their shoes instead of the other way around. Now that is not how I would do it but I do like the idea of the burden of chastity being placed on the males and not the females.

Also, I COMPLETELY BLAME MALES FOR THE PROBLEMS OF ZINA, adultery, fornication and the rest of it. Read this carefully please!!! If men did NOT place sooooooo much emphasis on a women’s beauty, body, looks, etc. then women would not dress to attract men. If men looked at women for their personalities, hearts and goodness, then NO WOMAN ever would dress like a “slut”, she would improve her heart and mind if that IS what made MEN SELECT HER instead of another. but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, men approve of beautiful women, pay them attention, give them gifts, give them marriage proposals and ignore the ugly or modest nice ones. When a man sees a beautiful model type woman, 1/2 dressed and 1/2 not, with all her beauty hanging for everyone to see, what does a man do? commit zina AND pay her all kinds of attention.

IF MEN WOULD TURN THEIR FACES IN DISGUST AT THESE VERY BEAUTIFUL CREATURES ENTICING AND TEASING/OFFERING SEX AND WOULD SPIT AT THEIR FEET IN DISGUST AND THEN TURN AROUND AND SPEAK WITH THE MODEST OR UGLY FEMALE AND TAKE HER TO COFFEE AND THE MOVIES AND OFFER MARRIAGE, BELIEVE ME GOD, NO WOMAN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH WOULD DRESS LIKE A ‘SLUT’, WE WOULD ALL COMPETE ON OUR MODESTY AND KINDNESS.

WE WOMEN ALL WANT THE ATTENTION OF MEN, WE CRAVE IT AND MEN GIVE IT TO THE “SEXY’ ONES. MAY GOD ISSUE JUSTICE TO ALL MEN WHO PROMOTE WOMEN TO HAVE TO DO THIS IN ORDER TO GET MALES ATTENTION. IT CLEARLY FALLS ON ALL BELIEVING MEN WHO CAN SET ASIDE THEIR RIDICULOUS STEREOTYPES TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND TO CHANGE THE CONCEPT OF WHAT BEAUTY IS.

MAY GOD SHOW MEN THE EVILNESS OF THEIR WAYS AND THEIR STEREOTYPICAL BRAINS AND SEE WOMEN AS THEIR EQUAL AND PARTNER IN LIFE AND MUTUAL RESPECT.

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Angela Todd July 16, 2011 at 4:07 am

I don’t think it’s fair to blame promiscuous behavior in women completely on men. Men are biologically hardwired to want sex and to be stimulated visually.

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions let’s discuss what behavior is excusable and what behavior is inexcusable. If a woman looks good, a man is going to look. I don’t think it’s right to be angry about that or to think a man is shallow for wanting a woman that is physically attractive. This is simply a part of their biology. And the purpose? Possibly to promote procreation. God created us to bear children. In my opinion God created men to want sex and to desire an attractive woman for the purpose of producing offspring. Studies show the attributes that men find attractive are the same attributes that indicate a woman’s fertility. How can we judge God’s design and purpose for one of the most pleasurable gifts he’s given us? Sexuality. Something God gave us for enjoyment and production has been turned into a despicable and evil thing.

Now, let’s talk about the behavior that is not excusable. Just because a woman looks good doesn’t mean the man can take her and rape her. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in Islam, if a woman is raped by a man and she wasn’t wearing the abaaya isn’t she also punished for not taking necessary precautions? This is something I’ve heard that I hope to God is not true! Men are not animals. They can control themselves. It’s not fair to blame the woman for a man’s misdeed no matter what she was wearing.

Carmen, I can understand the frustration of how most men are naturally drawn to the women that display their sexuality for all to see. But I don’t think it’s fair to judge them for something they’ve been biologically designed to do.

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

@Sister Angela Todd

You’re right, in some Islamic countries (probably most or all), if a woman is raped, she gets punished too. That’s because the judges conclude her mere presence at the wrong place at the wrong time caused a man to commit the sin of rape. That’s why they look for an ‘excuse’ why the man or men raped her. They’ll say she wasn’t wearing a burqa, or some hair was exposed from her headscarf.

Everyone knows men can control their sexual urges. Islamic text even tells men to ‘lower your gaze’ when in the presence of a woman. But because Islamic countries are ruled and dominated by men, they only look out for the interests of men.

After the act of rape, a woman is left feeling violated and suicidal. But the man feels physical relief, a physical pleasure, because he has expelled a bodily fluid that was designed to procreate.

If anyone were to question God’s creation, then it would be that He created men and women on such a unbalanced level that when one is violated and assaulted, the other feels pleasure.

I can see the point Sister Carmen was trying to make. In western society there are no strict rules on dress code, therefore, women dress to please men. And men, like puppets on a string, respond by giving those ‘half-dressed’ women lots of attention, taking them out to fancy restaurants, buying them expensive gifts. In effect, women are ‘rewarded’ for dressing as if they were touting for business.

If men ignored those women (as Islam tells them to), and instead looked for beauty yes, but also kindness, compassion, empathy etc, then those bimbo women would realise that by exposing their body, they are only attracting shallow men. Because men of substance would not be attracted to obvious displays of beauty.

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Angela Todd July 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

Sabiha,
The thought that courts would feel the need to punish a woman for something that is not her fault after she has been violated and abused makes me absolutely sick to my core. To me that’s the same thing as saying men are animals and can’t control their actions and it’s therefore her fault for being assaulted by a man. Please, please, please tell me this is another one of the cultural flaws that seem to be frequently found in Middle Eastern countries and is not condoned by the Quran or Islam.

Also, I appreciate your previous comments and the link to your blogs. I enjoyed them

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sabiha July 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Angela, the idea of a woman being ‘punished’ for being violated and assaulted makes any humane person sick to the core, not just us women. It is most definitely a cultural flaw (sorry, I don’t have a source) and not part of the Islamic faith. As far as I know, in some Middle Eastern countries, the crime/sin of rape is punishable by death. Yet, when was the last time anyone heard of a man sentenced to death because he raped a woman? The woman, even if not punished, is made to feel ashamed by the courts and her family for not being ‘more careful’ about her own safety.

There are some Muslims (mainly men) who are trying to sell Islam to the west, claiming it to be about ‘peace, justice, and harmony’. Then there’s a story in the news or the papers about another woman ‘punished’ for being assaulted, stoned to death for adultery, or maimed for trying to run away from evil in-laws (father of the girl said to the girl’s father-in-law, “You should’ve killed her”). So much for peace, justice, and harmony. Then Muslims wonder why Islam is perceived as a false religion by the west.

It is true, Muslim extremists have their own agendas. They do not necessarily want to ‘pass on the message’. Islamic texts are twisted to suit their agendas. Well, here’s some news; Muslims living in the west do not necessarily want to live under Islamic law. We would be happy for a Christian law that recognises other religions including Islam, and allows other faiths to be practiced. We most definitely DO NOT WANT sharia law.

Also, thank you, for Angela, for reading my blog.

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owais ahmed July 19, 2011 at 5:27 am

@Angela n Sabiha :

Any person would be shaken to his/her core listening to women bein stoned to death for being raped. But things incidents are very rared and over hyped in media.Sabiha as u say you never heard a guy being stoned to death that’s because media provides a biased view.If it was so that the girl would be punished and guy would get away easily then dont you think there would be rapes all around the country.The facts tells us that the number of rapes reported(not proved) in countries having sharia are far far less then liberal and so called women independent countries like US.

Take a look at US rape stats

http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html

Saudia Arabia has least rape crimes. I know you people may argue that it in Saudia and other countries where SHARIA is women dont report crime because they may be killed.But thats so not true.If u happened to visit any of the SHARIA Implemented countries, just the mention of rape in front of a guy sends shivers through him.The mere thought of being killed if caught is sufficiently starong enough to make a guy 1000 times before commiting rape.

I being a young guy would definetely prefer US to rape a women then SHARIA country (i am sorry i had to put it this way). Not only rape this is the same reason for lesser number if theft in Saudia.In Saudia jewellery stores are left open by the shop owner when they had to go for prayer etc with nobody to take care of them,and still nobody steal anything.This is because a person is so afraid thikin about the consequences.

As far as you not hearing any guy being stoned to death ,i think you should better check the local channels n newspapers oh these countries.
Just search google and you would only hear things against ISLAMIC LAW and if you see the author ,he is definetely from west.
Can you imagine that no writer from these countries speak about it even though they can do it anonymously on net. Isnt is hard to digest.

I dont know about you but i am amazed seeing the results i get from google.
I am not saying that the news you heard is wrong.In ISLAM proving rape or any major crime like murder etc is made little difficult,so that the no innocent gets punishment.As far as girls being punished ,it is done so that no false cases of rapes are reported.

The cases you hear may fall into a conspiracy case. I say “may” because as u say sometimes it is possible that a girl is victim of people who turns things.

I hope you people dont just read the biased view. People in west are litterate enough to judge things if they try. Its unfortunate how media potrays things.

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owais ahmed July 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

@CARMEN :

You are right in your opinion that not only women but men are also equally responsible for the dressing of women.

And for men it is forbidden in ISLAM to look women with lust whether they are ugly or sexy

Prophet Mohd said ” A man should lower his gaze when he is confronted by a woman”.

He also said — ” Allah promises heaven to any man who when confronted by a woman lower his gaze and control his desires”.

I like to bring to notice that not all things can be assumed right sayin that it is the instinct of human.

For eg. males enjoy porn ,that doesnt means porn should be allowed.

ISLAM prohibits porn because girls are forced and pushed into the sex trade and treated as sex objects.

The desires we have are to be controlled. ISLAM asks us to have control on our desires whether it be men or women .

What is the solution ISLAM gives so that a human doesnt wander for sex?

Well ISLAM instructs both men and women to get marry as soon as they become physically and mentally fit for marrying.

Prophet Mohd said when some youth went to them asking about the desire of sex

” Those of you who can afford to take care of a girl should marry as soon as possible and those who cant afford to take care of girl should hold fast whenever the desire arises”

A thing which is forbidden in ISLAM is not without reason,in someway or the other it improves the society.

The things that you pointed out like a guy asking a girl to go out for date etc are all forbidden in ISLAM for the same and many other reasons.

ISLAM doesnt allow guys to date girls or to have an affair before marriage precisely for the same reason, so that they should not judge girls.

Today unfortunately men doesnt pay attention to what they are supposed to follow and only critise women for their part.

Both men and women have equal responsibilities.

As far as your view of letting women decide what she should wear because she is independent is concerned i would like to tell you following things

ISLAM not only places restrictions on what women wear,it also places restriction on what men wear A men is supposed to cover his body atleast till his knees .

Also independent is a term with loose boundaries…..

For eg. you be be right to say that in your house you are independent to play loud music,But what about your neighbours privacy??? If your neighbour has an exam tomorrow??. You cant just blame it on your neighbour that why he had to buy house near him and it is your right to do whatever u wish in your house.

Your saying that let women decide what they want to wear is the same situation what i mentioned above.

At last i just want to conclude by saying –

“Don’t judge a religion by his followers for they are human and bound to misinterpret ….
Judge it from its authentic sources ( IN ISLAM’s case judge it by QURAN and by the lifestyle of the perfect human Prophet Mohd.(Peace be upon him) ).

My english is not that good as i am not a native english speaker,so i am sorry if someone has trouble in reading my reply.

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sabiha July 17, 2011 at 9:44 pm

@Brother Owais Ahmed

You English is absolutely fine, better than some native speakers. You make your point very well, in a calm, unemotional manner. Please don’t apologise.

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Carmen July 16, 2011 at 12:03 am

Sabiha, I love how you dismissed my very long response to you by saying: “It is not enough to quote specific lines or verses from the Qur’an that forbid adultery or fornication, for the practice of polyandry would mean the wife is legally married to each man she has marital relations with, hence adultery or fornication would not be an issue”. Eventhough you did not direct the comment directly to my name.

You obviously did not read all the way through my comment because I also stated:
“So, SABIHA, by definition of what adultery and fornication are and the fact that it is prohibited means by extraction that polyandry is prohibited. Please see below, where in the Quran under divorce it is clearly indicated that when a woman divorces, she must wait 3 months to make sure she is not pregnant from her husband and if she is then he can take her back. If she is practicing polyandry then why, would God make the woman wait 3 months. Even if she did wait, it would be impossible to determine which of her many husbands was the father, so why make such a clear instruction to divorcing women if they can practice polyandry. By simple deduction of the clear instruction it is prohibited to practice adultery or polyandry.

Also, under the rules of divorce it is very clearly stated that if your husband divorces you twice you must then marry another man and if this other man dies or divorces the woman, then the woman can go back and marry the first husband. This clearly indicates one husband at a time.”

And I attached proof from ayahs in the Quran, specifically 2:228 and 2:229

But it also states that unbelievers are free to practice whatever they want and marry from the unbelievers and do as they please amongst themselves. So you needn’t believe you can just practice polyandry and move to Canada if it suits your lifestyle (I’m assuming that you are in the UK -I think you said that in one of your posts- and it’s illegal there). At the end of the day the bottom line is:

We can all do as we see fit and as we want to interpret the Quran or any other law or religious book. That is why we have freedom of will. That is why we make choices. Make your choice. In my opinion I have clearly proved with the above 2 ayahs that polyandry is not acceptable. You can have your opinion and are very much entitled to it. When we die if there is a heaven and a hell and a God we shall both and everyone else appear before God and God shall declare either you or me correct and I hope that both of us shall shake each other’s hand and say to the winner “You were right and I am screwed.” Until then please practice polyandry if that is your choice. I shall NOT, eventhough the idea might be attractive in the sense of having several men all vying for your affection and attention and all of them fawning all over you and all of them working and bringing you the queen all the money and playing with the children and satisfying all of your physical needs especially since you state that some women are very needy of that. I get your attraction to it, but I personally cannot and will NOT be practicing it. So let’s shake hands and wait for God to tell us who the winner is. DEAL???

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Angela Todd July 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

No one (liberal or not) can deny that men and women have different roles and are biologically developed by God to carry out these different roles.
A man cannot nurse a newborn baby.
A woman is not going to do hard labor and lift heavy objects if she’s not physcially designed to do so. God made men and women different to carry out these different jobs as partners.
However, why does the woman’s job automatically put her in a weaker situation with less rights in some societies? Does being a mother and caretaker mean she also can’t enjoy the same rights as a husband? Not all women have children to care for yet they are forced into a society that caters to women not having to work or live independent lives. There’s nothing wrong with a husband being the bread winner for his family when his wife is physically and biologically suited to stay home with her children. But why should the same rules apply to women that are not living in the same situtation?

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owais ahmed July 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

@Angela :

It is the social and cultural practices which doesnt allow a women to work or drive etc. It is something which is done out of tradition.

Nowhere in ISLAM it is said that a women cant work. They can work,they can drive provided they obey the rules ( like Hijab ).ISLAM is in no way against women and it is a misconception that ISLAM supresses women.

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Brother Hasan, your response to my comment is well thought out and absorbing. However, it is not without deep flaws.

I have never said I had evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah, of any female companion of Mohammed (PBHU) taking on more than one husband. Indeed, I would not argue with you that none of them had more than one husband at a time.

But, just because a custom was not practiced during a certain period in history, does not mean it is prohibited by divine law.

You say, “the example [polyandry] is not seen amongst any well know pious Muslim woman throughout the ages”. How can anyone know for sure? None of us were present at the time, and I’m assuming anyone who was present at the time is no longer with us.

Women are by nature more discreet about their sexual behaviour, while men are more direct. This is linked to our biology. To establish my point I would like to describe the link between sex and reproduction.

A Man’s reproduction ‘tools’ are situated on the outside of his body. If he approaches his wife for lovemaking, she can see he is aroused, and if he ejaculates inside her, that is also clear to see. It is obvious to see if he is aroused (fertile) or not.

A woman’s reproduction ‘tools’ are situated on the inside of her body. If she is approached by her husband, or if she approaches him, the husband cannot know for sure if she is aroused (fertile) or not, because physically, it’s all on the inside, and there is only specific time in the month when she is fertile.

This is ingrained into our psychology. When a man wants to marry, he is not coy about it. He will tell his friends, colleagues, neighbours etc because he is excited. When he gets married, he will not be coy about wanting relations with his wife. He’ll either demand it or romance her into agreeing to it.

If he has an extra-marital affair, or takes on a second wife, he will want to tell others about it because he is proud and wants to brag.

In conclusion, a man’s mental and psychological approach to sex and marriage is in line with his reproductive design. Physically, it’s all on the outside, so mentally it’s all on the outside too. He does not hide it.

In contrast, when a woman feels ready to get married, she is coy about it. She will not tell anyone except maybe her closest friends. When she does get married, however ready she feels for lovemaking, she will not pressure her husband with demands of sex, for if he is too tired or stressed then there is no chance of lovemaking happening that night.

If she has an affair, she will not tell anyone, except maybe a close friend. It’s private and she doesn’t feel the need to brag. Also, in some countries, there is the fear of death by stoning.

In conclusion, a woman’s mental and psychological approach to sex and marriage is in line with her reproductive design. Physically, it’s all on the inside, so mentally and emotionally, it’s all on the inside too.

That’s what I mean when I say women are more discreet with their sexual behaviour. It’s ingrained into their psychology.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, we can never be absolutely sure how women in history conducted their marital and sexual affairs. Biology says they were too discreet for anyone to be sure.

As for Part 2 of your response, read my earlier comment. In fraternal polyandry, the eldest brother/husband is the head of the household. Paternity is not an issue because any child born to the wife is still genetically linked. All the husbands will be either ‘father’ or ‘uncle’ to the child. In non-fraternal polyandry, it is more than likely (my knowledge is limited) the first husband is head of the household, but even so, all husbands contribute in decision making.

You are right, because of paternity issues, a “man will fight to the death before allowing another man to have sexual relations with his wife”. But that is only assuming he is present at the time and furthermore, knows about the other man/men. What if he is away working in another town or land, or at war? What if he is simply spending too much time at the office?

Islam is said to provide the answers to all of today’s social problems. What of the problem of female infidelity? Death-by-stoning is not a solution to the problem; it’s an elimination of the problem.

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Hasan July 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

Dear Sabiha,

RE: Part 1

Thank you for first of all confirming that you have also never heard of any Muslim woman since the time of the Rasool (SAW) taking more than one husband at a time. I would like to further add that if one even looks further back in time to the previous Prophets, one does not find a single instance of any pious woman taking more than one husband at a time. Prophets such as Ibrahim and Suleiman (Peace be on them) took more than one wife, but not a single woman, including those of other cultures such as the wife of Pharoah, the wife of Aziz, the Queen of Saba, none of them do we hear about taking more than one husband… i.e. this practice was not known in the entire history of Islam at all.

Regarding your question of how we can know for sure if no pious Muslim woman practiced polyandry… I’m not sure where you live, but in Pakistan where I live, if a man takes more than wife the news spreads like wildfire among his friends, family, neighborhood, etc. Many people – who actually have no business in the matter – turn against the man and rebuke him for this practice… i.e. it is hard to keep such news under wraps…

So is it possible that in all of Islamic history – which is so well recorded – there is no mention of any uproar or celebration when the first Muslim woman took more than one husband?? I think the chances of such an event having actually occurred are very close to zero.

Secondly, we must understand that Islam is a way of life and the Rasool (SAW) was sent to us to show us how to apply the Qur’an in every aspect of our lives and this is why even the intimate details of how he dealt with his several wives, and how his wives dealt with him have been clearly recorded for us in the Ahadith and Seerah. So that we should know what the best way is of living with one wife or many wives.

However, strangely… even though details of even the minutest aspects of life are provided by the Rasool (SAW) such as how to eat, how to sleep, how to be intimate with one’s wife… He provides women with no advice on how to deal with the problems that might arise when they have more than one husband… This is uncharacteristic of Islam. I.e. supposing for a second that polyandry is Halaal, then the woman who practices it would be completely on her own… she would have to figure things out by herself because no advice is provided by the Prophet, nor his wives, nor the Sahabiaat, nor the Sahabah about how to deal with the issues arising with more than one husband… Is it possible for Islam to be a complete way of life, but it fails to provide us with any guidance or advice about such a major issue of life??

Even though there were so many great Sahaabiaat…. many of them very strong and brave women, the Rasool (SAW) never even advised or said to one of them that she is capable of taking more than one husband.

In brief… none of the Prophets, including Muhammad (SAW), none of the sahaba, none of our pious predecessors ever interpreted the Qur’an or Hadith to permit polyandry.

RE: Part 2

I’m sorry but I didn’t quite understand what specific point you were making here. However, I will restate that the basic problem with a polyandric family is that how can there be 4 heads of the same household? This not only goes against basic Islamic concepts, but also goes against all the rules of management. There cannot be more than one CEO for a company, there cannot be more than one president of a country… So how can there be 4 heads of one household??

Secondly… I’m not sure what you mean by ‘only if he knows about the other man’? Are you suggesting that a woman can marry 4 husbands and not tell one husband about the other?? This is hardly the way to maintain a family. This may even be termed adultery, because in Islam when a man and woman get married they must announce it to all… this is what the Walima is all about.

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I think I may have offended some people. I’d like to clarify a few points.

I have NEVER insisted on polyandry. I would never insist on any form of polygamy, as I believe it undermines and degrades the whole institution of marriage. I have only brought up the issue of polyandry because the author promotes and defends polygyny, on the basis that Islam allows it. Well, maybe there should be a debate about whether Islam would allow polyandry too.

Polyandry was practiced during pre-Islamic times, but since the advent of Islam it has been neither advocated nor prohibited. It is my humble opinion that polyandry is NOT forbidden in Islam. Therefore, the practice cannot be deemed a sin.

I have always said (and still do) that there appears not a single point in the holy Qur’an that says polyandry is absolutely forbidden. If something is NOT clearly forbidden, and one were to carry out the practice, then no mortal can ever call it a sin. That is for our Creator to decide on the Day of Judgement.

It is not enough to quote specific lines or verses from the Qur’an that forbid adultery or fornication, for the practice of polyandry would mean the wife is legally married to each man she has marital relations with, hence adultery or fornication would not be an issue.

To put the issue in perspective, polyandry is an accepted social convention in parts of South Asia, including India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, and Himalayas, also in parts of Africa, including Kenya and Tanzania.

Polyandry is legal in Canada, and practiced by certain groups in North America. Please check out the following links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry

http://www.suite101.com/content/polyandry-a343124

Polyandrous women possess a great deal of respect within their communities, and the effect of polyandry has, amongst other things, benefitted families with inheritance issues, economic and practical issues, and limiting the number of heirs per generation.

These facts cannot be disputed by any religion.

Polyandry happens in either of two forms; fraternal polyandry and non-fraternal polyandry.

In societies where fraternal polyandry is practiced, the eldest brother marries, and over time, his wife marries his younger brothers. Any children borne of that marriage is looked after and invested in by ALL the brothers, as even though the husbands cannot be certain of paternity, they can be certain of the genetic link to their brother at least. That would make them ‘uncle’ without a doubt.

In societies where non-fraternal polyandry is practiced, the wife marries another husband of equal or higher status to her current husband. This elevates the family’s current social or economic circumstance. Only one husband is home at any one time, while another may be working in the mountains, another maybe working in another town for extra income. The other husbands would be away from home for days and weeks at a time, so if the wife became pregnant, determining paternity would not be an issue.

Translate that to modern day Western Europe or USA. The husband, in an attempt to move up the career rank, is always at work, socialises with senior colleagues in the evenings and weekends, and when he is free, he wants to go out with his mates or colleagues.

The wife feels lonely, neglected, and naturally, takes on a lover.

The author says Islam’s solution to male infidelity is polygyny. Well, I’m asking, what is Islam’s solution to female infidelity?

Too often, we hear of women in the Middle East being stoned to death because of an act of adultery. Yet it is only classed as adultery because there was no legal document to register the union.

If polyandry was made legal in those countries, logic says there would be fewer women being stoned to death for the crime that is her biological nature – adutlery.

Have you ever heard of a man being stoned to death because he took on a second or subsequent wife? No. So how is it any different when a wife takes on a second or subsequent husband? As I’ve mentioned above, paternity need not be an issue.

If polygyny was banned, then those unions with the second and subsequent wives would be classed as adultery, and by the very law that stones adulterous women, those men would also have to be stoned to death.

Can anyone see why non-Muslims would be anti-Islam when hearing of these statistics?

If we are to say Islam is a true religion and caters for everyone, then let us consider the needs of women for whom one man is not enough. After all, men’s marital needs have been well documented and catered for within religion.

One last point; someone has said on this comment thread that polyandry isn’t even debatable. Why is that? If polygyny can be discussed and debated, why not polyandry? How else can we conclude whether polyandry is permissible in Islam or not?

In my opinion, anyone who says polyandry is not debatable is insincere, since they would not say that about polygyny.

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Hasan July 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

In response to Sabiha’s comment:

Part 1:

Since the final authority is Qur’an and Sunnah, and I am severely lacking in knowledge, I would first of all ask the sister to bring forth her evidence from the Qur’an or the Sunnah of where any female companion of Rasool Allah (S.A.W) took more than one husband. There were many sahaba including Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, and many others (may Allah be pleased with them all) who took more than one wife… especially when her husband died, so there must be an instance of a Sahabia doing the same..

The best of the Sahabiaat were Khadija, Fatimah, Hafsah, Ayesha, Umm Ayman and many many others… If there was such a permissibility then there is no reason for them to have abstained from taking more than one husband. But none of them ever did. Furthermore, the example is not seen amongst any well know pious Muslim woman throughout the ages. One may argue that Ayesha, Hafsah, Khadija were wives of the Prophet and the ruling was different for them… But then what about Fatima (RAA)??? If Ali (RAA) could marry so many women then what held Fatima back?? Or any of the other Sahabiaat for that matter??

The fact is that no such example exists in Islamic history… At least not of any pious Muslim woman or female scholar to the best of my knowledge. Meaning that polyandry was never considered a valid interpretation of the Qur’an or Sunnah…

Part 2

If you’ll allow me… I think that in order to understand this subject we must first realize that God has created each of His creatures with a unique purpose in life. Similarly men and women have been created each with their own roles to play. The primary purpose of both men and women is to worship Allah, and within that worship are defined their distinct roles in life. Men have been described in the Qur’an as the protectors and care-takers of the women. They are the bread winners and and must use what wealth they have to clothe and feed their families, because this is in the very nature of a man. No true man can feel fulfilled sitting at home while his wife goes out and earns for the family. Women on the other hand are in charge of domestic affairs and the primary upbringing of the children. Because this is in the nature of women. A woman does not think twice about staying up all night looking after a crying baby.. Because this is part of her maternal instinct to sacrifice herself for her child. A man cannot do this… He will usually (eventually) get upset. Furthermore, women by nature tend to be more emotional, while men tend to be more rational.

Thus… because of these different natures, Allah has chosen men as the head of the household and the ones with the final say in all decision making. This is clearly evident from the Qur’an as well as various Ahadith where Rasool Allah (SAW) emphasized how important it is for the wife to be obedient to her husband (as long as he does not command her to do something contrary to Islam). In a famous Hadith, Rasool Allah (SAW) said:

“…If it were right for a human being to prostrate to another human being I would have ordered the woman to prostrate to her husband”

Which clearly shows that it is the husband who is the head of the household and the final decision maker.

Therefore, for polyandry to be permissible it would mean that there is more than one head of the household. So who will lead the household if there are four men in the home? And believe you me… A real man will fight to the death before allowing another man to have sexual relations with his wife. This is something that goes completely against human nature. And the woman would be in such a weak state that she would not be able to divorce any of the men either… because the right to divorce lies in the man’s hand…. thus she is stuck to these four men till they all die or kill one another.

Furthermore, though you might not think it is significant… issues such as inheritance and determining of lineage will definitely come into question…

Still… at the end of the day, the ruling is ‘Obey Allah and Obey the Rasool’…. so if a valid example can be shown from the authentic Sunnah of the Rasool (SAW), our attitude as Muslims is… ‘We here and obey’

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nuradeen yahaya kwachiri July 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

islamic law is of yesterday, today and tomorrow , it is suitable for all generations and whoever violate it will be deep in sorrow either here in this world, hereafter or both,. may ALLAH guids us to the right path. ameen

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Carmen July 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

SABIHA,
I do not understand your insistence on polyandry and the falsehood of you claiming that it is NOT prohibited in the Quran.

Let’s start with definitions:
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pol·y·an·dry

1. Polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband.

2. A pattern of mating in which a female animal has more than one male mate.
Wikipedia – Dictionary.com – Answers.com – Merriam-Webster
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for·ni·ca·tion

voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other .
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Source
Wikipedia – Dictionary.com – Answers.com – Merriam-Webster
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a·dul·ter·y

Noun: Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.
Wikipedia – Dictionary.com – Answers.com – Merriam-Webster
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Illegal sex/ Zina
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Asnwer1 – Premarital sex is prohibited in Islam. It is called “Zina”. Here are the verses from the quran that orders this.

[Quran 17:32] Nor come near to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

[Quran 7:51] “Such as took their religion to be mere amusement and play, and were deceived by the life of the world.” That day shall We forget them as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs, and as they were wont to reject Our signs.

Quran 25:68-70 “And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse (zina) and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Quran 17:32 “And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way.”

[Quran 24:2] The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

Bukhari Volumn 002, Book 023, Hadith Number 413.
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Narated By ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar : The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque.”

Bukhari Volumn 003, Book 038, Hadith Number 508.
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Narated By Zaid bin Khalid and Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “O Unais! Go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse), then stone her to death.”

[Quran 24:3] Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.

[Quran 24:26] Women impure for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honourable.

[Quran 33:34] And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah (God) and His Wisdom: for Allah (God) understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them).

[Quran 33:35] For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true 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 a nd women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah (God)’s praise,- for them has Allah (God) prepared forgiveness and great reward.

Bukhari Volumn 008, Book 077, Hadith Number 609.
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Narated By Ibn ‘Abbas : I did not see anything so resembling minor sins as what Abu Huraira said from the Prophet, who said, “Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery whether he is aware of it or not: The adultery of the eyes is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation.”

There is no sin after shirk greater in the sight of Allah than a drop of semen which a man places in the womb which is not lawful for him. [Al-Bukhaari]

After me I have not left any fitnah (trial) more harmful to men than women. [Al-Bukhaari]

Bukhari Volumn 003, Book 043, Hadith Number 655.
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Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time, he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery.

what do do after zina/adultery/
———————

[Quran 3:133] And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (Pious or God fearing)

[Quran 3:134] Those who spend in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger,and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good­doers).

[Quran 3:135] And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse or major sins) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.

[Quran 3:136] For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders).

[Quran 3:137] Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away before you (O Prophet Muhammed), so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who disbelieved.

SOURCE: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Islam-947/2009/12/fornication-2.htm
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So, SABIHA, by definition of what adultery and fornication are and the fact that it is prohibited means by extraction that polyandry is prohibited. Please see below, where in the Quran under divorce it is clearly indicated that when a woman divorces, she must wait 3 months to make sure she is not pregnant from her husband and if she is then he can take her back. If she is practicing polyandry then why, would God make the woman wait 3 months. Even if she did wait, it would be impossible to determine which of her many husbands was the father, so why make such a clear instruction to divorcing women if they can practice polyandry. By simple deduction of the clear instruction it is prohibited to practice adultery or polyandry.

Also, under the rules of divorce it is very clearly stated that if your husband divorces you twice you must then marry another man and if this other man dies or divorces the woman, then the woman can go back and marry the first husband. This clearly indicates one husband at a time.

Please see below:

Ayah: 2:228

Sahih International
Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want …

Muhsin Khan
And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to …

Pickthall
Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands …

Yusuf Ali
Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in …

Shakir
And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses; and it is not lawful for them that they should conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the last day; and their husbands have a better right to …

Dr. Ghali
And divorced women shall a wait by themselves for three periods; and it is not lawful for them to keep back what Allah has created in their wombs, in case they (really) believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have truer (right) to restoring ( …
Found in: Sahih International / Muhsin Khan / Pickthall / Yusuf Ali / Shakir / Dr. Ghali (show first)

AND

Ayah: 2:229

Muhsin Khan
Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of …

Sahih International
The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it … she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul’ (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And …

Pickthall
Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be …

Yusuf Ali
A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold Together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (Men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that …

Shakir
Divorce may be (pronounced) twice, then keep (them) in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness; and it is not lawful for you to take any part of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah; then if you …

Dr. Ghali
Divorce is twice; then retention with beneficence or release in fairness. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of whatever you have brought (the women) except (in case) they both fear that they may not keep within (Literally: Keep up) the bounds …

Source: http://quran.com/search?q=divorce

I hope my English is up to your standards.

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owais ahmed July 15, 2011 at 4:10 am

I am sorry for using shorthands right through my replies…. Its just what happens when you text or chat a lot. The habit kind of creeps in ….

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Brother owais ahmed, it’s OK, please don’t apologise. I have always tried my best to practice and maintain good language skills, as too often I have witnessed people disregard it on the false assumption that it doesn’t matter.

The truth is, there’s no substitute for good language. Without it, misinterpretations can occur, followed by disputes, and in extreme cases, war.

I appreciate your apology, but if it is something you did without realising, then my criticism wasn’t aimed at you. It was aimed at those who thought their opinions were worth more than good language.

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Brother Owais Ahmed, thank you for your apology, but I wasn’t critcising you personally.

I was criticising those who thought their opinions were worth more than good language.

The truth is, there’s no substitute for good language. Without it, misinterpretations can occur, followed by disputes, and in extreme cases, war.

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sabiha July 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

As a Muslim woman, it pains me deeply that the majority of respondents to this article appear to be uneducated, some even in basic English.

An arguement loses merit if it disregards spelling and grammar.

I do not mean those brothers and sisters for whom Enlish is not the main language. I mean those for whom English is the main language [that they learnt through school, perhaps].

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Carmen July 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Sabiha, please do not be pained that others are not at your standard in the English language as this is not a language class.
We are all here to learn and discuss to the best of our ability. I really am proud that people can express themselves even in broken English. I would be incapable of doing so in their language. So please be tolerant.

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Asif July 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm

We find errors in NY Times and Wall Street Journal all the times. It is very common and acceptable to have a few errors, especially when writing a reply, or posting something online, without proof reading and spell checks. Please focus on the true essence of the article and the Spirit of the posts instead of Grammar and spellings. Thanks
And honestly, the posts and replies on this article has much better English than most of the posts and blogs I see in NY publications.

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

Asif, yes, we do find errors in national newspapers, but not to this extent I am talking about. There are comments on here where one has to decipher almost every other word. Other comments are full of ‘text speak’.

When a long comment is full of errors, it is difficult to focus on the essence of the article, as you say, because one is too busy deciphering the words.

Carmen, I do not believe I am asking too much. I am not talking about anyone being up to my standard in English, just a basic standard would be fine. An arguement loses merit if you constantly have to re-read words for them to make any sense.

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Muhammad kamrul hossain patwary July 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

The truth is human(man & woman) can not give solution to the problems of human. History proved it. Only the creator can give solution to the problems of the created, isn’t it? Allah(god) created us, only he knows the future of everything. He knows what will be neede in the future and what is best for us. What knowledge we have actually? What we have done with our wisdom? The present world is the example. How many people are really in peace and happiness? We have to agree that the divine knowlegenonly can guide us, as it guided 1400 years ago a savage nation. If we disobey the law of allah the consequence will be similar to the people who are perished.

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sabiha July 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Recently, an online disagreement arose between a male Muslim student and myself. What does Islam say about polyandry? To the best of my knowledge, Islam doesn NOT forbid polyandry. I said to him, “in the Qur’an or Hadith, polyandry is not forbidden, therefore, it cannot be a sin”. He said, “Does the Qur’an allow or mention polyandry? No, it does not. Case closed. Do not question Allah’s laws”. I said, “I am not questioning Allah’s laws, I am saying this law [about polyandry] does not exist”

I gave biological and evolutionary reasons why married women would have relations with, and bear children by, other men.

I also gave figures of paternity in the UK. Depending on region, between 5 and 30% of children are NOT the biological offspring of the man they call Dad.

Hasan says in this article, “No one is unaware of the part mistresses play in Western society”. Well, that ‘mistress’ is sometimes married herself. Also, in my experience, society is less aware of the role of the ‘male mistress’ because women are more discreet about their own conduct.

I have since learnt about this following line…

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: “(And prohibited to marry are) those who are already in the wedlock (of a man) from women except those that your right hands possess (i.e. slaves).” [Surah An-Nisa 4: 24]

The clause, ‘except those that your right hands possess’, is wide open to interpretation. The term could easily include married women.

I would like to ask, what is Hasan’s opinion on polyandry? Does he agree that it is NOT forbidden in Islam? What is his general view on the issue?

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sabiha July 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I forgot to mention, when I say ‘polyandry’, I mean the men a married woman has had marital relations with, even if there’s no legal document to register that union.

Also, to put the issue of polyandry in context, some circumstances require a woman to have more than one husband. First husband’s infertility, first husband’s lack of financial resources (loss of job, not enough earnings to survive on etc), and first husband’s absence (relating to job or war, perhaps).

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Alhamdollillah July 15, 2011 at 12:29 am

Sabiha, as other lady suggested to you that you should educate yourself more in the subject rather then keep bringing the same thing again and again.
Also, you made a mistake in spelling as well.
Try to learn more then argue about things, education is good for you mind and health ;)

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sabiha July 15, 2011 at 1:35 am

What is wrong with mentioning the same thing more than once. This comment thread is so long, it would be easy to miss my comments if I only mentioned them once. Also, I only mention them again in response to other comments.

Actually, it is not necessary for anyone to educate themselves on the subject, that is down to free will. It has been argued that religion is used as a scapegoat for personal/political gain. It is possible to argue on humanitarian issues without being a sholar of any religion. Moderate knowledge is fine for some.

Educating oneself on religion is very different to commenting on the flaws of a religious article, as by doing the latter you are potentially preventing others from being taken in by the flawed article. As I mentioned before, a professional author welcomes feedback, both negative as well as positive.

I made a spelling mistake? I apologise for that, but I never criticised anyone’s mistakes. Could you perhap’s point out where I made the spelling mistake?

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OZAVIZE July 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Marrying more than one wife has not really tackle increasing population of women in the world. It neither tackle adultery / fornication nor reduce crime to bearest minimum. How many single arabians marries as a virgin? They go for surgery so as to appear virgin otherwise the husband in question may revolt. but this is not right either. So also in Christianity or in secular world people justified themselve by their level of understanding either base on the scripture quoted from Quran or Bible.
One the essence of both religion (Christian/Muslim) is to bring sanity to humanity. God does not impose on individual, the choice is yours. it will either make you or mar you. For instance, if one choose to mary more than one wife in christianity, he can support it that Moses commanded it so but the purpose while moses said so, he has no understanding of it. And he will not care to read from the bible where christ expantiate on that issue. He said categorically, ….in the beginning it was not so… God made them Male and female (Matt19:1-8) also in the Book of (Malachi 2:14-15) God said so that you can raise a godly seeds.
from Quran verses as regard polygamy state above by the writer, the purpose was to cater for the widow, less privilege even as prophet Mohamed did but not as been practice now days. One wife is commanded in Islam even alot of muslim round the world practice this norms because obedient is better than sacrifice. thank you.

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leila July 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Does anyway know a female Muslim who I can talk to about marriage issues?

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Abdulafees July 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

thank u for this article.

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Mohammed July 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

This is wonderful article, it contains only the basic knowledge of Islam. Islam is the best religion in the world. This is known by each person. The only thing that is against Islam is the media. The media of the world is against Islam, they are the first one to report if something happens for a muslim or in an Islamic state or country, but if the same thing happens in a Western world or Christian dominated country, it is hidden.

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Radda Abdullahi Abubakar July 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Salam,

Jazakallahu Khayran and many thanks to the author and writer of this wonderful and very well articulated passage. If this and many more are available to those who think otherwise, I certainly believe that it will go a long way educating those that are not aware or those that have a very shallow knowledge and understanding of the status of women in Islam.

Jazakkallhu Khayran once again and I pray that Allah will continue to give us the strength to think and act rightly. Ameen.

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Sumaiya shabbir July 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

That was an incredibly informative thing… Thanx a lot sir… But i have been questioned by an atheist friend… That why does islam states bout the discipline of women… That how should a husband disciple a wife and doesnt state any bout the discipline of the husband?…

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Aftab July 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Very Insightful…Must Read for All Muslims who feel apologetic in front of false debates by believers of other religions……

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Fatima July 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Masha Allah beautifully written. May Allah grant you with the highest reward and even more…Ameen Ya Rabb

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Biljana July 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I was born in Ortodox Christian family, so I don’t know about other Christian fractions, but in Ortodoxy, a woman is supposed to cover herself from neck to hands and to her ancles. Also, we r prohibited to eat meat on wensdays and fridays, and whenever a day is dedicated to a saint, which is a few days every month. Furthermore, for 40 days before Easter and 20 or smtng days before Christmas, we r not alowed to eat meat, nor dairy nor eggs. And so forth. Moreover, in generation of my grandmother, all women were covering their heads all the time, even in the house with their families. And women are not allowed to enter Church if their head is not covered.
True Christianity is not that much different than Islam. However, modern day society discarded all those rules. I think that the biggest problem is that when women got the right to work, it was somehow interpreted as obligation to work (outside of house). But, when a women is pregnant and breastfeeding, she is not capable of working. When u r pregnant u feel tired all the time and in late stages of pregnancy it is very uncomfortable to sit for a prolonged period of time. And when u r breastfeeding, ur child needs u 24h a day. So even in western societies, employers ask u when u r looking for a job do u plan to have children, and u will b disqualified if u say yes. And if u have a small child, they get sick often and u must tend to them, and take days off work, employers will frown upon it and employ u only if u say that there is someone else that will take care of ur children. So bcz of working, many women have miscarriages, and complications on childbirth. (I am not saying that working is the only reason, but it does contribute to the problem.) Having children makes it impossible for a women to have a job. Eather she leaves her children at kindergarden and with nannies, or she loses her job, and is looked upon as less worthy than other women. That is why western women decide to have one child or none.
I know from experience. When I had my baby I lost the job I had. And ever since, even if I can find a job, they fire me everytime I say I have to take my son to doctor.
On the other hand, men now think that women is capable of supporting herself and dont feel obliged to take care of her. Like my ex husband, who moved away bcz baby was waking him up at night and making noise all the time. And he isn’t paying alimony, bcz he cant make enough money for two rents and everything,and he is always asking me why I don’t hold on to my job, like I want to be broke all the time. At the same time, my father remained conservative and when my husband left he told me ‘Better dead than divorced’ and I am not allowed to enter my parents house. And I am not the only one that was actually damaged by ‘equality among sexes’ in Western societies. There is no such thing as equality, and that is why there is so many divorces and single mothers nowdays. Women gained nothing,except the right to walk around half naked and have sex with as many men as they want. But I don’t think it was worth sacrificing sanctity of family and home for.
When u look at it that way, Muslim women have it better than Western :D
If their husbands really do take care of them as Islam tells them to. I would gladly cover myself from head to toe for a man that would come home every day after work, sleep in my bed, enable me to have more children, help me raise them to be decent grown ups and provide for us. But in Western culture, that isn’t an option, even if I found someone that would agree to that, society would consider me to b a parasite bcz I dont earn money and thus leave my children to nanies, my house to house maids and so forth.

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Angela Todd July 4, 2011 at 4:23 am

That is a terrible situation and it grieves me to think a man would leave his wife and child unattended like that. A real man stands by his family and earns the respect of his wife and children. I would do anything for my husband, not because I have to, but because he’s earned that respect. I hope you find the same happiness. However, don’t assume that the equality is what causes the hardships. I have a wonderful marriage with a man that treats me like an equal. Just because you’re equal doesn’t mean you won’t be taken care of, and not all women want to live that type of life. It’s perfectly okay for a woman to prefer the quiet life at home with a husband to take care of her, but it certainly should not be the only option for all women. May God take care of you in your hardships.

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shahnaz July 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

ma’m i read ur article ur right. u can do o ne thing for ur child those sufferings which suffered u should try to keep away from ur children.woman is not less than man.if u think muslims women condition is very gud than ur wrong.donot force ur girl child to cover her head.world is beautful live a happy life do right deeds than no need to follow religion blindly

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owais ahmed July 15, 2011 at 4:04 am

@Biljana : you really brought out a great view. Divorces today are increasing not because men or women have forgot to love each other ..they are growing because of the way our lifestyle have turned.

Biljana as u correctly pointed out in Christainity too Women are instructed to be covered.. Actually what has gone wrong in society is that people have twisted and turned it for there personal motives.

I just want to ask why do u think there are so many sects in Christanity though the messenger was one Prophet JESUS?? Well the answer is that various clerics and so called religious people have twisted facts in there favour. They even changed the contents of Holy book Bible. for now u can see various versions of Bible available.

Unfortunately same is now happening to ISLAM.People just are not rooted to their basics.ISLAM is beautiful and perfect way of life but their followers are not doing justice to it.

Though you think that in ISLAMIC countries the situation for women may be better but yet it is nothin different. However in people who follow true ISLAM(which unfortunately are decreasing ) the condition of women is better and really good.

ISLAM is the only religion who brought that women should have equal share in property and other matters.

What the western society(which itself is sufferening from these issues) thinks is that being independent for a girl means just going out and try to match men in evry aspects.
The results are for you to see. There are more divorce rates in West as compared to East,there are more rapes in West as compared to East , There is more crime aginst women in West …Just Google it and u get it

here is an eg

The crime-statistics indicate that in the next hour, somewhere in the United States, the following will happen:
900 Thefts
189 Violent Crimes
124 Assaults
66 Robberies
24 Sexual Assaults
12 Rapes

We all know US is ranked highest is cases of crime across the world!!!

I dnt want to be biased and against but thats the fact…..

And sister as far as u said that women are forced to leave there child to nannies and work .These are realities no Women in West can deny … No Women however liberal she call herself or However independent she is have the right to make her child suffer. If they say men should take equal care well then that’s not possible as we all know biologically women are made to take care of child .to feed them etc

The growing number of divorces and relationship problems are due to this fact … Everyone is mad about earning more money whether it be husband or wife ..and what is the cost ? The cost is that they are forcing theie child to live like orphan and lettin them grow without knowledge of religion !!
These kids then grow up and call themselves secular and independent and try to reason with theie incapable brain against the true Path which is shown to mankind by GOD. i.e ISLAM

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Sajna June 29, 2011 at 5:55 am

Vry informatve i lyk it

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Ebony June 29, 2011 at 1:00 am

I believe I enjoyed reading the comments more than the article itself, such bright and informative people. This is coming from a western woman who religion also share similar misconceptions as the muslim belief. I appreciate and would like to apologize to this people for judging so harshly upon you. clearly there are more similarities than differences amongst your religion and mine. Peace to you all.

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owais ahmed July 15, 2011 at 3:26 am

Ebony : Thanks for your words and certainly that’s what we all are going through. Certainly we have great similarities. Let me inform you that a Muslim cant be a true Muslim if he doesnt acknowledge the fact that JESUS (PBUH) is a messenger of GOD. So certainly we have a lot of similarities,there is no doubt in it.What’s unfortunate is that people from different faiths dont interact on religion and even if they,either they are too volatile or too shy in bringing out their point.

There are lot of misconceptions spread through media against all faiths for various political and other petty reasons.

Atleast we should try to follow what is common in all faiths then let ourselves just blindly criticise other faith..

Thanks

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