Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Highway 59 Blogging in Houston - Justice for Palestinians

Mini film about Highway 59 weekly protest in Houston Texas. The group wants fellow Americans to truly see what is really going on in Palestine as well as bring to light the amount of U.S. tax payers dollars going towards the state of Israel to fund the current Apartheid System of ethnic cleaning of the Muslims and Christian Palestinians. The media has banned any open discussions about this topic.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Niqab is NOT Required?

From the Book Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah
Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee

The main errors of those who make the face veil obligatory

1. The interpretation of al-idnaa’ in the verse of the Jilbaab to mean “covering the face”.

This misinterpretation is contrary to the basic meaning of the word in Arabic which is “to come close”, as is mentioned in authoritative dictionaries like al-Mufradaat by the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee. However, there is sufficient evidence in the interpretation of the leading commentator on the Quran, Ibn ‘Abbaas, who explained the verse saying, “She should bring the jilbaab close to her face without covering it.” It should be noted that none of the narrations used as evidence to contradict this interpretation are authentic.

2. The interpretation of jilbaab as “a garment which covers the face.”

Like the previous misinterpretation, this interpretation has no basis linguistically. It is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars, past and present, who define the jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar). Even Shaykh at-Tuwaijree himself narrated this interpretation from Ibn Mas‘ood and other Salafee scholars. Al-Baghawee mentioned it as the correct interpretation in his Tafseer (vol. 3, p. 518) saying, “It is the garment which a woman covers herself with worn above the dress (dir ‘) and the headscarf.” Ibn Hazm also said, “The jilbaab in the Arabic language in which the Messenger of Allaah () spoke to us is what covers the whole body and not just a part of it.” (vol. 3, p. 217). Al-Qurtubee declared this correct in his Tafseer and Ibn Katheer said, “It is the cloak worn above the headscarf.” (vol. 3, p. 518)

3. The claim that the khimaar (headscarf) covers the head and the face.

In doing so “the face” has been arbitrarily added to its meaning in order to make the verse:

"Let them drape their headscarves over their busoms"

appear to be in their favor, when, in fact it is not. The word khimaar linguistically means only a head covering. Whenever it is mentioned in general terms, this is what is intended. For example in the hadeeths on wiping (mas-h) on the khimaar and the prophetic statement, “The salaah of a woman past puberty will not be accepted without a khimaar.” This hadeeth confirms the invalidity of their misinterpretation, because not even the extremists themselves – much less the scholars – use it as evidence that the covering of a woman’s face in salaah is a condition for its validity. They only use it as proof for covering the head. Furthermore, their interpretation of the verse of the Qawaa

"to remove their clothing"

to mean “jilbaab” further confirms it. They hold that it is permissible for old women to appear before marriagealbe males in her headscarf with her face exposed. One of their noteable scholars openly stated that. As for Shaykh at-Tuwaijree, he implied it without actually saying it.

After checking the opinions of the early and later scholars in all the specializations, I found that they unanimously hold that the khimaar is a head covering. I have mentioned the names of more than twenty scholars, among them some of the great Imaams and hadeeth scholars. For example, Abul-Waleed al-Baajee (d. 474 AH) who further added in his explanation, “Nothing should be seen of her besides the circle of her face.”

4. The claim of a consensus (Ijmaa‘) on the face being considered ‘awrah.

Shaykh at-Tuwaijree claimed that scholars unanimously held that the woman’s face was ‘awrah and many who have no knowledge, including some Ph.D. holders, have blindly followed him. In fact, it is a false claim, which no one before him has claimed. The books of Hambalite scholars which he learned from, not to mention those of others, contain sufficient proof of its falsehood. I have mentioned many of their statements in Ar-Radd. For example, Ibn Hubayrah al-Hambalee stated in his book, al-Ifsaah, that the face is not considered ‘awrah in the three main schools of Islaamic law and he added, “It is also a narrated position of Imaam Ahmad.” Many Hambalite scholars preferred this narration in their books, like Ibn Qudaamah and others. Ibn Qudaamah in al-Mughnee explained the reason for his preference saying, “Because necessity demands that the face be uncovered for buying and selling, and the hands be uncovered for taking and giving.”

Among the Hambalite scholars, is the great Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee about whom Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said, “There is no one under the dome of the sky more knowledgeable about the school of Imaam Ahmad than Ibn Muflih.” And his teacher, Ibn Taymiyyah, once told him, “You aren’t Ibn Muflih, you are Muflih!”

It is incumbent on me to convey Ibn Muflih’s statements for the readers because of the knowledge and many benefits contained in them. Included in them is further confirmation of the falsehood of Shaykh at-Tuwaijree’s claim and support for the correctness of my position on the issue of uncovering the face. Ibn Muflih stated the following in his valuable work al-Aadaab ash-Shar‘iyyah – which is among the references cited by Shaykh at-Tuwaijree (something which indicates that he is aware of it, but has deliberately hidden these crucial facts from his readers while claiming the contrary):

“Is it correct to chastise marriageable women if they uncover their faces in the street?

The answer depends on whether it is compulsory for women to cover their faces or whether it is compulsory for men to lower their gaze from her. There are two positions on this issue.

Regarding the hadeeth of Jareer in which he said, “I asked Allaah’s Messenger about the sudden inadvertent glance and he instructed me to look away.” Al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad commented, “The scholars, May Allaah Most High have mercy on them, have said that there is proof in this hadeeth that it is not compulsory for a woman to cover her face in the street. Instead, it is a recommended sunnah for her to do so and it is compulsory for the man to lower his gaze from her at all times, except for a legislated purpose. Shaykh Muhyud-deen an-Nawawee mentioned that without further explanation.”

Then al-Muflih mentioned Ibn Taymiyyah’s statement which at-Tuwaijree relies on in his book (page 170), while feigning ignorance of the statements of the majority of scholars. Statements like those of al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad and an-Nawawee’s agreement with it.

Then al-Muflih said, “On the basis of that, is chastisement legal? Chastisement is not allowed in issues in where there is a difference of opinion, and the difference has already been mentioned. As regards our opinion and that of a group of Shaafi‘ite scholars and others, looking at a marriageable woman without desire or in a secluded circumstance is permissible. Therefore, chastisement is not proper.”

This answer is in complete agreement with Imaam Ahmad’s statement, “It is not proper that a jurist oblige people to follow his opinion (math-hab).” And this is if the truth were on his side. What of the case where the jurist proudly, dishonestly misleads people and declares other Muslims to be disbelievers as at-Tuwaijree did on page 249 of his book saying,

“… Whoever permits women to expose their faces and uses the proofs of al-Albaanee has flung open the door for women to publicly flaunt their beauty and emboldened them to commit the reprehensible acts done by women who uncover their faces today.” And on page 233 he said, “… and to disbelief in the verses of Allaah.”

Those are his words – May Allaah reform him and guide him. What would he say about Ibn Muflih, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad and other Palestinian scholars, as well as the majority of scholars who preceded them and who are my salaf regarding my opinion on this matter?

5. The agreement of at-Tuwaijree and the extremists with him to explain away the authentic hadeeths which contradict their opinion.

At-Tuwaijree did this with the Khath‘amiyyah hadeeth. They developed a number of comical methods to nullify its implications. I have refuted them all in ar-Radd and one of them in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah. Some reputable scholars have said that the hadeeth doesn’t contain a clear statement that her face was exposed. This is among the farthest opinions from the truth. For, if her face wasn’t exposed, where did the narrator or the viewer get the idea that she was beautiful? And what was al-Fadl repeatedly looking at? The truth is that this is among the strongest and most clear proofs that a woman’s face is not ‘awrah. In spite of that, there remains a group that insists that she was in ihraam while knowing that her ihraam does not prevent her from draping some of her clothing over her face. At-Tuwaijree does accept sometimes that her face was uncovered but he cancels its implication by saying, “There is no evidence in it that she continuously exposed her face!” He means that the wind must have exposed her face and at that instant al-Fadl ibn ‘Abbaas saw it. Is it possible for an Arab to say that after reading in the hadeeth “al-Fadl began to stare while turning towards her,” and in another narration “… so he began to look at her and her beauty amazed him.” Isn’t this pride with two protruding horns? At other times at-Tuwaijree interprets it as al-Fadl looking at her size and stature.

6. The frequent use of inauthentic hadeeths and unreliable narrations.

For example, the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas about exposing only one eye is commonly used by those who insist that women are obliged to cover their faces in spite of their knowledge of its inauthenticity. In fact, one among them also declared it inauthentic. Perhaps the most important of these unreliable hadeeth commonly used as evidence is the one in which the Prophet is reported to have said, “Are you both blind?” They blindly followed at-Tuwaijree and the others in claiming that this inauthentic narration was strengthened by other supportive narrations and that it was evidence for the prohibition of women from looking at men, even if they are blind. They took this position in spite of the fact that the narration was classified inauthentic by the leading verification experts among the hadeeth scholars like, Imaam Ahmad, al-Bayhaqee and Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr. Al-Qurtubee related that the narration was not considered authentic among the scholars of hadeeth. Consequently, many Palestinian hambalite scholars made their rulings on that basis. Furthermore, that is what the science of hadeeth and its methodology requires as was clearly stated in al-Irwaa. However, in spite of all that evidence to the contrary, Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir as-Sindee had the nerve to go along with Shaykh at-Tuwaijree and others and claim that its chain of narration was authentic. By doing that he exposed himself and his ignorance or feigned ignorance. It is unfortunate that he took this position, because the hadeeth’s chain contains an unknown narrator from whom only one person narrated along with its contradiction to what leading scholars have narrated. Contrary to the level of scholarship that we are used to from Shaykh as-Sindee, he has brought in support of his claim the most amazing things. He arguments unexpectedly contain deception, misguidance, blind following, hiding knowledge and turning away from his own fundamental principles. Among the amazing positions is Shaykh as-Sindee’s feigned ignorance that the narration contradicts the hadeeth of Faatimah bint Qays which contains the Prophet’s permission for her to stay at the home of the blind companion, Ibn Umm al-Maktoom, whom she would be able see. The Prophet gave the reason for that instruction in his statement to her, “For if you take off your head scarf, he won’t see you.” In at-Tabaraanee’s narration from Faatimah, she said, “He instructed me to be at Ibn Umm Maktoom’s home because he couldn’t see me whenever I took my head scarf off.”

There are also a number of other unreliable hadeeths gathered by at-Tuwaijree in his book. I mentioned ten of them in my response, and among them are some fabricated tradition

7. The classification of some authentic hadeeths and confirmed narrations from the Companions as inauthentic.

The extremists have declared well-established reliable narrations as unreliable and feigned ignorance of strengthening narrations. They have further declared some narrations extremely inauthentic, like the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah concerning the woman who reaches puberty, “Nothing should be seen of her besides her face and hands.” They have persistently declared it inauthentic – the ignorant among them blindly following others devoid of knowledge. In so doing, they contradict those among the leading scholars of hadeeth who strengthen it like al-Bayhaqee and ath-Thahabee. Most of them, including some prominent scholars, feign ignorance of its various chains of narration. In fact, at-Tuwaijree openly stated on page 236 of his book that this statement was only narrated in ‘Aa’ishah’s hadeeth. Even though he has seen with his own eyes on pages 57-9 of my book two other chains: one of which is from Asmaa bint ‘Umays and the other from Qataadah in the abbreviated (mursal) format with an authentic chain of narration. Many of the blind followers followed him, including some female authors as in Hijaabuki ukhtee al-muslimah [Your veil, my sister Muslim], page 33.

They also pretend to be ignorant of the leading hadeeth scholars and others who strengthened it, like al-Munthiree, az-Zayla‘ee, al-‘Asqlaanee and ash-Shawkaanee. Some of those who promote themselves as being among the well versed in this noble science – in their forefront Shaykh as-Sindee – claim that some of its narrations are extremely weak and unreliable in order to escape from the hadeeth science rule that ‘unreliable narrations are strengthened by narrations similar to them’. In doing that, they delude their readers into thinking that no one ruled the weak narrators, like ‘Abdullaah ibn Lahee‘ah, trustworthy and that they cannot be used as supportive evidence. In doing that, they contradict the methodology of the hadeeth scholars in using supportive evidence. Among them is Imaam Ahmad and Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allaah have mercy on them. Likewise, they all feign ignorance that the scholars – among them Imaam ash-Shaafi‘ee –confirm the hadeeth mursal if most scholars use it as evidence, as is the case of ‘Aa’ishah’s hadeeth.

Other strengthening factors may be added to the above.

(a) The hadeeth has been narrated by Qataadah from ‘Aa’ishah.
(b) It has been narrated in another chain from Asmaa.
(c) All three narrators of the hadeeth ruled according to it.

Qataadah stated in his interpretation of the verse on draping, “Allaah has placed on them the requirement to cover the eyebrows,” That is, “and not on their faces” as stated by at-Tabaree.

‘Aa’ishah said, regarding the female in ihraam, “She may drape the garment on her face, if she wishes.” This was narrated by al-Bayhaqee in an authentic chain of narrators. There is clear evidence in ‘Aa’ishah’s giving the female pilgrim a choice in draping that in her opinion the face was not ‘awrah. Otherwise she would have made it obligatory on them as those who contradict it do. Because of their position, most of the extremist authors, with at-Tuwaijree in the forefront, hid this statement of Umm al-Mu’mineen, ‘Aa’ishah from their readers. The author of Faslul-khitaab [The Definitive Statement] deliberately deleted this portion of al-Bayhaqee’s narration in his book. This being only one of a number of similar disreputable acts which I have exposed in my book. The supportive evidence is that this authentic narration from her strengthens her hadeeth from the Prophet. This is among the facts that people are unaware of or they pretend ignorance of, either choice is bitter to swallow.

As for Asmaa, it has been authentically reported from Qays ibn Abee Haazim that he saw her as a woman of white complexion with tatoos on her hands.

(d) The narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas earlier mentioned, “She should pull the jilbaab (cloak) close to her face without putting it on her face.” His interpretation of the verse of adornment

"except what appears from it"

as referring to“the face and hands” was similar. There is also a similar narration from Ibn ‘Umar to the same effect.

At this point, a bitter reality must be noted due to the lessons which may be gained from it, the knowledge which it contains and is service as a reminder of the wise saying: “The truth is not know by people, know the truth and you will know people.”

At the same time that Shaykh at-Tuwaijree insists on rejecting the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and its supporting evidences, among them Qaatadah’s mursal narration, he willingly accepts another inauthentic hadeeth from her with mursal support. In that hadeeth it is mentioned “…that she wore a niqaab (face veil)…” and that she was supposed to have described the Prophet’s wife Safiyyah and the Ansaar women as “… a jewess among jewesses…” which is considered by scholars to be a very erroneous statement (munkar jiddan). The Shaykh argues on page 181, “It has mursal supportive evidence,” and quotes one of the mursal hadeeths of ‘Ataa containing a known liar in its chain of narration.

One should reflect on the great difference between this fabricated supportive evidence and the authentic supportive evidence of Qataadah further supported by other evidences, then ask, “Why did at-Tuwaijree accept the second hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and not the first?” The obvious answer is that the accepted one contains reference to wearing the niqaab – even though it does not indicate obligation – while the rejected one denies it. Thus, in this regard, the Shaykh did not base his position on Islaamic legal principles, but on something similar to the Jewish principle: The ends justify the means. May Allaah help us.

8. Placing unreasonable conditions

Among the amazing practices of some latter day blind following hanafite scholars and others is that on one hand they agree with us regarding the permissibility of women exposing their faces, because that was the position of their Imaams, but on the other hand they agree with the extremists in opposition to their Imaams. They make ijtihaad (while claiming taqleed) by adding the condition that the society be safe from fitnah to the position of the Imaams. This refers to the fitnah caused by women to men. Then one of the ignorant contemporary blind followers went to the extreme of actually attributing this “condition” to the Imaams themselves. Among some of those having no knowledge, this resulted in their concluding that there is essentially no difference between the position of the Imaams and the extremists.

It is obvious to jurists that this condition is invalid because it implies that humans know something which the Lord missed knowing. That is, the temptation of women did not exist during the time of the Prophet () thus we had to create a special ruling for it which did not exist previously. In fact, the fitnah did exist during the era of divine legislation and the story of al-Fadl ibn ‘Abbaas’ trial with the Khath‘amiyyah woman and his repeated looking at her is not far from the readers’ memories.

It is well known that when Allaah Most High instructed men and women to lower their gazes and instructed women to veil themselves in front of men, He did that to block the road to corruption and prevent temptation. In spite of that, He – Most Great and Glorious – did not command that they cover their faces and hands in front of them. The Prophet () further emphasized that in the story of al-Fadl by not commanding the woman to cover her face. And Allaah was truthful when He said,

"And your Lord is not forgetful"

The reality is that the condition of there not being fitnah was only mentioned by scholars regarding the man’s looking at the woman’s face, as in al-Fiqh ‘alaa al-mathaahib al-arba‘ah, page 12. They said, “That [the woman’s face may be uncovered] is permissible on condition that there is safety from temptation,” and that is true, contrary to what the blind followers practice. They conclude from it that the woman is obliged to cover her face, when in fact it is not a necessary consequence. They know that the condition of safety from temptation also applies to women. For it is not permissible for them to stare at a man’s face except where there is safety from temptation. Is it then a necessary consequence that men also veil their faces from women to prevent temptation as some tribes called the Tawareg do.

They would have a basis in fiqh of the Quraan and Sunnah if they said that a woman veiled in correct jilbaab who fears being harmed by some corrupt individuals due to her face being exposed is obliged to cover her face to prevent harm and temptation. In fact, it could even be said that it is obligatory on her not to leave her home if she feared that some evil authorities supported by a leader who does not rule by what Allaah revealed, as exists in some Arab countries since a few years ago, would pull her jilbaab from her head. As to making this obligation a compulsory law for all women everywhere and in all eras, even if there did not exist any harm for veiled women, No. Absolutely not. Allaah was truthful when He said,

"Do they have partners who legislated for them in the religion what Allaah did not permit??"

These are the most significant of the extremist opposition’s mistakes which I thought needed brief mention due their strong link to the contents of this book. I then closed ar-Radd al-Mufhim with a reminder that extremism in the religion – considering that the Wise Legislator forbade it will not bring any good. And it is not possible for it to produce a generation of young Muslim women carrying Islaamic knowledge and practice moderately balanced, with neither excesses nor deficiencies. Not like what I have heard about some young female adherents in Arab countries when they heard the Prophet’s statement, “The woman in ihraam should neither wear a niqaab nor gloves,” they did not accept it saying instead, “We will wear our niqaabs and gloves!” No doubt, this was a direct result of the extremist views which they heard regarding the obligation of covering their faces.

I certainly cannot imagine that this type of extremism – and this is only one example from many which I have – can possibly produce for us salafee women able to do everything their religiously guided social life demands of them in a way similar to the righteous women of the Salaf.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ten different phrases that are short, easy, and light, but will give you what no eye has seen, no hear has heard, and what no mind has imagined.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, AsSalam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuhu
Ten different phrases that are short, easy, and light, but will give you what no eye has seen, no hear has heard, and what no mind has imagined.
Enjoy (and implement):
1 - "Whoever says: 'Glorified is Allah, the Most Great, and praised is He' [Subhan Allah al-'Adhim wa bi-Hamdih] will have a date palm planted for him in Paradise." ['Sahih al-Jami'' #5531]
2 - "Whoever is stricken with sadness, grief, sickness or hardship and says: 'Allah is my Lord, without any partners' [Allahu Rabbi, la sharika lah], then it will be removed from him." [ 'Sahih al-Jami'' #6040]
3 - "Whoever ate something, then said: 'Praise be to Allah who has fed me this food and provided it for me, without any strength or power on my part' [al-Hamdu lillah aladhi at'amani hadha wa Razaqnih bi ghayr hawlin minni wa la quwwa] is forgiven his past and future sins. And whoever wears a garment and says: 'Praise be to Allah who has clothed me with this garment and provided it for me without any strength or power on my part' [al-Hamdu lillah aladhi kasani hadha at-thawb wa Razaqnih bi ghayr hawlin minni wa la quwwa] is forgiven his past and future sins." ['Sahih al-Jami'' #6086]
4 - "Whoever enters the marketplace and says: 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah who has no partners, for Him is the Dominion, and for Him is all Praise, He brings life and He causes death, and He is Alive and does not die, in His Hand is all good, and He is able to do all things,' [La ilaha ill-Allah, Wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-Mulk, wa lahul-Hamd, yuhyiyy wa yumit, wa Huwa Hayyun la yamut, bi Yadihil-Khayr wa Huwa 'ala kulli shay'in Qadir] then Allah will write one million good deeds for him, and will wipe away one million of his bad deeds, and will raise him one million levels and will build a home for him in Paradise." ['Sahih al-Jami'' #6231]
5 - "Whoever controls his anger when he is able to act upon it, then Allah will call him to come in front of all of the Creation so that he would let him choose from the Hur al-'Ayn and marry from them whomever he pleases ." ['Sahih al-Jami'' #6518]
6 - "Whoever asks Allah for Paradise three times [Allahumma inni as'aluk al-Jannah], then Paradise will say: "O Allah! Enter him into Paradise!" And whoever seeks protection with Allah from the Fire three times [ Allahumma najjini min an-Nar], the Fire will say: "O Allah! Protect him from the Fire!"" [Reported by at-Tirmidhi, and it is authentic]
7 - "Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and the believing women, Allah writes for him - for every believing man and woman - a good deed." [Reported by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad, and it is authentic]
8 - 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud said: "Whoever reads 'al-Mulk' (chapter 67 of the Qur'an) every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), we used to call it al-mani'ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah, it is a chapter which - whoever recites it every night - has done very well." ['Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib' #1475]
9 - "Whoever asks Allah sincerely for martyrdom [Allahumma inni as'aluk ash-shahadah], Allah will cause him to reach the status of the martyrs even if he dies in his bed." ['Sahih al-Bukhari' #1909]
10 - "No one witnesses that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that I am Allah's Messenger - truthfully, from his heart - except that Allah makes the Fire of Hell forbidden to touch him." [Reported by Muslim, Ahmad, and al-Bayhaqi]
Translated by Abu Sabaayaa

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Mosque - A Welcoming Place for Would-be Converts?

Alas not, according to Yahiya Emerick

When I saw he was very receptive to Islamic teachings I began to get excited. Here was a man who spent his entire life living for little more than himself, now he wanted to live for a greater ideal, a higher goal. He could very easily become a Muslim. I knew I had to move carefully. One misstep and he might turn away and remain unfulfilled and lost.

I thought of what to do next. I was only one person. I knew he needed to see more, to know more, to understand more. I realized then that my problems were just beginning.

If you can identify with this scenario then you may already know what problems naturally follow. If you cannot conceive that there would ever be any difficulty with introducing someone to Islam, then read on and be enlightened. Certainly light can dispel the darkness that has hidden the truth to many.

We've all dreamed of bringing someone to Islam. Every time we've had the chance to share our faith with others we thought about the potential for a new Muslim being born. The Blessed Prophet once said that to bring someone to Islam is better than the whole world and everything in it. It's especially of interest to those of us who have accepted Islam ourselves. We know what life is like before Islam: stupid, meaningless and empty. We know our fellow Americans need it desperately.

But no man is an island and Islam cannot operate in a confined space. To achieve the full benefit of Islamic practice, one must live Islam, come into contact with other Muslims and have access to uplifting and inspiring "Taqwa Builders" such as books, gatherings, salah in jama'ah, etc...

Let's say, just for a moment, that you convinced someone to consider Islam a bit closer. Let's say you've peaked their interest and you've reached them at the right time in their lives. What do you do next? If you were a Christian, you might introduce the person to your Bible-study group or bring them to your Church where they can be drawn into the life-blood of the thriving institution.

But as a Muslim, you know that we, as a community, don't have relevant, interesting study groups. Instead, we have boring meetings where a bunch of old guys sit around and argue about fiqh issues, middle eastern politics or the evil Americans. Scratch that. You can't take your convert-to-be there.

What about the Masjid? Surely I could take him or her there? Well, not if it's a her, in most cases, because many of the Masajid tend to be very anti-female places where sisters are shoved into back closets, stuffy basements or tiny places far away from anything important. (In the old country, women didn't even go to the Masjid anyway. "Ah, the good ol' days," they reminisce.)

But your prospect is a male, good, that solves that problem. So you bring him with you to evening prayers one night so he can get a feel for the place Muslims meet. If you're blessed with a well-organized Masjid, then you're okay. But if you're Masjid is like most, it is disorganized, has no real full-time secretary, is dirty with papers and things lying around and, perhaps, there are people living in it and sleeping around here and there or hoards of unsupervised children are all over the place, running amok.

Your friend is open-minded so looks past all the third-world habits he sees flaunted and sincerely wants to learn. You're lucky, because most educated Americans of all races wouldn't want to stay in a place that reminds them of a welfare building.

You make Salah and perhaps your friend joins in. He loves the experience. Afterwards, you introduce him to the Imam and some of the brothers. They're friendly, warm and decent people. Then everyone decides to sit together for a small meal in the Masjid and your friend hesitates. He feels shy. He's off his own turf, after all, and is completely dependent on you at the moment for his sense of center and place.

A large sheet is spread and the brothers sit down around it. A community bowl is placed in the center and then everyone begins eating. Your friend takes a few tentative bites and begins to relax. He even exchanges a word or two with the brothers and is on the verge of opening up. Then, something strange happens. Slowly, imperceptibly, the words floating in the air begin to lose their English flavor and drift over into Urdu or Arabic or Bengali or whatever. After ten minutes, everyone is speaking a foreign language and laughing and ribbing each other.

Your friend starts to feel uncomfortable again. No one talks to him, no one looks at him. You try to engage him in small conversation or even try to translate discreetly what they're talking about. But after a few minutes of translating the useless banter of what's going on in so and so's old town in the dusty old country, you see it's not worth trying anymore.

You finish the meal and the brothers depart. A Muslim sister passes by along the edge of the room carrying a food pot to the kitchen. She looks timid and skulks like a thief who hopes to go unnoticed. None of the men salute her or offer to help. They merely throw their plastic plates in the garbage and filter out of the Masjid and go home.

You try to keep the interest of your friend. You don't want it to end here. You look around near the Masjid entrance for some literature you can give him. There are no booklets, flyers or anything like that. All there seems to be are piles of donation forms from about twelve different relief organizations.

You're getting nervous. You know follow-up is the key. Your friend shifts his mind to going home. You can almost see the invisible block erecting itself again. You don't want to start at ground zero again. You tell him you want to check and see what upcoming programs are available to attend. You go to the bulletin board. It's a mess. Papers announcing programs held three months ago still remain. Ads for carpet cleaners and halal meat stores jostle with each other for space.

After a frantic search you're eyes brighten for a moment. You find notice of an upcoming event. But after seeing who the speaker will be you become disappointed. The scholar in question is legitimate, but he hardly speaks good English and often puts audiences to sleep in record time. He never even speaks about anything relevant. You don't ever want to take anyone interested Islam there-- you wouldn't even go yourself, equating it with a horrible punishment.

You and your friend make ready to leave. You pass by the locked door to the library. A thought comes and then goes just as quickly. No one attends to the library around here and it's full of books a seeker of knowledge would never understand anyway.

Hoping for the guidance of Allah upon your friend, you bid each other good night and he travels off in his car to his home. Either he has a lot to think about or he feels he found another dead end in his quest for a spiritual center.

As you turn onto the highway you can't help but wonder: what if your Masjid were just a little different? What if it was set up for da'wah like nearly every church in America is. What if it were clean, well-maintained, staffed with a friendly secretary and set up as a full service center for the community? What if those people who have lived in this country for ten years or more would open up and at least speak the language of the people around them when they were present? What if there were good, relevant programs for Muslims and non-Muslims alike given by people who were inspiring, eloquent and aware of the issues we face in the modern world?

Then, just then, you think to yourself, people like my friend would be accepting Islam all the time. If you can identify with anything I've written in this article, then resolve to do something about it. If your Masjid is good and run in a professional manner for da'wah and community support, then please give your address to every Muslim in your city or suburb so they can steer clear of the Masajid which fall far short of decent management and organization.

If a Muslim businessperson can go to Indonesia and within ten years everyone in the village is Muslim, what are we doing who have been here for decades? There are hardly any converts attending our Masajid, second-generation kids find it irrelevant to be involved there and women are given little, if any voice in our community affairs.

Time and time again I have seen middle-aged, wealthy men who made big kuffer-bucks in every haram way, filling the Masajid and talking about establishing Islam in this nation. Meanwhile, their kids are outside talking about music, girls, dancing or whatever, their wives are at home watching godless TV programs and their relatives lost Islam long ago. All this happened right under their noses, by the way.

If we truly want to establish Islam here then we have to build community Masajid which serve the community and are relevant to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I wouldn't want to be those people on Judgment Day who built a Masjid in this life but then made it a dead structure by their own hands. Allah help us take the Masajid out of their control before there are no more Muslims left to fill them!

By Yahiya Emerick

* This article is published here with the kind permission of the author.

Friday, January 27, 2006



Abdur-Rahman Abdul-Khaliq

A Daar of Islamic Heritage Publication

Chapter 11: What Annuls Marriage Contracts (Al-Khul)

We talked about divorce and death and the rights and obligations that will arise from each case. We explained with some detail the rules of valid divorce and stated that the man has the right to divorce his wife and that he must adhere by the rules and obligations that will arise from divorce. Now, a question may arise, "Does Islam give the woman the right to seek to end her marriage (seek Khul)?" The answer to this question is "yes," but there are certain rules and restricts that must first be applied:

1. If the wife seeks to end her marriage to her husband, that is, if she seeks Khul, she must provide a valid reason for such a request. Al-Bukhari and An-Nasaii reported that ibn Abbas said, "The wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shmmas came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I do not accuse him (meaning Thabit, her husband) of bad conduct or being bad in the religion. However, I hate acts of disbelief after (I accepted) Islam (meaning she hates to mistreat him)." He said, "Will you return his garden to him (the Mahr that he gave her)?" She said, "Yes." The Messenger of Allah then said to Thabit, "Take the garden and divorce her once." This is proof that the wife can seek divorce from her husband, who is good both in his conduct and in the religion, because she hates him for some valid reason.

2. In the case of Khul, the husband can take back all the Mahr that he gave his wife, as is evident by the Prophet asking Thabit's wife if she would return his garden to him. Also, Allah said, what translated means, "And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back any of your Mahr (from your wives) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin for either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or part of it) for her Khul (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are unjust (or the wrongdoers, etc.) Surah Al-Baqarah 2:229

"There is no sin for either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or part of it)" means that if the woman seeks divorce, she is allowed to do so on the condition that she gives back the Mahr. In such cases, the husband will be compelled to accept this offer, if the reason his wife gives is that she will not be able to treat him the way Allah ordained. Indeed, her inability to preserve the rights of her husband allows her to seek a way out of this marriage.

3. What the wife pays back to her husband in return for her release from marriage bonds and obligations must not exceed the Mahr itself. Ad-Daraqhutni reported that Abu Az-Zubayr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said to the wife of Qays, "Are you willing to give him back his garden that he gave you (as a Mahr)?" She said, "Yes, and more." He said, "As for the increase, no. But his garden only?" She said, "Yes." Some scholars, yet, said that the husband is allowed to take more than the Mahr from his wife in return for divorce. They used the following Ayah as evidence, "There is no sin for either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or part of it). Surah Al-Baqarah 2:229. However, this understanding is incorrect for two reasons: First, the Prophet said, "As for the increase, no." Second, this is an unjust ruling for the wife who does not want to continue to be married to her husband whom she is unable to fulfill his obligations and rights on her. What provides justice for her is to only give back what he gave her as a Mahr with which their married life together started. Why should the man ask for more than this and treat his wife as if she is committing a crime when she seeks Al-Khul from him?

4. Will the husband be compelled to divorce his wife if she seeks Al-Khul? If the wife can no longer fulfill the rights of her husband on her because she hates him, then her husband will be forced to grant her a divorce, whether he likes her or is only refusing to divorce her to punish her. The Messenger of Allah did not even hear Qay's side of the story. He said to him, "Take the garden and divorce her once." This is proof that the husband is forced to divorce his wife in such cases. Also, this proof is why we do not agree with the opinion of many scholars of Fiqh that, in such cases, the wife is forced to stay with her husband. These Fiqh scholars treat married life as if it is just a matter of providing for food and life expenses for the wife. There are more important aspects of married life, such as the harmony that should be present to ensure a successful marriage. Also, the wife may discover that her husband turned out not to be the man whom she thought he is, as is the case with the wife of Qays. One day, she saw her husband coming back with some of his friends and noticed that he was the shortest and the ugliest among them. She disliked him for this and the Messenger of Allah granted her divorce for this reason. This is why we stated that the opinion taken by some scholars of Fiqh, that the wife is forced to stay with her husband whom she hates, is incorrect because marriage is much more than providing for the wife's life needs. It is an act of transgression if a woman is forced to live with a man whom she dislikes, because marriage is a contract that is built on mutual agreement and cannot be built on force. A man who seeks the help of the police to bring back his wife by force (as in the case in some Muslim countries) is unjust in my judgment. Again, this is why we say that such opinion expressed by some scholars of Fiqh is invalid and incorrect; it is not derived from the Quran or Sunnah. Indeed, Allah gave the husband the right to advise his wife if she commits mistakes, or to desert her bed for a while and then even strike her mildy, as a means of discipline. This is different from forcing her to stay in a marriage that she hates. The later is revenge, and there is a big difference between revenge and discipline.

The rules of Al-Khul that we approvingly stated are also the opinions of scholars of Fiqh who correctly derived their rulings depending on the Quran and Sunnah and not on tradition. Imam Ash-Shawkani said, after mentioning the Hadiths that we mentioned, that the disappearance of harmony in marriage is reason enough to grant the wife a divorce if she seeks it. He also stated that the order of the Prophet to Qays to take back his garden and divorce his wife, was an obligation and that there is no proof to the contrary. He also refuted the opinion that if the wife said that she hates her husband or that marital problems cause her to ask for divorce, that the man must also feel the same if the divorce is to be granted. Ash-Shawkani said, "The Prophet did not ask Thabit if he hated her (his wife) too when she said that she hated him."

We believe that there is no doubt that the opinion Ash-Shawkani took provides justice for the wife. Allah gave the wife the right to be justly dealt with, "And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them." Surah Al-Baqarah 2:228

In short, the man has the right to divorce his wife, and also the wife has the right to seek divorce from her husband if she fears that she will not be able to preserve his rights on her.

Imam ibn Al-Qayyim said, "Some people, isolated from the mainstream (by choosing invalid options), defied the texts of the Quran and Sunnah when they disallowed Al-Khul. This Ayah proves that the Muslim leader and others (such as the scholars) are allowed to conduct Khul. Some, from among the four Imams, said that this can be done only with the leader's permission, but the majority (of scholars) disapproved of their opinion."

5. When completed, Al-Khul is considered a final divorce and the husband has no right to take back his wife during her iddah. However, he can later remarry her with a new marriage contract and a new Mahr, if she agrees.

6. The woman who seeks and gets Al-Khul has to observe the Iddah of one period only, not three as in normal divorces. Ar-Rubayy bint Mu'awwith said, "The Messenger of Allah ordered a woman who sought (and was granted) Al-Khul from her husband to wait for one period and then leave to her family's." (An-Nasaii)



Aboo Tasneem Dawud Adib

These are SOME of the reasons the Ulamaa say women may ask for a khul'a from their husbands:

If a woman dislikes her husband’s treatment of her for example, he is over-strict, hot-tempered or easily provoked, or gets angry a lot, or criticizes her and rebukes her for the slightest mistake or shortcoming, then she has the right of khula’ [female-instigated divorce].

If she dislikes his physical appearance because of some deformity or ugliness, or because one of his faculties is missing, she has the right of khula’.

If he is lacking in religious commitment for example, he doesn’t pray, or neglects to pray in jamaa’ah, or does not fast in Ramadaan without a proper excuse, or he goes to parties where haraam things are done, such as fornication, drinking alcohol and listening to singing and musical instruments, etc. she has the right of khul.

If he deprives of her of her rights of spending on her maintenance, clothing and other essential needs, when he is able to provide these things, then she has the right to ask for khula’.

If he does not give her her conjugal rights and thus keep her chaste because he is impotent (i.e. unable to have intercourse), or because he does not like her, or he prefers someone else, or he is unfair in the division of his time [i.e., among co-wives], then she has the right to ask for khula’. And Allaah knows best.



Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen

Question: A woman was married for many years and did not have any children. After an examination, it was determined that the problem was from her husband and it would be impossible for the two of them to have children. Does she have the right to seek a divorce?

Response: That woman has a right to ask for divorce from her husband if it is shown that the infertility problem is from him alone. If he divorces her, that is final. If he does not divorce her, a judge may dissolve her marriage. This is because the woman has the right to have children and many women do not even get married except to have children. If the man she is married to is impotent or sterile, she has the right to ask for divorce and have her marriage dissolved. This is the stronger opinion among the scholars.



Shaykh Ibn Baaz

Question: What is the legal ruling concerning seeking a divorce when proper relations become an impossibility? This is due to the following reasons: First, my husband is ignorant and he does not recognise any rights for me. He curses me and my father and calls us Jews, Christians and Shee'ah. However, I was patient with his evil manners because of my child. But when I became ill with arthritis, I no longer had the ability to bear his behaviour. I began to hate him a great deal, to the point that I cannot stand even talking to him. I asked him for a divorce but he refused. Now I have been living with him for six years with my children and he treats me like a divorced woman or a woman who is not related to him. But he still refuses divorce. I beg for your answer to my question.

Response: If the situation is as you have just described, there is nothing wrong in seeking divorce. There is no harm also in you ransoming yourself by paying him some wealth in order for him to divorce you. This is due to his improper behaviour and wronging you by evil speech. If you think it feasible, for the sake of your children and your need for his maintenance as well as the children's, to be patient and advise him to behave properly and ask Allaah to guide him, there is great reward and a good end. We ask Allaah to guide him and make him firm in his religion.This answer is assuming that he prays and does not curse the religion. If he does not pray or if he curses the religion, he is a disbeliever. Then it is not permissible for you to stay with him or allow him control over you. This is because cursing and ridiculing the religion is disbelief and straying. It is apostasy from Islaam according to the consensus of the scholars. This is based on Allaah's statement:{Say: Was it Allaah, and His signs and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse! You have disbelieved after you had believed}, [Soorah at-Towbah, Aayah 65-66]. Also, abandoning the prayer is a greater form of disbelief, even if a person does not deny its obligation, according to the stronger opinion among the scholars. This is based on what has been confirmed from the Prophet (saws) in Saheeh Muslim from Jabir ibn 'Abdullaah that the Prophet (saws) said: ((Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is the abandoning of the prayer)).Also, Imaam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan recorded with a Saheeh chain from Buraydah ibn al-Hasib that the Prophet (saws) said: ((The covenant between us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed disbelief)).There are also other evidences from the Qur.aan and Sunnah besides what we have mentioned.


Adil Salahi

Question: After a few months of marriage, I realized that every thing was going wrong, and we were having serious problems. I asked my husband to divorce me, but he has not responded. We are living in two different countries: he lives in India, his country, and I live in the US where, I am a citizen. How can I ask for khula’; if he refuses to divorce me?

Response: Islam allows the dissolution of marriage at the request of the wife in two ways: a divorce ordered by the judge if she proves that she is being subjected to harm in her marriage and khula’, which does not require any proof.The latter does not need to have any particular reason to be freed of her marriage bond. Khula’ is a termination of the marriage contract at the woman’s request because she feels that her interests lie elsewhere. Since in Islamic marriage the husband bears more of the cost, the woman is required to refund to her husband all the dower he had paid her at the time of marriage.On the other hand, divorce preserves the wife’s right that she is subjected to harm in her marriage for a judge to order her divorce.You need to study your situation carefully to determine whether you can resort to either option to terminate your marriage. If your husband has abandoned you to live in his home country, and he does not support you, you can also apply for divorce. On the other hand, you might have been the one to choose to live apart. Your husband might be willing to take you if you would agree to live with him in his own country. In this case, your living apart would not be a valid reason for divorce at your request.Since both of you are living in countries where the law is different from Islamic law, it is much better that you come to an agreement on your future relationship. What you have to do is to try to resolve the matter amicably. You should write to your husband asking him to dissolve the marriage in a proper Islamic way.If he refuses or turns a deaf ear, you write to him again saying that he is forcing you to resort to the American law for a termination of the marriage, and that you consider any nullification of the marriage by an American court to be a khula’. I hope that he will save you asking this final resort by being cooperative and settling the matter in an amicable way.


Adil Salahi

Question: After one and a half years of being married, a woman obtained a ruling from an Islamic court nullifying her marriage. The basis of the ruling was the ill-treatment she received from her husband who used to beat her up and demand money from her. Her former husband was sent several notices with at least one of these notices published in the local paper, but he failed to appear in court. The court then granted her the nullification. The woman is now married to another man, but recently that husband was told by a scholar that such a Khula is not valid, without the consent of the first husband, which means that the woman is still married to the first husband and her second marriage is null and void. That caused the couple no end of distress, particularly since they have had a child recently. Please comment.

Response: Sometimes I get very angry when I receive a question like this. My anger is not directed at the parties concerned but at the outsider who voices an opinion which has a far-reaching effect on the lives of several people without paying due regard to the circumstances of the case or studying the problem in depth.The reader speaks of a scholar telling him that such a Khula is not valid without the consent of the first husband. What he did was to look at the question from the specific point of view of Khula, and then he voiced his opinion on the basis of his school of thought. This means that there are two limiting factors in how he has dealt with the problem which involves the legitimacy or otherwise of a marital relationship. That is very bad indeed. I do not know the man or the country where he comes from, but I can guess his school of thought and I feel that he might not have studied anything outside it. That is not the way a good scholar should look at a problem like this with all its practical implications. This is not a case of Khula in the first place. Khula is the nullification of the marriage at the request of a wife, which may not have a reason other than the wife feeling that life with her husband does not give her the fulfillment a woman expects from a happy married life. In Khula the woman pays back her dower to her husband and her waiting period lasts only for one menstruation period, according to the weightier opinion, to ensure that she is not pregnant. When the Khula takes place, it does not count as a divorce.Here the case is one of divorce by the judge on the basis of ill-treatment. In such cases, the judge has to make sure that there is undoubtedly ill-treatment which makes life with the man intolerable. The judge determined what sort of proof to demand in order to satisfy himself that the claims of the wife are true. Here we are told that the man beats up his wife. If he acknowledges that, then that is the best proof, but this could also be proven by other means, such as witnesses who may be neighbors or relatives. We are also told the man used to demand money from his wife. He sent her to her parents frequently to get him that money. This is again another form of ill-treatment which could make life intolerable. The judge in this case has done what is required when he sent repeated notices to the husband to attend the hearing, and when he published an announcement in the local newspaper. If the husband does not attend the court after all this and the judge is satisfied that the ill-treatment is a fact, then the judge is within his jurisdiction to order the nullification of the marriage. That nullification is considered a divorce by the judge, which is a single divorce. This is another difference between this sort of nullification and Khula.The second husband of this lady may rest assured about the validity of his marriage. He need not worry or ask any one's opinion since the nullification is ordered by a court of Islamic law. What is the purpose of asking anyone when no one would give the case the sort of in-depth study and consideration as the court would do?


Adil Salahi

The woman who cannot bear to live with her husband has the right to free herself from the marriage bond by returning to her husband the mahr (required marriage gift) and gifts he has given her, or more or less than that according to their mutual agreement. It is, however, preferable that he should not ask for more than he has given her. Allah Ta'ala says: "...And if you fear that the two may not be able to keep to the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she redeems herself ..."(2:229)

The wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I do not approach Thabit bin Qais in respect of character and religion, but I do not want to be guilty of showing anger to him." The Prophet asked her about what she had received from him. She replied, "A garden". He asked, "Will you give him back his garden?" "Yes", she said. The Prophet then told Thabit, "Accept the garden and make one declaration of divorce."It is not permissible for a woman to seek divorce from her husband unless she has borne ill-treatment from him or unless she has an acceptable reason which requires their separation. Said the Prophet, "If any woman asks her husband for a divorce without some strong reason, the fragrance of the Garden will be forbidden to her."


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Khul'a is defined as follows: 'his (husband's) acceptance of wealth in exchange of his possession (of the woman's hand) in the marriage. (Fathul Qadir vol.6 pg.57; Rashidiyya).

The following verse forms the basis of Khul'a: 'If you fear that they (the spouses) may not uphold the boundaries of Allah, then there is no harm upon the two of them (spouses) in the ransom offered by her (wife).' (2:229)

Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that the wife of Thabit ibn Qais (RA) came to Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and said, 'Regarding Thabit (Radhiallaahu Anhu), I do not fault his character nor his Deen (religion), but I fear being ungrateful in Islam. I want to return his garden to him (in exchange of Talaaq).' Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked, 'Do you really want to do this?' she replied, 'Yes'. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said (to her husband), 'She wishes to return your garden to you (in exchange for Talaaq). He asked, 'Do I have the right to (accept it)?' Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, 'Yes'. He said, 'Then I accept (the garden in exchange of the Talaaq). (Musannaf Abdul-Razzaak vol.5 pg.391; HM Saeed)

The above can be further understood by the following: 1. Allaamah Kaasaani (RA) states 'contracting for Talaaq by means of an exchange.' (Badaai-us-Sanaaie; Ahsanul Fataawa vol.5 pg.382). 2. Imaam Zaylaa'ee (RA) states, 'None of them have the right to compel their partner against their will.' (Tibyaanul Haqaaiq; Ahsanul Fataawa vol.5 pg.382; HM Saeed) 3. Shamsul Aimmah Sarakhsi (RA) stated, 'Khul'a is permissible in the presence of the Sultan, i.e. presiding authority, or anyone else, because it is a contract based on mutual agreement like all other contracts.' (Mabsoot; Ahsanul Fataawa vol.5 pg.385; HM Saeed)

From the above quotations of the noble Qur'aan, Ahaadith and Fiqh (jurisprudence), it is clear that Khul'a is a contract by mutual consent between the husband and wife. The wife cannot unilaterally institute Khul'a without the consent / agreement of the husband. However, if the husband is spiteful and withholds the divorce, the wife may contact a reliable Judicial committee to annul the marriage. If there are valid grounds, the annulment will be considered. and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, 'The most detestable among the permissible things in the sight of Allah is divorce.' If there is a dispute between husband and wife, they should first try to resolve it between themselves, failing which, Allah says, 'Two persons representing the husband and wife respectively should arbitrate and amicably resolve the dispute.'

As far as possible, a divorce should be avoided. However, after exhausting all avenues of reconciliation, as a last resort, Allah says, 'Keep with principle or release with principle'. If the husband and wife cannot fulfill their respective duties to one another, then instead of committing a sin of violating one another's rights, they should separate. The husband should release his wife with principle by giving her divorce. In such a situation, if a wife seeks for a divorce, she will not be sinful. If the husband refuses to divorce her, she may make Khula, i.e. offer to repay her dowry to him in lieu of him granting her the divorce. If the husband is still spiteful and withholds the divorce, the woman may contact the Úlamaa (scholars) of her locality who are well versed with judiciary principles of Islam requesting them to annul the marriage. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.


By Jamal Al-Badawi

Our beloved Prophet (SAWS) says that the most detestable act that Allah has permitted is divorce. In fact, Islam does not encourage divorce. Prior to the advent of Islam, there were two extreme views regarding divorce. In some societies and religious doctrines, divorce could be sought only on the death of one of the spouses or when adultery had been alleged and after divorce neither spouse was permitted to remarry. In some other societies, it was very easy to break the bond of marriage and no check was there against the abuse of the practice of divorce.

It is noticeable that, in the present world also, in some states of the USA it is possible to divorce, get remarried and then divorce again whimsically within the space of one day. (Source: Islamic Teaching Course, Vol.3, by Dr. Jamal A. Badawi). In fact the consequence of both the over-restriction and the over-liberalization is harmful. In the case of the over-restriction, i.e.. to keep an unsuccessful marriage intact, there occurs a permanent bitter and hostile relation between the husband and wife. Whereas in the case of the over-liberalization, the family as an institution disintegrates and the society as a whole suffers.

In contrast to these extremes, Islam takes a moderate view on divorce. In order to remove the misery of an unsuccessful marriage, Islam supports divorce as the last and final resort only to liberate both the spouses from the bitterness of the relation. And in Islam divorce can only be pursued when all other avenues have been taken to reconcile the couple but have come to no avail. In fact, Allah (SWT) has given us the laws keeping the nature of human beings, with all their capabilities and limitations, in His mind. Verily it is in Allah's mind that husband/wife, being prompted by anger or haughtiness, can take an unpremeditated reckless decision regarding divorce. Hence Allah promulgates a long process of ninety days by three consequent steps of divorce and the spouse can change his/her decision within this period.

Ours is a society where there is an awful misunderstanding about the issue of divorce. If the husband utters Talak or divorce three times in the same breath, it is considered an irrevocable divorce and there remains no chance of reconciliation between the couple. And under this strict view, which is not supported by many classical and the modern Islamic scholars, many families are broken and the women and children are mostly affected. According to the view supported by many modern Islamic scholars, three or more utterances of divorce at a time are regarded as only one Talak (divorce).. But, according to all scholars, to utter such number of divorce at a time is not encouraged in Islam and the person who pursues this undesirable system will be considered sinful. If it is held to be irrevocable and the final divorce, then the option offered by Allah to take back one's wife within 90 days becomes frustrated. In consequence the rate of the dissolution of marriage increases and, as a matter of course, more women and children will be helpless. However, the competent Islamic scholars should remove, whatever may be the legal position, the misconceptions about Talak. If all the reverend Imams of the mosques in the country take the lead in the matter and start a social movement so that none gives 3 Talak at a time, it will be a big step forward.

Some people raise the question regarding the right of wife to pronounce divorce in Islam and many misunderstandings are there in our society centering this issue. In Islam woman is deprived in no respect and any question of injustice or anti-woman bias is inconceivable as Allah (SWT), the Lawgiver, is independent of any consideration of sex. In Islam wife is fully entitled to initiate or pronounce divorce though the procedure is different from that of her husband. If the husband is missing for a certain period of time or an indefinite time, or if he suffers from a fatal incurable disease, or if he is sexually impotent, and in some other cases and circumstances, the wife is given every right to initiate divorce. Moreover, if she suffers unhappiness, misery or incompatibility with her husband, then also she can do it with the intervention of court.

There is another system of dissolution of marriage by the woman that is called "Khula" through which the wife can get separation from husband by returning the marital gift or part of it. It is not necessary that she should have a definite ground for pursuing Khula. Thus we see that both the husband and the wife can initiate divorce in Islam though the procedure is different. The husband seems to be given the right to practice divorce arbitrarily; but this is not really so. In pursuing divorce the husband encounters financial disadvantages as he married his wife by giving her mohr (marital gift) and he is bound to give it to his wife at the time of dissolution of marriage if it is unpaid yet. Moreover, he will have to pay mohr for the second time if he wants to get married again.

To make my point clearer, herein, I am quoting Dr. Jamal A. Badawi, a prominent Islamic scholar of the present time. He says, "Although both husband and wife suffer as a result of a divorce (psychologically for instance), a man has the additional burden of a heavy responsibility. He loses the whole of marriage gift, the wife is entitled to maintenance whilst in the waiting period (which can be as little as three months or as much as nine months); she is entitled to child maintenance if young children are in her custody; according to some jurists she would also be entitled to a consolation maintenance for a year etc. The fact that a husband who has so much to lose financially if he divorces his wife acts as a natural deterrent from abusing his right of divorce. If Muslim women had such a right, however, there would be no such check on them because they do not have any financial responsibilities towards their husbands."

But it does not mean that Islam does not give the wife the right to break the marital bond when she wants so. It only checks the abusing of such right.

Discussing the conditions under which a wife can unilaterally divorce her husband without seeking the court's approval, Dr. Jamal A. Badawi pointed two situations:

"Delegated Repudiation, where at the time of marriage or afterwards, the husband transferred his unilateral right of divorce to his wife; and

Conditional Repudiation, where at the time of the signing of the marriage contract, the wife stipulated certain conditions to her husband, the breach of which would result in a divorce. "

The grounds on which a wife can seek divorce from her husband in the courts are:

Inability or refusal of the husband to maintain his wife (even if she happens to be rich, it is still the full responsibility of the husband to maintain her).

Abuse / mistreatment (which includes beating and swearing, cursing and attempting to force her to do wrong).

Impotence of her husband (in recognition of the wife's legitimate instinctive needs).

Incurable, repulsive disease in the husband or insanity.

Extended absence or desertion by the husband: If his whereabouts is known, he is given the chance to return to his wife before the divorce takes effect; If his whereabouts is unknown, a six-month or one-year waiting period is placed on the wife. If the husband fails to return, the wife is divorced from him.

Imprisonment of the husband.

Deception or concealment of important information at the time of the marriage. "There are two methods of divorce by mutual consent:

Mubarra, where husband and wife mutually agree to release each other from the marriage vows-they also agree among themselves the financial and other conditions for the release;

Self-redemption (Khula), where, if the wife is unhappy with the conduct of her husband and has genuine grievances which she fears will cause her to fall into error if she continues in the marriage, then she obtains separation by returning her husband's marriage gift in return for the dissolution of the marriage.

Conditions that should be observed when using Khula method of divorce are:

There must be a genuine reason for seeking divorce

Dissolution may be imposed on the husband if he refuses to let his wife go

No husband may pressurize his wife into asking for Khula so that he can regain the marriage gift; and

This form of dissolution can take place at any time." "So the lack of an unconditional unilateral right of divorce does not prevent a wife from seeking divorce from her husband, if she has good reasons for it, in any of the ways described above." It is true that, in most cases, the rural wives are deprived of the right to divorce (and also of many other social, political and religious rights).

It is because of the failure of the governments of the Muslim countries and the leaders to educate them and inform them of their rights. The system of Khula Talak is not cumbersome as termed by some people of inadequate knowledge about Islam. It is a very easy procedure and the people should be informed about and be educated in it.

The guardians and the leaders of the Muslim Ummah should deem it their religious and moral responsibility to launch a social movement in order to establish the proper right and dignity of womenfolk. Allah (SWT) has enjoined it on us to strive for the cause of the oppressed men, women and the children. (Ref. Al-Qur'an 4:75)


By Brother Farrukh

Assalam alaikum,

All to often we hear the statements 'a woman can only divorce as it is disliked (makruh) if ..' or however to what extend does this statements adhere to the example of the early Muslims; Islam vs opinion?

Ibn Abbas said: The wife of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle, I do not blame Thabit for any defect in his character or his faith, but I am afraid that I may become unthankful for Allah's blessing". The Prophet asked her "Will you return the garden (which she recieved as her dowry)?" She said, "Yes". She returned the garden and the Prophet told him to divorce her. [Sahih of Bukhari Vol 7 no 199]

Here is a clear example of a woman divorcing her husband for no 'special' reason, for no 'important' reason; she simply did not wish to remain married to him, even though his character and faith were good. She exercised her right to leave her husband; and she and he managed to do so amicably.

In another example: Barira was maried to Mugith, a man who loved her intensely. Barira however did not love him, so she divorced him. Mugith would follow Barira around crying, with tears flowing down his beard. The Prophet felt for the love-struck Mugith so he asked if Barira would take him back. Barira asked the Prophet if it was a divine command that she should return to him, to which he replied no, it was a personal appeal. Hearing this Barira refused to go back to Mugith. [Sahih of Bukhari Vol 7 no 206]

Ibn Abdin observes that a woman can exercise her right to Khul (seperation) at any time. [Mukhtasar al Muzni, 4/51]

I dislike the selective quoting of hadith such as: The Prophet said, "If any woman asks for divorce from her husband without any specific reason, the fragrance of paradise will be unlawful to her" [al-Shaukani, Fath al-Qadir, 1, 214]

Clearly this hadith does not state that a woman doesnt have the right for divorce, as the hadiths above make it clear that in both examples, Thabit's wife, and that of Barira; both women divorced their husbands as they did not love them; and the Prophet agreed, and set no further condition.

Why is this principle so difficult for people to understand? For anyone to say that Khul (seperation) is disliked (makruh) is making a statement which is a semi truth. Any divorce, is based on two people having differences which they cannot reconcile;or one party feeling the other oppressing them. Then how can something, such as seperatation which Allah and His Apostle have made permissible [4:128, 4:20, 4:130], now become disliked? Surely it is better for those who disagree to seperate and find happiness elsewhere than to stay together and find distrust, sadness and even anger?

In another example: A woman came to the Prophet and said, "I hate my husband and wants seperation from him". The Prophet asked, "Would you return the orchard he gave you as dowry?" She replied, "Yes, and even more than that". The Prophet then said, "You should not return more than that" [Sunan al-Baihaqi Vol 7 p 313]

Al-Dasuqi states that Khul (seperation at the instance of the wife) is lawful and not disliked. [Hashiyah al-Dasuqi, 2/246]

Perhaps if men would treat their wives better then many of the problems we face today would dissapear; and perhaps if wives treated their husbands equally as well the problem would be resolved.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Does Islam tolerate the killing of innocents?

This is another misconception which we(Muslims) all come accross often

Islam tolerates the killing of innocents because:
    • Muslims can be terrorists
    • Muslims engage in `holy wars' (jihad)
    • Islam spread by the sword
    • it has a harsh and cruel judicial system

This misconception is one of the most widely held misconceptions about Islam today. And yet in the Qur'an, the Creator unambiguously states (translation),

[17:33] Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand retaliation or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life, for he is helped (by the Law)

Based on this verse, it is Islamically unlawful to murder anyone who is innocent of certain crimes. It is well to remember at this point the distinction made above between Qur'an and Sunnah, and the Muslims: only the Qur'an and Sunnah are guaranteed to be in accordance with what the Creator desires, whereas the Muslims may possibly deviate. Hence, if any Muslim kills an innocent person, that Muslim has committed a grave sin, and certainly the action cannot be claimed to have been done "in the name of Islam."

It should be clear, then, that "Muslim terrorist" is almost an oxymoron: by killing innocent people, a Muslim is commiting an awesome sin, and Allah is Justice personified. This phrase is offensive and demeaning of Islam, and it should be avoided. It is hoped that as the general level of public awareness and understanding of Islam increases, people will keep "terrorism" and "Islam" separate from each other, not to be used in the same phrase.

Another reason advanced in support of the misconception is that the Creator has imposed `jihad' on us. The term "holy war" is from the time of the Crusades and originated in Europe as a rallying cry against the Muslims in Jerusalem. Jihad is an Arabic word meaning struggle, but in the context of many verses in the Qur'an, it carries the meaning of military struggle, or war. Allah gradually introduced the obligation of military struggle to the Muslim community at the time of the Messenger (saas). The first verse ever revealed in that connection is as follows (translation),

[22:39] Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them;

This verse lays down the precondition for all war in Islam: there must exist certain oppressive conditions on the people. The Creator unequivocally orders us to fight oppression and persecution, even at the expense of bloodshed as the following verse shows (translation),

[2:190-192] And fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the reward of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

As one might imagine, the method of military struggle has been clearly and extensively defined in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Since this subject is a huge one, we simply summarize part of it by noting that it is unlawful to kill women, children, the infirm, the old, and the innocent. From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Sahih Bukhari, we find:

[4:52:257] Narrated 'Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah's Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.

A related misconception to jihad is often propagated by Muslims who say that "Jihad is only for self-defense of physical borders." The Qur'an and Sunnah refute this notion categorically. As the verses cited above show, jihad is obligatory wherever there is injustice, and Muslims need not acknowledge imaginary lines around the earth when it comes to upholding this obligation. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has also commented on this extensively in the Sunnah. From the study of the Sunnah called Sahih Bukhari, we find that,

[4:52:65] Narrated Abu Musa: A man came to the Prophet and asked, "A man fights for war booty; another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off; which of them fights in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause."

Hence, the Creator obligates us to fight wherever people are being grossly deprived of freely hearing or practicing the Message of Allah as contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Sayyed Qutb, a famous Muslim scholar eloquently discusses the notion of jihad and self-defense in his book Milestones,

"If we insist on calling Islamic jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word `defense' and mean by it `defense of man' against all those elements which limit his freedom. These elements take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as of political systems, based on economic, racial, or class distinction."

A third reason often cited for the misconception about Islam which says that this way of life tolerates the killing of innocents is that the judicial system of Islam is unnecessarily harsh. This reason is weak in two respects. First, it presupposes that human beings are more just and more merciful than the Creator, and therefore we can change the law. Second, it is often based on gross oversimplifications of Islamic law, such as saying "all thieves get their hands cut off."

The Qur'an and Sunnah make it clear that the law of retaliation (or equality) governs us for murder and physical injury, but forgiveness is better as the following verses from the Qur'an show (translation),

[2:178] O you who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then prosecution (for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this he shall have a painful chastisement.
[42:40-43] The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loves not those who do wrong. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a grievous penalty. And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.

The Creator ordained the law of retaliation on us knowing full well that we might question it. In many non-Muslim societies today, there are ongoing debates about the death penalty. In Islam, this discussion is moot: the Creator has decided the matter for us. He has however given us an interesting verse in the Qur'an which advises to consider the matter carefully if we want to understand it (translation follows),

[2:179] And there is life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O people of understanding, that you may guard yourselves.

Most people are also unaware of the stringent conditions which must be met for the law of retaliation to be applicable. The Sunnah is full of examples of the Messenger of Allah showing us when the law's preconditions were fulfilled. For example, a thief is only liable to lose his or her hand if the item stolen exceeds a certain value, and if it is proven that the item was taken from its normal resting place. Stealing food is not punishable by the loss of one's hand, and other items are exempt as well. This is just an example of how gingerly the law is applied in Islam.

Finally, another reason advanced for this prevalent misconception is that Islam `spread by the sword'. It should be clear by now that we must always distinguish between the Qur'an and Sunnah and the Muslims when it comes to determining what the Creator has asked of us. Allah has stated clearly in the Qur'an (translation),

[2:256] There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever rejects Satan (and what he calls to) and believes in Allah, he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handhold, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

Hence, it is impossible to accept Islam under duress. Even if misguided Muslims were to try to `force' Islam somehow on others, it would not be accepted by the Creator based on this verse.

Historical arguments that try to demonstrate that Muslims did not `convert others by force' are actually secondary to the argument given above. However, it is worth noting that historically, Islam did spread by peaceful means. The Message of the Creator was conveyed to Africa and to southeast Asia by trading Muslims, and today the largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia. The military expeditions that led to the conquest of large swathes of territory in Europe and central Asia were all marked by tolerance of other creeds and faith.

Again, it is important to remember that Allah declares it IMPOSSIBLE that Islam can be forced on a person, hence Muslims find it useless to try!

  • Does Islam tolerate the killing of innocents?

  • Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Does Islam Consider Women to be inferior to Men?

    As Salaamu Alaikum,

    Living in non Muslim country I come accross the following (misconception about Isam) very often

    In Islam, women are inferior to men because:
      • a man can marry up to 4 wives, a woman can marry only one man
      • a man's share of inheritance is bigger than a woman's
      • a man can marry a non-Muslim, a woman cannot
      • women must wear the veil

    This widely held misconception does not remotely follow from the reasons given. The first and most important observation to make about the popular question "Are men and women equal?" is that it is a badly-formed, unanswerable question. The problem which many people conveniently ignore is that "equal" is not defined. This is a very critical point: the equality must be specified with respect to some measurable property. For example, women on average are superior to men if we ask who is shorter in height than the other ("Growth and Development", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1992). Women are also superior on average if we ask whom do children bond to deeper, mothers or fathers. Women are also superior on average if we ask who has a tendency to socialize more. On the other hand, men are superior on average if we ask who is taller in height than the other. And so on: every question can be turned around, and more importantly these are properties which are irrelevant.

    What then, is the really important property which we are worried about in terms of gender equality? Naturally, from the point of view of the Qur'an and Sunnah, the obvious important property is who is dearer to Allah, men or women? This question is emphatically answered in the Qur'an (translation),

    [4:124] If any do deeds of righteousness - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Paradise, and not the least injustice will be done to them.
    [33:35] For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.

    The Qur'an and Sunnah repeat over and over again that Allah only favors one person over another based on that person's awareness, consciousness, fear, love, and hope of Allah (the Arabic word is difficult to translate: Taqwa). All other criteria are excluded: gender, ethnic group, country, ancestry, etc.

    Given that Allah does not favor one gender over the other in His attention to us (and it helps to remember that Allah is neither male nor female), we can now address the differences between the genders in Islam. First, men and women are not the same as we know. The Creator states in the Qur'an (translation),

    [3:36]...and the male is not like the female...

    Men and women are different in their composition, and in their responsibilities under Islam. However, both are bound by obligations to one another, especially the following important one which must be understood in any discussion on men and women. From the Qur'an (translation),

    [24:32] And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

    In this verse, the Creator emphasizes that marriage is to be vigorously pursued by the Muslims: the state of being single is not to be maintained. With this in mind, we can begin to understand the four reasons cited above for the nonetheless erroneous conclusion.

    Men and women are different in their responsibilities towards the families that they are strongly encouraged to set up. Women are not obligated to work, whereas men are obligated. The man must provide for the family, but the woman does not have to spend out of her money for it, though she gets a reward for doing so. Allah says in the Qur'an (translation),

    [4:34] Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

    From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Sahih Bukhari, we find:

    [2:24:545] Narrated `Amr bin Al-Harith: Zainab, the wife of `Abdullah said, "I was in the Mosque and saw the Prophet (p.b.u.h) saying, `O women ! Give alms even from your ornaments.' " Zainab used to provide for `Abdullah and those orphans who were under her protection. So she said to `Abdullah, "Will you ask Allah's Apostle whether it will be sufficient for me to spend part of the Zakat on you and the orphans who are under my protection?" He replied "Will you yourself ask Allah's Apostle ?" (Zainab added): So I went to the Prophet and I saw there an Ansari woman who was standing at the door (of the Prophet ) with a similar problem as mine. Bilal passed by us and we asked him, `Ask the Prophet whether it is permissible for me to spend (the Zakat) on my husband and the orphans under my protection.' And we requested Bilal not to inform the Prophet about us. So Bilal went inside and asked the Prophet regarding our problem. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) asked, "Who are those two?" Bilal replied that she was Zainab. The Prophet said, "Which Zainab?" Bilal said, "The wife of `Adullah (bin Masud)." The Prophet said, "Yes, (it is sufficient for her) and she will receive a double rewards (for that): One for helping relatives, and the other for giving Zakat."

    Given that husbands are obligated to provide for wives, and that marriage is a highly recommended goal of Islam, it is easy to see why women's inheritance share is half that of men. We note also that men are obligated to provide a suitable dowry to women on marriage. In fact, it is preferable at this point to speak in terms of husbands and wives instead of men and women. Allah says in the Qur'an (translation),

    [4:4] And give women their dowries as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result.

    Allah says in the Qur'an (translation),

    [2:228]...And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them...

    This one degree in no way affects the position of the Creator in which He has stated that He does not hold women dearer to him than men, or vice versa. Rather it is simply a way of partitioning responsibilities in a household of two adults: someone must make the final decision on daily matters. As will be shown below in a section on a different misconception, though the final decision rests with the husband, it is through mutual consultation that decisions are best reached at.

    While men are allowed to marry up to four wives, they are also commanded to meet the preconditions of being able to financially support them. They must also deal with each wife justly and fairly with respect to marital and economic obligations. Allah says in the Qur'an (translation),

    [4:3] If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

    Moreover, women are allowed to reject any marriage proposal made to her by prospective suitors, thus if she does not feel she can abide by the rules of the Qur'an and Sunnah if she marries a certain person, she can reject his proposal. While it is irrelevant to Islam, it is worthwhile to note that both Judaism and Christianity allow polygamy. The idea is not as foreign to the non-Muslims as is often claimed.

    Finally, the wearing of the veil by women is also an illogical premise to claim that women are inferior to men. It is more appropriate to indict a society of female exploitation if it tolerates pornography rather than if it enforces the veil. Given that Allah is neither male nor female, given that He does not endear people to Himself based on their gender, given that the Creator cares about all of us male or female, given that the sexual and violent drive of men is stronger than that of women...given all this, it is illogical to cast a negative light on the following injunctions contained in the Qur'an (translation),

    [33:59] O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not be annoyed...
    [24:30-31] Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands...

    On this misconception, there is a great deal more to write, most of it showing how current practices in many Muslim lands go against what the Qur'an and Sunnah have ordained, lands in which women are treated as property (unIslamic), are not educated (unIslamic), are forbidden their economic rights (unIslamic), and more. On this point in particular, we encourage everyone to consult the Qur'an and Sunnah before incriminating Islam. Always remember that Islam is a complete way of life from the Creator, and that Muslims are people who claim to follow that way of life. A Muslim may claim to follow Islam, but be wrong.


  • Does Islam Consider Women to be inferior to Men?