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Islam, Women and Feminism

61 - COMMENTS

  • Rational's personal experience and disappointments are not unique. All of us have gone through something similar. A phase of improper understanding of the nature of God, a belief that He will answer all or any of our prayers followed by frustration and disappointment and disillusionment. But God is God and not subject to our faulty and illusory notions of the nature of God. We do not even begin to "experience" the true nature of God until our submission is unconditional and our acceptance of His decrees total. God is not a follower of our whims and desires nor in need of our devotions. It is our need to mould our life as Allah desires. What we ask and what we get is rarely the same unless we have reached a spiritual state where all that we desire is what Allah desires. Our faith starts off as conditional faith which Allah rejects and if we can overcome that disappointment and learn to submit unconditionally to Allah's will, we lose our way. However, we do get our opportunities to get back on track. If these are ignored then we get progressively confirmed in our disbelief.

    An estrangement and distancing with Gid on account of personal disappointments is understandable. But to turn an enemy of the religion and its followers is however not easy to understand and accept.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/15/2015 8:37:50 AM



  • Dear Rational Sb, I am just taking what you said at face value, even your name. I am not sure what sort of guidance you were seeking and hoping for. Anyhow we must search for reasons within us. Your parents named you after two mighty prophets of Allah have you thought about that. For years you are on this forum asking questions, do wish to return to the fold or trying to convince other people here that this is mumbo jumbo ? By Listener - 6/15/2015 6:24:04 AM



  • Dear Listener - 6/15/2015 1:09:26 AM
    i have thought for myself. I prefer unbelief over belief.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/15/2015 1:14:27 AM



  • Dear Listener

    I used to recite the verses in namaz with their meanings. I used to stand just after the Imam so that i can hear him well and pay attention t o meanings of verses he recited in travih prayers.
    i used to weep for my sins and always asked for guidance.
    what else a common person can do more than that? If there is Allah and he really listens to prayers i must have never left or question my religion.

    i never saw prayers were heard. this is my experience. this what i observe those people who pray. Since fear is seated deeply they simply don't question their beliefs.
    i could and as a result i am no more a Muslim.
    i live as Muslim to save my neck and for my family because even my family can be turned against mean.
    this is the reason stories of ex-muslims, and those who are muslims just in name hardly heard while stories of conversion into Islam are in circulation.
    Islam is a one way traffic.
    weather the Quran prescribes death for an apostate or not is a issue of debate but the truth is that apostates are killed and burned in Islam.
    Punishment of death to apostate has served Islam well.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/15/2015 1:12:39 AM



  • Dear Rational Sb, When faith enters our hearts we become Momin who is way above ordinary Muslim. What is faith ? you have to experience it to know what it is. Please don't dwell on others faults or shortcomings, you will not be asked about them. Just think about yourself and then your immediate family as a fist step. Please remove any ill feelings about everyone from you heart then only you can receive guidance. By Listener - 6/15/2015 1:09:26 AM



  • Rational,

    I am unable to understand what is biting you so much. Have I not said that Islam regressed to a position much worse than the pre-Islamic times as it concerns women empowerment? Why does this sentence not register with you? Read it 10 times. 

    Then understand that your saying  "you don't have enough examples to prove that women were in better position under Islam than jahiliya." is meaningless because I am not trying to prove that women were in a better position under Islam but have said just the opposite.

    If you still do not understand what is being said take someone else's help.

     
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/15/2015 1:02:40 AM



  • Dear Listener - 6/15/2015 12:09:18 AM
    thanks for response.
    if the guidance is sought for and is granted then there are only few real Muslims in the world.
    you, me and majority of Muslims didn't become Muslims by seeking guidance. they are Muslims because of their parents.
    in this matter we are helpless.
    Billions of Muslims never asked for guidance. only they repeated "ihdi nas siratal mustaqeem" without any understanding?



    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/15/2015 12:47:06 AM



  • Dear Rational Sb, I have never met in person ex-muslim/apostate, so sorry I cannot relate real life story. BTW I don't think you belong in that category. But your unending questions confounds us all. Naseer Sb has been exceptionally patient in answering your questions over such a long period. I don't think even a very patient scholar would give you so much time. My last advise to you respectfully is, if you are looking for answers just sit down with a sincere heart and read the Quran. Guidance is sought from Allah only and none else. By Listener - 6/15/2015 12:09:18 AM



  • Naseer Ahmed saheb - 6/14/2015 5:14:53 AM
    Now you are crossing the limits by asking personal questions.
    by this you will prove the charge of secularlogic against you.
    losing patience!!!!

    my poor understanding is a loss to me. but poor understanding of Muslims in 1400 years has led to unlimited suffering to mankind because the so called book of guidance is not a guide at all.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 11:57:56 PM



  • Dear Listener - 6/14/2015 9:06:30 AM
    would you like to provide the story of at least one ex-Muslim/apsotate?
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 11:34:14 PM



  • another example of poor condition of women comes from none other than hz hasan the grand son of the prophet.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 11:32:35 PM



  • Naseer saheb
    you can say whatever you like. you can say i am deaf and dumb and mental retarded person.

    you are exhausted not because i lack in understanding but you don't have enough examples to prove that women were in better position under Islam than jahiliya.

    if i quote further Muslims will again charge me for quoting insulting material from Islamic sources.

    yes, i can provide a little better example of the courage of another Muslim lady who scolded hz umar on his spying into her house.
    Clearly Hz Umar was not happy with courage of some Muslim men, he complained and wanted strict control over women.
    of course you will not chase him because he was a rightly guided khalifa. 
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 11:30:49 PM



  • Naseer Ahmed saheb- 6/14/2015 5:02:42 AM
    please don't try to mask the real problem.
    No doubt hz aisha led the army, but was she not wearing the veil?
    what about the other wives of the prophet?
    if you had some brilliant examples you would have posted long series of comments.
     
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 11:22:18 PM



  • The following is a link to a review of James Fowler’s book on the stages of faith. The case of the Jew who went off the rails finds an explanation in Fowler's framework. The case of Rational is different because he is without a rational reason. All his questions running into several hundreds have been answered by me:

    http://www.exploring-spiritual-development.com/JamesFowlersStages.html

    Dr James Fowler's work is presented in a Judeo-Christian religious context and is based on his interviews with men, women, and children aged four to eighty-four, including Jews, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, and atheists.

    Most people remain at stage stage 3 which is characterized as:

    “Here authority is located outside the self - in the church leaders, in the government, in the social group. Religious concepts are what Fowler calls "tacitly" held - the person is not fully conscious of having chosen to believe something. Thus the name "Synthetic" - beliefs are not the result of any type of analytical thought. Any attempts to reason with a person in this stage about his beliefs, any suggestion of demythologizing his beliefs is seen as a threat.

    Meaningful dialogue with such people beyond reiterating what they already believe to be true is difficult.

    The Agnostics and the atheists are those who went off the rails in stage 4.

     

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 10:46:11 AM



  • The following is a link to a review of James Fowler’s book on the stages of faith. The case of the Jew who went off the rails finds an explanation in Fowler's framework. The case of Rational is different because he is without a rational reason. All his questions running into several hundreds have been answered by me:

    http://www.exploring-spiritual-development.com/JamesFowlersStages.html

    Dr James Fowler's work is presented in a Judeo-Christian religious context and is based on his interviews with men, women, and children aged four to eighty-four, including Jews, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, and atheists.

    Most people remain at stage stage 3 which is characterized as:

    “Here authority is located outside the self - in the church leaders, in the government, in the social group. Religious concepts are what Fowler calls "tacitly" held - the person is not fully conscious of having chosen to believe something. Thus the name "Synthetic" - beliefs are not the result of any type of analytical thought. Any attempts to reason with a person in this stage about his beliefs, any suggestion of demythologizing his beliefs is seen as a threat.

    Meaningful dialogue with such people beyond reiterating what they already believe to be true is difficult.

    The Agnostics and the atheists are those who went off the rails in stage 4.

     

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 10:31:28 AM



  • You may find this interesting:

    Search Results

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 10:04:09 AM



  • There is a world of difference between the Jewish/Christian Books that are available to us and the Quran. 

    The following two articles gave full opportunity for people who have difficulty believing in religion to make their point. Having failed to do so, they should accept that they have no basis for going on and on indefinitely. What has Rational been able to prove? Has he proved a single contradiction in the Quran let alone a factual error?  

    Is There A Rational Basis For The Atheists To Oppose Religion?

    It is amazing that he blindly believes whatever trash he reads on the Islamophobic sites and has difficulty believing what is right, logical and straight forward.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 9:56:00 AM



  • Following article by a Jew might explain what Rational is going through :

    This is how I lost my faith: Science helped, yes — but finally I accepted the holy texts were written by man

    I thought religion and sacred texts held absolute truth handed down from God. I was so powerfully wrong
    Shulem Deen

    Among people who lose faith, I would later learn, many point to scientific knowledge as the catalyst for their changed worldviews. I, too, found much of what I learned troubling. Wherever I turned, I discovered that ideas I had once taken for granted, trusting in rabbis and sacred texts to convey absolute truths, were dubious at best. The universe was not six thousand years old but closer to 14 billion. humans shared a common ancestor with apes—and all living things, for that matter— and were not the exalted species created by God’s hand out of clay of the earth on the sixth day of Creation. The sages of the Talmud, by our traditions infallible, were demonstrably wrong in their understanding of the natural world.


    Two great balls of fire descended from heaven, and their names were Abaya and Rava, said the old rebbe of ruzhin. The two great masters of the Talmud, their names occurring at least once every three pages, were not humans but chunks of divinity. Balls of fire. Reading the Talmud anew, however, I discovered that the sages were as flawed as could be expected of any ancient people. They were mired in superstition and misogyny and xenophobia, which did not necessarily mark them as villains but offered troubling indications of ordinary humanness.

    Nothing, however, had a more shattering impact on my faith than the realization that, stripped of religious exegesis, our primary religious text, the hebrew Bible, had the markings of human rather than divine authorship; it was beautiful, intricate, layered in poetry and metaphor and heart-stopping drama, but human nonetheless.

    According to the Zohar, the eleventh-century work that forms the basic text for the Judaic mystical  tradition,  God gazed upon the Torah and created the universe. The Torah, divine and eternal, was the blueprint for all existence.


    Now, however, I could no longer see it that way. The very essence of our faith, passed down, it was believed, from generation to generation over 3,300 years without change, was most likely a collection of ancient documents authored and compiled and redacted over many centuries. This was the view of all modern Bible scholars. I didn’t have to take their word for it, but the evidence for their view was compelling. Suddenly, all the strangeness of this text, the contradictions and anachronisms and troubling tales of fratricide and genocide and great family dramas and tales of wondrous miracles, all of it now made sense—but in an entirely new way. Seen through the prism of history and anthropology, buttressed by studies in archaeology and laid side by side with other texts from the ancient peoples of the near east, the Bible was an endlessly fascinating window into the world of our ancestors. But as a basis for theology, to me, it simply fell short.

    Chezky and I began to drift apart after several years, when it became clear that he was not troubled by these matters as I was. he had the answers, he said, and his faith, rational and sound, was strong. But when I sought that same level of certainty, I could not find it.

    At one point, Chezky gave me the name of a monsey rabbi to speak to. An unusual hasid, this rabbi was said to have read all the great philosophers. he knew of all the challenges to faith, and he knew the answers, too, Chezky said. When I went to speak to this rabbi, though, in the book-lined study of his monsey home, he could offer me little.

    “Oh, it’s all been written about,” the rabbi said, when I asked how a merciful God could order the genocide of entire nations and how the essential command of our faith—you must believe in the Torah because the Torah declares that you must—could be so maddeningly circular. how is it, I asked the rabbi, that our understanding of God— benevolent and all-powerful and lovingly, unfailingly attentive to our needs—so conveniently mirrors the ideal qualities we seek in humans? how is it that we attribute to God feelings such as sadness and joy and pleasure, and even want for our love, when one would expect an omnipotent and omniscient being to be far removed from the qualities that signify the frailty of humans?


    “Asked and answered,” the rabbi said, as if, once again, I was meddling in the affairs of greater minds than mine. “It’s a little bit . . . childish,” he added, pausing before issuing his insult, “to think that your questions are anything new.” I could see his patronizing gaze through the veil of his benign smile. “Go learn. Study. And then, if you look inside your heart, you’ll find the truth.”

    But that was precisely it. my questions did not strike me as novel or profound, but basic and elementary. The evasiveness that characterized so many of the responses, from this rabbi and others, suggested that the answers were a tangled spaghetti of sophistry meant to obfuscate rather than illuminate. And always, there were instructions to look further, elsewhere. I hadn’t read the right books. I hadn’t spoken to the right people. I was asked to place my trust in authorities who had not earned such trust—who had, in fact, declared demonstrable falsehoods as truth, distorted ancient texts to mean things they clearly did not, and recast historical events and figures to align with current ideologies.

    If you look inside your heart, you’ll find the truth, that rabbi said, and I looked inside my heart and discovered that there was no truth, any- where, not inside my heart and not outside it, only the scalding furnace in which my beliefs were now smoldering embers.

    “What happened?”

    This would be asked years later by strangers, who, for one reason or another, would ask to see my photo ID. Bank tellers. Bartenders. The lady at the rite Aid store where I’d buy my marlboro lights. even a policeman who stopped me for a routine speeding ticket on the Palisades Parkway. The photo on my driver’s license would be of a hasid, but before them would be a bareheaded, beardless man in secular garb. usually, I could tell it was coming. They would look at the photo, then at me, then back at the photo. “That you?”

    I would nod, and they would look at the photo again, then ask, casually, the way you notice a stain on someone’s shirt, or a bruised chin or a bad haircut: “What happened?” Did you spill your coffee? Did you have a shaving accident? Did you forget to instruct the barber, walked in a hasid and came out a shaygetz?

    I would offer a curt smile. “life.” Or, “long story.” What else could I say?

    Sometimes I would imagine the conversations. I would tell the bank teller everything I learned about the ancient Israelites, about the migration from Egypt that probably never happened, about the walls of Jericho that existed, according to archaeologists, centuries after the Bible declares that they had fallen. I would tell the cop about the united Kingdom of Israel—from the mediterranean to the euphrates—that never was. About King Josiah, in the seventh century bc, who cemented the faith of the ancient Judaeans from Canaanite idolatry to Judaic monotheism.

    “You want to know what happened?” I would imagine telling the bartender with the gauged earlobe and the tattoo in the shape of California on her neck. I’d be sitting in a grungy dive in Bushwick and nursing a Pabst, considering whether to tell her about Wellhausen and the documentary hypothesis. About Genesis and all the duplicate narratives; two creation stories, two Adams, two flood narratives, and how Occam’s razor teaches us to seek simplicity—multiple human authors is more plausible than a divine one who lacked basic editing skills.

    I would imagine these conversations, but I would not have them. That’s not want they want to hear, I would say to myself. They want to hear what happened. What was the incident? The moment that changed it all. But there was no moment, no solid line across time to which I could point and say: That’s when I became a nonbeliever.

    I often think back to particular times—a conversation with a fellow commuter about local elections, an argument with my boss about a work project, the first time I visited a barbershop—and wonder: Was I still a believer then?

    In my memory, it is a blur. I had first become friends with Chezky in the spring of 1996, when I was twenty-two. By 2002, I no longer thought myself a believer. But within that period of six years, when was the moment I became an apikorus? My memories themselves are filled with contradictions.

    I remember one particular week with Gitty and the children on a rare family vacation, when we took two rooms at the Chalet hotel in the Catskills. It was a sprawling property, its structures decrepit, the basketball and tennis courts filled with tall grass sticking up from between concrete slabs that had, over the years, as if slipping and sliding, shifted out of place, sinking into the ground in one corner, rising several inches in another. Decades before, the place had served as a vacation resort to a more discriminating clientele, but now it was advertised as a summer getaway for hasidic families, who didn’t need basketball and tennis courts and were happy just to have gourmet kosher food and a ritual bath and a small synagogue.

    It must have been the lack of routine that got me thinking. At home, going to shul was like brushing my teeth or putting on my shoes. It was what I did, without giving it much thought. But away from home, I felt a sudden need for purpose. I had no routine for going to a little bungalow shul, worshiping with strangers, and using unfamiliar prayer books, and it suddenly all felt so strange: I am no longer a believer. Why am I doing this? I remember holding a prayer book and mumbling the words of prayer, and thinking: This is pointless. There is no one listening.

    Afterward, in the communal dining room, I sat with Gitty and the children and looked at all the other families, each assigned their own table, a modified version of what they must’ve looked like in their own dining rooms, boys on one side, girls on the other, some parents sitting side by side while others sat at opposite ends. They came from all over—new York, new Jersey, montreal, families of five, ten, fifteen, men in tall, stiff shtreimels, women wearing their best wigs and elegant Shabbos dresses, children in matching outfits. As waiters in crisp black vests brought trays of sautéed liver and egg salad and chulent, I looked around and wondered: Am I the only nonbeliever here? At home, I couldn’t imagine it otherwise, but here, among strangers, it made me wonder.

    And yet, I remember the night of Shavuos that same year, when it was customary to stay up all night studying Torah. I sat for five hours with my friend motty over the laws of betrothal, the various ways in which a man might “acquire” a wife, rising from our Talmuds only as the sun’s first rays came through the tall synagogue windows. I remember on that Shavuos morning feeling as if nothing mattered but the wonderful pleasure of spending hours immersed in the scholarly wrangling of ancient precepts. Was I not a believer then, even as I sat and studied on the night we celebrated the giving of the Torah?


    I remember only the haze of months, then years, passing as I desperately wished for my faith to return, even as I realized that, like a broken porcelain dish, the pieces might be glued back together and the dish might hold for a while but soon enough it would break again, along that very same crack.

    Losing your faith is not like realizing that you got an arithmetic problem wrong. It is more like discovering your entire mathematical system is flawed, that every calculation you’ve ever made was incorrect. Your bank balance is off, your life savings might be gone, your business could be in the red when you’ve imagined it to be flourishing. except you seem to be the only one who realizes it, and how is that possible? Is everyone crazy? Could you really be the only sane one? And if the entire world goes by a flawed system, doesn’t it, in some odd way, make the wrong way right? Or at least, there is consistency; they’re in sync, zigzagging together, while you walk the straight line all alone. And yet, you know, you know that you are right and they are wrong, and that you can demonstrate it if given the chance, but they won’t give you the chance. You cannot speak of it because if you do, you will be like the lunatic who prophesies end-of-times doom and gloom, or like the one heralding some new Age brand of salvation and redemption. Passersby can barely be bothered to snigger.

    The inner turmoil left me dizzy with grief over my lost faith. I wanted it back. I wanted the feelings of ecstasy I’d had from reciting nishmas Kol Chai or singing Yedid nefesh. I wanted to feel the words of Torah as, in the words of the Talmud, black fire on white. I wanted to study the hasidic texts I had once found so much joy in, experience again the euphoria of singing “God, the master of All Creation” with thousands of other hasidim, and feel the near-tangible presence of the sublime.

    But it was all gone.

    The comforts of prayer, too, were no longer available. For some years, I tried to hold on to them, even as I wasn’t sure there was value to it, clinging particularly to the meditative experience of reciting Psalms. Yet as the years passed, I began to see in those words only the mount- ing frustration of attempting to retrieve something I had lost, even while knowing it was futile. Chezky had tempted me with the rational, and I had succumbed to its allure. The universe, as if in response, said: You want rational? Well, here’s rational. And it removed from me all those irrational but vital comforts.

    Worst of all was the realization that I had to build myself a new value system. When everything you’ve ever known is suddenly up for question, what are the values you retain and what do you discard? What is the meaning of right and wrong when there is no guidance from a divine being? And most of all, if we are all but accidents of matter and energy, with no greater purpose beyond our immediate natural needs, what, then, was the point of it all?

    By Listener - 6/14/2015 9:06:30 AM



  • And another unintelligent question that was asked by Rational is "why not two men also be allowed to witness and depose together"

    Has he heard about "positive discrimination"? Does he also ask "why reservations only for the weaker classes and not why not for the upper classes"?

    Has he read the verse 2:282 and the following verses which talk about what to do when it is difficult to find witnesses? Has he read the comment where I have said why two witnesses is the optimum number and why not just one or more than two witnesses?

    I leave unintelligent questions unanswered assuming that the person who has asked the question is not unintelligent enough to figure out the answer on his own on a little reflection. Maybe I am mistaken.

    Rational, what do you do in your job? Do you find solutions to problems or only create problems for others? Are you in a government job?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 5:14:53 AM



  • Rational says:
    "You failed to produce any other women or wife of the prophet who attained some remarkable position.Women were pushed into their homes after Islam."

    Oh really? Hazrat Ayesha (RA) did not feel inhibited to even to take to arms when she felt the need for it and the men followed her command. This was approximately 30 years after the Prophet's (pbuh) death.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 5:02:42 AM



  • Rational,

    Yes, you exhaust me. You never showed understanding of even the simplest of sentences and that is why all that you can do is ask questions endlessly and yet never understand anything. 

    Explain what do you understand by:"Muslim society regressed in later centuries and the clear stream that was running earlier was lost in the sands. How and why this happened is another story and "yeh kahani phir sahi".? That story, I am unwilling to spend my time telling as I am ending my engagement with NAI. So spare me please.


    You know about Hazrat Khadija and that she was a successful business woman only because she was the wife of the Prophet (pbuh). Otherwise you would not have heard of her either. Do you know of any other business woman of the Prophet's times or of pre-Islamic Arabia? So how would you, me or anyone else know exactly when the regression started and picked up speed?

    From the example of “Caliph Umar (RA) making  a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah  inspector over the market in Medina, we know that women were not barred in Umar's time either from taking active part in the commercial field.

    We also know that Muslim society did regress in later centuries with Muhammad Yunus Sb himself being unable to agree that the Quran did not bar the women from taking part in commercial transactions in their individual/sole capacity. 

    Now if you have more facts and can tell the complete story go ahead and tell it.

    I could have told the story from what I understand but I made it clear in the beginning itself that I am unwilling to spend time on it.

    Now show some decency and just quit commenting using my name.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/14/2015 4:12:43 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    You are exhausted now. You can run away in any name.
    You failed to produce any other women or wife of the prophet who attained some remarkable position.
    Women were pushed into their homes after Islam.  You don't want to further comment because there is nothing to comment and a companion of great repute is under question.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/14/2015 2:50:39 AM



  • Dear Listener,

    Ultimately, it is  Allah's will that prevails. Our job is to do justice to what Allah has given us by way of guidance, talent and means. We are answerable only for ourselves and not for others.

    Writing a book may perhaps produce better results. 

    This is perhaps my last comment on NAI. You can correspond if you wish by email naseer.hmed@yahoo.in
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/13/2015 8:02:23 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahib, Even in Prophet's time some of the Shaba  were early rejecters but later on became foremost believers. Quran commands believers to be helpers and supporters of each other and commend patience and forbearance. Allah will then join the hearts of believers in bonds of spiritual brotherhood transcending race religion and country. May Allah help you in remaining steadfast on the right path. By Listener - 6/13/2015 7:37:23 AM



  • Dear Listener,


    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful.

    (39:32) Who, then, doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?

    (33) And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it - such are the men who do right.

    (34) They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good:

    (35) So that Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.

     

    May Allah guide us and give us the strength to bring out the Truth and support it. May Allah also reward us as promised for our efforts and save us from blaspheming the word of Allah, by attributing to Allah, what is not said by Allah. Amin.

     

    The Quran rejects Taqlid or blind conformance as an excuse when faced with evidence that what was hitherto held as correct is incorrect.

    The Quran is not silent on any topic that covered the practices of pre Islamic Arabia that are discontinued under Islam such as drinking, gambling, divining, fornicating etc. We know that some women in pre-Islamic Arabia were business women on par with men including Hazrat Khadija (RA) in their sole/individual capacity. Since there is no verse in the Quran that prohibits women from participating in commerce as business women, the verse 2:282 can only be understood as I have explained it.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/13/2015 4:07:44 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahib, let us keep in mind that every propounder of truth from the beginning of time had to face rejection and taunts from people. Even the Prophets were not spared. Quran is clear on how Allah will deal with such rejecters and such matters are part of His decree. There are also numerous verses giving comfort and assuring men of faith of Allah's help. One such verse in Surah 30 V:60 comes to mind out of perhaps hundreds in the book. Your work is much appreciated by many even if some have not expressed it.  By Listener - 6/12/2015 11:45:58 PM



  • Mr. Naseer Ahmed! Do you accept that the Quran is the Book of Allah, with heart and mind? Then accept it,"And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men then a man and two women." this is a clear order of Allah in a complete sentence. If a person does not accept a single sentence of a Quranic  verse he is not a Muslim. Religion is a matter of Faith not argument. No need to bog down with a non-Muslim on this topic.   By Mohammad Ishaque Foujdar - 6/12/2015 9:52:23 AM



  • Rational,

    The decent thing is to stop further discussion when I want to end the discussion. What is new about your questions? You will always have questions to ask even after I have answered a thousand of them. Is that not true Betal? 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/12/2015 5:03:09 AM



  • For example, this article that I read and did not comment upon. Your argument is that two women are 'allowed' to be witness. It is not 'compulsary' that two women be witness. Reason, women may forget, they may need another woman to remind them, corroborate facts, etc. The immediate thought that comes to mind is, even a man may need this kind of support. Women's memory, observation etc is not biologically weaker than men's. Then why does the Prophet not call for two men witnesses? If the verse had been gender neutral, it would not have been subject to scrutiny. Right now, it does seem to appear that women are considered mentally weak as witnesses and therefore must testify in pairs.  By secularlogic - 6/12/2015 1:53:59 AM



  • at last Naseer saheb you kept silence on some questions i asked you. like any evidence of worship places of non-muslims in mecca medina, if the Quran and messenger were tolerant to other worship places as mentioned in the Quran.
    now you don't want to speak on position of women in general and wives of the prophet in particular under prophetic era.
    we can speak loudest words to praise Islam, but how it was practiced is a serious issue.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/12/2015 1:41:55 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    no more question if you stop commenting on this forum. this comment was in response to your mentioning of javed ghamidi and scholarship.

    i have aversion with communicating through mail.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/12/2015 1:33:24 AM



  • Rational,

    No discussion on any new topics please. If you wish, you may continue on email which I very much doubt that you would like to do that.

    The contextual nature of the verses is apparent even otherwise when you consider other verses. As a matter of fact, I do not think that the usage of Al  makes a difference. Anyway since  I also believe for reasons other than the usage of Al what Ghamidi says, and I am not a scholar of Arabic, why should I say more?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/12/2015 12:15:07 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    Is not contextualizing the verses with article "al" an scholarly effort. Is not Ghamidi a scholar of Islam.
    if scholarship is the reason of regression of muslims, why to depend on ghamidi and khan saheb.
    what is guarantee they are not playing with word of God.
    this issue is like a serpent with multiple and regenerative heads. you cut one other heads rises or the same head regenerates.
    there is no end to this intellectual mumbo jumbo.
    had been the Quran a clear guide book, there was no need to defend it.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/11/2015 8:56:35 PM



  • Naseer saheb
    entrusting one lady as inspector is not a very shining example. there are always exceptions.
    in general Hz umar farooq sent women into regression. he was not happy with how wives of the prophet were enjoying some freedom continued from Jahiliya, but Umar Farooq didn't like it.
    Verses of the veiling are said to be result of desire of hz umar farooq.
    God didn't bother to send guidance during a large duration from hz ismail to hz mohammed, but hz umar farooq made it possible that his wishes be fulfilled.
    what is more important is how comanions acted upon commandments of the God. Since the Quran is not a book of history of Muslims we can't take it to prove that companions followed the Quran ditto.
    this gap is filled with seerah, hadith e nabavi and other history books.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/11/2015 8:50:58 PM



  • Rational,

    I am trying to end my engagement with NAI. Please do not draw me into fresh discussions. Yunus Sb has talked about “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina”. Nothing had changed at least during his period. 

    If you wish, you can carry on further  through email.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/11/2015 8:24:01 AM



  • naseer shaeb
    if regression started from hz muaviayah then you can name some Muslim women who became successful businesswomen during hz mohammed's and  hz muaviyah's time.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/11/2015 6:01:38 AM



  • Naseer Saheb,  you kept silence on hz Aisha and other wives of the prophet? where the freedom of women went? why there was no more like hz khadija in prophetic period.
    in fact other wives of the prophet were pushed into their homes and it was done by the Allah and His prophet.
    baqi qasar hz umar farooq ne poori kar di thee.
    Hz umar farooq was responsible for strict confinement of prophet's wives.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/11/2015 5:58:42 AM



  • What is incorrect however in my statement is saying that Islam regressed to a pre-Islamic state. It should be "Islam regressed to a "Muslim" state as it concerns the position of women in society" since in  pre-Islamic Arabia there were women who carried on business in their individual capacity.

    The cause for regression is very simple and is aided equally by the behaviour of both men and women and more so of the women themselves. However, yeh kahani phir sahi. If you have my mail ID, you could correspond with me if you wish because I plan to disengage from this website
    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/9/2015 3:08:01 AM



  • Dear Rational,

    Please read my comments carefully. I have given full credit to the people of pre-Islamic times.

    "Let us not forget that Hazrat Khadija (RA) was one such woman and if the Quran is interpreted in a manner that disempowers a woman like Hazrat Khadija to do business in her individual capacity, then the Quran is regressive and takes the people behind their times and the so called Jahiliya state before Islam was more progressive as it concerns the empowerment of women. This is blaspheming the Quran and all those who interpret the Quran in a manner different from how I have understood the meaning and purport of the verse 2:282 are doing a great disservice to both Islam, God and the women. 


    You (Muhammad Yunus) have also said: “…It is thus clear that the Qur’an did not want the Muslims to stop dead in the track of civilization at the seventh century Arabia. It leaves space for progress – for changing the material and commercial paradigms with time.  It was possibly for this reason that “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina” 


    What Caliph Umar did was no different from what could or would have been done in pre Islamic Arabia and does not represent progress. What represents progress is the incremental difference that Islam made by allowing all women to participate at least as witnesses.


     Unfortunately, the incremental part remains and the main part is knocked out! The greatest surprise is that no female/male jurist has been able to see this matter the same was as I do! How the Muslim society regressed to a pre Islamic position as regards the position and empowerment of women is an interesting story. However, yeh kahani phir sahi."By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 2:20:30 AM


    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/9/2015 2:53:24 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    can you give credit to Islam for achievements of hz khadiza as business woman. should you not be honest enough that hz khadija was a business woman before Islam? a product of jahiliya.
    let us agree for the moment that Islam gave much rights to women than other religions but can you tell me how many business women Islam produced in 1400 years?
    can you tell me what hz aisha was doing for his living? any other wife as successful  as hz khadija?
    hz aisha was consulted on religious matters.
    Didn't Quran ordered wives of the prophet to stay in their homes? were not they threatened by God when they showed unhappiness towards prophet on some issues(funds)?
    what happened to hz aisha later after her fight with hz ali?
    what about hz hafsa?
    Islam confined them in their homes. so Muslims are doing same.
    whichever lady in Muslim society achieved some name or fame, its credit doesn't go to Islam.
    you can discard ahadith for ceratin reasons but in fact those ahadith are mirrors of that society.
    Islam doesn't prohibit muslim women conducting business affairs because there is no verse to stop them. but how the prophet kept his wives confined in his home is a sunna to Musims.
    this led Muslim women to this pitiful condition.

    you can enlighten me which other woman in prophetic era was a successful  business woman.
    what muslim soldiers did to their captives is not hidden. they captured them, enslaved them had sex with them , sold them.
    women were sold in bazars and gifted to friends and Sultans.
    you can't wash your hands by saying that in other religions conditions of womenfolk was worst than Islam.

    Muslims are fond of vilification of jahiliya period to show Islam better.
    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/8/2015 9:44:50 PM



  • Dear Listener,

    Mr Shahin has said in a comment addressed to you " another engages with him only when he has a word of praise for his erudition and scholarship". Very true. And I thank Mr Yunus for it. Mr Yunus has praised my article and also said what he has himself said in his book. When I pointed out that what I am saying in my article is quite contrary to what he has said in his book and that the Quran places no restrictions on women participating in commercial transactions as lender, borrower, dealer, guarantor in their sole/individual capacity and this was merely a continuation of what existed in the pre-Islamic period as evidenced by Hazrat Khadija having been such a business woman and that the Quran merely facilitated the participation of the most ordinary woman also at least as witness by allowing two women to jointly witness and depose as a legal concession  and not as a mandatory legal requirement, he has not taken part in further discussion. He would then have to go against what he has said in his book or be able to defend his position. When he realizes that he is unable to do either, he withdraws and ignores all further comments addressed to him.

     We have gone through this several times. The first time was on a debate on the meaning of verse 2:177. The same happened in a debate on the meaning of “ma malakat aimanukum” and recently on the meaning of verse 98:6.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/8/2015 3:09:39 AM



  • Welcome back Rational! It was a good break for both of us. The break should be utilized to try to look at things differently.

    You have been blaming the Book all the while without success. Try finding fault with man and you will make very interesting discoveries about the nature of man. There are certain constraints and constants and there are certain variables.Blaming what cannot be changed and ignoring what can be changed will not help solve anything.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/4/2015 12:14:44 AM



  • naseer saheb What is most important is how Muslims behaved in 1400 years. If they were incorrect in their understanding of the Quran during 1400 years, who is responsible for plight of common Muslims? is it not miraculous about the Quran that it is a clear guide book, and you only one understand it correctly among 1.5 billion Muslims! your explanations are indeed outstanding but it is a question on the Quran itself? it is a question on God's ability to make people understand correctly his intention.


    this is a poor performance of a guide book from Allah the all-knower. I was experiencing difficulty in posting my comments. I am back. you can draw any psychological inference from my absence.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 6/3/2015 10:56:26 PM



  • My dear Listener, When we take all related verses together, there is only one meaning of each verse that will make all verses "hang together" with every verse supporting the rest and no verse contradicting any other. Then we know for sure that we have arrived at the correct meaning. The process is analogous to the physical balancing act in this video: Balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KVPA-9hofw

    The Quran itself provides us a sure way of arriving at the correct meaning and knowing when we have done so. However, if we ignore or consider even one verse as "abrogated", it is like removing the feather in the video and the true meaning will then elude us. The clue in arriving at the correct meaning of verse 2:282 however, is the absence of verses covering the role of women as traders, dealers, financiers etc which only means that there is no restriction on them playing such roles in the same manner as men.

    The Quran conveys by way of what is said and by way of what is left unsaid. There are other very interesting cases of arriving at the correct meaning by what is left unsaid, which I may take up later.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 11:47:30 AM



  • Yes Naseer Sahib it is the the job of the scholars to interpret the meanings. Your approach is best suited to the sincere seekers of truth. My own view is to accept the truth from wherever it comes. I believe you speak the truth and hope people do not reject it just because it is not from a regular scholar. By Listener - 6/3/2015 11:06:07 AM



  • My dear Listener, I have an aversion to "interpreting" the Quran. The clear meaning of the Quran will remain the same till eternity unless distorted by those who "interpret".


    The Quran allows a range of response to any situation and the laws may be framed from time to time within this range. As far as verse 2:282 is concerned, I have not claimed any originality. On the other hand I have pointed to the example of Hazrat Khadija (RA) to reinforce what I have said in the article. Clearly, I am bringing out the meaning as understood by the people in the Prophet's times and nothing more. This meaning eludes modern day scholars and jurists is what I have said.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 10:38:25 AM



  • The core message of Quran will remain same till end of time. Every generation is still required to exert efforts to find best interpretation of verses according to their living circumstances. The works of the past rightful scholars can be studied to find ways and means how they applied the verses to their changed circumstances.


     I would not call you a "non scholarly maverick" but an sincere seeker of the truth. It is also apparent that you have the courage to speak it openly, which unfortunately lot of scholars lack.

    By Listener - 6/3/2015 10:28:05 AM



  • Listener Saheb, I agree with you that over the course of 1400 years there may have been scores of scholars or jurists who may have held an identical view on verse 2:282 and their works may have been lost.


    The Quran is a Book which makes things clear and no scholar can improve over the correct meaning of any verse. He can at best arrive at the correct meaning. Verse 2:282 is a verse dealing with commercial transactions and not higher spiritual truths. In the matter of higher spiritual truths, Maulana Azad or Imam Ghazali may be without peers. Specifically on verse 2:282, is there any surviving work that says what the article above says or something better or more correct? If there is, then as Naseer Saheb says, it strengthens the case of reform.

    By siraj - 6/3/2015 10:21:31 AM



  • The fact of the matter is that the Quran was understood as it was meant to be understood in the Prophet's times and for a couple of centuries thereafter. It is the works of the scholars from the 10th century onwards that is available to us and these elaborate works and commentaries perhaps had the purpose of twisting the correct meaning to suit the patriarchal leanings of the society and the whims of the rulers.


    The scholarly works therefore either make things clearer or distort the true picture. Primed by these works, the scholarly works of today will continue to be heavily influenced by what has been said because "all that could be said has already been said". A non scholarly maverick has the advantage that he is not primed to think in the way the past scholars thought who can see things differently and perchance rediscover the lost true meaning once again.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 9:30:24 AM



  • Surely dear Listener, when “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina” he was merely continuing the pre-Islamic position regarding the position of women in society and Islam and the Quran was not a barrier.


    Muslim society regressed in later centuries and the clear stream that was running earlier was lost in the sands. How and why this happened is another story and "yeh kahani phir sahi". In the present age, is there any jurist who says what I have said? Is there any work of any scholar of the past which expresses the same opinion? I would love to stand corrected if you can point to anything on the subject. This will only strengthen the case further. Right now, it is only the opinion of a non-scholar and will require great effort to make it gain acceptance.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 8:53:35 AM



  • Siraj Sahib, It is inconceivable that after 1400 years anyone can say anything about Islam which has not be said before. During this time of 1400 years some of the best minds laboured over the meanings of the Quran and Sunnah and said everything which can ever be said.


     The real thing is that people over the ages suppressed what was not acceptable to the ruling class and the clergy were made to come up with acceptable line. If you read the Tarjuman Quran of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad you will find lots of things which are far ahead of what Naseer Sahib is saying. Do you find his work gaining wide acceptance in Muslim world. Likewise lots of works of rightly guided people never saw the light of the day. In the 'Denied by Allah" article the writer who introduced that subject herself attacked Naseer Sahib without ever realizing his stand.


    These days when the Ummah is getting increasingly divided on sectarian grounds, it will next to impossible to hope for acceptance from all.

    By Listener - 6/3/2015 8:15:40 AM



  • Nasser Sb, I was wondering how could you come up with this article on the fly as it were while debating in another thread and take a view that is different from every jurist as you say.


    While what you say appeared reasonable, I felt that there must be something that you have missed which others do not and therefore you have drawn the conclusions differently from that of others.


    Your argument giving the example of Khatija in your last comment however appears clinching. Your article can pitchfork the cause of women empowerment in a dramatic manner.Very interestingly however, there must be 10 different persons who commented on "Denied by Allah" showing that they stand for woman empowerment and none of them commented on this article that actually serves the cause.


     I wonder why? So am I still missing something? Is it because the topic is beyond their understanding? Or is it because they cannot believe that what you say could be true? You are truly ahead of your times.


    No, I must correct myself. The Muslims are behind the pre-Islamic times as you yourself have correctly said. The emperor is without clothes and you are able to see that because you are not blinded by the "corpus" as others are.

    By siraj - 6/3/2015 4:27:50 AM



  • Yunus Sb, I was hoping that you would respond to my previous two comments so that we could close the discussion on the subject.


    I say this very emphatically that the Quran does not place any barriers constraining women’s active participation in commerce. It was for this reason that you do not find a single verse that restricts a woman from executing a document - be it commercial, a will, or pertaining to property in her individual and sole capacity. The rationale for special provisions for witnessing is to enable every woman to participate as a witness irrespective of her level of knowledge or experience of the commercial world.


     While direct participation as dealer, trader, lender, borrower, guarantor etc. are necessarily undertaken by women with knowledge and experience, they require no special provisions and the Quran makes none. They are on par with the men. Needless to say that such women can also witness and depose in their sole and individual capacity. The special provisions for witnessing is an option and a legal concession and not mandatory to enable even the most common woman to witness. Let us not forget that Hazrat Khadija (RA) was one such woman and if the Quran is interpreted in a manner that disempowers a woman like Hazrat Khadija to do business in her individual capacity, then the Quran is regressive and takes the people behind their times and the so called Jahiliya state before Islam was more progressive as it concerns the empowerment of women. This is blaspheming the Quran and all those who interpret the Quran in a manner different from how I have understood the meaning and purport of the verse 2:282 are doing a great disservice to both Islam, God and the women. You have also said: “…It is thus clear that the Qur’an did not want the Muslims to stop dead in the track of civilization at the seventh century Arabia. It leaves space for progress – for changing the material and commercial paradigms with time.


     It was possibly for this reason that “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina” What Caliph Umar did was no different from what could or would have been done in pre Islamic Arabia and does not represent progress. What represents progress is the incremental difference that Islam made by allowing all women to participate at least as witnesses.


     Unfortunately, the incremental part remains and the main part is knocked out! The greatest surprise is that no female/male jurist has been able to see this matter the same was as I do! How the Muslim society regressed to a pre Islamic position as regards the position and empowerment of women is an interesting story. However, yeh kahani phir sahi.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/3/2015 2:20:30 AM



  • Further to my previous comment, a Muslim woman can own, inherit, sell, buy, bequeath property in her individual capacity. There are absolutely no barriers to a woman entering into commercial transactions and executing documents in her individual capacity. By Naseer Ahmed - 5/29/2015 12:30:35 AM



  • Yunus Sb, Also the point to be noted is that the Quran does not place any barriers constraining women’s active participation in commerce. A woman can be an executant of a document in her individual capacity as a borrower, lender or guarantor. She can sue or be sued in her individual capacity.


    Needless to say that such a woman who has the capacity to lend or trusted enough by the market to borrow or to guarantee a loan, does not require any protective verses in the Quran and therefore there are none. A witness however can be any ordinary woman and such a woman may need to be supported by another woman as discussed. It should be clear that when the Quran does not restrict a woman from borrowing, lending and guaranteeing in her individual capacity, there can be no bar on her witnessing a document also in her individual capacity. The provision to witness and depose jointly must therfore be viewed purely as an option or a legal concession to female witnesses and not something as legally binding.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/28/2015 7:42:11 PM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab, I agree with your concluding remark: "Two witnesses is therefore the optimum number but if one of the witnesses is a female, who it is feared can be easily hassled or confused by the defense lawyer in his cross examination, it makes sense for the Quran to allow such a witness to take the support of another female and witness and depose jointly .


    This is a legal concession to women witnesses and not a mandatory legal requirement." The verse 2:282's following concluding statement reinforces your views: "And have witnesses whenever you engage in trade, and let no scribe or witness be harassed: if you do so, it will be immoral of you. So heed God, for it is God that teaches you. (Remember,) God is Cognizant of everything” You make a good point.

    By muhammad yunus - 5/28/2015 7:54:18 AM



  • There is no end to the games one can play with identifying self serving key phrases in any verse ignoring the rest. The extremists do that. By Naseer Ahmed - 5/28/2015 7:03:04 AM



  • key phrase in the verse is one man and two women. By zakaria virk - 5/28/2015 5:58:50 AM



  • Yunus Sb, I have gone through whatever I could find on the www on the subject. It is a common mistake people make to say that the Quran has made an exception when the Quran has made no exception and the subject of witnessing has little to do with the subject of the legal document witnessed - whether it deals with a commercial transaction, a will, a gift or a property transaction.


    A witness need not even read the document witnessed let alone understand its contents. A witness only witnesses the fact of execution of the document in his/her presence and nothing more and is required to testify to the same if called to do so which is extremely rare. A typical examination/cross examination of a witness covers:

    1. Affirm that the document is witnessed by the person 2. Affirm that the signatories or the executants to the document signed the document in his/her presence on the date and at the place mentioned in the document. In the cross examination, the defense will ask questions to create a doubt that the documents were executed as affirmed by the witnesses. All cross examinations try to make the witness contradict himself/herself and weaken his/her testimony. It is here that two women testifying together consulting each other can make a difference. However, there can be no legal requirement that there should be two women testifying together or that a single woman cannot testify by herself.


    The intention of the Quran in 2:282 is to ensure that the interests of the parties in any contract are fully safeguarded and not to prejudge the quality or reliability of a woman's testimony. One may split hairs and ask why witnesses at all and why two and not just one etc etc. With no witnesses, it is one man's word against that of another. With just one witness, a doubt can be created about the witness being an interested party and not neutral. With two this is unlikely. With three witnesses, the case cannot be strengthened further but only weakens because there is a greater chance of the witnesses contradicting each other. Two witnesses is therefore the optimum number but if one of the witnesses is a female, who it is feared can be easily hassled or confused by the defense lawyer in his cross examination, it makes sense for the Quran to allow such a witness to take the support of another female and witness and depose jointly .


    This is a legal concession to women witnesses and not a mandatory legal requirement. I am an expert in commercial law having worked as a Banker and have vast experience of both legal documentation and deposing in courts in all kinds of cases connected with loans and advances.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/28/2015 1:16:44 AM



  • THE INTELLIGENCE OF ITS INTERPRETERS AND SCHOLARS Dear Yunus Saheb, Your most recent comment on the New Age Islam forum reads as follows: “The Qur’an repeatedly asks Muslims to reflect, to reason and to understand, and calls for consultation in running the affairs of the community (3:159, 42:38/Ch. 42.1), and even in family matters (2:233/Ch. 34.5).”


    It is thus clear that the Qur’an did not want the Muslims to stop dead in the track of civilization at the seventh century Arabia. It leaves space for progress – for changing the material and commercial paradigms with time. It was possibly for this reason that “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina,”3 while there have been countless female professors and jurists in Islamic history who bestowed academic and juristic credentials to many men under their signatures.

    Thus if the progress of civilization removes the traditional barriers constraining women’s active participation in commerce, the Qur’anic specific witnessing requirement may be adapted for the changed circumstances." Quite frankly, many Muslim writers and scholars almost always highlight the past accomplishments of Muslim women, but rarely do they reflect and ponder over how many women belonging to other faiths have been able to contribute towards the human civilization. Out of “Top 100 Famous Women,” in the world, hardly three Muslim women are accounted for. Those three are: Benazir Bhutto, Shirin Ebadi and Malala Yousufzai. Isn’t that a pathetic record so to speak? We the Muslims, are our own worst enemy. You are absolutely right in stating that Qur’an did not want the Muslims to stop dead in the tracks of civilization at the seventh century Arabia. Guess what!


     By repeatedly citing examples of the 7th century personalities, it is the “Muslim Intelligentsia” who has been solely responsible for indulging ordinary Muslims to continue to live in the romantic past. Finally, kindly allow me to end this brief message with quote of Dr. K. G. Saiyadain (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace) as follows: “Islam indicated clearly enough the direction of advance and left it to the intelligence of its interpreters and scholars to redefine the position of women in the evolving pattern of society through the centuries. Where they have failed to do so they must bear its responsibility.” Thanks again for reading, I remain Very truly yours, Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 5/27/2015 11:21:00 PM



  • Good article. Complements the following interpretation tabled in my jt. exegetic work under posting: "Commentators often quote the underlined Qur’anic injunction (2:282) to take two female witnesses for one male witness as an indication or proof of a woman’s lower intellect. Such a conclusion from a single Qur’anic verse is misleading, as the Qur’an maintains its gender neutrality in all other witnessing situations, notably: • While handing back properties to orphans as they reach a matured age (4:6/Ch. 31.1). • Witnessing a will (5:106-107/Ch. 37). • Witnessing an alleged adultery (4:15/Ch. 36.2; 24:4/Ch. 36.4). • Witnessing the execution of a divorce (65:2/Ch. 34.2).


    Historically, trading has been a predominantly male profession as it involved traveling across hazardous terrains and staying away from homes. Therefore, the general instruction is to take two male witnesses and if two of them are not available, only then one male and two female witnesses. This poses the question, whether the Qur’anic exceptional witnessing protocol must be binding for all times.


    We have to answer this from Qur’anic illustrations, as attempted below. In the context of the revelation, the Qur’an was addressed to a given people at a given space-time bracket. Therefore, the Qur’anic precepts relating to the material aspects of life, such as employing hunting animals to catch birds (5:4/Ch. 25.2), traveling to the Ka‘ba on lean mounts,1 or employing cavalry2 in combat were specific to the era, and the same conceivably is the case with the witnessing requirement in the market place. But the Qur’an repeatedly asks Muslims to reflect, to reason and to understand, and calls for consultation in running the affairs of the community (3:159, 42:38/Ch. 42.1), and even in family matters (2:233/Ch. 34.5). It is thus clear that the Qur’an did not want the Muslims to stop dead in the track of civilization at the seventh century Arabia. It leaves space for progress – for changing the material and commercial paradigms with time. It was possibly for this reason that “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina,”3 while there have been countless female professors and jurists in Islamic history who bestowed academic and juristic credentials to many men under their signatures.


    Thus if the progress of civilization removes the traditional barriers constraining women’s active participation in commerce, the Qur’anic specific witnessing requirement may be adapted for the changed circumstances."

    By muhammad yunus - 5/27/2015 9:44:43 PM