Books and Documents

Debating Islam (21 Aug 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)


  • Dear Naseer Ahmed Sahib: 
    We discussed our points of view in a very friendly way and some readers may have found them useful.Thanks for inviting me to write an article on mutaa but I feel that I am not the right person to do this job. Like you, I regard it as legalized prostitution. 
    As long as women remain economically underprivileged and marriage remains their only means of livelihood, practices of polygamy and mutaa will continue. For empowerment of women educated women have not played their role in Third World countries.

    By Hasan Abbas - 8/31/2012 3:29:00 PM

  • Dear Hasan Abbas,
     Write an article on Muta and discuss it with whoever is willing to discuss it with you.
    I am obliged to discuss only what pertains to the subject matter of my article.
    I have in any case, very little knowledge of Muta nor do I know anyone who believes in it or practices it.
    In the west they have live in relationships without any contract and they are not ashamed of it.
    So why should the Iranians stay behind? There are scholars today, who will give a fatwa to make legal everything that the rest of the World practices. There is nothing Islamic about such fatwas. In theory, one could have Muta for one hour. The rest of the world calls this prostitution and so do I.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/31/2012 12:34:44 AM

  • Let me make this clear. The article is about the Wisdom of Quran and any question that is not relating to the Quran is outside the scope for discussion under this thread.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/30/2012 10:42:03 PM

  • Dear Naseer Sahib:
    Your comment did not surprise me at all.We are always afraid to answer questions related to shameful history of Muslims.
    Mutaa is being practiced in Iran since mullahs captured power.
    Every good thing is not Islam.

    By Hasan Abbas - 8/30/2012 9:18:27 PM

  • @dear hasan Abbas. Don't ask such questions, they will never be answered. I repeat " what is the moral in marriages of Mohammed with Safiya bint hui, javeria and zainab? Was there any other option left for these women.
    We all know what options were given to Non-Muslims in the letters from Mohammed and Khulafas to Non-Muslims. Muslims find moral where there is no moral and wisdom where there is no wisdom. The definition of moral and wisdom is different with Muslims.

    By mohd yunus - 8/30/2012 10:34:19 AM

  • Dear Hassan Abbas,

    Your other questions which are not related to the article are answered in the following article which I had also  referred in another comment.


    I am curious about your question on Muta. Where does this practice exist? As far as I know, it is not found among Indian Muslims nor does it find any mention in the Quran. Do you have personal knowledge of anyone who practices it?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/30/2012 7:55:30 AM

  • Dear Naseer Sahib: I would be grateful if you could answer the questions raised in my letter? I have read your comment and request you to read what I already written.  
    By Hasan Abbas - 8/30/2012 6:36:04 AM

  • Dear Hassan Abbas,

    Please see my comment of 25th  August addressed to you.

    By Naseer Ahmef - 8/30/2012 12:01:58 AM

  • Dear Naseer Ahmed: I appreciate your efforts to portray Islam as an enlightened faith.

    It seems that you are only interested in theory and you are completely detached from practice and reality. People around the world judge us by the state of our societies. Nobody will read your scriptures. 

    What moral, political and social changes were brought after the introduction of Islam?  We see monarchy, military dictatorship or sham democracy  in Muslim countries. There is no non-violent system of transfer of power.
    Women are treated as second- class citizens. In a polygamous society-- please do not forget mutaa--respectable status of women is not possible. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive.
    The state of moral fiber of Muslims was witnessed when Ramond Davis who murdered 3 Pakistanis was allowed to go home after paying khoon baha. Holy month of Ramathan had no effect on the killing spree in Karachi.
    Women are not allowed to receive education. So they can never achieve respectable status.
    All scientific theories are tested after their promulgation. If they fail to produce expected results, they are rejected. 
    You must relate theory to practice.

    By Hasan Abbas - 8/29/2012 12:44:26 PM

  • Naseer Bhai: Thaks a lot for the enlightening suggestions which may save someone's life and dignity.
    By Raihan Nezami - 8/29/2012 12:37:01 AM

  • Dear Raihan,

    From the story that emerges now, it is clear that the guy has not lived with his first wife after he eloped with the sister. He should have divorced his first wife before marrying the sister.

    I do not think that there is anything like deemed divorce but  this case comes close to it. Perhaps he should now formally divorce his first wife and also bear her expenses for the period he has been married to her and the period of iddat after divorce.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/28/2012 11:44:03 PM

  • Dear Naseer Bhai: Thanks for your suggestion, let me first express, whatever personal opinion we give on this site or in our personal life, should not be assumed as a "Fatwa" or binding upon others. Considering ourselves as a free thinker and practitioner of Islamic Sharia in the light of Qur'an and Hadees accountable to Allah only, we should try to act accordingly to be just and righteous before Allah Kareem.

    Coming to the topic, his ignorance being a bliss for him and even the family members and maybe Qazi also being motivated by money power, favour or force. It is a tale of triangular love among two sisters and a boy; although he had married the elder one ten years ago, he could not hold his love for the younger one that became unbound for the last five years while the family was passing through this trauma. Recently, he eloped with the younger sister with the help of some in-laws,  married somewhere and has been living as husband and wife for sometimes, the elder sister is at her father's residence. Now the girls' parents are worried what to do in this case, whereas the boy is still not repenting, he is blind in love and dumb in Islamic laws. 

    Anyway I think, it is a clear case of violation of Islamic laws that does not permit two real sisters to be in "Nikah" with one man at the same time. Thanks for your opinion, I will pass it over to him and his families.

    By Raihan Nezami - 8/28/2012 3:22:32 AM

  • Dear Raihan, I am not qualified to answer these questions or give fatwas. However, I will answer your question placing myself in the same situation and say how I would have acted.

    First of all how did this happen? Were he, his wife, the second wife, her family and the Kazi who married them unaware of the Islamic prohibition?

    Let us assume that this happened out of ignorance and without any intention to transgress the Islamic law. (If the fact is that it did not happen in ignorance, then he has acted out of convenience the first time, and is now seeking a solution on how to get rid of one of them on the pretext of complying with Islamic law!)

    Assuming that he had acted out of ignorance of the prohibition, and that his sole motive in seeking a solution now is to comply with the Islamic law, and that his real intentions are not ulterior, then, placing myself in his position, I would have done the following:

    The second girl he married was incorrect while the first one was still wedded to him and so he should divorce the second one and not the first one.  He should take full responsibility for the divorced wife until he settles her with a decent marriage with a boy acceptable to her. He should take both the sisters and their family into confidence before taking any step and not act unilaterally.  

    The above however is only my opinion and I reiterate that I am not competent to give a fatwa. If the assumptions are wrong, and his ‘mistake’ was no mistake, and his seeking advice now is again to serve some ulterior motive of his, then no advice need be given to him.  


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/27/2012 4:43:14 AM

  • Mr. Naseer: It is a nice article contemplating upon the important conflicting issues of Islamic society. I would like to ask a question related to second topic, "Permission for taking upto four wives". One of my acquaintances has married the real sister of his wife, what should be done in that case? Is it "Haram"? Can both live as a case of Polygamy? Or one has to go? Please guide him in this respect in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

    By Raihan Nezami - 8/27/2012 12:52:13 AM

  • I have not responded to some of the questions since they did not relate to the subject. The following is a link to a document that answers the questions.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/27/2012 12:30:58 AM

  • @ Naseer Ahmed sahib
    Why does not Quran say any thing about women's right if husband is disloyal or unfaithfulness? Is not Quran biased to male. Perhaps Allah is male. Do we address Him in gender neutral? Never. Why we call Allah in Masculine Gender. Is He not above gender? Can I call Him in feminine gender?
    A believer can do anything absurd, irrational, cruel only approval should come from scripture.

    By mohd yunus - 8/26/2012 5:34:54 AM

  • Marital infidelity would bring about either a divorce or a reconciliation. Physical violence should have no place in it. Husbands do beat up their wives badly, throw acid on their faces and even a beheading has been reported. But we take from the Quran what is best in it, and that is civilized behavior.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/26/2012 2:31:00 AM

  • The Quran does not allow a Muslim to practice cruelty on any one let alone his wife.
    The relationship between a husband and wife is one of trust and love. The greatest cruelty that can be practised is disloyalty and unfaithfulness. Tiger Woods was physically bashed up by his wife for unfaithfulness. He did not bring charges against her nor did the men protest  nor did the society found it odd. Her behaviour was understandable. The verse deals with disloyalty and the steps 1. Admonishment 2 sleeping separately 3 chastisement.
    Disloyalty is more cruel than giving a beating for it after enough opportunity is given to mend ways.
    Loyalty can never be won by cruelty and misuse of power. It comes out of love, regard and respect.
    Regard and respect is not given to a person who cannot assert his/ her rights. The verse talks about man's right for his wife's loyalty and when that right is not given the way is shown on how to assert and get it. An economically independent woman who shows disloyalty is clearly moving towards a divorce and can be divorced. An economically dependent woman is shown consideration by giving her ample opportunity to mend her ways. She can shorten the process and walk out.
    Yet we can say in all honesty that all violence and war are abhorrent. There are some things however, that are more abhorrent than violence and war.
    I have two children a son and a daughter. The son is 2 years older. The strict rule for the son was that he could not get physical with his sister. Was the same rule stipulated for the daughter? No need was felt for it. Yet we are witness to several occasions when my daughter dominated my son in righteous anger and hit him while my son knowing that he was in the wrong, did not even bother to hit back. There were times when my son also lost his control and hit out but he always stopped after the first blow knowing that a second blow was unnecessary to cow her down.  A rule being a rule, he was punished for his aggression and the daughter was not spared either for the provocation. Very soon they understood and gave up getting physical at a very young age.
    The moral of the story is that a similar verse allowing the wife to bash up her husband for his waywardness is not required. All wives know how to assert their rights and no verse is required to put a limit on their cruelty because man is capable of taking care of himself.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/25/2012 10:29:03 PM

  • Naseer Sb., in his response to Hasan Abbas's excellent post, says, "Even the feminists have abandoned the language of Gender Equality and speak about Gender justice."

    This is false. Women insist on gender equality. The concept of gender justice is flawed because judgements about what is gender justice can be arbitrary, and can lead to merely cosmetic reforms  because of our male dominated clergy.

    Since Naseer Sb. mentioned feminists, does he know of any feminist group which endorses wife beating?

    To interpret 4:34 as saying that whether a woman will be beaten or not will depend on whether she is educated and economically independent or not is abhorrent to my Muslim sensibility.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/25/2012 2:37:19 PM

  • dear Hasan Abbas You said well. He must also find wisdom in the marriages of Prophet with Aisha, Safiya bint Hui and Zainab wife of Zaid. He also must tell why Quran says Allah revealed what was in the heart of prophet (regarding Zainab).
    My Muslim brothers become angry when we bring what is written in Quran and Hadith. First they deny, then twist the evidence, and then issue threats.
    Whatever wisdom is Mr Naseer Ahmed finding, the fact is women were deprived of rights, are and will remain in Muslim Societies. If you witness some progress it is due women's struggle and secular enlightenment. Some Muslims want to throw Ahadith, will they be able to do that. I am not advocate of Ahadith. I am stating only the reality. Islam can't survive without Ahadith. Period.
    By mohd yunus - 8/25/2012 4:16:39 AM

  • Dear Bro Ahmed Esmail,
    Thank you very much for your appreciation and words of encouragement.
    You may be right about Hazrat Ali (RA). I was writing from memory and it is quite possible that I did not get the details right.
    Wish you a belated Eid Mubarak and to everyone else!
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/25/2012 4:16:23 AM

  • Dear Hassan Abbas,

    What I gather from your comment is that you equate the backwardness of Muslim society with the backwardness of their religion. My article discusses the Quran and not Muslim society as it is today.

    Even the feminists have abandoned the language of Gender Equality and speak about Gender justice. Within the constraints of the socio economic conditions of the times, the Quran's prescriptions promote gender justice which was unmatched by the rest of the World for the next 1000 years.

    How relevant the verse 4:34 is even today when it qualifies the rest of the verse by saying that "since the man provides for the woman from his means".  Even in the 21st century, this maxim is true. Those who hold the purse strings call the shots. Even nations behave the same way. Muhammad Yunus the Bangladeshi banker of Grameena bank fame refused aid from the IMF because it comes with strings attached. This is a reality which is unchanged even in the 21st century. So the one who feeds you does enjoy a position that is a degree higher and if you want that to change, then become economically independent. And indeed the reality is that women won their rights only after gaining economic independence in the west and they still have much ground to cover. Equal Rights Amendment Act is not yet passed by every state of the USA.

    As I have said repeatedly in my comments, the position of women in society is determined primarily by her education and economic independence.

    At least Islam made it highly desirable and a religious duty for everyone to become a literate 1500 years ago, since it is incumbent on every Muslim to read the Quran. The ideal of 100% literacy is not achieved even among the males in most societies even in the 21st century.

    Muslim society and culture has stagnated and lagged behind and was overtaken by other societies in the last 100 to 150 years. Is religion to blame for it? Or was Islam the religion responsible for Muslim society being ahead for a 1000 years? Did not Islam tranform Arab society in a very dramatic manner?


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/25/2012 4:11:45 AM

  • Dear Naseer Ahmad:I gather that in your opinion no society has given equal rights to women.
    Thanks for endorsing my point that Women in Muslim countries do not enjoy equal status during the last 1500 years. Their status remains the same. No change whatsoever. Men batter their wives assuming they have this right conferred by Islam. Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. They cant' perform hajj without having the company of mahram. After cumbersome legal procedures, they get divorce or khula, while men get rid of them in minutes. In a polygamous society --do not forget Mutaa--women can never achieve respectable status. Men do not allow women to vote denying them the opportunity to improve their status. Incidents of honor killing and throwing acid on their faces are routinely observed.I can give 100 examples like this but space and time do not permit.
    You should not draw comfort from your opinion that American women are not enjoying equal status. Islamic societies--your model-- should have given them equal rights since their inception.
    Regarding status of women in the developed countries, they have equal status in the eyes of the law. Equal status is enshrined in their constitution.They have the right to vote, divorce, drive, own property, equal share in inheritance, give evidence in a court of law, etc.Please see the history of struggle of women how they achieved equal status and rights. They got the right to vote in the initial part of the last century. This struggle is an ongoing process as in some areas they still lag behind but with regard to law and traditions they do not suffer.No doubt, they have to attain equal political representation and equal opportunities in employment.
    Concept of democracy helped women achieve equal status. It was evolved long after introduction of organized religions.
    Please compare the status of American women with that of women in Muslim countries.
    It must be stressed that not only religion but also  traditions have deprived women of their rights.
     Historical facts however bitter should not be ignored or refuted.
    I put a similar question to a Pakistani human rights activist after he delivered a bombastic speech on human rights:
    Has any Muslim government ever allowed civil rights to the populace? He was lost for words and offered no reply.
    By Hasan Abbas - 8/25/2012 3:01:55 AM

  • Hadhrat Ali was deprived of second wife because Hadhrat fatima was daughter of Hadhrat Mohammed. Did anybody think about the feelings of other women living as second, third, fourth, and as concubines. Were their father  not feeling in the same way prophet was feeling about Fatima. Or other were deprived of fatherly love.

    By mohd yunus - 8/24/2012 10:03:16 PM

  • An Excellent article Br. Naseer Ahmed, well argued, well balanced, reasonable and very enlightening.
    Because most of the attacks on Islam is through women's rights and the Quran, this article is an excellent basis to counter those attacks. After all, the Lord of the Worlds should know what is best for His creation, and this is where we make the last stand. Elhumdolillah.
    I usually don't have a good thing to say about New Age Islam, but articles written in this style and argued in this fashion is for me a work of reference that I can utilize in my profession.
    It can always be argued how the reality don't reflect the ideal in the Quran, but as long as we have the Quranic baseline, we are more likely to find Islamic solutions than blindly following alien cultures and philosophies. 
    Just one comment if I may Br. Naseer Ahmed, I quote, "Hazrat Ali (RA) expressed the intention to take a second wife, the Prophet (PBUH) asked him to first divorce his daughter Fatima (RA). Ali neither divorced Fatima nor took a second wife." 
    While I would not argue with this because I have not checked the source, I have also come across a version in which, when Ali (Rd) declared his intention, the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said ' How can a daughter of Allah's messenger and a daughter of Allah's enemy (abu Jahal) be in the same house'. After this Ali (Rd) gave up the idea. 
    Allah Knows Best (Please check). Jazakallah for writing this very enlightening and useful article. Ahmed Esmail

    By Ahmed Esmail - 8/24/2012 7:25:57 PM

  • Naseer saheb, The question of economics of divorce is a legitimate topic by itself. In this discussion however all we need to say is that wife beating is wrong. Janaab Yunus sahabb said it much better than I could.
    We must also work to make monogamy a Muslim norm. Instead of making "gender equality" just a meaningless slogan, let us work to achieve it.
    Discouragement of cousin marriages should be done by family doctors and social workers if our maulvis refuse to do it. British reports suggest, although they do not prove, that cousin marriages may be partly responsible for the fact that Muslim students do poorly in British schools compared to Hindu students.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/24/2012 2:17:26 PM

  • Muslim scholarship goes round and round and round and round for at least a millennium but is not going to say upfront. Wife beating is NOT permitted by the Qur'an. Period. I am not paid by anybody to window dress divine speech. And I have absolutely no doubt, countless devout Muslim down the centuries held this view - as most of them hardly read the tafsir works. They read the Arabic Qur'an for spiritual fulfillment and followed the cultural values of Islam that demands utmost courtesy to women. Of course there must have been many who beat up their wives or held this as lawful. 
    Please read the following article drawn on the Qur'an and framed on the strength of a duly endorsed and authenticated exegetic work.

    Notions of male superiority, domination and beating of wife stand un-Islamic today

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/24/2012 9:45:57 AM

  • Naseer sahib presenting theory only. How many Muslims women are getting property as inheritance? If you say it is a problem of implementation, same can be said about women in US or other western countries.
    How much women are free to get divorce? They have to fight for it. In total sum women in western countries are far better than those living in Muslim countries deprived of basic rights. It is Muslim's myopic vision that they don't see it.

    By mohd yunus - 8/24/2012 8:00:14 AM

  • Dear Hassan Abbas, Did any society or country give equal status to women? Women do not as yet enjoy equal status even in the US and whatever they have won over a period was after a struggle.
     The sexual and political liberation of women in the West gained momentum only in the 1960s when the woman was freed from domestic chores by labour saving electrical gadgets and availability of pre-processed canned food which allowed her to take up a job. Feminism was a movement to earn equal status in the sixties which coincided with women entering the work force in large numbers. Without economic independence, feminist movement would have been a non-starter.  Even after achieving economic independence, the women are still fighting for equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities for promotion etc.
    The research paper that I have cited is about domestic violence in the US  in the 21st century. Read it.
    Islam gave property owning and inheritance rights to women maybe 1000 years before they won the same rights in any other society.
    In most Western nations woman suffrage came at the end of World War I, with some important late adopters such as France in 1944 and Switzerland in 1971.
    From Wikipedia: In the early Middle Ages, an early effort to improve the status of women occurred during the early reforms under Islam, when women were given greater rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance. Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including the West, until centuries later. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam states that the general improvement of the status of Arab women included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood. "The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property."Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the woman's consent was imperative."Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives." Annemarie Schimmel states that "compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work." Some have claimed that women generally had more legal rights under Islamic law than they did under Western legal systems until more recent times. English Common Law transferred property held by a wife at the time of a marriage to her husband, which contrasted with the Sura: "Unto men (of the family) belongs a share of that which Parents and near kindred leave, and unto women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be a little or much – a determinate share" (Qur'an 4:7), "French married women, unlike their Muslim sisters, suffered from restrictions on their legal capacity which were removed only in 1965."
    The lot of Muslim women will change with their education and economic independence.
    To answer GM Sb, the Quran is clearly recognizing divorce as the most cruel and harshest of consequences for a woman who is economically dependent on her husband and is suggesting a Conflict resolution process to avert it which most women in that situation would find acceptable.
    An economically independent woman is not affected equally by a divorce and therefore she has greater freedom in deciding how she wishes to resolve her differences.
    The dependent woman can also choose divorce and walk out of the relationship. She is not prisoner of the husband or owned by him. The consequences to her in the absence of support from her family are however a worse fate.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/24/2012 6:24:57 AM

  • I find this article problematic on many fronts and do not know where to start. just one example might suffice: the author in the context of polygamy does not even think about what happens to children in these marriages. studies in malaysia indicate that these children grow up in very  dysfunctional families. i also object to the authors' lack of historical contextualisation in interpreting the Qur'an. I am sure that the author is well meaning and can do much better than this. 
    By adis - 8/24/2012 5:39:28 AM

  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sahib spoke the truth

    By mohd yunus - 8/24/2012 5:39:19 AM

  • Question for the learned author:
    Has any Muslim country or society given equal status to women during the last 1500 years?

    By Hasan Abbas - 8/24/2012 3:57:31 AM

  • Naseer Sb., Again you have not answered any of the points that I had raised. In fact you have ignored everything that I said!
    It is not wife beating but wife's financial dependence that prevents divorces. Since husband beating is not mentioned, the verse does violate the principle of justice and fairness and can be taken to be favoring the man. The implication that a financially dependent woman is more likely to be beaten than a financially independent woman goes against the grain of Islamic equality and justice.
    Our position as Muslims should be that wife beating is wrong. However since you are not interested in a discussion I shall leave it at that.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/24/2012 1:47:17 AM

  • Any one sided violence is abhorrent especially when a person in a position to assert his will indulges in it in a sudden fit of anger. It is abhorrent even when a parent indulges in it on a helpless child. Even a child does not forgive a parent who merely display their power to control. It is less abhorrent when it is preceded by admonishment, warnings and distancing for several days and yet there is no improvement in the behavior causing the problem.  In a marital relationship which is showing signs of breaking down, the next step could be mild chastisement or divorce. If  the Quran had categorically banned any form of beating whatsoever, there would have been many more divorces (perhaps a five fold increase), whereas even in the 21st century CCV is fairly common and most marriages survive     and the couples settle down to a smooth relationship.
    Very clearly, since the subject matter is wives who are economically dependent on their husbands, the Quran is trying to save the marriage, since a divorce is disastrous for such women.
    "if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of annoyance"  clearly instructs the man to not even annoy the woman by alluding to an unpleasant past and get back to normal behavior. 
    The verse does not violate any principle of justice or fairness and cannot be taken to be favoring the man. 
    There were women who were economically independent then, and there are more such women now, to whom the verse clearly does not apply since a divorce is not disastrous for them.
    The test of any principle of morality is whether it promotes the maximum good or not. Ask any couple,  who in the earlier part of their marriage, went through a little turbulence, and then settled down, whether the turbulence was well worth it or not. Obviously, the answer would be that they are glad that they did not divorce.
    As regards the discussion on first cousin marriages, clearly the more distantly related the couple are the better it is. Should the rule then be that all marriages should be inter racial? While recognizing that the couple should be as distantly related as possible, one has to draw the line somewhere and declare what is incestuous. Where this line is drawn is what determines whether the rule is wise or not.   The Prophet by example also married into different tribes and the motive was to increase his influence. The example was set by the Prophet against in breeding.
    As Muhammad Yunus (1) Sb pointed out, the early communities were small and if first cousin marriages were not permitted, the rule would have been breached anyway. According to an estimate, the incidence of first cousin marriages is 20% and historically it is 80% for all societies which bears out what Yunus Sb says. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/23/2012 11:28:38 PM

  • Naseer Sb.,
    God's book is a guidance to human kind NOT in accordance with what God knows to be the nature of man, but in accordance with what God knows to be right. Greed and lust too are natures of man but God does not endorse them.
    If we say "Islam does not permit wife beating," we are not resorting to euphemisms or political correctness to look good in the eyes of our detractors. We are asserting what we know in our hearts to be the intent of God. If God allowed light chastisement several centuries ago, I think He would applaud if we went one step further and condemned all spousal chastisement.
    You quote Michael Johnson to suggest that Common Couple Violence is benign, but Michael Johnson himself said, "All family violence is abhorrent, but not all family violence is the same". He made the distinction between common couple violence and patriarchal terrorism simply in order to develop social policy with a view to devote economic resources for therapeutic and rehabilitative programs for couples afflicted with patriarchal terrorism. Your using Johnson's paper in support of 4:35 is disingenuous.
    Your own views on these matters seem to be quite enlightened. There can be a reconciliation between your views and Quranic injunctions, but literalism does not help that process.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/23/2012 3:41:18 PM

  • Dear Dr.A.Anburaj, Here is the article referenced in my just posted mail:
    A Fresh Insight into the Qur’anic Verses Quoted to Justify Unwedded Sexual Relation with Maids, Call Girls etc.
    It is framed on the strength of the Qur'an and its internal illustrations and concludes as follows:
    "The Qur’an came to bring about an all round reform of human society that included, among other things,  phased abolition of slavery and empowerment of women  through the institution of marriage and other family laws. Therefore any suggestion to accommodate slavery or sex with captives, maids, call girls etc. in the fold of Islam will stand in stark contradiction to its universal message.
    It is conceivable that with time the gendered and historic-specific traditional translation of the Qur’an will be refreshed with the tabled universal rendition. But how long the predominantly male Muslim scholarship will cling to the gendered traditional interpretation remains a question mark. Those lusting after extramarital avenues will not be happy with the tabled universal rendition. It is for the Muslim intelligentsia to take up the issue through Face book, Twitter and other forums rest the highly patriarchic ulama will support and perpetuate the traditional rendition that caters to the masculine sexual lust."
    You are free to make your opinion Sir.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/23/2012 10:41:04 AM

  • Dear Dr.A.Anburaj. The Qur'an does not permit sexual relation with captives/ slaves except through wedlock [See my article referenced below that is drawn on the Qur'an].
    As regards Muhammad maintaining captives, the Prophet's early biography is highly coloured and embellished and not any historical record. It is in various versions and most project Muhammad in a legendary fashion. It is a child's work to quote from them to malign him. That is why the Qur'an warned the Muslims as follows:
    “Thus we made for every messenger an enemy - Satans from among men and jinn, some of them inspiring others with seductive talk (in order to) deceive (them), and had your Lord pleased, they would not have done it. Therefore, leave them and what they forge” (6:112).
    “Thus we made for every messenger an enemy among the criminals - but enough is your Lord (O Muhammad,) as a Guide and Helper” (25:31). 
    Here is an account given in one version of the Prophet's heavenly vision/journey in first person extracted from his early biography by Ibn Hisham that speaks loud and clear of their apocryphal character.
    “Then I saw men with lips like those of camels. In their hands were balls of fire which they thrust into their mouths and collected from their extremities to thrust into their mouths again. I asked, ‘Who are these O Gabriel?’ He said, ‘these are men who robbed the orphans.’ I then saw men with large bellies the likes of which I have never seen before even on the road to the house of Pharaoh where the greatest punishment is meted out to the greatest sinners. These are then trodden upon by men who when brought to the fire run like maddened camels. Those whom they tread upon remain immobile…. I then saw women hanging from their breasts and asked, who are these, O Gabriel? He said, ‘These are women who fathered on their husbands’ children, not their own.’… He then took me into Paradise where I saw a beautiful damsel with luscious lips. As I was attracted by her, I asked her, ‘To whom do you belong?’ She answered, ‘To Zayd Ibn Harithah.’” [Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, English translation by Ismail Ragi, 8th edition, Karachi 1989, p. 143]
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/23/2012 9:53:18 AM

  • Mr satwa. I found these Ahadith. Let me accept it is not related to above topic, but i find wisdom here too.
    A link also is provided here: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/45528
    A hadith on the topic of female circumcision has been attributed to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), according to which he said: "Circumcision is a Sunnah for men, and an honour for women," but there is some debate as to the authenticity of this hadith. See Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da‘ifah by al-Albani, no. 1935
    How circumcision is to be performed is mentioned in the hadith narrated by Umm ‘Atiyah, may Allah be pleased with her, according to which a woman used to perform circumcisions in Madinah. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) told her: "Do not abuse (i.e. do not go to extremes in circumcising); that is better for the woman and more liked by her husband." (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Kitab al-Adab; he said this hadith is da‘if).
    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 9:49:02 AM

  • @author, Marriage across the sect helps to create social bonding.  By having the marriage within the first cousin, there is no way that bundle of individual can create relationship and bonding.
    Pls see the practice of the pakistani settled else where in terms of practices.
    By satwa gunam - 8/23/2012 9:40:05 AM

  • Mr satwa. Please go through following link and ask what wisdom lie in this practice.
    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 9:28:34 AM

  • Mr satwagunam Nasser sahib strongly disfavor cousin marriage but find wisdom in it. Why don't condone if wisdom is there.
    Circumcision of male is not commanded by Quran still can you believe a Muslim without it? Where from this practice draw the strength that it overcomes the Quran. Muslims may not perform Roza, namaz, zakat and haj, but
    Circumcision takes the top priority without any Quranic command.
    Female genital mutilation is not supported by Islam but a hadith tells us that prophet approved it. There was a lady to do the FGM. She was advised by prophet not to cut deeply because it is attractive to male eyes. Hadith may be weak, i am not sure. There must be some wisdom in that too.

    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 9:20:10 AM

  • Dear Dr.A.Anburaj, You will be asked to bring evidence from Quran. Ahadith are fabricated narrations. Please quote from Quran.
    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 8:50:31 AM

  • Sociologists talk about reality and God's book is a guidance to human kind in accordance with what God knows to be the nature of man.
    As far as the translations go, the link below gives 8 translations by different translators 5 of whom have translated the word to mean beat, 2 as chastise and 1 as scourge.
    We therefore deal with a very heavy consensus of opinion on what the word means. We have also seen from published research  that CCV is fairly common among young couples, the frequency of incidents decrease sharply indicating that the couples settle down into an amicable relationship over the years. The Quranic guidance is therefore in accordance with observed human behaviour and I see no need to resort to euphemisms and political correctness while interpreting a book of guidance only to look good in the eyes of the detractors. The prestige of the word of God is served by sticking to what we know and believe to be the truth rather than look for meanings that mitigate what appear at first sight to be an embarrassment.
    My motive is also to address a very serious issue that exists in our society which practices type 2 violence and justifies it on the basis of the Quran. You cannot deal with this section of society with euphemisms.  The only way to deal with the situation is to make a clear distinction between what is permissible and what is criminal.
    The work of Social Scientists help us in understanding the different patterns of violence and their origin and to make the distinctions.
    My prescription in an earlier comment briefly reproduced below:
    1.        Work for women’s education and economic independence. The sexual and political liberation of women in the West gained momentum only in the 1960s when the woman was freed from domestic chores by labour saving electrical gadgets and availability of pre-processed canned food which allowed her to take up a job. Without economic independence, gender equality and gender justice will remain a pipe dream and wishful thinking.
    2.        Recognize that there are two patterns of violence. One is  “an intermittent response to the occasional conflicts of everyday life, motivated by a need to control in the specific situation (Milardo & Klein, 1992), but not a more general need to be in charge of the relationship”. The second type which is unislamic and has no sanction,  is exercising control  to show who is master.
    3.        A complaint by a woman for any type of domestic violence must be made a cognizable offence and taken seriously and acted upon. A complaint means that the situation is unacceptable to the woman who should then be provided protection and if necessary freedom from an oppressive relationship.
    addresses the issue without a clash with the widely accepted interpretation of the verse.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/23/2012 8:12:03 AM

  • Koran permits fornication with war captive women .Mohammed had more than 10 Kumus girls- war captive- his share - as concubines
    By Dr.A.Anburaj - 8/23/2012 6:27:59 AM

  • Mr satwagunam, If you read the article, you will see that I strongly disfavor marriage with cousin. The following is from the link, that you have sent.
    Rafat Hussain, a Pakistani-born Senior Lecturer at the U. of New England in Australia, told me, "Islam does not specifically encourage cousin marriages and, in fact, in the early days of the spread of Islam, marriages outside the clan were highly desirable to increase cultural and religious influence." She adds, "The practice has little do with Islam (or in fact any religion) and has been a prevalent cultural norm before Islam." Inbreeding (or "endogamy") is also common among Christians in the Middle East, although less so than among Muslims.
    Not clear, how the subject of breast feeding has come up and who is the educated cleric that you are referring to?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/23/2012 3:32:03 AM

  • Naseer sahab, sociologists depict human behavior as they find it. Religious texts tell us what kind of behavior God expects from us.
    Instead of dwelling on 4:34, we should be guided by the tone and tenor of the whole Book, look at our contemporary culture and ethos and use our common sense to reach a conclusion.
    As Janaab Asghar Ali Engineer recently said in an article on codification of our laws,  "Ijtihad is very crucial and provides dynamics of social change." He emphasized the fact that the basic values of Islam are justice and equality and "no Shariah can be acceptable if it violates these two central values."
    However, if you want to follow 4:34 literally, not even accepting the translation endorsed by Yunus saheb and Reyaz saheb, you have every right to do so, and perhaps the majority opinion would back you up.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/23/2012 2:38:49 AM

  • Does Ghulam Mohyideen Sb fail to notice that I have relied on a research paper which talks about domestic violence in the US and other western countries from which it is very clear that despite ones abhorrence for it, it continues to be a significant reality in the much admired west even in the 21 st century?
    Social psychologists or scientists in general, deal with reality as it exists, and do not live in a make believe world of wishful thinking.
    Kudos to the westerners who have no hypocrisy in accepting the truth as it is, without trying to sugar coat any part, and make-believe that the problem does not exist.
    What we need to ask is why such a study is not carried out in Muslim society? Will changing the words in the Quran solve the issue? Or will mere substituting the word in a translation solve it? Are we interested in solving the problem or in political correctness?
    The exact words in the Quran with their precise meanings are relevant even today and in accordance with human nature and behaviour. God has no need to be diplomatic or for political correctness.
    4:34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means......
    An economically independent woman is not supported by her husband from his means and therefore the rest of the verse does not apply to her and did not apply to a woman such as Hazrat Khadijah (RA) even in the 7th century.
    I repeat what I have said before, the verse is not favoring man, but protecting the interests of a woman who is economically dependent on her husband, who may be divorced by the husband in the absence of a process for resolution of the conflict and reconciliation. The verse exhausts all options before arbitration starting with admonishing, sleeping separately,  mild chastisement and arbitration.
    For any woman, more than violence, what is most humiliating and a mental torture is the husband hinting even indirectly at divorce. Minor violence is at least proof that the intention is to resolve rather than separate/divorce and causes much less pain. 
    The article shows a clear path for dealing with the issue of domestic violence and my previous comment covered three steps that we can take, within the laws of shariat and solve the issue.
    The Quran does not need apologists or defenders. Every verse of it is as much relevant today as it was relevant when it was revealed. I have relied on independent research of the issues in other societies to establish the relevance. The article is written for a better understanding by those who believe in the Quran and not for it's denigrators and also to show the way forward on how to deal with the issue of domestic violence.
    What makes the denigrators think that it is written for them?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/23/2012 12:13:26 AM

  • Dear Aiman Reyaz
    Thank you for you response. I agree with you it has both meaning. I knew it already because I listen to both parties. Since the word has both meaning. It is equally good to take the meaning
    Are the people who take(beat) are wrong? Could Allah not use a better suitable word to avoid the confusion? Is Allah short of words or it is the beauty(miracle) of kalamullah(word of god)?
    Allah could have simplify it. So many women would have been saved from this cruelty.
    Have a nice day!

    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 12:02:08 AM

  • Author is an educated mulsim cleric who suggested breast feeding. Does the author mean to say that there is no adultary or incest in the gcc countries ?
    If any crime cannot be restrained effectively in a country be an excuse for legalising the same. Further it is nothing to with science but with the formation of society.  First cousin marriages on fathers will only create a society within the family.  There is no chance for the relationship to go beyond the same.   Educated author could go through the same and the reality of the muslim nation failing to form their own strong country is proof for the same.
    By satwa gunam - 8/22/2012 9:54:53 PM

  • Great effort will continue to come by Muslims to find wisdom in Polygamy, cousin marriage, circumcision, female circumcision, male rights over female, talaq one sided etc. List is long.

    By mohd yunus - 8/22/2012 9:48:05 PM

  • I will try to simplify the whole issue of wife-beating, as I was asked about it a few days ago by Mohd Yunus (2). The main debating words here is beat lightly. If we read the Quran in the Arabic and see the word we will come to know that Allah has used the word "idribuhunna", derived from 'daraba' which has got more than one meaning, one is "beat" the other is "leave". Allah has also used the same word in ch 14, "Seest thou not how Allah sets (daraba) forth a parable"here 'daraba' means 'give an example'. In ch 4 the same word is used which meant 'go abroad' for the sake of Allah.
    So the Quran says, as rightly and most perfectly translated by Mr Yunus (1)
    "As for those women, of whom you fear extramarital perversity  nushuz, counsel them, leave them (alone) in their beds and assert on them (wadribuhunna); but if they listen to you, do not seek a way against them. (Remember,) God is Sublime, Great” (4:34).
    By Aiman Reyaz - 8/22/2012 8:28:10 PM

  • Distinctions between Type 1 and Type 2 violence are not helpful for this discussion. The simple rule should be: "You shall not beat your wife". It is shameful that we have to even discuss this in the 21st century.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/22/2012 3:13:03 PM

  • Dear Muhammad Yunus (1) Sb,

    Thank you very much for your inputs.

    The Quranic verse 4:34  is very clear as to its intention and covers a situation of serious marital strife where the woman is economically dependent on the husband. The verse is providing guidance for a process for Conflict resolution and reconciliation setting the limits and prohibiting recurrent violence. Finally, the verse says “if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)”. Clearly the verse does not sanction type 2 violence or patriarchal violence rooted in the belief that man must control his women or that a man owns his wife. Islam gave woman rights of inheritance in order to make her economically independent at a time when in no society or culture a woman enjoyed inheritance rights except a few small and relatively insignificant matriarchal societies. Yet most women were economically dependent on their husband.

    We can look at a woman like Hazrat Khadija (RA) about whom, the Quran itself says (as per scholars)  in verse 93:8  that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was found in need, and God made him independent (through his marriage with Khadija). Very obviously, 4:34 does not apply to Hazrat Khadija or any other woman who is economically independent.

    No amount of debate will solve any social problem except doing the right things. Domestic violence is a social problem having socio-economic reasons and can be solved only by addressing these causes.

    The Right things are:

    1.        Work for women’s education and economic independence. The sexual and political liberation of women in the West gained momentum only in the 1960s when the woman was freed from domestic chores by labour saving electrical gadgets and availability of preprocessed canned food which allowed her to take up a job. Without economic independence, gender equality and gender justice will remain a pipe dream and wishful thinking. Today, even domestic help have become economically independent and are walking out of abusive relationships. I can provide one dozen case studies from personal knowledge.

    2.        Recognize that there are two patterns of violence. One is  “an intermittent response to the occasional conflicts of everyday life, motivated by a need to control in the specific situation (Milardo & Klein, 1992), but not a more general need to be in charge of the relationship”. The second type which is also unislamic and has no sanction,  is exercising control  to show who is master.

    3.        A complaint by a woman for any type of domestic violence must be made a cognizable offence and taken seriously and acted upon. A complaint means that the situation is unacceptable to the woman who should then be provided protection and if necessary freedom from an oppressive relationship.



    The following is from a paper by Michael P Johnson which can be accessed using the link below:


    Proof that CCV is part of the Conflict Resolution process

    The evidence from the National Family Violence Surveys (NFVS) suggests that so called minor violence against women does not escalate into more serious forms of violence. Feld and Straus (1990) reported data relevant to this question based on a 1year follow-up survey of 420 respondents from the 1985 NFVS. The data indicate that not only is there virtually no tendency to escalation (fully 94% of perpetrators of minor violence do not go on to severe violence), but that in most (70%) of the cases of severe violence there is, in fact, a de-escalation. Data on frequency show much the same pattern.

    Type 2 violence also called patriarchal terrorism

    A very different pattern is observed in research with shelter populations. According to Pagelow (1981), "one of the few things about which almost all researchers agree is that the batterings escalate in frequency and intensity over time"

    The causal dynamic of patriarchal terrorism is rooted in patriarchal traditions, adopted with a vengeance by men who feel that they must control "their" women by any means necessary. As one husband responded to his wife's protests regarding a violent episode during their honeymoon, "I married you so I own you" (Dobash & Dobash, 1979, p. 94). Escalation in such cases may be prompted by either of two dynamics. First, if his partner resists his control, he may escalate the level of violence until she is subdued. Second, even if she submits, he may be motivated not only by a need to control, but by a need to display that control, yielding a pattern observed by Dobash and Dobash (1979, p. 137), in which no amount of compliance can assure a wife that she will not be beaten: For a woman simply to live her daily life she is always in a position in which almost anything she does may be deemed a violation of her wifely duties or a challenge to her husband's authority and thus defined as the cause of the violence she continues to experience. (p. 137)

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/22/2012 3:15:12 AM

  • Argument supporting polygamy is slender. Now for so many women marriage is not the only means of livelihood, especially in the developed world. Regarding women of Muslim countries, they are economically deprived; education of boys is given priority resulting less job opportunities for women. Girls are treated as economic liability. In short, their status is no better than those of livestock.Their conditioning leads them to think that their only purpose in life is to look after husbands and produce children.
    Islam gives them a respectable position but denies equal status. Apologists like the present author vainly prove their equal status.Space does not detailed arguments but  Shariat laws regarding inheritance, right of divorce, testimony etc. do not confer equal status to women. Battering of wives is allowed under certain conditions but not vice versa. We have not observed equal status of women in any Muslim country during the 1500 years. 

    By Hasan Abbas - 8/22/2012 2:57:13 AM

  • Highly informative and researched article! However, I have a few comments:

    1.      Marriage with first cousin. Had this been forbidden, young men and women in small isolated communities of the past era – through the medieval ages would have found it difficult to find lawful mates and would have mated regardless of the prohibition. This would have detracted from the Qur’anic wisdom and universality.

    2.      Polyandry is biologically unconstitutional and socially untenable.  A man has the physiological constitution to impregnate and meet the sexual callings of more than one wife, but a woman’s long pregnancy period constrains her from bearing a child for more than one husband at a time, and meeting the recurring sexual callings of even one husband. Determining the paternal line and inheritance of children born to a polyandrous woman are also serious issues. 

    3.      Polygamy. The Qur’anic broader message stands for monogamy as a social norm regardless of any stipulation in the marriage contract. Polygamy was a context specific instruction and may only be permitted under highly exceptional circumstances. This is argued on the strength on the Qur’an in the following article:

     ‘The Qur’an prescribes Monogamy is the social norm for humanity’


    4.      Wife beating: Your interrogative statement “let us understand why Quran permits light chastisement” reflects the traditional gendered translation/ interpretation of the Qur’anic verse 4:34. A gender-neutral translation/ interpretation of the verse based on Qur’anic vocabulary and internal illustrations in a recent exegetic work [Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publication, Maryland, USA-  2009.] tables the following rendition of this verse [that does not need a lot of apologetic explanations and leaves the husband to decide what is ‘light chastisement.’]

    “Men are the supporters (qawwamah) of (their) wives because God has favored each of them in different measures, and because of what they spend (for them) of their wealth. The righteous women are devout and guard the unseen that God would have them guard. As for those (women), of whom you fear extramarital perversity  (nushuz), counsel them, leave them (alone) in their beds and assert on them (wadribuhunna); but if they listen to you, do not seek a way against them. (Remember,) God is Sublime, Great” (4:34).

    Please see this article for further details:

    Notions of male superiority, domination and beating of wife stand un-Islamic today


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/21/2012 11:23:20 PM

  • Respected Naseer Ahmed sahib, Would you please enlighten us what wisdom Quran have in allowing prophet to marry the Zainab wife of adopted son of prophet?
    Were not meccan idolators moral in not marrying wives of adopted sons?
    Zaid was not the biological son of Prophet. Is it the sufficient reason to abandon the practice of adoption? To marry the wives of adopted sons.
    Please leave hadith aside.
    By mohd yunus - 8/21/2012 10:55:22 PM

  • I have come across these wisdom already. Much had been said about:
    Marriage with first cousins

    2.   Permission for taking upto four wives

    3.   Would gender justice demand that polyandry be permitted?

    4.   The argument for polygyny

    5.   Does Quran sanction wife beating?

    Let us begin with the first issue:

    by other Islamic apologists in their defense. .

    Kindly go through following link. Let us see whether Quran is clear or not. Is it flawless too.


    By mohd yunus - 8/21/2012 9:13:25 PM

  • I have to salute Naseer sahab's knowledge of Quranic laws and his ability to marshal new literature to suppot Quranic laws.

    I like things to be simple and brief. The basis of my positions is to imagine what Islam would have stood for if ijtihad had not been halted in the 11th century. Hence here is my take:

    (1) No first cousin marriages.

    (2) No polygamy or polyandry.

    (3) No wife beating.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/21/2012 2:16:13 PM