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Women in Islam (and other topics) mainly to Lisa

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by The Scholar (United States), Nov 23, 2005 at 01:44

Dear Lisa,

You are clearly running out of steam here. You have failed to comment on the bible verses again, and you started moving from one subject to the other. We were talking about women in Islam and you directed the conversation to the punishment of thieves, etc. You have only commented on what Martin Luther said (I used him because he is a reformer), but not on what the other theologian teachers said! You claim that in Christianity women had equal rights, but do not seem to acknowledge what these great preachers said about women, nor that women did not even have any financial rights in Christianity, what other rights can they have then if they do not have their financial freedom? You failed to let us know why as in the bible a non-virgin woman should be killed, nor why a woman who is raped should be killed for not asking for help!! You did not believe me when I said that in Islam women can put conditions in contracts, and that they do not even need to give reasons for getting divorced! Anyway, I will prove all this to you. Let me start my comments:

1) You think that Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) had a political agenda, well, this is oversimplification. It is impossible for one to believe that one man who could nor read or right and who lived in one of the most barbaric, and ignorant parts of the world, was able to invent a religion that grew faster than any other religion in history, one that is still being followed devoutly by millions of its followers 1400 years later. You can build an empire, but you can not build a lasting conviction! A religion that brought a book that left the Arabs bewildered and amazed at its structure and language! A religion that gave even animals their rights 1400 years ago. If you like, I can give you examples of the treatment of animals under Islam!

2) You said that Khoumini is "one of highest religious leaders of Islam". Who told you that???? Please consult your references first before you make such a claim. Khoumini is a Shiite Imam and his teachings only apply to Shiites who are a minority in Islam. The grand majority of Muslims (Sunnis) do not adhere to his teachings, and as a matter of fact, have never even heard them.

3) When Jesus said "give to Caesar what is to Caesar and give to GOD what is to GOD". For you this seems to mean that women should inherit!!! Well, this is an interesting interpretation, but does not seem good enough for me!!! I guess it was not clear to the millions of Christians either who read and followed the bible and then did not give women their rights except after 1800 years after Jesus' birth.

4) I do not need to change the Quran to convince you that Elkhol3 (which gives a woman the right to divorce herself) is Islamic. El "khol3" is consistent with Islamic teachings and actually was based on these teachings. What happened is that they have only put it in a modern legal wording. By the way, for any law to pass, it must be decided first that it is not against the teachings of Islam. According to Dr. Ahmed Shafaat, "Even though the marriage commitment is for life, should it so happen that after marriage the two partners find it impossible to live together the Islamic law provides for the termination of the marriage contract. The termination of the marriage contract can be initiated by any party which has decided that the other party cannot or will not satisfactorily fulfill the commitment implicit in the marriage contract, namely, to provide enough physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual happiness. It is evident that the judgment as to whether a marriage partner is getting enough satisfaction out of his or her marriage is a subjective one and therefore belongs entirely to the partner himself or herself. Consequently, for the dissolution of marriage Islam does not require that a partner prove to some authority such as a court that there has indeed been a failing on the part of the other partner in the fulfillment of his or her marital obligations. It is enough for the dissatisfied partner to say that he or she can no longer love or respect the other partner to be able to continue living with him or her. Third parties such as relatives, the community, etc. can and indeed should (4:35) get involved at some stage of marriage difficulties and try to prevent the break-up of the marriage through counseling, etc.; but they cannot oblige any marriage partner to remain in the marriage bond, as for example the catholic church or the Hindu tradition that obliges couples to remain tied in marriage until one of the partners dies."

"The wife of Thabit bin Qays came to the Prophet and said, "Messenger of God, I do not reproach Thabit bin Qays in respect of character or religion but I do not want to be guilty of kufran regarding Islam (meaning that she did not like him enough as a marriage partner and so was afraid she might not give him the respect and love due to a husband)." God's Messenger asked her if she would give back to Thabit his garden, and when she replied that she would, he told him to accept the garden and declare the divorce." (Bukhari, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Ibn Abbas)

Lisa, clearly you need to learn more about Islam and not just to rely on your wit in the interpretation of the Quran. Please read the works of the mainstream Muslim scholars and do not just follow the wave of attack on Islam.
5) Islamic marriages are based on contracts and the woman has the right to include the conditions she wants in these contracts. I also do not need to reinvent the Quran for that and your ignorance of these teachings makes it clear that you need to read more about Islam. Dr. Ahmed Shafaat says "A man can on his own dissolve the marriage by following a prescribed procedure, the details of which need not concern us here. A woman can dissolve the marriage by asking the husband to divorce her and if he refuses can go to court which should arrange the terms of dissolution as regards to compensation and order the husband to dissolve the marriage.(4) To avoid this procedure the woman can include in the marriage contract the condition that she can dissolve the marriage without having to go to court.

6) Did I tell you that under Islamic law, women get a maintenance (alimony) when they are divorced and they are not the initiators? This is what Dr. Ahmed Shafaat says about this "In case the husband initiates divorce, he is obliged by religious law to pay some maintenance expenses (2:241). This prescribed alimony belongs to the wife by right. However, when the woman initiates the divorce she does not pay any compensation to the husband as requirement of religious law; she need at most return part of what she received from the husband as dower if such payment is helpful in an amicable settlement. (2:229) "
(Quran 2-241). For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous.
7) When a woman is divorced she should not be driven out of her house and shouls keep all the presents she had from her husband except under certain conditions.

8) You said that Marital names are not Chrisitian but are cultural, well, that what I have always tried to highlight: Certain things we do are cultural and not religions! Just like the injustice that sometimes happen in Islamic countries.

9) "We Christian do not need to create a state with Christian law (Sharia law in Islam), we believe in a secular state that gives equal freedom and just for all citizens regardless of their origins or religious differences." When did this start? When did secularism start in Christian states? How about the persecution of minorities in Christian states throughout history? Please refer to the Christian history before you can make such a bald statement. Especially the history of the Catholic Church! Ohh, by the way, do you know that the British Monarch is the head of the English Church??

10) You talk about cutting the hands of thieves and do not consider this dignifying? Do you think that prisons are a good solution? Do you prefer men to be raped in prisons instead (please check the percentage of sexual assaults in prisons first)? Do you think that incarceration has ever succeeded in stopping crimes? I do not really think so. Do you know that in Islam when there was a famine, this punishment was not enforced? (The logic behind this, is that you can not punish a person for stealing if his life depended on it! Please refer to the bible and let me know what were the punishment of thieves in it!

11) You said that the punishment for adultery is for a woman to be stoned, well, I advise you to review your resources again, because clearly you were misinformed. Men and women who are/were married are to be stoned and not only women (how is that for equality??). But those who are/were not married will be flogged! As a matter of fact only flogging is mentioned in the Quran. This is a proof of the sanctity of marriage in Islam. Actually in the bible, the punishment for adultery is death, and as I showed in one of my previous messages, a women who is raped will also be stoned if she does not ask for help! This does not seem like equality to me!! Let me remind you again of these verses:
Deuteronomy 22 (New International Version)
22 If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor, 27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.
This makes me wonder, did not god send these teachings in the bible??? If so, what is the difference? I guess from the Islamic point of view, the main differences I see is that those who commit adultery are flogged except if there were married and only in this case they are stoned. And of course raped women do not get stoned In Islam!!!!!

Also look at the following verses. A girl who is not a virgin should be stoned!!! Interesting, right?
Deuteronomy 22 (New International Version)
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.
Now, please comment on all these verses and on the following ones too:
Ephesians 5:23 (New International Version)
23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Corinthians 14:34-36 (New International Version)
34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
1 Timothy 2 (New International Version)
11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
Numbers 30:9-11 (New International Version)
10 "If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand.
Leviticus 15:18-20 (New International Version)
19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. 20 " 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 20 " 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean.
In Islam when a woman is in menstruation, we do not believe that anything and anybody she touches become unclean.
What about the next verse, what is wrong with a widow, or a divorced woman? Actually most of the women the prophet married were widows (some of whom had their husbands were killed in battles)!! And by the way, some of them were quite old!
Leviticus 21:13-15 (New International Version)

'The woman he marries must be a virgin. 14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, 15 so he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy

What about this one? if a brother dies, a woman automatically marries the brother! I could not find anything here that said that she should consent!!!
Deuteronomy 25 (King James Version)
5If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

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