was standing at the edge of the fire (hell) and the majority of
the people going in were women." - Prophet Mohammed
Ever since I
began my activities in exposing Islam and it's oppression of women,
I have been attacked by Muslims, mostly men, about my misconception
and misinterpretation of Islamic laws regarding women. I have been
told that Islam has placed a high regards for women and that Islamic
laws have given women quite a bit of power.
In the back
of the Koran translated into English by M.H. Shakir is stated that,
"the Koran is a complete and original compilation of the Final
Revelation from God to mankind through the last prophet of Islam,
Mohammed. The Koran has essentially three qualities that make it
universal. Firstly, in its original Arabic form, it is a masterpiece
of immense literary value - fusing the style of presentation with
the substance being presented in a blend of unique proportions.
Secondly, though its message is a continuation of that contained
in the earlier Revelations made to Abraham, David, Moses and Jesus,
yet this message has a sense of fulfillment and originality that
attracts toward it Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. Finally,
it has a wealth information - which provides the code of life for
mankind generally and Muslims in particular. Indeed, the Koran's
miracle lies in its ability to offer at least something to non-believers
and everything to believers."
In this article
I would like to analyze some of these "immense literary values"
presented in Koran regarding women and my understanding of them
to perhaps find out where is it that Islam has placed women on a
pedestal for men to worship? And how is it that if we, women were
given so many rights by this book, then why we are not able to assert
ourselves as human beings?
Islam, "a woman is the ward of her father as long as she is
in his care and then becomes the ward of her husband when she marries
and when her husband dies she becomes the ward of her son, grand
son, and so on and if she has no male relatives she becomes the
ward of her community."
New Word Dictionary defines "ward" as a person under the
care of a guardian or court. Therefore, according to Islam a woman
never matures, and she must always be under the care of a male relative,
a guardian or Islamic court. I don't consider this respect for women
but an insult to womanhood.
Once a Muslim
explained to me that this is because women get pregnant and take
care of their children therefore their men should take care of them.
This is a wonderful idea for men to take care of their women while
they are pregnant or have small children. However, why should a
child girl, an unmarried woman or a woman who is not pregnant, a
grandmother or an elderly woman be under the care of a guardian?
In addition only people with mental disorder or the crazy ones are
placed under the care of a court. Women are not crazy and immature
therefore, they don't need to be under court or guardian supervision.
Italian-woman's request for visitation rights from her Saudi Arabian
husband to see her little girl was denied by an Islamic court in
Saudi Arabia. When the woman stated that, "when my daughter
reaches the age of majority she will come to Italy to be with me."
The Islamic court responded, that "women never reach the age
of majority, so she will never see her daughter.
That is why
in Saudi Arabia women are not given a birth certificate or an identification
card. Just recently the Islamic government of Saudi Arabia allowed
women to carry an identification card only if their guardian would
allow. Just the fact that women need guardians is an insult to motherhood
Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Islamic revolution
and the past leader of the Shiite Muslims, the Islamic requirement
for a judge is that "the person have reached puberty, know
Koranic laws, be just, not have amnesia, not be a bastard and not
be of a female sex."
are not considered mature enough to be able to judge others. This
is the reason for not giving women the right to vote in many of
the so-called Islamic democracies. What an oxymoron statement, half
the population or perhaps in many of these countries more than half
the population cannot get involved in the destiny of their nations
and they consider themselves a democracy. As an example in Kuwait
women are not allowed to participate in their democratic process
and vote in their elections. However, a member of their parliament
stated that women should be able to vote after they reach the age
of menopause. His assertion was that only after menopause women
will be mature enough to vote.
"And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort;
therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge
and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when
they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded
you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves
those who purify themselves."
Ayeh does not make sense and states that women are dirty for a natural
occurrence. Menstruation is part of the female anatomy. This is
an important function for women to bear children. How can such a
natural event be dirty? Muslims like other religions believe that
God created men and women. Therefore, why should God tell his prophet
Mohammed that men should avoid women during their menstruation period?
Why would anyone consider their own creation bad and dirty? Even
humans do not do that. God told Mohammed that his own creation,
women are filthy and most be avoided seven to ten days a month during
a good portion of their life. Frankly, I don't understand what does
women's menstruation have to do with the last sentence "surely
Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who
purify themselves." Does this mean that God loves women who
clean themselves or men that go into women after they are cleaned?
It is not clear.
"Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when
you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves; and be careful
(of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give
good news to the believers."
What is the
"good news" Allah has to give the believers? Could it
be the clause that "your wives are a tilth for you." so
men can abuse women as they want?
"Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should
wait four months; so if they go back, then Allah is surely Forgiving,
Does this mean
that if a man got mad at his wife he should not sleep with her for
four months and if he does sleep with her in those months then Allah
will forgive him? For what? Why is it the business of Allah if a
man and a woman sleep with each other or not?
And if they have resolved on a divorce, then Allah is surely Hearing,
This one says if husbands and wives divorce each other Allah will
know. So what, everyone else will know about it too.
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of
them to excel others and because they spend out of their property;
the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah
has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion,
admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat
them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely
Allah is High, Great.
This Ayeh means
that God made men in charge of women because men spend their money
on women. Does this mean that if a woman spends her money on her
man then she is in charge of him? Why would anyone tell a man or
a woman to beat the other person? I have heard all kinds of explanations
for the Arabic word "zaraba" or to beat. In my Persian
translation of Koran, the translator felt so bad about the Arabic
word "zaraba" that he added the clause "not too hard"
in parenthesis. Many Muslims have tried to expand on this issue
and add such things as beat her with a stick not larger than ones
thumb or feathers or beat in a way that it does not injure.
are all appendages added to the saying in Koran.
Again at the
end of this Ayeh it says Allah is "High and Great". How
many times should God tell us that he is high and almighty?
We have a saying
in Persian "You said it once I believed you. You said it again
I doubted you, you mentioned it for the third time I knew that you
were telling a lie."
says, "The Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is
between them, so serve Him and be patient in his service. Do you
know anyone equal to Him?" Yes. I know some one, the Devil.
In Sura Light,
24:2 it says "(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator,
flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity
for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you
believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers
witness their chastisement."
Is this Allah
a Merciful one? Not in my book. Why should people be flogged for
having a little sex? The advise gets better as we go forward in
this Sura. In 24:6 it states that "And (as for) those
who accuse their wives and have no witnesses except themselves,
the evidence of one of these (should be taken) for times, bearing
Allah to witness that he is most surely of the truthful ones."
So if a man
does not have four witnesses to prove his wife has committed adultery
he can just accuse her four times and that is fine and accepted.
Such a just law?
"And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks
and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments
except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head covering
over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their
husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their
brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their
women, or whom their right hand possess (slaves), or the male servants
not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained
knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their
feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and
turn to Allah all of you, O believers! So that you may be successful."