Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Are Women Considered Less Than Equals In Islamic Social Norms?


Are Women Considered Less Than Equals
In Islamic Social Norms?

One of the great privileges I have had as a talk show host is to talk with people like Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who put me on to the term, Islamic Gender Apartheid. It is the name of one of her books. Western Civilization Social Studies textbooks claims that women receive equality in Islam. Women wearing hijabs go to various places to speak of the greatness of Islam and how it gives them freedom and equality. But are they telling the truth? This is a question Dr. Chesler asks. As a well-known Feminist, she also asks why won’t feminists do academic studies on the lack of freedom and equality given to women in Islamist social norms.


Dr. Chesler says in her book, Islamic Gender Apartheid:

The plight of both men and women in the Islamic world (and increasingly in Europe) requires a sober analysis of reality and a heroic response. World events have made feminism more important, yet at the same time feminism has lost much of it’s power. To my horror most Western academic and mainstream feminists have not focused on what I call gender apartheid in the Islamic world or in its steady penetration of Europe.

It has to be asked, “Is there an Islamic scriptural basis for what Dr. Chesler calls Islamic Gender Apartheid?” if so, that would mean that Islamist social norms are exceedingly opposed to that of Western ones regarding women. The Hadiths reveal a surprising amount of information on this:

Narrated by Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you." (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28)

Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301)

It is shocking to say that Islam actually recorded these things for posterity. It is actually recorded and written down preserved as something to be revered under Islam.

When a girl is born to Islamic family, it can be viewed as less of a blessing than that of a boy. This can be seen in the Islamic practice of ‘Aqiqiah (Aqee-Qa). Reliance of the Traveller, records the differences in sexes as significant under this section.

j15.0 SACRIFICE FOR A NEWBORN ('AQIQA) AND NAME GIVING
(O: Lexically, 'aqiqa means the hair on a baby's head at birth. In Sacred Law, it means the animal sacrificed when the baby's hair is cut, which is a confirmed sunna (def: c4.1).)
SUNNAS AFTER BIRTH

j15.1 It is recommended for anyone to whom a child is born to shave its hair on the seventh day thereafter (O: meaning any newborn, whether male or female; a baby girl should also have her hair shaved) and give away in charity gold or silver equal to the weight of the hair. It is also recommended (N: when the baby is first born) to give the call to prayer (adhan, def: f3.6) in its right ear and the call to commence (iqama) in its left.

THE SACRIFICE
j15.2 If the baby is male, it is recommended to slaughter two shahs (def:h2.5) that meet 'Eid Sacrifice specifications (def:j14.2), while if the baby is female, it is recommended to slaughter one.

(O: The person called-upon to slaughter for a newborn is the one obliged to support the child (dis: m12.1).) After slaughtering, the shah is cooked (O: as at any feast) in sweet sauce, but none of its bones are broken (A: it is cut at the joints), and it is recommended to distribute the meat to the poor.

There exist some who try to claim that Islam is a feminist religion. In making this claim, they state that Sura 2:228 claiming that “the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights.” However, they do not share the context of the verse nor the entire verse. This verse is about divorced women!  The entire verse says something quite different!

And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying, a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence over them [in this respect].

Also from the same chapter of the Quran verse 282 tells us how unequal women are to men.\

And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. 

This speaks of women not having the same memory capacity as the male counterparts. It is demonstrative of how women are thought of in Islamic cultures.

In 2016, Dispatches, a British based television show did shared their undercover discovery in some of Great Britain’s largest mosques this was a return to see if the mosque, its bookstore and/or several of its speakers had cleaned up their act.  The showed video of Murtaza Khan who attacked the idea that women could be independent from men. According to him when a woman believes she does not need a man to survive, and believes she can get her own job, her own education, her own place, or even her own welfare, is deceived. He says that belief is of the devil, and that “man is stronger than women. But men today do not know how to take care of their families. That is why their women walk loose, Their women speak loose  -- and that’s their evil society that Muslim society has become like that today.”

Court of Law

Under Sharia a woman is counted as less than a man as you read in the Hadith above. In the Quran this is stated very clearly:

O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah . And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things. (2:282)

Shariah is a bit more explicit limiting what a woman can do by herself to next to nothing. An individual woman’s legal ability to act as a witness are half that of a man, this includes the signing of contracts, such as witnessing the validity of a marriage.

m3.3 The second integral is that the marriage have witnesses, it not being valid unless two witnesses are present who are:

(a) male (O: since a marriage witnessed by a man and two women would not be valid (A: though it would be valid in the Hanafi school))

o24.7 The testimony of the following is legally acceptable when it concerns cases involving property, or transactions dealing with property, such as sales:

(1) two men;

(2) two women and a man;

(3) or a male witness together with the oath of the plaintiff.
024.10 If testimony concerns things which men do not typically see (O: but women do), such as childbirth, then it is sufficient to have two male witnesses, a man and two women, or four women.

If women are not considered equals in a court of law held by Islamists, people who want shariah, what does that mean about how they view women as a whole? Many years ago I had a house mate from Nigeria who worked as a doctor at a local hospital. One day, one of his nurses appeared and asked me teach him to treat women in America, or he would soon be shipped home for his sexist treatment of women as a whole. The nurses of the hospital were going to file a complaint against him as a whole unless he made a drastic change. I sat down with this doctor, and talked to him about how women are valued in America, and what happens to those in the work environment who do not catch on quickly, namely that they get fired. This was around 1986, today they would be charged in a court with sexual harassment and that would follow them most of their lives.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Is Slavery Legal under Islamic Social Norms Today?


Is Slavery Legal Under Islamic Social Norms Today?


      It is understood that not everyone who says they are Muslim has the read Qur'an. It is also accepted that not every Muslim has read Sharia. But for those who claim this religion as their own, they must understand that certain beliefs come with the claim, irregardless with if they knew of the belief, accept the belief personally or not. This is the same for all faith structures.  When people come from countries where shariah is stated as the ruling authority in their country to your country, they bring those political beliefs.

Under Western Civilization slavery, which had existed for centuries no matter the race, was outlawed in the mid 19th century. It is now the 21st century. Throughout the world, slavery is considered to be one of the most heinous crimes. Prostitution is often seen as a form of slavery, when someone controls how much the woman/man sells their body for and determines how much they will give them if anything at all. But is actual slavery of a person is akin to the 19th century slaves on American plantations is permissible under Islam today? Read on for the answer?

The Quran has several references in it to slaves and the treatment of them. Most of these references are to those serving as sex slaves.


Sura 23:1-6: “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive And they who turn away from ill speech And they who are observant of zakah And they who guard their private parts Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed.”

Sura 33:52: “Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer.
Sura 70:29-31: And those who guard their private parts Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed  But whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors –


The phrase right hand possesses, refers directly to the female slaves owned by Muslims. Muhammad was a slave owner. He had numerous slaves both white and black. There are recorded in the Hadiths.

 

Narrated `Umar: I came and behold, Allah's Apostle was staying on a Mashroba (attic room) and a black slave of Allah's Apostle was at the top if its stairs. I said to him, "(Tell the Prophet) that here is `Umar bin Al- Khattab (asking for permission to enter)." Then he admitted me. (Bukhari 7263).

 

Allah's Messenger  was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah's Messenger said, "Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!" (Bukhari 6161)

         

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "We were with the Messenger of Allah in the year of Khaibar, and we did not get any spoils of war except for wealth, goods and clothes. Then a man from Banu Ad-Dubaib, who was called Rifa'ah bin Zaid, gave the Messenger of Allah a black slave who was called Mid'am. The Messenger of Allah set out for Wadi Al-Qura. When we were in Wadi Al-Qura, while Mid'am was unloading the luggage of the Messenger of Allah, an arrow came and killed him. The people said: 'Congratulations! You will go to Paradise,' but the Messenger of Allah said: 'No, by the One in Whose hand is my soul! The cloak that he took from the spoils of war on the Day of Khaibar is burning him with fire.' When the people heard that, a man brought one or two shoelaces to the Messenger of Allah and the Messenger of Allah said: 'One or two shoelaces of fire.'" (Sunan an-Nasa'i 3827)

         

In Pakistan on May 31, 2010, talk show host Mubasher Lucman, interviewed Islamic clerics Maulana Naeemi, Mohammed Siddiqui, and Allama Zaheer on Pakistani television channel Express News on various topics. Amongst them the topic of slavery came up.
Screen shot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJK470Mavj4 

 

Mubasher Lucman: "I have a question. I will move to the details later. Does Islam allow slave trading?"

Allama Zaheer: "Islam allows to trade slaves where there are established markets for this purpose. Taking new [i.e. free] men as slaves is neither allowed in Islam nor does Islam encourage it."

Mubasher Lucman: "The offspring from a slave is a slave, isn't it?"

Allama Zaheer: "No. There are a number of conditions under which an offspring of a slave is free. If the owner wants to set him free, he is... If somebody marries a concubine and she gets pregnant, the offspring is not a slave. After marrying a concubine either the master can set her free or can marry her to another man, but cannot sell her again...It's not that slave of a child is always slave..."

Mubasher Lucman: "What are the conditions in your eyes?"

Maulana Naeemi: "...First it is important to note that slaves were sold and markets were established even before Islam... How were they enslaved? They were captured in conditions of wars; were abducted from roadsides; children were kidnapped by force and sold; slaves were leading a miserable life before Islam.

"The conception of slavery in Islam is not to continue its practice, but the concept of slavery was allowed because it existed at that time; ending it suddenly could have resulted in a host of problems. Therefore, the concept of slavery was adopted but a number of steps were stipulated so that it is not thought that slavery is permitted in Islam, that slavery will continue; rather, along with those steps, slavery began moving toward its end from society.

"Insofar as the question is how the people were enslaved... and how those slaves were treated is concerned; during the times of the prophet (peace be upon him) a battle was fought from where war booty was brought; among them was a beautiful lady. She was given to a companion of the prophet (peace be upon him). The prophet took her back from him, sent her to Mecca and a few Muslim prisoners there were gotten free in exchange for her. There are a number of similar examples where slaves brought from wars were used for prisoner exchange, or were set free against some payment, or most importantly were set free as a goodwill gesture."[1]

 

This interview included a question about how they would get slaves since many believed if they had signed an alliance with the United Nations that they would be forbidden from taking slaves from any country that had also become part of the UN. This left many questions indeed. There was also an exception to this rule. That will shock you!

Screen Shot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mIkSujeXws
           
Mubasher Lucman: "Suppose today, if we go to war against Kufr [infidel world] on the Kashmir issue, win it, and bring slave men and women..."

Mohammed Siddiqui: "You should consult religious scholars; they are of the opinion that the countries which have signed the Charter of the United Nations Organization are not permitted to take the citizens of other member countries as slaves."

Mubasher Lucman: "I am talking about the perspective of Islam, not of the UN as the UN is not following Islam."

Mohammad Siddiqui: "Why are you arguing about it?"

Mubasher Lucman: "I am not arguing about it. I am trying to understand it."

[Interruptions...]

Mubasher Lucman: "How are UN and Islam linked?"

Mohammed Siddiqui: "The link between the UN and Islam is that we have been ordered by the Koran to keep our accords. If an accord is not against Islam, we are bound by it."

Allama Zaheer: "Maulana Mohammed Siddiqui has rightly said that we cannot take the citizens of the countries as slaves who have diplomatic relations with us."

Mubasher Lucman: "What if we go to a war against Israel, can we take slaves and concubines as we don't have diplomatic relations with them...?"

Allama Zaheer: "Yes, we can. It is permitted to have concubines [from Israel]."

Mubasher Lucman: "What do you say Maulana Aslam Siddiqui? Did you listen to Maulana Ibtisam Zaheer?"

Mohammed Siddiqui: "No, I could not."

(Mubasher Lucman repeats the statement by Ibtisam Elahi)

Mohammed Siddiqui: "We do not have any accord with the countries with which we have no diplomatic relations..."
[Interruptions...]

Mubasher Lucman: "So, we can take [slaves] from Israel, if we achieve victory over Israel and get manpower?"

Mohammed Siddiqui: "Imagine! I am surprised how far-fetched you think..."

[Interruptions and laughter...]

Maulana Naeemi: "Islamic laws are very old and true. The law from the times of the caliphs is that you have to keep your promises. If you have an accord of prisoner exchange with a country, you have to give the war captives back to them."

Allama Zaheer [interrupts]: "You gave the example of Israel very positively. They are Jews. We could have married with their women in case of a victory, but we don't need that as we don't have diplomatic relations; so if we win and get slave women, and if the emir of the army distributes concubines, we can keep them as concubines if we get some of our share of war booty. And we should be thankful to Allah for that. But we cannot steal a woman from war booty..."
(Break)

Mubasher Lucman: "I have an important question that demands a detailed answer... any of you can answer it... It appears that there is a grey area where we are no defining zina [rape/adultery] as zina, as it is."

Maulana Naeemi: "No, it's not so..."

Mubasher Lucman: "You said, it can be without nikah"
[Interruptions...]

Maulana Naeemi: "We have to follow Koran. We cannot question the Koran. If the Koran says it is black, we have to say it is black; we cannot think if it is black or not. If the Koran says it is white it is white. The Koran says when you have women in war booty, you are allowed to have sexual relations with them. This is what the Koran says, not you and I."

Allama Zaheer: "There is no grey area. What the Koran allows is allowed, what the Koran forbids us from is forbidden..."[2]

 

In 2011, Salaw al-Mteiri, a Kuwaiti political activist woman discovered an issue she wanted to push. She made not one video to express her opinion on the issue, but two!  The Middle East Media Research Institute translated these speeches and shared them. In 2011, the world that saw the video translated was horrified. Those who understand Islam were not surprised about anything except that a Muslim woman was on video and talking politics. In her first video which aired on May 25th, 2011, she said:

           
I asked [a Saudi mufti]: What is the law with regard to slave girls? The mufti told me that the law requires there to be a Muslim country raiding a Christian country – sorry, a non-Muslim country – and taking POWs. I asked him whether it was forbidden [to turn them into slaves], and he said that Islam does not prohibit keeping slave girls – on the contrary.

The law pertaining to slave girls is not the same as for free women. Free women must cover their bodies, except for their hands and faces. The slave girl must cover up from the belly button down.

There is a big difference between slave girls and free women. With a free woman, the man must make a marriage contract, but with a slave girl – all he has to do is buy her. It's as if he married her. So there is a difference between slave girls and free women.

Here in Kuwait too, I asked religious scholars and experts about this, and they said that for the average, good religious man, the only way to avoid forbidden relations with women is to purchase slave girls.[3]

Later in July she was interviewed on July 1 on Al-Hayat TV. Her political activities seemed to fascinate the interviewer. His first question addressed her opinion and research on slavery.

 

Salwa Al-Mteiri: "I thought that if the age of slave-girls was restored in a proper legal fashion, it could be a solution [to many problems], Allah willing."

Interviewer: "Will women and wives in Kuwait welcome the idea of slave-girls, and have their husband go to some office and buy a slave-girl or two? How will they accept it?"

Salwa Al-Mteiri: "The believing woman is content with the law of Allah, and with what her religion requires her to do. In my opinion, this is the best solution to reduce the rate of marital betrayal and the spread of disease. This is a problem not only in Kuwait, but throughout the world."

Keep in mind this is before ISIS became the Islamic State and enslaved hundreds of Yazidi and Christian girls as sex slaves. There are little hundreds of articles out there from those who survived and were freed somehow either by their own escape or the military squashing of the Islamic State.

The reason that slavery is still legal under Islam is that Muhammad owned slaves. In order to be a good Muslim you must imitate Muhammad in every way, so this is one thing that is currently not permissible in most non-Islamic countries. Some Islamic countries also do not permit slavery—according to their posted laws. But keep in mind that each Islamic country states in their constitution that the country is subject to shariah, so while a law may exist banning slavery, under shariah it is permissible.




[1] (Pakistan TV Debate on Concubines and Slavery in Islam, 2010)
[2] (Pakistan TV Debate on Concubines and Slavery in Islam, 2010)
[3] (Al-Mteiri, 2011)