Why aren’t the rights of Muslim women ever spoken for by the so-called secularists and human rights propagandists? Highly inhibitory quotes in the Quran highlight the stature accorded to women in Islam, but all of this needs to change now.
Sanatana Beliefs compared to Islamic Practices
Sanatana Dharma accords women a place of worship and equality with men. Accepting the good and the bad of all is the beauty of Sanatana. As part of the Ardhnareshwar Swaroop, a revered and respected deity, Shiv Ji is accompanied by Maa Parvati. As an open and inclusive religion, Sanatana Dharma prohibits any form of discrimination. Unfortunately, Sanatana practices have been painted as regressive and orthodox by the leftist-liberal gang in a cunning manner. Despite misrepresentations, misquotes, and convoluted facts, the reality is quite different.
Nonetheless, Islam stands for true liberation, especially for women (pun intended!). Karnataka’s recent drama regarding putting on the ‘Hijab’ as a symbol of freedom contrasts sharply with the Islamic nations’ experiences. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many other Islamic nations require women to wear a hijab or an abaya. Afghan Taliban rule resulted in the death and torture of many women, simply for showing their faces. These fanatic Islamists want to take over the Kafir-dominated land in India, that’s why this drama of secularism is happening.
There is a real problem in Islam because a few, mostly men, remain dominant and steer a narrative. Millions of people have been influenced by this narrative, which has been cleverly integrated into religious dogmas. This is being witnessed on a global scale. Thus, this ugly cocktail of perversion, hatred, and dominance has ravaged the entire human race. There has been such a massive rise in brainwashing that Muslim women are vociferously opposing their own rights. All are blinded by religious diktats, unfortunately. Muslim women’s rights flagbearers like Arfa Khanum and Rana Ayyub et al. fuel the fire with their hypocritical stances.
Many concerning and biased views are found in the Quran. These aren’t only demeaning, but it also contradicts the positions taken by modern-day apologists for Islam and secularists. Different references in the Quran speak of various aspects of a woman’s life and mention how she ought to be treated. It is surprising how conveniently females are brainwashed into defending such barbarous rules. In the process, one is compromising his/her own rights to dignity and propagating religious beliefs. Here are just a few of the Quranic references that illustrate the suffering of women.
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah gave more to the one than the other and because they support them from their means. So devout women are extremely careful and attentive in guarding what cannot be seen in that which Allah is extremely careful and attentive in guarding. Concerning women whose rebellious disloyalty (nusbooz) you fear, admonish them, then refuse to share their beds, then hit them; but if they become obedient, do not seek means of annoyance against them. For Allah is Most High, Great” – Surah 4 An-Nisa, Ayat 34-35
The verse has been interpreted and used in ways that dominate and subjugate Muslim women. It is surprising that Muslim women themselves do not contradict such beliefs.
Allah thus commands you concerning your children: the share of the male is like that of two females. If (the heirs of the deceased are) more than two daughters, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance; and if there is only one daughter, then she shall have half the inheritance. If the deceased has any offspring, each of his parents shall have a sixth of the inheritance; and if the deceased has no child and his parents alone inherit him, then one-third shall go to his mother; and if the deceased has brothers and sisters, then one-sixth shall go to his mother. All these shares are to be given after payment of the bequest he might have made or any debts outstanding against him. (Surah An-Nisa 4:11-14)
A woman’s testimony counts as half of a man’s testimony
And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of loans without interest]. But if two men are not available, there should be one man and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the other may remind her. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 205).
The foundational reason for having two women witnesses is that one of the women may ‘forget’ something. This verse goes to the nature of womankind and implies that a woman’s mind is weak. This hadith removes any ambiguity about women’s abilities in Sura 2:282: The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’ (Bukhari, emphasis added)
Husbands may hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives
If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (Haleem, emphasis added) The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws: Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘Abdur Rahman bin Az—Zubair Al—Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!’ (Bukhari, emphasis added) This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl—bride, Aisha (see rule no. 1, below), daughter of Abu Bakr, his right—hand Companion: ‘He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.’- Sura 4:34
A wife may remarry her ex-husband if and only if she marries another man, after having sex, and then this second man divorces her. This is called Halala.
The Halala practice is demeaning, inhibiting, ill-advised, and abusive. The practice robs a woman of her own body and physical rights and is inhumane. A woman’s self-respect is compromised by allowing her to be used as a tool for sexual gratification.
So if a husband divorces his wife ˹three times˺, then it is not lawful for him to remarry her until after she has married another man and then is divorced. Then it is permissible for them to reunite, as long as they feel they are able to maintain the limits of Allah. These are the limits set by Allah, which He makes clear for people of knowledge. (Surah Al Baqarah -2:23)
Slave—girls are the sexual property of their male owners
Also, ˹forbidden are˺ married women—except ˹female˺ captives in your possession.1 This is Allah’s commandment to you. Lawful to you are all beyond these—as long as you seek them with your wealth in a legal marriage, not in fornication. Give those you have consummated the marriage with their due dowries. It is permissible to be mutually gracious regarding the set dowry. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
In this case, is paying dowry for a physical relationship absolutely justified? The real question is: what if the woman in question refused to participate in sexual relations with her captor? Can paying money for it justify physical coercion?
And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. (Suras 4:3)
O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (33:50 Quran)
Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls
O Prophet, when you [and the believers] divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed waiting—period and count the waiting—period accurately . . . 4 And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends when they have delivered their burden. (Maududi, vol. 5, pp. 599 and 617, emphasis added 65:1)
A husband can get rid of one of his undesirable wives
Women are treated as objects of convenience in Islam, ones who must be subdued. An unfortunate condition that reflects on every aspect of a woman’s life. Maududi correctly interprets Sura 4:129;
Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Interpretation by Maududi- Allah made it clear that the husband cannot literally keep equality between two or more wives because they themselves cannot be equal in all respects. It is too much to demand from a husband that he should mete out equal treatment to a beautiful wife and to an ugly wife, to a young wife and to an old wife, to a healthy wife and to an invalid wife, and to a good-natured wife and to an ill-natured wife. These and like things naturally make a husband more inclined towards one wife than towards the other. (vol. 1, pp. 383—84, note 161).
Taking Hadith 6:298 as an example, we can understand the naturalization and normalization of sexual behavior. Rather than being discouraged, this behavior is viewed as normal.
The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in I`tikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses).
For Muslim women, Islamic rules and Shariah laws are not only restrictive but also horrifying and terrifying. They not only have no control over their body but also their mind, their will, and preferences. With the exception of a few countries, Islamic societies tend to be highly authoritative and restrictive towards women. Women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive, travel alone, or vote until recently. Iran, Syria, and Iraq’s pathetic situation with respect to women’s rights is regrettable. In Islamic society, severe punishments are reprehensible and abhorrent. In addition, it perpetuates a culture of male dominance and promotes violence. This has contributed to a male-centric, dystopic family structure. Taking women hostage, killing them, and publicly stoning them is not acceptable in any society. The time has come for those who cry for fake human rights to boldly step up and tackle the issue of Muslim women and their trauma. There needs to be an end to polygamous marriages, and Triple Talaq so that women can finally live the lives they deserve. Change needs to start with women themselves. Until the Muslim women stand up and refuse to be bullied, whatever they say or do will be worthless.