Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

“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. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” (4:34)

This verse is quoted to support that men have the right to beat their wives.  That’s all very well if you’re reading this translation and many others, however, let us look at the Arabic word used here that supposedly means TO BEAT- idribuhunna, which derives from the word daraba.  In this context, the word beat does not imply ‘hit’ but rather ‘leave’.  If you were to look at the same word that’s used elsewhere in the Qur’an, you would see that the implication of beat if not to “hit” but ‘to leave.’

 “O ye who believe! When ye go abroad (darabtum) In the cause of Allah, Investigate carefully, And say not to anyone Who offers you a salutation: ‘Thou art none of a Believer!’ Coveting the perishable good Of this life: with Allah Are profits and spoils abundant.  Even thus were ye yourselves Before, till Allah conferred On you His favours: therefore Carefully investigate.  For Allah is well aware Of all that ye do.” (4:94)

In this context, the word daraba means to leave.   Note also that the word daraba is used twice in Chapter Four, establishing a prototype.  Thus the word daraba implies leaving, not hitting.

 Still not convinced?

The Qur’an states plenty of times that husbands have ZERO right to harm their wives in anyway imaginable:

1.        “…Do not retain your wives to harm them…( 2:231)”

2.       If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.  (4:128)”

3.      “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.  (4:19)“ 

The last resort is not to beat an unfaithful wife, but to leave her.  Note that I use the word “unfaithful” because that is the main focus of chapter four.

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“They ask you about menstruation: Say, it is a discomfort; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by God. God loves those who are clean. Your women are the bearers of your seed. Thus, you may enjoy this privilege however you like, so long as you maintain righteousness. You shall observe God, and know that you will meet Him. Give good news to the believers.” (2:222-223)

This verse is continuously quoted by “Islamic scholars” in order to lead Muslims down the road of believing menstruating women are contaminated, and thus they are not to perform prayer or fast, given their state of impurity.  They ignore context, content, and audience, intentionally or not, I’m not here to argue that matter.

1)  The audience for this verse are males, as demonstrated by the following phrase:  “Your women are the bearers of your seed.”  This clearly cannot be directed at women (lesbians/bisexuals) but possessors of penises.

-Going by the audience, we are to understand that this verse deals with addressing men about having sex with their wives.  They are to stay away from their wives during menses to maintain good hygiene. 

2)  These verses make no point towards women not being allowed to fulfill their religious obligations given the fact that they are directed at males and sexual activity, and only males and sexual activity.  God would have made the statement directed at an audience of women had it dealt with their impure state to pray or fast, given menstruation is a feminine issue.

Additionally, God troubles Himself to explain what conditions make a person impure for prayer in the following verses:

“O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying. Nor after sexual contact without bathing, unless you are on the road, traveling; if you are ill or traveling, or you had urinary or fecal-related excretion, or contacted the women sexually, and you cannot find water, you shall observe Tayammum (dry ablution) by touching clean dry soil, then wiping your faces and hands therewith. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.”  (4:43)


“O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers, you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles. If you were unclean due to sexual activity, you shall bathe. If you are ill, or traveling, or had any digestive excretion , or had sexual contact with the women, and you cannot find water, you shall observe the dry  ablution by touching clean dry soil, then rubbing your faces and hands. GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative.”  (5:6)

Verse 4:43 makes it evident that a person may not pray if he’s intoxicated.

Both 4:43 and 5:6 list the conditions that would nullify abolution, which is required for Muslims before performing prayer.  The conditions that nullify abolution are sexual activity and fecal related/digestive excretion.  Given the fact that menstruation does not fall under these conditions, it is exempt.

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Background: An honour killing is when a family member is murdered by one or more fellow family members, when they believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family. The victims are usually female but can also be male.

The Quran has a very high regard for a person’s life and only accepts the taking of a life in very limited circumstances:

It is because of this that We have decreed for the Children of Israel: “Anyone who kills a person who has not committed murder, or who has not committed corruption in the land; then it is as if he has killed all of mankind! And whoever spares a life, then it is as if he has given life to all the people.”… [5:32]

…and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden, except in justice… [6:151]

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, then his reward shall be Hell, eternally abiding therein, and God will be angry with him, and curse him, and for him is prepared a great retribution. [4:93]

It should be noted that nowhere in The Quran is a person allowed to take the law into their own hands and act as judge, jury and executioner. “Justice” here refers to a court of law. Also, the only acts punishable by death in The Quran are for murder and causing corruption in the land (i.e. done on a large scale), as shown above.

Sometimes an honour killing is carried out due to sex out with marriage, but the punishment for this in The Quran is not death [see 24:2].

The recurring theme of equivalence in The Quran must be taken into account when deciding upon the punishment for any crime:

And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for a crime shall be its equivalence, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. [42:39-40]

Thus, the equivalent punishment for having one’s honour or family honour compromised can never be murder.


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