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COPIED FROM CHOWK author (anita zadi)

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    COPIED FROM CHOWK author (anita zadi)

    i have copied this from iam not it's author but it is really interesting .i like to know your opinion .

    Why do Muslim men spend an
    inordinate amount of time worrying
    about what Muslim women are or
    aren't allowed to do? It would seem
    that the very act of women not
    covering their heads is responsible for
    the current abyss that the Muslim
    world finds itself in. And if we could
    only be assured of female
    subordination, then all our ills would
    be gone; our past Islamic glory would
    be recreated.

    This, and the related issue of does
    Islam "discriminate" against women
    and if so why, continue to puzzle me.
    Especially since I have an abiding
    admiration for Islam - a true miracle
    for all times, but especially for the
    society that it was introduced into.
    Centuries of needed change
    telescoped into a mere 23 years with
    the Prophet's guidance and leadership
    (someone who couldn't read), can
    only be explained in terms of a
    miracle! So why does Islam seem to
    place so many limits on women's lives
    and why are men today so obsessed
    with (to the exclusion of many other
    seemingly more important facets of
    Islamic life) their enforcement.

    Two reasons come to mind. The first
    is that many Muslim men today feel a
    sense of profound impotence at their
    inability to viably compete in a world
    in which the kuffaar are so clearly
    winning. The world is not theirs any
    more - they are left far, far behind and
    talk of past glory can only take them
    so far. The only place that they can
    exert control in is at home, by
    dominating their women. After all, if he
    can come home and terrorize his
    womenfolk into submission, well then,
    he is master of his domains isn't he?
    Therefore, he must fight to retain this
    last bastion of his power.

    The second reason, and there is no
    running away from this, for anyone
    who has made a close study of Islam
    and the Quran, is that Islam has
    allowed major concessions to male
    biology at the expense of women. To
    me, the most damaging to women's
    cause is the following verse (sura 4,
    verse 34, Pickthall translation)
    revealed at the time that a woman
    complained to the Prophet that her
    husband had slapped her, and what
    would be the punishment. "Men are in
    charge of women, because Allah had
    made the one of them to excel the
    other, and because they spend their
    property (for the support of women).
    Good women are obedient. They
    guard their unseen parts because Allah
    has guarded them. As for those from
    whom ye fear rebellion (nushz,
    interpreted by translator as arrogance,
    refusing to consent to sex), admonish
    them and banish them to beds apart,
    and scourge them. Then if they obey
    you seek not a way against them".

    N. J Dawood has a slightly different
    translation. "Men have authority over
    women because God has made the
    one superior to the other and because
    they spend their wealth to maintain
    them. Good women are obedient.
    They guard their unseen parts because
    God has guarded them. As for those
    from whom you fear disobedience,
    admonish them and send them to beds
    apart and beat them. Then if they obey
    you, take no further action against

    Professor Ahmed Ali has the most
    favourable translation of this verse in
    which he omits the words "beat" or
    "scourge" and gives a lengthy footnote
    explanation of why he doesn't think
    Allah really meant to say that (he was
    a pretty "liberal" man, and I have
    looked at many others that are similar
    to the translations given above).

    So how do we reconcile Quranic
    verses like these (and there are many
    others) with what we would like to
    think - that Islam couldn't be
    condoning violence towards women?
    As, I said earlier, the explanation lies
    in the fact Islam conceded to male
    biology. Men have a primal, biological
    need to control female behavior
    because, until recently when DNA
    testing became available, there was no
    way that a man could be sure that the
    offspring that his woman had ha, was
    really his own. The only way that he
    could be sure he was propagating his
    own genes and spending his time and
    energy in the support of his own
    children and not somebody else's, was
    by restricting his women's activities.
    So her activities had to be restricted.
    In an Arab environment of debauchery
    and hedonism when the Prophet had
    to make so many revolutionary
    changes, I am sure this appeared to be
    a minor concession, especially since it
    made perfect biologic sense.

    The problem was further compounded
    by the sentiments of two of our
    Khulfa-i-Rashideen - Hazrat Omar
    and Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Omar believed
    in strict control of his women. Many of
    you may remember the story from
    Islamiat about when he discovered
    that his sister had converted to Islam
    and was even holding meetings of
    Muslims in her house, "he beat her so
    badly that marks were left on her".
    After he himself converted, there are
    many reports that he pleaded with the
    Prophet to show more strictness to his
    wives and that because of the
    Prophet's lenient attitudes, the women
    of Hijaz were becoming disobedient.
    He is reported to have struck his wife
    Jamila Bint Thabit "so hard that it
    knocked her to the ground". Hazrat
    Ali's views were colored by the
    unfortunate involvement of Hazrat
    Aisha in the Battle of the Camel (also
    known as the first Islamic Civil War or
    the First Fitna). Many of the "women
    shouldn't be leaders" sentiments
    prevalent in various Islamic traditions
    can be traced to him.

    So, with this background how do we
    resolve the issue of women's rights
    and freedom today? As an aside, I
    haven't even bothered to compare the
    rights that Islam gives to women of
    other religions. There's no issue there -
    Islam wins hands down. These other
    religions have convenient reform
    movements that they can hide behind.
    We are left explaining why our religion
    is so anti-women - a point of course
    the anti-Islam Western media belabors
    endlessly, as if Islam's specific
    purpose in coming into existence was
    to hold its women captive and maltreat
    them. Are any solutions possible? As
    a first, I would like to suggest that we
    view matters in context. For example,
    we know that Islam condoned slavery,
    it did not outlaw it (although there are
    many admonishments on treating
    slaves kindly, and freeing them was a
    major sewaab). Yet, every fiber of our
    modern being tells us that slavery is
    morally wrong, that it is inhuman, a
    crime against human dignity. So this
    must have been another concession of
    Islam to the prevailing environment.
    Islam recognized that men were not
    perfect, and its ultimate success
    depended on that realization. I think
    this is a powerful argument against the
    mistreatment of women sanctioned by
    the "fundamentalists" today. Also, the
    fact that men can now find out by
    genetic testing what they could never
    have known before, should serve to
    reduce their in-built paranoia that their
    women are up to some mischief if they
    step outside the house or their fear
    that if a na-mahram man sees their
    wive's face, the attraction that he will
    (surely) feel by the act of gazing upon
    her will lead the wife astray.

    As for the abyss that the Muslim
    Ummah is in today - I have no ready



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    This topic has already been discussed on chowk itself. Interested readers can go to and read the article with the readers replies there.

    Farouq Taj.


      Could you please let me know where to find this article. I looked in 'chowk' but could not find it.


        The article is at:

        The readers replies can be reached by clicking on the link at the foot of the article.

        Farouq Taj.