Women's Rights and Controversies in Islam # 1

by Kaukab Siddique [ Home ]

2011-03-14 Monday

This was originally presented at Women's History Conference in Atlanta [led by Sis. Hedaya.]

What does Islam say about Rape?
Hadith Stands by the Woman.
Merit in the Qur'an & hadith is Based on Behavior, not on Gender

by Kaukab Siddique


Basis of merit and Superiority in Islam.

Hadith Indicate Process of Gradual Transformation of Women's Situation. Death for Rape.

Facts about Taliban go Against U.S. Propaganda. We reject Imperialist/Zionist Agenda.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine are Examples of Global Rape and Resistance.

We Muslims must not let the opposing forces trap us into a debate about male and female superiority and inferiority. Gender is not the criterion for merit in Islam. For instance, if a woman knows more Qur'an than a man, there is no Islamic basis for saying that we will not listen to her because she is a woman and that we will listen to a man even if he is a fool.

The Qur'an makes it very clear that it bases merit and superiority on Faith-based BEHAVIOR, rather than on gender. Here are the relevant quotes: Is the Qur'an a source of guidance relating to men or to women? That question is not relevant because the Qur'an says about itself: "This is the Book in which is no doubt, a Guidance sure for THOSE WHO HAVE TAQWA." [The Qur'an 2:2]

Taqwa is translated as conduct/piety/virtue based on fear and consciousness of Allah. It is not limited to either gender.

All the forms of Islamic worship are similarly related to TAQWA and not to gender. Let us take one of the most important: Fasting in the month of Ramadan. The Qur'an states its purpose in these words: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that ye may learn to have TAQWA." [2:183] Thus, as the Prophet, pbuh, explained in Hadith, fasting is mere hunger if it does not change behavior and brings about patience and self-restraint [various forms of taqwa.]

Where the Qur'an affirms the male and female identity, as well as the differences between nations and tribes, it restricts merit/nobility/superiority to those who have TAQWA. There is powerful emphasis here on the affirmation of TAQWA which makes gender and nationality/tribe secondary, if not unimportant: "O people! We created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other [not that ye may despise each other.] Surely the noblest/best of you with Allah is the one who is best in conduct [has the most taqwa] among you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted [with all things]." [49:13]

Muslims who don't study Hadith are being told that Hadith goes against the rights of women or that perhaps that it was even fabricated. [The RAND Corporation was involved in this campaign against Hadith.] Some people genuinely do misunderstand Hadith because they are unaware of the purpose of Hadith. The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, did not right away change the conditions of oppressed people, including women. It took 23 years through a process of teaching, organizing, hijra, jihad and consolidation of the Islamic community.

Hadith record the words and achievements of the Prophet, pbuh, but they also record the terrible conditions of oppression which continued to exist for years and were gradually removed. For instance, the Hadith tells us that some men used to beat women. It also tells us the methodology the Prophet, pbuh, used to put an end to beatings as well as psychological mistreatment of women. The Prophet, pbuh, knew more women than any man ever has but the Hadith tells us that he NEVER RAISED HIS HAND AGAINST A WOMAN. In Islam, the Prophet's, pbuh, interpretation of Islam is final in all matters.

Hadith tells us that Muta [temporary marriage] was rife and polygamy was rampant and unrestricted. It also tells us that the Prophet, pbuh, prohibited Mutah and put severe restrictions on polygamy. The Hadith tells us that SLAVERY was commonplace in Arabia and Persia and Rome. It also tells us that the Prophet, pbuh, condemned slavery outright and carried out various reforms to put an end to it.

In finality, Hadith in Bukhari's Sahih tell us that Allah does not accept the prayers of a slaver. It also tells us that the Prophet, pbuh, did not have a slave. Again, the Prophet's, pbuh, example is final in all matters.

In war, Christians, Jews and pagans enslaved women captives. The Muslims too did this for quite a while. The Prophet, pbuh, gave a superb example in this matter, when he MARRIED a captive women, Safiiyah, may Allah be pleased with her, and honored her, and she became a Mother of the Believers. Guess which of these Hadith, the enemies of Islam list? They will always select Hadith about the transitional stage. One will NEVER find a FINAL Hadith on these matters in the collections of the rejectors of Hadith. These people are dishonest.

Finally, the Prophet, pbuh, instituted the death penalty for the RAPIST. Muslims of our times are so far from Islam that they have not implemented this Hadith.

If superiority is given to anyone in Islam, it is given to women who are mothers. The prophet, pbuh, put the mother 3 times above the father. The Qur'an puts the mother second only to Allah. The Prophet, pbuh, in Hadith guarantees Paradise to those who bring up their daughters well. He told men that the best among them are those who are best to their wives.

The enemies of Islam know that many women in the Muslim world have not received their Islamic rights. This situation gives these enemies an opportunity to project their power into Muslim lands in the name of "justice for Muslim women." The most important example of this projection is the propaganda blitz which was used to demonize the Taliban.

Afghan women outside Kabul wore the chadri before the Taliban rose to power, and Afghan women wear it today. However the Taliban were blamed for the chadri as if they invented it. A communist splinter group working with the Zionists distributed pictures of a woman being executed in Kabul stadium by the Taliban. [A man was also executed, but this agent group focused on the woman.] The claim was made that the Taliban are woman haters. Here are a few facts:
Taliban leader Mullah Omar first came forth to punish and execute the rapists of a woman. No woman was ever raped under Taliban rule.

Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist captured by the Taliban, has provided a detailed account of the way she was treated by the Taliban. Her account contradicts all the stories against the Taliban distributed by the Zionist media.

The Taliban did execute a woman and did beat up a few women in Kabul, a city which they took by armed force. By comparison, look at the treatment of German women by the allied victors in 1945. The Russian armies raped EVERY GERMAN WOMAN from the age of 8 to 80. The American forces "bought" German women for one chocolate each. The French and the British too instituted a reign of terror in conquered Germany.

During the Vietnam war, the Americans turned a friendly city, Saigon, into a vast brothel even without conquest. So when we want to condemn the Taliban, let's ask: Whom are we comparing them with?

Why do American activists who are skeptical of news and features broadcast by the Zionist-controlled media become very naive when the same media report on the Taliban? Is there any reason why the media reporting on the Taliban will be honest?

We must understand RAPE, the ultimate crime against a woman, to be able to understand the world we live in. Most sociologists, psychologists and criminologists agree that rape has little to do with sex and is mostly related to the projection of male power against a helpless victim. It is the ultimate form of terrorism.

The problem we are facing in uniting activist groups is that those who are politically organized do not focus on the rights of women [or rarely do], and those who support women's rights do not oppose, actively, war and political oppression.

From the life of Muhammad, pbuh, we learn that there is a natural link between human rights and women's rights. Westernized women in Muslim societies are often linked to dictators and oppressors who are backed by western powers and hence are ineffective

The condition of women in the Muslim world can NEVER be changed by the forces of secularism linked to the West. America oppresses women, with 4,000,000 women battered here every year. On what basis can forces linked to America claim to be liberators of women in the Muslim world?

People like [names deleted] played, deliberately or by circumstances, into the hands of Imperialism and Zionism. They have misunderstood Islam. We can never change Muslim society by attacking our traditions and sacred norms. A WOMAN WHO PRAYS BEHIND A MAN IS NOT INFERIOR. The form of prayer is sacred because it was taught by the Prophet, pbuh.

Umm Sulaim, r.a., prayed behind her son. Only an ignorant person would claim that she was inferior to the boy she brought up and taught. The form of prayer, the formal separation between men and women, has nothing to do with inferiority and superiority. It has to do with MODESTY, which, we learn from Hadith, is an essential part of Faith in Islam.

Muslim women should participate in activism against the Zionist Jews and the racist power structure in America. Do we not know that a blind scholar of Islam [Shaikh Omar 'Abdel Rahman] has been buried alive in the American gulag?
Muslim women should join Jamaat al-Muslimeen's BOYCOTT of businesses which support Israel.

Help the families of innocent Muslims either in prison [like Imam Jamil and Ahmed 'Abdel Sattar] or standing up to the power structure .

Once you are part of the struggle and become part of the Islamic family, academic issues of male/female will become meaningless. Remember why ABU BAKR, r.a., was chosen by the Muslims of Madinah. They knew he had served Islam with the Prophet, pbuh, every step of the way. He was with the Prophet, pbuh, when he was in the cave and being hunted by the kuffar. He did not need an election campaign. The Muslims knew that he was the servant of Allah who had sacrificed everything for the DEEN [the Islamic way of life.]

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq should be seen as PHYSICAL VIOLATION on an INTERNATIONAL SCALE. This is the projection of power at a scale unknown in previous human history: daisy cutters vs RPGs, B-52s vs defenseless villages, 'shock and awe' vs puny ack ack guns. The victim struggles and screams but the victimizer is too strong. Here also we learn the lesson of RESISTANCE. The world is changing because the Iraqi and Afghan people are resisting the most powerful military machine in the world. The VIOLATED VICTIM must resist to retain some dignity for the future.

Understand PALESTINE as a case of physical violation. The Zionist Jews project their power into Palestine and then label the resistance as 'terrorists.' The Jews insist that the victim must acknowledge the violating Jew as legitimate. The victim must let the Jew have his home, his goods, his olive groves and be content with the Jews' leftovers. Finally the violator here wants the victim to speak to him with respect and to give up all resistance. "ISRAEL" is the ultimate in legitimization of violation. The violator puts the victim on trial!


2011-11-27 Sun 15:15:47 cst