03 March 2013

Explained - "Top 10 Quran quotes every woman must see"

I recently came across this list of ten "controversial" quran iyat that supposedly shows how Islam oppresses women. The list is called "Top 10 quran quotes every woman must see" and contains verses that have actually been cut and also some misinterpreted. As this list has been reposted on so many sites and nobody seems to have defended them, I decided to do some research and put up an explanation to all these iyat.

10. "Your women are a tilth for you so go to your tilth as you will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that you will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers." [Surat Al-Baqarah:223]

In the list is it made out as though this means that women are objects for men to use however they like. The reality is that this iya was sent down to clear up a specific confusion that some people had over babies coming out with squints if a couple were to conceive in a particular way (the hadith can be read here [hadith number 3363]). The iya was simply telling them that their beliefs were unfounded and a couple can conceive however they like. It is important to note that this iya is talking about conception, which is why the word "tilth" has been used: it is making reference to the sowing of seeds. I do not see it as derogatory to women, quite the opposite actually; is it not important for a farmer to put care and attention into growing his crops?

9. "Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise." [Surat Al-Baqarah:228]

Found it funny that in the list only the bold part of the iya was mentioned and they had added the words 'in status' at the end, which isn't actually part of the iya. Anyway, onto the explanation:

The general consensus amongst scholars is that the highlighted part of the iya is basically saying two things:

1. Allah (swt) gave a husband and wife similar rights over each other in responsibility...

2. ... but He (swt) gave the man a greater degree of responsibility over the woman than that of woman over the man. It follows that the rights owned to the wife are nonnegotiable, whereas the husband has to give up certain rights.

Al-Tabari in his Tafsir narrated from Ibn `Abbas: "The daraja ('degree') mentioned by Allah (swt) here is the forfeiting, on the man's part, of some his wife's obligations towards him and his indulgence towards her, while he is fully obligated to fulfil all his obligations towards her, because the verse came right after {And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them}.

"The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives." - Prophet Muhammed (s)

8. Allah directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases Is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether Your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.." [Surat Al-Nisa:11]

Again, only the bold part of this iya was mentioned in the list, deliberately deceiving in my opinion.
Explanation: In Islam, the son is responsible for a family, while a daughter is taken care of by her husband and even if she does work she is not obliged to give her husband any money even though he is obliged to provide for her. For this reason, it is only fair that men would get a larger share of inheritance.
Having said this, Allah (swt) commands in Surat Al Baqarah:180 that a will should be left to conform with the specific circumstances of the deceased. For example, if the son is rich and the daughter is poor, one may leave a will giving the daughter everything, or twice as much as the son. What is explained in the iya above is a recommendation of how the money should be spilt IF a will has not been left.

7. "O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write 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, 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." [Surat Al-Baqarah:282]
I have discussed this iya with Muslims before and some of them explain it by saying that women are more emotional and therefore forget things more than men. I find that really patronising and undoubtedly wrong.

The Qur’an has taught that the witness of a woman is just as valid as that of a man, and made no distinction regarding the sex of a witness in every single reference except this one – granting two female witnesses in legal cases where women had little knowledge or expertise. The intention of this concession was to prevent women being tricked or cheated by unscrupulous men who could take advantage of their inexperience in business matters - in those days men heavily dominated in businesses and women were generally not involved in such things.
In every other kind of case, there is no reason why the witness of a woman should not be just as reliable as evidence as that of a man, and no distinction of either sex is made anywhere else in the Quran where witnesses are mention. E.g: "Those who accuse a chaste woman of fornication and do not produce four witnesses to support their allegation, shall be flogged with eighty lashes and their testimony shall not be accepted ever after, for they are the ones who are wicked transgressors."The text implies any four witnesses, who could be of either sex.

Ridiculous places like Saudi Arabia and their "1 male witness=2 females" have got it so, so, SO wrong.

6. And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorces her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge. [Surat Al-Baqarah:230]

I don't understand why this is supposed to be oppressive to women. It's just discouraging men from proclaiming a divorce every time they get angry, and then changing their minds once they've calmed down. Let's face it, if you remarry and divorce 3 times, you probably shouldn't be together anyway. This iya is logical, and the only person it would 'oppress' is a fickle husband.

5. "And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except 'ma malakat aymanukum'. This is the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise."
The phrase "ma malakat aymanukum", is often interpreted as "those who your right hand possess", which apparently lets men have sex with slaves outside of wedlock. I have never believed this interpretation, it goes against all logic. So what I found when doing some research into the iya was very interesting and far more logical:
Explanation: The Arabic word "aymanukum" is plural for "yameenukum", which can mean either "your right hand", or "your oath". There are are many iyas in the Quran, where this exact same word appears, and is correctly translated as meaning: 'your oath'.

Here are two examples, although there are many more:

1. "And do not make Allah the subject of your OATHS (aymanukum). Be righteous and secure and reconcile among the people; and Allah is Hearer, Knower. Allah will not call you to account for your OATHS (aymanukum); but He will call you to account for what has entered your hearts... [2:224]

2. "And do not use your OATHS (aymanukum) as a means of deception between you, that a foot will slip after it has been made firm, and you will taste the evil of turning away from the path of Allah, and you will have a great retribution" [16:94]

"Ma malakt aymanukum" in the context of this iya is thought to actually refer to believing women who are married to disbelievers and escape their husbands, seeking to marry faithful men. The faithful swear an oath to take these women under their wing, because they no longer have anyone to care for them. Technically these women are now "committed by oath". This is an example of "ma malakat aymanukum". The faithful men can marry these women provided that the woman returns the dowry to her previous husband.
The phrase does NOT mean "slaves that your right hands possess"
"And for each We have made inheritors for what was left behind by the parents and the relatives. And THOSE BOUND BY YOUR OATHS ('allazheena a'akidat aymanukum') you shall give them their portion. Allah is a witness over all things" [4:33]

The bottom line is that the ayah 4:24 is setting believing men a restriction: they are not permitted to marry certain women. Among these restricted women, are all married women except those committed to you by OATHS.

4. "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or 'ma malakat aymanukum', that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." [Surat Al-Nisa:3]
1. Allah (swt) allowed polygamy only for helping the orphans as more women were needed to take care of the increasing number orphans from both sides after every battle. It was a real necessity of the time.
2. Men must be fair to their wives or else to never marry more than one
3. Notice how the iya starts and finishes with a reference to making sure justice is done to all those involved.
4. This law was in no way instilled for the gratification of men. It was so orphans would be provided for and looked after. Although it is legal today in Muslim countries, there is no longer a need for it like there was at the time.

3. And you will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [towards one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
According to the list, this verse shows that men can, and I quote, "simply get rid of an undesirable wife". Sorry, how? All this iya does is make it even more difficult for men to take more than one wife.

2. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (their 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) 'idribuhunna'; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)."

This verse is often used by non-Muslims (and sometimes Muslims) to prove that Islam allows hitting of the wife as a "last resort". Muslims tend to say that the hitting must be very light, light enough not to leave a mark; some saying it should be done with a toothpick... The thought of having a husband that hit me with a toothpick as a last resort for my ill-conduct actually cracks me up. Anyway...
Explanation: The Arabic word used in verse 4:34 above is "idribuhunna", which is derived from "daraba", which means "beat". The thing with all of the Arabic words that are derived from the word "daraba" is that they don't necessarily mean "hit". The word "idribuhunna" for instance, could very well mean to "leave".
Allah (swt) used the word "darabtum", which is derived from the word "daraba" in the SAME surah to mean "go abroad" for the sake of Allah Almighty:

"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]
The word is also used in another iya to mean "give" in the phrase "give an example". So "daraba" can mean "beat", "travel/leave" or "give".
I am inclined to believe that the term "daraba" in this iya means "to leave" the wife altogether. It's more logical, first you talk to her, if that doesn't work you refuse to share her bed and if that doesn't work, you leave her altogether (or hit her with a toothpick, you decide).

1. "The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated. As for pregnant women, their waiting period shall be until the delivery of their burden. Allah will create ease for him who fears Allah."
Apparently the bold part of the iya means that premenstrual girls are allowed to get married in Islam. This is a controversial subject so I'm just going to stick to the basics. The most logical interpretation of this iya is that "those who have not menstruated yet" is referring to the women that are still waiting for their period simply because it hasn't come yet; there are many different health reasons why a woman's period can be late or missed altogether. In Islam, a large part of marriage is about producing offspring, why then would Muslim men marry girls that cannot bear children? The answer is, they wouldn't.
I really hope that this was helpful and cleared up some of the many misunderstandings about women in Islam.
"And of His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought" [30:21]


Umm Ahmad said...

Masha'allah, this has got to be the best post I have read in a long time. :)

As-salaam alaikum said...

Ameen Ameen Ameen

Hana said...

Asalam alaykum,

Amazing article. Thank you so much. I have posted the link to my blog :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you, I hope everybody reads this! Regarding number 2 (the big one we always hear about) I have heard the "leave" explanation many times by various sources and it makes the most sense, especially when you compare it to the similar verse addressing the wife, and the actual practice of the prophet Mohammed pbuh. Unfortunately the last time this came up with a group of women and I mentioned this, the conversation took a fairly distressing turn... I wish more people would do research.

StylishMuslimah said...

Thanks guys I'm glad you liked it!

qatheworld: What happened? I really want to know now haha!

Salam :)

Nuraan said...

Great post :)

Liuba said...

nice post, but thinking that too hard to do all these things...

StylishMuslimah said...

Liuba: Thanks :) What's too hard to do? x

beingFab said...

This is a wonderful post!!! It is high time people try to 'understand' the Quran rather than reading some patriarchal Sheikh's translation and then immediately acting upon it without using his head. I think Allah has also mentioned that everyone should think for himself/herself while reading the Quran.

washi said...

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Jazakillah khayrun for this well written post. A big thank you also for taking the time to research it so thoroughly, for all of us who have become tired of these kind of distortions of our Lord's words. May Allah SWT reward you for your efforts Ameen.

StylishMuslimah said...

beingFab: Ahh what a fab comment indeed! There is definitely a problem with people blindly following translations even when the translation is not logical. We must remember that Allah (swt) gave us logic to find him and with it He will call us to account. It is mentioned many times in the Quran for us to seek knowledge and think and question.

Washi: Thank you so much :) I'm really glad you like it!

Salam x

Ghadeer said...

This is lovely, thank you for sharing :)

Wayward Daughter said...

Thank you for this post! I am always defending women's rights in Islam and this is a great reference point!!

StylishMuslimah said...

Thanks guys :)
Salam x

Abigael said...

This was great to read! I am a Christian, but I love reading your blog (especially posts like this) in order to better understand a the books of a religion that I know only from an outside perspective.

It is also encouraging to realize that interpretation is a tough thing across all religions - our human minds were made so diverse! Sometimes the loudest voice making the interpretation is all that people hear. Thanks for posting about this!

StylishMuslimah said...

Thanks Abigael! I'm always happy to read comments from non-Muslims on my blog. You're right about the loudest voice being all people hear, it can very easily skew the reality of a subject!

Nice blogs you have by the way!


Wayward Daughter said...

@ Abigael is right about the loudest voice comment!

FreelyEnslaved said...

Thanks for sharing this! I saw ayah 1 misquoted right in front of me just a month ago by a man who was trying to say that men can dominate and boss around their wives, as if they are their slaves. I didn't explain the tafseer of the ayah to him because he's much older than me and he would just think I'm being shameless, but ugh that's so frustrating. May Allah forgive us all for any times we may have misquoted His book.

Also, the toothpick... Lol! Yeah I have heard that too :P I've never seen the "leave" explanation before, but it makes sense.

Interesting blog! Please check mine out; it's new. :)

StylishMuslimah said...

FE: You're blog is awesome, keep it up! :D

Also, the toothpick thing is hilarious haha xD

Salam x

Umm Gamar said...

Wow I was just reading about these 'controversial' verses on an Islamophobes blog. Thank you for explaining to those who do not understand. About the verse referring to women who have not had period, it could refer to women who are late in having their menstrual cycle starting. It is a valid medical condition called amenorrhea. My friend was already 16 and still didnt start her period. My aunt's friend also had the same problem. Allah of course knows about these medical conditions,duh, therefore prescribe a ruling for these women who were married. In no way is it a pass for pedophilia. Allah knows best. Welcome to my blog Zainab.

Pixie said...

I loved you list all but a point made in number 4. that "1. Allah (swt) allowed polygamy only for helping the orphans as more women were needed to take care of the increasing number orphans from both sides after every battle. It was a real necessity of the time." It can also mean orphaned women and widows, i.e those women who have no Muslim family (i.e their family were killed or are non-Muslims). Sunnah also relates divorcees with children to support are permissiable wives under the provisions for polygyny:).

Sadly, most men don't care and just marry a younger, usually virginal more beautiful version of their first wife. TOTALLY not why that ayah said it was allowed AT ALL.

-From two sisters happily sharing the same man, Pixie and anon;).

Pixie only: I still find it is relevent in some countries where practicing Muslim brothers are short;) and practicing sisters are alhamdulilah thriving. We need to open more brother eyes about how great it can be to marry a divorcee or widow with kids and orphans to support. Until that changes we sisters have to try to help our fellow sisters out with their needs from life and this ummah. Of course, totally not something everyone can or should do.

StylishMuslimah said...

Pixie: Yes I agree with you on that. I just wanted to highlight that polygamy is not about finding a wife that is a young and prettier version on the original as you said haha.
Salam x

Trendy Modesty said...

Great post :) Wish I came across it when I was looking for those explanations years ago :) I am a convert and I remember researching all of those quotes and finding some similar results but they were not easy to find I gotta say... sad really.
I will post this entry on my blog and also share it with my Muslim friends so they can spread the word :) Hope some others will do the same :D

StylishMuslimah said...

Trendy Modesty: Glad you found it useful! Yes please do repost :)

Salam x

Anonymous said...

"I am inclined to believe that the term "daraba" in this iya means "to leave" the wife altogether."

I'm sure you're inclined to believe that, but you might be the only one. And probably because you're trying to fool yourself. We all know it is understood as "to hit".

This kind of... reasoning... might fool non-Arabs, but it won't work with those who actually know how things work. I invite those interested in knowing the truth with no sugar-coating or political correctness to go and read texts and articles written by members of al-Azhar University (that are constantly published in Egyptian newspapers). But those might scare westerners and non-Muslims. These articles are just for internal consumption...

StylishMuslimah said...

Annoymous: Actuallly, I know many Muslims who also interpret this iya is meaning "to leave". And as I am Arab myself, I am not trying to fool anyone about the language.

The word "dharaba" means a lot more than "to hit" in the Arabic language; maybe you should use your logic and question would Allah (swt) REALLY tell men to hit their wives if they don't do what they say? Women are not cattle and hitting does not work - if my husband hit me I would never ever stay married to him. Leaving someone, on the other hand, does work - it gives the person time to consider their actions and it does not introduce the shaytan into the situation.


nilam said...

Oh God, this is great! i can FINALLY shove this in the face of the person who created:
10 things every women should know about islam.
i would personally change that into top 100 thing every women should know.
thank you thank you thank yooooo

Ayman Samman said...

Salam sister,

Many thanks for the article which explains much of the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Quran verses by Non-Muslems. I have however some comments(and maybe queries) which I can address one by another in the coming days inshalla. For now, I want to comment on the debatable meaning of daraba, if you allow me. I am an Arabic and I think my language is good enough to understand the context of an Arabic texture. Daraba in Arabic has many meanings as you previously mentioned. To be short, I think idrebohonna in the verse can never be interpreted as to leave them. Quran is a clear text, its not puzzling us. It requires loads of effort from me to fit daraba here as to leave. it simply cannot fit. Please do not misjudge me, I am surely against using violence! If we read the whole verse together we may understand the context better if we fit it like this.. Allah is giving solutions for familial instability because of the noshooz. Noshooz in Arabic means rising up. which here means that when the wife treats her husband from highness (ie lowering him), then the husband shouldnt keep silent i guess! He should try three possible options.. Lastly is to hit the wife without leaving marks, etc. Let us be honest, in the normal situation, the wife will give more respect to her husband if he makes her feel he is not getting enough from her side. I personally think that his facial expression or behaviour is enough for her to understand. If not, then he must talk to her openly. If she doesnt respond then he can avoid her bed (which in my understanding include avoiding direct contact with her during the day). At this stage, a normal woman will understand that her husband is seriously unhappy of the way she is treating him. I think the last solution of hitting her comes sensiblly last to diminish her arrogance after all. We must know that Allah does not want us to break the bonds of marriage. Allah wants us to find solutions of the problems rather than going for divorce, so I dont imagine idrebohonna here means to leave them (it cannot be understood as temporary leaving because that was involved in the second stage). I think its even worse to understand it this way because this will encourage husband to leave their wives rather than guiding them to solve their problems. I am emphasising here that, normally, a man wont go for the last solution! Its like the decision of going for a surgery. It wont happen first but cannot be avoided in certain circumstance, otherwise the patient will die. Allah does not want us to leave our wives because this means the death of the family life. I tried to explain it to my best. It makes sense to me this way but everyone has his own mind anyway.


StylishMuslimah said...

Nilam: Glad you found it useful :)

Ayman Sammam: But hitting a woman is not a solution. I understand your points however if you think about if you had hurt someone, if they hit you you wouldn't suddenly respect them and apologise you'd likely dislike them. If they left you and didn't speak to you you would be likely to think about your actions and regret what you've done.

Anyway, it is possible that the iya can be interpreted as to hit or to leave. I think the most logical one is to leave.


Ayman Samman said...

Salam sister,

Its absolutely true that human minds are created so diversely. I think its just normal that everyone look at things from their angle as long as they are not biased toward or against some opinion/idea. I believe that, to find out the right answer for an issue, someone needs to think thoroughly and put everything together, so the picture is complete.
I feel really sorry to know that some husbands refer to this verse (4:34) to justify using violence with wives. Its so shameful and immoral.
It is very clear that this verse is finding a solution for a particular issue in a married couple's relationship which is noshooz azzawjah (the wife). There is another verse in the same chapter (4:128) that treats noshooz azzawj (the husband) but in a different way. There is a difference between the woman and the man, physically and psychologically and so the wife cannot go for the same three steps mentioned in 4:34. Allah gave her a solution that suits her nature and solves her problem. I think we shall accept the solutions by Allah no matter they are because its Him who created us and its Him who knows what suits us. He's given us the manufacturers catalogue and its us to take it or reject it. I know a wee story that someone was against Allah's judgement in verse 5:38 as he was thinking its too unreasonable punishment for a tiny sin (according to his thought). The ironic thing was that this particular person, years later, has been robbed but he insisted that the robber should in no way be kept alive! He was asking for a much heavier punishment for the robber when it came to his own business. How ironic! What I want to say is that we sometimes cannot imagine the real situation because we never experience it, so better stick with the manufacturer's catalogue if I am allowed to use this term. I honestly do not agree that hitting is not a solution. It can actually be a radical solution. If a wife doesnt respond to the normal doses of treatment by her husband for weeks and maybe months then there must be a more effective (but painful) treatment. It must be done that way. I know how you think about it. Its because you're a good wife and can never do noshooz. A sensitive person who respond to small doses of treatment and so can never see a need for using a painful treatment. Other wives are not all the same, however. We dont know what happens beyond the closed doors elsewhere. Some wives may exceed all limits and they can never be stopped using the normal delicate treatment. Shall the husband and wife go for divorce directly then? I dont see this a solution, at least not a starter.

Ayman Samman said...

Youre right that divorce will make the wife think of her behaviour and regret it, but that is after the relationship has stopped. She cannot go back to her husband and say, oh my dear I was not doing the right thing! I think that, if a husband want to treat this problem the way suggested in Quran (verse 4:34), if he has been patient and wise giving his wife the chances to become better but with no improvement and then he hits his wife (not on the face, not leaving marks, etc), I think this will be a sensible sequence of how the problem to be treated. The wife will absolutely be unhappy, she may leave the house to her dad's, she will hate her husband for a while, but the marriage bond is still there. I think at this stage, the couple wont talk to each other for a while, and this allows them to think about their previous actions, and regret them. The wife will certainly then know that her husband can forcibly go for such an action (because this is not his normal trend) and this will avoid noshooz happening again. Pain doesnt last for long. Wife will remember how good her husband was to her all the time and she will understand that he only needed to take an action. She will realise that once shes settled down.
This is how I see it. Its my mere way of understanding, and I dont have anything more to add to this point. Many thanks for giving me the chance to express my opinion. I have some more comment on something else in this article, I may address later if you dont mind. Its a very rich and well-written article and so I cannot resist writing again!
Its always lovely to discuss such matters openly and logically with no offence or exceeding the limits. Thanks again for being open to all opinions.


StylishMuslimah said...

All the points that you've made are valid and so I cannot argue with the logic you've used to reached your views. However, I think that you have based them on the assumption that the husband has treated his wife well while the wife continues to disobey him - I think that this situation is extremely rare.

Another point I wanted to make is that by "leave" I didn't mean "divorce", otherwise your argument for hitting would actually make more sense; I meant leave the wife for a while and then see how she responds.

Also, I don't hold there view because I'm a good wife because I'm not actually married!

Anyway, I'm glad you like the post! Feel free to comment on any part of it.


Ayman Samman said...

Salam sister,

I really liked the way you explained the misinterpretation of verse 65:4 (verse number 1 in your blog). I would like to go a bit over the controversial part that you didnt like to discuss, if you dont mind. If non-Moslems (with dirty minds maybe) read this, they would probably think like wait a minute, what are Moslems hiding out there?! We actually dont have anything to hide. We're confident and we know there is nothing ever to be ashamed of in Quran, unlike the books others have! This is why I sometimes like to go through controversial topics.
First of all, we all know that Quran is a book of Arabic and that the accuracy of translation to other languages depend on the understanding of the translation committee. This verse 65:4 has a subtle difference in translation in the noble quran webpage. I will quote the translation here:
(And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease).
What I wanted to highlight is this part here ''and [also for] those who have not menstruated''. Just to compare it to the part in bold in your blog: (and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated). The difference is the word 'yet'. Putting 'yet' in the translation does actually restrict the generalised meaning of the verse. A woman will normally menstruate until the menopause. The verse in the highlighted text involves the situation for women who do not cycle, no matter the reason is. As general as this. And this is so comprehensive that all possibilities are covered for a divorced woman. I know the enemies of Islam want to trim this text and use it for another purpose, but this can still be defended.
We know that there are no texts in Islam that restrict the age of marriage for both genders, but it is so obvious that there is no point non-adults get married (in the full sense of marriage). Allah, who created us, has developed mature sexual drive in humans around the age of puberty as if He is telling us that sexual activity cannot start before this age. In Islam, whats known as 'katb ktab' is actually cosidered as marriage. And that was the case when prophet Mohammad married our mum Aysha. Katb ktab is kinda like engagement so the couple still do not live together but they are formally, by the islamic law, are married. This is one thing to say, the other very important thing is that medicine nowadays has proved that (and I will quote it exactly as it is in medicince net dot com) menstruation ''usually occurs around two and a half years after the onset of puberty''. (http://www.medicinenet.com/puberty/page2.htm). Which means that a girl can actually be an adult and shes able to have sex while shes still not having her first cycle.

Lets be honest and face it... How often Moslem girls start having sex at age 13 or 14? No formal stats but I can surely say it is very very rare to happen. However, it is not the case in the western community for example. Many of us live in the west and we know that its not uncommon that school children start their sexual life at early age. And they receive guidance from teachers of how to keep safe from sexually transmitted diseases, which means it is not a secret anymore! So why shall we, as Moslems, feel ashamed that a Moslem girl can (very rarely) start her sexual life early as a wife while non-Moslem girls more commonly do adultry at early age!


Anonymous said...

Great post...i have a question i have disbelieving husband but he become muslim for the sake of our baby im 25 when we got maried.but even so he become muslim, i doubth his belief and i doubth that he will be able to be my companion in the rigth path,not only that even before our mariage i already feels not secured i mean i cannot or trust my whole life living with him but i decide to marry for the baby.of coursed ived loved him but everything change i dont know why specially the way i think.and begin to go back to the ways of islam.long story please dont judge. I did my best to do things back to rigth track. And also thinking of my daugthers future.even the way he think is far different from muslims.so i decided for us to be apart and he agrees we are already 3 months not leaving together.but in papers we are still maried we are married in muslim way and muslim imam. Do i need to pay back his dowry?if we already work for our divorce paper?

StylishMuslimah said...

Anonymous: This is heartbreaking, I hope that you are okay! With regards to divorcing and givning back dowry, I'd recommend you speak to a shiekh about that as I don't want to give you wrong advice. As far as I know though, if the wife wants the divorce but not the husband, she has to give back the dowry.

With regards to you actually seeking a divorce, my best advice to you would actually be to try and resolve the differences between you and your husband. You were once in love so I am sure that you can figure something out concerning your conflicting religious beliefs. As long as he is a good husband and a good father, and as long as he remains a Muslim by name you should not seek a divorce in my opinion. His religious beliefs are personal to him, as are yours to you. Please give each other another chance, accept you are different and will not always share the same views and just celebrate your love for each other and your beautiful daughter. As long as he is not physically or mentally abusing you I really think you should reconsider divorce.

If you ever want to talk feel free to email me :)

Salam and I hope it works out for you insha'Allah xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanks for the post. I'christian and I would be grateful to know are those interpretations yours, your spiritual leader's (molla or other leader in your community) or kind of universals for all muslims? If the 3rd where do I look for other universally valid muslim interpretations of Kuran?

StylishMuslimah said...

Anon: Hi there! Thanks for your comment. The interpretations are from different sources, some from religious and some from analysis of quranic arabic language, they are all reliable.

With regards to universal interpretation, I don't think one exists, there are so many Muslims in the world that an interpretation that everyone agrees with is just impossible. Islam is all about using your logic to interpret the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (s) as well as considering the teachings of other Abrahamic religions and books.

Hope this helps :)