April 25, 2007

Women and Islam

Filed under: Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam — mariahussain @ 8:44 pm

I’m not sure what Islamic law even benefits men. Most of the laws
benefit women and children. I think that is the reason that 4 out of 5
western converts are women. Few western men want the responsibility of
having to buy a cow when the milk is free. Children are considered
liabilities. Western couples usually strive to avoid making them.

There is one thing that is difficult in Islamic law and that is that
after divorce, a man is only responsible for the woman financially for
3 1/2 months after the divorce. Shariah does require a man who
divorces his wife while her child is under two years old to pay her a
living wage for the duration of the breastfeeding of his child. There
is a very long list of benefits that women get under Shariah that
western women never dreamed of asking for. In an Islamic state, the
Muslim community, starting with the family, is supposed to provide for
single women. However in the west we have the concept of alimony to
make up for the financial disparity between ex-husband and ex-wife.

There is nothing in Islamic law that PREVENTS a society from creating
additional civil laws to deal with complex questions. For example, an
Islamic government could require an ex-husband to pay alimony to his
ex-wife for one year. Or, an Islamic government could choose to
legalize medical marijuana. As long as people are using their rational
mind in making decisions about how to create a government, that is
what counts. “Islam” is not inherently oppressive. Whether the
Constitution is based on We The People or In the Name of Allah the
Beneficent the Merciful, the Constitution is only so good and so
protective as the people who are enforcing it. There should be checks
and balances in any government.

I personally would never consider a man who did not conform to Islamic
guidelines of responsibility. My only problem with traditional Muslim
men is they don’t have the same communication standards as European
men. But this has nothing to do with laws. It’s just cultural
expectations. Islamic law doesn’t legislate communication styles. It
essentially deals with economic. Shariah basically says, that the
woman’s money is her money, and her husband’s money is her money. He
cannot spend her money the way western men use their wife’s income to
pay the household bills, like they expect it. Islamic law doesn’t
require women to clean the house, or cook the food. In fact according
to Islam, men are supposed to hire a maid to help their wife at home
as soon as their income allows it. Women are not restricted from
participating in education and economics. But women have the God-given
right not to have to work outside the home. It’s a right. Not a
privilege. This is essential for a child-centered society which Islam
is. Islam oppresses men and women for the sake of children.

I totally support the idea of equal rights for all the women in a
man’s life. The western laws that say the one wife gets all the
inheritance and her children get a home, while the mistress’ children
are considered illegitimate, this is serious oppression of women. The
woman #2 can’t get health insurance, she has to pay her own rent. If
the man dumps her, she has no dowry to soften the blow. It’s
injustice. In Islam if the man is with more than one woman he has to
buy each woman her own apartment and pay for her food and the
children’s food. This helps the economy and is good for the kids so
the mom can be a mom and not have to put the kids in daycare. Muslim
women prefer to live in this child-centered lifestyle.

Unfortunately when Islamic people try to become “modern” they start
oppressing women by forcing them to get a degree and go to get a job
so they can increase the family’s revenue. The hardest thing about
many Islamic cultures is living with the mother-in-law. In the
extended family it’s the women who abuse each other, not the men. The
mother is like the queen of the family. Even when he’s 30 years old
her son will obey her. It’s really important to establish that kind of
relationship so that the son will take care of his parents in old age.
While it seems not-spiritual, the economic basis of Shariah make sense
in the long term. It may not be for everyone, but it works for a lot
of people.


1 Comment »

  1. A very good article by a Canadian professor on this subject:

    Comment by Rehmat — May 30, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: