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“Women should be obedient!”

© picture-alliance/dpa/M. Gambarini

© picture-alliance/dpa/M. Gambarini

Some questions need to be answered with reason not with fury. But some men just punish women when they question them about the respect they ought to get – the respect, a mother should have taught her sons. But if they do not teach this to their sons, they as women (mothers) betray other women (wives/daughter-in-laws).

Now when women come to know the reality – reality of their worth, rights, power -and then they ask their men about their mistreatment, their men tell them: ‘This is God’s choice’ and ‘You are supposed to be obedient without any right of questioning or having any sort of argument with me. You are bound to my commands.’ These are the words of the 90% men who grew up in a patriarchal society.

Is it possible that you (men) have another God? For my God – Allah, whose religion is Islam – acknowledges women’s equality with men in a great many respects. You talk about your superiority over our education and work, and that you have rights to decide lives, over property and earning. Now you want me to support you! Why? And you call it God’s orders again. In Islam if the woman has any income during her marital life, by way of investments of her property or as a result of work, she doesn’t have to spend one penny of that income on the household, it is entirely hers.

The husband has literally no share in the property of his wife which she owned before marriage. As a wife, a woman has the right to be supported by her husband even if she is already rich.

© Getty Images/AFP/M. Naamani

© Getty Images/AFP/M. Naamani

But oftentimes if a woman refuses to give her income to her husband then he simply does not allow her to work, and say that Allah does not like women to work out of their homes and the right place for a woman is her house. Rehana is a good example. She is 37-years-old, living in Karachi. She said, ‘On pay day, if I do not give my husband my salary, he won’t let me leave the house and he will beat me.’

There is no restriction in Islamic law that says a woman cannot work or have a profession, that her only place is in the home. In fact in a truly Islamic society, there must be women physicians, nurses, teachers to separate teenagers in the volatile years in high school education.

‘You want my family to pay you for marrying me, beating me, and enduring pain for giving birth to your children and then supporting them on my own,’ said Naheed. She is another good example. Or Khushab, 25. She is facing violence because her parents are not able to pay-off the day-by-day increasing demands of her husband and in-laws, who beat her and threat her with divorce and dishonoring her family publicly with false accusation.

The Quran clearly indicates that marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society, and that its objectives – besides perpetuating human life – are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. Its bases are love and mercy.

‘… And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them.’ [Noble Quran 2:228]

Such degree is Quiwama (maintenance and protection). This refers to that natural difference between the sexes which entitles the weaker sex to protection. It implies no superiority or advantage before the law. The man’s role as the leader of the family does not mean the husband can dictate his wife. Islam emphasizes the importance of taking counsel and mutual agreement in family decisions.

© picture-alliance/PIXSELL/Puklavec

© picture-alliance/PIXSELL/Puklavec

We belong to a society that finds the birth of a daughter to be bad news and then blame the woman that she is solely responsible for not having a son for the family, even when it is scientifically proven that the gene’s structure of the man decides whether the baby would either be a girl or a boy. God says that a baby belongs to its father and He (God) is the one who gives His people daughters or sons.

Sumaira from Sialkot is 37 years old and a mother of four young daughters. Her husband left her 10 years ago, when she gave birth to her fourth daughter and married another woman. He said that it was his right to have four wives. Her family and in-laws have rejected her any support. Now she is working in a hospital which gives her Rs. 10.000 monthly salary which is merely sufficient to have one-time meal every day for the whole month.

Polygamy has become so mythical in the minds of many people that they assume being Muslim means having four wives. This is a false notion, of course. It is obvious that monogamy is the norm for Muslims. The only verse in the Quran that speaks about polygamy, speaks about limiting not instituting polygamy.

Men, what are you thinking? Marry her, use her, beat her up, and then leave her alone to face the dreadful world alone, and bind her to the responsibilities to raise your children, whereas you may have a new wife?

Author: Mahnoor Sarwar

Editor: Marjory Linardy



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12.12.2015 | 11:51