Monday, July 13, 2015

Theory vs Reality: The Ummah's Failure

After seeing the rising number of Facebook statuses and lectures being shared by mashaayikh and ustaadhs about domestic violence - all of which are deeply appreciated - and related discussions about divorce, a woman's right to khul', and so on, what has really been weighing on my mind is the ease with which we speak about the technicalities - e.g. "No woman should ever be abused; abuse is a valid reason for a woman to seek and receive divorce" - and the continuing difficulty to actually implement those legal rulings.

Muslim women across the world, whether in the East or the West, face an incredibly difficult challenge in having their right to khul' even *acknowledged,* let alone respected. Woman after woman has been turned back by imams and shaykhs who 'mean well' and 'don't want to break up families' and are told, "sister, be patient; sister, your reward is with Allah; sister, don't be hasty."
Few of those women know that the Shari'ah has given them provision to escape such a tormented existence; of those who do know, many of them are told by the men in authority, those of 'knowledge,' that they - as women - do not understand that "marriage is serious," "a family is serious," and that "you cannot just interpret Islamic law as you wish."

And then we wonder why women run away from home, we wonder why Muslim women seek divorce through secular courts instead of through Islamic provisions, we wonder why so many women find solace in the progressive Muslim movement, where such statements are not tolerated.
I'm not going to claim that all such leaders or imams are misogynstic or hateful of women at heart.

What I *am* saying is that the majority of them will simply never know or understand the emotional, psychological, and physical torture that women endure in their marriages.

What I *am* saying is that a lack of pro-active female scholarship, and a lack of direct influence from those women, is part of the problem that the mantra of "have patience, sister" remains the go-to advice for women who show up at the Imam's office bruised and battered, both outwardly and inwardly.

What I *am* saying is that just as men tell us women that we can never understand the fitnah of women, so too can they never understand the fitnah of *being* a woman, of being marginalized, of being silenced; of being told that we will never truly understand Islam, that we are incapable of understanding our own God-given rights, that unless we obey the status quo, no matter how many degrees or ijaazas we have, we will never be knowledgeable enough to be taken seriously, to be given our rights unless there is a man standing in front of us and speaking for us and who is willing to fight for us every step of the way.

This Ummah has failed its women. This Ummah, and its leaders, its students of knowledge, its scholars - many of whom are men - has failed its women. This Ummah prefers to treat the incident of Thabit ibn Qays and his wife as an aberration or an isolated incident, rather than evidence for a woman to leave a marriage she cannot tolerate. This Ummah prefers that its women are tortured and die at the hands of those who have been enjoined with Qawwamah, those who have been entrusted with a serious Amaanah, those whom we should be able to trust wholeheartedly, not live in terror of.

O Allah, You are the One Who hears the du'a of the oppressed.
O Allah, You are the One Who tests those Whom You love.
O Allah, You are the One Who is All-Knowing, All-Wise, Most Just.
O Allah, grant this Ummah, men and women, Taqwa that we may not abuse the authority You have entrusted with.
O Allah, grant this Ummah, men and women, the courage to speak and stand and fight for the truth.
O Allah, grant this Ummah, men and women, the ability to fight against oppression and injustice and to spread justice in the land.
O Allah, grant this Ummah, men and women, the ability to implement your Divine Laws in the most beautiful and perfect of ways, that no man, woman, or child suffer oppression in Your Name.

Rabbanaa, taqabbal du'a.


Mama of Leo said...

It is really painful...

What is more painful is that the only woman who I know who stood up to take her "right" did not really have the right to do...

A lady in her fifties who has two grandchildren, and whose husband is a man with the ordinary temper like the average eastern man. No hitting, no physical abuse. Just the normal shouting. And she did her fair share of shouting back as well, and used to always underestimate him in jokes, and talk about him sarcastically, while he loved her truly and that was very clear in every thing he did or said to her. An averag couple with the good moments of love and bad moments of discharging life pressures.

Suddenly she started to look indifferent to her family. She neglected her children and grandchildren. She approved an awful marriage for her daughter although the daughter was welling to obey if her family said no, specially that several people warned them against the groom-to-be being alcoholic and having anger issues that included hitting and physically abusing his mom and sisters. Appears that this lady (who was then a grandmother of two!) has met a man and is in love with a man while she is still married to her husband! And when she felt that she was about to get caught, she filed a khula'!!! And was successful to divorce her husband!

Instead of encouraging righteous women to stand up for their rights, awfully rude women take this advantage and use khula' to achieve their sick intentions!

Astaghferu Allah!

Allah gives us these chances to save the souls of vulnerable people, but because of the ignorance of the majority of our societies, the wrong people are making use of these chances that they do not deserve!

Umm ayub said...

Salam 'alaykum,

Ce que vous dites est tout à fait vrai. On entends toujours "patiente ma sœur patiente"

Cependant il y a un hadith qui rapporte qu'une femme a demandé au Prophète 'alayhi salat wa salam le divorce pour son mari Qays. Elle n'a donné pour justification de sa demande qu'elle ne le supportait pas (physiquement) et qu'elle craignait de ce fait de tomber dans la mécréance (en fait dans la désobéissance en ne donnant pas son droit à son mari..) MAIS que mis à part ça elle n'avait rien à lui reprocher.
Est ce que le Prophète la rejeté ?
Lui a t-il dit qu'elle ne savait pas ce qu'elle faisait ?
Ou autre chose de ce genre ?
Non, il lui a dit de rendre sa dot et a ordonné au mari de la répudier.

Cette femme à demander le divorce JUSTE parce que son mari ne lui plaisait pas...

Les sœurs d'aujourd'hui demandent le divorce pour des faits bien plus grave, tels que : l'adultère, la violence, le délaissement de l'épouse, l'injustice et on refuse de lui accorder le divorce et en plus on lui enjoint de patienter sur son mari.

Mais qui pense à elles ? Supporter ou subir des tords peut mener une femmes à la dépression, au délaissement de la religion, à la mécréance; Les femmes sont par nature plus fragile...

Alors que ce hadith nous prouve clairement que la femme peut demander et obtenir le divorce dés qu'elles se sent en danger dans sa foi

Alors après ça... Oui, la plupart des hommes ne souhaitent pas donner le droit qu'Allah et Son Messager, 'alayhi salat wa salam, on accordés aux femmes dans ces situations.

Ils se placent en juge de ce qui est convenable ou pas dans le khul', alors qu'un autre hadith s'occupe déjà du cas de celles qui demandent le divorce sans aucune raison. Ce hadith nous montre le châtiment qu'elles auront, à savoir : "qu'elles ne sentiront pas l'odeur du paradis".

Donc si une femme le demande sans raison, son sort est Allah et si elle le demande pour une raison hemdulillah.

Je rajoute pour finir, qu'Ahl sunna wal jama'a se base sur le visible, sur l'apparent et non sur les intentions, sur ce qui n'est visible que par Allah.
On ne peut donc pas bafouer le droits des femmes sous le prétexte de suspecter des mauvaises intentions.

Anonymous said...

As-salaam o'alaikum! Sister this ugly truth is well hidden. I kept the secret of what he did to me until he started hurting my children. Now after more than 25 years of marriage I have a restraining order to keep him away from me and the children but he still gets to me. On June 23rd he actually ran over me and I was pinned under his vehicle and am just starting to walk after a month of pain. No- I did not call the police for my own reasons. He wants me to divorce him first so he can show his friends what a bad woman I am and how innocent he is--they already say I must have demons in me and jinn or the neighbors put black magic on me!???? They have never asked me or I could tell them how he punches and slaps--I have the photos of the bruises and marks-- and NO-he did not do it because I needed "correction" it happened because he was in a bad mood. Also he would slap me and call me a bastard and a piece of shit- he told me to go f##k my father and on and on. He kept pornography and alcohol all these years and would slap me for finding it. This community doesn't want a woman to open her mouth because then more women will open up and ask for help and the men will lose control of them and it will be known just how rampant this disease is- thank you for listening