Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Female Authority in Islam

I'll try to explain, why women in Islam aren't the doormats as they are usually depicted, without too much repetition of previous blogs with the same tags. See those for any proof of my next words. We, men and women, are created equally. Men aren't women's 'head', nor are they the 'real' representant of humanity, nor are they created in God's image. God isn't even a male, says Qur'anic verse 112:4. Men and women procreate differently, though. This results in a different life course for men and women. It's more likely, that women start at a career outside the home at a later moment in their lives than that men do. Women must start young, if they want a family; men can usually start at any time when they are past childhood. Speaking generally. This is the reason, why Qur'an lightens the duty (if applicable) to cover themselves for women past childbearing age, in verse 24:60. But there's no law to prevent women to start any career at any age, with exception of prostitution. And women aren't even barred from leadership in society; female leaders in religious history testify to that. Fir'aun's wife; Bilqis, the queen of Saba; and Maryam, are examples. This is something we shouldn't forget. Something else we shouldn't forget, is that early Islam left us important female scholars, yes scholars, such as Aicha, wife of the Prophet. She explained many hadiths for us, answered questions, knew the Qur'an by head. And she wasn't the only one.

Also a traditional housewife, has authority. Firstly, as a wife and a mother. Secondly, in Muslim societies, also the housewife has an economic role and property of her own. That property, is hers. She is free to do business with it. 'Housewife' as a concept, is in western society associated with someone stripped of her independence, because women had no property and couldn't do business, work, or sign their own papers. Women in the west can do business, work and place their signature, nowadays. But, in reality, they still have very little property to themselves. Home ownership without debt, is a prerogative of Muslim society. And, perhaps, of other societies outside western culture. What does this mean for the Muslim housewife? She can use her house and garden for poultry, livestock, vegetable culture, arts and crafts; for personal or commercial benefit. That has economic benefit to her and her family. It will add to her self-reliance. A woman has every right to own land, a house, and her husband may very well accept her contribution to the family property. A woman can go live with her husband in his home, but the other way round, is just as acceptable, and isn't unusual. A woman may not need her husband's marriage gift. Why not? Because she has fortune and income of her own. She has every right to choose to keep her independence and has no obligation to hand over her estate to her husband or other male relative. In Islam, all people with good mental health, are allowed to mind their own business, work, own, inherit.

All in, female authority does exist in Islam. The discussion shouldn't be necessary, really. Surah 4 gives some verses to this effect, 4:4-7, among others:

'And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). (4) Prove orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune; and devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence. Allah sufficeth as a Reckoner. (6) Unto the men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much - a legal share. (7)' (4:6&7)

Source & Further Reading:
Quran Explorer

Friday, February 20, 2015

Do I want to distance myself from Muslim Extremism?

Dear Mr President Obama
Dear Mr Mayor Aboutaleb
Dear Mr PM Cameron

Several times I've had this request from people, recently.

Now you want an honest answer, of course. I'll give you one. You may not like it, but it is as it is.

Firstly, no one is responsible for other people's behavior. That includes Muslims. And I may hope, you want to use the same standards for everybody, so for you, this is as good as it gets. In other words, I'm not interested in what other people do.

Secondly, you must be familiar with Qur'anic verses 4:59 and 60:1-9, respectively:

'O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination.'

'It may be that Allah will establish friendship between you and those whom ye hold as enemies. For Allah has power; and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support in driving you out, from turning to them it is such as turn to them that do wrong.'

It's clear, that the latest ISIS-atrocities do not meet these Qur'anic rules. You don't seem to want to question the identity of these people, but I do. Moreover, I'm very much willing to ask this painful question: Is ISIS indeed an Islamic organization, or isn't it? This brings me to an even more painful conclusion: ISIS has the secret service-seal stamped all over it. Please consider this possibility, then research it. I can think of enough reasons, why secret services like to stir things up in countries. This is an issue, where the world can learn from the Netherlands: Here, the parliament carries out in-depth research into government institutions, when unruly behavior has been observed. It's called a 'parliamentary enquiry'. Witnesses are interrogated under oath. Documents and other silent witnesses are investigated too. This has led to improvements in the past. Look at it from the bright side--it may confirm the nonsense of complot thinking, if the official report is confirmed.

Thirdly, I may hope you want to live in peace with the Islamic community. I didn't say 'Islamic countries', because the umma is everywhere, nowadays. Several things need to be done, to achieve that:

* Admit the things you've done wrong towards Muslims in the past. Especially the USA, Britain, and the Netherlands are culpable, when it comes to the enslavement of the Palestinians to Israel. Make sure they will be really liberated. Israel is an apartheid state, like South Africa before. The attacks on your World Trade Center, Sep 11 2001, also have written 'secret service' all over them. Watch Michael Moore's movie please. You'll notice, that his narration is a lot more plausible than the official one blaming Bin Laden. Bin Laden had denied his role in the attack, by the way.

* Ask Muslims for forgiveness for what you've done to them. You destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq based on lies you fabricated. Lies you thought you needed to start wars on these countries.

* Pay compensation to the countries you destroyed. You can't bring back the people you killed, but at least you can compensate their families for the property you destroyed. Just like the Marshall Plan for Europe!

* Retreat your armies from the countries you've destroyed, then make a real start truly modernizing your economy. Transform it from a military economy to a civil economy. A military economy needs wars as a livelihood. To leave it at that, for now.

There's no other way.

I only dare ask this, because myself, I live in a country that itself has committed atrocious war crimes. It traded slaves, occupied and violently oppressed foreign nations, developed racist theories, and eagerly helped Nazi Germany in the holocaust against Jewish citizens. I've seen how painstakingly it is to admit own atrocities, then ask for forgiveness, and to compensate the damage done. Not many countries are untainted. Truth is, also the USA have displayed human imperfection and committed atrocities. Please add up to them, so that we all can move on and live in peace.

H Mulder