23 Jul

WOMEN IN ISLAM

INTRODUCTION

Dear readers!

The true religion is “The system that is communicated by Almighty Allah through His prophets to the people with reason to bring His servants to the truth and that makes them meet the happiness of the world and Akhirat [Afterlife]. The regulations stipulated by Allah”.

Our Rabb[1] sent down book and sent messengers to ensure justice, balance, security and happiness by rescuing the humanity from the swamp of cruelty and corruption.

The principles and laws which are contained in the book which was sent down are called “Hiqmat” in our Rabb’s expression in the Qur’an. Those are the foundations of the religion.

Our Rabb wants religion to be pure; not degenerated by the servants; protected and experienced as it came from Allah. We see that in Surah Az-Zumar 1-3, 11- 15, Surah Al-Mu’min 13, 14, 65, Surah Al-A‘raf 29 and Surah Al-Bayyinah 4, 5.

From our Rabb’s expression of “pure religion” in these verses, we understand that there is also a “non-pure; not belonging to Allah” religion. Such religion is the religion emptied and degenerated through the additions of so-called imams, saints, sheiks, churchmen, hodjas, rabbis, men of religion, political leaders.

The True Religion whose rules were imposed by Allah and other human religions are different in terms of legislation and enforcement from each other; they cannot combine, intersect and synthesize. They already should not do so.

The True Religion has political, economical and legal main principles determined by Allah. Naturally, human-oriented religions have principles in those issues as well. At this point, a Muslim person must live his own religion and a non-Muslim must live his own religion/order. No one must intervene with that of others. As long as there is no activity of averting people from the religion, a Muslim person must not use force against a non-Muslim person. A Muslim must accept all the principles of Islam and must not mix the principles of the artificial religions with his pure religion. Adopting a principle from the artificial religions instead of any principle in the True Religion is infidelity as our Rabb states in Surah Al-Baqara 85. Everyone is free to be a believer or infidel courageously and on condition that he would bear the result.

A religion which is not pure will not avail in the world and the Akhirat [Afterlife].

Apparently, the religion experienced by the persons claiming to be Muslims is a religion which is degenerated and emptied; is not pure. It is not related or even close to the true and pure religion which has been sent down in the Qur’an.

Today, many of the things taught and applied as the religion are the things that have become meaningless. Meaningless things are not performed by heart and sincerely. Those who seem to be doing so are either the persons who are unable to conceive or the hypocrite ones, or the ones who do it for interests, for trading.

The information of ilmihal/lifebooks and non-pure and degenerated religion in the society are experienced through prejudice. It is either because of naivety or stupidity that they are not questioned at all. Every book is acknowledged as if it is the book of Allah. It is not considered at all that there might be wrong information and deliberately placed lies in those books from which they try to learn the religious beliefs and deeds. Despite the fact that the absolute information and measures regarding the belief and deeds have been provided by Allah, the information presented in those sources are not cross verified from the Qur’an.

Despite the formation of questions in the minds about many topics, the situation is covered up. As a result, those who question, the new generation with reason, are not convinced and they distance from the religion by disliking it.

Let us conduct the crosscheck of what we believe and do as well as of the books we have through the Qur’an. Let us search for the truth about something and exclude those that do not comply with the Qur’an. Let us find the truth in order for the religion to be the Pure Religion and beneficial. Let people enter the religion of Allah in groups as in the earlier periods.

So, this article is such a study. That is to say, it is the scrutiny of the “Subject of Woman” in the light of the Qur’an, weighting the issue in the scales of the Qur’an.

The struggle is from us; Help is from Allah.

                                                                                                              Hakkı Yılmaz

There is a truth in the applications in the societies pretending to be Muslims that cannot be denied. It is that a woman is subject to a behavior as a second-class human in terms of religion, law and economy and in the position of the toy and faithful and obedient slave of her husband. Many of such wrong applications are unfortunately attributed to the religion of Islam. Hence, it is an obligatory duty of us to present Islam’s viewpoint about women to the humanity.

It is beneficial to summarize the general situation about women first before stating the issue. General situation is as follows:

– Man is superior to woman in creation; woman has been created from the floating rib of man,

– Women is short of religion and reason,

– Majority of those who will go to Jahannah [Hell] will be among women,

– Women are the enemies of the society, particularly the men,

– Women are considered impure, ominous and trials,

– Women have to be obedient toward their husbands as slaves and they are obliged to fulfill all their desires,

– Women have to answer all the sexual invitations of their husband each time,

– Women are to be beaten by their husbands if they act against their husbands,

– Women are not educated and must be kept away from education and training,

– If it were permissible for a person to submit to another person, a woman would be ordered to submit to her husband,

– Women are imprisoned in their houses by wearing chadors/burka,

-They are not accepted as spouses in marriages and they are accepted only as sexual objects and field of children,

– Marriage is left to the order from the two lips of the husband and there is no conferral of any initiative to women in divorce. Despite this, their repudiation is when their husbands say, “divorce”,

– Women are not made governors and presidents of the state (a society who will give its fate into the hands of a woman will not maintain its status, will not build its future over peace and happiness),

– Women are not conferred a right to elect the governors,

– Application of the principle of one male equals two females in witnessing,

– A woman is prohibited to get married without the permission of her family.

The acceptances we listed above that are to be considered disgusting have unfortunately been placed among the Muslims by the books that are unrelated with the Qur’an and by some buffoons who put themselves in a position of partner of Allah.

However, Religion belongs to Allah and the source of the Religion is only the Qur’an. Even the Prophet is a person who learns and lives the religion from the Qur’an. It is not possible for a prophet to add to or remove from the religion. It was communicated many times by Allah that he would be punished if he dared such things. Hence, the Prophet lived and applied what was ordered in the Qur’an throughout his life and always spoke words complying with the Qur’an.

Despite this situation, in the books like Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ibn Majah, Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami, Al-Hafız Az-Zahabi-Sahih al-Bukhari Muslim, Riyad us-Saliheen, Imam Sarani-Uhud al-Kubra, Imam Ghazali-Ihya Ulum ud-Din, Kimiya-e Saadat, Ibn al-Jawzi, Mevzuat, Al-Suyuti, Leali, Ibn Arrak, enzihu’s-Seria, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, Al-Ghazali; Ihya, Bukhari, Muslim, Sunen-i Abu Davud, Muwatta and Ima, fabricated inhuman teachings and applications that were not from the Qur’an, were even contradictory with the Qur’an, were presented after two hundred years following the death of our Prophet as if they were said by the prophet.

These fabrications have two reasons in our opinion:

First, that males form a group of slaves for themselves;

Second is to make women disgust the religion and stay away from it through such disgusting understandings. Hence, such acceptances have always been the material of criticisms by the people of the reason.

For us to know the women in Islam, it would be sufficient to take the Ayat relating to women in the Qur’an into account.

      

Woman in Creation:

When the ayat regarding creation in the Qur’an are scrutinized, it will be seen that women and men, all humans, were created through the same creation, and that they have no difference from each other.

Surah An-Nisa 1:

1O mankind! Enter under the guardianship of your Rabb Who formed you from a single self, then formed its mate from it and dispersed many men and women from both of them. And enter under the guardianship of Allah through Whom you ask one another and of the blood relation. Indeed, Allah is the One Who watches over you.

Surah Al-A‘raf 189:

189He[2] is the One who formed you from a single self and then made its mate to accompany it. When he covered and enshrouded her, then she carried a light burden. And she continued with this. When the wife got heavier, then they both invoked their Rabb: “If you give us a healthy child, indeed we will be among those who repay”

Surah Ar-Rum 20, 21:

20And among His evidences/signs is that He formed you from dust. And then, now you are human beings dispersing.

21And again, among His evidences/signs is that He formed for you spouses from yourselves so you may bond with them and placed between you a love and mercy. No doubt that there are many evidences/signs in this for a people who will contemplate.

Surah Az-Zumar 6:

6He formed you from a single self, then made its mate from it and sent down eight mates of livestock. He forms you in the womb of your mothers in three darkness, formation after formation. This is Allah, your Rabb only to Whom belongs the possession and the dominion. There is no deity except Him. Then how are you averted?

While this is the truth, there is a belief that is attributed to the religion through various hearsays, which is the belief that woman was created from the floating rib of man. After this belief makes that it is accepted that the women were created in a way inferior to men; it also causes the presence of the nonsense beliefs like she is short in reason and religion. In fact, this belief is not Islamic; it was transferred from the corrupted Torah, the Holy Scripture; that is to say, from the Jewish beliefs.

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man”.

                                                                         (Holy Scripture, Genesis; Book II, 21-23.)

        

Women in a family

Surah Al-Baqara 187:

…. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them…

Surah At-Tawbah 71:

The believing men and the believing women; some of them are familiars who are protectors, guides of some others…

What is clearly expressed in the verses is that that a woman and a man are bound to each other, their inseparable nature from each other, the spouses wrap each other in the physical, spiritual and social issues and that they are guides, helpers, protectors and close friends of each other.

 

Women in terms of Law, Worship/ Servitude

Women and men whose creation is the same are all equal in law and responsibilities completely. They have no difference from each other.

Surah Al-Ahzab 35:

35No doubt that the men who have entered the religion of Islam and the women who have entered the religion of Islam, the believing men and the believing women, the respectful men and the respectful women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the men who give sadaqa/public revenue and the women who give sadaqa/public revenue, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah frequently and the women who remember Allah frequently; Allah has prepared for them a forgiveness and a great reward.

Surah An-Nisa 124:

124And whoever from among men or women does amendatory deeds while being believer, they will enter Jannah [Heaven/Paradise]. And they will not be treated unjustly, not even as much as the speck of a date seed.

Surah Ali Imran 195:

195And, their Rabb responded them: “Surely, I never let the deed of any worker among you get lost, whether male or female –that you all are same-. Therefore, those who emigrated, were driven out from their homes, were harmed in My cause, who fought and are killed; I will definitely remove their evil deeds from them and admit them into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And Allah is the One Who has the good of the reward with Him”.

Surah An-Nahl 97:

97And whoever does good deeds, whether female or male, We will make her/him live a good life. And We surely will give them their reward with much better than what they do.

Surah At-Tawbah 72:

72Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow as the ones who will abide therein eternally and pleasant dwellings in the gardens of Eden. But approval of Allah is greater. This is what is the great salvation.

Although a substantial part of the Qur’an addresses to the generality, there are ayat where Allah points out women and men separately.

Surah An-Nisa 32:

32And do not wish for that which Allah has given more to some of you. There is a share for men from what they have been made to earn. There is a share for women from what they have been made to earn as well. And ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is the One Who knows all best.

As seen in the ayat, Allah has not created women as someone short in religion or reason but given them obligations in servitude/worship equal to men. Hence, the argument that women are less clever than men does not comply with science either. Such allegations must have been put forward to exclude and disgrace Islam scientifically.

The Qur’an eliminated such negative applications and beliefs that were out of reason, mercy, conscience and religion. When it made women possess the same rights as those of men and gave value to them, the people of Medina of that period asked the condition of the menstruating women; their relations and all kinds of applications concerning women to our Prophet. It was Allah Who answered what they asked to the Prophet:

Surah Al-Baqara 222:

222And they ask you about menstruation of women as well. Say: “It is a harm. So, keep away from women during menstruation and do not have sexual intercourse with them until period is over. When the period has ended, approach them through reproductive organ. Indeed, Allah likes those who repent and purify themselves.

In this answer, except for sexual intercourse, there is no prohibition for a woman during menstruation.

While this is the reality, in the ilmihal and Fiqh/life information and religious laws books, regarding menstruating/bleeding women, some prohibitions which are similar or close to the pre-Islamic time, have been imposed. Such as they cannot serve the prayer, fast, read the Qur’an, enter the mosque and they are haram/forbidden.

These are all fabricated judgments to distance women from the Qur’an, education and training, to leave them ignorant, to belittle them, to break their resistance of the society by excluding them and finally to exploit them. All of these were based on rootless and baseless narratives and they do not have any Islamic and reasonable value.

Menstruating women should fulfill their servitude as in the normal times. They must read the Qur’an and learn their religion regardless of whether with/without ritual ablution, menstruating. As an adult, a woman who spends one third of her life menstruating until the period of menopause must not put a distance between her and Allah and not spend one third of her life in vain. The issue of fasting is different; as the period of menstruation is considered an illness medically, as required by the judgment of the ayat 183, 184 and 185 of Surah Al-Baqara, a woman will see a physician regarding her bleeding days and then will fast or not according to the result she will obtain from the physician. If she cannot, she will fast after that period. This regulation was imposed by Allah.

We see in the historical documents that our Prophet did not say, ‘Let menstruating women not to serve the prayer.’ He said, “Let menstruating women participate to the assemblies of benevolence; that is to say, in the meetings of schools, associations, etc; let them not come to the places where the social activities are carried out”.

If the contradictions between the expressions in the narrative books are eliminated and they are all taken through verification with the Qur’an, the situation becomes as clear as sunshine. Imam Bukhari and other hadith scholars have evaluated and classified the narratives they have gathered within the scope of their own measures. They did not perform the verification of the expressions through the Qur’an. That is to say, they did not criticize if they were correct or wrong. Hence, narratives in their books conflict with each other. It will be our duty to evaluate them.

Why then, presence of the menstruating women in the society considered unsuitable? In order for us to understand it, we must go to that age, that ambiance. In the society of that day, the culture of cleaning had not developed yet, there was no comfort in those years as in today. That is to say, menstruating women did not use modern sanitary napkins, sterilized cottons and clothes for they did not exist. There were not washing machines, various detergents, odorous bleachers and softeners. They did not even have plenty of water. At that age, every woman in Arabia had a MENSTRUATION DRESS. Sometimes, a family had only one menstruation dress and mother-daughter-bride used the same dress in turn. It was a quite ordinary thing. They kept wearing it in their periods. That outfit was washed but it remained stained as you can acknowledge. Everyone could know that a woman with menstruation dress was menstruating. This could cause the derision of the women in the society or their embarrassment. As it is known, our Prophet recommended people to come out in the society with clean and white clothes while being perfumed. If you consider that women can use her right of speaking on Jumu’ah/the day of gathering and in bairams/festivals, a woman with stained outfit could be undervalued.

In addition, our Prophet wanted the people who consumed ONION-GARLIC not to come into the society; that is to say, he wanted them not to be in the society. The reason for it is not to give inconvenience to the surrounding people with bad smells. No one inferred a judgment that ‘the prayer is prohibited to those who eat garlic and onion’ by using such application.

We will see if we ponder on the narratives well that THE CONDITION OF MENSTRUATION may PREVENT from coming out into the society, BUT it DOES NOT PREVENT from acting as a servant. In addition, as the feature of menstruation determined by Allah as a FATE is involuntary, it can never ever be considered a blame, flaw and incompleteness. It is also known scientifically that such condition is a plus granted to women, compared to men.

The narratives and news that exclude women from the society and that consider them second-class humans and Muslims with incomplete religions must not be taken into account. It must be known that they are lies and slanders.

People must not believe such nonsense which takes place in the books circulating out there under the name of various religious books and it must be known that they are slanders to the Prophet.

 

General View of Islam on Women:

Two ayat would be sufficient to explain the viewpoint of Islam towards women.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 223:

223Your women are field/a culture for you. Then, approach your field/culture however you will. And send forth for yourselves before and enter under the guardianship of Allah. And know that you will definitely meet Him. –and give good tidings to the believers!-

1- Women are crops; field/culture:

In the ayah, the expression that “Your women are field/culture for you’’ is an expression that must be taken into account. The word of حرث – hars means both a “field; crop” and “culture“. As it is known, culture means “All the material and immaterial values which were created in the historical and social development process and the complete set of tools that are used in creating them and in transferring them to the subsequent generations and that show the measure of the domination of human of its natural and social environment. ”. We can refer this to as a “biological and sociological culture” because a woman is like a biological field. Just like rendering an organism suitable for the target by means of taking it through various stages in a bi-chemistry laboratory, first embryo, then a piece of flesh, then bones, and then their coverage with flesh; and finally an infant forms within a woman. Subsequent to the delivery of the baby, the woman’s function of being a sociological culture/field takes place and she teaches the immaterial values of the society [religious beliefs and principles, behaviors and manners of thinking, entities of thought and art] to her children slowly and transfer them to the forthcoming generations. In sum, a woman is a mother physically and sociologically.

Legend of Mt. Anamas

Once upon a time, the son of a poor family living in the region started to steal eggs and hens under the effect of his mother’s wrong suggestions when he was a child. He became a dreadful bandit by growing his business and started to perform all kinds of filthy businesses like extorting and hijacking. He was finally caught by law. The imprecations of the persons that he has killed and the innocent people he has hijacked have brought him to gallows. Before his execution, the public executioner asked him his final wish. He started imploring by saying:

I am not sinful in these things. My mother suggested me to do these bad deeds. Don’t hang me, hang my mother…

This legend explains that the individuals of a society are structured and shaped by mothers. The more the mothers are knowledgeable, conscious and intellectual, the more knowledgeable, conscious and intellectual the members of the respective society will be.

Now, the true reason why the girls are not educated particularly and why women are treated as second-class humans is probably understood better.

2- Women Must be Protected like a Pearl and a Diamond, Their Risky Matters Should be Taken Care of and They Should be behaved Gently.

Surah An-Nisa 34:

34Because Allah has given more to some of you than others and men provide compensation from their wealth, men take care of risky matters of women; they are gentlemen to women. Therefore, righteous women are to obey Allah; are the ones who follow the rules that Allah has set forth, they are guarding against the calamities that have not yet happened to them but may happen because of that which Allah protects. Advice the women to whom you fear of risk of harassment and rape because of their stubbornness and make them travel where they live in peace; within the borders of your lands and impose upon them psychological pressure, warnings. Should they treat you with respect, do not seek other ways against them. Allah is the most sublime, the grand.

In this ayah, the ways of happiness, peace and living peacefully in a society are shown. If we itemize them:

  • Men must protect the women in the best way and take care of their risky matters.
  • Even though they are rich, subsistence of women is upon men.
  • Righteous women should comply with such principle of Allah (because this principle was enacted for the protection of women.)
  • The women from whose nushuz [her risking herself for harassment, rape, being beaten, being cursed, and being sad, by acting stubbornly] is feared, will be advised; caused to be immigrated within the boundaries of their lands and inflicted psychological pressure, warnings. This way, they will be made to give up nushuz.

The word of “kavvam” mentioned in the ayah is a word that means “Diligently dealing with something; taking care of it well; protecting it with all endeavors“.

In this ayah, men of the society were assigned as “kavvam” on the women [mother, sister, daughter, spouse, bride, aunt, neighbor woman etc.] of the society, not on their own wife. This means that all the needs of women to continue their lives must be fulfilled by men. As they are stronger, more courageous and more resistant, men must be the protectors of women, they must take care of their risky matters and women must not be obliged to earn subsistence on the mountains, mines, forests and the areas far from the town centers and they must not be put to work in the risky sections of the duties such as army duty. Subsistence of the wife is upon the husband and that of the daughter is upon the father, in the absence whom, this duty is for the brothers. If there is no one as a male, the public would undertake the duty. A woman would be married to a husband or the state. Women will be served by males or by the state.

As it is seen, it is not from the religion but from traditions to put women to work in the countryside, orchards and out in the mountains while the men are sitting at teahouses.

As the justification of the situation, the fact that Because Allah has given more to some of you than others was shown.

This section of the ayah is –generally– explained as “Allah rendered men superior to women” which is absolutely wrong. The difference mentioned here is not superiority between a woman and a man but the characteristics of males and females. For example, the strength, courage, calmness and steadiness are superior to those of women; no one will assert otherwise. On the other hand, that is to say, in view of the traits like modesty, mercy, compassion and educating, women are superior to men; no one will assert otherwise as well. Therefore, the superiority in the ayah is in terms of such features, not the superiority of genders from each other. The only measure of superiority of humans from each other is taqwa (entering under the guardianship of Allah).

In the continuation of the ayah, it is said that Therefore, righteous women are to obey Allah; are the ones who follow the rules that Allah has set forth, they are guarding against the calamities that have not yet happened to them but may happen because of that which Allah protects to inform that women should accept this regulation because Allah has protected their honors, chastity and virtue; He secured women by commanding to give them mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] and by encumbering their living on men. Righteous women protect themselves by taking precautions against the possible calamities that they might incur, such as harassment, rape, beating, bad language and becoming sad etc. and happily accept being protected in this regard, submit to such rule imposed by Allah, and they do not attempt to carry out difficult and risky works under the effect of arrogance and complexness and by racing with the men.

In the periods in which the Qur’an was sent down, there were no occupations performed within the society such as being a teacher, physician, nurse, bank office, factory worker, etc. In the nomadic and agricultural societies of those times, men had the works like hunting, collecting and safeguarding (soldier, guard) and women took care of the household and education. It was definitely among the risky businesses that the attempts of women doing the jobs of the men at that time.

In the final section of the ayah, it is said: Advice the women to whom you fear of risk of harassment and rape because of their stubbornness and make them travel where they live in peace; within the borders of your lands and impose upon them psychological pressure, warnings. Should they treat you with respect, do not seek other ways against them. Allah is the most sublime, the grand to provide the precautions to be applied regarding the women who fail to comply with this regulation.

In many books [interpretations, life knowledge], it is asserted that the women in question here are own wife of the men. However, the addressee is not the husbands but all the people [society]. Hence, the women from whose nushuz [her risking herself for harassment, rape, being beaten, being cursed, and being sad, by acting stubbornly] is feared, is any woman in the society, who can be a wife, mother, sister or widowed and a lonely woman.

NUSHUZ:

The word of النشوز – nushuz is one of the derivatives of the root of نشز – nesz. The meaning of the word as a root is “a high place of the earth“. The upper parts of a valley for a person situated in it are called النشز – nesz. نشوز – nusuz as an infinitive means “Ascension; taking an upper position and become steep” (Lisan-al Arab v. 8, p. 557)

Insurance for Women: MEHIR

 

MEHIR:

Goods or money paid to woman by the husband during marriage” -which has been widely known as “mehir [life insurance, honor wealth]”-, for which in some ayat, the word of أجر – ecr = fee; return of something is used. It can be understood as “the return of the things sacrificed by a woman from her honor”.

In fact, the tradition that husband-to-be should give money and goods to the woman/family of the woman has been known in various cultures, religions and such application goes back to very early periods. It was named as “bride wealth, mohar, drahoma, dowry” in various cultures. The example of it in the Qur’an is the marriage of the Prophet Moses in Midian, which is mentioned in Surah Al-Qasas 27, 28.

 What attracts attention in the application of this tradition until Islam is that the payments were always made to the family of the woman. Infact, in the pre-Islamic Arabic applications, mehir was given to the family of the woman, not the woman herself. However, In Islam, mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] is given to the woman herself; the money or commodity given belongs to the woman.

MEHIR IN THE QUR’AN:

In the Qur’an, mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] takes place in Surah Al-Baqara 236–237, Surah An-Nisa 4, 23–25, Surah Al-Ma’idah 5 and Surah Al-‘Ahzab 50. As can be understood clearly from these ayat, the mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] mentioned in the Qur’an is not similar with the “bride wealth, mahor, drahoma” in other religions and cultures.

In order to understand the issue of mehir well, it is necessary to know the viewpoint of Islam on women well:

  • While women are weaker physically and in terms of courage than men and they are defenseless in terms of sexual organ regarding harassment and rape (Surah An-Nisa 34), they are not different from men when it comes to self because self has no gender. The good and bad sides of the self of everyone appear as a result of the beliefs and deeds which are formed through the free will of the individuals. On the other hand, women are stronger than men in the sentimental matters like compassion, mercy, education and teaching.
  • A woman is a field, a culture (Surah al-Baqara 223). Maintaining of the material and immaterial existence of the societies depends on women.
  • Subsistence of the women has been charged on men. This way, the risk that women can be subject to abuse, harassment and rape as a result of their struggle to provide their subsistence in the countryside and their travels alone was eliminated. (Surah An-Nisa 34)
  • In the event that a woman becomes widow, her remarriage right away was not allowed and the rule of “iddah/waiting time” was enacted. (Surah Al-Baqara 228, Surah al-Ahzab 49, and Surah At-Talaq 4)

In consideration of all these issues, the nature of mehir in Islam will be understood better. According to the Qur’an, mehir is an “insurance of subsistence” of woman. This regulation is not because of the weakness of women but the necessity of their protection – in view of social and cultural importance of the women. – Giving of money or good to her in advance; prior to marriage with which she would be able to continue her life during the period of “iddah/waiting time” if she becomes widowed, will not necessitate her to struggle her subsistence and subject to inconveniences because of going away from her home. This way, woman will be away from the risk of harassment and rape. In sum, Allah ordered to give women the mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] to honor, protect them and prevent unjust treatment to them.

In the Qur’an, the amount of mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] has not been determined and the decision of determining it was left to the societies themselves – as it should comply with its core/essence – according to the conditions of the age.

As the objective of mehir is the guardianship of women, the ideal application appears to be the necessity of raising women in the manner that they will not be dependent on their husbands economically and that they will have self-confidence socially. Hence, Allah commanded to the husbands: And give the women of orphans their mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] graciously. And if they willingly give/offer you a portion of what they will get, consume it without hesitation (Surah An-Nisa 4) and After you have given your obligation, there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree. Surely, Allah is the One Who knows best and the One Who makes laws, rules and principles that are set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos. (Surah An-Nisa 24) and only the women who are not in need of mehir were allowed to give the mehir back to their husbands.

 

Woman in Social Aspect:

As the society consists of two genders as women and men and as they have the same traits except for their reproductive systems, women must take their place in life, which goes on at home, in the market, in the workplace, at the school etc. without losing their identity. They must be the women of science and business in addition to being housewives. The women who are ignorant, uncultured, reserved, unaware of the world, not productive other than giving birth and passive do not have place in the religion of Islam.

Every woman honored with Islam at the time of the prophet lived within the society with the belief and good manners of Islam, showed herself in all kinds of political and social events, and undertook determinative role in all the developments. They participated in the society and they did not distance themselves from the masjid [school]; musalla, social activities. When necessary, they criticized the mistaken behavior of the president of the state courageously and ensured that he could correct it. Our Prophet and the caliphs after him did not prevent them; on the contrary, they encouraged them. In addition, they consulted with them in every issue and their votes were asked. These are known in history and are also available in the Qur’an.

Today, women do not attend the congregation, except for the terawih prayers of those who pretend to be Muslims. The prayers of Jumu’ah, bairams/festivals and funerals are performed without the attendance of women. In the nongovernmental organizations like societies, parties and foundations, women of those who pretend to be religious never take place. Politically, they cast the same vote as their fathers or husbands. They never even have a right of their own vote. As a result, the place of women in the society today is even lower and worse than the pre-Islamic periods.

 

Being in Somewhere Separately

So, what happened and then, naturalness and harmony in the society have lost? How, why and by whom were women who are the half of the living population moved off the society? How did a model of religion and society without women appear? Why were women squeezed between the bedroom and the kitchen?

Before answering the above questions, let us understand this ayah well.

Surah Al-Hadid 27:

27Then We kept sending Our messengers after them. And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, after them; We gave him the Bible and placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him. And as for the monasticism that they invented; it was not We Who prescribed it for them. They made it only to seek the approval of Allah. But then, they did not comply with it as they should. Then We recompensed those among them who believed. But most of them were the ones who went astray from the righteous path.

We see in the ayah that the Christians invented Monasticism considering that they would have a life more religiously and obtain the approval of Allah. Nevertheless, they muddled it. Allah warns the Muslims; He says do not be like them. This is the reason for this ayah to be in the Qur’an. However, unfortunately, those who pretend to be Muslims are not different from the reprimanded Christians. When they considered women as trial, trouble, ominous, devilish, impure, unintelligent, short in religion and as material of lust, sex object etc., a thick wall has been built between women and the world by thinking that they would be more religious and would obtain the approval of Allah without living with such negative traits. In this matter, people did not comply with the measures imposed by Allah; applied and shown to us by His messenger. As a result, lots of contradictions and distortions appeared. In sum, the people who pretend to be Muslims have muddled this like the Christians.

While women and girls are not shown to the relatives and kinsmen who visit homes; that is to say, being separate are applied; they do not see any problem in their talking, doing business, and visiting places with the unknown men at the marketplace or shops, or even their stacking like fish in mass transport means, as the groups of covered nudes.

There is no problem for women and men to meet and talk in the same place before the eyes of others, with their honorable stance, and without acting against the rules of decency and morality.

A woman MUST CERTAINLY TAKE HER PLACE IN THE SOCIETY. Women must now awaken; they must know themselves: they must take their place in the society with their brains, not with their hair, eyes, breasts and make-up and they must save themselves from being showcases and images. They must work without risking themselves in every job that is not against to their nature, they must study at every school and they must take part in all kinds of social, political, cultural, economical and educational activities. In sum, they must deserve the crowning of Allah of them by stating“Women are the Culture”.

    

Women in Inheritance

The situation of women regarding inheritance in Islam is one of the issues that has been discussed and criticized continuously. This condition is caused by the failure of understanding the ayat regarding the issue by the Muslims and the critics. According to the description in the ilmihal and Fiqh/life knowledge and religious law books, woman-man inheritance aside, the law of inheritance in Islam appears to be problematic between men and between sisters as well.

Supreme Allah says as follows:

Surah An-Nisa 11:

11Allah instructs you liability as a share from Allah concerning your children: For the male is the share of two females. If they are more than two in number, all of them being females, then two thirds of that which has been left. If it is only one woman, then for her is half. If the deceased leave children along with parents, for each parent is a sixth; if the deceased had no children but his parents inherits his wealth, then for his mother is one third. If the deceased had siblings, then for mother is one sixth. These shares are after the bequest he made and debts. Your parents and your children; you can not know which of them are closer to you in benefit. Indeed, Allah is the One Who knows best, the One Who is the best law maker.

In the Qur’an, after explaining the principles of inheritance, warnings like “Surely Allah is the best witness of all. Your parents and your children; you can not know which of them are closer to you in benefit. Indeed, Allah is the One Who knows best, the One Who is the best law maker. Allah makes clear so you may not go astray and Allah is the One Who knows all best. These are liabilities imposed by Allah. And Allah is the One Who knows best and forbears much” were made and the last passage was finished with the threat of ‘‘These are the limits of Allah. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, Allah will admit him into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise] underneath of which rivers flow as the one who will abide therein eternally. This is indeed the great salvation. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits, Allah will admit him into Jahannah [Hell] to abide therein eternally. And a humiliating punishment will be for him’’.

In the past, inheritance was based on lineage and agreement and according to the historical records, it was practiced among the Arabs based on lineage and agreement as well.

 

Allah commanded to take the bequest into account before inheritance, as there might be injustice in the distribution of inheritance:

Surah Al-Baqara 180-182:

180When death is upon one of you, if he leaves a wealth, it has been made a liability to make a bequest, as a right for those who have entered under the guardianship of Allah, for his parents and closest relatives, in a way which is acceptable for all.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 106-108:

106O you who have believed! When death is ready for one among you, testimony at the time of bequest is two just people from among you. Or two people who are not from among your people if you are traveling across the earth and disaster of death should strike you. If you doubt, let them wait after Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Then let them swear by Allah: “We will not sell our oaths for a price even if he should be a relative, we will not hide the testimony of Allah. Otherwise, we will be among the sinners”.

107Then, if it becomes clear that those two witnesses have committed a sin, another two people among those who are the owners of the right, who are closer to the deceased, will replace them and swear by Allah: “Our testimony is truer than the testimony of those two and we have not violated anyone’s rights. Otherwise, we would be among those who do wrong; act against their own good”.

108Such an oath is the most appropriate/best way for them to testify properly or to fear that oaths will not be accepted after their oaths. Enter under the guardianship of Allah and heed. And Allah does not guide a people who have gone astray from the righteous path.

Surah Al-Baqara 240:

240And those who will die leaving behind wives will give an amount from their wealth as bequest that is sufficient for them to live off for one year without being driven out from their homes. But if they leave, then there will be no blame upon you for what they have done in a way that is acceptable for all. And Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

Allah has put forth such principles according to the equity and justice measures in the Arab family life. It is because, male children had contribution in the acquisition of the wealth left by the father. Hence, it is normal that a male child receives more than a female child. However, when the family spends its wealth and savings for the education and occupation of its male child; in the distribution of the little amount of the remaining properties, should the male child who has been educated and made a doctor or engineer, who has a high-level income get 2 shares while the female child who has worked at the orchards and gardens of the family as a laborer get 1 share? As it is seen, in some cases, the judgment of 2 to 1 does not make the justice and equity. For the purpose of justice, additional regulations are required and thus, Allah has enacted the principle of bequest.

Within the framework of these measures, a daughter can be granted two or more and a son one or less or the son educated by spending the goods of the family is not given any share and the entire heritage can be given to the daughter. All these are realized through bequest. If the father did not leave the bequest, then the public authorities intervene and ensure equity and justice. That is to say, for the inheritance, the authorities do not provide a determination of heirs on the paper, they scrutinize the acquisition of the heritage and the reduction of the previous wealth to ensure equity and justice as well as the status of the inheritors and grant the deed of inheritance accordingly.

In the ayat above, it was said that These shares are after the bequest he [the deceased] made and debts, and it was required that first, the bequest would be fulfilled and then the debts would be paid. In Surah al-Baqara 180, it was said When death is upon one of you, if he leaves a wealth, it has been made a liability to make a bequest, as a right for those who have entered under the guardianship of Allah, for his parents and closest relatives, in a way which is acceptable for all to stipulate that the injustices that might rise from inheritance distribution would be compensated with bequests and in the other ayah, stipulation was that a judge is to distribute the heritage to ensure equity and justice:

Surah Al-Baqara 181-182:

181And whoever changes it after having heard this, the sin is only upon those who have changed it. Indeed, Allah is the One Who hears best, knows best.

182And whoever fears that the bequeather may make a mistake or commit a sin and corrects that which is between them, there will be no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is very forgiving, very merciful.

 

As understood from the ayat, the use of “bequest” is needed for ensuring equity and justice in inheritance. Unfortunately, the expression of “There is no bequest for the inheritor” was added to the Last Khutbah/Last Speech with the intention to abolish bequest as if it was said by the Prophet.

In addition, in the ayah 7 of the Surah An-Nisa, it is said that “There is a share for male orphans in that which their parents and relatives leave. And there is a share as an obligatory share for female orphans, little or much, in that which their parents and relatives leave’’ to enact that the orphan children are to be distributed the inheritance without discriminating about whether they are males or females.

When it comes to those earned by labor and effort; everyone, whether female or male, would receive his/her right and share.

 

Surah An-Nisa 32:

32And do not wish for that which Allah has given more to some of you. There is a share for men from what they have been made to earn. There is a share for women from what they have been made to earn as well. And ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is the One Who knows all best.

 

Witnessing of Women:

The issue of witnessing of women is an issue that receives numerous criticisms. It is because of the belief of that witnessing of two women equal the witnessing of one man. And Surah Al-Baqara 282 is presented as an evidence to it. However, if this ayah that stipulates the principles of writing the debt-credit relation by a fair clerk (notary) is understood well, the issue would no longer be discussed and no one would be entitled to criticize Islam.

The issue of witnessing is a matter handled by Islam sensitively. First, let us take a look at a few ayat that exhibit the severity of the subject.

Surah Al-Baqara 140:

…Say: “Do you know more or Allah does? Who else can treat himself more unjustly than the one who conceals a testimony with him that has come from Allah?…

Surah An-Nisa 135:

135O you who have believed! Be those who maintain/seek justice and equity as the ones who testify for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents and relatives. Whether rich or poor, know that Allah is closer to both. Do not follow your vain, transitory desire in order to be able to establish justice. If you distort or turn away, know that Allah is definitely aware of what you do.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 8:

8O you who have believed! Be witnesses who maintain justice and equity for Allah. And do not let your hatred for a people drag you to commit injustice. Be just because being just is closer to enter under the guardianship of Allah. Enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is aware of what you do.

Upon reading the ayah, there will be no need for an explanation; the extent of the severity and sensitivity of witnessing is understood. If one pays attention to these ayat, it will be seen that no discrimination is made between women and men; all the people, Muslims are addressed. There is no distinction of males or females.

Let us handle the loan business- mudayana- ayah now.

Surah Al-Baqara 282, 283:

282O you who have believed! When you are indebted for a specified term, write it right away. And let a scribe write between you in justice. And let not that scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. And let the one upon whom the obligation is dictate and have it to be written and enter under the guardianship of Allah Who is his Rabb and not leave anything out from it. If the one against whom the obligation is [debtor], is limited of understanding or weak or unable to dictate and have it to be written by himself, then let one of his guardians dictate and have it to be written in justice. And have two good witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men witnesses, then a man and two women; it is because, in the case one of them forgets, errs, the other may remind. – Let the witnesses be among those good witnesses whom you agree.– And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And, whether it is small or large [debt], do not be weary to write it until its specified term. This is more just in the sight of Allah and is stronger for testimony and more appropriate for not having any doubts. Except for a trade that you finalize right away; there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. Take witnesses when you make a commercial contract. Do not let any scribe and witness be harmed. If you do [harm them], then it will definitely be a sin that will touch you. Enter under the guardianship of Allah. Allah teaches you and Allah is the One Who knows all best.

283And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a pledge should be taken! And if you entrust each other, let the one who is entrusted release His trust. And let him enter under the guardianship of Allah. And do not hide testimony. Whoever hides the testimony, his heart is a sinner indeed. And Allah is the One Who knows very well what you do.

In these ayat, method of loan-based trading is specified. Enactment of these principles in an ambiance where all kinds of businesses are based on words is to eliminate the disputes and seizures of rights among people. We can list the principles in the ayah that is express as follows:

  • In the debt cases with term/time, the debt must be written even it is big or small scale.
  • The one who writes it must be a third person different from the parties and he/she must write it fairly.
  • The debtor must have written the truth and must not hide anything at all.
  • If the debtor is a person who is illiterate [child, demented senile],weak, inarticulate person, his/her protector, supervisor must have it written in justice.
  • For this process, two qualified males, or, if there are no two males, one male and two females must witness.
  • When the witnesses are invited, they must not avoid being witnesses.
  • The debt must be itemized/written until the final due date, whether it is small or big scale debt; one must not act lazily. This is more truthful before Allah; it is stronger when it comes to witnessing and more appropriate for not having doubt.
  • It is not necessary to write down and apply for witnesses for business in cash.
  • Trades must be witnessed as well.
  • The ones who write and witness must not be harmed. Harming them is a significant crime.
  • In a trip, if no clerk is found, a pledge can be taken.
  • A person who is entrusted must pay what is entrusted to him/her.
  • Witnessing must not be hidden. If the issue is referred to a court, witnesses must tell what they know in their witnessing.

We think that clarification would be beneficial in some points in these ayat.

According to the expression of And let the one upon whom the obligation is dictate and have it to be written and enter under the guardianship of Allah Who is his Rabb and not leave anything out from it in the ayah, the duty of having it recorded/written is under the responsibility of the debtor. He/she himself/herself will declare the truth to specify what is on him/her is without hiding anything because witnessing takes place when he/she declares the truth.

Regarding the clerk who writes down the debenture, being just is conditioned by giving the order of And let a scribe write between you in justice.

In the ayah, about the issue of witness, the expression of “ من رجالكم from your men” was used. As the believers are addressed in the beginning of the ayah, the witnesses here must be from among the believers. This loan protocol is obligatory for the believers; they are not obligatory for the non-Muslims in the Islamic society.

In the ayah, another point that attracts attention is that, instead of the word of “شاهد   Shahid” [witness], the word of “شهيد shehiyd” was used. This means that the witnesses regarding the issue must not be ordinary witnesses but they must have advanced qualities.

As understood from the expressions of  “And have two good witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men witnesses, then a man and two women; it is because, in the case one of them forgets, errs, the other may remind. – Let the witnesses be among those good witnesses whom you agree.in the ayah, the witnesses in the loan protocols must first be two males. In the absence of two males, one male and two females must witness.

The issue of witnessing is a matter handled by Islam sensitively. Let us take a look at a few ayat that exhibit the severity of the issue.

Surah Al-Baqara 140:

…Say: “Do you know more or Allah does? Who else can treat himself more unjustly than the one who conceals a testimony with him that has come from Allah?…

Surah An-Nisa 135:

135O you who have believed! Be those who maintain/seek justice and equity as the ones who testify for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents and relatives. Whether rich or poor, know that Allah is closer to both. Do not follow your vain, transitory desire in order to be able to establish justice. If you distort or turn away, know that Allah is definitely aware of what you do.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 8:

8O you who have believed! Be witnesses who maintain justice and equity for Allah. And do not let your hatred for a people drag you to commit injustice. Be just because being just is closer to enter under the guardianship of Allah. Enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is aware of what you do.

Upon reading the ayah, there will be no need for an explanation; the extent of the severity and sensitivity of witnessing is understood. If one pays attention to these ayat, it will be seen that no discrimination is made between women and men; all the people, Muslims are addressed. There is no distinction of males or females.

We feel the obligation of analyzing some technical points in the ayah. These are the issues of the structures of the verbs of “ تضلّtedillu” and “تذكر tuzekkiru’’ which are the connection centers of the expressions of “ ممّن ترضونmimmen terzavne….” and “ ان تضلّen tedille…”, and full stop on “ رجل وامراتان raculun vemreatani” in the ayah. We are analyzing them one by one:

In the classical acceptance,

– A full stop was not put on “… امراتانemretani” and the “ ممن ترضونmimmen terzavne….” section of the ayah was made an “adjective” for the expression of “ رجل وامراتانraculun vemreatani”. This way, the meaning of “then one man and two women from the witnesses you will agree with…” was obtained from the text. Accordingly, seeking a qualified witness was stipulated in “witnessing of one man and two women” and it was not taken into account in “witnessing of two men”.

However, according to Our Rabb’s statement in Surah At-Talaq 2, the witnesses must be among the just ones. That is to say, “both male witnesses must be among the just ones (a witness must be a person who is independent, able to distinguish between good and evil, Muslim, who knows that what he is witnessing, who will not have any benefit or eliminate a loss through such witnessing, who is not known with the trait of being wrong, who has an established personality and who does not have animosity against the person whom he witnesses). Hence, in the ayah, the expression of “ممن ترضون mimmen terzavne” must be connected with the verb of “ استشهدوisteshidu”. There is no technical prevention for it.

Why two women?

Referral to two women witnesses has been connected with the fact that women were not acquainted with the commercial issues and relations as they were engaged with the domestic works at that time and that, when a dispute took place, they might confuse the issue which is a commercial matter that happened years ago. So, the two female witnesses would negotiate the issue between them when necessary, they would recall it well and witness accordingly. Otherwise, they might cause injustice. In the ayah, it is understood that one woman from among the women with the necessary qualification, with the knowledge in the commercial and administrative issues and with experience thus with no possibility of being wrong and strayed will be sufficient together with one man for witnessing.

In the ayah, the business made upon loan is requested that it should be written/recorded and witnessed in any case, because disputes and quarrels are ordinary things in such matters. The parties may forget about or deny the amounts and terms or the creditor may attempt to change the term. Such problems are not encountered when it is written and witnessed.

In the ayah, with the expression of ‘‘– Let the witnesses be among those good witnesses whom you agree”; attentions are invited to the fact that the witnesses must not be determined as a matter of form but some qualities must be sought in them. In addition, as it will be specified later on, it is said Take two people who are just from among you witnesses (Surah at-Talaq 2) regarding the time of divorce. What is understood from this is that the witnesses should be from among the people being “just”. That is to say, a witness must be a person who is independent, able to distinguish between good and evil, Muslim, who knows that what he is witnessing, who will not have any benefit or eliminate a loss through such witnessing, who is not known with the trait of being wrong, who has an established personality and who does not have animosity against the person whom he witnesses.

Yes, the conclusion also in this issue is that: In general witnessing, there is no difference and discrimination between women and men. Women and men are equal.

Divorce/Talaq :

Talaq/divorce in Arabic means lexically ‘unfastening the tie’. As a term, it means, unfastening of the marital tie established through the agreement of marriage between the men and women.

In the practical life, we see that the applications in divorce are against women. The plug is pulled by the men and when he says, “divorce”, it comes to an end and the family is no more. Knowing that he has such right, the man abuses or inflicts cruelty towards his wife. Let us take a look at the issue of divorce in Islam in this section.

We will mention the issue here briefly in two aspects. First are the status of women and men in divorce and the wrong application of the case in the society.

According to the acceptance among the public and to the narratives in the Fiqh and ilmihal/religious laws and life knowledge books, the authorization of divorce has been granted to men. Men can use such authority whenever they want and in whatever conditions they deem necessary. That is to say, a man can divorce from his wife anytime he wishes. He pulls the plug. This authorization is above the head of a woman as the sword of Damocles. When he says, ‘divorce’, it is all over; the family is destroyed and the children are devastated. A man with such authorization would exploit and inflict cruelty on his wife at all times. Unfortunately, this is the application for ages in the society.

Even though the marriage/wedding takes place with the free wills, agreements and express statements before witnesses of both parties, woman and man, how is it possible that the authorization of administration of the marriage is granted to the man unilaterally. And, how can a man unilaterally end the union of marriage that is constituted through a common will and decision? Isn’t this application, which is contrary to all the humanly activities and the rules of agreeing and terminating of agreements in the interpersonal relations, an act of taking side of the male and committing cruelty towards women? Of course it is. In addition, such condition is against the measures of the religion, conscience and reason to the extent that it should not even be debated.

But, see what is the justification behind it!? As a woman is more emotional, excitable, touchy, weaker than a man, and as she does not spend any material thing like mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] in the formation of marriage, if she is given the authorization of divorce, she could use the authorization without thinking, fast and multiple times and this could be a factor of constant threat for the marriage. For this reason, women were not granted the authorization of ‘divorcing’.

As you see, it is not the religion of Islam that does not authorize women to divorce but the people with the mentality I presented above. Although they established this view, they produced rulings such as “If a woman has the fact that she would have the authorization of divorce (tefviz) to be written on the paper of marriage during wedding, then that woman could have the authorization of divorce. In addition, if she decides that she would no longer go along with her husband (hul’), she could also divorce her husband by returning the mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] she has received or by giving the money or goods (a kind of tribute) that would satisfy her husband”, which again favor males. Trough these rulings, they tried to eliminate the criticisms to be made. Nevertheless, those women who are unable to conduct such negotiation during wedding and who lack the possibilities to give tributes to their husbands will not be able to get divorced regardless of whether they want or not and they will be obliged to bear the torture.

Now, let us come to the issue of talaq/divorce in the essence of Islam; in the Qur’an. As you know, there is a surah called At-Talaq/Divorce in the Qur’an. Let’s take a look at the first ayat of this surah:

Surah At-Talaq 1-2:

1O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them for their Iddah and count Iddah/waiting period. And enter under the guardianship of Allah, your Rabb. Do not take them out of their homes unless they have committed an explicit transgression, immorality, nor should they leave. These are the limits of Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has definitely treated unjustly to himself. You do not know, perhaps Allah will bring about another matter after this.

2,3And when they have reached the end of their term, either keep them in a way that is acceptable for all or part with them in a way that is acceptable for all. Take two people who are just from among you witnesses. And establish the testimony for Allah. This is instructed to those who believe in Allah and the last day. And whoever enters under the guardianship of Allah, Allah will make for him a way out and will provide him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies on Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely, Allah is the One Who fulfills His command. Allah has definitely determined/set a measure for everything.

Have you paid attention? Who is it that was addressed in these ayat; that is to say, who is the addressee?

IT IS THE PROPHET. That is to say, the president of the state. In other words, THE HEAD OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY.

Let us refer to the Qur’an now:

Surah An-Nisa 35:

35If you fear dissension between wife and husband, then send to them an arbitrator from among the close people of the husband and an arbitrator from among the close people of the wife. If the wife and the husband truly desire to reconcile, Allah will give reconciliation between them. Indeed, Allah is the One Who knows very well, is the One Who knows well inner and hidden sides of everything.

Who are the addressees of this ayah? The addressees here are the PEOPLE. Remember the first ayah of the surah: O mankind! Enter under the guardianship of your Rabb Who formed you from a single self ……..

Address is to the humanity in this ayah as well. That is to say, to the public authority, not any individual.

As seen in the ayat, the authorization of divorce belongs to the public authority. Women and men have no authority of divorce. They have the right of getting divorced. The spouse who wishes to get divorced makes an application to the public authority and submits his/her reasons. Scrutiny of them and the judgment belong the public authority, the authorized court.

Now, let us pore over the second social oversight regarding divorce: That is to say, we will see the issue of three talaq/divorce and use of these three talaq/divorce altogether. Let us view the ayat regulating the issue.

Surah Al-Baqara 229,230:

229Divorce is twice. Then, either keep in a way that is acceptable for all or release by making better. It is not halal/permissible for you to take back anything from which you have given to them. Yet, it is different when both of them fear that they are unable to keep within the limits of Allah. But, public officials; if you fear that they are not able to keep within the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon both of them concerning that the woman gives a ransom/divorce compensation. These are the limits of Allah. Do not go beyond them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah, it is those who treat their very selves unjustly.

230If he divorces the woman, then she will not be halal/permissible for him unless she marries another husband other than him. Then, if the second husband divorces her and if they are confident that they are able to keep within the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon them to return to each other. These are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for a people who know.

If you pay attention, in the first ayah, divorce is twice, not three times. What does this mean? Let us explain. Married couples get divorced. It is possible. They contemplate and ponder about it and remarried. Nevertheless, they cannot make it again and they get re-divorced. This way, the couple gets married twice and divorced twice. There is no prevention for such application. This is a rule and limit imposed by Allah. So, can’t they get married for the third time?

The answer of it is in the ayah 230; the second ayah above. As seen in the ayah, the spouses divorced for the second time cannot get married right away once again under normal conditions. However, if, in the course of time, the woman gets married to someone else and then becomes a widow by getting divorced from him, and if her previous husband is suitable for marriage, they can get married for the third time. Otherwise, they cannot get married as they did in the initial two marriages.

Here, heed must be taken to the following issue well: This marriage of the woman must not be prearranged. It must be a marriage and divorce experienced during the normal flow of life. It must not be like the buffoonery referred to among public as Hullah. The buffoonery applied among the people is nothing but self-deception of humans.

In addition, another misconduct of the society in the issue is the understanding that the right of three divorces can be used at once. That is to say, when a person who utters, ‘I have divorced my spouse with three talaq’ or a person who has said, ‘Let my spouse get divorced through three talaq’, is acknowledged to have entered a situation in which he/she will no longer be able to marry the spouse again. However, the rights granted by Allah are not allowed to be used by spouses. This way, the parties are victimized despite the limits determined by Allah. In the ilmihal and Fiqh/life knowledge and religious laws books, the details regarding the issue are available. However, such understanding is an understanding that is contrary to the Qur’an. This understanding was not present in the periods of our Prophet and Ebu Beqr. This legal precedent was unfortunately brought along by Caliph Omar for people to be precautious and to care for their marriage and has continued to the present times.

Use of the right of three divorces through a single application is contrary to the Qur’an and as well as the reason and logic. Accordingly, if a person who takes a rope and ties it in a knot, unfastens it and says, ‘I unfastened this knot three times’, the knot will not be unfastened three times. It has been unfastened once. The one who says ‘I unfastened this knot three times’ will lie. For that knot to be unfastened three times, it must have been tied two more times. Just like this, possibility of the second and third divorces depends on the fulfillment of the second and third marriages. There can not be a divorce for a wedding which has not been fulfilled.

Divorced Woman

Very specific principles regarding divorced women took place in the Qur’an and in all of them, behavior toward women with “the good things accepted by all” was stipulated. We are presenting them without a comment:

Surah Al-Baqara 228-232:

228Divorced women will wait by themselves for the time of three menstruation cycles. If they believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife], it is not halal/permissible for them to hide what Allah has formed in their wombs. And should their husbands wish to reconcile, they have more right to do it within that period. And as there is some loss for them, there are also many benefits over them that comply with the way that is acceptable for all. Yet, there is a degree over them for the men [men do not wait iddah like women]. And Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

229Divorce is twice. Then, either keep in a way that is acceptable for all or release by making better. It is not halal/permissible for you to take back anything from which you have given to them. Yet, it is different when both of them fear that they are unable to keep within the limits of Allah. But, public officials; if you fear that they are not able to keep within the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon both of them concerning that the woman gives a ransom/divorce compensation. These are the limits of Allah. Do not go beyond them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah, it is those who treat their very selves unjustly.

230If he divorces the woman, then she will not be halal/permissible for him unless she marries another husband other than him. Then, if the second husband divorces her and if they are confident that they are able to keep within the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon them to return to each other. These are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for a people who know.

231When you divorce women and they complete their waiting period, either keep them under acceptable conditions or release them again under acceptable conditions, but do not keep them against their good for violating their rights. Whoever does this has treated unjustly to his very self. And do not take the Ayat of Allah in jest, remember and contemplate over the favor of Allah upon you, the book which He has sent down to remind you and laws, rules and principles that are set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos. And be under the guardianship of Allah and know that indeed Allah is the One Who knows all best.

232And when you divorce women and they have completed their terms and when they come to an agreement with their spouses in a way that is acceptable for all, do not forbid and prevent them just because they will marry their husbands. This is with what those among you who believe in Allah and Akhirat [Afterlife] are reminded. This is more appropriate and better for you. And Allah knows but you do not know.

Surah At-Talaq 1-7:

1O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them for their Iddah and count Iddah/waiting period. And enter under the guardianship of Allah, your Rabb. Do not take them out of their homes unless they have committed an explicit transgression, immorality, nor should they leave. These are the limits of Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has definitely treated unjustly to himself. You do not know, perhaps Allah will bring about another matter after this.

2,3And when they have reached the end of their term, either keep them in a way that is acceptable for all or part with them in a way that is acceptable for all. Take two people who are just from among you witnesses. And establish the testimony for Allah. This is instructed to those who believe in Allah and the last day. And whoever enters under the guardianship of Allah, Allah will make for him a way out and will provide him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies on Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely, Allah is the One Who fulfills His command. Allah has definitely determined/set a measure for everything.

4And as for those from among your women whose menstrual cycle have been interrupted and who do not have any menstrual cycle because of an abnormality; if you doubt, their waiting term is three months. And the waiting term for those of them who are pregnant is until they deliver their burden; give birth or miscarry. Whoever enters under the guardianship of Allah; Allah will make ease for him of his matter.

5This is the command of Allah which He has sent down to you. And whoever enters under the guardianship of Allah, Allah will remove his evil deeds and increase the reward for him.

6Lodge those women in a part of your home according to your capacity and do not do anything to oppress them which may harm them and you. If they are pregnant, spend on them/provide sustenance until they deliver their burden. Then if they breastfeed for you, give them their payment and confer among yourselves in a way that is acceptable for all. And if you are in discord, then another woman will breastfeed whose payment will be upon the father.

7Let those who have vast resources spend/provide sustenance in accordance with their resources. And let him whose provision is restricted give from what Allah has given to him. Allah does not burden anyone other than what He has given to him. Allah will bring an ease after hardship.

 

Source of the Injustice Towards Women

As can be understood from the following ayat, there are primitive traditions at the source of the practices regarding women, which are out of Islam, reason and scientific truths. The Arabic customs in the period before Islam, such as beard, turban, burqa, veil and shalwar, were made as if they were in the religion and caused to be accepted by the Muslims right after the demise of our Prophet.

The reason for making such customs as if they were part of the religion is to make the women cover their brain, not their bodies or heads. We can see the Arabic customs from the Qur’an:

Surah An-Nahl: 56-59, 62:

56And those who associate others with Allah assign share from that which We have given them as provision for that which they do not know. –By Allah, you will definitely be questioned for that which you have been inventing.-

57And they attribute daughters to Allah. –Purified is Allah from this- And for them are sons that they desire.

58And when one of them is given the good tidings of a birth of a daughter, his face becomes dark with anger.

59He hides himself from his people because of the ill of the good tiding/news he has been given; should he keep the daughter despite humiliation and scorned or should he bury her into the ground? Be careful! How evil is their judgment/tradition!

62And they attribute to Allah that which they dislike. And their tongues continuously say in vain that the best belongs to them. Indeed, there will be only fire for them and they will be thrown first.

In this group of ayat, the strayed beliefs of the Arabs in terms of their children and commodities and how far they went in customs, ignorance and insolence are expressed. The Arab polytheists of that time made so-called distributions according to their minds and allocated some of the food to idols and their so-called deities. They owned the male children that they considered superior and ascribed the female children whom they scorned on to Allah. When one of them was given the news that he had a daughter, he would become furious with such news and his face would turn black, aside from blushing, because of his anger. He would hide away from the society because of his female newborn and experience a battle within himself like “I don’t know if I keep or bury my child despite this infamy “.

These ayat demonstrate the condition of humanity once and how Islam brought it out of a social pit.

Such beliefs of them have been shown in Surah Az-Zukhruf 19 and Surah An-Najm 21–22 as well.

The Arabic customs were this way. Nevertheless, there are more customs in the areas where the Civil laws have not entered yet in our world. According to such customs, women are deprived of inheritance and right of word in marriage and divorce. They are not educated, nor are they considered children. When father is asked about the number of his children, he tells the number of his sons; he does not consider his daughters.

When women make mistakes, they are proclaimed as prostitutes and courtesans and when men make mistakes, they are considered as womanizer, philanderer, wolf and Casanova through praises. That is our society in the 21st century.

The Warning of Allah

 

Surah At-Takwir 8,9:

   … 8,9when those who are in agony are asked “For what sin were their lives ruined?”…

  

“موؤدة Mev’ude”, expressed in the ayah is derived from the root of “وئد Ve’d”. “وئد Ve’d” means strong, high, sonorous sound, cry, whish which is heard from distance.[3]

Mev’ude refers to the inhuman tradition of the Arabs before the Islam of burying the female children alive into ground.

Some of the Arabs did it with the fear that something disgraceful might happen to them in the future because of their daughters and some did it to make their daughters angels because of the belief that “angels are the daughters of Allah”. However, it is a higher probability that the main reason that caused them to inflict this cruelty is poverty and fear of being unable to feed the child. This issue is mentioned in some other ayat such as Surah Al-An’am 151 and Surah Al-Isra 31.

   However, there were those people who did not assent to bury the female children among the Arabs. For example, the person called Sa’sa’a b. Naciye el-Mucasi, grandfather of famous Arab poet Farazdak, rescued the female children to be buried into ground from Beni Temim, his own tribe, by giving ransom.

   Another point that must be taken into account in these ayat is that the question about the reason of the murder committed by means of burying alive is asked to the innocent girl who is killed, not to the murderer. The fact that the question will be asked to the innocent, unprotected and aggrieved girl means that, on the Judgment Day, no right of word will be given to the murderer who committed the murder; with this expression, the art of “Tariz” (antithesis) is presented and these murderers were warned severely regarding the situation they would experience at the great crowd.

   In the ayat, it is explained that killing of children intentionally is a great sin regardless of the manner of committing, by exemplifying the murder committed through burying alive that in fact.

The expression of ve iza’l-mev’udeti suilet in the ayah is translated as “when the girl who is buried alive into the ground is asked” which narrows down the message of the ayah. True meaning of the expression is: “every adult person, whether girl or boy, whose possibilities are restricted through oppression and torment; deprived from education-training, job opportunities and possibilities, thus being obliged to have an inconvenienced and shabby life and whose lives pass in agony”. It must be remembered that such type of social murder is in the scope of the same felony as well.

                                                                                                   Hakkı YILMAZ

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[1] Rabb means “The One Who disciplines and educates, One Who guides his creations to a certain target/targets within the frame of a schedule, one who programs and manages the development”. This word, in absolute terms, is used for Allah alone. As to humans, it is used in such forms as “the rabb of the house”, “the rabb of the workplace”, etc. The English term closest to this term in the context of meaning is “boss”. While having a meaning close to rabb, this word does not cover the meaning of rabb entirely as it is used only in the commercial context. For this reason, since we did not have the possibility to explain the term rabb with multiple words, we had to leave it in its original Arabic form. Therefore, our readers should keep the above mentioned definition in their minds.

[2] Allah does not have a gender. However, in the language of English, 3rd singular personal pronoun is used differently for male and female. It is the male personal pronoun which is used in the official writings such as law, circular notice and regulations. Because of this character of the language of English, the pronoun of ‘’He’’ has been used for ‘’Allah’’.

[3] Lisan-al Arab, “v e d” article.

 

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