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O Believers Of Feminism, Islam Misses You So Much

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O Believers Of Feminism, Islam Misses You So Much
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Progeny of Western Feminist movement secured its upsurge in recent times by aggressively coming at loggerheads with all possible notions and ideas that sound discriminatory against women, no matter if they actually discriminate or not. This radical upsurge is predictable also, to some extent, keeping in mind the age-old discrimination and stereotyping women have faced since ages. So it is not my case to ridicule or somehow belittle the causes of women, rather my concern here is to highlight the biases in the choice of subjects and the kind of selective outrage modern feminists are pushing forward in the name of gender justice, which if not questioned in due time will end up defeating the very cause of women and in all probability it will open up a whole new dimension of distrust and stalemate to further aggravate miseries of women.

An incorrigible flaw loaded with opportunistic undertones.

The fundamental flaw with the universal imposition of ideas and values (especially those coming out from West) is, it runs with a presupposition that human society operates in binary of black and white and whosoever is operating outside that domain is either outdated or against basic human values; therefore needs to be eliminated or schooled to maintain civility in society. But even if for a moment we put that issue aside for the sake of appreciating any merit in that “universal approach” of modern feminists then the next question that follows the routine is about the on-ground reality of narratives and campaigns pushed forward by modern feminists and their impact on society. If we take a closer look at the after-effects of modern feminists’ movements on society at large then precisely following aspects appear common in the trail of outcomes, namely: 1. Non neutral ideological positioning 2. Divisive and confrontational approach (hints towards political undertones), 3. Biases in choice of subjects, and 4. Disproportionate scale of outrage depending upon the issues. The first two aspects require a whole new set of inquiry, starting from the historical genesis of feminist movement to the political and social affiliations of its torchbearers, which is not possible to cover in this article due to the limitation of current topic in question. But the last two aspects can easily be substantiated by evaluating the constant silence of modern feminists on age old discrimination and dehumanization of women in Islamic society, driven and dominated by the teachings of the Quran and Hadith. Now before diving into the details of the causes as to why modern feminists remain horribly blindfolded on the age old discriminatory practices in Islam against women, first we have to take a look that what precisely in Islamic religious teachings stand in contradiction with the notions and ideas of modern feminists.

Status of women in Islamic society as per Quran and Hadith.

1. Women are inferior sex and an evil omen.

The position and status of women under Islam is subservient to the men, which clearly deprived half of the population of their basic human rights. The subjugated half is led to believe, through Islamic teachings that the supremacy of the man is the will of Allah and it has been predestined for women to live as submissive, obedient wives.

Quranic references:

Quran (4:34)1

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

Hadith references : (Hadiths are the reports of Muhammad’s actions and words outside of the Quran).

Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain2:

The Prophet said, “I looked at Paradise and found poor people forming the majority of its inhabitants; and I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.” (Bukhari, emphasis added; see also these parallel traditions here and here).

This parallel hadith explains that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women because they are ungrateful and harsh towards their husbands. There is no word about the husbands’ ingratitude and harshness. It should be noted that some Muslim missionaries and polemicists assert that since women make up the majority of the world, it only stands to reason that they would be the majority in hell. In reply, however, this misses the point—and may miss the possibility that women may be more spiritual than men. Regardless, the reason that women make up the majority in hell is their harshness and ingratitude. So, it has nothing to do with a numerical majority. Instead, Islam clearly does not honor women.

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar3:

I heard the Prophet saying. “Evil omen is in three things: The horse, the woman and the house.” (Bukhari)

2. Women testimony as a witness.

Under Muslim law for the validity of marriages, witnesses are required. And their number vary on the basis of gender:

*Two male witnesses, or

*Two female and one male witnesses.

The ratio clearly suggests that if you want to replace a male witness with a female one then you have to double the numbers.

Quranic references:

Quran (2:282)4 :

“O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses – so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah. And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things.”

Hadith references:

In Sahih al-Bukhari it says in relation to a witness testimony of a women:

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri5:

The Prophet said, Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man? The woman said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.”

3. Polygamy

Islam permits 5 marriages to a muslim male and at the same time enjoins no obligation whatsoever on him to even inform or take prior consent of his first wife before going for another marriage, which therefore puts women always at the brink of blackmail of her husband that on any fine day he can ditch her or atleast enjoys the privilege to do so, for the sake of enjoying the company of another women as a wife.

Quranic reference :

Quran (4:3)6 “Marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess.” This verse plainly allows a man to have up to four wives (Allah conveniently granted Muhammad an exception… on the authority of Muhammad, of course). According to the Hadith, the “justice” spoken of merely refers to the dowry provided to the bride, not the treatment accorded following the wedding.

Quran (4:129)7 – “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire” Underscores that a man is not able to treat multiple wives fairly. He would therefore be unable to acquire more than one wife if this were a requirement – which it is not. In fact, Muhammad was not able to treat his own wives fairly (see Additional Notes).

Quran (66:5)8 – “Maybe, his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins” A disobedient wife can be replaced. A man can only have up to four wives, but he can rotate as many women as he pleases in and out of the lineup, thus giving himself an endless supply of sex partners.

Hadith and Sira:

Sahih Bukhari (62:2)9 Provides the context for verse 4:3 of the Quran. “Dealing justly” is defined within a financial context. It refers to providing a fair dowry to secure marriage – not to the equal or fair treatment of wives (which is impossible according to verse 4:129).

Abu Dawud (5138)10 – “A woman was my wife and I loved her, but Umar hated her. He said to me: Divorce her, but I refused. Umar then went to the Prophet and mentioned that to him. The Prophet said: Divorce her.” (This is a sahih narration attributed to Umar’s son).

Sahih Bukhari (5:268)11 – “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty men.” Muhammad had a “special rule” that allowed him to have at least eleven wives. (His successors had more than four wives at a time as well.)

Sahih Bukhari (62:6)12 – “The Prophet used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.

Sahih Bukhari (77:598)13 – “Allah’s Apostle said, “No woman should ask for the divorce of her sister (Muslim) so as to take her place, but she should marry the man (without compelling him to divorce his other wife)” Polygamy is firmly established in the Islamic tradition.

4. Sex slavery

Islam neither ignores nor condemns slavery. In fact, a large part of the Sharia is dedicated to the practice. Muslims are encouraged to live in the way of Muhammad, who was a slave owner and trader. He captured slaves in battle; he had sex with his slaves; and he instructed his companions to do the same. The Quran actually devotes more verses to make sure that Muslim men know they can keep women as sex slaves than it does to telling them to pray five times a day.

Quranic references:

Quran (33:50)14 – “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee”

Quran (23:5-6)15 – “..who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess…”

Quran (4:24)16 – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.”

Quran (8:69)17 – “But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good” A reference to war booty, of which slaves were a part. The Muslim slave master may enjoy his “catch” because (according to verse 71) “Allah gave you mastery over them.”

Now it takes no genius to decode the plain meaning of theses verses which openly justifies subjugation of women as sex slaves by Islamic war lords. The above-mentioned verses clearly makes a distinction between a legally wedded wife and women slaves captured in war and the basis of owning them as per these Quranic verses is being possession and not marriage. If marriage had been the condition, the women slave also would have been included among the wives, and there was no need to mention them separately in the aforementioned Quranic verses.

Other sources18:

The earliest extant biography of Muhammad, that of Ibn Ishaq (d. c. 767), tells us that the ruler of Alexandria “gave to the apostle four slave girls, one of whom was Mary mother of Ibrahim the apostle’s son.” Muhammad not only accepted female sex-slaves as gifts (and impregnated them) but also gave them as gifts as well, for example, giving Sirin, another Coptic girl, to his follower Hassan bin Thabit, who sired a son by her.

The Muslim sources also tell us that Muhammad permitted his fighters to have sex with female war-captives, even ones they had no intention of keeping as wives or slaves. Ibn Ishaq has Muhammad teaching his soldiers the following, after the conquest of Khaybar, a large Jewish settlement north of Medina: “It is not lawful for a man who believes in Allah and the last day to mingle his seed with another man’s (meaning to approach carnally a pregnant woman among the captives), nor is it lawful for him to take her until he has made sure that she is in a state of cleanness…” This passage clearly implies that Muhammad has no objection to Muslim fighters having sex with female war captives, so long as their victims are not pregnant or menstruating.

5. Freedom of inter-religious marriages.

Under Sunni Muslim law a muslim male can marry a non muslim Kitabia female (Christian or Jew), while his marriage with non kitabia women is not haram, rather status of that marriage is determined as mere irregularity, which can be cured if that non-kitabia female gets converted into Islam. But there is no such liberty for a muslim woman if she marries with a non-Kitabia male. Her marriage will be considered as void and any born outs of that wedlock will be considered as haram in Islam.

Quranic references:

Quran (5:5)19

“This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers”.

From this verse, it can be understood that Muslim men are allowed to marry women from the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians).

Quran (2:221)20 also states,

“And do not marry Polytheist women until they believe, And a believing slave woman is better than a Polytheist women, even though she might please you. And do not marry Polytheist men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a Polytheist men, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember”.

From this verse, it can be understood that Muslim man is not allowed to marry women who is polytheist unless she becomes Muslim.

Having all the above verses taken into account, it can be safely concluded that Muslim male (Sunni) have enjoined with following privileges in marrying a non-Muslim women.

  1. Muslim man can marry the women from the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians).
  1. Muslim man cannot marry polytheistic women unless she becomes Muslim. But regardless of the fact, even if they marry then the status of marriage is regarded as mere irrelgular and can be rectified by converting that female into Muslim. (but vice versa is not true).

6. Gender segregation

In Islam, keeping in touch (physical or otherwise) with non-mahrem male is forbidden and unlawful. And that Islamic position basically runs with a pre-supposition that exposure of Muslim females to non-mahrem males will trigger sexual feelings in them, which eventually lead to sins. So here status of muslim women is reduced into a mere object of sex.

Quranic reference:

The Qur’anic verses which address the interaction of men and women in the social context include:

Quran (24:27-31)21

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity – (and,) verily, Allah is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms beyond what may be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their veils over their bosoms and do not show their adornments except to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers or their sons or their husbands’ sons or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons or their women or what their right hands possess or male servants free of sexual desires or those children who never knows the private things of women; and do not stamp their feet so that it may show their hidden adornments; and repent towards God collectively O believers so that you may succeed.

Qur’an (33: 59)22

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

7. Veiling women

One of the most misogynist Islamic laws with respect to women is the requirement for complete veiling (hijab) in accordance with Quranic tenets. The wearing of the veil was instituted by Mohammad in the early days of Islam. Within about one hundred years of his death, the institution of veiling and seclusion had been spread all over the Middle East. One and a half centuries after his death, the system was fully established.

Quranic verses23:

The main reason for hijab is the need for controlling women’s sexuality. Veiling internalizes the Islamic notion in women that they belong to an inferior sex, and that they are sex objects. It teaches them to limit their physical movements and their free behaviour. Veiling is a powerful tool to institutionalize women’s segregation and to implement a system of sexual apartheid. It signifies the subjugation and servitude of women based on Islamic doctrine and Quranic teachings.The effect of all kinds of veils is the same, the woman is rendered anonymous, a non -person, unapproachable, just a silent being skulking along. She is taboo. The Islamic head- cover mentioned in Koran 33: 59, and the curtain referred to in Koran 33: 53, which was meant to separate the man from the woman.

8. Divorce options

Under Mulsim law marriages are treated as mere civil contracts, so as a result of which Islam offers several modes to get divorced:

The classification reads as follows:

Modes available for men:

  1. Talaq -ul- Sunnat.
  2. Talaq -ul- Biddat.
  3. Ila.
  4. Zihar.

Modes available for women:

  1. Talaq- e-Tafweez.

So, the divorce modes available for women is unfairly reduced to only one option i.e., Talaq-e-Tawfeez. Moreover, if we take a closer look at the modus of Talaq-e-Tafweez then again it doesn’t works in the way as it is projected by Islamic apologists; it is in no way to provide any preferential liberty to a woman to freely ask for a divorce from her husband, rather real power still lies in the hands of Muslim males (husband). “Tafweez” means delegation of power so when a Muslim male, delegates his power to give talaq in favour of his wife only then she is able to exercise that right to pronounce Talaq. So, in reality there is no divorce mode available to women in Islamic society, her choice to live with her husband has been reduced to a status of slave in this so-called contractual marriage.

Source reference:

Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar p.181

By the delegated divorce it does not mean that the woman will give divorce to her husband. Instead it means that she has the delegated right of pronouncing Talaq upon herself. For example, if a woman who has been delegated the power of divorce says, “I am divorced” or “I divorced myself”, this divorce will take effect, contrary to the effect of her saying “I divorced you” (whereby it will not take effect) because it is a wife that can be divorced and not a husband.

Fatawa Qazi Khan trans. by Maulvi Mahmood Yusoof and Maulvi Wilayat Hussain, vol. 2, p.258

Imam Fakhruddin Hassan Bin Mansur al-Uzjandli al-Farghani known as Qazi Khan (d. 592 H.) says, “And if a man says to his wife, “the authority to divorce yourself is in your hand as often as you please;” the authority shall be in her hands to divorce herself as often as she pleases until the number three is completed”

9. Maintenance.

The standard position of Islam on maintenance of women is that women should not get any maintenance after iddat period. Although that position has already been revised by Indian judiciary in several cases. But the outrage of Islamic clerics after the Shah Bano verdict is the living testimony of that fact. 

Reference source (www.al-islam.org):

Islamic school of jurisprudence concur that the wife’s maintenance is wajib if the requisite conditions, to be mentioned subsequently, are fulfilled, and that the maintenance of a divorcee is wajib during the ‘iddah of a revocable divorce. The schools also conclude that a woman observing the ‘iddah following her husband’s death is not entitled to maintenance, whether she is pregnant or not, except that the Shafi’i and the Maliki schools state: If the husband dies, she is entitled to maintenance only to the extent of housing.

In case of a revocable divorce pronounced by the husband all schools of thought are agreed upon the fact that the duty to maintain lasts during the period of iddat; and if the wife is pregnant at the time of the divorce or she announces pregnancy during iddat, the duty to maintain lasts up till the delivery of the child. This view has been accepted by the Pakistani judiciary as well.

10. Domestic violence (beating of wives).

Another most problematic area of Islamic law is the endorsement of Quranic ordains that talks about beating of women. In summary, according to the Quran, Hadith and Islamic law, a woman may indeed have physical harm done to her if the circumstances warrant, with one such allowance being in the case of disobedience.  This certainly does not mean that all Muslim men beat their wives, only that Islam permits them to do so.

Quranic verses:

Quran (4:34)24 – “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”  Contemporary translations sometimes water down the word ‘beat’, but it is the same one used in verse 8:12 and clearly means ‘to strike’.

Quran (38:44)25 – “And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath…”  Allah telling Job to beat his wife (Tafsir).

Hadith and Sira References:

Sahih Bukhari (72:715)26 – A woman came to Muhammad and begged him to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that it is described as being “greener” than the green veil she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires.

Sahih Bukhari (72:715)27 – “Aisha said, ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women'” Muhammad’s own wife complained Muslim women were abused worse than other women.

Sahih Muslim (4:2127)28 – Muhammad struck his favourite wife, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.”

Sahih Muslim (9:3506)29 – Muhammad’s fathers-in-law (Abu Bakr and Umar) amused him by slapping his wives (Aisha and Hafsa) for annoying him. According to the Hadith, the prophet of Islam laughed upon hearing this.

Abu Dawud (2141)30 – “Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them.” (This is graded sahih – authentic.  It is also reported in Sunan Ibn Majah 9:1985, also graded sahih) At first, Muhammad forbade men from beating their wives.  As the hadith indicates, he rescinded this once it was reported that women were becoming emboldened toward their husbands. Beatings in a Muslim marriage were deemed necessary at times to keep the woman in her place.

Abu Dawud (2142) – “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.”  The authenticity of this chain of narration is characterized as daif (weak), however, a similar verse from Sunan Ibn Majah 3:9:1986 is said to be hasan (sufficient).

Abu Dawud (2126)31 – “A man from Ansar called Basrah said: ‘I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet).’ The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: ‘She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her'” A Muslim man thinks he is getting a virgin for a wife, then finds out that she is pregnant. Muhammad tells him to treat the woman as a sex slave and then flog her after she delivers the child.  (Despite multiple chains of narration, this hadith is graded as daif).

Sahih Bukhari (82:828)32 –  Though not the beating of a wife, Aisha narrates how her father, the first “rightly guided caliph” hit her violently as a form of rebuke when she was in bed:  “Abu Bakr came to towards me and struck me violently with his fist and said, ‘You have detained the people because of your necklace’. But I remained motionless as if I was dead… although that hit was very painful”.

11. Non admission of women testimony in cases related to Zina (unlawful sexual intercourse – rape, adultery, fornication).

The testimony of women and non-Muslims is not admitted in cases of zināʾ or in other hadd (extreme) crimes. The four witnesses’ requirement for zina (unlawful intercourse), that applies in case of an accusation against man or woman, is also revealed by Quranic verses 24:11 through 24:13 and various hadiths. Some Islamic scholars state that the requirement of four male eyewitnesses was to address zina in public. Any uninvolved Muslim witness, or victim of non-consensual sexual intercourse, who accuses a Muslim of zina, but fails to produce four adult, pious male eyewitnesses before a sharia court, commits the crime of false accusation (Qadhf, القذف), punishable with eighty lashes in public.

So, the requirements to prove unlawful sexual intercourse for women (especially when she is a victim) is almost impossible to prove in practice, which undoubtedly acts as detrimental to the civil rights of Muslim women.

Quranic reference: Most of the rules related to fornication, adultery and false accusations from a husband to his wife or from members of the community to chaste women, can be found in Surat an-Nur (the Light). The sura starts by giving very specific rules about punishment for zinā:

Qur’an 24:233

The woman and the man guilty of zināʾ (for fornication or adultery),- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a manner prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

Qur’an 24:4–534

And those who accuse chaste women then do not bring four witnesses, flog them, (giving) eighty stripes, and do not admit any evidence from them ever; and these it is that are the transgressors. Except those who repent after this and act aright, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

The above-mentioned list of issues are not exhaustive, there are several other areas like Female Genital mutilation (FMG), Civil and political rights of women in Islamic nations, etc, that can be cited to further strengthen this factual standpoint. But nevertheless the silence of modern feminists on such issues is truly abominable. So now coming back to that same point of universalistic approach, the question that still demands an answer is, whether modern feminists are really honest in their approach to address issues related to women or else they are just busy in running another hit job circus for certain political circles to remain relevant in public discourse. Well atleast on the subject of Islam and it’s women oppressive theology confirms the later to be true. 

Modern feminist notion is prone to authoritarianism.

The dominant narrative of modern feminist notion is so over-hyped and exaggerated in the name of gender justice that it has almost choked out the possibility of having any alternative feminist discourse in current times. From choice of subjects to the proportion of outrage, every single aspect of women centric issues is hijacked and appropriated in the most cruel and undemocratic way possible by modern feminists. Infact, the very sphere of “commonality” in issues relating to women is not immune from criticism. There are many feminist scholars who have expressed firm disagreements on monopolization of feminist discourse by one specific group of people because in their views if this monopolization will remain continue then in all probability it will end up into absolute authoritarianism. So, at present there are two competing models at play (at least for the sake of academic discourses) that are claiming stakes over prospects of modern feminist upsurge. But again, when it comes to initiating reform in Islamic society, none of them proved effective in bringing any substantial change in the status of women.

Futility of modern feminist movement in Islamic society.

It is indeed an unfortunate reality that Islamic Shariya law governed regions are largely successfully in resisting against the reformist calls of modern feminist movements. Neither from the side of universalist nor the front of any alternative feminist discourse proved effective in outweighing Islamic dogmas and women oppression theological preachings. And the reason behind this failure is very clear, the foundational set up of Islamic society is inherently opposed to any reform. Right from the very beginning, through madrassa conditioning, it has been sunk into the heads of Muslims that Islam is beyond any question and those who are looking to reform it are Islamophobic, bigot, communal and what not in the name of protecting so called religious sanctity (purity) of Islam. But having said that it would not be wrong to conclude that the larger burden still lies on the shoulder of those feminists who are proudly carrying the flag of “universalism”, because their divisive and confrontational approach has not only choked the possibility of having any alternative feminist discourse but also provide oxygen to Islamists to maintain their religious supremacy on the issue of gender justice. And this disheartening scenario is now witnessing further degradation in the form of intermixing of political correctness with feminist movements. For example, very recently modern feminists are found praising Hijab as a sign of women empowerment in the West and countries like India, which is out rightly humiliating to thousands of Muslim women in Iran, who are fighting against the compulsory imposition of Hijab and facing life term imprisonment for opposing the same. So the fault-lines in the ideological positioning and modus of modern feminists are very real and unforgivable, which needs to be called out in public with utmost courage and vigour.

  

Endnotes

1.  https://quran.com/4/34

2. http://www.quranexplorer.com/hadithebook/english/hadith/bukhari/004.054.464.html

3.  https://sunnah.com/bukhari/56/74

4.  https://quran.com/2/282

5.  https://sunnah.com/bukhari/52/22

6.  https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/4/3/

7.  https://lexinsider.com/polygamy-islam-custom-convenience/

8.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/polygamy.aspx

9.https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Dealing_Justly_with_Wives_and_Orphans_(Qur%27an_4:3)

10.  https://sunnah.com/abudawud/43/366

11.  http://www.muhammadanism.org/Hadith/Topics/Sex.htm

12.  https://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/6

13.  https://www.scribd.com/doc/85048166/Polygamy

14.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

15.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

16.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

17.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

18.  https://www.iabolish.org/sex-slavery-and-sharia-in-the-islamic-state/

19.  https://quran.com/5/5?translations=19,18,22,20,85,84,21,17,101,95

20.  https://quran.com/2/221

21.  https://qurano.com/en/24-an-nur/verse-30/

22.  https://www.islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php?sura=33&verse=59

23.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijab

24.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

25.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

26.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

27.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

28.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

29.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

30.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

31.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

32.  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx

33.  https://quran.com/24/2?translations=22,95,17,21,84,101

34.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zina

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Avinash Vasishth

Legal Associate at Srijan Foundation