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Islam teaches Justice not Egalitarianism

By PrimaQuran. Original Post

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. (Holy Qur’an 49:13)

First of all I would like to say straight away that there is no such thing in Islam as people being equal before Allah. In fact Islam does not teach equality at all.

I don’t know why this is a problem for Muslims. I also do not know why Muslims embarrassingly rush forth to defend egalitarianism. It is time that we as Muslims argue from our own world view and not the try and make Islam fit into the worldview of others.

Each and every time we do that we will end up contradicting ourselves, looking dishonest and not representing the holistic vision that Islam presents.

I have not found a single verse in the entirety of the Holy Qur’an that even remotely suggest that human beings are equal. In fact the verse that I opened this article with does not even suggest that. It clearly states that some people are more noble than others in the presence of Allah. That some people are more righteous than others in the presence of Allah.

So Muslims are claiming that Islam teaches egalitarianism. Rubbish.

A quick search on the meaning of egalitarian.

egalitarian/ɪˌɡalɪˈtɛːrɪən/Learn to pronounceadjective

  1. believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.”a fairer, more egalitarian society”

noun

  1. a person who advocates or supports the principle of equality for all people.”he was a social and political egalitarian”

Egalitarianism =equality=identical treatment.

Now the intention behind egalitarianism is noble and good. The idea that we treat all people exactly the same way in every situation. The idea behind doing this is that it will some how establish justice.

However, the Islamic challenge to egalitarianism is that to treat people identically in every situation actually leads to injustice.

Now before I continue it is important to understand that some people may think that because Islam does not advocate egalitarianism this must mean that Islam advocates elitism.

We have refuted, debunked, and absolutely decimated the idea that Islam advocates elitism in this blog on numerous occasions.

This is because elitism often is a vociferous lie couched in the idea that some person or group of people are better than other people simply because of their family lineage, the pigmentation of their skin colour, and or their gender.

In fact the opening verse quoted above does well to establish that it is one’s inner qualities of righteousness that causes one to be considered ‘most noble‘ in the presence of Allah.

“Among the believers, those who stay at home without a good reason are not equal to those who strive for the cause of Allah in person or with their property. To those who strive for His cause in person or with their property, Allah has granted a higher rank than to those who stay at home. Allah has promised that everyone will receive his proper share of the reward but He will grant a much greater reward to those striving for His cause than to those who stay home.” (Holy Qur’an 4:95)

  1. Those who strive in the cause of Allah and those who stay back without reason are not equal.
  2. Allah has granted higher rank to some over others.
  3. Everyone receives proper share, not equal share.

“Shall We treat those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the same as those who do mischief on earth? Shall We treat those who guard against evil, the same as those who turn aside from the right?” (Holy Qur’an 38:28)

This verse makes it crystal clear that the righteous and those who guard against evil will not be treated the same as those who leave the right way or do mischief on the earth.

So Islam makes it clear that to treat all people identically in every context and situation itself leads to injustice.

In the above image we have an example of Equality versus Justice. Islam makes it clear that to treat all people identically in every context and situation itself leads to injustice.

In the above image we have another example of Equality versus Justice. Islam makes it clear that to treat all people identically in every context and situation itself leads to injustice.

Now the above image is interesting because the test recognizes the strength of the Monkey but it does not appreciate the unique qualities that the other creatures have as individuals.

The bird, penguin, elephant, goldfish, sea-lion and dog all have their unique qualities that make them suitable to certain situations and context more so than the other.

The example above shows the class system is still very much alive when one takes an airplane. How many of you travel first class or business class in deference to economy?

Is the airline industry promoting class warfare? Or, is it sensible to say that those people who paid more for their seat deserve to have more space and services catered to them?

Indeed many are the world’s spiritual gurus from all religious traditions that take first class and business class. Some even have their own private planes!!

So where the above maybe sensible the problem with today’s predatory capitalism is that it is a system based on injustice.

In the game ‘Monopoly‘ all players start off with 1500.00 in cash. However, the economic situation today is such that we have players who start off with 0 cash. So the question is how do you make any moves?

Certainly there are people in this world who are entrepreneurs and have become ‘self made‘. Yet, to deny that some people become ultra wealthy through lying, cheating, stealing wealth, would be to deny reality.

Some people are wealthy simply because their land sits on a resource that is in high demand from other nations. Some people are wealthy because their wealth was bequeathed to them from their family.

To claim that such people are ‘elite‘ and some how more pious, more noble, more altruistic, more brave, more loving, more intelligent or have better genetics is most certainly false.

Not even the souls are equal in what they can take.

Allah does not place upon a soul a burden beyond its scope. For it is only that which it has earned, and against it only that which it has deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as you did lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, You, our Protector, and give us victory over the ungrateful people.” (Holy Qur’an 2:286)

Now, though the souls are not equal in their capacity to deal with various scenarios this does not mean that one soul is more valuable to Allah swt than another.

Islam does not have a teaching of ‘elite‘ souls. The following verse makes this abundantly clear:

“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption done in the land  it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. “(Holy Qur’an 5:32)

There is no distinction made between a soul-Muslim or not, Prophet or not, family lineage or not, male or female.

“And how is it with you that you do not expend in the way of Allah, and to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? Not equal is he among you who spent even before the Conquest and fought; those are more magnificent in degree than they who spent even after (that) and fought; and to each Allah has promised the fairest reward; and Allah is Ever-Cognizant of whatever you do.” (Holy Qur’an 57:10)

  1. Not equal are those who spend and fought before than those who did after.
  2. More magnificent in degree.
  3. Allah promises the fairest reward-not equal, but just.

Notice in this verse that a woman who spent before the conquest has a higher degree, a higher standing before Allah than a man who spent after the conquest.

There is no dispute among Muslims on this point.

“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, like the one who does not? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember who are people of understanding.” (Holy Qur’an 39:9)

Here Allah swt ask a rhetorical question and we know the answer to it. That is that those who know are not equal to those who do not know.

This is important because knowing also means cognizant and responsible which equates to culpability.

This is why Muslims believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that if children die they are not culpable before Allah swt.

Muslims also believe the same thing about what a person does when they are dreaming, or person in a state of insanity until they return to sanity, and/or a person who may have intellectual handicaps.

Also it is worth noting that in the United States penal code a crime of passion can carry less of a sentence than premeditated murder. They understand that a person’s emotions may get the best of them in certain context. Where as premeditated murder, is well thought out, methodical, cold, calculated.

In Islam one can plead ignorance of the law.

“Whoever is guided is only guided for his own soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.” (Holy Qur’an 17:15)

Allah swt has favored some human beings over others with provisions.

“Look how We have favoured in provision some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees of difference and greater in distinction.” (Holy Qur’an 17:21)

Yet, Allah swt also reminds us that everything we have is a test. The more we have the more we have to be accountable for.

“And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is immense reward.” (Holy Qur’an 8:28)

The above verse is a beautiful and powerful reminder. That no matter what we see distributed among the earth, rather we think it’s fair or just, our focus should always be on the real prize, paradise.

“Let it be known that We will turn all things on earth into dust.” (Holy Qur’an 18:18)

So all these things that people on the earth wrangle over, fight over, become jealous over, squabble over, or become conceited and vainglorious about, all of it will become dust.

In Islam, we understand that to treat people equally often leads to injustice. Treating people and individuals by context and circumstance is more sensible and strikes closer to justice.

I’ll give some very modern examples of this:

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/a31785542/stores-with-senior-hours

The idea to have allocated hours for the senior citizens to do their shopping is more in line with Islamic principles of justice. Now to have a special time for seniors and give them preference over others is not equal treatment: however; it certainly can be argued that it is just treatment.

The elderly often move slower, some use mobile vehicles to get around. They are said to be more susceptible to covid19 infections.

Another example:

Now it is interesting that there is still outrage over this. I too find this outrageous and I see it more and more common than I did when I was younger.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/719902/pregnant-woman-standing-train-men-sit-outrage-Kiev-Ukraine

https://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/mrt-commuters-ignored-heavily-pregnant-woman-left-her-standing

As equality coupled with feminism become more pervasive it seems there is less deference given to women in society. Chivalry is demonized. So equality says, ‘Hey I worked hard 8 to 10 hours and I was here first, I have a long commute on this train and I am going to sit down.’

That is egalitarianism in it’s glorious manifestation. Where was the Islamic idea of justice here would tell me: ‘This is a pregnant woman, it must be hard for her to carry the weight of her child, perhaps I should yield my seat to comfort her and the unborn child she is carrying.’

I believe that it becomes increasingly important for Muslims to distance themselves from egalitarianism and claims that Islam teaches egalitarianism.

If we do not this is what ends up happening. You will end up being asked why men can have up to four wives and women cannot have up to four husbands. So you, the Muslim will have to give your reasons and rationale why this is the case.

None of the reasons that you give will have anything to do with equality or egalitarianism. So why do we not present our worldview rather than trying to adopt another worldview?

Especially one that is completely alien to our own?

What is interesting about polygyny is that not only are their questions about it from outside of Islam but there are Muslims who try and reinterpret Islam-again why?

Any way they try and reinterpret Islam to say that Muslim men cannot have more than one wife even though the Holy Qur’an does not say that any where.

Interestingly the verse that implicitly mentions that a man has more than one wife rebukes the very claim used against polygyny!

Look what the verse says:

And you will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah – then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. (Holy Qur’an 4:129)

The verse in above states very clearly that Allah swt states that man cannot practice egalitarianism -absolute equality with more than one wife. However, Allah swt is guiding men that they should be tactful and just.

Also Allah swt does not discourage a man from trying to give equal treatment to his wives , ‘even if you should strive to do so‘.

“And whoever among you cannot the means to marry free, believing women, then from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You believers are of one another. So marry them with the permission of their people and give them their due compensation according to what is acceptable. They should be chaste, neither of those who commit unlawful intercourse nor those who take secret lovers. But once they are sheltered in marriage, if they should commit adultery, then for them is half the punishment for free women. This allowance is for him among you who fears sin, but to be patient is better for you. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Holy Qur’an 4:25)

Certainly the punishment for slave woman who commit adultery is half that of free woman. Why doesn’t anyone ever ponder this?

Why would a slave who has less social standing get less punishment?

Why would a free woman who has more social standing get more punishment?

Perhaps, the understanding here is there is benefit of doubt given to the slave because she maybe in a more compromising situation than a free woman.

Certainly that is not equal punishment. In this case the free woman has more punishment. Not egalitarian but just.

I’ve found it interesting that in Islamic theology the Arabic word that is used of the very being or the very essence of Allah is ‘dhat‘ -which is a feminine word in Arabic.

This brings us to the issue of inheritance in Islamic Law.

First it should be pointed out that in the entirety of the Bible as long as there is a son to inherit it means a woman inherits……jack. Which means she gets nothing.

The only situation where it was conceivable that a woman could inherit anything is in the following verse:

“Let not our father’s name be lost to his clan just because he had no son! Give us a holding among our father’s kinsmen!” (Numbers 27:4)

However, we can see that was short lived.

They said, “When the Lord commanded my lord to give the land as an inheritance to the Israelites by lot, he ordered you to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. Now suppose they marry men from other Israelite tribes; then their inheritance will be taken from our ancestral inheritance and added to that of the tribe they marry into. And so part of the inheritance allotted to us will be taken away. When the Year of Jubilee for the Israelites comes, their inheritance will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry, and their property will be taken from the tribal inheritance of our ancestors.”

“Then at the Lord’s command Moses gave this order to the Israelites: “What the tribe of the descendants of Joseph is saying is right. This is what the Lord commands for Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within their father’s tribal clan. No inheritance in Israel is to pass from one tribe to another, for every Israelite shall keep the tribal inheritance of their ancestors. Every daughter who inherits land in any Israelite tribe must marry someone in her father’s tribal clan, so that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of their ancestors. No inheritance may pass from one tribe to another, for each Israelite tribe is to keep the land it inherits.”

“So Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses. Zelophehad’s daughters—Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milkah and Noah—married their cousins on their father’s side.” (Numbers 36:2-11)

I think it is not hard to guess who controlled the assets in the above scenario.

So let us look at another verse that the proponents of egalitarianism take issue with.

“Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females…..” (Qur’an 4:11)

So that certainly isn’t equal. However, as Muslims it shouldn’t concern us if the treatment is equal=identical; rather what concerns us is rather or not it is just.

First it is nice to know in contradistinction to the Bible that even when there are sons, as long as their are daughters, the females will get a share of the inheritance.

Now the above verse is one instance of inheritance law in Islamic jurisprudence.

While women inherit less than men in four situations, they inherit more than men in 16 situations, and equal to men in 10 situations. Source: [Salah Soltan, Woman’s Inheritance in Islam: Discrimination or Justice?, trans. Gihan ElGindy (Hilliard: Sultan Publisher, 2004), p. 39.]

So let us look at how inheritance is viewed in Islam and give different scenarios.

This is based upon three things.

  1. The degree of kinship to the deceased.
  2. The generation to which the heir belongs.
  3. Financial responsibility.

Example A] Degree of kinship to deceased:
Example: A deceased woman who only leaves a daughter behind the daughter is entitled to 1/2 the inheritance while the husband only receives 1/4.

Example B] The generation to which the heir belongs:
Example: A deceased woman leaves behind a daughter and a mother. The granddaughter will inherit more than the grandmother. This is the case even if she has a living brother who inherits as well.

Example C] Financial Responsibility: The wisdom behind this is that a male is responsible for the upkeep of his wife and children. Where as the sister’s financial upkeep is the responsibility of other than herself, her father or husband.
It is reasonable to see this situation favours the woman because the wealth she inherits is not applicable to the household expenses. It is hers to dispense as she likes.

So in this case the Holy Qur’an 4:11 mentions example C.

In the case of C we can propose a scenario where the father leaves behind 150,000.
The son would get 100,000 and the daughter 50,000.

Now let us propose the son buys an engagement ring and gives dowry for a total of 25,000 to his future wife.
He is now down to 75,000. Where as the sister receives dowry and an engagement ring for the amount of roughly 25,000 dollars. She is now up to 75,000.

The result is that they now both start a married life with the 75,000. In addition the son is now responsible financially for his wife and children and other females in the family.
Where as the daughter is not financially responsible. In fact any money that a woman contributes to the family is considered to be sadaqa-charity…

Another scenario in Islamic inheritance law. A man dies and is survived by a father, mother, a wife a daughter and a grand daughter who is an orphan.

Their estate consist of 600 acres. The division in this scenario is as follows:
Father 1/6
Mother 1/6
Wife 1/8
Daughter 1/2
Grand daughter 1/6

Father gets 88 acres
Mother gets 88 acres
Wife gets 66 acres
Daughter gets 270 acres
Grand Daughter 88 acres

In the above scenario two women, the Grand Daughter and Grand Mother get equal to the Grand Father.
The Wife, a woman got less than a man, the Grand Father.
And the Daughter, a woman gets 3 times the amount of a man,the Grand Father.

In the above scenario if you replace the Grand Daughter with the Grand Son he becomes in this case a residual heir. In this scenario of 600 acres the break down is like this:

Father gets 100 acres
Mother gets 100 acres
Wife gets 75 acres
Daughter gets 300 acres
Grand Son gets 25 acres

So in Islam we can see that Allah swt is not concerned with equality and egalitarianism. Allah swt deals with the creation on the principle of what is fair and what is just treatment.

On Earth Allah swt has created many types of social orders.

He has created female centered and female dominated monarchies among bees and ants.

In the case of the Bee hive it is a female dominated hierarchy.


The male drone has one purpose in his life: to mate with the Queen.
There are 100 female workers for every male drone bee. Drones are incapable of feeding themselves, or foraging for food. They lack stingers and they die immediately after mating. If times are difficult, the female worker bees force drones outside of the hive leaving them to starve.

I am sure Bees and Ants could have a King and Queen like Termites but this is simply not how Allah decreed it to be.

Allah swt has made a variety of living things on Earth. They all have different social orders that best suit their survival.

We as Muslims to not have to follow people who’s concepts of truth are constantly in a state of flux. Once, there were the feminist fighting against the patriarchy, and than came the transgender community arguing that gender is fluid and social construct.

Now we see the feminist pushing back and fighting with the transgender community. They are not comfortable with a man who identifies as a woman joining boxing and bashing women up.

The point being is that as Muslims we have our guidance. We don’t have to make Islam conform to alien worldviews.

Islam does not teach us about feigned concepts of equality and egalitarianism. No. Islam teaches us to recognize and respect, the individual, the situation, the context.

Islam teaches us that this is how we best arrive at justice.

I leave you dear reader with the words of Allah.

“Does He not know best, He who created? And He is the Knower of all subtleties, the All-Aware” (Holy Qur’an 67:14)

“Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves.” (Holy Qur’an 10:44)

Read also:
“We don’t need God to be good.” Really?
Women Should Hate Feminism
Taking Religious Scholars and Monks as Lords Besides Allah: Learn from the Mistakes of Christians and Jews

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8 Comments

  1. Elisha Sam Elisha Sam

    As Salam Alaikum very nice article.

    One question I just have is what about when there’s a societal norm in which women aren’t financially dependent on their male relative? In my case my brothers will inherit more then me but there’s exception that I’ll be financially dependent on them.

    Also I feel like there isn’t enough guarantee that a man will provide for his female relatives. Are women just expected to hope their male relatives are God fearing enough to fulfill their right? I feel like it would not go against the shairah for there to be legal repercussions for a man who fails to do so without a reason.

    • Wa alaikum assalam. Thank you for the question.

      From my understanding, in a societal norm which women arent financially dependant on their male relatives (to be specific, either fathers, husbands, or brothers when the father passed a way and no husband) they (fathers or husbands or brothers) are still responsible to provide for the family. So i think although a woman is financially independent, the laws of inheritance are still the same because the responsibility to provide is still on the men. God said that men are maintainers of the women so I believe men are endowed with the responsibliity altho the women can take care of themselves. iIf we try to see using the perspective from the past,, the ones who are physically stronger are men, and only they can protect the women and children and the elderly. What im trying to say here is that, there’s a reason why men are given the responsibility to take care of others. but as we move on the the 21st century, some of us see that women dont need men to be successful. which is true, in the sense of careers and so on. But when it comes to safety, men are always phisically stronger. If we have a community of all of them are men, and another where all are women, and if they go to war with each other definitely the women will wipe out. I guess it is interesting that God made men not to control women, but given them responsiblity to put the women in safety. And that’s what Islam is about: to protect each other, especially the weak.

      As to the second part, yes, I believe there’s no guarantee man will provide for his female relatives. Legal repercussions are indeed necessary to break those toxic relationships. God recognises this. God said that if you fear separation between husband and wife, appoint arbiters from each of their families.

      This is what I think. What do you think? Do you agree? Looking forward to your reply.

  2. Elisha Elisha

    JazakAllah Khair

    Apologies I read through my first comment again and realised I made a mistake. I had meant to say there is No expectation that my brothers will financially provide for me.

    While I do agree with the Idea that other male relatives have an expectation to provide even in societies where it’s common for women to be financially independent. Though I’m not fully convince the expectation is great enough for men to inherit twice as much in certain scenarios in societies where women are financially independent as a norm. As with financial independence comes the expectation of women to financially provide too.

    Though this doesn’t mean I’m against the commands as set down by Allah (swt) just that it should be made sure that they are serving their ideal function. That is the idea that men are meant to be the supporters of women. If something that was meant to be a source of justice becomes a source of injustice how that happened needs to be closely examined and rectified.

    This is why I think the emphasis should be on mens responsibility to provide. Although I think if a woman is earning enough she should have some exception to provide too. My main issue is that men sometimes skirt their responsibility to provide or abuse the rights given to them to not protect women but oppress and harm them.

    Like as you mentioned that if a husband and wife have conflict, say the man isn’t providing they can invite arbiters from each side. Though what if the conflict is between a daughter and father or sister and brother or a niece and uncle? It would be very difficult to have unbiased arbiters from the same family. I think a third party should have the ability to intervene when a male relative is failing to provide without excuse or abusing his rights. I feel like that would ensure that womens rights are protected and enforced.

    You can say Islam brought women rights 1400 years ago until the cows come home but it means nothing if they only exist in theory and not reality. The last bit is by no means a jab at you just a general comment towards Muslims.

    Also I have to complement your article on modern responses to Aisha’s (r.a) age. It’s probably one of the best I’ve come across. One thing I’d like to say is that in pre-industrial societies girls and boys generally hit puberty at the same age as now (10-12 years).Though disease and malnutrition meant that it took longer for someone to reach physical maturity (finish puberty). Often not actually completing it till after 18. In pre-industrial societies it would be quite common for a girl to not get their first period until they were 16+, this is actually what I think Allah (swt) is referring to when He says to marry those who haven’t started menstruating. That they are development and mature in all other respects they just haven’t got their period.
    These have to do with that subject.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159136/

    https://theconversation.com/children-arent-starting-puberty-younger-medieval-skeletons-reveal-91095

    • Salam, Elisha.
      Thank you for the reply. What an insightful exchange.

      I try to break down the issues you brought up. Tell me if i miss anything.

      1) inequality of inheritance between men and women.

      I understand your concern that in cases where there are financially independent women, especially in this day and age where women are expected to have their own jobs, it might seem unfair for the men to still recieve the two times more than what women receive.

      But this is a clear cut order from the quran. The quran has only few specific legal orders. And when there is a specific legal order IN the Quran, the weigh of that order is huge. So to suggest the laws of inheritance to be modified is a very, i would say, dangerous business.

      There are instances where the specific Quranic injunctions can be modified. For example, during the khilafah time of Umar al-Khattab, there was a drought. This led to bad economy and forced many people to steal some food. The caliph (Sayyidina Umar) lifted the hadd punishment of cutting the hands for thieves because to enforce the punishment is no longer in line with the spirit of the Quran and not in line with the reason (illah/ratio) for the hukm (order).

      So if anyone wants to say that the laws of inheritance should be changed he would have to argue how the laws of inheritance is no longer in line with the Quran.

      But i would really be abhorred to do that! Because to say such a thing means to change the laws of inheritance permenantly. And that is akin to saying that God does not know about His own creations. God is all knowing and perfect in His knowledge.

      2) women should have some expectation to provide if she is earning enough

      I think that there is no problem if the husband and wife can agree on this. But the original ruling is that the husband is solely in charge of providing. In the end the husband is the leader of the family. If he agrees to let the wife work and he does the house work there’s not really a problem.
      Besides, If we say thay both have the expectation to provide then that would also cause confusion as to whom is the leader of the family.

      3) men sometimes skirt their responsibility

      So true. But that also can be the same if women were to be in the place of men.
      That’s why it is important for every muslim to hold strongly to the quran.
      Secondly, if the husband really abused, then it is the job of the court to separate the family.
      If lets say we try to switch jobs. Now women are the ones who have the rights of the husband and vice versa. Firstly, if there is a fight, the husband will always be able to subjugate the woman because the men is physically stronger. So the woman in the end have to subject herself to the whims of the husband. In the end it is pointless to switch their roles because in the end if there is violence the husband will subjugate the wife. But the question is not about who subjigates who or who has the capacity to subjugate other by means of violence. Its about who is the leader of the family. And like always the leader can abuse or use righteously his power. It doesnt matter whether it is man or woman.

      4) conflict between daughter and father/ sister and brother/ niece and uncle.
      Why did you say that it would be very difficult to have unbiased arbiters from the same family? There are two different families, one from the wife(mother) and one from the husband(father).
      But even so i would agree that an authentic nego shld have a neutral third party. Again this is where the court interferes (or anyone who can mediate).

      5) re Aisha’s age.
      Thank you for the compliments. I also would like to add that I think the age of Aisha should have been between 12-19 during her marriage with the prophet.

      6) marriage for those who have not menstruated.
      Thank you for sharing! It is an interesting fact. I believe that the Quran does not sanction marriage before puberty (or to be accurate before the body is matured). Some people use the verse 65:4 to say that child marriage is sanctioned in the Quran.

      Besides women who are havent started menstruating although their body is ready, “lam yahidhna” also can refer to women who have sickness and cannot menstruate which is also a common medical problem.
      Those who say the quran supports child marriage are really contradicting themselves! One obvious proof is that they say that altho child marriage is legal the marriage cannot be consummated until the girl reaches puberty. However if you notice in v 65:4 why should the verse talk about the period of iddah for underaged girls if the marriage cannot be consummated?? (There is no iddah for unconsummated marriages).

      Thank you and I would like to know your thoughts further!

      • Elisha Elisha

        Salam Alif,
        Thank you for the response.

        1) I also wouldn’t agree with changing inheritance laws. Maybe I can’t understand certain aspects but I trust in Allah’s (swt) wisdom and knowledge. Also the laws are interconnected you can’t change one aspect without changing them all basically.

        Although like you showed in your example with Sayyidina Umar laws can be suspended (or become redundant) as a result of social change. I have heard the argument for the case that in societies where women are normally independent brothers and sisters should inherit the same amount but maintain the original law in societies where women are normally dependent.

        Khaled Abou El Fadl goes through that in this video. Apologies I haven’t watched it in a while so I’m not sure at which point he goes through the argument.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eKJ5vPmBr0&ab_channel=TheUsuliInstitute

        3) I never said that women being in charge would make abuse go away . I don’t believe a world in which women are in charge would be magically better then if men where.

        More power comes more responsibility and accountability. Though in many societies men have power but aren’t held accountable when they do something wrong especially if it’s done to their wife or family member. It’s very common for women in abusive relationships to be told by courts and/or family to just have sabr and put up with the abuse, or to be blamed for the abuse.

        Here is a not insignificant Sheikh telling a woman in a emotionally abusive relationship to just put up with it.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eIWf2I-oII

        Also the idea of keeping families together for the sake of the children when a spouse is abusive doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Children in single parent non-abusive households are better off then children in two parent abusive households. https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/intimate-partner-violence/effects

        My main point is that men who skirt their responsibilities or abuse their power without excuse should be held legally accountable.

        We can talk about hypothetical situations where women abuse their power all day. Though it doesn’t change reality in which men are normally in charge and are normally the ones abusing their power.

        4) While it defiantly could be possible. The mother may feel responsible to the father.

        5) No worries and yeah I agree with you about that.

        • Salam, Elisha. Thanks for the reply.
          “It’s very common for women in abusive relationships to be told by courts and/or family to just have sabr and put up with the abuse, or to be blamed for the abuse.”

          Yes I agree, it shouldn’t be this way. And some religious authorities do make it worse, like the video you shared.

          Actually in fiqh (with difference in different schools of fiqh) there is a law that enables women to ransom themselves out of a marriage, by paying the dowry that was given to them during the marriage contract. This is called khulu’. The ruling is stated in Quran 2:229 and also there is a report about the Prophet that goes like this:

          Ibn Abbas reported that Jamilah wife of Thabit b Qais came to the Prophet and said ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not blame Thabit about his character and piety, but I dislike being ingratitude in Islam. The messenger of Allah asked if she was prepared to return the garden given to her by Thabit. “Yes” she said. The Prophet said to Thabit “accept the garden and give her a single divorce.” Bukhari and al-Nasaai

          Note that (reportedly) the Prophet accept the divorce just on grounds that Jamilah afraid of being ungrateful. Thabit didn’t even abused her.

          “My main point is that men who skirt their responsibilities or abuse their power without excuse should be held legally accountable.” Yes I don’t have a bit of a problem with this. Neither does the original author of the article above. Be sure to check him out too at primaquran.com

          And since you’re here, may I know how did you found out about this blog?

          Blessings,
          Alif

  3. Elisha Elisha

    Salam Alif,

    I know about khula divorce. I agree that the law is not the problem it’s what scholars and other religious figures do with it.
    A woman can ask for a divorce for any reason if she’s unhappy in a marriage but scholars will act as though unless the husband has abandoned her or is beating her black and blue she’s being unreasonable.

    Also it’s a lesser known part of fiqh but a woman can stipulate the right to verbally divorce herself in her marriage contract. Though as far as I’m aware if a woman does divorce herself there isn’t a reconciliation period.

    I know about Prima Quran I enjoy his articles a lot.

    To be honest I don’t even remember how I found, though I think it was through Prima Quran’s blog.

    JazakAllah Khair

    Elisha

    • Salam, Elisha.
      I agree with you, Elisha. Thank you for the discussion. Feel free to contact me again. We can discuss other things too.

      May Allah bless you.
      Alif.

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