BBC: “You can’t generalise Islamic law and say it favours men and treats women badly”

The New York Times and the BBC appear to be locked in a competition today over who can proselytize more openly and dishonestly for Islam.

“You can’t generalise Islamic law and say it favours men and treats women badly… I want to correct that misconception.”

In reality, the Qur’an teaches that men are superior to women and should beat those from whom they “fear disobedience”: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34

Muhammad’s child bride, Aisha, says in a hadith that Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?’” — Sahih Muslim 2127

The Qur’an likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth as you will” — Qur’an 2:223

It declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” — Qur’an 2:282

It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, then only one, or one that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” — Qur’an 4:3

It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah directs you as regards your children’s inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” — Qur’an 4:11

It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” — Qur’an 65:4

Islamic law stipulates that a man’s prayer is annulled if a dog or a woman passes in front of him as he is praying. “Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, ‘You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.’ I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away. for I disliked to face him.” — Sahih Bukhari 1.9.490

Another hadith depicts Muhammad saying that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women:

“I looked into Paradise and I saw that the majority of its people were the poor. And I looked into Hell and I saw that the majority of its people are women.” — Sahih Bukhari 3241; Sahih Muslim 2737

When asked about this, he explained:

“I was shown Hell and I have never seen anything more terrifying than it. And I saw that the majority of its people are women.” They said, “Why, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Because of their ingratitude (kufr).” It was said, “Are they ungrateful to Allah?” He said, “They are ungrateful to their companions (husbands) and ungrateful for good treatment. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime then she sees one (undesirable) thing in you, she will say, ‘I have never had anything good from you.’” — Sahih Bukhari 1052

And in another hadith:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the musalla (prayer place) on the day of Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Fitr. He passed by the women and said, ‘O women! Give charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.’ They asked, ‘Why is that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religious commitment than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.’ The women asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is deficient in our intelligence and religious commitment?’ He said, ‘Is not the testimony of two women equal to the testimony of one man?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Is it not true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her religious commitment.’” — Sahih Bukhari 304

Another statement attributed to Muhammad: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” — Sahih Bukhari 4.54.460

“100 Women: The woman who decides if men can take a second wife,” by Heather Chen, BBC News, November 20, 2018

Islamic law, also known as Sharia, is often associated by critics with harsh punishments and hardline attitudes. But one of Malaysia’s first female Sharia high court judges says her role gives her an opportunity to protect women in the Muslim-majority nation.

Judge Nenney Shushaidah presides over five trials a day and can hear up to 80 cases a week.

Malaysia practises a moderate form of Islam but conservative attitudes have been on the rise and the use of Sharia is growing as well. Under a dual-track legal system, thousands of Muslims use it to settle moral and family matters. Non-Muslims are required to follow secular laws that deal with the same matters.

She passes judgment on everything from financial cases to those involving the Sharia concept of Khalwat [unmarried Muslim couples being caught in compromising situations].

But her expertise lies in child custody and cases of polygamy – the Muslim concept of allowing men to marry up to four wives, which is legal in Malaysia.

Judge Shushaidah says there are many factors she considers before, for example, allowing a polygamous union.

“Every case is complex and different,” she explained. “You can’t generalise Islamic law and say it favours men and treats women badly… I want to correct that misconception.”…

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