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Wife-slapping not OK in Islam

By Qanta A. Ahmed

 

 

May 12, 2009

 

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, wearing an abbaya, says the Saudi kingdom is rejecting the subjugation of women.

 

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, wearing an abbaya, says the Saudi kingdom is rejecting the subjugation of women.

 

Qanta Ahmed is the author of "In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom." An M.D., she is an attending physician based in the Division of Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, and a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

 

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A judge in Saudi Arabia has said husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi newspaper reported this past weekend. In one fell swoop, the judge debased Islam, vilified the kingdom and disregarded the ideals the Saudi monarch himself embraces.

 

Islam is very clear on this issue: Both a husband physically chastising his wife for "overspending" and a judge "upholding justice" by sanctioning this abuse would be acting counter to Islam's ideals of compassion and justice.

 

There is no basis in Islamic theology to support domestic abuse of any kind and specifically none pertaining to the matter of a wife's spending pattern.

 

What is critically important to note is that the judge is flagrantly in opposition to King Abdullah's very public stance against both domestic violence and myopic clerics.

 

The stark abasement of Islam that such a puritanical, backward-thinking judge would exact by issuing ridiculous decisions invites special scorn from the royal camp.

 

Last year, in his annual speech marking Saudi Arabia's National Day, the king first described threats to Islam from within its ranks. Later he denounced specifically those clergy who ridicule Islam by issuing perverse fatwas.

 

He particularly criticized the clergy who issued edicts against the owners of satellite television for airing shows thought to be salacious during Ramadan (the holy month in Islam) and, on one occasion, an especially bizarre edict focusing on Mickey Mouse. The cleric issuing these edicts was later divested of his power by King Abdullah. Watch report on Saudi judge's comment

 

In this much-feted speech, the king identified such distortions as offensive to Islamic ideals. He followed these very unambiguous statements with broader actions, replacing much of the nation's clergy in February in recent domestic reforms and installing the first female Saudi minister in the country's history.

 

These actions send a strong signal to the increasingly calcified puritanical agents within the kingdom that their power would be successively and emphatically dismantled.

 

Further, the monarch's concerns about the defense of women and children who are victims of domestic violence has been widely demonstrated by his enthusiastic and highly visible patronage of the National Patient Family Safety Alliance, a movement founded by Dr. Maha Al Muneef under royal patrons who are daughters of the king.

 

Don't Miss

Saudi judge: OK to slap spendthrift wives

Report: Saudi girl granted divorce

In Depth: Commentaries

 

 

In March, more than 1,600 academics from more than 30 countries convened in Riyadh at the first symposium studying domestic violence in the kingdom. Together, international academics examined, measured and evaluated the growing reports of domestic violence and child abuse in the kingdom with a view to formulating solutions.

 

Critics complain that abuse in Saudi Arabia is increasing, but authoritative experts in the field recognize that the climate for reporting and identifying abuse has only just arrived in the kingdom, thanks in large part to the HM King Abdullah's open support and generous funding. The scale of domestic violence issues is, therefore, only just coming into focus.

 

Why are the king's gestures so important? Because these causes relating to Saudi women have not been championed in such an aggressive manner since the time of Queen Iffat. She personally initiated mandatory education for Saudi girls in the 1960s into Saudi law, often pushing for it against the prevailing cultural norms of the time.

 

King Abdullah has also pursued similar reforms intensely, recently laying the foundations for the largest women's university in the world, which will educate 40,000 women at a time, and installing and empowering aggressive advocates who will actively pursue reforms for Saudi womanhood in particular.

 

While the focus of the West remains on the pervasive abbaya in the kingdom or the longstanding restriction on women driving cars in the nation's cities, uninformed outsiders fail to realize that many, many women operate unhindered by these "restrictions."

 

In my time working in Saudi Arabia as an intensive care specialist, I came to learn that for most Saudi women, the abbaya is not a tool of oppression but rather one of liberation.

 

For the observant Saudi lady who has often been raised in an environment that highly prizes securing the beauty and guarding the modesty of their womenfolk, donning abbayas allows them to work as chemical engineers at Aramaco or as fellow intensive care physicians in intensive care units at the nation's state-of-the-art hospitals.

 

My Saudi female colleagues could therefore replace valves and fix aneurysms even if they couldn't make a three-point turn. I found them perfectly capable of managing the critically ill on mechanical ventilators and dialysis machines, all the while uncompromising of their values, maintaining their privacy in their veiled garments underneath their sterile gowns.

 

Let us also not forget 40 percent of the wealth in Saudi Arabia is owned and controlled by women, and these women are frequently business owners and oftentimes themselves employers.

 

Women are encouraged by Islam to maintain independent assets, assets over which men have no right or recourse even within the sanctity of marriage.

 

For experienced kingdom watchers, it is exciting to see the outcry against the violation of human rights come from inside the kingdom, not merely from without. Women and progressive Saudi men who support them are not silenced. In fact, as observant Muslims, they are enjoined by Islam to expose any injustice, even and, in fact, especially when the infraction is committed by Muslims themselves.

 

The judge fails on several levels: He fails the kingdom, his countrymen, his monarch and ultimately his fellow Muslims. For these failings, he should be called to task.

 

Further, Islam demands that for Muslim women to advance their positions, rights and needs, they must gather into a cohesive social unit and mobilize. Women can demand what is fairly and rightly theirs, whether within the context of a marriage or a workplace only if they truly understand Islam, have sought out the knowledge and identified gaps in their own insight.

 

So, in conclusion: Islam never condones slapping a wife for being "spendthrift." Rather it should be the judge who now needs to exercise prudence and restraint and quickly demonstrate remorse for his myopic "Mickey Mouse Mufti" antics.

 

 

This act of stupidity unfairly depicts the kingdom as draconian at a time when the tides of progressive reform are now waist-deep and rising. Such narrow perspectives only serve to fuel global Islamophobia that has greatly increased in the West post-9/11. Muslims around the world and within the kingdom can no longer tolerate this stance, and the king, the Custodian of the Two Holy Sites of Islam, isn't likely to, either.

 

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Qanta Ahmed.

All About Islam Saudi Arabia

updated May 12, 2009 The Qur'an directly commands Muslim men to beat their wives if they are "disobedient". Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the direct word of God, supreme, perfect, infallible and unchangeable. The original Arabic trans ...more

The Qur'an directly commands Muslim men to beat their wives if they are "disobedient". Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the direct word of God, supreme, perfect, infallible and unchangeable. The original Arabic translates as either "scourge" or "beat". --

 

Qur'an 4:34: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great."

 

NOTE: And in case you believe the apologists who claim that scourge does not mean physical beating, look at Merriam Webster's definition:

Main Entry: scourge

Function: transitive verb Date: 14th century

 

1: flog, whip; 2 a: to punish severely b: afflict c: to drive as if by blows of a whip d: chastise

 

The key word in Arabic is: وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ -- The phrase has been translated by numerous Muslim translators. Virtually all of the leading and most respected, published and distributed translations (made by Muslim) are in agreement on the term. Here they are: Pickthall: "and scourge them"

Yusuf Ali: "(And last) beat them (lightly)"

Al-Hilali/Khan: "(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)"

Shakir: "and beat them"

Sher Ali: "and chastise them"

Khalifa: "then you may (as a last alternative) beat them"

Arberry: "and beat them"

Rodwell: "and scourge them"

Sale: "and chastise them"

Daryabadi: "and beat them"

Asad: "then beat them"

 

If that is what virtually all respected Muslim translations of the Qur'an say, how on earth can anyone contend that wife beating is not condoned by Islam?

 

[WIth due thanks to Mr. Spencer for providing the base material.] less

 

 

 

Brian

 

updated May 12, 2009Let's put things in perspective. I am an American who used to be a military Middle Eastern analyst. I lived in Saudi as an instructor as well. That said, the debate over wearing the abbaya is irrelevant. The men w ...more

Let's put things in perspective. I am an American who used to be a military Middle Eastern analyst. I lived in Saudi as an instructor as well. That said, the debate over wearing the abbaya is irrelevant. The men wear exactly the same thing, only they do not cover their faces. "Covering" is more a cultural rather than religious practice. The Quran asks that individuals dress modestly. How modest is defined is relative region by region. But the Saudi woman's perspective is she does not have to be harrassed by unwanted ogglers when in public (liberating). How many women in the US decry the behavior of construction workers as they walk by.

The second issue, driving in the kingdom. If you asked ANY woman in the US if she would prefer to be chauffeured everywhere; not having to deal with rush hour traffic, she would jump at the opportunity. Well, that's what happens in Saudi. The woman says she needs to go somewhere, somebody better be getting the keys. Just as it is here in the States, in Saudi "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." And just as we have stupid judges and legislators here, they have the same over there... less

 

Ren Tianxiang

 

updated May 12, 2009Unfortunately for Dr. Ahmed, Sura 4 of the Quran does give husbands the authority to hit (some translations use the word "scourge") their wives for disobedience. While this doesn't specifically target spending patter ...more

Unfortunately for Dr. Ahmed, Sura 4 of the Quran does give husbands the authority to hit (some translations use the word "scourge") their wives for disobedience. While this doesn't specifically target spending patterns, it gives husbands the general right to use force on their wives which could be with respect to any failure to obey, including the failure to adhere to spending restrictions. Just because she doesn't like what the Quran says, doesn't mean it isn't there. less

 

Walter

 

updated May 12, 2009Believe it or not, but it wasn't very long ago that men behaved in the exact same way in this country. In reality, just about the only thing that separates Western culture from Islamic culture is a mere hundreds years ...more

Believe it or not, but it wasn't very long ago that men behaved in the exact same way in this country. In reality, just about the only thing that separates Western culture from Islamic culture is a mere hundreds years of history. Men literally owned women as property (and slaves) for thousands of years all over the west. The idea of women's rights is a relatively new concept (especially on a world scale). Open up a history book some time and you'll find that our Western ancestors were guilty of the exact same offenses, and quite possibly, much worse.

 

Just because the West no longer follows the strict rules of the Bible doesn't mean that they never did. The bible espouses and prescribes many of the same ideas and punishments as Islam does. For example, the bible claims that if a women is unfaithful to her husband, she should be stoned to death. It isn't exactly a beacon for women's rights.

 

Timothy 2:11: A woman should learn quietness and full submission.

 

Timothy 2:12: I do not permit a woman to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

 

Ezekial 16:37-41: ...therefore I am going to gather all of your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger. Then I will hand you over to your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and leave you naked and bare. They will bring a mob against you, who will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. They will burn down your family's house and inflict punishment in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers.

 

Deuteronomy 22:13-21: If however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

Ephesians 5:22-24: Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. less

 

mukazzi

 

updated May 12, 2009Dr. Ahmed: thank you for the refreshing, well-thought and (obviously) knowledgable opinon. This is not just about religion, but a way of life. May I remind these 'Westerners' that women are cursed, yelled at, slapped, beaten in these United States for the same silly, baseless, sexist reasons?

Dr. Ahmed: thank you for the refreshing, well-thought and (obviously) knowledgable opinon. This is not just about religion, but a way of life. May I remind these 'Westerners' that women are cursed, yelled at, slapped, beaten in these United States for the same silly, baseless, sexist reasons? less

 

 

 

Jesse

 

updated May 12, 2009It really doesn't matter what the Koran or the Bible contains. It seems to me that most people of faith often and repeatedly act in ways that are not congruent with the teachings of their dogma. Plenty of Christians b ...more

It really doesn't matter what the Koran or the Bible contains. It seems to me that most people of faith often and repeatedly act in ways that are not congruent with the teachings of their dogma. Plenty of Christians beat their wives. The problem is that throughout history, women have been viewed as second class citizens. Men are physically stronger and in the animal world, might makes right. I think men fear women because of the power they posses. Let's face it, women call the shots and allow men to think the opposite. less

 

spocksbrain

 

updated May 12, 2009Dr. Ahmed's viewpoint is refreshing but I take issue with "I came to learn that for most Saudi women, the abbaya is not a tool of oppression but rather one of liberation." If a woman in the west wishes to feel the l ...more

Dr. Ahmed's viewpoint is refreshing but I take issue with "I came to learn that for most Saudi women, the abbaya is not a tool of oppression but rather one of liberation." If a woman in the west wishes to feel the liberation of covering her face, not driving a vehicle, and staying at home unless accompanied by a male in her family then she has every legal right to do so. But if she removes her veil, leaves the house on her own, and drives to the supermarket she is not arrested as a criminal and punished severely. The hospital equipment may be modern, but the laws are archaic, sexist, and just plain wrong. less

 

Nadia

 

updated May 12, 2009To me Dr. Ahmed sounds brainwashed. She's trying to make excuses in an attempt to conceal the bitter reality of her country, and many other Islamic Middle-Eastern countries where violence towards women is perfectly ac ...more

To me Dr. Ahmed sounds brainwashed. She's trying to make excuses in an attempt to conceal the bitter reality of her country, and many other Islamic Middle-Eastern countries where violence towards women is perfectly acceptable. I find it beyond shocking and utterly disgusting that in this day and age, women are treated worse than animals. Whatever religion this people are following is toxic.

 

I don't care what religion it is, but if your religion permits spousal abuse, incest, cruelty, and other dark crimes, then shouldn't you have some type of red flag that makes you wonder that perhaps your religion is unsafe for you??? Don't these people have an ounce of conscience left in them, that makes them distinguish between good and bad??? less

 

 

 

fruma

 

updated May 12, 2009I believe it is ignorant to make comments based on a society one does not live in or understand.

I live in two very different worlds. In one I am an observant Jewish woman. In the other a feminist. Personally I ...more

I believe it is ignorant to make comments based on a society one does not live in or understand.

I live in two very different worlds. In one I am an observant Jewish woman. In the other a feminist. Personally I have found those two worlds to mesh together nicely. I understand that rules the average american person may find archaic and unkind to women within my culture is not unkind at all. I do not dress in modest fashions and cover fully my body because I believe myself less I do this because I think myself more. I am proud of my curves and my body and my sexuality and yet I cover them completely.

I am making this point because I imagine many Saudi women feel the same way.

This judge is obviously representative of a small group of narrow minded thinkers. Just as in america we have corrupt judges and abusive husbands and lavishly spending wives so must other countries.

And I think this author is just lovely by the way. less

 

Joel

 

updated May 12, 2009It is true that the judge of note may not represent Islam as a whole, but he does represent SOME segment of it, and for the remaining segments serves as a hyperbole, of varying degree, for what the Western world still ...more

It is true that the judge of note may not represent Islam as a whole, but he does represent SOME segment of it, and for the remaining segments serves as a hyperbole, of varying degree, for what the Western world still disapproves in Islamic culture. But there is an inherent inequality amongst genders even in Saudi Arabia. This commentator may try and show Islam in a better light, but at the end of the day cannot hide the laws, customs, or legal and social infrastructure that deny women the same rights men. While it would be silly to pretend that total gender equality is true of Western and Judeo-Christian civilization, at least the proper legal precedents have been set in most of Western society so that if women are denied any rights, it will be corrected by and enforced through the law. less

 

N

 

updated May 12, 2009Can Saudi women leave home without a male relative? Can they drive a car? Can they wear western clothing, listen to American rock, eat & drink when & what they want? Do they have the right to chose their own h ...more

Can Saudi women leave home without a male relative? Can they drive a car? Can they wear western clothing, listen to American rock, eat & drink when & what they want? Do they have the right to chose their own husband, religion? Can a father give away his 5 year old daughter to marry a 60 years old man in order to pay off his debt? Are honor killings of women still allowed with impunity? Are little girls still forced to have female circumcisions thereby preventing her from ever enjoying sex? I fear you have a long way to go before women can feel equal & free. less

 

Rachel

 

updated May 12, 2009no one believes Islam OR the middle east governments are pro woman. that's a joke. no one is buying it.

no one believes Islam OR the middle east governments are pro woman. that's a joke. no one is buying it. less

 

Patrick

 

updated May 12, 2009devin, because the idea that "Islam in general" is against this is only Dr. Ahmed's personal interpretation / wish. Islam has no central scriptural authority, and they have various denominations and leaders just as wi ...more

devin, because the idea that "Islam in general" is against this is only Dr. Ahmed's personal interpretation / wish. Islam has no central scriptural authority, and they have various denominations and leaders just as with Christianity and other faiths. King Abdullah or Dr. Ahmed or other Muslim clerics and leaders can personally disagree with this judge's interpretation of scripture, but the net effect of that is zero. It's just as if the pope and the archbishop of Canturbury disagreed with a biblical interpretation made by a southern Baptist preacher. That's going to have an effect on Anglicans and Catholics - but not on the particular followers of that Baptist preacher, or on him. less

 

brudog56

 

updated May 12, 2009It's one thing for a Muslim woman with a PhD and the means to support herself to speak out on this, but what we really need is for the Islamic every-woman to take a stand. These women need to respect themselves enough to draw the line with their husbands.

It's one thing for a Muslim woman with a PhD and the means to support herself to speak out on this, but what we really need is for the Islamic every-woman to take a stand. These women need to respect themselves enough to draw the line with their husbands. less

 

Kerrie

 

updated May 12, 2009I recently read Dr. Ahmed's book and found it fascinating. I think a lot of people here are taking what she said out of context. I don't think that she was saying the abaya and restrictions on driving are ok, she's ...more

I recently read Dr. Ahmed's book and found it fascinating. I think a lot of people here are taking what she said out of context. I don't think that she was saying the abaya and restrictions on driving are ok, she's saying there have been major strides in women's rights over there that are more important. Indeed, the domestic violence is more important. I don't have a problem with a woman wearing the abaya so long as she chooses it, I think forcing someone to be devout is ridiculous and worse oppressive. I'm think she had a really unique perspective and if you read her book you would know that she doesn't condone any type of oppression, in fact she rails against it. less

sara

 

updated May 12, 2009look, don't pin point islam as the only religion who has stupid things in its book. all 'holy books' do. because they were created by men and their imagination. at a time when christian cities in europe were filled wi ...more

look, don't pin point islam as the only religion who has stupid things in its book. all 'holy books' do. because they were created by men and their imagination. at a time when christian cities in europe were filled with toilet dump islamic civilizations thrived in technology and other aspects. every culture, religion, and empire goes up and down. you've gotta have a historical perspective on it. and no I don't think we as human beings "progress" we just change. less

Jay

 

updated May 12, 2009The brain is a wonderful instrument created by GOD which gives a person the ability to research subjects and decide for their self whether something they hear or read about is true or total B.S.

It is pretty easy ...more

The brain is a wonderful instrument created by GOD which gives a person the ability to research subjects and decide for their self whether something they hear or read about is true or total B.S.

It is pretty easy to do a little research and find out if Islam sanctions slapping a wife for "overspending". The answer is a resounding "NO", no matter what an over zealous & obviously confused non-authority figure says. BRAVO to Dr. Ahmad on an accurate & a well-articulated response. less

 

Madeleine

 

updated May 12, 2009Islam may not sanction abuse, but unless there are specific laws that punish abusers and protect women, women will continue to be abused. There will always be rightious, just, kind and loving men who would never do t ...more

Islam may not sanction abuse, but unless there are specific laws that punish abusers and protect women, women will continue to be abused. There will always be rightious, just, kind and loving men who would never do these things, and clerics who interpret Islam purely and wish to protect women, but unless there is legal recourse, the quality of a woman's life will be left to the arbitrary quirks of fate based on the character of their male relatives. less

 

Rick McDaniel

 

updated May 12, 2009This religion has far too many problems and inconsistencies, in today's modern world.

 

It is a relic of yesteryear, when men ruled the world, and women had no rights.

This religion has far too many problems and inconsistencies, in today's modern world.

 

It is a relic of yesteryear, when men ruled the world, and women had no rights. less

 

Ron Howerton

 

updated May 12, 2009And Christianity treats women better? Name one female Catholic priest. Any women who claims Muslim or Christian beliefs can expect to be treated as a second class citizen by church leadership.

And Christianity treats women better? Name one female Catholic priest. Any women who claims Muslim or Christian beliefs can expect to be treated as a second class citizen by church leadership. less

 

donnilee

 

updated May 12, 2009More likely it is one man's old-fashioned idiocy that refuses to change with the times. I don't know the age of the judge per se. But I agree with the doctor here. More attention has to be paid to nuances in the Is ...more

More likely it is one man's old-fashioned idiocy that refuses to change with the times. I don't know the age of the judge per se. But I agree with the doctor here. More attention has to be paid to nuances in the Islamic/Muslim community. There are many factions within Muslim religion and Islamic states. Definition between the "average Muslim" and the few radical organizations like al Queda which are a glaring minority need to be made and pointed out in the media. Without these distinctions, it's like ostracizing all Catholics cause a few Priests can't keep their pants zipped up. Bad analogy, but you get the idea. Terrorist, extremist, backwards organization and individual Muslims are few, a minority and that distinction needs to be made. The people of the west need to hear more positive narratives like the one above. This avoids the knee-jerk reactions that condemn an entire people for the actions of a few. less

 

dj

 

updated May 12, 2009If Islam is so clear about things like this, as the writer claims, then why are Islamic regimes so repressive in their treatment of women? I'll tell you why; it's because the Koran is open to interpretation -- just l ...more

If Islam is so clear about things like this, as the writer claims, then why are Islamic regimes so repressive in their treatment of women? I'll tell you why; it's because the Koran is open to interpretation -- just like other holy texts are. And, with Islam. men........old, conservative men.......are the ones who interpret it because that is how Islam is designed and implemented.

 

So it makes very little difference (in Islamic countries) what women say that the Koran "clearly says." And this is especially true if the interpretation is coming from an American women, which, in effect, Dr. Ahmed is.

 

It's very sad that many Islamic countries seem to be going in a more radical direction, apparently taking the lead of the most radical forces within Islam. This will not serve these countries in the end because they will be isolated from much of the world. But if the radicals do hold sway within Islam, then we can look for Islamic countries to go further backward; to disrespect the most basic of human rights and to treat their voiceless citizens as property.

 

Let's hope that reason prevails over their warped interpretation sooner, rather than later. less

 

ex-Muslim

 

updated May 12, 2009I challenge CNN to allow an unbiased scholarly critic straight from Islamic books and commentaries on how women are treated since the day of Mohammed. I am sick and tiered of Western media's covering up true Islamic teaching. We are not stupid Dr. Ahmed. Enough propaganda!

I challenge CNN to allow an unbiased scholarly critic straight from Islamic books and commentaries on how women are treated since the day of Mohammed. I am sick and tiered of Western media's covering up true Islamic teaching. We are not stupid Dr. Ahmed. Enough propaganda! less

 

Brent

 

updated May 12, 2009Below is an english versions of the Quran verse 4:34. It states that their are conditions under which its acceptable to scourge (beat) ones wife. The problem lies in the fact that the Koran seems to be consisten ...more

Below is an english versions of the Quran verse 4:34. It states that their are conditions under which its acceptable to scourge (beat) ones wife. The problem lies in the fact that the Koran seems to be consistent in its interpretation of men being superior to women and good Muslims are encouraged to take the Koran literally (no room for interpretation)

 

"Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God has of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness you have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great! Rodwell[1]" less

 

mia

 

updated May 12, 2009After reading the comments (which are usually better than the article itself!):

1. Islam does support women having their own money. The Prophet Muhammed's wife was a respected businesswoman and older than him(his ...more

After reading the comments (which are usually better than the article itself!):

1. Islam does support women having their own money. The Prophet Muhammed's wife was a respected businesswoman and older than him(his first wife, I think)

2. Culture is not the same as religion. Indian culture has similar factions that are horrible towards women. They tend to be Hindu. Supposedly their culture is changing too, though.

3.If you take some passages in the Bible literally, they are horrifying. Somewhere in there it says that if a man rapes a woman he should be forced to marry her (which means she'd be forced to marry her rapist).People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones... less

 

Paul

 

updated May 12, 2009Twisted logic: "I came to learn that for most Saudi women, the abbaya is not a tool of oppression but rather one of liberation...[because] donning abbayas allows them to work as chemical engineers... "

 

So, ...more

Twisted logic: "I came to learn that for most Saudi women, the abbaya is not a tool of oppression but rather one of liberation...[because] donning abbayas allows them to work as chemical engineers... "

 

So, the abbaya is good for women, because by wearing it they can do things they would not otherwise be able to do?! That's ridiculous. How about allowing them to do what they want WITHOUT an abbaya?? That would be liberating... less

 

Fahad

 

updated May 12, 2009As to Dillans comments. Losing respect for a religion because of the followers doesnt really lead us anywhere. Using this argument one could lose respect for Christianity based on the Priests scandals with child moles ...more

As to Dillans comments. Losing respect for a religion because of the followers doesnt really lead us anywhere. Using this argument one could lose respect for Christianity based on the Priests scandals with child molestation.

 

Now that being said we need to understand other religions and force a dialogue discussing these issues. less

 

John

 

updated May 12, 2009My understanding from the Koran is that the Prophet did not approve of lending money if interest was involved. He lacked vision to see that as people increase so does demand; that just like the grains, livestock, and ...more

My understanding from the Koran is that the Prophet did not approve of lending money if interest was involved. He lacked vision to see that as people increase so does demand; that just like the grains, livestock, and metals people trade-which change in supply-so must the currencies that make these things inter-changeable. How can the cost of money NOT change when everything else does?

 

So Islam has believers who try to adapt to inevitable change, and some who (like every other faith) insist nothing can ever change.

 

As to beating on people who do stupid things like spend beyond what all know are necessary limits, I am conflicted myself. Sometimes one HAS to just do something wild, like overspend, because mental health requires a release. I have done it myself. Patience is needed. And better methods than beatings must exist. But I supose that when 2 adults both know their financial limits and one just can't contain themselves time after time, then it comes down to divorce or a spanking. If a spanking will save them I say go for it. But of course it probably will not... less

 

 

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/

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