Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beating wives

Describe this post : 
How come Islam respects women, while Qur’an says that a men can beat their wives?
There is a verse in Quran where it says:
“… As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) and refuse to sleep with them, (and finally) hit them …”
[Al-Qur’an 4:34]
To discuss this we have to read the verse from the beginning, which says:
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) and refuse to sleep with them, (and finally) hit them. But if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allâh is Ever Most High, Most Great”
[Al-Qur’an 4:34]
1.       The meaning of the word
In Arabic the word is “Idrebohonna”, originates from the verb “Daraba”, it should be translated as “hit”, just “hit” …
And when some translators translate the word in English, some translated it as “beat” and once a translator translated it as “scourge” …
“Scourge” is like taking a whip and getting out here and then bom bam bam !!!!
The verse referred in question neither permits violence against women nor condones it. The word “beating” or “hitting” used in the verse, but it does not mean "physical abuse".
2.       If the man had to, how should it be done
The Prophet explained it by "dharban ghayra mubarrih" which means "a light tap that leaves no mark". He further said that face must be avoided. Some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by a Siwak/Meswak (tooth stick), which is now in the size of a toothbrush.
In a clear Hadith in regard of that verse and that particular word, the prophet took a tooth stick, which is Meswak / Sewak, no bigger than a toothbrush today, and he showed it and said: “this is how you do it”, and he tapped himself …
And that is the meaning of it, it means a tap, and that’s all it can mean, because that’s what the prophet said it means, nothing more.
3.       Beating wives in Islam
To confirm the above concept, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?” ( Reported by Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith, he is also reported to have said, “Do not beat the female servants of Allah.”
Also it is clearly stated in this verse that men might only beat their wives in the case of "Nushooz" or disobedience.
In fact, Allah Almighty has allowed beating wives as the last resort for husbands, a man should warn his wife first, and if she is still stubborn, then he may stop sleeping with her (without leaving the bed), and then if she is still disobeying him then he might hit her in the manner described by the prophet.
4.       The marital relationship in Islam
Surely Islam stands for excellent relations between husbands and wives. Islam also calls upon husbands to treat their wives in a good and humane manner.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) calls upon husbands to be nice, kind, and friendly to their wives.
He declared in one of his hadiths that the best among you are those who are kind and nice to their wives.
5.       The prophet’s marital life
Furthermore, the prophet’s last message was a call upon husbands to be kind and nice to their wives. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself was a wonderful, kind, tolerant, and nice husband.
He never shouted at or hurt any of his wives, nor did he hit any of them despite the mistakes committed by some of them.
6.       The last resort
Moreover, the hitting was stated in the said verse as a last resort, meaning it is forbidden for a husband to begin the process by hitting, before counseling and abandoning her in bed. He has to exhaust all types of counseling and abandoning before resorting to hitting.
7.       The prophet’s instructions about women
Women must be respected and loved as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared about the treatment of women, “Only the good and nice people respect them and only the low and the bad people humiliate them.”
8.       Women rights …
It’s a beautiful verse, it starts showing the rights of women. It says that men, not people, men in particular are the protectors and the providers for the women …
Meaning that men have to go to work to protect these ladies and feed them and cloth them and care for them, and women have to do nothing when it comes to making any money …
And when it comes to making any money, women get to keep it ALL for them-selves…
Meaning the man have to pay all the bills, house rent, electricity, gas, water, etc.,
All the expenses of the house are the responsibility of the man …
Also the protection of the women ….
Because 14 centuries ago, men thought that they could take things away from women when they marry them …
But the woman doesn’t have to worry about that kind of thing if she inherits, she keeps it all, if she has wealth, it’s all hers, if she makes any money, it’s all hers …
And what percentage does a woman has to contribute to house-hold expenses … NOTHING.
So a woman can keep whatever she has, gets or inherits, and still make the man pay for all her expenses …
Isn’t that liberation??
9.       Conclusion
Wife beating anytime and for any reason is prohibited in Islam…

Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

“Do not retain them (i.e., your wives) to harm them...”
[Al-Qur’an 2:231]

In this verse Allah forbids husbands from keeping their wives with the intention of harming them.

Also Qur’an states that if life has become impossible and unbearable between husband and wife, they should go separate peacefully:

“If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if you do well and practice self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that you do.”
[Al-Qur’an 4: 128]
Male dominance- even if it wasn't physically abusive- is not allowed in Islam, for it will eventually threaten the marriage and result in a divorce.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) ordered Muslim husbands to accept their wives as they are, treat them kindly and equally; according to the following hadith narrated by Mu'awiyah al-Qushayri:

"I went to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food as what you have for yourself, and clothe them as you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them."
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) ordered Muslim wives not to provoke their husbands allowing them to lose their tempers and so beat them, he (PBUH) also advised Muslim husbands not to over react with their wives, for this provokes the wife to disobey her husband and thus giving husbands the right to beat them (but again not harsh beating).

Brutally beating the wives and causing bruises and damages to their bodies is clearly prohibited in Islam. And because Islam gives his respect to dignity of the individual, Prophet Mohammad forbad striking on the face for anyone, even slaves, not just for wives, because it is mere humiliation.

As narrated AbuHurayrah:

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

"When one of you inflicts a beating, he should avoid striking the face."
  1. References:
    1. Lectures for Yusuf Estes: Wonen-Part1, Women-Part2, Beating-Women
    2. Lectures for Dr.Zakir Naik: Women’s rights in Islam
  1. To get more information about Islam
3.       Anyone ... and I mean anyone (Muslim or not Muslim) who needs my help or wants to directly communicate with me about any matter in Islam … please don't hesitate to contact me on my personal e-mail

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why capital punishment for apostasy?

Describe this post : 

Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since apostasy is punished with capital punishment?

NOTE: "Islam does not permit taking the life of any innocent peron - ever. Changing one's mind about beliefs is not, by itself, incurring any form of physical punishment according to Islamic Law" - Yusuf Estes

It was only in the last few years I learned there is killing going on in some countries over the issue of family members and others converting to other religions.
Yes! - even in these days! Egypt has cases of Christians killing someone for going to Islam, as well as the other way around.
This is also true, according to the newspapers about someone in Israel going to Islam last year.
And there is even a law in Chanai, India forbidden the public declaration of faith for anyone converting to Islam.

1. Islam for everyone
Islam always deals with everyone in Justice and Equity. Oppression of any person, regardless of their religious belief is totally forbidden in the Islamic State on all levels.
Islam means "willing submission to the Will of God in peaceful obedience", and as such, cannot be forced upon anyone, nor can anyone be converted to Islam against their will.
When the laws of Islam are set in place they exist as a trust to protect God-given rights of everyone, under God's Laws.
Islamic State provides advantages and benefits for all who live within its domain, as well as admonition and punishment for those who violate this trust and oppress others.
2. Apostasy in the time of the prophet
During the time of our prophet, peace be upon him, there were some who "left Islam" and then they were allowed to come back if they wanted to or stay away if they so desired.
One example is from the Muslims who migrated in the first migration to Ethiopia and one of them left Islam, became a Christian (the people of Abyssinia were Christians at that time) and then even told people there he was an "author" of the Quran.
Of course such actions are most despicable and worthy of some kind of reprimand, especially considering the extent of the lies against the Quran and the prophet, peace be upon him.
Yet, nothing was done to this man by the Muslims. His wife, Zainab, could not tolerate his lies and his turning his back against the truth of Islam and she returned back to the Muslims in Arabia.

Other examples include those who entered Islam in the presence of our beloved prophet, peace be upon him, yet when they were returned back to their people (during an agreement between the pagans and Muhammad, peace be upon him) some of them reverted back to their old pagan religion.
Some of them did come back to Islam again later on after Islam came to be the governing state. In this case we observe what can happen in the case of the one who is in Islam and then for whatever reason decides not to stay.

Yet another example that occurred at the time of our blessed prophet, peace be upon him, was that of some who pretended they wanted to be Muslims only to take advantage of the believers, gain some worldly benefits and then abused and slaughtered an entire group of shepherds that memorized the entire Quran, who were caring for them.
They killed them in cold blood and took everything for themselves. The prophet, peace be upon him, was very disturbed over this and ordered them to be severely punished and left to die without any food or water.
3. The proper punishment
From this example we learn how to deal with traitors and terrorists who have no intention of doing anything except evil and spreading fitnah (evil and terror) throughout the land.
Over the centuries since the inception of Islam, we can find cases of people leaving Islam and what was their example and what the prevailing jurists decided in their particular situation.
Most all of these were not punished except in the cases of treason, other acts of violence or for propagating corruption, dissention and promoting evil along with their apostasy.
Those who were found to be causing sedition or of being enemy spies during times of war or advocating the overthrow of Islamic government could understandably be court-martialed and executed.
4. Nowadays
Now let us consider the realities of balance in Islam in light of today's world.
There is no existing Islamic state with a khilafah. This means the hudud (punishment according to Islam) of the Shar'iah (Islamic Law) cannot be appropriately applied.
Additionally, anyone not being a citizen living in an Islamic state could hardly be tried and convicted by the state in a proper manner.
5. Treatment of conversion and apostasy with other civilizations and societies
a. Roman civilization
The Roman civilization would not tolerate someone who accepted the benefits of citizenship and the turned against the government.
These people were made short work of as entertainment for the people, while gladiators tortured and killed them for public sport. (see: Encyclopedia Britanitca; Rome).
b. Jewish incidents
During the years after Jesus, peace be upon him, occurred in the south of Arabia in Yemen. Yusuf Dhu Nawas, a Jewish leader in Yemen, attacked the Christians of Najran ordering them to embrace Judaism or be burned in a pit of fire.
Estimates put the number of those killed between 20,000 and 40,000.
c. Catholic church
The Catholic Church at one time forced people to enter into their religion at the point of the sword and with torture chambers (see: Crusades, 1095 to 1200 A.D.; and Inquisition, 1492 to 1520 A.D.)
Those who wished to remain or change to Islam or Judaism or even another form of Christianity were put to the vilest forms of tortures and even executed.
However, this cannot be said to, in any way, represent the teachings of Jesus or the New Testament.

To conclude, Islam comes from Allah, the actual Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Islam provides for all situations and dictates what are the rights and limitations.

This all seeks to provide a safe environment for all people to learn the correct message of Almighty Allah and how to live as upright citizens in a place of pleace and mutual cooperation for all humans, regardless of their beliefs.

If a person wants to accept this belief and way of life, then they should be free to do so. If another person would reject this even though the evidence is clearly in favor of Islam, they are free to make this choice but would live in the society still receiving the benefits and services available, such as food, shelter, clothing, protection and charity.

However, they would pay a larger tax on their wealth due to their not being conscripted to serve in the military and so on.

Conditions are really what bring about the different rulings on dealing with those who enter Islam and then leave it, with the clear intention of bringing about dissention and unrest amongst the people.

Also, those who seek to convert people away from Islam into other faiths or to destroy the Islamic government would naturally be considered as traitors and then dealt with as such.

All knowledge is with Allah and for any mistakes I seek Allah's forgiveness and beg the pardon of anyone whom I may have offended in this writing.

Again, may Allah reward you for your effort and accept from you and all of us, ameen.
Salam alaykum,
Yusuf Estes

  1. Written by Yusuf Estes a former Preacher converted to Islam ... for more details visit this page
  2. To get more information about Islam
  3. Anyone ... and I mean anyone (Muslim or not Muslim) who needs my help or wants to directly communicate with me about any matter in Islam … please don't hesitate to contact me on my personal e-mail

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does islam promote violence?

Describe this post : 

Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since the Qur’an says that Muslims should kill the kuffar where ever they find them?

A few selected verses from the Qur’an are often misquoted to perpetuate the myth that Islam promotes violence, and exhorts its followers to kill those outside the pale of Islam.

1.     Verse from Surah Taubah

The following verse from Surah Taubah is very often quoted by critics of Islam, to show that Islam promotes violence, bloodshed and brutality:

"Kill the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them."
[Al-Qur’an 9:5]

2.     Context of verse is during battlefield

Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriqs (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriqs of Makkah.

A period of four months was given to the Mushriqs of Makkah to make amends.
Otherwise war would be declared against them. Verse 5 of Surah Taubah says:

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful."
[Al-Qur’an 9:5]

This verse is quoted during a battle.

3.     Example of war between America and Vietnam

We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: "Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them".

Today if I say that the American President said, "Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them" without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher.

But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war.

4.     Verse 9:5 quoted to boost morale of Muslims during battle

Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, "Kill the Mushriqs where ever you find them", during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers.

What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is:” don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them”.

5.     Shourie jumps from verse 5 to verse 7

Arun Shourie is one of the staunchest critics of Islam in India. He quotes the same verse, Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 in his book ‘The World of Fatwahs’, on page 572.

After quoting verse 5 he jumps to verse 7 of Surah Taubah. Any sensible person will realize that he has skipped verse 6.

6.     Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer

Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer to the allegation that Islam promotes violence, brutality and bloodshed. It says:

"If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum,grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure that is because they are men without knowledge."
[Al-Qur’an 9:6]

The Qur’an not only says that a Mushriq seeking asylum during the battle should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a secure place.

In the present international scenario, even a kind, peace-loving army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if they want peace.

But which army General will ever tell his soldiers, if the enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but also escort them to a place of security?
This is exactly what Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an to promote peace in the world.
  1. From "Answers to non-Muslims, Common questions about Islam" Authored by Dr.Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik.
  2. To get more information about Islam
3.       Anyone ... and I mean anyone (Muslim or not Muslim) who needs my help or wants to directly communicate with me about any matter in Islam … please don't hesitate to contact me on my personal e-mail

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hereafter - Life after death

Describe this post : 

How can you prove the existence of hereafter, i.e. life after death?

1.     Belief in the hereafter is not based on blind faith?

Many people wonder as to how a person with a scientific and logical temperament, can lend any credence to the belief of life after death.

People assume that anyone believing in the hereafter is doing so on the basis of blind belief.
My belief in the hereafter is based on a logical argument.

2.     Hereafter: a logical belief

There are more than a thousand verses in the Glorious Qur’an, containing scientific facts (refer my book “Qur’an and Modern Science-Compatible or Incompatible?”).

Many facts mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered in the last few centuries. But science has not advanced to a level where it can confirm every statement of the Qur’an.
Suppose 80% of all that is mentioned in the Qur’an has been proved 100% correct.

About the remaining 20%, science makes no categorical statement, since it has not advanced to a level, where it can either prove or disprove these statements.

With the limited knowledge that we have, we cannot say for sure whether even a single percentage or a single verse of the Qur’an from this 20% portion is wrong.

Thus when 80% of the Qur’an is 100% correct and the remaining 20% is not disproved, logic says that even the 20% portion is correct.

The existence of the hereafter, which is mentioned in the Qur’an, falls in the 20% ambiguous portion which my logic says is correct.

3.     Concept of peace and human values is useless without the concept of hereafter

Is robbing a good or an evil act? A normal balanced person would say it is evil.
How would a person who does not believe in the hereafter convince a powerful and influential criminal that robbing is evil?

Suppose I am the most powerful and influential criminal in the world. At the same time I am an Intelligent and a logical person. I say that robbing is good because it helps me lead a luxurious life. 

Thus robbing is good for me.

If anybody can put forward a single logical argument as to why it is evil for me, I will stop immediately.

People usually put forward the following arguments:

a.      The person who is robbed will face difficulties
Some may say that the person who is robbed will face difficulties. I certainly agree that it is bad for the person who is robbed. But it is good for me. If I rob a thousand dollars, I can enjoy a good meal at a 5 star restaurant.

b.     Someone may rob you
Some people argue that someday I may be robbed. No one can rob me because I am a very powerful criminal and I have hundreds of bodyguards.

I can rob anybody but nobody can rob me. Robbing may be a risky profession for a common man but not for an influential person like me.

c.      The police may arrest you
Some may say, if you rob, you can be arrested by the police. The police cannot arrest me because I have the police on my payroll. I have the ministers on my payroll.

I agree that if a common man robs, he will be arrested and it will be bad for him, but I am an extraordinarily influential and powerful criminal.

Give me one logical reason why it is bad for me and I will stop robbing.

d.     It’s easy money
Some may say, “it’s easy money”, and not hard-earned money. I agree completely that it is easy money, and that is one of the main reasons why I rob.

If a person has the option of earning money the easy as well as the hard way, any logical person would choose the easy way.

e.     It is against humanity
Some may say it is against humanity and that a person should care for other human beings. I counter argue by asking as to who wrote this law called ‘humanity’ and why should I follow it?

This law may be good for the emotional and sentimental people but I am a logical person and I see no benefit in caring for other human beings.

f.       It is a selfish act
Some may say that robbing is being selfish. It is true that robbing is a selfish act; but then why should I not be selfish? It helps me enjoy life.

1.       No logical reason for robbing being an evil act

Hence all arguments that attempt to prove that robbing is an evil act are futile.

These arguments may satisfy a common man but not a powerful and influential criminal like me.

None of the arguments can be defended on the strength of reason and logic. It is no surprise that there are so many criminals in this world.

Similarly raping, cheating etc. can be justified as good for a person like me and there is no logical argument that can convince me that these things are bad.

2.       A Muslim can convince a powerful and influential criminal

Now let us switch sides. Suppose you are the most powerful and influential criminal in the world, who has the police and the ministers on his payroll. You have army of thugs to protect you. I am a 

Muslim who will convince you that robbing, raping, cheating, etc. are evil acts.

Even if I put forth the same arguments to prove that robbing is evil the criminal will respond the same way as he did earlier.

I agree that the criminal is being logical and all his arguments are true only when he is the most powerful and influential criminal.

3.       Every human being wants justice

Each and every human being desires justice. Even if he does not want justice for others he wants justice for himself. Some people are intoxicated by power and influence and inflict pain and suffering on others.

The same people, however, would surely object if some injustice was done to them. The reason such people become insensitive to the suffering of others is that they worship power and influence.

Power and influence, they feel, not only allows them to inflict injustice on others but also prevents others from doing likewise to them.

4.       God is most Powerful and Just

As a Muslim I would convince the criminal about the existence of Almighty God (refer to answer proving the existence of God). This God is more powerful than you and at the same time is also just. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“Allah is never unjust in the least degree”
[Al-Qur’an 4:40]

5.       Why does God not punish me?

The criminal, being a logical and scientific person, agrees that God exists, after being presented with scientific facts from the Qur’an. He may argue as to why God, if He is Powerful and Just, does not punish him.

6.       The people who do injustice should be punished

Every person who has suffered injustice, irrespective of financial or social status, almost certainly wants the perpetrator of injustice to be punished.

Every normal person would like the robber or the rapist to be taught a lesson. Though a large number of criminals are punished, many even go scot-free.

They lead a pleasant, luxurious life, and even enjoy a peaceful existence.
If injustice is done to a powerful and influential person, by someone more powerful and more influential than he, even such a person would want that person perpetrators of injustice to be punished.

7.       This life is a test for the hereafter

This life is a test for the hereafter. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“He who created Death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving”
[Al-Qur’an 67:2]

8.       Final justice on day of judgment

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of life): for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.”
[Al-Qur’an 3:185]

Final justice will be meted out on the Day of Judgment. After a person dies, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment along with the rest of mankind.

It is possible that a person receives part of his punishment in this world. The final reward and punishment will only be in the hereafter.

God Almighty may not punish a robber or a rapist in this world but he will surely be held accountable on the Day of Judgment and will be punished in the hereafter i.e. life after death.

9.       What punishment can the human law give Hitler?

Hitler incinerated six million Jews during his reign of terror. Even if the police had arrested him, what punishment can the human law give Hitler for justice to prevail?

The most they can do is to send Hitler to the gas chamber. But that will only be punishment for the killing of one Jew.

What about the remaining five million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine Jews?

10.   Allah can burn Hitler more than six million times in hellfire

Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an:

“Those who reject Our signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire; as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise”
[Al-Qur’an 4:56]

If Allah wishes he can incinerate Hitler six million times in the hereafter in the hellfire.

11.   No concept of human values or good and bad without concept of hereafter
It is clear that without convincing a person about the hereafter, i.e. life after death, the concept of human values and the good or evil nature of acts is impossible to prove to any person who is doing injustice, especially when he is influential and powerful.

  1. From "Answers to non-Muslims, Common questions about Islam" Authored by Dr.Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik.
  2. To get more information about Islam
3.       Anyone ... and I mean anyone (Muslim or not Muslim) who needs my help or wants to directly communicate with me about any matter in Islam … please don't hesitate to contact me on my personal e-mail