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Islamic Concepts Regarding Women's Rights

 Domestic violence and religious abuse which is propagated by the western liberal writers is based on the ignorance of the Qur’an which has set rules for practices in a Muslim family system. It presents precise obligatory responsibilities of the marital system to promote peace and welfare among family members. If someone misuses the prescribed verses related to a pious and prosperous Muslim life, then it is the cultural interpretations and not the religious practices in the Islam. Besides, Qur’an presents a respectable, dignified status of women who may be committed to husband only, and strictly prohibits nudity and exhibitionism. Mere talking about women liberty without any solid marital bond and running away from the responsibility of rearing children is not the solution of a strong family unit. Therefore original verses of the Holy Book are presented with logical rules and regulations based on marital psychology and present social aspects. As with the other Ahele-kitab, Allah has revealed in the Qur’an 1,430 years ago rules in Islam to address psycho-social issues as preventive and curative measures in describing the biological process of human sexual relationship.  Islam has presented a much disciplined social and domestic life system. It is based on individual privacy, spousal rights and control of sexual provocations. In Islam, instead of propagation of rules or regulations, there is emphasis on the application and practices in daily life. Various surahs have meaningful data, particularly in Surah Al-Nisa (04), Surah Al-Baqra (02) and Surah An-Nur (71) to teach and train even the uneducated tribal groups of that time. Laws regarding free sexual affairs, sexual relations within a marriage contract (nikkah), exhibitionism and related issues are revealed for the practices in the Muslim society. Details are given on how to apply these and severe public punishment to prevent such actions and develop a balanced society based on human rights and responsibilities. These are narrated in detail in V-24:1-34, 58-61, 64, for example as in 34. And indeed We have sent down for you Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that make things plain, and the example of those who passed away before you, and an admonition for those who are Al-Muttaqun. 58. O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before Fajr (morning) prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the 'Isha' (late-night) prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (the Verses of this Qur'an, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 59. And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age). Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Commandments and legal obligations) for you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 60. And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wed-lock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. 61. There is no restriction on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the sick, nor on yourselves, if you eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your father's brothers, or the houses of your father's sisters, or the houses of your mother's brothers, or the houses of your mother's sisters, or (from that) whereof you hold keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin on you whether you eat together or apart. But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: As-Salamu 'Alaikum - peace be on you) blessed and good. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (these Verses or your religious symbols and signs, etc.) to you that you may understand. 64. Certainly, to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and the Earth. Surely, He knows your condition and (He knows) the Day when they will be brought back to Him, then He will inform them of what they did. And Allah is All-Knower of everything.” Muslim women are given a central figure in family unit and child rearing practices. It is a psychological fact that pre-marital sex is obviously different than the love or sex after marriage between married couples in a public bond to meet the marital obligations as it is human curiosity to see what is within a wrapped precious present.  The Qur’an and the Holy Prophet’s mannerisms are guidelines in daily life to create homogeneity, understanding, and affection for Muslim brotherhood and respected sisterhood in the community. Therefore, it is advised to greet each other every time with the word asalaamo-alaikum (God’s peace be upon you) and return the same wishes to the addressee. It is Muslim tradition to shake hands; embrace each other on holidays; observe privacy and a respectful distance between the genders; share food on Islamic festivals; invite and participate in dinners; exchange gifts; travel to visit relatives; offer help to the handicapped and older people; visit and pray for sick people; love and give gifts to children; stand up in respect of pious and older people; maintain special care for orphans, widows and economically repressed families; listen, and then talk gently with a smiling face; be humble and generous in discussions; and offer peace and forgiveness for mistreatment or aggressive behavior as God loves such people and will reward them accordingly. In order to keep the family a powerful unit, the parent’s rights and respect were described for harmony in family relationships, V-17-:23-25. In order to keep a balanced relationship and avoid confrontation on monetary affairs, families are encouraged to avoid being spendthrift and adopt moderation in spending, V-17:27 & 29 states,” Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin(devils), and the Shaitan(Devil - Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.”.”29. And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neither neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.”  It is also stated that children are blessed by Him and no one should kill them from fear of expense in difficult economic conditions, 30-31 “Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for which He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.”  And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.” Islam has placed great responsibility on the marriage bond as it is not an animal act of purely sexual relations; it is absolutely against free sexual or extra-marital sex, V-17:32,” And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).”  In Islam, male and female relationship is based on the responsibility of a legalized sexual relationship after the ceremony of marriage, in which a wife’s meher(a security bond mutually decided by a pair before the marriage ceremony) creates mutual trust. To maintain a pure and civilized life, in Islamic culture there are strict rules and a supervision system to control provocation with strict punishment for pre-marital or extra-marital affairs. There are strict warnings to Muslims not to indulge in illegal sexual inclinations, lustful acts, aggravation, adultery and acts of provocation, which are the evil deeds to which human nature is tempted without understanding the end result and punishment of hell, V-7: 26-28,” O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth). O Children of Adam! Let not Shaitan (Satan) deceives you, as he got your parents [Adam and Huwa (Eve)] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment’s, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the Shayatin(devils) Auliya' (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not. And when they commit a Fahisha (evil deed, going round the Kaaba in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it." Say: "Nay, Allah never commands of Fahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not?” Resultantly, sex after marriage generates love, understanding and sacrifice in the marital unit instead of free sexual relationships leading to unwanted pregnancies and no adult responsibility to take care of illegitimate children. Instead of ensuring women’s rights and freedom, the percentage of rape, unwanted pregnancies and sexual harassment have increased. The number of unwanted and teenage without a marriage bond has raised plenty of psychological issues and psycho-social complications in the western culture. V-4:4,” And give to the women (whom you marry) their Maher (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart, but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful).”  The Muslim family system has presented a global marital system based on respect between the spouses, resolution of sex-related issues with precise rights and duties of the husband and wife, respect for the seniors, and love for the young ones. The act of marriage is declared a great noble bond not only between a pair rather between the clans, tribes and families for unity and mutual love leading to multiplication of the races. Therefore, a marriage bond is announced in public and celebrated gracefully after the ceremonial activities and feast by praising the Creator for His blessings and multiplication of the family. Although current human and women’s rights movement strongly criticize Muslim society, they too have human systems which have many deficiencies in application. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding about the basic concept of human rights in a family unit due to poor practices in male-dominant cultures in Muslim countries. In fact, if such Muslim male-dominant societies have mingled their own cultural values into the religion of Islam, it is their fault. Qur’an presents the basis of Muslim rules and regulation, which is different from the false practices in a male-dominant society or culture. One of the main negative propaganda against Islamic values in the Western society is that Islam promotes polygamy, which is calculated from certain incidents in the Prophet’s era and which was later adapted by certain wealthy Muslim families. They ignored the fact that even prophets of Bani Israel, like Solomon and David, had plenty of wives as a tradition in the Jewish tribes.  Only heterosexual relationship with spouses is declared fair and all others are prohibited, V-2:223. Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus), when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) before you for your own selves. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad).”  The creation of human beings is described till the end result with facts and observations in V-3:45-54,” And that He (Allah) creates the pairs, male and female, From Nutfah (drops of semen male and female discharges) when it is emitted; And that upon Him (Allah) is another bringing forth (Resurrection);  And that it is He (Allah) Who gives much or a little (or gives wealth and contentment),   And that He (Allah) is the Lord of Sirius (the star which the pagan Arabs used to worship);  And that it is He (Allah) Who destroyed the former 'Ad (people),  And Thamud (people). He spared none of them. And the people of Nuh (Noah) aforetime, verily, they were more unjust and more rebellious and transgressing [in disobeying Allah and His Messenger Nuh (Noah)]. And He destroyed the overthrown cities [of Sodom to which Prophet Lout (Lot) was sent]. So there covered them that which did cover (i.e. torment with stones).” As far as Muslim history is concerned, when the men lost their lives in the battles, numerous widows and orphan girls were left helpless without male guardians. Moreover, innumerable women embraced Muslim society when their husbands died and they were left in chaos after their lands were conquered by the Muslim forces. In order to accommodate a huge number of women and to provide them shelter, Muslim men were directed to marry up to four women based on the good intentions, character and responsibilities instead of liking their beauty or actions. It is further warned that if you cannot meet the responsibility of the provisions of rights to each wife equally, then it is better not to marry even a second one. There are precise verses in the Qur’an to address the above-quoted issues. The Holy Prophet himself, throughout his life, only married one virgin woman after Khadija and all his wives were widows. Secondly, strict scrutiny and conditions were fixed for selecting a non-Muslim woman before taking her into a Muslim family system. V-2:221,” And do not marry Al-Mushrikeen (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikun (idolatress, etc.), even though she pleases you. And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikun till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrikeen (idolater, etc.), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikun) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember.” 

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Women Rights & Integrated Family Unit in Islam

 ”O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Huwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.”    (V-4:1)     During the family interactions, Muslims are guided to take fair oaths as no one can hide secrets from Allah, V-2:224-225.  There is a penalty for loose words in the pious marital bond declared for the dignity of a woman and the responsibility of husband, V-2:226-228,” Those who take an oath not to have sexual relation with their wives must wait four months, then if they return (change their idea in this period), verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. . And if they decide upon divorce, then Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.  And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”  The process of divorce is considered an abhorrent action to maintain the authenticity of marital bond in a Muslim setup. In this respect, strict rules are adopted for the safety and status of a woman, are narrated precisely in V-2:229-233.  Under unsolved circumstances, the divorce procedure is quoted in detail for the security of women in the Muslim society, V-2:236-242. A woman has been given full rights to marry of her own choice in an honorable way even after the death of her husband. Prestigious means are recommended to control sexual provocation and vulgarity in a Muslim culture, as narrated with reasoning in V-2:234-235.  Even the rights of orphan girls in marital affairs are stated to protect them from compulsion or maltreatment by men is revealed in V-4:127.  Positive steps are encouraged to keep the marital bond intact. So, only under unwanted circumstances is a fair line of action adopted in the process of separation by keeping the rights of wives, V-4:128-130,” And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do well and keep away from evil, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do. You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  But if they separate (by divorce), Allah will provide abundance for every one of them from His Bounty. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient for His creatures' need, All-Wise.” Limits and control on certain close-blood relatives are maintained to maintain the biological, social and psychological aspects of human nature. The marriages forbidden with certain relative women prescribed for the betterment of men are clearly stated in V-4:22-24.  Lawful marriages are bonded with meher as a safety net for women in the Muslim culture as a man’s responsibility, V-4:25-26.  Above all, Allah perceives the natural weaknesses of men, so He provides them chances for correction through forgiveness for those who repent their sins, V-4:27-,” Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path.  Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman).” Islam endorses a strong family unit based on set laws of rights and duties to discourage disunity or misunderstanding between the spouses and for nourishing mentally healthy children. In order to keep a pure and peaceful society, strict punishments are announced for blaming innocent Muslims in sex scandals, in V-33: 58,” And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin.” In order to avoid sexual provocation in the Muslim society, the unique status of Muslim women were maintained through veiling, as instructed in V-33:59,” O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” To avoid confrontation after divorce, rules were adapted in favor of women, as in V-33:49,” O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no 'Iddah [divorce prescribed period, see (V.65:4)] have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free i.e. divorce, in a handsome manner.” Abusive remarks to a wife were to be avoided while communicating with her in daily life, as given in V-33:4,” Allah has not put for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has He made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers' backs, your real mothers. [AZ-Ziharis the saying of a husband to his wife, "You are to me like the back of my mother" i.e. you are unlawful for me to approach.], nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way.” Muslim was guided to avoid dirty remarks or insulting the low-status Muslims, as warned in V-33:5. Great rewards for forgiveness and patience in mutual misunderstandings were promised, as in V-42:39-44,” And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, they take revenge. The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof, but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. Verily, He likes not the Zalimun (oppressors, polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.). And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them. The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and wrongly rebel in the Earth, for such there will be a painful torment. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.  And whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no Wali(protector) after Him. And you will see the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.) when they behold the torment, they will say: "Is there any way of return (to the world)?" The great deeds and paths are described by keeping patience while dealing which each other in the Muslim society, as stated in V-90:12-20.The rights of women in Islam are those of a respectable partner of life; therefore, men should control their tongues in making ugly statements about them, is revealed in V-58:1-6. In order to keep the rules of the Qur’an with mannerism in a Muslim set-up, strict orders were imposed to follow it in daily life activities, ” Verily, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ) will be disgraced, as those before them (among the past nation), were disgraced. And We have sent down clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). And for the disbelievers is a disgracing torment. On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and inform them of what they did. Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it. And Allah is Witness over all things.” There was a declaration of differences between good and evildoing life partners and their later impact on the children in a family system, V-22:26,” Bad statements are for bad people (or bad women for bad men) and bad people for bad statements (or bad men for bad women). Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women), such (good people) are innocent of (each and every) bad statement which they say, for them is Forgiveness, and Rizqun Karim (generous provision i.e. Paradise).” Qur’an has revealed the laws to protect the children’s psycho-physical heath under unforeseen circumstances of divorce and aftermath, so that children may not live under embarrassment and insecurity, as given in V-65:1-8. In order to create awareness about the power of control and observation of Almighty Allah who will declare all good and evil deeds done by human beings in public or under privacy, warnings were made about all such secrets or conspiracies, as precisely stated in V-58:7-10.  In order to maintain the social environment of the Muslim culture, the purity of character is preferred above beauty of newly-converted women in Islam, V-60:10-11. Confirmation of a good character about the women before they take an oath to convert to Islam is revealed in V-60:12-13,” O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bai'a (pledge), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood (i.e. by making illegal children belonging to their husbands), and that they will not disobey you in any Ma'ruf(Islamic Monotheism and all that which Islam ordains) then accept their Bai'a (pledge), and ask Allah to forgive them, Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have been in despair to receive any good in the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have been in despair about those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection).” Muslim women are directed to avoid exhibition with specific coverage, V-33:59- 68,”O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease (evil desire for adultery, etc.), and those who spread false news among the people in Al-Medina, cease not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbors’ but a little while.  Accursed, wherever found, they shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.  That was the Way of Allah in the case of those who passed away of old, and you will not find any change in the Way of Allah.  People ask you concerning the Hour, say: "The knowledge of it is with Allah only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!" Verily, Allah has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell).  Wherein they will abide forever, and they will find neither a Wali (a protector) nor a helper. On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Oh, would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger (Muhammad)." And they will say: "Our Lord! Verily, we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (Right) Way. Our Lord! Give them double torment and curse them with a mighty curse”. Qur’an described that the criteria of a Muslim woman for marriage is not the apparent beauty rather the grace of a good character and following the mannerisms in Islam, V-33:49, “O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no 'Iddah [divorce prescribed period, see have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free i.e. divorce, in a handsome manner.” Description of the historically known women ladies who were awarded status by Allah according to their deeds,V-66:12,”And Maryam (Mary), the daughter of 'Imran who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (the sleeve of her shirt or her garment) through Our Ruh[i.e. Jibreel (Gabriel)], and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord [i.e. believed in the Words of Allah: "Be!" and he was; that is 'Isa (Jesus) - son of Maryam (Mary); as a Messenger of Allah], and (also believed in) His Scriptures, and he was of the Qanitin (i.e. obedient to Allah).”                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Continued in the book)    

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