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Author Topic: Open letter on Domestic Violence, responding to the killing of Aasiya Hassan  (Read 4621 times)
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« on: Feb 16, 2009 10:30 PM »


By now most of you must have heard of this horrible news. Allahu alam what really happened but I am glad the Muslim community is responding. -- J.

http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/579324.html

======================================

RESPONDING TO THE KILLING OF AASIYA HASSAN: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LEADERS OF AMERICAN MUSLIM COMMUNITIES

    By Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali
    Executive Director, ADAMS Center
    Vice-President, The Islamic Society of North America

    The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is saddened and shocked by the news of the loss of one of our respected sisters, Aasiya Hassan whose life was taken violently. To God we belong and to Him we return (Qur’an 2:156). We pray that she find peace in God’s infinite Mercy, and our prayers and sympathies are with sister Aasiya’s family. Our prayers are also with the Muslim community of Buffalo who have been devastated by the loss of their beloved sister and the shocking nature of this incident.

    This is a wake up call to all of us, that violence against women is real and can not be ignored. It must be addressed collectively by every member of our community. Several times each day in America, a woman is abused or assaulted. Domestic violence is a behavior that knows no boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity, or social status. Domestic violence occurs in every community. The Muslim community is not exempt from this issue. We, the Muslim community, need to take a strong stand against domestic violence. Unfortunately, some of us ignore such problems in our community, wanting to think that it does not occur among Muslims or we downgrade its seriousness.

    I call upon my fellow imams and community leaders to never second-guess a woman who comes to us indicating that she feels her life to be in danger. We should provide support and help to protect the victims of domestic violence by providing for them a safe place and inform them of their rights as well as refer them to social service providers in our areas.

    Marriage is a relationship that should be based on love, mutual respect and kindness. No one who experiences a marriage that is built on these principles would pretend that their life is in danger. We must respond to all complaints or reports of abuse as genuine and we must take appropriate and immediate action to ensure the victim’s safety, as well as the safety of any children that may be involved.

    Women who seek divorce from their spouses because of physical abuse should get full support from the community and should not be viewed as someone who has brought shame to herself or her family. The shame is on the person who committed the act of violence or abuse. Our community needs to take a strong stand against abusive spouses. We should not make it easy for people who are known to abuse to remarry if they have already victimized someone. We should support people who work against domestic violence in our community, whether they are educators, social service providers, community leaders, or other professionals.

    Our community needs to take strong stand against abusive spouses and we should not make it easy for them to remarry if they chose a path of abusive behavior. We should support people who work against domestic violence in our community, whether they are educators or social service providers. As Allah says in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do” (4:136).

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never hit a women or child in his life. The purpose of marriage is to bring peace and tranquility between two people, not fear, intimidation, belittling, controlling, or demonizing. Allah the All-Mighty says in the Qur’an: “Among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (30:21),

    We must make it a priority to teach our young men in the community what it means to be a good husband and what the role the husband has as a protector of his family. The husband is not one who terrorizes or does harm and jeopardizes the safety of his family. At the same time, we must teach our young women not to accept abuse in any way, and to come forward if abuse occurs in the marriage. They must feel that they are able to inform those who are in authority and feel comfortable confiding in the imams and social workers of our communities.

    Community and family members should support a woman in her decision to leave a home where her life is threatened and provide shelter and safety for her. No imam, mosque leader or social worker should suggest that she return to such a relationship and to be patient if she feels the relationship is abusive. Rather they should help and empower her to stand up for her rights and to be able to make the decision of protecting herself against her abuser without feeling she has done something wrong, regardless of the status of the abuser in the community.

    A man’s position in the community should not affect the imam’s decision to help a woman in need. Many disasters that take place in our community could have been prevented if those being abused were heard. Domestic violence is not a private matter. Any one who abuses their spouse should know that their business becomes the business of the community and it is our responsibility to do something about it. She needs to tell someone and seek advice and protection.

    Community leaders should also be aware that those who isolate their spouses are more likely to also be physically abusive, as isolation is in its own way a form of abuse. Some of the abusers use the abuse itself to silence the women, by telling her “If you tell people I abused you, think how people will see you, a well-known person being abused. You should keep it private.”

    Therefore, to our sisters, we say: your honor is to live a dignified life, not to put on the face that others want to see. The way that we measure the best people among us in the community is to see how they treat their families. It is not about how much money one makes, or how much involvement they have in the community, or the name they make for themselves. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, “The best among you are those who are best to their families.”

    It was a comfort for me to see a group of imams in our local community, as well as in the MANA conference signing a declaration promising to eradicate domestic violence in our community. Healthy marriages should be part of a curriculum within our youth programs, MSA conferences, and seminars as well as part of our adult programs in our masajid and in our khutbahs.

    The Islamic Society of North America has done many training workshops for imams on combating domestic violence, as has the Islamic Social Service Associate and Peaceful Families Project. Organizations, such as FAITH Social Services in Herndon, Virginia, serve survivors of domestic violence. All of these organizations can serve as resources for those who seek to know more about the issues of domestic violence.

    Faith Trust Institute, one of the largest interfaith organizations, with Peaceful Families Project, has produced a DVD in which many scholars come together to address this issue. I call on my fellow imams and social workers to use this DVD for training others on the issues of domestic violence. (For information, go to the website: http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/). For more information, or to access resources and materials about domestic violence, please visit www.peacefulfamilies.org.

    In conclusion, Allah says in the Qur’an “O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong; and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs” (31:17). Let us pray that Allah will help us to stand for what is right and leave what is evil and to promote healthy marriages and peaceful family environments. Let us work together to prevent domestic violence and abuse and especially, violence against women.
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 18, 2009 05:00 AM »

To all News Editors:



I was both shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic murder of Aasiya Hassan.  I pray
that God grant her peace and mercy in the abode of Paradise.


I would like to point out that Bridges TV was designed from the
inception to be a Lifestyle Channel, and not a religious channel.  Mr.
Hassan is more aptly described as a businessman, not a religious leader. 
It has been pointed out that he was never seen praying, was apparently not religious,
and even went by the nickname Mo.  This is irrespective of the crime he has been accused of,
and knowing that he has the right to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

For these reasons, I am appalled by the use of the terms, 'honor killing', Muslim, and terrorist,
by feminist organizations and the press with respect to this murder.
  This is clearly
slandering the religion of Islam based on wild speculation and without any basis, designed to
play on stereotypes held about Muslims.  Had the accused been Jewish or Christian, I assure you
that those religions would not be subject to the same slander.


The Prophet Muhammad taught Muslims to be kind to their wives, and emancipated women from
the virtual slavery of pre-Islamic Arabia.  He said: "The best of you are those who are best to their wives." 
He encouraged Muslims to love their wives and to give them their due rights.

The Quran, likewise, says:   "The righteous are those who restrain their anger, and are forgiving to all people." 
If kindness does not begin within the home, it will be impossible to bring it into society and impart it to others.



I hope feminist organizations, such as NOW, will learn the truth about Islam, and differentiate between what Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught, and what certain individuals practice in spite of these teachings, and refrain from slandering Islam.


Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 19, 2009 09:29 AM »

Sadly CNN keeps playing that footage of where he talks about wanting to 'show islam in a good light and show the lifestyle and goodwill of american muslims' and then the reporter's like 'how ironic!' uhhhhhhh are reporters supposed to be wack commentators as well?

Anyway here's an interesting blog post that gives us more information. Very very sad.

========
http://zerqaabid.blogspot.com/2009/02/did-we-ever-bother-to-know-muzzammil.html

Muzzammil Hassan, the owner and CEO of Bridges TV has been arrested for beheading his wife, Aasiya Zubair.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajaiun, indeed everything belongs to Allah (God) and to Him we will return.

This is the news of the year that has once again damaged not only the Muslim image in American society, but it has also damaged our trust and the hope that we place in American Muslim leadership.

It’s been five days now that my family along with the rest of the community has been in shock. The fact that Muzzammil was married to my first cousin before marrying the victim still horrifies us. Ms. Zubair was his third wife. Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses.

My cousin lived with him for only a year. Yet, it took her several years to get rid of the fear of living with a man in marriage. He was known as violent and abusive in the community. He had changed his name from Syed Muzzammil Hassan to Mo Steve Hassan. He had no background of community service or involvement in the Mosque or in any other organization. Neither his character and nor his faith were sound. In addition, he had no background or expertise in TV production or media.

But it did not matter. Even with this bad reputation, horrible background and lack of experience in media market, he still got the stage at the most reputable American Muslim conventions. Our leaders and established organizations did not bother to vet him. No questions or flags were raised about him. He was introduced at these conventions with huge respect and the Muslim community was told to give him generous funds for Bridges TV.

The American Muslim community, desperate for its own English channel in the United States, said yes to the call and collected millions of dollars and handed it over to him. I personally know people who collected fifty thousand or more in a day or two for this cause. It was not Hassan, the donors but trusted the organizations standing behind him.

Muzzammil Hassan put that money in his personal pocket and moved into a huge property with stables and horses. Nobody was there to question that how much money was spent on the actual project and how much was spent on his new but lavish lifestyle. None of our organizations bothered to look into it and inform their members of any concerns.

I was mostly in Pakistan in that period. After resigning from NBC News, I went to Pakistan for a couple of years. I was working as General Manager of The City Channel of ARY Digital in 2004, when I heard about the Bridges TV. I thought it must be a project of Islamic Broadcasting Network or Sound Vision Foundation. But I was surprised to hear that none of our longtime organizations were part of this channel and nobody knew the owner for long time.

The surprise was changed into shock and worry when I learned that Bridges TV was owned and operated by the same Muzzammil Hassan who I knew as a serious criminal. To me domestic violence is a serious crime and a person’s character must be judged by the way he deals with his family. At my return, I warned some community leaders, but the response was not encouraging. People told me that his personal life may be messed up, but he is doing a good job so we should support him no matter what.

This support was so overwhelming that he was presented with awards too. Now the pictures of award ceremonies are coming back to haunt us and some of them are already posted on anti-Muslim blogs after the murder of Ms. Zubair. One of the headlines reads: Bridges TV CEO Arrested for Beheading Wife Received Award from … [name of a prominent national American Muslim Organization].

Bridges TV’s website requests to respect family’s privacy. In this case, unfortunately, this request cannot be honored. There is no privacy for people who promote themselves as leaders of the community and take people’s money on the promise of investing it in the community projects.

This murder might not have cost us as much if Muzzammil was just an ordinary Muslim. Instead, unfortunately, he was a trusted and respected member of the American Muslim community.

The Vice President of Islamic Society of North America, Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali, has posted an open letter on ISNA’s website. He writes, “Our community needs to take strong stand against abusive spouses and we should not make it easy for them to remarry if they chose a path of abusive behavior.”

What about making community leadership easy for them, Imam?

Shouldn’t Islamic organizations also take responsibility of vetting new comers before presenting them on the stage? Common people rely on organizational leadership and judgment.

Vetting of community leader has been established since the time of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) and is now in practice within the conscious communities all over the world. The Obama administration is going through the same process. Whenever it is not done properly it causes trouble and embarrassment as we have recently witnessed in the case of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

It’s always better to be safe than be sorry. It’s important for the American Muslim organizations to improve themselves on this ground too. We have no option but to live up to this standard.

As my heart goes out to Aasiya’s family and children, I recognize this not only as their personal loss, but as a huge loss for our American Muslim Community at large: A loss of a project needed now more than ever before; a loss of financial resources that can never be collected again with the same trust and passion; and a loss of respect for an American Islamic channel and the intentions behind it.

May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings. May He grant us patience and replace the loss with something better and beneficial, amen.
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2009 11:17 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


Here is a nice article by a just and fair non-Muslim woman.  I hope we reach out to people like this, to show them our thanks.  The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, said: "Whoever does not thank the people, has not thanked Allah."  May Allah guide her to Islam.


And Allah knows best.



Stereotypes mustn’t hide the facts of domestic violence
By Suzanne E. Tomkins

 The recent killing of Aasiya Zubair Hassan has generated considerable attention on the possible role that religion and culture played in her death. While religion and culture are important in explaining violence against women, we must be careful not to make these issues scapegoats or an excuse to diminish responsibility when an individual decides to take the life of another. Doing so allows us to distance ourselves from the reality that domestic violence and domestic violence homicides — if that, in fact, turns out to be what this case involves — occur daily in American society and in American households.

In 2005 the World Health Organization study on domestic violence revealed that intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence in women’s lives—much more so than assault or rape by strangers or acquaintances. The study reported on the enormous toll physical and sexual violence by husbands and partners has on the health and well-being of women around the world and the extent to which partner violence is still largely hidden.

The U. S. Department of Justice reports that 30 percent of female homicides are committed by an intimate partner. This statistic has remained constant since the first publication of these reports in 1976. In New York, the Department of Criminal Justice Services reports that 55 percent of the 157 female homicide victims killed in 2007 were killed by an intimate partner.

A quick search of news articles related to intimate partner homicides in Erie, Niagara and Monroe countries turned up numerous murders in the last six months. In Rochester, a husband was indicted on a charge of second- degree murder for killing and then burying his wife’s body under rocks on the shore of Lake Ontario. In Tonawanda, a man was charged with deliberately injecting an overdose of prescription painkillers into his girlfriend. In Alden, a man killed his wife and then himself with a shotgun.

Niagara County had two murder-suicides. In June, a teenager shot his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself. In November, a woman was killed by her husband in front of her mother and sister. Several days later he took his own life. The alleged killers’ religious beliefs were not mentioned.

It is estimated that one in four women around the globe will be a victim of domestic violence at some point. Not all domestic violence results in homicides, but every case has that potential.

While it is important to learn about diverse cultures in our community, we should not resort to stereotypes. Blaming acts of domestic violence on religion and culture, the economy, job stress, mental illness, post traumatic stress syndrome experienced by returning veterans and other factors serves only to obfuscate and divert us from the real issue: Violence against women is happening at an alarming rate in our culture, and we have not yet committed the resources necessary to change this.

Suzanne E. Tomkins is a clinical professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law.


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« Reply #4 on: Feb 21, 2009 12:32 AM »

An appeal to Muslims from br. Altaf:

Dear brothers and sisters,
as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuh

The tragic killing of Sr. Aasiya Hassan must be condemned in the strongest means possible and we must do everything to prevent further domestic violence cases in our community and in the larger society.

I would like to make an appeal however that we simply stop referring to this tragic death as a "beheading." There is NOTHING in the American context that shows a precedent for us to refer to the murder as a beheading, except that this 'term' has been associated with the most gruesome and extreme forms of killings OVERSEAS. In the American context, the terms used as "dismemberment" and "decapitation," etc. but the FBI database on crime statistics does NOT have a single reference to death by "beheading," on American soil. Although I cannot verify that there was never a beheading on American soil, i.e. a domestic violence case or any other murder/homicide which ended up intentionally or unintentionally resulting in a death by "beheading," this term is simply NOT one which is used in the American context. I believe firmly that it was and is being used by the mainstream media in connection to a very, very, tragic murder which stemmed from a domestic violence case involving Muslims. When we as Muslims in responsible positions continue to use that term, then all we are saying to the media and to our own community is that this is the term to be used when Muslims commit such acts, as if there is something inherently this violent or gruesome about Muslims and that somehow we are in need of a term completely alien to the American crime scene to describe what horror Muslims might commit either as a "honor" killing or just a faith-inspired act of horror.

The search of the FBI website pulled up ONE link to a story about beheading and it was the story about Nicolas Berg, and how "Islamic militants" beheaded him.

I had to write this to all of you because I have great admiration and love for the work you do and want to be sure that we realize that this word was introduced in the height of the war on Islam during these last years, yes, of course to describe actions of Muslims, but not here, not in America, rather overseas. As I said above, that term has not ever been used in connection with domestic violence murders in the past. I would not want it to be on our conscience that we allowed the introduction of this term "beheading" and its use and then perpetuated its use only because it involved a Muslim couple. I make du'a to Allah to grant us the clarity of purpose and thought to continue to protect the most vulnerable in our community and to continue to struggle against all forms of injustice, oppression and terror whether in the home or in society.

Thank you for reading this far and I make du'a that I have expressed myself for the sake of benefiting our community and protecting it from further harm and for no personal gain.

Wassalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Altaf Husain
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 21, 2009 06:33 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


Here is an important article on this subject.  Please send it to anyone who is concerned about this topic.  Jazakumallahu khairan.







In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

The Right to a Divorce in Islam
By Imam Faisal Ahmad
College of Islamic Law


After the recent slaying of Aasiya Hassan by her abusive husband, according to authorities, a number of feminist groups have been laying the blame for the murder on Islam.  They state that "fanatical Islam" condones murder of one's wife for "bringing shame on the family" by filing for divorce.

I will respond to this misconception from the point of view of Islamic Law.  First, let me point out that there is no religion or legal system on earth that protects the rights of women more than Islam.  What I will present in this article regarding the rights of a Muslim wife to file for divorce in Islam is only a small example of the vast legal protections that Islam affords women, and will support my contention.


Divorce for No Reason (Bi laa Sabab)


Before beginning, let me clarify that in general Islam encourages a Muslim husband and wife to strive to stay together, as they are the foundational unit of society, between which a powerful bond of love and affection exists.  Hardships in marriage are normal, and Islam encourages each spouse to be patient with the other and focus on their positive traits.  Divorce is only a solution when the normal, healthy, loving relationship between spouses cannot be achieved.  Seeking divorce for no reason, by either the husband or the wife, is considered sinful in Islam.



Mutually Agreed Upon Divorce (Muhkhal'ah)

If husband and wife both decide to part ways based on a mutual agreement between the two, this is perfectly acceptable in Islam.  This type of divorce is called "Mukhaal'ah".  Typically, the wife will agree to remit part or all of her marriage gift (dowry) owed to her by her husband in exchange for his agreement to the divorce.  This is because the husband gave this dowry (called Mahr) expecting a long-term marriage.  If he decides to forgo his right to have the gift returned, this is also permissible.

Imam Bukhari narrates that the wife of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) noble companion Thabit bin Qays, came to the Prophet and asked to be divorced from her husband.  She said, "I can’t complain about my husband’s character, but I fear disbelief after Islam," meaning that she disliked her husband and feared that she would not be able to keep his rights.  The Prophet, peace be upon him, smiled and said, "Are you willing to return the garden he gave you?"  She responded, “Yes,” and after her husband accepted the offer, the Prophet, peace be upon him, divorced them.

The noble companion of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Thabit bin Qays, did not in any way reject the divorce or consider it ‘a shameful act.’



Divorce by Judicial Ruling (Bi hukm al Qaadi)

Divorce is also permissible by judicial ruling in Islam.  An Islamic judge will separate a wife from her husband, at her request, in any of the following situations:


1.)    The husband fails to support her financially, by providing her with all her basic necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter.  These are only some of the basic rights of the wife in Islam, which also include the right to love, respect, and kindness, as taught by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

2.)   The husband abuses the wife, or causes her harm.  This includes domestic violence, or even cursing or verbal abuse, or any type of abuse that makes the marriage unbearable for the wife.  The scholars say this category also includes if the husband forces his wife to do harmful or evil things which she dislikes, or despises his wife.

3.)   The husband is absent from the wife for an extended period of time, such as if he is imprisoned, or travels abroad, and leaves her alone without her permission.


In each of these cases, the wife is entitled to keep her marriage gift (which may be in the tens of thousands of dollars).  In fact, the scholars state that a judge may penalize an abusive husband and make him pay an additional compensation to a divorced wife, due to the harm he has caused her.  In all cases, the husband must also provide full support for the children.



Conclusion


In conclusion, there is no religion or way of life that protects the rights of women, physically and spiritually, more than the protection offered women by Islam.  Islam provides women with the right to file for divorce due to the reasons mentioned in this article, and this is in no way a shameful act.  Doing so is simply invoking Islamic Law, which was revealed for the benefit of humanity.

The contention by some feminist groups that “radical, terrorist, or fanatical” Islam is the cause of an abusive husband murdering or harming his ex-wife is a false accusation.  Such actions are, in fact, the result of ignorance of Islamic Law, and the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

I hope that media professionals and rights organizations learn from Imams and scholars of Islam, and that we can work together to create a better society.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 22, 2009 07:07 AM »


as salaamu alaykum,

excellent article, jazak Allahu khayraa.  You should write articles more often.

 Just a question - isn't there one more type of divorce, the kind initiated by the husband?  I'm not sure if you wanted the article to be comprehensive and include all the different types, or just focus on the types that people may not be aware of.

Also, I would put the name of your university under 'College of Islamic Law'.

salaam,
7 Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 22, 2009 11:49 PM »

salaam

what if you went through number two but your living in the west?
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 23, 2009 06:43 AM »

peace be upon you

I am no scholar, but in my opinion if the qadi courts are non-existent, or there is fear of a bias in favor of the husband because of cultural hangups (which I believe is very much the case almost evrywhere), a divorce from the secular court of the land should be sought and should be acceptible to the Muslims.

Having said that, perhaps the first step should be to call the police, and if the spouse is still abusive, then to leave him/her, and seek a divorce.

I say him/her, because in some cases the wife is abusive towards the husband.

Also, since nowadays both husband and wife often contribute to the setting up and maintaining the marital home, the West's secular laws on divorce settlement are more just than the strict interpretation given by the qadis versed in only the case where the husband is the sole earner/provider.
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 23, 2009 10:33 AM »

salam

The one good thing I can see from this is finally someone in authority has said, the 'be patient' line should not be trotted out in such cases! It always makes me want to scream in the persons face, swap places why dontcha and then you be patient till you die, probably in a horrific, painful, scary, and very lonely way thinking you are going to hell because you hate your husband, which also clearly sends you to hell according to these people who advocate patience to domestic violence victims, they  tend to also be the ones who remind one that one will be denied the scent of paradise, one is clearly not trying to beautify oneself enough for ones psychotic spouse, and anyone suggesting seperation or divorce or anything but patience and stay and be a punch bag is going to hell too, along with the wife, who apparently has not had enough punishment for the accident of her gender in this world.....

Angry me, boy am I? I am angry any woman has to silently creep thro life terrified of the arrival of her husband, terrified to cook a meal in case he didn't fancy the dish she has been slaving over, incase heck he just wants to punch something that wont hit back, and is a third his body weight.... yeah it takes a big macho man to beat up a girl ...NOT!


Talking from my own experience.

I did get an opinion from a scholar. He promptly said that the divorce attained by me thro the English courts stood as acceptable.
He also then gave me a detailed listing of what was owed me maintenance wise and in terms of financial settlement, and I do get to keep my mahr... the entire princely sum of £24 I believe it was.

Before any brother gets huffy, I've been working since I was 17 years old (and studying at the same time), my dad paid for ex's education here.
Ex (who was very violent) had apparently intended to leave me and my very young children (his children) with a huge debt he had racked up all by himself, whilst he moved into an enormous house he'd bought in his sole name and live debt free with his girlfriend taking all my life's earnings with him plus a large chunk of the equity from my home(effectively ensuring I would then lose the house I live in and have paid for completely on my own), and all the child benefit ever received for the girls, he went as far as trying to cash out my girls government trust funds - which luckily he couldn't as these funds are not touchable till the girls hit 16 (I think) and are meant to help pay for further education, not a parents debauched lifestyle.

However, the divorce and the rest of the fatwa which I received was for my own circumstances, and for my peace of mind, I have no desire to have ex ever turning up on my doorstep demanding I care for him as I'm still married to him, the thought makes my skin crawl!
I doubt very much ex will give a second thought to the fatwa on my divorce as it is not enforceable and depends entirely upon the individuals morals (or lack thereof). I however can pursue my claim against him with the assurance that I am not transgressing any limits set upon me by Allah.

It's actually very very interesting what a woman is owed in the event of a divorce, the one outfit and three months maintenance is actually just the tip of the iceburg, Islamic law is far more generous and much more understanding about what a single young mother would need to begin life on her own bringing up young children, I'm pretty sure there are similar exceptions depending entirely on the circumstances of the divorce the plight of the individual for each individual divorce, mostly however women are given the 'you are owed nothing' line because it suits men to behave this way.

It's just a pity there are no longer many people in authority who fear Allah to ensure the rights of the weaker ones are not wrongfully taken from them.


I found my barrister very amusing, she appeared to be under the impression I was lucky to be living in England in this day and age, my heart knows my ex husband is very lucky not to be living in the age of Umar (ra)....



Wassalaam

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« Reply #10 on: Feb 23, 2009 02:28 PM »

peace be upon you

I did get an opinion from a scholar. He promptly said that the divorce attained by me thro the English courts stood as acceptable.
He also then gave me a detailed listing of what was owed me maintenance wise and in terms of financial settlement, and I do get to keep my mahr...

It is good to hear that there are sensible scholars in the UK, who are not blind adherents of selectivism. Do you mind telling us his name and Masjid/Centre. I would like to hear more of what his thoughts are on other subjects.
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« Reply #11 on: Feb 23, 2009 04:13 PM »

salam

He's not based in England he's in India, my family back there got his opinion and the fatwa, as ex was telling people we were still married (why I have no idea)......!!!


However I have a cousin who went thro pretty much exactly the same as I did and she was also given a ruling allowing her to keep everything that was hers including gifts given in marriage, as she was treated very badly and ended up giving her a ex a payout, as he sat around on his arse all day and she worked and paid for everything. I'm not sure if the scholar she got her ruling from was in England or not. I might ask her when I next see her. Clearly the Islamic ruling in both our cases hold no weight in english laws (mores the pity), and I doubt very much any Muslim barrister would care to defend either of our rights and help us attain what is rightfully ours.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 23, 2009 04:37 PM »

peace be upon you

Such thinking among Indian scholars is even better. Although there are some scholars in Pakistan too, who have taken a more "progressive" line, their other attitudes, particularly with regard to the Sunnah or the tafseer of the Quran, do disturb me. That is why I want to understand a great deal more about scholars who are providing us with such just verdicts.

I do hope that the scholar you have mentioned turns out to be sound in all his approaches towards the Deen.

Since you appear to be of the Deobandi school, it is even more surprising, because the Muslim Supreme Council of India had opposed Shah Bano in her quest for justice, and made her withdraw her case.

Quote
Clearly the Islamic ruling in both our cases hold no weight in english laws (mores the pity), and I doubt very much any Muslim barrister would care to defend either of our rights and help us attain what is rightfully ours.

Why not? An Islamic marriage is acceptible in the UK, so should a  divorce be. An Islamic divorce case (Quazi vs. Quazi) went up to the House of Lords, and the divorce was held valid. Admittedly it was a long time ago, and the law may have changed by now. In that particular case, although the woman had filed a petition for invalidating the divorce, I think that woman was in the wrong, and she deserved a divorce. I am rather familiar with that case, although I am not sympathetic to the husband in that case, either.

As for Muslim lawyers, I think the UK has some Muslim women lawyers who would be very sympathetic to such cases, but you are there, and you know better.
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 23, 2009 07:14 PM »

Although I appreciate this threads presentation on Islamic Marriage and Divorce

I just had to ask one question:

What are we going to do different this time to ensure that there are no more killing of Muslim Women in our society like what has happened to Aasiya Hassan ?

We are getting CREAMED in the media in both the US and Canada on this and there hasn't been an action plan presented by anyone yet, individual or organization that I have come across... This single incident is undoing DECADES of Muslims progress in this society - more than any other incident since 9/11.

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« Reply #14 on: Feb 23, 2009 08:39 PM »

This is a very good article on the history of the couple from the Buffalo Times. It's just so sad. So many things can be learnt from it. -- J.

===========================================

A history of abuse preceded Orchard Park beheading
Aasiya Hassan endured years of violence and controlling behavior from her husband while keeping up the facade of a stable marriage


 Aasiya Z. Hassan was slain Feb. 12 in Orchard Park. Her husband, Muzzammil, has been charged.

Police reports show a different side of Muzzammil Hassan of Orchard Park, a successful businessman who had started an American Muslim TV station with his wife, Aasiya, in 2004.



The lives of Muzzammil and Aasiya Hassan were quite different from their public image in the local Muslim and broadcast communities.

In the public eye, they were a dynamic couple, building their — actually her — dream of a Muslim-lifestyle TV channel in the United States.

But police reports compiled for much of their marriage tell another story:

Their home life was a nightmare. Aasiya was repeatedly subjected to controlling and sometimes violent acts by her ambitious but troubled husband.

To protect herself, she went to the police in two states. Yet for years she stopped short of pressing charges — thus preserving Muzzammil’s reputation and the venture they built together.

On Feb. 6, she filed for divorce and obtained an order of protection, barring him from their home in Orchard Park. A week later, she lay dead in their television offices — stabbed and decapitated. Muzzammil was charged with her murder.

“I think of Aasiya as a martyr,” said Faizan Haq, a local professor who helped launch Bridges TV, the station in Orchard Park that the Hassans started in 2004. “She has given her life to protect the image of American Muslims. And as an American Muslim community, we owe it to her not to let this happen again.”

The Hassans were well-known to local police, both in Orchard Park and Texas, where Muzzammil has family. Police were called to their Orchard Park home more than a dozen times for domestic issues dating back 2z years. And in 2006, Aasiya told police that the abuse had been going on “for about the last six years.”

The abuse, according to police reports, ranged from restrictive control to outbursts of violence, including a black eye and fat lip.

At various times, Aasiya accused her husband of physically preventing her from calling the police, abandoning her vehicle in Clarence so she couldn’t flee and pouring water on her to keep her from sleeping.

A nationwide debate has begun among Muslim leaders and women’s advocates about what role religion and culture may have played in this awful killing.

That debate continues.

While it’s clear that Aasiya sought some protection from police and confided in some close friends about the abuse, it seems that publicly she kept up the illusion of a stable marriage.

The problem for Aasiya may have been that, by outing her abuser, she also would have destroyed the reputation of her husband and business partner and threatened her dream of a vibrant Bridges TV cable network dedicated to American Muslims.

Muzzammil saw his own ambitions crumbling. The station was losing money. Aasiya had recently filed for divorce and obtained an order of protection that forced him out of their Big Tree Road home, for at least the second time.

“I think he saw it as losing everything, . . . going back to square one, and he snapped,” said one of his longtime friends and schoolmates from Rochester.

Hassan went to Orchard Park Police the evening of Feb. 12 to report his wife’s death, and he was soon charged. His defense attorney said he has not confessed.

But police believe they have enough evidence. They say that, with his money, family and entrepreneurial legacy at risk, Muzzammil destroyed both their lives—and betrayed legions of local and national supporters who believed in a station that could heal cultural divisions in post-9/11 America.

The beginning

Friends and associates portray Muzzammil S. “Mo” Hassan, 44, as a man with two natures. Smart and ambitious, he was highly successful in school and in business, winning the respect that comes with achievement.

But his educational and career successes may have helped conceal his dark and violent tendencies. His private life was deeply troubled. He’d had a difficult relationship with his father, and people who knew him said his angry and sometimes violent attempts to control his relationships helped end his two previous marriages.

Born in Pakistan, Muzzammil immigrated to the United States to attend the University of Rochester, where he graduated in 1985. He worked in sales for Procter & Gamble, then for Clorox in Oakland, Calif.

While there, he met his first wife, an American-born woman with whom he had two children, now 17 and 18. When that marriage dissolved, he returned to Rochester.

“He got very sick after that — I think he was depressed,” said Muhammad Shafiq, a counselor at the Rochester Islamic Center who counseled Muzzammil. “There’s a sort of stigma in our culture when you get divorced.”

He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. He graduated with honors in 1996 and joined Kodak.

Muzzammil married again, this time to a Pakistani woman named Sadia, according to a friend of the couple. But that marriage lasted just 13 months, and he was prone to angry outbursts.

“She was quite terrified,” said a friend of hers who asked not to be identified. “One time he threw a glass at her that hit the wall and smashed.”

Muzzammil apparently had demons. He needed anti-depressants and sleeping pills to get by, said a longtime friend from his college days.

Shortly after word of Muzzammil’s explosive temperament reached Sadia’s relatives and friends, the couple separated. They divorced after Muzzammil joined M&T Bank and relocated to Western New York in 1998.

Two years later, he e-mailed friends that he had married Aasiya in their native Pakistan.

“He said that he was lucky to have met her, an architect,” the former college friend said.

The couple

By all accounts, Aasiya Z. Hassan

came from a prominent, well-educated family in Karachi. Unlike Muzzammil, she was close with her parents. She grew into an accomplished horsewoman and finished college in Pakistan with a degree in architecture.

After marrying Muzzammil, she came to the United States and operated a 7-Eleven franchise in Orchard Park while her husband continued to work at M&T. She had no other family in this country.

Aasiya was pregnant with her first child when, on a trip to Detroit shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she mused to her husband that this country could use a television station that would give people greater insight into the American Muslim community and culture.

Muzzammil seized upon the idea and publicly gave his wife the credit for being the inspiration behind Bridges TV. Over the next few years, Muzzammil and others worked tirelessly out of the couple’s basement in Orchard Park to come up with a successful business model and recruit investors and subscribers.

In 2004, Bridges TV made its official launch. The following year, it moved out of the Hassans’ basement and into studios on Thorn Avenue in Orchard Park.

Muzzammil was Bridges’ chief executive and fundraiser. He gave up a promising career at M&T, where he grew the bank’s online mortgage business from $2 million in 1998 to more than $350 million in 2003, according to his own bio.

Aasiya, though, was the heart and soul of the network, the embodiment of the station’s core values, according to colleagues at the station.

Unlike Muzzammil, a largely secular person who rarely showed up at the mosque and was obsessed with financial matters, Aasiya lived the best tenets of her faith and worshipped regularly.

Hassan Shibly, a former producer at Bridges, said Aasiya was the peacemaker when conflicts arose among the employees. She was also a devoted mother. Unlike her husband, who had many business associates but few close friends, Aasiya was loved by everyone.

“Aasiya was a passionate person, very ethical, with dreams that she wanted to make things happen,” said Haq, who teaches at the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College and who worked closely with the Hassans during the early years of Bridges TV.

That was in contrast to Muzzammil, whom Haq described as shrewd and manipulative in his dealings.

Never more so than with his wife.

The abuse

Orchard Park police records obtained by The News catalog a terrifying story of abuse at the Hassan home and at work.

Police served three separate orders of protection on Muzzammil, on Feb. 6, 2009, in March 2008 and March 2007.

He was accused of taking her passport, then telling officers that he threw it “over the falls” in December 2006.

He was accused of abandoning her car at a Clarence dealership on New Year’s Day 2007, “so that she could not leave the residence following a domestic dispute,” a state police spokeswoman said.

He was further accused of grabbing the phone from her as she tried to call police, then driving away and stranding her at work in June 2007.

Aasiya told police in March 2007 that she was “accidentally struck in the nose” during a fight between Muzzammil and his teenage son from his previous marriage. The next day, she informed officers that her husband had punched her intentionally but she was afraid to say so.

Aasiya told police that her husband kept her awake late at night to discuss marital issues when she wanted to go to sleep.

“Physically tries to keep me awake by pouring water, shaking me, removing the pillows, and in event of me trying to go to a motel to stay, physically blocks me,” she wrote in a signed statement in December 2006. “Refuses to allow me to get sleep in any other part of the house.”

Despite these complaints, though, police say they could not act further because she wouldn’t press charges.

The law, however, in some cases permits police to pursue a case against an abuser even when the victim does not cooperate.

Among all the domestic-incident calls answered by Orchard Park police in the past 2z years, two incidents in August 2006 may best explain why authorities couldn’t do more to help.

On Aug. 29 that year, police responded to a 5:15 p. m. call at Bridges TV, where Aasiya reported that her husband had punched her in the face, leaving her with a black left eye and a fat lip.

The next day, she told police that he had stopped her from leaving their Big Tree Road home by knocking her down and dragging her up the driveway by her hands.

After consulting with the Erie County district attorney’s office, the police prepared charges against Muzzammil for unlawful imprisonment, attempted assault and harassment.

On three separate occasions in the next few months, police talked with her about coming in to sign the complaints. But Aasiya canceled one meeting, refused to come in for another and wouldn’t sign the papers the third time because she didn’t want him arrested.

“On two incidents specifically, I remember the charges sitting here, waiting to be signed,” Orchard Park Assistant Police Chief Ted Gura said. “If she had signed, we would have arrested him in a heartbeat.”

There also were problems in Texas. In July 2007, while visiting her husband’s family in Flower Mound, Texas, Aasiya walked into a police station to report an abusive incident from the previous week.

During a minor argument with her husband, she said, Muzzammil violently squeezed her arms and insisted she apologize. She refused.

He later pushed her into the bedroom, sat on her chest and pinned her down with enough force to leave bruises on her arms and legs, saying he’d force her to listen to him.

Flower Mound police attempted to charge Muzzammil with felony assault and violating an order of protection. Police subsequently tried for weeks to reconnect with Aasiya in person and over the phone, both in Texas and New York. They never heard from her again, said Lt. Wess Griffin of the Flower Mound police.

“I can’t think of another [domestic violence] instance where we couldn’t contact the victim or perpetrator,” Griffin said.

The signs

Not everyone was blind to the abuse.

In 2006, Aasiya joined UB’s Executive MBA program, an intensive, two-year weekend program for 26 students. The class worked in teams and grew very close over time. According to classmates, even the program’s assistant dean knew of Aasiya’s abusive situation and tried to intervene.

But Aasiya was willing to accept only so much help.

“We all knew what was going on,” said classmate Bryan Carr, who works for The Buffalo News. “I’ve seen her with bruises . . . She had a shiner one day.”

During the first few classes, Muzzammil came with his wife and sat in the back of the room, making no attempt to talk to anyone.”

“He would sit there and watch like he was her guard or something,” Carr said.

Other classmates said Aasiya needed help distinguishing between cultural Pakistani norms regarding a woman’s place and what was clearly a “severe pattern” of abuse.

At one point, Aasiya was so fearful of her husband absconding with her children that she gave her children’s passports to a classmate for safekeeping, Carr said.

Aasiya’s parents currently have temporary custody of the couple’s 6- year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.

She seemed determined not to seek the assistance of the local Muslim community, which has from time to time exerted social pressure on husbands to reform their ways.

“If only Aasiya would have made noise,” said Haq, who helped launch Bridges and teaches Islamic courses at UB and Buffalo State College. “Just a little whisper would have done it.”

But he and others also acknowledge that the local Muslim community was a major financial backer of Bridges TV. Investments in the financially struggling network likely would have been withheld if Muzzammil became tagged as an abuser.

“She was afraid she would cause Bridges TV to fail,” Haq speculated, referring to the station’s noble mission. “But the problem with this is, the right thing in the wrong hands is wrong. I don’t care about Bridges TV if it cannot protect a woman.”

Bridges TV is still operating as part of premium pay cable packages. Staff members said they plan to continue the station to honor Aasiya’s vision. However, they said, the venture remains underfunded and needs to counteract the negative publicity stemming from the crime.

And while others dwell on the gruesome beheading, advocates for abused women point out that the method of killing isn’t the point.

“To me, it’s the same [as a shooting or stabbing death],” said Laura Grube, coordinator for Child & Family Services Haven House. “We had an abuser who thought his wife had no right to leave him. And if she was going to leave him, he was going to punish her with death.”

buffalonews.com/home/story/586519.html
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« Reply #15 on: Feb 23, 2009 11:31 PM »

salaam

Interesting article.. there is so much I can say here but so little time right now.
I dont think many people can understand why she didnt press charges but I dont blame her.  I understand her and so do people who study this. The police where she lived seemed to be very behind and still have alot to learn. Yes I do kind of blame them. When I finally pressed charges I was lucky to have a really kewl awesome police officer there with me who told me 'if you dont then I will' Basically sometimes the police need to determine and do it. AFter that many calls they should have done it. They have that authority by law as the article mentioned.

Alhumdulilah I got out...Im not saying my husband is a murderer or ever threatened to kill me but people like that you just never know.
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 25, 2009 11:25 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah.


May I add a few comments in response to some of the ideas presented in this thread? 

1.)  Using non-Muslim courts is not permissible for Muslims unless there is no alternative, since these courts rule by other than what Allah has revealed.  The scholars say that Muslims in the West should request their governments to permit using Islamic Law in Family Courts.  This should be one of our priorities in the West.

Also, the scholars say, if there are no courts available in the West, then the responsible Muslim scholar or Imam in the community should be referred to in dealing with judicial issues.  Some scholars, such as Imam Ahmed Kutty, after hearing a case, will ask the woman to refer to the non-Muslim court to make the judgement binding, and then he personally approves the court order afterwards Islamically.

2.)  The wealth of the husband and wife is not to be divided 50/50 at the time of divorce, or any other ratio, other than what they really own.  Doing otherwise is theft of another's property.  Marriage and divorce have no effect on one's ownership of property.  Even if a non-Muslim court awards someone another's property, it does not make it halal.


I used to think that husband and wife should be equally responsible for household expenses in the West, but after learning the Fiqh, I realized that this is wrong.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 26, 2009 12:56 AM »

Asalamualaikum

Ok so we argued about the 50/50 thing a while back. I argued that there are always exceptions depending on the case. I also called Dr. Jamal Badawi during that time and I did not write his answer because the discussion was over with and no point in going back.

Well the discussion is back.  When there is a case in the west where the husband is refusing to pay during her iddath or give any child support then the wife has THE RIGHT to estimate how much it will be and take from his property. And if the property is worth more then she needs then she needs to give the rest back
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 26, 2009 12:57 AM »

and in the United States there is no alternative but to use nonmuslim courts.

I dont know using Imams does not seem to be right to me because they have not studied in being a judge. We really need to stop making Imams everything else but Imams. 

we use to be proud in the fact that imams are not like priests..but if you really look nowadays in the west.. isnt that what we have done

Plus the west legal rules are not extremely diff than the Islamic legal rules on divorce
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 26, 2009 05:03 AM »

salaam

Quote
Also, the scholars say, if there are no courts available in the West, then the responsible Muslim scholar or Imam in the community should be referred to in dealing with judicial issues.  Some scholars, such as Imam Ahmed Kutty, after hearing a case, will ask the woman to refer to the non-Muslim court to make the judgement binding, and then he personally approves the court order afterwards Islamically.

This says different:

Question and Answer Details
   
 
 Name of Questioner
 Fatimah   - United States
 
 Title
 Divorce Issued by a Non-Muslim Judge
 
 Question
 What is the Islamic ruling regarding the divorce issued by a non-Muslim judge?
 
 Date
 27/Aug/2003
 
 Name of Mufti
 European Council for Fatwa and Research
 
 Topic
 Private International Law, Divorce
 
 
 
 Answer
   
 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


Dear sister in Islam, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way.

As regards the issue you raised, the European Council for Fatwa and Research issued the following Fatwa:

"The principle is that a Muslim only resorts to a Muslim Judge or any suitable deputy in the event of a conflict. However, and due to the absence of an Islamic judicial system in non-Muslim countries, it is imperative that a Muslim who conducted his Marriage by virtue of those countries’ respective laws, to comply with the rulings of a non-Muslim judge in the event of a divorce. Since, the laws were accepted as governing the marriage contract, then it is as though one has implicitly accepted all consequences, including that the marriage may not be terminated without the consent of a judge. This case is similar to that in which the husband gives authority to the judge to do so, even if he did so implicitly, and which is considered acceptable by the vast majority of scholars. The jurisprudence (Fiqh) principle applicable in this case is that whatever is normal practice is similar to a contractual agreement. Also, implementing the rulings of a non-Muslim judiciary is an acceptable matter, as it falls under the bringing about of what is considered to be of interest and to deter what is considered to be of harm and may cause chaos, as stipulated by more than one of the most prominent Islamic scholars, such as Al-`Izz ibn `Abdus-Salam, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ash-Shatibi."

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.ecfr.org

May Allah guide us all to the straight path and direct us to that which pleases Him, Ameen.
 
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 28, 2009 08:16 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


Thank you sister for your posts.  In general, a Muslim may follow the fatwa of any reliable scholar, as long as the scholar fulfills two important conditions:

1.)  Piety and fear of Allah.

2.)  Knowledge.

The scholars say:  "Man qallada 'aliman, laqiya Allaha saaliman"  Whoever follows a scholar (in a matter of fiqh) will meet Allah safe (in his religion).


I spoke to Dr. Fathi Khamasi, former Mufti for Islamonline.com, regarding this opinion, and he said: "If there are no Shariah courts, then the decision of the non-Muslim court may be considered as Khula', (freedom for the wife), and she must forgive the husband of the second-portion of the Mahr.  If the husband demands the return of the first part of the mahr, she must comply as well.

As for the property, she must not take the husband's wealth.  Whatever the court grants her, she must return the part that is her husband's."



While it is valid to follow this opinion, numerous scholars, muftis, and other fiqh councils do not accept the authority of a non-Muslim judge to grant an Islamic divorce, such as Darul Irshad wal Ifta (Bradford), Sh. Kutty, Darul Uloom (Deoband), and the scholars I have learned from. 

They state that Muslims must therefore establish their own system to deal with these issues, and this is the opinion that I follow.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #21 on: Mar 01, 2009 05:44 AM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


Thank you sister for your posts.  In general, a Muslim may follow the fatwa of any reliable scholar, as long as the scholar fulfills two important conditions:

1.)  Piety and fear of Allah.

2.)  Knowledge.

The scholars say:  "Man qallada 'aliman, laqiya Allaha saaliman"  Whoever follows a scholar (in a matter of fiqh) will meet Allah safe (in his religion).


I spoke to Dr. Fathi Khamasi, former Mufti for Islamonline.com, regarding this opinion, and he said: "If there are no Shariah courts, then the decision of the non-Muslim court may be considered as Khula', (freedom for the wife), and she must forgive the husband of the second-portion of the Mahr.  If the husband demands the return of the first part of the mahr, she must comply as well.

As for the property, she must not take the husband's wealth.  Whatever the court grants her, she must return the part that is her husband's."



While it is valid to follow this opinion, numerous scholars, muftis, and other fiqh councils do not accept the authority of a non-Muslim judge to grant an Islamic divorce, such as Darul Irshad wal Ifta (Bradford), Sh. Kutty, Darul Uloom (Deoband), and the scholars I have learned from. 

They state that Muslims must therefore establish their own system to deal with these issues, and this is the opinion that I follow.


And Allah knows best.

i have to say:  inflexible attitudes like this are the root reason why there is domestic abuse of women in the muslim world.  it is the same reason divorced women in India still cannot get post-marriage maintenance, and why the so called muslim "establishment" in india (in which deobandis (i think) are very prominent) is so opposed to giving even an inch to women (my idiotic opinion).

islam is very, very flexible.  but our problem is that so many our scholars are the most rigid people in all of islam.  they think of it  as "safeguarding" islam.  the public instead sees them as a narrow minded clique selfishly trying to protect their rights as the sole interpreters (modern day priesthood) of islam.

i am sorry about the negative comments.  i even basically dropped out of college at one point to try to become an islamic "scholar." everybody said i was mad.  i thought they were mad.  now i understand why they thought I was mad. needless to say my dropping out didn't last long, and i probably made a good decision (for me) to go back to school.

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« Reply #22 on: Mar 01, 2009 12:34 PM »

salam

I have to say, I am very lucky alhumdulillah to have received a fatwa from a learned scholar, who did look at my case objectively and gave me a fair hearing.

The rigid stance that a Muslim woman livig in a non-Muslim country should either put up and shut up, eventually very likely being killed by her violent husband, or renouncing her mahr and walking out of the door in abject poverty to beg on the streets in order to get away with her life. Is absolutely shocking.

In the west women work, most of us contribute toward the household income, even if a woman does not, being forced out on the streets with nothing more than the clothes on her back and her children, and every woman who has suffered domestic violence will take her children from the marriage, as a violent father is clearly not to be trusted with the safety and wellbeing of any children of the family. Is unspeakably unfair.

I can actually see why Jewish women sought out Islamic divorces from their husbands in the time of the beloved Prophet (saw), as their religious leaders refused to interfere as apparently their husbands were the only ones with  the god given right to issue a divorce.

Be very careful about the blanket fatwas you post up regarding womens rights, and what a woman and her children should suffer in your opinion. If you wouldn't bear the burden yourself, don't paste up a fatwa declaring a woman should.

Lucid, you might have made a good scholar, you know. Compassion and empathy are huge factors in being a a good scholar I think.
All the men who live insulated lives making rulings without considering the individuals situation and plight will answer to their creator one day.

As will I.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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WWW
« Reply #23 on: Mar 02, 2009 09:01 PM »

wsalam,

i haven't been following this discussion at all, but i think we should back away from the details of people's personal lives. including their divorces and the details of that. we do not know the circumstances, conditions or rulings that go along with each case. to make blanket rules on these women is not right.

also to say that people who don't agree with you 'hate the knowledge and are following shaytan' or whatever is wrong too. they have obviously gone through the proper channels for whatever happened in their lives, it's not our right to come after the fact on an internet forum and say it was wrong. we know nothing about the details and conditions again.

many times i have thought an issue is very clear black and white and as i have learned more i have found out that the issue is not that clear. (this happens to even the greatest scholars) and in the meantime i might have given out wrong knowledge, or alienated some people based upon my hardlined views. we should be very careful in doing this. a little bit of knowledge is very dangerous.

again this is an internet forum, not a place for fatwas on people's personal lives. if you have a fiqh question on an issue please seek out your imam or someone in your commmunity who can give you help based on your particular case.

any more posts dragging out this issue and focusing on people's personal lives will be deleted and this thread locked.
thank you
wsalam


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« Reply #24 on: Mar 02, 2009 09:30 PM »

Asalamuaalikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe.  There is no god except Allah, His command is 'Be', and it is.



Honorable sister,


I am very sorry that you are experiencing these ill-feelings towards the knowledge of a valid position of the scholars.     We have to remove our hatred towards the words of the scholars, and replace it with love.  We have to turn away from the whispers of the devil and the nafs, as they lead one towards the fire.



I made it very clear that there are two opinions on this issue.   I did not say you must follow either one.  You are free to follow any reputable scholar whose religion and knowledge you are confident in.




If you prefer to go to a non-Muslim, you are welcome to.   



I also would like to point out that you are mistaken in saying that harm comes to Muslims by following the scholars.  Rather, only good comes to the Muslims by following the scholars.  The harm and evil comes from disobeying Allah and the Messenger, peace be upon him.



This will be my last post in this thread.



And Allah knows best.

PS:  Jannah, I am still waiting for you to tell me what the different types of divorce are.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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