// Open letter on Domestic Violence, responding to the killing of Aasiya Hassan
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Fozia
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« Reply #25 on: Mar 02, 2009 11:38 PM »

salam



You know when reading such posts, I think the only way such a person would understand and possibly realise how wrong they are would be if they had suffered in such a way themselves.

And yet I cannot in all consciousness bring myself to wish such a life on anyone, man or woman.


One question that always arises in these cases is 'why didn't the woman leave before it reached such a critical point'. Because women are treated like dirt that's why, I would not advise nor sanction something I personally would not be prepared to live with myself.
A woman who refuses to live under this zulm, is told she will be denied the scent of paradise, a woman who then fights for her right to live in shelter is denied this basic human right, apparently the zalim is aided and abetted at every step, so you're saying a woman such as one in this news article should have returned her Mahr, given up all she worked for and walk out with her young children and nothing else... I'm no scholar, but even I can see the utter injustice in this.
And whatever little I may know, I know this for a fact, Islam is not unjust, Islam does not reward the one who oppresses the weak.

I am of the opinion that your blanket fatwas are utterly meaningless, what's more they cause harm.

It takes a world of courage, and every ounce of your faith to break the ties of nikah, and only a woman who is living it knows the strength of character it takes to live a life where one is utterly stigmatised and looked down on for something  which is not her fault at all.

I don't think a man will ever know how truly, deeply, horrendous it is, one is stuck between being beaten like an animal by the person who is meant to be ones garment/veil, or one faces being a social outcast, and judged by people who are very lucky never to have walked in the shoes of the oppressed.

Just one thought, if you cannot bring yourself to feel empathy for the oppressed, don't add to the oppression. I've always felt Allah has listened to all my duas, those I have uttered aloud and those unbeknown to me that my heart has made.



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 #26 on: Mar 03, 2009 04:46 PM »

as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

Alhamdulillah I think it's great that we can all agree on this important underlying point, that as long as a person is following a credible and qualified scholar when it comes to an issue, we should not do inkaar [refutation] of what that person is doing.  When it comes to matters in which there is difference of opinion, our understanding should be that yes, though there technically may be one 'true' and 'correct' opinion from among the rulings of the scholars, more than one may be valid and acceptable to Allah according to different means/ways of ijtihaad [derivation of rulings].  This is why there is a hadith that states that a mujtahid, even if he is incorrect, who sincerely exerted himself to try to find the correct ruling will be rewarded (not punished!), while the mujtahid who had come to the right answer would be rewarded two-fold.

Also we know that from among the scholars there are those who are strict/conservative/'harsh' in particular issues, while others are considered more leniant and flexible.  This was even the case among the sahaba who would give fatwa, some were known for being 'hard', while others more leniant.  I was listening to a CD set in which some fatwa questions were asked of Sh. Bin Bayyah, who I feel really defines the word 'shaykh', may Allah preserve and increase him, and he was asked about the issue of a man who made a statement of divorce to his wife three times in one sitting. (This is a contentious issue, in which the majority of the scholars of the four traditional madhabs say would lead to an irrevocable divorce due to Umar (ra) making it such, while there is an opinion of Ibn Taymiyya and others which state that it actually only causes one and therefore the couple may be reconciled).  Sh. Bin Bayyah said that from his knowledge and understanding he believes that it does lead to an irrevocable divorce, however due to the pervasiveness of divorce in these times and the importance of preserving and developing healthy families, he would tell the questioner that it may be better for them to go to a scholar of the other opinion, and to take the fatwa from them.   I really found this approach a beautiful reflection of how our system of rulings should work; there is a framework, and yes there is authority but within that is flexibility and leniancy to derive and cultivate goodness and benefit and diminish harm and difficulty from people's lives.

I know a shaykh who works at Dar al-Ifta, the official institution that gives fatawa in Egypt under the guidance of Sh. Ali Jumaa, and he told us an interesting story.  There was a sister who came into Dar al-Ifta and explained that she had married someone via the internet only to find out that he had deceived her, and was completely the opposite of his claims, completely irreligious, of a different age, lifestyle etc, then he had claimed, while she was a religious woman of a religious family, and she was seeking a faskh [dissolution] of the marriage.  The shaykh brought her to one of the muftis there who basically gave her a very hard ruling, telling her that there is absolutely no means for dissolution, even under these circumstances, and she should just be patient with her circumstances.  When the shaykh later discussed these occurences with one of the other, more senior muftis there, he told him 'Why did you bring her to that mufti?  He is known for being strict/literal in his rulings, while such and such mufti would have considered the other factors involved more and may have come to a different ruling."  Here is another example of more than one opinion being open to the layperson seeking a ruling. 

My point for those who feel qualified to give rulings is that this mutual respect and understanding should always be present, and one should never have ta'assub [stubborn loyalty I suppose you could translate it as] to one view to such an extent that another scholar's opinions is undermined.  Perhaps they are looking at something you overlooked or they are closer to the truth than you are.  Also having kindness and humbleness with people is really key.  There is a hadith which states, "Guidance, graceful manners and deliberation [when speaking] are one part of twenty-five parts of prophethood.”.  there is also a mawquf text which states, "Know that having a good method of guiding people in the last days is better than some acts of ibadah [devotional worship]."

For those seeing rulings, one thing that is important to keep in mind is that though it is acceptable for you to follow any legitimate scholar's opinion, one must be introspective and really consider why one opinion is more appealing than another.  Are you always seeking out the easiest opinion, or the one that you 'like', as opposed to the one that seems to come from the most qualified/knowledgable person, or the one that seems most in accordance to what you already known and understand of Islam?  Especially when other people's rights are involved, are you 'fatwa shopping' so that your rights are preserved while not really considering others?  These are important personal questions one must ask themselves, so that one can return to Allah (swt) saying truthfuly, 'I sincerely wanted to follow Your deen and do what You love and what You deemed beautiful, fair and just.' 

May Allah make us people of introspection, of carefully weighed words, people who sincerely strive to follow this deen and help others follow it, and give us kindness, humbleness and a loving way with the people, similar to that of our teacher RasulAllah saw, so that others are drawn to Islam, love it and find comfort and beauty in it, and prevent us and grant us refuge from being people of knowledge absent of temperance, kindness, and humility.

May He make us people who recognize the truth and love the truth and give us the strength to follow it. Ameen.

Allah knows best,

7
(who is on the 31st day of her 40 day pepsi fast, but  bebzi's for all the rest of y'all anyway Smiley)

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« Reply #27 on: Mar 03, 2009 06:14 PM »

salaam

I just want to say I agree there can be more than one opinion but if the opinion seems unjust considering ones circumstances it can easily draw one away from Islam.

So becareful before giving your opinion as a leader even if you think it may be right. Islam is flexible easy and just.

JUSTICE, THAT IS PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE THEME IN ISLAM, SO THINK FIRST IS YOUR RULING JUST TO THE SITUATION? IF NOT, THEN IT MAY VERY WELL BE INCORRECT. 

AND WHEN YOU GIVE RULINGS MAKE SURE TO LET THE PERSON KNOW THERE ARE OTHER RULINGS AND DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONS (just a word of advice from me)
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 03, 2009 06:50 PM »


as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

While I definitely agree that justice is one of the universal principles of Islam, we have to keep in mind that both sides of a case feel that there has been injustice done, and would therefore feel that the 'just' thing to do would be to side in their favor.  It is the qadi/mufti/arbitrator's job to look at the situation objectively, free from the emotions that naturally come about for the people involved, and to decide where rights have been breached and what needs to be done to restore them.  If you look at the famous case of Dawud (alayhis salam) mentioned in the Quran, you can understand his misstep in siding with one brother over the other.  99 ewes! And how can he take the other when he has only one! It seems like a clear case of injustice, but when the facts are carefully considered, it was actually the opposite that was the case.

It is not fair to ask a mufti/scholar to think only 'does it seem just to me or not?' and decide on that.  Perhaps his idea of justice is not in accordance to what Allah has prescribed as such in the deen.  It is actually quite complex and many different things, sometimes contradictory, have to be weighed and considered and I feel for the mufti and am secretly relieved and glad I am not one of them! Wink

wasalaam,
7


One day, as David was praying in his prayer niche, he ordered his guards not to allow anyone to interrupt him, but two men managed to enter and disturb him. "Who are you?" he asked. One of the men said: "Do not be frightened. We have a dispute and have come for your judgment." David said: "What is it?" The first man said: "This is my brother, has ninety nine sheep, and I have one. He gave it to me but took it back." David, without hearing from the other party said: "He did you wrong by taking the sheep back, and many partners oppress one another, except for those who are believers."

The two men vanished like a cloud, and David realized that they were two angels sent to him to teach him a lesson. He should not have passed a judgment without hearing from the opposing party.

Almighty Allah told us of this incident: And has the news of the litigants reached you? When they climbed over the wall into (his) Mihrab (a praying place or a private room). When they entered in upon David, he was terrified of them, they said: Fear not! (We are) two litigants, one of whom has wronged the other; therefore judge between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, and guide us to the Right Way."

"Verily, this is my brother (in religion) has ninety nine ewes, while I have only one ewe, and he says: 'Hand it over to me,' and he overpowered me in speech."

David said immediately without listening to the opponent: "He has wronged you in demanding your ewe in addition to his ewes. And, verily, many partners oppress one another, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and they are few."

And David guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned to Allah in repentance. So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and as good place of final return Paradise.

O David! Verily! We have placed you as a successor on earth, so judge you between men in truth and justice. And follow not your desire for it will mislead you from the Path of Allah. Verily! Those who wander astray from the Path of Allah shall have a severe torment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning. (Ch 38:21-26 Quran).





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« Reply #29 on: Mar 03, 2009 07:17 PM »

salaam

you are correct seven but I was talking about the ruling brother Aburahman gave on how if you are living in the west and you went through an unjust situation like domestic violence then your only option is to do khula and forgoe your right for mahr and any right to his property.  Just because there is no Islamic court here.

That is quite unjust no? Especially if you decided to stay home and take care of the child therefore you never worked and you  never finished your education bc you were completing half your faith. So you dont have any money and you were abused so now what else is gonna a woman think. how unfair it is. Its already extremely hard to leave a situation like that. So either she stays till shes killed or till her kids grow up and become abusers or victims of abuse also
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« Reply #30 on: Mar 03, 2009 10:20 PM »

salam


My personal view of justice is not that I should get exactly what I want (thoughts nice tho Grin). The job of the judge is not to take sides at all, the judge should listen to both sides and use his/her expertise to reach a fair and just ruling dependant on each particular situation, but this can be done sympathetically with common sense.

Telling a woman who is being abused, 'well dear you get khul, so return your mahr and leave the house you built up', is wrong wrong wrong. Firstly khul in my very limited understanding is a mutual agreement between husband and wife to part, and yes I'm sure a woman in fear of her life would give up whatever you demanded of her in the heat of the moment, but is that fair, is that just, is that right?
If two male neighbours approached, one having been severely abused by the other, you would not ask the victim to pay the guy who beat him up, you would not say to the victim tough you live next door so either leave your home or put up and shut up about it. So why would you ask it of a wife?

I've read of heartbreaking cases, where women suffering abuse from their husbands have been told that they must give up their mahr and are left pretty much penniless and in shock, one particular nasty one the wife was left with a horrible disease too, because you bet the guy who has been beating the crap out of his wife, has also spent all her money and left her with a huge debts. Its a common theme in every case of abuse I've ever come across (and I've come across so many, I don't know what is wrong with men).

I find these blanket fatwas deeply shocking and damaging, not only because heck I'm right there standing shoulder to shoulder with these women, but because domestic violence is virulent, and these 'the wife deserves nothing' stances are going to end up with a lot of women being oppressed towfold, once by the husband who was meant to protect them, and then again by the scholar who was meant to guide them both.

I don't agree with fatwa fishing, we know a respected scholar, we went to him and we presented the facts. I was given a ruling based on that. We presented ex with the ruling too, and he never went to defend his case, he could, he can, he was there at the time we presented our case, but he is scared and knows and fears an honest scholar when presented before one.
I have no intention of taking from ex what is rightfully his. I sincerely doubt most abused women would want anything more than freedom, and a decent standard of living for both her and her children. Which I find hard to look at as a transgression on the woman's part.

In my case I am going to fight tooth and nail to get what is rightfully mine and my children's. My complete trust is in Allah, and I am very very lucky in that I have the skills and ability to fulfill the rights of my children which their father chooses not to. But I feel it is incumbent upon me to fight for our rights, so ex thinks a thousand times before trampling over another woman's rights, I'm blessed with so much love support and a clear idea of what my rights are alhumdulillah, another woman may not be so lucky.

However, if I didn't have any basic idea about my rights, and those of my children's, I'd take it from these meaningless fatwas that have repeatedly been posted up that I deserve nothing, that being a woman in Islam is to be oppressed and trampled by men. And that really makes me angry because these fatwas are completely out of context, because it is the very fact that I am a woman in Islam that gives me and my children many rights.

I was told by one man (surprise) to go back to my parents, like yeeeeah thats going to happen, I have worked hard to build up a life and then when I hit thirty, I take two young children and become a burden on my dad, I think not. I wonder that men don't suggest these things to the men who perpetrate these crimes, stop hitting your wife, go back and live with your parents, leave your wife and children be.


It goes right back to my barrister assuming I was lucky to be in a non-muslim country for my divorce, and reading these fatwas, and the complete lack of common sense and objectivity I'd be hard put to correct her.


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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Oh Allah, Guide us to the Straight Path.


« Reply #31 on: Mar 04, 2009 10:17 PM »

Asalamualaikum,

I said that it would be my last post, but since I am being misquoted by Blackrose here I have to correct it:


I never said that a woman should seek a khula' in the kaafir courts, that is the opinion of Dr. Fathi Khaamasi, former Mufti for Islamonline.com , and professor of Islamic Law .


This is his general ruling, if you need more info, ask him.  I specifically stated that I don't follow his opinion, but it seems some people missed that part.  In any case, I respect his opinion, since he is a scholar and in fact wrote an encyclopedia on Islamic Criminal Law.


I sincerely appreciate se7en's post, which shows a lot of wisdom and Fiqh.  There are always two sides to every coin, which scholars always mention when dealing with marriage issues.


Finally, I am not a Qadi or a Mufti.  I simply convey the knowledge from the Ulema.


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 #32 on: Mar 04, 2009 11:28 PM »

brother when i said 'the ruling you gave' I meant the 'ruling you posted' I did not say you agree with it. Sorry for the misunderstanding

salaam
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