Submission Part One

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Submission Part One

As I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book Infidel, I want to know more about her as a person. I want to know why she became apostate rather than reformist. I want to know why she thinks in terms of an either/or dichotomy, why she condemns Islam outright, why she cannot hold even a shred of it without compromising her agenda for rejection.

She reminds me of the Christian who said to me, twenty years ago, “Either Jesus is the son of God, or he is an imposter.”

Well… what can one say to that? No, and no?

I looked for the film Ayaan Hirsi Ali made with Theo van Gogh before he was murdered. They called it Submission Part One. She wrote it, he filmed it, and I finally watched it on You Tube. I won’t even post the link; I’d  be embarrassed. The film is nothing but a perverse, adolescent gimmick, the kind of thing Ayaan, herself, might well become ashamed of, as she grows in wisdom and experience.

It’s disgusting, and actually serves to promote the abuse of women. In its blatant expression of cruelty, it goes beyond the outer limits of good taste, and ventures into a sadistic passion that a sick Muslim might indulge. It is the film for which Theo van Gogh was murdered.

After seeing the film, I watched several interviews of her, in which she staunchly maintained that Islam was backward and cruel, and could not be established in a democratic society without compromising purity.

The woman speaks clearly, softly, almost eloquently, yet her smooth skin and charming smile come from a place of youth. Her naïve pronouncements should inspire indulgence rather than death threats.

I happen to agree with her on certain points, but her tactics offend me, not only as a Muslim but as an intellectual.  On the one hand, she recommends open-mindedness and education, yet in the next breath condemns Islam– a major world religion that has guided millions upon millions of people over centuries.

She’s fallen over the edge, as adolescent rebels are prone to do. Technically, she is no longer an adolescent, but she behaves as one.  She’s wallowed in her defiance.  She’s given no wiggle-room to anyone. She’s in-your-face, and her message strikes a note of recognition in Muslims who hear it.

We know who we are. We simply don’t know what to do about it yet, but we’re not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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35 responses

  1. Quite a few atheists – especially those with religious baggage – present this one-dimensional caricature of religion, which is unfortunate. I sympathise with so many views I don’t know what I really am! 😀

  2. Ayan Hirsi Ali hardly a young woman; she is 41 years old. Even in the west that’s not young, it’s rather middle aged. That is very old in the Muslim world for a woman. Perhaps she doesn’t look used up because she wasn’t forced to breed many children for Islam?

    She is well educated and hardly comes from a primitive background. Her father was a government official. She attended English schools. Her life story is a profile in courage. Muslims could learn from it.

    She condemns Islam because it needs condemning.

    Why did “Submission” embarrass you? Was it the misogynistic passages or the abused women’s bodies? Does the daily Islamic terror roll embarrass you or do you ignore those just as you ignore the hateful passages in the koran?

    I have seen Ali in person and heard her lecture. She is phenomenal and really knows her stuff. She also isn’t an atheist per se, more of a secular humanist who believes in a higher power, but rejects all manmade religions—especially Islam. A very intelligent thing to do.

    ”her tactics offend me”

    Really? Why does lecturing knowledgeably about Islam and writing books offend you? The tactics of Islamic terrorists and those who support them—most Muslims—offend the world.

    ”We know who we are. We simply don’t know what to do about it yet, but we’re not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater.”

    Odd, most decent people would know what to do about terrorists, especially those who kill babies, women, men, children, old people in the name of religion.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Miriam. I refer you to my previous post on this topic, entitled, “She Makes Us Face the Elephant in the Room.”

    I do recognize Ayaan’s courage and moral integrity, even though I stop short of agreeing with her conclusions or her methods of promoting those conclusions.

    I refer you also to the book Infidel, in which she portrays the conditions under which she was brought up in Somalia. I need not cite details here; anyone interested can go to the source, and realize the extent to which she was subjected to primitive and barbarous measures, yes, in the name of Islam.

    She may be forty-one now, but the book mostly covers the years of her growing up and her young adulthood, with just the last few chapters dealing with her troubles in Holland.

    Her sense of independence, as well as moral courage, remained steadfast and served her well. Thhe fact that her father was a government official did not protect her against his own shortsightedness and desire to make her toe the line. The two of them butted heads repeatedly as Ayaan grew more independent and made choices that flaunted everything he believed in.

    Secular Humanism may well mark the best path for integration of Muslims into non-Muslim societies. It probably provides the moral framework that can be applied to societies in general. I don’t know, and I’m not interested in it except from the perspective of my own relationship with religion in general, and Islam in particular.

    As for the remainder of your post, I choose not to respond. I take offense at your sarcasm, to your baiting me, and to your insult in the last paragraph.

    This is my blog. I am a good writer, and I make myself clear. I am interested only in polite exchanges that serve to enrich all participants.

  4. To Miriam

    “Ayan Hirsi Ali hardly a young woman; she is 41 years old. Even in the west that’s not young, it’s rather middle aged. That is very old in the Muslim world for a woman.”

    No, that is not very old in the Muslim world for a woman.

    “Perhaps she doesn’t look used up because she wasn’t forced to breed many children for Islam?”

    Muslim women are not forced to breed many children for Islam! Where did you get that from? It is true that many women in traditional societies tend to have many children, but this is common in all traditional societies, be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian. It has nothing to do with a certain religion.

    “She is well educated and hardly comes from a primitive background. Her father was a government official. She attended English schools.”

    She does come from a primitive background, Somalia. Whether her father was a government official or not is irrelevant.
    And why do you think she is well eductaed really?Because she went to English schools? Almost everyone does.

    “Her life story is a profile in courage. Muslims could learn from it”

    Muslims are courageous. They do not need a liar like Hirsi Ali to learn anything from. Her life story is a profile in lying and bigotry, not courage.

    “She condemns Islam because it needs condemning.”

    The one who needs condemning is bigots Hirsi Ali and her fanboys and girls like yourself. Islam does not condemning because it is a peaceful religion and humane. Some Muslims do deserve condemning however but so do some Christians, Hinduys, Jews and even atheists.

    “Why did “Submission” embarrass you? Was it the misogynistic passages or the abused women’s bodies?”

    There misogynistic passages in the Quran. Those passages were either misinterpreted or taken out of context. As for the abused women’s bodies, well violence against women is rampant all over the world, including the USA.

    “Does the daily Islamic terror roll embarrass you or do you ignore those”

    Those terrorists have nothing to do with Islam. Muslims are the first victims of them. How can you then say with a straight face that they are “Islamic”?

    “just as you ignore the hateful passages in the koran?”

    There are no hateful passages in the Quran (Not “Koran”). Care to point to at least one passage?

    “I have seen Ali in person and heard her lecture. She is phenomenal and really knows her stuff.”

    No, she is an ignorant bigoted woman. She has no formal studies in philosophy or religion. She is just one of those anti-Muslim bigots like Spencer and Sultan etc…

    “She also isn’t an atheist per se, more of a secular humanist who believes in a higher power, but rejects all manmade religions—especially Islam. A very intelligent thing to do.”

    No, she is an atheist. Read her book. She is also a professional liar because in several passages and articles she says “We Muslims”.

    “Really? Why does lecturing knowledgeably about Islam and writing books offend you?”

    It is exactly because she is not knowledgeable at all that we are offended. She is really ignoant and bigoted. I would need an encyclopedia to highlight all the errors, hate, contradictions, logical fallacies and ignorance that are found in her books and articles.

    “The tactics of Islamic terrorists and those who support them—most Muslims”

    Polls by respectable institutions like PEW and Gallup show that the vast majority of Muslims are staunchly against terrorism. It seems you are one of those anti-Muslim arrogant fascists.

    “offend the world.”

    Muslims are the first people offended at those terrorists. Heck we are their first victims.

    “Odd, most decent people would know what to do about terrorists, especially those who kill babies, women, men, children, old people in the name of religion.”

    She was not talking about what to do with terrorists, idiot. Read carefully.

    • Welcome, Issam, and thanks for commenting!

      Have you read Infidel? Really, I expected to dislike it, and to find much fault with the author. Instead, I was impressed. That’s not to say I support her completely, nor agree with her completely, far from it, but she does make me face the fact that I have been a hypocrite all these years with respect to certain aspects of Islam.

      Perhaps I’ll write about that in another post. Here, I’d like to respond to a few things you said:

      “Muslims are courageous. They do not need a liar like Hirsi Ali to learn anything from. Her life story is a profile in lying and bigotry, not courage.”

      She did lie on her original application for refugee status in Holland, but she felt compelled to do so, and later admitted it and never tried to cover it up. Her life story is not a profile in lying and bigotry, though she has chosen some very offensive techniques for promoting her anti-Muslim agenda. This is unfortunate, because she does have something to say to Muslims.

      You said, “Polls by respectable institutions like PEW and Gallup show that the vast majority of Muslims are staunchly against terrorism.”

      Do these polls refer to Muslims in the West? I must confess, after 9/11 I was extremely disappointed in the lack of public outcry from Muslims. I was disappointed in the widespread approval, or at least indifference, that came out of many Muslims communities outside America.

      By now, the issue of violence in Islam should have been over and done with.

      “Muslims are the first people offended at those terrorists. Heck we are their first victims.”

      How do you mean this?

  5. Seriously what is the matter with all of these ignorant and arrogant fascists coming to Muslim blogs to show their sweeping hate and infamy?

    Hirsi Ali is just another anti-Muslim fascist who is making money out of ignorant fools like Miriam. She is affiliated with neo-Conservative Christian thinktans. She demonizes Muslims and their faith. She tries to create as much mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims as possible. She is a liar who lied to Dutch authorities about her lifea dn upbringing. Seriously what is so courageous and phenomenal about that?

    Just ignore her sister Marahm. Do not waster your time with an ignorant troll.

    Regards,

    • I know Ayaan is affiliated with neo-Conservative Christians, but after reading her book, I seriously question whether she knows what she is doing. I wonder whether or not her vehement rejection of Islam is more a response against the injustices that were done to her in its name, rather than a well-studied, carefully crafted political campaign. She seems naive on some level.

      I mean, who in their right mind would make a movie like Submission and not foresee the consequences, or, worse yet, foresee the consequences and make it anyway?

      Islam is a major world religion, in which millions of people find guidance and solace. A person denigrates any religion at his/her own peril, especially when the religion belongs to other people.

      I can’t ignore these people any more, but I have my limits. I wonder if Miriam is actually A’idah? Their rhetoric is identical, and I find it too coincidental that Miriam showed up here the day after I extricated myself from the conversation with A’idah.

      • Hirsi Ali is not a women rights activit or proponent of enlightenment as her fanboys and girls would like us to believe. She is just making money and fame out of the anti-Muslim industry post 9/11.

        Her problem is not that she believes Islam is not right, her problem is that she does not want Islam to be right. She does not want Islam (with its adherents), to appeare as the humane and feminist religion that it indeed is. That is why she tries to convince herself that Islam is a dangerous ideology like Nazism and Communism! Is she crazy or ignorant? I don’t think so. She is pretty smart actually, and that is how she keeps fooling the ignorant and misinformed like Miriam/A’idah and gaining money and fame. She demonizes Islam and Muslims, she is against Muslims’ religious freedom (Minarets in Switzerland), she wants to create as much mistrust and animosity between Muslims and non-Muslims as possile (Obama’s speech in Cairo) by even deliberately lying! She is a despicable person who has her anti-Muslim agenda.

        Miriam and/or A’idah are the kind of victims of the likes of Hirsi Ali.

        I will reply on your other comment later.

        Regards,

  6. Marahm…your comment…”religion belongs to the people” caused me to shake my head in disagreement. I dont believe it belongs to the people. Yes people are the ones that change it, distort it, screw it up and make it less the word of god then the word of man…but the dont own it…they just use it to further their means. Politically usually.

    In my opinion…religion belongs to god…the act of worship belongs to god…the only thing that belongs to people in regards to it…is whether they choose to believe in it or not.

    Just my thoughts.

  7. Issam….could you possibly answer once without the term “facist” coloring up your content? Do you even know what that means because you use it like people use salt on their food.

  8. marahm, first off assalamualaikum. InshaAllah you are in the best of health and iman.

    i found your blog thru coolred’s but i first read your comments on saudiwomans blog.

    Reading thru your blog i wonder if you’d mind if i gave you two pieces of advice ( since in all honesty i don’t know you that well and really don’t want to offend you).
    1) i would avoid reading material that is geared towards inflaming a persons emotions. I understand that ayaan probably went thru circumstances in life that were tough but were most probably steeped in culture and branded as religion.
    2) in order to understand the “troublesome passages” in the Quran why don’t you pursue traditional islamic knowledge? this way you’ll have to wonder no more. Islam was revealed within alot of context and how to generalize it was explained by the prophet AS. i find that when a person approaches understanding the Qur’an themselves they tend to mix their nafs with their faith and try to take out interpretations that are at best iffy.
    There are no troublesome passages in the Qur’an. This doubt, i feel, should not enter your heart.

    If not then a good tafsir of the Qur’an with all the notes derived from the hadith is recommended.
    I’d try Ma’ariful Quran in english by Mufti Mohammad Shafi Usmani.
    http://islamicstudies.info/maarif/

    assalamualaikum

    • required…pursuing “traditional Islamic knowledge” while useful in its way…is pretty much how Islam got to be what it is today. Full of he said/he said (aka hadith) and patriarchal B.S. that has infiltrated every aspect of it. Traditional knowledge, by its very name, is traditional…meaning people follow it simply because those who came before them followed it..and so forth. I remember reading somewhere in the Quran where God takes people to task for doing such a thing..following what thier forefathers followed simply because it was the “lazy” approach to “belief”.

      Not saying those that came before us didnt work hard and apply diligence to their studies etc…Im sure they did…but Im also positive their own “nafs” snuck in here and there…they were after all…human beings and prone to human like qualities.

      I might also add there are reams more paper spent on what the prophet meant/did/said etc by written by “witnesses”…and very little from the prophet himself. So alot of what we have is second hand information at best…and third and fourth and beyond at worst.

      • i think you are either misinformed or uninformed about what traditional knowledge is. IT constitutes of different subject matters. there is tafsir al quran, there is fiqh, there is hadith (mostly sihah sitta) there is usool ( the study of deriving principles)and arabic.
        First to the he said he said bit… i am assuming is referring to hadith. What the sahaba say hold more weight than any of what we say simply because their glad tidings are given in numerous places in the Quran: radi Allahu anhum wa radu anh. They are our link to the Prophet AS. There is also a hadith that states the we should stick to the sahaba’s because they are like the guiding stars.
        It is stated in tafasir and hadith that writing down what the prophet said and did started during his time with his consent. if you want i can find the exact reference.
        as to a comparison of our nafs and their nafs. The were people who worked in ijma and worked towards the deen for the sole purpose of the pleasure of Allah. They weren’t rich nor did they gain anything from imparting this knowledge. They were hafiz of Quran and hadith (and here i am talking in the tens of thousands) and hafiz of hadith such that they knew the chain of narrators, who was weak in the chain and who wasnt. Who was reliable and who wasn’t. who was born when and who heard it from whom and did they actually meet, etc. If you read their biographies …. i mean when i read it i am put to shame. Such complete trust in Allah and his word. when you read their books you enter a different world, a reality where you feel pureness only.
        And this patriachical society you talk about, well you should read about the mothers of these islamic luminaries, and how they shaped their childrens future. You’d be surprised.

  9. Waalaykum assalaam, required, and thank you for your comment. Thank you for your sincere advice. Regarding the first– not to read books that inflame the emotions– I must respectfully disagree. Inflaming the emotions sometimes points to areas of life that need examination and perhaps improvement. Reading this book of Hirsi Ali’s, and engaging in some conversations, has inflamed my emotions, but in a way that makes me realize I need to examine my iman and my religion more deeply. That’s not such a bad thing.

    As for the second— pursuing traditional Islamic knowledge– that is excellent advice. I haven’t done any real Islamic study for many years, and I’m due.

    Still, I believe there are “troublesome passages” in the Qur’an, simply because they are being used to justify the most brutal and perverse types of behavior of which the human being is capable. What’s going on with Islam and Muslims that such verses are being cited to justify cold-blooded murder of innocent people?

  10. Hi, Coolred, thanks for stopping by. Religion…does it belong to God or people? The act of worship belongs to God, as you said, but the way in which that worship is performed— religion– belongs to people. That’s what I mean, but perhaps we are splitting hairs here.

    More interesting is the fact that my blog has now been baptized into the category of blogs in which people get offended and call each other names, whether those names are true or not. I don’t like that, not because it’s not emotionally satisfying (It is!) but because it does not contribute anything positive to any of the contributors.

  11. Marahm…whats a split hair or two between friends. LOL

    Welcome to the “you dont believe exactly like me so Im calling you names” category of blogs. We have lots of fun there…your gonna like it.

  12. LOL, Coolred!

    Isaam, I do not agree that “fascists” must be ridiculed and despised. After all, they come with their own set of experiences that shaped their attitudes. When communicating on a blog, where responses are once- removed by virtue of location, and further removed by virtue of delays in posting, absence of voice tone and body language, I’d rather err on the side of gentility.

  13. Coolred, I’m not sure traditional knowledge is to blame for the sorry state of affairs Muslims find themselves in today. I suspect politics and depressed economics play a more important role. I suspect that the neglect of traditional knowledge has made a mark, as well.

    However, I am no politician nor theologian; I’m on shaky ground here. Also, “traditional knowledge” is a broad term, and therefore we may be talking about different concepts.

  14. As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu Dear:

    Well, after reading one or two comments here, I decided to just scroll down and make my own, lol. Ignorant commenters who go on the attack don’t make for good dialogue.

    Yes, I was going to say that one has to read “Infidel” to understand Ali. I would disagree with one of your commenters that she lived a good life. Also, her father was not very much involved in her life. Remember how her mother was stranded in the airport in KSA with her children because the father didn’t come and meet them and sent no one in his place. I was with her all the way until the end of “Infidel.” She had a very sad life and she DID SUFFER at the hands of Muslims and Islaamic culture. Remember when the sheikh cracked her skull? My God. Her family’s situation ruined her sister’s mental health. If one looks at her situation from a psychological perspective, it is easy to see that she has “issues” which she tries to blame on Islam. She is certainly intelligent enough to know the difference. I would say she needs to resolve her childhood issues.

  15. Wise words, Safiyyah! When you look at her life as a whole, you can easily see that she’d have been better off without Islam, or at least without the interpretations that were applied to her upbringing. Unfortunately, she now generalizes her experience to the rest of the world. She is still, in some ways, living in a tunnel; it’s just a new tunnel.

  16. Hello Marahm,

    I watched submission part one and it is not an easy watch.
    However, is it that far from the truth? Women’s abuse in Muslim countries is rampant but underreported.
    I’ve been learning about islam for quite a while now and I still haven’t found a satisfactory explanation of sura 4:34.
    I was wondering if you could be so kind and share your views on the ‘beating’ part? It has made me wonder for quite a while how women can conceptualize such verses and be okay with it…
    Maybe Issam could share his/her views too.
    Thank you!

  17. Thank you for your comment, Clara. My views on beating are simple. I don’t accept it. I am not OK with certain verses in the Qur’an. I would never allow my husband to beat me.

    Also, I used to tell him, “Take as many wives as you want, but I will not be one of them.”

    He used to say, “How can you disagree with the Qur’an? These things are halal.”

    “I’m sorry”, I’d say, “They may be halal in the Qur’an, but they’re not halal in my marriage.”

    The movie Submission is not at all representative of the truth. Note the flimsy garments, romantic lighting, and seductive posturing of the lovely young lady who then suffers violence. It’s all very stylized, juxtaposing evil upon beauty. It’s perverse.

    If they wanted to draw attention to the ugliness of abuse, why did they not use photos from emergency room admissions of beaten up women? Why did not they not interview real women who’ve been maimed, who’ve been emotionally traumatized, who’ve been stripped of their youth and beauty by the fists of men who were supposed to take care of them?

    Why drape a lithe, young girl in soft garments, pose her in positions that are downright insulting to Islamic prayer, and wrap her head in black, leaving her lovely eyes to plead for release? The film borders on S&M.

  18. Hello sister Clara and peace be upon you.

    I am glad for your interest in Islam.

    The Quran is best studied by placing all similar subject words and verses together (This approach is called Tarteel and has been advised by the Almighty in 73:4).

    There are two key words that are central to deriving the correct meaning for verse 4:34;
    Nushuz
    Idribuhun

    The first word “Nushooz” will give us an understanding of what the subject is all about.

    Nushooz means “to rise” or “go above”.
    This can be seen clearly in 58:11 where people are told to “Nushooz” from the place of gathering or sitting:
    “O ye who believe! When ye are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room: (ample) room will Allah provide for you. And when ye are told “Inshuzoo” *to rise up, rise up Allah will rise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted (mystic) Knowledge. And Allah is well-acquainted with all ye do.” [58:11]

    Therefore, the issue we are dealing with here is the subject of a woman “rebelling” or “going against” her husband (Going above them, not acknowledging the other, not listening, deserting them, etc…).

    Now to move back to the verse where the woman is the one doing the “Nushooz” using the correct translation:
    “The men are to support the women by what God has gifted them over one another and for what they spend of their money. The upright women who are attentive, and keep private the personal matters for what God keeps watch over. As for those women from whom you fear a “Nushooz” (Desertion), then you shall advise them, and abandon them in the bedchamber, and “Idribuhun”; if they obey you, then do not seek a way over them; God is High, Great.” [4:34]

    If we look at the subject matter, it is of a woman who cannot stand her man and therefore has rebelled from him. There are steps to “calm things down” and to bring harmony into the marriage. Beating a woman if she can’t stand her man and has rebelled against him will only make her hate him more (Not exactly a logical or practical solution to the problem).

    Obviously now that the subject has been better understood, it is the second word “Idribuhun” which needs examination in light of the Quran:
    “Have you not seen how God puts forth (Daraba) the example of a good word is like a good tree, whose root is firm and its branches in the sky.” [14:24]
    “For the poor who face hardship in the cause of God, they cannot go forth (Darban) in the land; the ignorant ones think they are rich from their modesty; you know them by their features, they do not ask the people repeatedly. And what you spend out of goodness, God is fully aware of it.” [2:273]

    Daraba (In its natural state) means “to put forth”.

    The only reason this word can sometimes mean hit or strike is because a person is “putting forth” his hand when striking someone (See 8:12, 8:50, 47:27).
    Looking back at 4:34, we see that the context of the verse (Solving the wife’s rejection of her husband) leads us to choose the natural meaning of “Darab” which is “to put forth” and not the alternative meaning of “strike”.
    “The men are to support the women by what God has gifted them over one another and for what they spend of their money. The upright women who are attentive, and keep private the personal matters for what God keeps watch over. As for those women from whom you fear a desertion, then you shall 1) advise them, and 2) abandon them in the bedchamber, and 3) “Idribuhun” let them go forth; if they obey you, then do not seek a way over them; God is High, Great.” [4:34]

    The approach of choosing the “best” understanding and/or meaning is both logical and, more importantly, in-line with the guidance for study we are given by God:
    “The ones who listen to what is being said, and then follow the BEST of it. These are the ones whom God has guided, and these are the ones who possess intelligence.” [39:18]

    What we have now is a comprehensive list of steps in order for a man to deal with his wife who wants to desert her husband and can no longer stand to be with him:
    1. Talk about it. This is obviously the simplest and healthiest method since it opens the communication channel between both parties.
    2. Abstain from sharing the same bed. This is the 2nd approach the man is advised to use if they are unable to reconcile their problem as the lack of sexual contact may lead to the wife to cool down as intimate contact may simply inflame the situation if she is unable to stand her husband.
    3. Separate from each other. The 3rd and final line of advice is designed as a ‘cooling-off’ period and is mainly designed to help the wife re-think and examine the situation closely without the physical presence of her husband.

    The logic and clarity of the above steps are a far cry from the wife beating and bashing claims.

    Some haters of Islam have said that The word “Idrib” means “beat” if applied to a living object or thing and can mean otherwise if applied to a non-living object or thing.
    This is mainly an argument put forth by groups who have preconceived notions and wish to keep believing that Islam does not treat women well. The argument holds no merit based on linguistics or Arabic grammar. In fact, the usage of the word “Idrib” as applied in verse 24:31 puts an end to this argument as the women are obviously not being commanded to “beat” their bosoms with their shawls, but rather they are commanded to “put forth” their shawls:
    “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and keep covered their private parts, and that they should not reveal their beauty except what is apparent, and let them put-forth (YaDribna) their shawls over their cleavage…” (24:31)

    I hope this clarifies everything for you.

    Regards,
    Issam

  19. first of all thank you for a very wise comment, in my opinion. Thank you so much!
    you spoke exactly my thoughts, my mind!
    i’m sorry for a very nosy question and maybe it’s out of line here but doesn’t it bother you that your husband thinks that since quran makes it halal, it is halal? it is actually okay? exactly, how can you disagree with the quran? i ask because i am always told that the quran is perfect and not to be changed or disagreed with. please don’t think i make an attack on you:) that’s very far from it! I admire you for speaking outloud what you think 🙂 i would like to know how you reconcile these two things.
    I understand that you don’t agree with it but didn’t it make you think that God wouldn’t want that for his/her creation? doesn’t it put a doubt in your head? how do you feel about it?
    I’m sorry if any of the questions were too intrusive, it’s just my unstoppable curiosity about other people’s views 🙂 I think you have a great attitude, you think critically and it’s a very important thing!
    so thank you again and i’m sorry if i crossed the line!

  20. Oh, no, Clara, you haven’t crossed any line. The manner of asking means more to me than the question. If a person is sincere in wanting to know the answer, I will gladly encourage all questions.

    How do I reconcile the fact that I do not believe in certain things that many Muslims claim belong to Islam? Well, that’s a wonderful question.

    As for beating, I think Isaam answered that in his previous comment. The word “idrib” doesn’t always mean physical beating. Let’s assume, however, that it does. If physical beating is, indeed, intended here, do I believe in it? No. That makes me a sinner? Maybe. If so,OK..

    When I was considering becoming a Muslim, I confided in a wise woman. How could I become a Muslim, when I didn’t believe in many things most Muslims believed in? She said, “Never mind, if you believe in Allah and Mohammad as His prophet, that will be enough to start. Pray for guidance in all other matters. ”

    That was good advice. I came to understand much about Islam and human nature during the following years in which I studied and prayed. I even changed some of my core beliefs.

    I continue to refine my beliefs and attitudes toward all religions. Any person who is open-minded and willing to hear different viewpoints will invariably change beliefs a few times. Which one is THE one? I don’t know, and I’m comfortable with not knowing. It’s OK. The human species knows much about many disciplines, including theology, but what is unknown is still vast in comparison to what is known. The important thing is to keep trying.

  21. Isaam, jazakhallahu khair for your explanation of idrib. Now I have a satisfactory understanding of that verse. However, most translations, by people well- qualified in Arabic grammar, translate the word idrib as “physically beat.” So, is ” beating” an acceptable translation, in addition to the translation you supply? Perhaps.

    If so, how does the Ummah prevent exaggeration and distortion of this verse by men who like to strike their wives? Surely, the injuring of one’s wife is not allowed, period.

  22. @Marahm

    thank you for your candid reply. I really appreciate it. I think i am a bit more ‘absolute’ in the way I see things. My logic goes as: I don’t think that God would intend such treatment for his/her creation so there must be sth wrong with the revelation, which in turn would put a doubt on a prophet…
    But that’s just my opinion 🙂

    you also asked Issam the questions I wanted to ask.

    @Issam

    I don’t speak arabic to I simply assume that what you said is linguistically right. I don’t quite understand how you translate ‘put forth’ as in the verse about hijab. but for the sake of argument I take your explanation that it doesn’t actually mean ‘beat/strike’ but ‘put forth’.
    my question is then: why in all english translations of the quran this verse is always translated as beat or strike physically? I did find some ‘apologetic’ explanation of this verse but they were frowned upon by muslim scholars as not accurate.
    So if it doesn’t mean physically beat why pretty much the entire muslim world agrees that it does mean it? As Marahm said these are people who are qualified in what they do and surely know Arabic, grammar etc etc.
    I think there is also a hadith (please excuse no references) which was narrated by Aisha i think that says that no other women suffer more than believing women. She pointed that one of the ladies face/body was as green as her shawl.
    so why is the translation with ‘beating’ so widely accepted if it’s not accurate?

    thank you both for your answers 🙂

  23. Issam
    “Some haters of Islam have said that The word “Idrib” means “beat…”

    Those “haters” would have to be SOME Muslims then because those are the ones beating their wives and claiming God said they could. Muslims need to educate themselves about what Idrib means (or can possibly mean) before trying to educate nonMuslims who only have the behavior of Muslims regarding it to learn by.

    I agree with Claras post…if the word Idrib means “to separate” or “put forth”, why do MOST Muslim scholars read or translate it as “to beat”?

  24. ‘To beat” is, of course, the most accurate translation of the word these days.

    If we cannot challenge the idea that the Qur’an is sent from Allah Himself, couldn’t we recognize that human efforts at its translation are flawed, and that as human society develops and matures, our translations should also develop and mature?

    What sin would follow if the word “idrib” were to be tanslated as “put forth” from now on, instead of “to beat”? Maybe, fourteen hundred years ago, men and women both behaved in ways that, today, would seem to require corporal punishment.

    Human society evolves just like the physical world evolves. It refines itself, it learns of its own depths, it improves upon previous models. Why can’t translations of the Qur’an follow suit?

  25. Hello sisters Marahm and Clara

    First of all I sincerely apologize for being so late in replying. I have been very busy lately with some family issues.

    @Marahm

    “So, is ” beating” an acceptable translation, in addition to the translation you supply? Perhaps.”

    I do not believe so for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post.

    “If so, how does the Ummah prevent exaggeration and distortion of this verse by men who like to strike their wives? Surely, the injuring of one’s wife is not allowed, period.”

    Hitting wives is criminalized in several countries I believe. Also feminist organizations are not silent at all on this issue.

    @ Clara

    “@Issam

    I don’t speak arabic to I simply assume that what you said is linguistically right.”

    That is OK.

    “I don’t quite understand how you translate ‘put forth’ as in the verse about hijab. but for the sake of argument I take your explanation that it doesn’t actually mean ‘beat/strike’ but ‘put forth’.”

    In the verse about hijab we put on our dress on our bodies.

    “my question is then: why in all english translations of the quran this verse is always translated as beat or strike physically? I did find some ‘apologetic’ explanation of this verse but they were frowned upon by muslim scholars as not accurate.
    So if it doesn’t mean physically beat why pretty much the entire muslim world agrees that it does mean it? As Marahm said these are people who are qualified in what they do and surely know Arabic, grammar etc etc.”

    Because these translations depend on medieval “tafsirs” and Hadiths (Medieval forgeries attributed to Prophet Muhammad) which were authored according to the thinking of medieval times. Fortunately a gowing number of Muslim scholars and lay people are starting to reject that medieval literature.

  26. @ Issam

    i had a long ‘debate’ on saudiwoman about this verse as well.
    And believe me, I would like to accept your version more than the one that is the most common (meaning ‘to beat’) but… The quran says what it says. And then it is supported by a hadith saying that women of the believers suffer so much, also sth about a woman’s face as green as her robe (let me know if you need references, i will dig it out but I believe you know which one i’m talking about).

    Marahm asked a very good question. If other options/translations are proposed, such as ‘to separate’, why are they not being welcomed by the muslim world? Scholars oppose, muslims oppose…

    • Hello sister Clara

      The Quran indeed says what it says, but the question now is, what does it actually say in verse 4:34? I believe it says to separate and I gave the reasons for that.

      Does the Holy Quran say that women suffer so much? Does it say that a woman’s face should be as green as her robe? No. therefore the Prophet Muhammad could not have said those things because they go against the core teachings of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran gives men and women equal rights. I can explain this in detail if you wish.

      Who said that these options/translations are not welcomed by the Muslim world? An increasing number of people, scholars and lay people. The only people rejecting those translations are salafis/traditionalists. I can direct you to a number of books on this subject.

      On SaudiWoman’s blog you said to another poster: “I always say that I’m more than happy to change my opinions if presented with logical arguments or facts. I would be happy to hear those from you. thank you”

      I am willing to answer your questions one by one. I can even give you my e-mail so that we can chat more comfortably and not spam the blog. I really wish your quest for understanding Islam is sincere and I pray to God that you get touched by His Grace and Wisdom.

      Regards,

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