Shari’a, unseen in plain sight — a commentary. Part 1: Women’s “rights” in Islam
Most Muslims find the practice highly distasteful, which is both irrelevant and, of course, highly relevant. What kind of person would sooner put up with nikah halala than leave a religion that so utterly degrades them?
In the West, we understand Shari’a as “Islamic law,” the "law of Muslims", "the law that Muslims wish to live by", etc. To Muslims, however, Shari’a is not just Islamic law; it is “Sacred Law”, “Divine Law”, “the Law of God,” and “law that is good for all time.” Not only is “God’s Law” superior to “man’s law,” it must, by divine order, supplant all other law and be violently imposed everywhere over everyone unaltered since its first codification and enforced till the end of time. As far as Muslims are concerned, Shari'a is the only valid law. They may endure secular law, but they do so only with the deepest hatred and contempt, until they are strong enough to get rid of it. Here is moderate Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi on the law of the United States, the country he is a citizen of:
I do not have to respect the laws of the land. I have to abide, agreed. But I can criticise, I can hate it, I can try to change it. All of this is something I will do, as a Muslim.
When Muslims demand, or plead for, or surreptitiously introduce, Shari’a, they do so not for themselves, as some Western useful idiots quaintly advocate, or the more sinister dhimmi leaders mendaciously propagate, they wish Shari’a upon us all. “Our Shari’a just in family matters” is nothing of the kind, but is the thin edge of a very ominous wedge. In the West, every concession towards Muslims to practice "their" Shari'a, no matter how seemingly innocuous, e.g., wearing the hijab, is a negation of secular law and prepares the ground for their imposing Shari'a on you.
Watch Yasir Qadhi tugging at the heartstrings of naïve Westerners when talking to them about Shari'a. Other da'is, such as Linda Sarsour, talk about no interest on your credit card, while still others, like Shamsi, specifically avoid talking about capital punishment and will have you believe that Muslims' slaves are, in fact, servants. Muslims are hard at work bringing Shari'a about while most Westerners remain clueless. Since Shari’a is not complete unless practiced in its totality, those striving for Shari’a will not rest until the entire world bends under its oppression, and Muslims have learnt just which buttons to press. Though a historic project in its own right, in the contemporary world Shari’a is also yet another attempt at the Counter Enlightenment that failed so spectacularly in the twentieth century, as Nazism, fascism, militarism, Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism.
Karl Marx opens the Introduction to his A Contribution to The Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right with two statements, one of which is: “the criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism.” It is an insight that the authors of Shari’a had also come to. Whether you seek to free humanity from religion, or grind it down all the more forcefully under it, criticism of religion is where you must begin. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s war on free speech, waged in the United Nations, the European Union, and now in the United States Congress, is aimed precisely at shutting down criticism of religion, and Islam is the only religion.
Not only does Shari’a forbid any criticism of Islam, it does its best to destroy in the Muslim mind, any ability to criticise in the first place. This critique of Shari’a is, of course, a criticism of Islam, and it is offered here mainly through a commentary on Reliance of the Traveller, a manual of Shari’a, drawing on the Qur’an and the hadith for further elucidation.
Let us be very clear about one thing before we even begin: there is no such thing as rights in Islam, of whatever kind, for anybody. Rights, human rights, are an accomplishment of the Enlightenment. Human rights did not and cannot exist outside of the context of the autonomous individual, because human rights are a social recognition of the innate equality between human beings. It cannot be given or taken away, only recognised or denied.
All societies predating the Enlightenment were societies of strict hierarchical authority and subordinate dependence. Such societies, whether historic or contemporary, run on the arbitrary granting and withholding of favours and special dispensations, which supersede all rules or laws that may formally exist, and the strict observance of hierarchy. Islam is one such society, and it has foreclosed from itself any possibility of ever evolving rights. In Islam, it is only a question of how close or distant your condition is to that of a slave on one side, or a king on the other, and how close or distant your life is to being sacrosanct or forfeit. Everything else is just detail.
Part 1: Women’s “rights” in Islam
Since the Taliban retook Afghanistan in August and the New Zealand PM, clueless Jacinda Ardern, fueled their erotic fantasies by begging them to go easy on women, the Taliban, after laughing their heads off, promised that women will have all their right within Islam, triggering a back-and-forth in the Western media about a “reformed Taliban”, “women’s rights in Islam”, and the mental health of the United States President. Now we patiently await the Western feminists so knowledgeable on women in Islam who will clarify for us what women’s rights under Islam are. “Feminism” provides cover for some of the most heinous of prejudices, including throwing the wives, daughters and sex slaves of Muslim men under the bus and feeling virtuous for doing so. So let us start our tour through the Shari’a with women’s “rights” in Islam.
One of the most repulsive surahs in the Qur’an is Surah 2:230, which, although thoroughly barbaric, Muslims have no choice but to acquiesce in, regardless of their personal sense of ethics, justice, fairness, or decency. In it is concentrated the essence of "women's rights within Islam."
And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce [sic] her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again… (emphasis by AP).
The Chinese consider animals as nothing but “moving objects”, which in large part accounts for the horrific treatment of animals in that country. In Qur’an 2:230, something akin is at play. In Islam, divorce is entirely the prerogative of the man. But that is not all. Should her ex-husband want her back (her wishes are not at issue here), another man must first have married her, i.e., had sex with her, and then divorced her, before her ex-husband can have her back. The practice is called nikah halala.
Muslims not involved in the lucrative industry surrounding nikah halala are increasingly appalled and embarrassed by it, and try various ways of downplaying or obfuscating it. One example is to claim that most Muslims find the practice highly distasteful, which is both irrelevant and, of course, highly relevant. What kind of people would sooner put up with nikah halala than leave a religion that so utterly degrades them? Islam Helpline tries to put things in context:
To prevent making a mockery of the sacred institution of marriage and of the rights of women, where the man divorces his wife and marries her again and again, Islam imposed the two-strike rule whereby a man is allowed to divorce and remarry the same woman again only twice.
Let us take a closer look at this wonderful Islamic virtue. These “rights of women” in divorce. What are they, exactly:
• “The person who effects it [divorce, is] the husband [even if he is drunk or high, AP].”
• A verbal utterance suffices to effect divorce, even if vague or not issued to her directly, such as “when someone asks: ‘Do you have a wife?’ and he says ‘No’.” Note that the wife does not even have to be addressed.
• “The person conducting the divorce may effect it himself or commission another to do so, even if the person commissioned is a woman.”
• A wife may effect a divorce, “when a husband tells his wife, ‘Divorce yourself,’ then if she immediately says, ‘I divorce myself,’ she is divorced, but if she delays, she is not divorced unless the husband has said, ‘Divorce yourself whenever you wish’.”
• Need for divorce includes, “the wife has displeasing qualities or morals,” the husband’s moral qualities are not at issue.
• “The marriage payment is the money or property a husband must pay a woman to marry her. …Her ownership of it is finalised when her husband has sexual intercourse with her (after which none of it is refundable), or when one of them dies before they have had intercourse.”
• “If he says, ‘Anytime you go out without my permission you are divorced,’ then if she leaves at anytime without permission, she is divorced.” This might strike “Islamophobes” as barbaric, but it is not, because, “If the husband says, ‘If you leave the house without my permission, you are divorced,’ then gives her permission to go out, and she does, but then goes out a second time without permission, she is not divorced.” See, women’s rights are protected in Islam. What is more,
• “If [the marriage payment is] payable immediately, the bride may refuse to have sexual intercourse until her husband gives her the marriage payment, though if she allows him to have intercourse with her before she accepts the amount, she may no longer refuse to have intercourse (but may demand the amount).”
For the nikah halala husband to merely marry, but not have sex with the divorced woman, amounts to “trickery.” Sex, not marriage, is the point here. Nikah halala is not “permitted marriage,” as some disingenuously suggest, but quite literally permitted fucking. The concept of a woman in Qur’an 2:230 cannot be anything but that of a coitus object, as testified in Sahih Bukhari 5151 with respect to even regular marriage: “The stipulations [of the marriage contract] most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women's) vagina.” In short, there is no rape in Islam, only unlawful sex. How much more degradation is it possible for a religion to heap upon a woman? To put it bluntly—and I beg the reader’s pardon for my language here, but this is the fact of the matter—a divorced woman must first be pimped out before she can get her husband back. That is Islam.
This is the reality of what some call “women’s rights under Islam,” and we are not even talking about the beating, the confinement to the house, the prohibition on not fulfilling the husband’s sexual demands “even while seated on a camel,” a husband's control over everything a woman does, the sex-slavery, the paedophilia, etc. When a Muslim man divorces his wife once, i.e., he says, “Talaq” only once, and he then remarries her without her first having married another Muslim man, what has, in effect, taken place is that the man has relinquished his right to the woman’s vagina, but then reasserted that right before another Muslim man could claim that vagina. This is the trickery. This is the abuse of Allah’s Law that nikah halala really addresses.
But Shari’a, in its generosity and compassion, tolerates such abuse of Allah's Law, even twice. Only at the third attempt does it draw the line to ensure that this time another Muslim man gets enough opportunity to claim the woman’s vagina. If the new husband then does not have sex with her, it will be as if her vagina has been unavailable to him. But having married her, he has also made her vagina unavailable to any other Muslim man who might well have claimed it during the time he was married to her and not having sex with her. Such a situation would be intolerable, as it simply continues the trickery.
The great "scholars" of Islam, in the wisdom that Allah has bestowed on them, drew up the Shari’a to prevent such abuse of the law getting out of hand, and have made it obligatory that another Muslim man first have sex with the three-times-divorced woman, before her original husband can reclaim her vagina. It is a regulation of property rights in which Islam itself is the pimp. Subhanallah. And still there are those who think there is nothing wrong with Muslims for thinking there is nothing wrong with Islam.
No Muslim may disagree with any of this; it is in the Qur’an, the perfect and eternal word of Allah. The wording of 2:230 is so clear-cut that no Muslim can interpret their way around it. The only option left is to downplay it: “It’s a practice the vast majority of Muslims are strongly against and is attributed to individuals misunderstanding Islamic laws around divorce.” This “vast majority of Muslims” is racked by the barbarism in their religion, which they will never bring themselves to criticise. “Misunderstanding Islamic laws around divorce”, “misunderstanding Islam”, “misunderstanding the Qur’anic verse”; that’s a lot of “misunderstanding” for a religion that is perfect and revealed in clear language.
All the Shari’a quotations are from Reliance of the Traveller, Book N: Divorce; and Book M8: The Bride’s Marriage Payment. The entire treatment of a woman throughout is as one without will, without agency, and without interest, e.g., ‘Returning the wife to marriage is only valid by explicitly stating it, such as by saying, “I return her,” “I take her back,” or, “I retain her”. (The Hanafis consider the husband's touching her with desire, such as kissing her, to be a valid return to marriage.)’ None of this is inconsistent with the idea that the Islamic concept of a married woman is as nothing more than a sex-slave whose children by him a man recognises as his own. At no point does the question of whether a divorced woman might not want to remarry her former husband arise.
So, back to Western appeals to those reformed Taliban gentlemen to pause for a moment and reflect when they next feel the urge to shoot a schoolgirl in the head. Make them promise to consult women before flogging them. Tell them to join a women's march and to wear a "World Hijab Day" badge. That way you will not be disrespecting their culture.
- The marriage of a woman seized in war (jihad) is automatically annulled as she becomes the sex-slave of her Muslim captor.
- A Muslim man may marry a woman of any religion, provided only that for as long as she is not a Muslim, he must hate her. A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man.