International

The conference on Combating Patriarchal Violence Against Women, Focusing on Violence in the Name of Honour took place in Stockholm 7-8 December 2004. The conference aimed at more effectively addressing such violence, and should be seen as a part of an ongoing process to counteract it. The conference included numerous keynote speeches, discussion groups, and interactive workings (the details of which are all in this publication).

The question in this post is: “Does Islam allow wife beating? Some husbands are violent and they say that the Qur'an allows them to beat their wives. Is there any logical explanation given regarding men being allowed to beat their wives, as stated in surat An-Nisa', verse 34?” The reply, given by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (former president of the Islamic Society of North America) and Dr. Jamal Badawi (professor at Saint Mary’s Univerisyt in Halifax), is that this verse is often gravely misconceived by people, who focus only on its surface meaning and take it to allow wife beating. Dr.

The question in this post is: “What does Islam say about honor killings? Does Islam really have a concept of honor killings? Most of the victims here are females; so does Islam really order to kill females in the name of honor?” The reply, given by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti and Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr, is that there is no such concept in Islam that is called “honour killing”; Islam does not permit such acts. The so-called “honour killing” is based on ignorance and disregard of morals and laws.

The question in this post is: “I have heard that the punishment specified for the person who commits adultery is 80 lashes. I would like to ask, from where did you get the punishment of stoning to death? Moreover, if you say that it is based on the Sunnah, I can say that how to depend on Sunnah in this regard. Isn’t it a fact that the Qur’an is the source of legislation for all Muslims?” The reply, given by an unnamed Islamic scholar, is that stoning is explicitly sanctioned both by the Qur’an and Prophetic Tradition.

The question in this post is: “Why must those who commit adultery be stoned to death? If Islam teaches forgiveness, why don't you give them another chance? Doesn’t Islam teach that God is the most Merciful?” The reply, given by an unnamed Islamic scholar, is that it is not true or correct to say that those who have been guilty of adultery can only be forgiven by Allah if they submit themselves to be stoned to death.

The question in this post is: “Why is it that stoning to death is considered the Islamic punishment for adultery by so many, when it is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran and the punishment for illegal sex (zina) is clearly stated to be 100 lashes?” The reply, given by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti, states a Muslim believes in the Qur’an and Hadith as two major sources of revelation. If one denies stoning for adultery then he/she is of the people who deny Hadith as a source of Islamic Law, which is used by almost all the schools of Shari’a.

The question in this post is: “Is there any way adultery can be forgiven by Allah?” The reply from Sheikh Ahmad Kutty (a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto) outlines the steps one must take to prove true repentance to Allah (including good deeds, prayer, resolution to shun adultery and all of the steps towards it, etc.) in order to be forgiven for adultery.

This opinion is based on the Sunni Hanafi system of jurisprudence, and many of the arguments can be used to build a consensus among the umma that stoning is unacceptable or can be avoided. In this opinion, The Shaykh goes into great detail on the extreme burden of proof needed to prove adultery. Several elements are important here:

This book is a journalistic account of Rana Husseini’s journey from “a naive but enthusiastic and stubborn journalist to the campaigns to change Jordanian law, as well as (her) experiences in other countries in the Middle East, and investigations into so-called honour killings across Europe (especially the UK) as well as the USA.

This chapter examines the 'original' source texts of Islam (in particular the Qur'an and the Hadith) to challenge the historical absence of women within Islamic thought and to question the continued subordination of Muslim women under the guise of Islam. The author examines key Islamic texts and questions theological debates to consider why women are defined as 'unequal' and 'inferior'. Central to these ideas are the patriarchal constructions of 'honour' and 'shame' which seek to control female sexuality.

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